Links 8/17/2023

This Transparent Beehive Lets Beekeepers See the Bees at Work MyModernMet (David L)

Texas Bats Face a Pandemic of Their Own Undark

Spectacular, incredible, amazing.. rarely seen smoke rings at Mt Etna YouTube (Dr. Kevin)

Math Proof Draws New Boundaries Around Black Hole Formation Quanta (furzy)

The Aging Brain: Is Misplaced DNA to Blame? Science (UserFriendly)

Pink Floyd strike a chord as scientists recreate song from brain activity Financial Times (David L)

Bride Of Bay Area House Party Astral Codex Ten (albrt)


CMS Administrator Brooks-LaSure Letter to Payors Regarding Coverage of COVID-19 Vaccines Post Commercialization HHS. ma: “So…..still free? kinda sorta maybe…… supposed to be?”

Scientists call for Brits to wear masks again due to startling new Covid variant Mirror. Our GM is e-mailing us about a lot of new, highly mutated variants in recent days, not yet clear which will also have serious reproductive advantage. But the heavy mutations suggest they have very good odds of evading prior infection and vaccination.


World Bank Climate Finance Plan Little Help, Unfair Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Khoo Wei Yang

Non-native grass species blamed for ferocity of Hawaii wildfires Guardian (Kevin W)


Global investors dump Chinese securities as state support hopes fade Financial Times

US driving situation on Korean Peninsula to brink of nuclear war — DPRK defense minister TASS (guurst)

Japan, South Korea strengthen security ties amid signs of thawing relations long strained by wartime history Channel News Asia


France’s colonial legacy, US’ security concerns intersect in Niger; Russians at the gates look for new hunting grounds Indian Punchline (Kevin W)

France Reportedly Thinks That The US Backstabbed It During Nuland’s Trip To Niger Andrew Korybko (Micael T)

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine Commits Last Remaining Elite Brigade For Final Attempt Simplicius the Thinker. We had passed along a report from Alexander Mercouris that Ukraine was rumored to be committing its last reserves to Kharkiv, rather than redeploying troops from its offensive in Zaporzhizhia. This report is another data point affirming the idea that Ukraine is going all in. It must perceive or have been told it needs to show something it can tout as progress before the fall mud season hits (normally starting mid-Sept to October) or its prospects for support at anything the current level will wane.

Warning as unexploded Russian mines wash up on Europe’s tourist beaches Independent (furzy). While this is possible, recall Turkyie complaining early in the war about Ukraine mines floating long distances from where they were laid and getting in sea lanes. Generally, my impression is Russia has tried to place naval mines in a way that they can be retrieved later. Russia after all regards the Black Sea as a Russian lake.

Russia’s War-Torn Economy Hits Its Speed Limit Wall Street Journal. Lead story. The level of the rouble is not of much consequence given that Russia is pretty close to an autarky. A cheap rouble might even be seen as a plus internally now that Europe has divorced Russia, since it will encourage even more import substitution, facilitate Russia giving discounts to Global South trading partners who buy commodities in roubles, and discourage Russians from buying property abroad (there was a lot in Phuket earlier this year, for instance). It will, however, make Russians wanting to vacation abroad unhappy. Some businesses could also have wrong-footed how they manage currency risk or foreign purchases, so it’s not as if the plunge won’t do some harm. I also believe Russia is still getting a lot of cars and car parts from abroad, so this would be another area that could suffer if a super cheap rouble (say below 80-85 to USD) persists. Alexander Mercouris has more commentary (and also gave us a nice shout out).

Report: Russia Evades Oil Price Cap by Inflating Shipping Costs Maritime Executive (Kevin W)


Pakistan: Mob burns churches over blasphemy claims BBC (furzy)

Over 100 people detained in attacks on churches in Pakistan Anadolu Agency

Senators Urge Biden to Unload Tanker Carrying Stolen Iranian Oil (Kevin W)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Non-enterprise user? Microsoft may store your Bing chats The Register (BC)

Requiring ink to scan a document—yet another insult from the printer industry ars technica (Kevin W). Another reason not to own a multi-purpose device.

LinkedIn accounts hacked in widespread hijacking campaign Bleeping Computer (BC)

Imperial Collapse Watch

AUKUS, QUAD transforming alliance-like Indian Punchline (Kevin W)

Is America a War State? Matt Taibbi

Boston Consulting Group — consultant to kleptocrats Daily Maverick (Hennie S). McKinsey has competition!


Trump seeks to weaponize Georgia indictment in 2024 race The Hill. This is no doubt true and Trump’s opponents underestimate how giving him huge amounts of free press, good or bad, boosts him. But the offset is Trump will have to spend time on these cases, particularly if his attorneys do not succeed with delaying tactics. He will have to appear in court. He will have to spend money on lawyers. All this will cut into time and resources for campaigning.

ALAN DERSHOWITZ: Al Gore, his legal team and I tried to find uncounted presidential votes, lobbied officials and fought in the courts in 2000. The only difference now? The candidate’s name is Donald Trump… That’s why this prosecution is an outrage Daily Mail (Li)

The Purpose Of The Trump Indictments Is To Demonstrate The Left’s Power The Federalist (Li)

Clues point to identities of ‘unindicted co-conspirators’ in alleged Coffee County breach Washington Post (furzy)

Elon Musk accused of withholding Twitter data to ‘cozy up’ to Trump New York Post. I don’t know about the policy under Musk but the old Twitter was known for fighting subpoenas harder than other social media platforms.

Texas woman arrested for alleged death threats to DC judge in Trump election interference case ABC (furzy)

Trump supporters post names and addresses of Georgia grand jurors online NBC (furzy)

RFK, Jr.

Yet I know Tucker but a long interview where Tucker says very little. A lot of errors in fine points, like Zelensky got 73% of vote, not 90%, Russia started SMO with more like 150,000 troops, not 40,000. Also wrong on fund ownership of defense concractors. Fund managers do not own shares, their funds do, and these are significantly in index funds (as in they are held and traded simply for index replication, not for any investment point of view and the fund manager will vote any proxies they control to support management) and then the end owners are very often 401(k)s and IRAs. Plus many fund managers offer brokerage accounts. The shares are held in street name, as in in the broker’s name, when a retail customer controls the shares.


Mark G: “WaPost touts Ilhan Omar’s challenger without mentioning the race or Omar.” Moi: Not paywalled. She was a felon who was addicted to drugs. Then she became a lawyer. Washington Post

Why a stopgap funding bill could face a rocky road in the House The Hill

Our No Longer Free Press

Publisher of raided Kansas newspaper ‘vindicated’ by prosecutor’s decision to return seized items after backlash CNN (furzy)

Anti-Press Hatred Is Alive and Well in Kansas Intercept


The Associated Press sets AI guidelines for journalists Verge

Summers Sees 10-Year Yields Averaging 4.75% in Coming Decade Bloomberg

The Bezzle

WeWork sounds the alarm, prompting speculation around the company’s future Associated Press (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

Amazon pinches sellers: Use our costly logistics services or pay extra fee [Updated] ars technica (Kevin W)

We Have a Health Care Crisis: Congress Must Address It Senator Bernie Sanders, YouTube

Falling markets sank global wealth in 2022, leaving the world with 3.5 million fewer millionaires CNN (UserFriendly)

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. ChrisFromGA


    With a purposeful grimace and a terrible scowl
    He pulls those pitiful long bond prices down …
    Helpless REITs played leverage games; they scream bug-eyed as yields blow out again
    His schtick’s playin’ tricks on congressional clowns, as he road-grades a stimmy bill into the ground

    Whoa-no, they say he’s got to go, go go Bondzilla! Yeah!
    Whoa-no, next stop: Tokyo! Go, go Bondzilla!

