Links 8/18/2023

Underwater molecular barter (press release) NewsWise. “‘Eat or be eaten’ is not always the way things are in nature.”

Iowa skipper butterfly ‘canary in coal mine’: A warning sign of prairie loss consequences for farmers, wildlife alike Investigate Midwest


Tropical Storm “”Hilary”” forecast to rapidly strengthen on its way toward Baja California and the United States The Watchers

‘Cold tongue’: what the Pacific Ocean cool patch mystery says about climate change The Week

* * *

Residents flee, airlifts begin as wildfire approaches capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories AP. Surge pricing during The Jackpot:

* * *

Hawaii is vowing to protect landowners on Maui from being pressured to sell after wildfires AP

Hawaii Electric, While Failing to Act on Fire Prevention, Had Cozy Ties to Regulators Lee Fang

Maui emergency chief abruptly resigns amid Hawai’i fires response Axios

How the Maui wildfire tragedy got politicized Politico

* * *

SoCalGas fought a key California climate solution for years. It cost customers millions Sacramento Bee

The most unusual Kīlauea eruption…maybe 1823? Volcano Watch, U.S. Geological Survey


Calgary orders water restrictions as rivers hit historic lows The Weather Network

Italy built an $8B dam to save Venice SatPost by Trung Phan


Moderna Clinical Trial Data Confirm Its Updated Covid-19 Vaccine Generates Robust Immune Response in Humans Against Widely Circulating Variants (press release) Moderna. Might as well go straight to the source.

Covid-19 affects taste independent of taste–smell confusions: results from a combined chemosensory home test and online survey from a large global cohort Chemical Senses. From the Abstract: “Our study demonstrates that COVID-19-positive individuals report taste dysfunction when self-tested with stimuli that have little to none olfactory components. Assessing the smell and taste intensity of household items is a promising, cost-effective screening tool that complements self-reports and may help to disentangle taste loss from smell loss. However, it does not replace standardized validated psychophysical tests.”


China Evergrande Seeks U.S. Court Approval for $19 Billion Debt Restructuring WSJ

See Inside a Ghost Town of Abandoned Mansions in China Architectural Digest

Xi chairs standing committee meeting; Is there a plan to deal with the growing debt mess?; Defending the RMB; Xizang Bill Bishop, Sinocism

China’s central bank steps up defence of renminbi FT

China Steps Up Efforts to Stabilize Markets as Confidence Slumps and China Sneezes, But Will the World Catch a Cold? Bloomberg. Commentary:

World Insights: How world’s largest economy has catalyzed global economic turmoil Xinhua. Tu quoque!

Cost of gallium goes up after Chinese export restrictions land The Register

How to Kill Chinese Dynamism Project Syndicate


H&M to ‘phase out’ sourcing from Myanmar amid increasing reports of labour abuses in garment factories Channel News Asia


Biden administration searching for ways to keep US forces in Niger to continue anti-terror operations despite overthrowing of government CNN


The problematic framing of Israel protests as a ‘fight for democracy’ The New Arab

European Disunion

Race to be EIB chief enters final furlong Politico. The deck: “Position is more prestigious than ever before because of European Investment Bank’s role in Ukraine.”

Fossil Media New Left Review. French media.

Dear Old Blighty

If you’re under 50, it’s time to jump ship – get out of Britain while you can Telegraph. Says the Torygraph, which did so much to create the very situation it now decries..

Anas Sarwar: ‘Everbody has lost’ since MSPs passed Scottish gender recognition reforms Holyrood

New Not-So-Cold War

The Hard Truth: Ukraine Has No Realistic Path To Victory Over Russia and The Hard Reality: Ukraine’s Last-Gasp Offensive Has Failed 1945

U.S. intelligence says Ukraine will fail to meet offensive’s key goal WaPo. Shocker!

Explosions rock Zaporizhzhia Ukrainska Pravda

New Video Confirms Ukraine’s Latest Bridge Attack Was Done With Kamikaze USV Naval News

* * *

Ukraine’s Azov brigade returns to front Ukrinform. As opposed to whacking refuseniks from the rear…. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Came to Power in Carefully Planned Operation Coordinated by Western Intelligence Services, Says Former U.S. Diplomat Covert Action Magazine

* * *

Summer of the Hawks (long excerpt) Seymour Hersh

Bill Kristol leads charge to make Republicans think ‘right’ on Ukraine Responsible Statecraft. Bill Kristol, fresh — or rather, stale — from his famous victory in Iraq, still making bank, good job.

* * *

Sanctions on Russian crude and diesel exports are failing Hellenic Shipping News

Russia Producing Iskander Ballistic Missiles at Several Times Pre-War Rate: Why That Matters Miitary Watch

Götterdämmerung in the East Big Serge. Defeat for the Nazis of 1943-45. Well worth a read. The sheer scale amazes.

South of the Border

After killing of Ecuador candidate Villavicencio, speculation and recrimination Reuters

Biden Adminstration

Biden’s fall Covid vaccine rollout for the uninsured won’t include pharmacies at first Politico

The Supremes

Justice Alito is Wrong: Congress Can and Does Regulate the Supreme Court Verdict

Spook Country

House Judiciary panel subpoenas FBI, DOJ over big tech collusion Anadalu Agency

Digital Watch

Major U.S. energy org targeted in QR code phishing attack Bleeping Computer. Remember the concept of Phishing equilibria: If fraud can happen, it will already have happened. So perhaps the first, but more likely the first that we know of.

The sceptical case on generative AI FT

Zornio: HOAs are too powerful. They should not be allowed to foreclose on Colorado homes. Colorado Sun

Class Warfare

Unionized Workers at the Art Institute of Chicago Have Ratified a ‘Landmark’ First Contract, Ending 15 Months of Negotiations and Workers at the Guggenheim Museum Have Ratified Their First Union Contract, Ensuring Them Historic Pay Increases ArtNet

‘The Narrative Here Is That Workers Fought and They Won’ FAIR. The Teamsters UPS Contract

Taxing the 1 per cent: Public Opinion vs Public Policy British Journal of Political Science. Our ruling class demonstrates immense operational capability in minimizing tax. Silver lining!

Thousands of scientists are cutting back on Twitter, seeding angst and uncertainty Nature. Since Twitter is the only universal address space (Mastondon does not have search beyond the instance), this démarche is a great loss for humanity.  Infection control’s droplet paradigm would never have been overturned by aerosol scientists and engineers without Twitter. Another example of good science on the Intertubes:

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Steve H.

    > Underwater molecular barter

    >> The activation of mTOR signal transmission was probably also an important step in the evolution of this symbiosis, allowing the algae to survive within the host cells. “The mTOR activity controls what is called autophagy, a very ancient immune reaction on the evolutionary scale that is triggered when pathogens penetrate the host and that leads to the destruction of the intruder,” the biologist explains. This, she believes, is the reason why some pathogens – and the bacterial endosymbionts of some insects, too – have developed mechanisms to bypass autophagic elimination.

    Fasting is used to initiate autophagy for health purposes. Even a small amount of protein initiates mTOR activity and shuts off autophagy. Both symbionts and pathogens use the pathway to control the interaction, which is challenging during categorization. I am awed by the nature of the universe.

    (The words are simplificizing the situation, there are at least four kinds of autophagy, as well as alternate pathways for induction (see this discussion of Metformin, for example). It’s complicated (x^2=1).)

  2. JohnA

    Re If you’re under 50, it’s time to jump ship – get out of Britain while you can Telegraph

    Last week, the Telegraph ran a story telling young adults not to expect to receive a pension when they reach retirement age.
    Not only is the Telegraph and its staff uber thatcherite neoliberals, they were also vehemently anti EU Brexiters, the vote for which has cut off the most obvious free emigration path to other EU countries. For some reason, such clear connections are never made by such publications.

