Links 8/15/2023

We Came from Outer Space Nautilus (Micael T)

In Pictures: The protectors of a 7,000-year-old faith BBC (furzy)

Man filmed carving into Colosseum says he ‘didn’t know it was old’ Daily Mail (Anthony L)

‘Everything you’ve been told is a lie!’ Inside the wellness-to-fascism pipeline Guardian. Curious the only conspiracy theories that are dangerous are related to things like Covid, not things like Russiagate.

‘Open Secret’ of CPR: It’s Usually Futile Newser (Dr. Kevin)

More young Americans are dying – and it’s not COVID. Why aren’t we searching for answers? USA Today (Paul R). Considers Covid deaths only as a direct effect of Covid, and not Covid as health debilitator like smoking.

Font size can ‘nudge’ customers toward healthier food choices ScienceBlog (Dr. Kevin)

Man of the People: The history and context of Aleksandr Afanasev’s obscene Russian folktales. Lapham’s Quarterly (Anthony L)


A few days stale but still….


‘This Is Huge’: Judge Sides With Montana Youths in Historic Climate Ruling Common Dreams (David L, martha r)

Montana Climate Lawsuit: Youths Win Landmark Case Rolling Stone (furzy)

Prospectors hit the gas in the hunt for ‘white hydrogen’ Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

For Decades, Our Carbon Emissions Sped the Growth of Plants — Not Anymore Yale E360 (Dr. Kevin)

Burning mangrove trees for a living: ‘I’d quit tomorrow if I could’ BBC (Kevin W)


China will be deploying talking points from this document for years:

China Downside Surprises Menzie Chinn

China has fallen into a psycho-political funk Financial Times. Kevin W: “Lots of articles along these lines in Google news today.”

Regulatory squeeze to kill a third of China’s hedge funds Asia Times (Kevin W)

India. Today is India Independence Day!

Debate and attacks surround Sabyasachi Das’ working paper on democratic backsliding and then Sabyasachi Das Reportedly Resigns Amidst Backlash on Democratic Backsliding Paper The Edict

The Economic Losers in the New World Order Wall Street Journal. Includes UK and Singapore. And recall some Brexiteers were championing the “Singapore model”. Oops.


Ousted Niger President Mohamed Bazoum to face prosecution for high treason ABC Australia. Kevin W: “That letter of his published in the Washington Post is all the proof that they need.”

Tackling NATO’s Afrika Korps in Niger, Uganda, Algeria and Mali Strategic Culture Watch (Micael T). Unduly strident but that does not make it wrong. Readers?

The latest act in the Washington-orchestrated drama of regime change in Venezuela: a new heroic leader fighting for “democracy and freedom” emerges. Eastern Angle (Micael T)

European Disunion


Old Blighty

EU blocks deal which would allow Channel migrants to be sent back to France (furzy)

New Not-So-Cold War

Sun Tzu Judges Zelenskyy Canadian Patriot (Micael T)

Can Washington pivot from its maximalist aims in Ukraine? Responsible Statecraft

Blame Biden’s Hesitancy for Stalling Ukraine’s Offensive John Bolton, Wall Street Journal

Russia’s asymmetric response Gilbert Doctorow (guurst)

Russia Reaches Kupiansk Suburb, Denies Ukr Urozhaynoye; Bolton Escalation, Rus Unfazed Ruble Fall Alexander Mercouris, YouTube. Listen to his discussion of the ruble starting at 102:30.

What’s Behind Lukashenko’s Surprise Proposal For A Belarusian-Polish Rapprochement? Andrew Korybko (Micael T)

Ukraine’s western region hit by large-scale Russian air attack Anadolu Agency

Poland signs deals to purchase hundreds of armored vehicles Anadolu Agency

30 dead, 100 injured as gas station explodes in Russia Anadolu Agency. No indication yet this was terrorism.


How Palestinians started smuggling their sperm out of Israeli prisons Mondoweiss (guurst)

Abzug aus Afghanistan: Warum das die Welt noch gefährlicher machte T-online (furzy). Machine translation: That was a serious mistake by the US

Imperial Collapse Watch

Unmasking the Destructive Career of Neocon-Monster Victoria Nuland—Now Second-in-Command of Biden’s State Department Glenn Greenwald

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin blasts GOP senator’s blockade of military promotions as ‘unnecessary’ and ‘unsafe’ NBC (furzy). Douglas Macgregor regularly points out that the number of generals compared to during WWII is grotesquely inflated. So this hold could actually be salutary, even though his reason for the hold (opposition to abortions) is appalling. I would rather see Austin object to the policy Turberville is trying to advance than the promotions.


Read the full text of the Trump Georgia indictment document Washington Post. The Hill supposedly also has it but I’ve tried 5x and the page will not load properly.

Who Is Ken Chesebro? Trump Ally in Trouble for Coup Plot Rolling Stone (furzy)

Trump Has ‘Blatantly Unlawful’ Tantrum About Georgia Grand Jury Witness Daily Beast (furzy)

Trump’s 4 criminal cases, ranked in order of how screwed he is Business Insider

RFK, Jr.

The Other Populist in the Race American Conservative

Police State Watch

The Pentagon plans to shake up DC’s National Guard, criticized for its response to protests, Jan. 6 Kansas City Star (furzy). ZOMG a lot more than “shake up”.

Our No Longer Free Press

Biden Administration Defends Social Media Censorship Operation (Kevin W)

New York Times Helps Marco Rubio Push Persecution Of Antiwar Leftists Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)


Sriracha Sauce Is Going for $70. What’s Behind the High Prices for Chile Peppers. Barrons (furzy)

UBS to pay $1.4bn to settle fraud claims from 2008 crisis BBC (furzy)

Fired COVID Whistleblower Will Take His Case to Trial With New Lawyers MedPage Today

The Bezzle

Hospitals are dialing back on venture capital investing STAT

Smelling Blood in the Wreckage of the SPACs Craze The Messenger (furzy)

Class Warfare

Against the Eugenicons Michael Lind, Compact (Antony L). Today’s must read. So now class is due to DNA and the poors are irredeemable. This is even better than karma justifying inequality.

‘Never again’: is Britain finally ready to return to the office? Guardian (Kevin W)

Rich Countries Face Rising Period Poverty in Cost of Living Crisis Bloomberg (furzy)

Antidote du jour. Ann M: “A young bunny in Roger Williams Park. He wouldn’t stay still until he reached the camouflage area.”

And a bonus

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Sam adams

    re: Prospectors hit the gas in the hunt for ‘white hydrogen’ Guardian (Dr. Kevin)
    Hopeium but this time with balloons.

    1. Pavel

      I watched that last night. I don’t agree with RFK Jr on everything (who does?) — e.g. Israel — but I confess that after following politics (especially Democrat in the US and (New) Labour in the UK), that was one of the most articulate, learned (in terms of recent US political history), shocking (US biolabs in UKR and USA), and ultimately compassionate interviews.

      Kudos to Tucker for letting him speak at length with hardly any interruptions. (Contrast with Krystal Ball!)

      And contrast also with Joe Biden, who can’t speak for 5 minutes without a gaffe, a lie, or both.

      His reports on the situation at the border were shocking, and heartbreaking. He should debate the border czar Kamala Harris and get her thoughts on the situation.

      A must-watch IMO by anyone interested in politics.

      Thanks, flora, for posting the link for others.

      1. jefemt

        I’m wondering whay all of a sudden RFK Jr. is on youtube?
        I saw his Iowa Fair chat, and now this.
        What Lawsuit? RFK Jr. is sharp. He and Williamson and Cornell should join forces and take the spotlight from Trump and Biden.

        1. britzklieg


          longer comment went missing. here’s the short version

          Despite past concerns I will be voting RFKJ in the Florida primary and when he doesn’t get the nomination, I’ll vote 3rd party for Dr. West in the general.

          Kennedy has serious shortcomings, especially on Israel, but “serious shortcomings” does not even come close to describing the full out fraud and degenerate mummy who was made POTUS by way of the DNC concubinage’s cynical, malign manipulation “because they could” which forced the already failed and evermore failing sleazeball down our throats.

    1. pjay

      Yes. This is yet another of the weekly (daily?) articles trying to “educate” the poor naive public on “conspiracy theories” and those who believe them. It’s propaganda 101: associate *all* those who might have legitimate questions about a major public event with the most loony beliefs and believers. Emphasize the tinfoil hat folks in all of your stories, and explain how such people have a psychological need for “simple explanations” so that the world “makes sense” to them. In your examples, show how the obvious crazies also happen to have “racist” and “pro-Russian” views, and maybe make one of the heroes of your story who is trying to reason with the loonies an employee of the WEF! Try to work Alex Jones into the story – the Sandy Hook denier. That’s extra bonus points since the revulsion most people feel at Jones’ exploitation can be transferred by association to all CTers.*

      Of course this would appear in the Guardian by this author. These formulaic stories are parodies of themselves at this point – or perhaps parodies of the famous CIA “CT” memo.

