Links 7/29/2023

Bizarre True Story: Physicists Once Put a Ferret in a Particle Accelerator Science Alert (furzy)

Ancient Sumerian poetry turns instability into cosmic insight aeon (Anthony L)

Upper West Side Cult London Review of Books

NASA’s Voyager 2 Is Experiencing an Unplanned ‘Communications Pause’ Gizmodo. Wellie, the US is a world leader in euphemisms!

In the Future, Death Will Be Different RealClearScience (Dr. Kevin)

Flipping a Switch and Making Cancers Self-Destruct New York Times

FDA Is Monitoring International Probes into Novo, Lilly Obesity Drugs Bloomberg (furzy)



More than half of US under heat, flood advisories Anadolu Agency

Maine Lawmakers Approve Bill to Boost Offshore Wind Development Bloomberg

Mortal Hands: a cautionary history of the nuclear age: There’s no such thing as a new nuclear golden age–just old industry hands trying to make a buck Fortune (Jan B)

‘Project 2025’: plan to dismantle US climate policy for next Republican president Guardian (Kevin W)


China’s graduates unconvinced by calls to toil in countryside Guardian (furzy) BWAHAHA

Let the Tragedy in My Homeland Be a Lesson New York Times (Dr. Kevin)

Russia, China have a shared vision for North Korea Indian Punchline (Kevin W)

Samsung Sees 95% Drop In Profits For a Second Consecutive Quarter AndroidAuthority

Tunisian security forces deport African migrants to no man’s land on Libyan border France24 (furzy)

European Disunion

The coming European recession may be worse than 2008 Philip Pilkington, Unherd (guurst)

New Not-So-Cold War

Rumors of a New Russian Mobilization, and Other Interesting Things Simplicius the Thinker

Lithuania and Poland ‘may close Belarus borders’ due to Wagner fighters Guardian (furzy)

Ukraine got its hands on North Korean rockets that troops say are wildly unpredictable and ‘do crazy things,’ and they’re lobbing them at the Russians Business Insider

Ukraine’s baby factories rake in record profits amid chaos of war Grayzone

Opera Buffa in Ukraine Seymour Hersh. Note featured in Links yesterday.


>Awareness grows that Israel’s crisis stems from a core issue: it’s an apartheid state Mondoweiss (guurst)

Ex-Mossad Chief Compares Israeli Right to the KKK Haaretz (guurst)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

US Spies Are Lobbying Congress To Save a Phone Surveillance ‘Loophole’ Wired

MOVEit Hackers Accessed Health Data of ‘At Least’ 8 Million Individuals TechCrunch. Why yours truly never uses hospital or insurer portals.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Staggering Towards the Abyss William Schreyer

Define the Mission American Conservative (Li)

Hoo boy:

Senate votes down Sanders amendment to cut Pentagon spending Stephen Semler

Oppenheimer and the ABC’s of the Apocalypse in Alliterated Form Scott Ritter (Chuck L)

The Day After Trinity Criterion Channel. furzy:

Free to watch until August…. “Decades before the movie “Oppenheimer,” J. Robert Oppenheimer and his work on the atomic bomb were the subject of the Academy Award-nominated documentary ‘The Day After Trinity.’”


The scandal engulfing Hunter Biden is now so grave even America’s Left-wing media can’t ignore it any longer as claims of $5million bribes, drugs and prostitutes surround the President’s wayward son aily Mail (Li)


Trump tells crowd he is the only Republican who can win 2024 election BBC

Trump insulted their governor and may be indicted again. They love him. Politico. Note both of these are lead stories. Trump lives rent free in an awful lot of brains.

Alito says Congress has ‘no authority’ to regulate Supreme Court The Hill

Vivek Ramaswamy’s Religion Under Attack From Christian Nationalists Rolling Stone (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

Facebook Bowed to White House Pressure, Removed Covid Posts Wall Street Journal (Li)

Most of the 100 Million People Who Signed Up For Threads Stopped Using It ars technica

Washington Post Still Covers Up U.S. War Crimes And Use Of Biological Weapons Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

Police State Watch

Patrol dogs are terrorizing and mauling prisoners inside the United States Insider (guurst)

$1.17M whistleblower settlement raises new questions for embattled DHS inspector general The Hill

New Report Shows Full-Size Trucks Have Highest Theft Rate NICB

J&J effort to resolve talc lawsuits in bankruptcy fails a second time Reuters (furzy, Kevin W)

CalPERS LTC Program Second Proposed Settlement Update 7-28-23 YouTube


You can make top LLMs break their own rules with gibberish The Register (Chuck L)

AI Chatbots Are The New Job Interviewers Forbes (Kevin W)

AI Helps Crack Salt Water’s Curious Electrical Properties Science

The Bezzle

Boeing’s Starliner Program Reaches Staggering $1.1 Billion in Losses Gizmodo (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

Sinema Bill on Firefighter Pay Is “Slap in the Face” to Workers Battling Blazes Intercept

Antidote du jour. From Sandra G last week: “I got this photo today on the road near our cottage of two baby deer hiding in the woods in northern Michigan.”

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. digi_owl

    More and more i wonder if similar coups could happen in NATO nations if excrement really stared flying in Europe. Quite a few officers in the smaller members have had some amount of training in USA after all.

    1. Feral Finster

      NATO has spent an inordinate amount of time and energy rooting out anyone in the military who questioned subservience to America in general and the war on Ukraine in particular.

  2. griffen

    Article on the ferret used to “clean” sections of the accelerator tube, which apparently was a tight fit for even this small ferret. Instead of a carrot, offering the animal a fresh bit of chicken, liver or some such when each section was finished. I expected a lot more of the evil humans treat cute animal badly from this article, happily surprised ( I think ).

    1. ambrit

      My Dad worked with a man who had worked on US Navy submarine construction as an electrician. He told of the men who kept pet ferrets who were used to pull lines through the electrical conduits. Put some treats at the end of the conduit, tie the pull line to a harness the ferret wore, and let the critter go. When the ferret made it to the other end, the line was disconnected from the animal, and then used to pull wire through the conduit. Each sub had miles of conduit, and an “oops!” moment when a line was forgotten happened often enough that the ferrets were kept ‘on call’ all the time. He said no ferrets were ever ‘lost’ doing this and the fun part was that the ferrets were kept on the company payroll as “helpers.”

  3. Jabura Basaidai

    Lambert(?) your comment after the link – “Why yours truly never uses hospital or insurer portals.”
    does this mean you do not use hospitals? it would seem your information is there whether inputted by you or a hospital staffer – regardless of whether you utilize a portal or fill out a bunch of paperwork when you are at the hospital for an appointment, the staffer you hand the paperwork to inputs it to your file –

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      This is my comment, not Lambert’s. I make a point of filling out forms in paper so they are scanned and I sincerely doubt re-entered for cost reasons. My doctor similarly gives me paper forms for labwork. I am not in a network so I see various providers, some of whom are in solo practices. So my records are spread across practitioners and institutions. I also make a point of paying my MDs and pharmacies myself and then submitting for reimbursements, so my insurer does not have the right to my medical records since it is not the payer. myself You can’t see much due to the fragmentation.

      1. Bsn

        Thanks Yves, nice tricks. It’s gotten so horrible (the tracking, surveillance, etc.) that I routinely put down wrong and different information on medicals forms. One visits a doc and then again a few weeks later and the receptionist will have you fill out a fairly detailed medical form – again. They clearly don’t take the time to read them as no one has asked “Why do you say this when a month ago you wrote that”.

        1. ChiGal

          ha! good to know. I am so sick of endless CYA measures that tax my time ad nauseum, though I would worry about them using incorrect info (if they did discover it) as an excuse not to deny coverage.

      2. IM Doc

        A few words from someone with experience.

        I have said it before and I will say it again – these electronic record systems and portals, etc are the biggest scams in medicine today. Although presented to the American public as a way to streamline records and save time, they are anything but. They do not help the caregivers and they certainly do not help patients in any way.

        They are just another tool in the largest wealth transfer in American history.

        The general public thinks they are in place to help doctors and nurses with your records. The record keeping is infinitely worse with these than paper ever was. So many incorrect things are in the chart – and so time consuming they are that they are quite literally dangerous and life-threatening in the hospitals and clinics. The MBA people could care less – becuase their real function is literally a gigantic cash register.

        If I ever leave organized medicine and enter my own private practice ( something looking more appealing by the day) the very first thing I will do is ditch this crap and go back to paper. If patients do not like that – good on them – keep right on going with the EMRs and let everyone in America snoop and know all of your private details. Your choice.

        I will give but one of an entire novel of examples I could share on the evil of how this all works. An example from yesterday. I will preface this by saying that you need to have a PCP older than about 45 – someone with the clinical experience and wisdom to do all they can to protect you from all this crap. Please note – despite the elder PCPs best efforts – it often happens anyway.

