Links 8/10/2023

Readers, I apologize for being slightly prolix. Thinking I had gathered too little, I overcompensated by gathering too much. –lambert

Stunning Fields of Sunflowers Are Blanketing North Dakota Smithsonian

Inside the Nerve-Racking Dive to an Active Submarine Volcano Smithsonian

China leads race to modernise global money flows Bloomberg (Furzy Mouse). Project mBridge; see the Bank of International Settlements (2022).

Russia’s CBDC – Exploring the Truth of Russia’s Central Bank Simplicius the Thinker

What Earnings Recession? The Big Picture


Soaring temperatures and food prices threaten violent unrest The Economist

‘Like something out of a horror movie’: At least 6 dead and communities decimated in Maui wildfires CNN. Visuals:

CartujaQanat – Journal 3: A 10°C reduction with ZeroNet energy consumption in open spaces is possible. Sevilla made it. Urban Innovative Actions


COVID cases up 55% in New York, doctors warn of new variants NY Post. More fearmongering from a liberal house organ. Oh, wait…. 

‘Underwhelming’: NIH trials fail to test meaningful long Covid treatments — after 2.5 years and $1 billion STAT (MV). The budget: “Observational study of patient cohort, NYU Langone (47%).” Utter debacle. Kudos to STAT for publishing the story. 

Vaccine hesitancy behind most decisions to not get COVID-19 vaccines Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Vistagen Announces Positive Top-Line Results from Phase 3 PALISADE-2 Trial of Fasedienol (PH94B) Nasal Spray in Social Anxiety Disorder (press release) Vistagen. S-o-o-o-o…. A nasal spray for anxiety is further along in the pipeline than a nasal spray for a Level 3 Biohazard? Joe, Jeff, Ashish, Rochelle, Mandy, good job. I’m sure Fasedienol will do very well!

The Post-Pandemic r* Liberty Street Economics. Not R0, r* [joke ha ha]. 

Towards a post-pandemic future for global pathogen genome sequencing PLOS Biology. “Ultimately, pathogen genomic surveillance was implemented at an unprecedented scale in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, as of May 9, 2023, 15,532,821 SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences had been submitted to the GISAID database.” Yes, and the institutional foundation for all these efforts is extremely fragile, as we show here.


China Relies on U.S., Allies for Hundreds of Products WSJ

Joe Biden plans new restrictions on US investments in China, including Hong Kong, declares ‘emergency’ on sensitive tech South China Morning Post

Zombie Economy New Left Review. “A typical overaccumulation crisis.” Interesting!

Commentary: An expanded BRICS could reset world politics but picking new members isn’t straightforward Channel News Asia

Why are world leaders racing to the Pacific Islands? Al Jazeera

Mining Revenues Undermined Challenging Development+

The Koreas

How the World Scout Jamboree descended into chaos in South Korea Reuters

South Koreans are Happier than They Think: Data The Blue Roof


India’s Chandrayaan-3 moon rover enters lunar orbit, snaps stunning photos (video)

The Lucky Country

Aboriginal geoglyphs years in the making sprout across Western Australia ABC Australia (Barry).


Victoria Nuland, Washington’s ‘regime change Karen’, wants to speak to the manager in Niger RT

Niger coup: Blinken says Russia’s Wagner taking advantage of turmoil France24

Africa After Prigozhin Is an Opportunity for the West Foreign Policy

‘It’s a fight for our existence’: No sign of taxi strike ending yet, as talks continue News24


Secret Pakistan Cable Documents U.S. Pressure to Remove Imran Khan The Intercept

US says no framework agreed yet for Israel-Saudi normalisation deal Al Jazeera

European Disunion

European Gas Jumps Most Since March 2022 on LNG Strike Vote Bloomberg. “Prices soared as much as 40% intraday.” Woo hoo!

New Not-So-Cold War

Decision on meeting with Putin is for Zelenskyy to make – US Department of State Ukrainska Pravda

Zaporizhzhia NPP loses power from main 750 kV line overnight: on verge of another power outage Ukrainska Pravda

Ukraine war: West lining Putin’s coffers, German army staff ‘spying’ for Russia, Crimea drone attack Euronews

South of the Border

US Moves to Curtail China’s Economic Investment in the Caribbean Black Agenda Report

Anti-corruption presidential candidate slain at campaign event in Ecuador’s capital Associated Press. Fernando Villavicencio. 

Young people’s anger fuels far-right populist as Argentina’s election nears OpenDemocracy. Commentary:

The Supremes

As Docket Shrinks, Supreme Court Lawyers Embrace Circuit Court Work National Law Journal

Digital Watch

How fraudsters are exploiting and retraining large language models American Banker. Nobody could have predicted…. 

Can a Digital Artwork Outlast a 19th-Century Painting? The Answer Is Complicated as Artists, Dealers, and Conservators Battle Obsolescence in the Field Artnet. The answer is simple. No.

Crikey panics about AI journalism. It should MacroBusiness. See also.

The New Prophets of Empathy The Baffler

Sea-Intelligence reports sustained halt to demand collapse Container News

Supply Chain

Maersk’s integrator of the seas strategy tested by return to normality SeaTrade Maritime

Shipowners look to avoid Panama Canal as wait times reach 21 days Hellenic Shipping News


Reading Kafka in the Hospital Cafeteria NEJM. Worth clearing your cookies for.

We need a billing code for this:

Sports Desk

Premier League is letting Manchester United and Man City fans down Manchester Evening News

Work Rate and Control – Ireland’s drive for World Cup glory The Analysis Guy. Rugby.

Short Seller Hindenburg Nabs Tiny Gains Off $173 Billion Carnage Bloomberg. The deck: “Nate Anderson has wiped out as much as $99 billion from three billionaires’ wealth this year.” That’s a damn shame.

Class Warfare

100 days of WGA strike: Writers and actors stand resolute, but studios remain unyielding WION

Meat processor ordered to pay fines after teen lost hand in grinder Associated Press. Guess how much.

Maybe You’re Not Working Class … From the Forests of Arduinna

Diversifying Society’s Leaders? The Causal Effects of Admission to Highly Selective Private Colleges NBER. From the Abstract: “We conclude that highly selective private colleges currently amplify the persistence of privilege across generations, but could diversify the socioeconomic backgrounds of America’s leaders by changing their admissions practices.” Indeed!

Age of Invention: Cash Cows Anton Howes, Age of Invention

Were the First Laws Sung? (Part 2 of 2) Honest Broker. Could there be such a song-book today?

Robbie Robertson, driving force behind roots-rock icons the Band, dies at 80 LA Times. Commentary:

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Steve H.

    So Where Do We Go From Here? [AURELIEN]

    > we are of necessity thrown back on the collective resources of ordinary people.

    Not much new information for us’n hereabouts. But beautiful framing and organization make for a fine essay in the classic tradition. The sort that could change minds.

    [Hat tips, Janet and John.]

    1. Eclair

      Yes, excellent reading. And, this: ” … there are no rights in the absence of power …”

      But, there are duties, there are ‘callings,’ there are the tasks to be undertaken to keep a decent society going.

