Links 8/16/2023

How Rocks and Minerals Play with Light to Produce Breathtaking Colors JSTOR Daily

A Great Lakes Road Trip for Rust-Belt Steel Field & Stream

Pimco flickers back to life FT. The deck: “Bonds Are Really Back And Really Elegant, Lavish, Likeable Assets.” Hmm. “Gentleman prefer bonds” –Elmore Leonard.

Today’s investors don’t understand the impact of geopolitics FT

What Wall Street’s Top Recession Gauge Is Saying Now WSJ. The inverted yield curve.

Is good economic news really all that surprising? Sam Ro, TKer


The scourge of climate doomism FT

Has the smoke made you forgetful? Wildfire Today

* * *

Maui Fires, Lahaina and Hurricane Katrina Erik Zimerman, My Publication

Hawaiian Electric slapped with 3 lawsuits after deadly wildfires Axios

* * *

Improving climate and biodiversity outcomes through restoration of forest integrity Conservation Biology. From the Abstract: “Although the importance of forest restoration for climate mitigation is acknowledged, current estimates of its climate mitigation potential may be underestimated because they focus predominantly on reforesting cleared areas. We built on recent analyses of forest integrity and unrealized forest biomass potential to examine the potential for restoring the integrity of degraded forests. There are over 1.5 billion ha of forests worldwide that retain 50–80% of their potential biomass. Prioritizing restoration in these areas could deliver rapid biodiversity and climate mitigation benefits, relative to restoring forest on cleared land.” The augmentation of the complexity and intensity of the field of intelligent life.

Impact of Climate on the Global Capacity for Enhanced Rock Weathering on Croplands Advancing Earth and Space Sciences. From the Abstract: “Enhanced rock weathering (ERW) on croplands has emerged as an economically and ecologically promising negative emissions technology…. However, we find that a significant fraction of applied basalt does not weather even on a multidecadal timescale, indicating the need to optimize application strategies for cost effectiveness. We find that ERW becomes modestly more effective with global warming and predict that the payback period for a given ERW deployment is significantly shorter in hot and humid environments currently coinciding with relatively low per-capita incomes. These results provide strong impetus for investment in agricultural reform in developing economies and highlight an additional potential co-benefit of ERW.”


‘This is going to get worse before it gets better’: Panama Canal pileup due to drought reaches 154 vessels CNBC

Western states will not lose as much Colorado River water in 2024, despite long-term challenges AP


CDC HICPAC to decide infection control guidelines Teams Human. Round-up on the forthcoming August 22 meeting where the major hospitals driving the Committee plan to downgrade infection control guidance, including masks. On HICPAC, see NC here, here, and here.

* * *

Extended SARS-CoV-2 RBD booster vaccination induces humoral and cellular immune tolerance in mice iScience (Ignacio). December 2022. From the Abstract: “The repetitive applications of vaccine boosters have been brought up in face of continuous emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants with neutralization escape mutations, but their protective efficacy and potential adverse effects remain largely unknown. … Mechanistically, we confirmed that extended vaccination with [recombinant receptor binding domain (RBD)] boosters overturned the protective immune memories by promoting adaptive immune tolerance. Our findings demonstrate potential risks with the continuous use of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine boosters, providing immediate implications for the global COVID-19 vaccination enhancement strategies.” Read in conjunction with–

Omicron neutralisation: RBD-dimer booster versus BF.7 and BA.5.2 breakthrough infection (correspondence) The Lancet. From the Abstract: “COVID-19 inactivated vaccines (CoronaVac [Sinovac Biotech, Beijing, China] and BBIBP-CorV [Sinopharm, Beijing, China])1 and the protein subunit vaccine ZF2001 (Anhui Zhifei Longcom, Hefei, China)2,  3—which uses dimeric receptor-binding domain (RBD) homodimer as the antigen—were designed to act against ancestral SARS-CoV-2 and are widely used in China and many other countries…. These data suggest that there is a benefit to using an omicron-containing RBD heterodimer as a booster compared with the prototype vaccine booster to counter both circulating and emerging omicron subvariants. Breakthrough infections caused by the circulating omicron subvariants also elicit substantial serum sample cross-neutralisation against the emerging subvariants, including BQ.1, BQ.1.1, and XBB.1.5. However, the difference in the time interval before the booster or between the last dose and breakthrough infection might be a confounding factor in the present descriptive study due to the sampling limitation. Based on our observations, at least for the protein subunit vaccine, updating vaccine components according to subvariants is crucial for the continued control of the COVID-19 pandemic.”


China corruption watchdog nabs 160 hospital bosses in healthcare blitz South China Morning Post

Commentary: China property giant Country Garden’s woes – the good, the bad and the very ugly Channel News Asia

The U.S. Is Turning Away From Its Biggest Scientific Partner at a Precarious Time WSJ

VinFast Hits Wall Street Vietnam Weekly and Vietnamese EV maker worth more than Ford or GM after US listing FT

Indonesian maid’s torture highlights lack of legal protections Channel News Asia


Demon Demographics, Nazi Germany and the Making of Racialised Anxiety The Wire

Deloitte to quit as Adani Ports’ auditor over concerns flagged by Hindenburg -source Reuters


Niger coup will have global ramifications for the US, France, and Canada Canadian Dimension

Rule by Junta New Left Review

Change Is in the Air in Africa Simplicius the Thinker


Israel Launches New Submarine, First In World With Modern Missiles In Sail Naval News

European Disunion

America Is Deindustrializing Europe Thomas Fazi, Compact. “To be a friend….”

South of the Border

Ecuador’s tense vote also threatens to end mining, oil projects Bloomberg

New Not-So-Cold War

NATO’s condition for Ukraine: Membership hinges on territory concession to Russia WION Stoltenberg, but Ukraine’s territorial concessions from NATO: Ukrainian Security Council Secretary calls it “strange throw-in” Ukrainska Pravda

Would The Ukraine Crisis be Limited to Ukraine’s Territory? Valdai Discussion Club

* * *

Training of conscripts should be based on “real combat experience” – Zelenskyy Ukrainska Pravda. Sounds like a good idea. Maybe when Ukraine rebuilds its military for yet another go they can try it.

US launches campaign in support of Ukraine, aimed at Trump’s associates Ukrainska Pravda. One can only wonder how many are on the (presumably) SBU’s “kill list,”  and, if so, whether they’ll be charged with crimethink.

As Ukraine uses cluster munitions, a 50-year-old lesson it must remember Al Jazeera. Taught by the same teacher, too.

Spook Country

Missouri v. Biden: Court weighs curbs on administration’s social media contacts St Louis Post-Dispatch

Digital Watch

AI Causes Real Harm. Let’s Focus on That over the End-of-Humanity Hype Scientific American

Google’s AI search experience adds AI-powered summaries, definitions and coding improvements TechCrunch. More theft. You know, and Google knows, that most people will only read the summaries, and not click through. And Google will sell ad space on the summaries.

Hospital bosses love AI. Doctors and nurses are worried. WaPo. “University bosses love AI. Adjuncts (and even tenured Professors) are worried.” And so forth.


Canada is Investigating Ralph Lauren After Forced Labor Complaint Sourcing Journal


Attacks at US medical centers show why health care is one of the nation’s most violent fields AP

Home blood pressure machines are often wrong. The FDA must speak up STAT


737 Max awaits engine inlet design fix to avert risk of severe damage from anti-ice Flight Global. Regulators saving the bacon of Boeing’s pencil-necked MBAs once again.

The Conservatory

Sylvia Robinson, the Mother of Hip-Hop

Realignment and Legitimacy

Russell Moore on ‘altar call for Evangelical America’ NPR. Well worth a read, especially in the context of Thomas Frank’s comment that social movements offer options that political parties do not.

Guillotine Watch

Jeffrey Epstein Advised Sergey Brin With Tax Shelter WSJ. Everybody who did business with Jeffrey Epstein knew what he was (modulo those whose innocence was positively child-like MR SUBLIMINAL And weren’t female, or Epstein would have hit on them). That tells you all you need to know about capital.

The United States does retain operational capability in some fields, arguably the most important of all:

Eyes on the prize!

Class Warfare

The Deadly Intersection of Labor Exploitation and Climate Change City Watch LA

More Workers Are Getting Hurt on the Tarmac. ‘It Was Really Frightening.’ WSJ. “Understaffed ground crews.” I wonder why?

Þe “”lumpenproletariat””, þe “”dangerous class””, þe “”social scum”” of þe 1800s Brad DeLong, Grasping Reality

John Berger and Gramsci in Rome: Personal Reflections andy merrifield

The fast, furious, and brutally short life of an African male lion The Conversation

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. ChrisRUEcon

    Thanks for today’s links!

    The posted link to the Thomas Fazi article seems incorrect. It really lives here.

    1. Kim

      By overcharging them for our formerly cheap oil well drilling byproduct, natural gas, which is liquified and sold to them to replace the cheap Russian stuff?

      More like America has demanded that Europe commit economic suicide.

      The people in California’s newly remodeled all electric homes will be part of that economic suicide pact when the planned power shut-offs occur this fall fireseason.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Hawaiian Electric slapped with 3 lawsuits after deadly wildfires”

    Not many happy outcomes here. Hawaiian Electric could have cut the power but-

    ‘West Maui’s water system relies on electrical power to pump water through the network and deliver it to fire hydrants, and officials at Hawaiian Electric, the state’s main electrical utility, have said that the need to maintain this pumping capability has made it difficult to shut off power when high winds pose a fire risk.’

    So if they had cut the power, the hydrants would have run dry much sooner. And then they would be slapped with lawsuits for stopping the water for firefighting. So in the end it may have come down to a judgement call with not many good choices to choose from.

    1. yancey

      The protocol when there is an electric outage is to take a generator to the pumping station and run the pumps off of a generator. Happens whenever there is an electrical outage. These are not little Honda portables but big two wheeler towed generators. This happens whenever there is an outage.

      1. Randy

        An onsite generator is required. If the roads are blocked by fleeing cars or worse, the towed generator can’t get to where it is needed.

        1. Alex Cox

          There also needs to be a reservoir containing thousands of gallons of diesel. Otherwise that massive generator will run out within an hour or two.