        I saw a new patient – a 38 year old male – relatively healthy – yesterday. 3 years ago, he was out hiking, got very dehydrated, and came into the urgent care because his knee was really hurting. His uric acid level was 5.4 – something that happens frequently with dehydration – normal being about 3 or below. He was mistakenly diagnosed with gout and this was placed as a problem in his EMR record. Yes, the urgent care provider did this without even a hint of self reflection on how we make the diagnosis of gout ( it was a nurse practitioner – but MDs do this all the time). But GOUT is now on his permanent record. If you have ever tried to expunge anything from these EMRs – you know what I am about to say is true. This young man did not have gout – he had overdone it on his hike. But when he applied for life insurance this year he was declined. Why? anyone with “gout” – the real thing – is a very elevated risk for diabetes and heart disease – and they are instantly denied life insurance no matter what.

        I called the life insurance company yesterday. I will have a talk with their “medical” director next week. Based on previous experience, there is a 95% chance he will tell me and my patient to pound sand.

        A wise, experienced clinician of a certain age like myself – who has been in this type of battle many times in life would never dream of charting like this. RIGHT KNEE PAIN – not GOUT – would be the diagnosis. But we are not dealing with wise experienced clinicians – for the most part in urgent cares – you are dealing with brain dead drones – who have no accountablity and no stake in their patient’s lives. Furthermore, decades ago – every information request for medical records would come right to my desk. I would look it over and examine the patient’s paper chart. If there was a slightest question, I would call the patient and discuss the issues with them. Now in the days of HIPAA, so touted for patient privacy, your electronic records are in the direct control of brain dead clerks in the medical records department. They can easily, with the click of a button, send your records without your knowledge to whoever asks for them – government agencies, insurance companies, etc. Absolutely no questions asked and no accountability. You will have no say in the matter – and you will never be notified. You have signed your life away in all the forms at your visit. (One of the P’s in HIPPA is PORTABILITY – and believe me – your records are portable) You have no idea how often this goes on daily. My small hospital has two employees devoted simply to handing out records to whoever wants them all day long.

        Just the way the system wants it.

        Americans have voted for this crap, they have tolerated it, and let this get worse every year. I have no answers – but I am just telling you what is going on. A good part of the desire for direct primary care on so many patient’s part, is to have their records back on paper again so this can never happen to them.

        What a joke.

        1. maipenrai

          I just can not fathom how my colleagues continue to be bamboozled by the bells and whistles. Complete waste of time and effort. Endless cut and paste operations repeating over and over the mistakes of the careless intern at 2 AM in the ER.
          And worse! Since implementing them, our ability to recall patient histories, medicines, allergies has likely plummeted, at least anecdotally in my practice

          1. maipenrai

            and yes the P for privacy part of HIPPA is really of course Orwellian. It means precisely the opposite.

      3. Thomas Schmidt

        paying my MDs and pharmacies myself and then submitting for reimbursements, so my insurer does not have the right to my medical records since it is not the payer.

        Does this work? You have my email below. I am about to adopt this for the rest of my life. The problem: Doctor’s fees are so high without the “negotiated rate” that I cannot pay the rack rate then ask for the insurance to pay me back.

        Drop a note to my email and it’s time to donate again to NC. This one insight is the most valuable thing I’ve ever read here.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I am in an indemnity plan and am thus not entitled to negotiated rates.

          Despite that, I find my insurer routinely violates their contract with the doctors and makes them accept the insurer negotiated rate for a non-plan member and issue a refund. Doctors really hate that. My regular MD would keep the credit on file.

          I even wrote the New York Dept. of Financial Services about this because I did not like my insurer ripping off MDs. They didn’t even seem to understand the issue.

          You really can’t do this for surgeries. You need the pre-approvals and that puts you in insurer pays hospital bucket. And for regular care, some doctors have a lower cash rate than insurer rate because cash patients don’t entail the hassle of fighting the insurer to get paid. Labocorp’s cash pay rate is as good as the best negotiated insurer rate.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “China’s graduates unconvinced by calls to toil in countryside”

    Sounds like somebody thinks that the Cultural Revolution 2.0 would be a good idea – mostly older people that will never have to do it. Imagine my surprise. The Cultural Revolution was a catastrophe for China which was shutting down the economy, set back Chinese science and progress for years and squandered an untold amount of human capital. If they try to do the same now, it will also put a spike in the Chinese economy. If you have students toiling away in the country for low pay, then they will not be spending much into the economy for example. In fact, they may be removed from it. Certainly their education will be paused which means that they will always be at a disadvantage to those who will not go. The only way it might work is to suggest say 6-12 months in the country but say that for every day in the country, the government will pay two days of their education when they will return. Something along those lines as an incentive.

    1. digi_owl

      Isn’t this pretty much the same problem that has been plaguing the proverbial west for the last 20+ years?

      1. jsn

        Yes, while China is trying to dig out of “the middle income trap”, where elites who profiting from labor exploitation for exports are loath to share income with workers, the West is trying to dig back into the trap, relying in the last few cycles on Chinese stimulus to keep everything going outside the dollar financial bubble the Feds been tending.

        If we can just make western populations poorer fast enough, maybe we can keep up with the Chinese!

    2. ilpalazzo

      On the other hand making bourgeoise have the feel of how the real hard labor looks like, labor that literally puts rice in their bowls would make them better humans and the society more cohesive.

        1. ambrit

          The problem I see with this process is that it does not “reform” the system itself. It merely eliminates the older ‘bourgeoisie elite’ and opens the way for a younger elite to fill the predesigned slots in the instrumentality. The “new elite” eventually becomes the “old elite” reborn.
          China went through a severely destructive ‘Cultural Revolution’ yet still ended up palpably China. I’ll contend that any Mandarin from two hundred years ago would recognize and be comfortable functioning within the present day Chinese Apparat.
          Call it “Socialism With the Mandate of Heaven.”

    3. Bazarov

      The Cultural Revolution hurt bourgeois intellectual-types, and so it’s consigned to that special historical abyss toward which one ominously casts one’s eyes, clutches one’s pearls, and summons a phrase or two: “What a catastrophe,” “Do you know what it did to the economy? Set them back a hundred years!,” “Mao nearly destroyed China.”

      The bourgeois never forgive and never, ever forget the movements that did to them what they did to peasants and workers the world over. Now, it’s not that the bourgeois historians are unwilling to look back on their forbearers’ misdeeds and tut-tut them, but it’s usually with what they call “nuance”: “In the end, you know, it’s true, a lot of people died, but the economy was developed to the benefit of those that live today. A lot of good came out of [X Economic Terror].”

      In China, the memory of the Cultural Revolution is much more nuanced, especially if you count the memories of the poor rural masses. While the party, with its significant bourgeois faction, officially disparages it, in the countryside and in the factories the Cultural Revolution is much more fondly remembered than understood in the West–its slogans are deployed still today in protests and labor disputes.

      For a less manichaean view of the Cultural Revolution see: “The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village” by Dongping Han.

    4. Benny Profane

      It’s pretty insane that we are itching to get into a war with that many unemployed young men who will probably look at a fairly well paid military gig as a good option. Most young men who outnumber available women by a large margin. They’ll make for mean soldiers, and there’s a lot of them.

    5. Huang

      No one has the power to send the young back to country after Mao. His time is over.
      In fact, most older are extremely sensitive to any ‘signal’ of Cultural Revolution, they subconsciously refuse social experiments. I believe they have ’PTSD‘ during the revolution. For example, if somebody say that village farm can improve the voice of farmers againt enterprises, he may be claimed as ‘want to back to Cultrual Revolution’. It actually blocks the way how people imagine a alternative society in China in last decades.
      The young with university experiences cannot find their oppotunities in their local town or country. The urbanization gathered the captial and oppotunities all in cities, especially those mega cities. One possible solution is so called ‘country economy’.

      1. digi_owl

        Makes me think of how the political elite around here has “PTSD” regarding government housing projects, thanks to such projects in the 50s-60s got a reputation for crime etc come the 70s-80s.

        Much of that thanks to the municipalities used the new apartment complexes as a place to store addicts and other welfare recipients.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>Much of that thanks to the municipalities used the new apartment complexes as a place to store addicts and other welfare recipients.

          Add minorities and the successive cuts in funding for maintenance. It wasn’t the gangs that destroyed the elevators after all. ˙If something as important as the elevators in a high rise is broken due to lack of maintenance, imagine all the other things like the lights, carpets, water, sewage, and even the green spaces being destroyed by such.

          Add the patronage and corruption especially in the larger cities as well as the readymade propaganda, and those projects were doomed.

