Links 7/23/2023

Self-healing metal can repair itself just like human skin ZME Science

This Spaghetti-Looking Parasite Is Taking Over The LA Mountains Right Now LAist


Americans are moving to places besieged by extreme heat The Economist

2,000 people evacuated by sea in Rhodes Kathermerini

Low-meat diets can reduce the environmental impact of food production ZME Science



Re: USD/China – The Donkey Kong Dollar Peg. Kaoboy Musings

Military experts say PLA rolling out longer-range missiles near Taiwan South China Morning Post

European Disunion

Why Belgium may be about to break up Politico EU

France says Italy should leave the BRI and favour more democratic alliances Rail Freight

New Not-So-Cold War


‘The Financial Times,’ Danone, Baltika and how Russia is striking back Gilbert Doctorow

Russia accuses Kyiv of using cluster bombs as journalist killed Al Jazeera

West’s decisions driven by ‘impotent rage’ – Moscow RT

Opposing War: No Disclaimers Required Counterpunch


Making sense of a self-induced recession in Europe Al Mayadeen


Algeria applies to join BRICS, would contribute $1.5 billion to group bank Reuters


Israeli Pilots’ Letter Sends Shockwaves Across Military and Political Arenas Haaretz

Benjamin Netanyahu to have pacemaker fitted hours ahead of key vote on judicial reform plans The Guardian

O Canada

A wave of strikes has hit Canada. What does this say about our labour market? Maclean’s

Biden Administration

Antitrust Guidelines and Overthrowing a Corrupt Priesthood BIG by Matt Stoller


These politicians are fueling talk of late-entry 2024 bids The Hill

The Republican Candidates are a Boil of Hawks The Wayward Rabbler

GOP Clown Car

Our Famously Free Press

‘Thorny Questions”: New York Times Ponders Whether “Misinformation” is Protected Speech Jonathan Turley


How a Drug Maker Profited by Slow-Walking a Promising H.I.V. Therapy New York Times

Digital Watch

Pentagon AI more ethical than adversaries’ because of ‘Judeo-Christian society,’ USAF general says Defense One

The future will be artificial & full of intelligence Edward Slavsquat

Santa Monica tests AI cameras for parking tickets KTLA

Voice actors denounce exploitative technology during Comic-Con panel: ‘AI isn’t implementing itself’ Entertainment Weekly

Obama Legacy

Boygenius calls Barack Obama a ‘war criminal’ after he puts song on playlist New York Post. Good for her.


People are getting fed up with all the useless tech in their cars The Verge

A promising Internet satellite is rendered useless by power supply issues Ars Technica

Supply Chain

All eyes on Türkiye as olive, olive oil production in Europe threatened by drought Anadolu Agency

Screening Room

What ‘Oppenheimer’ leaves out Responsible Statecraft

Zeitgeist Watch

‘Here for the heat’: Death Valley sizzles, but the tourism doesn’t stop The Guardian


Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. DJG, Reality Czar

    Opposing War: No Disclaimers Required by Thomas Knapp.

    Knapp explains the ethics of how to be anti-war in a brief piece. It is well argued. I recommend that you take a look.

    I have a feeling that most of us groundlings are somewhere in Knapp’s camp. The themes I see here are closely aligned with what he managed to put together in a few words.

    As always, it is good to have someone cut through the aggressore e aggredito silliness. (I won’t say binary, because binary is one more worn-out term in this new baroque era of worn-out thought and language.)

  2. DJG, Reality Czar

    France Says Italy should stay out of Belt and Road, by Marco Raimondi at Rail Freight.

    Okay, ragazzi e ragazze, you’re going to recognize this curriculum vitae of the Concerned Senator André Gattolin.

    Poached from French Wiki (also known as freedom-fries Wiki): “Membre d’Europe Écologie Les Verts (EÉLV) puis de La République en marche (LREM), il est sénateur des Hauts-de-Seine depuis 2011.”

    First, a Green. Now a Macronoon. And very worried that the wobbly, immoralist Italians will be swayed by the seducers of Beijing. Come on. Is that you Annalena Baerbock?

    1. Ignacio

      You know, cause those senateurs, apart from firm opposition to pay owed pensions in full (except theirs) don’t have anything meaningful to say to their consituencies so, instead, go on lecturing the ROW on their “obligations”.

      1. southern appalachian

        I’ve been wondering about the direction of the EU’s foreign policy after Brexit, how closely it will remain aligned with the US. Assume this will take years to develop.

        Macron saying a little bit ago they need to forge their own way from the US sometimes. And now this- almost as if old rivalries and competitions will return. Florence and Venice were quite rich due to trade long long long ago. France and Germany seem to be taking turns making authoritative statements about what the EU members should be doing. All tentative, and I am racing ahead. But still. Feeling their way forward, seems.

        1. Bugs

          France & Italy have been in a feud over the Med immigrant situation for going on 10 years now. This is not going to improve. Italy has a very good point and France chooses to ignore it.

      2. DJG, Reality Czar

        Ignacio: Speaking of senateurs, did you go out and vote today?

        Will you want to give us some observations tomorrow morning after the polls close and the returns come in?

        1. Ignacio

          I will try though stomaching politics in Spain is not my favourite activity. It will probably be depressing.

          1. Ignacio

            Results, not definitive, suggest difficulties to form a coalition government. People’s Party expected better and is disappointed. Feijoo might not be next Jefe de Gobierno as expected. Remarkable how Sánchez managed to survive the turning wave.

            1. caucus99percenter

              Ironically, it was Sanchez who tried to throw Catalan independence leader Carles Puigdemont in prison for 20 years.

              Although Puigdemont’s JUNTS party also opposes a PP takeover, the Spanish press has noted a statement by Puigdemont that, quite understandably, there is no way JUNTS will ever vote to keep Sanchez in office.

              1. Ignacio

                Being conservative, JUNTS hate PP even more than PSOE. They might agree to abstain if Sánchez tries to form government (this might give them some advantage over ERC). Who knows, we might have to go again to elections by December.

  3. Wukchumni

    This Spaghetti-Looking Parasite Is Taking Over The LA Mountains Right Now LAist
    I’d see that plant we nicknamed ‘Strangulato’ all the time on Topanga Canyon trails in the Santa Monica mountains, but in lesser amounts than this year, where her clients in the underground movement must have implored Mother Nature to ‘Supersize Me!’ after the dozen atmospheric rivers came and went.

    There’s a couple of invasive thistles that were largely held in check in Tiny Town, I knew where the odd patch or 2 of them were, but that was then and this is now and Italian & Milk thistles are everywhere, and its a bully of a pulpit, the height reaching around 6 feet and they forbade anything else from growing in their midst once established. They grow up to about the same altitude as poison oak, 5,000 feet.

    Next year ought to be interesting in a troubles with tribbles, er thistles, way.

    1. Kengferno

      I lived in Topanga Canyon back in 92-93. Were you there around then? I lived on Old Canyon at the apartments. Such a fantastic place. Whenever I’m in LA I try and take a drive through there. Not a whole lot of change. The traffic light is always jarring.

      1. Wukchumni

        I lived on Waveview Dr. not far from Trippet Ranch at about the same time frame as you and would often walk to Parker Mesa and back, sometimes down to the Mormon church and back if I really wanted to tire myself out.

        The all-day sucker hike from Trippet was to Will Rogers State Park and back, around 18 miles.

      2. Omicron

        I lived in Topanga Canyon (actually, Greenleaf Canyon, west of Topanga Canyon Boulevard) from 1987-2002. We did have the “spaghetti-looking parasite,” along with manzanita and chaparral, all of which, we were assured by an LA County fire pickup truck that cruised through our first fall there, would torch the place instantly if it caught fire. So we were admonished to scram immediately if we smelled smoke, heard a call of fire, whatever. It was a great place to live — how it separated itself from the madness of LA I will never understand, but somehow we managed. Somebody out there told me once that there’s a difference between the Coast and the West. LA was the Coast; Topanga was the West, in attitudes, sense of community and neighborliness, etc. Glad we didn’t stay, though. Bad days ahead.

    2. c_heale

      The title is misleading considering the content, that the plant is a native species, and shows no sign of “taking over”.

    1. Wukchumni

      I got a wired up fridge, this one is the smart aleck version when if you open the door after 8 pm it chastises your choice by saying ‘If you eat that and go to sleep it’ll all be belly fat!’, or ‘I scream, when you eat ice cream!’.

    2. griffen

      Instead of Three Stooges, it’s the Furry Stooges?!? “Hello, Hello, Hello. Hello!”

    3. Lexx


      Dog: ‘She’s talking to me.’ Cats: ‘ So?’

      If I took the dogs on a walk down our country lane, one or both barn kitties followed us, meowing in protest the further we got from home, until they turned around out of paranoia. I don’t know what they thought was going to jump out of the grass to get them by then, but they were very enthusiastic for a stroll for the first 100 yards or so.

      1. mrsyk

        Looks like the “breakfast choir” to me. Saw a version of that earlier this morning, what we call “the walk across”.

        1. Lexx

          Do they meow unhappily, suddenly hunker down, check behind them to see if they’re being stalked, decide the coast is clear, then trot faster and complain louder?… ‘Heyyyy, let’s turn around, this is way outside my territory and in to someone else’s…. THIS IS FAR ENOUGH! AW COME YOU GUYS, LET’S GO HOME!… (crouch) ‘Okay, we’re gonna go back, see ya on the flipside!’

          I thought the dogs looked relieved.

          The ‘walk across’ what?

  4. The Rev Kev

    ‘Joe Biden isn’t happy with the lack of support from Elon Musk and suggests that he could he investigated even if he hasn’t done anything wrong.

    “There’s a lot of ways,” Biden promised.’

    Maybe Biden will borrow some of Ursula von der Leyen’s tools that she threatened Italy’s Maroni with before she was elected. They seemed to have worked extremely well-

    1. chris

      I really dislike the “context” that “users” add on Twitter and elsewhere. Why should it matter when Joe Biden said that? It was wrong to say then. If he hasn’t disavowed it, it’s still wrong. And who are these users? Vicky Nuland and others who want to tell us process to go away? How about we assume that as literate adults we can decide on the context ourselves…The whole practice is despicable.

