Links 8/26/2023

Adorable Baby Giraffe Without Spots Might Be One of a Kind ScienceAlert (Chuck L)

What can archaeology tell us about the Druids’ dark arts? aeon (Anthony L)

Barnacles may help reveal location of lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 ScienceBlog (Dr. Kevin)

Is Hercule Poirot autistic? Here are seven clues that he might be SciToday

At What Tipping Point Does an Embryo Model Become an Embryo? Univadis (Dr, Kevin)

Lyme Disease Has No Cure But a New Vaccine Is Coming Bloomberg (Dr. Kevin)

The Question of Geophagy: Why Eat Dirt? JSTOR (Micael T)

A sex educator explains orgasms Big Think. Micael T: “NSFW or not, the weekend is here.”


US School Districts Halt In-Person Classes Amid COVID, Strep, Flu Outbreaks Breaking911 (Kevin W)

Why BA.2.86 covid variant cases have scientists worried Washington Post (Dr. Kevin)


Aramco Targeted in UN Human Rights Probe Tied to Climate Change Bloomberg

Hawaii names 388 people who are still unaccounted for after wildfires Washington Post (Kevin W)

Louisiana residents told to ‘get out now’ in face of sweeping wildfire Guardian (furzy)

Climate change is coming for your olive oil, too Grist

Fukushima water release: why China’s ban on Japanese seafood could backfire South China Morning Post. China does not have great grounds for caviling. I would never eat tilapia (70% from China) or shrimp unless sure of its provenance because China’s waters are so polluted.


The development of China will shatter all bad-mouthing voices: Global Times editorial Global Times. Even though the Chinese tend to come off as overly sensitive to Western criticism, this reads as if the lady doth protest too much. Having said that, stories like today’s lead piece in the New York Times, A Crisis of Confidence Is Gripping China’s Economy, must be annoying.


India’s Reported Pushback Against US Meddling In Bangladesh Is Driven By Security Concerns Andrew Korybko

The Electoral Battle for 2024 Merits a Deeper Reflection on the State of India’s Economy The Wire

Old Blighty

Starmer has taken more freebies than all Labour leaders since 1997 openDemocracy

Canada backs US in GMO corn trade row with Mexico PhysOrg

New Not-So-Cold War

So Much Winning … And More … Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

All the Evidence Points To Kyiv Spiegel (Kevin W). Odd that this is appearing now.

Dutch brewer Heineken sells its Russian operations for 1 euro, taking a 300-million-euro hit Associated Press (Kevin W)

Who’s afraid of Prigozhin and Wagner? Indian Punchline. Note: “Prigozhin was a dead man walking for staging such an idiotic act, after his security cover was withdrawn by the state.”

Experts See Signs of Sabotage in Crash Footage Wall Street Journal. Lead story.

Rus Officials Say Major Rus Offensive Coming; Ukr Tries Fails Capture Rabotino; Zaluzhny Warns US Alexander Mercouris, YouTube. Nice shout out, plus useful updates on Robotino and Putin’s full remarks on Prigozhin.

Akhmetov Allocates 165M EUR Over 18 Months to Support the Ukrainian Armed Forces and Civilians Modern Diplomacy. Micael T: “What do they say? Beware billionaires bearing gifts?”

No other option can be alternative to Black Sea Grain Initiative: Turkish foreign minister Anadolu Agency


Is the Degradation of Afghanistan Permanent? Modern Diplomacy (Micael T)

Israeli activist Shikma Bressler: ‘People feel they cannot serve a dictatorship’ Financial Times (David L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Helicopter Footage From Mass Arrest Reveals State Trooper Surveillance Capabilities, Tactics, and Communications Unicorn Riot (Randy K)

NSA Orders Employees to Spy on the World “With Dignity and Respect” Intercept

Imperial Collapse Watch

BRICS looking for ways to make settlements independent of West — Lavrov TASS. Key section:

“No one is talking about a single currency now. Anyway, all attention is now focused on finding ways to ensure our mutual trade, mutual economic projects and investments in such a way so as not to depend on the system controlled by the United States and its Western allies,” he said.

“Reshuffling World Order” on Press TV (Iran) Gilbert Doctorow. Note:

I emphasize that the mission of BRICS, as set out in its Declaration, is not to overthrow the institutions of global governance that were set up following WWII, namely the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions (World Bank and IMF) but to reform these institutions by making them more representative of today’s global distribution of economic and political power.

The error of NATO’s ways in Asia Asia Times (Kevin W)

The Fleeting Mirage of Imagined Supremacy William Schreyer



Biden admin’s latest home appliance crackdown: ceiling fans Fox (Kevin W)

This went live at 5:00 AM EDT on a Saturday. Will be interesting to see if it gets traction:

Ditto this:

Attorney Sues Trump, Claims He is Constitutionally Ineligible for Presidency The Messenger (David L). ZOMG, this is silly. Lacks standing plus how pray tell is Trump the party to be sued when it is state officials who are providing him with ballot access?

GOP Clown Car

Ramaswamy moves to capitalize on his big night at debate The Hill

“Rich Men North of Richmond” Singer Says It’s Ironic His Song Was Played at GOP Debate New Republic (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

Another Day, Another CIA Press Release Disguised As News Caitlin Johnstone (furzy). Too funny! Those Natashas are everywhere! It must be Russian propaganda that explains why more and more people are not buying the “Ukraine is winning” story. Seriously, all my years in the US I met ONE Russian, although NYC is lousy with Russian “models”.

Elon Musk says he’s being sued for ‘political purposes’ RT


ChatGPT’s cancer treatment advice ‘potentially dangerous,’ study shows New York Post (Kevin W)

The Future of Medicine? ChatGPT Shows “Impressive” Accuracy in Clinical Decision Making ScieTechDaily (Kevin W)

The Price of Fragmentation: Why the Global Economy Isn’t Ready for the Shocks Ahead Foreign Affairs (Kevin C)

Inflation: Progress and the Path Ahead Jerome H. Powell, Federal Reserve

Powell warns inflation ‘too high’ in Jackson Hole speech Financial Times

Despite What Powell Says, the Fed Is Likely Done Wall Street Journal

With central banks chasing shadows, many nations are now plunging towards or into recession Bill Mitchell

Initial Jobless Claims Continue to Suggest Slow Weakening Angry Bear

Class Warfare

A mystery company backed by Silicon Valley billionaires has purchased tens of thousands of acres of land for more than $800 million to build a new city near San Francisco Business Insider

Antidote du jour. An old picture of Bob H’s Betsy and Tippy. This is SO coastal Maine!

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Steve H.

    > What can archaeology tell us about the Druids’ dark arts? aeon (Anthony L)

    The painting immediately caught my attention, took a quick look:

    The Druids: Bringing in the Mistletoe

    It used gold leaf with texture and flat perspective that was considered radical at the time. I note the article image cuts off the top of the painting, where the druids seem to emerge from the trees, and the shadows run opposite of the moonlight.

    It reminds me of seeing “Apollo 13” on the tv – the scene with the rocket going up fills the screen, roaring with the enormous power throwing man into space, very different in the theater without the picture edges cut off, darkness all around the machine. As Shatner said of his journey to the deep, “The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness.”

