Links 8/12/2023

Mars Rover Finds Signs of Seasonal Floods ars technica

Extreme glacial cooling likely led to hominin depopulation of Europe in the Early Pleistocene Science

Bird flu researchers turn to Finland’s mink farms, tracking a virus with pandemic potential STAT (Dr. Kevin)

Liberalism against capitalism aeon


Please see our post on the FDA’s optical footwork on Ivermectin.

And this with much less testing than a year ago:


Maui locals post footage of the absolute carnage caused by wildfires – with desperate families swept out to sea as they fled the flames… 55 are confirmed dead and 1,000 missing Daily Mail

Hawaii wildfire death toll hits 67 as probe launched into blaze response Aljazeera

Plants find it harder to absorb carbon dioxide amid global warming New Scientist (Dr. Kevin). Uh oh.

Experts fear US carbon capture plan is ‘fig leaf’ to protect fossil fuel industry Guardian (Kevin W)

Are humans a cancer on the planet? A physician argues that civilization is truly carcinogenic Salon (Dr. Kevin). I recall E.O. Wilson saying how unfortunate it was that humans are meat-eating primates.

Liquid-Metal Battery Will Be on the Grid Next Year IEEE Spectrum (Dr. Kevin)


China ‘may be signalling unhappiness over closer Philippine ties with US’ South China Morning Post

Biden Warns China’s Economy a ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ Bloomberg (furzy)


West African countries suspend key military meeting on Niger coup Nine News (Kevin W)

Old Blighty

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine SitRep: The End Of The Counteroffensive Moon of Alabama

Poland to send 10,000 troops to border with Belarus (Anadolu Agency)

Zelensky Fires Heads Of Military Enlistment In All Ukrainian Regions Agence France-Presse. Scott Ritter has given a long-form description of how Ukraine recruitment is corrupt bounty-hunting, particularly pressing clearly incapable men into service, such as amputees and the cognitively deficient, and everyone involved should be prosecuted (Ritter used more colorful terms).

But the Times make it sound like the real issue was not dragooning men who were sure to be useless in a military capacity and die immediately, but the taking of bribes in return for getting out of service (which was probably more lucrative than meeting body count targets). One has to assume the number of fit young Ukrainian men in European capitals has become an embarrassment. See Zelensky Cracks Down on Corruption in Military Recruitment New York Times (Kevin W). Oh, and this intervention conveniently comes after this horse has clearly left the barn and is in the next county. Any man with enough dough has presumably already bought his way out of service and left Ukraine.

Russia Oil Breaches Price Cap as Export Revenue Hits 2023 High Bloomberg

Why would the Wagner mercenaries be leaving Belarus just weeks after arriving? DW News, YouTube (furzy). The Institute for the Study of War clearly has an axe to grind regarding Russia. These Wagner “mercenaries” had their arms taken from them before they went to Belarus and were supposed to do training.

BlackRock, JP Morgan set up ‘reconstruction bank’ for Ukraine Human Events (furzy). This is eyewash. Investors weren’t willing to buy assets and invest in the much more stable and less devastated Greece in 2015. There may be a few fools but even assuming a post-war Ukraine, the $ won’t add up to much.


Wow, the attacks on the Intercept for its story on the US pressure to remove Imran Khan just keep coming:

Pakistan Risks Losing Much More Than Affordable Gas If It Abandons Its Iranian Pipeline Plans Andrew Korybko

US says no framework agreed yet for Israel-Saudi deal Middle East Online

Iran nuclear deal opponents conspired to oust US special envoy Robert Malley Middle East Eye

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Homeland Security Report Details How Teen Hackers Exploited Security Weaknesses In Some of the World’s Biggest Companies CNN

Pornhub Sues Texas Over Age Verification Law Vice

Illinois Just Made It Possible To Sue People For Doxxing Attacks ars technica

Imperial Collapse Watch

BRICs wouldn’t be silly enough to develop a gold-backed currency would they? Steve Keen (Micael T)

Scott Ritter: GAME OVER ZELENSKY! | MOATS with George Galloway YouTube (furzy). Opening remarks about China, Iran and Niger are informative.

The West’s Two Leading Production Fighters Both Face Worsening New Supply Chain Issues: F-35 and Rafale Manufacturers Struggling Military Watch


Lambert had this yesterday in Water Cooler but this is a must-watch. Reposting since a longer video fits weekend schedules better than weekday.


Judge forges middle path in battle over Trump sharing evidence in Jan. 6 case The Hill

Ex-Trump attorney Michael Cohen considers run for Congress Semafor (furzy)


Garland Appoints Weiss as Special Counsel in Hunter Biden Inquiry New York Times (Kevin W)

Hunter Biden plea deal talks collapse as special counsel appointed Financial Times. Key statement: “‘The DoJ “now believes that the case will not resolve short of a trial’, the court filing said.”

Woke Watch

Group Accuses Kellogg of ‘Sexualizing’ Products Newser (Dr. Kevin)

Our No Longer Free Press

The swipe at other YouTubers cheapens Ritter’s statement. He’s in a different category due to already having lots of enemies thanks to opposing the Iraq War, and secondarily due to having more stature than other YouTubers as a result, so more of a threat.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Sees Profits Plummet by Colossal 75 Percent New Republic


Supermarket AI Meal Planner App Suggests Recipe That Would Create Chlorine Gas Guardian. If you doubted Skynet is being incubated…

Authors fear they have little defence against AI impersonators New Scientist (Dr. Kevin)

Sites scramble to block ChatGPT web crawler after instructions emerge ars technica (furzy)

Google and Universal Music negotiate deal over AI ‘deepfakes’ Financial Times

War on Cash

Backlash grows over banks’ push to turn Australia into a cashless society as branches close and more restrictions are placed on how you can access your cash Daily Mail (furzy). Note banks in Australia already charge a ton in fees. It was impossible to have a checking account and pay less than $25 a month. This in 2002-4. I doubt it has gotten better. So citizens correctly resent this move as profiteering. Article mentions high bank profits

Is David Solomon Too Big a Jerk to Run Goldman Sachs? New York Magazine (furzy). Lordie. The last time a Goldman CEO was ousted was Jon Corzine due to bond trading losses (the area Corzine had been running) during the Asian, then LTCM crisis.

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


Judge sends FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried to jail, says crypto mogul tampered with witnesses Associated Press (Kevin W). As I recall, the trial does not start until October and SBF would remain in jail at least until it was over. He is no doubt pinning his hopes on an appeal but his stunt of planting a derogatory story in the New York Times about Caroline Ellison will be hard to ignore. And the judge was pretty forgiving about his past offenses. Must be a very slow news day. This is the lead story at the pink paper.

The Bezzle

WeWork’s Own Office-Leasing Apocalypse Curbed (Kevin W)

Italy stands ready to host as Musk talks up Zuckerberg rumble Reuters (furzy)

Guillotine Watch

Jeff Bezos buys $68M mansion on Florida’s ‘Billionaire Bunker’ island New York Post. Only 3BR?

‘Disgusted’: K2 climbers under fire after shocking footage of 50 people walking past a dying man to summit ignites debate Sky News (Kevin W) and Climber Accused of Stepping Over Dying Man on Way to Record Newser (Dr. Kevin)

Antidote du jour (Chet G):

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Lexx

    ‘Maui locals post footage of the absolute carnage caused by wildfires – with desperate families swept out to sea as they fled the flames… 55 are confirmed dead and 1,000 missing’

    Death toll is up to 80 this morning and they’re reporting rescue efforts haven’t really even employed cadaver dogs yet. There may be many more buried under the rubble.

    I’m struck again as I watch the video coverage how odd it would be to have a home in the rare patch of safety, untouched and green, surrounded by the devastation to your neighbors. How do you go on living there, even as services resume? Even if we don’t know our neighbors or don’t talk to them, we’re more dependent on the ‘structure’ of community than we’re aware until it’s gone and that margin of safety is so very thin. Except for Oprah… she’ll be fine.

    Which led to the second thought… how many of these people can afford to rebuild, and how much will they be offered for their properties and by whom? For a few, it’s never just a crisis, it’s also an opportunity.

    1. chris

      My family and I spent a decent amount of time in Maui during the summer of 2022. A word about Oprah and her ranch on the Hana coast… the locals we talked to very much appreciated her being there. She has acted to preserve the area and prevent hotel chains from carving things up. The words we heard a number of times were “Thank you Auntie…”

      Maui was beautiful. We loved our time there. The coffee and food culture were amazing. Leoda’s pie shop is a place I would drive to every day if I could. Fresh banana bread and pickled mango are wonderful. The Hana coast and Haleakala are national treasures. The people on the island were wonderful and kind. Especially to my father who was suffering from all kinds of mental and physical issues when we were there and lost his wallet and had other problems during the visit. But rather than steal the wallet they got it back to us. Rather than take advantage of an old man they helped us care for him.

      I am so sad to see the devastating effect of these wild fires. I hope the island and its people recover soon.

      1. chris

        The Maui locals we spoke with had a lot to say about their homeless and the state of the beaches. The touristy side of the island got all the attention and help and water, which created the environment for these wildfires to rampage through the land. Old Town wasn’t close enough to the fancy areas to be spared I guess. It’s an open question whether this will further fuel the independence movement that was gathering energy from events the last several years. I imagine if the recovery is handled well, those people won’t have a lot to say. But if it’s not, I think we’ll have a big problem on our hands.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Lahaina is one of the driest places in Hawaii because it’s in the rain shadow of the West Maui Mountains. (Wiki)

          According to meteorologist Chad Myers of CNN (couldn’t find video) it abutted a large area of abandoned sugarcane fields covered with dry scrub while the mountains served to funnel any east-west winds down onto those fields and that town.

          One does wonder, given that risky scenario, why authorities weren’t more prepared. And the more so with Hurricane Dora off in the distance and whipping up intense winds.

        2. Lexx

          Even as I wrote that opening comment, I wondered what the local response might be. There’s an independence movement, as in Hawaii succeeds from the U.S. and again becomes a sovereign country?