      1. chris

        Hmmm… interesting to see words that I have used a lot, and which should be accepted on the devices I use when I post be consistently changed to different words that are not at all what I meant. Like, this is different from the usual auto-correct shenanigans. I wonder if there’s some setting that was reset, or if there’s another thing going on. I wrote “proles” several times in the above reply. Just to get it accepted in the prior sentence after I hit the check to let my phone know, yes, I mean prole not process, is requiring more effort than I remember. I’ll have to check when posting from an ios device later.

        I wonder if this is how AI will be used in the future? Running as the perfect man in the middle to change things before we realize they’ve been changed. For posts without editing, you’d freeze it with the wrong language. Or spam a board with things that would get it flagged. I’m reminded of the trolls who post on MoA with openings like, “is this the kind of place where I can say “. Or, for fans of Brandon Sanderson, the effect of the evil force in Mistborne where people try to write things and they don’t realize they’re not writing what they meant to.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > I wonder if this is how AI will be used in the future? Running as the perfect man in the middle to change things before we realize they’ve been changed

          Generative AI really is like a ginormous autocorrect/autocomplete, so your paranoid scenario is 100% correct. One could, in fact, look at the entire financialized economy as a man in the middle attack…

          1. Watt4Bob

            One could, in fact, look at the entire financialized economy as a man in the middle attack…

            Naked Capitalism in a nutshell.

            All these years, and all these words, the story boils down to one simple sentence.

      2. Daryl

        I’ve found the context perks me up. “This tweet contains misinformation about Covid-19” or whatever is usually a signal that it may be worth paying attention to.

            1. jsn

              A Samizdat tell.

              Problem is, TPTB are no better at being wrong than right.

              Stochastic distraction, like all other digital “notifications”.

              1. ambrit

                TPTB might not be better at being wrong than right, but, by their very power position, they can survive being wrong a lot better than the “average” person or private organization. This prolongs ‘wrong’ trends long past the point that they would logically be expected survive. The stochiasm is short circuited.

                1. jsn

                  I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

                  Aurelian, née David, has a series of essays in which, for the purposes of typing with calloused fingers the iPhone oft mistakes as inanimate, I’ll boil down his thesis as “Consensus Inertia”, the property of large organizations making changing direction look more difficult and dangerous than cleaning up the road kill of what the misguided organization plowed over. CDC, EU, State Department come to mind.

                  Within the ozone tiers of such organizations, Yves “Iron Law of Institutions” obtains, making sight lines miles down to reality obscure, like how perfect the South Bronx looks flying over towards JFK. The institutional perspective from altitude easily converts to a Procrustean spreadsheet supporting institutional ambitions and individual career goals.

                  Overlay on these baroque layers of governmental senescence Bidenesque corruption and at the Iron Law level careerism is all that remains and at the Consensus Inertia level all the self harm and looting just keep redoubling. The Medical Industrial Complex and those erstwhile Nations making up the EU spring to mind here wherein very particular interests continue to make literal and actual killings.

      3. MT_Wild

        On the whole I like the reader added context. Because people try to spin both these statements and actual facts. It’s really nice to see counter statistics and data when our leaders pick the one point estimate that supports their position and ignore the dozens of other indicators that shows they’re wrong.

        As Lambert would say, “Look for the helpers.”

      4. MT_Wild

        On the whole I like the reader added context. Because people try to spin both these statements and actual facts. It’s really nice to see counter statistics and data when our leaders pick the one point estimate that supports their position and ignore the dozens of.otger indicators that shows they’re wrong.

        As Lambert would say, “Look for the helpers.”

  5. Wukchumni

    Pulp Friction:

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil newspapers in possession of the laptop. Blessed are those in social media who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak away from the volley of darkness, for they are truly his son’s keeper and the finder of lost children such as Hunter. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my son’s good name. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you. No one {family blogs} with a Biden!

    1. griffen

      Mr. Jackson does a rather excellent delivery of that speech and off the tangent here, I never had a great investment in that film for varied reasons. Here below is another one, delivered by Sam Jackson in a Jurassic Park scene. Adding context, when it comes to hauling journalists and a POTUS candidate alike in front of a McCarthy like setting to be grilled by empty suits like DWS and Plaskett.

      “Hold onto your butts.” Sunlight is sorely needed, heaven forfend Americans are allowed to actually think for themselves given the censored information and details kept hidden. I know a person who should be smart enough to know, and this person does not think media has any real bias (oh but Fox News is from the gates of hell!).

      1. JBird4049

        >>>Adding context, when it comes to hauling journalists and a POTUS candidate alike in front of a McCarthy like setting to be grilled by empty suits like DWS and Plaskett.

        I think that the labeling of people like Congresswomen Stacey Plaskett and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as empty suits is misguided, even dangerous. The term empty suits might be given to the supporting cast of representatives around Representative Plaskett with her skillful leadership during the sliming, along with Representative Wasserman-Schultz with her active and effective support.

        A façade of outrage, attacking RFK, Jr. using the accusation his ostensible hate speech from outside of his testimony before this committee on censorship to both censor him and to not answer his accusations of smears and lies done to him. I must commend their grotesque work for its skill and probable effectiveness on anyone not with at least a tiny bit of understanding of the past decades’ growing censorship in the United States and Britain. This might be wrong given as how an astute watcher would likely see how accusations against past speech, not even past actions, are used as a priori justifications to deny a person’s ability to speak or testify under oath in the present.

        While empty suits can be evil just like leaders can be, just because a person’s actions might be wrong, even evil, it does not follow that they are stupid. It merely means that the perpetrator’s actions and likely goals are wrong or evil. Even then, it does not mean that the perpetrator believes that they are being bad. Also, while some people do not care, most people would like to believe that they are the heroes of the story or at least not the villain. Perhaps Representatives Plaskett and Wasserman-Schultz do not think that they are being bad although I think that they don’t care or only care about themselves.

        1. griffen

          This is a well phrased comment and I appreciate the response. One of the initial responses that I have to seeing these “people’s elected representatives” is to behave with cynical or sophomoric responses in satire or humor. Blazing Saddles territory if you will, led by our fearless William Le Petomane in chief.

          But “empty suits” was indeed an inadequate metaphor or analogy. I do think those mentioned above, as well as others wearing team Red as well, are often mere rubber stampers for what a donor class or the invested class wishes for them to be doing. Without the coverage of these hearings and an earlier hearing with Taibbi, et al, I would never know who exactly Plaskett was in the first place.

    2. Jabura Basaidai

      Mr W you are erudite, inventive and creative – a tip of an appreciative hat – love my morning cruise through comments – thank y’all, it is comforting –

  6. Expat2uruguay

    Earlier this week there was a discussion about how the US has under-invested in its infrastructure. Of course that’s true, but there are some important things to consider when thinking about how to rectify this. I have experience in this area, having been a civil engineer involved in bridge design, construction inspection, and cost estimating for over 15 years. One of my last jobs was estimating the cost of a small project in Northern California that was being constructed because the community wanted a turn signal traffic light to be added at the intersection. The intersection was near a small creek, so a single column two span box culvert bridge was added to the project. The cost of construction for that project was estimated by me, a professional cost estimator for the California department of transportation, as $7 million. That was just the cost of construction, it didn’t include the cost of design, the cost of inspecting the work as it was completed or the cost of maintenance. Why was it so much? Well, that little bridge of course had to have all kinds of environmental protections and they were also architectural requirements of pretty rails and light standards and so forth and so on. That was just a tiny bridge, and when you multiply that by the number of bridges in California you quickly get to tens of trillions of dollars of construction that would be required to replace them. So something to consider. And that’s just one large state.

    So now I’m here in Uruguay, and when I tell people that was a bridge designer in California I joke that there’s not many bridges in Uruguay as a way to explain why I don’t work in my retirement here. Even though Uruguay has lots of little streams that they do cross with Bridges, what they don’t have is bridge crossings of other roads. California has thousands of thom: I once counted as I was driving on a trip from Sacramento to LA, so I’m quite sure of my estimate. What Uruguay does have is roundabouts where their highway intersections occur. These are not only cheaper to build, but they’re also cheaper to design, cheaper to monitor construction, cheaper to inspect, and cheaper to maintain over the years of service. These savings really add up. In fact they multiply. Also, lots of broken rice bowls!

    So, if people become serious about upgrading the infrastructure in the US they’ve got to go to a different philosophy of what’s important in a transportation system. Right now the California department of transportation and it’s partner construction and design businesses are quite motivated by profit taking opportunities and the maintenance of rice bowls, to put it bluntly. That has to change, the US can’t afford it otherwise. They will have to build smarter.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents!

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’m sure that there are other factors involved that help push up the cost of building a bridge. The local government authorities would be charging for permits and inspections, there would be consulting firms being brought in for advice as they are friends with someone in government, kickbacks to local politicians, etc. All of this graft would help push up the price. Maybe if such a project published their budget and progress on a website so that ordinary citizens could check it all out and maybe offer suggestions it would be different but I can’t see that happening.

      You say that you were doing bridge construction? In a moment of serendipity, a little while ago I watched a short video that you might appreciate then- (4:43 mins)

    2. Ignacio

      Thank you! I think that amongst the requisites you mentioned for infraestructures It should be added that one of them is to serve, first and foremost, the cars rather than the people. This is all too frequent here in Madrid.

    3. WhoaMolly

      Thanks for insight on bridges. Was curious because I live in the part of CA you describe.

      In a city near us there is a large recreational complex and park built during the depression by the WPA. Built fast, built well, and built to last.

      I’m thinking the only thing that will end the bloated, corrupt building cycle in CA (High Speed Rail, anyone?) will be an end to the money. That might mean a depression.

      1. John

        Perhaps other commenters are too polite to say note that the dipping of beaks is epidemic.

        1. redleg

          Bringing in the Stoller article to this conversation, the consolidation of engineering consulting firms and heavy civil construction contractors has resulted in monopoly-monopsony pricing for projects. Fewer firms means higher prices and more corruption. Cory Doctorows’ enshitification applies to engineering and construction, not just Amazon et al.

          Speaking from experience, even when a small business gets to bid on a project they often have to partner with the megafirm competitors to fill a key part of a project.

          I have already submitted a comment in support of the guideline changes, with the closing statement of “pass this so small businesses have a chance and customers have a choice”.

          1. Oh

            If you look at SBA’s definition of small business you’ll be in for a big surprise. (Hint: classified by SIC code none of them will fit your definition or mine!)