      1. FreeMarketApologist

        Well, yes, they hold about 20% of the company’s stock. But it’s most likely in the form of beneficial ownership: The holdings are a result of the stock being part of various ETFs and mutual funds which are then owned by individual investors, or owned by individual investor accounts at Vanguard or Blackrock. It’s unlikely that Blackrock and Vanguard management hold seats on HE’s board, and thus influence decision making.

        1. Cristobal

          I may be sreatching it a bit, but this goes to show that nobody owns anyhing. It is all in the hands of the old ¨Artificial Intelligence¨, the financial wizardry playbook. It is just a giant pool of money that has no country, no allegience, no morals.

          1. some guy

            I doubt ” the money” itself does anything. More likely it is the people who manage all the institutions which together add up to controlling all the chopped , shredded and mixed portions of “the money” who are doing something.

            They are probably all connected by some kind of vulcan mind-meld spiderweb cross-brain connection to eachother all over the earth. They don’t have to “conspire” anywhere because they have all been trained to all think and feel alike and they all just naturally do their separate little management and guidance tasks in the same direction.

            1. JBird4049

              I am curious. Why would this prevent the electric company from just placing a generator or two next to those pumps? I get all the pass the buck explanations, but as the town and perhaps ten percent of its population that were being served by these pumps are no longer extant, they seem less insulting because they seem more like a symptom of mental illness.

              Yeah, I know the excuses and we are talking about the current elites and their dysfunction, but really… wtf?!? Oh, reading about the newish cutoff built to allow the residents to have more than a single lane to escape in case of emergency being closed, again what the flying f@@@ was going on?

              Just uselessly venting here but it truly is like some kind of Cult of the Oblivious is in charge.

              1. Adam Eran

                The prevention is in the bean count. Stringing wire from a rural well would be prohibitively expensive. Flaring the gas would be wasteful, but at least it wouldn’t be methane (-ish) any more!

      2. semper loquitur

        Jimmy Dore had a recent show that discussed how many of the displaced residents fear that private equity is going to come in and scoop up the properties wholesale.

        1. John

          Oh brave new world that has such law firms as these! Does anyone give a damn about the people who have lost everything? The dead are not yet counted. Maybe Hawaii electric bears some responsibility. Maybe Zeus hurled a thunderbolt. Could we not look after the now homeless … oh heavens, I forget myself … unhoused … residents of Lahaina before elbowing to the head of the line with … and it has become the default response … an f—–g lawsuit.

        2. scott s.

          Don’t know about Lahaina, but much of central Maui was owned by last descendant of King Kamehameha, Princess Ruth. The title had some cloud and she quit-claimed it to sugar baron Claus Spreckels. Spreckels was able to take advantage of a newly constructed irrigation ditch that brought water from the wet windward side and got the Hawaii courts to clear his title resulting in productive sugar culture. Spreckels was disliked by the kamaʻāina business community (he owned the SF refinery which processed all Hawaii sugar and also the steamship company that transported it, so could dictate prices). Spreckels sided with the royalists during the overthrow and became persona non grata to the republic. He eventually sold out all his Hawaii interests (turned to west coast beet sugar instead) and sold his Maui land to kamaʻāina “Big Five” firm Alexander & Baldwin. Meanwhile, James Campbell had developed sugar plantations in west Maui that became Pioneer Mill. That operation was eventually sold to Hackfeld (during WWI German-named Hackfeld was considered politically incorrect, so the company was renamed “American Factors”/AmFac, another of the “Big Five”). AmFac developed the Kāʻanapali resorts just north of Lahaina.

          Recommended reading: “Land and
          Power in Hawaii” by Cooper and Daws.

          1. FreeMarketApologist

            And Claus’ son, John D., was the man who made San Diego the thing that it is today.

    2. scott s.

      So people on the neighbor islands tend to dislike Oahu as too big/powerful, but as HEI owns Maui Electric I expect ratepayers on Oahu will be required to kick in whatever expenses come out of this. We already pay 42 cents / kWH. All the push from the PUC and state gov’t has been to shut down generating capacity in favor of wind and solar. Hardening infrastructure has not been a priority, especially in the distribution network. Everyone says “underground all the utilities” without any cost estimate (and anything here you can expect to be 2x at least what is estimated).

      I have yet to read any analysis of what happens with residential solar in emergencies like this. I have an idea that there is supposed to be voltage sensing on the utility side that prevents feeding into the grid but not sure how trusting I would be of that working correctly in every installation (only takes one to ruin your day).

      1. Pat

        I’m going to be unkind here, but I’m beginning to get the idea that the DNC brain trust has been giving local Democratic politicians their marching orders on climate change policy, with the big winners being the fossil fuel industry. I would normally put the electric utilities in here, but I am getting the impression that this is being done with all the brilliance of a plan for forcing regime change in Russia by getting them to invade Ukraine. There is a huge push to force more electrical use, which is going to be offset by renewables without really addressing the needed infrastructure build out and repair that is needed to do that.

    1. Roxan

      Infection control has been going downhill for years! They used to post signs on room doors, to use precautions if the patient was infectious, and a cart with PPE or whatever was needed. After HIPAA came in, they decided that revealed too much and might hurt the patient’s feelings. No more signs, and the cart moved into the room, so you could catch something while getting ready. In nursing homes, even the charts did not reveal if the patient had MRSA, HIV, etc. Just use ‘universal precautions’ they said, but often, masks and gowns were not even stocked. (I carried my own n95 usually) One time I even took off my PPE and gave it to my aide who was in tears about cleaning up a horrific mess, as she needed it more than I did. Not a good example of ‘infection control’, exactly.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “NATO’s condition for Ukraine: Membership hinges on territory concession to Russia”

    Stian Jensen, the Director of the Private Office of the NATO Secretary General who suggested this idea, had better check that he has not been already placed on the Ukraine’s kill list. The Ukrainians were outraged at this suggestion, especial Zelensky, and have said that their war aim remains the same – to take back every inch of the Ukraine, including Crimea. Thing is, the Ukrainians are not getting back the land where Russian speakers live and whatever Stian Jensen thinks, it won’t be up to him or the Ukraine if they join NATO – it will be up to the Russians and they have already said never so it is all a moot point.

    1. JohnA

      Jensen went on to add, according to VG, the Norwegian newspaper that broke the story:
      “Russland sliter enormt militært, og det virker urealistisk at de kan ta nye territorier. Nå er det snarere spørsmål om hva Ukraina klarer å ta tilbake.”
      My translation
      “Russia is burning through an enormous amount militarily, and it seems unrealistic that they can take new territories. Now, it is more a question of what Ukraine manages to recapture.”

      In other words, he is still in denial about Russian resources and capabilities, ditto Ukraine’s. I doubt he would have said all this without the approval of Stoltenberg.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I was reading an opinion today that Russia is running out of airplanes through overusing what they have-

        Also Russia is having to pull Soviet-era tanks out of mothballs-

        I guess that the Ukraine has just about won this war going by these main stream media sources. It’s not like they would lie after all. Also, Russia is found to have weapons of mass destruction.

        1. Yves Smith

          Right. As I recall, Russia has been using old tanks….in newly liberated territories as a security measure and perhaps to reassure the locals that they are staying.

          So this could signal that they expect to take ground in Kharkiv sooner rather than later.

          1. Bill Malcolm

            Well, the CBS tank article is from four months ago, and a few things have happened since like failed UKR “counteroffensives”. So the Russian old tank deployment as sort of mobile pillboxes doesn’t necessarily signify anything.about Kharhov.

            1. Yves Smith

              I have yet to see anyone saying those tanks have been deployed in combat. This is the sort of thing Ukraine would flog if they saw any. So I stand by the original take, that Russian intends to use them well behind the lines in territory they see as secure, for peacekeeping.

        2. Random

          Russia is suffering attrition that likely can’t be replaced in the short/medium term in terms of planes. The production is just not high enough so that’s technically correct I guess?
          Given the numbers we have though it will take years before any serious impact is felt.
          Stories about tanks just aren’t serious.
          Same weird assumption as everywhere else though. Ukraine apparently isn’t suffering any serious attrition and the US has infinite manufacturing/stockpiles.

          1. Kouros

            They are making more attack helies than they are destroyed. The aligators have destroied a lot of Ukrainian armor in this counteroffensive…

        3. ilsm


          ‘aerospace experts’ are projecting f-15, f-16 and f-18 issues on russian mig/su aircraft.

          those boeing (mcd-douglas) and lockheed (general dynamics) airframes are wearing out, thousands of hours short of spec. along with their less than durable p&w/ge engines. no us flying unit flyies through an annual training plan (11 years missing readiness) within budget and keep combat readiness up! and the worn out fighters can be rehab’ed aka service life extension, but then lockheed could not burden the us with a $2 trillion untestable fighter, aka f-35.

          tactical aircraft suffer/degrade from stress of turning/g forces.

          donbas type of combat is less dogfighting and dodging missiles, [if you believe maverick in top gun is real (not!)], not much more than training missions without aerobatics!

          while these experts also project pentagon contract maintenance, with high cost and low quality to how the russian air force keeps their weapons sharp,

          aircraft in daily use are better maintained than those flying thrice a month.

          i was around for the stand down at end of vietnam. yes there were a lot of backlog work to be done, but mostly because we then had time and spare parts to clear all the minor write ups. f-4 was retired bc the cold war ended and us had hundreds of new f-16, and f-105 flew until mid 1980’s when reserve and guard received f-16 and a-10!

          maybe if the ru air force is broken the f-16’s won’t be sent to embarrass the usaf and lockheed.

          1. Polar Socialist

            All the Su-25SM fighter-bombers currently in the inventory have been build in the 80s and upgraded in the 90s. The only reason they are still serviceable is that Russian Air Force was starved of funding between 1991-2005 (or so) and these airframes were flown less than 50 hours/year.

            Su-25 airframe was designed for 3000 hours of use, about 25 years at the rate Soviet Air Force used them. Even given the extension due to low usability the Frogfoot airframes are starting to be at the end of their lifetime, no matter what.

            They were supposed to be replaced by Su-34, which is a great fighter-bomber, but both really expensive and using the same airframe than Su-30. So each fighter-bomber is literally one less fighter in the inventory – and fighter pilots are the ones making the decisions.

