Links 9/10/2023

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 668 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card or PayPal or our new payment processor, Clover. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser, what we’ve accomplished in the last year,, and our current goal, continuing our expanded news coverage.

Patient readers, you alerted us to the fact the link to the Naked Capitalism songbook page in the mailing we just sent out is wrong. This is the correct link. Please click through to download your free copies. Here is the cover of the songbook to encourage you:

All song lyrics by Naked Capitalism readers! –lambert

* * *

How I Learned that Treasure Hunting Isn’t Just About the Spot Marked X narratively

Feeding Jupiter and His Harem of Chickens The Globalist

Google’s Defense in Landmark Antitrust Case Hinges on Lawyers Who Took on Microsoft WSJ


When the breakwater bursts Ekathimerini


Updated COVID shots are coming. They’re part of a trio of vaccines to block fall viruses AP. “Updated COVID-19 vaccines are coming soon, just in time to pair them with flu shots.” So the apparatchiks at CDC have managed to hustle Covid into the seasonal box, even though Covid is not a seasonal virus, good job.

Take a Pledge to Enroll in a Randomized-Controlled Trial Science-Based Medicine. RCT fetishists? Here’s how you can actually help.

The US government cancels DEEP VZN, a controversial virus-hunting program Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


Forecasting China? New Left Review

Abuse fears sparked by China’s proposed ‘hurt feelings’ legal change South China Morning Post

Internet-based Philanthropy in China Pekingnology

Commentary: Live to eat or eat to live? The amusing trend of ‘white people food’ in China Channel News Asia

China’s ancient water pipe networks show they were a communal effort with no evidence of a centralized state authority


Modi uses ‘Bharat’ for G20 nameplate, not India, amid name-change row Channel News Asia


Fourth Update on Niger Crisis: Tinubu Pushes for a Compromise; But Threat of Military Intervention Remains Sharp Focus on Africa (furnacewriter).

Niger says France amassing troops, equipment in ECOWAS states Al Jazeera

* * *

Rescuers hunt for survivors of Morocco quake with over 2,000 dead Reuters


7 countries, EU sign memorandum of understanding for trade corridor linking Europe, Middle East and India Anadolu Agency

Data to oil, gas to goods: What is the announced sea-rail corridor from India to Europe? Indian Express. Handy map:

Hmm. Last I checked, Greece sold the 60% of the port of Piraeus to China.

G20 leaders agree joint declaration after deal on Ukraine statement Guardian. Here’s how:

Not the actual editorial changes, but what might have been….

G20 backs bigger role for reformed World Bank FT

European Disunion

Beko owner warns on risk of China dumping goods as domestic demand slows FT

New Not-So-Cold War

We have to show Putin we are ready for long confrontation – Nuland Ukrainska Pravda but Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence Chief doesn’t foresee protracted war, yet there is catch Ukrainska Pravda

The Case for Negotiating with Russia The New Yorker. Best lead ever: “If you want to hear a different perspective on the war in Ukraine, talk to Samuel Charap. A fine-featured Russia analyst with, at forty-three, a head of gray hair, Charap works at the RAND Corporation….” Only the New Yorker would go to RAND for “a difference perspective.”


In World War I, we’d call Robotyne a salient, and then extinguish it by pinching its flanks. We shall see.

* * *

U.S. Delays Deliveries of M1A1 Abrams Tanks to Ukraine: Vehicles Needed Urgently Amid High Armour Attrition Rates Military Watch

To Train Ukrainian Troops, the Danish Military Had To Borrow Leopard 1 Tanks From Three Museums Forbes

* * *

Former US president tells story of Putin insulting his dog Ukrainska Pravda. It’s an ancient trope that to understand the Beltway, you need to think of it as high school. Now, it seems we’ve reverted to grade school.

Biden Administration

Inadequate Inspections Contributed to Jet-Engine Failure That Dropped Debris Over Colorado Town WSJ


RFK Jr.: ‘We should be voting for a president who we expect to complete the term’ The Hill

It’s Time For Biden To Leave The Stage Andrew Sullivan, The Weekly Dish

Ageist Attacks Aren’t New in Presidential Campaigns, And They Haven’t Worked Washington Monthly

* * *

Judge says civil trial over Trump’s real estate boasts could last three months AP. I’m sure the headline oversimplifies, but…. If Trump can be indicted for boasting, the rest of us could be indicted for breathing.

Vivek Ramaswamy says he’ll deport children of undocumented immigrants born in the U.S. NBC

* * *

Pelosi Announces Bid For Two More Years Of Insider Trading Babylon Bee

Our Famously Free Press

Note to Subscribers Matt Taibbi, Racket News. Press pivots to disinformation snitching. Against commercial rivals.


New Mexico governor issues order suspending the right to carry firearms in public across Albuquerque AP. All because originalists can’t parse a gerund….