      It is realistic to imagine the worst scenarios if the power grid fails, if the supply lines (trucks and railroads and ships and air freight) break, if disease breaks out, if flooding or fire or storms devastate our region. And to pare down our and our community’s needs to the basic core and think of how we can insure that these needs are met.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “‘Like something out of a horror movie’: At least 6 dead and communities decimated in Maui wildfires”

    That CNN article is seriously out of date already. The latest death count is at least three dozen people and there may be more when all is said and done. The place in that tweeted video looks like it has been hit with a thermobaric attack-

    Some places looked like the only place for safety was to head off into the ocean and the Coasties have already rescued 14 people that were forced to do so.

    1. mrsyk

      Bear in mind that the ocean is being tossed by the same strong winds that are driving the fires.

      1. Lee

        That must be some wind, allowing the fire to jump what appear to be great distances between fuel sources. It must be terrifying to be in its path.

    2. Lexx

      Whipped up by winds from ‘Hurricane Dora’? I thought such weather phenomena in the Pacific were referred to as ‘typhoons’. Hawaii not northwest enough?

      We stayed in Lahaina the last time we were in Maui, walked along that boardwalk, and ate at those now burned down restaurants. Ate the freshest ceviche I can imagine* and when I catch a hint of plumeria in the air because of the scent someone is wearing, I’m immediately transported by memory back to that place… flowers and the sea.

      *Hawaii is also home, via international vote, to the world’s best poke bowl. I’ve considered returning just to judge for myself; it would be worth the expense… but not the carbon.

      1. Milton

        Once hurricane Dora crosses 180° lon it will be Typhoon Dora (should it have the necessary wind speed). BTW, news reports saying that Dora’s winds were responsible for the strong offshore winds in the islands is mostly incorrect. It was the pressure gradient that tightenef as Dora passed and interacted with a strong high just north of Hawai’i.

        1. scott s.

          Yes it is basically trade wind weather that is normal, but with increased wind speed due to the low associated with Dora (originated in EastPac hence uses that naming convention). The actual weather has been very nice otherwise, typical summer conditions. Brush fires in summer have been the norm since sugar agriculture ended leaving large areas fallow with no irrigation (the most productive sugar areas were due to good soils and irrigation tunnels/ditches built in the late 1800s to bring water from the wet, windward (east) side of the islands). Non-natives have pretty much taken over and we had a wet winter rainy season so plenty of growth.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Same here. What made it even more funny was that the coup leaders told her no and that could not see General Tchiani i.e. the manager.

      1. Irrational

        Yes! Awesome headline from RT.
        And top marks for juxtaposing the next two headlines – bad if Russia steps in, but good if the West does? No hypocrisy there, none at all.

      1. rowlf

        A few years ago a pro-Russia website labeled Nikki Haley The Rogue Waffle House Waitress when her US Ambassador to the UN stance on issues didn’t match the President’s position.

    2. timbers

      Funny article. Author is described as a conservative Canadian.

      Off topic. Regarding Karen, I found myself being a Ken yesterday when I had to switch out my cancelled fraud victim credit card with it’s re-issued on my ATT auto pay. After battling past ATT phone tree, the human asked for my password. I said I don’t have one. She said I can set one up on my computer. I replied I didn’t want to and don’t want a PW. She said she can’t access my account without me setting up a password. I replied that is transparently false but if you really believe that, get a manager or someone to help you. So she sent me a text for one time access so she could “see” my account. I told her I would read her my new credit card info. She replied I can’t because then she could know it, and my ac would no longer be “secure” and sent me a link where I type the info in and she sees it. I pointed out to her anyone could hack my internet and see what I type, but if I spoke the ac the she would be ONLY one to know it, and besides you just said you can see it as I type anyway so you are making no sense.

      After completing this emotionally draining episode, I took the opportunity to point out that her claim I use a PW makes my information more secure, is nonsense and you should not say that to anyone, given the fact ATT provides all their customer’s information and phone use to the US Government which in turn provides it to corporations, and ATT performs this deliberate invasion and destruction of customer privacy using my tax dollars. I asked her what is the point of falsely telling me a PW protects privacy when you are selling all information to the world for profit?

      If it was recorded line I wonder if ATT will use it for training purposes?

      1. hunkerdown

        There are two kinds of passwords: those that protect your stuff, and those that protect other people’s stuff.

    3. Jokerstein

      Bah, I was hoping to be the first to say that gave me the chuckles.

      Nevertheless, the whole of the piece is Troll Level over 9000, and wonderful it is too. Given that people like Nuland and Trump are so far up their own ar$es, this probably really rustles her jimmies. Good job, RT!

  3. russell1200

    Robbie Robertson also wrote one of The Bands most popular songs: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.

    While I doubt the Canadian was trying to be pro-Dixie, one suspects the song would be written a little differently today.

    1. mrsyk

      A most excellent tune.

      “Back with my wife in Tennessee
      When one day she called to me
      “Virgil, quick, come see,
      There goes Robert E. Lee!”
      Now, I don’t mind chopping wood
      And I don’t care if the money’s no good
      You take what you need
      And you leave the rest
      But they should never
      Have taken the very best”

      Here’s a video.

      1. Michaelmas

        This is esoteric, but ….

        I believe the original Band version lyrics are “Virgil, quick, come see,There goes the Robert E. Lee!” — a reference to the riverboat. The Joan Baez version missed that and thought it was the general, and now most people do.

        1. Jeff W

          I didn’t think that note was esoteric. I noticed the omission immediately and it obviously makes a difference.

          Did the Joan Baez version miss that? It doesn’t seem like it.

          Postscript: Joan Baez, who sang the lyrics to the song as she heard them (singers making professional recordings don’t use sheet music with lyrics?), did change them, apparently inadvertently. She sang I took the train to Richmond that fell (which always struck me as somewhat ungrammatical but, hey, it’s a song) when the actual lyrics were By May 10th Richmond had fell. She also sang Till so much cavalry came when the actual lyrics were Till Stoneman’s cavalry came, Major General George Stoneman Jr. being the Union commander of the East Tennessee district* in the closing days of the Civil War. All the lonely Starbucks lovers and all that.

          *Stunning plot twist: The linked-to source mentioning Stoneman (which I think is meant to be authoritative) states that Joan Baez, far from missing the definite article, added it to “Robert E. Lee” lyric

          which changed the general into the Mississippi steamboat of the same name. This word is neither in the official sheet music nor in the original studio version by The Band.

          which, if correct, means that the original comment was right after all.

      1. Lexx

        Fantastic! I’d forgotten that one, Ringo Starr on the drums and is that Willie Nelson’s kid?

        1. juno mas

          Yes, the Staples’ give major weight to “The Weight”. Expressive singers all.

          This is what Mavis Staples said when asked about singing The Weight on the Last Waltz performance:

          I have a tendency, which I think is good, to just sing from my heart. I want to feel it myself. Pops taught me that, to sing from my heart. I can’t just sing from the top of my head. I gotta get into the song. I see it like a movie, in my head, when I’m singing. I got Chester, I know what he looks like…

          Singing from the heart is what all great singers do. It is emotionally draining.

      1. mrsyk

        Sad indeed, although my first thought was “Is he really dead this time?”. My stock in whiskey is going to take a hit this afternoon.

