Links 7/30/2023

Overdue Library Book Is Finally Returned 119 Years Late My Modern Met

Diggings in the garden Michael Smith, Crying in the Wilderness. Old school blogger (“Stop Me Before I Vote Again“) now on Substack.


Is A Mega Ocean Current About to Shut Down? Scientific American. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). Commentary:

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To Get to Zero by 2050, Regulatory Details May Matter More Than Targets Maritime Executive

The Seductive Vision Of Green Aviation Noema

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I searched hell on Earth for a story. What I found will haunt me forever LA Times. In fact a good story, despite the headline that, well, “bait” is far too mild a word…

Your body can build up tolerance to heat. Here’s how. WaPo. Try this if the heat’s not “mild.” But only after performing your “personal risk assessment”!


Your recent cold could be Covid-19, as the nation goes into a late summer wave CNN. URL (“summer-cold-covid-19”) shows that “summer cold” was changed to “recent cold,” possibly because “summer cold” wasn’t even a thing until Covid denialists got to work (so kudos to whatever editor couldn’t stomach this). The lying gets more and more transparent (not that it will stop):

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Covid cover-up: Wuhan lab leak suspicions, Anthony Fauci and how the science was silenced The Australian

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After three years of cautioning Minnesotans about COVID, epidemiologist Michael Osterholm got long COVID Star-Tribune (MV). Osterholm: “We don’t know exactly where we got it. I think the only time all three of us didn’t have a fitted N-95 mask on was just a short elevator ride in my building.” Then I think Osterholm should know, and “exactly.” Otis Elevator (press release): “Findings show the significant amount of air exchange present in most elevators combined with simple mitigation strategies, including all riders properly wearing a surgical-style mask and the installation of a common type of air purification system, puts an elevator ride on the lower end of the exposure spectrum.” Even a Baggy Blue! If Osterholm removes a layer of protection, he should not be surprised that he was unprotected. (Not to trash Osterholm, whose CIDRAP was first out of the box with negative framing on John Conly’s regrettable anti-mask screed in Cochrane Reports.) See also Marr and Corsi, in 2020, and Facility Cleaning and Maintenance, 2021.

Impact of Community Masking on SARS-CoV-2 Transmission in Ontario after Adjustment for Differential Testing by Age and Sex (preprint) medRxiv. Model based on a natural experiment. From the Abstract: “The effectiveness of mask mandates emerges as substantial, and robust regardless of model choice. Mask mandates saved substantial numbers of lives, and prevented economic costs, during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Ontario, Canada.”

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Use of Wastewater Metrics to Track COVID-19 in the US JAMA. From the Abstract: “In this study, nationwide, county wastewater levels relative to the county maximum were associated with high COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates in the first quarter of 2022, but there was increasing dissociation between wastewater and clinical metrics in subsequent quarters, which may reflect increasing underreporting of cases [note lack of agency], reduced testing, and possibly lower virulence of infection due to vaccines and treatments.” As I urged back on April 10 [lambert preens], but adding agency. CIDRAP frames this article as “Wastewater surveillance may be best marker of community COVID-19 prevalence.” Mike the Mad Biologist remarks: “[B]est is relative, since we should have a sentinel system of hospital intake (asymptomatic & symptomatic) data.” Indeed.

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SARS-CoV-2 infection alters mitochondrial and cytoskeletal function in human respiratory epithelial cells mediated by expression of spike protein mBio. From the Abstract: “This study revealed distinct epithelial responses to SCV2 infection, with early mitochondrial dysfunction in the host cells and evidence of cytoskeletal remodeling that could contribute to the worsened outcome in COVID-19 patients compared to [Influenza A virus (IAV) infection] patients. These changes in cell structure and energetics could contribute to cellular resilience early during infection, allowing for prolonged cell survival and potentially paving the way for more chronic symptoms.” In other words, Covid is not “just the flu.”


Could China go ‘nuclear’ and devalue its currency to boost ailing recovery? South China Morning Post

TikTok Is Going to Sell Cheap Junk in Competition With Shein and Temu Gizmodo

‘CRISPR’ crops more resilient in climate crisis China Daily

U.S. Hunts Chinese Malware That Could Disrupt American Military Operations NYT


Video of women attacked in Manipur breaks silence on systematic gang rapes in India Guardian

How the Indian Middle Class Came to Define Bollywood JSTOR Daily

The Lucky Country

Blinken tells Australia that WikiLeaks founder is accused of ‘very serious’ crime The Hill. Yeah, journalism.

US to help Australia develop guided missiles by 2025 Al Jazeera


African Union tells Niger’s coup leaders to return to barracks Anadolu Agency

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukrainian drone attack wounds one in Moscow, briefly shuts airport Al Jazeera. Another stunt.

Did the US know the Ukraine offensive might fail, and if so, when? Responsible Statecraft

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Here’s How Poland Is Slyly Taking Control Of Western Ukraine Andrew Korybko’s Newsletter. Big if true.

War and Theft: The Takeover of Ukraine’s Agricultural Land Oakland Institute

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Putin to send six African countries grain “free of charge”, refuses to rejoin Black Sea Grain Initiative BNE Intellinews

Does Ukraine really have a neo-Nazi problem? US officials won’t say Forward

Biden Administration

Democrats balk at Alito assertion that Congress has ‘no authority’ over Supreme Court The Hill


Hunter Biden’s laptop full of secret agreements and contracts with foreign business partners NY Post

Biden openly acknowledges 7th grandchild, the daughter of son Hunter and an Arkansas woman AP

Small-town GOP officials are torn over Biden’s clean energy cash WaPo. “Of the approximately $70 billion in new clean energy investment dollars announced since the climate law passed, roughly $51 billion — or 70 percent — is in counties won by Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, according to Jack Conness, a policy analyst at Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology, a nonpartisan think tank.” Concrete material benefits? Or colonization, once more, of rural America? Or both?

How to Break Up Disney Matt Stoller, Politico. The deck: “Ron DeSantis and the Hollywood strikers need to unite.”

Brother West:

Digital Watch

Elon Musk’s Unmatched Power in the Stars NYT

As AI goes global, let the UN control it FOX

Transformers: the Google scientists who pioneered an AI revolution FT

Our Famously Free Press

The Most Embarrassing “Facebook Files” Revelation? The Press, Exposed as Censors Matt Taibbi, Racket News:

In the summer of 2021, the White House and Joe Biden were in the middle of a major factual faceplant. They were not only telling people the Covid-19 vaccine was a sure bet — ‘You’re not going to get Covid if you have these vaccinations‘ is how Biden put it — but that those who questioned its efficacy were ‘killing people.’ But the shot didn’t work as advertised. It didn’t prevent contraction or transmission, something Biden himself continued to be wrong about as late as December of that year.

(NC readers were, of course, aware of all this as it happened.) And “those who questioned” were censored, not merely by the FBI and the platforms, but by the press, which also censored itself rather than question officialdom.

Why the Press Failed on Iraq Foreign Affairs. Except for Knight-Ridder, now McClatchy, pinned in the sucking mandibles of a hedge fund, while all the shills and warmongers still make bank, WaPo and the New York Times prominent among them, along with innumerable shouting heads and green room generals. From March, still germane.

Zeitgeist Watch

Merchandizing the Void Dilettante Army. Khloé Kardashian’s pantry.

14 Warning Signs That You Are Living in a Society Without a Counterculture The Honest Broker

How critical theory is radicalizing high school debate Slow Boring

Realignment and Legitimacy

Conservatives Are Having an Epic Argument About Capitalism. Too Bad the Campaigns Are Ignoring It. Politico. And the putative left….

‘You can’t bullshit a bullshitter’ (or can you?): Bullshitting frequency predicts receptivity to various types of misleading information (abstract only) British Journal of Social Psychology. “[P]ersuasive bullshitting (i.e., bullshitting intended to impress or persuade others) positively predicts susceptibility to various types of misleading information and that this association is robust to individual differences in cognitive ability and analytic cognitive style.” From 2021, still germane.

Class Warfare

YOU LOVE TO SEE IT: Teamsters Deliver A UPS Deal Lever News vs. What Happened to the Big UPS Strike? Counterpunch

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Hotel Housekeepers Ask Taylor Swift to Postpone LA Eras Tour Concerts While Threatening to Strike The Wrap

Southern California Hotel Workers Are on Strike Against Automated Management Jacobin

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How to Forget the Lessons of the Pandemic Matt Stoller, BIG. Well worth a read, and filed here for a reason.

Digital oligarchs have weaponised the banks Unherd

Why Elite Colleges Do Affirmative Action For the Rich Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

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Kevin Spacey’s acquittal in London: A guilty verdict delivered on the entire #MeToo witch-hunt WSWS

The Jackpot

Time-travelling pathogens and their risk to ecological communities PLOS One. From the Abstract: “Given the sheer abundance of ancient microorganisms regularly released into modern communities, such a low probability of outbreak events still presents substantial risks. Our findings therefore suggest that unpredictable threats so far confined to science fiction and conjecture could in fact be powerful drivers of ecological change.” I think Taleb would argue that the “threats” are entirely “predictable.” We’re going to the casino every day until we’re ruined.

Transcript: Discussion, “Bartleby, the Scrivener” Racket News

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. doug

    Why now after 4 years of not recognizing grandchild? Was it polling poorly? I have no idea for the reversal.

    1. griffen

      Joe Biden wishes to convince Americans that on the whole, he’s just a good golly, gee George Bailey type of guy. Reality, he’s more like old Potter and a lying a$$hole. Exhibit A, his work on the crime bill of the middle ’90s and the subsequent booming of the for-profit, corporation owned and managed prisons.

      1. Feral Finster

        Lol, Biden could admit in public that he started War On Ukraine to cover up his and Young Hunter’s financial activities there and that he was and is for sale! to the highest bidder, line forms to the left, and the MSM would pronounce it a nothingburger, unless and until the DNC decides that Biden is a liability and must consequently go.

        Then, they would praise their own high-minded sense of principle.

        1. The Rev Kev

          ‘for sale! to the highest bidder’

          He actually talked about that in a talk once. Said that when he went into politics he went to the big guys and said that he was for sale. They laughed and told him to come back in a few years when he had something to bring to the table – which he did. And has been doing ever since.

    2. Stephen V

      Methinks it’s the Big Guy who is polling poorly. And I’ll take “AR woman” over “$tripper” any day if the week.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        The absence of meaningful public discussion has blinkered us to the obvious. Teams of investigators didn’t uncover this scandal. Huge chunks of it were dropped in their laps and they have been furiously spinning/downplaying the evidence they have.

        Crime is like the proverbial iceberg: you only see a small part of what’s really there.

        Could it be that we’ve only seen the smallest part of what the Biden crime family has been up to? Influence is one thing, influence to enable [fill in the blank] is another. Who all paid the Bidens, and for what were they paying?

        1. wendigo

          Publish all the Suspicious Activity Reports for all the senators, congress people and their families.

          Then you will see why it is obvious that payments to politicians are being downplayed.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            In truth, I was thinking more along the lines of quarterly forensic audits of all high ranking govt officials with an IRS agent permanently on staff with every elected official.

