Links 8/20/2023

Thirsty Raccoons Are Breaking Into Homes in Germany, and Specifically Stealing Beer Food & Wine

How Turkey Replaced the Ottoman Language New Lines Magazine

Russia’s Luna-25 moon lander suffers ’emergency situation’ in lunar orbit

USDA kills hundreds of Minnesota wolves to protect ranchers’ profits Minnesota Reformer


SoCal Gas spent millions on astroturf ops to fight climate rules Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic

Locals have been sounding the alarm for years about Lahaina wildfire risk Grist

Those without homes ‘most at risk of dying’ from Hurricane Hilary in SoCal, advocates warn USA Today

New study finds far more hurricane-related deaths among poor and vulnerable Associated Press


Former Covid medical officer Van-Tam takes role at vaccine maker Moderna The Guardian

European Disunion

Polish parliament condemns German “interference” in elections Notes From Poland

Slovakia’s Pre-Election Purge The Wayward Rabbler


The Japan-South Korea-US Summit Is Bad News for China The Diplomat

The following thread is worth a read for why summit’s agreements may not last long:



New US envoy arrives in Niger, no policy change yet: State Dept Al Mayadeen. Kathleen FitzGibbon. She is, of course, a spook. From FitzGibbon’s state department bio: “…was first the Division Chief, West and Southern Africa, and then the Director of the Office of Africa Analysis in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research…”

Costly Propositions New Left Review. On the protests in Kenya.

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine SitRep: Chernihiv Done Exhibition – Russian Offensive Moon of Alabama

US proxy warriors ‘fear’ that Ukrainians are ‘casualty averse’ Aaron Mate

Two US warships visit Turkey amid crisis in Black Sea Duvar


EU Foreign Affairs chief: Russia akin to gas station with nuclear weapons Ukrainska Pravda. Borrell channeling his inner John McCain?

Irish weapons training plan for Ukrainian troops a ‘breach of neutrality’, TDs claim Irish Times

As US OKs F-16 transfers, USAFE head warns Ukraine won’t have them flying in 2023 Breaking Defense


LNG supplies: Why Europe is spooked by Australian strike Deutsche Welle

Namibia’s Green Hydrogen Future Der Spiegel International

Germany’s great hydrogen race: The corporate perpetuation of fossil fuels, energy colonialism and climate disaster Corporate Europe Observatory. From March, still germane.

South of the Border

Water, not lithium, is the resource Latin America should worry about Rest of World


Tens of Thousands of Israelis Protest Judicial Overhaul for 33rd Week in a Row Amid Rising Gender Segregation and IDF Crisis Haaretz

With Morocco normalization, Israel revives a dangerous Africa policy 972 Magazine

Imperial Collapse Watch

How a drill is preparing admirals, naval forces for simultaneous wars Defense News

Biden Administration

In talks with prosecutors, Hunter Biden’s lawyers vowed to put the president on the stand Politico

ABC/IPSOS Poll: Roughly Half of Americans Have No Confidence in the Hunter Biden Investigation Jonathan Turley


Christie hits Trump on foreign policy: ‘I don’t want to be the apple of Vladimir Putin’s eye’  The Hill

Christie: Social Security, Medicare cuts are a necessary ‘political risk’ in today’s economy The Hill

This GOP presidential candidate has a higher favorability rating among Democrats than voters in his own party Fox News. The previous two links are clues.

DeSantis calls Trump supporters ‘listless vessels,’ drawing rebuke Orlando Sentinel

Our Famously Free Press / Police State Watch

A raid on a Kansas newspaper likely broke the law, experts say. But which one? AP. Unfortunately cannot link to individual stories on its site, but the paper is The Marion County Record.

Co-owner of Kansas newspaper, who died amid stress from police raid, honored in funeral service Kansas Reflector

Groves of Academe

Schools are teaching ChatGPT, so students aren’t left behind CNN


Can We Red Team Our Way to AI Accountability? Tech Policy Press

Screening Room

The Peripheral Canceled After Prime Video Undoes Season 2 Renewal Gizmodo

Supply Chain

Severe drought in Panama hits global shipping industry Modern Diplomacy

Zeitgeist Watch

Need a decent dining spot in Ottawa? Microsoft suggested a food bank The Register

The Bezzle

Another Crypto Millionaire Has Been Killed, Dismembered The Deep Dive

The Human Cost of Cryptomania Bloomberg. Slavery.


A Robotaxi Drove Itself Into Wet Cement On A Construction Site Jalopnik

California DMV cuts Cruise’s fleet after S.F. crashes involving its driverless cars San Francisco Chronicle

Class Warfare

Food insecure population grows for fifth straight month Stephen Semler, Speaking Security

City Leaders at Odds as Overdose Deaths Trending Toward Record High San Francisco Public Press

Our Economy Thrives on Bad Feelings New York Times



Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. timbers

    EU Foreign Affairs chief: Russia akin to gas station with nuclear weapons Ukrainska Pravda. Borrell channeling his inner John McCain?

    If Russia is a gas station/nuke masquerading as a country, wouldn’t that make Germany a cool-aid or lemon aid stand masquerading a nation, now that Russia has displaced Germany as the largest economy in Europe and 5th largest in the world?

    But personally I’m partial to Maria Zakharova’s retort “America is a criminal organization masquerading as a nation”.

      1. Paleobotanist

        That’s pretty good. Does sum up America alright. Out of Brad Pitt’s mouth, fancy that, he has more depth as an actor than I thought. Thanks Rev.

      2. paul

        Andrew dominik has generally delivered the goods, I remember seeing ‘chopper’ when it first came out.
        Reminded me of a few I’ve known.

        The assasination of jesse james by the coward robert ford is another with pitt.

        James carville (what happened to him?) was in character.

    1. Roland

      “Gas station with nukes.” What a stupid expression! Truly stupid, because even if one accepted the two terms contained in that phrase (silly enough already), it is yet clear that the speaker completely fails to understand which of them is the more important, and must come first.

      So I can’t hear the saying, without thinking, “that should be nukes with a gas station, you bloody fool!”

      1. Revenant

        That inversion is a rhetorical device: deuteron proteron (which is close to a nuclear jeu de mot in itself!).

      2. ChrisPacific

        It also completely erases the Russian people – which of course is standard practice for the US, but it’s bad form to admit it quite so openly.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Thirsty Raccoons Are Breaking Into Homes in Germany, and Specifically Stealing Beer”

    Several raccoon were arrested by German police and were put in a line-up but the home owner was unable to identify the culprits as all of them were wearing masks.

    1. Wukchumni

      When Gracie the mother of our kindle, had her kittens a decade ago, we gave a couple of them away to friends here in Tiny Town, and I found out recently that one of them which turned into a mostly outdoor cat, was living with raccoons now, and when I saw the non specie specific moggy last month, it was meowing for food, which according to my buddy, it’ll share with its largely nocturnal clan of those who take everything in their hands.

  3. Stephen

    New US envoy in Niger: Kathleen FitzGibbon

    I cannot speak for her role, competence or precise ancestry. But FitzGibbon is a classic name of the Anglo Norman ascendancy that colonized England from 1066 and then spread to Ireland.

    Appropriate I guess.

    1. Aurelien

      The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) is the State Department’s in-house analytical department, of the type that every foreign ministry above a certain size always has. Its job is to stand outside the daily panic of foreign policy and do longer-term strategic research. INR doesn’t have a capability to conduct operations or gather intelligence, and the “Intelligence” in its title refers to it being the place in the State Department which liaises with intelligence agencies. It’s part of the so-called “intelligence community” in Washington but its personnel are not “spooks.” If anything her nomination is a good sign, because she does at least know something about the area.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Maybe post a tickler to check up on what she actually does in her new position in a few months. My bet is “just more imperial punching down.” People don’t get such posts by doing stuff that is “inconsistent with the guiding principles of spreading a thick layer of ‘democracy’ ™ over the whole planet.”

          1. jo6pac

            That is not a good sign that.

            It’s a great sign to me. The new govt. is going have work real hard at not becoming the old govt.

      2. Stephen

        Thanks for the clarification.

        I have never worked in government although I have consulted to it, and my father was a civil servant for 44 years. So I do not always pick up the nuance. But I am slightly cynical that all these nuances, Chinese Walls and precise accountabilities exist in reality as opposed to the theory.

        To that end, Larry Johnson / Ray McGovern often explain how within the CIA “analysis” has been captured by “operations”. This means it is not 100% independent. I can believe that the same may be true of State.