            1. Bill Malcolm

              True, fatigue-failure related airframe design life has to be kept in mind. I’m sure Russian aviation engineers are only too aware of the problem. They might even have a clue as to what fails first in the Su-25 and be able to renew that. Early F-35s have already had airframe cracks and been given new ones at great cost. That, er, flaw, was first found over a decade ago:



              Dozens of other links are out there by searching F35 airframe cracks. That’s just poor stressing design given the relative newness of the aircraft. It’s already pretty much a George Washington’s axe — seven new handles and three new heads,

              And I’m sure the F-16s that have been rustled up from somewhere or other to pawn off on Ukraine thence to die honorably above the field of battle for democracy, all have lots and lots of airframe life left. /sarc

          1. ChrisFromGA

            Someone ought to do a deep-dive on how they were captured. My hypothesis is that like many magazines, their broken business model led to them becoming essentially “compradors” in the sense of selling out to become a state-sponsored media outlet.

        4. Wukchumni

          When David in the guise of a cheap drone can take out Goliath in an expensive tank, slings change.

        5. digi_owl

          Last time i read about Russia bringing out old tanks, it was to refit them into tracked “pillboxes”. Basically the whole turret section would be removed and replaced with a machinegun nest.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Something that I should have added with my initial comment and that is how Russia will never accept a freezing of this conflict because of what happened in Syria. Syria and its allies were rolling up the ISIS forces and were looking to taking back their entire country. And then the US stepped in. A force was sent in to al Tanf to block the vital M2 Baghdad–Damascus Highway and then set up a base to train Jihadists to attack Syria which continues to this day. They also sent in a force to help the Kurds seize Syria east of the Euphrates river which held not only Syria’s breadbasket region but most of its oil which has been plundered ever since. If events had taken their natural course, there would be no hunger in Syria and the Syrians would have been able to rebuild their country again after those nightmare years. Instead, this war was “frozen” and all the hard work and casualties that the Russians themselves endured left them with a frozen conflict and a rogue province run by Al Qaeda to this day while they still have to help support Syria. So there is not a possibility that they will let this happen here and I truly believe that if Biden is stupid enough to send in US formations into the Ukraine, that the Russians will give one warning and then let loose missile attacks.

      1. hk

        Another thing that’s worth remembering, speaking of frozen conflicts, is the kind of cost both sides were paying to freeze the conflict in Korea (and that that took 2 years’ negotiations.).

        In Korea, both “primary” combatants, North and South, were incapable of fighting by themselves by the end of 1950. The real primary combatants were US and China. Or, in other words, you have to commit your own fighting power, and a lot of it, to fight the other side to standstill. The Ukrainian army is as broken as the South Koreans in August, 1950, or the North in November that year. So where is the NATO equivalent of the Chinese Volunteer Army and the MiG Alley? Who’s going to force this freeze?

        Second, US and USSR were willing to freeze Korea because it was far and unimportant to them and China because it was weak. So, do NATOratchiks think Russia today is like PRC immediately after the Civil War? Maybe if it was 20-25 years ago, but not now, I should think.

        In 1950s, US could and did blackmail with the nuclear weapons, especially vis a vis China. Now, Russia outnuclears US.

        Finally, “freezing” a conflict takes time, even if everyone is nominally willing, and who knows how things will turn out? No doubt Nixon and Kissinger we’re thinking/hoping that they were freezing the conflict, at least for the foreseeable future, in Vietnam. It obviously didn’t exactly “freeze.”

      1. nippersdad

        And yet we are still getting insane op-eds like these from our foreign policy “intelligentsia”:

        I would say “how humiliating for him”, but it doesn’t seem like anyone with a modicum of intelligence in our governance is ready to stand up to such as he. I wonder how long it will be before he gets on a plane with suitcases full of cash. I also wonder where he would go were he to do so.

        1. Wukchumni

          Dacha Hamlet notwithstanding, do you think the thin man in Moscow makes a hard boiled offer to the Ukraine falcon about to be blacklisted?

        2. wilroncanada

          The Hill tried to find an intelligent commentary on the current situation in Ukraine, but instead they drew a ‘Blank’.

    3. some guy

      If the remainder of Ukraine after the war is over ended up being so tiny that adding it to NATO would not make the RussiaGov feel threatened, then they might entertain the concept. Especially if they decided that such a Ukraine inside of NATO would threaten and weaken NATO more than a NATO with such a Ukraine in it would weaken and threaten Russia.

      Could a Nazi Galiciakraine inside NATO destabilize NATO so badly that NATO itself would be weakened or destroyed by its presence? Could the RussiaGov feel certain that adding Nazi Galiciakraine to NATO would weaken or destroy NATO ( and perhaps weaken or destroy EUrope itself)? If they felt confident that it would have that effect, then they might entertain the notion, especially if Nazi Galiciakraine lost Hungarian and Romanian lands back to Hungary and Romania.

  4. griffen

    Lo and behold, Jeff and the Zuckerberg started out from such simple roots ( sarc ). To borrow a phrasing of sorts from, alas, Colbert, “I can America and You can too!” I do seem to recall in his Colbert Report stage he had a statement or maybe even a book. Bill Gates never met a corner that he wouldn’t cut, that’s a handy OS I think I’ll pay you cheaply for that! And sundry other examples.

    ‘Tis a benefit to have all that loot, as opposed to near nothing. Then you can pay for all the self help you might just need to assuage any guilt from having all that loot. And hire private guards for all your real estate and yachts.

  5. mrsyk

    Re The scourge of climate doomism. “The point is, every tenth of a degree of warming we prevent is crucial.” When you, Pilita Clark say “we” is that the “royal we”? More importantly, do you really think that the climate can be moderated/adjusted/tuned in real time? The hubris of humans, the species that has likely already condemned most/all life on earth, prattling on.

    1. ilsm

      climate doomism is selling projects with negative return on investment! being kind most do not work, nor consider their merits to solving the doomers’ worries.

      assuage the doomers is degrading the westerm money system!

      money is no object when you imply the waste might save the world.

      if the doomers worried as much about bearding the bear and their 6000 deliverable thermonuclear weapons!

      and do not get in to lack of preparedness for climate related disasters, usa has no plan for even on thermonuclear detonation on the continent!

      1. mrsyk

        “climate doomism is selling projects with negative return on investment!”
        I disagree. It’s believing we can change gears and somehow prevent the climate consequences of our behavior that causes this.
        “being kind most do not work, nor consider their merits to solving the doomers’ worries.” That’s making shit up.
        “assuage the doomers is degrading the westerm money system!” Ill advised sanctions on Russia are certainly doing that. Not sure how “assuage the doomers” fits in there.
        “money is no object when you imply the waste might save the world.” Maybe I need another cup of coffee, but again not getting you. Who you mean “who”? Where does this “who” “imply that the waste might save the world”
        “if the doomers worried as much about bearding the bear and their 6000 deliverable thermonuclear weapons!”
        Ah, here we share some common ground, although your assumption that doomers don’t consider US war policy an existential threat seems made up.
        “and do not get in to lack of preparedness for climate related disasters, usa has no plan for even on thermonuclear detonation on the continent!” Speculating here, but we probably do, just no plans that will have any effect.

          1. ilsm

            Two points:

            Climate doomers say no price (value/valueless) is too high if my religion says the free $$ spent will alter the impending apocalypse

            Doomer faith says the doom is real!

            Coffee, will it help you convert any non doomers?

            1. mrsyk

              I think we have a difference in definitions and our opinions probably are not that far off from each other. See my reply to Wuk.
              Anyhow, “alarmist” – seller of hopium.
              “doomer” – recognizer of futility
              Don’t insult my coffee. I’m not here to convert.

    2. Wukchumni

      Imagine how well a prepper in say the Netherlands would have done in say early 1940?

      Squirrel away a bunch of food and then starve to death in 1944, long after your stores of food were eaten.

      That’s gonna be the hard part, as doomerattis don’t seem to be hep to the idea that the War On Climate is an open-ended battle where Mother Nature has the home field advantage.

      We had very uncharacteristic 40-50 mph gusts for an hour or 2 last night in Tiny Town, and our saving grace has always been that winds are sleight here in the summer as its typically hot as Hell, and all it needed was a fuse in the guise of a small fire, and the oaks would have had it, not to mention human beans.

      1. mrsyk

        “That’s gonna be the hard part, as doomerattis don’t seem to be hep to the idea that the War On Climate is an open-ended battle where Mother Nature has the home field advantage.”
        I see it that way. I don’t believe doomer=prepper. I do believe that hopium is used to sell ineffectual policies motivated by potential profits such as carbon credits, EVs, and miles of pipelines for “carbon capture”. I fear that it will be used to push policies that favor the wealthy at high cost to the rest of us.
        As for your oaks, please give them my very best. If there are no conifers sprinkled amongst them, they may be more resilient than you fear.

        1. Wukchumni

          To make a catastrophe come a cropper you usually need a bunch of ingredients, and all we got was a blow hard and nothing else.

          I’m guessing it’s a dozen wheelbarrow load worth of downed wood on the ground from the zephyr, the trees were a swaying.

      2. some guy

        I experienced a possibly strange little effect in my little hobby garden a few days ago. 2 weeks ago or so we had thunderstorms with powerful winds and all my corn plants stayed up. 5 nights ago we had such a heavy dew-fall that the rising weight of the silently building up water on all the leaves tore most of my corn plants down to the ground just by the weight of all the dew-water on them.

        I haven’t seen that happen before.

  6. Alex V

    Regarding the 737 MAX issue and this characterization: “Regulators saving the bacon of Boeing’s pencil-necked MBAs once again.”

    This is a significant misunderstanding and misrepresentation of how the aircraft safety system works.

    Every commercial aircraft in service has had hundreds, if not thousands, of airworthiness directives. Every potential problem cannot be tested or simulated during design and development, and many are discovered many years later, usually without anything bad having ever happened. Design for safety is about managing risk, not the impossible task of completely eliminating it.

    As the article itself states:

    “There have been no reports of in-service failures of the engine inlet inner barrel to date,” the FAA points out.

    It’s useful to understand how common it is for aircraft to have airworthiness directives. Here’s the most recent bi-weekly list from the FAA, where the 737 Series has more than 10 individual notices, in addition to the inlet issue specific to the MAX:

    Large Aircraft, Biweekly 2023-17, 07/31/2023-08/13/2023

    From here:

    Airworthiness Directives Biweekly (AD Biweekly)

    If anything, try finding an aircraft type not on the list. And there are numerous designs on the list from long before Boeing corporate culture went downhill.