      *(There are those who argue that Jones himself is some sort of CIA asset whose job is to smear by association any CTs that get too close to the Truth. But I’m sure that’s just a loony conspiracy theory)

      1. albrt

        Thinking about anything for yourself is a slippery slope to being a loony.

        This is your brain on thinking [breaks egg in frying pan].

        Just say no to thinking!

    1. poopinator

      Service dog? Nah, you’re my service person!

      I have to watch at least 5 of these type of videos a day to counter balance the rest of the noise in the world these days

    2. skippy

      I get that everyday, coming home from work, Ralph does a happy dance in front of my UTE as I drive in – bucks around in circles. Then its inside for teats and a happy dog pile.

  2. timbers

    Auto Repairs up 23%

    It’s doubtful we will ever see a right to repair to any meaningful extent. Massachusetts keeps passing voter referendums by wide margins, but insiders invariably find ways to use legal minutia to block implementation.

    “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has advised major automobile manufacturers not to comply with Massachusetts’ “right to repair” law, which requires manufacturers of cars sold in Massachusetts to make telematic maintenance and repair data available to owners and independent shops. The law was approved by voters in 2020 with 75% of voters in favor. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has warned that some of the law’s requirements create a real safety problem and that they should be ignored since federal law preempts state law when the two conflict. Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell has filed a Notice of Intent to Terminate Non-Enforcement Stipulation with the United States District Court of Massachusetts to enforce the law.”

    1. Enter Laughing

      RE the Auto Repair post.
      The poster claims “4 new tires and brakes plus other tuneups and it was over 6k.” Doesn’t make sense to have “tune ups” be plural.

      Is the poster lumping services such as a front-end alignment or a brake job into the “tune ups” category? Who knows! Let’s see the itemized bill and get to the bottom of this!

      1. timbers

        My solution: Massachuttes Attorney General or whoever should close a few dealer’s utterly, until they fully comply with the law. If they take legal actions, then find ever more cascade of reasons to shut them until they admit defeat. Message should be sent to other dealers they face the same treatment if the do not obey. We are a Third World nation. That means we will never win playing by their rules, so we need our good tribal leaders to play by our rules.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Inflation is a concern, but 4 new tires and brake pads leads me to suspect the driver has been for going maintenence and beating the vehicle where they probably failed an inspection of a number of points. Then the guy sold the vehicle for a song instead of repairing. The vehicle wasn’t being maintained.

        The example in the linked article is about the acceleration of a Ford Explorer. Knowing they are just trucks are no seeing people drive them, the driver beat the vehicle.

        1. Fiery Hunt

          I just had a new engine put into a 2006 ford truck…
          Engine and labor was 5K. And I live in CA.

          That post is BS.

      3. dougie

        There are so many ways one could “take down” the original post/link. Let’s start with are you driving a Toyota or a Porsche? I would continue by calling it gaslighting, by implying that the cost of auto repair should somehow correlate to one or the other 20-odd cost of living indices.

        As the owner of a large independent auto repair shop, I can factually state that my cost for qualified technicians(when you can find one) has increased by 40% in the last 2 years, more if you include full healthcare coverage and all the other benefits I provide. They deserve every penny of it.

        The cost of parts has gone through the roof, and are taking longer to get in many cases. The quality of said parts has declined, although I warranty them to the client for a longer period than my supplier warranties them to me. All my costs of doing business have gone up as well. I could go on…..

        My profit margin percentage remains the same as it was in 2015. I earn more by repairing more vehicles. Mr. Market decides if my prices are too high.

        Thanks for the clickbait, ABC News!

        1. bdy

          No shade on you or any other merchants doing what you must to get by. Serious props and all due respect for middle class capitalists: yours is a hard row to hoe that’s often as precarious, if not more so, than a lot of PMC salary-persons, state employees, and whatever’s left of good union jobs. (Police Detective: “My cousin defected to America. They made him run his own business.”)

          Just sayin’ tho, when every link in a complex supply chain maintains a constant profit margin percentage, any sized increase in the cost of inputs will be multiplied exponentially at the consumer end. Mr Market decides that indeed, prices are too high and will keep movin’ on up, providing cover for interested RSAs who want to price gouge further. So shade Mr Market in times like these. I just paid $900 for tires from a guy with 3 houses and a boat.

          1. polar donkey

            My family’s auto repair shop is doing pretty well. New cars are ridiculously priced and used cars as well. People have to hold onto their cars longer. Parts prices have gone up significantly and much more likely to require waits for the parts to arrive. An additional factor, cars made in the recent past few years are lower quality with plastic parts and way too many electronics. These cars aren’t going to go like a 2005 Camry. Look at the recalls of Ford for this model year. It’s the worst brand. Seriously, Ford just said screw it, we’ll sell as much over priced junk as possible and when it all goes bad, ask for a government bailout. Almost all the car companies are following that path. I saw a report from Germany early this year. Germans in the auto industry worried how poor the quality of BMW’s, Audis, and especially Mercedes are and how long till the blow back from that takes to ruin german automakers reputations. The people interviewed were especially concerned about all the digital equipment and software put in cars. Acknowledged Germany isn’t as good at that as other countries in these fields but stuffing cars full of subpar software and hardware.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Is that a man of the people, Pete Buttigieg, sighting?

      “a real safety problem”… so information can’t be shared…so which truck is going to explode?

    3. Carolinian

      I doubt that has much if anything to do with it. Just look at the example up in Links. Tires and brakes and a “tuneup” which computer controlled cars don’t need. Car dealers make their profit off the service department and don’t need “telematics” to pick your pocket.

      Apparently though car part prices are up substantially which may be why I see so many cars driving around with their bumper covers missing. Also the cars themselves have experienced considerable inflation.

      1. timbers

        I doubt your doubt that it is nothing to with it. I’ve used non dealer “Pop” owner car repair and they are less expensive than dealers. I’d say you and NotTimothy are injecting a lot of speculation none us really know either way to dealers a greater benefit of the doubt.

        1. Carolinian

          The dealer has that large and often quite fancy building to pay for and so overhead undoubtedly has a lot to do with it. But from tales I hear from friends finding a competent and honest third party repair shop may be a matter of luck. Me, I do all my own repairs if at all possible.

          1. hunkerdown

            The one time I enjoyed the experience of dealer service, the bill’s reverse sported an infographic telling me what my labor costs pay for. The class character of “Mechanics’ vacations” burned me up as a fast food worker.

            1. some guy

              Do fast food workers deserve ” Fast Food Workers’ vacations” in order to be equalized up to the position of Mechanics?

              Or do Mechanics deserve to be deprived of ” Mechanics’ vacations ” in order to be equalized down to the situation of Fast Food Workers?

          2. Neutrino

            Dealers and independents both face the gropwing problem of mechanic supply. Younger people aren’t going into that trade like they once were, in part due to the siren song of college and then debt. Wages rise to attract candidates and to try to keep older mechanics around longer. Look around the shop at the average age and try to recall what it was 10-20 years ago.

            If you know an aging mechanic or two, empathize with their myriad body aches. A few decades of contortions under hoods, in wheel wells, on creepers, under a lift or otherwise in pretty unnatural positions will wreak havoc on joints, back, feet, hands, essentially the whole body. Parts are on back-order and there is no warranty when they wear out.

      2. petal

        When my car insurance increased this past Spring through no fault of my own, I asked State Farm why. I was told it was due to increased prices for car parts & repairs.
        Last week I had a $2600 bill for front brakes, a tie rod, rear shocks, and a muffler.

        1. Jen

          Just got an $1800 bill from the dealer for a 30K mile service, + new tires and an alignment. Going back to my local mechanic from here on out.

          1. polar donkey

            My nephew is mechanic savant. He does alignments on most cars with a tape measure. He checks cars when they come in for oil change. Does a quick adjustment if necessary. My tires always wear evenly. Many shops have expensive laser alignment machines. It’s why paying $150+ for alignment.

      3. Mark Gisleson

        The most implausible part of the story was the implication that the dealership had on hand all the parts needed. Every person I know in this area has at least one piece of major equipment not being used because of a missing part.

        This is what happens when Wall Street tells the inventory managers to reduce inventory and go J-I-T; things fall apart. (And if you scrape together $6k, they’ll find a part even if they have to cannibalize a showroom model.)