        1. marcyincny

          But there’s still joy to be found in a rewatch of “Searching for Sugar Man” and I will have my tipple while I do so.

        2. Jabura Basaidai

          and my cognac this evening – he was a Detroit guy, my home town, and even ran for mayor once – have his first two albums (only ones?) – listening to the first album reminds of my days as a security guard for a power generation station in the Cass corridor – glad he got the recognition from S. Africa

          1. witters

            Big first (I think) in Australia. Huge for the surfer (‘swampie’) community in Tassie in the late 70’s and 80’s.

    2. farmboy

      Robertson garnered songwriting credits that weren’t necessarily all his according to bandmates.

        1. Not Qualified to Comment

          My 2c. Ship of Theseus – interesting conundrum.

          The football club I was a fervid fan of in the 1960’s still exits yet there’s no-one in it today from the manager down who was even born then. Is it the same football club? Could I still ‘feel’ the same about it now as I did then?

          I’d answer yes, because one thing – one essential thing – hasn’t changed, which is what it represents. My town, and by association me.

          Hence I would argue that the Ship of Theseus is still the Ship of Theseus even after every plank, rope and oar has been replaced, because of what it represents. What everyone accepts it as standing for.

          Thus I would propose that even when a band has changed every member, it is the same band as long as it tries to remain faithful to the music, and musical tradition, of the original.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Same with British regiments that go back three or four centuries. Different men, equipment, styles, weaponry, etc. but still arguably the same Regiment.

          1. Eclair

            Prime ministers, pipelines, presidential candidates (??) …. no problem! The US has but to wish them …. gone.

    1. Bugs

      I have to wonder why the Intercept is running this one. Omidyar surely has interests in India, so that might be a part of it.

      1. flora

        I care less for editorial motives than for the soundly sourced data that makes it through the editorial filters. Even the WaPo and NYT have printed well sourced and sound data. Go figure. / ;)

    2. Feral Finster

      Duh, it was a regime change operation.

      Duh, the US was behind it.

      What is anyone going to do about it? Might as well tell an armed robber that “stealing is wrong!” as he ties you up and loots your stuff.

  4. Schopsi

    The new left review article on China ist indeed quite interesting and I see little reason to doubt it.

    East and West closely mirror each other in how the elites put shoring up their privileges and securing their status above everything.

    Doesn’t change that the global policies of the West are incomparably more terroristic and harmful though, certainly for now.

    And that the policies that China COULD use to effectively improve their economy and the lot of their people would cause the West to hate them more, not less.

    The final lines about ever harsher and more entrenched authoritarianism not being a reversible position and here to stay no doubt are also fully applicable to the collective West and it’s future as well.

  5. griffen

    AP article on losing a hand to the meat grinder. Well the employee was forewarned so there’s that ( sarc ). Best to lawyer up if the young man has any intention of getting necessary medical coverage, because of this accident, for the remainder of his life. An older brother lost his eyesight in 1986 or so, summer work due to a construction site accident. Hammer meeting nail, and a sliver of nail goes upward and no, the site would not pay for a pair of safety goggles. Cheap a$$whole companies, nothing new to report. Weeks in the hospital. Went onto finish college, a decidedly driven person since the accident.

    OSHA is flipping joke as well.

  6. WobblyTelomeres

    Age of Invention: Cash cows

    One hundred years before Frederick Taylor. Another reason to be glad I eat plants.

  7. griffen

    Louisville hospitals story above, might leave even the cynical hear aghast at what apparently is or has been occurring. Not terribly shocking to find it happening, America after all has the best healthcare ever. Shouldn’t this fall on hospital executives, administrators and associated leadership at the state level? Expanded a search and it’s not restricted to Kentucky.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Just wait until they start leaving unclaimed dead bodies in the streets. You just know that it is going to happen.

          1. ambrit

            As the Plague Reapers will be singing as they trundle the refrigerated cart through the streets; “Bring out your nearly dead! Bring out your nearly dead!”

          2. JTMcPhee

            That’s what the Ghouls of Ukraine are apparently doing: Chop-shopping wounded soldiers, and maybe civilians, for organs to sell on to “Western” interests.

            And there’s a lot of flux in the intertubes, about what happens to children possibly trafficked to pedophiles and maybe raised specifically as organ sources. USAID has validated the claims of trafficking for all the unsavory purposes, And Ukrainian women whose husbands and other male family support members have “gone missing” in combat, who are denied government pay and benefits, have had to rent out their uteruses as surrogates to get money to survive on — even the NYT has deigned to notice the problem,

            All part of fostering Democracy, I hear…

    2. nycTerrierist

      yup – in a decent society, the ceo of the hospital
      that did this would be personally liable for this total fail

    3. digi_owl

      Again and again find myself thinking about how satire becomes reality.

      In this instance the intro to a classic Bullfrog game, Theme Hospital, were the patient is dumped into the trash chute from the operating table because his credit card is denied.

      Makes me miss the old British gaming industry, as being independently published on home computers it had an edge to it. But these days all the companies that survived seem to be focused on consoles, where the big three control the message.

        1. digi_owl

          Been trying to dig through it all, but oh so much of it feels like flash animations with a price tag.

    4. Neutrino

      Is the phrase granny-dumping no longer allowed? Too ageist or something?
      Hospitals and other quasi-public institutions have indulged in that for decades, with less fanfare.
      Then, a few of the less artful ones got caught dumping granny curbside dressed only in a flimsy hospital gown and booties. And not even by the bus station. And no ticket in hand! /s

    5. IM Doc

      Hospital CEO at the press conference about this issue – “Why, how can you even imagine it is our responsibility that society has not provided basic services for our recently discharged patients?” /sarc

      As he leaves the conference room, he heads to his mahogany lined office with marble floors. His lunch of filet mignon cooked especially for him and the upper administrators awaits him in the private dining room attended to be a cadre of servants in crisp white uniforms. After lunch he heads to his golf match with several other CEOs in the area. He comes back to his mahogany bedecked office to sign the contract with the local media company and the advertising that his hospital system is ranked in the Top on the latest US NEWS ranking. The ads extol all the excellent care they are giving to “the communities that they serve.” He then has a champagne party with donors to his non-profit hospital, attended by all the hand picked board members who do everything at his beck and call. He then goes home to his 6 million dollar mansion in his late model Porsche.

      Meanwhile, the elderly patients that his hospital dumped on the streets that day are either dying or admitted to the horribly strapped public hospital downtown. The psych patients that are cycled in and out of his ER like cattle are struggling to find crumbs to eat on the streets.

      I have no insider knowledge that this Louisville CEO has done any of this. However, this is done all the time by CEOs and administrators of every hospital system I have ever worked at.

      I am completely exhausted by it all.

      Mene Mene Tekel Upharshin.

      Alas, Alas, O Babylon, The Lord Thy God has judged you and found you wanting. Your day of reckoning is at hand.

      1. Objective Ace

        Contrarian take: I’m actually kind of sympathetic to the hospital. The system is asking the hospital to serve as a homeless shelter. That makes zero sense and is a horrid waste of resources. Yes, profits and expenses are a terrible way to judge whether a hospital is successful. I’m sure the hospital could house these individuals and still maintain a profit. However, if your an ER nurse seeing the same person come in over and over with either exaggerated claims, or issues that you treat and then they refuse to leave because they have nowhere to go, what are you supposed to do?