          If anyone wants to see how public housing can work, all one has to do is look at the Viennese housing projects. They are deliberately made attractive to all classes, which means keeping the upper middle class residents happy keeps the buildings in good shape with attractive additions like stores and gyms to the benefit of the poor as well. Add a sliding scale for rent so no one is housing poor and there is a very good system for everyone.

    6. Amfortas the hippie

      late to this party…but heres an idea:
      i allege that there are many, many more people out there than we usually assume, who would love to be a small farmer/yeoman farmer/ even peasant farmer.
      but the pay sucks.
      as a sovereign currency issuer, why not just pay such people?
      look at Cuba’s Special Period….just attempt to do it when yer backs not against the wall like theirs was.
      Yves’ mention of Industrial Keynsianism being a boon for gdp this morning(or yesterday?) comes to mind.
      same diff…but agrarian, instead of industrial.
      the world needs small farmers…now more than ever.
      and i readily admit my own interests in this idea,lol.
      it just feels stupid that Big Ag is doing so much damage, economically, environmentally, etc…and yet i cannot legally sell an egg, nor a tomato.
      which of us…me or Big Ag…are more likely to do things to help people and planet?
      someone please forward this outlook to the relevant functionaries in China…i think it would be cool if they managed to pull that off…and they aint gonna do it this way,lol.
      as indicated by the comments regarding “New Cultural revolution”.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>and yet i cannot legally sell an egg, nor a tomato.

        I think that food quality would eventually go up. Just look at the modern “tomato” or other vegetables created and sold by Big Ag. If I, a vegetablephobe, can enjoy the real tomatoes that one can enjoy growing out of a can, imagine what a small farmer could do selling them?

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          it’ll be black market produce, for now.
          its what i’m used to, any ways.
          i expect nothing but growth, from here, as global supply lines…and the whole credit/financial system on which the trucks rely….becomes…ummm…wonky…

          1. Cassandra

            Amfortas, could you explain, please? Are farmstands and farmer’s markets illegal in your area? They are plentiful in my area; it is one reason we chose to live here.

            I should add that I always enjoy reading your adventures in self-reliance. You are an inspiration!

    7. bonks

      I have two different points that might be relevant to this issue.

      1. In the last few years during China’s zero-covid period, I often took my holidays in rural Chinese villages/plantations, most of which are undergoing XJP’s ‘rural revitalisation’ program. While the people rebuilding village homes or planting teas are still on the older side, the ones running modernised accommodations and small eateries tend to be on the younger side, ie. 20s-30s. I don’t see my generation laying bricks any time soon, but many are now taking part in the hospitality industry in villages.

      2. Despite the reports on increasing youth unemployment, my industry (fashion design and garment manufacturing) has a hard time recruiting and retaining young people as they expect to be paid a lavish salary that will let them partake in fashionable lifestyle they admire on social media. Some of them (especially young women) harbour the fantasy of becoming (micro-)influencers so a job is not something to be taken seriously, especially when they find out that most of fashion is nothing like the couture ateliers in Paris and requires mental fortitude and legwork like any other manufacturing industry.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        There’s some truth to number two. One of my Chinese teachers, who is currently studying overseas told me that she once had a pretty high “social aspiration” as in she would buy a new cell phone every year, and would spend all her salary every month on fashion and other things, just to keep up with the influencers. She then said one day she just woke up and felt that the whole thing was stupid, and nowadays she would only spend on necessities and save the rest.

  5. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “Awareness grows that Israel’s crisis stems from a core issue: it’s an apartheid state” at-

    Imaging an Israel where the settlers and their parties have taken control of the government and lock everybody else out. Hmmm. Better to go live in the Ukraine I should imagine. For a start, the Ukrainians won’t be banning their females from public life and forcing them back into homes.

      1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

        Unfortunately, link is: “403, Forbidden” for me, at least.

        I always find your links worth pursuing.

            1. FUBAR111111

              It’s probably your DNS provider, or your ISP’s DNS provider – if it is Borg controlled DNS like say Google, which is very popular, then they probably block “undesirable” websites for “unapproved wrong-think”, or maybe just slow down the data transfer rateto those sites to the point where you give up and go to another website.

              Try changing DNS at your router level, and on every device.

              Use “DNS Bench” from GRC to test for DNS latency, select the fastest one you can that is not Borg, and try it. This will improve your internet speed in almost all cases anyway,.Try the fastest DNS providers first and see if websites you want to go to are blocked, and work your way down the list. In some areas Google DNS does not seem to block things. Probably takes 30-60 minutes to work it out, thens select the fastest DNS provider that meets your needs.

              Read up on it at:


              I have been using this program for many years, and it has helped me immensely. YMMV. If your connection is not very fast to start with, it will help a lot.

              I have found no websites bliocked, for me at home, though my local ISP may be blocking them on orders from above for casual non-tech savvy-users. I use a very large cable company located physically very far from me in another country, yet who have by far the lowest latency, consistently – go figure. Even at work on their nominally controlled global corporate network, everything seems accessable.

              So it is very hit and miss across regions, ISPs, and nations. Germany and France, for example, seems to be very restrictive, they are clearly deeply concerned about unapproved news sources being accessed. Other countries don’t seem to care, or they are just not technically savvy enough to put in place the blocking they want to.

              1. scott s.

                I’m guessing they have something like Cloudflare in front of their system and it’s set up to give 403 responses to certain IP addrs.

                  1. JBird4049

                    I have problems too, but since I use a VPN, just changing the location usually works. Usually.

                    1. Amfortas the hippie

                      i dont know…nor do i want to,lol…what that even means.
                      Παθός Μαθός
                      its all greek to me!

        1. Greg Taylor

          Link doesn’t work for me on Firefox, nor does manually typing the URL. It didn’t work last week when flora posted the link either.

          However, today it works on Chrome so this dysfunction is evidently browser-based, not related to location.

      2. Feral Finster

        Was it not taught that, romantic fantasies and Les Miz aside, revolutions do not happen when the 99% overthrow the 1% as long as the 1% is united, because the 1% will do whatever it takes to retain power?

        Revolution happen when the 1% are disunited and 1% factions start casting about for allies.

          1. britzklieg

            Les Mis spoiler alert #2

            it sucks. avoid at all cost. and if i may point out one ditty in particular “Master of the house” is perhaps the worst song ever written…

    1. flora

      Of course not. Rogan had a guest on who was explaining what that CT was about and why it got legs. Rogan was humoring the guest, who was humoring the idea. Guest was talking about Laurel Canyon in California and the ideas that came out of that area.

      Also, any official “factcheck” pronouncements on hot topics are usually narrative control, not actual facts, imo. This so-called “factcheck” reads like a smear of Rogan and guest. Rogan: the guy the woke mob tried to get de-platformed. ha. / ;)

      1. tegnost

        When I first bought a hope ticket in probably 1980 in western ny the odds were 1 in 14,000, which by todays standards are pretty good odds

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          When you buy one ticket for a lottery drawing your chances of winning Increase by an infinite amount. Buying another ticket increases your chances of winning by only an infinitesimal amount..

          1. juno mas

            The probability of winning this particular lottery is as indicated above: ~300 million to 1(and you’re out the price of a ticket). Your odds of winning this lottery remain ~300 million even when you buy two tickets ( and your now out the price of your morning coffee). And even if your were to win, you might have to share the prize.

            Having a lottery ticket can be a distraction.

      2. Tom Stone

        Why are you dissing America’s retirement plan?
        The Lotto is the best chance most Americans have for a decent retirement…

      3. scott s.

        The problem is that there is no assurance of a single winning ticket, so you have to figure in the probability of splitting the jackpot.

        1. JBird4049

          Who cares about splitting the jackpot, since even winning a few million for even a semi prudent person would be their multi decade retirement. I have never quite understood the insanity over very large jackpots as beyond a certain amount it makes no real difference in a person’s life.

          1. GF

            The same with billionaires. Why not after the first billion you just funnel the rest to homeless housing and free healthcare for the poor?

            1. Henry Moon Pie

              They have a very intense fear of death. What drives them to get transfusions of 18 year-old blood and dream of “uploading their consciousness” is the same thing the drives them to the next billion.

              Gates hates living things. He’s either trying to kill things (chopping trees) or replace things (robot bees) or re-engineer things (GMOs). What’s wrong with him? And how dangerous it is to hand out such concentrated power on the basis of their business prowess.

              Let these people go buy a planet and ruin it. Leave us alone. They’re a death cult that’s taken over.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                The updating consciousness = not dying and is silly, since the original you dies and all you will have preserved is a copy. See gholas in Dune for a version of this idea.

                I differ with you on the youth fetish. Aging sucks and = loss of physical and mental ability. I can see wanting to preserve that as long as possible and hope you are taken out in a catastrophic fail, like an accident or bad stroke. But all this probably does is push out the decline path in time, not prevent it.

                1. Henry Moon Pie

                  It would make a good horror movie:

                  Technician: The process is complete. Let’s dispose of the body.