        I do see that this lady speaks French, which I am sure will be helpful and she does seem to have a strong background in the area. But the piper always plays what the master pays for. We all have careers. The people calling the shots may have less expertise and there is always a temptation to go along if one wants to progress. Which is not to call any aspersion on Ms FitzGibbon whom I am sure is well intentioned and professional. But things happen.

        No doubt we will find out in due course.

        1. pjay

          Yes. It is well known that the State Department has long been embedded with “spooks” who use such designation as cover. This is no revelation. But over the last few decades State itself has undergone a major transformation. Career diplomats with area expertise and interest in, uh, what’s the word, oh yeah, *diplomacy*, have been pushed out and replaced by neocon/neolib ideologues. I don’t know how independent the “in house” intelligence unit is in the State Department these days, but the State Department itself seems pretty immune to any information that contradicts their preconceived worldview. I’m sure there are probably some objective analysts left there, as there were in the CIA in the Bush/Cheney administration. If so, recent history suggests their analyses have been just as futile.

    2. Mary Wehrheim

      Fitzroy means son of the king. The name royal progeny took on when they were born on the wrong side of the blanket.

    3. ArvidMartensen

      Is this a US coup against the French? Given the purported US meetings and training? And the French being the losers?
      the drone outpost was the site of a meeting between Brig. Gen. Moussa Salaou Barmou, the U.S.-trained chief of Nigerien Special Forces and Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga, head of U.S. Army Special Operations Command. Within weeks, Barmou helped topple Bazoum” (Turse)
      Hard to tell if the real US enemy is Russia or Europe or China. Probably all 3. Oh, and South America.

  4. Schopsi

    Well, at least the Russians made it all the way to the moon.

    What would have actually been kinda embarrasing is if they had gotten lost in space along the way.

    Simplicius the Thinker had an excerpt of an interview with the head of Roscosmos in one of his recent pieces, who if I remember correctly gave about 70% of a chance of the moon mission working out as planned, talking about the serious risks and difficulties, my impression was that he had no intention to hide the fact that Russia had allowed itself to get rusty in things space (a fact repeatedly bemoaned by Simplicius, who draws some solace from them starting to seriously step up production and launches of both military and commercial satellites).

    So I guess they are just starting to flex that long underutilized muscle again.

    But they seemingly intended to beat the Indians to the moon (which technically they still sorta did “winking smiley”), so they’ll probably be pissed about that.

    Well, except in case the indian lander crashes too, which is of course always a possibility.

    Generally though I think Russia surely would genuinely like to see India to succeed in space (whatever the measure of success might be).

    One can with good reasons debate the value of the space project as a whole, but allowing the Empire to dominated and militarize space unchallenged would be a catastrophy for mankind (any single power dominating space would be very worrying, Russia no doubt wouldn’t be keen on China doing so either, but with the US it would still be particularly terrifying).

    As long as the US has ambitious plans for space and the moon, and as long as there remains any risk of those plans actually getting somewhere, the rest of the world needs to be present off planet as well, and the more BRICS and adjacent states the merrier.

  5. Chas

    The story about the funeral of the 98-year-old Kansas newspaper publisher brought tears to my eyes. That doesn’t happen very often, but when it does I know I’ve read a good story. Nice to see there is at least one honest newspaper left in the USA.

    1. mrsyk

      Thanks for posting. I’ll watch this when I get a chance. I will offer up one idea here. There will be litigation. The municipality will be on the hook for any judgements awarded due to bad police behavior. If I was the town manager I’d be thinking a proactive sacking of police chief Cody would be step one.

      1. flora

        After the raids? After the search warrant was issued? well, well. Isn’t the affadavit supposed be filed before or at the same time the warrant is issued, etc?

        1. Clark T

          Typically, the probable cause affidavit is not made public until after the search warrant is executed. Sometimes not even then, if the investigation is still ongoing. So, although this search was an outrage — and recall, a judge had to approve it based on the affidavit — the subsequent filing of the affidavit is not at all unusual.

    2. Maxwell Johnston

      I’m fascinated by this scandal in the dead center of the USA. The more I read about it, the deeper the corruption… peeling back the layers of a rotting onion. Ye olde NY Post is all over this story:

      That Kari Newell looks like a real piece of work, oh my, I wouldn’t want to get on her bad side. As does Gideon Cody, the cop in charge. Yikes.

      Deep inside, I like to think that ordinary USA citizens in flyover country are the good folks who will eventually come to power and turn the USA around. Stories like this bring me back to reality. This is the kind of stuff one expects to happen outside Borrell’s garden. Not in the middle of the exceptional nation. The rot runs deep.

    3. Alice X

      Holy Crap! So now it comes out that the judge who approved the search warrant had multiple DUIs that had been covered up, so naturally she empathized with the restaurant owner who wanted to cover up her own DUIs. And of course the Sheriff wanted to KEEP covered up his own previous sexual allegations. You can’t make this stuff up. I’m so, so sorry about the elder publisher’s demise which casts such a pall over this entire affair.

  6. Wukchumni

    Goooooooooood Mooooooooorning Fiatnam!

    The harmed forces realized that in the aftermath of Hilary being resident on a short term rental in the atmosphere, that if you thought there was a race to the exits by insurance companies covering homes in California heretofore, well, you aint seen nothing yet.

    Every home in the SoCalist movement down south was worth a million or so (offer void in Santee) and thats where things got weird.

    When I was a kid there wasn’t much San Diego to San Diego in terms of sprawl and everything was canyons, most of which got leveled somewhat, so as to incorporate homes and whatnot, but they were still very much canyons capable of much funneling into leveled pads where humans do their thing in an extreme rain event.

    Maybe home owners can get insurance from Mutual of Tijuana?

  7. The Rev Kev

    ” Christie hits Trump on foreign policy: ‘I don’t want to be the apple of Vladimir Putin’s eye’ ”

    When you read this, I can’t see much daylight between Christie and Biden but it seems he wants to continue Biden’s policy of attacking both Russia and China if he becomes President. That is why he flew to Kiev to kiss Zelensky’s ring even before campaigning season has properly begun. He had no tens of billions to give Zelensky of course. Well, not yet. But what he did give Zelensky was the hand-written lyrics to Bon Jovi’s song “It’s my Life.” No, seriously. That is what he gave Big Z. Don’t know the song? Here it is but with a Star Trek twist- (4:30 mins)

      1. mrsyk

        Good one. If my memory serves me well, the official motive for bridgegate was some political muscle flexing by Christie meant to put a two bit rival, Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich in his place for not bending the knee. I also remember that the leading theory around here had to do with cash flows from the billion dollar development project “Hudson Lights”.

        1. Pat

          Partly. I’m sure the money may have started it but what I remember was that the Mayor had the audacity to let the public know that he was not supporting Christie for re-election and started giving lots of reasons why. Besides stomping on people being a Christie go to, this re-election was planned as a cake walk where Christie was acclaimed as the best NJ Governor ever to set up his run for President. The Democratic mayor of a small town whose only value was being the Jersey portal to the Lincoln Tunnel was not supposed to get uppity and get in the way. But in one of those unintended consequences moments the result of a PMC class that cannot strategize checkers much less chess, his aides start a massive traffic jam that messes up traffic in his city not only endangering people but also fouling up the tunnel. The mayor’s calls to them about why the lanes are closed are hand waved away and ignored, but the calls to the Port Authority are not. They ordered the lanes open and suddenly not only was a tristate authority involved but they were happy to invoke the Feds as it also messed up things on the interstate highway system. The whole thing made National news, the unavoidable investigation showed there was no reason to close the lanes, and it came from Christie’s inner office. It kneecapped Chris in the primaries even before Trump finished him off, where if he had just let the mayor mouth off, it might have been embarrassing but would have been meaningless and could have been joke material in the primary campaign.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Christie has no chance, but he has terrible staff. Christie really shouldn’t be making food metaphors.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Of course Christie has no chance. What’s he polling—1%?

        But the RNC wants to get rid of Trump without losing his supporters and thereby endangering the presidential chances of more likely candidates. Its answer to this impossible conundrum is to send the schmuck Christie into the ring to score a few points against the champ while guaranteed to lose. Like a WWE match and just as predictable.

    2. Fred

      Christie criticized Trump for increasing the debt, then he said the tax cuts were good. Now he says Medicare and SS are a political risk. So is raising taxes to cut the debt and support services everyone likes.