New Mexico Republican legislators call for Dem Gov. Grisham’s impeachment after gun order: ‘She’s rogue’ FOX

Digital Watch

Silicon Valley’s vision for AI? It’s religion, repackaged. VOX

The AI-Powered, Totally Autonomous Future of War Is Here Wired. Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Supply Chain

ADHD medications still in shortage, frustrating patients and doctors NBC

California pharmacies are making millions of mistakes. They’re fighting to keep that secret LA Times


Italy Defined Fashion. Then It Got Old. WSJ

Police State Watch

When Police Kill and Use Victim’s Rights Laws to Stay Anonymous The Marshall Project

Groves of Academe

Why colleges are using algorithms to determine financial aid levels Higher Ed Dive

Curriculum changes to counter learning loss create necessity of bringing teachers up to speed The Hill. “….another important issue that needs to be tackled post-pandemic…”

Sports Desk

The million-dollar hustle changing US sport – how college football athletes are cashing in BBC

The Screening Room

Hayao Miyazaki’s New Film ‘The Boy and the Heron’ Wanders Into a Magical World of Life and Death Colossal

I Used to Love Marvel. Now It Feels Like Homework Jezebel

Zeitgeist Watch

The Pentagon’s UFO office is sending cryptic ‘alien’ messages The Hill

A golden egg? Mysterious shiny orb seen on seafloor off Alaska stumps ocean explorers Miami Herald. I say we nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

* * *

Good People Are The Worst: On Moral Licensing OK Dooomer

Optimizing outcomes by thinking the best of people Unacceptable Jessica

Stories are bad for your intelligence The Ruffian

Class Warfare

What Hubert Horan has said about Uber’s first ever profit (mailing) The Gig Economy. Nice plug for Horan’s work at NC.

Why You Are Probably An NPC The Prism. NPC = “Non-Player Character.”

Reaching New Spiritual Heights Through Hula Hooping JSTOR

A New JFK Assassination Revelation Could Upend the Long-Held “Lone Gunman” Theory Vanity Fair. The deck: “In a new book, former Secret Service agent Paul Landis, largely silent for 60 years, says he found a bullet in Kennedy’s limo. A sometime presidential historian explains why that’s so significant, if true.”

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

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. The Rev Kev

    “How I Learned that Treasure Hunting Isn’t Just About the Spot Marked X”

    Well yes, everybody does love a treasure hunt. It’s like how people run after the Oak Island mystery in Nova Scotia. But the people that have been following “On the Trail of the Golden Owl” in France for the past 30 years are sorely mistaken. After careful analysis I have determined that it is not an Owl but actually a Falcon. And to complicate matters, they are looking in the wrong country and have been misled. They should really be looking for it in Malta. Or so says experienced treasure hunter Kasper Gutman.

  2. ilsm

    Charap in New Yorker.

    “Russia is aggressor in 2014″……

    Small amount of ‘green men’ and large Russian speaking militias, make Russia aggressor.

    Talking points! and credentials!

    Only USA has “duty to protect” its interests ….. all over the world!

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Data to oil, gas to goods: What is the announced sea-rail corridor from India to Europe?”

    Yeah, yeah, it’s a nice map. Very pretty. But it has not escaped my notice that it begins in a BRICS country and has to transit another BRICS country before going on to the EU. I don’t know the economics of it all but it appears to me that goods are loaded aboard a boat in India which then goes to the UAE. They are then off-loaded and put on railway flatcars which go through that country, Saudi Arabia and then on to Israel. I would imagine that they would have to pay transit fees in each country to pay for the infrastructure built. The goods are then off-loaded from those railway flatcars in Israel and are then on-loaded onto another boat which then goes to Greece to yet once more to off-load them from where they are transported by tuck and rail throughout the EU. So wouldn’t it be a lot cheaper and less expensive to just have that boat sail from India to Greece via the Suez Canal instead?

    1. timbers

      Because of the prominent mention of oil and gas at the beginning of the text, a quick glance of the flow of goods might give the impression that India is a major supplier of oil. Which it is, of course…but because that oil is coming from Russia.

    2. .human

      Looking at the “handy map'” I had to wonder at US involvement. Your mention of BRICs is the handy answer.

      George Washington’s Farewell Address comes to mind…

    3. R.S.

      I’m following a guy from China on TG, and he has just asked one question: do they even have railways in Saudi Arabia? let alone those that can handle the traffic. As the IE article goes,
      The project involves the laying of a railway link through the Arabian Peninsula that could then link up with shipping passages to India and Europe on both ends of this proposed corridor.

      I take it for “no, they don’t”.

        1. R.S.

          Yeah, that guy wrote that the current state of affairs is smth like this:

          Jebel Ali – Al Ghuwaifat: railway
          Al Ghuwaifat – Haradh: trucks
          Haradh – Al Haditha: railway
          Al Haditha – Haifa: trucks

          Rube Goldberg Quilted-Road Initiative.

  4. DJG, Reality Czar

    This Economic Corridor Thingy looks like something thrown together by Jake “Digger” Sullivan. The map is a Rube Goldberg device.

    Italy signs this memo of understanding, and there is no dot on the map for Trieste?
    How does the Economic Corridor “rail” connection magically skip through Palestine–or will apartheid take care of that?
    Why the mix of land and sea routes?
    Whatever happened to the Suez Canal?
    And: Why not a land-based / railway connection across Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan (or would that be too much acknowledgment of the historical Silk Road)?

    According to Fatto Quotidiano (this morning’s paper), Premier Meloni told the Chinese that she wants a soft downgrade out of the Silk Road Agreement. Everyone will still be friendly.

    Truly, it is all like U.S. high school, except some of the homerooms have nuclear weapons, kids.

    1. nippersdad

      Re: “This looks like a Jake Sullivan Rube Goldberg device.”

      That is exactly what it is. Compared to the BRICS east/west corridor, it looks completely unworkable….

      ….and yet it clearly is trying to mirror it. The only reason for the sea route from India in the BRICS version was the US coup in Pakistan to keep them from forming a rail leg of it, and that may not last long. If you add in the north/south trade corridor from the Caspian you can see that the one proposed at the G20 is a pale imitation of the idea they are trying to coopt.