        2. Will

          Was a study linked here many years ago that looked into why infrastructure projects are so much more expensive in the US compared to other industrialized countries. I believe it was in the context of Boston’s Big Dig. Unfortunately I can’t find the link.

          IIRC, one of the big reasons given was the underinvestment. Spending being so low and infrequent, whenever a project gets announced a feeding frenzy results where everybody, from unions to consultants to local politicians (of all stripes) wanting to deliver for ‘constituents’, try to get as much as they can while they can. Little chance anybody gets held to account as everybody is trying to wet their beak. No atheists in a foxhole sort of thing.

    4. Leftist Mole

      Alas, even roundabouts in CA are more expensive than traffic lights. Our small coastal town of 10,000 just chose to put in a roundabout at an intersection over traffic lights, much to the dismay of certain sections of the populace who hate all changes whatsoever. They are bitter at the Common Council choosing the more expensive and what they think is the less safe option. In spite of the fact that we have a roundabout at another busy Hwy intersection in town, that works really well.

      1. juno mas

        Roundabouts are more expensive to build at existing intersections, when comparing them against simply installing traffic lights. Otherwise, they are cheaper to build than signalized intersections, from scratch. They are safer, more attractive, require less maintenance, and don’t require emergency measures when the power goes out, or high wind damages the signal masts.

        Here’s my pro bono community presentation graphics to the City of Santa Barbara promoting selection of a roundabout on the edge of city limits:

    5. Dalepues

      I had never thought about the abundance of bridges. I live in Mobile, so the trip over to New Orleans means crossing dozens (hundreds?) of bridges, some quite long. My favorite is the bridge over the Pearl River during the fall when the cypress trees turn the color of rust.
      When friends come to visit from Colombia they are always amazed that we can make that trip without having to stop for a single traffic light. “How can it be? Does this mean that we can travel all the way
      to California without a single traffic light?” Yes, if we had the gas.

  7. Steve H.

    > Making sense of a self-induced recession in Europe Al Mayadeen

    >> The European working class continues to partner with capital since its colonial wars and it benefits from the power generated imperialist dividends.

    I detect no lie.

    Yet it assumes agency on the part of the working class. Are there any cases of strikes aimed at systemic effects? They seem to be within the bubble of their own contracts, and in the broadest cases at inequality within the industry/state/EU. No mass movements of bottoms helping each other across the lines. (Counterexamples please.)

    The disconnect of decision-makers from consequences seems extraordinary. Baerbock said this week, We don’t know when this war will end. We don’t know what will happen in Russia. Because we are not dealing with a country that is a democracy, as we are, fortunately. No matter what German voters think.

    Recall Scholz just said Germany will need no fewer than 1.5 million new immigrants per year. To support the pension system. Which supports the working class?

    Tongues so forked they look like Ghidorah. Can’t reverse-engineer truth from bovine boluses. Humphrey said Foreign policy is really domestic policy with its hat on. But what’s domestic for a globalist?

    Still doesn’t make sense to me.

    1. Ignacio

      She writes also about some “security of the working class in Europe” which i find weird at least when i think about the 3.5 millions unemployed in Spain. What security? As a matter of fact the ruling élites don’t give a damn on “worker class security” and would be happy to destroy its remnants which have 0 to do with colonial capitalism but with social fight and struggles within each country that had huge human costs in the past. This was long ago and i havent experienced any of this in the last 30 years.

      This paragraph that you signalled from this journalist in one of the most unfortunate things i have read in a long time. She was blinded by her studies on colonialism and apparently sees a “conquistador” in each European.

      Not the first time i watch something like this. Once i had to say a Mexican that he, and not me, was the descendant of conquistadores. So please keep the blame of all those maladies for yourself.

      1. digi_owl

        I swear, working class to them means university accredited PMCs only. Anyone below that deserve to burn for not putting in the effort to get a degree.

  8. The Rev Kev

    ‘Sometime in the next seven years, a human being will set foot on the Moon for the first time since 1972. That human will probably be a Chinese taikonaut, and the outrage from the West will be like nothing we’ve seen.’

    You know, it could be worse. A lot worse. The sight of a Chinese taikonaut walking on the Moon would cause all sorts of outrage as the real purpose of the Artemis Accords is to keep them off our Moon in the first place. But consider this. Suppose that that Chinese Moon mission lands at Hadley-Apennine ( 26.10°N 3.65°E ), Descartes ( 8.99°S 15.51°E ) or maybe even Taurus-Littrow ( 20.16°N 30.76°E). Then the next thing you would see is Chinese taikonauts jumping into one of those left behind Moon Buggies and start doing wheelies and doughnuts in the Lunar soil. Did those American astronauts leave their keys in the ignition by any chance thinking that they would return?

    By the way, anybody know what the Chinese is for ‘Yeehaw!’

    1. Benny Profane

      The author of that Twit feed wants to stoke a lot of outrage, because, I’m not sure, but, in the end, most of the world will spend a few minutes thinking that maybe they should care, then wake up the next morning and get on with life. Um, been there, done it, and I’m really not aware of much concern over the last fifty years or so from anybody that we should do that again, unless they could profit from it.
      We live in an age when machines and robots and AI are replacing humans in all sorts of endeavors, but, some still think there is value on sending bodies to the Moon and Mars. I blame Star Trek.

      1. Jeff W

        “…most of the world will spend a few minutes thinking that maybe they should care…”

        I’m not so sure most of the world will do even that. Care about what? It’s not like these taikonauts are going to be claiming the Moon for China à la 16th-century explorers. It’ll be just another news item.

        These endless “cycles of outrage” strike me as irrational, manipulative, dopey, and pointless, anyway. Even if “the outrage [on what basis?] from the West” were to “be like nothing we’ve seen,” so what? The taikonauts will still be walking around on the lunar surface, doing whatever one does on a lunar surface stroll. (Actually, if I were one of them, I might try to swipe one of the six US flags planted on the moon—they were still there as of a few years ago—and take it home as a souvenir. Might fetch a decent amount on Taobao, in fact.)

        1. The Rev Kev

          You might be disappointed at seeing any of those flags. Somebody worked out that through radiation, dust and the like that they were faded to white a very long time ago.

      2. JBird4049

        >>>We live in an age when machines and robots and AI are replacing humans in all sorts of endeavors, but, some still think there is value on sending bodies to the Moon and Mars. I blame Star Trek.

        We keep having our lives replaced by machines, mainly to profit the already wealthy, which often do a worse job than the humans they replaced; why should we allow our exploration and learning about the universe be done, not by us, but by machine? I say that there is value in doing our own work, and more existentially, our own living instead of a simulacrum done by machine.

      3. The Rev Kev

        ‘We live in an age when machines and robots and AI are replacing humans in all sorts of endeavors, but, some still think there is value on sending bodies to the Moon and Mars. I blame Star Trek.’

        You do know that a random sampling of Lunar rocks would never have come up with the Genesis Rock, don’t you? That required astronauts that had training courses in geology-

  9. griffen

    Interesting to read about the downwind impacts of the atomic bomb testing in New Mexico, as in it is interesting and most likely not a coincidence of being within a 40 to 50 mile range, downwind, of Alamogordo. I am certain the links to invasive cancer spread within local families is indicative of something afoot, even to myself as I am practically untrained in the science or medicine fields. Added, it is also a tell of a sort that there was an Act passed by Congress in 1990 to offer compensation to those affected by the decades of testing. One cynically suppose it’s not just an easy fix to the existing compensation structure to include more families, and instead we throw billions at the defense and industrial contracting firms that make our US military go and on most days, fly high. Great and exceptional country, and all that. Cancer sucks.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I dug out an old link to a paper that came out in 2017 on the effects of all that radiation for what it is worth-

      That new film “Oppenheimer” could have shown this and would only have taken a minute of film time. Just show dust from that blast settling down on food crops, washing lines, water reservoirs and the like but it seems that the producers wanted no mention of it at all.

      1. griffen

        Anecdotes such as this, about the impact of atomic bomb testing, just confirms to me the axiom about trusting in government and authority. These folks living near enough to the testing site, the citizens living with known water quality issues like Flint or Jackson, and recently of course the varied locations of railroad derailment disasters.

        Trust us, it’s perfectly to remain in your home and bathe your kids with the water and also consume the tap water. We’re from the government and we will never lie (knowingly) to our citizens! One can tie this all together with the underground water contaminants at military sites like Camp Lejeune as well. Gonna paraphrase a favorite from Lethal Weapon and Roger Murtaugh, “I’m starting to get too old for this stuff”.

        1. ACPAL

          Not to degrade the plight of the Trinity downwinders, and I don’t know the technical details of that particular bomb compared to others, but these people were downwind of just one bomb where other downwinders were downwind of many such as in Nevada. Others, like myself, were downwind of intentional atmospheric releases of radioactive materials (for me it was from Iodine from Hanford for which we received no compensation) as well as dust from mining and manufacturing.

          My points are that the movie was about Oppenheimer, not about all the wide ranging effects the Manhattan Project had. If the movie had included a minute about the Trinity downwinders then it should also have included additional minutes about all the other people who were adversely affected by the project as well as those affected by the explosions. And finally as heart-rending as the article “What ‘Oppenheimer’ leaves out” is, the article itself leaves out an even greater amount of detail that people should know about.

          1. juno mas

            As a Nevada state official in the 1980’s I visited some of those downwind locales; Alamo, Pioche, and others. The negative impacts were real. The proclivity for cancer to appear in the population in later generations also real.

            Interestingly, my current dentist was born downwind of the Tonopah Testing Site in the early Fifties. He was unaware of the federally funded compensation legislation. Until I told him about. He’s fine, no cancer in the family.

            1. repiet

              I wonder if you knew my father Harry. He was a ground water chemist for the DEP, in his second stint at the state. When he retired in the mid 90s, my brother and I got an amazing tour of the NTS.

        1. juno mas

          I just connected to that Link. Amazing. I have a fairly high-res laptop., but the film seems blurred and the speech not clear. Also French subtitles. The onscreen gambling promos a bit of a distraction.

          I just ended my viewing as I now see it its 3 hours long. That will be well past midnight and well past my bed time. I’ll give it a go from a high speed connection tomorrow.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Re: My comment immediately below.