    The torygraph is currently for sale, and supposedly the Daily Mail is sniffing round. Not sure if that would be permitted in terms of competition legislation.

    1. timbers

      I hear Ukraine could use a few good men under 70. Perhaps Brits should vote with feet and emigrate to Ukraine. That young Ukraine men and women are in Britain and Europe is because they are creme de la creme of Ukraine and are more needed in UK and Europe to keep wages low and fund pensions (and of course aid to Ukraine).

      1. nippersdad

        Seventy is the new forty, and we could probably come up with a pretty good regiment just out of our own government. Bill Kristol and Joe Biden should lead by example and go to the Eastern front so that they can fight them there while we figure out how to live without them here.

        I’m in for five bucks to found the Hillary brigade. It would be the least I could do to save our democracy.

    2. Anonymous 2

      Rothermere (The Mail) acquiring the Telegraph should of course be blocked as it would represent too great a concentration of power. The owners would end up running the Conservative party, as the Mail is the paper of the grassroots Tories while the Telegraph is aimed at a slightly better educated but still very right wing readership. Even Murdoch might be unhappy, though he has his eyes on the Spectator (right wing weekly), which should also be stopped for similar reasons.

      Whether these acquisitions will be blocked is another question altogether.

    3. digi_owl

      > Not only is the Telegraph and its staff uber thatcherite neoliberals, they were also vehemently anti EU Brexiters

      Seems like crossed wires, as my impression is that neolibs are the biggest EU boosters out there.

      1. JohnA

        Take a closer look at Jacob Rees-Mogg if you think neoliberals are pro EU. The neoliberals want a bonfire of all ‘red tape’ ie the kind of EU wide legislation that protects employees from random sacking, overlong workign hours, holiday entitlement, health and safety concerns (who cares if workers lose an eye, hand, fingers or suffer a fatal fall etc.?) and consumers from unsafe food production practices. Their aim is no welfare safety net, no pensions, no free healthcare or education.

    4. Not Qualified to Comment

      Must admit that before I jumped ship (ahead of the rush) I keenly sought out copies of the Daily Telegraph tho’ not for its ‘news’ or opinion pieces – it was too incestuously Home Counties for me – but because it had what was for me the best cryptic crossword of any daily in that I could finish it more often than not. I equally keenly, although for other reasons, also sought out the Sun tho’ due to advancing years and what I believe is now editorial policy I think it will have lost its attractions!

  3. Lexx

    Huh, can’t find the bobcat. It doesn’t help that the photo is slightly out of focus on my screen… damn, that cat is good, my eyeballs are going all Beverly Doolittle.

    1. nippersdad

      He was hard to find! Very bottom, about a third of the way over from the left under a leaf.

      1. Lexx

        ‘Under a leaf’?! Oh, a wise guy… (but thanks, I found it, I was looking too far out into the photo and maybe for something larger.)

    2. LaRuse

      It’s a wee one, cute, very hard to find, and I had to go over to Twitter and blow the photo up to see it with my monitor (not sure anyone could find it on a phone-sized screen).

    3. Jabura Basaidai

      copied to desktop and enlarged and have a headache from trying to find it – incredible camo –

  4. timbers

    Hawaii is vowing to protect landowners on Maui from being pressured to sell after wildfires AP

    “Hawaii’s governor vowed to protect local landowners from being “victimized” by opportunistic buyers when Maui rebuilds from deadly wildfires that incinerated a historic island community and killed more than 100 people.”

    Here’s a thought. Financial vampires Goldman Sachs and Blackrock are being given $40 billions from the CHIPs Act to pillage I mean manage for building computer chip production. The governor could ask them to buy up all the land and build chip factories and shanties to house the workers. There could even be Company Stores to sell the workers all the food and necessities they need so they won’t need cars and that would good for the environment. Large gates could surround the factory community to ensure reduced carbon emission, thus helping to ensure the folks at Goldman, Blackrock, can use their private jets knowing they have done the world a service fighting global warming. And Blackrock could also claim they are doing their part to bring affordable housing to all Americans – which they already are doing of course.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Or the whole lot could be sold to Obama so that he could clear that area out and build himself a second Hawaiian mansion.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Or better still, a second monument to himself, a la his Ozymandias-like takeover of Jackson Park in Chicago.

    2. Jabura Basaidai

      geez the governor said the state would buy the land to prevent vultures – what could possibly go wrong with that –

    3. juno mas

      …and the best way to protect these indigenous Hawiians is to get them into housing, cover their basic living expenses. Then communally do some re-build planning that creates a commercial free beach area at Front St. by removing/re-locating those structures (one house). Allow parcel sales/swapping only between locals, with density restrictions. Seek to make the community design pedestrian friendly. And for gawd’s sake follow Fire-Safe building principles. These types of wild wind fires are impossible to contain.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Race to be EIB chief enters final furlong”

    ‘Position is more prestigious than ever before because of European Investment Bank’s role in Ukraine.’

    Yeah to the prestige and all that but something else has to be remembered. Because that job is also going to be overseeing the rebuilding of the Ukraine, it has to go to somebody that ‘understands the situation.’ And the situation is that those Ukrainian finds are going to be nothing less than massive slush funds to be dolloped out to friends, families, business associates, party donors and especially private equity firms like Blackrock. Therefore the person with this job has to be one that will not raise a ruckus to all the theft and shenanigans that will be going on but will be willing to play ball.

      1. nippersdad

        Or how ’bout Zelensky? His resume would be perfect as well, if he can stay alive long enough to use it.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I read that he wanted to go to the upcoming BRICS summit in South Africa and they knocked him back. They know that the guy is just a pan-handler and the US and other western countries are already trying to hijack that summit so that they come out with an anti-Russia final statement. Having Big Z there would only encourage them.

          1. Bugs

            I think you mean the G20 in New Delhi. The ‘R’ in BRICS being around the joint would probably have been uncomfortable for the Zelensky.

  6. nap

    “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Came to Power in Carefully Planned Operation Coordinated by Western Intelligence Services, Says Former U.S. Diplomat Covert Action Magazine”

    Link and website being blocked in UK?

    “The connection has timed out”

      1. Cassandra

        Thanks for the archive! Downloaded in case it goes missing.

        Was it Time magazine or Newsweek magazine back in the day that had as its cover article Bill Clinton bragging about installing Boris Yeltsin?

        Hurray for USAUSA spreading democracy in the world.

      1. zagonostra

        Thanks for link. Covertaction Magazine site was not loading for me either.

        Small sampling of article:

        Zelensky’s campaign was managed by American public relations specialists Andrew Mack, Stephen Krupin, a former Obama speechwriter, and Shai Franklin.

        There were parallels between Zelensky’s campaign and Barack Obama’s carefully choreographed 2008 campaign, in that Obama was also packaged by his handlers as an outsider who would restore integrity to government.

        Like Zelensky, Obama was in reality a hollow fraud who lied about his family background, had deep ties to American intelligence, and betrayed his campaign promises—in his case, by expanding Bush’s War on Terror and displaying fealty toward large banks and financial institutions.

        1. icancho

          I find the site loads OK (in Republic of Ireland), though it is often slow to load— HOWEVER, that particular piece absolutely refuses to open, leading to the time-out message, while other docs open just fine. Make inferences at will …

      2. ambrit

        I encountered the same thing concerning South—–. Thanks for the work around.
        Also, Big Z has extended both martial law and conscription inside the Ukraine.
        Next, any word on Gonzalo Lira? Or, for that matter, his family?
        Finally, the Ukraine has committed it’s last big, decently trained and equipped brigade to the “offensive.” (The 82nd Brigade.) This is the last, Hail Mary pass. After this, it’s all downhill for the Ukraine. I’ll bet the military planners in Kiev are hoping for an early rainy season this fall.