                  “The Body”: But wait! I’m still in here!

  6. semper loquitur

    “Bizarre True Story: Physicists Once Put a Ferret in a Particle Accelerator ”

    And Sean Carroll stepped out?


    1. ambrit

      At least it wasn’t a hamster. We know how that works out.
      Hamster goes into particle accelerator. Fauci steps out the other end. S— eating grin on his face.
      “Oh wait guys! Wrong particles!”

  7. Jabura Basaidai

    reading the 2004 interview with@Harper, John Ehrlichman bit – remember the time well and of course that’s true and anyone smoking weed then knows it, didn’t need John to tell us – for black folk it’s a continuation of the usual BS they have to deal with and when the air started to escape from that war on drugs they created a difference btwn crack and powder coke thanks to Clinton’d 1995 legislation signed into law – with crack drawing more time than powder and of course impacting black folk more than whitey – sad truth –

      1. griffen

        Joe loves his son, donchya know. Hunter has a past with the powdery things in life. Article below is from 2019, which I have linked since it will cite a sordid past. Oh, poor hunter. Alas, the prodigal at long last returned, a changed man.

        BTW, reading the related column above, about Hunter, a man named Devon Archer should avoid sharp edges of all kinds and shapes this weekend. See, once upon a recent time Archer was good buds with Hunter Biden but now Archer is scheduled to testify before Congress in the coming week.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      I’d have to admit that Leary’s tweak-the-Establishment advocacy for widespread LSD use might have made it easier for the Nixonites to initiate the drug war.

      While looking for video of some of that advocacy, I came across something I’ve never heard before. It’s Leary’s contribution to a debate held at Harvard Law School in 1966 sometime after the completion of the ’66 World Series. In a little less than 30 minutes, Leary expounds his views about theology, psychology, autonomy and Harvard which had recently fired him. (He likens Harvard to the ’66 Dodgers who had just been humiliated by the Orioles in a 4-0 sweep.)

      Leary styles his presentation as a sermon delivered on the the text:

      Well, she talks to all the servants about man and God and law.

      from Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm.”

      The event must have taken place right around the time that Ronnie Raygun signed a law making LSD illegal in California, well ahead of LSD being put on Schedule I by the feds.

      It’s a fascinating listen as is the Houseboat Summit with poets Ginsberg and Snyder and moderated by Alan Watts.

      1. KD

        By 1962, the CIA had lost interest in using LSD in mind control human subjects research:

        MKUltra’s researchers later dismissed LSD as too unpredictable in its results.[57] They gave up on the notion that LSD was “the secret that was going to unlock the universe,” but it still had a place in the cloak-and-dagger arsenal. However, by 1962 the CIA and the army developed a series of super-hallucinogens such as the highly touted BZ, which was thought to hold greater promise as a mind control weapon. This resulted in the withdrawal of support by many academics and private researchers, and LSD research became less of a priority altogether.[53]

        By 1963, LSD was off patent:

        In 1963, the Sandoz patents on LSD expired[130] and the Czech company Spofa began to produce the substance.[29] Sandoz stopped the production and distribution in 1965.[29]

        It would make perfect sense to outlaw LSD in 1968 after the spooks lost interest and big pharma didn’t see any money in it. The fact that hippies were annoying probably didn’t hurt, but its far too powerful a chemical to leave in the hands of anyone except the DOD and the intelligence services. [They never told us if they dosed the prisoners at Abu Ghraib, which would have been a real tell that would undermine the story that some clueless NCO’s managed to reproduce MK Ultra protocols on their own.]

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          I think it was Ken Kesey of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and the kool-aid acid tests that said the Army’s LSD experiments didn’t work out so well. It tended to make the soldiers not want to be soldiers anymore.

          Hippies were annoying? What’s so annoying about peace, love and understanding? Nick Lowe wrote the song. Here’s the context:

          Lowe has described ‘Peace, Love and Understanding’ as “the first actual original [song] idea that I had”. He wrote it at a time when “a mass of hippies were leaving the cult in droves and rediscovering booze, alcohol, amphetamine and, I suppose, cocaine. There was this new cynicism.” He placed himself into that category, and thus the song took “the point of view of an old hippie, seeing his commune leaving and starting to cut their hair and make fun of him. And he was saying, ‘You can laugh at me all you like, but what’s so funny about peace, love and understanding? You can’t argue with it.’”

          Elvis Costello made the song famous.

          Theodore Roszak, one of the chroniclers of the counterculture in The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition (1969), didn’t find the hippies annoying:

          If the resistance of the counter culture fails, I think there will be nothing in store for us but what anti-utopians like Huxley and Orwell have forecast–though I have no doubt that these dismal despotisms will be far more stable and effective than their prophets have foreseen. For they will be equipped with techniques of inner-manipulation as unobtrusively fine as gossamer. Above all, the capacity of our emerging technocratic paradise to denature the imagination by appropriating to itself the whole meaning of Reason, Reality, Progress, and Knowledge will render it impossible for men to give any name to their bothersomely unfulfilled potentialities but that of madness. And for such madness, humanitarian therapies will be generously provided.

          Roszak had a pretty good vision of what a hippie-less world would be like. Maybe it wasn’t the hippies who were annoying.

          1. LifelongLib

            FWIW, I recall my parents (Dad a WW2 vet) saying at the time that the long hair and odd clothing made the hippies too easy to dismiss. “Conform in the little things, so people will take you seriously when you don’t conform in the big things. They should get haircuts, put on regular clothes, and then go on doing everything else they’re doing”.

            1. Henry Moon Pie

              I hear you. “Get clean for Gene.”

              I don’t look at it that way any more. It’s not “what did the hippies do wrong to be rejected by middle class society.” It’s why didn’t the older generations have more open ears? Weren’t they feeling themselves falling into the manipulated consumerism that’s making it impossible for us to respond to reality today?

              We made wrong turns in this society. One was when the hippies received the usual treatment that capitalist liberalism (in the JS Mill sense) always deals to movements that threaten it: co-opt who you can and crush the rest.

          2. KD

            Hippies were annoying?

            John Ehrlichman and Nixon & Co. were able to do what they did because large swathes of the American public were hostile to hippies. I am not making some universal pronouncement on hippies, I am focusing on the point in time. The original comment was about Leary, but Leary was perceived as the spokesman and huckster-in-chief for the counter-culture, and wouldn’t have had any social or cultural power if there weren’t a large quantity of hippies to ruffle square America’s feathers.

            The hippie issue was a major turning point for the Left as well. With the hippies, you have the rise of a new Left, that was pro-drug, pro-sexual liberation, pro-identity politics, and anti-Vietnam, and you see the rise of the hard hats. You also had an old Left that was anti-drug, dismissed a lot of the sexual politics as “bourgeois decadence” and a focus on class struggle. The Marxist-Leninists were regimented and disciplined. Despite all that, the old Left died, and the new Left ended up becoming the Clintonite/Blairite left politics of the present. Maybe Marcuse was right, and the working class had become too bourgie to ever mount a revolutionary effort, and the shift to identity politics was necessary, but there was a real divide between an old Left and a new Left, as well as a divide between the labor movement, which supported Vietnam, opposed recreational drug use, and was not interested in sexual liberation, and the new Left characters.

            On the other hand, maybe Marcuse was wrong, and the hippies and the cult of expressive individualism actually destroyed anything like a legitimate disciplined class-based workers movement in the America, and replaced it with narcissism and sensation seeking. In one sense, it is water over the dam, but in another sense, we have to ask what happened in the class struggle between 1965, when the balance of power was much stronger on the side of labor, and the present. I think that the hippies represent an important part of that story. . . and annoying in the sense that they perhaps inadvertently made the world safe for neoliberalism.

            1. Henry Moon Pie

              Labor was so co-opted by the Empire at that point that its value beyond a very narrow focus on wages and benefits was minimal. Business unionism had won out, and it’s been in decline ever since.

              And as for hair styles, the kids got clean for Gene, won some primaries, and Daley and Meany picked Humphrey, who won zero primaries, anyway. It wasn’t the hair. It was being anti-war and anti-Empire.

    2. Martin Oline

      It’s nice that John Ehrlichman said the quiet part out loud. I always felt that the so-called War on Drugs was a political effort instead of a crime measure. The Joseph Kennedy organized crime family managed to use influence and power to elect his son president only one generation after running liquor during the prohibition. Money is what drives political success in America (and what attracts all of those ‘public serpents’ to it). It took very little intelligence to foresee a candidate from the ghetto rising to a powerful position a generation after 1970. Something had to be done to preserve our American way of graft. /s

      1. Pat

        It only made sense as a weapon. A real effort on drugs would focus on opportunities and rehabilitation. This was all about prosecutions. And really going after the users with the hard possession laws.