  2. digi_owl

    > A mystery company backed by Silicon Valley billionaires has purchased tens of thousands of acres of land for more than $800 million to build a new city near San Francisco Business Insider

    Paging Mike Pondsmith.

    One more day, one more example that we are living a cyberpunk timeline.

    1. The Rev Kev

      First question that occurred to me when I read that headline was to ask where are they planning to get the water from that they will need for that city. Will they be in competition with San Francisco and Los Angeles for their water? Being backed by Silicon Valley billionaires, you can bet that that new city will have a lot of computers and server farms which will require even more water. Obviously they want their own city without the peasants and riff-raff to disturb their version of high tech paradise but I tell you, living in a city run by those sort of people would be a dystopian hell with surveillance watching your every move and selling you out on a constant basis. Many years ago I visited Berlin when it was surrounded by East Germany and you felt yourself in a pressure cooker on an island in the middle of East Germany. Living in this new city I would guess to feel the same.

      1. Wukchumni

        Many pioneers in covered wagons will be making the sojourn to a new city where challenges will be many, first of all its nowhere near any water, nor are there any trees and a complete lack of localized building materials is a given, in terms of constructing shelters to ward off temperatures expected to be in the mid 80’s to mid 90’s. Peasants and riff-raff are welcome in this embryonic endeavor, but no shirtcockers or sparkle ponies, please.

        1. Michaelmas

          There’s water. Look at a map: the San Pablo runs into the Sacramento River Delta alongside the whole south of the county where Vallejo and Benicia are.

          The US Navy indeed had a big base in Vallejo back in the day and there even used to be a sub bay on Marine Island till Ron Dellums got it defunded.

          Now how suitable all that water is as is now, I don’t know. Presumably, though, they have plans.

            1. Glen

              Mare Island Naval Shipyard was closed as part of BRAC. It was mostly concerned with building and maintaining subs (but it was a very old Naval base):

              Mare Island Naval Shipyard

              (It’s actually rather famous in the Navy for SINKING two nuke subs at the pier, but that’s another story.)

              It was most known for being the home port for some very famous (in the Navy) spy boats, the USS Seawolf, and the USS Parche:

              USS Seawolf (SSN-575)

              USS Parche (SSN-683)

              The Parche is, as far as I know, still the most decorated ship in the US Navy, but nobody can tell you why.

              The land in question apparently totally surrounds Travis AFB:

              Travis Air Force Base

              Travis was the largest Military Airlift Command AFB which I think is now a Air Mobility Command base so it’s mostly C-5s, C-17s, and C-130s. Lots of military airlift support aimed at the Pacific side of DoD operations.

              Sorry to hear that it’s all being targeted by a bunch of SillyCon Valley tech billionaires. Solano country was fairly rural and pretty area back when I was there which was pushing forty years ago.

              1. scott s.

                The was also NWS Concord and I think old ordnance bases are prime candidates for chemical contamination. You’re right about Travis being the main Pac air logistics hub, especially since March was made a “reserve” base.

          1. griffen

            Former military bases have what I presume to be, a limitation on future uses due to possible carcinogens in the water and so forth. Rev beats me to that one, but military bases in eastern North Carolina, Camp Lejeune among them, have been spilling their sordid history ever so slowly on PFAS contaminants and sundry chemicals.

            During the summer of 1999, the Woodstock festival was held at a decommissioned base to commemorate the 30 year anniversary and likewise improve on the 1994 festival. 1999 Woodstock was memorable, but for the wrong reasons.

        2. ambrit

          Hmmm…. This sounds like a prospectus for the Church of the Later Day Siliconies colony by the Great Alt Lake.

            1. ambrit

              Yeah. Soon I’ll be seeing Prophets roaming the countryside, speaking in cryptic parables. Thanks for the “heads” up.
              I’ll try and keep it “between the buttons.”

      2. paul

        I think you being unfair, we’re talking about the likes of mrs jobs.

        You could drop any of these into jungle, and they would transform it into a vigorous, remunerative lifestyle destination in a wall street minute.

        They are just that good.

        Water is everywhere, sky, sea and anthropics.

        You just have to work out how to get it,and keep it

      3. Paradan

        If they want it to be a real incorporated city, like with a post office etc, they can’t close it off. So it’s a campus(?) omg omg! they could call it a Concentration Campus.

    2. Mikel

      And people still think these are serious people capable (or even interested) in solving the country’s or world’s problems.

      They are going to the gather the loot and hide out phase.

          1. Synoia

            I believe that is a low lying area, a part of the Sacramento River flood plane, and if the Orville Dam to the North fails, a good prospect for cleaning out and flushing many people into the San Frisco Bay.

    3. B Flat

      What a waste of farmland and water–to build what is basically Disney’s Celebration for squillionaires.

    4. Thistlebreath

      For an ironic premise about tech types ruling over a fiefdom, recommend the animated series “Fired on Mars.”

    5. CarlH

      I loathe our Silicon Valley overlords more with each passing day. Not content with ruining the core of the Bay Area I grew up in and love, they have now set their sights to destroying it’s lovely periphery as well. I once lived in Green Valley not too far from this proposed sight. Lots of beautiful rolling hills with patches of Oak Trees to provide contrast. These people will never stop until we stop them. How? I have no idea.

    6. Leftist Mole

      Just the other day a relative of mine was going on about how this mysterious purchase might be by the Evil Chinese. (They’re highly susceptible to whatever propaganda being pushed by our overlords.) So instead it’s a plot by our Local Evil Billionaires. I believe it’s BEASTLY hot there, too.

  3. timbers

    Biden administration proposes crackdown on ceiling fans

    “The Department of Energy is proposing a rule that would require ceiling fans to be more energy efficient, arguing the move would save U.S. households on energy costs.”

    Yeah. A whole $39 a year.

    If our govmit wants to “save U.S. households” money, then why hasn’t it banned private jets, yachts, stock buy backs, CEO “bonuses” and legislated reduction in their pay, ended monopoly pricing of pharmaceuticals, and taxed billionaires out of existence, and made it illegal for the Fed to go on asset purchasing spending sprees that last for decades for the sole purpose of making the Fed’s rich friends even richer?

    1. Randall Flagg

      timbers, could not agree more. $39.00
      It’s just another item thrown out there to distract and divide. Try to keep an eye on what’s going on elsewhere while people fight and argue back and forth on ceiling fans…
      Just my 2cts.

      1. ArcadiaMommy

        The $39 “savings” is over the lifetime of the fan.

        Fans last a long time. I have replaced several fans at home that were clearly from the 1980’s.

        According to the Energy Department’s analysis, the new rules would save households about $39 over the lifespan of the new energy-efficient fan. However, the cost to manufacturers associated with the increased equipment will total $86.6 million per year, the department said.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        Speaking of ceiling fans as a menace reminds me of a hilarious incident I heard about on the radio while driving on a business trip in Arizona 30 some years ago. Neighbors heard a woman yelling “help” and when they couldn’t get in the locked door called the police. When the cops arrived they broke down the door and found the woman tied onto the bed spread eagle style and Superman, wearing only his cape, just starting to come to while lying on the floor. The woman told the police that Superman, aka her husband, had forgotten to reckon with the ceiling fan when he jumped off of the dresser toward the bed in order to rescue her.