          1. chris

            Yes, it’s complicated based on the people we talked to on Maui. They’re trying to figure out who would be part of the new nation. Which means they’re facing many of the same challenges indigenous groups have here, where you’re only a member of whatever tribe or nation if you’re a Redman, regardless of what contributions you’ve made to the community. Not all the natives in Hawaii are pro-independence. And may who favor independence are cautious about what it would mean in terms of support. Based on the discussions I had with people in Hana, this really kicked up around 1996. Here’s a NYT article from that time that talks about it.

            1. ChrisPacific

              Yeah, it’s all the same problems Yves talks about with globalization in microcosm. Independence wouldn’t necessarily solve the issue, which is that the entire state is heavily dependent on tourism of the kind that’s dominated by the big hotel chains and corporations. An independent Hawaii couldn’t change that, at least in the short term, without a precipitous drop in standard of living for everyone. And if you don’t change it, you still have an economy in which wealthy businesses make most of the windfalls and locals are left competing for low paying jobs in the hospitality sector.

              It might actually suit the US very well for Hawaii to be a protectorate or client state in the style of Puerto Rico or Guam. That way it can continue to be a tourism cash cow and military outpost without having to worry about all those pesky constitutional rights and legal protections and the like that US citizens are entitled to. Advocates of independence should be careful what they wish for. I’m sure this point is not lost on the more sober ones.

              The islands are also not homogeneous. Residents of O’ahu, the most populous, are primarily of Asian, European or mixed descent, with natives a small minority. Since O’ahu has the vast majority of the population, this is also true for the islands as a whole demographically. Other islands have a different mix until you get to the likes of Moloka’i and Ni’ihau which are mostly or entirely native. Any sort of democratic independence applying to the islands as a whole would need to take this into account.

        3. some guy

          What if mischievous Hawaiian Independence advocates were to put up big sudden unannounced pop-up guerilla billboards saying: “Welcome to Hawaii, America’s Baltic State” . . . ?

          What if clever web-site hackers were to inject the add-on ” America’s Baltic State” at every suitable place where the state-name “Hawaii” appears on official websites?

    2. The Rev Kev

      I think that you and Lexx have it right. That place will be bulldozed and the properties will be brought up at a fraction of their real value. Then an exclusive town will be built to replace what is there along with a very expensive marina. The schools will all be private and the homes typically two storied. As these public-spirited corporations will be doing this, they will receive financial help from the Hawaiian State government along with perhaps the Federal government as part of a rehabilitation program for this town. I have seen this movie before.

      1. scott s.

        No, the environmentalists and native Hawaiian activists will fight for their interests. The state and county will fight each other. It will be like Kauai post-Iniki. The state built a new high school (Kulanihako’i High) outside of Kihei and DOE was prohibited from opening it because a state agency wouldn’t allow it to until the state built a pedestrian overpass over the highway. Govt is controlled by Democrats and public worker unions and nothing gets done without under-the-table payments. That’s how you get a $10 billion train to nowhere and a stadium that’s allowed to fall apart.

    3. Adam Eran

      I remain surprised insurance companies aren’t lobbying harder to restrain the rush to put more CO2 into the atmosphere. Thinking beyond quarterly profits is apparently a bridge too far.

    4. Wukchumni

      I’ve been thinking about the dual conflagrations in Paradise, one so named and the other in name only.

      The Paradise Fire had a huge effect afterwards in Cali from a evacuation standpoint, the 2020 Castle Fire wasn’t really all that close to us, and we were told to evacuate pronto and spent nearly a fortnight on the lam, and Mineral King was evacuated too, and the nearest flames were about a dozen miles away, they weren’t taking any chances.

      As i’ve been saying all along, our real enemy is fire-not somewhere 8,000 miles away that 7 out of 100 Americans can place accurately on a map.

      Wildfires have certainly upped their game, but we haven’t.

      1. Lexx

        … the irony in the word ‘paradise’ wasn’t lost on you either. When one arrives in the tropics for the first time there’s that sense of ‘returning to Eden’ or some place like it and that feeling never leaves.

        I knew a couple who uprooted their careers to move to the Big Island so they could wake up in paradise every morning. The guy that tiled our master bath had a retirement plan to go full Jimmy Buffett in two more years and he was on schedule. I wonder if paradise will survive long enough for so many retirees to relocate there?

  2. Don Midwest

    IM Doc has been my guiding light through the “pandemic.”

    Postings here on Naked Capitalism gave me hope that treatment was possible and that the medical field was gaslighting us.

    From here I went to and have followed their protocols, weekly updates and books like Pierre Kory’s “The War on Ivermectin: The Medicine That Saved Millions and Could Have Ended the Pandemic”, June 6, 2023

    Anthropologists use the term “the other” for other cultures. In the last 3 years I have been “the other” in my basically liberal peer group both for my positions on covid and Ukraine.

    The concern I have today is that a possible new wave of covid, and possibly an even more virulent strain, could become widespread and the response from far too many is to double down on mRNA vaccines.

    1. jefemt

      Becoming The Other. It’s a big club, growing every day, with no exclusionary rules to becoming a member!

      Just give buses wide berth- you may get thrown under The Other bus!

    2. GC54

      You can see what Dr Kory and colleague are up against in this diatribe (top search hit) that gloats over their punishment last week of being delicensed to practice internal medicine due to their protocol. The link author truly misses his own point.

    1. timbers

      2nd your WOW.

      At first, the host struck as too loose with facts when he allowed “Dr” Michael O’Hanlon spout nonsense like “hundreds of thousands have been killed in apartment buildings in Ukraine by Russia” with no push back, but soon it became apparent he held back push back for much larger broader points, lashing this CIA hack with big slimy stinky dead fish heads directly onto his face, bringing up US past and current action as causing so many problems with so many domestic 3rd world-ish problems with her own people, and inserting well know facts at all the wrong moments (from O’Hanlon’s point of view) of US aggression blundering and naked self interest to undermine O’Hanlon ridiculus claims.

      And boy, O’Hanlon did not hold up well at all. He was visibly rattled towards the end.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Yes, Rattansi signaled at the top he wanted to get to the book, where he had his ambush ready and I think wanted O”Hanlon to assume the pushback would be about Ukraine.

        1. Susan the other

          Wow also. Re Rattasani’s tactic here, I thought his innocent-sounding question, “Why is the US in Ukraine?” – The Question. – as in the question that can never be asked or answered, was amazing and it reminded me of Lavrov’s “Why are you over here?” – which made Blinkie break out in a sweat. Rattasani seemed to throw O’Hanlon off his stride immediately and O’Hanlon’s blink rate was almost comedic. IMO the honest and unspeakable answer to both questions is “the Caspian” but I’ve never read even a hint of it. Nor do I expect to. Nor do I even know how true it is.

        2. Val

          Afshin Rattansi is far and away one of the best interviewers around. Where can one find coherent, non-brainwashed follow-up questions nowadays? He’s a badass.

    2. CarlH

      The last question about Brooking’s funding was the coup de grâce. Thank you for posting this interview.

      1. Late Introvert

        Devastating. I love me a good take down that is funny, articulate, and leaves bruises after the fact. Kind of like NC in that regard.

        Afshin Rattansi and Going Underground is on my too watch list. I also like that it’s not Screwgle adjacent.

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘I recall E.O. Wilson saying how unfortunate it was that humans are meat-eating primates.’

    I think that I read once that a major reason that humans were able to advance was that they started to eat calorie-dense meat & marrow – made palatable by the use of fire. And because of eating that meat, it helped fuel not only a bigger brain – which I would suspect to be capable of having more synaptic connection potential – but that humans were able to shrink the size of their gut as a large one was not that necessary anymore to digest bulky plant fiber. Having meat simply led to us humans being more efficient in our internal workings and helped with or survival as we were no longer so dependent on plant-based foods.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Hence leaving us naked apes more “free” to develop “better living through chemistry,” private equity, nuclear weapons, and burning a large fraction of fossil “fuels” that would better have been left in the planet’s crust.

      Great stuff, for a few of us. Not so good for the rest — but who knows, maybe YHWH really intended for us to use up the planet before the messiah returned. Though my guess is that an indifferent universe does not give a sh!t what happens to humans, with a side bet that Gaia will sneeze the toxic irritant that calls itself “humanity” right out of her respiratory tract…

      1. The Rev Kev

        If humanity does itself in through stupidity, it won’t be the end of the world. It will just be the end of us. The planet will do just fine and give a few million years, there won’t be much trace of us left to see. Maybe the next dominant species will avoid some of our errors, especially when their archaeologists report a previous dominant race – as show by a geological band of plastics and radioactivity.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          i know myself and others have disparaged Salon and usually with good reason – but this one caught my attention because it echos something i’ve commented before, that humans are a pathogen upon the planet – have expressed that view to many numerous times over the 10-15 years that i’ve believed it, usually to disdain from those intoxicated with the supposed superiority of humans and our ability to “solve” problems facing humanity – your comment RK echos exactly what George Carlin said in one of his bits – google Carlin, saving the planet – the planet ain’t going anywhere, we are – the planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas – maybe a little plastic left around but we’re gone – a closed-end biological mistake – an evolutionary cul-de-sac – humans are like all other species that self-destruct when reaching a critical point in their evolutionary relationship with the environment – there seems to be a balance even humans can’t outrun – i’m beginning to understand and agree with what was in the link someone shared yesterday – “So Where Do We Go From Here?” from Aurelien – helping where i can by volunteering to a food rescue outfit for the last few decades and not worrying too much about what i cannot change, which is difficult to achieve sometimes – damn…..time to head out to the orchard again, and later pick up my share from the CSA – jb

            1. Jabura Basaidai

              ah yes……..remember it well………sitting in the front row of the theater with a few buddies after chewing on some funny mushrooms – loved it! – Mr Smith was one menacing SOB – gotta find some more of those ‘shrooms – perhaps that pathogen idea was ingrained in me at that time –

      2. Feral Finster

        If the road of eating meat led to the palace of intelligence, this would explain the superiority of felines and cats.

      3. Henry Moon Pie

        “Gaia will sneeze the toxic irritant that calls itself “humanity” right out of her respiratory tract”

        Or maybe Gaia will get hold of some shampoo.