    [Repeat chorus]


    Bondzilla, zilla, zilla, zilla …

    [Japanese men talking in Japanese]

    Rough translation: Hey you crazy Americans! You did it again, you woke up Bondzira!

    Whoa-no, they say he’s got to go, go, go Bondzilla!
    Whoa-no, next stop: Tokyo, g-g-go Bondzilla!

    History shows again and again how bezzles and fraud turn out in the end … Bondzilla
    History shows again and again how bezzles and fraud turn out in the end … Bondzilla!

    Apologies to Blue Oyster Cult.

    1. mrsyk

      Thanks. I like the hallucination anecdote in particular. I feel like AI would be useful in generating word salad replies to the endless requests for useless crap from Admin.

      1. hunkerdown

        That escape from supervision is exactly why they don’t want us to have unsupervised AI at the network edge.

    2. Mildred Montana

      From the link: “Amazingly, this [language] prediction mechanism generates fairly cogent text.”

      I think an interesting test to conduct would be one which determines how AI does at translation, say a Russian novel into English. As readers know, translation of novels can be a finicky business requiring familiarity with the author and deep language and interpretation skills. Even among professional translators and writers any particular one is not necessarily agreed upon as the “best”.

      Let AI turn that Russian into English (or vice versa) and then have a group of skilled translators rate the result. Might be interesting—or amusing.

      1. scott s.

        I have been playing with “Whisper”. It’s from OpenAI who released it on Github under a permissive MIT license so about anyone can use it as they like. I use it for converting spoken Japanese to text and translation to English. It does a good job at times, but also can get caught in a rut. I notice a lot at the end it will write out “please like and subscribe” so I guess we know where they got the training data from.

    3. juno mas

      So now I have an idea as to verifying the respondent on the other end of my “chat” is alive, or not. Good link!

  2. timbers

    Why a stopgap funding bill could face a rocky road in the House

    Before I started reading, thought came to me: Republicans might have a chance to gum up the process with an attachment requiring immediate zeroing…as in total ZERO unless political prosecutions are terminated – the DOJ budget and diversion of all Ukraine aid to stopping illegal immigration.

    Then I read: “I WILL NOT vote for any continuing resolution that doesn’t smash Biden’s DOJ into a million pieces,” Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) wrote on X on Tuesday. “The DOJ has very rapidly become the enemy of the American people, and if nothing is done soon, our rights will be GONE. We MUST defund it!!”


    “I want my border secure. I’m going to fund my border,” McCarthy said.

    Article closed with:

    And then there is the issue of Ukraine, which has been a lightning rod in the House GOP conference for more than a year and is once again dividing Republicans.

    Angry minds think alike.

    1. Taxpayer Keith

      If our taxes are being squandered for zero national return for us, think I will just stop voluntarily reporting my income and buy a couple deer rifles and case of ammo with the tax savings.

      That’s national defense and strengthening my community by cutting out the middle men and bureaucracies.

    1. IMOR

      Andrei M. just yesterday:
      The other thing of note: Western cars’ service. Well, Russians simply started to produce parts themselves. No, not just buying from China, but domestic production. One of my closest friends drives (what a maroon, LOL)) 2020 Land Rover. Well, naturally he had to change both the water pump and some electric gizmo–both made in Russia. Guess what, he thanks God non-stop that these are Russian-made parts, work beautifully. Mind you, this is roughly $60,000 car. Again, when you have resources and massive machine building complex–this is all you need.

      1. begob

        I thought Martyanov meant the Land Rover was maroon. Parked in the garage next to the pink Ferrari.

    2. The Rev Kev

      That article said that that plant previously assembled German BMW & South Korean Hyundai and Kia cars. Obviously they bailed from Russia but I think that it can be accepted that they will never be able to re-enter that market of something like 143 million people again. I also read several weeks ago that western car makers are blocking any more software updates for their cars in Russia unless it is a safety one. Car makers like Porsche, Skoda, Kia, Infiniti, Nissan, Renault and Mercedes-Benz. Yeah, that market is gone for good-

    3. EssC e tera

      If you check youtube for “pakistan automobile parts rebuild”, or India, you’ll see that there is a huge aftermarket industry of small dirt floor workshops and metal fabrication shops using no automation at all, able to reproduce any car part whatsoever, by hand. We in the west, when we imagine car assembly, we tend to think of automation and also that this is the only way to do it, that it is beyond the average ability, and it is – for us.

      The truth is anyone can, it’s just a skill. There will never be any parts shortage except in the west, where we think it’s impossible to make this stuff without megafactories and where we’ve forgotten the skills needed.

  3. mrsyk

    “The Purpose Of The Trump Indictments Is To Demonstrate The Left’s Power ”
    C’mon man. The purpose of the Trump indictments is to keep Trump from a second term. “The Left?” Trust me. The left has no power.

    1. The Rev Kev

      So are we supposed to take from that that the Biden White House is at the heart of America’s “Left”? Obviously this is a brand new, novel use of the word “Left” that I have never heard before.

      1. earthling

        If you ever have to listen to a few moments of conservative talk radio, as in crossing Kansas, you will hear the goofy trope that socialists on the Left are speedily overtaking Murca. If you were swallowing that brainwash you would hear it a lot.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          And it is very easily countered. You would be astonished at how quickly your average talk radio blowhard (or any blowhard) shuts up when you confront them as a self-identified leftist.

          The key is to find points to agree on (surprisingly easy). Then ask them what happened to the Tea Party and listen as they explain RINOs to you. Then explain that the D party is run by LINOs and give examples.

          However you engage, close by saying something to the effect of “nothing gets better until the motivated people on the Right AND Left get together to oust the money-grubbing frauds looting our country in the name of perpetual war.”

          I’m surrounded by rednecks and they love me. I can trash the Democrats much better than they can. They’re starting to get it, to realize that we’re propagandized into fighting one another to stop ALL of US from rising up against THE Blob/DeepState/Dipstate.

          1. The Rev Kev

            ‘Then explain that the D party is run by LINOs and give examples.’

            Shouldn’t that be DINOs?

              1. Mark Gisleson

                “Democrat” is not a brand I care to associate with at the moment. Also, if I make up an acronym it makes the other person have to ask what a LINO is which, depending on the audience can be a Leftist- or Liberal-In-Name-Only. Constructive ambiguity is underrated imo.

          2. Amfortas the Hippie

            in the feedstore, all i gotta say when i hear about how biden, hillary, et al. are “Far Left”…is “no they aint(chuckle)…i’m the derned Far Left…and they aint invited to my revolution”.
            but its been part of the catechism of the american right since FDR….and then again with Reagan.
            similarly to assertions that we’re a “democracy”(from dems) or a “republic”(from R’s)….or that “we”(USA!) could easily kick(insert country)’s a$$, if we wanted to…and my fave:”we’re the best…freeest …etc country on earth…”
            the reality of our situation is something ordinary folks will resist understanding, or accepting, tooth and nail.
            and when it becomes unavoidable? well, the blame cannons of “both sides” are rusted into position.
            and none of them point to actual Power, let alone to the culprits.

            1. skippy

              I always enjoy these discussions, like with my recovering Rothbardian work mate. Back in the day he was so programmed about anyone not on the hard right being a socialist commie bent on taking everyone’s freedom and liberties[tm] away.

              Had to point out that the GOP/Right wing has been pushing Corporatism for’eva and then point out the so called left via the DNC has been on board since it went Third Way/Washington Consensus. Everything else is just splitting hairs over Brand Image. The Macro Economics is all basically the same for those in the cheap seats …

        2. nippersdad

          If you get onto any conservative page, whatsoever, there is the constant theme that Joe Biden et al are straight up communists. It is absolutely wild.

          1. Nikkikat

            Yes, I love it when Mitch McConnell describes Joe Biden as the radical left.
            I always reply: I wish the hell he was!