        Sorry, didn’t see your comment, mine got stuck in moderation, as presumably yours did too. Nonetheless, an interesting topic.

      2. Wukchumni

        I was a little over a month out on approach in the oven when the Russkies let loose with Tsar Bomba…

    2. Mildred Montana

      “…the producers of the film The Conqueror, which was released in 1956, decided to shoot the film near the remote town of St. George in the Utah desert, merely a hundred miles away from the infamous Nevada Test Site…out of 220 people who worked on the production of The Conqueror, 92 died of cancer, including [John] Wayne, [Susan] Hayward, and [Pedro] Armendáriz.”

      In statistics this is called a “cluster”. Nobody seems to know if they are significant or just an anomaly. Such is the current state of medical knowledge. Here’s one more involving another famous person:

    3. Lost in OR

      I was 12yo in 1968 and living in Independence, CA in the Owens Valley. Once, while a buddy and I were fishing on the Owens River all of the fish jumped at the once. A few minutes later the ground rose and fell as if swells on the ocean. That lasted for about 30 seconds. We were very surprised and confused.

      Some time later (a half hour?) as we were moving to a new fishing spot we saw a huge cloud 70 miles north, clogging the end of the valley (the Mammoth Mt area). It looked like the Santa Anna Winds, but they came up from the south. We watched it as it slowly moved down the valley toward us. We soon found ourselves caught in a hellish sand storm. Visibility was less than a hundred yards. The blowing sand stung and blinded us and made breathing difficult.

      Turns out there had been a nuclear explosion at the Nevada Test Site. The NTS was about 100 miles northeast from our town. Even at that distance the wind was blowing over 80mph.

      My mother died of cancer (caused by of her smoking?). My sisters and I are in our 60s and so far, no cancer. Hopefully nothing will come of this but a fun story.

      1. Carolinian

        Some of us of a certain age grew up drinking Strontium-90 in milk.

        Maybe Oppenheimer will provoke a renewed anti-nuke movement but I’m not holding my breath. Of course the biggest source of cancer in the US used to be cigarettes and nobody tried to stop that for the longest time.

        1. digi_owl

          Because until it was proven that secondary inhalation was causing cancer in non-smokers, it was seen as a personal vice and self-inflicted medical problem.

          Not to say that tobacco companies, much like oil companies, did their best to bury and distract from findings. Something that food companies have been doing regarding sugar as well…

  10. Jabura Basaidai

    thank you Boygenius for shining the light – i’ve taken heat when i dis obuma to my Blue-Anon (thank you .Tom) friends fall silent when i mention that he was responsible for more drones than the orange monster or the pass he gave to the bankers unlike Iceland that imprisoned them – oh yeah, how about how he delivered on the crapified health care initiative – he had veto-proof congress and what did he do – NOTHING FOR THE PEOPLE – oh but he was our black president – wonder what the folks in Chicago are saying about that brutalist POS that looks like an iphone and stole a beautiful, historical park on the Southside – when i lived in Chicago is wasn’t appreciated but that was glossed over well by the local msm – i could go on but y’all know what i’m writing about – he completed the degradation of the dems that clinton started and the husk is doubling down on – now if you know how i really feel………….but the antidote made me smile and calmed me down –

    1. pjay

      From the Post article regarding the ‘war criminal’ tag:

      “It’s unclear as to what exactly Dacus was referring to, but some people speculated the musician could be referring to Obama’s approval of drone warfare during his presidency.”

      If I were speculating, I might also add: Libya, Syria, Ukraine…

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        Libya, Syria, Ukraine…with the help of hellery in Libya and Syria and cookies nuland in Ukraine – oh those fun-loving dems – gag me!

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        Actually they made a follow-up tweet responding to someone who accused them of not knowing the definition of war criminal. In that, they made specific reference to the drone strikes.

    2. marym

      “America’s drone wars have become even more destructive at the same time they have become increasingly opaque.

      The Trump administration has significantly increased the tempo of drone strikes in a number of countries, and it has relaxed the rules governing the targeting of these strikes. The result has been an increased number of civilian casualties with even less accountability than before and no redress for the innocent people caught in the middle of our endless wars.”

      …Through the end of 2019, there had already been 148 U.S. strikes launched in Somalia since Trump took office. In just the first half of 2020, there have been as many U.S. drone strikes in Somalia (40) as there were between 2007 and 2016. In less than three and a half years, Trump has more than quadrupled the number of attacks in Somalia ordered by his last two predecessors.”

      1. pjay

        Yes, there is certainly room for bipartisan sharing of ‘war criminal’ accolades among all our leaders. Trump’s had his share of glory, as today’s article on Republican war-mongers points out. His assassination of Soleimani alone was blatant and despicable – and he is uncouth enough to *brag* about his kills (though I seem to remember Obama saying he was pretty good at droning himself).

        However, when we attempt to quantify the chaos and destruction of our recent Presidents in terms of, say, deaths, injuries, population displacement, destruction of property, destruction of nations, or other such objective measures, I’m afraid that compared to both his predecessors and his current successor Trump is a real laggard. Regarding Obama: as I say, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Afghan “surge,” etc., etc. How many have died in Ukraine under Biden? And I don’t think I even have to mention Bush. War criminal, yes. But compared to his competition, Trump is the Biggest Loser! (wrong reality show I know, but it fits.)

        1. marym

          I agree with your assessment. Trump was no warmonger as candidate or president. No need to give him unearned credit on the drone strikes though.

    3. Procopius

      Sorry, Obama never had a “veto-proof” congress. Veto override requires two-thirds of the House and Senate, and Obama never had more than 58 Senators, plus two Independents, one of whom was the loathsome Joe Lieberman. Weepin’ Joe did a lot to prevent the Democrats from enacting anything. He only had that “filibuster-proof” super-majority for 72 days. I dislike Obama, but I hate it when people lie about his congress.

    1. redleg

      Setting the table for nuclear wars with Russia and China, while declaring during the attacks that nuclear winter will reverse global warming?

  11. The Rev Kev

    ‘Chebureki Man
    No shipping traffic to or from Ukrainian ports.
    Looks like someone took Russia’s red line seriously.’

    Washington and Brussels tell those shipping lines ‘Go on! Cross those Russian Red Lines with your ships. They won’t do anything about it.’

    Insurance companies like Lloyds say that if they do, that it will be without any insurance whatsoever, hence the lack of ships.

    1. timbers

      Ukraine bombed and destroyed the 2nd largest ammo depot located in central Crimea last night (the largest was just previously destroyed). More towns evacuated. If she is able, a no fly zone over the Black Sea might be in order given the West isn’t shy doing reconnaissance flights to help Ukraine with targeting Crimea. And isn’t there a “learning curve” for Russian air defence? Hopefully she’s on it. These shadow missiles or whatever should not be getting through so often. AUF using cluster bombs like they are going out of style. Does this mean she is running of other shells? Dima says there are hints of a possible big Russian breakthrough in the next few weeks in central east Donbass front line.

          1. begob

            Cheers. I’d wait for confirmation from other sources, since the last time I watched Dima he was predicting a big overnight push from Ukraine on account of congested supply routes north of Crimea following the latest Kerch bridge strike; the time before that, he predicted the cornering of the Russian navy in the Sea of Azov upon Ukraine’s drive to the coast. He may have a ‘thing’ about Crimea.

      1. ambrit

        This news makes me wonder if the rumours a few days ago about a Navy P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine patrol and attack jet, (think a converted 737,) disappearing off of the radar just south of Odessa have any validity. The missiles, if that was the delivery method of the explosives, had to have been guided to target using NATO and American supplied information, in real time. The units that can do such are some satellites, and especially surveillance drones and manned surveillance units like the mentioned P-8 Poseidon jet.
        The information getting out of the theatre of operations in the Ukraine is so bad that I despair of discovering the truth, until it is too late.
        Stay safe and do find your Civil Defense survival manual.

      2. Feral Finster

        And Biden says he is “considering” sending Ukraine more and longer ranged missiles.

        Whenever you read that, rest assured that the decision was made a long time ago and the weapons in question are shipped.

        Like it or not, NATO continues to double down.

  12. Adam1

    Regarding Matt Stoller’s article on antitrust guidelines…

    “A primary benefit of mergers to the economy is their potential to generate significant efficiencies and thus enhance the merged firm’s ability and incentive to compete, which may result in lower prices, improved quality, enhanced service, or new products.”

    I think Lambert would agree the word “may” is doing a awful lot of work here. Yes it is possible I may die as the result of an asteroid hitting me today, but I’m pretty sure I’d rather bet I’ll live another day. “May”, alone does not infer the actual probability of the event happening.

    1. John Zelnicker

      Adam1 – Just to be clear, that quote is from the 2010 merger guidelines that are being replaced by new ones which make no such claim.

      For those interested, the new guidelines are in a comment period before they are finalized and Stoller has links to the web site where anyone can make comments about them. Apparently, the agency actually reads the comments and they can have an effect.

      1. albrt

        What kind of right-wing lunatic was president in 2010? Must have been Trump, he’s the only one who could be that stupid.

        1. John Zelnicker

          albrt – I can’ tell if you’re being sarcastic, but you must know that Obama was president then. Of course your remark about stupidity still holds.

  13. Eric Anderson

    “People are getting fed up with all the useless tech in their cars” the Verge.

    This people is getting fed up with ALL the useless tech. Honestly, who here with a smart phone can seriously say they’ve used 1/10th of all the useless gadgetry foisted upon us as “progress”.

    1. John

      1/10th seems extravagant. What do I use regularly? Clock,weather, camera, text, email, an occasional foray into utilities. Otherwise, I rarely visit all those so painstakingly designed buttons. At that level of usage, this week 15 minutes per day on average, it is expensive.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I bet that a popular mobile would be a dumb one that you can make calls with or receive calls, send or receive texts, have a clock with a settable alarm, a camera and maybe one or two apps like a calculator.

        1. Eric Anderson

          I’m pretty sure if we put our minds to it, the commentariat here could design the best tech around.
          Yves? Would you consider allowing Aurora Advisors to transition to a Mondragon Corp. as part of your long-term planning strategy?
          Just kidding of course … kind of :)

        2. Ignacio

          I use the calculator and some measuring tools (not for things that require precision). I would like a multimeter smartphone equipedwith infrared, visual recognition of spaces with their dimensions, electricity measurements, flows of fluids, temperature… Would It be too much?