            1. JTMcPhee

              That would be pretty fruitless, since the legislators get to declare their actions, no matter how odious, to be immune to prosecution as “all nice and legal,” and as seen with the Bidenslime, the executive controls the enforcement machinery, and thus the targets and scope and pace of “prosecution.”

              And the courts are packed with jurists who almost uniformly favor the looters and their bribers and enablers. But it’s a nice dream…

    3. jefemt

      Maybe he priming us for announcing retirement from the public sphere to enjoy time with the family?

      Need to check in to Vegas odds making on this.

    4. John Beech

      Stripping is work. Demeaning, dehumanizing, but no matter, it’s work. So baby mama doesn’t live on the dole, she works for a living just like you and I do. Some disapprove. Me? I wholeheartedly approve of anybody who works for a living.

      As for the President acknowledging the little girl, all I can say is . . . for shame, Mr. President, what took you so long to recognize the blood of your blood?

      1. Bugs

        Used to be that aspiring professional dancers would strip for money to live on while continuing to audition for parts in music productions and videos. I knew some back in the day and they were great people caught in a bind. The guys running the joints were awful. Time moves too quickly now. Everyone seems caught in a bind.

  2. griffen

    Building heat tolerance. Yeah that works if you carry the proper means to hydration, and to add shade is your friend in the heat (hot asphalt is not friendly). I’ve commented previously, but the summer 2011 in North Texas was the damned hottest months I ever wish to experience. There is a reason the movie theaters are packed in the summer there, and golf courses are typically not full. It’s not that the heat after 4 to 5 hours is dangerous, but the beverage carts come around and the choice for beer instead of Gatorade is too often easily made. Hint, it doesn’t have electrolytes !!

    I’m opting out of the whole heatstroke experience, to be honest. Work out indoors on a treadmill or a stationary bicycle. I think the summer heat also explains the popularity boomlet of an indoor golf option like Top Golf; stay indoors, and even beginners can pretend to like golf. Top Golf ain’t for practice, exactly in my experience.

    1. digi_owl

      And all that breaks down once humidity hits saturation, so that sweat no longer evaporates.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Bunch of idjuts. And if the sea levels rose rose and flooded most of the land, I am sure that the Wapo’s “experts’ will be saying that we could all grow gills or something. Their “experts” were saying here ‘Small gradual exposures to heat can help the human body build tolerance to rising temperatures’ but if you asked them if it might be better to cut way back on carbon release to reduce global temperatures, they would say that no, that would be totally impossible that. It would be bad for the economy. Still, maybe we should be optimistic like Private Hudson here-

      1. digi_owl

        Keep in mind that Sweden’s central bank handed out their fake Nobel for a paper saying that global warming could be counteracted by installing more AC.

      2. chris

        Yeah, I saw the “small gradual” language too. As if the people who are most likely to be exposed to heat in situations where they don’t have alternatives to the unconditioned environment have the option to follow a metered program of heat exposure? You’d think this would be another reason to examine the built environment and where to share assets for things like AC and shade. But of course that’s not what we’re doing of course :/

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      I guess the article makes some reasonable points about maintaining some tolerance for the heat. I’ve lived without air conditioning for a summer and one-half now, but our location less than a mile from Lake Erie with the lake breezes helps a lot.

      I couldn’t help but be reminded of “immunity debt,” the ridiculous idea that the more viruses you catch, the better off your immune system is.

      So the bottom line is: toughen up, ‘Murca. Hard times on the way. YOYO. Only the strong survive.

      1. MaryLand

        Enjoy these cool days! We have a small cabin on Lake Erie with no AC. Most days are lovely, but we have learned to tolerate the hotter ones with fans. And there is always the beach.

      2. Pat

        I grew up in the Southwest, and swamp coolers were your friend. I have always run hot, so never dealt with anything over a dry 80 well. I prefer high 60s even now.
        Here is my real world report on that assertion. I said even now because I have had an ac on its last legs for a few years now. For various reasons replacing it was not much of an option. As much as five years ago going through the last week in NYC could have landed me in the hospital. (I learned the signs of heat stroke and what to do a long time ago.) But during that time I have had to live with little to no AC, and I have built up more heat tolerance. So with a very expensive drop of a couple of degrees and some humidity, I can get through but only by little activity inside and none out. Oh I also have major sleep deprivation. If I were still working more than a part time job, even this would not be possible. And if your workplace is highly air conditioned, then being without working air conditioning personally not even as much as I have increased tolerance happens.
        Whoever is writing that is living in a pipe dream.

      3. Jabura Basaidai

        so did you get any of those big winds that came through last week? – we’re still without power

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            RK thanks for sharing that story – thought of the tale of the three pigs looking at the picture of the house at the beginning of the article – it is awesome what weather nature can conjure – although the last sentence hopes we will never see a storm of this magnitude again in our lifetimes, me thinks it is only beginning – for the last decade the geometrically increasing derechos here in the midwest are quite devastating, admittedly not as devastating as the “Big Wind” of the story –

            1. The Rev Kev

              You do family history and it leads you into all sorts of strange byways and I finally went and got book on that Big Wind. And just the other day I found another weird story. For the past three years we have been talking about pandemics and Covid and the Great Flu pandemic of the early 20th century. But on a death certificate I received this week, I found mention of another one which was an epidemic that spread all around the word from about 1915 to about 1930-


              The mortality rate of this one was about 20% and I wonder if IM Doc has ever heard of this one. Yet, like the Great Flu pandemic, it seems to have been dropped down a memory hole.

              1. jrkrideau

                I have been wondering if we forgot the Spanish Flu because our parents or grand-parents or great-grand-parents did not consider it much worse than various other plagues and epidemics that were just a matter of daily life. Spanish Flu today, smallpox tomorrow, maybe a polio epidemic on Friday, cholera on Monday and so on.

                I do not remember my parents or any of my father’s brothers and sisters mentioning the Spanish Flu though all were old enough to have remembered living through it.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  That is the strange thing. The whole of America alone was masked-up under penalty of law and I doubt that that ever happened before. You see old photos of people at football games for example, and all of them are masked up.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Ours blinked off and on last week for less than a minute. We had a hours-long outage a few weeks before that with blue skies and calm, so who knows? We’re in the “shadow” of downtown’s skyscrapers, and that may protect us when it comes out of the west. When Sandy hit from the north, I’m still surprised we’re still here.

    4. Carolinian

      My friend in Phoenix won’t even go out after 10 am and there the heat lingers through September into October. There’s a reason desert vernacular architecture involves two foot thick adobe walls. Perhaps in the future the elites will move underground altogether and leave the peasants to suffer in the sun–doing a reversal of H.G. Wells’ future.

        1. Michaelmas

          See also A Case of Conscience by James Blish and quite a lot of science fiction written in the decade, the 1950s, when Asimov wrote Caves and the Cold War was at its most apparently threatening.

          Apparently, as the thermonuclear threat has never really gone away.

    5. Lexx

      I can’t begin to describe in satisfying words likely to pass the mods how much the homeowners around a golf course appreciate it that the cart offers beer (chasers!) at all, given how many of those duffers were drinking before they left the clubhouse and about half of them have flasks squirreled away in their golf bags.

      (Or how many of them once they’ve heard the sound of breaking glass after they’ve drunkenly shanked the ball, will lie uniformly like rugs when faced with an angry homeowner holding the evidence, and get real self-righteous that you’ve squatted on their fun.)

      (Or actual children allowed to both drive a golf cart and lob hard white balls in the general direction of the fairway, will drive that cart like it’s a Ferrari through the front yard, chasing after that silly errant ball by stomping through a homeowner’s shrubbery, intent on avoiding the penalty and whacking the ball back into play from there. )

      Hint: The golfers aren’t playing 9-18 holes to improve their games… that’s incidental to another, more important agenda.


      1. The Rev Kev

        It would be a damned shame if some of those home owners place caltrops in their shrubbery. A real shame.

      2. Petter

        They’re still juicing before a morning round? I thought that stopped sometime back in the Eighties.
        In one of my prior lives, I was a bartender at a country club. This was the Sixties. A popular morning drink was a Gin Fizz. Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, seltzer and egg white. Breakfast of high handicappers.
        Can’t remember which drink included an egg plumb. It’s been a while.

      3. griffen

        On my best days playing golf I’ve been capable of breaking the proverbial 80 or less barrier but it has been a long time. I just don’t play nearly enough anymore, either it’s weather and the heat or it’s the inscrutable amount of hours playing. More of those duffers would do better to take a lesson and hit the practice range where really wayward shots don’t break windows ( maybe car windows get shattered though ! ).

        I also grasp the plight of those homeowners, especially those about 200 yards from a tee box. Added, I just have to echo the sage advice of Al Czervik from Caddyshack, ” I tell ya cemeteries and golf courses are the worst options for owning land…” Bonus Caddyshack material alert !!

        Ty Webb. Find your center and be the ball.
        Danny. It’s hard to find it with you talking.
        Danny. Where’d it go?
        Ty. Into the lumberyard…we’ll work on it.

        1. Bill Urman

          We live on the fairway about perfect distance for those with the dreaded slice off the tee. Every year I pick up around a hundred balls from the back yard, no exaggeration! This despite numerous ponderosa pines lining the fairway and our property. Fortunately have only had one small window broken in the seventh years we been here. FORE!

        2. CanCyn

          My husband has “Be the ball” embroidered on his golf bag. Surprisingly few people remark on it

      4. foghorn longhorn

        That’s kind of like moving next to an airport and complaining about the noise.
        Buyer beware.

        1. Screwball

          I tend to agree. I played a ton of golf, close to scratch. I played on many courses surrounded by very nice homes. I wasn’t drinking and many times playing for money. I could drive a ball 300+ yds. Trust me, your house isn’t safe. Even the guys on TV, who are like robots, and incredibly talented, hit one out in the back 40 once in a while.

          It works both ways too. A local couse where I was a member sold a plot of land or two for people to build homes. There should be no homes on those lots because it was too close to the course, and you had to aim right at the corner of their property when hitting your tee shot. Really dumb place for a plot, then they built the house close to the property line. Chaos ensued…

          Within a year they posted keep out signs, no trespassing, and even pictures of guns around the perimeter. I don’t think this is uncommon(selling plots too close) from my travels. This course needed the revenue at the time IMO. They are now closed and became farmland.

          Fitting, I hated the place and always called it a cow pasture.

      5. John Beech

        Lexx, no offense but buying a golf course home and complaining about golfers is very much akin to buying an home near an airport and whinging about that noise. Of course, if you have a golf course built next door to where you already lived, then that becomes a horse of an entirely different color. But we both know that isn’t how it happens.

        1. Lexx

          I don’t have a problem with “golfers”, John. That would be pointless and silly. I have a problem with drunken golfers, where the alcohol is further supplied by the golf course, while the golfers are playing.

          Unless your definition of a golfer is a drunk… in that case, you’re right. I do have a problem with golfers. Rather hard to anticipate their behavior in advance of purchasing a home, unlike buying near an airport where the noise level would be difficult to miss.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Our own soldiers wore what we called giggle hats in ‘Nam for practicality-

          Funny story about pith helmets by the way. In the old British Empire, everybody wore them when out in the hot sun of places like India or Burma. You see that in those old photos. Not to wear one was an invite to heat stroke or death and it was ingrained as a cultural thing by the early 20th century. But when WW2 broke out, and tens of thousands of British servicemen were sent to these places, the local Brits were shocked to see them walking around in that sun with only caps or even bare heads and it was a true WTF moment of realization.