    This is in no way dismissing any responsibility or liability on the part of aircraft manufacturers – but context is important if there is going to be a discussion of what is possible and reasonable regarding expectations of safety.

    1. urdsama

      True, but it is equally important to keep in mind the context of the design, build and oversight process of the 737 MAX.

      Try finding a plane that has the craptasic engineering, bureaucratic and administrative record of the 737 MAX. Not saying you won’t find any, but it is truly in a class of its own.

      1. Bill Malcolm

        The F-35 is worse again with its dud airframe.

        At least Boeing know the airframe design of lil Fat Albert 737 — he was born over 50 years ago, and used the same basics as the 707 and 727 fuselage before him. Pretty proven stuff, including the subsequent stretches. Hello 1956, when engineers had a clue what they were up to. Today, a CAD screen operated by someone with no “feel” of the object they’re creating, and expecting all the bought-in structural and design software programs to be flawless, and not knowing if the answer they provide is sane or idiotic, in my opinion is at the root of all modern design errors.

        Let’s face it, smartphones have apps with spellcheck, but that hasn’t prevented people from getting it wrong – they’re so bad at spelling themselves they cannot tell if the spellcheck has picked some other word than the one they intended (who’s and whose, “tow the line” instead of correct “toe the line” e.g.). The blind leading the blind so to speak. I turn off spellcheck on all new apps — I’m better at spelling than they are. And dopey AI is touted by grasping people who probably aren’t great spellers or have much of a clue about anything but the bottom line. Life is so marvellous these days, like underdevloped robo-taxis crawling around San Fran and getting stuck — what did the designers forget? The cars, if they are to parrot human drivers need to obey traffic police orders at once, no ifs, ands or buts. These Silicon Valley clowns at Cruise and Waymo forgot all about that little detail, because they live in their own little space divorced from reality.

        What we’re talking about here with the Max is the aeronautical equivalent of heated seats in cars. It’s low tech because electric blankets have been around since Moby Dick was a minnow. I’ve had heated seats in my vehicles since 1981. And every one of them had at least three levels of butt heat, user selectable. But Boeing has apparently only equipped the Max with one setting — Max toastie. And it’s too much heat for the structural metal nearby the heating element if the pilot forgets to turn the gadget off when it’s not needed, i.e. with no ice to melt. I mean who would expect a $90 million list price airliner to have less heating pad user flexibility than a Kia Rio? Me — it might cost too much for the beancounters’ blood at Boeing.

        1. Alex V

          The 737 MAX and NG inlet anti-ice systems use bleed air, not electrical heating. The cowl appears to be made with some type of aluminium honeycomb composite. It’s not as simple as you make it out to be. Additionally, the majority of electrical heating systems use a simple on-off switch combined with a temperature sensor for control. They’re always delivering “Max toastie” until the desired temperature is reached.

          The hardest thing in life is knowing what you don’t know.

    1. Mikel

      APCIA is making this claim on behalf of the insurers.

      “The overwhelming priority of insurers when disaster strikes is to help their customers rebuild their lives and restore their property. Insurers are ready to help policyholders get their immediate needs taken care of and start the recovery process as soon as the flames are extinguished,” said Karen Collins, APCIA vice president, property & environmental.

      APCIA is out working to ensure that those who have insurance on Maui understand that they have options…”

      Speaking with forked tongue?

  7. semper loquitur

    Why, Ms. Scientific American writers, can’t we worry about both the long term AND the short term evils of AI? Are you unaware that the Air Force is letting AI fly fighter jets? How long before there is a nuke attached to one of those babies? The writers seem to have missed that we are living in an age when dystopian science fiction is becoming science fact, fast.

    1. digi_owl

      The only diff between an “AI” jet and the current drone is who send the final missile launch command.

      There is already an anti-ship missile in the NATO arsenal that can hunt and select targets on its own once lunched into a “kill zone”. And the other day there was talk about a Russian-Iranian drone that can loiter in an area before dive bomb any AA radar that gets turned on.

      The big issue is how far back the human decision gets pulled, and how good (likely craptastic) the friend or foe identification is.

      Damn it, Russia supposedly has their whole nuclear arsenal rigged with a dead man switch. So if their computers detect incoming ICBMs (or perhaps nuclear detonations inside Russia) they will launch in response automatically.

  8. Rolf

    Re Panama Canal, drought, vessel restrictions. This can only get worse as the current El Niño intensifies.

  9. timbers

    5 Guys Billionaires

    Wonder how many private jets the Fab5 own amongst themselves? Wonder how much all their ownership and lifestyles contribute to global warming. I’ve seen only one of Bill Gates homes in Seattle. It’s a lot.

    Just a guess, but outlawing private jets and taxing billionaires out of existence might reduce 30% of things that cause global warming. Big side benefit is taking away their money will make if more likely we can have our government back.

    Also too, these Fab5 are are toxic to us for so many other reasons – Gates funds regime change/NGOs(?), Zuckerburg big time censorship and propagandist, regime changer, ditto Bezos. Lots more I don’t know about or doesn’t come to mind just right now.

    1. mrsyk

      Gates is way into big agro mono culture IIRC. Don’t know much about Arnault, but the other four all seem high on their own supply/egos.

    2. some guy

      Rich people like this own and operate the government, so we will get no relief there unless we can somehow conquer and occupy the government back from them.

      In theory, those rich people don’t yet own and operate ” civil society” or “the culture”. So perhaps a “culture-wide” movement could arise to torture one faction of rich people into torturing another faction or layer of rich people into making the Private Jet Set give up their private jets.

      In a perfect social and culture utopia, I could imagine hundreds of millions of tourism-capable people all boycotting every aspect of the tourism industry . . . commercial flying, visiting tourist destinations, etc. and keeping the boycott in place until every aspect of the tourism industry could be tortured into torturing the government into banning private jets as a condition of getting hundreds of millions of tourism-capable people to stop boycotting tourism.

      Once all the right people could be tortured into torturing all the right people into torturing the Private Jet Set into giving up their private jets, then the non Private Jet Set majority could see a little bit of genuine sincerity motivating government action. And then the non Private Jet Set majority might accept some energy conservation living and social/infrastructure re-arrangement into their own lives as well.

    3. digi_owl

      Quite likely you will never find their names on any “pink slip”. Instead the ownership is behind a stack of shell companies that makes proper taxation virtually impossible. They just happen to be the boss of whatever legal entity is leasing those planes long term.

  10. Bosko

    Can someone give me a preview of the piece on the Lumpenproletariat? It’s behind a paywall and all it says so far is, Karl Marx writes about the Lumpens.

    1. ewmayer

      Per the Dictionary app on my Mac, Lumpenproletariat = “the unorganized and unpolitical lower orders of society who are not interested in revolutionary advancement.”

      Which sounds more than a little bit like Marx-speak for “the deplorables” to me.

  11. Mikel

    “Niger coup will have global ramifications for the US, France, and Canada” Canadian Dimension

    “….Interestingly, in France, one out of every three light bulbs is lit thanks to Nigerien uranium mining. But in Niger, nearly 90 percent of the population has no access to electricity…”

    And that is the whole story current global economic order.

  12. Mikel

    “Is good economic news really all that surprising?” Sam Ro, TKer

    “People continue to be blindsided by the resilience in personal consumption growth…”

    Going to throw this contrarian thought out there. The USA is a place where shopping can be described as a type of pathology for many. Is stress shopping counted as “resilience”?

    And the data appears to be a bunch of aggregates and averages that again doesn’t dive too much into the details of wealth distribution.

    What about when credit card bills come do and interest rates still have not been cut? (Not that most people with credit cards and their usory rates ever benefited from the Fed’s alleged trickle down low interest rates of the past)

    1. SocalJimObjects

      No trouble with credit cards yet,

      Also with interest rate going up to 5%, quite a few people now have even more money to spend,

      Retail sales also beat expectations handily, and personal income is beating inflation, so the American economy seems to be doing well. Next month though, payment on student loans will resume and we will see if it will have any impact on personal consumption figures.

      1. Wukchumni

        I object to consumers being called drunken sailors, as the latter only has a relatively short time to spread the wealth before being held hostage to austerity on the high seas, not that I don’t appreciate a Wolf sighting in SF.

      2. Mikel

        Yeah, I read that Wolf article. In the comments, he answers a question:

        Wolf – Aug 15, 2023 at 9:33 am


        No, higher rates are NOT inflationary. Rising rates impact the economy in various ways, including opposing ways, with #1 being the far larger effect than #2:

        1. They should tighten credit, and make borrowing more difficult and expensive, which should constrain business investment and business and household consumption, which puts downward pressure on demand and inflation. That’s the biggest effect.

        2. They also have the effect that they spread more income to people with money, which increases demand for consumer products, but that is a much smaller effect.

        What I discussed here was about #2.”

        In the body of the article, I don’t think he stressed enough that what you are calling “quite a few people” should have emphasis on the few.
        It goes back to the point of what remains of the consumer driven economy (I still think this is more of a rentier economy) is increasingly being supported by the great increase of wealth of a minority.

        And it doesn’t address my point about the pathology behind alot of shopping. It doesn’t necessarily mean people are “doing well” or feeling great about their future.

      3. tegnost

        FTA…. If they have $300,000 in savings, two years ago they earned nearly nothing from it, and now they’re earning $15,000 in interest income a year, and they’re plowing some of that interest income back into the economy, creating new demand.
        Exactly how many people have 300,000 in savings?

        But yes, the rich are really really rich, and they buy lots of junk that inflation has made more expensive, so yay!

        1. Mikel

          “Exactly how many people have 300,000 in savings?”


          And how long can they satiate fears with shopping?

        2. Mikel

          And another thought…there seems to be a lot of cheerleading for metrics giddy about draining every dime from a few people, many of whom are have to live on that savings without working a job at the newer, inflated salaries (ageism). All the while this drives the poor to an early grave because a few people have some extra money (which they are trying to make last) that the rentiers want to get their hands on now. It’s not enough that the money will eventually get spent. They want it NOW.