          1. redleg

            Check the memory usage of the calculator. Mine is huge to the point that I wonder what else it’s doing.

      2. John Zelnicker

        I just got the weekly usage report on my phone. I used the phone for about 20 hours last week, of which 14.5 hours were playing games. Games, phone, text, pictures, and occasionally weather are the extent of my phone activities.

        There are no financial apps on my phone and never will be. Too insecure.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Don’t forget that if they bring in a digital currency, you will have no choice at all but will have to use your mobile for anything to do with banking or financial stuff.

          1. John Zelnicker

            At 73, I’m hoping that I don’t live long enough to see that.

            I’m already a bit paranoid about banks closing accounts and confiscating the funds, as well as a collapse in the payment clearing system. As a result I’ve stashed some cash just in case. I’ve recommended the same to some of my clients.

            Of course, if they eliminate cash, it won’t matter, but at that point, I’ll do everything I can to get off the grid for my final days.

            1. ambrit

              You are not alone in your ‘planning’ for when the SHTF.
              I’m not tech savvy enough, but I do remember when Lambert commented upon ‘Systeme D,’ the informal barter economy. We need a serious handbook on how to do this. If SHTF for real, the “learning curve” for mastering ‘Systeme D’ could prove fatal to many. Fore learned is fore armed.

    2. Lexx

      Read the following in the wee hours this morning, where they reported…

      ‘The average person spends three hours 23 minutes a day on their phone and checks it 58 times.’


      I might look at my phone 3-4 times a day and frequently forget to take it when I leave because it’s on the phone charger. And then while I’m out someone will say something to me like, ‘You could just look that up on your phone’, and I’ll reply, ‘I don’t have one with me, I left it on the charger’ and then there’s the awkward moment where they just stare at me because they simply can’t imagine forgetting or really having an empty hand not fully occupied by their phone and then they say something polite and soothing like I’m a bit simpleminded (true but not the point) and then I wonder again why I have a phone at all and the answer is to avoid the awkwardness of appearing ‘out of touch’ and techno-phobic (also true). In every way, totally not working.

      1. Carolinian

        I have a smartphone and think it’s great but I don’t carry it around with me. Our use of tech and the tech makers’ intentions can be quite different. Admittedly my attitude doesn’t apply to everyone or almost anyone. Perhaps our schools should be spending less time on gender fluidity and more on tech literacy. Instead they give out the spybots to students so everyone can play.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Just a point, relevant to me, desperate to avoid fees as much as possible. I have free wi-fi in my apartment building, but it is not always reliable. Yet, I refuse to yield and sign up for a—what?— $50/month plan. (Mobile connectivity is not important to me.)

          My point: One’s phone is only as good as one’s contract and willingness to pay. Otherwise it is merely a tool to access free wi-fi, a fashion accessory, or an attractive (slim) brick.

    3. digi_owl

      The basic problem of the smartphone is that most of the smart is not in the phone.

      Frankly the only smartphones i find worth considering these days is mostly Chinese rugged ones that include a IR camera. Because that brings a tangible local benefit.

      Before the gruesome twosome of iphone and facebook, smartphones were about practical benefits to companies and individuals. Things like being able to do paperwork in the field. Now it is all about self-aggrandizement of pretty people only known for being pretty.

      1. ThirtyOne

        “Now it is all about self-aggrandizement of pretty people only known for being pretty.”
        Our tax dollars at WORK:

        “The wife of the head of economic counterintelligence of the SBU, Artyom Shilo, lit up at a Beyoncé concert.

        What an interesting pendant and necklace”

    4. Carolinian

      That Verge article is not very convincing and seems to be an ad for car makers to actually build Google into their cars

      Google Automotive Services refers to all the apps and services that come with the car when Google is built into the car — also known as “Google built-in.” Ford, GM, and Volvo have all said they will use GAS for their current and upcoming vehicles.

      to which one can only say “noooo!” The current system keeps the car separate from the internet which you can, if you wish, add via bluetooth and a smartphone or subscription services like Onstar. Any car that requires internet connectivity is a car I will never buy.

      However I do agree with this

      Satisfaction with exterior styling on new models in 2023 is particularly unremarkable, scoring only three points above carryover models. Frankly, I get it: a lot of cars look weird and bad.

      The creased sheet metal look is weird–in some cases very weird. At least with tail fins you got to pretend you were a jet fighter instead of the victim of a car accident.

      1. cnchal

        > . . . seems to be an ad for car makers to actually build Google into their cars . . .

        You are already two steps behind. Google is going to be the middle man that displays ads on your dash as you get driven around, or when the cruise is on.

        Think McDonalds up the road inviting you in for a McWrap with a display ad and menu flashed onto the screen.

        Then they are going to take all the data generated and masticate it in giant server farms that consume gluttonous amounts of electricity and water to run their ad-fraud business, to sell you moar crap you don’t need or want.

        As for ugly new cars, BMW took the title from Toyota.

      2. Lexx

        Paid $300 last week to get our Toyota dealership to update the GPS in our Prius, so when I go searching for something that’s been built sometime in the last 11 years, it will show up on our map… and my guest for the evening isn’t left standing outside her house where I was to pick her up, because her house is only 5 years old. That was mortifying.

        Oh, I got there eventually, but still…

        1. bdy

          Was it Lambert who dropped the term “prosthetic technology,” or was he quoting someone else? My sense of direction and place itches at the back of my mind like a phantom limb.

      3. juno mas

        The creased sheet metal look is a result of metal so thin that it needs to be shaped to give it stiffness. The crease is what keeps the body panels from crinkling.

        Newer body panels do not get refurbished at the body shop, they get replaced.

    5. Boomheist

      I think that all the damned glitz and software sh*t on cars went over the line – my line at least – around 2015-2016. We had to replace a car back in 2018 and ended up getting a used 2017 Sportage because anything newer than that had a totally different level of glitz. Then the Sportage was stolen last spring, by some people who abandoned ANOTHER stolen Sportage to grab ours, and when recovered 2 days later it was – thank God – a total loss (as repairing stolen Kias right now is a nightmare and costly) so we looked around again for a replacement and found a used 2016 Subaru Forrester with 96k miles which was great. Now, its infotainment system is really way more complex than anything I need or use, but it is still, compared to anything offered in the now more than 8 years since the Subaru was made, far simpler. And yes, trying to use the damned touchscreen while driving is horribly dangerous. I try to set thing up so when the car starts things are set up without needing changes, ie, chosen radio station. It does seem, for the 2016 system at least, that the phone function works well through your phone, ie you get a call and the thing jumps right to the car without needing your hands. But making a call is, again, using that touch screen. But I would say that even though I have an infotainment system now 8 years old – which is probably nearly one full generation away from whatever is now being installed – I use, at most, 15 to 20 percent, if that, if its capabilities. And I do fear that, which the Forrester itself should run for the rest of my life, I am a bit worried about that damned software….

      1. Carolinian

        I have a Hyundai from a few years back. The “head unit” in the middle of the dash is totally separate from the rest of the car and could be disabled although you will lose the screen for the backup camera. This infotainment device does allow you to send voice commands and talk to your smartphone which is theoretically safer than holding the thing to your ear while driving but I’ve never used this.

        This is how it should be and IMO Teslas only get away with having their cars controlled by touchscreens by claiming that they drive themselves. In the old days you changed radio stations by pushing some buttons. More than enough.

        The USG should be highly regulating all of this but have dropped the ball since the Nader days.

        1. Jason Boxman

          That’s the Hyundai that I have. Tactile controls for everything. And a touch screen, but you don’t need to use it for anything. The buttons all seem to be in reasonable places. I can’t imagine having a car without any tactile controls. That’s madness. New cars I see into while walking the lake sometimes have what looks like a laptop screen in them; how insane is this.

      2. ambrit

        Speaking of “that d—-d software,” I saw a video on the YouTube a few weeks ago about EMP proofing and isolation of your car’s electronics. This supposedly disables the external disable feature. (I have seen the remote control of auto onboard electronics controls demonstrated. Scary as H—.)
        The basic rule is: If it can communicate with an external device, it can be hacked and disabled.
        It has turned out to be a blessing in disguise that we cannot afford a new or late model used vehicle.
        What I really want is an old, say 1970s era small pick-up truck. One with no electronic controls.
        Stay safe.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          What I really want is an old, say 1970s era small pick-up truck. One with no electronic controls.

          And a stick shift. Probably not a car thief, repo man, tech genius, or spook contractor under age 50 who could even drive it away if they decided you should be denied your “mobility.”

          A stick shift is the ultimate “disabler,” albeit not the way an inseverable internet connection is intended to be.

          In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

          1. ambrit

            I remember teaching our middle daughter to drive an old second hand Hyundai stick shift, her first car. The bigger the empty parking lot, the better. I remember when Mom learned to drive. It was in Miami back in the ’60s. The venue was an abandoned Air Force airfield built for WW-2 in Opa-locka. It was a regular ‘thing’ to see people learning to drive out there, especially on the weekends. There is a regional airport there now. They sat me down under a little tree on the side of a runway while Dad showed Mom how it was done. Then she practiced. A big giant runway to tool around in and she barely misses me sitting on the side. So, the more room to practice in, the better.

            1. Carolinian

              My dad taught me to drive a Volkswagen on the back roads of what was once, yes, a WW2 military base (now a state park). Besides learning the stick shift he said you should work the pedals as though you had an egg under your foot and always look a block ahead to anticipate.

              In other words all the things contemporary drivers don’t do.

                1. semper loquitur

                  I traveled this weekend. I saw the traffic laws broken at least a dozen times on the interstate, brazenly. I saw countless people on their phones as well in the slow traffic. Couple of accidents too. Driving is an insanity. I don’t know how people do it so casually.

      3. Bill Malcolm

        My 2019 Mazda6 has all physical buttons or stalks or rotary controls to operate the car and all of its functions. It has a touch screen that is disabled as soon as you shift to Drive. Mazda is alone in believing you shouldn’t use touch screens when on the move. It has a rotary and button controller to run the screen when you’re on the move. I believe newer Mazdas are still this way. I don’t pair up my phone with the car, and if I use the car to charge the phone, Android appears out of nowhere at once and asks do you want to pair up with Android Auto? No thanks.I want to drive not fiddle around with a gee-whiz gadget.