      1. digi_owl

        In the end it looks like USA is trying to perpetuate the old UK transport network, that has a few easy to interdict bottlenecks in case they ever need to choke a competitor.

        After all, a big reason for the desert campaign during WW2 was to cut of UK’s use of the Suez canal. That would in turn mean that oil out of the then UK controlled middel east oil fields would have to sail round Africa, thus slowing down fuel supplies for both the Royal Navy and RAF.

        An overland rail network in Eurasia would be a whole other ball game, as it would be outside the reach of any navy or air force.

  5. R.S.

    > A golden egg? Mysterious shiny orb seen on seafloor off Alaska stumps ocean explorers

    “What have you heard about the Golden Orb?”
    “The Golden Orb is a legend. An artifact in the shape and form of a golden sphere, located in the Zone. It grants human wishes.”
    “Any wishes?”
    “If we go by the canonical version, any wishes.”

  6. The Rev Kev

    “To Train Ukrainian Troops, the Danish Military Had To Borrow Leopard 1 Tanks From Three Museums’

    Upon hearing this, the Ukrainian learner tank drivers were very concerned about this news. Fortunately the Danish instructors were able to calm them down by informing them that there would be no need for transitional training as those museum tanks would be exactly like the ones that they would be riding into battle in against the Russian T-90s.

    1. digi_owl

      Never mind that USA keeps stalling with them Abrams. Worried they will fare no better than the rest against the latest Russia have to offer?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Trump wanted tanks at his inaugural. He was denied because they would wreck the roads. I think the image of Abrams racing across the western Iraqi desert is engrained in American psyches. The Pentagon knows what destroyed Abrams or Abrams being deployed in environments they weren’t meant for (they were meant as defensive weapons), fighting mid 60’s medium Soviet tanks and expected philosophy. The Abrams are meant to be defensive or fight in Germany with theoretical air superiority.

        There is a reason there isn’t a tank base in New York, the land is too rugged. When Ukraine gets muddy, the Abrams will be limited to flatbeds for travel. I think the worry isn’t that they will be destroyed in combat as much as they won’t go anywhere with leaks of Ukrainian crews set to Benny Hill music trying to get the Abrams out of mud.

        1. Polar Socialist

          The Abrams are meant to be defensive or fight in Germany with theoretical air superiority.

          And yet those Soviet tanks designed for infantry support during an attack seem to do a pretty good job of defending, too.

          Ar least Simplicius is claiming that many a Leopard 2 was destroyed by Russian tanks ambushing them at 800 meters. It’s much easier to hide a smaller tank, and if you need to maneuver during a slug-it-out, an autoloader just rules.

          Today there was news that Russia is re-starting production of T-80 tanks in Omsk, allegedly because they have proved to be worth their while during the SMO.

    2. Benny Profane

      What’s funny about all that is that early on in this conflict, some said Russia was raiding their own museums for tanks and parts.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I read a coupla months ago that the US actually shipped out pieces that were on display outside some of the US military museums.

    3. JohnA

      A day or so ago the british minister of defence was interviewed about the Challenger being knocked out in Ukraine. He started by saying it was to be expected in war but the crew escaped. He then went on to claim that the west had to continue to support Ukraine because otherwise Russia would destroy democracy and subjugate the rest of the world (I paraphrase). At no time did the journalist interviewing raise any objections let alone question any of this cope and paste nonsense. Stenographers the lot of them.

      1. The Rev Kev

        That turret was blasted off its mount by that Kornet missile. No way could have that crew survived but I do wonder about this ‘the crew escaped’ business. So, were they actually Ukrainian?

          1. Polar Socialist

            The main point still is that disabled or not, a single Kornet took out
            a Challenger 2, permanently. At first there were Ukrainian claims that the crew set the tank on fire, but those sorta disappeared after the video proof became public.

      2. digi_owl

        Because from day one said journalists were pushing the claim that if Russia was not stopped in Ukraine it would march to the Atlantic, Red Army style.

        I suspect this idea will allow them to declare a win no matter the actual outcome, because Putin is not seen sunbathing on the French coast.

      3. Benny Profane

        I’m guessing that Russian soldiers might be paid bonus bounties for certain equipment kills, and the Challenger has to be high on the list.

        1. John Zelnicker

          Benny – Not just a guess. I read a few months ago, don’t remember where, that Russian soldiers do get bonuses or rewards and sometimes medals for the destruction of high value equipment on the battlefield.

  7. DJG, Reality Czar

    Vivek Ramaswamy doesn’t believe in birthright citizenship and wants to deport U.S.-born children with their parents. Funny, his own parents were immigrants to the U S of A.

    I am also going to point out ole Vivek’s, errrr, religious problem. I noted in a recent profile (and it is also mentioned at Wikipedia) that his family is Brahmin. Ahhhh, five thousand years of privilege.

    Times of India, but there is a similar NYTimes profile:

    As Mike Pence is to Christianity so Vivek Ramaswamy is to Hinduism: They are prigs.

    And if Vivek doesn’t understand birthright citizenship in U.S. history, he’s truly unqualified to be running, glorious résumé or no glorious résumé.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Vivek obviously has not thought it all the way through and needs to be called out on this bs. So what about all those US-born children that are now serving members of the US military or are veterans? There must be at the very least tens of thousands of them. Is he going to chuck them out too? Or is he going to set up a special commission saying who gets a waiver and who doesn’t? From what I have seen of this guy, it would be safer to vote for Pete Buttigieg. And that is a pretty low bar that.

      1. digi_owl

        Service already provide (US) citizenship (heh).