          1. digi_owl

            Do wonder what the crossover is there, as the boonie/giggle seem almost like a softened version of the Wolseley pattern Pith.

          2. jrkrideau

            IIRC,one British author who served in North Africa commented on the mountain of discarded pith helmets one could se in Egypt.

    6. grateful dude

      alcohol in general is diuretic. Diuretics flush potassium from our bodies causing cardiac arrhythmia. Beer drinkers pee a lot. Dehydration in very hot weather is very dangerous, even, in my experience, causing cachexia, aka medical wasting, and extreme fatigue, and that can stupefy. Any professional medical opinion here would be very welcome. No more alcohol, for sure. Caffeine is also diuretic. Oy! My recovery has been very slow; not sure I’ll ever get back what I lost.

      1. Posaunist

        I had a very difficult and hot event one weekend on the road and neglected to hydrate. Walked through the airport trying to remember how I could have broken my toe. It was an extremely painful voyage, and of course my flight taxied to the absolute farthest gate on the longest concourse at DEN. It was gout. If you have never experienced gout, it’s excruciating. I have not neglected hydration since. Made a few other lifestyle changes, take a small daily dose of allopurinol, no flare-ups for years.

        Hydrate, and take care of yourself.

    7. Ken Murphy

      I’m wondering about the possible role of epigenetics in the adaptation process. As an AF brat I got all kinds of climate exposure as an infant, from Alaska at a year and a half old to AZ for a couple of years around age 6. England was next and I hated it, but Texas is nice and warm, and I used to ride my bike from Round Rock to Austin or Georgetown during the summer (feral Gen X and all that…). Fixin’ to go do some rollerblading before it gets too torrid. Will take heat over cold any day.

      I tried to get into golfing back when I worked in banking, but frankly riding around in a cart and smacking a little ball around the countryside just bores the crap out of me. I do however enjoy frisbee golf, which can be a nice hike through the woods (Tyler, TX has some excellent courses).

      Hydration is key, and I’ve learned that the hard way. Pedialyte is your friend. With Gatorade I go by whether I can taste the minerals in it or not. If it just tastes like sugar water then I’m fine with regular water. Respect the Sun and cover up. I usually tan to a nice brown color, but I do it slowly and haven’t had a sunburn in a long, long time. Since this is Texas I also often say that the heat is G-d’s way of telling you to slow down.

      The climate has always been changing, and will always be changing. I’m starting to wonder if such changes might turn Texas into a much greener state in the future. For a while, until it ends up under the Gulf again, as it has so many times in the past. At least we live in interesting times…

  3. Jabura Basaidai

    yeah polling, sure that would make sense – heartless bastard – what an a$$hole –
    thank you Yves for your explanation yesterday about healthcare billing – sharing with my daughter
    does anybody have insight into what is going on in Niger? – reading about the coup and read that there are 1,000 US troops there and one of the largest deposits of uranium are in that country – was reading elsewhere previously about difficulty of obtaining uranium from Russia – with a 1,000 troops there my suspicions of the press lead me to believe there is more to this story – thx

    1. Nikkikat

      Well, Vickie Nuland was visiting there and so was Blinken so I’m guessing Niger wanted to sign up for Brix. Although I didn’t find anything about Samantha Powers, she must have been hanging upside down some where nearby.

    2. Mikel

      “…deep concern about the worrying resurgence of military coups it said undermine democracy, peace, security and stability on the continent and reiterated its “zero-tolerance policy towards unconstitutional changes of government,”

      I’m going to steal this NC quip: ‘Tis a mystery!

      Is it?

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Time-travelling pathogens and their risk to ecological communities”

    It is probably happening all the time but we are yet unaware of it. Was reading an RT article earlier where-

    ‘Scientists in Russia have successfully revived a female roundworm that laid dormant in Siberia for 46,000 years. The worm sat in suspended animation for tens of thousands of years longer than any specimen studied to date, and began to have babies once thawed out.

    The worm – a previously unknown species of soil nematode – was found in a soil sample from near the remote settlement of Chersky in northeastern Siberia, Russian Academy of Sciences researcher Anastasia Shatilovich wrote the current PLOS Genetics journal. Taken from 40 meters below the surface, the soil had not thawed since the late Pleistocene period, between 45,839 and 47,769 years ago.

    Shatilovich’s team managed to revive the nematode, which then began reproducing via a process called parthenogenesis, which doesn’t require a mate.’

    Personally I have got my hopes up that they might find a frozen Neandertal after they found Ötzi back in ’91.

    1. britzklieg

      As a pre-teen, my mom would escort me every saturday during the summer to the “Science Center” where my then fascination for science was stoked with any number of exhibits and experiments designed to thrill and inspire the young minds gathered. The single most breathtaking demo I watched, and will never forget, was freezing a minnow with dry ice, then watching it come back through a process of thawing, the details of which I don’t remember. All I remember is that little helpless creature, seemingly lifeless after the ice, begin to slowly squirm and then, quite suddenly, it was in full gear again, paddling around in the water….

      “recalled to life”

      1. digi_owl

        As i understand it, certain types of frog can survive being frozen by producing sugars that blunt the ice crystals forming inside their cells. This in turn avoids rupturing the cell walls.

  5. digi_owl

    > 14 Warning Signs That You Are Living in a Society Without a Counterculture The Honest Broker

    The 9th point gets me thinking about gamergate being an early warning sign.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      The absence of a counterculture has effects far beyond the creative arts. I posted this yesterday in another context, but it seems very relevant to today’s linked article. It comes from Theodore Roszak’s The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition (1969):

      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.

      That’s a pretty good description of our cultural crippling in 2023, nearly 25 years after Roszak wrote those words.

    2. .human

      “4. The banal word ‘content’ is used to describe every type of creative work, implying that artistry is generic and interchangeable.

      I initially read the word ‘content’ as the verb. As in ‘be content.’ The over-arching, supreme statement of the media powers that be in support of the message of TPTB in general.

      1. digi_owl

        Lots of back and forth there since the introduction of recorded audio.

        Quite a few musicians were against the idea as they saw themselves as entertainers that used music as part of their show.

        Later on however, records, in particular singles, became a way for them to market themselves. This as new bands would drop by the local radio stations along their tour and give the DJ a record to play on air in exchange for mentioning where the band would be playing that weekend.

        And some years back i found myself pondering the distinction between recording artist and performing artist after hearing the former being used to introduce someone during a marketing event. Best i can tell, recording artists are someone that depend solely on the sale (or streaming these days) of recorded music and do not do live performances.

    3. Timmy

      What irony that the two links in this section are back to back! One the one hand, there is no counterculture vs. critical theory in high school debate (i.e., challenging mainstream assumptions) is a bad thing. Marcuse’s “One Dimensional Man” is the reality here and now and high school debate is one of the rare places where one can step out and challenge the uni-culture. As a 63 year old high school debate coach, my worldview is consistently challenged by what I learn from my students.

      1. CanCyn

        So you and your students do not routinely use ´kritics’ (it pains me to type that non-word)?

        1. Darthbobber

          Kritiks are something of a subset of what we used to call squirrel cases, but for the negative team. Like anything else that proves successful in debate, they have long since reached the point where the main ones and skeletons of rejoinders are available in what we used to call “idiot books”.
          And I suspect that fairly early in any season there are probably more specific things aligning key ones to the year’s proposition.

          Interesting that judges now post their biases for debaters to adjust to. We didn’t get that knowledge

        2. Timmy

          CanCyn, My point was that kritiks are good for students and debate (as opposed to the linked article) because they challenge the monoculture

          As for our team, we have numerous kritics available and ready but we often debate traditionally as well. You can’t compete at the national level without being able to win both trad and k rounds.. We use k’s tactically depending on the nature of the specific round. Most importantly, we face them routinely as well and we win against them, and that is what the linked article fails to consider. If they are so radical and nihilistic, then they should be easy to defeat. Teams learn that they can’t just complain about kritiks being unfair they actually have to engage at the philosophical level to understand and compete against them.

          1. semper loquitur

            “CanCyn, My point was that kritiks are good for students and debate (as opposed to the linked article) because they challenge the monoculture”

            Really? How, exactly? Because “kritiks” sound an awful lot like thought-stoppers on steroids. A potter’s mess of truisms, ad hominem attacks, and obfuscation. Moralizing disguised as argumentation. How does this help students?

            And what kind of baloney is “monoculture”? Another made-up word for an idea set devoid of content? For all the blather about fluidity and spectrums, it’s funny how much truck there is in monolithic visions of reality in the social justice world.

          2. CanCyn

            If by mono-culture you mean ‘traditional’ thinking or western culture, don’t you think it is possible to challenge it simply by bringing up other cultures, economic and political systems? On one level I understand critical theory to be a interesting thought exercise and I suppose that is a goal of learning to debate but a team completely highjacking a topic by bringing up a practically irrelevant ‘kritic’, as in the article, should mean automatic loss of the debate IMHO. It is like king of the non sequiter, Ralph of the Simpsons saying “I like purple” when absolutely no one is talking about colour or likes.

          3. Acacia

            USian High School students have read, understand, and can debate Marx and Adorno — who knew?

    4. Kengferno

      Most of these 14 points condense down to the search for ownership and control of Intellectual Property, or IP. That’s the reasons for the seemingly endless cycle of remakes and reboots (looking at you Disney). When control leads to profits anything that’s not controllable is deemed unworthy and gets jettisoned to the irrelevant bin. So original stories, interesting characters, unique style choices….all are irrelevant if it’s not linked to an already controlled product. This reduces artists to try to work within the machine. An example are all the indie directors Marvel and Star Wars try to use on their films.

      And really, what is counter culture at this point? The last vaguely real counter culture movement was punk rock 50 years ago and that was a cash grab disguised as rebelling against the man. The only reason it even kinda caught on was because there actually were a lot of dissatisfied youth upset with how milquetoast and lifeless everything had become.

      But with the successful domination of consumerism the only real counter culture would be leaving the culture and the only way to do that is by not participating usually expressed as refusing to by stuff. And since THAT’S totally not acceptable, a real counter culture movement will have an extremely uphill battle

      1. digi_owl

        Punk was to a certain degree already anti-consumerism, as “proper” punks were expected to craft their own outfits.

        The most recent “wave” of hipsters could perhaps also be considered anti-consumerism. But then it got lost and confused chasing its own ironic tail.

      2. danpaco

        With culture being thoroughly commodified it stands to reason the counter-culture would need to exist in non-commodified spaces.

      3. karma fubar

        I don’t see the successful domination of consumerism and its counter as a simple on/off switch. Everybody has to buy stuff – no one is truly self sufficient. The Amish may still make their own clothes, but I doubt they weave and dye their own denim, nor craft their own needles.