    3. Nikkikat

      All I can think of when the repulsive Christie comes up is his obnoxious preening for attention.

    1. JTMcPhee

      That’s a darned shame.


      Fewer flights, less CO2 and water vapor and tiny particulates in upper atmosphere, fewer vectors for spread of disease. (Wife went to Italy for daughter’s wedding, brought home a nice case of Covid to share. The T shirt reads “My wife went to Europe and all I got was a damned virus!”

      1. flora

        I’m sorry about your wife’s trip.
        Doesn’t excuse the govt passport office leaving people hanging in wait for a passport only to lose thousands of dollars in their already paid for airline tickets and hotel reservations because the office can’t meet it’s own deadlines. / my 2 cents.

    2. Laura in So Cal

      Just started the renewal on my son’s passport because it expires in 6 months. He had to show up in person because his passport was issued when he was a minor. They were quoting 14 weeks un-expedited. I watched person after person paying the extra fees to expedite their renewal time down to 8 weeks. It kinda looks like a racket….make the new normal process so bad and then collect more money to process passports in the old normal time period.

    3. Expat2uruguay

      I just renewed my emergency passport here through the US embassy in Uruguay. It took me about 3 weeks to get an appointment and then the processing time was about 5 weeks.

      I had an emergency passport because last year when I was traveling in Mexico I lost my passport. Even though it took a while to figure out the process, once I knew the process I got the passport on the same day. It was anemergency passport only good for one year. That was in Mexico City.

      My son was traveling with me, and he also lost his at passport. He was in Cancun and it took a week to get his emergency passport back.

      In April he had to renew his passport in California because the emergency passport was only good for one year and he wanted to travel in July. He was unable to get an appointment. He ended up having to wait until 2 weeks before his travel date so that he could apply under the special expedited process. The the appointment was in Seattle and he had to drive there from Sacramento and stay overnight in order to submit and receive his passport. It cost him hundreds of dollars just for the travel. Of course, there were extra charges, and the passport was only good for one year. So he will have to go through the renewal process again before his next travel.

      I am horrified at how bad the state department is. When I was trying to get my passport last year in Mexico, some informational websites from the state department did not work at all. Providing passports is a basic function of a state, and it’s not a service you can get anywhere else.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Christie: Social Security, Medicare cuts are a necessary ‘political risk’ in today’s economy”

    Let me translate that for you. The US will continue to pay for the social security and wages payments for the Ukraine but will have to bring back the cat food commissions idea in the US in order to do it. This from a guy who look like he has never missed a meal in his entire life. Christie probably has all sorts of ideas ready to go about how to trim Social Security and Medicare. Like raising the retirement age for Americans to be the same as the oldest member in Congress. And instead of Medicare, mailing out a packet of band-aids and a box of aspirin to every American household. Oh, plus a complimentary pair of boot-straps.

    1. griffen

      Christie is a blow hard past his sell by date. Maybe he’s angling for a Cabinet appointment, I see him frequently on ABC and here and there on other US channels. Of course in a future scenario there may well be a need to cut spending, just not in any serious manner that actually cuts or even freezes spending. Broadly speaking, national leaders are never going to embrace something that Clinton actually achieved in the ’90s; closing bases is a difficult decision with difficult outcomes. No military contractor left behind. Think of the profits, er, the children.

      A cup of chicken ramen soup in every pot. Assuming one has a pot, naturally.

      1. Wukchumni

        State Provides Quality Ramen

        And although Christie has arisen in the polls, he’s no Taft hardly-who required a bathtub built for 4 be installed in the White House


        I can see a monthly payment at the end of the tunnel, around 99 days, 14 hours, 11 minutes and 32 seconds away from my first crack at Social Security moolah, an entitlement I put $XXX,XXX.xx into over the course of my working life.

      2. mrsyk

        heh, heh, good one. Let me emphasize “Christie is a blow hard past his sell by date.” Seems to be a resume requirement these days.
        Question, do we throw him on the compost pile?

      3. Lexx

        Most folks have a pot, Grif. Something to put in the pot and affordable fuel to heat it are another matter. The astroturfing story about SoCalGas was illuminating.

        I asked Google if there were state laws on the books about astroturfing and it replied, ‘well, funny you should ask… there is a debate about actual ‘turf’ going on in New Jersey.’ Yes, Google, but that’s not what I asked about. I kept rephrasing and it kept coming back with the same or similar answer, as though it didn’t really understand the question.

        1. John

          Why is that the so-called ‘defense’ budget can only rise but social security and medicare are always in the sights of “cost cutters?” I think a conservative estimate of the grift, outright fraud, waste, profiteering, contract fiddles, etc. amounts to at least 40% and that does not include “hospitality”, campaign contributions, junkets, and general largess distributed in the DC Bubble.

          Cut the damned ‘defense’ budget. On the other hand just “print” the money. It happens for bailouts. I know. I know. Mustn’t coddle the deplorables.

    2. John Zelnicker

      Rev – There is a Base Realignment and Closure Commission that was set up in 1949 to reduce the number of bases that had proliferated during WWII.

      Closures began in earnest in 1960-1964 and included a total of 574 bases, including Brookley Air Force base here in Mobile in 1964. Losing Brookley was a major hit to the South Alabama economy.

      It took most of two decades for us to recover. Brookley was turned into an industrial park and now includes the Downtown Airport that is going to become the main airport here as the current one is a lot further from the city center. Factoid: Brookley has one of the longest runways in the country.

  9. Wukchumni

    Wearing aviator glasses
    Walking down the road
    Tell me, how long you gonna stay here Joe?
    Some people say this town don’t look
    Good in tell & show
    You don’t care, I know

    Ventures on the information highway in the sunshine
    Where the pays are longer
    The cuts are stronger
    On account of moonshines
    You’re gonna go I know
    ‘Cause the free press is blowing through
    Your lair
    And the gaze surround your daylight
    Biden crying no despair
    Alligator lizards in the air
    Malarkey if you dare

    Wishin’ on a falling czar
    Watchin’ for the outbound train
    Sorry boy, but you’ve been hit by
    Oedipus reign
    Aw, come on Joe, you can always
    Change your name
    Thanks a lot son, Peters is my new nom doubloon game

    Ventures on the information highway in the sunshine
    Where the pays are longer
    The cuts are stronger
    On account of moonshines
    You’re gonna go I know
    ‘Cause the free press is blowing through
    Your lair
    And the gaze surround your daylight
    Biden crying no despair
    Alligator lizards in the air
    Malarkey if you dare

    Ventura Highway, by America

    1. griffen

      Stand and clap for that entry, I am. Congrats are owed to you for this effort! Always liked hearing this when I had a Sirius XM subscription for when I still drove to and fro in the daily grind. Also partial to their “Horse with no name…it felt good to get out of the rain…”

    2. Ignacio

      Do you accept suggestions/challenges for new lyrics? What about a climate change version of Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head? In the midst of the latest heat wave cannot think on anything but this.

      I have a start:

      Sweat drops keep falling from my head
      and just when the T-shirt sticks like in a second skin
      Nothing seems to fit

      1. Wukchumni

        I’m basking in the rain, just basking in the rain
        Its 69 degrees, i’m happy again.

        I’m song’d out for the day, maybe i’ll attend to your request tomorrow.

  10. timbers

    Someone sort of almost just declared Victory in Ukraine. Guess it’s looking like it’s time to get out and declare victory and the world’s highest paid actor contract won’t be renewed next year.

    David Ignatius:
    Meanwhile, for the United States and its NATO allies, these 18 months of war have been a strategic windfall, at relatively low cost (other than for the Ukrainians). The West’s most reckless antagonist has been rocked. NATO has grown much stronger with the additions of Sweden and Finland. Germany has weaned itself from dependence on Russian energy and, in many ways, rediscovered its sense of values. NATO squabbles make headlines, but overall, this has been a triumphal summer for the alliance.

    He forgot to add, what a bargain the folks in the West got for the hundreds of billions sent to Ukraine and our very noticible decline in living standards due to increased cost of living.

      1. ambrit

        Truth and falsehood are not applicable to ‘The Official Narrative.’
        Per a certain Neo-con solon; “Forget the analysis, just start shooting!”

        1. Wukchumni

          America is a funny place, why for a time they’d even allow you to get a liar’s loan in Truth or Consequences, NM.

          1. ambrit

            How many of us remember that really enjoyable daytime game show? (Hint: It’s where Bob Barker got his television start.)

