Links 8/4/2023

Why you want bats in your yard — and how to attract them WaPo. For the same reason you want humming birds, beneficial insects, pollinator-attracting plants, etc. “The augmentation of the complexity and intensity of the field of intelligent life.” 

How unpredictable are economic conditions? The FRED Blog

Maersk forecasts long and deep contraction in global trade FT

Local Malls, Stuck in ‘Death Spiral,’ Plunge in Value WSJ


Banks could hold the key to an equitable climate transition World Economic Forum

Big waves becoming more common off California as Earth warms, new research finds Orlando Sentinel

PG&E Scraps Tree-Trimming Program Once Seen as Key to Fire Prevention WSJ


MSNBC medical contributor tells Americans to start wearing masks again after uptick in COVID hospitalizations FOX

Bivalent COVID booster protects against poor outcomes better than 1-strain 4th dose Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

* * *

The new Fauci: NIH names pro-masker, COVID alarmist UAB’s Marrazzo as National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director 1819 News. Good. (I found the most hysterical headline I could. Maybe Marrazzo can give Mandy a good talking to….)

CDC recommends RSV monoclonal antibody for infants, high-risk young children STAT. Filing this CDC story next to NIH.


Commentary: Smart-toilet market will be a measure of China’s economic resilience Channel News Asia

China eases entry visa and hukou rules in all-out push to save the economy South China Morning Post

‘The capital’s moat’: thousands forced from homes in China’s Hebei province to ease flooding in Beijing South China Morning Post


Myanmar poet turned rebel leader seeks new territory; worries about ‘ephemeral revolutionaries’ Channel News Asia

Righting wrongs in Myanmar requires justice – not retribution Frontier Myanmar


France condemns Niger for suspending media operations of France 24, RFI Anadolu Agency. No doubt!

Niger Is the Fourth Country in the Sahel to Experience an Anti-Western Coup Globetrotter


US ready to deploy military personnel to safeguard Hormuz transits Splash 247. I hope they have enough ammo!

European Disunion

The European ‘Greens’ parties are a disaster in domestic as well as foreign policy Gilbert Doctorow

Cypriot cats to get human Covid drugs after thousands die of feline variant Guardian. See NC here on the cats of Cyprus.

‘He drank all my whisky’: Romania wrestles with trespassing bears FT

New Not-So-Cold War

U.S. Troops Should be Sent to Ukraine, Third of Americans Say Newsweek. We’ll need some real — by which I mean “seeming extremely real” — atrocity to get the “Responsibility to Protect” juices going. But Biden doesn’t want to peak too early for 2024. Quite a dilemma!

Ukraine Has a Breakthrough Problem Foreign Policy

Ukrainian troops are abandoning US tactics in their counteroffensive because they haven’t worked Insider

Ukraine’s Attacks in Russia Aimed at Degrading Moscow’s Ability to Wage War NYT

Ukraine-Russia war – live: Black Sea ship taken out of action in drone attack on Russian base, Kyiv says Independent

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy decries ‘revolting’ practices at recruitment centres Reuturs. Scraping the bottom of the barrel is always an ugly matter.

* * *

Backdoor Negotiations Over Ukraine Would Be a Disaster Foreign Policy

In Saudi Arabia’s Ukraine Peace Talks, How to Measure Success? WSJ

* * *

Imperfect Unity New Left Review. On the Vilnius conference.

* * *

Vladimir Kornilov: How today’s Russia-Ukraine conflict has its roots in the policies of Lenin’s Bolsheviks 100 years ago RT


Trump pleads not guilty to federal charges that he tried to overturn the 2020 election AP

Judge warns Trump against bribing or influencing witnesses The Hill

Donald Trump Is Fuelling Another Civil War In America Madras Courier. Musical interlude (lyrics). X, as prescient in their way as Talking Heads. Worth a read.

Mattel’s Barbie Playbook Is What Legacy Brands Should Follow Morning Consult. Joe?

Democrats en Déshabillé

Dianne Feinstein, 90, cedes power of attorney to daughter — but still serves in Congress NY Post vs. For an Ailing Feinstein, a Fight Over the Family Fortune NYT vs. Feinstein says late husband’s trust not paying her medical bills, asks court for more control LA Times.

The Supremes

New Definition of ‘Fraud’ Wipes Out High-Profile Prosecutions WSJ. The deck: “Scandals in auditing, college admissions and a hedge fund are all hit by Supreme Court ruling.” So with these oxen ungored, maybe the PMC will back off on this “ethics” thing?

Justice Kagan supports ethics code but says Supreme Court divided on how to proceed NBC

A SCOTUS Roundup Focused on Textualism (with a Concluding Thought About Democracy) Dorf on Law

Spook Country

Truth Decay and National Security RAND. The Censorship Industrial Complex creates a self-licking ice cream cone.

How the Kids Online Safety Act puts us all at risk Platformer. It’s always about “the children.” Until it isn’t.

The Bezzle

Tech Entrepreneur Admits to Being Hacker in $4.5 Billion Bitcoin Heist WSJ

Digital Watch

X will never be the “”Everything App”” but Uber might The Reformed Broker

* * *

AI influencer attracts men despite not being real; expert shares red flags on celebrity dating apps FOX

Does an emotional connection to art really require a human artist? Emotion and intentionality responses to AI- versus human-created art and impact on aesthetic experience Computers in Human Behavior


New superconductor frenzy seems too super to be true FT. There is now a Wikipedia page tracking LK-99 replication efforts.

Sports Desk

Mercury’s Diana Taurasi first in WNBA to reach 10,000 points EPSN

Zeitgeist Watch

Taylor Swift gave six-figure bonuses to the Eras Tour workers in the US Quartz

Taylor Swift Fans Set Off 2.3 Magnitude ‘Swift Quake’ During Seattle Concert, Says Seismologist People

Imperial Collapse Watch

Americans’ confidence in the U.S. military lowest in 2 decades, poll finds Politico

The Eagle Has Landed: America Meets the Wehrmacht Big Serge Thought. World War II and Operation Torch.

Class Warfare

The World’s Largest Landowners Madison Trust

Can Psychopathic Tendencies Help You Achieve Success? Smithsonian. The deck: “New research is reframing this often sensationalized and maligned set of traits and finding some positive twists”. No doubt!

Selfish, Virus-Like DNA Can Carry Genes Between Species Quanta

Sinead O’ Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U – Isolated vocals (video) YouTube:

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Double bonus antidote from RM:

RM writes: “I got photo from friends down in Missouri. It’s my friend Gregg feeding Tilford the Turtle and it just makes me feel that I am missing the good things in life. I just got to pay more attention to the real life stories?” Il faut cultiver notre jardin….

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. ilsm

      To do it properly US would position about the same ‘theater’ force sent to the Persian Gulf in 1990-91.

      The Black Sea would be off limits, the sea lanes end at the Baltic, and Adriatic and down the Danube.

      A lot of the same F-16 F-18 and F-15, as well as Abrams and Bradley’s….

      Gen. Pagonis’ iron mountains was well.