        I see this more as an issue of why you buy stuff. The dominance of consumerism has been very good at the instilling the message “buy what makes you feel good about yourself”. Alternatively, “buy what you think makes you feel good about yourself” or “buy what we tell you will make you feel good about yourself”, which in terms of marketing turns out to be essentially the same. I would suggest that the counter to that message is not “buy as close to nothing as possible”, but instead “make what you can / buy what you need / fix what you got / enjoy what you have” . This seems like a more viable basis as a possible counter to the current domination of consumerism.

          1. aletheia33

            buy because you know your planet is doomed, your species is doomed, your current lifestyle is doomed, there’s nothing you can do about any of that, and the act of buying will give you a few minutes in which you will forget about all of it.

        1. Screwball

          I live in Ohio, about 2 to 3 hours from what we call Amish Country. I’ve been there many times. It’s really incredible how they live and take care of themselves. It’s like a window into the past. Maybe they have things figured out.

          I blame Disco. :-)

      4. c_heale

        I think punk was less of a cash grab than a genuine sign of dissatisfaction with the way things were going.
        It did become commercialized later on. And talking of counterculture, has rap and house/techno been forgotten about, among others.

    5. Ken Murphy

      I’ve long thought that a strong counterculture is one of the keys to a healthy and strong society. I also think that the many active countercultures that sprung up during the Reagan years were a primary factor in the overall cultural creativity and awesomeness of the 80s.

      I’m seeing glimmerings of counterculture in the Zoomers, and our current societal miasma of pretense and brigandry is certainly rich soil for a nascent counterculture. Once they figure out ways around the rigid strictures emplaced by the ossifying old.

  6. griffen

    Music and pop culture for the win, union edition? Swifties may be denied the object of their affection, should the singer / performer find agreement with the hotel workers union. I find that possibility a bit unlikely; tours this big and popular are a large, transitioning feast as the entertainers move across the country or across the globe. As many noticed earlier in the year, fans were going to come out in droves to see Taylor Swift perform.

    ABC news yesterday morning had a small feature about what they were labeling a “Beyonce Bump” and a “Swift Surge” from these tours. I believe Beyonce is just beginning or will shortly, her touring schedule. I’m not exactly a fan of either, but holy crap are they huge acts and raking in the bucks.

    1. Pat

      She was at MetLife Stadium last night in NYC. The local news spent more time on how people were going to see Beyoncé regardless of the heat. Oh they were going to be lucky as it looked like the predicted thunderstorms were going to miss. (we had just missed a heat wave as Central Park had only been 88, real feel 95).

      And for those interested tickets still available were $300 for nosebleed, $7000 for floor and $16,000 for Club seating for Beyoncé.

      1. griffen

        What I would possibly write about Swift in particular, might not get past moderation. I think she is a very fine woman to look at, and I’m stopping there. Aside from also having a birthday in December, we’ve nothing in common except maybe that she liked Def Leppard so much that she did a “CMT crossover” show with Joe and the fellas.

        Grrr, those prices are for someone else no matter who is performing at the show.

          1. CanCyn

            Agreed. I don’t like her music but for the most part, I like the way she doesconducts the business side of her profession

  7. digi_owl

    > Digital oligarchs have weaponised the banks Unherd

    Secular excommunication in action. Only question is how long this insanity can continue.

    1. The Rev Kev

      You know, I think that you have got it. It is a form of excommunication being practiced here but with this modern version, without banking you will be denied the ability to earn a living or to pay your bills. And unlike religious excommunication, there is no way that you can ‘repent’ and be banked once more. Come to think of it, you might be forced into bankruptcy as you can no longer pay for bills even if you actually have the money to do so. And I am not sure that a court will be sympathetic to your situation either.

      In related news, Nigel Farage is charging that banks are closing down the accounts of small businesses that refuse to go cashless. In addition, he is being flooded with messages by other people that have been debanked so perhaps this has been a hidden problem?

      1. digi_owl

        Would not surprise me, as a similar thing has been going on with for example Google. If they decide to close your account for any reason, the only way to get it reverted seem to be to make enough of a stink on social media for someone with internal clout to notice and take action.

      2. Mark Gisleson

        Just another reminder from one who knows, but if you refuse to share a phone number with the credit card company, your card is next to worthless. My phone-less debit card can be used in local shops but you can’t complete online purchases without a phone number (form will not process without a valid phone number).

        It’s not just that you have to play by their rules so much as the fact that their rules keep evolving to make them more powerful and us less so.

        I’d love to humble brag about how long I’ve gone without a phone now, but here in the land of rural pandemic self-isolation time has lost much of its meaning. Tuesdays are trash days but otherwise my clock has been reset to “seasonal.” How long without a phone? Frankly, it seems like forever and I mean that in the best possible way.

        Winning through subtraction is an end-around on capitalism. If enough of you joined me in this regard, they might have to do something about us ; )

        1. Chas

          I very much agree with your last sentence. The end-around activity might even lead to Ludditism on a large scale.

        2. GramSci

          I always pranstose two numbers when a web form requests a phone number. It doesn’t always work, but credit card companies and the like often run a Levenshtein edit-distance check that forgives Fingerfehlers.

          It doesn’t always work (and obviously doesn’t work for 2-factor authentication), but when it does I get a small satisfaction of sabotage.

        1. The Rev Kev

          But these days it will be more along the lines of class segregation – while denying that it is happening at all. You could say that gated communities are an example of this at work.

      1. digi_owl

        On that note, i have seen some headlines that read almost like a reverse Jim Crow where they are trying to exclude whites from events and services.

    2. Mikel

      Alot of what “cashless” is about is getting rid of the competition for the big fish criminals and the big fish corporations.

      The censorship regarding views will ebb and flow.

    3. c_heale

      The same has happened with businesses selling cannabis products in states where it is legal. Except they weren’t even allowed to use a bank in the first place.

      This doesn’t bode well for CBDCs.

  8. Jabura Basaidai

    reading Vision Of Green Aviation made me think of the great blackout in August 2003, almost 20 years ago – distinctly remember noticing how clear the skies became – dealing with a power outage at present from 80mph winds whipping through SE Michigan – talking with my brother recently about the cataclysm of the Anthropocene and he commented that there needs to be agreement by all countries to do something – a rather broadly stated comment and one we both shook out heads at knowing it ain’t going to happen – if you have optimism and it brightens your day, you are blessed and comforted with your dream – it is not a dream i share in the least – the first chapter of Kim Phillips novel, “Ministry for the Future”, is about a wet-bulb event in India that kills millions – it will take something like that to slap some sense into whoever, and it is a good book, but even that may not be enough and perhaps we are past that “tipping point” that keeps getting mentioned –

    1. The Rev Kev

      Those airships won’t be a win-win to be fair. I grew up under the flight-path of Sydney airport. At night when it was quit, you could hear the jets revving up on the runway a coupla miles away. In the daytime at school parade, the announcements of the teachers had to be stopped continually as jets passed overhead one after another. Jets are noisy. I get it. That is why they banned them from operating at night. But airships? Back in the 80s we had a billionaire that was enamored with them and while visiting my grandmother, saw one of his airships pass overhead. Or rather, I heard it. Instead of the roar of a jet passing overhead in seconds, this was a very annoying buzzing that took several minutes to pass overhead. I can only imagine what it would be like to live near an airport devoted to airships. But hey, progress.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        thanks for the correction – remember story well not author’s name – we are phuct…..i like your way of spelling it – the question is the time line not the end result – as Carlin related in one of his bits, the world ain’t going anywhere…..we are –

      2. Jabura Basaidai

        Mr j – read the synopsis for World Without Us and sounds nice – made me think about organic burial – my doc, who i’ve been with for over 40 years, told me that i just need to live my life with integrity – the golden rule is a good guideline – use my orchard to relax – thanks for the correction and suggestions. much appreciated –

  9. Carolinian

    Thanks for the Michael Smith link and info. I first started reading his former blog after a recommendation from his fellow iconoclast Alex Cockburn. In one article from said blog he roasted Jackie Kennedy which outraged a friend of mine. Meanwhile on Substack he’s none too friendly to higher education or the Ivies.

    The Links link celebrates Voltaire and Candide. Perhaps it says something about our changing intellectual climate that Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim (and many others) once did a wonderful musical of Candide but Sondheim is now praised for his later focus on urban social life. The Me Decade has become the Me half-century.

  10. Bosko

    Wow, that screed on Kevin Spacey from the WSWS is really something. I can see being critical of some aspects of the #MeToo movement, but the man who wrote that must be the world’s biggest Kevin Spacey fan. I myself find it hard to get too up in arms about the injustice of Spacey’s treatment. He did seem to take a big hit on his career from what at least publicly did not seem like very terrible incidents of abuse. But, like many people, I took this as a sign that a lot of his abuses were not made public, and his connections to Epstein and the Royals (his famous video, etc.) did not do much to help his case in my eyes. I’m really curious why Kevin Spacey’s situation would seem so salient to the Trots at WSWS… Spacey’s cancellation really makes that guy’s blood boil.

    1. britzklieg

      I found the reporting to be accurate and the emotion behind it genuine… to each his own. People will believe what they want to believe. One thing is for certain – in most cases there are only 2 people involved who know the truth and you or I are not one of them.

    2. Pat

      For various reasons I am as biased as the reporter, just in the other direction. But I am going to weigh in on this anyway. Spacey is abusive. But it is not the type of blunt abuse where the power is wielded outright, think quid pro quo being the only form of corruption style. As angry as he is the gentleman who wrote this may be infuriated by that now being wrong as well but it is harder to defend.
      Spacey was a predator long before he had the power he eventually had within the entertainment industry. He is often the smartest person in the room. He can also read people better than probably 99% of the population. IOW in a short time in your presence he will know your weak spots, your triggers. And he can use that. And we have a society that gives males an increased advantage where automatic respect and deference are concerned. He used that as well. I could be wrong, but I think the idea of losing that automatic respect is what the writer fears. It is such a big part of our society it is subconscious. Understanding how Spacey was manipulative and abusive depends on being aware of his use of these subconscious biases, both the individual ones and the societal ones . And denying that is made easier because he used them against other males. That they were younger and less experienced and usually much less aware psychologically aside, they were still male.

      Just a guess.

      1. Roger Blakely

        From the article: “The driving force behind this effort has been an affluent layer of the upper-middle class, vindictive, antidemocratic and authoritarian in its instincts and methods.”

        The list: James Levine, Charles Dutoit, Geoffrey Rush, Jeffrey Tambor, Louis C.K., Placido Domingo, Garrison Keillor, Craig McLachlan, Frank Langella, Bill Murray, Blake Bailey, Ryan Adams, Aziz Ansari, Casey Affleck, James Franco, Johnny Depp and many others, none of whom has been convicted of a single crime.

        This list should have included Tavis Smiley.

        1. Pat

          I cannot speak to anyone else on the list, but I cancelled Murray after briefly working around him once. He was deeply unpleasant and out right nasty to numerous people. This confirmed a story from a friend about his making life miserable for pretty much everyone on a film they did.

          Was it criminal? No. Was it sexual? Not that I saw. Was it abusive, damn right it was. Was it ignored, perhaps even encouraged? Yes. The director, also no piece of cake, adores Murray and has cast him a lot. Even now, I will bet he is trying to see if he can work him into a film.