        1. some guy

          If my feeling about the RussiaGov goal is correct, namely to keep Ukraine fighting along a defined front until Ukraine is too demographically and socially destroyed to have anything left to fight with, then the RussiaGov will carefully avoid any temptation to ” invade further” and try “occupying” more of Ukraine.

          Russia does not want to possess Ukraine. Russia wants to destroy Ukraine below the level of ever again presenting any future threat. If that means basically exterminating Ukraine altogether, then that is what Russia will spend as many years doing as it takes to do it slowly and thoroughly. ” This ain’t personal, its business.”

          If the endstate is no more Ukraine left to fight with or fight from, then I shall have been proven right. If the endstate includes a Ukraine still existing and able to pose a future threat, then I shall be proven wrong. ( I will consider a rumplet Nazi Galiciakraine with all its Hungarian and Romanian lands taken back by Hungary and Romania to be a partial fulfillment of my expectation for a Ukraine endstate . . . . especially if that rumplet Nazi Galiciakraine with its capital being Lvov-iv-ov-iv-ov-iv-ov , devotes itself to Nazi revenge attacks throughout EUrope in revenge for EUrope not having supported Ukraine hard enough early enough to win.)

  7. nippersdad

    How ironic is it that Bill Kristol would found a PAC called DDT? That guy has always been toxic, but it is nice to see him finally admit it.

  8. Expat2uruguay

    Biden’s fall Covid vaccine rollout for the uninsured won’t include pharmacies at first ..Politico

    Wow, that’s really weird. I don’t remember reading about an updated covid shot XBB 1.5″ (for the omicron variant?)… Did I miss something, or is it magic?

  9. nippersdad

    That Chinese ghost town, replete with cattle grazing what would have been their yards, is very post apocalyptic looking. That is a movie set just waiting for a script, or a great place for some Brits to do Youtube videos on home renovation. Buying and fixing up chateaux in France is about to become so passe’.

    James Bond retires to Shenyang?

      1. digi_owl

        Looks downright absurd. Almost like i expect the Cheshire Cat to lounge on top of one of them.

        All this got me thinking about that concrete pyramid in Pyongyang, but looking it up it seems to have been turned into a massive light show.

        Anyways, do wonder if similar scenes to the one in China will develop in US suburbs at some point.

      2. juno mas

        Well. . . “For now, the manor-dotted valley has become a neighborhood of empty, half-finished shells. With many of the villas started but not one finished, the town remains unlivable.”, quotes the article.

        As an architect I can assure you structures without essential utilities are worthless. Better to dismantle the structures and reprieve the landscape than attempt to inhabit this place.

  10. diptherio

    I’m no expert in Mastodon (though I’ve been using it for a few years now and co-own an instance with a couple thousand other people) but I can say for certain that you can in fact peform searches beyond your own instance. I just tried it to verify (since I don’t use the search function that much). Searching for handles, hashtags, and words all return results from other servers besides my own (

    But search is a problem on Masto (as it is a lot of places), especially when wanting to search through your own feed for something you posted 18 months ago, and the like. The protip is to just bookmark any post you want to keep track of.

    Nothings perfect, but at least Masto has an edit function you don’t need to pay for.

    1. Acacia

      Lambert mentioned a “universal address space”, i.e., all URLs will resolve and you don’t have to be a member.

      This used be true for Twitter. Never was true for Facebook.

      How about Mastodon? Can most any URL be shared with non-members?

      1. digi_owl

        Different instances have different rules i think.

        And i suspect the AI “gold rush” has forever spoiled the digital commons.

  11. flora

    re: Hawaii Electric, While Failing to Act on Fire Prevention, Had Cozy Ties to Regulators – Lee Fang

    Thanks for the article. It doesn’t matter how much electricity you generate in any manner if your transmissions lines are unsafe, outdated, or inadequate.

    I’ll add this paper. (Assume a robust and safe electricity transmission grid.)

    1. Deidre

      California is the granddaddy of this corruption.
      All the members of the Public Utilities Commission are appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

      They allow rate gouging, forgive corporate mass murder and assure a flow of political donations to the governor and his party. Rise and repeat with a dollop of social justice greenwashing.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>California is the granddaddy of this corruption.

        Why would you say that? Just because the California PUC has been a corrupt cesspool since before the First World War?


    2. scott s.

      Of course. That is how life is in Hawaii. Every island is its own grid and history. Maui Electric came from Claus Spreckel’s HC&S sugar plantations. In general since statehood you have had a concentration of power in democrat-controlled state government and what was once run by and for the Big Five interests has migrated to state control.

      Today is Admissions Day BTW

      Kauai took the sugar plantation electrical interests into a coop. Those on the left generally consider this the best thing since sliced bread. I’m not sure actual results meet this expectation, but I can’t say it gets much press play here on Oahu either. But when it comes to predatory buying of real property, Zuckerberg on Kauai comes to mind.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “House Judiciary panel subpoenas FBI, DOJ over big tech collusion”

    I would imagine that that committee would split on party lines and would depend on the make up of that committee. Thing is, there is a ton of evidence out in the public realm that the FBI and the DoJ has not only been colluding with Big Tech – as seen in the Twitter Files – but a case could be made that they have also been indulging in election interference. For the Democrats, having this dead albatross tied around their necks in hearing after hearing between now and next November’s Presidential election is something that they could well do without. Unless a deal is reached behind closed doors to literally have those hearing held behind closed doors.

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Zornio: HOAs are too powerful. They should not be allowed to foreclose on Colorado homes. Colorado Sun

    In practice, HOAs are a nightmare. To paraphrase a friend, think about who has the amount of time and energy to join a volunteer board that oversees whether or not private citizens have the right shade of beige painted on their fence, or whether or not their Christmas lights are up too early or late. Now ask yourself if you really want that person to have so much authority over your property and life. Probably not.

    If you’ve ever lived in a “community” where a fat, old, retired engineer and his bleach-blonde, bedazzled wife cruise the neighborhood, daily, in their golf cart, searching out “infractions,” you know the truth of the above statement, and will avoid CC&R (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) controlled “communities” like the plague.

    Petty, low-level government bureaucrats are bad. Petty, private, volunteer bureaucrats are horses of an entirely different, far more insidious color.

    1. semper loquitur

      A friend’s elderly dad lives in a retirement community. The president of their HOA was known for screaming at people who disagreed with him and even threatened a woman who told him to “Fork Off!” His wife would get people banned from the tennis courts and such because she didn’t like their faces. But his death knell was rung when he tried to tell everyone that they could only have one dog and that those with two pups had to get rid of one. The next election he was out on his bumpkiss…

    2. Laura in So Cal

      When we bought our house 15 years ago, the first filter on our search was NO HOA. I know people talk about how an HOA preserves property appearances and therefore values, but our neighborhood has become fairly desirable because it has no HOA even with some yards full of weeds and driveways containing project cars.

  14. The Rev Kev

    ‘Air Canada is facing backlash for charging customers over $4K to fly out of Yellowknife during a mandatory evacuation due to wildfires’

    Air Canada is going to have to pay a price for this. Not only with boycotts and reputational damage but perhaps an inquiry by the government into their actions. Would even Justin Trudeau want to side with Air Canada here? So long as the eventual cost is higher than the amount of money that they made by boosting prices in a time of national emergency.

    1. Eclair

      Aw, come on, guys. Raising the price of tickets in order to escape death by incineration is the way to weed out the ‘bad genes.’ Only ‘the elect,’ i.e., the wealthy, whom god, by definition, has favored, will be saved. The System does this on a daily basis, only not so blatantly. The wealthy can buy organic food, clean water, clean air, exercise, good schools, prime medical care. The poor (that’s most of us, BTW,) we’re not meant to be saved.