      Several hundred billion dollar operation, at end of a long, ugly supply chain. Probably reach a few trillion if we get what we need.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Of course once they reach western Ukraine, they still have to stretch their forces out a thousand kilometers just to get to the front. And if the Russians dropped all the bridges, it would really funnel those US forces into a much smaller area I believe.

        1. ilsm

          a lot of KC-135’s, KC-46’s and Airbus (could have been over boeing KC 46 but congress ?) refuelers flying out of western Germany and Belgium…. refueling somewhere east of the dneiper to give range to attack/interceptor aircraft.

          getting mogas, diesel and jet fuel in quantity anywhere west of Germany may be a challenge barges down the Danube, getting to/from land networks.

          and other bulk such as food, medicals, ordnance and repair stores/facilities.

          it took about six months in first gulf war…..

          may not be sufficient, but air dominance may be the answer to ukraine dismay!

          1. hk

            But how would that “air dominance” be achieved? (and, indeed, how would all thoese refuelers operate?) At minimum, it’d need commitment of the entire NATO air forces en toto and, even if they are “successful,” 50-75% of the aircraft involved would be blown out of air (and much of the other military assets demolished, since Russians won’t be taking it lying down), assuming that the Northern Hemisphere remains livable by the time “air dominance” is achieved. The whole thing seems undoable–even worse than a F-16 Alley scheme, which would only fail miserably.

            1. ilsm

              given the difficulty usaf and usn have maintaining budgeted readiness with their fighter fleets!

              suggests the logistics tail would be too big for the balkans to handle,

              ordnance alone would be very challenging

              yes the attempt at air dominance would look like the air campaigns over vietnam..

              against more diverse defenses.

              attrition at 8th Air Force 1943 levels..

              1. hk

                Yes, and 8th Air Force was supported by a huge pilot training scheme and a massive aircraft production rate so that 4% loss rate per mission could be sustained for a long time, and, unlike the Luftwaffe, half the Russian Air Force (and air defense) is not fighting on another front.

    2. JP

      No one here questions the validity of polls. I refuse to participate in them any more. They ask constrained and leading questions that do not have a yes or no answer but will only take yes or no as an answer. They are bunk, which makes me think the people who participate are just simple minded.

      When citing a poll or discussing the results it is essential that we know the question and constraints of the answer. Maybe the Newsweek poll was fairly honest and discussion here is good but trusting poll results without the essential information is at least half blind. For example, I am sure I could concoct a poll that would produce the opposite result.

  1. The Rev Kev

    “France condemns Niger for suspending media operations of France 24, RFI”

    ‘France reaffirms its constant and determined commitment to press freedom, freedom of expression, and the protection of journalists,’ says Foreign Ministry’

    Yeah, I bet they do. Like when they froze all the bank accounts for RT France causing it to go into bankruptcy. And then the European Court of Justice said was that it was all totally legit. Must be more of those European values that I keep on hearing about.

  2. timbers

    Ukraine-Russia war – live: Black Sea ship taken out of action in drone attack on Russian base, Kyiv says Independent

    Dima/Military Summary says these drone and similar weapons are being launched in Romania from the Romanian side of the Danube. If true, IMO it would be a mistake to allow NATO nations to participate in a war against Russia without paying the price of a devastating military response from Russia. The alternative is for Russia to accept it’s miliary fleet in the Black Sea could face steady losses and further NATO escalation.

    History Legends latest episode on the war explains the Ukrainians have perfected a mix of drones and artillary that is very effective against Russian fighting, which is why the Ukrainian troops handed Russia’s arse to it in pushing Russia out of Klishiivka.

    Dima also brings up Ukraine’s new talking granades that he seems to think are much more useful in combat than Russia’s drones and will also make a difference.

    The danger of, slow, and fight with kid gloves and ruling out targeting important decision centers, is that it allows your opponent to adapt and NATO to escalate. I for one am not betting that “red line” of weapons Biden says can’t be given to Ukraine, will remain so.

    1. begob

      “Dima also -brings up Ukraine’s new talking granades that he seems to think are much more useful in combat than Russia’s drones and will also make a difference.”

      He did geek-out over the reported tactic – use of toy drones that repeat sounds in the environment – but only made suppositions about its effectiveness. He concluded the sides have taken different paths in drone-warfare, with the Russians capable of imitating this latest development without much trouble. May soon be moot, given the seeming blanket-suppression of Ukrainian drones around Rabatino in the south.

      Both he and HL do provide some counter-currents of Ukrainian effectiveness, which I can’t detect among the weightier commentators.

      1. hk

        One thing that I’ve found consistently remarkable about the Ukrainians has been that they have been very “Soviet” in certain aspects of their warfare: they are much better at force generation than I expected (they came up with manpower, after heavy losses and rapidly degenerating demographic situation) to man 2nd and 3rd armies and have been very clever and adaptable in developing tactics with limited resources and technology. Credit must be given to where they are due.

    2. Feral Finster

      “And, no, the Deep State is not a conspiracy theory: it’s shorthand, borrowed from Turkish politics, for the indisputable fact that permanent bureaucracies, esp. the intelligence services, act in their own guild interests, often against the interests of the elected government and populace they in theory serve.”

      So what does Russia propose to do about it?

      The West sees Russia’s failure to escalate as pathetic weakness.

  3. lyman alpha blob

    RE: the latest Trump indictment

    Given that the election results have been known for two months by the entire populace and electors casting their votes is a largely performative function at this point in history, can anybody explain the mechanism by which this fake elector scheme is supposed to get somebody installed as president?

    You put on a disguise moustache, perhaps Snidely Whiplash-stye, hogtie the real elector to the railroad tracks, waltz in to the elector voting room, sign a fake name, and suddenly Trump becomes president? Wouldn’t someone notice the hogtied elector out on the tracks?!?!? This didn’t make any sense when Clinton ran it up the flagpole in 2016 and it makes even less sense now and I don’t know how you prosecute somebody for just saying stupid crap.

    1. marym

      Republicans in some states did have fake electors go into a room and sign fake ballots which were submitted to Congress. I don’t think the alleged plan expected that no one would notice. In addition to the detailed plan for delaying the count and turning the matter back to state legislators to reconsider, the elements of the alleged conspiracy included proposals involving the DOJ and the military. See ~pp. 28-30 of the indictment.

      I’m not qualified to offer an opinion as to the question of when talking about doing something illegal becomes an illegal conspiracy.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Those looking to prosecute Trump better be careful what they wish for, because if bulls**tting becomes a crime there’s going to be some heavy backlash in DC.

        Listening to Greenwald on the indictment right now to determine if there’s anything serious in it, but after hearing Russiagate nonsense for the getter part of a decade now, I do find it difficult to take anything coming from the anti-Trump crowd at face value. After the DoJ particpated in the witch hunt against him while he was president and the military defied his orders re: Syria, I find it extremely hard to believe that either of those institutions would have helped Trump retain office, and Trump surely knew that. I suspect these alleged proposals involving the DoJ and military are some shallow attempt to lend some faux gravitas to yet another weak tea accusation.