    3. some guy

      Still, its good to get it on the record, which makes it harder to deny. And apparently the NixAdmin gave equal persecution billing to the White hippies, whom it considered an equal threat and whose drugs it equally lied about and demonized.

      About the crack versus rock/powder sentencing difference, I remember reading that after the Len Bias death there was a huge moral panic whipped up by Black preachers and ministers and other such, who themselves agitated for way tougher laws against crack ” to protect the black youth.” Clinton was happy to advance his own anti-Black agenda under cover of this Black community leadership drive for differential sentencing between the two forms of cocaine. Credit should be given where credit is due.

  8. Stephen V

    Deer! So cute. They keep our garden pruned here in AR Ozarks.
    Was diagnosed with Lyme on Thursday. Not so cute. What I thought was (less severe Erlichia lo’ these past 10 years) was not! Testing is expensive. My weight loss and fatigue are small stuff. Many undiagnosed peeps end up with you name it: from heart to severe psych problems. Stay safe “out there.”

    1. griffen

      Best of luck, what I’ve read about Lyme’s through the years is pretty rough. Brother hikes a lot, and checking for ticks is to be done pronto once off a trail. I’ve read elsewhere (probably here) that deer can be a pest and wreck one’s crops and such.

      I’m rethinking my future goal to visit the Ozarks! Last time I drove through, returning to the east coast I picked up a brochure about the mountains. Looks like an outdoor activity paradise for hiking and mountain bike trails alike.

      1. KLG

        And also wreck one’s car. Since December 2020 they have totaled one family car and done $15,000 in damage to the replacement. Their only predators are humans and humans in automobiles. In addition to carrying Lyme disease ticks, they also are SARS-CoV-2 reservoirs…but oh so cute!

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Fortunately I have never heard of anyone eating deer brains. No evidence anyone has gotten mad cow disease from muscle meat. It is in the intestines too, along with brains and nerve tissue, so if anyone makes deer sausage for you (delish! but they have to mix a lot of pork in because wild dear are really lean) tell them absolutely no intestine and that should be a general practice.

            Recall what led to mad cow was the feeding of leftover sheep parts ground into meal to cows. Lotta brains and guts and nerve material in those bits, it appears.

      2. some guy

        A shortage of predators leads to a surplus of deer. Anyway, the Indian Nations maintained huge areas of land as broadscale “deer gardens” to maintain a deer population for hunting for meat. Since suburbia and the near-countryside is becoming latter day deer gardens, perhaps people should organize for annual deer roundups and culls and butcher-outs and meat distribution. Especially in deer-garden suburbia.

        Turn the deer from “pest” into resource.

    2. marcyincny

      Stay safe “out there.” and wear clothing treated with permethrin. We’ve been doing so since 2012 and neither one of us has had a tick since. It’s made our time outdoors so much more relaxing/enjoyable.

      1. Randy

        Yes. I was wearing my permethrin treated clothes while watering flower beds. I found a tick on my hand and placed it on my pants leg for observation. It lasted 15 minutes.

        1. John Beech

          What’s permethrin do to you? I suppose it’s been studied but what with regulatory capture if someone makes a buck off treating clothes they have a lobbyist slipping dough to their leased congresscritter.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            high doses, its a neurotoxin.
            but as far as pesticides go, its one of the better ones.
            i use it(sparingly).
            IIRC, its the synthetic version of Pyrethrin…which is made from Chrysanthemums…and is also a neurotoxin(flowers can kill you)
            idk about having it embedded in my clothes, though…
            thankfully, i dont think we have ticks where i live….at least not the ones that fall out of trees and burrow into ones nethers.
            for all the time ive spent in the last 30 years in the woods, in all seasons, i havent had a single tick in that time.
            neither have the boys, nor the late wife.
            a combination of aridity and possums, i reckon.
            i make sure to be nice to my possum friends.
            Tick Vacuums.
            got a passel of them living under the house for the last several years…i hear them bumping around under there quite often.
            added benefit: possums are immune to rattlesnake venom…and their young have a taste for baby rattlers.
            so if there’s a possum familia under your house, theres likely no rattlesnakes.
            (Texas Ratsnakes…which we call Jormungandr…are also Rattler deterrents…also immune to the venom…and their musk(they stink!) is a signal to rattlers to stay away.
            I’m nice to them, too…so much so that there’s likely been one within the walls of my house since i built it….based on the various shed skins ive found…of increasing lengths,lol.
            said skins have no buttons like you’d see on a rattler skin…and the pattern, discernible with a black light, sure looks like Jormungandr)

            1. JBird4049

              It looks like the extremely disturbed ecology in the United States is responsible for much, maybe most, of the tick population explosion with their diseases.

              Yes, global warming and climate change has contributed, which means we would have problems no matter what we do. There is also the fragmentation of the wildlife areas, which are also a contributing problem. However, the eradication of the mountain lions, wolves, and bears along with the disturbances to the foxes, coyotes, bobcats and others like snakes are likely the primary causes of the tick increases.

              If we had a return of all the native, or formerly native, predators, the changes in prey species would alter both the number of tick carriers and the number of ticks, it would change the kinds and distribution of the plants that help the ticks both survive and be able to bite others. The changes in the ecology would reduce the tick numbers. Are people willing to accept the return of all the large predators that would eventually change the ecology for the better? Or are they willing to enjoy the tick explosions because of the big bad bears, mountain lions, and wolves being so dastardly, supposedly?

              This is a serious question. Regardless of climate, weather, or population, there will be a major tick problem unless we recreate the distribution of the predator species pre 1850 or so. The disease problem will likely just get worse as the current situation encourages increasing lethality of evermore tick borne diseases. It would not take much except time, some funding, some monitored relocation of predators, and not killing them all. Personally, the only species that I would be afraid of, aside from ticks are the grizzlies and that is not much. Well, coyotes consider cats and dogs good eating, but that is a concern for my future pets.

          2. curlydan

            I was just spraying some clothes with permethrin today in central Missouri after getting too many tick bites. The instructions do mention that it’s not good to spray it when cats are around. After drying, though, it’s OK for cats.

    3. .Tom

      Yes, well done to Sandra G on getting that photo!

      I had full blown Lyme in 2021 with the big secondary erythema migrans rashes in various places on my body. Cleared right up with 21 days of doxycycline. I had no symptoms apart from the rashes.

      The year before I had a Lyme bullseye rash around a tick bite and took a prophylactic single dose of doxy.

      Last year I got anaplasmosis. In north east USA it is spread by the same deer ticks as Lyme and babeosis. Two weeks of doxy for this one. I was quite unwell for a week and another for full recovery. It sucked. I felt lucky to consult with an MD that asked me if I had a tick bite. I had! But I had completely forgotten about it because I pulled the thing off me in the middle of the night in a sleepy trip to the bathroom without turning lights on and went straight back to Zs.

      So it seems to me that if you keep your eyes open you can get treatment for Lyme earlier before starting to feel really ill because you can see the rashes.

      Prevention is the best bet. A mosquito can jab you through certain kinds of thin, skintight clothing but ticks can’t. So long pants tucked into socks, long sleeves, hat. Treat the hat and top with pyrethrin. Recently I’ve been using a top like this that zips all the way to close over my head There were a lot of bugs in the woods this morning so at times I had the hood up over my cap and the zip up open only enough to see where I was going.

      Doesn’t discourage me from going to the parks with the dogs. Avoiding places with infectious insects is another form of prevention but I’m not ready to take it.

    4. barefoot charley

      Here on the North Coast of CA everyone’s an expert on Lyme because it’s so common. What finally worked for me was a 30-day round of antibiotics, which ain’t good, but beats Lyme. The cautious 5-day runs doctors usually recommend just juice it up. Happy healing!

  9. Lexx

    ‘More than half of US under heat, flood advisories’

    Here in Northern Colorado we’re experiencing the super heating of the middle of the country as early afternoon clouds, leaving us overcast for the rest of the day with possible evening thundershowers. Daytime temperatures are forecast to drop into the mid-seventies. Not something we foresaw when we put solar panels on our roof.

    On the other hand, we’ve hardly turned on the air-conditioners; the nights are in the 60’s… this past winter we were turning the heat off at 5, trying to cool down the house enough to comfortably get to sleep and stay there till morning. Summer and winter, the morning temps in the house remain stubbornly in low 70’s.*

    If in the midst of this heat, you are female, and sleep at night like you’re going through menopause all over again, see articles below. Frankly, I’m running out of things to adjust or change chasing a decent night’s sleep.

    When we were in Santa Fe in March and I was finally sleeping in the cold bedroom of the 5-th wheel, I slept the night through like an teenager… or some vague idealized recollection of younger days and refreshed mornings.

    ‘Rising temperatures erode sleep globally’

    *We’ve explored the option of a ‘whole house fan’; it’s a no go.