      2. Darthbobber

        An old cat of mine regarded ceiling fans as a true menace. I don’t know what had happened during his kitten hood on his own, but I’m guessing something bad came from above.

    2. Screwball

      My electric bill has went up considerably (Ohio, AEP) which we were warned about. I decided to do an experiment to see what household items were using the most power. I created a speadsheet to track the numbers. I read my electric meter every day at 6:00 pm. I collected readings for 3 days, then turned something off. Things I can’t control I try to guess the best I can. Example; oven – yes, 2 hrs. Air conditioning (the toughest one); on for X hours. You get the drift.

      When I shut off a ceiling fan, I could tell no difference over 4 days. IOW, on or off, I used the exact same kilowatts per day for those four days (no oven, no air conditioning, no laundry (the big 3).

      You could also look at the fan motor to see what kind of power it consumes, but I can’t see it. IMNSHO, this fan stuff is silly, but I would expect nothing less from the crackpots in DC. I’m sure there is something slimy behind this so the “right” entity makes money off of it all.

      For those curious, other than the big 3, the biggest power eater is a de-humidifier in the basement, which was sucking up between a third and half my power. It is very old, and probably has a plugged filter, which contributes to it’s hunger. It is no longer on. Replaced by an oscillating fan.

      1. Bsn

        There are many, simple appliance load testers that you plug in between the outlet and the specific appliance to determine the “draw”. We have solar panels and have created a dedicated circuit (in case of power outage) that will run the power from panels to our critical items: freezer, fridge, one room air conditioner, a few lights and a small elec. burner (hot plate).
        The one we have is Reliance THP 103. Simple to use for watts/amperage.

        1. Screwball

          Thanks for this. It would work fine for the de-humidifier because it plugs into an outlet. My ceiling fans are hard wired to the fuse box. But I like this and will order one anyway.

          Thanks again.

          1. kareninca

            A “Kill A Watt” is cheap and easy to use; they have been around forever.

            Thank you for your experiment results; they are helpful.
            Our highest tier is now 42 cents per kWh; it is costly here in CA.

      2. flora

        But, but, those new “efficient” ceiling fans could be “smart” fans. You know, with built in wireless internet connectivity. Or something, uh, “useful” like that. / ;)

      3. Jabura Basaidai

        here in Michigan our AG is blocking DTE from trying to get 2X what they need – i’m old enough to remember when it was a public utility and could trade in your burnt out light bulbs for free new ones –

    3. Milton

      A year? We wish. The $39 savings is over the life of a fan. My fans are least 15 years old. Dated, but effective.

      1. Milton

        As a follow-up I found this regarding fan operation costs.
        It costs less than 2 tenths of one cent per hour ($0.0018) to operate, which comes out to about 4 cents per day, $1.20 per month or $15.58/year if you leave your fan running 24 hours a day.

    4. playon

      It is ridiculous… of all the appliances to go after, fans are one of the more efficient uses of electricity. Once they start, it takes very little power to keep them spinning due to the centrifugal forces.

      1. Paradan

        I bet there doing this so they have an excuse to have a Guatemalan Fan Attendant in their home.

      2. WobblyTelomeres

        My kid brother pestered me for years to get a Big Ass Fan (yes, that’s the brand name, on my phone in a deranged and foreign land* so no link for you). Never did, but I do recognize them when out and about. Big motors with big blades mean big startup power draw meaning a big capacitor is in the housing somewhere.


        1. Revenant

          You don’t need a capacitor, you need a punkahwallah!

          In all serious, the best fans are Big Ass fans in the style of India, with multi-yard long blades moving large volumes of air through slow rotation and maximising the thermal mixing. This sily little ceiling fans are like hummingbirds compared to condors….

      3. Laura in So Cal

        Our 6 ceiling fans allow us to run the AC much less because we can raise the thermostat temp to 78F and still be comfortable. Every bedroom has one plus one each in the living and family rooms. Just like lights, they are only on when the room is being used. These fans were a huge selling point when we bought the house 15 years ago and we’ve only replaced one since then.

        What a thing for the government to start fooling with.

    5. PelhamKS

      Excellent. What I can’t quite fathom, though, is the apparent fact that no one in the department could see beforehand how such an incredibly trivial and supremely irritating proposal would lay bare the absurdities of so many federal initiatives. It somehow reminds me of Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks.

    6. notabanker

      Read about this yesterday, I think it was in Fortune. The consumer efficiency number was admittedly modest, but not to implement the changes for the manufacturers. They estimated 30% of them would go out of business. So there’s your real kaaaching! I’d bet whoever is astroturfing this issue also has the tooling already converted in their factory.

  4. Lexx

    ‘Is Hercule Poirot autistic? Here are seven clues that he might be’

    Is the fictional character ‘Hercule Poirot’ autistic? Yes and I’m pretty sure there’s an article or two on the net speculating that Agatha Christie was probably on the Asperger’s spectrum. This timely article just before Kenneth Branagh has a movie coming out where he portrays Poirot. Coincidence? Movies are mostly bombing this year.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It is a weird article and reads like a hit piece or rather a smear piece. All I can say is that it is a good thing that this writer does not know about Inspector Morse.

    2. Carolinian

      It’s called A Haunting in Venice.

      Branagh plus Poirot doesn’t sound very appealing to me and I always thought Emma Thompson was his better half until the halves separated. His two previous Poirots futz around with the material and Sidney Lumet made a much better version of Murder on the Orient Express.

      Maybe with some last minute additions he can work Barbie into it.

      1. IM Doc

        It is based on Halloween Party. In my opinion, not one of Christie’s better efforts. Indeed, I am not sure why they picked that one when there are so many others much better that have never been adapted to movies.

      2. paul

        Branagh + anything is pretty offputing.

        I remember when they were the golden couple, ms thomson’s lavish, but short lived, comedy series on the bbc was no laughing matter.

        Her dad’s work can’t be beat, though.
        Doesn’t seem to date at all

      3. Pat

        The Lumet Murder on the Orient Express is wonderful, the version in the Suchet series is lovely and most true to the book. Branagh’s update is a mess, but his Death on the Nile is worse. He even adds a whole subplot to explain Poirot’s mustache, or rather his ridiculous version of the mustache. Once again people are better off with the Suchet series or the delightful ‘77 film.
        To say I am not looking forward to Hallowe’en Party transported to Venice with more of Branagh’s Poirot and Tina Fey as Ariadne Oliver is putting it mildly. (I guess he got tired of being unfavorably compared to decades earlier versions and gave a pass to Evil Under the Sun and just moved an English countryside based story to a picturesque exotic locale.)

        1. Bugs

          His Death on the Nile was so vile that I couldn’t finish it. They did manage to woke it up and get in some expensive CGI, as well as brought in the talentless Gal Gadot (maybe it should be Godot because we’re still waiting for her to emote), among other highly priced actors and it’s just awful. I thought he was something interesting back in the day but man, that was unwatchable. If someone can explain to me why it turned out like that, I’d love to hear the story.

