Links 7/9/2023

At long last, the American buffalo has come home National Geographic


Irish pub owner rebuilds bar from Banshees of Inisherin The Guardian

The Seductive Vision Of Green Aviation NOEMA



How We’ll Mess Up The Environment on the Moon Clive Thompson, Medium

Groundwater springs formed during glacial retreat are a large source of methane in the high Arctic Nature. From the abstract: “Our findings reveal that climate-driven glacial retreat facilitates widespread release of methane, a positive feedback loop that is probably prevalent across other regions of the rapidly warming Arctic.”

Climate scientists cover Sichuan’s Dagu glaciers with Tencent-sponsored hi-tech blanket to impede their melt amid global warming South China Morning Post

Toxic Bomb Trains

Rail union says Virginia derailment renews questions about Norfolk Southern’s safety practices AP

Norfolk Southern files complaint, says other companies should share blame in East Palestine derailment CBS News


On covid California’s supreme court just said the quiet part out loud Ko-fi

Old Blighty

We need more EU workers, admits leading Tory Brexiter The Guardian. “We are not allowing people to come here to work in sectors like the food industry, even though there are acute labour shortages in these sectors…My proposal is that we commence bilateral negotiations with EU member states, starting with countries like Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states…”

La belle France

French parliament passes law granting police eyes and ears into your phones Interesting Engineering


The Myth of Underdevelopment Phenomenal World. “Legal autonomy and land reform in Jammu and Kashmir.”

European Disunion

‘We would not stand idly by’: Lagarde pledges ECB action if both profits and wages rise CNBC

Corporate profits were biggest driver of inflation in Europe, IMF admits Geopolitical Economy Report. From June 26, still germane.

Dutch government collapses over bitter migration row Hurriyet


China’s Premier just consulted these economists. What’s their view on the economy? Pekingnology

Bashing China Has Replaced The Diplomatic Dialogue Moon of Alabama

Biden told China’s Xi to ‘be careful’ after Putin meeting RT

New Not-So-Cold War

They’re Ready to Fight Again, on Artificial Legs Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

We are moving forward: Zelenskyy posts a video with commanders Ukrainska Pravda


‘We have ambitious plans’: Anti-Putin forces plan fresh attacks inside Russia The Guardian

Ukraine vows it won’t use cluster bombs in Russia Straits Times. Reassuring, especially with even the CIA now claiming the Ukrafascists are out of control.

The response to reports that CFR neocons have had backchannel talks with Russia:


Zelenskyy brings defenders of Azovstal from Türkiye to Ukraine Ukrainska Pravda

Kremlin says Turkey return of Azov leaders violates agreements Al Mayadeen


ANDREW NEIL: The Poles are rearming at a breathtaking rate and are now Europe’s rising power. Let’s embrace Warsaw – over Paris and Berlin Daily Mail

US unemployment hit a historic low this year – but it’s even lower in Russia Business Insider


How the Taliban crushed the CIA’s heroin bonanza in Afghanistan The Cradle


Israel strikes targets in Lebanon after rocket fire from border Al-Monitor

Lebanon’s Military Could Be the Next Casualty of Its Economic Crisis World Politics Review

Deputy Lebanon central bank governors’ threat to collectively resign ‘dangerous’ – minister Arab News

An invasive pest is threatening Lebanon’s valuable pine nut industry NPR

South of the Border

More than meets the silk press: Kamala Harris and U.S. imperialism Hood Communist

Imperial Collapse Watch

The US Army is looking for help from AI to predict what its enemies will do minutes or even hours before they do it Business Insider

The Army is desperate for smart, fit soldiers. How these $200M fit camps get recruits into shape. USA Today. Been seeing a lot of ads like this:

Biden Administration

FBI investigates Biden Iran envoy over classified information SEMAFOR

Is the Chocolate Monopoly Under Siege? BIG by Matt Stoller

The Missouri v. Biden Injunction is a Rare Win for Freedom The Wayward Rabbler


Why the Stop Trump effort all comes down to South Carolina Politico

Democrats en déshabillé

California legislative staff’s wait for a union just got even longer Cal Matters.legislative leaders declared support for the effort this year, even designating the measure as Assembly Bill 1. But this week, that bill was changed to not take effect until 2026.” Classy. The Democratic Party currently holds veto-proof supermajorities in both houses of the legislature.

The Supremes

The Supreme Court makes almost all of its decisions on the ‘shadow docket.’ An author argues it should worry Americans more than luxury trips. Business Insider

Guns, A Wealth Tax And War On Regulators: What We’re Watching On SCOTUS’s Docket Next Term  Talking Points Memo


Hospitals’ latest “innovation”: “patient-centric payment capabilities” HEALTH CARE un-covered

Police State Watch

Mark Zuckerberg Splurges on Private Security For Himself While Financing ‘Defund the Police’ Lee Fang

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Sacramento Sheriff is sharing license plate reader data with anti-abortion states, records show The Sacramento Bee


AI robots at U.N. reckon they could run the world better Japan Times

Digital Watch

The Infantilism Of Totalitarianism Public


The Bezzle

In-space manufacturing startup aces pharma experiment in orbit Ars Technica

Spook Country

Zeitgeist Watch

Lights, Camera, Arrest: Quebec Video Creator Arrested for Simulating Crimes to Gain Social Media Traction The Deep Dive

Class Warfare


As Writers & Actors Fight For AI Protections, Artificial Intelligence Screenplay Competition Opens & Quickly Closes Deadline

Antidote du jour (via):


And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. JohnA

    Re tech:
    Stopping robocars by making them look like unicorns, or unicones, perhaps?

    1. griffen

      In the wise words of Ellen Ripley, and I will paraphrase…”nuke the things from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure…” One US movie channel was running the initial 4 Alien films in sequence yesterday. Having watched them all, I naturally watched parts of Aliens and a wee bit of Alien 3 again.

      These self driving robocar instances read like a unicorn or start up company solving for a problem that the world has, long ago, decided was pretty easy to solve. Employ a human driver to know and actively navigate traffic. I’ll add a unicorn as part of a Google, GM or a Ford, as that may likely be the case. The stupid just burns.

      1. chris

        It’s another example of go-fast-break-stuff-dont-admit-mistakes. Why are we allowing these experiments to take place in public spaces? How many instances of these things interfering with emergency services are required before their permit to operate in a jurisdiction is pulled? And, personally, I want to know WTF are the engineers behind this thinking? I know the ethical standards and practices I signed up for. How exactly does letting uncontrollable robots into the public space so that they put people and property at risk comply with anything in our profession?

        1. Polar Socialist

          One would think that light railcars would be the obvious starting point for automated traffic. Taking the steering problem away would narrow the problem space maybe enough to allows the automata to make correct decisions about proper speed.

          Two way tracks, light cars, short intervals and a human driver in every third car so that there’s always close by wetware that can solve issues outside of “go or stop”.

          Come to think of it, most existing urban overhang monorails are more or less automatic already, I believe.

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          Your question echoes the question many of the scientists who worked on the Manhattan project asked themselves after their work was done.

          Division of labor leads to an impression of division of responsibility. We live in a Society of giant Corporate Businesses and giant Government Agencies. Few members of Humankind in our Society are free to avoid labor working for one of these entities. Many giant Corporate Businesses and Government Agencies do terrible things, without compunction, constraint, or penalty. How would you apportion blame and guilt for these terrible acts? To whom, and how far down the chain of command? What of the complaint of those at the top that they have little choice but to go along with actions decided upon by their Corporate Business or Government Agency? Who has culpability? What of the leadership selected by the Corporate Business of Government Agency? I believe these large organizations select sociopaths and psychopaths for much/most of their leaders. Is is possible our Society is to blame for allowing this to happen? If so, perhaps we all share blame.

          Believing there is no alternative to present Society conveniently sweeps this disturbing thought under the rug. Believe our Society is what it is today because of Progress. The book “The Dawn of Everything” strongly suggests otherwise.

          1. chris

            So, not at all what I was getting at, and maybe that’s because the concept of what I mean when I refer to being a professional is poorly understood. Let me try to explain…

            Engineering is a profession. Society gives me license to do something that others aren’t permitted to do in the jurisdictions I am allowed to work in. I essentially have a piece of a state funded and regulated monopoly. Only these with the credentials, and licensed approval, of the state are permitted to be engineers. As part of that, my activities according to my profession are regulated by the state. Someone can complain about me to the local board of Professional Engineers, and they will review the matter and evaluate whether I screwed up or not. If they decide I did, then I lose my license in that jurisdiction and I have to report the problem to other jurisdictions I may be licensed in. Depending on the nature of the infraction/issue I can lose my license there too, or just be put on probation. The state/jurisdiction defines who is allowed to perform engineering and what they consider engineering. There is little wiggle room. As rule, we tend to police ourselves pretty well because of all this. Because if one person screws up big time it affects all of us.

            One of the most important ways to screw up is stepping outside your area of expertise or the jurisdictions you’re approved to work in. Regardless of my credentials in one jurisdiction, if I’m not licensed/approved or working under a licensed engineer in another, then I am NOT considered an engineer and I CANNOT do engineering in that jurisdiction.

            This is why I and a lot of other licensed engineers chafe at people being called “software engineers” – they don’t have a code of ethics or any limits of what they can and can’t do. People with no credentials or approvals perform coding in a jurisdiction have no limits to what they can do. A coder might be told they can’t operate a financial exchange or something similar if they are convicted of something, but no one is going to say, you can’t write scripts for use in other contexts. And there’s no professional board of coders for people to report bad algorithms to nor is there any way to censure a person for poorly constructing an algorithm that causes harm but does not create a criminal or civil offense. So software engineers can be professional in their work, and they can certainly be ethical, and many demonstrate why coding is a skill and an art…but they’re not engineers and coding isn’t a profession.

            So my point above was, how did the engineers who were behind this mess get by their ethical and professional requirements to put vehicles into the public space that aren’t ready to be in public? This can’t be done by software people. It is illegal. They’re not engineers. So… how is this happening? What board can we complain to so that the licenses and authorization of the company behind these robots gets pulled and they’re no longer sanctioned by the state to operate?