            1. nippersdad

              The Senator from MBNA being a leftist radical is one of the best jokes ever. I can’t imagine McConnell not laughing up his sleeve every time he says it.

          2. Kurtismayfield

            When they started talking about Biden and Obama as a communist, they truly have lost any middle who is paying attention. Its farcical at this point.

        1. Screwball

          In the second clip he says “I’m honest.” Hahahahahahaha!!!!

          Reminds me of Nixon’s famous “I am not a crook.”

          Here we are America, 400+ days out from the election and all we have is two corrupt circus clowns slinging crap at each other. Where is the next exit? I want off this horrendous ride.

      2. scott s.

        It’s funny because on MAGA sites, Biden is very much termed “left”. In fact it’s all a mirror image of here, with blame going to “uni-party”. The difference is in what the “uni-party” is deemed to be doing.

    2. Onward to Dystopia

      I don’t know anyone on the “Left” who’s purpose and meaning in life is determined by the latest breathless details of the Trump/document/trial minutiae. It’s so boring, and implies you think America is good to begin with, and can be fixed with its existing institutions and the only problem we have is Donald Trump. Which is patently ridiculous.
      But I am convinced one of the main reasons the Left is hated is the Dems are considered the Left and they’re so aloof, out of touch and downright cringe, everyone hates them as reflexively and instinctually as your nose crinkles at the stench of a dead animal carcass in the woods. And anyone to the left of them is tarnished with that stench as well, while the Left has no voice or say, frankly isn’t even taken seriously.

      1. Feral Finster

        Existing institutions suit the PMC just dandy, so why would the MSM (aka “the mouthpiece of the PMC”) not be happy with existing institutions, if only we were rid of that nasty orange man.

    3. britzklieg

      I’ve posted this excerpt before, from John Adams’ opera Nixon in China where Mao gets the best line of all:

      “Among the followers of Marx the extreme left,
      the doctrinaire,
      tend to be fascist.”

      “And the far right?”

      “True Marxism is called that by
      the extreme left.
      Occasionally the true left calls
      a spade a spade and tells the left it’s right.”

      Turn left 3 times and you’ve turned right…

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Alice Goodman, the librettist, was my college roommate for two years. She could quote pages of verse. I stage managed a Three Sisters for Peter Sellars and then produced a summer season (four shows in eight weeks) on the Loeb mainstage with him.

        1. britzklieg

          She’s fantastic and I worked with Peter when I covered (understudy) the role of Nixon at the MET in 2011. Lucky you!!

          Alice Goodman apparently created the entire libretto from actual quotes of all the characters involved. Some people criticized the opera because “nothing happens” and like a lot of opera goers they just weren’t listening enough to the words. Adams’ music is thrilling and brilliant so it engages w/o the full comprehension that knowing the libretto would bring. Thanks for the reply!

          … and I should have given her full credit in my post. My bad.

        2. ForFawkesSakes

          Why am I not at all shocked you were at one point a stage manager? I’m tickled pink! I bet you were an efficient one!

      2. hunkerdown

        Stalin’s doctrine of deviationism is exactly what we are seeing at play here in this left-capitalism vs. right-capitalism toy cosmos. The only thing they all agree on is that most people should be mutilated and made lumpen, with only as much mixing between great and small as conditions require.

      3. Daniil Adamov

        Actual Mao loved to talk up what he called the right:

        “Chairman Mao: I like rightists. People say you are rightists, that the Republican Party is to the right, that Prime Minister Heath is also to the right.
        President Nixon: And General De Gaulle.
        Chairman Mao: De Gaulle is a different question. They also say the Christian Democratic Party of West Germany is also to the right. I am comparatively happy when these people on the right come into power.”

        When I first encountered this quote, I thought he may have simply been saying nice things to his interlocutor. However, he apparently also said this: “America’s new president, Richard Nixon, is a longtime rightist, a leader of the anticommunists there. I like to deal with rightists. They say what they really think – not like leftists, who say one thing and mean another.” To Li Zhisui, his doctor and admittedly controversial biographer, when first bringing up the possibility of reconciling with the US. Overall I find it both believable as a Mao line and a wholly understandable sentiment, though somewhat simplifying (rightists might be more inclined to brutish honesty than the people he derided under the name of leftists, but they can certainly lie when they want to).

        1. britzklieg

          Great background. Thanks Daniil! I almost included the whole scene as you transcribed. Love the line about De Gaulle.

        2. skippy

          I would suppose, ideologically, the right, is far more ideological/fundamental in its pursuits to control humanity and how that translates to the planet. The ***Power of its Beliefs*** supersedes everything else, can not be falsified.

          What was once the left was drown in the bathtub of globalist markets and no amount of intellectual grunt used to critique the beliefs of the right will ever stick. The benefactors of this paradigm hold all the cards and can weather any event and still come out on top.

          Decades of watching any Org. that had some social aspect be bought out or corrupted from with in precludes the notion that people without Capital can effect change, more so, the funding of politics and academia to forward the desires of Capital.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      alvin bragg, jack smith, and fani (now pronounced f-awn-i or f-ah-ni for obvious reasons) willis–a holy trinity of legal acumen and cunning, guaranteed to finally succeed in permanently removing the Orange Satan from “public service” where lesser players like pelosi and schiff failed, or a trio of disposable, back bench chumps that no one will miss when they get their “novel legal theories” handed to them along with their “professional” asses?

      You decide.

      PS. As Glenn Greenwald noted on his Rumble show the other night, stacey abrams, who lost the Georgia gubernatorial race in 2018, has yet to concede, and will, to this day, tell anyone who’ll listen that she is the actual governor of Georgia, and that the vote count was rotten and the voting machines were rigged.

      What say you, fawni?

      1. Feral Finster

        “PS. As Glenn Greenwald noted on his Rumble show the other night, stacey abrams, who lost the Georgia gubernatorial race in 2018, has yet to concede, and will, to this day, tell anyone who’ll listen that she is the actual governor of Georgia, and that the vote count was rotten and the voting machines were rigged.

        What say you, fawni?”

        I’m not Fawn, but the answer surely will be something to the effect of “when WE do it, then that makes it okay!”

        Maybe even something about how this was a response to Trump in 2020, since everyone knows that MAGAs can time travel.

    5. tegnost

      The left has no power.

      In reference to this, I noticed the extreme right winger in argentina is looking to adopt neoliberal policy prescriptions….
      so much for “the left”

    6. Skip Intro

      We underestimate what a powerful move it was to erase the political Left as a concept even, by labeling corporate neoliberals with several flavors of identity politics as ‘The Left’.
      On a clear day, if you look far to the right, you can still see the Overton window.

      1. Kurtismayfield

        I always ask people what is the left to them, because none of them know what real socialism is. I then remind them that the NYC Police and Fire Department fit the definition of socialism to a T, and no one labels them as leftists.

        We live in a post definition society.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Report: US Considering ‘Military Solutions’ to Protect Shipments from Ukraine’s Danube River Ports”

    I could see the Biden White House thinking that this would be a great idea but it may be too late. The Russians have been bombing those ports along with the infrastructure of each port. They have also been bombing the buildings containing the stored wheat which you can see in images of today’s Simplicius the Thinker’s latest post. This being the case, how is wheat going to get out of the Ukraine by ship exactly? The ports, infrastructure and storage facilities for that grain have been destroyed so what then? Shovel that wheat into hessian sacks and carry them abourd those ships using a chain gang? And it would be tough luck if one of those ships trying to do that got damaged accidentally on purpose in an air raid. That could cause a major rethink at places like Lloyds of London that.

  5. DJG, Reality Czar

    Klaatu barada sicilia. Given all the whoop-de-doo in the U S of A about alien spaceships, which seem always very conveniently to appear to Air Force pilots or land at U.S. military bases, I have examined the “smoke rings” emitted from Mount Etna. (You can’t fool me, Yves Smith.)