        The system has failed. While this example is abhorent I’m reserving judgment against the hospital. They are not the reason these individuals do not have homes or that there is no place for mentally disabled individuals to recieve treatment.

        1. IM Doc

          Unfortunately by the video above – that is not a patient with exaggerated claims. And yes that does happen all the time.

          When you are talking to me, you are talking to a physician who the past 10 years once the corporate mindset took off, has been threatened over and over again for not discharging very ill patients. The hospitals employ an army of clipboard nurses working on discharge timing before the patient even leaves the ER after being admitted. They begin to threaten clinicians and nurses who are not getting people out fast enough. Threatened with their bonuses, their livelihood and even their hospital privileges.

          What you are talking about above (malingering or exaggerated claims) is the minority of these cases – and is the constant propaganda that they spew to justify their behavior. I will say again – back in the day – the nuns in charge seemed to be able to take care of this problem without booting people onto the street. The big difference between now and then as I alluded to above were the multimillion dollar facilities, salaries and ad budgets.

          1. Objective Ace

            I appreciate the insiders perspective. Directing doctors to discharge patients who are ill/not ready is abhorrent. That side of things isn’t apparent by just watching the video. Thank you

        2. griffen

          Hospice and last days care for the utterly deplorable and indigent classes. Go die on your own terms, without anywhere to die in some peace and what remains of dignity. We are ruled by a psychopath’s mentality. I recall seeing a few horror stories from one of the more prominent downtown Dallas hospitals, which may be Parkland but on a search I turned upon the UT Southwestern teaching hospital. I vaguely recall they had a huge campus going in the direction of the arena for the Mavs and the Stars.

          Federal dollars could make sure they, the dying patients, have a last resort but that’ll never happen. Where does Medicaid fit into all of it, I am not sure.

          1. ambrit

            If they were smart the American Rifle Association would hold “Instant Karma” training classes for those terminal patients who wanted to “spread the joy” to the CEOs and assorted parasites. Then some enterprising Pawn Shop Association could supply the “tools” to get the job done.
            “Vox Populi, Vox Dei.” Only this time it is a truly Calvinist, Protestant, angry G–.

        3. Nikkikat

          Oh, I see it’s just the system, just the way things are. You have sympathy for the hospital. How big of you.

    6. Nikkikat

      I lived in california, it happened every where there for years. So it’s not a regional thing. If that patient isn’t making them money, out the door you go.
      In fact homeless are turned out this way all the time.

    1. Stephen Taylor

      Everyone needs to stop talking about “healthcare”. There’s no care involved. You don’t get care, and they don’t care. What we have in this country is “health business”—that and nothing more.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      A South Korean teacher committed suicide in her own class room just last month: I was browsing Sina, a Chinese news portal earlier today when I came across the Chinese reporting of the situation. Seems like it’s not just students that are exposed to extreme pressures in South Korean society. The handling of the situation has also attracted plenty of criticism, and there are calls to speed up the introduction of a new Anti Teacher Bullying Legislation.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      I can no longer find references to it, but I’m sure there’s a Korean poem honoring the women who committed suicide by jumping off a famous cliff, likening them to flower blossoms opening as their skirts billowed out as they fell.

      Korea and suicide go way back. Then again, do Koreans have ritualized suicide like hara-kiri? And can any country touch the USA when it comes to “accidental” fatal one-car crashes?

      I can’t say if raising the minimum wage in Korea would help (it’s $8.84/hr but I don’t know anything about their cost of living), but I’m pretty sure suicides go down when there’s plenty of money to go around.

      1. hk

        Glorification of “honorable” suicides in Korea (like loyal subjects following their liege/country to deaths) is not unlike that in Japan or, as is less widely known, China–there are quite a few tales of how loyal subjects killed themselves rather than join the new regime when a dynasty fell there, too.

        I don’t think Korea has quite the “suicide culture” the way Japan allegedly does–in fact, I don’t think postwar Japan does either.

        I do wonder if the unhappiness of the South Koreans is driven by the widespread belief that “others” are happy: that they are not in difficult times “together” and that the “unhappy folk” are getting the raw deal that the others are not dealing with. Breakdown of social ties, supposedly, has been extreme in Korea and everyone is likely suffering alone (and a variant of “stiff upper lip syndrome” also means that people don’t talk to each other about difficulties much…)

    3. digi_owl

      The likes of Facebook is not helping, as it ends up pushing an overly glamorous view of one’s “peers”.

  8. mrsyk

    CartujaQanat – Journal 3: A 10°C reduction with ZeroNet energy consumption in open spaces is possible. Sevilla made it. Urban Innovative Actions
    Utilizes a qanat system (think underground swales!) and gets results. Probably hard to scale. Probably a dollar short and a day late as well. In the section titled “Overview of the UIA management innovation challenges for CartujaQanat, Sevilla” we find the usual headwinds faced by those proposing innovative ideas to established practices. Readers here will not be surprised to learn that “One of these challenge areas throughout the project lifecycle has been the financial management of the project. The rigid audit procedures foreseen within the Spanish Administration system have repeatedly clashed with the intention and the signed and approved agreements stemming from the budget approved by the UIA within the context of the grant. The problem has persisted throughout the project lifecycle creating repeated delays in the execution of payments and the progress of the project impeding to an extent some of the foreseen innovative aspirations. For example, in the question of the management of the new space. In other words, a narrow interpretation of regulatory standards contradicts urban innovation projects which may call for broader interpretations or even new regulations to be applied, requiring and demanding a combination of political and technical leadership and coordination as well as additional time which may go beyond the foreseen timeline of a project.”

    1. Steve H.

      > Readers here will not be surprised to learn

      Yup, when you start talking about side-stepping the procurement process

      >> The ‘pilot’ approach for the demonstration of new materials has been used as a way to by-pass some of the obstacles presented in the context of the procurement process.

      then you are breaking someone’s ricebowl. They got me by talking about qanats, but there’s a weaselly bit here:

      >> A 10°C reduction of the temperature in open spaces. For example, in conditions of 45 degrees Celsius under the sun, the open-air amphitheatre will record a 35 degrees consistent temperature rendering it liveable without using any energy consumption

      Well, they put up shade. The NIOSH Heat Stress: Work/Rest Schedule has this adjustment:

      > Full sun (no clouds): Add 13 °F

      which means just the shade gets you nearly three-quarters of the way to the goal v ‘under the sun’.

      Qanats are beautifully studied in Pietro Laureano’s “The Water Atlas.” This is a superb and important book, available for download:

      I have a hardcover copy with an IPOGEA imprint, it may have been individually printed but I’m glad I have it.

  9. mrsyk

    Good haul of Links today!
    Can a Digital Artwork Outlast a 19th-Century Painting? The Answer Is Complicated as Artists, Dealers, and Conservators Battle Obsolescence in the Field
    n=1, but all my LPs are in neat stacks around the stereo in the living room while my CDs gather dust in the cellar.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Your grandchildren will still be able to play your LPs if properly cared for. Your CDs and DVDs? Not so long. Same deal with hard drives. Here is an article talking about this but it mentions an important example. Back in 1986 the British did a Multimedia Data Collection Survey commemorating the 900th anniversary of the original Domesday Book. But after not many years it was unreadable. The technology changed, the operating system changed and the software changed. So they had to organize a major project to retrieve all that data and I think that they had to use a virtual “everything” drive so that they could access that data again-

        1. digi_owl

          Not a new worry. The concept of a “digital dark age” has been around since the 90s.