    1. John Beech

      We’ve got a whole house fan, but then again, unlike the altitude of northern Colorado, Central Florida is muggy throughout the night so it’s only for a few weeks in early winter and spring when it’s actually useful due to tolerable levels of humidity. The rest of the time the HVAC is doing its thing 24/7. Unit was here when we purchased the home else wouldn’t have put one in, either. I’d have thought it would be nice in your neck of the woods, though. Silly me.

    2. Ranger Rick

      I invested in a portable evaporative cooler for those classic Colorado heat waves. Works great as long as the humidity doesn’t creep up over 20%. I have to keep myself from filling the tank (lower temperature water works better — the manufacturer even added a side door so I can throw in ice cubes) because the water reaches room temperature after a few hours.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Most of the 100 Million People Who Signed Up For Threads Stopped Using It”

    Entirely predictable. These were the same sort of person that will say that if Candidate X is elected to the Presidency of the United States, that they will move to Canada or some other country. And yet when the election s over, there they still are. Moving to Threads and then finding that they are not allowed to talk about politics or other controversial topics kinda killed the vibe for them and while Musk may be infuriating and chaotic, Threads under Zuckerberg is just oppressive and sucked of life.

    1. Acacia

      I wish Joe Rogan would invite Elon back for a few bong hits, and then have a gentle, friendly talk with him about the cybertruckification of Twitter or X or whatever it’s called now. It probably won’t lessen the final impact crater much, but maybe the descent could be slowed a bit.

    2. Jason Boxman

      That’s a lot of threads curious people. I guess it just didn’t work out though.

    3. Mikel

      I asked a friend who has instagram if he has checked out Threads. I thought I might hear something about it from a user. He said, “Huh?”

    1. The Rev Kev

      CNN was also doing the same with one of its boards so as not to show Trump winning in an election. But if you want sore losers, you will have to see the Ukrainians. Just this week there was a fencing competition and a Ukrainian girl faced a Russian girl but lost. The rules say that opponents must shake hands at the end of a match but, well, this happened-

      Because of this behaviour, the Ukrainian girl was disqualified for unsportsmanlike behaviour. But wait – there’s more. The International Fencing Federation (FIE) is now to change its traditional rules, which stipulate that handshakes are mandatory following a bout, and they can just tap blades because otherwise the Ukrainians will have a sad.

      And following an intervention from IOC President Thomas Bach, the Ukrainian girl was readmitted to the tournament and has been granted automatic entry to next year’s Olympic Games in Paris. I can see those Olympics being fun when they get here.

      1. Polar Socialist

        As an old FIE fencer I can only repeat what I’ve already said: this Ukraine corrupts everything it touches.

    2. c_heale

      Many countries are bad losers. Usually the ones that expect to win and have grown complacent over the years.

      It hardly surprises me that Australia is better than the US at swimming, Australians are obsessed by sport (I remember going there in the early 2000’s and there being five out of the six channels on a Saturday, with nothing but sport on them), they like an outdoor life, and there were swimming pools everywhere.

      1. juno mas

        Australian swimmers have been world class for decades. It’s just that the US team was slightly better (races are decided by 0.001 seconds). This year Australian team edged out US stars (Ledecky, et al.), so the teams swapped Silver for Gold. The US team is deeper in fast swimmers (bigger swimmer pool), so it was Bronze medals that made the difference in medal count. China is the fast closing interloper that took those medals from the Australian team.

  11. Carolinian

    LRB on upper West Side psychotherapy cult

    ‘In other words,’ as Stille writes in one of several bemused summaries of the group’s primordial entanglements, ‘Crile was in therapy with Newton’s fourth wife while carrying on an affair with Newton, which took place in an apartment occupied by Newton’s two principal mistresses, future wives number five and six.’ Pearce was shattered by the break-up of her marriage, as well as by her increasingly marginalised role in the group as Harvey and Moses moved centre stage. Her poems took on a rueful, if necessarily stoic, tone: ‘The pain/in Jane/is mainly/in the brain.’ She was hardly an untutored Eliza Doolittle, but Newton, who by now was stipulating that his female patients give him blowjobs, had certainly put the pyg in Pygmalion. With the unleashing of his proclivities, the institute began its transition into what sociologists call a ‘high-demand’ group.

    Vladimir Nabokov once called Sigmund “that Viennese quack” however the NYC cult was non Freudian and sounds more like other cults where, strangely enough, free love for the cult leader seems to be a key aspect. The article goes on at some length but never indicates that Newton was prosecuted. Perhaps his victims were simply saps but their children (who he also sexually abused) not so much. Thank goodness in our modern 21st century we have left cults behind /s.

    1. digi_owl

      That segment makes me think of stories surrounding Ayn Rand.

      Anyways, why do we again and again see these personality traits rise to the top and form cults of personality?

      1. Carolinian

        The con does seem timeless even if it keeps putting on different masks. Don’t think I’ll try to start my own cult and pretend to have an answer. But here’s suggesting we should be asking.

        1. Craig H.

          If memory serves correct the Cult Awareness Network was taken over by a cult. Scientology?

          The Sullivanians were as bourgeois as nxium.

    2. britzklieg

      I moved to the UWS in 1986, apparently the waning years of the Sullivanians, but never heard of them, which kind of surprises me… a well kept secret indeed, given that Manhattan is run on false rumors, scurrilous gossip and character assassination, especially the arts community and especially about sexual peccadillos. Then again, my misanthropic nature kept me out of many loops. Not disappointed to have been spared that load, oy!

      1. britzklieg

        my comment was not meant to imply the Sullivanian story was false, just that I’m surprised that story didn’t have legs in my artsy neighborhood and that I never knew about them. Doesn’t surprise me that it existed. There were many mini-cults on the UWS in my day, hence my misanthropy.

        1. JBird4049

          Misanthropy as a defensive quirk? Well, maybe, when I am next queried about mine, I will suggest that.

  12. John Beech

    With regard to the ‘-tide’ drugs for diabetes and weight loss (GLP-1 derivatives), I’m overweight and whilst visiting my cardiologist for a routine checkup she took my temperature in regard to my taking it (meaning she inquired about my interest).

    Whilst weight loss has proved to be a fruitless endeavor (yet I had the will power at 30 to quit a 2-pack a day habit, and I’ve stayed quit for the subsequent 35 years), I politely declined. Why? Simple, I’m not interested in being a guinea pig.

    These drugs have been around a while. 8 years, or so. Nevertheless, lately, reports of stomach paralysis have surfaced. It’s a listed side effect. And when I review what people endure due to this, it’s without question in my pea brain, a worse fate than being overweight.

    What changed to create the huge numbers of obese since the mid-70s? Dunno. Can’t help but suspect the wide range of additives going into animal feed products (e.g. hormones to promote quick weight gain, but there are others like antibiotics). Also, the tremendous increase in the use of corn syrup vs. cane and beet sugars, plus the total abandonment of lard for frying in favor of vegetable oils. And of course, the promotion of margarine over butter.

    Sadly, due to regulatory capture, none of this is likely to change in my lifetime. Sigh. So now we have these drugs to deal with. I’ll continue to pass on them.

    1. Mikel

      I don’t think the last has been heard about issues from this medication.
      It’s just starting.

      1. flora

        I agree. This med used by Type 2 diabetics it is one thing. It works well in that situation. When used by non-diabetics – by non-diabetics – using it only for weight loss, when their pancreatic function is still normal, is something else entirely, imo. What the heck are they doing to their system, to their stomach, to their pancreatic function? /oy

        1. maipenrai

          i doubt the side effects are specific to those without DM
          I think what you mean is the risk reward profile is different

          1. flora

            Type 2 diabetes is also known as “adult onset diabetes”. That is not same as the Type 1 Diabetes or Juvenile Diabetes or Diabetes Mellitus, aka DM. (disclaimer: I am not a doc.)

            Other than that distinction, which I think important, I agree with you.

            (Any docs in the readership, please correct me if I’m wrong.)

          2. flora

            adding: me thinks following the USDA’s (US Dept of Agriculture)
            food pyramid which claims a good diet is basically founded on mostly all starchy food products isn’t helping. I remember when this pyramid came into vogue, and the idea of “carbo loading” before strenuous exercise came into vogue. It was in the mid-late ’70’s and early ’80’s. Go figure.

            1. Jason Boxman

              I never understood carb loading. I just get chubs. I do just fine lifting weights on a protein heavy diet.

  13. Henry Moon Pie

    Ancient Sumerian poetry–

    Great article in which the author does an excellent job of laying out the historical context first before tying these ancient poems about the Sumerian goddess Inana to our time of chaos and change.

    A few reactions:

    1) The descriptions of Inana:

    She overturns what
    she has done; nobody
    can know her course.

    immediately reminded me of Octavia Butler’s Earthseed:

    God is Change.
    God is Infinite,
    God is Trickster,
    God is Change.
    God exists to shape
    And to be shaped.