    Obviously, these “smoke rings” are craft from the other end of the Orion Arm of the Milky Way galaxy. They have heard of the famous Sicilian summer breakfast of gelato (preferably pistachio) on a brioche. Who wouldn’t cross the galaxy for il gelato su una brioche?

    And if their atomic clocks are awry, and the “smoke rings” arrive too late, there will always be arancini for lunch.

    Intergalactic mystery solved. Several of the commenters to that video explain how physical forces produce the rings.

    And the current UFO craze in the U S of A likely is based on something just as “physical.”

  6. The Rev Kev

    ‘China vs India GDP growth’

    Fascinating to watch this development over time but you can see that something is dragging India down over time. I wondered if it might be the fact that the Caste system is still alive and well in India but it might be something more basic. During this period China spent its resources dragging people out of poverty in an attempt to eliminate it and for all it’s faults, they have done a fair job of doing so. India, on the other hand, had other priorities and as at the moment about 15% of the people living in India are still poor, it could be that this is acting as a drag chain on the Indian economy-

    1. Bugs

      India has two big interlinked problems: official corruption and poor infrastructure. If you can’t get raw materials to places, you can’t build things. Or sell them. As someone who’s spent a lot of time there and has respect for the people, it’s disappointing to see the lack of exponential improvement like in China. That said, the difference between the first time I went there about 20 years ago and now is profound. I won’t comment on the BJP, religious or caste issues because I’m not Indian. I prefer that everyone gets along though.

      1. John k

        It seems logical to me that the two items you don’t choose to discuss prevent many of the most capable from contributing much to indias growth.

    2. Mikel

      Rev, you mentioned in a comment below:

      “I don’t know why the French would not be expecting this to happen. Biden’s action have already led to the de-industrialization of Germany who is one of their best allies in Europe so why wouldn’t he do the same to the French?”

      While I don’t think the de-industrialization of India is being prepped for, it seems like only yesterday when there was a rosy glow from the US establishment as they praised the growth in China and the profits it generated for US corps. They gut punched the US working class and felt invincible.
      Modi says India is outgrowing the short pants and has big plans, but the US establishment has let it be known how it feels about a country once it starts to think that country is getting too big for its britches.

  7. Arby

    Trump indictments. The Establishment abusing democratic institutions to squash “the People” (as embodied by Trump) is the message of the campaign. Once again, failure of elites to perceive that outcome of their choices is further erosion of institutions and their own legitimacy.

    1. tegnost

      Once again, failure of elites to perceive that outcome of their choices is further erosion of institutions and their own legitimacy.

      I can’t believe I still have to explain to my betters that hillary lost not because of the evil putin, but because she’s a horrible person.

  8. mrsyk

    Somewhere in Kansas…. I want to point out how tenacious and supportive the local and state press have been covering this over the last few days. Shoutouts to the Kansas Reflector (I believe they broke the story), The KC Star and the Wichita Eagle. They deserve recognition and gratitude from anyone who prizes independent journalism and protected free speech. Here’s some local coverage from The Missouri Independent

      1. Alice X

        The Missouri Independent piece does say that the items seized in the raid had been returned but doesn’t mention that it was because the search warrant had been withdrawn, unless somehow I missed it. We mentioned the other day that this story had multiple legs. And so it does. That little county and its honchos did not want to be the focus of the entire world, I’m sure of it. Now if the M$M had a fraction of the pluck of the Kansas journalists.

        But having said that, there is this from the Guardian:

        Kansas newspaper raided by police to have seized items returned

        Authorities have announced the controversial search warrant of a local Kansas newspaper office has been withdrawn.

        The Marion county attorney Joel Ensey announced that following a review of the search warrants made last Friday at multiple locations in Marion county, he has “come to the conclusion that insufficient evidence exists to establish a legally sufficient nexus between this alleged crime and the places searched and the items seized”.

    1. mrsyk

      Replying to my own comment, I know, I know, but this is what happens when one only has cats to talk to all day. Anyway, Turns out that the Police Chief has a big load of dirty laundry (quelle surprise!) from his previous job on the KC Police Force. Eric Meyer, owner of the Marion County Record suspects he may have been looking for the names of confidential sources who provided details of said dirty laundry to the paper. This reported yesterday afternoon by the Kansas City Star: Before Kansas newspaper raid, police chief left KCPD under cloud, facing discipline

      1. The Rev Kev

        I don’t suppose that the Department of Justice will involve themselves in this attempted restriction of free speech? (insert laughter track here)

        1. skippy

          Why do some still use this term free speech when its a misnomer … you have rights to speech defined by law and not some watery tart from some lake …

      2. Lexx

        Where is the juicy bit of the story?! What did the police chief do?!

        ‘Before becoming police chief of Marion, Kansas, and leading a raid on the small town’s newspaper, Gideon Cody left the Kansas City Police Department under a cloud, facing possible discipline and demotion, police sources have told The Star. Cody, who was a captain in the police department’s property crimes unit, was under internal review for allegedly making insulting and sexist comments to a female officer.

        The day after making the comments, Cody reportedly phoned the female officer and acknowledged his behavior was unprofessional. But Cody, 54, didn’t know that the officer had secretly recorded their last conversation and later filed a hostile work environment complaint against him with police department officials.

        The events, reported to have occurred in the months before Cody left Kansas City in April to take the job in Marion, were described to The Star by several current and former police officials who had knowledge of the incident. The police officials asked not to be named in this story because they were not authorized to discuss personnel matters.’*

        Soooo, she was mic’d? Like it wasn’t her first exchange with Cody, and/or she was working in a department generally hostile to female officers and was gathering evidence for a law suit? I’m in a daily state of amazement at what kind of behavior people get up to when they think they can get by with it, and then they have the nerve to be sincerely surprised when there are consequences. It’s an ever thinner blue line isn’t it, between police and criminals?

        *And perhaps they knew the captain to be vindictive… best to remain anonymous and keep one’s ass covered. Wouldn’t want the complaint to boil down to hearsay.

    2. mrsyk

      ps, I read that Intercept article on the events at the Marion County Record yesterday. Blames Trump of all things. Here’s the lede:
      “The assault on the Marion County Record is another reminder that Trumpism is a threat to press freedom.”
      What a joke.

    3. katiebird

      I LOVE the headline, “SEIZED but not silenced” …. I’m in Kansas too and it’s kind of thrilling to me as I read the developing story. I am happy that there are actual functioning paper newspapers not that far from me. It makes me think of William Allen White and that not all is lost.

      I wonder though why there isn’t more mention (either nationally or in the local news coverage) of the Police Chief’s dirty laundry. We first read about it over the weekend in the Daily Mail and expected it to be a bigger deal. But, virtually nothing mentioned in what I’ve seen.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘We first read about it over the weekend in the Daily Mail’

        That is another oddity. The Daily Mail is based in London, not in Kansas. It would be interesting to map out when and where this story broke in different publications over time to see at what point it really gathered steam.

        1. katiebird

          I’m convinced that the Daily Mail must have stringers that do actual reporting in most cities of any size in the US. I could be wrong but it seems that if I want more details about a story (no matter where it happens,) I’ll find them if I go to the Daily Mail.

          And Yes, it would be interesting to see that map.

        2. mrsyk

          Katybird, turns out your state of Kansas has some excellent investigative reporting. What a treasure. Rev, I followed this story closely, first posting a comment on it Saturday morning on links. I believe that the Kansas Reflector broke the story, link in that comment. By Sunday, the national press had begun to take up the story. I remember being annoyed by the neutrality of the headlines. These national stories seemed to gather steam only after the local police were told to return the computers etc that they confiscated. Two things here. One, I’m using google, so algorithms. Two, my jaundiced eye, I’ve a tendency to be unfair to main stream media. Anyway. I posted updates in the comments on links everyday from Saturday for some sort of evolutionary record.
          One last comment here. The death of Joan Meyer (pronounced Jo-Anne) has yet to be remedied.