          1. Pat

            The biggest mystery regarding the recent versions by Branagh are what drugs the people managing the Christie estate are smoking that have so impaired their judgment so that they find the adaptations he has done to be acceptable and like them so well they approve more.

      4. JohnA

        One of the first live theatre plays I saw when I first moved to London in early 80s was set in the 1930s in a public school with Branagh as one of the students. He is now about to play Lear on stage. How time flies. Branagh has done more directing that acting over the years but his productions are usually worth seeing either way, in my experience. Emma Thompson, on the other hand, has very much gone in the so-called ‘lovie’ direction.

        1. paul

          Yes, her last film I’m aware of was about the redemption of a discarded frump by the good offices of a sex worker.

          Uplifting, no doubt, but will be less than likely to viewed on a screen near me.

      5. John Beech

        Poirot on PBS was once a favorite but Capt. Hastings and Mrs. Lemon were written out and a detective without his sidekick, even one graced by the chops of Suchet in the leading role, is, in a word . . . dull.

        Add to it, once PBS developed the habit of cutting Midsomer Murders in half (to create two episodes), we largely quit watching PBS, altogether. After all, there’s plenty of other dreck to watch without the bother of their endless pleadings for funding.

    3. .human

      After watching years of David Suchet’s pleasingly inspired portrayal of “the little Belgian,” Kenneth Branagh’s coarse rendition in Murder on the Orient Express is painful to watch.

      1. paul

        You don’t think he deliciously captures the belgian speaking english bit?

        Suchet’s little penguin walk was always amusing, yet the same racial stereotyping of the nation leopold so extractiveally enriched.

          1. John Beech

            Bruno Cremer *in my opinion* has been the best, ever. Enough so I got off my wallet to purchase the DVD series. In fact, we’re binge watching once again right now (although in our case, a binge just means we watch an episode every few weeks instead of consuming them like popcorn one after the other).

            That an actor was graced with such power that a slight shrug, and an ever so barely raised eyebrow spoke volumes, and as such, I feel privileged to have witnessed his work. I was ever so sad when I learned of his passing.

            Moreover, I’ve even got the books, perhaps all of Simeon’s works (including non-Maigret), on the shelf. They’ve all been read more than once, too.

            Nice turn of conversation for NC, today.

            1. anahuna

              I can’t say I often agree with your opinions, so it gives me great pleasure to join in a cheer for Bruno Crémer. Irreplaceable!

              A few years back, at the time when France 24 was available in NY on antenna tv, some related channel was broadcasting that entire Maigret series. What a feast.

              1. Susan the other

                Yes, I was hooked immediately on it. A few years ago Rowan Atkinson did a very good Maigret. Almost as good as Cremer. But just a short series, I think just four episodes.

            2. Lexx

              My intro to ‘Maigret’ was Michael Gambon years ago, very entertained, so I thought I’d give Rowan Atkinson a try… it was so boring. I didn’t think it was possible to find Rowan boring in anything. I was fighting to engage and keep my eyes open! The two actors couldn’t have been more different in their approach to the character. May give Cremer a look.

              1. Carolinian

                Gambon is another one of my favorites although the series you mention was a bit blah. Prob with Branagh is that, while a capable actor, he suffers in the personality department. Some even praised his Henry V versus Olivier’s hugely charismatic WW2 version.

                Indeed Branagh seems to trail around in Olivier’s shadow and see himself as some kind of successor. Not even close.

            3. Revenant

              Maigret is brilliant. Simenon knew how to craft a story.

              If you are learning French, the Maigret books in French are excellent reading. Just the right level of plot and description and breadth of vocabulary and idiom to make every page a source of something new but not overwhelming.

              1. paul

                That was my way into francais, our teacher used a pulpy novel to enlighten us.
                I retain my astonishment from that book for the slang “les pied noir”.

            4. Noh1

              I’m watching the series now too. It’s well-acted and has good atmospherics. However, I find the character sometimes difficult to sympathize with. For example, in an episode of Season One, he beats up a suspect and remarks that it’s not allowed, but makes him feel better.

              1. John Beech

                First, the actor is portraying a different time.

                And recall, it’s an actor playing a fictional character.

                FYI, mostly shot in the Prague and Budapest vs. Paris due to the expense. But then the major problem has to do with the four-sided gambrel style hip roof structure of Parisian buildings, which aren’t present in those cities. Thus, outside shots must be framed very carefully to avoid giving away the game.

    4. Mikel

      “Movies are mostly bombing this year.”

      I think I may go with friends to the upcoming “Killers of the Flower Moon” in Oct.

    5. Jeff W

      “Is the fictional character ‘Hercule Poirot’ autistic?”

      Given that he’s a fictional character, Hercule Poirot doesn’t have brain function that can be divergent or not, so my answer would be no. We might say that, at most, he’s described by Agatha Christie as exhibiting behavior that is, arguably, consistent with autism in actual people. (People can imagine whatever they like, of course, but, personally, I have a real aversion to headcanon—I don’t even like the term itself, which I just learned about from the article—which is totally my own issue.)

      1. Lexx

        I was alluding that as with most fictional characters, Poirot was an expression of the author, Christie, and her worldview. Authors write about what they know.

        What I deleted from my comment was that day by day and year by year, The Spectrum was ‘coming out of the closet’… and it’s about time too. It was always hiding in plain sight but there were other words for it in Christie’s time.

    6. Bsn

      The whole question is silly and pointless. I remember a book coming out a few years ago proposing that Abe Lincoln was gay because he’d slept in the same bed as other men/travelers in his days. Foolish and inane.

      1. LifelongLib

        Lincoln’s law partner describes how on the Illinois judicial circuit they would sometimes sleep 20 men to a room in places that were infested with bedbugs and fleas. Two guys to a bed was probably a luxury.

    7. Jorge

      I watched a bunch of Christie movies recently, and the best of the bunch was “Evil Under The Sun”. DAME Diana Rigg and DAME Maggie Smith are delightfully catty as former showgirls.

      The Christie movies all have the same problem: the explanation. The actors do their movie thing, and action proceeds, and then the movie stops dead while The Detective explains all. Screeeeeeech!

  5. Lexx

    ‘Climate change is coming for your olive oil, too’

    The media has been sounding the alarm on this since last month. I’ve been stocking up. I can live without booze but not olive oil, or products that include olive oil like mayo and olive oil-packed sardines…. yum.

    Okay, I could live without olive oil… but I don’t want to and won’t while it’s still a choice.

    1. Bugs

      Some apple growers are planting olives in Normandy now in anticipation of the climate shift. Wine grapes as well. Just getting on with it. They’re a stoic bunch, the Normans.

      1. Lexx

        I started eating sardines again after many years because I’d wandered into a Dollar store and the only thing I came out with was four tins of sardines packed with olive oil, for a buck. I’ve been eating ‘sardine toast’ for breakfast occasionally ever since.

        Over the last decade ‘tinned fish’ have grown in popularity; they’re cheap, tasty, high in calcium and Omega 3. Such seafood should remain affordable for all for a while yet… the sea insects though and the big meaty popular fish like tuna and salmon, those have been out of lower class reach for some time now. Even Whole Foods’ farmed from Norway is up to $14.99 lb.