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Javier. Fernando. Carbajal.

      ” … at relatively low cost (other than for the Ukrainians)”

      Saying the quiet part out loud … expendable (down to the last) Ukrainians

  11. bassmule

    Thought while shaving this morning: Both Dementia Joe and Obese Don are clearly in bad shape. What would happen if they BOTH–without prompting–were to shuffle off this mortal coil sometime soon? Does either side of the Money Party have a plan for this?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Nostalgia drives Team Blue. They’ve had two openly corrupt nominees in a row, and no one young can gain traction. Harris can’t even hole up at the Naval Observatory. Their old great white hope is Buttigieg who basically skips town whenever there might be work.

      The GOP is trickier. They hate Democrats, but it’s an alliance of potentially competing interests. Trump beat down alternative voices, but he doesn’t have a successor. I just see dead political establishments. What potential AOC types had died when they worshipped Biden and gained nothing. Now they are introducing empty gestures.

      Newsome is the new great white hope of team blue, but he’s a nothing. Even if he stumbled his way, he won’t get the support needed to keep the GOP out of control of a house of Congress. He will just have hell rain down on him which he isn’t used to, and given he dated Don Jr. ex, he’s probably open to all kinds of legitimate attacks.

    2. griffen

      Dems have a sitting governor not named Newsom. Gov. Pritzker has name recognition with the heft of a family fortune attached. And Penny was a wheeler dealer in the Obama campaign, I believe she also served a stint as Commerce Secretary.

      Not sure what awaits in the dark caves under a fictional Wayne Manor for the Republicans. If they hoist the bat signal who exactly is there to answer the beacon? Jeb Bush…no no no.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Prtizker will somewhat be on his own. I’m fairly confident Obama a only wants candidates who will make him look good, hence O’Rourke who ran for president on knowing how to play hackeysack and losing an election. Biden rolled out and was being compared to fdr. Obama was forgotten for a reason.

        My sense is the contradictions of the GOP are so much they can only function with someone who drives Team Blue types crazy.

        1. Wukchumni

          He rode into town on Willie Brown’s horse
          Got a parking & traffic job up north
          His chances were swingin’ in the breeze
          All the recall election posters had pictures of he

          Tied what was left of his hopes to a meal Prix Fixe
          Walked into a restaurant, they called the French Laundry
          He ordered up sans mask, they called for his head
          He survived the likes of Elder, then he still led

          He used to have Kimberly Guilfoyle right by his side
          He’s the California Kid, I hope you’re quite prepared for his 2024 ride

          You can only imagine the electorate was eyeballing he
          Staring down from their screens you see
          Some women claimed he caused a lack of breath
          He was winning hearts being handsome & not near death
          Some found him tragically hip, as good as it gets

          He’s got Getty, right by his side
          He’s the California Kid, I hope you’re quite prepared for his 2024 ride

          He uncorked a bottle, the pro wino whined
          Why drink anything from the late teens?
          ’bout that time the paparazzi snuck in
          And there sat some asshole all uncovered in sin
          Do as I say-not as I do, he said ‘That’s no lie’
          Almost blew a hole in his chances just as big as the sky

          He got Getty while the getting was good, right by his side
          He’s the California Kid, I hope you’re quite prepared for his 2024 ride

          California Kid, by the Beat Farmers

        1. John

          I have reached the point of not caring who is elected or what party they are fronting for. Nothing changes. The plutocrats continue to bloat. The grifters run their cons. The 17 or is it 77 intelligence agencies either get it wrong or are ignored. Congress dithers and dials for dollars. The donors donate and dictate. So maybe I am being a but extreme and I excluded any mention of the army, navy or air force. They are in categories all their own … and I leave it to you to decide what that might mean.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Jimmy is a mixed bag on the topic of Covid as far as I’m concerned, but he’s pretty much on the beam in this rant against Gates, Fauci, and Experts in general.

      Here’s a rant against experts from another source, Chris Smaje of Small Farm Future, “Experts” and WEF types are aligning against small farmers, especially those engaged in animal husbandry. They want to focus on methane production, which is dangerous but is largely the product of Big Ag feed lots, while we keep on flying and driving on the CO2 front. These experts are the ones pushing manufactured “meat” without noting that it is a very energy intensive process. Smaje advocates a return to more traditional, labor intensive agricultural practices to reduce our current 10-units-of-energy-in-for-1 unit-out industrial agriculture. He doesn’t disparage experts in general, but believes their efforts need to be redirected to making more local, more labor-intensive agriculture even more friendly to local ecological health.

      On the grounds of fairness, we – that is, wider society – have asked farmers to produce abundant food to meet often luxury demand at low cost with minimum labour inputs. Responsibility for the resulting ecocidal landscapes of contemporary agriculture falls to us, wider society, just as much as to them. And on the grounds of self-interest, we’re going to need all the accumulated agricultural expertise at our disposal – which is hard won and easily lost, even if it has to be adapted to new circumstances – in order to weather the present crisis. Most importantly, the tendency of ‘reboot food’ ecomodernism to dismiss farming as an intrinsically problematic and ecocidal method of food production and to favour high-energy technologies like MB is leading us astray. Instead of refocusing our efforts around renewable farming as the necessary base to an ongoing civilization, we’re wasting time with improbable techno-fixes that hold out a promise to ‘save’ existing modern urban civilization by largely or wholly substituting agriculture. We don’t need substitutes for agriculture. We need more of the real thing – and less of the compromises foisted upon it by the modernising drive for overproduction and low price.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Two US warships visit Turkey amid crisis in Black Sea”

    If I were the Turks, I would have a Navy ship shadow any US warship anytime it went near Turkstream. I don’t think that they can be too careful here and they must have noted how after the NS2 pipelines were blown up, nobody was really investigating who did it – not even the United Nations.

    1. ambrit

      The S will HTF when those American ‘naval assets’ enter the Black Sea.
      The Neo-cons in Washington are demented enough to do exactly that. Here’s hoping the Turks are sane enough to stop it from happening.

      1. John

        Visiting Turkey does not necessitate entering the Black Sea. Is that t what is planned? I would not allow them to pass through the Bosporus.

  13. QuarterBack

    re ChatGPT article. I see this includes the often repeated “Prompt engineering jobs, which typically require basic programming experience, can pay up to $300,000”. I have seen no evidence this being true. Smells like some urban legend spawned by OpenAI marketeers.

    1. Milton

      We had 9 applicants for an entry level product engineer job. 4 were immediately shit-canned due to obvious AI-worded responses. Seems people are not bright enough to rework engines such as chatgpt.

    2. Mikel

      And this fantasy finance salary (I’m thinking of calling them that because they came along with the fantasy finance monetary policy of the past decades) for this algorithm maintenance position reminds me of the the alleged $900,000 poistion at Netflix.

      I keep thinking of how it all often gets averaged in with statistics when they talk about all this money the works have. Especially since its seems the entire nation has to take “the pain” (quote from 2022 Jacksom Hole).

  14. The Rev Kev

    “LNG supplies: Why Europe is spooked by Australian strike”

    Time to send German Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock down under so that she can finger wag and scold the Aussie government into cracking down on those LNG workers – or else. I hope that they do. We could do with a good laugh.

  15. Lex

    I don’t pay Mate so I couldn’t read the link but I assume he’s taking apart the small flurry of recent media coverage explaining how the Ukrainian offensive failed because they did it wrong. The claim is both partially true and deeply disingenuous.

    It might have worked if the first attempts in the southern offensive had been much larger forces. It also might have failed more spectacularly than it did. But I don’t necessarily believe that’s what Ukraine was told to do, mostly because that’s not something the US really knows how to do. What the US is good at and what it has experience doing is exactly what Ukraine has attempted since June and it’s what was successful in Kharkov.

    IMO, the Ukrainians likely did what they were told and mostly continue to do it at the political and operational command levels. At the tactical levels maybe not but that’s because there isn’t much Ukrainian command at the front. The Biden admin is in full CYA mode now. And / or it is genuinely confused but if so that’s because at the political level it believes the information Kiev feeds it about losses, etc. Röpcke tweeted yesterday about this and claimed only 2,000 Ukrainian losses since 6/4. His argument being that Kiev will need to accept higher losses if it wants to succeed (and he compared this to US losses on D-day). There are no family blog safe words that accurately describe what’s happening in Ukraine.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “The Peripheral Canceled After Prime Video Undoes Season 2 Renewal”

    Not really surprising this although I am not familiar with this particular show. The Critical Drinker was talking about this sort of thing on his channel not long ago. He said that in years past, the studios would launch a show and give it time to stand on its own legs and grow its audience. It might take a year or two but if it was good, then it would kick into its stride and would make money for the studio. As an example, the Star Trek TV series took about two or three seasons to get into their stride each. But if it had continuous bad ratings, it was canned as a dud. But now things have changed. So what happens is that the studios want a series to be a roaring success straight out of the gates without needing the time to grow its audience. And it does not matter how great a show is or how much promise it has, unless it has massive successful ratings right from the get go, it usually gets canned.