        On a more serious point, a lot of what is discussed in this very interesting sub-thread is covered in Nate Hagens’s Reality 101 short course which is aimed at improving the metacognition of his UMinn students.

        1. Milton

          Planet earth has had a case of anthropocitis for roughly a month (in geologic time). Does this qualify as long human?

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            anthropocitis – hahahahahahah – love it! we’ve been engaged in heavy industry for maybe 200+/- years – didn’t take long did it folks, for us to mess it up – but nature has a way of taking care of its mistakes – damn, better head back out to the orchard –

    2. Kouros

      Gheena was the garbage pit outside Jerusalem. Fires sometimes burned there. That is the origin of Christian Hell. Comes a little close to what Chuck Palahniuk described in his volumes Damned and Doomed…

      The Christian Hell is the creation of a new church trying to throw all the imagery of prior religions down – utter slander.

  4. griffen

    File under maybe I should get out more or walk different aisles in the grocery market aside from my usual staples. Kellogg is sexualizing…cereal boxes and boxes of snack crackers. Maybe it’s there or has been there but unless it is in front of the potato chips and pretzels I’ve just not seen this. I am also taking into consideration the source of such a suit, none other than Stephen Miller.

    Do quote Dr Evil…Right. There have been so many mergers in the recent past it’s hard to keep up who is making what anymore, like the boxes of belVita biscuits but that’s a product by Mondelez.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘I’ve just not seen this’

      C’mon, man. It’s right there on the side of any box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. What do you see? An image of an enormous c***.

      1. griffen

        Come on, pull the other leg. Next thing is you’re telling me the mouse kingdom, a most American icon and virtue signal for good family entertainment, instills somewhat phallic images into their animated films. Wait what do those castle spires and towers resemble yet again?

        This brings to mind a song from a lesser known but still popular pop metal / hair metal band, Cinderella. We all need, a little shelter…a little helper to get us by…

        1. The Rev Kev

          Don’t talk to me about that evil mouse kingdom. Would you believe that Disney is pulling out of the physical media market in Australia. What that means is no more DVDs and Blu-ray discs so the “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3” will be the last one issued. And this also includes mobs like Marvel, 20th Century Fox, Pixar, etc.

          I take solace in the fact that nearly everything that Disney comes out with is just rubbish nowadays anyway.

  5. griffen

    AI meal prep recipes. What can go wrong with a meal planning AI robot approach? Thanks to this link, I needed a reason to laugh this morning.

    1. dougie

      This was an great article! I just linked it on an automotive trade group page that I am a member of. 95% of members are huge AI advocates. I spent all day yesterday publicly dissecting the AI created Facebook ads that members posted for their businesses. One clown even posted an AI created Game of Thrones themed ad for, get this, wiper blades!

      Having had my photo taken on the Iron Throne in Dubrovnic some years back, I was deeply offended.(sarc) I was delighted to explain (at length) how every single sentence was internally incoherent, while being grammatically correct. I made zero friends, and I am proud of that!

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Zelensky Fires Heads Of Military Enlistment In All Ukrainian Regions”

    The corruption got too blatant as in ‘The family of Yevhen Borysov, military draft chief in Odesa, has purchased property and cars worth millions of dollars on the Spanish coast during the full-scale war.’ This guy bought a €3 million plus mansion in Spain plus several cars worth about $100,000 each. I think that this same guy also bought his wife a business in Spain as well-

    But I think that there is a bit more to this story. The last sentence of that Barrons article said-

    ‘It added that Ukraine’s security council recommended that the head of the army select replacements who have battlefield experience and were vetted by Ukraine’s intelligence services.’

    So maybe the real problem is that all those recruiters were guilty of not cutting Zelensky & C. with their slice of the action. Remember that with the end of the grain deal, the Ukraine is losing I believe $500 million a month which Big Z was also getting a slice of. So after losing that cash flow, Big Z is looking to other revenue sources to make up for that loss.

    1. notabanker

      Wonder how John King feels about this? CNN is not allowed to report on corruption in Ukraine, therefore it doesn’t exist? Or maybe this is just a few rogue Generals that Zelensky was able to out? I’m sure whatever it is, CNN is not part of the problem.

    2. Ignacio

      What a coincidence, a week ago i talked to a man while waiting for my paella in a Restaurante in the (beautiful) city of Jávea just in the Mediterránean “nose” called Cabo de la Nao. He didn’t talk Spanish so we shifted to English. He told me to be Ukrainian from Odessa. We both avoided talking about the conflict but he (about 35 yo guy i guess) told me is here with his wife and children because his parents had come years before and bought a property in neighbouring Denia. He was always with a smile and we had a good conversation. I felt good for him not to be available to be conscripted leaving widow and orphans and remembered Zelenski has asked EU countries to repatriate Uki males able to fight. Fortunately Europeans haven’t gone that far. Ukies are quite conspicuos in this part of the Spanish Med coast while I haven’t seen any in Madrid. But, you know, i feel happy seeing that some have avoided the war even in case they are related with whoever corrupt is doing business with conscription in Ukraine.

    3. Vandemonian

      So maybe the real problem is that all those recruiters were guilty of not cutting Zelensky & C. with their slice of the action.

      Is that what they call “ten percent for the big guy?”

  7. timbers

    “Britain has become a financial centre with a country attached. Brexit didn’t work. Levelling up fell on its face.”

    So…a financial centre masquarding as a nation?

    1. Mikel

      I laughed at that…blaming that state of affairs all on Brexit.
      Dude is acting like he never noticed the centuries old power of the City of London.
      While not exactly the same in all ways, Brexit derangement is like Trump derangement.

      1. Anonymous 2

        ‘blaming that state of affairs all on Brexit.’

        I don’t think he is. If you look at the article by Burn-Murdoch attached, the theme is the great disparity in wealth and income between, on the one hand, London and the South-East, and the rest of the UK on the other hand. This is something that has been the case for decades now and is only getting larger.

        Some advocates argued that Brexit would reduce this disparity. It has not. Indeed the disparity is now even greater than in 2016. That, I imagine, is what lies behind Pilkington’s remark.

        Levelling up was Johnson’s proposed policy in the 2019 election – to raise the rest of the UK up to the level of London. As he only ever seemed interested in photo opportunities rather than doing anything of substance it is unsurprising he did not manage to do that (see above). Though Johnson did threw a bit of money in the direction of those areas where there were Tory marginal seats at risk. But really it was just spitting into the wind.

        I am not sure there is any real solution to this issue on the horizon. I detect a general sense of hopelessness now in the UK. As a commentator said very recently ‘ everything is a mess and no one has any answers’.

        On the assumption that it is Labour who take power after the next election, they will be being passed a poisoned chalice.

        1. Late Introvert

          Did NC not link to a chart showing the Royal Family owns 95% of the land in England? Did I dream that up? If not, maybe start there?

        2. cosmiccretin

          “On the assumption that it is Labour who take power after the next election, they will be being passed a poisoned chalice”.

          – which will be entirely their own fault, IMO, for having made themselves complicit in creating the mess by forsaking all their principles and traditions and embracing neoliberalism with at least as much fervour as the Tories.

    2. Ignacio

      London is the garden and the rest pure jungle. If i am allowed to borrow some unfortunate metaphore.

  8. Mark Gisleson

    Your bonus is CGI generated. Grown animals do amazing tricks but it’s hard to imagine training a piglet to do something like that, especially given how fast piglets grow.

    Despite all that, very cute.

    1. Vikas Saini

      Agreed: a close look at the resolution suggests there is a major mismatch between the pig/ball and the rest of the frame.

      1. Durans

        I saw something about that movie and how many piglets they went through when making it. I don’t remember exactly what it was but it was an enormous number.

  9. MT_Wild

    A little good news from Maui.

    I lived at this facility while working at the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project next door. The location is the old county prison. The structures sit in a habitat that is a combination of non-native pine, surrounded by non-native eucalyptus with an understory of invasive grasses. If you know anything about wildfire, you realize how fortunate they were to save it.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That is excellent news that but one thing that you said disturbed me. When you said that the place was surrounded by non-native eucalyptus you know that that is not a good thing, right?

      ‘At the centre of it all, though, is the eucalypt. Because these trees do not just resist fire, they actively encourage it. ‘They withstand fire, they need fire; to some extent, they create fire,’ Bowman says. ‘The leaves, the bark, don’t decompose. They’re highly, highly flammable. And on a hot day, you can smell their oils.’

      The bark and leaves of eucalypts seem almost made to promote fire. Some are known as stringyor candle-barks: long, easily lit strips hang loosely off their trunks and, once alight, whirl blazing up into the flammable canopy above, or are carried by the wind many kilometres ahead of a fire to speed its advance.”’

      But that is still a good story about the bird center.

      1. MT_Wild

        That was the point I was trying to make, Rev.

        If you wanted to build a forest to burn intensely, you could not have designed it any better.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Out of curiosity, do many birds nest in those Pine and Eucalyptus trees? Both are non-native so I was wondering if the local birds made use of them.

          1. MT_Wild

            Some do, mostly non-native birds like the northern cardinals and spotted dove. That part of Maui is well below the avain malaria line, so most native forest birds can’t survive there and only start to occur a few thousand feet higher in elevation.

            In areas that native birds can use the non-native forest the issue is nest predation by rats. Rats are arboreal, so if the non-native trees produce fruit (guava, strawberry guava, etc., the rats spend a lot of time above ground and find all the bird nests as well.

            In native forests the birds mostly nest in Koa.and Ohia which is not nearly as attractive to rats.

      2. Tom Stone

        I have seen eucalyptus burn, blue flame shooting out of where the branches were and roaring like a jet engine.
        There are groves of several thousand in Sonoma County just waiting for a spark.

          1. JBird4049

            They chopped down most of the coastal forests in California and replaced the native pine plus the fire resistant Redwoods and oaks with the fire bombs called eucalyptus.

            They did not want to wait the century and more it would take for the native forest to grow back. So, they chose to import eucalyptus into a place that regularly has multi year droughts and the local trees tend to be highly fire resistant because of that. Genius.