          There is a lot of abuse in this society. Sometimes it doesn’t fit into a tidy box. Sometimes it is encouraged. And sometimes opportunists will use it. Were all the metoo claims real? I doubt it. Were all of them aired? Not bloody likely. And sometimes people use abuse claims to either protect or harm others advancing different power plays. See both Franken and Cuomo. I admit I am pleased if what I believe was the plan was behind the Cuomo brouhaha failed, as he hasn’t been able to return since the charges were dropped.

    3. Mikel

      IThat made me wonder something else…

      Say the writers AND actors badly lose contract negotiations.
      Which ones are going to be more vocal about the kind of abuses that make Spacey’s actions look like less than “microagressions.” Nothing to lose? Spill the beans…

      Then on the other side how will the threat of AI be used to garner sexual favors?

  11. mrsyk

    Michael Smith’s essay is well worth a read. It’s a good time to find your religion, so to speak.

  12. pjay

    – ‘Why the Press Failed on Iraq’ – Foreign Affairs

    I remember well the Knight-Ridder coverage of Iraq. Along with Scott Ritter, their stories stuck out from the war propaganda like a sore thumb. They were my heroes. This is a good account of that debacle, but I would sure like to see *some* reference to the current lies and propaganda relating to Russia, Russiagate, and Ukraine. I suppose that is too much to ask for an article in Foreign Affairs. Where are our Knight-Ridder reporters today?

    1. jrkrideau

      I remember the “As It Hapens” CBC Radio shows with Scott Ritter desperately explaining that Iraq had no WMDs. He was on several times.

      Canada took a pass in that débâcle. Of course the PM at the time had no usu for military idiocies.

      1. The Rev Kev

        During the build up to the Iraq invasion, the rule of thumb was that if you brought on an anti-war person onto the main stream media for a talk, you had to have two pro-war people there to contradict them.

      2. alfred venison

        i remember when that former p.m. suggested the liberals & ndp formalise a coalition (or a merger?) to rid the country of harper. comments in a cbc piece i read at the time were roughly split between (1) agree/disagree but thanks for your contribution, (2) go away frenchie, and (3) thanks for keeping us out of iraq. -a.v.

  13. tricia

    In piece re theft of Ukraine’s agricultural land, this: “Misguided privatization.”

    lol. That “misguided” privatization that happens everywhere and anywhere these antisocial vampiristic elite can sink their tentacles…

  14. The Rev Kev

    “War and Theft: The Takeover of Ukraine’s Agricultural Land ‘

    The Ukraine’s agricultural lands were always a target and over time I would expect to see those local oligarchs pushed aside as foreign corporations take control and replicate industrial agriculture a practiced in the US. This war must be wrecking all their calculations as they may not know which farmlands they will be able to control and because of the collapse of the grain deal, the Ukrainians may not have the finances to plant next year’s crops which will disrupt their revenue stream. And if there are private equity forms invested in the Ukraine, I could very easily see a collapse in the farming sector in the Ukraine’s future.

    1. jrkrideau

      I am wondering how much of the prime agricultural land will be still in Ukrainian hands at the end of the SMO. Russia may very well just ignore Western claims of ownership.

  15. Will

    re Covid and mitochondria

    There was a Covid link yesterday(?) too about the possible relationship between Covid and mitochondria. Coincidentally, BBC’s In Our Time series had an episode recently on mitochondria. Fascinating stuff. And completed unprompted one of the panelists brought up Long Covid. Sadly, just a brief mention as I certainly would have appreciated a full episode on the topic. In any event, an informative and enjoyable listen for a lazy Sunday.

  16. Carolinian


    Spacey’s 40-year career in film and theater was ruined by one claim, about an incident alleged to have happened decades before. The WSWS argued at the time that Spacey “brings considerable intelligence and depth, combined often with irony and slyness, to both classical and popular genres,” and asked, “Is there any question but that film, television and theater would have been tangibly poorer without his presence over the past quarter-century?”


    They continue.

    “Sex scandals have invariably been the province of the far right,” the WSWS insisted. “Nothing remotely progressive will come out of this. … Once again it’s ‘scoundrel time.’ The film world, it is clear now, has learned nothing from the McCarthyite period. The same essential modus operandi is at work: the naming of names, the guilt by association, witnesses who can’t be questioned, the right-wing forces who weigh in, the studios that instantly blacklist those accused.”

    Which is certainly BS. WSWS would even defend the grotesque Harvey Weinstein or Matt Lauer with his door locker button or perhaps even Bill Cosby and his knockout drugs. Sexual abuse is a real thing WSWS–even when plied on the naive if ambitious. Trotskyism on the other hand–the jury’s still out.

    1. britzklieg

      I didn’t see Weinstein, Lauer or Cosby mentioned, but I did read this: “There are many forms of sexual harassment, which extend from the annoying to the legally actionable to the outright criminal. But a vast range of activities, including many that reflect the ambiguities and complexities of human interactions, is being described as malevolent and even criminal.”

      1. anahuna

        Isn’t it odd that the WSWS, which would seem to be against traditional political forms of dominance and oppression, chooses to be willfully blind to the traditional role of dominance and often disguised malevolence in sexual politics, no matter which gender is involved. I don’t know enough to form an opinion on the particular celebrities in that list, but surely to maintain that any activity that hasn’t been adjudged as criminal in a court of law (financial crimes, anyone?) should therefore remain undenounced and unpublicized is a bit… extreme.

        1. Yves Smith

          Well except Spacey defended himself. Clients that defend themselves nearly always lose. Competent opposing counsel can tie them in knots.

      2. Carolinian

        The fact that some accusations are false and self serving doesn’t boil down to

        “Sex scandals have invariably been the province of the far right,”

        and WSWS has done several articles on this in the past that suggest that are willing to defend Weinstein etc.if not explicitly as that would expose their poor position. If Me Too hadn’t come along then Weinstein might still be treating women with the contempt that he was apparently famous for as all Hollywood knew about it. The free love argument only works if it is indeed free between consenting adults and not between one powerful man (or woman) and underlings whose job and livelihood are threatened if they refuse. Opposing arbitrary power is a postion of the left, not the right.

        I have no doubt that Keillor and some others are likely victims of false accusations–perhaps Spacey too–but if they are then they are victims rather of the permissive attitude toward the rulers and and powerful that makes “me too” the reality for so many.

      3. JBird4049

        Our society is increasingly incapable of dealing with, forget accepting of, nuance. It is all good versus evil; black and white with no shades of gray. This does make for a more childish, controllable, and therefore more exploitable population.

  17. Lex

    Did the US know the Ukrainian offensive would fail and when?

    Probably depends who you asked. The bit of history I’m most interested to learn is who in the USG was helping with all the planning. Nearly all of the public statements came from state and NSC types like Sullivan, Blinken and Nuland. If the planning came from those types with some friendly CIA assistance, I can easily believe that they didn’t know. Or more precisely that they believed it would succeed because Russians would run away.

    The point was always political rather than military: Crimea. We could all see the defensive lines from space, yet the planning decided that Ukraine must go through them for the political goal of Crimea. (To be fair, Bankova is also politically focused on Crimea.) Would other options fair better? Hard to say for sure, but this option could only succeed in the best case scenario based on the assumption that Russia can’t take a punch.

    It was criminal. And it essentially ruined any chance Ukraine has over the medium or long term. If Ukrainian “insider” accounts are believable, Zaluzhny knew it and was overruled.

    It’s also unfortunate that “critical analysis” from responsible statecraft is still based on BS like Russia’s “staggering losses” and international position being in “tatters”. Worse, the article openly states that a Korean style armistice is only about rebuilding Ukrainian capability. American diplomacy just can’t stop saying the quiet part out loud.

    1. jefemt

      Lotta money to be made in the interim off of the off-shore chaos. Hubris- pride goeth before the fall.
      (Not Autumn. Well, who knows- could we have a black October?!??)

    2. ilsm

      the offensive was green/go for all who believe the “expert” evaluations, and ignore strategy, and logistics.

      33 years ago, the us took 6 months shipping an iron mountain to the Persian gulf region to assault Kuwait, against an enemy with no Air Force and nil air defenses…..

      what effect when you believe your own baseless wishful thinking

      1. John

        I was teaching a class that I loftily named Geopolitics during the 2021-2022 academic year. Gradually it became dominated by the growing possibility, then probability, and finally actuality of war in Ukraine. In mid-March, about a month in, I asserted that the war was over. Ukraine was defeated. I stand by that today as without the massive and ongoing intervention of the US in the guise of NATO, Ukraine had not the means to continue.But the US … and NATO … had other fish to fry; the war continued and still staggers on. The Ukrainian offensive? Any sentient person not willfully blinded knew it was sheer butchery to insist on throwing the under equipped and under trained at defenses that were patiently awaiting them. I look at it and see a crime whose authors are in DC. The narrative tissue that was designed to destroy Russia as a prelude to the destruction of China, which was to secure the Empire’s hegemony forever, is an instructive example of the convergence of an assumption of omnipotence with a denial of reality.

        1. pjay

          Interesting. Did you discuss your position in class, and if so, how did your students – or your colleagues – respond to your perspective?

          I was teaching during 9/11, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and all the resulting craziness. I found it difficult to raise the pertinent questions back then, when there was considerably more sympathy for such a perspective. I can’t imagine how it must be now.

        2. jrkrideau

          I remember a CDC interview with a retired Canadian Army Colonel about 5 days into the SMO. He said Ukraine had lost and Zulensky would ned to negotiate. I wonder if he has been bark on since?

    3. Aurelien

      I don’t think that between them those people could plan their way out of a wet paper bag. Their real influence, I suspect, was to convince those who mattered that the Russian Army was weak and badly motivated and poorly prepared, so that virtually any Ukrainian attack would succeed. All the UA had to do, in their view, was to show up, and the Russians would run away. There is no way that any competent military officer could have believed that the UA could win, assuming they had the actual facts in front of them.

      1. Lex

        I agree. Which raises the question of how these sorts were allowed the power to be have this influence. If we accept the existentialism of the conflict as Biden has portrayed it, then we’re left with a particularly thorny problem. Or, every American had better hope that US troops don’t go to Ukraine because there’s no guarantee that they will not be used as Ukrainian forces have been.

        Theoretically, US military people would have more say but he who speaks to Biden last is the one that will be heard. And if Joe Biden was half as smart as he considers himself he wouldn’t have fallen for the story presented by Sullivan and company. Of course he nominated all of them so he trusts them and they tell him how smart he is.

        1. Procopius

          Well, Victoria Nuland has been working since at least 2008 to destroy Russia. It’s the only thing she seems to care about, apparently because of things her grandfather told her when she was a child. Why Blinken and Sullivan are on board with her I don’t know, but they both have Ukrainian grandfathers. I do not understand why Biden appointed all of them in the first place, or why he not only keeps them but seems to support them. Was one of his grandfathers Ukrainian?

  18. britzklieg

    “I want to get the new booster,” he said. “I think the evidence is that the protection of the previous bivalent booster has been reduced over time. So that if you get it now, though, that’ll hold you back timewise from getting the new booster that hopefully will be out in the next 60 to 80 days.

    “I could get infected in that time period. But I really think that that vaccine is going to be a much better vaccine in terms of long-term protection, so I want to get it as soon as it comes out,” Osterholm said.