        1. marym

          I’m very negative on the full range of attempts to have Trump continue to be president even though he lost the election – the lawsuits, harassing election workers, pressuring state officials, various elite proposals and actions as charged in the indictment, the riot, etc. I think it was in many ways as despicable as “faithless electors,” Russiagate, etc. Even so, as far as what was actually illegal in the Trumpist 2020 efforts, the whole picture does raise issues as to the line between talking and conspiring, and between protest and obstruction.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            The thing that gets me the most about all of this is we already have a blueprint of how to become president after losing an election. George W Bush, unlike Trump, came from a clan with actual political power and the result was Bush v Gore, a decision that was not meant to establish precedent but just seat this one man as president who lost the popular vote and likely the electoral vote as well.

            And yet as a nation, we forget that ever happened, even as the results of that Bush presidency have turned the US into a country I barely recognize anymore twenty years later. But somehow it’s Trump who’s the grave threat to “our Democracy”, as the democrat party cozies up to the Bushes and Cheneys.

          2. Carolinian

            I think it was in many ways as despicable as “faithless electors,” Russiagate, etc.

            Some of us would suggest that Trump’s actions were more intended as a kind of payback for the Russiagate conspiracy–and it was a conspiracy–that tried to cripple his presidency and in many ways succeeded. January 6 was preceded by four years of Democrats refusing to accept the legitimacy of Trump’s election. Unfortunately far from respect for law the PMC Dems favor the Leona Helmsley version–it’s ok when we do it.

            And to be sure they are following the scorched earth Reagan/Gingrich Republicans in all this. The Repubs never accepted the legitimacy of Bill Clinton’s first election and settled the score by stealing 2000. Both parties have lost all respect for the “consent of the governed” but I’d say the Dems are worse because they pretend to be the defenders of democracy and never stop talking about it even as they use silly legal tactics to torpedo the opposition.

            One could say it’s not Dems but Biden who have become so blatant but they are defending him and supporting his reelection which is a vast mistake as pointed out yesterday by Patrick Lawrence.

            1. Marym

              I agree the investigating and attempts to undermine are “both sides.” It’s beyond merely backlash or payback. Trump as private citizen claimed to have sent his minions to Hawaii to investigate Obama’s birth certificate.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        Reading the indictment you posted, I find the 2nd bullet point of the introduction to be more than a little questionable. I’m not a lawyer and I suppose a prosecutor needs to lay out the case they’re trying to prove and to show intent, but I’m very skeptical of the claim “Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to remain in power.” Was Trump trying to remain in power, or was he still playing ‘reality show’ and determined to remain in the spotlight? My guess would be the latter, and it has been an astounding success judging by all the attention he continues to get and all the fundraising he’s done off the lawfare campaign against him. “Whatever you do Democrats, please don’t throw me into that briar patch!” says the Donald.

        1. marym

          For Trump maybe a combination of both, but I’d say actions initiated, supported, encouraged, proposed, or funded by a range of elites and non-elites was about power.

          1. britzklieg

            ” actions initiated, supported, encouraged, proposed, or funded by a range of elites and non-elites was about power.”

            Well said, so maybe after pointing all of that out about the DNC and the sleazeball who is actually in the WH, we might then turn our attention to the sleazeball who isn’t.

          2. pjay

            ‘…actions initiated, supported, encouraged, proposed, or funded by a range of elites…”

            For me, this phrase “range of elites” is a key point in this whole sorry saga. As even this indictment makes clear, Trump had NO support among ANY real “elites” with any real power. Even Trump’s own appointees in the DOJ were not going along with the various proposals by this gaggle of sad Trumpian enablers. As others have noted, the *entire* Establishment – the *real* elites – had been arrayed against Trump for four years, sabotaging his policies from inside and out and attempting to remove him from office.

            I’m not sure what the legal consequences of these actions by Trump will be. But I find it quite easy to see how he might believe he was robbed, given his experience over the course of his administration, especially if he had a group of “advisors” telling him what he wanted to hear. But none of these people, including Trump, had any real power, and there was never any danger of a “coup” – just reading the indictment’s description of this Keystone Kops “conspiracy” illustrates this well. In the National Security sea, Trump is a minnow among the sharks. But he doesn’t know it so he keeps fighting, which makes the sharks ever more furious – which in turn leads more people to root for the “little guy.” It is entertaining, and I do enjoy seeing Establishment heads explode. After watching yesterday’s collective liberal orgasm in the media after Trump’s latest indictment, I have to say I hope to see more explosions soon,

            1. Marym

              The elites who supported Trump’s attempt to contest the election results included US senators and reps, state legeslaors, state AG’s, prominent media figures, advocacy groups and their funders, the RNC.

              1. flora

                Contesting US elections is an old and, until now, accepted part of campaigning. From David Victor Hanson:

                “Trump was indicted by Special Counsel Jack Smith, in part for supposedly conspiratorially “unlawfully discounting legitimate votes.”

                Will Smith then also indict Stacey Abrams? For years Abrams falsely claimed that she was the real governor of Georgia. She toured the country in hopes of “discounting” the state vote count.

                Or maybe Smith was referring to the conspiracist and former president Jimmy Carter.

                He alleged that Trump in 2016 “lost the election, and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf.”

                Will Smith charge Hillary Clinton?

                She serially libeled Trump as an “illegitimate” president.

                Clinton hatched the Russian collusion hoax, and bragged she joined the “Resistance” to continue her attacks on an elected president.

                Or was Smith thinking of January 2005?

                Then 32 Democratic House members and Sen. Barbara Boxer tried to nullify the legally certified vote in Ohio—to thereby elect the loser John Kerry.


                The Dems have their own elites. It’s OK if you’re a Dem? (I thought that was the GOP play.) / ;)

                I mean, it’s good that Pelosi’s daughter was there that day with her film crew so we can see what happened.

                1. neutrino23

                  It’s OK if Trump made false claims he won the election. It is OK to contest the election in the courts and in the press. He is not being indicted for speech. He is being indicted for conduct. Sending a mob to kill Pence and Pelosi is not free speech. Pressuring Pence to illegally delay the certification is not free speech.

                  1. flora

                    The only people with guns were the police. The only person shot and killed was a demonstrator (or rioter if you prefer). Some “mob”….

                    T’s exhortation to the crowd was to walk to the Capitol building peacefully. To make a roar outside so people inside the building would hear them, and do it peacefully. There is video and audio records of his speech. The MSM ignores anything outside their chosen narrative.

                    And again, the Dems want it both ways. I didn’t object to the Dems objecting in 2017 at certification time. That’s part of the game. I didn’t object to the GOP objecting in 2021 at certification time. That’s part of the game.


                    Gore Vidal once called the US the United States of Amnesia. It’s a funny quip.

                    1. flora


                      “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”
                      -Milan Kundera

                      The MSM sure wants us to not remember the past, which could provide context for our assessment of current events.
                      Nope. Don’t remember, believe the MSM’s interpretation and spin. / ;)

                      (I read NC for a reason.)

                  2. pasha

                    Amen! This is not a free speech issue. Fraud and incitement to violence are not protected speech

                2. Mary

                  I was replying to a comment about whether Ttump’s motive was power or attention. I then commented on the possible motive of his supporters, not whether any part of that was legal or illegal, or comparable or not to other motives contesting other contests

            2. JP

              By real elites do you mean persons in high government that have one foot in the rule of law. They may have the other foot in partisan and personal power grabs but have the experience to know the difference between free speech and outright criminality. The case against him and the proof the prosecutor must provide is that he knew he lost.