    1. Polar Socialist

      The worst part of that equation is the fact that many people won’t engage with a series until they know it will have an ending. They don’t want to get Fireflyed again and again.

      I guess streaming services shooting themselves in the feet is on par for this timeline.

      And, yeah, I did like most of Peripheral.

      1. The Rev Kev

        While I was writing that comment, I was wondering how many famous TV series in the past would have made it past their first season but have become one season wonders instead like was done to “Firefly”.

        1. Pat

          Sci Fi is littered with one or two season wonders (and yes more than Firefly were worthy of additional seasons). And there were many reasons why a struggling series were kept on the air when others were cancelled. Usually it was championed by a top network executive, but sometimes it just came down to the network didn’t come up with anything that they thought fit their needs that would do better. But that was a decade or two ago.

          Now the whole landscape is different. Cable was disrupting, but streaming coupled with aocial media has been an tsunami. I would also put unrealistic profit expectations from the investment class in there as well. Patience not only isn’t a virtue, it has been erased entirely.

          1. Anon

            In Amazon’s defense, they single-handedly saved ‘The Expanse’, based solely off lobbying by fans after SyFy canceled it. They have my undying gratitude, as that show is a tour-de-force in conflict, politics and the human condition, what a story.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      TNG (Star Trek the next generation) and DS9 were syndicated, and the syndicated prices of TOS (the original series) that local stations were paying made producing new star trek content a no brainer. Voyager was set up as a tent pole of UPN. The upfront costs of sets meant they had to keep the shows. The TOS reruns were huge audience draws.

      I would also argue early seasons of TNG and DS9 weren’t that bad but paled in comparison to later seasons. TNG season 3 is bullet proof. Even the Troi episodes were entertaining.

      The dynamics of streaming are all over especially with production that doesn’t have permanent studios. Ownership of the show matters to. Back when Curb Your Enthusiasm did a Seinfeld Reunion season, the unsaid joke behind Larry being given lousy seats from an NBC executive was that David and Seinfeld owned the show, not NBC. NBC won’t make that much money on new content and knows a limited special won’t promote their shows. They would much rather back a show like Mad About You. Like this example, does a moderately successful show promote other shows?

      Then there is the international audience, binge watching, and expectations of long form stories. People aren’t going to jump into something too complicated. Breaking Bad is about a teacher who has to cook method to okay for cancer treatments and builds on the collective memory of every cop show.

    3. MaryLand

      I’ve read that Netflix and other streaming channels will keep a show that they produce (not bought from another channel) for about 2 seasons if it’s very popular. That’s because the actors start asking for higher salaries when it’s popular. Rather than pay the actors more they shut down that series. Could be what’s happening here but they use the strike as an excuse.

    4. S.D., M.D.

      This particular show(“The Peripheral”)provoked way too much thought and could easily be seen as a transparent example of “predictive programming” that absolutely had to be supressed.

      1. John

        The Jackpot is gradual. Now in the early stages, it can be difficult to see. Keep looking. It will be with you for the rest of your life.

    5. Schopsi

      The audience isn’t necessarily much different or innocent in this though.

      A show might struggle to find it’s footing at first, as many shows that are considered classics today did (Star Trek – The Next Generation being only one of many examples), and not only the networks but the audience too gave it a chance to find it’s unique voice.

      Today the Knights of Outrage, the YouTube/social media Edgelords of media criticism, immediately pounce, whipping up as mighty a shitstorm as they possibly can.

      And yes, it’s not always an innocent question of quality.

      It’s not always about woke messaging either, and even if it is, it’s not like the red pilled cottage industry of conservative rage that
      is every bit as real as and long predates it’s woke counterpart doesn’t have a history of seeing the evils of wokism everywhere, even on occasions where they are not or not remotely to the degree they claim.

      It’s also always been common for any form of criticism of capitalism itself in entertainment to also illicit a ton of kneejerk anger and hatred, still does, often justified by claims of the anger really being directed at the criticism being not subtle and nuanced enough (which in a great many cases is no doubt true, but many of these people would be not at all opposed to the most primitive demonisation or lazy, sloppy and placative caricature of a political or economic system they disapprove of).

      And corporations (woke or not) generally aren’t the only ones trying to dictate to people what they are allowed to like or not, whoever has gained a bit of social power can get in on the fun these days.

      Plenty of YouTube hatemongers that very selectively and opportunistically step in and out of the role anti corporate “rebel” have internalised all the tricks of propaganda and psychological/emotional manipulation, to a degree that it would be quite worrying if what they are raging about wasn’t often so trivial.

      But that might be part of the problem by itself.

      And considering the fact that some of those people have a reach greater than any mainstream medium, there is if not power at the very least some serious influence.

      Why might hese seeming trivialities be “problematic”?

      For sure nobody will ever convince me that millions of people raging over how bad the final season of Game of Thrones or the current season of The Witcher was/is, with more fervour and virtue signalling and righteous indignation than any of them will ever be able to whip up for an actual life or death problem, is not all a massive distraction playing right into the hands of the establishment.

      Fiction is everything, reality is nothing to more people than ever, fiction riles people up, gets them passionate while reality leaves them apathetic or possibly worse when it contributes to them becoming Nazi loving NAFO trolls who seriously think that reality works like Marvel (and still manage to talk and think like the villains, despite imagining themselves as the heroes).

      Perhaps it’s sometimes worth remembering that even the Hollywood spectacle we personally enjoy IS likely evil, soulless propaganda, not just the stuff we personally disike.

      Hell, even the idea that something can be reliably judged to be great and relevant if it has easy and immediate mass appeal, and judged to be automatically irrelevant and bad if it does not IS broadly accepted and promoted by much of this same social media discourse and shared by much of the thoroughly corporatized audience.

      A large part of the YouTube crowd seems extremely eager to work towards the corporate fuhrer, even while absurdly imagining or at least pretending to rebel against him.

      And, certainly if they and their function as far teaching “influencers” and “opinion makers” had already been around, plenty of today celebrated shows would never, ever have stood a chance.

      A great many movies not either.

      Not gonna lie, I could not care less about Barbie (and I’d like to see the world rid of more or less american pop culture in general, if I miraculously got all my wishes), and it might be the wokest propaganda that ever woked, but those clownish YouTube suckers piss me off so much that I don’t ever need to see it to be filled with a certain grim satisfaction that the Barbie movie seems to have turned out largely immune to their relentless hatemongering.

    6. ChrisRUEcon

      I found out about “The Peripheral” here, from Lambert. It’s where “The Jackpot” comes from. I bought the book, but yet to read, however, I did dive right in to the series, and I really enjoyed it. I loved Chloë Grace Moretz and the rest of the cast. I hope once the strike gets settled, this will come back into being. I was so looking forward to season 2.

      1. Roland

        The use of the term “Jackpot,” referring to the end of the world, comes earlier, from Robert A. Heinlein’s 1952 short story featured in Galaxy, “The Year of the Jackpot.”

        The story is available online, with a copy of the cover of that month’s issue: a picture of a slot machine, whose rotors are reading world-world-world, disgorging a flood of human bodies, rendered as tokens.

        An actuary, in his study of statistical trends, determines that a convergence of multiple long cycles is impending, with apocalyptic consequences. And he is right. He, along with a woman he meets by chance, makes a bid to survive.

        The protagonists escape earthquake and flood, nuclear war and plague, the collapse of government and society. At last, the nadir is reached, and the statistical curves are starting to turn for the better. Life goes on, and love has been found. A vindication of survivalist fantasy?

        Then, on a fine evening, the Sun explodes, and the Earth is consumed.

        The story is unusual among Heinlein’s writings, because of its fatalism. The science fiction, in this case, lies in the mathematics of probability. The vanity and venality of human beings is on display in the story, but at the same time, we are all caught up in the correlation of far bigger phenomena, in which causality itself comes into question.