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              So, not at all the depth of moral and ethical thought I was getting at with my comment. As a retired engineer and sometime software engineer — not certified as a professional — I am disappointed, insulted, and annoyed by the tenor of your comment.

              I am fully aware of the concept of a professional and the many ramifications of the concept. I am also familiar, though less so, with the tests and processes for becoming a professional engineer. I took a cursory look at the tests for becoming a professional engineer and I saw nothing, that at the time or in retrospect, related to anything I had been asked to work on in my forty+ years as a working engineer. As for ethics and morals, I believe I can claim to have strong personal ethics. As for professional engineers, I am not sure of what niches they occupy other than in structural engineering.

              I have a friend who built decorative gardens for wealthy patrons in New York City. He was told by a certified professional engineer that the specified attachment and support system in the architectural plans would be stable and reliable for a garden he was building. My friend, who had built many gardens on many building tops argued with the certified engineer that more support was needed based on his experience building gardens. The certified professional engineer vehemently asserted that all was well, and my friend MUST do as he was commanded. The woman who commissioned the garden stood with the engineer, and demanded that my friend recognize his expertise and execute the plans as ordered. When the supports failed and the garden came down, the woman who initiated and paid for the project demanded that my friend repair the defect. At his cost, he redid the work as he had strongly recommended it should have been done to begin with. Neither the woman who contracted his work nor the highly ethical professional engineer who certified the failed work would take any responsibility for the failure. And please do not be tempted to impune the ethics of my friend. I can certify that his work was more than just work for hire. He had trained in the fine arts. His work was a thing of beauty and pride for him that he would never have adulterated for profit. He strongly believed in the ethics of workmanship which matches and in this case more than matches the ethics of certifications and your appeal to professionalism.

              I have related a mere anecdote, but do we not live and experience anecdotally? My experiences and initial impressions give no special imprimatur to the ethics of your supposed professionality.

              Your question: “how did the engineers who were behind this mess get by their ethical and professional requirements to put vehicles into the public space that aren’t ready to be in public?”– tells me that you have absolutely no experience working on a large software project run by government or business concerns. The engineers that worked on these vehicles had absolutely NO say in whether the vehicles they worked on were ready to be in public! No say whatsoever!

              Go try your concepts of morality on the medical profession if you retain any further illusions about what it means to be a professional — hint — “Do no harm” is not in the Hippocratic Oath.

              1. chris

                Seems like the internet ate my longer response. In the context of this vehicle, regardless of your anecdote, yes, engineers have the ethical obligation to protest and withdraw their services in matters that violate code and affect public safety. Here’s a good discussion of the distinctions for whistleblowing and ethics for engineers.

                And for the record, I have worked on large government projects. I did have the ability to stop work if it was unsafe. And I would have if needed. Might that have made my life very uncomfortable? Yes. Would it have absolved me if something went wrong that I knew about in advance? No.

                Software people can absolutely be ethical, and professional, and skilled, but that license and what it holds you to, is a big difference between software developers and engineers.

                1. redleg

                  I’m with Chris.
                  Software people are writing code to do a specific thing, but the thing in the AV case is operating in an engineered system i.e. traffic, that should be under the supervision of a PE, with the errors and omissions risk that comes with any engineered system.
                  My guess is that finding professional liability insurance to cover that risk would be unaffordable if it’s possible to find at all.

                  Free advice to anyone who sees a flaw in a plan that’s signed by a PE or other licensed professional: write your observation on the plan in ink and make the PE sign and date it in ink before you do the work. Stop the project until the PE signs!! That little thing has gotten me out of a few messes over my career, as it shows exactly who made the mistake and when.

                2. Jeremy Grimm

                  What makes a PE different from an engineer?
                  “PEs shoulder the responsibility for not only their work, but also for the lives affected by that work and must hold themselves to high ethical standards of practice.”
                  This implies a person can be an engineer without being a Professional Engineer. One important difference between an engineers and a Professional Engineers is that the Professional Engineers hold authority to “prepare, sign and seal, and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority” and with this authority they shoulder responsibility for their work. This contrasts with the status and authority the state gives to an ordinary engineer.

                  “Safety-critical systems are embedded systems that could cause injury or loss of human life if they fail or encounter errors. Flight-control systems, automotive drive-by-wire, nuclear reactor management, or operating room heart/lung bypass machines naturally come to mind.”

                  Should the development of robocars be blessed by PEs, and should those PEs be held responsible when there are accidents causing injury or loss of human life. Perhaps, but until some very explicit standards of practice can be defined for complex software intensive, safety-critical systems I doubt there would be many engineers, PE or otherwise, ready to sign up for that job. NASA developed extensive guidelines for designing and testing safety-critical systems. However their high costs and complexity, does not encourage business concerns to voluntarily adopt safety-critical methods and testing. I believe the complexity of many software systems in areas that are safety-critical combined with the complexity of safety-critical design techniques quickly results in a problem that is impracticable. I believe safety-critical systems like robotaxis should be subject to intensive government regulation and control.

                  You are rightly proud to have been a PE. I am also proud to have worked as an engineer and software engineer. PE specialties include industrial engineering, nuclear engineering, and multiple fields in civil and mechanical engineering. I suspect there have been efforts to create a PE for software engineering. I also suspect they ran into problems unlike problems in the certification of the existing fields of specialization. If you are concerned about certifications — Microsoft has come up with all kinds of them. I know little about matters of legal liability for software failures. My impression is that this area of law is not well resolved, either through statue law or case law.

          2. marku52

            I have that thought too. If you go to work at the health InsCo and find a coverage loophole that let’s you deny lifesaving treatment to a sick person, are you really any different than the people counting noses for the rail cars to Treblinka?

            It doesn’t look that different to me…..

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              Thank you for your response. I had hoped other comments would explore these larger philosophical questions of authority, responsibility, and guilt in a world of Corporate Cartels and giant Government Agencies.

              As a practical matter, I believe robotaxis operating on public roads is a clear failure government. Suppose robotaxis were 100% safe, I cannot think of a justification for allowing them to displace the existing taxi services. Similarly I cannot think of a justification for allowing Uber taxis and their like to displace the existing taxi services. Further, I believe the way existing taxi services had become cash cows exploiting the public and taxi drivers was a clear failure government.

      2. Benny Profane

        I had read many times, and, it makes total sense to me as a former NYC taxi driver, that these robots taxis will become moving rest rooms. Hell, happened to me a few times while I was driving. People really suck at times, especially on Saturday night.

        1. TimH

          Interior cameras and the fact that passengers are not anon. since they have to have an account will minimise that problem.

          1. Benny Profane

            You think those cameras are immune to vandalism? First item to go. And then how would anybody know? Smellometer? Robot dogs?

            1. cnchal

              Eventually those things will be like a roving prison with an interior built for hosing out.

              The only button a passenger will be allowed to push is ‘door open’ and the default will be the button won’t work unless the toll is paid.

              Here is MIT guy about the “”value”” of this new technology.

              Joseph Coughlin, director of the AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, predicts that companies will have a powerful incentive to do so. “The most valuable thing coming from AV technology is trapped attention,” he says. “If I’m Amazon and I have your undivided attention for an hour, I will figure out a way to eliminate motion sickness and remove all the other obstacles to enjoying the ride so that I can sell you things.”

              AV is not about getting you to your destination, it’s about monetizing your time stuck in their device.

              1. Jeremy Grimm

                A “roving prison”? How very attractive to customers./s
                And how beautiful and attractive to hackers and less sophisticated discontents,

        2. Michael Fiorillo

          “People really suck at times…”


          Sometimes ESL-ese provides the needed emphasis: my Ecuadorian step-mother would observe the “It-ain’t-the-heat-It’s-the-humanity” July streets of NYC and endlessly say, “So ugly the people.”

          I’ve used it so much over the years that my wife said it should appear on my gravestone.

    2. Mikel

      People can make cones themselves too. I’d go this route instead of possibly violating some law about messing with city property.

    3. Glen

      Apparently SF is actually trying to ban robocars, but the state has jurisdiction:

      California Bill Bans Self-Driving Trucks. San Francisco Supervisors Block Waymo. Does Luddism Reign?–san-francisco-supervisors-block-waymo-does-luddism-reign/?sh=bc2e1903676f

      Anybody that has every run a construction project in SF can tell you historically SF has some very, very old laws because it got way ahead of the curve enacting standards after the 1906 earthquake. Here’s one example:

      Why the San Francisco Fire Department Uses Handmade Wooden Ladders

      Given how “funky” the place is anyway with local regulations, I’m sort of surprised SF has just not banned robocars if they don’t want them on their streets. (Or at least made it “blameless” if people deal with them.) I know I wouldn’t want them driving around where I live.

  2. griffen

    Norfolk Southern points blame cannons onto practically any other part of this doom loop cycle that can be found or unearthed. Not a shocker, since a corporation is a person after all. It’s never no one’s fault. \sarc

    Corporation liability in such instances should be practically without limit. Lifetime healthcare for those impacted and a healthy fund for relocation assistance if necessary, all being documented of course, and a likely more expensive cleanup effort. As with such things in life, crank up the legal fees.

      1. chris

        That is an interesting point. You’d think there would be a huge business interest behind Medicare 4 All to shift liability and costs to the federal government for a nationwide healthcare program. Really odd that hasn’t happened yet.

        1. earthling

          Too many large insurers making too many bucks off the current system. And besides, they already HAVE the federal government paying the bill for Medicare “Advantage” plans for oldsters with lots of medical problems.

          1. antidlc

            The majority of big insurers’ health plan revenues are subsidized by American taxpayers

            A lot of people on Capitol Hill were surprised to learn that, as I wrote earlier, UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest health insurer, got 72% of its health plan revenue last year from taxpayers, not from private-paying customers. As you can imagine, that is not a talking point the company’s many lobbyists are likely to use with members of Congress and staffers.

            But that percentage, which has been inching up for years, will only get higher. That’s because the federal government has been so generous in doling out your money to private insurers that UnitedHealth and the other big for-profit insurers have focused far more on increasing their Medicare Advantage enrollment than their private health plan enrollment.