        I think there was a story recent-ish about a lady that got her’s after serving X years in either the air force or the navy.

      2. Pat

        This pandering on an immigration issue, and that’s what it is, is both stupid and insulting. There is no way Vivek doesn’t get that this is a non starter. So he is trying to play the contingent of the GOP he is doing this for. The amusing aspect of it is that the only ones who probably don’t know that have probably already crossed him off from consideration.

        1. some guy

          Vivek is too dumm to realize that he is just somebody else’s curling stone.

          Somebody hopes to sell him as the ” Republican Obama”.

      1. Schopsi

        I’d hate to sound like I’m defending privilege of any kind, but I think it’s worth pointing out in the name of historical accuracy that caste hierarchy didn’t necessarily historically correlate with actual wealth, power and influence.

        For most of indian history the brahmins were not a ruling class.

        As ritual specialists they may have been parasites and legitimizers of power, depending completely on the support of kings and first and foremost on wealthy lower caste families who employed them as family priests, but their own power was very limited and in fact the great majority of brahmins who had no such employment lived in poverty (as many still do).

        But even for the gainfully employed brahmins the absence of any centralized religious authority or one size fits all cultic law that could be enforced on all the mostly self regulating castes prevented them from ever really accumulating vast wealth.

        Power (though society was really strongly decentralized for much of Indian history, with powerful empires tending to be shortlived, so Hindu Kings probably never achieved anything approaching the vast control excerted by the Emperors of China) lay in the hands of the Kshatriya Warrior aristocracy (to which Siddharta belonged) and the wealthy Shudra merchants (in theory the lowest of the four main castes).

        Though over time the balance shifted more in favour of the shudras and most new Kingdoms were founded by Shudras who then retroactively declared themselves to be kshatriyas, often “elevating” large numbers of fellow shudras to kshatriya status so that most kshatriyas today are probably of shudra descent.

        The brahmins had a role in all this, but it consisted largely in giving the actual elites, old and new, the religious justifications they wanted with little initiative towards actively shaping society themselves.

        So the brahmins for the most part had neither a pope like religious over the masses nor did they even they have the smaller scale community leadership roles of jewish rabbis (the caste groups all had their own, non brahmin leaders).

        While actually popular, charismatic and influential religious leaders and “reformers” with vast followings constantly arose from all castes and strata, indeed also from the rank of untouchables.

        Interestingly David Graeber wrote about how the political influence of the brahmins as a group really only started grow significantly under british rule, because the previous rulers were seen as collectively having completely failed to defend the motherland (as would have been their dharmic duty) and indeed as now enthusiastically selling out to the mleccha (barbarian) occupier (which of course was correct).

        The brahmins concluded that thus the traditional duties of the kshatriyas Had fallen to them and of course, for better or worse, they played an outsized role in the independence movement.

        If a society is occupied and sees itself as being under siege things tend to go in a direction of things becoming more rigid, not less, as it seems to me many historical (and current) examples show.

        The brahmins saw themselves as protecting tradition in the face of great adversity, and while they we’re themselves advantaged by those traditions (even though historically not to anything like the extreme degree that many westerners imagine), they were neither wrong nor were they without massive support from across castes in trying to do so.

        Still doesn’t mean that the brahmins weren’t and aren’t full of *familyblog* in many, many, many ways, but they are sometimes used as a convenient scapegoat for all kind of stuff they have and had only little influence on.

        One should also remember that most people across all castes have internalised the system to varying but often very high degree.

        By law and the constitution brahmins have no special rights or privileges at all, the vast majority of politicians, public officials and powerful businessmen are once again shudras or otherwise lower caste, the brahmins have no religious power or authority to make the caste system go away even if they wanted to and if they were to declare themselves non brahmins that wouldn’t change a thing either and nobody would take it seriously, those making a living of demonising all brahmins would only see it as another example of brahmin insidiousness.

        Contrary to the Claims of abrahamic religious propagandists conversion ain’t a “solution” either seeing as Christians and Muslims in practice uphold the caste system just ad much and sometimes even more rigidly than the Hindus themselves.

        And at the end of the day nobody truly seems to want to let go of a system that gives all sorts of legal and monetary support and special rights to disadvantaged castes.

        Lastly it also unfortunately needs to be said that almost all the horrid caste based violence, discrimination and so on happens not at the hands of brahmins, but of people that are just one step above the victims in the hierarchy that grew vastly more complex to include hundreds and hundreds of subcastes (and there are often all sorts economic reasons involved that can’t be reduced exclusively to the concept of caste alone).

        Western media in particular often talk only about some “high caste” individuals committing some atrocity or other, with the reader being left to think “brahmins” sometimes by design (though mostly just because brahmin being the only high caste that westerners have ever hard about, yet that also has to do with the “tradition” of brahmins being exclusively blamed for everything bad in India)

        It’s all much more complicated though and there are precious few innocents in all this considering that caste discrimination happens on every, single level and that the many, many low caste and even casteless wealthy and politically well connected and influential elites are obviously committing massive amounts of exploitation, oppression and violence against everyone, including both their fellow low casters who happen to be poor as well as people from technically higher castes, most of whom nonetheless happen to be poor as well.

        So, I guess there goes my chance to ever goes my chance to ever aquire some actual leftie credentials, but I thought it needed to be said.

        There are many derangement syndromes in the world and in some parts brahmin derangement syndrome is kind of a thing.