      2. some guy

        I remember many years ago seeing in a paper called Akwesasne Notes a more-or-less political cartoon. It was a picture of a fur-trapper looking at us-the-reader and saying ” things are getting to where the only people who can afford furs are millionaires and trappers.”

        If one happens to live in a real house with a real yard around it in a place where olive trees can grow, one could grow a few olives of one’s own, if not enough olives for a meaningful amount of oil.

        1. Janie

          We are starting some in Salem, Oregon. Really slow growers, so start now. Our stone fruit did badly this year, though European plums did fairly well. Apples are ok, and berries did well, except blueberries. The vegetable garden was a bust. Just a hint of what is coming.

          1. Lexx

            Worrisome… we were beset by pests and weather conditions. Japanese beetles, grasshoppers, mosquitos, excessive rain, excessive heat, and fungus. We keep trying to improve our gardening practices, since that is within our control, only to be knocked back again by that which is not. The fungal problems were the new ones on the list and it included a hybrid tree.

            Also, hundreds of little frogs, but they seem to be beneficial and we hoped they came for the mosquito larva in the lawns.

            Husband must have killed the beetles by the thousands, picking them off the roses in twos while they copulated (a ‘two-fer’). We watched plants turn yellow from the bottom up as their root systems suffocated in the saturated clay soil we’ve amended again and again, then attacked as they reached higher only to be preyed on by the beetles and grasshoppers. It’s a good thing we don’t yet depend on our garden to survive.

            What did well despite the odds were lettuce, spinach, carrots, green beans, scallions, tatsoi, mustard, and basil…. most anything leafy and green the insects didn’t particularly care for. To the insects, HOA’s are little oases on the prairie, our gardens are their summer picnics. They fatten up and lay eggs in the lawn for next year.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Without knowing anything about your garden and not being a gardener myself, would raised garden beds be of any help?

  6. Mikel

    “Even though the Chinese tend to come off as overly sensitive to Western criticism, this reads as if the lady doth protest too much. Having said that, stories like today’s lead piece in the New York Times, A Crisis of Confidence Is Gripping China’s Economy, must be annoying.”

    Put “China crisis of confidence” into search and it’s more than deja vu. It’s yet another coordinated repeating of the same script..with variations:
    China’s Crisis of Confidence in Six Charts
    WSJ. About two daya ago.
    China’s Crisis of Confidence
    China surprises with rate cuts as economy grapples with ‘confidence crisis’
    China’s economic ‘crisis of confidence’ has shattered faith of foreign investors, warns European business head in call to action
    For China’s Economy, a Crisis of Confidence

    And so on..

    1. SpatialFix

      It’s almost as if the whole ‘crisis of confidence’ is somehow being reinforced by the constant barrage of doomsday headlines.

      1. Mikel

        And who could forget the more recent:
        “Elon Musk: How the world’s richest person bought Twitter”
        Remember the coordinated variations of that last year?

        But if you just have the Bard or whatever algorithm give people summations, it’s harder for them to peep the propaganda in this way.

        1. some guy

          if the worst possible things end up happening to Twitter, it is worth remembering that Twitter’s prior owner willingly sold it. Willing buyer-willing seller.

          So the seller is equally at fault for whatever happens to Twitter.

    2. Socal Rhino

      Building the narrative that Xi will look for military action as a distraction from a sinking economy.

  7. Carolinian

    Turley says time to begin impeachment investigation.

    While Garland seems incapable of imagining any crime involving the president, he has made a conclusive — if unintended — case for an impeachment inquiry.

    With the investigative impediments created by the Weiss appointment and by Garland’s refusal to expressly extend the special counsel’s mandate to the allegations of Biden family influence-peddling, there is little choice but to commence an impeachment inquiry.

    After all as the Dems keep telling us nobody is above the law. Right??

    1. Wukchumni

      2003: ‘…they’ll welcome us with garlands’

      2023: ‘They’ll welcome us with Garland…’

        1. chris

          You think so? I’m certainly someone who has been expecting a surge of more violent troubles in the US because of many different factors but I really can’t see the new Civil War coming to pass. I can imagine a scenario where certain liberal enclaves are under actual siege and the rest of the country decays even faster as more likely.

          I’m not sure Biden’s corruption is what sets it off either. My take, and the impression of many of the working/tradescraft people I deal with everyday is “corrupt politician does corrupt things, so what? It’s not like anyone else is going to help us if someone new is elected…” I think that’s right. But if Biden is seen as failing to do things about another COVID surge + war in Ukraine + plus lack of support for disasters + recession AND he’s obviously corrupt, then that could really do something to get things going.

          1. JBird4049

            The United States is an interconnected economy with the Blue cities getting their resources especially food from the Red countryside. However, much of what Americans need is no longer made in the country and with the ports all in the Blue areas, after a while everyone would be suffering.

            I am not seeing a full scale civil war as much as a continuous, low scale insurrection and probably by several Red and Blue factions. Honestly, every section of the country is heavily armed with the differences being in degree and of not kind.

            Considering the cravenness of much, but not all, of American police, I think that even in relatively peaceful, the police will overreact. They will either disappear or become intolerably abusive, which will create a cycle of backlash and counter-backlash.

            I also think that the average American is not for a civil war, merely very afraid of one. If the fighters and the authorities become too abusive, then as in other wars, communities will arm themselves against both, creating another violent cycle of backlash and counter-backlash.

            Really, as in the American Revolution and the Civil War, the violent ramped up and did just appear as there was repression, then violence, and finally murder as one side sought to control the other, which got a counter-response. An actual civil war could happen if a faction got comparatively powerful and overly repressive along with much of the country’s already poor infrastructure and government being degraded into uselessness. Warlordism is not a good thing, but it is something I could see happening as others recognize the existence of a local ruler, even if they never say anything official about it.

  8. Jabura Basaidai

    Fukushima water release: why China’s ban on Japanese seafood could backfire South China Morning Post.
    you comment that you would never eat tilapia (70% from China) or shrimp because waters are so polluted….

    long before Fukushima i was in Thailand back in the 80’s and watched the refuse they fed their shrimp farms and after speaking with a local never ate a shrimp or any farmed aquatic food again – after Fukushima, nothing from the ocean – try to keep everything local sourced – haven’t eaten hooved animals in almost 60 years – go visit a slaughter house and you may rethink what you eat – probably difficult to do these days –

  9. Mikel

    “A mystery company backed by Silicon Valley billionaires has purchased tens of thousands of acres of land for more than $800 million to build a new city near San Francisco” Business Insider

    Weep for the children.

    1. Robert Hahl

      A (sometimes) resident of SF told me that the tech companies are leaving because of all the homeless people. I guess that means the new town will be a kind of gated community.

      1. paul

        Nonsense, Silicon Valley is, and always has been, all about inclusion.

        Homeless can be good mulch.

      2. The Rev Kev

        I was going to reply that it might be more like a gated city but then a thought occurred to me. Could it be that at the back of their minds that they would want to eventually have this city declared a City-State and thus independent of Californian laws? Some of these techies have already suggested breaking California up into several smaller States with one dedicated to the tech sector.