          In recent years i have passed my time watching youtube videos of people restoring computers from the early days of the industry, and in the process creating both ways to boot them off new storage media as well as read old media on new systems.

          The prevailing trend is that things move from implemented in hardware to implemented in software/firmware with a minimal amount of hardware “glue”.

          For example the basic connection between floppy drives and computers stayed largely the same from the 70s to well into the 90s. Thus one can connect a 8 inch floppy drive to a Pentium PC and get them to play nice.

          Similarly NTSC lasted unchanged for 50 years on air, while since then we have had 3-4 “upgrades” being introduced.

        2. ambrit

          And what will future tomb raiders think when they finally enter the mausoleum of the Pharaoh Obama on the shores of the Chigan sea?
          “Gad, Carstairs! It is from before The Jackpot Age!”
          “My heavens Willis! Can that be? That bas relief shows snow, here!”
          “Carstairs, we might have to pretend we never saw this room.”
          “What!? Why?”
          “Look at this map of the Pharaoh’s domains.”
          “Oh my! It shows cities down in the Torrid Zone! Can that be?”
          “We know nothing about our real history it seems Carstairs.”
          “I wish we’d never opened this site now.”
          “Whoever this Obama was, he is probably slowly roasting in the Fires of the Gulch.”
          “What do we tell the head of the Department?”
          “If we are at all wise, nothing.”
          “Agreed. The shock would be too terrible for the Landsmen to endure.”
          “They would rise up and agriculture would be disrupted. Another famine so soon after ’79?”
          “Aye. Social cohesion would undergo a severe strain. I don’t want to be responsible for that.”
          “Yes. Let it be our secret for now.”

          1. digi_owl

            Now you got me thinking about Into the Badlands, a weird post-apocalyptic scifi series set in USA but with an emphasis on wire-fu action. mixing elements from Journey to the West and plantation era aesthetic.

        3. hunkerdown

          Probably very few, because of the acid process used to make general paper over the past couple of centuries. Many recent books of long interest have used acid-free formulas. They may survive, if libraries don’t trash them for administrative or political reasons first.

          Not far from the Svalbard seed vault is an archive of various digital or digitized national cultural artifacts from Brazil, Mexico, the Vatican, and others; also including about 21TB of FOSS source code including the Linux and Android operating systems. All of that is stored on polyester film rated for 500-1000 years. The minimum technology necessary to read that medium is on par with a CD player.

          Future archaeologists may find more explanatory value in the Alamogordo, New Mexico “archive” of destroyed Atari games.

      1. cfraenkel

        Well, the key phrase there is ‘if properly cared for’. With digital files, ‘properly cared for’ implies backup HDs and periodic offsite backups. Dead HDs get replaced with new ones. IDE gets replaced with SATA. 500 MB drives get replaced with 5TB drives. But that also implies possession of the files unencumbered with Apple DRM garbage. So if for you ‘digital’ = streaming, or itunes or whatever, your grandchildren will be out of luck. (but then it’s not ‘your’ collection anymore, is it?)

        1. Acacia

          “files unencumbered with Apple DRM garbage” jogged my memory…

          This may extend to some of your user data, too. For example, I found out the hard way that Apple encrypted my bookmarks in apps like DVD Player, such that only their ‘trusted’ app could read them. It was impossible to read them with a third party app, and the bookmarks became unreadable after they phased out and sh*tcanned the DVD Player app.

          So, even if you “properly care for” your data, it can be held hostage such that you may need a machine running a vintage app with a vintage OS, and vintage hardware (or vintage OS running in a VM), to actually jailbreak and read your data.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Niger coup: Blinken says Russia’s Wagner taking advantage of turmoil”

    First Nuland got on Niger’s case and now Blinken. Both are of course from Ukrainian descent so I beginning to wonder if that as far as the White House is concerned, the whole situation is being seen through the lens of Wagner and the Russians rather than West African politics, even though Wagner is not going to go to Niger. And that would mean that the White House will be totally misreading the situation because of Blinken and Nuland and might do something stupid – like drone the Niger leadership from the US base that is in Niger. That would go down real well in Africa that.

  11. Lexx

    ‘Maybe You’re Not Working Class’

    ‘I’m not proud to admit that I was repulsed by the place and the people there. Their lack of cultural knowledge really appalled me, while it also fed into a sense I was inherently different from everyone there. Whether it was my father’s then-wife thinking a shot of espresso must be some kind of alcohol, or a local library clerk not having heard of Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse (she thought I was asking for a book on wolves and lighthouses in Virginia), there seemed omnipresent signs that I was part of a fully-different class of people than they were.’

    No, that’s just a tribal fence around proscribed acceptable topics and levels of conversation. Down at the feed store at six in the morning, cup of coffee in hand, I’m going to keep my poke bowl musings to myself and ask Phil (participant at farmer’s market every Sunday) his thoughts on getting enough phosphate under Danver carrots in low acid soil. I think my carrots could perform better over the short growing season. Phil may be both open and knowledgeable about raw fish tastings but I’ll wait for him to broach the subject and see where it goes.

    I’ll walk into the salon with ‘Pourhouse’ coupons (for the restaurant next door) because Cheryl (petite bourgeois owner) likes to eat lunch there, and chat with her ’bout most anything (except religion or politics.. yikes) because it’s a salon, where you’ll find a cross-section of the classes amongst the customers and a breadth of knowledge and humor. Skews conservative though, mostly because the female customers there are older.

    The step mom was mocking him with a lame joke and the local librarian knows what Virginia Woolf wrote.
    But there’s some will to ignorance in public conversations to be found in every class. ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about and you can’t prove I do.’

    1. griffen

      Hope you finished because I had trouble buying what he was attempting to sell. He’s somehow superlative to the working class of his youthful home, because he has managed to think it is so? Quite possibly that was the tone I was deriving until he began the in depth book review.

      I grew up in a part of North Carolina that time and opportunity had forgotten by the early ’90s, and Wal Mart would grow to become one of the larger employers in the county. Some can stay in such places and find their happiness.

    2. flora

      I read this para:
      “To my discredit, I also felt quite superior to them. This sentiment seems quite ironic now in hindsight, especially since many of them were doing much better for themselves than I was then (and now). They owned cars and homes, had reliable paychecks and benefits, and even had enough money left over to support a family without their wife needing to work. I, on the other hand, had been living in a crowded house in the city with five others, didn’t own anything, and had no money to pay for a doctor or a dentist. In fact, the reason for my visit to my father was because I needed my wisdom teeth removed, and he could put me on his insurance if I stayed with him for a few months.”

      My first thoughts are: he went to college, he was sold a load of “correct thought” we he accepted without question because it was so flattering to his self-image. (One of the great successes of the anti-union red scare of the McCarthy era was driving real leftists out of college teaching positions, leaving college profs offering only cultural emblems in place of economic reality as the correct for of leftist thought. imo.)