        1. Bosko

          I agree with you and the naysayers here. Prices for repair have gone up, certainly, but it’s one of those areas where you’re vulnerable if you don’t know anything about cars (I don’t, but I make an effort to understand the repairs I’m told I need). $6k is an awful lot for repairs, unless it’s a very expensive car and I suppose those people are used to it. I had my car towed to the biggest Subaru dealer in the area (New England, where there are a LOT of Subarus) a month ago, a new starter was $700 and I waited three days for the part.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            I spent $9K keeping a Buick with blue book value of $3,500 alive (wellie there was $1400 of reimbursed bodywork after someone hit the car in back). That was significantly due to no one telling me to change the oil even though the car was getting checked all the time (as in no one looked at fluids and as a non-car owner, I assumed oil was like gas, it would show up on the dash somehow). Bricked the engine. Got a replacement engine. No one told me I’d then have to replace all the sensors.

            I never wanted to own a car and this experience confirmed my views.

        2. skippy

          Attitude about car ownership is very strange, sorta like home ownership.

          Back in the day [decades ago] most knew how to do lots of various repairs or had relatives/friends in manual arts skills that could assist. Due to a number of various economic factors this has ended up as a consumer choice drama in the market place e.g. seeking skills and knowledge from strangers.

          Yet here I am having worked Corp in expensive suits and can do all the renovations on the new place by myself and do most of the work on my Toyota UTE. Just did a starter motor in half an hour. Even Swapped out the motor on my sons 97 Nissan Patrol, broke a crankshaft, all done in the driveway. Up graded 4.2 straight 6 diesel, 230 hp / 800 nm torque, Nissan is still making new blocks for them, wow, so its competently new.

          The thing – is – the “Market” created these dynamics over decades ….

          Could go on but off to work on Ekka day … here in Qld … lol super spreader even … I’ll pass and make a buck …

    4. ChrisFromGA

      Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell has filed a Notice of Intent to Terminate Non-Enforcement Stipulation with the US District Court of MA to enforce the law

      Trying to cut through the legalese, does that mean that she is going to enforce the state law and tell the Feds to go pound sand? If so, that would be a heart-warming development.

    5. Wukchumni

      Seeing as car dealers had almost bupkis in terms of new inventory, how else could they make up for the difference in lack of new car sales?


      1. dougie

        They are training new car buyers to pre-order and then wait months for new vehicle. They have learned that having acres of new vehicles on dealership lots that have to be seriously discounted to sell is a bad business model. I am seeing dealer advertising stating that they will never go above sticker price on a new model. Sticker price is the new bottom line. They moved the goal posts again

        1. wilroncanada

          Right, dougie. My SIL, a few months ago, ordered a Rav 4 hybrid (I think). Delivery is expected sometime early in 2024 to Vancouver Island.

      2. Carolinian

        Thank you. Not that long ago I could drive past the local KIA dealer and see an empty lot except for the portasign saying “we buy cars.” The chip shortage disrupted everything and may still be doing so.

        Not pretending I know the real explanation but doubt it has anything to do with telematics or that Mass law.

    6. griffen

      Added onto all above comments with another anecdote of my own, circa October 2019 on a 2008 Accord when a cylinder went bad at roughly 170k miles. Managed to haul it to the Honda location without exploding, which is always a benefit. Repair of the one cylinder and replacement of spark plugs and since in Rome go ahead with replacement of timing belt and water pump, total of them repairs was $3,500. I’d be curious to know in today’s terms what the quote might amount to. 2008 Accord continues going well overall, mind you, and mileage is up to 217k miles. Maybe it’ll go another year or two and I am down to roughly 10,000 miles per year lately.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “‘Open Secret’ of CPR: It’s Usually Futile”

    ‘Roughly 85% “of those who receive it in a hospital die, their last moments marked by pain and chaos.’

    So does that mean that 15% get to eventually climb out of that bed instead of heading on down to a freezer box? Hey, if it was me on that bed, I’ll take those odds. A precordial thump, CPR, a witch doctor waving a thigh bone – whatever it takes man so that I can recover afterwards. And you have to be alive to recover. You start saying nah, it may not work so I won’t bother and then you are on the path of who lives and who dies judged by the amount of resources spent on each patient.

    1. anahuna

      “The force of compressions can shatter ribs and breastbones, puncture lungs, bruise the heart, and cause major blood vessels to rupture. Repeated electrical shocks can burn flesh. Even if the procedure restores a heartbeat, brain damage—whether mild memory loss or a vegetative state—occurs in forty per cent of hospitalized patients.​​“

      Given the choice. witch doctor waving a thigh bone sounds OK to me.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Broken ribs, breastbones, punctured lungs, bruised hearts and ruptured blood vessels you can recover from. Death you can’t. But all the list of what can go wrong sounds like the author is over-egging the pudding for dramatic effect. I have seen videos of what doctor’s have to do to people in surgery and it is brutal at times and verges on butchering but people do not think of that. Still, given a choice, I would opt for the witch doctor too if it worked. :)

        1. Watt4Bob

          I’ve heard that most doctors stipulate they not be resuscitated a la CPR.

          I believe the reasons cited were “poor outcomes” like brain damage.

          1. The Rev Kev

            You would think that a time limit would solve that problem as they would know how long they can keep it up until irreparable brain damage occurs. Just keep on trying but when they hit that time limit, then they just call it. Then off to the freezer you go.

        2. Kevin Smith MD

          Of the 15% who “survive”, I wonder how many walk out of the hospital, glad they had CPR? I would bet: not many.
          We need to refine our criteria for when it is [and is not] appropriate to do CPR, and thus improve the sensitivity and specificity of our selection criteria.

          1. britzklieg

            I’ve decided that, at age 67, I am going to let what takes me take me without intrusive medical intervention. I fear living on in a diminished capacity after undergoing life-saving measures far more than I fear death. If I were young and partnered or had children I might not have reached that conclusion, but honestly I can think of few better endings than a heart attack which takes me down, unexpectedly and quickly. Dealing with a less immediately fatal disease like cancer might be more difficult to reject, but in my mind I tell myself: let the problem run its course and enjoy the time left as much as possible. No disrespect to doctors and healthcare workers but the last thing I want is to get trapped, at the end of my life, in a cycle of endless, resource depleting testing, examinations and “treatments” that offer “hope” attached to life extending statistics of “success” which can never address the quality of the life saved because that can never be known. I’ll take hospice and a morphine pump over the alternative without any further contemplation. I’ve had a splendid life, one that now seems less and less usefully engaged in society. I don’t need to extend it into something that promises so much less. Is that selfish?

            Again, and honestly no disrespect for what you do to help people through so many issues that are not life ending, but at my age, and contrary to the established norm of doing exactly the opposite of what most elderly do, I just don’t go to doctors anymore.

            The issue is much trickier with slow moving tragedies like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. For such situations I believe I should have the right to choose when and how I end my life.

            1. semper loquitur

              This. What is the point of a debilitating treatment and compromised recovery, especially considering that the world is collapsing around us? Who wants to be infirm when the supply chains break down? Better to face one’s fate and enjoy what time you have left.

              1. John

                My sternum was broken from the ribs on the left side by CPR. Exactly what revived me beyond that I cannot tell you, but I am writing this, I am 87 years old, still a part time teacher, and I walk a mile every day. This happened 6-years ago.

                1. Sharron2

                  My husband was revived twice in one evening due to blood loss from an eroded artery 5 years ago. He has had Parkinson’s for 11 years and still functions at about 90% normal. He is still loving life and is happy to be here at 79.

        3. t

          This has been making the rounds and the main criticism, which occurred to me, a mere lay person, is that as a late-stage guy, his entire world view is people who are already critically ill – not people who had their first heart attack at the cheesecake factory or had some other sudden crisis. The survival rate is still very low and broken ribs are expected, but the even low odds of walking around next month versus 100% stay dead make for a chance worth taking.

          It does seem this is laying the groundwork for doing way less than you might is not hospital malpractice – even before palative care. In spirit, at least.

          My first CPR training was ages – back when the breathing was stilla thing. We were told then and in every class I’ve taken since that you are not all that likely to save a life and you are going to hurt the person.

          But I suppose people who watch TV still think CPR is like turning it off and turning it back on again.

          Pretty chummy with my orthopedic surgeon who has a sense of humor when telling a tale and I’ve seen surgery on pets and livestock and yes, it’s not dainty.

          Next I suppose we’ll hear the news that insulin doesn’t always allow diabetics to live completely normal lives, or that dialysis is usually only effective for so long….