          “No savings? Guess you can shine my shoes for cheaper now” seems to be the process.

          1. tegnost

            Yes, and we’re going to be inundated with bidenomics puffery for a few hundred days in a row I’m afraid. As far as I can tell the IRA gave lots of money to the oil industry so theoretically they wan’t charge as much for gas etc…so inflation reduction. I can’t do the math myself but somehow the willingness to throw people over the edge must have a positive impact on the economy :/

    2. spud

      i read it and laughed. yes the tens of millions that can’t come up with $400.00, will keep powering the economy.

      The Worst Stock Tip in History

      The Worst Stock Tip in History

      Fisher ignored, or did not understand or believe this,


      Herbert Hoover becomes President.

      Annual per-capita income is $750. More than half of all Americans are living below a minimum subsistence level.

      Backlog of business inventories grows three times larger than the year before.

      Recession begins in August, two months before the stock market crash. During this two month period, production will decline at an annual rate of 20 percent, wholesale prices at 7.5 percent, and personal income at 5 percent.

      Stock market crash begins October 24. Investors call October 29 Black Tuesday. Losses for the month will total $16 billion, an astronomical sum in those days.

    3. digi_owl

      Deep down we are still hunter-gatherers.

      And supposedly those old wired up mouse brains that we thought got their pleasure centers stimulated, turns out they may have gotten their gathering drive stimulated instead.

      As such, shopping may well tickle that old gathering instinct and thus ease the stress and anxiety.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Niger coup will have global ramifications for the US, France, and Canada”

    The US is refusing to call this coup a coup and for a very good reason. Scott Ritter explains-

    ‘The reasoning behind the American game of semantics is that, by law, if the US recognizes the Nigerien coup as a coup, then it must cease all military-to-military interactions between a force of some 1,100 US military personnel currently stationed in Niger, and their Nigerien military counterparts, as well as all other forms of US-funded aid. The law in question, known as Section 7008 (of Public Law 117-328, Division K), specifically states that no funds appropriated by Congress in support of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPS) “shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d’état or decree.” ‘

    And that would mean that if the US is not careful, they would lose use of both bases that ‘support US intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations conducted by MQ-9 Reaper drones and fixed-wing aircraft flown by a Joint Special Operations Aviation Detachment, as well as other US military operations, including military airlift and special forces training detachments.’ Ritter’s article makes mention of an odd fact. When Nuland went to Niger, that was actually her third trip to that country in the past two years. I thought that the Ukraine was her bailiwick-

    1. digi_owl

      Same old legalese word game. Illegal combatants rather than militia, anyone?

      USA, the nation of lawyers. The only nation that has made court room word games high entertainment.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Ugh! Never liked the guy at all and I can see that I was justified. I saw Oprah was helping in a shelter during the fires which was good of her but the next day she arrived again but with a camera crew in tow. This time they knocked her back from entry. I would not be surprised to hear next that Harry and Meghan turning in Hawaii to launch a donation fund.

        1. flora

          Maui has many celebrity real estate owners. From Forbes.

          “Bezos, Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Buffett and Nvidia cofounder Jensen Huang are among the billionaires with land or homes on Hawaii’s second-largest island.”

          And from TownandCountry, 2022.

          Why All the Billionaires Are Moving to Hawaii

          1. The Rev Kev

            Don’t forget Obama’s new mansion in Hawaii too. He named it – I kid you not – Plantation Estate.

            1. flora

              I’m sure the wealthy estates weren’t harmed. That’s good for them. But think what it must be doing to Maui real estate prices.
              (If only the middling classes would sell up and move out. / too cynical? )

              1. mrsyk

                In addition to real estate prices, think what the construction of those McMansions (and development in general) does to the environment. According to an article titled “Development, tourism and climate change: How humans made Maui’s catastrophic wildfires worse” published on Yahoo News:

                Historically, massive wildfires were uncommon in Hawaii because of its humid, tropical climate. But this year, a local drought caused the foliage on Maui to become drier than usual. Invasive grasses covering former sugar plantations were especially dried out this year and fire-prone, the New York Times reported.

                Before it was drained by plantation owners irrigating their farms, the Lahaina area was a wetland, according to the local environmental advocacy organization Save the Wetlands.

                “Lahaina wasn’t always a dry, fire-prone region. It was very wet and lush, historically,” Kaniela Ing, an Indigenous Hawaiian who is national director of the Green New Deal Network, told the newsletter Heated.

                More recently, wetlands have been paved over to build hotels and vacation homes.

                “In the last 60 years, more than 100 acres of Kihei’s wetlands have been gobbled up, which exploded from a tiny rural town to one of Hawaii’s busiest tourist destinations over the course of a single lifetime,” the Honolulu Civil Beat reported in a June story on the island’s last remain wetland.


                1. tegnost

                  I notice that in all the infrastructure money doled out to energy interests, there was none for wetlands restoration.

        2. Victor Sciamarelli

          I have not followed the story closely but as Biden just asked Congress to provide more than $13 billion in emergency defense aid to Ukraine and an additional $8 billion for humanitarian support through the end of the year, are you saying Maui residents are merely relying on celebrity handouts?

    1. ThirtyOne

      Lessons were learned
      Speaker Scott K. Saiki announced the House would investigate the incident:[53]

      This system we have been told to rely upon failed and failed miserably today. I am deeply troubled by this misstep that could have had dire consequences. Measures must be taken to avoid further incidents that caused wholesale alarm and chaos today. Clearly, government agencies are not prepared and lack the capacity to deal with emergency situations. Apparently, the wrong button was pushed and it took over 30 minutes for a correction to be announced. Parents and children panicked during those 30 minutes. The Hawaii House of Representatives will immediately investigate what happened and there be consequences. This cannot happen again.

  14. John

    Poor Russell Moore. He doesn’t get that the US economy was founded on ignoring the actual instructions of the Biblical gospel while crafting soundbites from it to justify extractive capitalism, slavery, etc. Perhaps he would benefit by reading the ministers letter to MLK and his profound response.

    From H. Clinton to Frank and others, social community building seems to be the meme of the day. What is ignored is the hard work of building infrastructure these social communities need to accomplish their goals. A #, slogan and branded clothing are not enough.

  15. ChrisRUEcon


    “VFS shares opened at US$22 and closed at US$37.06, bringing the company’s market cap to a truly unbelievable US$85 billion, higher than Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, Honda, Ford, and General Motors. (This is based on the fanciful US$23 billion valuation VinFast gave itself during the SPAC process despite selling just 137 EVs in the U.S. through June.)”

    I guess irrational exuberance is no longer a thing, eh?

    1. ChrisRUEcon


      Great read!

      Slaking my morning thirst with The Economist’s tears shed in its “Disdain For Democracy” graphic … LOL


      1. ChrisRUEcon


        #TIL … great story, and yes it’s sad and wrong that you don’t hear about her more.


    2. digi_owl

      Vitnamese EV, AI, it is all about that compound growth.

      I think it was David Harvey that pointed out how absurd that is, because by now they need to find profitable investment for billions of dollars each year in order to maintain the (sacred) growth rate.

  16. mrsyk

    Meanwhile, somewhere in Kansas…
    I see the Intercept has a piece out, titled “Anti-Press Hatred Is Alive and Well in Kansas” which all too predictably makes “hatred of the press” a Trump thing. I won’t link it, but here’s the lede: “The assault on the Marion County Record is another reminder that Trumpism is a threat to press freedom.”

    I see that the KBI (Kansas Bureau of Investigation) has officially taken over the “investigation” (of the newspaper, not the police action).

    To their credit, many local Kansas news outfits are working this story hard. This opinion piece from The Kansas Reflector (I believe they broke the story) is worth a read. “Why care about Marion’s newspaper? Because police raid was a step too far.”

    1. flora

      Thanks for noting the Intercept’s bs take on the situation. gawd.

      My most generous take on the KBI’s response is that the local police dept leveled a charge against the paper that served as the reason for the raid. If the KBI shows the charge was false, that ups the pressure against the local police department and gives more force to the newspaper’s charge against the police department. We will see what happens.

      Thanks for the Reflector link.

      1. flora

        adding: if the local police department captain really believed there was serious misuse of the newpaper’s computers and journalists’ phones in the commission of a crime, the first course of action should have been to call in either the KBI or the FBI and let those agencies examine the computers and phone logs directly. Both agencies have the digital forensics capabilities that I know small town local pds do not have. As it stands, the local police department took every digital computer, phone, and device; who knows what they have done with those devices and how they may have altered the data on them after the confiscation – intentionally or not.

        1. flora

          In my opinion, the Marion police chief, who spent over two decades as a captain in the KC police department, should have known that basic step. I can’t imagine a police captain in a major metropolitan police department not knowing this step. Heck, even lowly computer server system administrators know this step.

          I think you posted this link earlier; reposting it here as a refresher.

          1. mrsyk

            It seems that Chief Cody has some dirty laundry related to his leaving the KC Police Force. It is referenced in this 5 things to know article as well as others. I’ve seen it described as “sexual misconduct”. This very well may be the primary motivation for the raid. Spitballing here, finding the source who provided the dirty laundry details may be the purpose of the raid.

            1. flora

              Thank you. While the local police department made a claim of a federal crime – identity theft, your idea makes as much sense. imo.

      2. mrsyk

        That’s a generous take for sure, but not inconceivable. What the KBI should be doing first is looking at the legality of the raid from start to finish. This would protect the privacy of the confiscated files.
        From what I’ve read, Joan Meyer was well liked. It seems obvious that the police raid brought on her demise. Police Chief Cody should probably be polishing his resume.
        Besides federal laws protecting journalism and the press, Kansas has a shield law “that protects journalists in Kansas from seizure of their materials without a hearing.” This article from The Kansas City Star has more.

  17. Wukchumni

    Gooooooooood Moooooooooorning Fiatnam!

    The Unit had been deployed on a search and rescue mission in the ongoing War On Cash underneath the fiscal jungle canopy where rather strident statements against those holding folding had become de rigueur, with National Parks leading the way as they had long ago shown the path vis a vis the wilderness, where cash is of no value and aside from a low denomination coin needed to open a Garcia bear canister, or kindling should you somehow not find pine needles to do the trick and you find yourself warming up to dead Presidents.