        Dialogue drives Heinlein’s writing, and unfortunately the dialogue in Heinlein often dates badly. But at the same time, Heinlein often showed an uncanny grasp of American sociology. For example, he predicted in his 1950’s “Future History” that the USA would see a rise of the religious right. In 1960 his novel Glory Road he not only predicted that the Vietnam War would be a quagmire producing alienated veterans, but that the Boomer generation, on the whole, would prove to be quite conventional and money-grubbing–five years before Tonkin.

        And in this 1952 “Jackpot” story, merely as an aside, he predicts the dissolution of the customary mores of gender identity. In a magazine pitched to teenage boys, Heinlein offered an introduction to notions of moral and cultural relatavism.

        The academics don’t seem to like him much, but for my part, I will always regard Heinlein as an important author.

        1. Procopius

          He was one of the important authors of my childhood, and I feel very annoyed by those critics who only seem to know Starship Troopers. He was conservative, but not an outright bigot like Jerry Pournelle. Granted he became more conservative under the influence of his second wife, but to believe he was advocating for the social systems he described is idiotic. I suppose it’s mostly because he seemed to say we should enjoy sex (see all the Lazarus Long books).

      2. griffen

        The above titled book I finished reading two years ago, highly recommended. For myself at least, it was not a quick read I just had to be sure to keep with it, else I would lose the plot points or where I might be in the competing storyline(s) between Flynne’s world and the other one.

    7. digi_owl

      What also changed was the episodic nature of the shows.

      Where as those old shows were mostly self contained 30 minutes, where if you missed a few a season it was no biggie, now some of them have some convoluted episode to episode plot with cliffhangers all over that make even some of the drug-like Japanese stuff seem tame.

    8. SG

      I don’t think the cancellation had anything to do with the strikes. I think Jeff axed it because he didn’t want too many of the proles finding out about The Jackpot before preparations were complete.

  17. Wukchumni

    Cali is reasonably well armed, nothing like Vishnu in Virginia though.

    I get the feeling a lot of us here are going to be cut off on account of roads being compromised en masse by Hilary.

    My sister in San Diego told me that while she was beach camping with her son & us, her husband went to the Costco there, and related each line at checkouts were approx 100 people long, and Home Depot also had lengthy lines-not as long though.

    A gun, holster & ample amount of ammo would set you back around $666, here’s what you could have spent it on instead:

    7×7 gallon water containers, to keep about 50 gallons on hand

    1x Coleman 2 burner stove & 10x 1 pound propane canisters

    2x hot water bottles

    20x Freeze dried meals & coffee, lots of coffee.

    2x electric lanterns

    2x headlamps (much more useful than flashlights, as you’re hands free)

    1x multi-band am/fm weather radio dual battery/hand crank powered

    1/2 cord of firewood

    1x box of 300 matches

    1. MT_Wild

      A smart shopper can get a gat for less than that 1/2 cord of firewood.

      Curious if selling that quantity of wood is legal in Cali? When I was living in PA and selling firewood as a side gig, state law/regs specified it had to be sold by the whole cord. Splitting a whole cord of oak was clearly not worth what I got paid in hindsight, except as a fitness routine. Also a waste as firewood, when it is so much better for smoking meat.

    2. flora

      And, not to be overly argumentative, what will you do when the desperate or looting types find out you have all those resources? And I’m not talkin’ about beer swilling raccoons here. / ;)

      1. Wukchumni

        If we devolve to the point where you are threatened with your life on account of a Mountain House freeze-dried Beef Stroganoff, there are much bigger things to worry about.

        1. MT_Wild

          Honest question: Are the Mountain house products any good? My forays into freeze dried foods has been limited to MREs. The captains chicken wasn’t bad, but prefer to just bring real food or eat protein bars.

          But have been eyeing the FD food at Walmart and the outdoor store so might try it out.

          1. Wukchumni

            They’re good and i’ve eaten them for decades, but prefer a newish arrival named Peak freeze-dried to Mountain House for the most part, although i’m partial to MH Spaghetti.

            It all tastes better, the further into the wilderness you get.

            1. B24S

              How right you are.

              Way back in the pleistocene (’69), at the age of sixteen I was sent to the North Cascades Outward Bound (at my own request, but also to keep me out of trouble and bonding with other troublesome kids). First time I’d seen down-filled sleeping bags (US Army surplus).

              The first night out over Cascade Pass, we had cans of “meat”, peas, and carrots, and as one does, the heaviest load is eaten first. After heating and plating, it looked, and tasted, we thought, just like the dogfood we’ll soon be getting used to.

              The rest of the time we had early FD, and it was a full three days before nature took its’ pass, as it were, made all the worse by sitting on a downed pine covered with sap. Thank dog I had a razor-sharp Swiss army in hand. Just about the only cheeks (and other parts) I’ve ever shaved.

              To think I missed Woodstock for that!

              1. Wukchumni

                I missed Woodstock too, but no way-no how was my mom gonna let a 7 year old go by himself…

                Box wine takes on the same effect, pairs well with whatever you’re eating.

    3. griffen

      Was going to comment somewhere convenient today on a recent grocery trip for varied supplies and so forth. I noticed that the routinely standard box of Cheerios, and the flavor options as well, were going for a solid $6.68 yesterday (full price, no loyalty card discount or nothing). This is regional for myself, perhaps in South Carolina, but I thought holy crapola that is a rich price to pay for a “healthier cereal…” So I’m stuck with my general bland oatmeal and hard boiling some eggs.

      Doesn’t that work against the trend of “inflation trending down…” Asking for a friend, I am.

      1. ambrit

        Well, if we parse the phrase “inflation trending down” as really “inflation punching down,” we get to the interesting part. ‘Inflation’ is a tool for the furtherance of neo-liberal Rule #2. (Go, die.)

        And now for a word from our sponsor; Pyrite’s Crypto Exchange. “Where Fools and Gold go together.”

        We here in South Mississippi have seen similar price increases. In point of fact, those price increases are still coming down the pipeline. I noticed several items a few days ago at the local grocery store that had gone up another fifteen to twenty percent. That’s one ‘Supply Chain’ that is not being disrupted in any way, shape, or form.

      2. semper loquitur

        Speaking of getting hosed at the supermarket, twice now my partner has bought Chobani yogurt only to find it 2/3rds full. This was in NJ and NY.

  18. Screwball

    RE: In talks with prosecutors, Hunter Biden’s lawyers vowed to put the president on the stand

    Quite an article I must say. I got a kick out of the fact the headline is about Hunter and his plea deal but they managed to work the name Trump into the article 20 times.

    On the currently popular Chris Christy; A couple of his recent quotes as covered above.

    ” Christie hits Trump on foreign policy: ‘I don’t want to be the apple of Vladimir Putin’s eye’ ”

    He must be courting the unhinged liberal vote. The more he bashes Trump, the more he is put on TV – they love it. They might even vote for him. Look how much they love Bill Kristol now.

    Christie #2;

    Social Security, Medicare cuts are a necessary ‘political risk’ in today’s economy”

    That doesn’t sound like a plan to get elected since I would think most voters are against it. Maybe he’s just in the race to bash Trump and make the rest of the slime look less slimy.

    1. Feral Finster

      By saying the things that the donors wa t to hear, Christie is angling for a cabinet appointment, secure that the courts and the RNC will make sure that Trump is not nominated.

      Besides, even if Trump were to somehow get in, Christie was a neverTrumper in 2016 and Trump is famously amenable to flattery.

    2. ChrisRUEcon

      Thanks for your comment.

      > He must be courting the unhinged liberal vote.

      Well, hold up now. Remember, RINO’s have not joined the disqualification chorus to some degree. So seen this light, Christie becomes akin to a sheepdog for RINO suburban voters that Democrats get to woo come the general (if Trump gets nominated).

  19. Wukchumni

    Mineral King road has 698 significant turns in its 25 mile 1-way journey to MK Valley, and no RV’s or trailers are allowed on it, but for about a month and half now @ mile 7.5, there is an abandoned circa 1985 30 foot model RV that perhaps had bad brakes or who knows what?

    An NPS employee related he opened the door and walked in and wished he hadn’t as it reeked.

    Its gonna be a hellova job to tow it down the road~

    I’m headed up there soon, and want to use a white pen to write something on the windshield appropriate for the occasion such as:

    ‘Walter White Died For Your Sins’

    Any suggestions?

    1. griffen

      Things could be better, Lloyd. Things could be better. To borrow a quote from Jack in the shining.