      1. ambrit

        “The poor (that’s most of us, BTW,) we’re not meant to be saved.”
        Too true. We are forced to “pull ourselves up by our IEDs.” I know that Colt’s revolver was often known as “the great equalizer.” The same can be said of various and sundry “things that go boom.”
        Poor people exhibit a classic example of Darwinian Selection. The more enterprising and inventive of them “rise to the top” by pulling the former elites down to Earth. Neo-liberals should understand. It’s a social version of “churn.”
        Stay safe.

    2. Mildred Montana

      >”Would even Justin Trudeau want to side with Air Canada here?”

      Air Canada is Trudeau’s baby. It’s eastern with strong Quebec connections and flies a lot of government employees. He just ignores its bad behavior.

      Pandemic financial troubles? Here’s $10 billion in bailout money and spend it as you wish. Thanks Justin, we will—on executive compensation and bonuses.

      Passenger’s flight delayed or cancelled and he’s looking for a refund? Get in line with tens of thousands of others, says Justin, we’ve put in regulations but enforcement is so darned tough. So you’ll just have to sit and pray for about eighteen months that your claim won’t be denied.

      For for all those billions and bloated salaries, here’s what Canadians get:

      51% on-time (within 15 minutes) for Air Canada. By way of comparison, Alaska and Delta notched ~80%. A spokesman blames the poor performance on a shortage of air-traffic controllers. That doesn’t make sense to me. How are these flights departing at all? And if the problem is at the destination how about a phone call before departure to check?

      Meanwhile, average Canadians suffer with inadequate rail service and virtually no inter-city bus routes (Greyhound left four years ago). No billions for trains or buses, Justin? Nope, Trudeau only cares about Air Canada. Not a surprise though, it’s been at Ottawa’s teat for many years.

    3. Jonhoops

      If you read the thread it was an obvious troll. The flight quoted was Yellowknife>Iqualit>Ottawa>Calgary a flight no one is going to take.

      Someone posted the real prices in the thread, most were Yellowknife to Edmonton or Calgary direct for about $350 -$600 Can.

      I grew up in Fort Smith and am following the situation closely. I found it interesting that as soon as the capital was threatened you can’t find any info from Smith or Hay River. This despite the fire being closer and much bigger near those communities. All the media is based in the capital and the internet is still functioning so I guess it is just easier to interview the mayor of YellowKnife.

      1. C.O.

        If it’s any consolation, when I checked out the NWT live fire tracking map, Smith and Hay River were shown by label, and Yellowknife was not.

        In BC the wildfires just blew across Kelowna into the downtown core.

    4. Bill Malcolm

      National emergency? There have been multiple cases of mass evacuations here in Canada this wildfire season. The one looming in Kelowna BC looks far worse — evacuations there will be handled by the provincial government of British Columbia. What Trudeau has to do with this so-called Air Canada ripoff is beyond my ken, but then I merely live here. He’s federal, the Yellowknife fire fight is under the jurisdiction of the territorial government of the North West Territories. But foreigners without a clue about our governance structure love to rag away on themes they know bugger all about.

      From Reuters: “In fact, the referenced fare ($4665) which appeared on travel booking sites was not for a direct Air Canada flight, but rather involved trips with three stops operated by different carriers.” From the same site: “By Thursday afternoon, Air Canada’s website showed there were no flights available connecting Yellowknife to Calgary, which has committed to accommodate up to 5,000 evacuees, until Monday. One way flights on the site for Friday were listed for as low as C$303 ($223.72).”

      Read the article yourself and avoid BS sensationalism. This isn’t Maui:

      Most people are driving from the evacuation of Yellowknife south to Alberta, not flying. And it’s a one thousand mile haul, not a mere jaunt by any means.Plus, there were days of forewarning, not minutes, to evacuate. Not everywhere is as grossly incompetent as the states of the USA. If this Air Canada high fare trope were a big scandal, it would have been on the news every hour here, but guess what? Not a murmur.

      X or Twitter BS as usual, I presume. Glad some find it essential, but I’ve never bothered with it. Got a life to live.

  15. Wukchumni

    Sure picked a doozie of a weekend to go car camping at the beach in SoCal @ San Clemente, Hillary keeps growing in strength with many inches of rain and blustery winds aloft.

    I quite like San Clemente (as did Bebe Rebozo) but its way too close to the San Onofre nuclear generating plant, hastily closed down a decade ago.

    1. John k

      It’s a sleepy town that’s real, unlike nearby Dana point.
      San onofre replaced their steam generators with new ones that leaked, utility gave up. Granted, spent fuel is stored there, just as it is in the ~110 other nukes around the country. I’m more worried about the big one… though just now I’m worried about visiting Pasadena this weekend. 6” rain on Sunday?!?

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          my choice too – if i vote – never passed it up before in over 50 years but it never seems to make a difference – after Nixon none of them listened to the people – Mr ‘i’m not a crook’ gave us Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air and Water Acts, the earned income tax credit, Equal Employment Opportunity Act, Endangered Species Act and the Occupation Safety and Health Administration – not too shabby for a repukelican – if there is a dem primary i’ll vote for RFK Jr just to f#$k with them but the reason i’d vote for Cornell is he is an honest man who speaks truth to power and won’t fold like Bernie has lately, and to give the greens another reason to be on ballots – tired of the duopoly of the uniparty – glass is half full today

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            Nixon vetoed the Clean Water Act. In a bipartisan effort, Congress overrode the veto.

            He also ordered an illegal invasion of Cambodia, leading to Pol Pot. He sent the “Plumbers” into Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office.

            And the tapes contained this lovely conversation between Nixon and Haldeman after a brutal conclusion to the Attica uprising:

            The president’s response: “This might have one hell of a salutary effect. They can talk all they want about the radicals. You know what stops them? Kill a few.

            “Remember Kent State?” the president continues. “Didn’t it have one hell of an effect, the Kent State thing?”

            “Sure did,” replies Haldeman. “Gave them second thoughts.”

            Just because today’s Democrats are a-holes, let’s not turn Nixon into some kind of decent human being. He wasn’t.

            1. Pat

              As I keep saying the day I escalated to despising Barack Obama was the day I realized I was nostalgic for and missed Richard Nixon, that that piece of cr*0 had a better more average human friendly record than a Democrat elected for change with overwhelming majorities in Congress sealed the deal.
              And for the record Nixon actually better qualifies for resurrection than candy sharing George W. Bush. He won’t be considered because both parties have been trying to destroy much of what was achieved during The Nixon administration. They are all just fine with Bush’s wars, increased Presidential powers. And assaults on civil liberties.

              1. Henry Moon Pie

                I don’t think there are many Vietnamese, Cambodians or Laotians who would agree with you. Nor those kids at Kent or Jackson State.

                He was a monster, and I feel no nostalgia for him under any circumstances.

                Rather than give him credit, it may be a lot more about a Republican Party with Mark Hatfield, Jacob Javits and
                Edward Brooke. And the Dems had real Senators too with Fulbright, McGovern and Gravel.

                1. Pat

                  Apparently you missed a big point about what I was saying.

                  Or I suppose I could cut Obama (“I’m good at killing people.”) a break as he only killed people in the Middle East and most of the Americans he killed were suicides or unfortunately Muslim and supposedly giving aid to the enemy (no trial necessary) He did start one invasion and I know Libyans must appreciate his destroying Libya so that it’s biggest industry is the slave trade.
                  And on the home front there were such huge achievements like insurance give away and private equity enabling Affordable Care Act and making propaganda legal, then there was HAMP foaming the runways for the banks…. Even gay marriage must be more attributed to the Supreme Court not the Obama administration.