            If anything, those percentages are understated. Many of those companies also got billions in subsidies from the federal government to help cover the cost or premiums for the 14.5 million people enrolled in ACA (Obamacare) marketplace plans. The premiums for most ACA plans are so high that most people who get their coverage through the ACA marketplaces couldn’t afford their coverage without the subsidies. This year, 89% of marketplace enrollees qualified for subsidies in the form of advance premium tax credits (APTCs).

            As millions of Americans lost both their jobs and their employer-sponsored coverage during the pandemic, Congress made subsidies available temporarily to more individuals and families under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Those additional subsidies would have expired at the end of this election year if Congress hadn’t extended them last month for another three years as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. The price tag for that extension will amount to around $25 billion a year, according to previous Congressional Budget Office estimates. Keep in mind that that money will go straight to insurers.

            As far as a “business interest behind Medicare”, I read somewhere that the larger companies don’t want Medicare for All because they can offer better insurance coverage than smaller companies and good health insurance coverage offers the larger companies a competitive advantage in attracting workers.
            Large companies and institutions self-insure, so they only pay insurance companies for administration and billing.

        2. spud

          “That is an interesting point. You’d think there would be a huge business interest behind Medicare 4 All to shift liability and costs to the federal government for a nationwide healthcare program. Really odd that hasn’t happened yet.”

          its not odd at all. all one needs to do is look at capitalism and the boards of corporations and you know that its all about collusion. having board members that also sit on the board of a health insurance corporations and fossil fuel, then understanding why G.M. which should have agitated for a national health care system and embraced mileage standards decades ago to compete, it becomes apparent.

          and if hedge funds and so-called private equity get in there, then the race to the bottom accelerates at a tremendous speed.

        3. Michael Fiorillo

          In addition to the highly-profitable entities already armed and dug in, there’s also the labor discipline side to it; far easier to cow people when health insurance is employment-based. It creates a baseline fear level in the working population that universal healthcare would eliminate.

          Can’t have that.

          1. redleg

            There’s a competition angle too: How many people would quit and start small businesses, or just quit?

        4. LifelongLib

          I’ve brought that point up to small business owners of my acquaintance. But they’re so convinced that government can’t do anything right they figure M4A would cost them more than the current system.

          1. antidlc


            Wendell Potter thinks there is growing support for Medicare for All among small and mid-sized businesses:


            We already are the only developed country in the world that rations care on the ability to pay. And that’s only going to get worse. And I think you’re going to be seeing not only more and more individuals and families support Medicare for All, but you’re going to see increasingly businesses, small businesses to mid-sized businesses in particular. One of the other things that I have done is agree to serve as president of this organization called the Business initiative for Health Policy. And it’s an organization that makes the business case. Not just the social and moral case, but the business case for moving to Medicare for All, and representing businesses that can no longer afford to offer coverage to their workers. They’re becoming increasingly uncompetitive in the global marketplace if they are having to experience year after year premiums they can’t control.

            The founder of the business initiative is a business executive who is calculating that it now costs him $14 an hour per year per employee to offer coverage to his workers, which is ridiculous. So there is no employer that can can do this indefinitely in this country and still be competitive in a global marketplace.

            1. Phenix

              My house care plan is even more than that. I broke down my hours last year and I was over $25 an hour to insure. I have a family of 4. Our system makes no sense.

              Whenever I talk about M4A with conservatives I just talk up the cost of insurance on small businesses and the amount of money that goes to our health insurance instead of our pay checks. I usually get positive engagement.

  3. The Rev Kev

    Perhaps before things start up we should give thanks to tech guru Dave and everybody else at NC for being able to bring comments back on track. The place wasn’t the same without real-time comments.

    1. marym

      Yes, thank you Dave and all who worked to fix the problem and keep the lights on while the problem was being resolved.

      1. Alice X

        Thanks katiebird – looking back at my July 5 folder I found it (copied when it had 12 comments). Try as I might, my bandwidth often has holes in it, sometimes gaping holes. :-/

    1. JTMcPhee

      Yeah, before I went to law school and took Constitutional Law and Federal Jurisdiction and Civil and Criminal Procedure, I thought Marbury v. Madison and Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee were the apotheosis of ” Qui Pro Domina Justitia Sequitur,” the opaque motto of the (sic) “Department of Justice” (now demonstrably just another tool, like the Supremes, of the kleptocakistocracy.)

      Stupid me for believing “all the crap I learned in (grade and) high school” and even in college, about the “government of laws, not of men.” You’d think after being sucker enough to enlist in the Imperial Army to “fight the Commies in Vietnam rather than on the boardwalk at Long Beach” I might have known better from seeing the Beast and corruption in action, but we mopes so desperately want to believe that “our institutions” can somehow still be “reformed” to serve us…


      1. The Rev Kev

        It was Dick Cheney who said after 9/11 that ‘It will be necessary for us to be a nation of men, and not laws.’ And instead of stuffing that back under a rock, it was Obama that gave a free pass to torturers and shut down habeas corpus. When stuff like that gets done because of political expediency, I am sure that these people pat themselves on the back for coming up with such a bright idea. They never stop to ask themselves why such laws have centuries of practice behind it though.

        1. bassmule

          “kleptocakistocracy” A quick search suggests this is a new coinage. And a very useful one. Many thanks, JT!

          1. Jeff W

            It’s not. Ideally, it would be spelled kleptokakistocracy with the c replaced by a k as one of the words that form the portmanteau is kakistocracy.

        2. Alice X

          I have heard it said that the rule of law went out the window when Ford pardoned Nixon. I remember exactly where I was when he came on TV to announce the pardon on September 8, 1974. Wiki has this:

          After Ford left the White House in 1977, he privately justified his pardon of Nixon by carrying in his wallet a portion of the text of Burdick v. United States, a 1915 U.S. Supreme Court case where the dictum stated that a pardon carries an imputation of guilt and that its acceptance carries a confession of guilt.

          But then, the rule of law may well have been a ruse all along.

          1. Maxwell Johnston

            I have no specific opinion re the status of ‘rule of law’ in the USA, but I don’t think it’s fair to crititicize Ford’s decision to pardon Nixon. I think Ford did the right thing for the USA as a whole (by drawing a line under the entire Watergate debacle), and I have no doubt that this decision cost him the 1976 election. Once upon a time, the USA had leaders who acted in the greater public interest, regardless of personal consequences. Not anymore, apparently. Note that many years later (in 2001), even Senator Ted Kennedy admitted that Ford had made the right decision and, to Kennedy’s credit, he presented Ford with an award. Sorry for linking to NPR (there’s a first time for everything, I suppose), but it’s a good summary:


            Ford was a decent and honorable person. And he didn’t start any wars, so that immediately puts him in the top tier of USA presidents.

              1. Maxwell Johnston

                Too true. Not one of his finest hours. OTOH, he was one of the youngest members on the commission (Hale Boggs was a year younger than Ford), and he had by far the least impressive pedigree and CV (he only become house minority leader in 1965), so maybe he was intimidated by the other stalwarts on the committee. Allen Dulles was a scary guy.

                Anyway, this has nothing to do with his decision to pardon Nixon.

              2. pjay

                He wasn’t just on the commission; he played an important role in rigging its conclusions and (especially) defending them in public – even though there is evidence to suggest that he did not believe them in private.

                But that aside, you can trace the cancerous rise of the neocons within the foreign policy establishment to the brief but significant period of the Ford Presidency. He did seem to support Nixon’s policies of detente with China and the USSR early on. But his “Halloween Massacre” personnel upheaval in 1975 began the right-wing surge that gained momentum from that point on, as Rockefeller was sidelined, Rumsfeld became Secretary of Defense, Cheney became his Chief of Staff, and Bush became CIA Director. The latter trio arranged for the “Team B” analysis commissioned by the CIA with Pipes, Wolfowitz, Nitze, et al. that fear-mongered a growing Soviet threat and, one could argue, never really looked back.

                Ford may have been a nice guy personally. His colleagues seemed to genuinely like him. And he did express regrets about the “Massacre” later in life. But the Chevy Chase version of Gerald Ford does a great disservice to his impact on US political history.

                1. Maxwell Johnston

                  I thought the Halloween Massacre was Ford’s flailing attempt to protect himself against accusations from Reagan that he was being too much of a softie. There was no big boost in defense spending until the 1980s (here’s a brief chart in constant USD):


                  Papa Bush was quite the diplomat by today’s standards; recall his cautious diplomacy in the leadup to Gulf War 1, and his Chicken Kiev speech. He was no neocon. Cheney and Wolfie et al (don’t forget the dreadful Perle!) and the Team B report: yeah, agreed. But USA foreign policy has been bipartisan for many years now. I don’t see why Ford deserves such blame, especially given how short his term was. And I still don’t see what this has to do with his decision to pardon Tricky Dick in 1974 (my original point).

                  1. CanCyn

                    I’m guessing people are reacting to this: “Ford was a decent and honorable person. And he didn’t start any wars, so that immediately puts him in the top tier of USA presidents.”

                    1. Maxwell Johnston

                      Probably you’re right. Geez. Tough crowd tonight, guess I should choose my words more carefully. But he didn’t start any wars, so there’s that.

                  2. pjay

                    I was actually responding to your “decent and honorable person” comment; he may have been a “decent” person personally, but I don’t think all of his actions were “honorable.” Certainly not with the Warren commission. And while I don’t think he was a “neocon” himself, I see him as an enabler who at the very least gave in to the hawks (as you say). Regarding the pardon, my view of Watergate is pretty cynical regarding all parties involved, Nixon, the people who wanted him out, the media. For me, the official “Watergate” story is a myth to make people feel good about the outcome of a “Game of Thrones” struggle among elite factions. The pardon served to close that book and keep the details quiet, not to “heal the country.”

                    As far as Bush goes – I don’t even want to go there. He may have had a “realist” view of Ukrainian nationalism, but his decisions on the Gulf War (which the neocons definitely wanted; was Bush one of them, or just an enabler?), his role in Iran Contra (not only his knowledge of events, but his own pardon of all involved – worse than Ford’s in my view)… I think our “preppie” stereotype of Bush is even more misleading than the Chevy Chase version of Ford.