      I think he does get it now, though. He goes on:
      “Unfortunately, as Evans points out, one of the primary features of the new petite bourgeoisie is that, though they are not necessarily physically isolated from the working class, they are socially isolated from them and also from each other. Part of this is the competition required to maintain their position (both in actual workplaces and also in “self-employment” —think of all the Instagram influencers here). I think just as much — if not more — of this isolation is a feature of their sense that they are different and even superior to the traditional proletariat.”

      Dividing the working class in a new way, not based on race or national origin, but by credentials. The poor white encouraged to feel superior to the poor black is replace by the poor college grad encouraged to feel superior to the poor high school grad.

      This part near the end seems important.
      “That’s maybe the most important key to undermining the counter-revolutionary “leftism” of the “new” petite bourgeoisie. Only if they can give up their belief they’re “above” other kinds of workers (and work) will they ever be able to align with those workers. Getting rid of social justice identitarianism — the ideological framework which helps them see those others as not just inferior but also “evil” — will also be necessary.”

      I liked the essay, mainly because I see this acted out all around me in my Uni town.

        1. flora

          Yep. So many men and women in college were once educated to be the middle managers in work and society of the once mighty industrial economy of the USA. Then the big industries were off-shored, starting 45 years ago. Now what.

      1. Kouros

        Not a John Bageant he…

        Joe Bageant – Dear Hunting with Jesus – Dispatches from America’s Class War

      2. vao

        And then perhaps this misery of class-prejudice will fade away, and we of the sinking middle-class — the private schoolmaster, the half-starved freelance journalist, the colonel’s spinster daughter with £75 a year, the jobless Cambridge graduate, the ship’s officer without a ship, the clerks, the civil servants, the commercial travellers, and the thrice-bankrupt drapers in the country towns — may sink without further struggles into the working class where we belong, and probably when we get there it will not be so dreadful as we feared, for, after all, we have nothing to lose but our aitches.

        George Orwell, The road to Wigan Pier, 1937.

      3. Lexx

        As usual, Flora, enjoyed your reply. Went to a liberal arts college and as I’ve grown older realize better what I was really educated for… those were the early ‘woke’ years, then called political correctness. We prefer uni towns (have always live in them) but there is that constant air of superiority.

    3. Cat Burglar

      For years I was a retail worker in the writer’s Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle, back when housing was cheap. PC moralism was bad even then, in liberal and leftist forms of identity politics.

      One of my climbing friends was one of the army of freelancers used by the big local computing company beginning with M — it was the first job with middle-class pay most of them ever had. Ultimately, the IRS refused to believe that thousands of individual contractors that only worked for the same company were really contractors, and lowered the boom. The M-mangers were frantic.

      My climbing partner was as decisive an organizer as she was a climber, and took the situation in hand, by putting together a freelancer cooperative that the company could hire from. Management didn’t go for it. Politically, she would have been ready to say they were just being f (amily blog) -ing capitalists, but instead she told me that at the meeting they just seemed at sea, just unable to handle it, it was just too far outside anything they had ever encountered. Things simmered for a time, then word came down that contractors would be hired through a temp service.

      Some months later at work, my friend got on an elevator, and there was the, if IIRC, Vice President who had announced the decision. A woman her age. Like my friend, a woman with a graduate degree, another lesbian. She knew my friend had organized the co-op. There was tense silence.

      “I know what you’re thinking,” said the VP. As educated lesbians of the same age, they had both been part of a radical generation that emphatically believed that capitalism and patriarchy supported each other, and that their position as women and lesbians was as an inherently revolutionary group (“the oppressed”), even to the extent that their own personal advancement was part of a wave that would overturn every form of oppression. My friend was a very articulate exponent of this position — which was hegemonic on the Seattle left — even after many of her sisters had for some reason become more moderate politically. “Things are more complicated than you think,” the VP finished, and left when she came to her floor.

      But things looked pretty clear to my friend, and a couple years later she was marching with the Teamsters in the big anti-WTO protest in town. All identity politics crashes on class.

      1. Acacia

        Great comment, thanks. Nails the disconnect of “we are an inherently revolutionary group” idpol.

      2. digi_owl

        Bit of a tangent, but your mention of it got me thinking that i have not heard about an anti-WTO protest is years.

  12. bwilli123

    A little bit of history from Craig Murray on the assassinated Ecuadorian candidate.
    (Twas he who provided Guardian journalists with the fake story on Assange meeting Manafort.)

    Murray concludes…
    “…CIA assets who forge documents, or distribute CIA forged documents, and spread corruption allegations against left wing figures, are most useful working in the shadows. If they become over-ambitious, draw attention to themselves, and run for President as Villavicencio did, when the CIA already has its approved puppet in the race, it is very easy to move from CIA asset to CIA liability.

    Which is very bad for your health.”

    1. Kurtismayfield

      I work with a part time real estate agent who keeps telling me rates are going to pivot. He keeps hugging the hopium that more buyers are going to become eligible.. because right now there are very few. He didn’t enjoy when I predicted the last 0.25 hike, and definitely didn’t like when I said there will probably be one more if the labor market remains tight.

  13. ProNewerDeal

    What is/are the best measure(s) of US labor market status, from a worker perspective?

    I have read U3 Unemployment is a misleading indicator, for reasons including the definition of the US Fed Government of U3 has changed over time, and “discouraged workers” are excluded.

    I think Male 25-to-54 Employment Rate is a good indicator, because this cohort is materially obligated to work (“don’t work, don’t eat”).

    Furthermore socially those in this cohort who have retirement-level net wealth but do not work are often denigrated (“trust fund baby”, disabled workers, stay-at-home dads, etc). Possible exception for “self-made” “early retirement” individuals. Afaict this social view is the majority opinion of all segmets of society (gender, age, ethnoracial, native-born/immigrant) for the entire time series 1960-now. So comparing within the time series should be close to apples-to-apples.
    https://fred.stlouisfed dot org /series/LREM25MAUSM156N

    One negative aspect this stat (as measured in all OECD nations including) includes as “employed” as having worked 1 hour in the past week. I would rather see this stat as FT workers to be counted as employeed.

    The series is on a long gradual declining trend from 95% values of the 1960s. Glass half-full, currently at 86.6% is almost at the post-2008 GFC peak of 86.9% (despite approx 1% of workforce being disabled with Long Covid?). The 1981-now/Neoliberal peak is 90.6% in 1989.

    What do ya think?! (c) Ed Schultz.

  14. flora

    Another from Wolf Street. (Maybe this will put the brakes on Wall St firms buying up whole neighborhoods of small single family houses.)

    Mortgage Rates Jump to Holy-Moly 7.09%, FHA Rates to Highest in 20 Years, Pulling Rug Out from Under Home Sales in August

    Mortgage applications to purchase a home: -40% from 2022 and 2019, 3rd worst week since 1995, behind only two weeks in February.

    1. mrsyk

      I’m having a hard time figuring out how PE will be able to hold on to their real estate portfolios in this kind of interest rate climate. Is that a mega-bailout I’m sniffing in the wind?