    The obvious difference is that Sumerian Inana is an anthropomorphic person while Butler’s God is a disembodied Process with elements of Whitehead’s Process Theology.

    The two religions were both born amidst chaos and violence. The article provides the Sumerian setting, while Butler’s context is California in a collapsing United States in the 2020s.

    2) Whether the older Sumerian poems influenced Ugaritic literature or not, there is a great deal of similarity between Inana and the Ugaritic Anat:

    In Ugarit Anat was regarded as a warrior goddess,[27] though she was not the only deity cast in this role.[50] She is described using both a sword and a bow.[27] Additionally, sources such as KTU 1.114 and KTU 1.22 attest that she was portrayed as a huntress as well.[51] However, Theodore J. Lewis points out that due to relying on an incorrect collation of the tablet KTU 1.96, a number of older publications overestimated the degree to which Anat was portrayed as belligerent by ascribing cannibalistic tendencies to her…It has been pointed out by multiple authors, including Peggy L. Day and Mark Smith, that the fact that Anat engages in pursuits which in Ugaritic culture were viewed as typically masculine, namely warfare and hunting, constitutes “gender inversion” of the roles human women were expected to take in society.[54] Less formally, Dennis Pardee labeled her as a “tomboy goddess,”[47] a characterization also employed by Izak Cornelius.

    3) One more bit of fun, a journey through time and space, tracking what we’d call a meme today without making any claims of influence between the much older Sumerian text and the Hebrew bible:

    Sumerian re: Inana–

    You are like
    a flash flood that
    gushes down the
    mountains …

    The prophet Amos from the Hebrew bible:

    But let justice roll on like a river,
    righteousness like a never-failing stream!

    MLK’s “I Have a Dream”:

    No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I really am going to have to get myself a good book on the Sumerian civilization. They really are under-rated. It may have been a brutal era, but it is where people were learning how to build cities, formulate laws, carry out massive projects – in short, how to make a civilization.

      1. Eric F

        Interestingly, Sumeria was the second round of city building in the fertile crescent.
        See Catalhoyuk:

        But The earlier cities were much more egalitarian, and dissolved after a few hundred years. It wasn’t until more than a thousand years later that new cities rose up, and tyrant kings took control.
        Which, in my mind leads us directly to our western present day.
        I’m fascinated by what changes must have happened in the interval…

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Sinema Bill on Firefighter Pay Is “Slap in the Face” to Workers Battling Blazes”

    Maybe those firefighters should send Sinema a helmet, a yellow jacket, a shovel and a piece of paper to her office in Arizona with the words on it ‘Fight your own bloody fires this year. We quit.’

  15. Michael Fiorillo

    Fascinating piece about the Sullivanians, a cautionary tale about confusing self-actualization with politics, and the craziness of the era.

    I remember when the Voice article about them first appeared, though I was vaguely aware of them already, via their exponential cringe theatre and musical activities at their East Village theater. The Sullivanians were also notorious for having their female members use sex to lure potential male members. I experienced this personally once when, while attending a reunion of the NY Panther 21 to which I’d been invited (in New Canaan, Connecticut, of all places), the Fourth Wall people showed up to perform in the backyard (fortunately, a downpour saved us and the neighbors from the “music”). While cleaning up and preparing to leave, a doe-eyed Sullivanian hottie came on to me – a man ten years her senior – and when politely rebuffed, turned around and pursued a friend. We spent part of the time tormenting a couple of them, trying to get them to admit they were Sullivanians – a discredited brand by then – only to be told that while The Fourth Wall was “affiliated” with the Sullivanians, they weren’t actually Sullivanians, to which my companion responded, “You’re in a house filled with political organizers, and you don’t think we know how to recognize a front organization?” They had no response, and shuffled away.

    Other connoisseurs of Lefty dysfunction in NY back in the day may also recall, fondly or not, the Newmanites (not to be confused with Saul Newton of the Sullivanians), who were followers of psychotherapist (really, again?) Fred Newman. The Newmanites came a bit later, emmited blabber about how “the personal is political”, also had an embarrassing theater/cultural group, and had more money than anyone else on the “Left,” owning a loft building on the edge of fast-gentrifying Tribeca. They even started a political party – The New Alliance Party – which would LARP (long before the term was invented) radical politics at Sheridan Square “demonstrations” that nobody but them would attend. Newman and his co-founder of the NAP, Lenora Fulani, would later turn Right and try to take over Ross Perot’s Reform Party in NY, using it as a vehicle for ballot access. Since then she has embarked on various hustles – charter schools, “youth programs,” etc. – following the Al Sharpton model of mouthing Black nationalist cliches, while endorsing or aiding Republican candidates for office.

    One takeaway? Don’t confuse politics with personal development.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Thanks for the personal perspective. Fascinating. Was there any interface between either of these groups and Warhol, Velvet Underground, etc.?

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        I’m not aware of any connection among them, but I haven’t read Stile’s book and my memories are decades old at this point.

        However, while I’m open to being proved wrong, I’m inclined to think not: Warhol, whatever his supposed transgressive-ness, was Upper East Side, always identifying with his rich patrons, and with an explicitly apolitical persona: the Sullivanians were very UWS, which in that era really meant something, with its still-alive connections to the Columbia uprising of 1968 (which Fred Newman also came out of, along with other Left pathologies like the Weather Underground) and the vestiges of the Old Left/Popular Front NYC of the ’30’s and ’40’s (which Harry Stack Sullivan can be considered part of), which was deeply embedded in the neighborhood. Those vestiges, now completely gone, lasted into the late ’80’s or so, when the gentrification of the area became complete.

        I don’t know about Lou Reed, though again I’d assume that while his music was listened to, there wasn’t much overlap among scenes.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine got its hands on North Korean rockets that troops say are wildly unpredictable and ‘do crazy things,’ and they’re lobbing them at the Russians”

    Likely these were weapons shipments that the US seized from ships. The US was humming and hawing about getting the weapons that they seized and instead of turning it over to the UN like they are obligated to, sending them onto the Ukraine. Seems that any junk is sent to the Ukraine these days. A coupla weeks ago I saw a video of a Ukrainian mortar team firing off a whole series of rounds against the Russians. But about half of them got about as far as next door and the others weren’t doing that much better either. The Ukrainians are also having problems with the old Pakistani artillery rounds that were sent to them as well with misfires and the like.

    1. digi_owl

      Makes you wonder if the world would be better off if the MIC got assigned some islands and patches of water where they could go nuts with mercenary units. Maybe televise it all like some next level MMA team sport. Wagner sponsored by Coca Cola?

    2. Polar Socialist

      This is one of the reasons I don’t find it believable Russia is buying ammunition from North Korea – NK smuggles a lot of it’s surplus and the production capability and QC are nowhere near that of Russia herself.

      Iran would be much better source for 122 mm artillery shells and unguided rockets.

    3. R.S.

      It’s kinda funny. The article says
      Ukrainian soldiers told FT a “friendly” country “seized” the North Korean rockets from a ship, but did not give further details. A Ukrainian defense official said the weapons may have been taken directly from Russian troops.
      I bet if we ask a Ukrainian diplomat or presidential advisor, those rockets will turn out to be of Martian origin.

      Anyway, they say the rockets were made in the 1980s and ’90s, and 30+ years is double the standard shelf life for Grad ammo, even if stored and handled properly. Falling down halfway is the least crazy thing one of those oldies can do.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine’s baby factories rake in record profits amid chaos of war”

    Actually the situation is a lot worse than this with other ‘business models ‘that have emerged in the Ukraine over the years. So you are talking about illegal child adoptions, cross-border prostitution, but what is worse of all is organ harvesting, especially on wounded or dead Ukrainian soldiers. Even back several years ago the Ukrainians had at least two mobile crematoriums near the front line. The purpose of these was to burn the bodies of soldiers whose organs had been removed. Does the west really want to find out the source of a lot of those organs that have come onto the market the past year or two? Or is it no questions asked? When this war is over, there are going to be a lot of ugly stories arising from what has been happening in this war and this will be one of them.

    1. digi_owl

      Ugh, like i needed more nightmares. This got me thinking about some recent news regarding the storage and transport of transplant organs. If it panned out, they could be stored for weeks or months rather than the hours or so that is the present situation.

    2. Jed

      I know that you are generally reliable Rev kev, but please consider links with such extraordinary claims.

      I would specifically say that you are assuming that we all have some prior knowledge (reasonably sourced) of the organ harvesting operations.