                    1. Maxwell Johnston

                      Perhaps I should have written, “decent and honorable compared to most other politicians.” Maybe that will pass compliance.

                      Re Watergate: there exists a conspiracy theory that Tricky Dick was actually taken down by the Deep State because he was too much of a peacenik: pulling out of Vietnam, ending conscription, opening to China, pursuing detente with the USSR (SALT, ABM). No idea what the truth is, but I share your cynicism. But at least Ford drew a line under it and tried to move his country onwards.

                      Re Papa Bush: he never struck me as being particularly smart, but he sure wasn’t a neocon. He might have been an enabler for some of those clowns, but by the end of his presidency (1992-3) the USA’s foreign policy had become broadly bipartisan. My sense is that Papa Bush just kind of went along with what he perceived to be the general consensus, not a serious player or game changer.

                      I think I’ve hit enough raw nerves for one evening, so buonanotte a tutti.

            1. Alice X

              Ford’s private justification, as held in the wiki reference, that a pardon carries an imputation of guilt and that its acceptance carries a confession of guilt, left out that the crimes would be enumerated in a court of law. He could have waited for the enumeration and then pardoned him. Or not. It was widely held that a pardon was a quid pro quo for him to become President or even to have been named VP in the first place. That caused a lot of damage to the country. So no, I don’t agree that it was the right thing, no matter what Ted Kennedy said.

              1. Maxwell Johnston

                Any formal prosecution of Nixon would have dragged on for years, with multiple well-financed appeals. It would have been a media circus, much like what happened in Italy with Berlusconi for 2 decades. Or what will possibly happen now in the USA with Trump. In short: a colossal distraction from more pressing matters. I respect your viewpoint, but I think Ford did the right thing. So we’ll have to agree to disagree.

                1. jsn

                  You might enjoy Chris Baker’s “House of Secrets” about the Bush clan.

                  Had Nixon not been pardoned, an aggressive defense of the tricky one might have uncovered that “the Plumbers” were a CIA operation against the President who had been asking since elected about the Kennedy assassination, an event GHW Bush has a surprising and surprisingly unknown history with. Bush Sr had a fascinating and foggy career dating back to Prescott’s affiliations, including Prescott’s early intervention to launch Nixon.

                  It’s a pretty interesting and well footnoted “first draft of history”, a journalistic account of piles of documents declassified in the last couple of decades, picking up in many ways were Talbot’s “The Devils Chess Board” left off.

                  1. JTMcPhee

                    And did I just read that the important documents about the Kennedy killing have been locked up for another indeterminate period?

                    And this stuff about drawing lines under salient moments in the depraved history of this place? I call BS. That’s called “memory holing,” and it’s one of the reasons we mopes keep living through the same sh!tstorms, or rhyming versions of them. Nothing honorable about burying the bad deeds of our rulers, no honesty among thieves and murderers of the retail and wholesale varieties.

                    1. jsn


                      What happened to Nixon is how our Oligarchs treat their friends.

                      Kennedy got the enemies treatment.

                  2. Martin Oline

                    Thanks for the tip. This book seems to be titled Family of Secrets by Russ Baker. It is at my library so I have asked for it.

        3. Bart Hansen

          Re: MvM: It was Cheney, who when tasked by Bush to find a good VP, decided he was the best choice. And so the court decided it could tell us how things work.

        4. Jeremy Grimm

          The rule of law looms a dark specter in an Empire where the laws are not made by the Populace or for the Populace — an Empire of laws made by, for, and benefiting the Imperial Elites. Rule by Imperial decree differs only to the extent that it is unknown until its moment and ever open to whim and subject to change.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Kind of like what happens when some huge piece of legislation written by lobbyists, unread by the bought and paid for legislators, gets “passed” and then signed off on by the bought and paid for “President,” which thereby becomes “legitimate,” Latin root “lex.” And binding on us “mopes,” thereby. Stuff like “access to healthcare,” and trillions for war stuff and crazy subsidies for rich people and “tax breaks.”

  4. Lexx

    ‘Is the Chocolate Monopoly Under Siege?’

    Help me out here… within the U.S. and apart from kids and Halloween candy, who is still buying that waxy low-grade chocolate? If I see it at all it’s being given away but I can’t remember the last time I saw someone buy those candy bars, drop several into their shopping cart at the check stand, or grab one from a vending machine. It’s like adult customers are embarrassed to be seen munching on one. They’re filling their grocery carts with virtue instead, standing in the aisles scrutinizing the labels for grams of carbs and fiber content. I know what adults used to allegedly keep hidden in their nightstands… maybe it’s dark chocolate with almonds from Trader Joe’s now.

    I gave away big ChocoLonely bars* at Halloween and the kids seemed delighted by the upgrade in chocolate, but it’s pretty much a candy fest for tots anyway and they’re not the most discerning chocolate fans. That’s one night a year. They can’t be making billions on Snickers and Kit Kats eaten alone (more likely in combination with other brands and ingredients); it would have to be through acquisition.

    *Last time I looked ChocoLonely was still privately owned.

    1. Bugs

      Whenever I’m in the USA, I buy myself a Butterfinger. Just one. I love those things. The other stuff, not so much. I guess it’s nostalgia.

      Btw, I’m always put into moderation. Must be my IP.

        1. Bugs

          No, I’m at home in France on a local fibre provider, who I absolutely love. No frills, 29€ a month and incredible bandwidth. Better than any of the big 4 telcos. I do still use Free on mobile though and it is frequently blocked when I send emails, I guess because Free was so easy to sign up for that it’s been used for spam over the years.

      1. Lexx

        My father’s favorite… he wasn’t much of a sweet eater but he’d fish a few out of our trick-or-treat bags when we returned home that evening. He also claimed the Heath toffee bars, but the neighbors didn’t give many of those away back then. Even I would eat one of those in public for all the world to see.

        For Husband it seems to be any combination of peanut butter and chocolate.

      2. Mark Gisleson

        You missed an earlier announcement about all the comments automatically going into moderation (including this one providing the moderator with yet another meta moment ; ) due to some technical glitch yet to be resolved. Or something like that.

    2. griffen

      Surely I’m not alone outside of Halloween, but I keep it around. Usually it’s small snack sized bars, Twix bars or 3Musketeer bars, for a late evening small snack. As an adult, I’d be more ashamed if somehow a case of Bud Light made its way into my home (more a commentary on poor corporate ideology and the purveying of a marketing theme, rather poorly of course). And as for the poor little start ups from the article battling against the corporate titans, well that’s been in the works a long time now. McDonald’s is everywhere across the globe, but that’s only a sign of the Ray Kroc management style, let the competition drown and I’ll step on their head to make it so.

    3. chris

      Shop where the poor people shop. Watch what kids buy. And old people. Lots of people buy the stuff we Americans portray as chocolate. And not just for Halloween! Parties, school events, prizes for games, etc. It’s s’mores season right now after all. And even though I don’t eat Hershey bars on their own there is a magical quality to a fire kissed marshmallow draped in a melted chunk of chocolate and served between two crackers when you’re sitting around a camp fire.

      Also, because of import limits and availability, most Americans don’t know what good chocolate looks like or tastes like. So they value the sugar rush and quantity over quality.

    4. LaRuse

      I buy bags of “fun size” Snickers and put them at a bowl near the edge of my cubicle. I call them “Attitude Adjusters” and they do tend to bring grateful vistors and small smiles. I choose snickers because they are safe from me. My chocolate of choice is the Lindor truffle chocolates. Expensive. And so tasty. Not for general co-worker consumption.

      1. Lexx

        … and parents thought they just needed to beware of the homemade popcorn balls from the ‘quiet’ neighbor in that old house on the corner… bwahahahahaha!

    5. Laughingsong

      When I want a really fantastic chocolate treat, I get truffles from Euphoria Chocolate (local here in Eugene Oregon, but they ship). Have to be kept refrigerated so not a Halloween option but to quote George Takei: oooooooohhhh my. Mm-mm-mm.
      Then there’s Christmas, which traditionally was always a box of nuts and chews from Sees candies. When I lived in Ireland that changed to a big tin of Cadbury Roses….until Hershey bought them and crapified them. Sigh.

    6. Carolinian

      As usual with Stoller he leaves out the counter argument which is that grocery is a low margin high competition business that would suffer without “slotting fees.” In other words they are both food supplier and “catalog showroom” for national brands. And as a consumer I’d rather have lots of competing grocery stores than lots of competing chocolate brands–assuming there is such a trade off.

      Of course there is another way represented by Aldi and Lidl where national brands are mostly unseen (more true of Aldi) and these German companies bring in house brand European chocolate bars that are much better than Hershey.

      But if you like the big full featured grocery stores like Publix then what’s good for small American chocolatiers may not be good for you. Or at least there’s that case to be argued.

      1. Don

        Why is there such a huge difference between chocolate available in the US vs. Canada? Here, drugstores and supermarkets carry many dozens of very high-end chocolate bars perhaps 20 or more Lindt products alone, way more linear feet of shelf space than the big N/A mass-market brands that are minimally stocked just at the checkouts.

    7. ChrisPacific

      When I lived in the US I used to be perplexed by things that were readily available in other countries that Americans just didn’t have. Decent chocolate was a big one – all that was on supermarket shelves was the pallid, waxy, sugary Hershey stuff, and prepackaged snack bars. Good chocolate was permitted to occupy a small luxury shelf at a much higher price point, but never the mass market section, and brands like Cadbury were nowhere to be seen. (This was before Mondelez took over Cadbury and set about systematically degrading the brand, but even in its current state it’s still far superior to Hershey).

      Music was another one. You could fill a book with the groups that took the world by storm musically and yet never got any air time in the US. It was pretty funny listening to Americans enthuse over the ‘Mamma Mia’ movie when it came out. ABBA weren’t a one hit wonder! They had other songs – lots of them! And they were really good! Who knew? Well, they dominated the charts around the world for almost a decade, so: literally almost everybody except you.