    The first salvo though in the skirmish was fired @ Burning Man before the turn of the century, where although it costs $600 to get in the door, cash has been on the outs aside from the only thing you can buy on the playa being $3 bags of ice, and they don’t take plastic.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “As Ukraine uses cluster munitions, a 50-year-old lesson it must remember”

    I don’t think that the Ukrainians are really worried about using cluster munitions right now. If they lose this war, the places that they have been using them will be territories of the Russian Federation so it will be Russia’s job to clean them all up, not the Ukraine. If, however, they win this war enough so that they get to keep those territories and take them all back, then as these are areas that have a high concentration of Russian-speakers, they won’t care and leave it for the locals to deal with. So for them, it is win-win. And here I do not think that I am that far from the truth.

    1. Feral Finster

      Keep in mind that the local puppets in Kiev will just bunk off to their NYC luxury condos, their Miami penthouses, or the Italian villas if things go south.

    2. noonespecial

      From Rev’s comment: “…they won’t care and leave it for the locals to deal with…”

      AlJazeera link quote: The governments giving and using “bombies” are setting up the next generation for unnecessary deaths. At a minimum, there will need to be a dangerous munitions cleanup when the war is over.

      Yes, agreed, locals whom some in the West may not even think exist will deal with these munitions for a long while.

      The UK’s Indy news wire posted the article linked below:

      “Footage released by the Ukrainian defence ministry shows US-supplied cluster munitions, which spray “bomblets” across a wide area, hitting Russian forces amid Kyiv’s recapturing of the key strategic settlement of Urozhaine in the Donetsk region. ‘Ukrainian troops have liberated Urozhaine village, Donetsk region!’ the Ukrainian defence ministry posted on X on Wednesday.”

      Does seem like the Indy article follows along the themes presented in NC’s recent essay on the hopium fed to the masses. Would it be too much to ask of the Ukrainian defence ministry to explain how it will handle/pay for the clean up of the toxic munitions in areas liberated by these sanctified weapons?


  19. Carolinian

    Turley says the new Trump indictment is to law what Biden’s foreign policy is to foreign policy–reckless and irresponsible. The prosecutor is charging everyone and saying let the jury sort it out. It’s especially dangerous to Trump because presidential pardons don’t apply to state laws.

    Of course a Georgia jury may not be same as a DC jury, even in Fulton county, so the notion that Trump could actually go to jail is still far fetched. But the abuse of process shows the degree to which Dems now think anything goes as long as the mighty media Wurlitzer supports them.

    So blame it on the media I say. Even in their current attenuated state the legacy channels and newspapers still have a great deal of power. Jefferson thought a free and independent press was all important. He was right.

    1. marym

      Turley: “For example, the indictment relies on calls like the controversial one Trump had with Georgia officials—a call long cited as indisputable evidence of an effort at voting fraud. In the call, Trump pushed his demand for a statewide recount. Trump had lost the state by less than 12,000 votes. When officials insisted that there was little likelihood that such a recount would make a difference, he stated, “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.””

      At the time of the call [01/02/2021] there had already been both a statewide hand recount (to fulfill a state audit requirement) and a statewide machine recount (at Trump’s request) of the Georgia vote.

      1. Carolinian

        Turley says when not taken out of context his phone call utterance more thinking out loud than urging fraud. At any rate a jury would have to decide whether a thought crime or real crime. Guess if Georgia does send him to jail they will have to find accommodation for his secret service agents. Not that a lot of serious thinking seems to be involved on the part of the prosecutor.

        Trump shoots off his mouth a lot and that does challenge socially acceptable speech. The extent to which lawfare-ists can declare this a crime may soon be tested. In any case current events are certainly not the first time the country has flirted with thought crimes. Some of us are so old we can remember when those earlier attempts were widely condemned.

        1. marym

          In the transcript of the call Trump goes through maybe half a dozen of the usual areas where he claims there’s problems – absentee ballots, boxes under the table, etc., and keeps saying they don’t need all that, they just need 11,780. What he seems to be asking for (thought-criming out loud about?) repeatedly is distinctly not a statewide recount, but that they recount or reject some particular sub-set of ballots until they get to one more than Biden and then stop. 

  20. Carolinian

    Interesting about the Panama canal. The reason for the backlog is the design of the canal itself which depends on the water flow from a high altitude lake to fill the locks as they lift and then lower the vessels through the locks.

    A canal lock uses 50 million gallons of water when a single vessel traverses the canal. Water levels in Gatun Lake, which feeds the canal, are at a four-year low.

    To make this work they had to re-channel a river into the canal. Maybe it’s time for a sea level canal through flatter land after all. Doubtless Nicaragua will cooperate since we’ve been so historically friendly to them. Oh wait…..

    1. Wukchumni

      Nicaraguan stamps portraying an active volcano were a big reason the canal wasn’t built there…

      In the early 1900s, American politicians wanted to build a canal to bridge the distance between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but they were divided on where to build it – in Panama, or in Nicaragua. Many members of Congress originally viewed Nicaragua as a safer choice when planning where to construct a canal. One reason for this was because the French had been working on just such a canal in Panama for the previous twenty years, to little success. The problems the French had run up against included a regular summer rainy season and deadly diseases such as yellow fever and malaria.

      There was also the question of foreign diplomacy; Panama had recently split from Colombia and, at the end of 1903, declared itself an independent nation. If America decided to pursue a project in Panama, it could jeopardize the U.S.’s diplomatic relationship with Colombia, which would not be pleased with an American business deal in a recently lost territory. In contrast, Nicaragua was politically stable and construction on the canal would have been easier, due to a lake in the middle of the proposed canal zone.

      The debate of where to build this canal tied Congress up for years. In 1902, a French engineer by the name of Philippe Buanu-Varilla decided to lobby Congress to continue their construction of the Panama Canal, instead of starting a new one in Nicaragua. Buanu-Varilla had, in fact, not only been an engineer on the French Panama Canal project for the past twenty years, but had also been an investor in the original project. Interested in preserving his work and stake in the project, he worked with an American named William Nelson Cromwell to lobby Congress to carry on with the Panama Canal.

      One of the ways Cromwell and Buanu-Varilla planned to convince Congress to move forward with a canal in Panama instead of Nicaragua was by mailing each member of the Senate a Nicaraguan stamp. This stamp, one of a series, was released in 1900 and depicted the building of the railroad industry in Nicaragua, all in the foreground of a beloved national symbol: the local volcano Mt. Momotombo. The problem with the stamp, however, was with how Mt. Momotombo was drawn. With smoke spewing out the top, the volcano appeared active thereby giving the viewer the idea that it could possibly erupt!

      1. Carolinian

        The problem with the stamp, however, was with how Mt. Momotombo was drawn.

        Guess Congress people have never been the sharpest knives in the drawer.

        Another proposed solution way back when was to put vessels onto rail cars and truck them over the highlands. May not work with Panamax.

      2. cgregory

        And buttressing the case for choosing Panama for the canal was the famous Flat Arch in Panama City. This arch, made of brick is indeed rather flat. Somehow its continued existence despite the attempted ravages of time (it might be several centuries old by now), neglect (whatever structure had been attached to it was long in ruins before I saw it fifty years ago) and volcanism (nonexistent in Panama) assured Goethals et al. that Panama was a winner.

        Having heard about the Flat Arch, when I visited Panama fifty years ago I expected it to be ballyhooed with signs, curios in the shops and mentioned as enticements by hustlers on the streets. But there was nada. No Flat Archburgers, no Flat Arch keychains, no Flat Arch futbol team, nothing. And no mention of the fact that if you were given the location, the street names had been changed due to the largesse of a wealthy influential widow. However, I was able to find it.

        It was in an otherwise vacant lot surrounded by a decrepit chain link fence. Its brickwork was definitely aged and neglected. Some of the locals were shooting hoops. The basketball hoop was mounted underneath one end of it.

        1. Jeff W

          El Arco Chato did play a role in convincing those deciding between Nicaragua and Panama of the seismic stability of the latter but the arch eventually did collapse in early November, 2003, just around the time of celebrations for Panama’s centennial. (This blog post, written the day after the collapse by someone who says he lived “about 100 feet” from the arch, contains speculation that the vibrations caused by “a salvo of booms [connected with the centennial celebration]…eight [of which] shook the windows of [his] bedroom and the buildings around [his] place” might have contributed to the collapse.) It was subsequently reconstructed.

    2. Bart Hansen

      When I stick two fingers in a small glass of water the water level rises. Why not allow a number of large ships into the canal where this phenomena would help with the water level?

      HT: Archimedes

    3. some guy

      I wonder what kind of marine ecosystem destruction would be set off by creating a sea level canal permitting promiscuous movement and mixing of Atlantic and Pacific ocean organisms.

      1. cgregory

        The Atlantic there is actually higher than the Pacific. It would turn violently into a one-way straight ditch.

      2. cgregory

        The Atlantic there is actually higher than the Pacific. It would turn violently into a one-way straight ditch.

  21. flora

    This is too good to pass up. (I wonder if it’s a joke/prank book or if it’s real.)

    On Amazon.

    Fire and Fury: The Story of the 2023 Maui Fire and its Implications for Climate Change Kindle Edition

    “The book chronicles the events of August 8-11, 2023, ” (and was kindle published Aug. 10th.) Written by someone called Dr. Miles Stones. (really? Miles Stones?)

    Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 10, 2023
    Language ‏ : ‎ English
    File size ‏ : ‎ 2211 KB

  22. Wukchumni

    Hey, Fani
    Yes, Brad?

    I’ve got something to say
    Uh huh
    I really loved the skillful way
    You beat the devil in the details the other day

    Oh, Brad

    The river of delays was deep but sandy (Fani)
    The future is ours-not Donald’s, perhaps they will ban he (Fani)
    So please don’t tell me its like stealing a baby’s candy (Fani)
    I’ve one thing to say and that’s
    Damn he, Fani, I love you

    The road to indictment was long but uncanny (Fani)
    There’s a fire in my heart and my legs are bandy (Fani)
    If there’s one solid I can do for you then I am handy (Fani)
    I’ve one thing to say and that’s
    Damn he, Fani, I love you

    Here’s an indictment to prove that I’m no joker
    There’s four ways to the calaboose he can go
    As far as a criminal enterprise goes, mediocre
    Oh F-A-N-I I love you so

  23. Harold

    Re: Gramsci Quite a few Jews are buried in what is now called the Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome (within my memory formerly called the Anti-Catholic Cemetery. My Calabrian stepfather, a lapsed Catholic, always used to say he wanted to be buried there). It seems odd not to mention that putting stones — or pebbles — on graves is a Jewish custom.