    2. KLG

      Previous comment lost in the ether, apologies if this is a duplicate:

      In the early 1990’s I worked in a lab of 7-8 people in which we had a Brahmin and a Dalit as postdocs. The tension, you could have cut it with a knife, especially during lab meetings in a small conference room. A younger student asked me, “What’s up with those two?” I replied, “5,000 years of history.” The “Untouchable,” he was much the better colleague and had a wicked sense of humor. The Brahmin was as humorless as any human being could be. But overall, everyone in the lab was beneath his social standing.

      Vivek seems to be the new Mayo Pete of the other side? Only richer.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        You do have to wonder whether it was the ramaswamy family’s deeply felt, idealistic desire for a new homeland where “All men are created equal,” or the proximity to the ivy league and seemingly unlimited gobs of venture capital that overcame “5,000 years of history.”

    3. upstater

      I’m hoping Vivek and Kamela can have a debate. Two Brahmins are better than one (assuming Kamela’s 50% counts as a whole; the 12.5% African lineage equals 100% most of the time).

      1. Mindie

        “The Kamaleon” can be what ever they want her to be.

        A DNC fool returnith to its folly like a dog to its political IDvomit;

        Female Black,
        Female African American,
        Female Woman of Color,
        First Asian,
        First Southeast Asian woman,
        child of immigrants,
        Carribean woman,
        First female (all above adjectives)S.F. D.A.,
        First female (all above adjectives)California Attorney General,

        Not mentioned

        Canadian from 3rd grade through high school, opportunist, shacked up with law school professors, later with Speaker of California Assembly in exchange for new BMW and several appointments to State Medical Boards.

    4. Ken Murphy

      Question: Do you make any distinction between immigration in accordance with the laws of the destination country, and immigration by folks wandering across the border and helping themselves to the fruits of the destination country?
      I’ve been seeing non-legal immigrants coming into this country and taking jobs since the mid-80s when I worked at the convenience store in Brushy Creek (then the rich suburb of Round Rock) and would sell them their burritos and 12-packs of Coors Lite at lunch time while they were building the roads and houses. I did wonder at the time why the homes weren’t being built by skilled tradesmen, but rather by supervised unskilled labor, and decided that I would never buy a home built after the 1970s or so. Just didn’t trust the craftsmanship.
      My basic position is that you can’t just invite yourself into a country and start helping yourself to their stuff. There are supposed to be rules and standards that people abide by, and when folks don’t do that the social compact starts getting crappified. Would I like to just up and go to France and have folks take care of me? Sure, in a heartbeat.
      Do I understand the concept of refugees? Yes. Yes I do.
      In the end, given that we are not a nation of infinite wealth and cannot solve the problems of the world ourselves, and that we have enormous social issues of our own involving our own citizenry who absolutely must take priority over visitors, the least crappy solution I’ve been able to think of is that we, the U.S. will welcome and take care of your women and children, though not integrate them into our society, but the men need to go home and deal with whatever problem it is that they’re running away from. Meanwhile, the women can start on the paperwork for those intending actual citizenship in the U.S.
      Likely this position will get me labeled as a hatemongering immigriphobe MAGA-phile, which, if that’s what you need to believe then go right ahead. My philosophies are much worse, being closer to atheist libertarian Objectivist (with a heavy focus on the enlightened part of the self-interest).
      None of which changes the fact that you can’t just invite yourself into a country and start helping yourself to their stuff. There are laws, and starting out as a lawbreaker in a new country is not a good start for anyone.

      1. tegnost

        I think you’re giving short shrift to the business class who told their immigrant labor that they would hire anyone who could get across the border, which is also illegal. Regarding positions, they’re not, although often defined as such, a point to point line with a left side and a right side. It’s a circle. Right now a small sliver that looks like a carelessly drawn tangent line violating the described object (US population) are in control and if there is a point to point line, that’s where it is. The great fear of that small group is that the rest of the circle will unite on common interests and this was the threat of one of the prominent outsider candidates in recent election cycles. With that in mind I think that of the 360 degrees of the circle we can say for illustrations sake that 60 degrees are pretty well united around the wall street open borders globalisation cartel. The remainder of the circle is a jumbled array of positions, many of which have significant overlap, and politics can make strange bedfellows. A rematch of 2020 is a seriously tragicomic outcome. It’s as if everything is like CalPers now, the staffs run the show and within the 60 degrees are largely united in thought and action which is why nothing changes, nuland goes on warmongering no matter what putative figurehead dominates the news cycle in the absurd telenovela that is american polity. With this dynamic in place there is no chance for improvement, it can’t be faked anymore. I can’t think of one person who could restore sanity and a modicum of trustworthiness from the citizenry of the country. It’s a primordial stew and what comes out of it is beyond my ability to guess… On a side note, I’ve been attempting to rebrand maga so you could have a red shirt and a blue shirt with a former presidents mug shot emblazoned upon it with a smorgabord of slogans matching the acronym, Make Another Granny Angry, for instance, or More And Gooder America, just spitballing here… how about Manufacture Antipathy Get Acrimony or Move Another Giant Asteroid…

        1. ChrisPacific

          Yes, there is a pull aspect to this as well as a push. See for example Lambert’s article a while back on immigrant nannies for wealthy PMC families:

          That said, many parents hire nannies despite the fact that they do not have the appropriate paperwork. They get around this by paying “off the books”—that is, they pay cash under the table so that the nanny doesn’t have to report or pay taxes on the income. In the nanny world, off-the-books is so incredibly common many parents do it, even if their nanny is a U.S. citizen. This is because it is much less expensive and easier to do. In the beginning some families are not certain if their nanny will last and wait to place them on the books after that trial which they end up forgetting.