  5. griffen

    I’ve not voted often in a primary during a Presidential race, more often than not just voted in the national election; and to which I confess a certain lack of zeal in casting my vote for A, B, C, D. So I will look forward to casting a primary ballot in early 2024, when the time arrives here in South Carolina. I can envision Trump dipping slightly in the coming months, but pray tell who is making up any ground on his lead? DeSantis just maybe, but he or someone else is going to have to deploy a well planned, well designed advertising campaign. I mean, just to talk over Trump loudly is trying to beat the Orange Man at his own game. I’m not enthused today by my choices, and doubtful that is going to change. And to be honest, Orange Man in a “rhetorical or not” orange jumpsuit with shackles might garner even more attention.

    1. Bugs

      I think what we’ll see is similar to 2016. The media will pump up a candidate for a cycle and Trump will KO each of them. They each slink off and eventually either kiss the ring or go RINO. Desantis at max 27% polling will finally “take the gloves off” and then get crushed by Trump, leaving the race. He’ll likely endorse. Just my humble prediction.

      1. mrsyk

        Yes. Trump stomped the field in 2016 primary including two term Florida governor and dynasty candidate Jebbie. No reason to think it will be different this time. DeSantis eventually kissing the ring is less clear to me.

        1. flora

          Whatever else, T has a knack for finding exactly the right nickname to dispatch his opponents: Little Marco, Lyin’ Ted, Tired !Jeb, and maybe the best zinger aimed at Sen. Elizabeth Warren… Pocahontas. (Even Dems laughed at that one.)

          T’s ability to flout campaign convention and make everyone laugh while he does that is something no campaign advisor can orchestrate.

        1. chris

          I’m in New England on a family errand and I just saw a presidential ad for Tim Scott at a local restaurant in NH. I’ll tell you what he said got a lot of positive nodding from the crowd. Especially the lines about, “If you’re healthy and able, you need to be working.” I thought he did a good job highlighting contrasts between him and Biden.

          I could see him being president. I have no hope he’d be an improvement over any of the other options. But from the crowd reaction and how he portrayed himself on TV in that ad… yeah, he looks the part. He’s at least ambulatory and speaks in clear sentences. Biden can’t do either anymore. Sad that I have such a low bar for presidential timber these days.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Not saying it shouldn’t happen, just saying it won’t. Not this time anyway.

          2. cnchal

            > I’ll tell you what he said got a lot of positive nodding from the crowd. Especially the lines about, “If you’re healthy and able, you need to be working.”

            Totally insane crowd, them head nodders. Imagine working in Amazon’s Satanic Mills and having your body wrecked in a couple of years. I bet a lot of them head nodders are bosses or have sit on your ass bullshit jawbs.

            > I could see him being president.

            Do you really want a whip cracking sadist for president?

            1. Jeff W

              “…you need to be working.”

              As I’ve mentioned twice before (so it might strike people as annoyingly repetitive), journalist and professor of English Ben Yagoda way back in 2006 called it the “kindergarten imperative.” (People need to stop using it.)

      2. Tom Doak

        The only part of your scenario I’ll disagree with is that DeSantis would endorse Trump after the fact. 2024 is Trump’s last go-around, win or lose, and he’s not the kind of guy who will produce an obvious successor. So the battle for the 2028 nomination will begin as soon as Trump is nominated, and those candidates will not need to fear him.

      3. Michael Fiorillo

        Yes, plausible if not likely… and with DeSantis subsequently groveling at the appropriate times.

    2. Carolinian

      Well I’ll be voting ABB (anyone but Biden) in the earlier Dem primary. Don’t think you can vote in both.

      As for Politico, so many tea leaves, so little time. They fail to mention the ginormous turnout for Trump’s recent SC rally. True many of those thousands were not from SC but I’d say the tea leaves are not encouraging for any candidate not named Trump. The Bidenistas seem to be hoping their lawfare will take him out.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Unless they “bolosonaro” him, which I suspect they will try to do based on his “instigation” of the “insurrection” (14th amendment apparently), the repub nomination is Trump’s.

        No matter how hard politico and its ilk try to frame 2024 as just another garden variety election, as far as the MAGA contingent’s concerned, it’s not. They think Trump was robbed of his legit presidency in 2016 and robbed in 2020. Let the other contenders blather on about the “issues.” The only “issue” this time around is that if Trump is willing to go again, they’re going with him.

    1. vao

      You can probably still access the original video of the bear with dogs in YouTube — thus eschewing the obligation to set up a twitter account (which I never had and do not intend to have).

      In fact, many of those amusing short videos in Twitter have already been published in YouTube — sometimes quite a long time ago.

    2. Brunches with Cats

      Aaaawwww. Way cuter than the bear. (But thanks, all the same, to vao for the search and rescue.)

    3. Late Introvert

      You can almost see the person’s hand holding the puppie’s paw as it pets the duckling.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        Yeah, I noted that, too. But the rest seems authentic, pup appears truly attached to his fluffy little friend — sufficient cuteness for an antidote to the ghastly human behavior reported in links.

        Speaking of which, meant to comment hours ago on what an outstanding job Conor did on today’s links and standalone articles!

        1. Late Introvert

          Sorry if it seemed like I was putting down the antidote, it was a very heartwarming inter-species interaction, I agree. I just can’t watch anything from H’wood Films to internet videos without picking them apart. It’s a gift and a curse.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Kremlin says Turkey return of Azov leaders violates agreements”

    I think that perhaps Russia may be protesting too much and may be doing it for form. Consider. Erdogan will be at that NATO Summit in the next few days and he can say that he is doing his part by having freed those Azov commanders. It might help get them off his back and stop some of the demands for Türkiye to sanction Russia, ship all their spare weaponry to the Ukraine for free, cut all trade off with them and denounce Russia on the international community. But for Russia? On the outside it looks like a humiliation but think about this. Those Azov commanders in Türkiye were safe as they spun their wheels. Now that they are back in the Ukraine, they will no doubt be deployed again as the Ukraine is short of trained officers. And what that means is that those Azov guys are once again fair game for the Russians and you can bet that they will try to identify their locations in the coming months for elimination. All of them are marked men for sure.

    1. ambrit

      One wee problem with this scenario is that the Azov troops are the main “enforcers” for the Ukrainian Army. They are the “political troops” who sit behind the advancing front line troops and shoot the “laggards” and “cowards.”
      This will prolong the ground war in the Ukraine.
      It is beginning to look like the Russians are going to have to completely devastate the Ukraine as the most effective means of neutralizing it as a potential threat to Russia in the future.
      “They create a desert and call it ‘neutralized.'”
      As the post on the fall out from the breaching of the Kakhovka dam shows, the downright evil aftereffects of this war will haunt Europe for decades.

      1. hk

        Being at distance from the front probably won’t keep them from the missiles, I should think, if Russians really want to kill them, and killing them would make Russia more popular, in a manner of speaking, with the Ukrainian grunts.

    2. Milton

      Like strays, they have been chipped and neutered. I’m sure the ukes will be viewing them with suspicion as their locations may be tracked for some time to come.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Allegedly one of them Azov hotshots (“Volyn”?) told the Turkish media that they would have all died in the Azovstal if the USA and Russia had not reached a backroom deal that allowed US to extract their high-ranking officers from the factory – making it possible for the Ukrainians to surrender.

        I guess it’ll be years until we learn half of what went on in this war.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Russia got several thousand prisoners of war and a “peaceful” resolution to the siege of Azovstal allowing them to move troops to north and begin the reconstruction of Mariupol.

            Well, he only said the first thing.

    3. Lex

      I think it’s a little bit of everything. Erdogan being Erdogan, NATO pressure, Syria (Russians were pummeling Turkish proxies around Idlib recently), the grain deal, etc. Erdogan wants the grain deal badly, Russia has no use for it. But it’s also worth considering that Erdogan has the Kremlin over a barrel when it comes to NATO access to the Black Sea.

      But mostly it’s part of a PR blitz by Zelensky before the summit since Kiev has no military gains to show.

    4. magpie

      You make good points. In the spirit of what you’re suggesting, Erdogan publicly supports Ukraine’s NATO bid while knowing there is such opposition from other members that it probably will not happen, at least not soon. These symbolic statements benefit Erdogan more than anything.

    5. Not Qualified to Comment

      The Duran’s take on this is that Zelensky had Erdogan’s arm behind his back by suggesting it would be a shame if something happened to the Blue Stream and Turkstream pipelines in the Black Sea, a’la Nord Stream. If this is so, Zelensky gave up a pretty powerful threat for what is in fact a pretty worthless bargain – as pointed out here these guys aren’t worth much in themselves – which suggests to me that Zelensky himself had Azov behind him with a gun to his head to make the deal to get their people back.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If Erdogan ever believed that Zelensky would honour such a deal, then he needs to retire. He just watched them blow up their own dam so they would have no qualms about blowing up those pipelines.

    1. vao

      Good news: this will never lead to the corvée — it would be counter-historical.

      Bad news: when it comes to commoners being compelled to provide military services when so requested by their prince, then there is the ost.

      You see, you must distinguish carefully between the multiple types of feudal obligations…

    2. The Rev Kev

      If I were them, I would get a lawyer to check through the small print lest that “part time” employee find themself being issued with travel orders to Poland or Iraq for an indefinite amount of time. I pitied those poor National Guardsmen during the Iraq occupation and how they found that they were being detained again and again in a combat zone or having to do multiple tours overseas. That was a very long way from one weekend every month and one two-week annual training period each year. These part time employees may find themselves in the same boat if they are not careful.

    3. Lex

      NC always serves me up ads for those part time military jobs for retirees. But the photo looks like one Prigozhin in one of his disguises.

    4. Neutrino

      Part-time jobs to be filled:
      Cluster bomb defuser
      Mustard gas canister filler
      Flamethrower maintenance tech
      Child soldier wrangler

      No experience required.
      Plenty of time off.
      No benefits.