            1. Wukchumni

              Quite upscale Poway near SD would be my choice to be the next Lahaina, i’ve never seen so much Eucalyptus in one place in Cali.

              1. John k

                Even more upscale Rancho Santa Fe is also loaded with them, and their 2.5 acre zoning means there’s way more trees between houses. I can imagine it all going up with nothing anybody can do about it.

  10. Benny Profane

    From the NYT article about corrupt Ukraine recruiting:
    “After an investigation by the Ukrainian media outlet Ukrainska Pravda in June revealed that a military enlistment officer from the Odesa region in southern Ukraine had bought real estate and cars worth millions of dollars in the coastal area of Spain, Mr. Zelensky ordered an inspection of the entire system”

    As always, there’s a scene from Goodfellas

    And something tells me that putting the injured and amputees behind recruitment desks isnt going to inspire many of the healthy military age men not to do a 180 and run the other way.

      1. digi_owl

        Given that at least one former ACLU leader have come forth and disowned it, only as a bleak ghost.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      And it wasn’t exactly over a matter of national security. The cops must be awfully fond of that restaurant owner.

    2. ambrit

      Whether intended or not, this is a test run for the next stage of the Censorship State. If not crushed quickly, expect to see this sort of thing happen often and extensively. This is a National issue and should be treated as such. If the “Usual Suspects” ignore it, we will know that hard times are just ahead for “non-standard” people in America.
      As the famous poem sets out, first the “Authorities” came for the Occupy protestors. The outrage over that died down. Now ‘they’ are coming for the “Disloyal Press.” Next…?

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Pornhub Sues Texas Over Age Verification Law’

    ‘The law would require a “Texas Health and Human Services Warning” on all porn sites…Under the law, porn sites would be required to display a “Texas Health and Human Services Warning” on their websites in 14-point font or larger font, in addition to age verification.’

    Does that mean that perhaps you may eventually have to go through fifty different warning signs – one for each State? I had just finished writing that I wondered what had their panties in a twist when I decided to see what the most popular search terms were by US State as reported by Pornhub and what did I find for Texas? I swear to god that it is ‘Panties.’

    1. Randall Flagg

      Rev Kev,Your efforts sound like the old saw, “I read Playboy magazine, just for articles of course”.LOL all in good fun

        1. Randall Flagg

          Braille Playboy for the blind…
          I literally learn something new every day. Thanks for that bit of history.
          Umm, not sure we need to know about the “ hard, solid research “ part.
          Time to leave middle school behind in this discussion.

        2. digi_owl

          And here i thought it was simply a bit of toilet humor in a movie from my youth (though that “edition” included a contoured fold out).

        3. Wukchumni

          Turn-ons: Barefoot walks on the beach with a white tipped cane, audible walk/don’t walk crossings on a street, not needing sunglasses, and never having to worry about your outward appearance.

      1. Pat

        For the record at one time Playboy had really good interviews. Some of their fiction wasn’t bad either. Their cartoons might not have rivaled The New Yorker but were occasionally quite good. I used to read my father’s. I also remember being a young female marveling at the curves seen in the Vargas illustrations that were not as welcome for women in the various fashion magazines I also read. In my case the centerfold was the least interesting thing although you could follow the rise of plastic surgery with them over the sixties and seventies (my period of readership).

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Jimmy Carter confessed that he had “lusted in his heart” in a Playboy interview leading up to ’76.

        2. digi_owl

          A while back i think i read that plastic surgeons have started to datamine those old nudie magazines for inspiration. Because apparently older ladies were responsible for picking the images back then, and they would avoid those that where too “weird”.

          1. aletheia33

            will the increasing spread of robotic girlfriends be bad for the plastic surgery business?
            or good for it?

    2. MaryLand

      I think it’s well known that states with the highest %age of Evangelicals also have the highest rate of porn usage and have the highest rate of sexual assaults. Some might say they need religion to try to lower the amount of assaults. Causation is debatable. I have no idea.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        There was a similar story from a hotel down Carolinian’s way about church conventions. When the Lutherans were in town, the hotel bar was packed. When the Baptists were in town, room service was run ragged carting booze up to the rooms.

        1. digi_owl

          America in a nutshell from what i can tell. You can be drunk as a skunk, as long as it is not visible. Hense tinted windows, opaque cups, and bottles in paper bags.

      2. tegnost

        Causation is debatable. I have no idea.

        Scuttlebutt this evening is that sociology is making a comeback after a decades long talent recession (retiring profs not being replaced). Data was the crux. Who answers the phone (lots of surveys in the sociology) anymore? The younger (next) generation are more capable of scrutinizing the data. Seems positive… The interaction regarded cultural influences on abuse.

    3. Sisyphus

      Does that mean that perhaps you may eventually have to go through fifty different warning signs – one for each State?

      My God, the person who spends 24 hours coding a way to automate all those pop-up “accept” clicking on the PornHub site will make the best return on investment I can think of at the moment…

  12. chris

    On the topic of yard signs… I wonder if others in the Commentariat are seeing interesting things lately.

    For example, in our rural area within commuting distance to DC and Baltimore, we’ve seen several kinds proliferate on the 1+ acre lots of our neighbors. There is the ubiquitous “In the house…” style and we also see lots of blue and yellow, both of which are typically placed close to the front door. We’re seeing the start of political signage too. Lots of “Trump is guilty!” themes but there’s also an entrepreneurial farmer who hangs signs off the raised bucket of his backhoe saying Hillary should still be locked up. We have neighbors who put on the blue porch lights to support cops and rainbow displays during pride month too.

    We’re also seeing things like “no-pee/no-poop” signs. Which I find hilarious because I’m not sure how these people think they’re going to teach the deer, raccoons, possum, foxes, squirrels, vultures, crows, turkey, coyotes, ground hogs, horses, random bears, and the occasional lost dairy cow wandering around my neighborhood how to read. Again, I live in rural country close to several farms. There’s a state park and two allotments of reserved forested areas within half a mile of my house. If you move here and think you can keep your yard free of animals you’re stupid.

    I know my neighbors mean it for the owners of dogs who don’t pick up their animal’s droppings but it is still funny. Mainly because there is one person who lives nearby who walks all the streets at night with their large Pyrenees and refuses to pick up after it who is causing all the strife. Rather than ask her to do something about it we have a proliferation of yard signs and passive aggressive “we are watching you!” posters next to the “no-pee” and “be respectful” signage.

    But during a season when I expect to see the signs of contractors posting that they’re doing renos in these big rural properties, I’m seeing something else. Signs for the side hustles of adult kids who have moved back home. A couple of houses now have new cars parking there regularly and signs in the front yard offering to teach people how to trade crypto, forex, or binary options for the low price of $175 a month, “call this number…”. Talking with some of these neighbors reveals they don’t know what to do with the older kids coming back home. Talking with the boomerang kids reveals that they don’t know anything about investing but having someone pay you to teach others about crypto may be the only way to make reliable money with crypto. The last time I remember seeing neighbors dealing with boomerang kids and previously independent adults coming to crash with them at home was 2006. I recall that I also saw a lot of “make XXX$/hour without leaving your home!” signs in front of houses then too.

    Anyone else noticing things like this lately? Bonus points if you can reply with the most passive aggressive yard signage :)

    1. MaryLand

      I see the blue lights and “We support our police” signs mainly in neighborhoods that are adjacent to areas of high crime.

      1. chris

        Out here we see them mainly as signals for political identity. No crime really, although I would bet any number of people in the area are crooks. But I see the blue lights in tony places like beach communities in Long Island too. A few of my neighbors are retired police or other kinds of service. I suspect that’s mostly why they do it. But we walk past several houses every day that also have the blue lights and don’t share any connection to law enforcement or military service that I’m aware of.

        1. digi_owl

          Was there not some story a while back about officers handing out “get out of jail” cards or some other token to various people?

          Could be something similar going on here, where if they see a blue light in the front window they know to not go “Fallujah” on the place as it may be a donator to the cause.

      2. ambrit

        So, if the colour blue is the preferred protint of the Democrat party, then red is the preferred protint of the Republican party. The Dems put up blue lights. So, let the Repubs put up red lights and the mainly Republican Party neighbourhoods can become “Red Light Zones.”
        Hmmm… Something not quite right about that.

        1. chris

          Not sure how it lines up vis a vis D vs. R. What I have observed in numerous places on the east coast and in suburban communities is that the blue porch light = pro-Police or “Thin Blue Line” supporter.

          1. ambrit

            Here, southern Mississippi, blue signs are generally indicators of Democrat party affiliation. The sign ‘Vote Blue No Matter Who’ has been spotted on several front lawns around our immediate neighbourhood in earlier election cycles. Around here, I see no “couloured lights that hypnotize” in porch lights. I wonder how much the coloured light effect correlates with socio-economic class?
            A more common porch light colour to be seen around here is yellow. The belief is that yellow lights attract far fewer insects than “regular” lights. [It could also be an indication of the deep inroads made in the South by that Arch Villain Dr. Fu Manchu.]

    2. Duke of Prunes

      My favorite sign in my neighborhood is a “Please don’t pee on our peonies” because it’d placed in front of a bed of lilies. Every time I walk by, I’m tempted to add my own sign that says “but these are not peonies”, but the cameras would probably catch me so it’s not worth sharing my lame joke.

      No political signs, but one house has a Ukie flag. I forgive them because I know they are of Ukie decent

    3. The Rev Kev

      Blue porch lights to support cops, rainbow displays during pride month, Ukrainian flags to show support, lights to show if you are a Democrat or Republican supporter – you guys do realize how weird that all sounds for an outsider, right? Were American doing stuff like that a generation or more ago?

      1. chris

        My good Reverend, I have no idea. As far as my political and social awareness could relate, I didn’t start really noticing any of that until the early 2000s. In the last 7 years, this whole “political = personal” shtick has gone to an entirely new level. It pre-dated Trump somewhat. But it has become crazy lately. So I can understand if it seems insane to people who don’t live here.

    4. petal

      I’m laughing about the Great Pyr owner doing the dirty at night. Go big or go home, right? I wonder if they have favourite people…I mean yards that they hit regularly. Dog owner must secretly hate their neighbors.