        1. Mikel

          I think they’ll end up a monarchy.

          For all their alleged ‘progressiveness,” their desires are old school.

        2. Paradan

          Cant break up a state without consent of the state legislature. Now if the majority of the population didn’t want it to break away, then the vote would fail. This is an oligarchy though, so since their all bought off, it shouldn’t be too hard to do.

          Big Deal: Any new states will cause a change in the current balance of Red/Blue in the house, senate, and the president. Biggest hissy fit you’d ever see. It was a problem in the 50’s with Hawaii and Alaska and it’d be a thousand times worse now.

      3. Adam Eran

        And yet, I’ve read San Francisco has five times more vacant homes than its homeless population.

        1. Robert Hahl

          The man who told me that story has kept a rent controlled apartment in San Francisco for 25 years. He uses it as a third home, the other two being houses on the Maine coast, not far from where those two dogs are pictured today. Alas poor Tippy, he died last month at age 15; hind legs gave out.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Sorry to hear about Tippy too. I was thinking last night that they both looked like excellent dogs.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “The Question of Geophagy: Why Eat Dirt?”

    The scifi author Robert A. Heinlein set out a timeline of future human history in which he set his stories. In one part of that future history he wrote about the “The Crazy Years” where society was breaking down. And in his novel “Methuselah’s Children” he put in example newspaper headlines to illustrate these Crazy Years. Note the last one-

    ‘Court Orders Statehouse Sold: Colorado Supreme Bench Rules State Old Age Pension Has First Lien All State Property’

    ‘N.Y. Youth Meet Demands Upper Limit On Franchise’

    ‘Iowa Raises Voting Age to Forty-One: Rioting on Des Moines Campus’

    ‘Earth-eating Fad Moves West: Chicago Parson Eats Clay Sandwich in Pulpit: “Back to simple things,” he advises flock.’

    1. griffen

      An old friend in high school had a memorable saying, say when a few french fries fall on the ground…”God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt…” The five second rule still applies though. Dirt in eastern North Carolina was probably of a different quality, as it were, so others mileage may vary.

      Dirt is a great album from Alice in Chains.

      1. 360* Gastronomy

        I haven’t seen any kids above 3-4 years old eating sand or mud or similar. I understand it as as a natural want to try/taste stuff in general as a general way to build resistance.

  11. Wukchumni

    This latest mass murderer via high velocity pointy objects entering without knocking was different in that he was Johnny Law doing quick draw. It takes all kinds.

  12. griffen

    Antidote of two dogs, presumably with owner on a walk…conversation imagined betwixt the two pet animals. What you up too? Nothing much, chilling…he always feeds us after you know so there’s that! Saturday mornings are good for just that, chilling ( which becomes harder to accomplish with the degrees climb upward nearing the century mark this afternoon ).

    I need to chill myself. The filing of the TPS reports went awfully messy. Hey service provider and software vendor, this daily process thing didn’t work as planned! Messy design and system implementation equals a not smooth, semi functional process. Let’s put the “fun” into dysfunction.

  13. noonespecial

    Re NY Post’s ChatGPT link

    From the article: “’Great care should be taken when using language model outputs, particularly in high-stakes contexts…matching the needs of a specific use-case,” OpenAI said”

    Jokingly, WebMD is sometimes alluded to as the go-to diagnostics tool pre-doctor visit and patients may indeed walk in (harried and worried) with a sure answer to what ails them, only for medical tests to show otherwise.

    Imagine a few years down the road a revised and updated webmd-like self-diagnosis robot becomes the next big thing and the margins for error still have not been 1-n-0ed out. Presenting the next version of the home speaker robot:

    A few lines from the link:

    Google DeepMind has been working with generative A.I. to perform at least 21 different types of personal and professional tasks, including tools to give users life advice, ideas, planning instructions and tutoring tips, according to documents and other materials reviewed by The New York Times.
    The project was indicative of the urgency of Google’s effort to propel itself to the front of the A.I. pack and signaled its increasing willingness to trust A.I. systems with sensitive tasks.

    1. GramSci

      Any such double-tap strike occurring in the U.S. will be quickly found to have been conducted by suspected Russian agents.

  14. griffen

    Musical accompaniment suggestion, watching the WSJ plane crash video and also seeing this discussion on, ahem, CNN show Smerconish…yeah I know this occurred mid week just had not gotten around to seeing what I presume happened.

    Listen all y’all it’s a sabotage…listen all y’all it’s a sabotage…one of the great songs in the entire 1990’s decade. Not a huge Beastie Boys fan but the video is iconic as well.

  15. The Rev Kev

    ‘Tulsi Gabbard 🌺
    A death rattle of any democracy is when a sitting president uses the state security apparatus to go after political opponents and cover up lies and crimes committed by himself or his family. Biden is doing that now. His actions make it clear he believes himself to be not the enforcer of the rule of law but the exception to it.’

    Looks like Gabbard quickly worked out that if the Biden DoJ could take down Trump, then they would also do the same for any other candidate – like she was when she was in the Presidential race back in 2020. When Hillary smeared her as a Russian agent back then, a Biden DoJ could have opened up a wide-ranging investigation of her during her political campaign to see if she was or not in order to damage her politically.

    1. Pat

      Which makes her a heck of a lot smarter than the politicians enabling this. I realize that the Democrats often fail to recognize the obvious (for instance you might not want to ignore states whose electoral college votes you need to win the Presidential election because you prefer campaigning in California) but there are no guarantees that your party will always control the DOJ. And they can and probably will use it against you given the chance.

      But I suppose I should just make that example, you might not want to use your DOJ as a weapon when you have run a decades long influence peddling scheme and the opposition can impeach you. (Especially if your crack addict son keeps giving the world lots of evidence about it.)

      1. Feral Finster

        The politicians sleep soundly in their beds, safe in the knowledge that they never will buck the Establishment Consensus.

        Russiagate conspiracy theory: NYT front page news!

        2020 election conspiracy theory: thoughtcrime and Threat To Muh Democracy.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “India’s Reported Pushback Against US Meddling In Bangladesh Is Driven By Security Concerns”

    The Indian leadership is many things but they are not fools. They can see how Washington cannot tolerate any competition whatsoever and that if they had no qualms about wrecking the EU, then they would have none whatsoever in doing so to India. Modi wants closer strategic ties with the US and the US wants to use India as a counterweight against China. And if it develops into fighting on the high borders between the two, then so much the better. The smart thing for Washington would be to develop those ties and seek to entwine themselves into the Indian political scene. But this is the Biden White House so what you have had instead was US officials going to India to complain about their human rights record and now meddling with Bangaldesh that could lead to a hostile State on India’s eastern border. India and Bangladesh did have a rough patch but in recent years have been enjoying close relations and sorting out problems between the two nations. The thought of the US turning this country into a puppet regime so that they can get their foot into this part of Asia is one that India will not welcome as far too much could go wrong with that idea leaving India with a failed State on its border-

    1. hk

      Maybe US could start calling Bangladesh by it’s “true” name, East Pakistan, like Keev, instead of Kiev? (/S)

    2. Kouros

      Badrakhumar admitted in an interview with Mercouris and Gessen I think that the border btw India and China needs to be created because it doesn’t exists and have not existed, historically. The brits wanted to created one, but the Chinese Qing told them to get stuffed. Of course the Brits pretended that that was not the case.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “NSA Orders Employees to Spy on the World “With Dignity and Respect”’

    But according to Edward Snowden, NSA employees regularly passed around intercepted nude images among themselves so I would imagine by now that would include videos as well from sexting messages-

    Does make you wonder. When Jeff Bezos was having an affair behind his wife’s back with his future partner, he was sending her d*** pix – which always sounds icky. So did that image end up on a bulletin board at the NSA as a good laugh?