    5. Ignacio

      This corvée word you brought made me recall a French word that was used in a sailing school in Galicia that was itself a descendant of a traditional voile école in Glenans (France). This word was, If I am writting it correctly, bordée which is indeed a navigation term though in this case was used to designate house-keeping teams in a sailboat that had this role (cleaning and cooking) assigned for a single day in turns. I am not sure if i wrote the word and got the meaning correctly. If there is any French sailor that can confirm I would appreciate.

    6. Glen

      I don’t think most people realize even now just how long you can be recalled to service after leaving the service:

      Can You Really Be Recalled to Active Duty at Any Time?

      This is for the reservist:

      Generally, the active reservist — those who are in the Guard and Reserve in a drilling status — get called first, then the IRR, then those who left active duty within the last five years, then those under age 60.

      If there is no state of emergency, the president can recall up to 200,000 reservists for at least 400 days. When the nation is under a state of national emergency, the president can activate up to one million reservists by his order.

      The United States has been in a state of national emergency since Nov. 14, 1979, when Executive Order 12170 was issued by President Jimmy Carter 10 days after the start of the Iran hostage crisis. That order was continued by President Donald Trump in November 2017.

      You can be recalled to any branch and any specialty; it depends on the needs of the military.

      This is for RETIRED from service:

      When an officer retires, their commission normally remains in force and effect forever. In return for the privilege of being legally entitled to being addressed by their military rank and getting all their retirement benefits, they basically remain an “officer of the United States” until death. They can resign their commission, but few do.

      And this is for people that worked for the government, but never were even in a military service:

      Federal Employees Ordered to Serve in the Military
      Federal agencies also can shift civilian employees who have special skills to the military if there is a war or emergency declaration. Normally, this would be to backfill stateside support positions that have been shifted to operational positions in-theater.

      Former federal employees can also be recalled.

      I guess I don’t have a problem with that, and I fall into the “can be recalled” category, but what’s disturbing is that public debate as to where our country should be deploying the military into what is for all intents and purposes is a “war zone” has been suppressed, blocked, ignored, etc. This whole “we, the people” thing is getting further and further away from the people.

    1. Lexx

      Albino bison are rare (1 in 10 million); there is a whole herd of white bison. If every one of them heralded the end-of-days, all the First People might be preppers living in bunkers. I recall the birth of a white bison was considered auspicious, a lucky rancher.

    2. dougie

      The last time I saw a white buffalo Ted Nugent was riding it at a concert in the early 70’s, shortly before he “came out of the closest” as the Ted Nugent we have all known (and despised?) the last several decades.

  7. mrsyk

    re: TEXANS DIE FROM HEAT EXHAUSTION AFTER GOVERNOR BANS WATER BREAKS, The subject is House Bill 2127, which appears to be yet another exercise in power consolidation. Consider this.
    “In addition to overturning existing local ordinances, House Bill 2127 bans cities and counties from passing new ones at the risk of legal action. These include any bills concerning agriculture, finance, insurance, labor, natural resources, property, business and commerce, and occupations.”
    Yikes. Reads like the TPP.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      im old enough to remember when texas repubs were all in on “home rule”, “local control”, getting the pesky central gooberment out of their local affairs….

      1. mrsyk

        Thanks Amfortas. I wanted to comment on precisely this, but having no standing it didn’t seem correct for me to go on about “not your father’s republicans”.

    2. EGrise

      This is also a popular pastime in the Lege: kicking Austin and other Texas cities because they’re Democratic strongholds. Doesn’t matter if people die, so long as we f*** over Houston, Dallas, etc.

      An early form of owning the libs.

    1. Carolinian

      I finally gave Rumble a try yesterday and about a third of your file is a slide saying “please wait while streaming” or some such. After a few minutes I just downloaded it instead. Anyhow, odd?

      And I find Carlson better in print than this interview where he spends a lot of time telling us what kind of guy he is. If the ideas and info are good no need to spend so much time selling yourself.

      Or maybe I’m no longer used to watching TV pundits where personality plays such a big role. Bottom line: Tucker is still the same conservative guy he always was but the truth bombs are there waiting to be dropped.

  8. Mike

    Re:Ukraine vows it won’t use cluster bombs in Russia (Straits Times).

    Sorry, I think the idea here is to make the Russian area under their control uninhabitable. If no Russian-spoeaking population can kive there, its no goof for anyone- Britain & USA plan to hem in any control and stop advances into “their” Ukraine.

  9. flora

    What’s this I hear about the great US economy? The B admin keeps telling me it’s great.

    From Bloomberg:

    Why America’s Middle Class Is So Stressed Out: A Week of Big Take
    By Margaret Sutherlin
    July 8, 2023

    Still, America’s middle class is stressed out about the economy. In a poll conducted for Bloomberg, just 39% of middle-class respondents say they expect their situation to get better in the next year.

    It’s not shocking: The average real wealth of US middle class households has fallen more than $33,000 this year alone. Since the Federal Reserve started raising interest rates last year to curb the highest inflation in a generation, the middle class has lost more than $2 trillion in wealth.

    1. Lexx

      I dunno… they’re saying the middle class have lost home value, but when I Googled where homes are losing value in the U.S., it offered me cities where residential real estate was already overheated, so really pulling back from exaggerated prices.

      Debt though plus interest… that I can believe.


      I was putting Sheldon Wolin’s book ‘Democracy Incorporated’ into my Amazon queue because I wanted to know more about ‘inverted totalitarianism’ and I thought of one of your replies.

    2. Eric F

      …” The average real wealth of US middle class households has fallen more than $33,000 this year alone…”

      I’m not disputing the relentless war on the wealth of everybody but the top of the pyramid, but I’m failing to understand the mechanism for how this particular loss happened.

      Do all those families have that much money tied up in bond funds?
      Most often, this kind of loss comes from a downturn in real estate prices. Which I’m not seeing here in Kansas. A slower market, but prices still high.

      Sorry, I won’t sign up for bloomberg, but I’m curious if they give details…


        1. Katniss Everdeen

          From that article:

          White House officials argue that the American middle class is unequivocally better off economically than it was even before the pandemic.

          And now a few “facts.”

          A discussion of biden’s economic prestidigitation ensued Friday on cnbc, in the wake of fda’s approval of a new Alzheimer’s drug–$26,500 per year. Medicare Part B premiums were raised two years ago in anticipation of paying for another Alzheimer’s drug–Aduhelm, $56,000 per year–that never happened. The increase was never rescinded, so Part B expenditures look “better than expected.” biden has attributed this to his “inflation reduction” act.

          From yesterday’s Automatic Earth, an amazing comparison of the costs of a $399,999 30-year fixed rate mortgage in 2021 at 2.96% and in 2023 at 7.7%. In 2021, the total interest paid amounts to 50% of the home price over 30 years. In 2023, the total interest paid over 30 years amounts to 157% of the home price over 30 years!

          And last but not least, from Jalopnik and Edmunds:

          The number of car buyers paying $1,000 or more a month to finance a new vehicle is creeping higher, closing in on nearly one-fifth of new-car buyers — an all-time high. The average monthly car payment has topped a whopping $730 recorded in the first quarter to now sit at $733, according to second-quarter vehicle transaction data from Edmunds.

          According to Edmunds, buyers paying over $1,000 a month for their car are in two groups: borderline financially irresponsible and outright screwed…

          Yup. Better off. Unequivocally.

      1. Benny Profane

        Well, I’ll raise my hand and say that I lost 25% of my IRA’s value in 22. It was a nice safe, 65/35 stock/bond index investment vehicle, but, the interest rates rising really hit me hard. Bad situation for a retired 71 year old.

        1. earthling

          Same here, was forced to reallocate during a hot market, chose conservative dividend vehicles, and have gotten whacked since. Meanwhile if you invested in the overvalued Tesla or the FAANG stocks, you did great. So much for cautious investing getting one through uncertain times.

        2. Pat

          My union’s annuity fund has done better than average every year but 2018, that year it dropped by over 15%. I haven’t gotten the account figures for 2022 yet. Now I am dreading the arrival of the statement in the next week or two.

    3. griffen

      While I might chafe at the source I’ve hopefully included below, B of A has a consumer institute monthly report that may add a little context. I can’t be immediately convinced of that figure being quoted per the article. Things are not so bleak from an investment market perspective, in my opinion, primarily because many corporations have maintained a healthy bit of “pricing power” over the plebes in the US economy.

      I think such broad commentary proves to be a mixed bag. I mean if someone took a true flyer on a big stock like Meta or NVidia, they are not down but decidedly much on the upswing. The casino works in mysterious ways for sure.

    4. SocalJimObjects

      That’s why I don’t read Bloomberg, I read Wolfstreet for a more accurate take on the US economy. Stressed? People are still splurging, new vehicle sales are up 17.5% in the last quarter, and according to the BEA, personal income is outpacing inflation. Also don’t forget that the stock market has recovered most of the drop from last year. If you are holding your bonds to maturity then you would not be seeing a real loss either.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “In-space manufacturing startup aces pharma experiment in orbit”

    You don’t think that the Pentagon will have the US Space Force set up a bio-lab in orbit, do you? Like the ones that were in the Ukraine and are in all those other countries. Yeah, if we ever hear about them we will be assured that they are totally safe as, after all, what could possibly go wrong? (4:17 mins)

    1. chris

      I’d be more optimistic about containing fallout from an orbital biolab of death than the ones we have to deal with in Wuhan ad Ukraine and god knows where else. Biological organisms can’t handle extreme heat from re-entry unless they’re well shielded. They can’t survive extreme radiation either. Seems like a great way to kill bad things before they get released.

      1. cfraenkel

        It’s not the failures we have to be worried about destroying, it’s the ‘successes’.

  11. Screwball

    Off topic: Let’s talk about weeds – and how to get rid of them.

    I was talking to a buddy the other day and mentioned that I had to do battle with weeds that are growing between the cracks in my sidewalks, among other places. He told me I could make weed killer with Borax. Humm….

    I don’t really want to use a chemical such as Roundup due to all the pets who get walked around the neighborhood (plus the chance of breathing it), so a homemade concoction with non-toxic materials would be the ticket.