        So, considering that a flat screen is cheap as all get out to purchase as a home tablet at retail price, let alone in bulk, car manufacturers in general are using them for glass dashes. No fiddly physical switches to wire up at assembly time, saving labour costs while being the ultimate in cool for dimwitted finger-prodding folk of the current generation.. Mercedes and VW lead the way there besides Tesla. Cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap. Sold as the opposite, naturally.

        So check out Mazdas. No faults in four years and controls that your physical memory remembers for your fingers to operate. Just like how it always used to be before we dove down the rabbit hole of BS “tech”.

    6. Mildred Montana

      >”Honestly, who here with a smart phone can seriously say they’ve used 1/10th of all the useless gadgetry foisted upon us as “progress”.”

      Maybe the youngsters are on to something. Apparently they’ve started throwing their (presumably) expensive phones at musical performers on stage. Inarticulate speech of the heart?

    7. Bsn

      We had a Leaf ev for a long time and recently bought a newer, modern, ev. I went in to get quite a few alarms and notifications deleted/silenced. One was a loud alarm while driving if the back hatch was open. One nice thing about an ev is that if you cary a load, say 4-5 2×4 boards that are 8′ long, they can stick out the back without sucking in exhaust from an ic engine. So, that alarm was beyond annoying. Well, just got a “prompt” via email saying time to get a check up on the car. I’ve been researching how to get the car off the internet without real clear success. So, I plan on asking the dealer to do so – I’m sure they won’t. Does anyone have an idea of how to do this or start the process. I’ll raise a stink with the dealer and ask where in the maintenance contract it states that we can’t remove the car from tracking, surveillance, etc. I’m sure their response will be that doing so will void any warranty. This will be fun. In a way, I’d rather lose the warranty than be tracked. EVs seldom have difficulties. Had our Leaf about 6 years with nary a problem. Anybody having this same problem?

      1. Carolinian

        So your new car is not a Leaf? And if you have a “maintenance contract” that likely means you have constant “telematics” connecting back to car company via cell radio. Presumably that is required as part of the contract.

        There may be a way to disconnect the built in cell radio (I have one too–hopefully off since I don’t subscribe to a service) but not easily. If there is a way then web searching your car model may provide the answer. Lots of car info on the web.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “‘Here for the heat’: Death Valley sizzles, but the tourism doesn’t stop”

    What can you say? Stupid is as stupid does. I am convinced – taking inspiration from something I read in a Robert Heinlein story – that if scientists found a small asteroid that was about to hit the Earth and cause a Hiroshima-size explosion out in the middle of an uninhabited desert safely away from either people or infrastructure, that it would all start. You would have people streaming to that site. You would have the whole circus of the main stream media showing up in their vans with their helicopters constantly overhead, the social influencers seeking to cash in, tons of people wanting to get a selfie of them and the asteroid about to hit behind them, camper-vans of people coming to see the ‘fireworks’, people arriving to set up picnics and bringing their kids as well so that they did not miss anything, religious nuts standing at ground zero using the power of their faith to stop it hitting, the UFO mob wanting to see if aliens pop out of that asteroid – or at least Elvis – and treasure hunters wanting to nab a piece of that asteroid to sell online. It would be the world’s first mass Darwin Award event.

    1. griffen

      I think it was yesterday morning, when I caught a news recap where a park ranger was speaking to the influx of tourists and offering a stern warning. There will be no rangers going out on the trails by foot if the temps exceed 120 degrees. So if’n you get lost or somehow your personal device ceases to have a signal, you are on your own.

      Thinning of the herd and all, yep. I mean you’re gonna need more than a few little pints of Fiji bottled water to carry you through. High heat at those temperatures is no joke and I have zero interest in learning that first hand.

      1. Benny Profane

        There is no cell service in about 90-95% of that park, and it’s huge.

        Everyone should drive around with four or five gallon jugs of water in the car, and seriously consider the health of the tires, since some of the off pavement roads are sharp volcanic rock.

        1. Wukchumni

          When we drive to Saline hot springs in Death Valley NP from the later fall through to early spring, we always bring 2 extra tires on rims along with the spare, for its 52 miles of crushed lava and dirt road to get there while playing dodge ’em with small rocks and boulders on a drive of eternal vigilance.

          Can you really bring too much water in the desert?

          There are a number of waterfalls in Death Valley NP, kinda hidden away, the easiest get being Darwin Falls near Panamint Valley.

          We did a nice dayhike up Hunter Canyon in the Inyo range about 10 miles from Saline hot springs, where we cooled off with a spring-fed waterfall, 45 degree water never felt so good.

    2. digi_owl

      I seem to recall reading that back when testing was done on the surface, parties would be held in Las Vegas with the rising mushroom cloud as the main event.

    3. Wukchumni

      If you aren’t the Vegas type, Valley of Fire State Park about an hour drive away is the cat’s meow, but not in the summer when it rivals Death Valley NP for high heat…

      Two women were found dead at Valley of Fire State Park outside in Nevada on Saturday after a group of hikers noticed they were missing, according to police.

      The two women were seen heading out on a park trail on Saturday morning, but a separate group of hikers saw that they had not returned and called the police, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police told KLAS.

      When Nevada State Police arrived to investigate around 2:45 p.m., they discovered one of the women deceased along one of the hiking trails, police said.

      Rangers then requested an LVMPD search and rescue team to help find the second woman.

      She was later found dead in a canyon, according to police.

      1. Carolinian

        I’m told that Arizona has been closing some major trails during afternoon hours.

    4. Wukchumni

      We do a self-guided kayak trip down the Colorado River in the fall and spring, as there is always a perfect time to do something in a given place, and about a decade ago my friend thought it’d be great to do it during the summer and we put in on July 23rd-same day as today, and it was only about 107 degrees, better than the 117 currently.

      Everybody suffered from the heat and could hardly sleep as it was in low 90’s at night.

      You go into the 105 degree hot springs to cool down, and the 54 chilling degrees in the river is oh so welcoming.

      1. Lexx

        It’s probably not transferable and I have no right to ask… but if you would do me a solid… could you leave me your sense of adventure in your will? Not all of it, maybe just some small piece no one else in the family wanted, as it’s probably genetic and they were full up.

    5. Kouros

      Maybe a correction is needed here: instead of “about to hit the Earth” should be “about to hit the US”?!

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Russia accuses Kyiv of using cluster bombs as journalist killed”

    The Ukraine actually targeted those journalist with cluster bombs which killed one journalist and injured three others which is actually a war crime. Of course you wonder if the UK or the UK provided the Ukrainians with their location or not. Between this attack on those journalists, the killing of another earlier that day as well as the Ukrainians firing cluster bombs into Russia proper, you can guess that there will be payback, believe that. But of course the Russians will also blame the Americans for supplying the Ukraine with all those cluster munitions so no doubt there will be an account to settle there too. I really do think that if the Ukrainians run out of cluster munitions, then the Biden admin will next go looking to see if there are any stocks of napalm left over from the Vietnam war to send to the Ukrainians.

    1. digi_owl

      Gets me thinking of when Russia was accused of hitting a restaurant full of foreigners recently. Only for some of said foreigners to sport some very distinct US special forces tattoos etc. Never mind that it was located in a city just west of Kharkov or some such.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I don’t know about Americans but Putin just came out and said that about 5,000 mercs have been killed so far in this war. No idea how many of them were Americans and certainly the Biden admin will never talk about them. And recently I was listening to a Russian soldier talking about his service and he was saying that on the radio in his sector that they don’t hear Ukrainian voices but only American and Polish voices.

    2. Lex

      Yesterday I saw video of an artillery strike on Donetsk and the popping of cluster munitions was clearly audible (video filmed from a distance). There was also recent video of a Russian strike in an ammunition depot that clearly included lots of cluster munitions because there were probably thousands of mini detonations around the column of fire.

      Most of Russia’s cluster munitions are aerial bomb types so not terribly useful in this conflict, but the current Ukrainian infantry assaults met with cluster artillery shells would be devastating and gruesome.

      1. chuck roast

        Patrick Lancaster did a couple segments a while back on the Azovs shelling Donetsk City with clusters. He was wandering around talking with the locals, and they were showing the bomblets to him…little yellow kidney shaped things about the size of the palm of your hand. One woman said that her dog was killed by one of them when he started messing with it. As I recall Lancaster said that they were of French manufacture.

    3. Jabura Basaidai

      Damn RK that is cold, stone cold – i know the humor is dark here sometimes – and the darkest is that you may be correct – have a friend who was sgt in Vietnam and he is now dealing with lewy-bodies dementia from the agent orange – our parents were friends and known him since birth – wonder if there are stockpiles of that? f#$king gruesome shit, will never forget the picture of that little girl running – and those folks forgave us – rhetorical question – what has happened to us that this war goes on? – liked the counterpunch piece – used the logic in a discussion with a couple of friends that read the NYT and one called me ‘pro-russian’ and the other said we just need to reelect the husk ignoring my pro-peace attitude, and the ironic thing with this guy is he teaches sunday school to kids – the derangement syndrome has truly created a Blue-Anon –

    4. petal

      So that talk I went to see last week (Dan Fata), he said that the UK Embassy folks said to him that the Russians are littering the ground with cluster munitions, so that when the Ukrainians advance, their guys are dying as they go. He actually argued that “since the Russians are using cluster munitions, it’s okay for us to give them to Ukraine to use.”
      I wish you guys all could’ve been there. I was typing notes as fast as I could.

      1. ambrit

        Funny he didn’t mention that neither Russia nor America signed the convention banning cluster munitions. Looking forward to your report on the latest in the “Conventional Wisdom.” [Even though you had to exhibit masochistic tendencies to do so. Limit your exposure to Evil as much as you can. We’ll understand.]

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        good question – thanks for saving it from the memory hole – still holding my breath about the unfolding tragedy with Assange

        1. ambrit

          Yes and welcome to Propaganda 101. Inconvenient subjects are best dealt with by employing strategic silence.
          One of the best descriptions of the method is the line from ‘Epitaph’ by King Crimson.
          “Will no one lay the laurel wreath”
          “When silence drowns the screams”

    5. Feral Finster

      “The Ukraine actually targeted those journalist with cluster bombs which killed one journalist and injured three others which is actually a war crime.”

      What doss Russia propose to do about it?