  9. DJG, Reality Czar

    Dershowitz (!) on ballot counts in Florida.

    As I see story after story with conspiracy charges, fraud charges, ballot-box-stuffing charges, and so on, I am reminded that the U.S. system of elections has always been deliberately wildly corrupt. Let us recall the Three-Fifth Compromise, in which the Southern states got representation (at 3/5 a person) for slaves who were not allowed to vote.

    Both current/decrepit “major” parties get hysterical so as to force their “followers” to the polls, where some Rube Goldberg device is used to vote and to tally the votes.

    None of the current constitutional crisis now exploding would happen with the system of ballots advocated by Lambert Strether. Paper ballots, marked by hand, counted publicly.

    Is this so hard? No. So instead of lining up to cheer for Team Mauve or Team Aqua, the solution is to demand a law that reforms the system simply and completely, ending the fighting. Amend the Voting Rights Act?

    [[Ahhh, for the good old days of 2016, when I sold my vote to Russian agent Dimitri for two jars of home-made dill pickles and a jar of raspberry jam. Those were simpler, less corrupt times.]]

    1. Carolinian

      You are of course correct–very correct–but it’s Team Dem that is always using “democracy” as the excuse for its depredations–going back at least to Woody Wilson and his “making the world safe for democracy” (when he wasn’t giving away the Middle East to Britain and France). The current Repubs have never pretended to love democracy including Donald Trump who was crying about his near electoral win being stolen and also let us not forget Bush v Gore which got the whole War on Terror rolling.

      So it’s the Dem dishonesty that some of us find so dangerous. Someone like Biden, after a lifetime of lying, seems to have no connection to reality at all. The rest of us live in reality.

    2. marym

      Most voters in most states have the election day option of hand-marked paper ballots. States vary in the availability of mail-in/absentee paper ballots. I’m a hand-count skeptic, though that’s not a popular opinion at NC. Many of the actual, potential, and unsubstantiated claims of fraud (including claims and lawsuits in 2020) in US elections (boxes of fake ballots introduced into the workflow, dead people voting, signature verification issues, etc.) would still exist with hand-counted ballots.

      Map of election day ballot options. Select a state for list of early voting ballot options.
      Link to recent test in AZ for hand-counting ballots with approximately 36 races on each (both tweeters have done extensive reporting on AZ election issues).

      1. mrsyk

        I’m under the impression that if you request and use a paper ballot it gets put aside with the pile that only gets counted if one of the races is in the “too close to call” department. This could just be urban legend of course.
        The main point here is that if everyone uses a hand marked paper ballot counted by hand elections become much harder to steal. Voting in person is a must as well. The tweet by data guru completely ignores that fraud by computer voting systems can be accomplished in many ways besides tallying ballots.
        IMO election fraud strategies have turned to exploiting mail-in ballots and ERIC (Electronic Registration Information Center. For obvious reasons.

        1. marym

          > Ballots not counted
          You may be thinking of the delayed counting of provisional ballots. These are issued when there’s some question about a voter’s eligibility that can’t be resolved on election day. The timeframe for reviewing and counting these ballots varies by state. In states where hand-marked ballots are available to any voter on election day at a polling place, I think it’s standard practice that the voter then inserts the ballot into a scanner.

          > AZ reporting
          This was an overview of a test of the resource requirements and accuracy of hand counting. Archer has been reporting in detail on AZ voting issues for several years, and has prior experience in some area of data analysis. He’s not unaware of other potential problems.

          > fraud strategies
          Whatever the real or imagined strategies of potential fraudsters, actual fraud remains largely unsubstantiated.

          My impression is that Republican states are withdrawing from participation, and Democrats or anti-Republicans think it’s a reliable facility for interstate tracking of voter registrations, but I’m not knowledgable about the details.

          1. mrsyk

            I’m of a mind that actual fraud remains unsubstantiated by way of not being discovered. Voter machine tech is proprietary and therefore unavailable for examination for instance. More to the point, one has to close one’s eyes in order to block out the “win at all costs” environment that elections reside in. My opinion is that fraud should be the assumption, not a conspiracy theory.

            1. marym

              As I said in my original comment, most claims about fraud aren’t related to voting machines, and involve potential areas of vulnerability that would still exist in hand-marked, hand-counted systems. Many claims about potential fraud in these manual procedures don’t include any evaluation of mitigation and certification procedures in place to help prevent or detect fraud.

              I don’t dispute the vulnerabilities of voting machines. I lack technical expertise to evaluate the problems and any risk management controls, and so rarely comment specifically on that topic, other than to ask an occasional question or share a link to a study or audit.

      2. tegnost

        In washington I hand mark a paper ballot then place in a dedicated ballot box in town.
        I won’t say there’s no chance for shenanigans, someone “losing” a box or two of ballots can happen using any physical ballot, but it seems to work pretty good. It does inspire people to vote early, so not on the full information one has when waiting til voting day.

      3. Amfortas the Hippie

        we use scan tron ballots, and i’m fine with it.
        i’m fine with it, because i actually know everyone involved in the running of elections around here, and know also how seriously they take the job and the responsibility.
        everybody around here also knows these people…and furthermore, knows where they live, who their spouses and kids are, what church they go to, and even…in the jungle drum network…what kind of salacious nonsense they got up to this last weekend.
        i see no reason that precinct size couldn’t be jiggered to where every one who votes knows the people that run the local elections….like i do, here, in a county of 4500 souls, 3000 of whom are in the one town.
        all that’s lackin is want-to.

        1. Polar Socialist

          At least Italy, France, Norway, Sweden and Finland do the counting twice. As per regulations.

        2. bwilli123

          And Australia. Results usually definitive by 10pm on election night. Though it helps that there is compulsory voting (or at least compulsory attendance at an election booth)

          1. Terry Flynn

            I’m half Australian. I like compulsory voting because it makes people distinguish between “don’t care” and “they’re all terrible”. Write what you think. Voting “experts” no longer need to guess reasons for low turnout.

        3. Vandemonian

          Another data point about how other countries manage the vote:

          Here in the Wonderful World of Oz, the vote is managed by a department of the federal government – the Australian Electoral Commission. The various state and territory governments have nothing to do with the national vote.

          Much of the shenanigans clouding the US national seems to involve partisan state politics.

          1. juno mas

            Each US state controls its election process. The results are transmitted to Congress for concurrence via electors; hence the Jan. 6th disturbance.

        4. Terry Flynn

          Yep. There is SO much wrong with UK voting (it should be compulsory like in Australia for one) but the actual voting process and counting is beyond reproach.

        5. Doug

          Aren’t US ballots unusually long compared to other countries? We elect everyone from the dog catcher on up. Then there are the judicial retentions, state constitution amendments, local referenda, etc. Hand counting all that could be a challenge.

        6. Verifyfirst

          Well something doesn’t add up. According to the article I linked, their little experiment was run by the county elections office (so the normal elections people), and:

          “Each ballot took three minutes to count, Tempert said. At that pace, it would take a group of seven staffers at least 657 eight-hour days to count 105,000 ballots, the number of ballots cast in 2020. Mohave County would need to hire at least 245 people to tally results and have counting take place seven days a week, including holidays, for nearly three weeks. That estimate doesn’t include the time needed for reconciling mistakes, or counting write-in ballots”

          Of course they could count 24 hours a day, then it would only take 1 week, but triple the cost.

          So I’m curious. What’s the difference to other countries?

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Never underestimate having designed a bad process. The US refuses to learn from anyone else

            This is how it is done in the UK. Ballots go to gymnasiums in public schools. Tons of eyes and videos on every step of the process.