    I have an indelible memory of going there when I was six years old with my poetry-loving mother (before she remarried) and aunt to put a bunch of red roses on the grave of Shelley.

  24. Jason Boxman

    While the NY Times has no worries about COVID damage, they do care about PFAS:

    ‘Forever Chemicals’ Are Everywhere. What Are They Doing to Us? (20+ minute read)

    PFAS lurk in so much of what we eat, drink and use. Scientists are only beginning to understand how they’re impacting our health — and what to do about them.

    Grandjean, Weihe and their colleagues published their own paper in 2012 showing that PFAS reduced the number of antibodies that children maintained after they received tetanus and diphtheria vaccinations. (Weihe was so alarmed at the apparent lack of protection for some of them that he called their parents to offer them boosters.) Between the Faroese and the Ohio Valley residents, however, there was a crucial difference. The Faroese had not been exposed to high levels of the chemicals, as the subjects in the DuPont study had; the levels of PFAS circulating in the bloodstreams of the Faroese were akin to U.S. and European averages. If such relatively small quantities of PFAS could interfere with the immune system, Weihe and Grandjean asked, what other processes might be affected? And how long might it take for those outcomes to appear? The two researchers have been seeking answers by documenting the health of the babies in their study as they move through childhood and into adulthood.

    If it wasn’t going to be climate, chemicals were going to be the end of us all anyway, or micro-/nanoplastics.

  25. Wukchumni

    Ever notice that the Tooth Fairy is kind of similar to our banking system, in that money is dispensed sans collateral, for something no longer useful.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        I wish.
        my Toothfairy was my mom…
        “,,,Zwecklos arbeit macht frie”, and all…

    1. Adam

      There’s amusing metal parody song along these lines called “Tooth Fairy” by Nanowar of Steel.

  26. Mildred Montana

    >Maui Fires, Lahaina and Hurricane Katrina Erik Zimerman, My Publication

    This is one excellent link. Thank you and I’ll have to read more of Zimerman’s stuff. The entire article (also includes images and videos) is worth reading but here’s what I consider to be the nut of it:

    “…just [MSM] silence on the [fire] while good ole Trump bashing continues. At first, there was some eagerness to report when Climate Change could quickly be blamed….So why is this happening? Is it because few of the victims are black? Because many are perhaps Asian? Is it because the Governor and gov’t of Hawaii are Democrats, and so is President Biden?” Bingo.

    There’s a two-minute video of Trump ripping into Joe (No Comment) Biden and the Hawaii Dems for their tepid (to say the least) response to the disaster. Of course this video never appeared in the MSM because Trump speaking in his own words must be shown to the people as little as possible. No equal time for him, even though he is the presumptive Presidential nominee for the GOP. And politicians and media have the gall to spout about “our democracy”!

    Fascinating piece from top to bottom.

    1. Screwball

      That was quite the read, but I can’t say anything he wrote is surprising. I checked the CNN website before posting this and the entire top of the front page was still all Trump. The Maui fire was under “More Top Stories” and there were three articles.

      From the same article:

      The silence and lack of action on a tragedy of this scale was previously not possible in the US. Collusion between the media and the ruling party allow for it, as they find it better for their number of votes.

      This explains Biden’s “No comment” remark and the media silence.

      They were hoping this all blows over, since, from Wailuku to Honolulu and Washington DC, the Democrats had their hands on the wheel, and over a hundred if not many hundreds are dead.

      I don’t care if Trump spends the rest of his life in jail, but it has been obvious for a long time the only thing that matters to the Democrats, their media lackey’s, the weaponized DOJ and FBI, is to eliminate candidate Trump. Then add in a side dish of the Ukraine debacle, the Hunter thing, the censorship thing, etc.

      The problem is – this is all they focus on while Rome burns – literally. These people, all of them, are despicable pieces of maggot infested $hit.

    2. Mikel

      “Is it because few of the victims are black?”
      As if they’re solving problems that affect black people like the drinking water in Mississippi and Flint.

      1. flora

        Hey. The Dem party loves Black and Brown and poor people… as mascots. /ducks from the thrown rotten tomatoes

  27. The Rev Kev

    Just logging off for the night but first an interesting link. So the Russians are having the ARMY-2023 military expo in Moscow right now and there are new items on display. Such as? For those who cannot access this article, there is a French AMX-10RCR armored fighting vehicle, a British Mastiff Armored Vehicle, a British AT-105 Saxon armored personnel carrier, a British Husky Tactical Support Vehicle, a Swedish CV90-40 combat vehicle, a Finnish XA-180 Pasi armored personnel carrier, an Australian Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle and even a French SCALP cruise missile. And that was only the big items of the 800 types of weapons captured on display-

    1. digi_owl

      Talk about a cold war museum.

      Except for maybe the Husky those all date back to the 80s-90s.

  28. Screwball

    Off topic. Customer service, or lack of.

    We all know how difficult it can be to contact utility companies, carriers, internet providers, you name it. Automated phone systems and all that. Be prepared to wait, and wait, and wait.

    Last night I came home and found a line hanging from a set of lines at the end of my driveway, which is between two streets. I couldn’t get in my driveway due to the line. I got out, looked it over and could see it was pulled off from a house “somewhere.” It appears to be the neighbor behind me, given the length. Upon further investigation I could see this line had a bunch of smaller lines inside the casing, so I assume it was a phone line. Perhaps not even in use anymore since so many have went to cell phones.

    So I call AT&T who used to be the carrier around here. Of course the first thing the automated system tells me is my phone number isn’t recognized as a customer, so please enter my account number, which I don’t have. I tell it I don’t have one. I repeated this step about 4 times and it finally sends me to another automated system which wants to talk to me. When asked what my issue was, I said “downed line” which confused it. We went through this about 4 times, then it kicked me to another automated system. Went through the same stuff again for another 10 or so minutes. Nothing worked. They kept asking for information I didn’t have because I don’t have an account.

    Finally, after about 45 minutes of waiting, then talking to HAL 9000, I got a real person. Hallelujah!!! What is your account number? I don’t have one. Are you a customer? No. Why are you calling? I have a phone line hanging in my driveway and it’s not mine. OH!

    They will put it in the queue, but also informed me they must prioritize their calls to people who are in a bigger need, but we will get there….sometime. OK, fine, I get that.

    All in all, maybe an hour playing phone roulette and getting my blood pressure elevated to levels I don’t want it to. Every time I have to call customer service this is what it is like. At least this person could speak English, so there is that.

    And they call this customer service… *spit*

    1. antidlc

      Welcome to my world.

      As I have mentioned before, I am stuck in Obamacare h*ll helping a family member.

      If you don’t have mental health issues before, you will probably have them after dealing with insurance companies, billing offices, and the PCP referral person.

      1. Screwball

        Best of luck, and I understand. I am old (67) and many of my friends are dealing with medical issues. Nothing but a complete mess – not only the (non)care – but the headaches with billing etc. Unreal. The horror stories are the daily conversation that keeps on giving.

        As been well documented here, our medical industry is a complete mess. But I’m sure the people in DC are aware, and will fix it so the system works for the people. They will make it affordable, and you can even keep your doctor. They could even call it the The Affordable Care Act. Yea, that’s the ticket.

        I’m out of words for these ghouls and this is a family blog.

        Again, good luck.

    2. some guy

      I have found that sometimes pushing the ” 0″ for “Operator” number button tens or hundreds of times within a few minutes will shortcircuit the phone tree daisy-chain circle-jerk process and get me a human person faster.

      1. digi_owl

        Back when the voice operated trees were introduced there was this claim going round that swearing could get you straight to a human. These days i suspect it will just hang up because it needs to protect the sensitive AI from harsh language.

        1. anahuna

          I have tried strategic though not obscene bellowing in response to every question. It often works.

    3. digi_owl

      Not much better on the other side of the Atlantic.

      Here they refuse to fix broken exchanges, and leave decommissioned lines hanging (to the point that the lines are holding up the poles because the base has rotted through).

      All because some exchanges have gotten so old they have to be replaced completely, and they want to move to all mobile anyways as the copper wires are used more for DSL than voice (at least in areas that has not moved to power company provided fiber). And they can’t charge pr second on those (and need to provide competition with access).

      Service? Public safety? F that, that is profits left on the table.

  29. Harold

    The stones are called “visitation” stones and are an act of respect and symbolic participation in the burial.

  30. albrt

    COVID anecdata – I know several people in Ohio who have tested positive just within the last few days.

    Don’t know anybody in Phoenix who has tested positive – yet.

    People I talk to in both places seem to be aware that we are in the early stages of another surge, but no sign of masking or other precautions.

    1. antidlc
      Lots of Swifties Are Saying They Got COVID After the LA Eras Tour Shows

      Unless you’ve been living in a Wi-Fi-free hole for the past few months, you know that Taylor Swift’s record-breaking Eras tour has been having a major moment. And while most of the social media coverage has featured Swifties dancing and belting out bops like “Cruel Summer” and “Lavender Haze,” some attendees of last week’s SoFi Stadium shows in Los Angeles have been posting about a less joyful effect of their concert euphoria: a positive COVID-19 test. And yes, some of these fans claim they took standard safety precautions like wearing a mask and quarantining before and after the concert. (As you’ve probably seen in social media videos, however, the majority of folks were unmasked at the shows.)

      This seems like an ideal opportunity to remind everyone that big events like concerts, even if they’re outdoors, still come with COVID risks. Screaming and/or crying at the top of your lungs for three hours (as you should) is a recipe for potential transmission: Remember that the coronavirus that causes COVID often spreads through respiratory droplets via coughing, sneezing, talking, or, yep, singing, as SELF previously reported.

      spreads through “respiratory droplets”.

    2. Screwball

      I’m in Ohio, but haven’t heard much around here (NW Ohio). I watch the Walgreens map Lambert posts in the afternoon Water cooler. Ohio seems funny. One day bright red, then white (middle), and then dark green (low). There never seems to be anything in between. I don’t know what that means, but it seems strange.