    Steppenwolf sang “God damn the pusher” in 1969:

  19. Carolinian

    If one may be indulged a response to a Link from yesterday. Scott Ritter

    Helplessly hoping humanity will have a collective awakening is a fool’s errand. I watched Oppenheimer in the vain hope that this film would be the vector for the transmission of the kind of insight that occurs when one is brought back from the edge of disaster. I left disappointed because the movie did not deliver in this regard. That I expected such a revelation from theatrical art was not far-fetched—after all, it was ABC’s “The Day After” which helped alter the thinking of President Ronald Reagan in 1983, propelling him down a path that led to the initiation of nuclear disarmament between the United States and the Soviet Union. But then again, that was the purpose of “The Day After”—to scare the American people into an awakening where nuclear disarmament was not only desired but demanded. Oppenheimer, unfortunately, was created to entertain. In this it succeeded. But as a vehicle for the salvation of mankind it fell far short of the mark.

    That show The Day After followed a very good documentary from the same 80s era called The Day After Trinity which I got to see yesterday. It’s about Oppenheimer and the creation of the bomb and includes many of the players who were still around in 1981. As a tip for NC-ers it is available for free viewing at The Criterion Channel website through the end of the month. Just open their page, search The Day After Trinity and it will stream.

    1. John

      I vote for a general rebroadcast of “The Day After Trinity followed by “The Day after”. A niche target audience would be those who vote to spend gazillions on ‘modernizing nuclear weapons’ and those infants who so glibly muse about ‘small tactical nukes.’

    2. Screwball

      Thanks for this Carolinian. I have wondered about this movie, and if it did or didn’t do what Ritter is talking about. The only reviews I have heard was from my rabid warmongering PMC friends who thought is was a great movie. That gave me a tip that it didn’t delve into what might give said warmongers an awakening.

      Makes sense. We wouldn’t want a movie coming out showing the horrors of nuclear war when our very own government seems hell bent on starting one.

      We need a great big flush in the District of Criminals.

      1. Carolinian

        Apparently Nolan has said he was motivated to make the film in part by his own fear of nuclear weapons so it’s surely not an apologia for nukes (I haven’t seen it). But it may be for Oppenheimer himself–if that matters–and the current attitude that “having a good heart” makes up for bad actions. At any rate the documentary is the straight story, I think, without the need to sell a “narrative” of this already fascinating episode.

  20. chris

    Thank goodness for the Guardian. You might think from all the press and studies we see here on NC, that the reason Biden is so unpopular is because the experiences of citizens in the US show that crime is a problem, inflation and the cost of living are too high, and immigration is a concern. The Guardian is here to tell us that just ain’t so:

    “Republican talking points are having a really bad summer,” said Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic strategist. “The core attacks against Biden are evaporating. The economy is strong. Inflation’s down. The deficit’s down. The Washington Post called the border ‘eerily quiet’. We’ve seen murder rates have come down dramatically this year. He’s been competently managing foreign policy.”

    And who is Mr. Rosenberg? Well, his X feed tells you most of what you need to know. It’s the equivalent of a yard sign reading “In this house…” Mr. Rosenberg explicitly ignores that what Biden did to curb immigration at the southern border, to the extent that he curbed it after several years of it being a problem, is to find a more palatable way to do what Trump did. But, all that was just struck down, so who knows if Rosenberg will be updating his statements anytime soon? As for his other claims about inflation being low and the deficit coming down, he’s just parroting talking points that mean nothing to most voters.

    Can it really be true that the Democrats think they can run on Biden’s record in 2024? I guess I’ll need to read the Guardian more often so that I get all the RightThink I need to understand why that is a good idea.

      1. Pat

        Whose deficit? Ignoring the snark for a moment.

        I’m pretty sure that the deficit Democrats should want to decrease, the deficit voters have between wages and living expenses, doesn’t enter into their calculations. Most people don’t really give a damn about the imaginary figures the government cites as the national deficit no matter what polls say.

        1. Jason Boxman

          People care because they’re told to care, they’re told that it’s “unsustainable” and that Washington must learn to “leave within its means just like a family”.

          If people were told the government’s ability to print is unlimited, and what resources are called forth, how society is organized, is what’s at stake, I think we’d get a different outcome.

          Fables work.

          1. Pat

            Not as much as not being able to keep a roof over your head, your kids fed or even go to the hospital in case of an accident or serious illness.

            Pain, worry, desperation and reality work better than fables.

            Could be why during the huge run up to the debt ceiling showdown it wasn’t a concern for most Americans. They may have gone to the well too often. About the only place reality doesn’t work is the Beltway.

  21. Adam Eran

    The comment after the Wikileaks link reminds me that people don’t think “Wikis” like Wikipedia censor. On the contrary. Look for the “Government Spending” article in Wikipedia. Then go to the Talk tab, and you’ll see the dissent that doesn’t appear in the article. Oddly enough Wikipedia suppresses any dissent about orthodox economics thingies like “crowding out,” and “loanable funds.”

    That article is particularly useful since it ranks nations by taxing and spending (clicking the headers in the table sorts them). The sources are Wall St. Journal and the Heritage Foundation–not exactly tree huggers. Nevertheless, it discloses US government spending is actually modest in comparison to other nations.

  22. KLG

    Regarding this link: “Infection with SCV2, moreover, caused a downregulation in the protein cofilin-1, and impaired cell-cell adhesion, a finding that is recapitulated with infection with the spike protein.”

    I have been half-lazy while half-looking for this paper, with the question: What if the spike protein itself is “unhealthy” when expressed in human cells? I’m sure there are other similar papers out there in the COVID universe of 370,705 publications as of today. I spent 15 years of my research life doing similar work on cell adhesion and the actin cytoskeleton. This paper is very good in a very good journal. It is not unexpected that a viral protein can do such things when expressed in a human cell. Many of us have gotten similar results in our work. In a previous life I found that expression of the naked subunit of an enzyme that is normally part of a tetramer basically kills the cells in which it is expressed. We did not pursue the cause because some rabbit holes are one-way streets not worth the trouble, but the result was real. Similarly, in various hemoglobinopathies, expression of naked globin monomers makes red blood cells sick. Hemoglobin is normally a tetramer of monomers, e.g., alpha2-beta2.

    The follow-up question is whether it is a good idea to use an mRNA vaccine to express the protein antigen in cells when we have no real understanding of what the protein, or fragment of the protein, might do to otherwise healthy cells? I don’t know the answer, but the question worth asking.

    1. redleg

      A similar situation on a different scale is the use of pesticides and herbicides. The effects of these chemicals is well documented on particular pests and plants, but the effects they have on related, affected systems, e.g. soil and gut biomes, is barely known and certainly not understood.
      Just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be done.

    1. Pat

      Unfortunately that implies something different than what he said. He is lobbying for the GOP to nominate someone other than Trump, but the bridge comes into when asked what if the choice is between Trump and Biden. He’ll jump off that bridge when he comes to it. No promise as to which will cause him to leap if either.

      Advantage neither.

  23. Mikel

    “How critical theory is radicalizing high school debate” Slow Boring

    Also sounds like the stakes for not winning seem higher in the minds of some?

    The encroaching precarity is radicalizing.
    How did I do? LOL

    But on a serious note…reading the article I didn’t see any evidence of conviction about the subjects of debate.

    The code switching in the debate game is so worrying is because it is a power play.
    Setting the terms of debate is a power move. Thus the panic by the establishment.


    1. Timmy

      The power move is highly linked to, among other things, class. There is no big school/small school division in debate and the resources available big suburban schools are extensive…lots of assistant coaches (college debaters), summer research seminars and computer tech (debate is “paperless” now and requires laptops and Office Word, something that small or resource constrained rural and urban schools don’t have). Kritiks are in some ways the revenge of those small schools and they are used in debate to illustrate the structural violence of public school funding. The discomfort of suburban kids having to wrestle with a “don’t touch my hair” afro k is nothing but a good thing for those kids.

  24. Robert Hahl

    Re: Julian Assange

    It is not just that Assange committed journalism. He helped Snowden escape his fate. That was the unforgivable offense.

  25. John

    Blinken tells Australia that WikiLeaks founder is accused of ‘very serious’ crime

    Being inconvenient to the powers that be is now codified? Bllinken is guilty of weasel-speak … again … and yet again.

    1. c_heale

      The key word here is accused. Anyone can be accused of anything. It doesn’t mean the accusation has any basis in truth.

  26. spud

    as long as we free trade, the environment and civil society will keep collapsing. no amount of silly ignoring the real problems will make global warming go away.

    its simply a stunning number: 20% of all carbon emissions world wide has been traced to free trade

    “If you look at just the shipping involved in international trade, it’s something of the order of 20%, I think, of our carbon production comes out of the entire mechanics of shipping goods around the planet. And we realize we’ve massively overshot the capacity of the biosphere to support our industrial sedentary civilization. So, one way to reduce that is by reducing international trade.”

    “That’s the problem with having more imports than exports. And once you begin to borrow dollars, you have to pay interest on it. And all of a sudden, they’re running a deficit, it’s going to reduce your foreign exchange rates. Well, let’s look at what’s going to happen this summer as an example. We know that energy prices, oil prices are going way up.

    Well, at the same time, there’s an enormous deficit of debt service that they owe to finance all of the trade deficits that they’ve been running ever since they followed neoliberal ideals to open their markets to depend on foreign food and basically US manufacturers. The Federal Reserve has just begun to raise interest rates.

    Well, we’re getting something for nothing. If you import more than you export, you’re running up foreign debt, and you’re becoming more and more dependent on foreign countries who are acting in their own interests, not your own interests. So you have to put this whole discussion in the political context.’

    1. digi_owl

      And this is what the likes of the IMF has been pushing pretty much since its inception.

      Get nations to focus on exports like cash crops and minerals, and then import base goods using USDs.

      Keep this going for a couple of decades or more, and the whole thing becomes an economic chain around the national neck.

      The irony is that USA passed that chain to China by offshoring industry there.

      1. spud

        lots of pearl clutching articles on the environment, there is little coverage of the cause and the fix. only that the average person is to blame.

        so i view these articles as fraud.

        free trade must end, and trade must be vastly reduced, and self reliance as much as possible world wide.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      I agree with you about the carbon emissions. And I’d add the spread of plant and animal invasives, and diseases among animals, humans included.

  27. Mikel

    “14 Warning Signs That You Are Living in a Society Without a Counterculture” The Honest Broker

    Catergorize, lable, and marginalize.
    Works everytime.