      Pointing out the West’s war crimes is like quoting Bible verses to an armed robber.

      1. ambrit

        Russia is slowly, methodically winning the war. That trumps any stunts the West can think up.

        1. semper loquitur

          Speaking of stunts, I got to wondering if George Lucas doesn’t bear some responsibility for the West’s approval of Ukraine’s approach to the “counteroffensive”. Didn’t that tweet the other day say something to the effect that the West was relying on small, plucky bands of resistance fighters to carry the day against a numerically superior and better armed force? Obviously targeting sensitive points in the Russian defenses?

          “Stay on target!”

          semper, wheels a’turnin…

  16. .Tom

    I don’t understand how the video retweeted by Big Serge proves that UAF attacked the cathedral in Odessa. Can someone please fill me in?

    1. repiet

      The video shows, what is purported to be, a launch of a missile. The freeze frame shows the brief illumination of unique architectural elements which allows for the triangulation of the strike. This could be an accident, but…

    2. Lex

      Kiev has released aerial photos of the cathedral. There’s a hole in a small section and a burned roof next to it. The smallest warhead launched last night was 300kg, if one of those hit the church directly there wouldn’t be much left. There are also photos from inside that show shrapnel impacts on interior walls, unless there was something in there that blew up, the types of munitions used by Russia for the strike wouldn’t do that, but an S-300 missile hitting the church and detonating would.

      It’s possible that a missile was struck by air defense and fell into the church, but even that would likely cause much different damage.

  17. pjay

    – ‘The Republican Candidates are a Boil of Hawks’ – The Wayward Rabbler

    This is a very informative overview – and it would be scary as hell if I thought any of these clowns will end up as President. Actually, it’s pretty scary anyway.

    Trump bloviating about ending the war in 24 hours is meaningless. What I want to know is: who is advising Trump on foreign policy? Do we know this? I certainly hope he finds better advisors this time!

    I don’t think Trump will be allowed to be President again. And if he did make it somehow, the Establishment (Deep State, Shadow Government… chose your own term) would sabotage whatever they didn’t like – again. Nevertheless, whatever happens, Trump better have some skilled and knowledgeable people around him. Who would these people be?

    The only other candidate that breaks through the full spectrum dominance of war-mongering propaganda is Kennedy. To be honest, he sounds as bad, or worse, than most of these Republicans on Israel and Iran. But he does challenge the Narrative in other areas.

    1. Bsn

      pjay, I challenge your perception of Kennedy regarding Israel. Much of the narrative that he is pro Israel (as if that’s also anti Palestinian) came from his interview by Glen Greenwald. At the tail end of the interview, Kennedy says, and I almost quote, “That’s something I will look into” …. if I become president in regards to Israel. Over time, he seems to be willing to change his position on subjects. To me, that is a good thing.

      1. pjay

        My perspective does not come from the Greenwald interview, but with other interviews in which he lays out his position in very clear terms – and they were crystal clear. I don’t have them at hand, but I’ll try to find them. In one he even referred to the founding of Israel itself; he didn’t *quite* use the phrase “a country without people for a people without a country,” but you could be forgiven if you took that away. Like all public figures, I’m sure he has made more moderate comments elsewhere, but these were striking. I commented the other day about RFK Jr.’s eloquent response to the Democrats’ insane smear job during his Congressional testimony. Everyone should watch that. Nevertheless, go back and listen to his comments about Israel and Iran (including the latter’s “genocidal” policies) as he is defending himself against charges of antisemitism.

        Don’t get me wrong. I welcome his campaign, because he challenges the Establishment on a number of key issues, especially Ukraine. That he is a threat to them is obvious from their hysterical convergence in a massive campaign to smear and silence him. But for me, foreign policy issues are absolutely crucial today. If he is trying to placate Jewish voters it’s obviously not working, as his “Corbinization” has shown.

    2. Benny Profane

      And that’s why I’m convinced the Dems and their media lackeys are on a full court press to convince me that RFK Jr is a rabid anti semite anti vaxxer nut. Notice how they never mention his anti Ukraine war stance. That’s the real issue. They are in a real pickle, with 15.5 months to election day, and Russia has essentially won this war. That has to be hidden from Joe Public somehow, and first job is to throw a blanket over Kennedy.
      Btw, highly recommend you watch his opening statement to the hearing. It was a great speech. Haven’t been a fan of him, and still have problems, but I’ll bet you he takes more than one primary. He has the magic, even with that damaged voice.

      1. pjay

        I agree. I did not see your comment before posting my own above, but that is the Congressional statement I’m referring to as well. I think you are right; since his strongest pro-Establishment position is probably his solid support of Israel, they are of course smearing him as an anti-Semite. He’s much better at defending himself than Corbyn, but they are sure giving him the Trump treatment.

    1. Bsn

      Also be aware that CSPAN often posts complete videos of various hearings and congressional affairs. I did find it interesting in that as Kennedy spoke, CSPAN’s description of him posted below, in the video, states: “Children’s Health Defense Anti-Vaccine Advocacy Group Founder and Chair”. Hmm, I found that quite interesting. CSPAN is often real good about not being biased or labeling a person or subject in such a manner. This cliché view of Kennedy (and others) runs quite deep.

      1. Benny Profane

        Yes. I subscribe to Barry Ritholtz links every day, and he published two today ripping into Kennedy, one from the Guardian, the other from the Atlantic, both rabid Ukraine hawk outlets, and they are slanderous towards Jr.. He is getting the Jeremy Courbin treatment on steroids.
        I want to email Ritholtz about that, but, don’t know how. He is usually a voice of reason.

        1. ilsm

          I stopped reading ritholtz several years ago.

          too ‘progressive’ establishment, and aside from sharing posters of logic fallacy is rarely off the selling with anecdotal induction mode.

          and his cnbc partner josh did a Jim Cramer last week.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Pentagon AI more ethical than adversaries’ because of ‘Judeo-Christian society,’ USAF general says”

    Well, the US Air Force is known for its holy rollers though it seems from this article that it skews Old Testament. So is that Air Force general saying that America’s Judeo-Christian god is superior to Russia’s Orthodox god? But I don’t know about ethical here. Back when the US Air Force was just the US Army Air Corps they caped off their accomplishments by nuking two civilian cities. And since then it was been one massacre after another from the sky. So will it be based on those ethics? I’ve often thought that sooner or later there will be a serious incident. And the cause will be a US Air Force pilot who will refuse orders from their commander and follow what they think that god will wants them to do.

    1. ilsm

      a group of Christians hold prayer services with others at trinity each july 16.

      anniversary of a bomb blast.

      Christians should go back to before supporting Constantine, Christ did not say there are government rights to over ride “love thine enemy”

      repenting my service in usaf/sac

      1. LifelongLib

        I had a Lutheran friend who said that Christianity ended when Constantine made it the state religion of the Roman Empire, and that what we’ve had since is Christendom, quite a different thing.

  19. Amfortas the hippie

    Emma-Jo Morris is my hero of the day.
    that was wonderful.
    (and ive never heard of her before…i dont generally go to breitbart, nor the ny post)

    1. The Rev Kev

      Same here. She is a gutsy woman and what I liked most about her testimony was when she humiliated Politico by laughing about them when talking about what they did.

      1. tegnost

        the laughing was a nice touch and imo it’s not likely the panel is accustomed to such treatment

  20. Mildred Montana

    Sorry, OT, but I can’t restrain myself. I’ve got CNN on in the background and apparently, even on a Sunday, a supposed day of rest, it is still belaboring its propaganda horse. Guests thus far have been Pelosi, Blinken, and Pence with some obligatory Trump-bashing thrown in by two nobodies who know the narrative but nothing else.

    How can a sane person possibly retain his/her sanity when subjected to this Chinese water torture?

    1. Bsn

      Good observation. As with our buddy Amfortas (above), CNN, NYT, et al are not the harbingers of truth that we were able to rely on in the distant past. I never thought I’d read Breitbart or the NY Post, but I do now off and on. Just like any publication, one must read critically and study their sources and documentation when they have it, which is seldom. The labels of right wing (Post, Breitbart, Epic Times, etc.) and left wing (NYT, CNN, Wash Post., etc.) just don’t function anymore. Those labels are as worthless as conspiracy theorist or other, non-defined terms.

    2. Screwball

      I don’t think any sane person would watch CNN, MSNBC, FOX, or read the NYT, the WaPost etc., because if they did, to any extent, they would soon become insane. I think the evidence is obvious talking to the people I know who do.

      Of course I’m on Putin’s payroll, so there is that. :-)

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      My complaint about our corporate press is their questioning of DeSantis. Maybe lay off the slavery and “Don’t Say Gay” questions for a few minutes and ask the good Governor if he’s at all concerned about the safety of his citizens considering that Florida is surrounded by some very hot water right now, and hot water makes for some strong hurricanes.

      Then follow up with a question about whether he’s at all worried about the effect on Florida’s scuba and snorkeling tourism since this hot water is damaging the coral reefs.

      Let him ‘splain to us how it’s all a hoax.

    4. Jabura Basaidai

      Ms M follow the advice of John Prine – Spanish Pipe Dream
      Blow up your TV throw away your paper
      Go to the country, build you a home
      Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
      Try an find Jesus on your own

      my Dad rented tv’s to hospital patients way before it was ever taken in-house by the hospitals – us kids all had a tv at the end of our beds – when i left home to go to college in ’67 promised myself to never have a tv again – kept my word – have access to the internet only – back then if there was something entertaining i wanted watch there was always somebody that had a tube to watch – it spared my daughter the commercial nonsense when she came along and video tapes with a monitor only were available for Disney and Barney and other kid stuff – been spared the water torture and my peaches are coming in nice along with bosc pears and apples – there’s enough torture around without tuning into it unfortunately –

  21. Wukchumni

    I’ve known my oldest sister for 61 years now and only found out this past week that she can see different color auras around people’s heads, and has had this ability since she was a child.

    …how come I didn’t get some bitchin’ super power?

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      and the Projection is strong with this one!
      Vauxhall’s head spook,selcted quotes from art:
      “He also noted China’s untrammeled access to vast data sets at home and its practice of illegally “hoovering up” data from abroad gave it some advantages in developing artificial intelligence.
      “The Chinese authorities are not hugely troubled by questions of personal privacy or individual data security, they are focused on controlling information and preventing inconvenient truths from being revealed,” he said. But “my service, together with our allies, intends to win the race to master the ethical and safe use of AI,” he added.”