  18. Mikel

    “Inflation: Progress and the Path Ahead” Jerome H. Powell, Federal Reserve

    “Two percent is and will remain our inflation target.”

    No mincing words there.

    This inflation, especially with geopolitical events, seems like a coiled spring, strained retreat. At any moment it’s going to pop back out.

  19. flora

    Next weekend the the US Labor Day holiday. As a reminder why fast food workers really need a raise. utube. ~3 minutes.

    Woman goes off on McDonald’s workers

    How the young woman behind the counter kept her cool is impressive.

    More Karens abusing employees. Give those employees a raise. utube, ~24 minutes.

    Karen Ruining Employee’s Day for 24 minutes

    How many of these karens are trying to get free food from the restaurants? / ;)

      1. DZhMM

        The problem of Americans abusing our service workers? I imagine it happens .. those bastards are everywhere these days.

  20. Jason Boxman

    US School Districts Halt In-Person Classes Amid COVID, Strep, Flu Outbreaks

    The Lee County School District, which caters to 897 students ranging from Pre-K to grade 12, had kicked off its academic year on August 9. However, the situation escalated as a substantial number of students and staff members fell ill. Superintendent Earl Ray Schuler shared that on August 18, out of the 897 students, 150 were already sidelined due to illness. This number further swelled to 157 by August 21, accompanied by 14 staff members reporting sick leave.

    Because COVID is over dispersed, this probably isn’t happening everywhere, but where it does happen, that’s a lot of infected people looking at future health problems for life. So great Maskless Mandy is modeling good behavior by going maskless.

    1. GramSci

      I suspect this will soon be happening everywhere.

      I returned on Wednesday from a family reunion-cum-pilgrimage to Thorstein Veblen’s summer study cabin on Washington Island, and tested positive for Covid for the first time. (Not too bad so far.)

      With cool weather, too much indoor dining, and too much conviviality, I think I grew careless with my NOX/povidone nasal spray regimen.

      Otherwise Juana and I were the only masked air travelers: In Dulles we were among the 3% who were masked–and only half of those were (K)N-95 masks. In O’Hare, only 0.3% were masked. Even East Asians were mostly unmasked.

      The banality of empire.

  21. Simple John

    I just pinned 21 articles to read today.
    I’m subscribed but this volume of interesting thoughts, facts, and opinion moderated by Eve deserves a tip. I’ll be sending a check for $100.
    Anyone who hasn’t caught on yet – Eve is the best aggregator of the above, someone so capable that you wouldn’t imagine her if she didn’t exist. If that wasn’t enough, she is extremely capable of informing us readers of her level of certainty and when she thinks her readers can fill in with additional info. Kudos tiger. I hope I’m not too effusive. Today is a day of gratitude for me.

  22. Feral Finster

    I wss close to a Russian model. A sweet girl, very tall, like 6’1″ in stocking feet. Very artistic. Loved theater and art, and was good at both, as well as sewing

    She wasn’t at all a party girl, didn’t like people to know she worked as a model and didn’t like the kind of attention it got her.

    I used to accuse her of being the woman in the ad campaign for Cinema perfume from the early oughts, because if that wasn’t her, it must have been her twin sister, and with a comparable bearing and sense of style.

  23. Bruno

    “Attorney Sues Trump, Claims He is Constitutionally Ineligible for Presidency The Messenger (David L). ZOMG, this is silly. Lacks standing plus how pray tell is Trump the party to be sued when it is state officials who are providing him with ballot access?”
    Plus–the fact that Trump will not and cannot be “on” any state ballot, because each state votes not for a president but for presidential electors. Even though electors run as “pledged” to a particular candidate, that “pledge” has no legal standing–anyone chosen as elector can constitutionally cast that electoral vote for whoever one chooses.

    1. marym

      State laws govern ballot format and sanctions for “faithless” electors

      “When the voters in each State cast votes for the Presidential candidate of their choice they are voting to select their State’s electors. The potential electors’ names may or may not appear on the ballot below the name of the Presidential candidates, depending on election procedures and ballot formats in each State.”

      Sample ballot IL 2020 (candidate’s name on ballot),_2020

      “A majority of states and the District of Columbia External have laws on the books that require electors to pledge to cast their votes for their parties’ nominees for President and Vice President. Fifteen states have laws that impose sanctions on electors for breaking their pledge to cast their vote for their party’s nominee. In July 2020, the United States Supreme Court held that a State may “penalize an elector for breaking his pledge and voting for someone other than the presidential candidate who won his State’s popular vote.” (Chiafalo v. Washington, No. 19–465, slip op. at 1-2 (July 6, 2020).)”

    2. scott s.

      My state (HI) passed Act 114 this year. The Chief Elections Officer presides over the Electors vote. If an elector fails to vote for the pledged nominee, the elector position is deemed vacated and a pledged alternate elector is promoted to elector.

  24. Mark Dempsey

    An update from the local news front:

    “News”papers miss the boat
    (c) by Mark Dempsey

    In 2020, the McClatchy family sold their papers, including the Sacramento Bee, to a private equity firm, and its local coverage has taken a downturn. One recent example was the Sacramento County Supervisors’ vote to enlarge the County Jail–a move now estimated to cost in the neighborhood of $1 billion.

    That Supervisors’ vote occurred on August 15. The Bee’s coverage announcing that (upcoming) vote began…wait for it…August 16. In other words, unless Sacramentans were following the Supervisors’ online agenda, the vote to expand the jail would have been a complete surprise. Of course, the Supervisors ignored all the public protesters that did appear before that vote, so perhaps reporting in retrospect to encourage preemptive resignation has its uses. The report of the vote’s outcome appeared in the Bee on August 17.

    As someone who gets notified of such votes thanks to the Decarcerate Sacramento organization I was horrified the Supervisors were even considering devoting so much of their budget to cages, so I asked a local American River Democratic club president to publicize the upcoming vote a few days before it occurred. He put the notice on their Facebook page on August 17 too.

    So…Bee’s reporting, even reporting from social media, was too late to matter.

    One blog, the Davis Vanguard, did report this upcoming vote before it occurred, but Davis is in Yolo County.

    A little context:

    The U.S. is the world’s champion at caging people. With 5% of the world’s population, it incarcerates 25% of the world’s prisoners–five times the world’s per-capita average, and seven times the age-demographic identical Canadians. And Canadian crime is insignificantly different from U.S. crime.

    In Sacramento, 60 – 80% of the prisoners in the County jail have been convicted of nothing except being unable to afford bail. Yep, it’s illegal to be poor in Sacramento.