              If you want to look at an administration of keystone cops take a gander at the Bush junior crew. If not Texas cuckoos crazy fresh water idealogues. I used to think that higher office was occupied by the smarter people in the room but now I realize it is just how convincing the bull sh*t is for the average voter.

            3. Marym

              Sorry – lost a longer reply to the ether. Plenty of Congresspersons, media, state officials, the RNC, advocacy groups supported Trump’s post-election efforts. That’s the elite I meant.

          3. hk

            “actions initiated, supported, encouraged, proposed, or funded by a range of elites and non-elites was about power”

            That’s literally the definition of politics, regardless of who does it or where. If that’s something to take issue with, we shouldn’t have politics at all (and all social animals, not just humans, ought to be banished from Earth.)

      3. ilsm

        The response to questions about election tampering and fraud in count were intense and broad gaslighting in Jan 2021 and now we see weaponized judiciary making arguing with gaslighters a crime,

        So much for the Bill of Rights

    2. scott s.

      I assume that they were using the 1876 election as a model, where for example, So Carolina submitted a “sealed” (as required by Art II) ballot of seven electors for Hayes, while the Dems submitted an unsealed alternative ballot for Tildon (what today is being referred to as “fake electors”). It was left for Congress to sort it out, and after working out a make-shift did so (of course at that time the inauguration wasn’t until March so there was time to figure things out.) Congress tried to then “regularize” the process with the “Electoral Vote Act”.

      At the time when Congress met in regular session that December (following the Constitutional calendar then) the houses appointed committees to investigate the vote in the three contested states. Meanwhile VP Wilson had died in office, so there wasn’t an opportunity to test Eastman’s theory of VP power (which, I guess we are now being informed is a criminal theory).

  4. mrsyk

    To be filed under climate apocalypse, “Chinese scientists calculate 1 billion-tonne carbon dioxide emissions cost of Canadian wildfires”, SCMP. That’s about equal to Japan’s annual carbon footprint. Additionally, “The scientists also estimated that the greenhouse effect of nitrous oxide and methane emitted from the fires is equivalent to 110 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. With the burning of permafrost, further stored methane could be released.” link

      1. mrsyk

        I believe the gazillion tons of instant water vapor from the Tonga volcano is already baked in, so I don’t think there will be any additional contribution towards increasing global temps. IIRC the contribution estimates were around 0.25 degrees C. The 0.025 degrees C in the article is by far the lowest estimate I’ve seen. It would be remiss to not mention that Mother Nature has outperformed to the bad these kind of estimates virtually every single time. Potential drivers of very near term temp increases are a still emerging el Nino and our overly active sun.

  5. The Rev Kev

    ‘Tansu YEĞEN
    Nature’s greatest artist’

    What that Japanese Puffer fish did was incredible and I guess he had a mental picture to guide him. But it just goes to show you. Even in the fish world, it’s not easy being a dude. :)

        1. Judith

          I assume the female pufferfish has certain criteria she uses to choose the best design and thus the best paternal genes.

  6. cnchal

    > Donald Trump Is Fuelling Another Civil War In America

    Donald Trump is “an extraordinarily selfish liar or profoundly deluded”.

    That is what narcissist personality disorder resolves to. Trump is the extreme example and the word “or” should be replaced with “and”.

    What is it about NPD that is so hard to understand by supposedly “smart” people? It’s in everyone’s face ffs, yet none call it for what it is. The gloating assholes on Sunday morning political talk shows when yakking about Trump describe his narcissist traits over and over, yet deliberatley never use the word.

    > Can Psychopathic Tendencies Help You Achieve Success?

    This ties in with the above. In large organisations, whether government or business, to reach the top one has to kiss the right ass and stab the right back in the correct order to scramble up the greasy pol;e of “success”. Psychos exell at that. Example one. Who heads the CIA? Bloody Gina, a torturer.

    Politics attract narcissists like flies on excrement, and once elected face off with the psychos that are there after the successful scramble up the pole. The narcissists don’t stand a chance with the psychos arrayed against them.

    1. Lexx

      One doesn’t exclude the other. A politician can be a ‘psycho’ with narcissistic tendencies. They’re not separate camps… like democrats and republicans.

      Generally, power over others and high risk attracts narcissists/psychopaths. Most anyone in that position gets a lot of free attention from the media… win/win.

      1. LawnDart

        Re; Can Psychopathic Tendencies Help You Achieve Success?

        I agree there may be overlap between psychopaths and narcissists, specifically the charicteristics that include acquisitivness, dishonesty, lack of compassion, social hypervigilance and a possession of few qualms about the manipulation or use of others in order to achieve their ends.

        Put me firmly in the camp that believes that the harm inflicted by psychopathy strongly outweighs any of the potential good aspects of this disorder.

        But there definately are distinctions between psychopathy and NPD.

        1. Lexx

          You and me both, Dart… but what to do with ’em? The answers that come readily to mind thus far have slippery slopes.

          1. LawnDart

            Tell me about it…

            I’ve been doing battle with two of them since 2020– one a narcissist (an ex) and the other a psychopath (my step-sister, who (incidently) has made a successful living out of selling Medicare Advantage plans to the gullible). And, no, I am not using the terms “narcissist” and “psychopath” in a disparaging way, but as an honest depiction based upon experience and observation.

            I’ve worked professionally in mental health and in law enforcement so I do have some knowledge here, but I would by no means consider myself to be an expert in these matters.

            The harms that the psychopaths and narcissists are causing both on personal levels and at the societal-levels are very real and ongoing– something must be done: we urgently need to somehow correct our state-of-affairs because our country is heading towards disaster and threatening to take the world as we know it with it.

            1. Amfortas the Hippie

              and covert narcissists are even worse. i’ll allege.
              my mom is one…
              i finally and accidentally arrived at that diagnosis 2 years ago, after stepdad died.
              after studying psychology for most of my life, i realised i had never actually looked into the actual definition of “narcissist”.
              i mean, Trump, right?lol
              regular NPD is easy…trump is a fine representative specimen.
              but there was an EG,lol….the covert kind.
              so, intrigued, i looked…and there was my mother, described to a T.
              i wouldn’t wish such a relationship on anyone.
              and my arriving at this diagnosis just adds to the utility of using her as a sort of stand in for the pmc in general.
              the traits and habits and tactics are the same.
              as well as the impossibility of reform…since she/they have never, ever been wrong about anything.
              in fact, reading Aurelian’s latest…about the psychopathology of the pmc…i kept seeing mom.
              what this means is that we’re pretty much frelled.
              because they cannot be argued with.

              1. Lexx

                The same here… I saw my mother clearly only after my father died and she had no one to hide behind, no one to do her dirty work for her. I almost felt sorry for him in retrospect. Death was his only possibility of escape; I moved away and never returned. My revenge was to leave them to each other’s tender mercies.. lol… that’s just never going to get old.

      2. cnchal

        > One doesn’t exclude the other . . .