            About 65,000 votes for 24 wards.

            Look at the huge number of people involved.

            This is Scotland:


            I suspect the defect is not enough division of labor.

    3. hunkerdown

      Elections are epic melodrama, nothing more. To take subordination to someone else’s drama as “freedom” is unhinged, unmoored, and stupid.

      End voting, enact sortition.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        do you know the difference between good fishing and great fishing?
        good fishing is anytime you can wet a line – great fishing is when you catch something –
        nice tune – was wondering if that’s a lap steel – thanks – there’s a stream in northern lower peninsula called the Jordan – reminded me of when a kid with my Dad and brother camped on an overlook after a day of fishing surrounded by fireflies after the sun went down – the river is still there as are the shreds of optimism i cling to – it seems the japanese beetles have ended their savagery although saw one on the milkweed, squished it – the butterflies arrive more often these days and the butterfly bush is in bloom – decades ago i fled to Bend Oregon well before the cali-folks arrived to fern-bar the place – it was after a cratered romance that drove me – worked in a furniture mill as simple labor – went over the mountains once to Eugene on the wet side to visit somebody – small skanky basement apartment but one of the people there was a good guitarist and liked Jackson’s music – first time i ever heard his work – your suggested music made me think of this one –
        i stare at that glass every morning –

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          listened to a few more Saints and Liars – good group – i know the folks at the Ark in AA and will suggest them – thanks again – it’s half full now –

          1. mrsyk

            Good to read your voice. Saints and Liars is from my beloved state of Vermont. I’m very proud of them. I believe that’s an electric resonator guitar you’re hearing.
            Garden Song is one of my favorites.
            ps, I’m a Jackson Browne fan and have never seen that video. Thank you

  10. hemeantwell

    The Taibbi piece draws heavily on a Harper’s article by Layne and Schwarz that we’ve previously commented on. The criticism bears repeating.

    In his 2007 book The Peace of Illusions Layne believed that explaining why there was no peace dividend after the Soviet Union’s collapse required going back to William Appleman Williams’ analysis of the US commitment to an Open Door policy, i.e. capitalism needs markets! In the Harper’s article that’s gone missing. Instead it’s the military-industrial complex that’s the problem, with “liberal interventionists” rationalizing its requirements. And, if you look at comments to Taibbi’s article, this leads into the usual admiring references to Eisenhower, who cast the MIC as an excrescence on the otherwise sound American political body. I don’t know why Layne has chosen to get his mind right and to divorce liberal interventionism from capitalism, but it’s easy to see how this sets up exceptionalist blindness, wherein American capitalism isn’t seen as inescapably aggressive. All we need to do is get rid of AUMF provisions and Slimfast military expenditures and we’ll be back in our shining city on the hill.

  11. John Beech

    Regarding the transparent beehive . . . cool. Anyway, remember the no-mow March? I decided to let the south 40 grow this year. No it’s not forty acres but it is the better part of 4 and it’s between knee and waist high. Did mow twice to discourage dog fennel (put paid to it for the season) but since then it’s been grow baby grow! And we have more bees and wasps than usual. Related? Dunno, not an expert. Bees are welcomed and wasps on the eaves are annihilated (with spray) because they’ll bite/sting for no reason sometimes. Anyway, I doubt it gets any taller but it’s gone to seed (whatever grass it is we have in our field forms a Y-shape with teeny tiny black seeds). I’ll use a bush hog this winter.

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      “whatever grass it is we have in our field forms a Y-shape with teeny tiny black seeds”

      if youre in the south, sounds like Bahia Grass.
      not native, but not too bad either, relatively speaking.
      grows thick, and…like the Coastal Bermuda they grow out here…will choke out other things…like dog fennel.
      also like bermuda, lends itself to monoculture. so not good for wildflowers of prairie like yards.
      trees do fine in it, though.

      for wasps…except for yellow jackets, who are needlessly aggressive,…wasps are your friends.
      paint the undersides of your eaves sky blue, and invert old boots or coffee cans on fence posts and whatnot somewhere off the beaten path, and they’ll happily coexist with you and yourn…and keep the webworms in yer fruit and nut trees under control, too.
      i can drive around town and see who hates wasps by the presence of webworms,lol.

      1. Randy

        Paper wasps are very beneficial around my garden. They practically live in my broccoli/cauliflower patch preying on my enemies – cabbage loopers. They are very mellow too. I literally bump into them when harvesting. They sting only when they think their nest is threatened. I leave them alone, they leave me alone. Now if I they could just acquire a taste for Japanese Beetles………….they don’t seem to be there yet.

        Hornets are a whole different thing. If you even look at a hornet cross-eyed they get angry and will come after you. Come within four feet of the nest and the whole hornet air force scrambles.

        Paper wasps live in my bat house. I was sort of perturbed about that for a while but the bats couldn’t ask for a better neighbor. Nobody is going to mess with those bats when they are sleeping next to a couple of wasp nests.

      2. ForFawkesSakes

        I’m torn because they are hell on the monarch caterpillars I try to facilitate each year. If only I could keep wasps away from the milkweed, I’d be fine to leave them be.

    2. doug

      I am a big dog fennel fan! So wispy and moves well even in a light breeze. Also allelopathic, which is a talking point. Maybe let a couple grow?

  12. Jabura Basaidai

    France Reportedly Thinks That The US Backstabbed It During Nuland’s Trip To Niger –
    maybe they remember cookies nuland saying f#$k the EU

    1. Feral Finster

      Or, even more recently, the US ordering Australia to cancel its contract for Attack-class submarines to buy American.

      Doesn’t matter, the French whined about how unfair! but, predictably changed nothing and did nothing.

  13. Jason Boxman

    The initial allocation will be just a first step. Compared with the industry’s long-term investment needs, the $39 billion in manufacturing incentives is a “rounding error,” says Stacy Rasgon, a senior analyst at Bernstein Research.
    TSMC plans to spend $40 billion to build new advanced plants in Arizona. The industry needs to spend $3 trillion globally in research and equipment over the next decade to meet the demand for chips, according to a Boston Consulting Group estimate.

    LOL, in other words the Chips Act is a day late and a dollar short, many dollars.

    1. tegnost

      ….bbbut…the xweet had a picture with three women and only one man, what about incremental progress do I need to explain?

    2. Jabura Basaidai

      don’t they need a lot of water for those chip plants? read something a while back that Taiwan was having problems because of the drought there – in AZ it should be a challenge – maybe they will finally tell the Saudis to get there hay elsewhere – the reservoirs won’t stay full forever and the groundwater aquifer is already challenged –

  14. The Rev Kev

    “France Reportedly Thinks That The US Backstabbed It During Nuland’s Trip To Niger”

    I don’t know why the French would not be expecting this to happen. Biden’s action have already led to the de-industrialization of Germany who is one of their best allies in Europe so why wouldn’t he do the same to the French? The French are competitors with the US for influence in north and central Africa so it would be in their interest to replace them. Biden could tell the coup leaders that he will recognize their government so long as they kept those US bases operating in Niger and not let Wagner into the country. A sort of quid pro quo. But if they wanted to kick the French out, who are there unpopular anyway, he would not oppose it so that they would have a victory to take to their people and cement their rule. And if that eventually led to the end of the CFA Franc in Africa, well, there are always US dollars that could replace them. And what can France do about it? Leave NATO again? Biden will always, always kick down. It is his nature.

    1. jefemt

      Agree on Biden. He has other baggage as well. So, what is America, the two dominant parties, going to do with Trump and Biden as the apparent sole anointed finalists in the Kabuki?

  15. curlydan

    Covid anecdata: My sister posted on Facebook last week that she got Covid. But she also got Covid in April, so any immunity in her case was very short-lived unfortunately. She got it from traveling. Sure seems like some immune evasive variants are floating around.