          (Anecdotally, the three times I’ve see. CPR in the wild, it worked. Pretty sure firemen have life experience more in line with the statistics.)

        4. juno mas

          Being butchered by a surgeon (cardiac) while under anaesthesia is different than having your breastbone broken without it. BTDT. A cleanly sliced sternum under drugs took over a year of recovery. And I was considered a “horse” by the Doc. Can’t imagine what the recovery time would be for someone older.

    1. Benny Profane

      Just when you thought the neocons were stuck in the mud, Bolton says, hold my beer, and turns it up to 11.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Bolton only says the crap he does because he has a season-pass to a government underground nuclear bomb shelter. The rest of us muppets don’t.

        1. Wukchumni

          I am he as you are he as you are me
          And we are all neocons together
          See how they run like Quakers from a gun
          See how they fly
          I’m crying

          Standing on a soap box
          Waiting for the big war to come
          Corporation advert, stupid bloody Tuesday
          Man you’ve been a naughty boy
          You let your whiskers grow long

          I am the egg it on man
          They are the egg it on men
          I am the walrus mustache
          Goo goo g’joob

          Mister global policeman sitting
          Pretty little global policemen in a row
          See how they fly when Lucy grabs football on the sly, see how they run
          I’m crying, I’m crying
          I’m crying, I’m crying

          Yellow matter uranium cake custard
          Dripping from Colin Powell, aye
          Iraqi warwife, scornographic priest test
          Boy, you’ve been a naughty ploy, you didn’t let your backers down

          I am the egg it on man
          They are the egg it on men
          I am the walrus mustache
          Goo goo g’joob

          Sitting in a sink tank garden
          Waiting for more war to come
          If the war don’t come you gotta fan
          From standing on the sidelines with refrain

          I am the egg it on man (now good sir)
          They are the egg it on men (all rich man, made tame to fortune’s blows)
          I am the walrus mustache
          Goo goo g’joob, goo goo goo g’joob (good pity)

          Expert, textpert choking brokers
          Don’t you think the joker laughs at you (ho ho ho, hee hee hee, hah hah hah)
          See how they smile like pigs in a sty, see how they snide
          I’m crying

          Seminal plasma miasma
          Climbing up the ivory tower
          Elementary penguin singing I have more war wisha
          Man, you should have seen them kicking for more MIC dough

          I am the egg it on man
          They are the egg it on men
          I am the walrus mustache
          Goo goo g’joob, goo goo goo g’joob
          Goo goo g’joob, goo goo goo g’joob, goo
          Joob, joob, jooba
          Jooba, jooba, jooba
          Joob, jooba
          Joob, jooba

          Umpa, umpa, stick it up your jumper (jooba, jooba)
          Umpa, umpa, stick it up your jumper
          Everybody’s got one (umpa, umpa)
          Everybody’s got one (stick it up your jumper)
          Everybody’s got one (umpa, umpa)
          Everybody’s got one (stick it up your jumper)
          Everybody’s got one (umpa, umpa)
          Everybody’s got one (stick it up your jumper)
          Everybody’s got one (umpa, umpa)
          Everybody’s got one (stick it up your jumper)
          Everybody’s got one (umpa, umpa)
          Everybody’s got one (stick it up your jumper)
          Everybody’s got one (umpa, umpa)

          I am the Walrus, by the Beatles

          1. Wukchumni

            Thanks for the compliments~

            It flowed so easy, might have taken me 4 minutes to come to fruition.

        2. Jabura Basaidai

          listening to the RFK Jr Tucker interview and he stated that Bolton had secret service protection?? and they won’t provide it to RFK Jr??? sounds like a set-up………

          1. jrkrideau

            You know, I’ve been reading a lot of Kennedy as a vaccine denier which he is. I had not realized, and I should have, that he may be perfectly rational on other issues.

            He does need to distinguish between Vladivostok and Sevastopol. :)

    2. .Tom

      I think they keep him around for this purpose. If we are stewing, steaming, simmering or boiling mad at what he’s been saying lately then we are well distracted.

      1. rowlf

        If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers. –Thomas Pynchon

  4. griffen

    UBS is set to pay $1.4 billion of penalties to settle lawsuit related to the financial crisis. From the article and quoting the US attorney who said so, “The scope of the settlement should serve as a warning…of the significant penalties when corporations misrepresent vital information…”

    The scope of these settlements serves as an instruction manual. Break the rules, pay the toll long afterward and go on with your business. Just don’t do it again, we hold you to that promise ( sarc ).

    1. Pookah Harvey

      The $1.4 billion settlement against UBS brings to a close the final case brought by U.S. prosecutors investigating how banks’ conduct contributed to the crisis—specifically via the issuing of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).
      Oh by the way, UBS reported record profits in 2006 of $14 billion, up 19% from the previous year (adjusted for inflation equals $21 billion today).
      This “warning” I’m sure will teach them all a lesson.

  5. Pat

    There have been two major public health outright dereliction of duty incidents that are known for having put other concerns above public health and safety that are part of my life. One had huge consequences, one was more contained but has cost the government millions.
    Rather than shut down blood supplies, they ignored an obvious problem and told the public it was safe back in the eighties. And Christie Todd Whitman secured her retirement by opening up lower Manhattan and declaring there were no problems with the air. (Funny how I hear her voice whenever I read about the conditions in East Palestine). I am sure others here can name other instances.
    There are a whole lot of deaths, not to mention a rise in infectious diseases once thought near eradicated in this country. Everyone is very quick to pooh pooh any suggestion of a connection to Covid. There are ever more studies showing Covid attacks the immune system on multiple fronts. I lived through AIDS wiping out a major portion of the Gay community. I have seen this before, HIV itself was no big deal. They had to hunt for it. Covid is now something to live with. No big deal. But what both of those infections do to the immune system is a very big deal.
    Our system cannot handle a tenth of the population being immune compromised. Much less what the amount might end up being. Not even if most die quickly.
    Whistling in the dark is not going to cut it this time either.

    1. The Rev Kev

      On a side note, it is funny how the bookends of Fauci’s career are the AIDS pandemic back in the 1980s and the Covid pandemic of the 2020s – and he stuffed up both times but has never been held to account.

          1. MicaT

            I just talked to a friend who worked in San Francisco during that time. At the beginning of aids, Fauci was skeptical, but then he became the guy who was very much an advocate and did a lot of great science.
            Everyone can have their opinion, but in regards to the US and HIV/AIDS he really did good work.

            1. Sam

              No Fauci did not do really good work during the AIDS epidemic. I think you didn’t read the article about white washing AIDS just above. Remdisiver is today’s version of AZT. Both are known to be toxic and to cause more harm than good. Fauci should have been prosecuted for what he did back then.

              1. Barbara

                Right on the money, Sam. Fauci made Burroughs Welcome rich with AZT (wouldn’t allow any other drugs, milder that addressed the lungs) that he pulled with Pfizer’s vaccines. No other info allowed or else lose your career, etc.

            2. britzklieg

              Wrong. The attention seeking Larry Kramer who, beyond his ego did make an important difference politically, may have made peace eventually and publicly with Fauci, but I and many others who lost partners to AIDS didn’t.

              And I don’t remember Fauci being skeptical, he feigned concern early on, feigned being the operative word, and gained enormous power and obscene wealth in the process.

              Fauci? Pftt..

            3. Cassandra

              Beg to differ. Here is an account of Fauci’s efforts to discourage the use of Bactrim, a cheap, readily available, and effective treatment for PCP, the pneumonia that killed so many early AIDS patients.


              All he learned in the intervening decades was how to be more effective in discouraging the use of such drugs while waiting for a miraculous vaccine to appear.

        1. Milton

          Well for one, household contact can spread AIDS. even after it was widely known in the health community the disease’ spread was similar to hepatitis-being blood borne.
          claiming jurisdiction from the NIH (to NIAID) and granting near exclusivity to the development of AZT at the detriment of more promising therapies.

          A search of his near-criminal behavior will not be found via Google or DDG. You must use Yandex or any other non-western engine.

          1. S.D., M.D.

            Pretty sure Fauci was the one who told the hemophiliacs, who took pooled blood products not to worry. They all died.

        2. Lex

          To be fair to him, he did a fair amount of good for HIV/AIDS treatment and research after his initial response which including publishing statements like “the possibility that routine close contact, as within a family household, can spread the disease.” So he certainly helped fan the flames of Reagan’s moral panic. To what degree his improved response was based on him or the serious action of AIDS activists is probably debatable.

          1. S.D., M.D.

            Does pointing out that people could avoid HIV infection ALMOST ENTIRELY by not injecting drugs or having sex without a condom really count as “moral panic”?