    The impetus for this race to build a bigger cage is the “Mays decision” a court case the County lost because it mistreated prisoners in jail. The committee the Supervisors formed to address the basis for this decision has many recommendations for remedies, but none of those remedies included enlarging the County jail.

    1. Tom Stone

      Sonoma County is in the process of building a new jail designed to hold prisoners for a longer time, it doubles the jail’s capacity, plus.
      County jails used to hold prisoners awaiting trial and for up to a year post sentencing, now they keep prisoners for a decade or longer and a change in design to reflect that is the best that can be hoped for in a system that would have to improve immensely to qualify as fucked up.

    2. jrkrideau

      And Canadian crime is insignificantly different from U.S. crime.

      Are you sure of that? Back in the 1990’s when I was reading about this topic Canadian crime rates on a per capita rate tended to be much lower than US rates. In some cases, such as assault rates the apparent similarities were due to different definitions of what was counted an assault.

      It did take hours of peering at StatCan’s Juristat and whatever the FBI’s equivalent is called to see why figures matched or diverged.

      Juristat articles can be fascinating.

  25. lyman alpha blob

    RE: “Rich Men North of Richmond” Singer Says It’s Ironic His Song Was Played at GOP Debate”

    Also ironic is that TNR fails to realize the sing is also about them and the politicians they serve, as they try to cast doubt on the singer’s sincerity in the article.

    And this –

    “He also makes references to human trafficking and people taking advantage of children, a clear reference to the QAnon conspiracy theory that Democrats and Hollywood elites run a global sex trafficking ring.”

    – is just outright mendacity, The line they refer to is most definitely not a clear reference to the “QAnon conspiracy theory”. It is a 100% clear reference to one Jeffrey Epstein, an actual human being and convicted sex trafficker with close ties to Bill Clinton, among other well known luminaries.

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      Q Anon: the fever dream resulting from #McResistance media’s refusal to adequately investigate Epstein and his networks.

    2. digi_owl

      Nothing new, just look at how much the GOP love Springsteen’s Born In the U.S.A. simply for its chorus.

      These situations are why France came up with their right of the author, that gave authors lifetime control over their works. That later got merged with English copyright law to give us the whole life+X copyright duration.

      On a different note, i welcome the return of protest songs.

  26. Jason Boxman

    Bloomberg continues the lie in Lyme Disease Has Exploded, and a New Vaccine Is (Almost) Here:

    In the decades since Lymerix failed, Lyme has become the most common vector-borne (tick, mosquito, flea, etc., to human) illness in the US. The companies’ hunch is that its explosive growth will convince Americans that they need and want a Lyme shot. And for millions of people who’d like to avoid a potentially chronic illness, this will be welcome news. Still, there’s vaccine fatigue or antipathy to contend with. Enough people eschewed vaccines entirely to prolong the pandemic. There’s even been a recent resurgence of measles.

    (bold mine)

    Which endorses the always false contention that herd immunity was ever possible for a corona virus, not to mention that the Pandemic is over.

    At this point, this kind of lying is malicious.

    This being the Businessweek Cover Story.

    Moreover, given the limited data Pfizer made available, and the FDA’s role in concealing data, not to mention the ongoing use of the EUA version of the Pfizer shots, people have every reason in the world to be suspicious about this particular shot, one with demonstrable side-effects that have been minimized or hand waived away. (Trust women, except when it is inconvenient, ect.)

    1. Mikel

      The establishment is doing any favors for public health or their credibility with in sync MSM only raising alarms loudest during election years. Already jokes abound about the variants of most concern (or however they term it) happen during election year.
      “Election year variant”

      I’ve made my own jokes about some missing Covid because Covid brought interest rate cuts.

      But I have kept my mask, nasal sprays, and medicated gargles with me. It makes sense against a host of airborne viruses and all the side effects that can linger with any number of them.
      Also, whatever one thinks about all that goes on around Covid or what happened with it (even if it didn’t exist) there are people wedded to the idea of gain of function research.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Bizarrely, you’d think those who believe gain of function, how is this not a national security issue?

        Very odd.

  27. Tom Stone

    What a wonderful show!
    Trump facing 100 criminal charges and in full showman mode, Biden’s decades of brazen corruption being exposed, leading to a very good chance Ms Harris will be taking over the reins soon…
    Which would cause HRC’s head to explode.
    Newsome for the Dems seems likely and perhaps Jenna Bush for the Republicans.
    Newsome at least has some sense of Noblesse Oblige ( As a protege of the Guggenheims and Getty’s) and won’t have the peasants impaled en masse for mere amusement.
    Jenna? If it’s bad hair day all bets are off.

  28. jrkrideau

    Starmer has taken more freebies than all Labour leaders since 1997 combined

    Who does he think he is, a US Supreme Court Justice?

  29. Susan the other

    The Spiegel report on who blew up Nordstream gas pipes was long but very interesting. At the end they mentioned Sy Hersh who responded to their investigation, which came to the conclusion that Ukraine probably did it, with his usual, Well that’s just what my sources told me (that Biden confessed we did it). Of course. Ukraine was just the middleman. Biden is a bad combination of reckless and senile which is perfect for the job of President of the US. In a sense the US has no more sovereignty than Ukraine.

  30. Jason Boxman

    Another day, another shooting, this time at Dollar G: 3 Dead in Racially Motivated Shooting at Florida Store, Officials Say

    A white gunman wearing a tactical vest barged into a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday and fatally shot three Black people in an attack that the authorities said they were investigating as a hate crime.

    The gunman, who has not been publicly identified and was described as being in his early 20s, died after shooting himself, Sheriff T.K. Waters of Jacksonville said at a news conference on Saturday evening.

    The authorities said the gunman was armed with an AR-15-style rifle that bore swastika markings, as well as a handgun.

    Meanwhile, we support Nazis in the Ukraine, because Russia.

  31. The Rev Kev

    And in a clown world story-

    ‘Austrian economist Gunther Fehlinger has called for Brazil to be divided up into five different states over its partnership with Russia in the BRICS group, according to a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Friday.

    Fehlinger, whose profile describes him as “Chair of European Committee for NATO Enlargement for Kosovo, Ukraine, Bosnia, Austria, Moldova, Ireland, Georgia,” couched his demands in an appeal to “the people of Brazil,” insisting they could only be free by “dismantling the Socialist Genocidal BRICS Ally of Russia” – and that they had been misled by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

    Brazil should be broken up “into 5 new better free states who can join NATO, OECD, [and] Mercosur,” the economist declared, appending the hashtags “#ExBrazil” and “#FehlingerDoctrine.” ‘

    Sounds legit.

    1. Paradan

      That way they’ll get 4 seats at the UN, and when the US tells them how to vote it’ll be 4 times as effective.

    2. Daniil Adamov

      The man comes off like a parody account. He does have a Wikipedia page in three languages: Serbian, Macedonian and Albanian. Not German, though I’d think an Austrian economist would be likelier to have one in his native language? Still, if real, he wouldn’t be much stranger in his opinions and manner of expression than some of the people that I know exist. What I doubt in either case is his importance. The only mentions of this “European Committee for NATO Enlargement” that I could find are about Fehlinger and those recent comments of his.

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