        I disagree. They are seperate disorders. Psychos are not publicity hounds the same way narcissists are. They complement each other.

        1. LawnDart

          Definately– the psychopaths are secretive and will go to great lengths to avoid “being found out.” The narcissists thrive on drama and attention.

        2. Lexx

          They are spoken of as separate disorders; they can co-exist in one person. As you’ve written… ‘they compliment each other’, but as with multiple personalities, some aspects (tendencies) are more dominant than others.

          ‘People have unique personalities made up of a complex combination of different traits. Personality traits affect how people understand and relate to the world around them, as well as how they see themselves.

          Ideally, people’s personality traits allow them to flexibly* adapt to their changing environment in ways that lead to more healthy relationships with others and better coping strategies. When people have personality traits that are less adaptive, this leads to inflexibility and unhealthy coping. For example, they may manage stress by drinking or misusing drugs, have a hard time managing their anger, and find it hard to trust and connect with others.’

          *emphasis mine

          1. LawnDart

            I know of one psychopath who had a leadership role within a major state-level law enforcement organization: his public face was much different than the one that he usually kept hidden. He enjoyed the limelight, being on stage and the center of attention as much as he did hurting people, such as the time he demonstrated “compliance-techniques” on an unsuspecting person who was in our custody.

            I think that he could be one example of where psychopathic and narcissistic traits can coexist.

      3. wol

        The Tao:

        24 – PROPORTION

        You can’t keep standing on tiptoe
        or walk in leaps and bounds.
        You can’t shine by showing off
        or get ahead by pushing.
        Self-satisfied people do no good,
        self-promoters never grow up.

        Such stuff is to the Tao
        as garbage is to food
        or a tumor to the body,
        The follower of the Way
        avoids it.

        h/t Henry Moon Pie

    2. hunkerdown

      Narcissism isn’t a “disorder” among heroic societies or their ruling classes. It’s kind of the point. If you don’t want this kind of behavior, don’t value competition.

      1. LawnDart

        I’d disagree: a person who is elevated to heroic status is not the same as a self-promoter, of which we see plenty of within our ruling class and the PMC.

        Competition can be used as a tool for self-improvement, especially in that it can help identify one’s weaknesses. So we do need to distinguish between healthy/unhealthy types of competitions or competitive practices.

        1. hunkerdown

          What is the difference between the two, other than our materially unsupported attributions of intent and value?

          What it can be used for is irrelevant to the waste it produces by its mere operation. I’m already well on record as rejecting the ideology of perfectionism as a debilitating cognitive disorder that should be vigorously rejected everywhere it is seen. And that competition “can be used” to create class systems is sufficient reason to abolish such perverse religious rituals entirely and without reservation.

          1. LawnDart

            To be clear, you’re stating the intent is to sustainably supplant the hybrid status quo and proactively mediate multivalent learning outcomes, thus proactively prevaricate multi-modal inclusiveness?

        2. Cat Burglar

          Competition is just fine with me, as long as it is voluntary.

          Cross-county ski racing has been a great experience — the race creates social drama, brings together interesting people, everyone supports and encourages each other, we all have a big party together at the end of a race, and all end up fitter and stronger. So there is an example of a positive competition result.

          Involuntary competition is where to draw the line — I am not doing it, and only if forced. School was a great education in being forced into competitions. You realize that life is fundamentally unfenced and free, and that games imposed upon you are rules to fence you in. You just develop humane ways to break the game and make it senseless, and head for the open road.

          The move where they try to extend competition as a model for every type of social action is a really evil way of conscripting everything under the idea.

          I suggest Alfie Kohn’s No Contest: The Case Against Competition as a good starter text for thinking about competition.

    1. begob

      When it came out I took it as a romantic song, but O’Connor said she was thinking of her mother, who passed years before. The isolated track is eerie: what should be there is missing. Death is a loss of love, loss of love a death.

    2. chuck roast

      Here is a great pic of Sinead making her first communion. Fabulous cover album with Sly and Robbie driving every cut.

      Clearly she sleeps with the saints.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine Negotiations Led by China or Saudi Arabia Would Be a Disaster”

    Well of course this is the sort of thing that two policy wonks from the American Enterprise Institute would be saying. But how can they say that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has welcomed these initiatives when the Team Biden has shut down any thought of negotiations to end this war but intends to keep it going as long as it can? And when you read these guys complaining that the US got a bad deal out of the withdrawal from Afghanistan and it was all Trump’s fault and not Bidens, you can see that they go for Team Biden. The truth was that the US had to get out of Afghanistan so that they could clear the way for Project Ukraine. And when you get down to it, the only reliable partner in a peace effort is not really China or Saudi Arabia or the EU but Russia. Without Russia as a partner in a peace deal, you got nothing. But them saying ‘Russia seems to consider itself a great power’ sounds just churlish and maybe more like sour grapes. When the war finally ends, I expect it to get all gloomy and glum at the American Enterprise Institute.

  8. Robert Hahl

    Re: Taylor Swift giving her crew six figure bonuses

    Recently, I told someone about being surprised that tickets for Dave Chappelle were asking $400 (pre-Covid), and got back the story that he had actually paid $5,000 each for for Bruce Springsteen tickets. Just yesterday I mentioned this $5,000 figure to my financial advisor, and he said that his children had asked for $10.000 each to see Taylor Swift, which request was.denied. Good thing, or i would have needed a new financial advisor.

    1. Benny Profane

      I ski a lot. I was very discouraged after listening to a podcast interview with the new CEO of Alterra (the Ikon pass people), Jared Smith. He was previously the global chairman of Ticketmaster, and damn proud of what he and his “team” have done to the live music industry, and now wants to apply all of that experience to his new job. I shudder at the thought. This is a man who uses the word experiential a lot, and said that his “team” had an “acquisition thesis”, among many other tidbits in his word salad. He is the epitome of the successful high mid range PMC class, a scourge upon the rest of us trying to have some affordable fun in this short life. Never worked a hard job, doesnt even ski very much. I can only hope he falls victim to the eventual downfall of his ilk that Aurelien seems to be predicting, but, I don’t think I have enough time left to witness that.

      1. bwilli123

        How Corporate Consolidation is Killing Ski Towns
        From the comments

        I grew up in Frisco, Colorado, it’s one of the hub towns for these resorts. I saw all of this happen, everyone thinking the epic pass would bring so much more to our small town’s economy. Then vail pressured local governments to eminent domain acres of land and set living density maximums that only applied to everyone else, making it so building anywhere near the ski resorts as a private citizen was illegal unless you were vail. Nothing takes “free” out of “free market” like monopolies i guess.