      1. Neutrino

        They’ll get a nudge from the AirBnB buyers who rushed in, bid prices up, flooded the market, pissed off locals, saw noise and similar ordinances enacted or enforced, and started to rush out again. No promised investment returns, more taxes, increased maintenance and repair bills, hassles all around.
        Those bargain vacays got so popular that nobody went there, not even Yogi Berra’s descendants.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Decision on meeting with Putin is for Zelenskyy to make – US Department of State”

    Pretty sure that if Zelensky said that he was going to meet with Putin, that the neoNazis would off him – with the blessings of the State Department. He would be safer volunteering for front-line service. But where he is, he can get away with anything. So for example-

    ‘Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has signaled that he is about to embark on a crusade against the nation’s corrupt lawmakers and officials after a string of graft scandals.

    In a Tuesday video address, Zelensky said that he wanted to “cleanse” Ukraine, which he said needs to undergo a transformation. “This means that those who work for their own benefit, not for the sake of Ukraine, will not hold public office or be Ukrainian MPs,” he stated, adding that “any such dealmaker will at least stand trial.”

    The Ukrainian president also raised the issue of corruption last week when he vowed to continue efforts to kick officials out of public institutions who “tried to drag from the past old habits, old schemes that have weakened Ukraine… for decades.” ‘

    So he will probably purge any opponents against him on the grounds of ‘corruption’ and then go ahead with ‘democratic’ elections. But of course the State Department will also say that that is also his decision.

  16. Carolinian

    Interesting Suplicious this time on the Russian central bank. Some expert NC financial commentary called for? Then there’s this

    But the Russian government has a history of listening to its people’s demands quite a bit better than those in the West.[…]

    That’s how healthy governance should work. No one is suggesting governments should always be perfect and never introduce bad ideas, but what we as citizens demand is that if bad ideas are contrived, then after voicing our rejection of them, they should be summarily removed. The Russian government did that thus far—at least for the most part. There remain some bad apples within the structure who continue pushing certain nefarious agendas, whether it be vaccination or digital certificates, etc., but you’ll never get a completely amenable system unless you yourself institute total Orwellian control; there will always be bad actors.

    Of course this may be a bit of Putin apple polishing but it’s hard not to conclude that Putin is the smart kid at the front of the class and Biden is the one sitting in the back corner wearing the dunce cap. If he was a movie serial it would be Our Gang with his assorted comic dopes holding forth at the He-man Woman Putin Hater’s Club. Sadly our perverse foreign policy is no joke.

  17. Joe Well

    >>Kudos to STAT for publishing the story.

    What are people’s thoughts on STAT? It seemed originally like it was going to be all about cheerleading for the biotech industry, like TechCrunch for Biotech. But it seems it has gotten more adversarial?

    1. Michaelmas

      STAT was generally competent — most journalism isn’t these days — when I was regularly glancing at it, which I haven’t for a while. More competent in its sphere than TechCrunch, and biotech demands more knowledge too.

  18. Wukchumni

    Back from a fabulous week of walking in the High Sierra, aside from witnessing the demise of a very special place first established in 1934, in quite a magical setting with the Great Western Divide looming large across the way-the spine of the Southern Sierra if you will, a wall of granite that shoots up vertically about 5,000 feet straight up more or less. It’s nearly a 12 mile walk to get there from Crescent Meadow in Sequoia NP.

    Bearpaw Meadow High Sierra Camp suffered snow damage to some of the 6 tent platforms in 2019 and then was closed for Covid in 2020-2022, and this savage winter was the death knell with all of the tent platforms and dining hall/kitchen utterly smashed by perhaps 25-30 feet of snow crushing them. Add in very stringent water testing now required daily by the state on private water systems (the water comes from a spring about 100 yards away) and the idea that there really aren’t many mule packers around on the western side of the Sierra to bring things in and out, it’d be a herculean task to rebuild it, and the concessionaire (Delaware North) shows no signs of wanting to do that, so all that is left is to dismantle the place, and burn down the evidence that it ever actually existed, except in my dreams.

    Bearpaw is a full-service camp 12 miles east of Giant Forest on the High Sierra Trail. The camp is dramatically situated at the edge of the high country, on a precipice overlooking the craggy granite peaks of the Great Western Divide. The camp is quite small, with 6 tent cabins that can accommodate up to 12 guests. A full-time staff of five provides fresh-cooked breakfasts and dinners, hot showers (rigged so you can’t leave the water on continuously), and a flush toilet. Despite these amenities the camp is very rustic. It’s definitely a camp and not an inn, and the tents in particular are very basic. But that’s the point: Bearpaw is a perfect way for day hikers to get an immersive Sierra wilderness experience that would normally require backpacking.

    Guests at the camp can go for hikes in the grandeur of the High Sierra, trekking through alpine meadows, on trails cut into sheer vertical cliffs high above conifer-clad valleys, past glacial lakes, among immense granite cliffs and peaks. The best part of the day, though, is coming back to the remote encampment where the staff is hard at work preparing dinner and chopping wood for hot showers.

    The camp was established in 1934 and it seems like little about it has changed since then. Supplies are brought in by mule train twice a week. There’s no electricity; the tents are lit by oil lamps and the dining cabin by gas lamps. Food is stored in propane-powered refrigerators. Water comes from a nearby mountain stream and is filtered for drinking. The whole camp is disassembled every fall and stored in a stout log cabin.

    Dinners are extraordinary. They’re prepared by a single cook each day, and the cook has the freedom to make whatever he or she wants, so the food has none of the institutional feel of most national park dining facilities. It’s very much like home cooking. It also helps that the food is prepared in small batches, since there are only 12 guests at most. The camp has five cooks and they rotate, so dinner each day is made in a noticably different style, though it’s always hearty and nutritious. Dinner is served buffet-style and there’s always plenty of food.

    Breakfasts are likewise excellent and include hash browns, scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage and some kind of fresh-baked coffee cake or bread. Orange juice (frozen concentrate) and coffee are also provided. Eating breakfast in the little chalet while the sun rises over the mountains is definitely a highlight of the Bearpaw experience.

    We made it as far as Precipice Lake which was covered in snow and usually would look like this in the summer (attractive young miss not included) and was the subject of a famous 1932 Ansel Adams photo.

  19. Roger Blakely

    RE: How the World Scout Jamboree descended into chaos in South Korea Reuters

    The site was a reclaimed mud flats with no trees and too many bugs. There was a heat wave. There were 40,000 scouts from all over the world. There were not enough portable toilets, and the portable toilets were not cleaned often enough.

    1. britzklieg

      Terrifying, and you can bet that it was recording all manner of info by which to identify the human behind the video.

    2. Randall Flagg

      And how long before the robot dog walker ( or even the dog in the video), we saw the other day is given a weapon, and some BS AI to make a decision on the spot to either shoot or not a suspect that refuses to follow orders to stop…
      As has been said before, all those science fiction novels and movies in the past should have been taken as warnings, not how to manuals.

    3. Acacia

      Aww… I kept waiting for it to get felled by a bolas, legs kicking like ED 209, as the camera then pans right to a bunch of homeless, pointing and laughing. But whoever eventually ups said video will win the ‘effin Internet.

  20. Wukchumni

    Look up in the sky… is it a bird, is it a plane, nah its the Perseid meteor shower pretty much starting tonight and peaks the night of the 12th in the wee hours.