        3. Pat

          Probably the fastest way to discover the less whitewashed history is to find contemporaneous articles and speeches by Larry Kramer, one of the founders of ACT UP. He was a fierce advocate and didn’t shrink from calling out the government response. Similar to Covid a whole lot of interests were more important to the government than people getting sick and dying.
          And Fauci was in the very center of it. His must find vaccines not finding treatments to help the already ill has form. And he didn’t learn. (Lying about masks because of possible shortages struck me as similar to the whole blood supply issue on a justification level. )

          But his being the wrong person in his position has been whitewashed.

        4. jefemt

          Anyone / everyone should read RFK, Jr’s book on Fauci and Gates, if nothing else the introduction and the first 100 or so pages. There is a LOT in there on both Covid and AIDS.

          Speaking of an informed electorate, folks also should read the 45-page Indictment US v Trump on Electioneering, Jan 6, and disenfranchisement. Four counts. Honest 45 minutes, but quite a bit of recent History for All Time.

          If America is Exceptional, then Trump is the Most Exceptional American, evah.

      1. Lex

        One of my uncles died of AIDS in the late 80’s, so I found it odd that my parents were such big supporters of Fauci during Covid.

        1. Barbara

          Read Celia Farber’s piece in Harper’s several years ago and you will see why Fauci, no just for lying, but for his profiteering should be on trial.

    2. jhallc

      Looking at the wastewater graph the floor between peaks has been rising since 6/2021. That’s troubling and my guess is that represents to some degree the long haulers with covid. One commenter here recently suggested, a butt swab as a way to test for the residual virus. We are so bent over.

  6. Henry Moon Pie

    Against the Eugenicons–

    A must-read indeed. A key paragraph:

    Beyond partisan politics lies civilizational politics. In this century, the ultimate struggle will be between the religious and secular heirs of the Abrahamic tradition of ethical monotheism, on one side, and the believers in eugenics, transhumanism, and other pseudoscientific new faiths, on the other.

    Civilizational politics is worldview politics. I’ve been calling this a battle between Gattaca and Handmaid’s Tale. We need a third option because neither of these will get us anywhere. Both are dystopic. How about a worldview that combines human humility with awe not for some god that’s a human projection but for the planet on which we and the rest of life on Earth evolved and were nurtured?

    One bit of irony that runs throughout this piece is how the elites consider themselves superior and especially suited to rule. It’s true that they’re living the good life, but is it really wise to run things into the ground the way our elites insist on doing?

    1. flora

      Yep. We need both science and the humility to know we are not god, and best to not try playing god. (That’s my Captain Obvious comment for the day. / ;)

      “So now class is due to DNA and the poors are irredeemable. ” Sounds like Social Darwinism to me. / ;)

      1. Lexx

        You would think the sad end of the late John Holmes would give them pause. He died back in 1988 of HIV at age 43. Endowed like a god (‘King of a 1000 Pornos’), yet clearly not immortal or super intelligent, he seemed to be an ordinary enough bloke in every other respect. Then HIV was still considered a gay problem… those hedonists!… but within a few years, everyone’s problem. The things revealed about human sexuality and what your neighbors might be getting up to when that closet door was flung open to save lives.

        We keep resurrecting Social Darwinism no matter what facts come along to burn it down again. A phoenix is a magic creature that rises from its own ashes, we humans sprinkle our dead beliefs with fairy dust so they can comfort us one more time. Wasn’t Dumbledore’s familiar a phoenix*?

        *Disclaimer: I have zero interest or emotional attachment to the sexual orientation of that fictional character or 99.999999% of live humans. I’d write ‘100%’ but it’s like saying you’re an atheist, it’s almost immediately challenged followed by a duel at dawn.

        1. flora

          yep. In line with we humans resurrecting magic creatures or ideas there is this, from a longer Matt Taibbi article, about the new division in politics that is not the old right vs left, it’s the new division between the affluent and everyone else.

          Historically aristoricats lose it when their weird affectations outweigh their educational advantages, when they start buggering rare animals or amassing giant hose collections or falling into crackpot cults they then impose on the populace. The American variants already sound like aristocrats (who uses words like deplorable without irony?), and have a habit of believing things ordinary people instinctively find ridiclous. They’re also enamored with the same mystical nonsense that captivated historical predecessors, with rich white co-eds gobbling up Ibram Kendi texts the way guilt-ridden Russian nobles lined up for the purifying touch of Rasputin. Their “experts” even gather in places like Davos to concoct Swiftian parodies of upper-class condescension, like the WEF’s amazing “Let them eat bugs!” plan. On top of everything, they deny a class angle to their problems.

          1. Lexx

            I may have to start reading Taibbi again, it appears he hasn’t entirely lost his famous sense of humor after all.

            As ironic uses of a word go, ‘plucky’ holds a special place in my heart. Read just this morning, hours later still funny.

          2. Bill Malcolm

            flora, may I say that for me that was a brilliant little rant. Says so much in so few words. I’m on board with your take.

    2. Daniil Adamov

      Agreed that both of those alternatives are deeply inadequate. Here in Russia both of these ideologies are quite popular among the very educated, although the state is firmly on the “civilisational” side for the moment. A pox on both their houses. Though as far as the third alternative goes, I’d settle for a humanistic approach that puts human lives and wellbeing above both “civilisational” and “progressive” abstract ideals. (There is an understandably seldom-used but IMHO valuable Russian word for it, chelovekosberezheniye, or “preservation of humans”.) If approached with even a modicum of realism, that would necessitate a more considerate approach towards the environment anyway. Ignoring the problems there or pretending we can brute force them would not be helpful for either lives or wellbeing.

    3. Steve H.

      >> “Even in a world without any social advantages based on class background, you would expect rich kids to be overrepresented at Harvard and [the University of North Carolina], because qualities like intelligence and conscientiousness are highly heritable.

      > Sherri Tepper: See. The word Festival. In the Onomasticon it carries the meaning ‘opportunity for reproduction.’ We talk of School House, but the book says, ‘Protection of Genetic Potential.’

      > MALCOLM: I’m simply saying that the Cognitive Elite – – finds a way.

    4. DJG, Reality Czar

      Henry Moon Pie: What strikes me as especially hair-raising about Lind’s article is how current his sources are. He is quoting people writing now, not Herbert Spencer and Galton and other nineteenth-century luminaries with lunatical views.

      I note this: “It was they who provided the endowments, the leadership, and the volunteer advocacy to stave off what they saw as the displacement or pollution of the Anglo-Saxon-Nordic-Aryan American race by Jews, Irish, Italians, blacks, Mexicans, and assorted other allegedly inferior groups.”

      I have to admit that a minor “push factor” for me in my recent move, my being a part of one of these subhuman categories, is the chance to return to a country of subhumans.

      The mania for classification, which I note throughout Lind’s essays, is murderous. Americans classify each other racially by sight: It’s the daily dose of apartheid. And no amount of protesting will persuade me otherwise: Classifying by race is second nature to Americans. Status comes from race.

      As to being rescued by “Abrahamic” religions. Yeah sure. I’ll refer commenters to today’s link about the Yazidis, who are not “Abrahamic.” And I’ll keep my eye on the Franciscan movement, which is Catholicism that isn’t hierarchical. Plus Buddhism.

      But do I expect U.S. Calvinists to have anything productive to say about ending eugenics and discrimination? Come on. I wasn’t born again, and not yesterday, either.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Lind’s tracing of the heart of eugenicists to New England tends to point the finger at the nasty mix of Anglo culture and Calvinism. Boston Brahmins, the Cabots and Lodges, etc.

        It will be a trick to completely assimilate this racial fetish into the current Democrat Party given that its answer to inequality is to leave it in place but make sure that the corporate boards and halls of Congress are suitably diverse. It will probably be necessary to de-racialize the genetics and instead find “anti-social genes” that can establish a new, rainbow (in the Jesse Jackson sense) hierarchy.

        1. flora

          Fortunes were made in Boston with the slave trade. Some of Harvard’s earliest wealthy donors made their fortunes in the slave trade. Their “religion” and “culture” was money. / ;)

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            The old musical “1776” did a pretty good job with that. And when they weren’t trading slaves, they were burning witches. There’s not only a Sackler Museum at Harvard; there’s also a Mather House.

            1. britzklieg

              And there’s the Frick Museum, the Carnegie Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, etc, etc…

            2. LifelongLib

              FWIW, witchcraft was a felony in England and New England. Convicted witches there were hanged, not burned. I don’t have stats at hand but IIRC most of the accused in the Salem witch trials were acquitted. This was at a time when the vast majority of people believed in witchcraft and its power to harm, and some actually practiced it.