    1. britzklieg

      I essentially agree. Lots of good stuff! But…

      It would have been better w/o the Russia/Putin caveats from both of them. Gillespie first suggests that Russiagate was almost all fake news and then when questioning Taibbi about his time over there he asks a loaded question about Russian media (he is asking if US media is starting to look like Russian media due to censorship in favor of the state’s agenda, but he gets there with some elusive language) and Taibbi agrees, offering a rather confusing summation, that in the Yeltsin years each media company was backed by a particular mafia or oligarch group pursuing their own malign agenda during the corrupt and drunken 90’s but then Putin came in and got rid of the mafia/oligarchs to consolidate the Kremlin’s message. Then Gillespie jumps in and says yeah but it’s not like US reporters were “eating polonium” and Taibbi responds yeah, reporters aren’t getting shot in their doorways “like under the Putin regime.” Personally I don’t think either one can know the truth and whether one believes, say, Seth Rich was murdered by the state I dont -it’s not unlike saying he died “under the Obama regime” which they wouldn’t ever say. Only other countries have “regimes’ apparently. Add to that how successive US admins have essentially been torturing Assange for over a decade, their perspective seems a bit short sighted. I could probably find a link if you need one, but Stephen Cohen is on the record that neither he nor the family of the murdered journalists believe Putin was behind their deaths (in fairness I believe Cohen was speaking of only one of them and I don’ recall which, especially whether it was the female journalist who Taibbi refers to and knew personally). But who knows? Gillespie and Taibbi don’t, that’s seems a reasonable assumption… indeed a bit later when referring to some home grown nefarious deed he’s quick to say that he can’t know the truth. And I will be quick to say that I don’t know either about any of the things that might have happened because of Putin’s monarchic inclinations, but rhetorically it’s a bit of a cheap shot. I understand why they hedge their bets, especially since they agree that US media is wholly compromised, but I resist the piling on, the rhetoric. No matter what and no matter the issue, no one on “our” side can be as bad as Putin and, simply put, I don’t believe that’s true.

    2. Tom Doak

      Thanks for posting that link. So much of his good thoughts are behind the paywall now.

  28. Quentin

    You could be easily excused if you mistook Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter’ X for an Azov Battalion tattoo. Or has it a more benign origin? Such as…an innocent bystander’s joke?

    1. hunkerdown

      It doesn’t look enough like the X Window System logo (shout out to all y’all UNIX neckbeards in the audience), but I’m sure that was in the pool of inspiration.

  29. Jason Boxman

    So on COVID I think what we need is free or inexpensive PCR testing, from some kind of not corrupt NGO or volunteer organization. This would provide benefits. Individuals can confirm infection. We have local or regional positivity information. Both can be used to challenge the false narrative. What Sanders did during his campaign, having people tell real stories of their economic struggles, also. But with COVID. I haven’t heard of any of this happening so far?

    Sort of like the people’s CDC. A shadow testing apparatus, and different narrative, of truth.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      To be honest, while I agree that this should be done about Covid, at this point, we need a people’s CDC for the next disease even more urgently. I don’t trust those f-ers to do anything but try to cull us.

      1. flora

        adding: I just used DDG to search TechDirt and got positive results. Don’t know what’s going on in e-net land right now.

    1. digi_owl

      Note the update towards the end mentioning that Duckduckgo is working on reverting it, as it seems that it was something that came from Bing without their knowledge.

  30. britzklieg

    great David Graeber quote in the comments at Ted Gioia’s essay:

    “Student loans are destroying the imagination of youth. If there’s a way of a society committing mass suicide, what better way than to take all the youngest, most energetic, creative, joyous people in your society and saddle them with, like $50,000 of debt so they have to be slaves? There goes your music. There goes your culture. There goes everything new that would pop out. And in a way, this is what’s happened to our society. We’re a society that has lost any ability to incorporate the interesting, creative and eccentric people.” — David Graeber

    1. hunkerdown

      Who cares, they’ll have the music of their Westphalian childhoods forever. Innovation is just busywork.

      And Gioia is still a credentialist PMC idiot. That SOB needs to be physically held down and yelled at continuously until he can explain why I should need to buy a $50k permission slip to make art, and punched again every time he thinks his feelings are important.

  31. Tom Stone

    Is anyone else surprised that the article in “The Intercept” naming Patient Zero (Ben Hu) of the Covid 19 Pandemic had no legs?
    Zip in the MSM and very little in the alternative press.
    He is the kind of person I expected to be responsible if it were an engineered virus, the Bat lady’s protege, brilliant and arrogant.
    Someone similar once told me “I Don’t PLAN to have an accident” derisively when I pointed out how risky their behavior was…

  32. John Beech

    Weasel word all you want, but what Assange did hurt America. It hurt us. Don’t like or approve of how he’s being hounded and how he’ll be punished when finally caught?

    Then take a moment and think of the damage he did us. The lines of intelligence gone, utterly compromised. The lives he risked and for all we know resulted in loss. Maybe take off your Polyanna pink glasses for a moment and reflect on how dark the world really is at the sharp point of the spear. Consider how those who sacrifice to keep us safe were tossed aside like a used napkin to satisfy Assange’s momentary vanity. How he betrayed those risking it all for you, your partner, your kids and grandkids – us.

    Then think of the optics of the uncompromising pursuit of Assange. As it happens, I believe there’s tremendous value in what’s going down. E.g. in terms of influencing others who may think to expose our nation’s secrets. In short, I sincerely hope the next guy in a position of trust who is shocked at what he learns will pause and think about what betraying us, our countrymen, really involves – and in a personal sense. Like I especially hope he reflects on whether his momentary sense of righting a wrong (as Assange, with an incomplete vision of the big picture, likely saw it). I also hope he will ponder what will happen to him in an up close and personal sense. Of how the remainder of his life will be in a Supermax cell (or maybe not if he’s hung for treason). Meaning, I want him to immediately flash on the small and personal picture, ‘Will this moment be worth my freedom?’.

    They say if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I believe it goes without saying those exposed to our nation’s secrets whilst working behind the scenes, may find affront in what they learn. But if you can’t handle it, then they should step back, and find another position on the team which their conscience will allow them to hold. Another role. Why? Because it’s not going to stop. The secretive world won’t stop any more than I would stop getting up each morning to go to work. I do it because I’m an adult and have a sense of responsibility to provide for me and mine. The ones protecting us feel this, and more.

    Those defending us against the opposing forces are adulting in a more complete sense than me going to work. Why? It’s because they are what protects us all. It’s more than the paycheck, which is what motivates me to adult for my family. Those ones are adulting not just for their family but for mine, also. And yours. So I value them for it. Those who quietly seek to provide safety and security to all of us who enjoy the American way of life are my heros.

    Is that too corny for you? Too much of the old red, white, and blue? Then wake up and look around because you’ll see others doing their jobs for more than a paycheck, also Every cop who may not go home at the end of their shift is doing this for you. Yes, every day they’re there doing their best to protect you and me. Firemen, do the same. Teachers do it also. They work after hours – beyond what the paycheck requires because of their responsibility for their charges. Ditto the doctors. Sure, there’s a paycheck, but there’s also a sense of mission and purpose. And those behind the scenes are similarly motivated.

    So for one guy – one who wasn’t elected – to decide on his own to expose what’s not his to decide, secrets, sources, and methods? Yes, I feel he should be punished. And harshly. Honestly? If called upon to pull the lever to open the trap door so he hangs by his scrawny neck, me who is otherwise opposed to the death penalty, would step forth and do my duty by the nation. Yes, I’ll grab hold and give that lever a mighty heave and stand back and watch his neck snap. Dirty work? Yes, but it must be done because the whole is more important than the part.

    Assange deserves what’s coming.

    1. Yves Smith

      Oh, please. Provide links. This is hysterical and unfouded. Petreaus was vastly worse in that regard. Or how about the outing of Valerie Plame, which really did burn a huge number of CIA assets?


      The U.S. established an Information Review Task Force (IRTF) to investigate the impact of WikiLeaks’ publications. In 2013, Brigadier general Robert Carr, who headed the IRTF, testified at Chelsea Manning’s sentencing hearing that the task force had found no specific examples of anyone who had lost his or her life in reprisals due WikiLeaks’ publication of material provided by Manning. Ed Pilkington wrote in The Guardian that Carr’s testimony significantly undermined the argument that WikiLeaks’ publications put lives at risk.

      The diplomatic cables leak was nearly all unclassified docs and mainly embarrassed the US. It might have compromised one Australian intelligence officer but the whinge is publishing their names is illegal. No mention if he was in the field. He could easily have been an analyst who never met or ran assets.

      What he did do is expose a war crime with his Black Hawk video. That’s what got the US bent out of shape.

      1. anahuna

        Yves, thank you for this and all the other times you have jumped in and jumped all over certain unfounded and unsourced rhetorical flourishes while I am still catching an indignant breath.

    2. Mikel

      You’re feeling “protected” by all of the secrets that essentially protect insiders who wouldn’t spit on you if on fire?

    3. Berny3

      “Those defending us against the opposing forces” — sorry, no one is “defending” us. We are attacking others as we have been non-stop since the end of WWII. We are not the good guys, and have not been the good guys for a very, very long time.

    4. chris

      I guess I’m grateful for you sharing these kinds of opinions here. But I don’t understand any of your points. How is it that Assange revealing the bad things that we did, by publishing them in their entirety, is him hurting the US? Why did you not consider it the other way around, that the US engaging in war crimes created the harm and revealing it provides the opportunity to correct the mistake?

      Regardless of any asserted claims of harm, I do not consent for my government to do things. Especially in situations where domestic safety and property are not at risk. I think the fact that Iraq was a war of choice and had no value is consistently omitted in these conversations. It shouldn’t be. The full context of your points above would be, Julian Assange revealed that the US committed war crimes and risked exposing numerous details that would compromise our status with our allies while also sacrificing the lives of our soldiers to accomplish nothing. We should all be glad Mr. Assange let us know how bad things were before they got even worse.

    5. The Rev Kev

      You do know that Assange, who is not an American and lives overseas, is being charged under American laws that date back to WW1 because he was actually practicing journalism and they could find no other law to try to charge him under. Going after him is telling journalists of the world that it does not matter what country you come from, that you will be kidnapped, imprisoned, taken back to America and thrown down a deep hole. And let me tell you that American prisons do not have a good reputation around the world and especially the American justice system. Just look at the sweet heart deals that Hunter Biden and SBF were offered this past week or so as an example. Nor does defending human rights when you have a Biden as a President. Assange is being charged under a sort official secrets act and as we all know, the purpose of that is to protect the secrets of officials, not the country.

    6. hunkerdown

      Imaginary friends don’t feel pain. They can only fake it. You’re hysterical, and not in the funny way.

    7. redleg

      Then why bother with a constitution at all?
      Freedom of the press is (at the moment) a (nominally) constitutionally protected right. Assange is a publisher, and if facts he published did damage, that’s not the publisher’s problem.

    8. Glen

      As other state above, there have been studies to try and determine if any of the Wikileaks information caused significant “damage” without any ever having been found. And in perhaps the most similar cause (assuming Assange was in the US and under US law, which he was not), in the SCOTUS ruling on the publishing of the Pentagon papers, the first amendment was upheld:

      New York Times Co. v. United States

      Justice Hugo Black wrote:
      T]he injunction against The New York Times should have been vacated without oral argument when the cases were first presented… . [E]very moment’s continuance of the injunctions … amounts to a flagrant, indefensible, and continuing violation of the First Amendment. … The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell. … [W]e are asked to hold that … the Executive Branch, the Congress, and the Judiciary can make laws … abridging the freedom of the press in the name of ‘national security.’ … To find that the President has ‘inherent power’ to halt the publication of news … would wipe out the First Amendment and destroy the fundamental liberty and security of the very people the Government hopes to make ‘secure.’ … The word ‘security’ is a broad, vague generality whose contours should not be invoked to abrogate the fundamental law embodied in the First Amendment. The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security… . The Framers of the First Amendment, fully aware of both the need to defend a new nation and the abuses of the English and Colonial governments, sought to give this new society strength and security by providing that freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly should not be abridged.