    Upon searching, I never found a recipe for Borax, but I did find a bunch of them for vinegar, salt, and dish soap. 1 gallon of vinegar (one video said distilled was best), 1 cup of table salt, and 1 tsp of Dawn dish soap. Mix and stir until salt is dissolved. Put in a spray bottle and spray the weeds. Give it some time and they shrivel up and die.

    Has anyone used this (or something else), and how well did it work?

    Cheaper, non-toxic, what’s not to like (if it works). Thanks in advance.

    1. earthling

      Salt is well known to make soil sterile, not sure why you would need the other stuff. People think Dawn is good for aquifers, it’s not.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      vinegar alone will suffice.
      for annual weeds, like stickerburrs…in a broader area…i use ordinary cornmeal…get it in bulk from a cafe owner i know, just add it to her order.
      spread all over in february, before they germinate…and they wont.
      fertilises, too…although idk abt risks of gmo corn.
      the corn gluten preemergents are expensive. cornmeal works well enough.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        The use of cornmeal in place of corn gluten preemergents appears somewhat controversial based on a quite search on the web. Is this another case of agnotology applied to protect patents and product or is it possible there is something special about your application of cornmeal? The first thing that comes to mind is the strong sunlight in Texas. Another consideration that comes to mind is the kind of open, dry, packed dirt I remember stickerburrs seemed to prefer or perhaps where the stickerburrs were the strongest competitor

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          all i know is that it worked under and around the Big Oak…which was the play area for the boys when they were little.
          sandy loam, shade and full sun.
          prevented the amaranth/careless weed from coming up, too.
          i just broadcast it by hand…100# over about 1/8-1/4 of an acre.
          2 years in a row.
          the handful of bad plants that did come up, i yanked up and burned.

          for bigger areas…like places in the pasture where what we call “cuckleburrs” have somehow arrived(egg shaped brown things with hooked spikes all over and two prongs on one end…i suspect they came in on a sheep)…i save the innards of pillows that have bit the dust…the plastic “batting”.
          then tear off hunks of it, grab with the Grabber, and sort of drag it around where the burrs are…grabs them right up, and the wad goes into a feedsack, and into the burnpile.
          ive also taped that batting onto Youngest’s farmshoes when he was little, said, “run around over there…”,lol.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            Thanks! I’ll take your “all i know is that it worked” over the “science” any-day!

      2. LifelongLib

        I have “stickerburrs” (always called it burr grass) in my yard too, so your cornmeal remedy is interesting. Unfortunately, in Hawaii grass and weeds grow year-round so I wonder if it would work here.

    3. Tangled up in Texas

      This is very similar and works GREAT! Spray in a.m. and clean up dead weeds/grass in the afternoon.

      Weed killer:
      1 gallon water
      2 cups Epsom Salts
      1/4 cup dawn dishwashing detergent

    4. Bsn

      Screwball. Long time gardener here. Vinegar is exceptional for certain things such as dandelion. Get the vinegar at a feed or hardware store that is 30% as the store and cooking versions are 3% (I think). Spray in the early side of a Sunny day as the plants will absorb much more. Damp dew morning or overnight is much less effective. Never tried Borax except for contra-ants. Mix Borax in something gelatinous and a pinch of sugar. Leave 4-5 big drops on an ant trail and they’ll eat it, take it to their nest and the nest will die – totally organic. Vinegar doesn’t work on morning glory (that’s our bane). For them, blackberries and grasses, all that really works is no Sun. Dig up as much as you can and cover them in something, we use cardboard. No Sun = no energy for growth and eventual death. The population or growth will go way down and only require a bit of weeding off/on. Birds, wind and others will always bring new seeds over time. Bon courage!

    5. Laughingsong

      Wee are just starting a new method specifically for weeds in pavement/paver cracks: hot boiling water to wilt the plants, remove and then seal with polymeric sand. We are trying to find out what kinds of sealants we could use for a more permanent solution for one path, and the driveway

    6. begob

      Kick sand in their faces, stamp on their spectacles, and stride off with their patent-pending chest-expanders.

    7. Discouraged in WI

      I have a recipe I cut out of the paper years ago, using Borax to control creeping Charlie. It was originally from Iowa State University. “To treat 1000 square feet of ivy, combine 10 ounces Twenty Mule Team Borax with 1/2 cup warm water. Dilute mixture into 2 1/2 gallons water. Spray ivy and repeat as necessary.”

    8. jo6pac

      I’ve used a 45% vinegar and nothing else. Works best if sprayed in the heat of the day. Then make sure to clean sprayer out with clean water.

  12. Benny Profane

    The Kristof piece is pretty gross. An elite “progressive” celebrates amputations, and implies that these young men may return to fight and lose another limb or two, and we are supposed to be inspired. I swear, we really need to have the draft reinstated in this country, so that we don’t have an entire class writing obscenities like that and cheering on the destruction of another society thousands of miles away, with no penalty to them and their families and friends.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      I think we know that the draft has never touched the elites and certainly will not now. The draft does do one thing: give young human beings the impossible choice of serving in an unjust war, fleeing the country or going to jail.

      One thing the people managed to accomplish in the Sixties was getting rid of the draft. Let’s not go backwards. A draft doesn’t prevent wars, it enables larger wars.

      1. hk

        One thing that conscription should do is to make unpopular wars more widely visible, but then, colonial empires always kept separate colonial armies of “professionals” apart from the citizens serving in regular armies, so the hopes placed on conscription dampening colonial wars is probably misplaced–why send conscripts to Algeria (esp in 19th century) if you got the Foreign Legion?

      2. Benny Profane

        “One thing the people managed to accomplish in the Sixties was getting rid of the draft. Let’s not go backwards. A draft doesn’t prevent wars, it enables larger wars.”

        Disagree. First, “we” didn’t eliminate the draft. Rumsfeld/Cheney and various actors in DOD and State pushed for that after the debacle of Vietnam. No more body bags coming back to places where nobody wanted to go on the first place. Now, it’s a career for the great unemployed of the stripped industrial towns and futureless rural towns. If the upper middle class were forced to watch their kids get sent off to the next forever war, sentiment would change. Sure, many will dodge the draft somehow, but that factor alone would create a ton of unrest. No way 20 years of Afghanistan would have happened with a draft, and no way would a present day politician utter “however long it takes”.

        1. digi_owl

          Also less chance of anti-war student protests when they are never at risk of being shipped off should they flunk.

          Instead they now cheer for war became “Putler” is being nasty to queers.

        2. curlydan

          I agree with you, Benny. In fact, I always have proposed a bolder step. Institute a draft of 18 year olds with the probability of being drafted directly proportional to that 18 year old’s family’s net worth. To those with more to lose, they should have more to give and contribute. This would make the elites think a little harder about throwing the kids to the front lines of their imperial adventures.

      3. LifelongLib

        I haven’t done any research to refresh my memory, but IIRC the Vietnam War started to get really unpopular when Nixon ended the LBJ college exemption from the draft. This may not have touched the “elite”, but it did touch the politically-connected upper middle class. Ending the draft was part of the plan to make sure future wars were only fought by the politically powerless.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          LBJ nearly lost NH to a candidate running on an anti-war platform and withdrew from the race because of the unpopularity of the war. The first large protests hit Washington in 1965, one of them led by Dave Dellinger, Staughton Lynd and Bob Moses, By 1967, the protests grew to 100,000 in DC. That’s the timing. The removal of the draft exemption was a great way of throwing gasoline on the fire, but the fire was already out of control.

    2. ThirtyOne

      That article would make a great base for a series of de-motivational posters.

      “In his “farewell” column before running for governor of Oregon, Nick Kristof mentioned that when William Safire was asked if he would give up his Times column to be secretary of state, he replied, “Why take a step down?” Now Nick is stepping up, resuming his Opinion column and once again interpreting the world’s depth and complexity for Times readers.”

      1. Bsn

        Anyone who works for or writes for the NYT is simply a mouthpiece for government and corporate propaganda. Kristof is a tool and should know better. Here’s that same NYT in action:
        Charlie Stadtlander, director of external communications for the New York Times, joined the paper directly from the National Security Agency, where he served as head of public affairs.
        His only listed job in the media before the New York Times is as a journalism teacher for three months in 2010, when he served as an “instructor to gifted children, ages 8-13”
        The Times corporate website publishes a constant stream of short posts about staffers yet, the news of Stadtlander’s hiring and his background does not appear on the webpage of press releases.

        1. marku52

          Kristoff is such an idiot that he announced he was running for governor without even realizing, that, as he didn’t live in OR, he couldn’t.

          What a Maroon.

    3. nycTerrierist

      The comments were even worse.
      I was expecting to see my anger and disgust at this tragic waste but few people seemed to question it –
      – and appalled the piece was not taken as an argument to end the wars.

      Kristof is a buffoon.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Biden told China’s Xi to ‘be careful’ after Putin meeting”

    Biden being Biden again. Tells China that if they stick with Russia, that the west will seek to wreck the Chinese economy by pulling out all investments. And if there is one thing that the Chinese listen to and respect, it is threats against them. The problem for Biden is that western corporations have got their back fur up as they are not about to throw away hundreds of billions of dollars of investments and profits on behalf of Biden. Maybe they told Biden that if he tried that, then the Democrats would get zip from them for next year’s elections. The Neocons may rage, but they don’t count as they always want to do stuff on everybody else’s dime.

    Say, does anybody remember when CNN had their reporter sniffing a backpack in Syria to determine if it was saturated with deadly chemicals? Unintentionally hilarious that. Well CNN are at it again but this time the Ukrainians are showing a CNN reporter a Kinzhal missile that they had shot down- (5:16 mins)

    1. Benny Profane

      Imagine the turmoil in western economies if we decided to sanction China, and, wose, go to war with them. Chips alone. We had a taste of that during Covid, and auto assembly lines shut down for weeks. WalMart and Target would be empty and closed. The inflation! Think it’s bad now? Madone!

    2. flora

      Why to I get the idea all of B’s huffing and puffing toward China is a feign to distract from some other business? / ;)

  14. mrsyk

    This week’s results from exploring my Google search algorithm, subject Cornel West, using the “news” and “last week” filters, no links, easily found for the interested.