          However, paying your nanny off-the-books is against the law. If you are an employer, you are legally required by the federal and state governments to report any wages paid and withhold your employee’s taxes and social security.

          The important piece to understand when assessing your childcare options is there are some risks to hiring illegal nannies: they could be deported, you cannot travel with them out of the country and they could possess a more fearful attitude toward certain situations

          You’d think that ‘against the law’ should rule it out entirely, but based on that final paragraph it clearly doesn’t.

          The nanny agency linked from the post apparently no longer exists, but their FAQ for potential nannies used to say something like ‘you are responsible for ensuring you are legally permitted to work in the US.’ Translation: We won’t sponsor you or handle any of the legal paperwork for you. If you get caught, we intend to feign wide-eyed innocence, point to this clause, and say that we had no idea you were deceiving us.

          1. some guy

            If we released all the non-violent drug offenders from prison, we would have room to put all the people who pay nannies off-the-books into prison in their place.

      2. Turtle

        I understand your sentiment, I really do. However, I would say in response that you’ve been manipulated into this sentiment.

        My basic position is that you can’t just invite yourself into a country and start helping yourself to their stuff.

        Have you considered that the US did that and worse to many (most?) of the countries where these immigrants are coming from (certainly at least almost every other country in the Americas), and thus compelled them to come by leaving few resources and terrible instability for them to survive? Worse, the US didn’t do it by peacefully sending immigrants to take their jobs, but at the end of a gun. Consider what you would do if you were at the other end of this. Might you travel to the country that did this by any means necessary and take their jobs, not out of revenge, but just to survive?

        In the end, given that we are not a nation of infinite wealth and cannot solve the problems of the world ourselves, and that we have enormous social issues of our own involving our own citizenry who absolutely must take priority over visitors

        Well, like I said, it would help if we hadn’t caused or at least significantly contributed to many of the problems of the world ourselves. We could start there. Also, the social issues that you refer to have mostly been caused by the elites of this country. Elites, by the way, who benefit by having those immigrants come here. Have you not been reading this site much?

        It’s quite incredible what a win-win-win situation this is for the elites. One of the few times that a slashdot meme “Profit!” sequence of steps doesn’t involve a step that’s all question marks:

        1. Steal other countries’ wealth, by violence.
        2. Compel the young, economically productive people of those countries to come over and be productive here.
        3. Steal your own country’s wealth, by using every trick in the book, including undocumented immigration, to lower wages, as well as violence, when necessary.
        4. Convince your own people to blame the immigrants for the reduction in wealth, again by trickery.
        5. Profit!

      3. ChrisPacific

        Illegal immigration in the US is roughly comparable to legal, low wage seasonal work in New Zealand (since we don’t have a large land border we have more ability to control immigration, so while illegal work does happen it’s usually a consequence of misrepresentation at the border). New Zealand did try to shut this down in the wake of the border closures during Covid, tightening up the rules considerably and requiring seasonal employers to look for local staff.

        It ended up in failure, with the government having to restore the old immigration rules. Employers were not able to find sufficient local staff on short notice, even at higher pay rates. Some failed and others were brought to the brink of failure. As NC likes to point out, changes in the composition of the labor force take time, and it is not fungible or capable of instant substitution. Well-intentioned solutions with overly optimistic assumptions can easily backfire and further entrench the problem you’re trying to solve.

        It would be relatively easy for the US government to crack down on illegal immigration any time they chose. Without first solving the problem of economic dependence on a steady supply of cheap exploitable labor, though, it would be forced to walk any changes back pretty quickly in embarrassing fashion. A solution to that problem would mean cost rises across the board, which would be interpreted as inflation, as well as a hit to the profit margins of many well-connected members of the donor class. Anyone attempting it would be punished swiftly and severely in the polls and the media, and we’d revert to the status quo of theatrical gestures that make little practical difference (Trump’s wall) while tacitly permitting the practice to continue.

    5. TimH

      On Vivek’s family being Brahmin… an American-born Sikh buddy told me two days ago when we talking about Modi taking India to Hindu secular nation status that internal strife in India usually boils down to Brahmins trying to take over everything at the expense of lower castes.

      1. Schopsi

        Sure that it’s really that simple and convenient?

        The Sikhs certainly perpetuated the caste system as faithfully as everyone else for centuries, to claim today they never had anything to do with it is a boldfaced lie, though no doubt one many fully convinced themselves of.

        So everything is exclusively the fault of Brahmins, the only source of strife, despite the fact big capital is almost exclusively in the hands of the shudra caste, which is technically the lowest (as well as by truly enormous margin biggest) of the big four main castes (with a nigh infinite number of subcastes that all discriminate against each other, accounting for most of the actual caste based violence).

        Shudra merchants always accounted for most of the wealth in indian society (rivaled most closely by the Kshatriya warrior aristocracy that in ancient times monopolized all the political power, but under british colonial rule became seen as largely discredited for having failed to defend against foreign conquest and eventually enthusiastically selling out to the british almost to a man, strengthening the position of the brahmins, something David Graeber amongst others wrote about), they still do and the vast majority of politicians and public officials are recruited from their ranks as well.

        The political power of the shudras began to eclipse that of the kshatriyas in medieval times though, when most new kingdoms and dynasties began to increasingly be founded by shudras, who then proceeded to “promote” themselves and sometimes vast numbers of friends and supporters to kshatriya status, demonstrating the power to change caste status around pretty wildly by royal fiat, an authority never wielded by any brahmin, except for the small number of brahmins that managed to become king themselves (“downgrading” themselves to kshatriya in the process), but that was exceedingly rare.