      No proliferation of signs here in my little northern NH town yet. The few BLM people left still have theirs out, there’s one of those no hate/in this house-type banners on the next street over on the fence of a $3m mansion with a scarily pristine yard, there’s the (now down to one) Vivek Truth sign near the hospital turnoff, and a couple of UKie flags that have been out for a while now but things are pretty quiet so far.

    5. kareninca

      I live in Silicon Valley. About a year ago there were help wanted signs everywhere: at restaurants, at oil change places, at grocery stores, at veterinarians’ offices – all over the place. Now they are all gone, except the one at the nearby Jack in the Box. It was strange realizing a couple of weeks ago that they had disappeared.

      Not many yard signs.

  13. GlassHammer

    “Britain has become a financial centre with a country attached.”

    I will take “City-States” for $200 Alex…..

    All joking aside the current trajectory for the UK is Balkanisation because any solution that could save them would fall under the category of “miraculous events”.

    1. digi_owl

      Basic problem is that Westminster still behave as if they rule an empire, and Stirling is sacrosanct.

      1. c_heale

        One of the problems of the UK is that the government is prepared to sacrifice the economy to defend stirling. This is not a new issue imho.

  14. Lex

    The link on plants and CO2 is excellent. And it’s funny that weed growers are ahead of the scientific curve. Any really good one could provide a detailed explanation of CO2 uptake relative to other environmental factors.

    In essence, the Vapor Pressure Deficit (VPD) of the environment determines multiple things including CO2 uptake. VPD is a temperature – humidity relationship. In low humidity conditions plants close the stomata to minimize water loss through transpiration, especially in situations where temperatures are high. If the stomata are closed the CO2 doesn’t get absorbed by the plant.

    Large doses of CO2 can maximize plant growth, but only if every other potential limiting factor is minimized.

  15. griffen

    Pity the poor FTX executive, who now will enjoy his prison cell prior to his trial surrounding the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange. He was just reaching out to a lawyer, seeking communication; nothing to see there! I suggest this in a more serious tone than normal, that Sam Bankman-Fried should be under close surveillance for any attempts to self harm or somehow meet an early or unplanned demise. Would not be the first person such imprisoned who has continued his ongoing declarations of lies and untrue facts.

    Still there remains time to have his story by a journalist or writer; is Michael Lewis still working on a book about the rise and collapse of FTX I wonder?

    1. Benny Profane

      I hope so. Last I heard he had visited Sam a few times in the parent’s basement to continue interviews. Problem is timing of publication. He may have to wait for the final verdict for a complete story.

      His chances of a prison “suicide” are greatly reduced now that the campaign finance charges were dropped.

    2. Wukchumni

      To sail on a dream on a cloud, to ride on the crest of the wild raging storm
      To work in the service of life, in search of the answers to questions unknown
      To be part of the movement, part of beginning to understand
      Aye, Crypto, the prices you’ve been to
      the things that you’ve shown us, the stories you tell
      Aye, Crypto, I sing to your spirit, the fools who have served you so long and so well

      Like the market who guides you, now bring it upon you
      to light up the darkness and show us a new way too
      For though we are strangers in your silent world, to live on the land we must learn from history
      To be true as when it was going up, joyful and loving-winning the lottery
      Aye, Crypto, the prices you’ve been to
      the things that you’ve shown us, the stories you tell
      Aye, Crypto, I sing to your spirit, the gullible who have served you so long and so well
      Aye, Crypto, the hyperinflated prices you’ve been to, a bit apocalypto
      the things that you’ve shown us, the stories you tell.
      Goodbye, Crypto, I sing to your spirit, the fools who have served you so long and so well

      Calypso, by John Denver

    3. Wukchumni

      I heard Sam was gonna be served Vienna sausage in jail, but it turned out to be an Austrian convict instead.

      1. ambrit

        Considering all of the e-mail advertisements sent out by the FTX boiler room, my vote for SBFs prison diet staple is Spam.

        1. Wukchumni

          …potted meats the rubber


          Never having been arrested or in the calaboose, can one order vegetarian fare there, kind of how you’d do it in another tightly enclosed space full of people, a jet?

          1. ambrit

            I have not had the experience of using the “State extended stay facility,” but knew several who did. All stated that the fare in “The Big House” is comparable to school cafeteria food like substances. {One of the more well read felons likened it to; “It’s like CMOT Dibbler had the food contract for the joint.”}
            The other noteworthy piece of advice I was given was, (and I forward this to poor little rich boy SBF;) “The minute anyone, anyone at all, mentions playing ‘Hide the Sausage’ to you, jump across the table and seriously try to kill them. Keep doing that until the ‘regulars’ get the message and leave you alone. Otherwise, you’ll become a cum dumpster.”
            Stay safe. Stay out of “the Joint.”

        2. griffen

          All the spam and potted meat for the young wunderkind, non vegan of course. These meals of canned goodness brought to you by Hormel. There will be no fatted calf to slaughter for the prodigal crypto bro.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Authors fear they have little defence against AI impersonators’

    ‘Jane Friedman discovered that Amazon was selling five books under her name that she hadn’t written, but rather seemed to be AI-generated impersonations’

    Just when you think that Amazon can’t sink any lower, Bezos does it again. She could sue them on some solid grounds but they would probably bury her in the law court system and ban any sales of her books to starve her financially. Makes me wonder how far they will go. You think that an AI will finally finish George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”?

    1. ambrit

      Sorry, but that last episode of the video show version of the books finished them off for good.

  17. Pat

    A fact to go along with the Carlson interview of Chief Sund is that the original hour long interview was scheduled to air on Fox News the week after Carlson’s sudden ouster from Fox end of April.

    And there could be many reasons why NewsCorp’s profits are falling like a stone. But the failure of Fox News to rebound after the ratings drop in the aftermath of Carlson’s firing has to be one of the big ones.

    (To be fair CNN makes Fox News look good so losing the trust of your audience isn’t good no matter what.)

    1. The Rev Kev

      First I read the article “Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Sees Profits Plummet by Colossal 75 Percent” in today’s Links and now you tell me that his Fox operation is swirling around the toilet too. That is what I like about NC. You keep on coming across these good news stories and comments.

      1. Pat

        Wish I could tell you that Fox parts deux and trois are in bad shape. Sorry if I gave the impression that all things Murdoch were in trouble. But they have divided the company in such a way it is hard to tell. It wouldn’t surprise me if the studio and television stations are in trouble, as most are. But my understanding is that Fox News network is still part of NewsCorp and my statement was only about that.

        (It is so hard to tell where they are going to put things these days.I still hold onto the fact that Prime Video and the production company it runs are part of the same Amazon division as Alexa and it’s home assistant business. Information that was off handedly dropped near the end of one article about Amazon’s large losses in that division and their choice to curtail work on Alexa.)

        1. Durans

          The Fox TV/Movie studio was sold to Disney. Fox News wasn’t part of the deal, they kept that. I think the Fox stations also stayed separate since Disney already owns ABC.

          1. barefoot charley

            The linked article referred to News Corp which owns the Ozzie and Brit outlets, and is sinking. It says American Fox is doing fine financially. Boomers ain’t dead yet.

          2. Pat

            I don’t believe the cable news network was even part of the studio by then, not sure about the television network and affiliates but believe they were another entity as well. The Murdochs split the business into multiple companies a few years back. It was after the the cell phone hacking revelations in Britain. The move was to make sure that if the US government came after them for illegal actions in the US they didn’t lose everything and it was divided more to their liking.

  18. spud

    the article on liberalism and capitalism the author touches on it, but his remedies ignore free trade.

    wealth taxes, progressive taxation, taxes in general, besides regulation, co-ops etc., can all be side stepped by free trade.

    if you going to be serious about reform, you must look at pickettys graph, the real inequality started in earnest, in 1993, the year bill clinton unleashed capital on the world.

      1. spud

        anyone subject to free trade should understand this, you can have a civil society, or free trade, you can’t have both. same with the environment.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      So I haven’t been all the way through that article, but the opening was fascinating with the history of the attempt of Youngstown and the steelworkers’ local to stop the U S. Steel closing the plant. I had to look up the case and see if I was right. Here’s the lawyers for the good guys on appeal:

      Robert M. Clyde, Jr., Staughton Lynd and James B. Callen, James A. Denney, Youngstown, Ohio, Ramsey Clark, New York City, for plaintiffs-appellants.

      I’m an old man, but there are some people still out a generation older than me who have done, and many still do great things. Staughton and Alice Lynd are two of them. Wendell Berry, William Rees, Adolph Reed, and until recently, Ursula Le Guin.

      And then there’s Henry Kissinger and Warren Buffett. See the difference?

  19. antidlc

    The other day there was a link to Andy Slavitt’s podcast with CDC Director, Mandy Cohen.

    I searched for a transcript but couldn’t find one, even though the podcast link says:

    For additional resources, information, and a transcript of the episode, visit

    wsbgnl’s X-feed (Twitter) has a partial transcript:

    Cohen: I think you know this, but it’s no small feat that not only do we have vaccines and boosters that protect folks, we have testing that is widely available and over the counter where folks can know right away if they are feeling under the weather. They can test themselves and know right away if they have covid because, importantly, we have treatment, a pill that works and keeps people out of the hospital but you got to use it quickly.

    There is more on the Twitter (x) thread.

    I listened to the whole podcast (about 50 minutes of my life I won’t get back).

    Not sure why I listened to it.

  20. spud

    the author Philip Pilkington on brexit is wrong. brexit is a tool. no doubt it was handled poorly, but when has politics and economics ever been handled properly, and in a timely manor?

    so he is answering his own policy questions, with out brexit, there could be no “the country needs to try to target non-income metrics to raise tangible living standards. Industrial policy or family policy!”1

    brexit is a tool to be used, it just needs to be properly implemented, and like all implementations that are used to curb capitalist powers, the powers that be fight the tools tooth and nail.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, Brexit would never make Brits as a whole better off. The UK is too small and way too far from being self-sufficient to operate as an independent economy. It will fare better as part of a larger trade bloc. And that is before getting to the fact that the UK had managed to cut itself an exceptionally good deal within the EU.