                  Take a really good look at what went on and was accomplished during the Obama administration versus the Nixon administration and tell me again that I cannot honestly say more good happened in the Nixon administration. Same for Bush 2 and the Nixon administration. No hippie lefty Democrat from that period wants to give Nixon himself any credit for it, but regardless worthwhile things were accomplished. Both parties have apparently done their best to kick out anybody with half a conscience since and as a result it has been such a race to the bottom that the Donald Trump administration was an improvement on his immediate predecessors and the current administration. That doesn’t mean that Nixon was a good man, or that Trump is a good man. It means there are sociopaths in charge everywhere and things have gotten exponentially worse. What was bad then has largely been expanded and Congress and the Presidents have actively worked to eliminate or dismantle any achievements and good programs from the FDR years to the Nixon years. I have a hard time coming up with anything from the Carter to Bush 1 years that was a good idea that wasn’t immediately crapified. And god knows the Clinton years were mostly an utter friggin’ disaster. But Bush2, Obama and Biden and the administrations they actively created are creatures of nightmare that once again make Nixon and his administration look good BY COMPARISON even for most of the worst of it.

                  Things have gotten worse.

            2. Jabura Basaidai

              hey HMP not my point but yours are well-taken – they are still picking bombs out of Cambodia and folks are dying because of it as they are in Laos as well – have a friend i’ve known since birth, our parents were friends, who has lewy bodies dementia and parkinson symptoms from agent orange while he was over in the stink – you forgot to mention Chile btw – Nixon ended the war in Vietnam only after he immensely escalated the bombings – he wasn’t a good guy and i’m old enough to vividly remember Kent State – there was a realpolitik pragmatism because of pressure from the populace and TV commentators which is totally absent today – today these guys, red or blue, just don’t give a f#$k what people think and have the media in their pockets to Bernays the opposition away, like dangling keys in front of an infant – damn, my glass was half full….now it’s half empty again – oh well, will go throw the frisbee for my pooch and be happy when he smiles at me – never intended to imply Nixon was a decent guy by any metric – i agree with you –

              1. Henry Moon Pie

                Thanks, Jabura. As I recall, this all began years ago on places like DailyKos with people saying that the Dems were making Nixon look good. No problem with that. But then it seems to morph into Nixon was good, and, obviously, that alarms me. The country was in a fight for its life against him, and while it appeared to win at the time, Nixon-style politics and Nixon’s view of the Presidency have prevailed. He’s not the last example of a decent politician. He was the forerunner of the ruthless, imperial politics of today.

                1. Jabura Basaidai

                  Mike Gravel was someone very special, as well as Fulbright and voted for for McGovern in ’72 – remember clearly the first time beaten by cops, in Chicago ’68 – it wasn’t the last –

                  1. mrsyk

                    Off topic a bit but it is getting late. I’ve got a couple packs of Gravel for President rolling papers kicking around somewhere, received for a small campaign contribution. They still make me smile.

                2. JBird4049

                  In the past 23 years, off the top of my mind, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Ukraine are either outright invasion or participation. None of this includes the multiple coups in at five countries as well as “assistance” for multiple African countries.

                  Nixon is best known for his competency and his government being not just for the financial Goliaths. Call him what you want, he was actually governing, and his combination of brutality and competency is likely to come again as our current rulers are failures.

            1. Jabura Basaidai

              ahhhhhhhh……..slacking the thirst of optimism, half full, or pessimism, half empty – my struggle is usually to keep it half full –

            2. The Rev Kev

              Personally I would prefer to have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy.

              1. Jabura Basaidai

                me too….preferably cognac – had a bad experience with bourbon – good scotch can be tasty but will always chug some cognac – as a friend noted once-
                ‘life you’ve not tasted until you’ve been wasted’ – definitely some truth slurring in there RK – preferable to electrodes and biting a chunk of wood

    1. some guy

      ” I have no empathy. I mean . . . give me a break!” – – – Big Guy

      Between Biden (well, technically his DOJ) saying ” Americans have no constitutional right to a stable climate” and Trump ( and every other Republican) saying ” the climate is already stable and global warming is a left-wing radical Democrat Marxist-liberal Chinese hoax” growing numbers of young people may view Cornel West as a last desperate means of escape at the “electoral level”.

      Maybe West and the Greens should figure out which few states they could win in theory which would delete enough electoral votes from the overall total such that neither brand name candidate could get enough electoral votes to win the election. If West and the Greens could achieve that, and force the House of Reps to vote on who becomes President, they could dare the Reps from the states whose electoral votes they had just won to vote for anyone other than West in that scenario.

      Meanwhile everyone voting/working for West and Kennedy and Williamson could remain together as organized movement-loads of people .. . the way the Sanderbackers apparently failed to do.

  16. Mikel

    “Thousands of scientists are cutting back on Twitter, seeding angst and uncertainty” Nature

    “…The reasons respondents gave varied, but many of those who had markedly reduced or stopped their activity on X mentioned Musk’s management of the platform. Many said that they had noticed an uptick in the amount of fake accounts, trolls and hate speech on the platform.

    How Musk’s takeover might change Twitter: what researchers think

    Žiga Malek, an environmental scientist at the Free University of Amsterdam, mentioned in the survey that he had started seeing a lot of “strange” political far-right accounts espousing science denialism and racism in his feed…”

    The reasons varied but they are sure to make the article more about the political ideologies than maybe some being discouraged that the site was taken over by someone with a sufficient STEM background, but their ultimate vision is to become another middle-man payments processor.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      I did hear that Elon had turned the focus of his extraordinary genius from going to Mars to inventing a time machine so he could go back to the day before he made an offer for Twitter.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Sanctions on Russian crude and diesel exports are failing”

    They should be grateful that they are. Can you imagine the effect on the EU alone if no Russian fuel was allowed in as in at all? I think that their economies would crash. As it is they are still getting Russian fuel but via China and India so everybody can pretend that the Russians are being taught a lesson and none of their fuel is getting into the EU. I would hate to think of what the effect on the world economy as with less fuel in circulation, prices would have to rise. How much? A lot.

  18. Mikel

    “World Insights: How world’s largest economy has catalyzed global economic turmoil” Xinhua. Tu quoque!

    Related to the article’s observations: I noticed this week there is some intrigue in the news about something going on at Goldman Sachs that has damage control front and center in the financial press.

  19. Lex

    The grand “counter offensive” (it was actually an offensive, not a counter to anything) was always going to fail because it was based entirely on the idea that the Russian forces would run. The planners assumed a repeat of last fall’s Kharkov offensive without considering the specifics of Kharkov. And to make matters worse, the goals of the offensive were political, primarily Biden’s political goals.

    None of this is to argue that offensive operations elsewhere would necessarily be more successful. The prize of threatening Crimea would be substantial (though with the risk of serious escalation by Russia in response). But the ask of the Ukrainian forces was really on the order of the military formations Big Serge’s linked piece today, not the current state of Kiev’s army. The only real potential for success would have been to throw literally everything at a portion of the front rather than relatively small attacks on the same locations daily for two months.

    1. Feral Finster

      The Russians didn’t flee Kharkov last year, they were grossly outnumbered and consequently withdrew.

      Russia has devoted more troops to the frontlines this time around, and seemed a but less complacent regarding an easy victory. That said, Russia still hasn’t shown the stomach to do what is necessary to win, which will require going on a large scale offensive, and actually doing whatever it takes to ram that victory home.