        Most brahmins in fact were neither materially wealthy nor did they have any actual political power, most were in fact quite poor (and not an organised group in the first place, there still are plenty of poor, even absolutely dirt poor brahmins).

        The typical historical brahmin who was not living in poverty was employed by an aristocrat or a wealthy lower caste family to serve as their priest and/or a tutor to their children and 100% dependent on them.

        Plenty of possibilities to influence from behind the scenes no doubt, but the actual power relations still were vastly different from what most modern westerners and even a great many people in today’s India imagine to have been the case.

        The Sikhs, like many other religious schools/sects and “reform” movements over the centuries and to this day, relativised the caste hierarchy on a spiritual level and were somewhat better than average on the whole untouchable thing, but that’s all.

        It’s only a very recent development that Sikhs started to pretend they never cared about caste (especially in the diaspora, they still do in India itself, as do the Muslims and Christians, by the way), as part of an effort to set themselves apart from and above the Hindus, especially in western eyes.

        Of course there is also that movement for a separate Sikh State that is once more gathering some steam and naturally quietly supported by the US to weaken and break up India, providing another reason for Sikhs to sell themselves and everyone how totally superior they are to those dirty, smelly, heathen Hindus and to the nefarious brahmin conspiracy.

        That always reliably sells all across the West and gains them (or so they hope) some modicum of support.

        Well, that of the CIA they have for sure.

        Obviously, most Sikhs have little to nothing to do with such political scheming and people born in the diaspora may not even be aware of it (though some certainly are) but setting oneself apart from and above others is after all a common thing everywhere.

        And the claim that only one particular, small group, especially one defined by birth and not by self selection, one that is far from a coherently organised Monolith, is solely to blame for all strife and woes in a huge, complex society, should be met with a healthy dose of scepticism.

        The brahmins as a group are certainly hard to like, and I suspect that most of them probably ooze entitlement even if they happen to be dirt poor and without any actual authority over anything and anyone.

        Which again, was actually an extremely common a state for brahmins throughout history and still isn’t rare.

        They make wonderfully convenient villains ticking all sorts of boxes.

        But the idea that they are somehow solely responsible for all the woes of everyone in India is completely ludicrous, in fact I suspect that only a small fraction of modern India’s overall problems can be rightly put at their collective feet (and even then the non brahmin elites are just as much to blame), much less the current generations.

        Does anyone really think that a scion of a wealthy shudra family would not have a huge sense of entitlement or treat everyone poorer and less powerful then themselves (including less fortunate members of theoretically higher castes and fellow shudras) like dirt?

        Again, this is not a new phenomenon, the majority of the rich and powerful in India ALWAYS have been lower caste, certainly non brahmin.

        And even if brahmins wanted to fundamentally change or abolish the caste system (which to be fair I’m sure most would never even consider) they wouldn’t have the power or authority to do so, just as they couldn’t declare themselves non brahmins.

        The only people managing to successfully enforce pretty sweeping changes of such a kind were autocratic, non brahmin kings that no longer exist.

        And if tomorrow all brahmins were sucked into nirvana India’s problems would not disappear with them.

        I guess the kshatriyas would be blamed next, which would make sense insofar as historically they wielded vastly, incomparably more power than the brahmins, but also not at all because today for the first time they probably have genuinely less, relatively speaking.

    6. PelhamKS

      But his parents were here legally. He’s talking about parents who were here illegally and then had “anchor babies.” That’s the difference. The policy may be cruel or nuts or both, but at least it should be stated fairly.

  8. US Terrorist Nation

    Deep VZN – if it wasn’t for the involvement of the US and its organisations, it could have been a potentially good program with preventive values but given the aggressive bioweaponsprograms the US is running in Ukraine, Georgia and other place it is sure to be a program for generating viruses on behalf of big pharma and Bill Gates-eugenics.
    Also, I do not believe for a second that these people stop the activiites. Since the US is involved it will continue just under another name.

    1. GramSci

      «Also, I do not believe for a second that these people stop the activiites. Since the US is involved it will continue just under another name.»

      I’m embarrassed to say I saw a glimmer of hope in this story. I’m too desperate for hopeful news :-(.

  9. digi_owl

    I believe that shiny orb story has been featured in at least three different Links articles this week.

    And i’m curious why that secret service agent is coming forward now, and with a book.

    1. Rolf

      Re the agent, in his VF piece, Robenalt discusses this point explicitly: long-term PTSD on the part of Landis associated with anything to do with the assassination (which occurred literally in front of him), displaced guilt, etc. The piece is worth reading; the book is due out next month.

    1. Randall Flagg

      And while we’re at it, why not haul into court every deer hunter describing the big buck that got away or every fisherman that describes the big one that they failed to hook…
      Not the same as lying to banks and investors I know.

    2. griffen

      In golf terms, I once hit a 400 yard tee shot and nearly aced a par four. Now I was playing a lot of solo rounds of golf, walking 18 a few times per month, 15 to 20 years ago…but no one can prove otherwise! \ sarc

      I’m not a professional so it might have been a mulligan from the tee box. In a sense of honesty on the matter, maybe there was a 300 to 310 yard shot on a slightly downwind par 4.

      1. Randall Flagg

        We’ll all the same, let’s compared our latest rounds of golf in the clubhouse bar…you can regal us with tales of how you just barely missed the cut at the Masters.