              The link you provided for (Increase) Mather shows him in a much more complicated role than is usually ascribed to him.

        2. begob

          Before the convenience of Darwin’s concept of selection, God’s providence was the method of choice among Anglo supremacists. Lind doesn’t mention it.

          Together now: All things bright and beautiful … tra la la la la.

    5. Carolinian

      between Gattaca and Handmaid’s Tale.

      I’m not sure battle of the strained Hollywood fantasies is very relevant although perhaps it does represent the point of view from your quote.

      And that’s really the problem. The elites think we are in some civilizational battle when it’s really the same thing on both sides pretending to be different. If our elites really believed in meritocracy then their heroes certainly wouldn’t be Joe Biden or Pelosi or George W. Bush giving them a thrill up the leg. We are tribal creatures and that’s baked in the cake. The dirty secret of our current meritocrats is that they simply don’t have much merit.

      The world does need a huge dose of humility and fast.

      1. Carolinian

        Just to add–having now had time to read the article–that he’s both saying something not that controversial (who defends eugenics now days?) and also perhaps not quite enough. Obviously there is something called IQ or else how to account for someone like Oppenheimer who graduated from Harvard in three years. And yet while reportedly personable and popular among his peers, Oppie led a somewhat neurotic life with his chain smoking, the drunk for a wife and a daughter who–shockingly–hung herself in his St John beach cottage following two marriages and her parents long gone. Something was missing there with Oppenheimer.

        So there are many forms of intelligence and IQ measures only one of them. Life experience may be one of the highest forms and our “lower” classes have that in abundance.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          The connection between pattern recognition and symbol manipulation on the one hand and wisdom on the other is tenuous at best. These days, it might be an inverse relationship after the “gifted” have undergone elite socialization.

          Perhaps I should have included the line immediately following the quote:

          The former will be disproportionately working-class and possess fewer educational credentials, and the latter will be disproportionately wealthy and powerful and schooled at prestigious universities.

          So Lind doesn’t see this as a meaningless, intra-elite fight. The adherents of the old civilization are primarily Obama’s clingers with the most elite being Randy Newman’s

          No-neck oilmen from Texas, good ol’ boys from Tennessee,
          College men from LSU, went in dumb, come out dumb too,
          Hustlin’ round ‘Lanta with their alligator shoes,
          Gettin’ drunk on the weekends at the barbecues.

          You seem to think that all this culture war stuff is just cover. It seems to me that there are starkly different visions for our future, and that’s what Lind is saying. It’s about more than meritocracy or even class.

          1. Carolinian

            And what I’m opining is that it’s the same old crap it has always been. Of course the lucky sperm club have to pretend to some sort of divine right or the equivalent. We are after all man the rationalizing animal.

            George Bernard Shaw in Pygmailion made the joke that just by changing accents Liza becomes a duchess and in America–formerly–the joke was practically true. All powerful Hollywood mogul Louis B. Mayer started out as a junk hauler.

            So if we want to have any kind of future on our increasingly crowded planet we may need to cut the BS and realize that we are all a lot more alike than we are different. IMHO. As Putin would say it’s all about the multi-polarity.

          2. Procopius

            More people should read Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man. The IQ test was created to help therapists diagnose severely retarded patients. Although it has been found to correlate quite well with white Europeans’ success in school, using it as a measure of social value is dubious.

        2. begob

          Yes, there’s lots of making-stuff-up and finger-pointing. “Look at the stupid ideals of those folk. I’ve got a bunch of less stupid ideals, and you can help me impose them.”

          On life experience, Lind doesn’t consider shared sense of humour, which – short of physical intimacy – is about as real as people get with each other.

    6. anahuna

      I venture that within the Abrahamic faiths (not an adherent, sometimes a sympathizer), burdened with the fossilized residue of past power struggles, there is still room for an also residual but ever renewable sense of awe. The recognition of the immeasurable and incomprehensible.

      Can’t say I’ve noticed it among the transhumanists. More as if they assume they have transcended that.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        The transhumanists are in awe of what humans have fashioned. They talk about AI as a god capable of solving problems we can’t solve. I think there’s another old story in the Hebrew bible about that worship of what humans have made.

        My problem with monotheism these days is that it’s essentially casting a human in the role of master of the universe. That makes the god quite relatable (“Oh Father, Oh Jesus”), but it’s an invitation to hubris as well. And hubris is not just a problem of the transhumanists.

        What strikes me as awe inspiring is this amazing capacity on this planet of overcoming the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Life continues to get more diverse and more complex despite that tendency to disorganization. I’ve finally learned to appreciate how amazing it is that life recolonizes the bare and the burned. And we’re the product of that process. If there’s not something awe inspiring about all that, even a built-in divinity, then I don’t know what would be.

        Or we could just worship Patrick Mahomes. ;)

    7. albrt

      “How about a worldview that combines human humility with awe not for some god that’s a human projection but for the planet on which we and the rest of life on Earth evolved and were nurtured?”

      This is a pretty good description of the Archdruid’s project at his new website. Not sure how it’s going – a lot of his writing is still very good, but the signal to noise ratio in the comments got so poor I had to stop reading them. At least he moved the covid-denial stuff to a separate thread on his dreamwidth site.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          As to why people would think such a project to be important, here’s a recent lecture by Robin Dunbar, evolutionary psychologist and anthropologist who’s known for the “Dunbar number.” It’s about the evolutionary and social function of religion. Making it even more interesting is that it was given to the UK Humanists.

          Dunbar’s main point is that humans are social as are all primates, but as groups become larger, the stresses increase. He shows a graph plotting group size versus homicides–these are among still existent hunter-gatherers. The earliest forms of religion, which were animistic, tamped down these stresses and benefited the groups that practiced them. As humans gathered into villages, creating more stresses because of all that togetherness, religions became more complex, particularly by adding laws “dropped from above.” As civilization began and became more complex, the Axial Age came along and the world’s major religions were all born.

          Dunbar presents religion as the glue that holds societies together, and that’s what all these people are looking for in their work: a new glue to replace the old which seems to be dissolving.

          1. Kouros

            We had, as humans, so many tens of thousands of years to deeply socialize, as hunter gaderers and then slowly, slowly as agriculturalists, that Dunbar’s story seems utterly simplistic.

            Hunter gatherers likely had annual meeings where much, much larger groups gathered, information and goods and bloodlines were exchanged. Lots of stories by the fire.

          2. eg

            This. Religion is adaptive by allowing for circles of mutual trust beyond kin groupings, and under competitive pressure between competing groups, size matters. Hence the relative dominance of states featuring the “universal” religions as opposed to the tribal ones.

  7. DJG, Reality Czar

    Given that the rest of the links are either crazy or distressing or both, I’ll point you to The Protectors of a 7,000 Year Old Faith, about the Yazidis and the holy city of Lalish.

    The complexity of religious belief in the Middle East often gets overlooked, conveniently, in the U S of A. There are many unorthodox groups in Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. (I am reminded of the Turkish Alevi, who also are mystical and distinctive, and whom the central government has occasionally bombed.)

    Intriguing photos. The description of lighting 365 olive-oil lamps is wonderful: The tree of life giving life and light each day of the year.

    Those who read Italian can take a look at two graphic novels by the esteemed Zerocalcare that tell his stories of traveling in Kurdish regions. Kobane Calling is about Rojava. No Sleep Till Shengal is about his travel to a Yazidi city recovering from massacres by ISIS.

    Curiously, or not so curiously, Kobane Calling was once available in English, but the translation seems to have fallen off the Earth. Natch, No Sleep Till Shengal isn’t available in English.

    1. dougie

      At the end of the day, they are all just God-botherers, whether 7,000 years old or 7 weeks old. I have a strong mistrust of both, and all points in between.

    2. The Rev Kev

      That image of those clay pots of oil sitting piled together almost looked like Roman amphoras except theirs has three handles. I guess that they were able to improve the design over the past two thousand years.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Abzug aus Afghanistan: Warum das die Welt noch gefährlicher machte T-online”

    Machine translation: ‘That was a serious mistake by the US’

    Human translation: ‘There is no more opium coming out of Afghanistan anymore and we are missing out on our cut.’

    I don’t know what they are complaining about. All that happened is that the money laundering operation moved from Afghanistan to the Ukraine. You think that they would be grateful as it is much closer.

    1. Wukchumni

      M T-G is my heroine addiction and people like to talk smack about her…

      Initially when the Palinstinian Movement frittered away after our doyen took it sitting down, many felt she was irreplaceable but it turns out while they aren’t quite a Dime a dozen, more like 2 for 1.