      1. Lex

        I know. It was at the end of their ability in the initial phase of the SMO. It worked for Kiev/NATO because of that and the terrain being favorable to the fast moving, light infantry tactics that NATO practices. It was a well planned operation that took advantage of Russia’s position at the time, the terrain and playing to the attacking force’s strength. And the Russian command did the right thing operationally by refusing to sacrifice men and material to hold territory.

        US planners were fools to assume that Kharkov would be repeated in the south, but they did. Apparently.

      2. some guy

        I will assume the RussiaGov knows more than I do, including what constitutes “winning” from the point of view of the RussiaGov.

  20. FM

    Maui Emergency Management Agency Herman Andaya getting fired is giving me strong Fall Guy vibes.

    I suppose the next question is: who exactly approved his hiring?

    1. flora

      I saw some of his press conference. He really believed he did the right thing. He really believed he was the right man for the job because he’d taken extensive training and passed all the credential tests to earn his job. He had not, however, had any on the ground real experience as an emergency manager. It was all “book learning” until he was hired for this position.

      Which leads to the question of the hiring process. This guy, the Marion KS new police chief, a young guy in my community hired to take over a local charity…. One thing that I know about my community charity hiring board, (and suspect about many other hiring boards where they hire exactly the wrong guy), is they don’t understand what due diligence actually entails. They are naive, or too trusting the candidates self-representations are accurate, or too dazzled by credentials. Instead of putting on the green eyeshade, sharpening the pencils, and asking tough questions like “what am I missing? What doesn’t add up?”, they accept too much at face value. I think they would not buy a used car so easily. So, they entrust large sums of money, or their health and safety to someone they haven’t properly vetted. Because they don’t understand, really, what proper vetting entails. And no one wants to be “that guy” who asks uncomfortable questions or slows down a process. / my 2 cents.

      adding: my community’s charity group now knows what they need to know to properly vet and oversee people hired for important financial positions. Burned once, twice shy, as they say.

      1. flora

        adding: there’s always the very real problem that the majority of hiring board members may not understand the actual demands of the job they are hiring for. They have no personal experience or understanding of what the job entails. They don’t know what they don’t know. I put that in the ‘naive’ category.

      2. mrsyk

        Agree about hiring processes and due diligence. Also agree about the “fall guy” vibe. Would the sirens have saved lives? Probably. I haven’t seen a timeline of “official” actions. Had the town already been given mandatory evacuation orders? I do see multiple reports of one or two thousand missing still. The current, under-informed environment seems ripe for under-informed reactions. I am aware that I might be the under-informed here and stand to be corrected.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>The current, under-informed environment seems ripe for under-informed reactions. I am aware that I might be the under-informed here and stand to be corrected.

          We base our actions on both our experiences and what we are taught both of which are based on the. A survivor said that because she and her husband had survived wild fires in the American West, they knew how fast the fires could be. IIRC, despite leaving earlier than most, they still were trapped in the traffic jam and had to jump into the ocean. Their experiences might have saved their lives.

          A wild fire already is an unpredictable monster. The changing climate change is creating these formerly rare disasters like these fires more often. As much as one can justifiably excoriate the administrator, as he should have adjusted his actions to the these new conditions, he was in a new environment.

  21. Aurelien

    So, Zelensky comes to London, and instead of meeting Boris Johnson, then Prime Minister, he sees the head of what the media still persists in calling “MI6,” and that makes him a British intelligence agent, or something. That sounds a fairly extraordinary breach of political etiquette, not to mention inherently very unlikely, given that a head of state would normally always see the Prime Minister. Is there some public information about this? Well, ten seconds with Google throws up the following official press release from the British government:

    In which we learn that Johnson “met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Downing Street this morning ahead of signing the UK-Ukraine Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement.” So much for a secret visit, although it’s possible that Moore would have been there in the back row, as these meetings are normally attended by lots of people. Don’t journalists think it’s worth doing any research these days, before publishing articles like this? The whole story seems to hinge on uncorroborated allegations by a “former Ukrainian diplomat” who doesn’t claim to have been in London at the time, and a former State Department in Saudi Arabia who, nonetheless, claims detailed knowledge of all of the story.

    It’s entirely possible that there were contacts between western intelligence services and the Ukrainian government, because that’s one thing that you use intelligence services for. But the same people who are telling us now that Zelensky was put in power to persecute Russians and make war on Ukraine were previously telling us that he came to power with good intentions but became a hopeless prisoner of the West, or additionally or alternatively a helpless puppet of the extreme nationalists. There’s something about the very mention of intelligence services that turns the brains of otherwise rational people into semolina.

    1. Feral Finster

      When Zelenskii was running for office in 2019, the American Ambassador was openly campaigning on behalf of his opponent, Poroshenko, and the nationalists were in a rage over his election.

      Funny kind of secret agent.

        1. some guy

          I wonder if BoJo quietly told him that he and his family would be assassinated if he followed through with that peace negotiation.

    2. Carolinian

      Despite so many movies depicting CIA agents as almost super human martial arts specialists I believe I would agree that we should cast shade on their competence up to and including the notion that they killed JFK and got away with it. One can also note that Ritter has called Lira a secret intelligence agent on apparently flimsy evidence.

      But all the stuff about Zelensky’s corruption and mansions isn’t in dispute so he’s still the organ grinder’s monkey even if the organ grinder is a bit opaque. Which is to say behind the scenes somebody is running things and it isn’t us. In that sense the article is doubtless closer to the truth than what you would read in the NYT.

      And thanks to Darthbobber for the link.

      1. Phenix

        The Dulles brothers and their henchmen overthrew multiple countries, assassinated multiple world leaders and are implicated in the assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, and Malcolm X.

        I agree that the our current global managers/deep state leaders are not as competent but that does not mean that the CIA did not initially earn it’s reputation.

        1. Carolinian

          Don’t forget Bay of Pigs and the exploding cigars, the bumbling attempts to spy on Russia after WW2 (all their agents were double agents), the Contras and the Watergate burglars who were ex CIA. Yes doling out bags of cash and providing assassins can get some results but it’s not exactly mastermind level stuff. Langley has had many failures. And when they produced their dubious successes it could be because tiny third world countries have trouble standing up to the USA. Against peers like Russia and China their record is not very impressive.

          Truman claimed that he regretted the thing and he was right.

  22. Glen

    Canada NWT fires can be checked out here:

    NWT Live Fire Map

    The area burned this year so far is about the size of England:

    Huge wildfire forces evacuation of Canada’s Northwest Territories capital

    I normally track US wildfires on Google earth using downloaded KMLs, but I haven’t found a good way to put the rest of the world’s fires on the same map which is unfortunate. It was only a couple of years ago that wildfires in Siberia were also completely out of control:

    Siberian wildfires now bigger than all other fires in world combined

    A recent item highlighted how the US was funding $1.2B on direct air capture. It would be nice to see similar increases in funding to make sure we don’t burn up millions of acres of trees, and are doing more to properly manage our forests (make sure “no burn” policies don’t result in tinder box forests). Just doing something like restarting a CCC program would be progress.

    1. some guy

      A New Deal Restoration Party could run on that among other New Deal type concepts.

      State-level New Deal Restoration Parties might have better luck getting somewhere than a national attempt, given how the Clintobama BidenDemocrats have planted hundreds of millions of political landmines and booby traps all over the national – level political landscape.

  23. Ignacio

    Moderna Clinical Trial Data Confirm Its Updated Covid-19 Vaccine Generates Robust Immune Response in Humans Against Widely Circulating Variants (press release) Moderna. Might as well go straight to the source.

    IMO, titres of neutralizing titres are no longer enough to characterize the inmune response as strong. Not because they wane, as they do. We are talking here about reckless boosting of which we have 0 previous data on other diseases. A more thorough immune characterization is needed. On T-Cells, on IgG subclasses being induced and their corresponding effector domains. You might end having high neutralizing titres that don’t protect you at all, even make you more sensitive to the disease. The correlation observed before between such titres and protection may, or might not hold anymore.