  20. Alice X

    >How Turkey Replaced the Ottoman Language New Lines Magazine

    A fascinating story of post WWI Turkey. Of that era I have read on the political machinations of the West, the Sykes–Picot Agreement, the Treaty of Sèvres, the ensuing Turkish War of Independence and finally the Treaty of Lausanne. One damn thing after another, but the reconstruction of the language was a blank section and this fills it in. I’m glad for that.

    1. Roland

      It was a very interesting article, but she did not mention the political advantages to the Kemalist regime of the abrupt Romanization programme:

      1. Kemal’s inner circle mostly consisted of army officers who had been educated in Western countries, or by Western advisors. Many of his domestic opponents had their learning based in the old system, and were either disqualified or disadvantaged by the forced pace of change. Kulturkampf, Turkish-style.

      2. Similarly, the manner in which the change would cut off newly-literate Turks from the writings of former times was an advantage to Kemal’s regime. He burnt the bridge–no turning back.

      Kemal tends to get a very favourable treatment in the English-speaking world. He was one of the most formidable statesmen of the 20th century, and it’s interesting to speculate what might have happened in the world, if he had not been born in a disintegrating empire. Nevertheless, his was a militarist, arch-nationalist, authoritarian regime, in the classic pattern of the radically modernizing states of that era. At least Kemal and Inonu were pragmatists in their foreign policy; neither were territorially aggressive.

      In our time, what Erdogan has been trying to do is to reconcile the post-Kemal Turkey with elements of its Ottoman and Islamic heritage. Culturally speaking, one should see this is as a liberalizing trend. In any case, one ought not to remark on the political tendency of Erdogan’s modern Islamism, without mentioning the likely political motives behind Kemal’s language reform. The same logic also applies to Kemal’s supposed secularism, praise for which usually overlooks the deliberate creation of an arch-nationalist cult of Ataturk.

        1. Roland

          Thanks, Alice X.

          I may sound critical of Kemal, but of all the people who have ever been called the saviour of their country, that epithet may apply to him more fairly than to any other. As a general, he may have saved Turkey, in a terrible hour at Gallipoli. As a revolutionary, he rescued Turkey from the rapacity of Sevres, and established a compact state, at peace with its former enemies. As a modernizer, he tried to connect the future of the Turkish people to the richest and most advanced states in the world.

          But I am also quite sympathetic towards Erdogan, despite my disgust with his intervention in the Syrian War. Erdogan, too, has been mostly a pragmatist in his foreign policy, with that one glaring and tragic exception.

          1. anahuna

            With many thanks for your comments, a detail (just checked to make sure my memory serves): At Gallipoli, Mustafa Kemal was put in charge of the 19th division. He was promoted to Colonel during the first phase, the “land war.”

            So, not a general at the time, but an inspiring and terrifyingly effective leader.

            Who can forget “I am not asking you to fight, I am asking you to die.”

            I would add, his later seemingly endless retreat in the face of the Greek invasion, only to strike back and drive the Greeks to the sea. That brings us to the docks at Smyrna, so I’d better stop there.

            I may be prey to favorable biographies, but I find the image of a leader who, having acquired and exercised such unmatched power, abandons it to spend his time drinking, playing cards, enjoying the company of women and sleeping till noon exceedingly attractive.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Irish weapons training plan for Ukrainian troops a ‘breach of neutrality’, TDs claim’

    ‘Plans for the Defence Forces to provide weapons training to Ukrainian troops are a “new departure in the Government’s breach of Irish military neutrality” ‘

    One of the worst aspects of this war is how many neutral countries have been convinced or cajoled into signing up for the cause. After a highly successful neutrality policy, now Ireland is getting involved in this war just as things are starting to close out. Austria too for that matter. And the Finns who maintained their neutrality through the Cold war have now decided that the best thing that they can do is turn their indefensible, extensive border with Russia become a potential conflict zone. Even the Swiss are abandoning their centuries long isolation policy and now want to work with NATO ‘as much as possible’, take part in the NATO’s joint exercises, and to operate in line with NATO doctrine. I wonder how long it will be before the first US base is built in Switzerland and NATO starts demanding that they be given access to the entirety of the underground Swiss defence network. Idjuts-

    1. communistmole

      I don’t think Switzerland has much choice politically. With its too big to be rescued UBS, it is at the mercy of the Fed’s goodwill and can hardly afford to pursue a foreign policy independent of the US.

  22. Jabura Basaidai

    “Gen. James Hecker, commander of US Air Forces in Africa and Europe, said it could take anywhere from 4-5 years for Ukraine to achieve “proficiency” in flying F-16s.”
    guess if they do take the F-16’s their getting and fly them they won’t last long – of course that’s if they ever get off the ground after reading comments about the air intakes on the bottom of the jets – damn shame – oh well, ka-ching for the MIC – maybe the real plan? and why they’re shaming the Ukrainians for being death adverse – saw some piece of BS on yahoo of some strange device to attach to boots so you can walk through the mine fields and avoid being blown up by land mines – looked like a little four legged table they attach to the bottom of their boots – one soldier says to the other, “you first” – tough going for those poor souls –

    1. The Rev Kev

      There is one country in eastern Europe – I forget which – that has spent the past ten years transitioning to F-16s. Something to think about.

  23. paul

    RE: Another Crypto Millionaire Has Been Killed, Dismembered

    A gruesome inversion and escalation of the IBGYBG approach to guaranteed, outlandish returns, paid upfront in fiat.

    1. Wukchumni

      I Dismember Manna…

      When you eventually get going again Hollywood, there’s a sure-fire winner of a horror film title for de-crypto.


      Crypto greed is capitalism at its most cannibalistic.

      Magickal manifestations of their Deadly Sins.

    3. ChrisRUEcon

      So imagine me … in tech … having to hear about this from my little sister (nurse) two weeks ago while in NYC!! I wonder if (some of) this is revenge for “rug pulls” … a lot of crypto peepz like to “insta” their “wealth” … the macabre events could be the results of people seeing who was still flauntin’ on the dip and squeezing info from rats in the know. Maybe the same team that did “The Anarchists” (via HBO, and which should have been called more correctly, The Anarcho-Capitalists!) will ferret out the real story behind murderous turn of events.

    4. ThirtyOne

      It’s almost like there’s some hidden criminality going on. Someone should look into it.

      1. griffen

        Because it was overseas, I quickly thought of a reprise of the Hostel movie series. But instead of poor American students traveling and being, ahem, bought and sold it was the eccentric IG influencers who travel to a distant war torn setting. Here’s betting that Eli Roth could make that happen. Or Rob zombie. Bonus points, such horror films are typically cheap to make.

        “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave…”to quote the Eagles.

  24. Glen

    Wild fire season seems to be roaring back in the PNW, up in BC, and continuing further north in NWT:

    Tri-Cities blanketed in smoke, making air ‘very unhealthy.’ Fires close I-90 to Spokane

    About 30,000 people ordered to evacuate as wildfires rage in Canada’s British Columbia

    Yellowknife residents wonder if wildfires are the new normal as western Canada burns

    34.5 million acres have burned in Canada so far this year.

    It’s an orange/red dawn where we are in the PNW, pretty smokey out there now.

    And more stories coming from Maui (this is one, some that I have heard and read are just horrific):

    Maui wildfire survivor recounts harrowing experience hiding behind beach drywall

    Between all this and a hurricane about to hit Southern California, it’s impressive how little America is doing to help it’s own citizens vs. sending hundreds of billions to a country that only 34% of Americans can even FIND on a map:

    34% of Americans Can Find Ukraine on a Map. They’re More Likely to Support an Aggressive Posture Against Russia

    Stay safe everybody!

  25. mrsyk

    Here’s a well written article with good detail about public/private battles over Maui’s fresh water resources. Regarding apparent fall guy and recently transferred Deputy Director to the Commission of Water Resource Management M. Kaleo Manuel,
    “Last week, his administration said it was “redeploying” a top official at the state Commission on Water Resource Management, the agency blamed for delaying the diversion to the private West Maui reservoir.

    The official, M. Kaleo Manuel, was regarded as someone responsive to environmental groups and Indigenous residents who want to preserve stream water for traditional uses and limit water diversions by private companies. The state said that the job change for Mr. Manuel, who along with state agency officials, has declined to comment on the issue, “does not suggest that First Deputy Manuel did anything wrong.”
    In an interview with The New York Times, Governor Green acknowledged the challenge of balancing the competing demands for water.
    “But in my opinion, we tipped too far one way and people became gun-shy and they didn’t want to use water for anything,’’ he said.