        1. Benny Profane

          Thank you for posting that YouTube. It is an excellent history and analysis of the ski town phenomenon, and I say that as someone who spent three different winters in Frisco, Co since ’03. (sabbatical and retirement) I will save and spread that to the internet. It is the most feudal of sub societies out there right now. Many a time I think I was lucky and smart that I never moved to a western town when I was young, because 55 with a bad knee or two and dirt poor, essentially, is no way to be, especially with the rents anywhere near those towns. There are hundreds of homes in the million plus range that are used two to three weeks a year. It’s ridiculous. I just read that town subsidized deed restricted housing in Jackson, Wyoming just went on the market for nearly a million a piece. You know, that cheap to produce boxy condo architecture that is sprouting like weeds out west. In the back part of town.
          They’ve reached the labor Minsky moment some time ago, if you excuse the term. And then Obama and Trump closed the borders, taking away the cheap labor, although it’s all cheap. Covid escapees and WFHomers were fuel on the fire.
          Glad I didn’t fall for it all. But, no trust fund. Love skiing.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            30+ years ago I ski bummed in Vail for a season. Drove into town in mid-September not knowing anyone, found another ski bum to crash with the first night, and within a week I’d found a job or two and we and two others were renting a place for the season for $1600-1800/mo total, don’t remember exactly, but regardless still very easy to make rent. And it was a four-bedroom condo on an 18 hole golf course in Beaver Creek. I doubt that’s even remotely possible now. Video linked above makes a crack about friends not letting friends ski Vail, and even back then it had that same reputation. A lot of the friends I ran with that year were the scions of TX oilmen and they were not renting apts. but staying in their parents’ getaway condos. You could kind of see the really big money and subsequent ruination coming even back then. We used to joke that skiing ability was inversely proportional the cost of one’s ski outfit, and there were a lot of expensively clad crappy skiers at Vail.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if they depended a lot on imported labor to staff the mountain now. I was a little shocked when I was back in VT earlier this year in February and was told that I couldn’t ski the next day if I wanted to even with all the recent snow, because the little hill near where I grew up was sending all the Peruvian labor home due to their contracts being up. I hadn’t realized until then how widespread this phenomenon had become. When I was younger, it was longtime locals who worked at the ski area – I worked at it for years myself. More resorts get built and enlarged (Vail now owns a few in VT), more money comes in, property values skyrocket, and then locals get pushed out when they can longer afford to live in the area when wages fail to increase with the cost of living. This is why I don’t believe the complaints of labor shortages at all – it’s a business surplus combined with economic conditions that making working certain jobs unfeasible.

            1. Benny Profane

              Vermont is a whole other ball of wax. I live in Ct.(Fairfield county, a more sensible market, but where a lot of the “investors” in Vermont leisure condos come from, along with metro NY and Jersey. Throw Boston in, and the weekend market is huge.), so I’m up there a lot. Much poorer state, much more seasonal market with barely the summer traffic the Rockies get. Big drug problem. Hard life for a local, always has been. But not much else for work than the weekend warrior market from other places, not a business friendly state. Read Russell Banks for a good reference.
              Covid escapees and WFHomers really jacked the market a few years ago, because it’s a reasonable drive. But, in the end, they’d rather be in the Rockies or Europe, the latter actually a good value these days. And the food is way way better. Cheap airfare killed the Catskills, and keeps Vermont from being Vail.

      1. Mikel

        I wonder if she has political ambitions? But I’m not mad at the truckers and the rest getting a bit extra.

        1. hk

          (Half kidding, but half serious too)

          Swift has really good political instincts, I’ll say that. (Much has been said about her financial instincts, too–about how she didn’t get taken in by certain schemes enlisting celebrities–I want to say it was SBF operation, but I could be in error. She is a really smart girl!) One thing that has been commented a lot is that, unlike many other celebs who love to grandstand on controversial causes in narcissistic fits, Swift hardly ever endorses any political view, enough that most people have no idea what her politics are (and, since she has largely stayed out of openly being associated loudly with one side or another, most people don’t care a great deal). On the other hand, it is pretty obvious that she is very interested in broad political, social, and economic issues and she has publicly made a few statements here and there that indicated as much (although for the life of me, I can’t remember what they were exactly–I think they had something to do with Trumpers acting uncouthly, but even then, I am 100% sure that they were not really over the top.) If she ever does decide to do something politically, she’ll be really good.

      2. britzklieg

        Thanks for this link. Perhaps it might lead some to acknowledge that there are and have been so many better singers/performers than T.S. but I won’t hold my breath for that to happen. Then again, chacun a son goût. Pop culture is pop culture and I have my favorites too. I just try to avoid the marketing behind them and most are unknown to today’s audience. The ghost of Laura Nyro hovers unseen over the entire industry… she wrote all her songs, most of which, if they are known, are covers by others with better marketing. Her masterwork, Christmas and the Beads of Sweat, stands alone imo and, ironically includes one of her only covers (Carole King’s Up on the Roof) which was also her only recorded performance which garnered widespread popular attention and airplay.

        …and Nick Drake

        Both departed too soon from the mortal coil.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          I remember seeing Laura Nyro sing “Seventeen” on Bernstein’s “Young People’s Concerts” series.

          I listen to some Nick Drake now, though I didn’t at the time. “Could Have Been One of These Things” is a sing along for me.

  9. Benny Profane

    So Heather from RAND is so concerned about “Truth Decay” that she even thinks we should be subjected to Media literacy workshops and classes. You know, re education camps. Because, “It is particularly important to promote the credibility of the United States’ national security and intelligence systems.” She actually wrote that. This is getting scary.

    1. Mikel

      There was an article not to long ago about ad agencies being approached to do a marketing campaign for capitalism or some such.
      Which is what they technically already do, but I guess this would be more overt.

  10. t

    “positive” for who? Is it a mystery that being complety devoted to your own goals, while the most of us waste time being human, is how a lot of “winners” win?

  11. antidlc

    RE: MSNBC medical contributor tells Americans to start wearing masks again after uptick in COVID hospitalizations

    And we have Leana Wen admitting the pandemic isn’t over:

    CNN: Why might there be an uptick in coronavirus infections at this time?

    Dr. Leana Wen: We are now in the fourth summer of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Makes you wonder how bad it’s going to get.

      1. notabanker

        Thanks for that, another social engineering ‘expert’. I am all for them starting new colonies on Mars. Come on Elon, step it up!

  12. Steve H.

    > At Last, an Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pill

    The most important technological development of humans was fire. On a basic thermodynamic level, it enabled the unlocking of stored energy which allowed the Rise of der Feueraffen.

    I’ll suggest the next most important was the development of birth control which women can use with personal privacy. There’s a bit of forbidden knowledge in the Pandit article on Class Formation. It’s that the primatology equations are rooted in the distribution of ‘limiting resources (food and shelter in the case of females, access to females in the case of males).’

    This technology turns half the population from resources to persons. imo, that half the states have dialed back reproductive emancipation is the greatest regress of human rights in history. Extraordinary that it’s such a non-issue politically.

    1. hunkerdown

      The term proletariat derives from the idea that the class has only its numbers to give to society. This is an anti-proletariat and anti-cult pill, in the best sense.

      And dang, that Brad Hicks essay is a bracing way to start a Friday. Cheers!

    2. Stephanie Highley

      This technology turns half the population from resources to persons. imo, that half the states have dialed back reproductive emancipation is the greatest regress of human rights in history. Extraordinary that it’s such a non-issue politically.

      Two thoughts on the bolded:
      1) Team Dem seems to have very little interest in winning state elections; since that is where current battles over abortion are being fought, there’s therefore little interest in marshalling any resources to fight them. I am guessing that will see it being trotted out more once the general Presidential election is underway.