    Shooting stars are like a box of chocolate-you never know what you’re gonna get and unlike chocolate pieces you can’t scrape a little on the bottom to see what’s what…

    What makes the potential great here is the Moon not really being all that present, making for quite a dark sky contrast.

    If we’re lucky enough, long tracers will flit across the sky, some with a sparkly tail we nickname ‘Buck Rogers’.

    The hardest part for yours truly who is typically tucked into bed @ 8:12 pm is staying awake until the wee hours when the celestial show begins in earnest. I’ll do my best.

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      in my predawn roamin on the Falcon, ive been seeing lots and lots of ‘shooting stars’…a few of the buck rodgers kind, with long sparkly trails that stretch across the sky.
      most have been originating in the vicinity of Orion….and i dont know where Perseus is…and have been too busy/scatterbrained to look up what i was seeing when i looked up.
      this has been ongoing around 3am til dawn, central, for a month or more.

      i ride around and check on things…with coffee and a splif…and finally let the sheep and chickens out at mom’s around 6:15, when its barely light enough to see any rattlers in the road.
      yesterday….and i didnt know at the time that that was the noise i heard…i disturbed a juvenile mountain lion attacking one of the momma sheep…right there in mom’s yard, with all the lights.
      claw marks on both sides, and a big bite took out of her haunch.
      had i not happened by, she would be dead and up in a tree somewhere for leisurely gnawing.
      so most of day tracking and moving sheep around in order to load her up to go see the vet…then bck to her own private pen….and Amfortas the resident vet…and more tracking.
      Eldest and his pet redneck setting snares…and i put 2 bano barrels(from the composting toilet) at strategic locations, and deployed all mom’s active denial do-dads(the sound things ya cant hear but give ya a headache)…and encouraging everyone, save mom, to pee on fences.
      so i go out at 3am, bathrobe and 357mag, and creep all around on foot.
      then again at 4, on the Falcon with the spotlight and roam along every fenceline and trail, and shine up into every suitable tree.
      doctor the wounded sheep at 5:30…let everybody out after dawn….and go hunting for tracks again.
      nothing…not a dern thing.
      so i went on a lion hunt this morning…in a frelling bathrobe.
      plenty of shooting stars, too.

      1. Lexx

        I woke up 4-ish, starting opening windows and heard two Great Horned owls hooting back and forth… the scourge of the neighborhood cats, squirrels and bunnies. That’s as large as the predators get around here until the coyotes and foxes return… if they return. Maybe I’ll get to see some of the show, a double creature feature plus shooting stars.

  21. Carolinian

    Very much worth a read

    To be fair, Swedes grow up with more than a healthy dose of fearmongering around Russia. Indeed, Sweden and Russia (in the various iterations of those nation-states) have been side-eyeing each other and coming to blows since about the year 1200. When I was growing up in the 1980s and 90s it was a common quip to hear about Russian U-boats darting around little islands in the Stockholm archipelago. They could invade at any time! But they didn’t. And they won’t. At this point, the war crystal ball more likely shows the US dragging Sweden into its vortex of endless wars, throwing up military bases on formerly pristine islands, and sending Swedish bodies boxed in birch back to the mainland. Ironically then, what this Swedish fear is barreling towards is the precise outcome it hopes to avoid: death and destruction. Death and destruction at the hands of the one we’d hoped would be our protector: the cowboy, the Brad Pitt-style brooding but sexy loner, the peanut-butter-eating Uncle Sam.

    Of course if Swedes get their ideas about America from media then so do we about Sweden including those Dragon Tattoo movies. Dark underbelly much?

    It is ironic that Bernie once wanted us to be like them even as they want to be like us.

  22. Feral Finster

    Found on internet:

    Jim Garrison, from his May 27, 1969 interview:

    “The President of the United States is a transient official in the regard of the warfare conglomerate. His assignment is to act as master of ceremonies in the awarding of posthumous medals, to serve when needed as a salesman for the military hardware manufacturers, and to speak as often as possible about the nation’s desire for peace. He is not free to trespass on the preserve of the war interests nor even to acknowledge that such an organism exists.”

  23. Es s Cetera

    – China Relies on U.S., Allies for Hundreds of Products WSJ
    – Joe Biden plans new restrictions on US investments in China, including Hong Kong, declares ‘emergency’ on sensitive tech South China Morning Post

    Did I miss it or can someone say what the actual *goal* is for the US? What is the official KPI, if you will, of these measures? How will anyone know when the measures are succeeding? Are they seeking reduction of Chinese GDP? To ensure that chips are several versions or revisions behind?

    1) If China is utterly dependent on imports of semiconductors/chips,
    2) and the US is hellbent on ensuring China is cut off from that supply, so as to damage the Chinese economy,
    3) isn’t this just going to force China to build and improve their own chip infrastructure,
    4) a) thus completely defeating the purpose of these measures, b) possibly resulting in China being even more powerful once they’re forced to compensate?

    1. britzklieg

      “isn’t this just going to force China to build and improve…”

      see: Russia. Proves your logic to be accurate.

  24. Roxan

    Patient dumping should be a crime but I think the main reason it occurs is that homeless patients may not even be able to get welfare or Medicaid due to not having the required address. Cash payment for a single person in PA is $205, but many states give zero. Hospital beds are limited and precious, so they hurry to dump non-payees as fast as possible. In Philly, we called it ‘streeting’. I saw that happen to psych patients when social workers couldn’t find a shelter or group home that would take them. When I worked for state hospitals, which usually are free, patients on social security sometimes managed to save up a few thousand–the group homes quickly grabbed their money–before ‘streeting’ them again. And soon they were safely back with us. Staff did sometimes try to help a patient, privately, outside of the hospital, but there were dozens of rules prohibiting that.

  25. gdmofo

    “Victoria Nuland, Washington’s ‘regime change Karen’, wants to speak to the manager in Niger RT”

    I’ve always preferred “National Security Karen”

  26. some guy

    ” China relies on US, Allies for hundreds of products.”


    Meanwhile, the US depends on China for tens of thousands of products. So who would win a serious tit-tit-tit for tat economic coercion game?

    ” China challenging America” is malicious disframing meant to invoke deeply obsolete emotions of American Exceptionalism and We’re Number One. A better framing is ” Can a fading America survive Chinese Mercantilonialist exploitation? Can America even survive?”

    Well? . . . Can it?

  27. c_heale

    Am I the only one who finds those huge fields of sunflowers ugly. I prefer to see a variety of plants instead of a monocrop. They are the antithesis of biodiversity.

  28. SOMK

    Re: Ireland’s bid for the Rugby World Cup (not to be confused with the real World Cup)

    Rugby is very much a minority interest sport here, with a distorted (not to mention obnoxious) media image of its popularity given due to the class composition of its fan base, ie. the 8% of people here who are privately educated, who are (of course) grossly over represented in the media. As many Irish people will want them to lose as much as win and the success of said team speaks legions for the weird eugenics project that is the Irish private schools system which is arguably more perfidious that even that of the UKs, (as well as the sad farce that is the FAI (the football association of Ireland, football/soccer being a sport far more popularly followed and played but cursed by lowsy management and under investment especially compared to the large egg carrying posh boys).

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