    1. chris

      Yeah. I’m still masking on planes. I’m still using nasal sprays. I’m still using mouthwashes. I’m still testing. I’m still supplementing with recommended vitamins. I’m still prioritizing being outside for meetings. So far it looks like despite all of my recent travel I have not caught COVID again. But I tell you I had a gnarly bug that they think was RSV last winter and it took me months to stop coughing.

    2. Daryl

      Hard to say with all the tracking infra being unceremoniously drowned in a bathtub, but we seem to have moved from single variants dominating to a permanent state of “variant soup.” I wonder if this makes the already short lived immunity even less useful.

  16. chris

    Those Taleb tweets are wild. I wonder how long it will be before the “genetically superior” but economically disadvantaged Eloi start to demand their rightful standard of living from the rest of us Morlocks?

    I liked the way that Krystal Ball summed it up in one her pieces on Breaking Points this week. If you’re a college educated person and you’re pissed UPS drivers won a contract that pays them more than you, there’s nothing stopping you from applying to UPS for those jobs. But, of course, we understand that these kinds of people want that level of income, and more, while not having to do any serious labor in uncomfortable environments at inconvenient times.

    1. semper loquitur

      The name “primalpoly” tells us a lot. Many that I encountered in the ployamorous world consider themselves of a superior intelligence to the normies around them, being the first human beings in the history of human beings to explore alternate intimate relationships and all. Oftentimes, you see the dumba$$ery of gender ideology swirled in as well. A lot of “sharps” and “brights” there…

      1. hunkerdown

        The poly communities I’ve known are heavily PMC-infested, so I expect the movement to bear a heroic origin myth, a bureaucratic praxis, and strong elements of idealism. Accordingly, much of the talk in certain poly circles centers on formal scheduling, an almost economic theory of distribution, and emotional discipline.

        The only reason the PMC might believe themselves “uniquely” qualified to engage in conscious, deliberate projects of social creativity is that they’ve conned the rest of us into believing ourselves essentially incapable of ordering our own lives. At the end of the day, all “importance” is just someone else’s self-importance.

      2. chris

        I’ve noticed that that crowd is also full of people who can’t do anything. They can’t garden, or hang drywall, or finish concrete, or fix a car, or do their own plumbing, or install basic switches, or cook simple meals for a large crowd, or start a fire in the woods with minimal materials, or preserve food for the winter, or make sure a place is safe before a storm, etc etc. The whole of essential skills seems to be some kind of foreign world to the truly blessed among the PMC. They have people for all that, after all.

        So I wonder what makes them think they are superior in any category if they’re currently over educated, underpaid, and have zero skill besides saying dumb things on X?

        1. semper loquitur

          Yep, lots of pseudo-intellectuals and lots of flailing of vestigial limbs when a real problem appears. Their superiority comes from sitting on their iPhones and Macs telling each other how they are superior to everyone. I’m sure there are happy and healthy polys out there but the ones I met and “dated” were kooks.

  17. britzklieg

    Taibbi – “Is America a War State?”

    To begin with the title should have been “Is the USA a War State?” but I understand that might be considered a quibble and is not the point of my comment. To whit:

    During WWI Randolph Bourne famously said “War is the health of the state.” And, stealing from a comment I read elsewhere, the last sentence in John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Economics of Innocent Fraud is “War remains the decisive human failure.”

    Putting the two thoughts side by side can leave one feeling rather hopeless.

      1. britzklieg

        Not many know that Sondheim’s original lyric went for it: “Gee, officer Kruppke, f#*^k you!

        Don’t know if it made it to the original B’way production but the film’s “Krupp you!” might be the better choice in any event. It’s an iconic line for those of us who know it. Haven’t seen the new film, maybe the original is back since it’s nothing remotely scandalous now.

        1. LifelongLib

          That reminds me of the lines in “My Fair Lady”:

          With a little bit o’ luck
          With a little bit o’ luck
          Someone else’ll do the bloomin’ work.

          “Bloomin'”? Really?

          1. britzklieg

            She loved that word. Don’t forget the famous scene at the horse races when she slips out of her trained character of refinement and while cheering on her favorite steed she lets slip “Move yer bloomin’ arse!

            Oops, haha!

          2. John Anthony La Pietra

            When I pulled up to the first line of this comment, I thought I’d be seeing lyrics from another song:

            You, dear friend, who taught so well —
            You can go to Hertford, Hereford, and Hampshire!

      2. britzklieg

        Actually, I may be wrong about that. I believe the dreaded curse was originally the final lines of the opening Jet Song where ultimately “buggin” replaced the “f” bomb, in appocopated gerund form:

        Here come the Jets, yeah, and we’re gonna beat
        Every last buggin’ gang on the whole buggin’ street
        On the whole buggin’ ever lovin’ street

        … or maybe it was “motherf…in'” instead of “ever lovin'”

        damn I’m old and the memory is fadin’, but I know it was in there somewhere…

    1. diptherio

      If A=B and A=C, then B=C, right?
      War = Health of the state
      War = Decisive human failure
      Health of the state = Decisive human failure

      Which does sound depressing, I admit. But if those two things equal each other, then their negations are also equal, so:

      Not(Health of the state) = Not(Decisive human failure)

      So, logically, having an unhealthy state is not a decisive human failure — which is reassuring, as the state of our state is anything but healthy.

  18. FM

    Re: Maui—There are new reports of water contamination as a result of the fires:

    There’s no way to show the veracity of the following post, but they are claiming there is petroleum currently in the water supply in Maui. My assumption was the result also from the fire:

    However, I’m remembering the stories back in 2022 that the Navy in Hawaii had accidentally contaminated residential drinking water supply with jet fuel:

    1. The Rev Kev

      You an forget that last story. That Navy fuel leak was in Oahu which is a completely different island. If there is petroleum in the water supplies, then it is likely what has been leaked from all the destroyed gas stations in that area.

      1. FM

        I’ve been to Maui a couple times and remember that Lahaina is also a busy town, and we would often have to get gas in that town whenever we passed through because the next gas stations are a bit of a ways into the next towns.

        I just did a quick google maps search for gas stations on the west side of Maui and there were 10 stations right there in Lahaina. The next station closest is currently in the northern part of Kaanapali.

        There’s been a lot of talk about government lasers lately because of the incredible nature of the fire. But it seems the level of destruction becomes more plausible because of the proximity to gas stations that provided continuous fuel for the fire.

    2. Ranger Rick

      If it’s like what they had to do in Colorado after they ran out of water for firefighting — they put untreated water directly into the water mains for the town — the water contamination could come from anywhere.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Scientists call for Brits to wear masks again due to startling new Covid variant”

    You would think that at the very least that it would be mandatory to wear N95 masks in hospitals and doctor’s surgeries. Chemists too maybe. These are the main places that sick people gather together and it would protect medical staff who will always be needed, especially if a really bad strain emerged. While reading this comment of mine I realized something. This was all obvious way, way back in early 2020 and I may have even written something along those lines back then. But here we are in late 2023 and it is still not being done. And would you believe that when the original 2019 Covid variant went extinct, that I never thought that I would miss it? And now? I almost get nostalgic for it. Almost.

  20. Tom Stone

    If Biden jails Trump, Trump may very well win the popular vote.
    Who takes office next time around depends on the Intelligence agencies, they intervened openly in 2016 and 2020 and there’s no reason not to expect that again.
    And Biden has corruption issues, It’s been more than a year since it came out that Joe and Hunter commingled their funds when it came out that Hunter used a credit card to pay hookers with an account that was shared with “Celtic”, AKA JRB.
    Knowingly sharing an account with an admitted Alcoholic and Crackhead seems….imprudent.
    I wonder who paid for Joe’s charges?