      2) None of the middle-class liberal women I know of any age, outside of two old-school, hard-core radfems, are prepared to think of themselves as ‘resources’. None. Lack of reproductive choice outside of our very blue town in our fairly blue state might anger them enough to donate to a highly publicized Dem campaign elsewhere, but none of them have given any thought as to why reproductive choice might be in jeopardy other than ‘religious white people suck’ and ‘Trump is evil’. And none of them have heard of Sarah Hrdy.

  13. johnherbiehancock

    Does anyone have the cite to the Supreme Court case redefining fraud? I don’t have a WSJ script, and every link I see to the story links to the article.

  14. RookieEMT

    Does anyone find the Newsweek terrifying and a little demoralizing?

    The young are gunning for WWIII. They are itching to march into Ukraine?

    Either the poll is fake or or my cohort is naïve beyond redemption.

    They can march to their doom, I’m building a fallout shelter if it comes to it.

    1. Benny Profane

      Let’s just change the question a bit, and ask them, would you volunteer, or accept a draft to go and fight in Ukraine? Then let’s talk about it.
      Chances are high that most kids questioned have zero relation, either family, or social, with a military member or vet.

      1. juno mas

        Yes, the Draft ended in 1972 after the Vietnam War and ~50,000 US soldiers (2 million Vietnamese) died over time. Ukraine has seen over 50,000 KIA in the first year alone.

        Wanting to join the war is not the same as being prepared for war. Big Serge’s article is incredibly illuminating.

    2. flora

      I’m thinking the 30 percent must be nobody I know. Not that the MSM would ever embellish the numbers to support a narrative. “If you build it they will come” is now “If you say it that makes it so.” / ;)

    3. Michaelmas

      RookieEMT: Either the poll is fake or or my cohort is naïve beyond redemption.

      Those things aren’t exclusive. Both can be true.

      For that matter, one person’s “naive” is another person’s stupid. I once talked to an older Chinese VC about his and his compatriots’ impressions from their first encounters with American business people in the 1980s and 90s.

      He said, “We had never met people so greedy and so naive.” He was being polite.

    4. Henry Moon Pie

      A CNN poll has a different take:

      When asked specifically about types of assistance the US could provide to Ukraine, there is broader support for help with intelligence gathering (63%) and military training (53%) than for providing weapons (43%), alongside very slim backing for US military forces to participate in combat operations (17%).

      It’s hard to imagine one-third of draft age young people want to be Zelensky’s cannon fodder, but the wonders of propaganda, surely operating primarily through the phone with this age group, is impressive.

      But answering a poll is not heading to the recruiting station. And may we never reinstate the draft so that some lunatic or fool could start a nice, big war.

  15. Durans

    The Barbie movie marketing was certainly a thing. How it actually plays out long term still remains to be seen. The branding of various items as an attempt to turn Barbie into a “lifestyle brand” might actually be a smart move if it works. I’ve heard for awhile about kids buying/playing with toys far less and spending far more time with video games and tablets. With this considered, trying to move somewhat out of the toys sector isn’t a bad idea.

    But for more on Mattel’s marketing, people need to see this video

    How Mattel rewrote toy history to put Barbie on top.

    It goes over Mattel’s lies about toy history used to make Barbie seem more innovative and unique than she actually was. The first part shows of many of the dolls that existed before Barbie. The last part goes over the true story of the Bild Lilli doll that Mattel pretty much copied for the original Barbie.

    The same YouTube channel also has a review of the movie. I found it interesting mostly because it comes from someone who you would have thought was the target audience for the movie.

    1. Carolinian

      That Morning Consult “marketing” analysis doesn’t seem all that persuasive and one certainly hopes the advice for more product tie-in movies is not followed. After all Disney has been marketing their legacy brand until the public has it coming out their ears.

      For all the marketing the movie’s success likely has more to do with an expected fresh take on Barbie not to mention the very idea of a movie about a toy (Toy Story was also a big hit). Wiki has some interesting info on the film’s origin and says Mattel has had a Barbie movie in the works for years. It didn’t happen until Mattel picked Robbie as their ideal Barbie and Robbie as producer in turn picked Gerwig to write yet another script following other failed attempts.

      All of which is to say it takes more than marketing.

  16. Lexx

    ‘Why you want bats in your yard — and how to attract them’

    We have a bat box and have tried mounting it a couple of times but there were no takers. If anyone thinks they have some insight into attracting bats, I’d be interested in hearing your suggestions. Over time I’ve noticed that though we have plenty of street lights, the residents have chosen to keep their outdoor lights off at night, so I don’t think that’s the problem. It’s also a rather heavily armed neighborhood, which engenders a certain amount of confidence about ‘going dark’.

    What we have this season that’s new is frogs in the grass. I was out deep watering the mature trees and tiny frogs were jumping away toward the landscaped beds. They seem to have been attracted to what likes to live in a watered lawn but not the water itself. They’re about an inch to an inch and a half long, dull gray green, and it was normal for us to see maybe one or two of them during a summer. This summer when husband goes out to mow, the grass is jumpin’ with little frogs making a getaway.

    We’ve also been hearing crickets all summer. In summers past we didn’t hear them until August, but this has been going on since June. So as I’ve tried to identify the frog, I’m wondering if I was actually hearing the frogs instead. There is a frog here in Colorado called ‘a cricket frog’ and we have actual crickets aplenty, and grasshoppers. By now they’re about an inch long, headed toward the monster size we’ll see sunning themselves on the fence next month.

    We saw on our back gate an new (to us) and unusually large moth, maybe three inches in size, pale gray/off white. It hung out there in that spot for about a day; the next morning it was gone. I took a photo but wasn’t able to identify it. It didn’t seem to be common to this state.

    1. MaryLand

      You can spray your bat box with an “attractant” that’s supposed to help bats find it. You could maybe spray around the area of where the box is attached too. I don’t know if it works. Be sure the box is at least 12’ above the ground so they have room to fly down and out. Good luck!

      1. Lexx

        Bats ‘dead drop’ before catching air so they need at least 12′ clearance? I hadn’t considered gravity… hmmm. We put the box where it was high but not enough clearance below. We have two other walls we can try next.

        Thank you, MaryLand!

      2. Laughingsong

        I’ve never seen a bat box work, three up and three empty after many years.

        What they seem to like:

        – very tall trees to roost in
        – large area with no pesticides/herbicides that attract large amounts of dusk-flying insects.

        We are lucky to have both nearby, so when it’s warm enough at dusk, we see anywhere from one to five motoring around above our yards (ours and the neighbors’).

    2. Carolinian

      If anyone thinks they have some insight into attracting bats

      Take my mosquitoes–please!

      Actually I used to see lots of bats and not so much any more. Don’t know why.

      Now we have cool cliff swallows on our bridges.

  17. digi_owl

    > Local Malls, Stuck in ‘Death Spiral,’ Plunge in Value WSJ

    Never mind the buildings going to waste, ponder all the tarmac around it set aside for parking cars.

    > The European ‘Greens’ parties are a disaster in domestic as well as foreign policy Gilbert Doctorow

    Not surprised at all. From what i have seen green party game plans seems detached from logistics, thinking they can maintain their urban middle class lifestyle simply by replacing their diesel with a EV.