      1. cosmiccretin

        ” Brexit would never make Brits as a whole better off. The UK is too small and way too far from being self-sufficient to operate as an independent economy. It will fare better as part of a larger trade bloc”.

        I recall that that was exactly the reasoning that many/most of those (such as yours truly) who voted in the 1975 referendum in favour of remaining in what was then named the “European Economic Community” (the “Common Market” for short) subscribed-to.

        Unfortunately we failed to foresee that that institution was destined to morph into something very different. It just goes to show that life is never a question solely of economics.

        Nor is it now.

    2. tegnost

      I have not heard that the intent of brexit was to “curb capitalist powers”.
      More like folks who have in the past been the MoU wanting to get back to that for their own capitalist benefit.

      1. digi_owl

        I don’t there was much of a plan at all, outside of some not expecting the vote to be as overwhelming (never mind that it was non-binding in the first place). But then the bad decisions started snowballing as nobody wanted to be the one sacrificed to the mob.

        1. spud

          Tony Benn understood and knew, same with Lynch. i guess strikes are happening a lot under brexit, how much good its doing we shall not know yet for a while. but it appears strikes are taken more seriously in the U.K. under brexit, compared to the fine fine life the average frenchman has in the E.U. when they strike:)

          the U.K. will not go it alone. what they will do is resort to what every country did before free trade, they will find other countries to trade with that has stuff they need, and by then, perhaps because of brexit, the deplorable will have gotten some freedom to innovate stuff other countries want.

  21. Wukchumni

    ‘Disgusted’: K2 climbers under fire after shocking footage of 50 people walking past a dying man to summit ignites debate Sky News (Kevin W) and Climber Accused of Stepping Over Dying Man on Way to Record Newser (Dr. Kevin)
    I get that we’re talking about the highest heights and all that, and these are pretty elite climbers hellbent on getting to the top, but in no way shape or form does it resemble anything that goes on in the half-pint Himalaya behind me.

    I’d guess we came across about 50 people in our week out in the back of beyond, and once you’ve slipped the bounds of a wi-fi connection, everybody greets one another on the trail and it being a shared experience it isn’t uncommon to have long conversations with fellow travelers on the foot interstate, a choir director from a local college and his daughter, a solo woman from LA doing her first backpack, a young backcountry ranger from Utah filling in for another backcountry ranger back in the world for a week, an artist who somehow managed to bring an easel and assorted paints to render a likeness on site.

    Occasionally people die in the Sierra Nevada-but not often as its a gentle giant with the most accommodating weather of any mountain range in the summer, and should you unfortunately succumb it isn’t as if they’ll leave your body on the trail where you fell, an odd feature of Everest/K2, etc. where the only adventurers are well heeled types that can afford the awful tariffs of $50-$100k in order to ply their traits.

    In comparison a wilderness permit allowing you to be out for as long as you’d like is $15 in Sequoia NP, with an additional $5 more per person on the permit, that’s it for financial obligation in fees.

        1. Wukchumni


          Since 2010, Evan King has been CDFW’s wildlife biologist for Kings and Tulare counties. He is based in Visalia, just about two hours south of where he grew up. Born in Turlock and raised in Denair, Evan King is a third-generation biologist.

          Evan’s inlaws have a cabin in Mineral King, and I get to pick his brain all the time, fascinating fellow!

          I’ll hit him up for info on the wolves when I see him next.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Bloomberg Evening Briefing: Biden Warns China’s Economy a ‘Ticking Time Bomb’”

    Other people have noted that Biden was doing a lot of projection there and that you could substitute the word America in place of China and it would sound more believable. The economy a ticking time bomb? High levels of lending to developing economies? Highest unemployment rate going? What that article did not say was the part where Biden said that he would be looking at them. So I guess that all this confirms for China that any sort of detente with the Biden regime is out of the question. Something that I did note. When Biden said ‘when bad folks have problems, they do bad things’, was he thinking of undersea gas pipelines by any chance?

    And in a clown world story. A Belgium arms dealer bought 49 Leopard 1 tanks for €37,000 each when they were being decommissioned by the Belgian government in 2014 as he was going to sell them for scrap. The Germans have just bought them but won’t say for how much but that Belgium guy was holding out for €500,000 each. About 30 will be rebuilt and given to Kiev and the rest used for spare parts. But in battle they still use only a weak gun and thin armour so are still just junk-

    1. Sisyphus

      Other people have noted that Biden was doing a lot of projection there and that you could substitute the word America in place of China and it would sound more believable.

      I understand people’s frustration with the US, and I can even sort of understand the sympathy for China, but China’s economy is extremely unbalanced, debt-dependent, and vulnerable. I do not for the life of me understand what data people are looking at that brings them to any other conclusion.

  23. spud

    BRICs wouldn’t be silly enough to develop a gold-backed currency would they?

    yes they would. this is what free trade is all about. just because the brics stand against the U.S. version of free trade, does not mean they might not want their own version of free trade.

    the main core of the brics, some mine a lot of gold, and those that have the gold, make the rules.

    the world needs a lot less trade, and more self reliance. that self reliance will free up human innovation, and who knows what may come out of it.

    1. Wukchumni

      There has been more all that glitters pulled out of the ground since 1950 than all that was gathered previously for time immemorial, and there’s enough of it around to allow economic commerce for about a billion people, but not 8 billion.

      The true golden billion, if you will.

        1. Wukchumni

          Hard to say…

          As long as the potential of fiat raids exist, nothing will ever transpire in terms of prospects of a gold backed currency, but if they go to the wayside things get very interesting all of the sudden.

            1. Wukchumni

              Think of the end of the gold standard, albeit in reverse.

              Fiat raids won out then as one by one countries went off the standard, forced out.

              1. britzklieg

                Indeed, when confronted by a problem that needs to be nailed down, so to speak, the one holding the bigger hammer will win the race to get the job done. It was ever thus.

              2. Wukchumni


                I’ve not heard of any central banks buying up large stores of paper money, er ‘all that gilters’.

                1. Wukchumni

                  There was essentially no inflation under the standard, and in comparison a candy bar has gone from a Nickel in 1971 to a buck fifty today, similar to the rise in house prices.

                  And when was there ever long term political stability?

                2. spud

                  this is correct. see spain when they flooded the world with silver. or that the countries that went off of the gold standard during the great depression, were some of the first to exit the depression.


                  How gold standards have historically been mismanaged and have caused price instability: Unfortunately for gold standard backers, a gold standard is not a guarantee of price stability. To begin with, what is the definition of a gold standard? A gold standard is simply a promise made out of thin air to keep the supply of money anchored to the supply of gold at a certain rate of convertibility.

                  1. John k

                    My take is going off gold and adopting fiat allowed central banks to end bank runs/collapse. Imo we were under the gold standard for ~150 years, a period where we had deep recessions/depressions every few years, some deeper and/or longer (The Long Depression) than the so called Great depression. Fiat ended deep recessions.
                    Granted, fed mismanagement alternated between too much and too little stimulus, maybe because of following Wall Street bank preferences, that both caused and stopped most recessions since.
                    Fiat is the least bad system, so why not have the fed run by somebody that understands how fiat works? I suppose because that would be anathema on wall st.

  24. Tom Stone

    Anecdotal: I have been dealing with health issues, most recently a bad right hip.
    I was not able to see my primary care physician because she has been out sick, for 6 weeks now.
    I was able to see someone else who mentioned they were short staffed due to illness, a Month ago.
    It took almost 4 weeks to schedule an MRI and the MRI won’t happen until the end of October, the delay was due to “We have a lot of people out sick”.
    The County Fair ends today and the Gravenstein Apple Fair starts,the Outside Lands festival is this weekend in SF… we’re back to normal except for the dying.
    Covid is making this an even stupider timeline.

    1. Raymond Sim

      Sacto area newscasts strike me as what the Soviets would have produced if they were capitalists.

      This year’s back-to-school theme seems to be “Attendance! Attendance! Attendance!”

    2. kareninca

      I haven’t been able to see my primary care physician in about four years since he never has any openings. There isn’t even a presence of openings on the portal. So I guess I technically I have a PCP, but all I ever actually ever see are nurse practitioners and PAs. I was so excited about six years ago when for the first time in my adult life (in my early 50s) I finally got a PCP but the excitement did not last. I’m not really complaining since I have gotten whatever tests I needed (as far as I know), but it is odd to have a PCP whom you literally never actually see.

      1. Late Introvert

        I think nurse practicioners are the new doctors, in a good way. They have some humility, want to help, and can’t write scrips the minute you discuss a problem.

          1. Brunches with Cats

            Helpful list, thanks. Confirmed, as I was pretty sure of, that NPs in New York State had “full authority,” as that was who did my discharge after ER and 24-hr hospitalization two years ago. She handed me a pile of scrips and essentially ordered me to have them filled immediately at the Walgreens next door. I probably should have just accepted them and tossed them in the trash later, but instead told her I had no intention of taking those drugs, when, as far as I could tell, the radiology report was inconclusive. She barked, “You just had a stroke!” When I had the further audacity to ask whether she’d actually seen the radiology report or knew something that hadn’t been communicated to me, she got red in the face and yelled something to the effect of, “If you don’t take these meds, you’re gonna die!” So much for “humility.” To ensure that her orders were followed, she had an assistant run next door for the pickup (holding up my discharge) and handed me the bag on my way out the door. I didn’t take any of it — statins, and I forget what else. Well, lo and behold, when I finally got in to see the neurologist six weeks later, she (neurologist) was absolutely certain it wasn’t a stroke.

          2. Brunches with Cats

            BTW, have you had your first eye done yet? Or maybe both? How was it? (Sorry if you’ve posted already and I missed it.) Had surgery on right eye this past Tuesday. Was thinking of you, made sure to spread the word on masking ahead of the coming wave (most of ambulatory surgery wing was unmasked; once in the OR, everyone was hyper-covered, thank goddess). Left eye skedded end of August. Full report if and when I get the time. Meanwhile, hope you’re doing well.