    Note that last sentence.
    Here’s the link, from News Hour, Lahaina Fire Prompts a Shift in Maui’s Long-Running Water Fights

    1. some guy

      Using water for keeping wetlands wet is a use of water. Governor Green’s thinking seems conventionally mainstream Western Civ and Growthist. He clearly believes if you aren’t using water to make private money with, you are wasting water. Eco-physical nature is just a bunch of money that hasn’t been made yet. So of course he would think that using water to keep a wetland wet is not even a “use” of water.

      As long as the non-Native majority of inhabitants of Hawaii share that view of “water” and “nature” as just being bunches of money that haven’t been made yet, the non-Native voting majority of inhabitants of Hawaii will keep on electing Governor Greens of one party or another, in order to keep turning that wasted water into money. Changing that would require a “culture change” among the non-Native majority inhabitants.

      Perhaps some Lahaina-style fires burning down some million dollar mansions and billion dollar hotels and resorts would be educational and helpful in bringing that “culture change” about.

  26. chris

    Interesting article in the Guardian about a lack of windows impeding Ukrainians returning to their homes. The article mentions that not having windows in summer time can be a pain, but lacking a fully enclosed thermal envelope during the winter will be deadly.

    I thought it was interesting to see such an article in print because it is one more on the pile that says without saying how screwed Ukraine is as well as why the war needs to end so these people can rebuild. It makes me wonder about what will happen this winter too. The Holodomor is still talked about. It is still provided as a reason why Ukrainians hate the Russians. Even though it is likely that it stemmed from a general famine and many people were affected, the deaths due to starvation are something that is still reportedly making Ukrainians angry today. If that’s true, then how much anger and despair will be directed towards the US when we abandon the Ukrainian project this winter? When will we see patriotic Ukrainian drones attacking our interests abroad and at home?

    1. Roland

      The resentment of some Ukrainians towards Russia is very old, and learned in early childhood. More recent betrayals can’t compete.

      Look at the Poles: has there ever been any sort of blowback on account of Yalta?

      Therefore, I think it’s probably safe for NATO to dump Ukraine at their convenience. However, since the globalists and EU are even more keen to make waste of Ukrainian nationalism than anybody in Russia, I expect the war to go on, even if the goal of breaking Russia proves unachievable. The subsidiary aim of breaking down the Ukrainian nation, for the benefit of Western capital, will be pursued whether the primary war aim is accomplished or not.

      The cost of the war, from this perspective, appears as an investment in making Ukraine fully accesssible to global capital.

    2. digi_owl

      Supposedly the group of Ukrainians that like to talk up the Holomodor were not even part of Ukraine at the time.

      Frankly the most post-WW1 history of the region is a massive mess, in large part thanks to the english language accounts are mostly written by the middle class and low nobility that packed off to USA and like to escape communism.

  27. Wukchumni

    Yeah, we all had it aced by the time we were toddlers and learned how to do it, but it takes so much of our time in the lead up and frankly sometimes rather abrupt Def-Con #2 urge that comes on, so i’ve switched over to


    Where do all the heavy lifting?

  28. Mikel

    “Our Economy Thrives on Bad Feelings”New York Times

    This article would have fit in nicely with a discussion a couple of days ago on NC.

    Plenty to think about. And the writer didn’t even get to the plentiful anecdotes about people who shop in their sleep. I know of at least one friend who admits that sometimes he is surprised by the delivery of something that he forgot he ordered but remembered looking at before he fell asleep.

    1. britzklieg

      We called her “Flicka” and I knew her briefly from my time at the MET, as splendid and beautiful a person as one could hope to meet. Very supportive of the young singer apprentices like me who didn’t know what we were doing, unlike other “stars” who were more standoffish – although in fairness to my soon to be colleagues it was the MET admin who were, frankly, horrible and condescending… many of them unsuccessful musicians/singers who had nothing but smug envy for we lucky few who’d caught a fortunate break early. Memories now…

        1. britzklieg

          Thanks back. I should have said more about Von Stade, but I’m afraid my overall conflicted memories about the Met overwhelm those singular ones which were so important to a young apprentice totally wet behind the ears, and they shouldn’t. I had no idea how lucky I was to be there, young and full of pluck.

          I had the privilege of doing a private coaching with Flicka and she was so warm and generous. We shared a calling for the concert repertoire (indeed, my career was more in recital and concert – lyric baritones are the low man on the totem pole in opera) and I sang Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder for her. She made the point that it was the smaller moments that ofetn counted the most, even a single word or note, not the big obvious musical climaxes which can feel more rewarding, She taught me that the silences between phrases were just as important to fill with emotion, to stay committed and not lose focus while waiting to sing again and when I sang again to be specific with every word. There I was at that big house and I wanted to roar like the big dogs, and she understood that, yet found a way to temper me without crushing my enthusiasm and spirit – that was the job of the admin technocrats referred to in my initial comment.

          The classical music business, especially opera is full of ego and ambition, both of which can get one very far for sure. The art deserves, not requires but deserves, more and it’s easy to stop short and not realize what the job is: to communicate, not to show off.

          I didn’t now her well, mind you and we never sang on the same stage, but she always remembered me when we occasionally crossed paths over the years, the last time in Canada where she was on her farewell recital tour and I was singing there for the first (and last) time. No one really knew who I was (and my sparse audiences proved it), but Flicka did. I’ll never forget it.

    1. Tom Stone

      The Supreme Court has been unwilling to look at “Civil Asset Forfeiture” because the money is so sweet and it corrupts Law Enforcement in the right way.
      It pairs well with section 1033…
      And it is no more or less than “Armed Robbery under Color of Law”.

  29. skippy

    Hilarious ….

    As if the same was not true for decades with US centric information being exported media/academic [waves at Nobel Economic Prizes] and he seems completely befuddled about the – once – State Universities post being transformed into for Profit Private Enterprises that only care about how many consumers they can get, regardless of origin or aptitude. In a way it reminds me of working for Clarion Inc, critical jobs had a Japanese counter part that lasted a few years and back home they went. Premise was to give them experience/knowledge about how Americans thought/lived so they be able to transfer that information on with in the corps when back home.

    The hand wringing at this stage in the game is something to behold …. yet he loves the Chinese women’s UFC Champ Zhang Weili … good for the bottom[tm] line …

    “The belt has returned to China. Thank you all for your support!”

    “No matter where I go, I will be Weili from China. My home country will always be my rock.”

    The hashtag related to Zhang’s victory began trending on Sina Weibo, with more than 58 million views by Sunday.

  30. Jason Boxman

    With great sadness, I must report that liberal Democrat email funding raising spam is now in full swing; Thanks to my setup, I finally never see these things, instead they’re forwarded to some university email account of the a**hat that runs NGPVAN. I’m now getting hammered by Sherrod Brown, Tester, and Casey, and a random NGP in VA, garbage from GA, Carville!!, some idiot from CTP??

    And it’s only been 3 weeks. Fun times. I can’t wait for the texts to start, I’ve only had one recently; Replying “f**k you” resulted in an immediate cessation auto-reply, though I’m sure I’ll get many many more from other liberal Democrat scumbag fundraisers.


    COVID only shows up in one email, in reference to gun deaths during the Pandemic, but not the Pandemic deaths LOL.

    These people are worthless.

    Stay safe out there! Buying a backup GVS Elipse P100, extra filters, and six bottles of “Covixyl Nasal Spray – 0.676 fl oz”.

  31. CuriosityConcern

    Hi All, haven’t been around in a long time and am not sure of this was ever in links.
    USGS youtube video about how small dams have an impact on hydrology:
    Husband and wife notice grass is greener near locations they built small dams, comence to be busy as beavers and build at least 7000.

    1. Even keel

      Thank you so much!

      Great news. “Look for the helpers” material. Reminds me of a similar video someone posted about water detention in Vermont or somewhere up there.

      This makes me want to buy some desert land and get started. Makes me want to do something! Which I won’t. Trapped in suburbia. But still.

  32. Wukchumni

    World Heavyweight Championship scheduled for 12 hours

    Kid Temblor (aka…the Undercard) versus Hurricane Starter (aka…Tropical Storm Trooper)

    2 catastrophes go into the ring simultaneously in Cali as if to portend the end of the Golden State, ‘Shake & Lake’

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