    1. The Rev Kev

      From memory, the National Guard did not turn up until past five in the evening, even though events were being shown live on every TV station. An official inquiry would have led to learning the names of who was telling them to stand down but we all know that the preset DoJ would never do that as they might accidentally uncover the truth. So I guess that the idea is to shuffle around a few assets in DC’s National Guard to show that they are doing something. But since they still cannot agree on the chain of command for these units, nothing important will change.

        1. Milton

          What’s the point? It’s like laying out the global warming facts to climate-Deniers
          They will just put their fingers in their ears and scream nyah, nyah, nyah. Liberals (non-leftists) are a hopeless cause.

      1. Pat

        There was an interview with some low level National Guardsmen after the fact. They were on the record about the fact that not only were they not deployed in a manner consistent with the events of the day after the riot started, their orders at the start of the day weren’t even consistent with SOP for other protests considered to be no threat. I haven’t found it again, but that was my first indication this wasn’t just a failure on the day.

        Now that the former Capitol Police Chief has a book and his emails and texts of the day, they are trying to cover.

        1. some guy

          It sounds like whomever was making the decisions about how to deploy the Guard that day was trying to LIHOP the Capitol Riot. Did that deployment decision-maker do that on his/her own or was he/she under orders from even higher to deploy the Guard in such a way as to make sure the LIHOP happened?

  9. Skip Intr0

    We have Caitlin Johnstone and a shot at Nuland in the links, but not Caitlin’s shot at Nuland, in the form of a poem:

    Victoria Nuland has gone to Africa.

    Victoria Nuland has gone to Africa.
    Gone to Africa to talk some sense into the Nigeriens
    and convince them to return to the shackles of Paris.
    Gone to Africa to harvest blood diamonds and cobalt.
    Gone to Africa to masturbate on Gaddafi’s grave.
    Gone to Africa to trade glass beads for slaves.

    Victoria Nuland has gone to Africa
    to help the bank boys keep their dicks in the mother continent,
    to help keep the siphon tubes stuck into the mother continent,
    to help keep the Russians and Chinese out of the mother continent.
    Traveling around the mother continent in the mask of a medieval plague doctor,
    collecting the fat leeches and replacing them with new ones.

    The AFRICOM emblem looks like a vagina,
    and Victoria Nuland looks like an involuntary pelvic exam.
    She makes me feel like a lost kid in a cornfield at dusk.
    She has mushroom clouds in her eyes.

    Soon Victoria will leave Africa and go home,
    back to the land where corporations are people and flags are gods,
    where the presidents have dementia and the poor have college degrees,
    where alienation flows like water and bullet casings fall like rain,
    where people wear airpods to mute the screams of their hearts and the homeless,
    where the middle class talk only to their Uber drivers and strangers they’ve mistaken for their Uber drivers,
    where soldiers march for fascism while flying rainbow flags,
    where war is a lucrative industry and journalism is a crime.

    She’ll come home to a house that no millennial will ever be able to afford,
    into the loving embrace of her blood-spattered husband.
    They will make freakish, horrifying love that night,
    and she will fall asleep and dream of passing out cookies
    while the world turns to fire.

    I had a dream, too.
    One of the strange ones that always come true.
    A pentagon was smashed to pieces by a giant black fist.
    I don’t know what it means
    or what future it portends,
    but I do know Victoria Nuland
    wasn’t passing out any damn cookies.

    1. Feral Finster

      All that need be done is to keep Trump defending a plethora of different criminal cases in as many jurisdictions as possible to wear him down until some prosecutor somewhere obtains a conviction on any pretext, in which case the MSM will chorus as one voice that Justice Has Been Served.

      Everybody knows it’s so much BS, but it won’t matter.

      1. Mildred Montana

        “…some prosecutor somewhere obtains a conviction on any pretext…”

        Imho, prosecutors in any upcoming trial will be lucky to get a conviction regardless of evidence or pretext. Twelve men (and women) good and true ain’t always so. Jury nullification* is a distinct possibility. Remember the famous O.J. Simpson trial of 1994. The jury made racism the issue, ignored all evidence, and rendered its Not Guilty verdict after an hour of “deliberation”.

        Any prosecutor will have to be very careful with jury selection and if the defense does its job and strikes what it deems prosecution-friendly jurors anything can happen. Moreover, all Trump needs is one hold-out at any trial anywhere and the jury is hung.

        *From Wiki: Jury nullification (US/UK), jury equity (UK), or a perverse verdict (UK) occurs when the jury in a criminal trial gives a not guilty verdict regardless of whether they believe a defendant has broken the law. The jury’s reasons may include the belief that the law itself is unjust, that the prosecutor has misapplied the law in the defendant’s case, that the punishment for breaking the law is too harsh, or general frustrations with the criminal justice system. Some juries have also refused to convict due to their own prejudices in favor of the defendant. Such verdicts are possible because a jury has an absolute right to return any verdict it chooses.

  10. bassmule

    Biden family values:

    Biden apparently selected Harris largely because of an expected comfort level based on her close working relationship with his late son, Beau, when they were both state attorneys general.

    Biden showed continued support for Harris in a campaign fundraising pitch last week, stating that “picking Kamala as my eventual vice president was one of the best decisions I made as a presidential nominee.” He called Harris “the perfect choice,” asserting he had been impressed by her “fighting tooth and nail for what’s right.”

    But that isn’t how many remember Harris as California’s attorney general. She tended to avoid stands on politically tough issues.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I saw an example of Biden’s values earlier. So a reporter asked him to comment on the rising death toll in Maui and he turned around and said ‘No. No comment.’ and climbed into a car ignoring any other questions. People have already compared it to how he wants to give the Ukraine a further $24 billion and it is not a good look. Any experienced politician would have given a stock standard ‘thoughts and prayers’ sound byte but it looked like he could not be bothered (8 secs)

      1. Pat

        Not that I don’t believe that Biden is a calloused sociopath, but I think this was more about his other little problem.

        I don’t know how the staff will play it, but I have no doubt he didn’t have a clue. My first reaction was he probably doesn’t realize Maui is in America, (Maui…Mali) but the reporters said Hawaii. He had a serious deer in the headlights look and he was shoved in the car pretty fast.

        No matter why, he just lost Hawaii.

        1. Feral Finster

          Hawaii is as reliable a Team D state as any.

          Biden could order the Hawaii National Guard to lynch wildfire survivors who didn’t have shelter already lined up (“Solved the problem right there, Jack!”) and Hawaii would still vote 65% Team D in 2024.

        2. Ranger Rick

          The odd thing is that he actually came out to visit when half of greater Boulder Colorado burned in a wildfire last year. I was at Maui a few months ago, and out of the many sights to see, the local aquarium had an exhibit dedicated to how the US government has mistreated the island. This is not going to make him any friends.

        3. marym

          Whether whatever FEMA is doing is what’s really needed, or enough of it (history says likely not), they are there. I don’t usually weigh in on the diagnoses, but if he did have a clue, he should at least be able to come up with some boiler plate blather about it.

        4. wilroncanada

          He simply assumed the Mau Mau were on the move again in Africa. That is Africa, a ‘country’ he knows all about.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Biden selected her because he made a promise to pick a black woman expecting not to be held accountable. He was interviewing candidates days before the convention. Biden couldn’t conceive he would be held accountable, and Harris is simply the only elected black woman with politics close to Biden’s.

  11. Mikel

    This fits in with recent conversations:

    “…Other factors have contributed to the heightened tensions between TSMC and union workers. In June, The American Prospect spoke with workers who said injuries and safety violations were common on the construction site.

    “It’s easily the most unsafe site I’ve ever walked on,” said Luke Kasper, a representative of the sheet metal workers union.

    TMSC has denied these allegations…”

    I guess those “trainers” TMSC wants to bring in would help train how comply with safety violations.

    The article didn’t seem to have all of the debate going on with the situation. They didn’t have quotes of TMSC elaborating on what they were after.

  12. mrsyk

    Meanwhile, somewhere in Kansas….. some details around the sketchy police raid on the small town newspaper Marion County Record.
    98 yo Joan Meyer was still actively contributing (in small ways, commensurate with her age, to the paper’s content. The raid on her home occurred on Friday. She died early in the afternoon on Saturday. Her obituary can be found at The Wichita Eagle, titled “A whole lot of history’ dies with newspaper veteran Joan Meyer after police raid”

    The raid was conducted by all five members of the Marion Police Department along with two members of the sheriffs department. Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody was hired this past April after 24 years on the Kansas City Police Force. According to a piece titled “Police illegally search small-town Kansas newspaper, triggering death of 98-year-old owner”, published on the World Socialist Web Site, “The full story has yet to emerge, but Eric Meyer has confirmed that the paper received reports that before he was hired last spring to head the Marion Police Department, Cody had been forced to retire as a captain in Kansas City, Missouri, due to sexual misconduct allegations. Those reports, which the paper had not published, were contained on the computers that were seized.”