  25. begob

    Handy overview (52:49) of Russian military procurement – this guy seems to concentrate generally on air forces, but has a few recent videos on the Ukraine conflict (and the headline is pure Betteridge’s Law).

    He’s pro-Ukraine, but comes across as realistic about Russia’s capabilities. The first section assesses Russian GDP under sanctions by indirect measures – open to dispute, no doubt; the last section has good information on drones. He reckons Russia’s biggest problem is supply of integrated circuit boards, although make-do measures may be good enough in the medium-term.

    ps. Elsewhere he relays a rumour that Ukraine has received a fresh supply of S-300 missiles through arms dealers, which may account for the ongoing reticence of the Russian air force.

    1. hk

      I am curious who still has S-300s to supply to Ukraine, even if indirectly via “arms dealers.” I don’t think it was ever manufactured outside of Russia (although, as with most systems that began in the USSR era, there may have been subcontractors in the areas of USSR that are no longer Russia). Most users would have needed continued tech support from the Russians and could not have easily diverted them elsewhere and those who are NATO members or otherwise Western aligned would already have given them up (if they could, that is). Doubtful that countries like India, Vietnam, or Egypt would have given them up (at least we’d have heard of it if they did). Maybe Greeks? But there was a big bruhaha when the topic came up months ago and the Greek gov’t pulled back from such an idea. Surely, we’d have heard about it, too, given how controversial the last attempt was.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Millennium 7* is pretty good when it comes to military aviation engineering, but I’m not sure he’s that skilled when it comes to separating grain from chaff in English-language sources about Russian economy – the noise to signal ratio is tremendous.

        For example, everyone in the west has been saying Russia is or will be having issues with semiconductors, but so far the weapon production has expanded 7-10 times and the bottleneck is lack of skilled labor*, not IC boards.

        There’s even a specific site, (made by us) that originally tracked the progress of replacing the western products by Russian made stuff, but is nowadays just celebrating stuff made in Russia in general.

        And providing missiles for S-300 is made more complicated by the fact that there’s actually 20 versions of the system, using 4 different guidance methods for 13 different missiles. You have to match the missiles to launchers and radars.

        * the ones they do have have been doing longer shifts and 6 day weeks for over a year now. There seems to be some pride in the fact that Russian made weapons have turned out to better and more reliable than the ‘competing products’

    2. JeeffH

      re: Millenium 7 perspective with regards to Russia seems to be well based generally on material facts but his perspective is a bit distorted by Ukrainian affections. With regard to the missile procurement, I think they may actually have been older S-200’s. It would seem to be supported by the recent attacks on Crimea being S-200 variants with modifications.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I don’t understand this comment. The S-200 is an air defense system. Russia does not use it for offense. The idea that they do is Ukraine propaganda.

        1. begob

          I think JeeffH means that Ukraine continues to use S-200s, rather than new S-300s. It’s been a common observation over the past couple of months that S-200s have been adapted for ground attacks on Crimea, but that doesn’t account for the reticence of the Russian AF.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Alexander Mercouris yesterday says the Russian air force has become bolder.

      And you need launchers, not just missiles. Russia has been targeting platforms. The hits on the M-777 and Patriot launchers get press, but I assume they are going after the S-300s too.

      1. Polar Socialist

        There reports that in the Kupyansk sector alone Russian are flying 80 sorties per day at the moment, which used to be the norm for the whole SMO a few months ago.

        I think “reticence” has mostly to due a) lack of fighter-bombers in Russian inventory (due to certain unfortunate choices made in the 1990s*) and b) lack of targets that require risking a pilot and a plane to hit it.

        According to Wikipedia (sorry, but it is what we have for now) Russian have 640 fighter-bombers in the active roster. Let’s assume that they are more reliable than F-35 or even F-18, and 8 out of 10 can actually fly a given mission at any time – this gives us ~500 fighter-bombers.

        Let’s further assume Russia deploys only 1/3 of their force so they can rotate unit for R&R, that would leave us with about 170 fighter-bombers deployed in SMO at a time. This would mean the Russian fighter-bombers are flying 2 missions per 3 days, which would allow them to easily retain
        the operational tempo for month after month. And still have room to double the tempo for a short duration, should the need arise.

        That is, of course, assuming a lot. Frankly, I believe Russia would have serious troubles if they tried to raise the tempo much. The Su-24s and Su-25s are old and worn down, and there just isn’t enough Su-24s around to take over the burden.

        * Soviet Air Force had 5 times more fighter-bombers in 1990 than Russia has now, but about the same number of fighters.

    4. Polar Socialist

      On the “he’s pretty good” tangent, he just released a redaction/correction about the integrated circuit situation of Russia, admitting he was no critical enough regarding his sources.

      I’ve actually read some news about the new indigenous, lithography method the Russians are developing, but information is really hard to come by. It’s supposed to be some older (as in 90’s) proof-of-concept that was too way too expensive to develop when Russia had an easy access to cheap, modern chips. Those now being cut off (more or less successfully), the government suddenly found the billions needed to mature the tech.

  26. none

    Jeff Bezos buys $68M mansion on Florida’s ‘Billionaire Bunker’ island

    Aha, I remember seeing a bullseye-shaped island on a map and wondering what it was.

  27. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Hunter Biden plea deal talks collapse as special counsel appointed Financial Times. Key statement: “‘The DoJ “now believes that the case will not resolve short of a trial’, the court filing said.”

    Conservative scuttlebutt is that, having been busted by the Delaware judge trying to immunize biden family bagman, hunter, from all prosecutions past, present and future (and thereby shield joe from any reckoning), weiss needs the ability to venue shop for the (Gasp!!) “trial.” Rumor has it that he wants to drop the case in Delaware to get away from the uncooperative Judge Noreika, and find someone more amenable to the cause in california or d.c.

    Apparently his previous level of doj authority does not permit that workaround.

    The fact that hunter’s legal team is making zero fuss suggests that the prospect of a weiss approved “trial” is not all that threatening and, of course, the statute of limitations continues to run.

    After the announcement yesterday, Andy McCarthy called the appointment a “sham,” and here is a link to Glenn Greenwald’s analysis on Rumble.

    PS. No mention was made in either of today’s links that, by statute, a special prosecutor shall be from outside the government to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest. But I guess this is an “emergency” so the hell with it.

    1. curlydan

      Yes, I was shocked when I read that the “special counsel” named was in fact the current prosecutor on the case who set up such a [bleepy] plea deal in the first place. I mean, WTF Merrick Garland? Have you no shame?

      1. Wukchumni

        Then: ‘They’ll welcome us with garlands…’

        Now: ‘They’ll welcome us with Garland…’

  28. Wukchumni

    Yack it up, yack it up
    Buddy gonna shut you down

    It happened on the DC strip where the divide is wide
    (Ooh, rev it up now)
    Two political parties standin’ side by side
    (Ooh, rev it up now)
    Yeah, the fuel-injected Pachyderms & Donkey Show
    (Ooh, rev it up now)
    Revvin’ up their rhetoric, and it sounds real mean
    (Ooh, rev it up now)
    Yack it up, yack it up
    Buddy gonna shut you down

    Declinin’ approval numbers at an even rate
    (Ooh, movin’ out now)
    On account of one possibilities of a shutdown accelerate
    (Ooh, movin’ out now)
    Freedom Caucus is in delight-My Kevin is startin’ to spin
    (Ooh, movin’ out now)
    But the Donkey Show is really diggin’ in
    (Ooh, movin’ out now)
    Gotta be cool now
    Power shift here we go

    Any chance of a dodge is windin’ out in a bad row
    But the fuel injected Pachyderms are really startin’ to say no
    To get the traction they’re riding the Hunter clutch
    The laptop isn’t helping that machine too much

    Kevin to the floor, hear his masters speak
    (Ooh, pump it up now)
    And now their slim lead is startin’ to shrink
    (Ooh, pump it up now)
    He’s hot with induction but it’s understood
    (Ooh, rev it up now)
    Nothing ever gets done in this DC hood
    (Ooh, pump it up now)

    Shut it off, shut it off
    Buddy, now I shut you down
    Shut it off, shut it off
    Buddy, now I shut you down
    Shut it off, shut it off
    Buddy, now I shut you down
    Shut it off, shut it off
    Buddy, now I shut you down
    Shut it off, shut it off
    Buddy, now I shut you down

    Shut Down, by the Beach Boys

  29. antidlc

    The replies to this Mandy Cohen tweet give me hope:

    Mandy K. Cohen, MD, MPH
    Spent yesterday morning meeting with colleagues at our Century Center campus! These teams are the connection point b/w @CDCgov
    and state, local, territorial, and tribal jurisdictions – ensuring our public health infrastructure can reach ALL Americans.

    I sense a real anger in the replies.

    1. JBird4049

      I like the #MinimizeWithMandy on that thread. Director Cohen is good with the use of anodyne lies phrases or statements to deflect the questions on Covid. She is giving the appearance of being a caring, competent professional while hiding being an empty souled apparatchik with those soothing answers to questions.

    2. Late Introvert

      Elon has made sure no one without an account will ever see said replies. I say that as a person who will never have one, and is adept at subverting that shite. It’s locked tight (so far).

  30. Wukchumni

    Et tu Ron?

    Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the Governor, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.

  31. Anthony K Wikrent

    “The number of new Covid-19 cases reported worldwide rose by 80% in the last month… Let’s do nothing”

    We need to admit what we’re facing here is fundamentally a philosophical issue: does an individual have any duty and responsibility to society or not? Obviously, conservatism and libertarianism as philosophies drive the answer further and further away from a solution. But what too few people are willing to admit is that liberalism does also, because the focus is on individual liberty. What does that leave?

    Well, imo. that leaves only civic republicanism.