      School is starting next week for some around here. I was at college yesterday for a meeting (active shooter training (ain’t that wild?)) and no a mask in a room of maybe 100 people. This should get interesting in the next few weeks when all the schools are back.

      Stay safe.

  31. Wukchumni

    Ah, Kansas City
    Gonna raid my newspaper back home, yeah-yeah
    I’m going to Kansas City
    Gonna raid my newspaper back home, yeah-yeah
    Well, it’s a long, long time coming, coming.

    Ah, Kansas City
    Gonna raid that fishwrap one time, ah-yeah-yeah
    I’m going to Kansas City
    Gonna raid that fishwrap one time, ah-yeah-yeah
    It’s just a one, two, three, four slam dunk
    First Amendment right sunk

    Hey, hey, hey, hey (hey, hey, hey, hey)
    Hey, Marion (hey, Marion)
    Ooh, now 98 year old girl (girl, girl)
    I said, yeah now, huh (yeah now)
    Now, now, now, now
    Tell me, baby, what’s been wrong with you?

    Hey, hey, hey, hey (hey, hey, hey, hey)
    Hey, Marion (hey, Marion)
    Ooh, now 98 year old girl (girl, girl)
    I said, yeah now! 98 year old girl (yeah now!)
    Now, now, now, now
    Tell me, baby, what’s been wrong with you?

    Well, I said bye (bye-bye, bye-bye, bye-bye)
    Bye-bye, baby, bye-bye (bye-bye, bye-bye, bye-bye)
    Woo! So long Freedom of the Press (so long, so long, so long)
    Bye, bye, baby, I’m gone (bye-bye, bye-bye, bye-bye)

    Kansas City, performed by the Beatles

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      It was a big thrill for me when the mighty Beatles chose to sing about the old Cowtown, Kansas City. But it really shouldn’t have been. KC had quite a blues and jazz tradition of its own, starting with Count Basie and the Kansas City Seven. This is the Count’s version of the “Kansas City,” done as part of a Count-does-the-Beatles album. The Count lived down by the old ballpark where the Monarchs played and Arthur Bryant prepared his burnt ends. Tom Pendergast was the boss, and Harry Truman was a county “judge,” called a commissioner outside of Missouri. After the Count departed for NYC (just like Roger Maris), a young saxophonist named Charley Parker took up residence before leaving for brighter lights too.

      During a summer law clerkship in ’76, the Royals were still playing at Municipal Stadium, and my spouse and I would stop by to pick up some brisket and greasy fries at Arthur Bryant’s to be devoured at the picnic tables off the left field line.

      That’s all history, but KC at least has two museums to preserve that special era. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum preserves the legacy of the Monarchs whose team members included Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson and Buck O’Neil. The American Jazz Museum covers the jazz and blues scene in KC in the 30s, 40s and 50s.

      The Beatles only paid one visit to KC, and they played in Municipal Stadium in September, 1964. Being only 11, I didn’t go, but they did play “Kansas City,” adding it to the regular playlist to please the locals. My guess is that nobody was able to hear what they were playing anyway. Maybe the Bird’s ghost was hanging around.

  32. Mark Gisleson

    On Twitter there is now a captioned picture of the North of Richmond singer morphed into a dog having sex with a Little Debbie snack in the middle of the woods. The caption likens him to the same breed Martyanov likes to compare the West to.

    I unfavorably retweeted and instantly got three very derisive replies, each focusing on my calling the singer a “folk hero.” I may be back on Twitter but my tweets are rarely seen by more than 30 people (allegedly), so either these were sockpuppet accounts tied to the original tweeter (who would see the RT immediately) or I’m being monitored more closely than I thought.

    To the point, it was one song that went viral only in some places. For that they bestialityshopped the singer.

    Ukrainians have taken over Dip State and all our agitprop are now belong to them.

    1. Wukchumni

      Photoshop was the ruin of my favorite rag while awaiting my chance at the checker in the supermarket, I speak of the late Weekly World News which needed no celebrities, only clever photo manipulators. Everybody was in on the gag and wasn’t surprised when they saw that ‘alligator water skiing’ with a good old boy standing on a pair of them in lieu of skis was a thing in Alabama, or a B-24 bomber had been found intact on a crater of the Moon.

      The thing is, we’ve become the Weekly World News now, but for real.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Those supermarket tabloids are great browsing while in line. Two of my favorite headlines from years past:

        1. Man Takes Wrong Turn and Drives to Hell! He must have returned to tell the tale. I’ve heard cellphones don’t function in that heat.
        2. Head Talks, Lives For Eight Hours! The head reportedly asked the nurse to scratch its itchy nose.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      Just read The New Yorker on this cultural crisis and am trying to process the fact that The New Yorker is doing critical reviews of popular country songs in real time now? That’s a first.

      Is IDsplaining a word yet? Neosplained? We need a word for what this review is to discourage more reviews like it.

    3. hunkerdown

      LLM bots, perhaps. I wouldn’t be at all suprised. Did you flag all three for inauthentic behavior?

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Blocked them. Given how suppressed my account is, I suspect my reporting people earns them a gold star and a blue checkmark.

  33. Sub-Boreal

    More people than expected are dying in Canada in 2023 for reasons that are not yet clear [paywalled]

    ‘Tis a mystery!


    Estimated excess mortality dipped in January and February, but the latest 2023 figures indicate it is about 15 per cent to 20 per cent higher than it was in 2020 and 2021, according to Tara Moriarty, an infectious-disease researcher and co-founder of the grassroots group COVID-19 Resources Canada. That’s considerably lower than in 2022, “which was a horrific, really, really bad year in Canada, but it’s still higher than the first few years of the pandemic,” she said.

    What excess mortality says about the current state of the pandemic is uncertain, in part because of a slow, patchwork system of reporting deaths in Canada. Yet it shouldn’t be ignored, said Dr. Moriarty, who is also an associate professor at the University of Toronto. “We absolutely need to know why we have historically high levels of death,” she said.

    Since the start of the pandemic until June, her group estimates there have been nearly 90,500 excess deaths in Canada, which is about double the number of Canadian deaths in the Second World War. That number is adjusted to subtract deaths from drug poisonings, suicides, mass homicide and a heat wave in B.C.

    The total number of COVID-19 deaths that have been recorded since the start of the pandemic, however, stands at 53,216, according to Public Health Agency of Canada data. In other countries such as Britain and France, which have timely death-reporting systems, almost all excess mortality can be explained by COVID-19 deaths, Dr. Moriarty said. The two numbers match up fairly closely to each other.

    But in Canada, provinces lag in their reporting to the official Canadian Vital Statistics Database, which collects information, including cause of death, for all deaths in the country. That reporting is not yet complete for the first year of the pandemic, Dr. Moriarty said. But so far, she said, most of the COVID-19 deaths that have been reported to the database for 2020 indicate about 90 per cent of excess deaths that year can probably be attributed to COVID-19.

    1. Milton

      Well in July ’23, the US had 222k all cause deaths. This compares to 229k in 2019. So there’s that.

  34. Matthew G. Saroff

    The Naval News headline is misleading. Both the Golf SSB (launched 1958) and the Hotel SSBN (1960) had missiles in the sails.

    It’s how you handle things like nuclear ballistic missiles in a hull too narrow to accommodate them.

    The fact that Israel is to deploy SLBMs is significant, but putting these in the sail, been done for 60+ years.

  35. thousand points of green

    It is good to see ” Impact of Climate on the Global Capacity for Enhanced Rock Weathering on Croplands Advancing Earth and Space Sciences. ” achieving breakthrough into the Mainstream Media Space and entering into discussion there.

    An eccentric engineer named John Hamaker first began writing about this decades ago (focusing his activity on “glacial rock dust” ) as a way to enhance and speed up skycarbon suckdown and soil carbon/ plant carbon buildup. Here is a pdf of the entire book he wrote on the subject.,on%20a%20highly%20mineralized%2C%20alive%20and%20vibrant%20soil.

    Following the exposure given to Hamaker, his book and his theory in Acres USA, ” glacial rock dust” became a subject of interest for a few years in parts of the gardening and farming community. Companies came into existence to sell it, like this . . . But it faded after a few years, as if only a fad. It deserved better and perhaps this new spotlight on ERW may bring the whole subject and process back into public view for public action.

    Separately , there was research and some articles on how natural rock dust from the Sahara was somehow funneled by certain strangely shaped mountains in Chad into high-altitude air currents which could blow all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to fall back out over Brazil and nourish the growth of the Amazon Rain Forest.

    Reading about this made me wonder if there could be a way to bring multi-sourced super-mineral-nutrient-rich rock dust to these mountains and blow it up into the air to join the natural rock dust in traveling to Brazil to feed the growth of the Amazon Rain Forest? Might it make sense to release small amounts of seaweed meal dust and fish meal dust into the same rock dust air currents to supercharge the growth of the Amazon Rain Forest even more through such plant growth accelerating super nutrition?

  36. Randy

    Mission critical tasks that require electricity for providing water to fire hydrants, not to mention keeping the taps flowing should have an onsite generator with an underground fuel tank.

    Most little towns around me have a water tower or a structure on a nearby hill to store water and provide pressure. I have no idea of the feasibility of that in Hawaii. If you can’t do a water tower you should have a stationary backup generator big enough to handle the load.

    This is a basic emergency government responsibility.

  37. JB

    Good writeup on the recent NIF fusion achievements, from physicist Tom Murphy:

    Makes an impressively accessible walkthrough of the daunting challenges that remain for achieving true commercial breakeven (requiring efficiency to improve many thousands of times over), and calculates the actual fusion yield to compare that to (which can only achieve a maximum 25x improvement):

    How many fusion events took place to crank out 3 MJ of energy? Each deuterium–tritium fusion event releases 17.6 MeV of energy, or 2.8×10−12 J. Calling this 3×10−12 J (among friends; makes for easy math), we find that we need 1018 fusion events to amount to 3 MJ. Each event involves 2 nuclei. We calculated above that the shell contains 50×1018 nuclei, meaning that 4% of them participated in fusion.

    Still very impressive that as much as 4% fused, and that they’re still incrementally improving on this – yet the remaining technical challenges make this method of fusion look questionable, unless they can fuse much bigger targets with the same amount of energy.

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