    “Cornel West wants to keep on pushing”, Politico, 7/7. Pretty good interview. Displays West’s strength on social justice, weakness on Ukraine (want’s to immediately stop the bloodshed, has no idea how).

    “Why Is Cornel West Running for President? (Glenn Loury & Cornel West)”, Ricochet, 7/7. No transcript, 65 minuets long.

    “Poll shows why Biden should be ‘a little concerned’ about Cornel West”, CNN. Sheep dog master David Axelrod, of course, is the source of “a little concerned”. Variations of this headline are the majority of the search hits.

    Here is the Echelon Insights poll, the source of the pearl clutching. After taking a close look, I have to disagree with Axelrod. There’s no evidence that West will take votes away from Uncle Joe. It does suggest that those who would vote for West do not support either Trump or Biden. It also shows that West has some serious ground to cover in the name recognition dept (53% “never heard of”). Poll link

    1. Bsn

      Personally, I respect and support both he and Bobby. I imagine that after a few primaries and especially if West get some publicity, he may drop out and throw his support to Bobby. Love how AOC recently said sh’d support Biden. Oh my.

      1. mrsyk

        Oh dear indeed. Here is as good a time as any to thank Lambert the NC commentariat for being diplomatic while explaining why AOC was not the champion I so wanted her to be.

  15. dougie

    The last time I saw a white buffalo Ted Nugent was riding it at a concert in the early 70’s, shortly before he “came out of the closest” as the Ted Nugent we have all known (and despised?) the last several decades.

  16. Michael Mck

    How is the CFR types talking with Russia not the same crime Mike Flynn was busted for? I am glad talking is happening but…

    1. marym

      He was busted for lying to the FBI. The technical difference between the communications themselves is that (according to the link) CFR’s talks are with Biden’s knowledge and they’re reporting back about them. Obama was still president when Flynn had his conversations.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        “Obama was still President when Flynn had his conversations.”

        Yes, conversations provided to the media by unnamed intelligence sources that (1) were illegally released and (2) related to conversations which were not in themselves illegal: Flynn was indicted for allegedly lying to the FBI about details of his conversation, not for talking to the Russians. It is commonplace for an incoming National Security Advisor to have introductory conversations with diplomats from other countries; to cast it otherwise is part of the long effort to criminalize Trump’s behavior at every step, even when it doesn’t especially deviate from the norm.

        Of course, the corrupt-but-not-illegal Trumpian twist, unmentioned by #McResistance media, is that Flynn was calling the Russian ambassador on behalf of the Israelis, who were (unsuccessfully) trying to get a Security Council veto of a UN declaration against settler colonies in the West Bank. Obama, surprisingly and to his credit, refused to veto it. If you really want to find foreign interference in this encounter, look for it there.

        Of course, crying wolf every single time might be good for clicks and subscriptions, and for keeping your own troops in line (“Thinking, let alone voicing, bad thoughts helps Trump!”) but it has progressively diminishing returns, and it’s lousy politics.

        I hate having to “defend” a Michael Flynn against #McResistance/Russiagate fraud and overreach, but, odious as he may be, he was selectively targeted by an aggressive coalition of factions in the National Security State, the Clinton/Obama nexus and #McResistance media. He was collateral damage in the lawfare campaign intended to neutralize, if not bring down, Trump, a campaign that was essentially a psy-op against the American perople. That liberals and self-identified leftists can cheer on political manipulation of law enforcement and mediawhile not thinking it will be turned back on the them (just wait) is to observe excruciating political folly.

        1. marym

          I don’t know what the “commonplace” practice is “for an incoming National Security Advisor to have introductory conversations with diplomats from other countries.” In general, one president/administration at a time having confidential conversations with foreign officials or engaged with “back channel” talks seems reasonable. In 2020 Trump blocked the Biden team from starting even the basic steps of transition after the election, but in 2016 the Trump team thought it was ok to initiate a portion of their diplomatic agenda before inauguration?

          I didn’t follow Russiagate carefully enough to have a take on the details, but my general impression was that there were contacts between Trump cronies and their Russian counterparts which may have been contrary to “norms,” but that the response by Team Blue was as you portray it. However, I would draw the line at the notion of Republicans employing lawfare against Democrats being a matter of the actions of the Democrats being “turned back on them.” Republicans have been investigating Democrats for decades.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        Now Flynn is a special variety of nut, but from what I can glean from the old CBS rundown of Flynn’s contacts, it was Christmas Day of ’16. He was working for the President-elect and a little more than a month before the inauguration.

        And it just kills me that Dicky Haas is one of this new batch of the dreaded Russia-talkers. What will Joe and Mika think? Let’s get tapes of Dicky lobbying for Flynn’s resignation and/or jailing.

  17. Jason Boxman

    Man, that BLS tweet has a hotbed of anti-vax replies. It’s crazy how hard that pony is getting ridden on the Twitter. It feels like Hilbots or something, or people just have too much free time? Although too much free time tends to sum up Twitter usage for most in general I think.

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        The FRED graph from the tweet is here.

        … and thankfully, FRED references the actual BLS series ID – LNU00074597 – in the graph. So the real BLS link is here.

  18. Mark Gisleson

    Language query:

    I’ve long seen some sites, NC included, use the term “ukrofascist.” I’ve never quite understood why it’s ukrOfascist but it seems to be the preferred spelling.

    Today in Links I see the term “ukrafascists.” I assume this is a typo but not sure so I’m asking. Given the Cyrillic transcription involved it’s hard to know what’s right. I remember it taking forever to settle on a spelling of Zelensky (I was in the two-“y” club because I thought it had genetic resonance ; )

    UPDATE: Continued reading and immediately saw a “Zelenskyy” spelling! [Retired editors never die, we just stink up the comments.]

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Then there are the okrafascists down Carolinian’s way. Never developed a taste for it.

      1. dougie

        “Okrapenos”, depending on your tolerance for heat, in 2 TBS of oil, saute until tender a 50/50 (or 90/10)split of cross sliced okra and jalapeno peppers after dusting them with some flour. Healthier than French Fries, and zero slime.

      2. Carolinian

        Fried okra is great stuff.

        Don’t like grits though. Or, to quote My Cousin Vinny, “what’s a grit?”

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          I knew you’d say that. ;)

          I love the mustard-based barbecue sauce from Shealy’s. As long as you’ve got something to dip that fried okra in, it would be OK, I guess.

    2. ThirtyOne

      Now I know why I see “dill” so often in Rus Telegram.

      Russian cuisine is noted for liberal use of dill,[22] where it is known as укроп (ukrop). It is supposed to have anti flatulent properties; some Russian cosmonauts recommended its use in human spaceflight due to such properties being beneficial in confined quarters with a closed air supply.

    3. Polar Socialist

      I think ukro- is quite normal way in Russian to shorten Ukraine or Ukrainians when combined with other word: ukroreich, ukropropaganda, ukromedia, ukromilitias…

      And as ThirtyOne points out, there was a Ukrainian party called UKROP, Ukrainian Association of Patriots, in 2014 – which BBC described as “centre-left” and everybody else (including UKROP) as “ethno-nationalist right-wing”.

      Ukrop means dill in russian. What comes to name-calling between the two sides, that one is really in the nice end of things.

    4. R.S.

      “Ukro-” is the Russian spelling and pronunciation. O/e are the common “linking vowels” (Bindevokale) in Russian, so you end up with either “ukr-o-” or “ukrain-o-“. (The choice between o and e is phonetic, but it’s a different story.) Using “a” in compound words OTOH is extremely uncommon, if even present at all.

      As for the y/yy thing, it really should be “-iy”. The problem is, there are often two “i”-like vowels in Slavic languages, and one of them is also commonly romanized as “y”. It’s a mess.

  19. ThirtyOne
    This has been making the rounds today. Since I can’t twitter, telegram will have to do.
    I recall the rumors around that time about “high level Americans” in the Azovstal metal plant.

  20. Jason Boxman

    The America That Americans Forget

    As tensions with China mount, the U.S. military continues to build up Guam and other Pacific territories — placing the burdens of imperial power on the nation’s most ignored and underrepresented citizens.

    A 50 minute read.

    Notice no agency in the sub header, tensions are simply mounting; why? We know not.

    It’s nice to see mention of America as an empire, in the Times of all places:

    Guam is one of many islands in various political alignments across the giant expanse of the Pacific that make up America’s empire outside the 50 states — ranging from “unincorporated territory” to “commonwealth” to “freely associated state.”

  21. PelhamKS

    Maybe the tankies opening the door to some kind of negotiated settlement in Ukraine serves a wider purpose. The talks acknowledge the fact that Ukraine can’t win while also preparing a “stab-in-the-back” narrative that the blob and various elements in Ukraine can use to keep the pot boiling even as the worst of hostilities come to an end. Thus we turn a war zone into a perpetually festering wound.

  22. Wukchumni

    Well now Hunter is respected in society
    We don’t worry about the things that he used to be
    We’re talking cocaine & the President
    Well it’s a problem, sir, but it can’t be lent
    Uh yes!

    Well now you’re a pillar of society
    You don’t worry about the things that you used to be
    You’re a name-trade grifter, when you’re not watching porn
    You make the easiest pay on the White House lawn
    Get out of my life, don’t come back
    Get out of my life, don’t come back

    He’s so respectable
    He’s so respectable
    He’s so erectable
    He’s so respectable
    Get out of my life
    Take my advice
    Don’t come back
    Get out of my life
    Take my advice
    Don’t come back
    What I say!

    He’s so respectable
    He’s so respectable
    He’s so respectable
    He’s so respectable
    Get out of my life
    Take my advice
    Don’t come back
    Oh get out of my life
    Take my advice
    Don’t come back

    Respectable, by the Rolling Stones

    1. ChrisRUEcon


      Thanks for that #Twitter thread.

      I had been tracking BLS Series ID LNU02006735 employed, not at work due to own illness.

      The latest numbers there appear to be back down to pre-COVID levels, but clearly does not capture permanently disabling sequelae.

Comments are closed.