  24. Carolinian

    Thanks for the Big Serge.

    Behind the scenes, however, Hitler was a full color and peculiar personality, with a circle of familiars (even if he was somewhat introverted and unwilling to confide fully in others), and a variety of personal idiosyncrasies. He was extremely hygienic, greatly fond of pastries (he abstained from alcohol and instead indulged in ample quantities of eclairs and strudel), and he was tremendously engrossed by the music of Richard Wagner, in particular Wagner’s seminal work Der Ring des Nibelungen


    For Hitler, Wagner’s work invoked thematic elements of German greatness and the power of will, and during the early years of his leadership he made a point to make Nazi party functionaries join him at the annual Wagner festival in Bayreuth. Not all of them were opera fans, and much to Hitler’s chagrin a great many of them routinely fell asleep during the performances.

    If they had stayed awake, they might have seen what was coming for them.

    We here at the Hegemon are awaiting our own Götterdämmerung under a maximum leader who prefers ice cream to pastries. Hope there’s good music.

    1. ambrit

      “Hope there’s good music.”
      I’m betting on a ‘new’ music genre; Thanato Techno Trance. We’ll all sleepdance into the FEMA Re-education camps.

    2. Not Qualified to Comment

      To fall asleep during a performance of any of the Ring Cycle you’d either have to be very, very tired, high on sleeping pills or have very good ear-plugs.

  25. Mikel

    Looking at the Equador story led me to this. Somehow, this unconfirmed “bestie” ( this article doesn’t provide any deep info about a long relationship) will be able to take a place on the ballot. It’s all very dramatic, which I included in an excerpt below.
    Murdered Candidate’s Best Friend Urges Ecuador to Vote for a Dead Man

    “…Word that Zurita would likely be allowed to take his friend’s place after all helped brighten the mood the dinner; the electoral board finally cleared him to run late on Wednesday.

    Zurita’s family is also frightened. His two sons — one is nine, the other is 31 — have refused to talk to him since he told them he would step up and take his friend’s place in the campaign. They won’t take his phone calls.

    “The older one said that I will become cannon fodder, and the younger one cried because he said ‘I don’t want you to be president,’” Zurita said. “They are terrified, my family is terrified. None of them have wanted me to do this.”

  26. Henry Moon Pie

    This is an unfortunate development. Joe Rogan and a regular guest, “former” CIA Brit-USA spook, Mike Baker, engaged in a lie-and-smear fest claiming climate activists are Chinese agents or dupes. In the first 30 seconds of the portion of the interview contained in the Fox excerpt, Baker claims that:

    China produces more carbon than the rest of the developed world combined.

    That’s a blatant lie disproven by five minutes on Google. In 2021, the latest year with complete data, total global CO2 emissions were 38 billion tonnes of which the G20 nations (all of which are “developed”) accounted for 81% yielding a little less than 31 billion tonnes as total G20 emissions. China, a G20 member, accounts for 12.5 billion tonnes. Subtracting 12.5 billion tonnes from 31 billion tonnes, we find that G20 countries, i.e. “developed” nations, other than China, accounted for 18.5 billion tonnes, roughly 50% MORE than China’s emissions. It’s too bad Rogan and his staff are so lazy as to let this crap get on the air. Either that or Rogan has now joined the Deep State as war-prepper for China.

    The lies don’t stop there. Rogan follows up with, “even if the U. S. went “green,” no emissions, it would hardly make a dent in it.” The United States, measured according to carbon emissions by location of production source, not by location of demand source, is the second largest emitter of carbon. According to the OECD’s adjustment for CO2 emission “embedded” in trade, emissions due to U. S. demand was around 2/3 of China’s demand numbers. If the U. S. went to zero carbon emissions by demand, that’s not a trivial amount.

    Then Rogan throws India under the bus, “India and China, that’s most of it.” India’s production side carbon emissions are 55% of those of the U. S.

    These are just the raw numbers. Looking at per capita carbon emissions on the production side, the U. S. comes in at 14.6, China at 8.7, the EU at 6.3 and India at 1.7. Looking at carbon emissions historically–and emitted CO2 stays in the atmosphere 300 years or more–no one comes close to the U. S. in contributing to our problem.

    What are you up to, Joe? Combining excuses to keep emitting with some China bashing with help from a spook? Not a good look.

    1. Sudhir

      It depends on your definition of “developed country”. You are including India in that whereas most analysts do not. Total emissions from China slightly exceed those from the US, EU, UK, Canada, Japan and Australia combined. That is probably the basis for Baker’s claim.

      As you point out, there is no real comparison on a per capita basis. The US (and Kuwait!) stands head and shoulders above the rest.

    2. bonks

      Joe Rogan, despite claiming to have an open mind, has been more than ready to jump on the China-bashing train whenever the opportunity arises.

  27. Victor Sciamarelli

    As enthusiasm for Ukraine is gradually being replaced by disillusionment, IMHO it’s a huge mistake to give Obama a pass on his central role in the Ukraine disaster.
    For starters, it’s worth recalling as stated by Euronews, “Ukraine was formally a neutral country from the collapse of the Soviet Union until 2014. What’s more, Ukraine’s “non-bloc” status was codified by President Yanukovych in 2010.
    A legislative amendment was submitted by the US hand picked President Poroshenko to abandon the “neutral, non-bloc” status and which passed parliament in December 2014, paving the way NATO and EU participation: All this while Obama was president.
    Feel free to hammer Victoria Nuland, Blinken, or Biden. However, in no way and no how, does Nuland have the authority to fly to Kiev, hand out cookies, orchestrate a coup to remove an elected president, pick a new president, and alter the Ukrainian Constitution.
    The only person capable of green-lighting this 2014 project was Obama. Thus, I think any mention of the disaster taking place in Ukraine should always include Obama because that’s who bears responsibility.
    I’m sure better informed readers might choose a different time when the New Cold War began, but I would credit Obama with starting the NCW and putting us on a possible road to destruction.
    Furthermore, Obama and the DNC are committed to maintaining Obama’s squeaky clean scandal free image, in order to protect the DP status quo. No doubt, Obama would also like to influence or, in fact, have control over the DP candidate selection process while protecting his book sales, speaking fees, donations to his foundation and, of course, his legacy.
    Biden and his administration are not innocent but Obama deserves much of the credit for the destruction of Ukraine.

    1. R.S.

      A nice gaggle they got there.

      Among the figures were Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, a former Polish foreign minister and current member of the European Parliament; Ukrainian lawmakers Oleksiy Oleksiyovich and Oleh Andriyovych Dunda; Dmytro Korchynskiy, a notable far-right Ukrainian politician and leader of the Ukrainian Bratstvo (Brotherhood) political party; Gunther Fehlinger, an Austrian economist advocating for NATO enlargement…

      Anna “wipe Muscovy off the map!” Fotyga, who lives in the 16th century.
      That guy Korchinski. “Far-right” as in “integral nationalism” as in “ethnic dictatorship”. The former leader of UNSO, a combat arm of Ukrainian ethnonationalists of the 90s, “friendship trains” and all that. Fought in Transnistria, in the Abkhaz War, in the 1st Chechen War and in Donbass, but killing (preferably Russians) for him is just a hobby.
      Günther Fehlinger, the guy who just likes to see countries broken apart. Serbia, Russia, even China (

    2. some guy

      If Turkey is hosting this, then it is not an entirely Western delusion. It also points to neo-Ottoman delusions on the part of the would-be Sultan, Recep the Magnificent.

  28. Feral Finster

    “What’s more, Ukraine’s “non-bloc” status was codified by President Yanukovych in 2010.”