    > ‘He drank all my whisky’: Romania wrestles with trespassing bears FT

    Seem like Yogi has the right idea. Given the way the world seem to be going, i’m tempted to get stupid drunk myself.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “”US ready to deploy military personnel to safeguard Hormuz transits”‘

    What happens if the Iranians do the same to protect their ships from being seized again by the US Navy? Should we expect gun battles? Landing troops by helicopter on a ship does not sound like a good idea in a world of hostile manpads.

  19. Will

    I’m a baseball fan and one of the things I was wondering at the start of the season was the effects of Living With Covid on player performance. Not that I was specifically looking for it, and with the normal year-to-year variance it’d be hard to identify from a fans perspective.

    Yet certain injuries do standout. For example, Anthony Rizzo, the first baseman for the New York Yankees, was placed on the Injured List yesterday with post-concussion syndrome.

    What makes this injury curious is that the team believes it’s from an incident on May 28th.

    It’s an unusual injured list move, as players with concussions or concussion-like symptoms usually find themselves out of action in the immediate aftermath of the event in question. In this instance, the Yankees seem to believe Rizzo is being impacted by something that happened over two months ago.

    It may very well be a concussion as he hasn’t been playing very well this year. Yet:

    Rizzo himself tells Hoch that he was more tired of late but thought it was just due to the typical grind of the season. He added that he would sometimes wake up feeling hungover and forget the number of outs during games.

    Again, could be concussion and as far as I know there are still no bio-markers for Long Covid that can be tested for. If tested at all. As I recall, Rizzo was (is?) a Covid-skeptic so may not be considering the possibility.

    In any event, just one of the things I’m watching out for in these interesting times. (Too bad I don’t bet on sports, cause a negative bias might pay off.)

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Big Red Sox fan, and when Eduardo Rodriguez caught the rona a few years ago and then missed the rest of the season after coming down with heart problems afterwards, I wondered if maybe his career was over. This year, now not with the Sox, he’s having his best season ever so far, and by a long shot. Go figure. Hard to make heads or tails of any of it.

  20. Jabura Basaidai

    Banks could hold the key to an equitable climate transition
    “The achievement of this is a just transition and banks are uniquely positioned to enable it.”
    WOW – the WEF and banks – there ain’t enough green paint to wash this monumental BS – yeah, sure ‘a just transition’ – now what could that mean? ah yes, ‘new business opportunities’ – hand me the bottle, i need a strong drink –

    1. hunkerdown

      Ethical statements can never be anything more than stipulations or falsehoods. Justice is whatever the best armed and the most persuasive agree it is.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        the truth in your statement suggests a solitary path to change? choice doesn’t seem to be part of your equation, just strength – as Mao stated, political power grows out of the barrel of a gun – perhaps your equation is correct – i think of what two people have said regarding ‘justice’

        “A revolution is coming – a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough – But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We cannot alter its inevitability.”
        Robert Kennedy from the Senate floor – 1966

        and i suppose Malcom X agrees:
        “I believe that there will be ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those who do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don’t think it will be based on the color of the skin…”
        “Truth is on the side of the oppressed.”

        something is in the wind, if the environment that supports us doesn’t take its pound of flesh first –

        1. Daniil Adamov

          “But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We cannot alter its inevitability.”

          Except, of course, it did not happen – unless there is reason to believe he thought it would happen more than half a century later? This is not even to mock him or anything, but such statements need to be compared to observable reality. Many would-be prophets of social change got it wrong.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            i didn’t see a time-line in that quote – and though you express your disappointment, it may be too early to say it’s wrong – i use a yahoo address for business and every single day on the landing page there is some misdirected nutcase shooting up the place – the effectiveness of propaganda spewed by the msm, left or right, seems to be growing tenuous – perhaps i’m a wishful individual but as stated there is a scent stirring in the pot and drifting into the wind – but i fully understand your disappointment and know it is a valid criticism and not mocking – it did take Rome more than a half century to fall – but we are blessed with electronic media that seems to fan the flames – guess we’ll just have to wait and see – patience grasshopper –

          2. hunkerdown

            Manipulated quote! Missing text in bold: “A revolution is coming — a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough — But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability.”

            We can’t have the help understanding how these things are manipulated, y’know.

            1. Jabura Basaidai

              i stand corrected and apologize – source incorrect and i didn’t check – my bad – kinda adds optimism don’t ya think?

  21. Roger Blakely

    RE: Maersk forecasts long and deep contraction in global trade FT

    We are living in a weird moment. The consensus within mainstream media is that the Fed has achieved a soft landing and that recession has been averted. There is nothing but smooth sailing for the economy for the next two years.

    I don’t believe that. I tend to favor the opinions of the perma-bears. They are saying that recession will come next year if we aren’t in one already. The banking system will wobble. In response the Fed will be forced to slash rates.

    I do not think that it is smart for anyone to have a huge percentage of their wealth in mutual funds in the stock market thinking that the stock market can only go up over the next two years.

    1. Michael King

      No one should ever invest in mutual funds due to high management fees and ongoing trailing fees to dealers. Generally, there is an inverse relationship between interest rates and the performance of stock markets.

  22. micaT

    The PG&E article I still can’t figure out. I saw this a few days ago.
    So PG&E is going to stop trimming trees and rely on what i guess are fast electronic switches.

    So instead of doing layered protection: trim the trees, remove dead ones etc, and have some secondary safety procedures, they are just going with option 2.

    PG&E is paid to do this work by the rate payers, it costs them nothing.
    I don’t understand why they wouldn’t do it?
    Of course the CPUC approved this.

  23. Bosko

    Regarding the supposed one third of Americans who want to send troops to Ukraine: as an 80s kid, I well remember the number of people who would opine that we should “just nuke Russia” (to win the Cold War, I guess). Public opinion isn’t completely unimportant, but even the dumb-dumb Democrats seem to recognize that war is a volatile prospect when actual American lives are being lost–let alone the potential for nuclear conflict. I myself hold the perhaps ignorant view that most of these gung-ho Ukraine war types in the general population are white collar office workers who detest their own lives and problems and displace their frustration to the Good vs. Evil cartoons proposed by the party currently in power.

    1. digi_owl

      Also, with USA not having had a conscript army since Vietnam it is unlikely that they or their relatives are the ones being sent to die. It will be the “white trash” and other “deplorables”, so no loss in their mind.

  24. Jabura Basaidai

    i really like Talking Heads and Life During Wartime resonated then and resonates now – here is a version with an apt video accompaniment –
    first time i heard it i remembered ’67 Detroit – vividly – young and stupid and drove into the inner city – parts of the city are still devastated to this day –

  25. Mark K

    The Truth Decay article contains this jaw-dropping passage:

    National security and foreign policy were, historically, areas somewhat protected from politicization. Politicians and foreign policy professionals were seen as driving the international agenda without much input from domestic audiences,…

    I gather the authors weren’t around in the Vietnam era, when “domestic audiences” were marching in the streets and otherwise “providing input.”

    I quit the article after reading that.

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