    1. nippersdad

      He was calling out Bernie Sanders for being a socialist, and now he is calling out the Democratic party as being communists. Just imagine the MAGA backlash after all of his tub thumping were he to propose a self described socialist as his running mate.

      That would simply never happen.

      1. Feral Finster

        To be fair, most MAGAs that I run across are personally loyal to Trump. When Trump changes his policies, then they change to continue to support Trump.

        1. Wukchumni

          One of my brother-in-laws (an educated man, definitely under the influence) who voted for Trump in 2016 & 2020, was asked by yours truly if he’d vote for him again?

          This was just after one of the indictments, and he mentioned that he wasn’t going to vote for Donald in the primary-only the November election, but it so pissed him off that he’ll vote for him in the primary too.

          A retired software engineer from GM, not a usual suspect.

      2. ChrisRUEcon

        > That would simply never happen.

        Ah, I see you missed to whole #MAGACommunism thing, eh? LOL (via X/Twitter)

  21. ChrisRUEcon

    Thanks for today’s links!


    Oooooh … so is China’s likkle experiment with state-sponsored capitalism coming to an end? Or is this just Beijing shaking off the losers?

    Interesting nevertheless, and it’s amazing to see how the discourse shifts when support for big capital from the state is the topic.

  22. begob

    Just been reading a few UK parliament speeches by John Bright, in opposition to the original Crimean War in the 1850s. Mercouris mentioned the ‘angel of death’ passage, so I thought I’d check it out. Many resonances with today: from abuse of the balance of power, to the war faction, to the domestic popularity of a war that was none of Britain’s business.

  23. Mikel

    “This is raw and real, it’s the middle class that’s getting hit hard.

    This lady makes $34/hr and can’t even survive in Canada … 🚨🚨🚨


    Lots of these types of videos going around:
    “This Economy Is Drowning My Children!” – Alabama Mom In Viral Video

    One post shared on Twitter and the other on YouTube, however, both originally were uploaded to TikTok. TikTok appears to be the original platform of choice for the protests/venting. Just something I’m noting.

    But this is what it looks like as there become fewer and fewer for people for the rentiers to squeeze.
    All of these crashes, crises, and recessions with diminishing returns of recovery for people are hidden by aggregates and averages with statistics. That’s what gives it all the slowly boiling frog effect.

    Yes, Virginia…it matters how the trillions in GDP is distributed!

    1. nippersdad

      I guess that explains the TikTok ban on devices used by federal employees and contractors. They don’t want anyone seeing how the other half lives.

    2. Joe Well

      Is there any hope of another Occupy Wall Street movement that jist demanded massive redistribution of wealth?

  24. Jason Boxman


    We Know Where New Weight Loss Drugs Came From, but Not Why They Work

    Every so often a drug comes along that has the potential to change the world. Medical specialists say the latest to offer that possibility are the new drugs that treat obesity — Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro and more that may soon be coming onto the market.

    It’s early, but nothing like these drugs has existed before.

    “Game changers,” said Jonathan Engel, a historian of medicine and health care policy at Baruch College in New York.

    You know what that smell is?


    While other drugs discovered in recent decades for diseases like cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s were found through a logical process that led to clear targets for drug designers, the path that led to the obesity drugs was not like that. In fact, much about the drugs remains shrouded in mystery.

    But the science for statins was never that compelling, and the science for Alzheimer’s is basically a fraud. Fun times.

    Researchers discovered by accident that exposing the brain to a natural hormone at levels never seen in nature elicited weight loss. They really don’t know why, or if the drugs may have any long-term side effects.

    Well, this is gonna end well… for profit margins, anyway.

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          Oh wait a minute, looks like there is an option to put glass panels into those open spaces – I’m looking at the gallery of pictures (via In that case, big thumbs up from me!

        2. Jabura Basaidai

          my daughter and her husband got these devices that run on propane and there is a pheromone they add and it catches the skeeters – works wonderfully – call them a skeetervac

  25. Mo

    I did notice the Mercouris shout-out to NC yesterday. Does anyone know what piece he was citing specifically?

  26. antidlc

    Air Canada restricts use of air purifiers on planes.

    Other Restricted or Prohibited Items
    Air Purifiers and Ionizers

    Air purifiers and ionizers for personal use:

    Are accepted only in carry-on baggage and must not be used on board the aircraft at any time.

    Air purifiers and ionizers for home use:

    Are accepted in carry-on baggage provided they remain safely stowed at all time.
    Are accepted in checked baggage provided the batteries are removed and placed in carry-on baggage.

    Canned oxygen (also known as recreational or flavoured oxygen) is not accepted in checked or carry-on baggage.

  27. .Tom

    > The Fed still has it backwards, so there’s no telling how high they’ll keep pumping up inflationary deficit spending with their rate hikes as they continue to chase their tail (per Warren B. Mosler)

    How does increasing interest rates pump up deficit spending?

    I really don’t understand.

    1. John k

      Us spends more into the economy as fed rates rise. Currently deficit is 7% of gdp, historically high (Mosler asks, ‘how can we have a recession with such large injections of cash into the economy?) Some leaks to foreign holders, but still boost us treasury holders’ income. But even with institutional holdings, more of this extra income goes to the wealthy than lower income people.
      Imo this will likely result in a split real estate market. Well off can afford to purchase high end houses even with high rates because they can put up a lot of cash, while middle class is priced out of middle and less than middle priced homes.
      The economy might do well even with a recession among carpenters.

    2. cnchal

      My thoughts. Moar government debt at higher interest rates results in an ever larger share of deficit spending be allocated to servicing that debt. To keep the debt ponzi going the debt spiral has the shape of a tornado, small at the bottom, large at the top.

      $1 trillion of defict spending = $3,400 borrowed for every woman, child and man, so for a family of four and a $2 trillion defict the government borrowed $27,000 for that year on behalf of that family and slathered it onto it’s chosen winners. The next year it would borrow $30,000 and the next $35,000 ad infinitum, until something breaks bigly.

  28. XXYY

    Requiring ink to scan a document—yet another insult from the printer industry ars technica

    I am ignorant about the specifics here, but as a software engineer of many decades standing, it’s easy for me to believe that there is no conspiracy going on.

    Usually, most computer-based devices go through a block of initialization code at power on. The goal is to set everything to a known state and make sure that things are working and that the minimum requirements for correct operation are present before trying to do anything else.

    If I were writing this code for a printer, I would most likely put in a check to make sure ink was present as part of the power up initialization. Obviously, a printer is not ready to work without ink! The idea that one might use a printer while not needing ink probably wouldn’t occur to me unless it had been set forth as a specific requirement.

    This doesn’t explain to me why the manufacturer is digging in its heels on this point, unless it is just the cost of making the change and disposing of the printers that don’t have this change. Seems like the additional revenue from requiring a small percentage of users to buy ink is going to be pretty small potatoes.

    1. Late Introvert

      “as a software engineer of many decades standing”

      and zero shame for failing to understand the actual situation, and then blame shifting

      sounds about right in this house of cards world built by “software engineers”

      and yes, I worked with you people, so I know of where I speak

    2. SocalJimObjects

      Sounds like you have a buggy code. You say that a printer is not ready to work without ink, but what happens if ink were to run out during normal operation, should the printer just blow up? Good software is about modularization, there’s no reason whatsoever the scanner code should be intertwined with scanner code, this isn’t Internet Explorer. ….

    3. hunkerdown

      It’s a multi-function device positioned in a printer product range. There is a scanner there that is at least potentially perfectly operational. You PMCs and your pompous emotional thinking have ruined this entire field in only 8 short years. Retire before you hurt someone and get drummed out anyway.

  29. Rick

    Re: Al Gore in 2000 – yep, no doubt he did those things.

    But he did concede. Enormous difference.

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