    “In a republic “each individual gives up all private interest that is not consistent with the general good, the interest of the whole body.” For the republican patriots of 1776 the commonweal was all encompassing—a transcendent object with a unique moral worth that made partial considerations fade into insignificance. “Let regard be had only to the good of the whole” was the constant exhortation by publicists and clergy. Ideally, republicanism obliterated the individual. “A Citizen,” said Sam Adams, “owes everything to the Commonwealth.” “Every man in a republic,” declared Benjamin Rush, “is public property. His time, his talents—his youth—his manhood—his old age—nay more, life, all belong to his country.” “No man is a true republican,” wrote a Pennsylvanian in 1776, “that will not give up his single voice to that of the public.”
    — Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 (University of North Carolina Press, 1969), Chapter 2, “Republicanism”

    Is this not the foundation of a proper approach to public health? In fact, is a proper approach to public health even possible without the civic republican idea that each individual has a responsibility to the community? No, you do not have the individual liberty to decide whether to obey or disobey public health mandates.

    The problem now is that conservatism, libertarianism, and liberalism have become overwhelmingly dominant. Now do those seemingly bizarre discussions from the late 1700s, about a people becoming unfit to govern themselves, make sense?

    And no, socialism is not a philosophy of government. It is a guide to organizing economic activity. That’s why I have argued before that civic republicanism is a philosophy of government quite congenial to socialism.

    1. britzklieg

      for your consideration:

      “…why are politically left-of-center constitutional scholars attracted to civic republicanism?
      Putting the matter differently, is civic republican theory truly congenial to the goals and aspirations of constitutional theorists who locate themselves on the left side of the political spectrum? The most obvious answer to these questions is that the political left shares with civic republican theory a theoretical focus on the community rather than the individual. Both civic republicans and members of the political left view the collective exercise of power more favorably than their political and theoretical adversaries.Under this view, both civic republicans and members of the political left view government as the necessary agent for cultivating positive social values and developing a “good” society. Classical liberal
      theory and members of the political right, on the other hand, view government as at best an unfortunate necessity.

      This explanation of the natural attraction between the left and civic republicanism has one major problem: the left’s traditional support for civil liberties is incompatible in certain respects with civic republican theory….

      …if collective political decisions are favored-and if the government is the logical agent to implement the “good” society-then there is no reason for the government not to extend
      its power to make collective determinations into those areas traditionally protected as fundamental individual liberties. This has been a common reaction to republican theory, and several republican theorists have attempted to respond by reintroducing elements of liberalism or “practical reason “‘ into their civic republican theories.

      My conclusion is that the communitarian and collectivist premises of civic republican theory logically require the theory’s adherents to abandon many traditional protections of civil liberties. Indeed, it is also my conclusion that despite recent civic republican overtures to the modern liberal sensibility, most civic republicansactively desire the collectivization of civil liberties.

      Both modern civic republican theory and traditional liberal theory purport to be subsets of democratic theory. In other words, they are both methods of effectuating the core democratic ideal that a particular society’s citizens be permitted to govern themselves. A
      corollary of this basic principle of self-determination is that no group of citizens can take command of the government forever. In other words, any valid democratic theory must recognize that governmental change is inevitable, and democratic governments
      should therefore be structured in a way that permits the inevitable change to occur.
      I argue in the final section that modern civic republicans are insufficiently sensitive to the democratic mandate of constant change and flux. I believe that this flaw in modern civic republicanism is attributable to the fact that modern civic republicans view the world from the perspective of political winners. Thus, they do not sufficiently take account of what I call “losers’ principles,” some form of which every proper democratic theory must incorporate.
      The final section includes a discussion of three losers’ principles that seem incompatible with the most prominent modern versions of civic republicanism. I conclude that by rejecting these “losers’ principles,” civic republicanism ceases to be a truly democratic theory. I also argue that to the extent modern civic republicanism permits collective political power to override these losers’ principles, the theory also becomes an essentially conservative doctrine-a notable irony given the political predilections of most civic republican proponents. If these criticisms are correct, the article concludes that it may be time to bury the new, improved versions of civic republicanism alongside their classical predecessor….”


      1. Anthony K Wikrent

        I think it is relevant to note Gey taught at the University of Florida, an institution overrun by and subservient to Koch money. Gey’s argument reeks of libertarian hand-wringing over any social imposition on personal licentiousness. And much of it is just plain wrong. Republics have always been considered a different political system than democracies, beginning with the ancients such as Plato. Congress had to deal with this problem after the Civil War. If allowed to rejoin the Union as they wished, they would reconstitute the southern oligarchies with all the trappings of democratic rule. But to do so they trampled the individual rights of newly freed African-Americans. A major principle of a republic and of civic republicanism is justice, and the new democracies erected in the former slave states were clearly unjust. And so Congress passed the three Reconstruction Amendments, passed laws such as the Enforcement Act of 1871, also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, and created the Department of Justice to enforce these laws in the former Confederacy. Gey has to ignore basic history like this and instead twist the nuances of political theory to make his arguments.

        In the 20th century, and the issue of republicanism versus democracy was hopelessly muddled when USA joined with the British oligarchy as “Allies” in both world wars to “save democracy.”
        Another of Gey’s key arguments is that republicanism is “insufficiently sensitive to the democratic mandate…” while at the same time arguing “Both modern civic republican theory and traditional liberal theory purport to be subsets of democratic theory.”

        The most comic part is Gey arguing that republicanism is opposed to pluralism (footnote 72, p. 807) and then, a few pages later, complaining that republicanism is so similar to pluralism as to make it difficult to critique republicanism severely enough.

        The entire history of the Reconstruction Amendments and laws disproves Gey’s argument “that modern civic republicans are insufficiently sensitive to the democratic mandate of constant change and flux.” Indeed, all of Michelman’s essay is devoted to arguing that republicanism demands “jurisgenerative politics” so as to incorporate “constant change and flux.” Near the end of his article, Michelman writes,

        “The Court helps protect the republican state — that is, the citizens politically engaged — from lapsing into a politics of self-denial. It challenges “the people’s” self-enclosing tendency to assume their own moral completion as they now are and thus to deny to themselves the plurality on which their capacity for transformative self-renewal depends.”

    2. Late Introvert

      The commonweal? The one that excluded all the slaves? And women too for that matter. Clap clap clap.

      It’s not that I don’t like your argument, it’s that your prime example refutes it.

      1. Anthony K Wikrent

        All of USA history has been a fight between a faction that wants to establish and preserve a republic, and a faction that wants to destroy or change the republic into something else, which always ends up looking like oligarchy. Which faction was it that was exclusionary? As Frank MIchelman wrote in Law’s Republic, “the pursuit of political freedom through law depends on “our” constant reach for inclusion of the other, of the hitherto excluded-which in practice means bringing to legal-doctrinal presence the hitherto absent voices of emergently self-conscious social groups.” (The Yale Law Journal, Volume 97, Number 8, July 1988)

  32. Sisyphus

    I am hoping somebody here can help:

    I recall that the first time Saudi refused to increase oil production to squeeze Russia, the press went mental with leaked threats of punishing Saudi, etc. The Saudis more or less ignored the press and recently announced production cuts. This time around, the criticism was extremely muted.

    Similarly, the Germans initially refused to provide tanks for Ukraine, got hounded by the western press for being unreliable, etc, and simply caved to the pressure.

    Does anybody know of any site that has created a solid timeline about the tit-for-tat regarding countries refusing to follow US dictates, the press response, and how countries respond (positive or negative) in return?

    I remember NC linking to a basic-flow-of-events type timeline a long time ago (at least two years ago) about some completely unrelated set of events, but cannot remember what the site was or even what the event was–if anybody can point me in the right direction, I would be immensely grateful.

  33. Susan the other

    The Tucker interview was most interesting. Steven Sund, the chief of the Capitol Police, was the designated first responder on Jan 6 and he was clearly stonewalled. I would like an explanation of how it is that the Speaker of the House has immunity from any investigation on this whole “event” which has certain earmarks of an intelligence farce.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>I would like an explanation of how it is that the Speaker of the House has immunity from any investigation on this whole “event” which has certain earmarks of an intelligence farce.

      Rank has its privileges. Laws for thee, but not for me.

      IIRC, Sund’s chief of intelligence was Yogananda D. Pittman who not only did not tell him of any warnings, she blocked the few that had been forwarded to her. She either failed or deliberately did not do her job of informing her boss of any threats, but sill replaced Sund after his resignation, and is now chief of police for UC Berkeley.

      Interesting that. On principle, I do not like the police, especially American, and give them very little slack for their errors and failures. However, sometimes they are truly just trying to do their job of protecting others. Here, it looks like he was lied to, betrayed, and prevented from doing his job.

      Look at the hundreds of 1/9 protestors getting nailed even when all they did was look. Then look at the Capitol Police likely betrayed as well. Look at the censored tapes, witnesses not called, and accountings not made. Looks like there where several factions that day and the only people who got hurt were the little people. Rules for thee, but not for me.

      Nice government we have here.

  34. Wukchumni

    Stock & Home Syndrome must have owners anxious of tumbling values after all that gravy ladled out since the turn of the of the century, some might feel captured by their investments/wanting to slit their risks.

  35. Pat

    So in depressing news a few days ago Gallup released their popular newsmaker poll. What a list of largely useless or sociopathic entities. In truth the top person on their list would possibly be the highest on mine as he isn’t really destructive, but that isn’t saying much. And while most didn’t break the 50%+ like level their ratings were still too high.
    Fifteen newsmakers rated by like versus dislike

    The top three for those who want spoilers are Prince William followed closely by Zelensky and then Jill Biden.

    Putin would be much higher for me. But then IMO most of these people are bottom feeders who I deeply dislike and distrust and believe should be in jail.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I wouldn’t let it get you down. Gallup is just like an echo chamber for the political establishments and in fact is their purpose in life. You may as well get depressed by the results of a high school popularity contest poll. The only difference is that at least the later would be more honest. :)

      Maybe time to sit back, make a warm cuppa and put on some good music to relax by to recharge your batteries. Can’t afford to sweat the small stuff.

      1. Pat

        I appreciate the suggestion. I have been trying to step back. I might go for iced tea instead as I am a heathen. Maybe reread some Jane Austen.


    1. griffen

      Not familiar at all with the singer on the middle link, but thought that was pretty good. Reminds me a little of Merle Haggard on the lyrics ( I have no intimate knowledge necessarily of country or folk, only the bigger artists like Willie or Johnny Cash ).

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