    And that, kids, is why the United States decided that Yanukovich had to go.

    For decades, the CIA vehemently denied any role whatsoever in the coup in Iran, affecting shock and horror that anyone would accuse such an honorable organization of doing such a dastardly thing.

    The CIA feigned a similar pious outrage over the coup in Chile in 1973. Of course, the CIA was obviously behind both, and eventually the evidence became so overwhelming and the denials so hollow and pathetic, that the CIA eventually had to confess to orchestrating each of these coups.

    When will the CIA admit to its role in Kiev in 2014? Its fingerprints were all over that coup as well.

    1. Darthbobber

      When might there be another probe as aggressive as the 75-76 Church Committee hearings?

      The report from that committee accounts for the bulk of what we know about the activities before it was held.

      And there’s been nothing resembling that exercise in actual oversight in the nearly half-century since.

      1. Victor Sciamarelli

        Though immensely valuable, I think the chance of a new Church Committee is zero during a war, especially a war that might easily get much worse.
        The US signed the Paris Peace Accords in 1973 and all US combat troops were out of Vietnam in 1973 or the latest mid-1974. And Nixon was gone in 1974, thus, 1975 provided some emotional and political distance to examine the facts.
        You recall when progressive Dems wrote a letter to Biden merely suggesting we talk to Russia and negotiate a settlement, the DP leadership went nuts and they were forced to retract the letter. And as Biden ridiculously remarked the Ukraine War was a fight for democracy, I think forming a committee now would soon be labeled The Pro-Putin Committee.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      We weren’t buying the CIA’s denials in ’73. Two months after the coup, our “marching” band did its “Chile show” before a full Soldiers’ Field stadium. As the narrator said, “Now we know who really runs Chile,” we formed CIA on the field, and then morphed into ITT, all while playing “Ten Thou.” The show ended with us forming CASTRO on the field and playing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.”

      And who was President when Allende was overthrown? The great progressive, Richard M. Nixon, and HIllary’s mentor was National Security Advisor just before getting promoted to SecState.

  29. Bazarov

    “Infection control’s droplet paradigm would never have been overturned by aerosol scientists and engineers without Twitter.”

    While I sympathize 100 percent with the spirit of this, it seems to me far from clear that the “droplet paradigm” has been overturned in the meatspace of the real world–if it had been, I would not have seen, at the very hospital I was just at, several posters reminding patients and medical staff to wash their hands to prevent covid and would not have been the only person, patients and medical staff, in an N95 mask or in any mask whatsoever!

    I also noticed hand sanitizer everywhere but not a single box of masks (not even surgical, much less N95) available to patients and/or caregivers. There’s also the sad possibility, documented by NC, that HICPAC will succeed in enshrining anti-N95 mask principles in their infection control guidelines, which while not directly indicating opposition to the aerosol paradigm, sure does militate against recognition of its practical consequences.

    I’m reminded of that Upton Sinclair maxim: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something [posted on Twitter] when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

    Twitter might be convinced that covid’s airborne, but until the salaried executives start acting like it, I wouldn’t say that the old thinking has been overturned. In fact, if capital decides the aerosol paradigm serves to raise costs and lower profits, we might see it get buried very deep amid a complete restoration of the ancien regime, perhaps in new PR pressing.

    The droplet paradigm is dead, long live the droplet paradigm!

    1. some guy

      If HICPAC has a secret agenda of raising the death rate I can think of two separate ways that their efforts to spread disease within hospitals would achieve rising death rates.

      Way One: the direct way, by spreading as much disease to people inside hospitals as they can get away with while maintaining plausible deniability about what they are doing.

      Way Two: over the next several years, getting the death and disease rates for people going into hospitals raised up high enough that tens of millions of people come to see hospitals as sewage lagoons of disease where people go to get even sicker and then die from various hospital diseases, thereby making tens of millions of people so scared to go into hospitals that they let their own outside diseases fester until those diseases reach terminal status, at which point they can’t be cured any more and they die, raising the death rate that way as well.

  30. Carolinian


    “Jeddah was Sullivan’s baby,” the official said. “He planned it to be Biden’s equivalent of [President Woodrow] Wilson’s Versailles. The grand alliance of the free world meeting in a victory celebration after the humiliating defeat of the hated foe to determine the shape of nations for the next generation. Fame and Glory. Promotion and re-election. The jewel in the crown was to be Zelensky’s achievement of Putin’s unconditional surrender after the lightning spring offensive. They were even planning a Nuremberg type trial at the world court, with Jake as our representative. Just one more fuck-up, but who is counting? Forty nations showed up, all but six looking for free food after the Odessa shutdown”

    Needless to say Sullivan is a Hillary protege with the latter just on Maddow cackling about the Georgia indictment. Tripping down memory lane one can remember how Bill used to keep Hillary on the resrvation (despite bimbo eruptions) by saying she was the smart one and he her mere Arkansas swain. And she believed it–the smart part. Time was the press didn’t buy into any of this so they have played a big role in our current leadership mess. Also I’ve always thought that 9/11 flipped many liberals into the “liberal mugged” mentality. After all with attacks on NY/DC the once easily dismissed foreigners were coming after them.

    1. mrsyk

      The last two paragraphs for real
      Katharine Mach, professor at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science, cautioned against immediately labelling a situation climate gentrification, because that makes it difficult to tease out the other factors such as decades of discrimination, racism and land use changes.

      Climate change is overlaid on top of inequities in how we manage flooding or rebuild after fire, she said. “You can call that climate gentrification, but you could also say it’s inequity in how we manage disasters in the United States.”

  31. upstater

    According to NYT the Ukraine:Russia casualty ratio is 1:3… apparently Mediazona/BBC and alt media types have been getting this all wrong and Ukraine is winning. The ministry of truth report:

    Troop Deaths and Injuries in Ukraine War Near 500,000, U.S. Officials Say

    Russia’s military casualties, the officials said, are approaching 300,000. The number includes as many as 120,000 deaths and 170,000 to 180,000 injured troops. The Russian numbers dwarf the Ukrainian figures, which the officials put at close to 70,000 killed and 100,000 to 120,000 wounded

    Allowing for Russia’s lack of information on its own losses, the order or magnitude differences NYT reports are implausible. Hiding 300,000 casualties is a trick even Putin can’t manage. The USSR couldn’t hide a decade of losses in Afghanistan of 15,000 dead.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Given those numbers and what we know of the number of mobilized, Ukraine should have some 7 to 1 advantage on the battlefield by now. No wonder they are almost encircling Mariupol already /s

  32. CaliDan

    Major U.S. energy org targeted in QR code phishing attack. Bleeping Computer

    Nominee for word salad of the month (bonus points for passive voice): “Despite their effectiveness in bypassing protections, QR codes still require the victim to take action to get compromised, which is a decisive mitigating factor working in favor of well-trained personnel.”

    Translation: don’t click on suspicious emails. Amusing correlate: well-trained personnel = those able to resist clicking on suspicious emails.

    Seriously though, I remember similar legerdemain whipping up massive Russophobia around a particular recent election. But, without a names, dates, and motives in this article, I have to wonder who is being prepped to be the bogeyman in the near future.

    1. digi_owl

      Effectively what we get without humans in the loop.

      We have become so accustomed to ever more elaborate “automated” sign up processes rather than stopping by IT or security or the front desk and getting someone with the credentials to do it face to face.

      Same deal with banking, where they are closing down branches left and right and expect everything to be done via app or web.

      The one thing nagging at the back of my brain is how the bootstrap of all this is supposed to work. How do someone with no previous interaction with a bank or Google or whatever start from scratch to sign up when everyone wants something from some other entity to “verify” identity? It is all becoming very Kafka.

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