    According to numerous article, there was a beef between the Record and local restauranteur Kari Newell. This caught my eye. According to an editorial titled “Raid on Kansas newspaper is an intolerable overreach by police”, published by the Wichita Eagle, “An affidavit justifying the warrant is being withheld by County Attorney Joel Ensey, whose brother owns the hotel where Newell has her restaurant.”

    Here’s a link to Joan Meyer’s obituary in the Wichita Eagle. I wish I’d known her.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Can Washington pivot from its maximalist aims in Ukraine?”

    What it really means is Biden and his cohort. But honestly speaking, I don’t think that they can. Biden, Nuland, Blinken, etc. are all too emotionally wrapped up in the campaign to destroy Russia, not matter the consequences. And Biden needs the win for next year’s Presidential election. It would be bad enough to be tagged with the label ‘The Man Who Lost Afghanistan’ but to be also called ‘The Man Who Also Lost the Ukraine’ will be intolerable to him. I think that he sees himself as always winning and immune to all consequences. And his history suggests that this might even be true. Will he escalate? Yes. Will it go to nukes? No. But do not be surprised to see events unfold where shooting breaks out between Russians and Americans. Just the other day an American aircraft lit up Russian fighters with their radar over Syria which is one step short of missile lock. And to make matters worse, he is going out of his way to pick a fight with China as well while alienating the Global majority. Rough waters ahead. Kamala could do us all a favour and leave a few marbles on the staircase at the White House.

    1. Feral Finster

      Even if Biden & Co were at some point to decide that enough is enough (they haven’t and are nowhere near doing so), Team R would pounce, bewailing the coddling of dictators, most piteously bemoaning the plight of Ukrainians and calling on the ghost of Winston Churchill.

      1. John k

        Trump certainly has problems but he’s the nom apparent, and 71% of reps want to stop funding Ukraine, plus majority of indies. More war in Ukraine is a losing issue in rep land, maybe top reps won’t be all that gung-ho to do mic bidding… first rule of politics is to be re-elected. And reps already tied to the abortion millstone.

      2. britzklieg

        “…the ghost of Winston Churchhill” and remembering that he wanted, openly, to nuke Moscow a la Hiroshima after the armistice.

        Behind the hagiography there is a more complete understanding of the true nature in all humans, even the anonymous and uncelebrated but especially the powerful ones. People easily recall Lord Acton’s “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” but few know the extended thoughts attached to it:

        “Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and the negation of Liberalism meet and keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means.”

  14. spud

    the problem with the new world order UK/Singapore article is that they use useless hijacked economic metrics that does not include the real economic and political conditions of the deplorable. only shows how healthy oligarch controlled markets are.

    singapore did not get rich under free trade, they got rich under GATT. small countries will simply have to go back to what actually got them there in the first place.

    yes this is going to be very painful, but so was gutting standards of living world wide, and the creation of a all powerful ruling oligarchy, that is using war to cling to international power.

    the rebellion against free trade just did not come out of thin air as some sort of anomaly, it came from real world conditions.

    what should be really discussed is that free trade was not a win win, as the hucksters sold it as, but that in reality it was lose lose for almost everyone except a tiny few.

    no matter how much teeth gnashing the free traders will do to try to influence the deplorable that free trade was good for them, and that its their lying eyes not the free traders reality that is causing all of them impoverishment, indebtedness and becoming third world, or worse, third world is becoming a dystopian hell holes.

    the world is rebelling against free trade because its unworkable, except if you are rich. time for the blame cannons to be aimed where they belong. lets talk about the losers under free trade, that number is huge.

        1. spud

          its free of sovereignty, till the military is needed, or sanctions. as bill clinton was asked why only the rich and corporations were writing these free trade agreements, and no one else was allowed, obama even made the agreements in secret from government officials. his response is that they did not want anyone or anything to impede trade, like labor rights, or environment rights.

          so free trade is managed as you all say, managed by the rich, not the sovereignty of the people and their representatives.

          that’s what the free in free trade really is.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            There has never been free trade. Foreign companies selling in the US are subject to customs requirements and must meet product labeling and product safety rules. Any pharmaceuticals and medical devices must meet US standards. Same for cars vis as vis emission standards. The fact that we like to talk about free trade does not mean that is the system in place.

            I am not approving any more comments along these lines. It’s Making Shit Up and a violation of our site Policies.

            1. some guy

              After two or more years of discussing freeh trayed without warning or incident, we are told that there has never been freeh trayed (ree speld to avoid possible new triggers).

              Should we use a different word or phrase for what we have been talking about?
              Neoliberal permissive trayed or permissive global trayed or some other such phrase?

    1. SocalJimObjects

      Singapore nowadays just seems like two Sovereign Wealth Funds with a country attached. Total AUM across their SWFs is more than 1 Trillion USD, while the GDP is less than 500 Billion USD.

    2. Victor Sciamarelli

      Free trade only exists in theory. If you go back to Adam Smith’s day, talk of free trade likely meant trade exclusively within the British Empire as in trade between British England and British India or China. Trade is a transaction; what do I get and what do you get? And if you’re in control of both sides of the transaction, I guess that’s about as free as it gets.
      Free Trade agreements, as in NAFTA, are something else. NAFTA was not intended to hurt American workers. It was intended to hurt all workers. Producing a product has multiple steps such as manufacturing the components and assembly which NAFTA allowed to be moved outside the country and then reimport the finished product “freely” back into the US as if it were produced in the US.
      Corn is a Mexican staple. Mexico subsidized corn products at the retail level making corn products like tortillas affordable. It’s my understanding, NAFTA banned retail subsidies but not producer subsidies. The US subsidized its agricultural sector which allowed the US to export corn to Mexico or rice to India and sell it cheaper than even the poorest farmers in those countries, driving many of them off their land.
      Free trade is better labeled investor enhancement trade agreements.

      1. some guy

        Thank you. That is a partial answer to my question just above. But that is a long phrase which ordinary everyday people might not ever want to use. Whereas ordinary people know what they mean by “free trade”. Maybe they even know it when they see it even if they can’t technically define it, just like that Supreme Court Justice who couldn’t necessarily define obscenity, but knew it when he saw it.

        So could there be a handier more public-friendly phrase for it than ” investor enhancement trade agreements”? Perhaps we should continue using the agreement-makers’ own phrase for them . . . Free Trade Agreements . . . and turn that phrase into even more of a curse phrase and a trigger for public hatred than it is already becoming?

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            If a trade agreement isn’t free, is it designed and dictated to institutionalize rules for those who already have the gold? And if so — well, it’s a bit long and awkward, but what about calling it a BPFTA . . . Bought and Paid For Trade Agreement?

  15. Tim

    For the young american’s dying faster article:
    “Life insurance data suggests something happened in the fall of 2021 in workplaces, especially among white-collar workers. These are people whose education, income level and access to health care would predict better outcomes.”
    Isn’t that about the time many white collar started going back to work and started taking masks off?

    It could also be that there is a lag in long covid induced death of a year or so.

  16. Tim

    When the US juggernaut was about to overtake the British empire were there so many articles in Britain about how all the bad things happening in the US would hinder it’s economy like we see in our news about China today?

    I realize that was pre information age, but still. I think we need to stop providing self reassuring articles that China is doomed, and instead move on to the panic stage of working feverishly as individuals, companies and government to compete at the level China is now capable of competing at.

  17. Yves Smith Post author

    Thanks but, I am never being responsible a car again. New cars are unacceptable because full of spyware. And here no one drives electric cars here so no charging stations, among other issues. 13,300 total v. total registered cars of over 20 million.

  18. Glen

    I’m actually a pretty big Sandisk and Western Digital fanboy, but it looks like one should avoid the USB SSDs for a while:

    SanDisk’s silence deafens as high-profile users say Extreme SSDs still broken

    My current PC has almost all Western Digital/Sandisk hard drives and NVME storage, and I have not had any problems (two of the hard drives are over ten years old, and still have not reported any faults via SMART). So I’m not sure what is going on.

  19. Young

    In BBC article, Osman the 1st was given credit for Yazidi genocide.

    But, Osman the 1st ruled a land, probably as large as New Jersey state, a thousand kilometers away from the Yazidi land.

    It just doesn’t make sense. But, it is good enough to receive sympathy from those who do not know geography and history.

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