      1. The Rev Kev

        @ Jed. I have seen a video of one of these vehicles but it would not surprise me in the least that it is going on. Kosovo too was into organ trafficking but they weren’t going to be called out on it because they were on ‘our side’. And the Russians released files on how those US biolabs were experimenting on Ukrainians so it is not that much of a stretch that they too got into ‘recycling.’ Remember that even before the war that the Ukraine was reckoned to be the most corrupt country in Europe so I could see how every dead or wounded Ukrainian would be judged on their monetary value in terms of organ retrieval. I recently read an account of this uniformed woman doctor coming out to a hospital to teach other surgeons how the procedure of organ retrieval is carried out which indicates that it is widespread.

  18. Benny Profane

    I’m using that joke in the Daily Mail article.

    “an alcoholic is someone who drinks more than his doctor.”

    And, yeah, what the hell, Hunter was driven to court by a secret service detail? Some private citizen.

    1. John

      My thought exactly, but aren’t close family of itting presidents awarded secret service protection by law?

      1. marym

        Yes, they are. Unlike the president and vp they can decline it though. The libs complained a lot about the cost for this protection for the Trump family, especially since they did so much expensive traveling.

  19. Roger Blakely

    Re: Post Office Horizon Software.

    Many of us who are Americans might not realize that the British postal service also serves as a bank for ordinary British people. I don’t know the details. Horizon must be some sort of banking software.

    I remember five years ago we were talking about the grift of software companies getting government contracts for bad software. For example, didn’t the City of New York pay way too much for payroll software that never worked?

    1. Revenant

      Sadly the post office bank, Girobank, was privatised some time ago, and sold to Bank of Ireland (?), who provided a service under the brand for a period (and may still do).

      The Horizon system deals with the many other post office functions and financial services, of benefits payments, travel currency, cash handling, postage sales, insurance broking, passport etc applications, national savings products, etc.

      I seem to remember Tony Benn (the aristocratic socialist for whom the law to disclaim a peerage was passed, to enable him to cease being Viscount Anthony Wedgewood Benn!) was proudest of creating the post office bank account as Postmaster General in the 1970’s. It gave everybody a government backed account, no private bank money involved, and enabled working class people to have banking. It also enable direct payment of benefits, saving money. He had to fight to create it and there was a story (in NC?) about the tricks he pulled to do so.

  20. britzklieg

    I’m sure he knew it would never pass, but it’s telling that Bernie’s defeated Defense Budget amendment protected the grift going to the nazis in Ukraine (and back to Biden’s bank account).

    “When we played our charade
    We were like children posing…”

    1. ArvidMartensen

      Not long ago the commentary was blasting out the “truth” that Trump was being blackmailed by Russia, eg

      Now I see some sporadic commentary that perhaps Biden is being influenced by what goods Zelenskiyy and his fellow gangsters have on him and his talented son Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine.

      Given the amount of money that the WH is shovelling, nay wheel barrowing to Ukraine in various guises, it seems to me that in this case the idea of blackmail isn’t so far fetched.

  21. Mildred Montana

    >In the Future, Death Will Be Different RealClearScience (Dr. Kevin)

    Clickbait, as evidenced by the sloppily-written headline. 𝘋𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 might be different in the future, 𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩 will be as it always has been.

  22. Lex

    So the SCOTUS believes itself to be above any checks or balances. The last two elections have both been claimed “stolen” by the losing side. The former POTUS and likely candidate in 2024 will be tried as a criminal. The current POTUS and likely candidate in 2024 can barely complete a sentence and his son is being investigated as a foreign agent with the stink of corruption going all the way up to the POTUS. And the most powerful politicians in congress are barely alive.

    What could possibly go wrong? Clearly this is the shiniest city sitting atop the highest hill … unless I missed something.

    1. Benny Profane

      I’m comfortable with a hands off policy between Congress and the SC. You know, separation of powers. Lord knows the mess the average intellect in that body of scoundrels and thieves would make of the court. Besides, look what’s happening in Israel and Poland. And some of our state governments.

      1. Lex

        I don’t disagree in principle on SCOTUS, but the recent stories of what look like blatant corruption suggest that SCOTUS isn’t terribly concerned with principle.

        1. Benny Profane

          I’ll bet that if the truth was known about the history of SC justices in the past accepting gifts was known, this may not look so bad. Hell, they can’t even make anything near a partner in a top law firm.
          Funny how the supposed “conservative” justices are featured in this muckraking. As we well know, so called liberals love the nice life, too.

          1. John

            Congress has and can still increase or decrease the number of Justices. Compensation for justices and the budget of the court are decided by the Congress. The activities of justices are not state secrets. They could simply be made public. Congress made not have the power to write an ethics code for the court but the above are but a few of the handles that Congress and the people at large have on the court, All we have todo is pay attention.

    2. griffen

      Watched a video clip of Sen Feinstein this week, she appears alive but mentally elsewhere. As in, specifically it was her staff who continued to repeat, please just say aye; erstwhile she fiddles with paper while trying to make an observation or statement about whatever policy or topic it might have been. Combine this with old Mitch and his freeze frame stop motion performance during the week as well. Max Headroom reboot in the works for Joey from Scranton as well.

      America, a shining city upon a hill or the tallest among a sea of midgets.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Caitlin Johnstone put out an article this week whose headline said it all-

        ‘Capitol Hill Is An Assisted Living Facility For Psychopaths’

  23. GramSci

    I had been down on Spain before the elections last week. I’ve been away on ‘vacation’ among True Blue[TM] family, but catching up and fearing the worst, I see that the fascist Feijoo lost. Even though, between the two major parties, fascist Feijoo got the majority of votes and seats the fractured, disorganized left still won behind socialist Sanchez. The thin reed of democracy is still afloat:

    1. R.S.

      Shouldn’t we start calling the Twitter Files “the X-Files” now?

      Sorry, I just can’t make the thought go away.

  24. Henry Moon Pie

    Cut down all the trees–

    From the sub-header:

    Bill Gates and other investors are betting Kodama Systems can reduce carbon dioxide in the air by chopping down and burying trees.

    Why does Bill Gates hate living things? Why do we allow a person who hates living things to call the shots?

  25. Jhallc

    It’s nice see that the Israelis workers filling in the well are concerned about COVID and wearing face masks…. Oh wait…

    1. The Rev Kev

      Nice to see the Israeli army present to protect the settlers doing what amounts to a crime against humanity. What do the Israelis call their army again? Oh, yeah. The World’s Most Moral Army.

  26. Mikel

    “Oppenheimer and the ABC’s of the Apocalypse in Alliterated Form” Scott Ritter

    People want to belive there will be a “soft landing” after nuclear fallout, too.
    Like solving decades of BS monetary policy with a year or so of interest rate hikes and algorithm hopium.

  27. maipenrai

    “Can it really be that a nation is powerless to stop a leader bent on destroying his country to save himself?”

    Biden? Macron?

  28. GramSci

    Re: Alito says Congress has ‘no authority’ to regulate Supreme Court

    The Hill wobbles around this topic for a few paragraphs, winding up nowhere, but it seems the much vaunted Constitution has plain language on the matter:

    «In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.» [Article III, section 2.]

    1. JBird4049

      I was going to say something, but your quoting the Constitution’s relevant paragraphs is much better than what I was going to write.

      Alito and his fellow Supreme Court Justices seem really arrogant. Between the Nine being unhappy with many Americans being unhappy with their corruption and now something that many a student of a high school or college mandated civics classes would know is being denied.

      1. some guy

        I think Alito and his fellow Federalist Society Comrades are unhappiest with public discontent being expressed over their purely ideology-based legislating-from-the-bench.

  29. El Viejito

    “More than half of US under heat, flood advisories Anadolu Agency”
    ‘Move along. Nothing to see here’

  30. some guy

    I noticed a paragraph in the article about China-Russia shared interest in relations with North Korea. It was very tangential and subsidiary to the overall point of the article but I noticed it just the same. And here it is . . .
    . . . ” However, the geopolitics of the Far East has other dimensions too. The commercial value of the Arctic shipping route is in the spotlight, “which is an important area where China and Russia have potential and should strengthen collaboration,” Global Times wrote this week. ”

    “The commercial value of the Arctic shipping route is in the spotlight.” If that is how the ChinaGov and the RussiaGov see it, and if it is indeed in their spotlight, then they have a shared interest in keeping the Arctic ice-free so that it can become more and more of a shipping route. If that is the case, then the ChinaGov and RussiaGov would certainly support the global warming which keeps the Arctic somewhat ice free, and it is fair to guess that the two governments would support even more carbon skydumping to warm the global even more in order to make the Arctic even more ice free for even more shipping.

    How China and Russia would square this desire to warm the global to keep the Arctic ice-free with a Chinese desire to limit the extent of global warming climate chaos and decay in China itself will be interesting to see. Russia won’t consider global warming to be a problem for Russia unless a rising sea level combined with a thawing-driven permafrost subsidence promises to put a million or more square miles of Siberia under water. It will be interesting to see how China-Russia resolve this little contradiction over the next 50 years.

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