      “As well as supporting Russia’s war on Ukraine, Beijing is propping up several unsavory and corrupt authoritarian regimes around the world, such as Iran and Myanmar, he said.”

      ” “They have completely supported the Russians diplomatically, they’ve abstained in key votes at the United Nations, they’ve absolutely cynically repeated all the Russian tropes, particularly in places like Africa and Latin America — blaming NATO and all of this stuff.””

      im glad i read it tho…its not very long,lol…but it reminded me of Deng Thought:
      ““tao guang, yang hui” — or “hiding one’s light and biding one’s time.””

      thats the foreign policy of my Hermit Kingdom, at least for the last 10 years.
      i just now painstakingly drew the chinese version in a secluded portion of the Wilderness Bar, so i wont forget.

      thanks for causing me to peruse,lol….edifying….its oppositeland, apparently.

  22. hk

    The author is an old friend and, in my opinion, possibly the best commentator (at least in English, possibly in any language) on electoral politics in Taiwan. I was wondering what others here at NC like PK think of his views.

    Generally, I think there are three things to note on the topic.

    1. China issue is not a winning issue for KMT: the 92 consensus has only a limited support base (and what exactly the “consensus” is itself unclear–the ROC view is that there is one China, but who it’s legitimate representative is not clear. PRC, obviously disagrees.). Hou benefited by obscuring where he stood on the issue, but stands to lose support if he has to take a stand.

    2. (This is my view) The catch, of course (which my friend downplays a bit too much I think, due to his own bias, is that supporting the 92 consensus at it’s core, that Taiwan is some sort of China, is THE prerequisite for representing bulk of KMT voters who think of themselves as “some sort of Chinese” first and foremost. In other words, despite it’s central importance, China is the issue that the Taiwanese public will want to avoid having to take a firm stance on as long as they can. Even if a majority of Taiwanese don’t support the 92 consensus, would they actually want to assert Taiwanese “independence” at a huge cost? So the debate on the topic should avoid, IMO, China and “independence” issues. as much as possible and the outside actors should help the locals duck the issue and work out “temporary” arrangements that they can live with. On one hand, “supporters” of Taiwan might be right that a plurality, or even a majority, of Taiwanese may not want to be “Chinese,” but it is dangerous to force a public “decision” on the topic soon.

    3. Taiwanese elections, if the locals had their way, can only be decided on local issues. Because, in the end, being “Chinese” does not enjoy majority support, KMT cannot win if it only has the “China” issue (itself ambiguous–see above on the ambiguity of the 92 consensus) to run on. But, per my point 2 above, it is such a divisive and dangerous issue that the Green Camp would be foolish to focus its campaign on. The division may be clear, but, in medium term, not many people will change their minds and the geostrategic situation will remain the same even longer. So the actual viable “election issues” can only be domestic unless someone forces the hands of the locals.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        in following up to the lil bit of Deng Thought i was reminded of in the post the Best Mods in the World are still mulling, i came across this blog:

        sadly, he(?) is apprently no longer around.
        can you, or anyone else, rec a few blogs or twitters (in english) that give the skinny of the political and FP stance within the PRC?
        ive done several very large and wide ranging wikiwanders in the last 3-4 years regarding chinese history and such…but i glean that i need to bone up….given the boner our betters seem to have for the place they sent our physical plant.
        most wanted are things like the linked guy…with insights into “The Mind of the Chinese”, as it were…so many lil idiosyncrasies that are quite alien to such a thoroughly Western redneck hippie guy.
        (Russia is much easier in this sense, for me…given their long term euroenvy, etc…even though slavic languages and alphabets give me hives)

        i should prolly put re-reading Confucius, Mencius, et alia on the list as well.

    1. TimH

      I’m waiting for the semiconductor companies (who’ve been on a roll the last few years with those supply chain issues) announcing a downturn. Tech stocks may follow.

      Also expecting the resale value of high end EVs (not Leafs, not hybrids) to plummet when battery packs start to need reconditioning (i.e. just change out the few worst cells) or replacing and the lump sum cost of that becomes apparent.

      1. Jorge

        Generally speaking, people who buy new cars don’t care about long-term maintenance costs. It’s like they’re in a trance.

    2. flora

      Speaking of Belgium’s political turmoil over the immigration issue, France is having serious problems with that problem, too. Belgians can see what’s happening in France. The first 4 minutes of this Douglas Macgregor – RKFjr talk is informative about the situation in France.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        texted the link to a Belgian friend who is returning from a visit home – was able to text her the link enroute on a United flight – she read it and her only comment was, ‘will never happen’ – of course she has not the highest regard for Dutch folks – klootzak is the word she used –

  23. Roxan

    Great antidote photo! When I lived in the country, I used to go for walks across the fields with my hound, followed by my fluffy white cat, my old red hen and the neighbor’s beagle.

  24. Revenant

    The Kao article on HK dollar and Yuan pegs to USD was hard going. So shouty, overselling the same points again and again – and did I tell you it beats as it sweeps as it cleans…?

    Anyway, beyond its rhetorical shortcomings, the narrowness of his thinking was breathtaking. So HK owes an unbelievable amount of foreign debt per capita. And yet apparently the city works, has not been hollowed out under IMF austerity and the situation does not apparently concern its Chinese masters. Has Mr Kao ever stopped shouting long enough to consider that (like Brad Setser or Michael Pettis, probably the latter, have shown for trade and UST holdings) the HK and PRC rentiers stash their wealth offshore in PRC, Bermuda, Cayman, BVI etc? How much of this debt is rally owed to anybody rather than exists to extract interest payments to offshore accounts?

    My Singapore friends have told me a big thing by a lot of wealth management clients who are Chinese and even HK property developers has been to start a development and then bill it for architectural services, materials etc. from secretly affiliated offshore entities and then abandon the development. This enables extraction of past profits offshore and evades capital controls. Like a Mafia bust out where both parties are the Mafia and the government is the sucker….

    Kao seems a strident naïf but perhaps he is just selling his own book. I shall put him in the Jim Cramer reverse signal column for now….

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      It’s not a bad article, although the authors carefully tap dance around some sensitive issues. For example, “By halting deliveries of natural gas to Germany, the Kremlin effectively removed the linchpin of the country’s business model…”, not a word about Nordstream. Or here’s another one: “Despite the country’s industrial exodus, Germany’s politicians are largely in denial about the looming political and economic challenges.” Again, not a word about the soaring popularity of AfD, the word “largely” doing extra work here. Even before Nordstream was rendered kaputt, Germany was in deep trouble (this article is from July 2022):

      And now post-Nordstream, Germany is truly in even deeper trouble. But history has a way of rhyming, and Germany has a knack for scoring own goals: recall what a strong position Germany had in 1914 and again in 1939, and how it managed to overextend itself both times. Some things never change.

  25. R.S.

    Yesterday, it was some island Galt’s Gulch for Effective Altruists. Today, it’s Judeo-Christian military AI. What comes next in the field of Applied Ethics?

  26. Amfortas the hippie

    wandering all over the web…this was 19 years ago:

    what a difference 19 years…and a whole lotta hubris…makes…
    worth the long slog to put our current elite insanity in context.
    ’cause it sure look like they’re hitting on the same bong as cohen, back then.
    ie:” we hafta be the global empire, because nobody else wants to”.

    that an global hegemon might be…umm…unnecessary…never enters their minds….in a giant failure of ivy league education, imo.

  27. britzkieg

    “Science is more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking; a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility.

    If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then, we are up for grabs for the next charlatan (political or religious) who comes rambling along.”
    ― Carl Sagan

  28. some guy

    Here’s something interesting . . . . from WhitePeopleTwitter . . . DeSantis campaign deletes a campaign video after Nazi imagery “found” in it. Here is the link to the twitter item.

    And here is the campaign video itself which someone saved before the DeSantoids deleted it.

    The imagery in question is a big background-filling Nazi Black Sun Wheel slowly spinning for the last few seconds of the video.

    Many commenters theorized that the Nazi imagery was part of DeSantis’s dog-horn foghorning to the Conservanazi wing of the Republican Party that he is one of them, and the quick deletion after the “discovery” was to pretend it was a “mistake” in order to provide nice respectable Republicans cover for supporting DeSantis all the same.

    1. flora

      It’s not too difficult to hack and deface website images, if you know how and if your webmaster doesn’t know how to prevent it. That’s my guess. The video is another matter.

      1. some guy

        Someone should do some detailed forensic digital analysis of every step of the whole thing, if that is possible.

        Till then, given what DeSatanis clearly is and clearly stands for, I think the explanation I found is the simplest one and likely the realest one.

  29. some guy

    As I was reading the ” The Republican Candidates are a Boil of Hawks” article by the Wayward Rabbler’s Brad Pearce, I noticed these few sentences about Mexico, America, fentanyl . . ..” this group is also nearly unanimous on blaming Mexico for the fentanyl crisis. This, of course, despite the fact that Mexico’s failure to prevent fentanyl supply is no different from our government’s failure to prevent fentanyl demand and this has caused Mexico quite a lot of problems as well.”

    I noticed a particular few words in these sentences which are incorrect on the facts and may just indicate a deep ignorance of the problem or may reflect a junior-high-school type tendency to take pride in ‘exposing hypocrisy;. Here are the few factually incorrect words I refer to . . . ” fact that Mexico’s failure to prevent fentanyl supply is no different from our government’s failure to prevent fentanyl demand” . . .
    What’s wrong with that phrase? The simple fact that there is no fentanyl demand on the part of illegal drug users in this country. None of our opiate-seeking addicts are seeking fentanyl by name. They are seeking heroin or morphine or whatever other tradtional opiate they are seeking. But none of them were seeking or “demanding” fentanyl. Many of them did not even KNOW that the MexiDrug Cartels have been adulterating the opiate supply with Chinese-precursor-based fentanyl for cheapness and profitability reasons. This fentanyl “surprise” in the drug supply is what has been elevating the rate of overdose deaths lately. None of these addiicts has been demanding fentanyl. Is Mr. Pearce’s statement that American addicts “demand” fentanyl based on stupid ignorance, or decietful dishonesty?

    Someone with the power to force him to answer that question should back him into a corner and force him to answer it.

Comments are closed.