      Even more difficult to determine in all of this is how much the actions taken to punish Assange have effectively suppressed accurate reporting, and the open discussion of events. The open and civil debate which is possible in our country is a great strength. If we lose it (not that “civil” has been that large lately), we, the people, are diminished. One case in point that we wrestle with here daily is the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Another is the impact of covid and the effectiveness of preventative measures.

      America is democracy where the founders made the unimpeded dissemination of news one of our most important principles. An attack on that is a direct assault on the old red, white, and blue.

  33. Boomheist

    Re: Is A Mega Ocean Current About to Shut Down? This is a fascinating thread, filled with highly detailed charts and displays, and quite convincing as to its accuracy. However, after going through the thread it struck me that nearly everything reported is based on MODELS that have been built to extract and project from highly time-limited series of data. Of course, without long term data series (as regards ocean water temperatures or for that matter air temperatures – by long term I mean centuries of data btw) the only way to make predictions is to develop models. It’s also significant to note that when you display a world map filled with bright red, or bright blue, the human miond immediately accepts this as truth; ie the world is cooking, or freezing. This is not to say that all the hysteria and froth about the heat waves and weather events are not justified, far from it. But it needs to be noted that human memory is very very short and we cannot be totally sure that it has never been as hot as today before in human history. We cannot even say that, really, about any days earlier than, say, the mid 1800s when widespread temperature records started being developed.

    All the reporting and writing about the collapse of this current system seems to be getting a lot of traction and is being looked at by Serious People. Interestingly, to me at least, is that one of the charts displayed in the thread showed what worldwide temperatures were likely to be after the current flow stopped, or overturned, and that chart showed vast swaths of northern Europe anywhere from 2 to 8 degrees Celsius colder than today. This in turn may suggest that once the Gulf Stream stops moving Europe will enter a new ice age. And, once you have snows not melting all across Eurasia, and then America, along with agricultural disaster you will see a huge reduction in industrial activity (ie, emissions) and much higher reflectivity from all the millions of square miles of permanent snow, further cooling things. In other words, a new Ice Age, brought on, ironically, by exactly the warming, partly human caused, in the last century…..

    1. Yves Smith

      I hate to tell you that with pretty much no exception, climate models have understated the pace of adverse change because they exclude or don’t sufficiently incorporate certain feedback loops.

      1. Boomheist

        No disagreement with you there, but everyone is assuming we are way down the inrun of runaway overheating, and maybe the models are showing that, too. I just wonder if these interglacial warm times come to an end with just such a current overturning – ie it gets warm and warmer, ice melts, then the current overturns and this brings on the cold – and this moment we are in right now is just that moment, perhaps hastened by recent emissions.

        We’re going to find out, it seems….

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Surely you’ve seen “The Day After Tomorrow?”

      You try to get some picture of the future with the data you have, not wait for the data you’d like to have. Why get a picture of the future at all? Well, we’re supposed to be homo sapiens, right? Is flying blind very wise? And maybe the precautionary principle isn’t such a bad idea. Maybe neither the data nor the models are perfect, but do we really have to have the affluent overconsume and all of us to waste to such a ridiculous extent just to thumb our nose at the precautionary principle? The stakes are pretty high.

      One of the first warnings produced by models came more than 50 years ago. The usual suspects, especially economists, did their best to suppress and then attack it. Think of how much better a position we could be in now if people had listened.

    3. redleg

      1. All models are wrong, but many are quite useful.
      2. The output of a model are questions, not answers.

      Understanding how a model is wrong (1.) makes it more useful by making the questions (2.) more coherent and easier to test.

      The problem with models is that some people think a model isn’t inherently wrong and that a model produces answers.

  34. Jason Boxman

    So riddle me this, from I searched hell on Earth for a story. What I found will haunt me forever.

    We know Biden normalized COVID deaths. So far, there’s no public outcry. There’s no consequence. The only thing the nominal left and the right agree on is that it is 2019 again, even if the road there, that vaccines are magic!! or that the Pandemic is a hoax, are very very different.

    So what’s to become of climate deaths, of people burning alive? I’ve given it some thought lately. And I wonder what our own tipping point is for sufficient loss of legitimacy of the United States ruling regime that the whole rotten edifice begins to actually titer and stumble?

    Will it be the deaths? Or is it going to be rolling blackouts, food insecurity, lack of water, and so on. Once basic services are not always “on”, I think there’s gonna be a sea change, no pun intended. Once middle and upper middle class people can’t live their best lives, I think that’s when stuff is going to really hit the fan, and mass internal and external population migration is going to feed into this; at what point will internal migrants no longer be welcomed, because there isn’t enough? I know in Charleston, a popular bumper stick is “Go back to Ohio!” This is gonna be go back to the south/southwest in perhaps a much less friendly way. And then you’ll get the shanty towns and the tent cities.

    I’d expect an armed, lethal response from our elite; look at the approach taken with Occupy by Obama/WallStreet. But imagine more shooting.

    Oh, lols, there’s also a global Pandemic.

    What’s really murky here is the timeline. I guess we’ll find out, won’t we?

      1. Polar Socialist

        Supporters of Polish football (the one played with feet) team Wroclaw were showing huge banners remembering everyone of the Volhynia massacres. And had plenty of smaller anti-Ukrainian and anti-Bandera signs. Earlier Polish football federation fined the fans for showing “This is not our war” banner during a game.

        Wroclaw itself is originally a Bohemian (as in Czech) city turned to German since 17th century, and given to Poland in 1945. The German population (96%) moved out to what remained of Germany and Polish people from current Ukraine (Lviv) moved in. Which may explain some of this attitude.

  35. Sub-Boreal

    Thanks for posting the Rahmstorf thread about the North Atlantic overturning current, but as a lurker-only, I’m only able to see the first item in the thread, which is a shame. (This week I got some access, but it’s crippled, so for example I can go to and see a selection of tweets in random chronological order, with none of them from 2023.) If other NC folks have found work-arounds (short of actually signing up), I’d be grateful for suggestions.

    The sooner this Musk guy heads off to Mars, the better …

  36. griffen

    Watching local ABC broadcast out of Asheville, NC, and happened to come across the story below about food bank excess not going to waste or into a landfill. Kinda puts a good spin, my thought anyway, on the idea of not wasting foodstuffs that farm animals will happily devour. Small scale stuff to be certain. I also know that quite a few inclined to do similar, might have insight or input; i.e., growing chickens or rabbits.

    1. digi_owl

      Gets me thinking about the Flintstones, where the garbage disposal was a warthog under the sink.

      Never mind that feeding food waste from the kitchen to say pigs was common place.

      There is a classic Swedish children’s show where that is used for laughs, as the son feed the farm animals fermented leftovers from wine making.

  37. Feral Finster

    The latest Ukrainian drone attack did exactly what it was intended to do, give the western press a narrative of Ukrainian victory to talk about, and not the failure of their counteroffensive.

  38. Willow

    Outcome of Assange & Ukraine dependent on DoS puppet master who is hellbent on revenge for having her place in history stolen. Those out for revenge will burn down their own house so long as the object of their ire suffers. There will be no rational resolution of either issue.

  39. KFritz

    re:Antidote de Jour

    Is anyone else wondering whether that’s a raptor hanging out with the capybara? I saved and enlarged the photo, but it’s not a sharp enough image to see whether the bird has the flesh-tearing beak common to all raptors.

  40. aletheia33

    in case anyone is interested, a report from the healthcare wild.
    my local urgent care facility emailed me a request for feedback on my recent visit–with the option to check a box that said “i would like to be contacted”. i checked it.
    here’s what i wrote:

    “clearchoice did not send the records of my visit on thursday, july 28, including x-ray, to my PCP. in the course of my visit, i asked the clearchoice receptionist three times would she send them and she said yes.

    my PCP office called me on friday, july 28, 2023, to let me know they had not received the records. i immediately tried to reach someone at clearchoice by phone–10 people ahead of me in the queue, so i chose the option to receive a callback that the recording said (twice) would happen at the same point in the queue, number 10. no callback. i tried to call again twice. both times, the recording said the facility was closed. there was no option to leave a message. this was midafternoon.

    my PCP’s office says clearchoice are ‘very difficult to deal with, they never send their visit records’ to my PCP. my PCP’s office had told me in advance to make sure to tell them to send them, hence the 3 requests i made to the receptionist.

    i waited 2 hours to be admitted to an exam room, and another 1/2 hour or so to be seen.

    the x-ray technician refused to put on an N95 mask while with me, to accommodate my need for this due to an immune condition that makes me vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. she refused to give her reason for her refusal.
    i am considering taking legal action against clearchoice about her refusal.

    the provider i did see was very hurried and fled the room before i could ask a final question.

    i appreciated the option to use urgent care when my PCP could not fit me in and i was dealing with severe pain. clearchoice is serving as a backup emergency room and PCP in my small town and i understand that. i do not blame the staff for their failure to provide optimal service–this is the responsibility of those above them. i assume that the long wait time poor service results from inadequate staffing, absent and/or overly taxed management, and inadequate pay and bad working conditions.

    in some ways they did the best they could to give me basic medical care.

    as far as i know, the records have not been sent and will not be sent to my PCP. this is a serious failure to provide responsible health care.

    but everyone knows that clearchoice is a company in business to make $$$$$$, not to provide quality healthcare.
    and the HCWs are leaving in droves the field they’ve been trained in because their working conditions are so bad.

    nonetheless, i would really appreciate it if my records could be forwarded to my PCP ASAP.”

  41. Pat

    Oliver Stone was on Russell Brand’s podcast and where he expressed regret for voting for Biden as he is leading us into WWIII.
    This is Deadline’s report on it.
    The thing I get from this is how interesting the comments are. There tends to be about fifty fifty conservative so-called liberal split on any column with some political interest. This one was almost universally slamming Stone. From calling him puppet to idiot to stupid, with some Biden love thrown in they ran the gamut from A to A.

  42. Pat

    NYC was lucky, it didn’t have any notable outages in the last week. New Rochelle did go down for awhile. My favorite moment was the multiple requests on the news to set your AC temperature to 78 degrees.

    News 12 in Westchester on the outage and the strain on the electrical grid.

    All of this was amusing in a black humor way because the state’s governor and legislature response to climate change is to increase the strain on the electrical grid. From rules on stoves, switching to electrical heating, planned closings of power plants most happening in a decade. Yet there is no accompanying plan to strengthen and expand electrical availability outside of pie in the sky urging to increase renewables mostly individually. This is insanity. I really can’t wait for winter outages and calls to set your thermostat at 50 degrees.
    Meanwhile my electrical bill, which has higher delivery charges than what I owe for actual electricity is going up over 9% next month and will increase again in January.

    and more the year after that…
    I wish I thought this would actually go to improved electrical supplies and better service but past experience says otherwise. And this was before the legislature passed all the regulations increasing electrical dependence.

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