        1. griffen

          I’m more of a Happy Gilmore type these days, and just don’t play much at all. Rather lug around a hiking pack on a 4 to 5 miler instead. And hey if we’re lying about sporting exploits, then I’m certainly as close to being a Masters entrant as the film Rudy was a Notre Dame football true story! Maybe Rudy was closer after all.

    3. Carolinian

      Now do Corn Pop.

      Apparently Biden has a new campaign ad where he is shown bravely walking night time Kiev streets with Z while air raid sirens sound. However as I learned from NC at the time there was no reported air raid or damage that night and the Ukrainians had secretly notified the Russians of Biden’s visit so there wouldn’t be.

      In fairness to the Biden campaign it must be hard to find something positive to say about him–not that he’s ever been shy when it comes to boasting of imaginary exploits.

      1. griffen

        Biden will boast about the record jobs created, and too the great economic miracle of recovering from the post-Trump era where POTUS 45 accomplished little of substance or substantive value to anyone other than his MAGA followers. The transcendent arc of the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS Act, which to be fair will be resolved in future years whether those are truly “transcendent” acts of Congress and a President. Yes, run on the economic record thus far since that is seemingly all they have. I don’t have enough “sarc” tags to hand out or cite in the above, so please take your favorite.

        Most pro-Labor President will run such ads on the above, and anything that isn’t a success can be summarized with the “but Trump” retort. Still curious what’s gonna happen to this record of economic successes should inflation not really be solved just yet.

    4. some guy

      Is this about the running situation where Trump was accused of lying about the value of his real estate for fraudulent loan-getting purposes and then for fraudulent tax-evasion purposes?

      If it is, then it isn’t about boasting and calling it “boasting” is apologetics and excuse-making for Trump.

      ” TDS” has become an epithet of dismissal spraypainted on any Trump criticism which the Trump apologists have no answer for. It is just like conservatives spray painting the epithet of “cultural marxism” on anything they don’t have an answer for.

      1. griffen

        Complete BS. Private equity is constantly shifting the goal post on valuation of their “difficult to value” positions and holdings. Private equity pulls strings in a manner that would make politicians weep.

        Added, completely reasonable to harp and point out the flaws specific to Trump. Real estate valuations are always up to debate, and whatever the next idiot in line is willing to pay for said real estate.

      2. Yves Smith

        Innocent until you are proven guilty, unless your name is Trump. The valuation case is still pending.

        Valuations are often on a different basis for different purposes. Every major company’s financials for tax differ from its financials for SEC reporting, for instance. Valuation using replacement cost is different than using income. Etc.

        One tax abuse where they got the Trump Org dead to rights was paying his CFO via lots of perks and not reporting that as his income. But that abuse is pretty much never criminalized. You pay a fine. In the Trump Organization case, the fine was a whopping $1.6 million.

        Having said that, in the valuation case, I recall the attorney general alleges that the Trump Organization lied about its rent rolls. If this was indeed a fabrication as opposed to a Ken Rogoff arguable spreadsheet error, the case should not be hard to prove.

      1. Feral Finster

        The government will do what it wants to do. Public opinion is relevant only if and to the extent it provides a convenient justification.

      1. Carla

        One was the name of a very-much-alive 9-year-old girl, along with her address and her mother’s phone number. Creepy does not begin to cover it. The mother said her daughter doesn’t know what fracking is, and could never have written the letter even if she did.

        1. some guy

          Could the pro-frackers be sued for some kind of fraud, name-theft, something by or on behalf of people whose names were stolen for pro-fracking comments?

    1. GramSci

      «“If she can’t see, chances are it wasn’t her. I wouldn’t disagree with you,” he said. “What I’m saying is somebody who put that email in, that IP address tracks back to a location that is listed as that woman’s address. So within a reasonable degree of certainty, those are the right people…»

      Agentless passive. I call BS. It’s been years since I managed mail servers, but my recollection and a quick check of my inbox, asserts that email headers, unless self-hosted–which is very, very rare, don’t contain end-user IP addresses.

  10. griffen

    Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConell, Diane Feinstein…the whole lot of them should be hitting a long term age restriction on serving their constituency as it were. Don’t voters in these locales share some collective ability, to maybe have an independent thought…nah, that would make too much sense. Old codgers, still clinging to power from the edge of their death bed, so very distinctly and exceptionally American. Wait there are those royals over in the UK as well…

    1. Solideco

      I seem to remember hearing news a couple of years ago that Pelosi agreed to step down as Speaker after the next election as part of deal with the squad and other progressives. No where is any of the stories of her running again have I seen a mention of this. Is my memory playing tricks on me or has the deal been memory-holed?

      1. Rolf

        You are correct: she had announced in 2022 that she would not seek another term:

        “I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress … For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect, and I’m grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility.”

    2. cfraenkel

      Independent thought? In the aggregate, the voters don’t care about thoughts – they only care about the relative bacon providing power of a committee chairman vs a freshman.

    3. Kouros

      Skeksies, the lot of them: “I am the emperooor!”

      I really wonder whetehr transfusions of blood from youngones is part of the menu…

  11. The Rev Kev

    “The Case for Negotiating with Russia”

    ‘Samuel Charap is asking Ukraine and its allies to consider how much worse the war could get.’

    Can’t work out if Charap actually believes all that he us saying here, is saying only what he can get away with, or is saying what the rest of RAND is saying. The conflict will not be frozen as all that guarantees is a worse war as soon as the west re-equips the Ukraine to have another go. I did note that this article was punctuated by the beliefs of the writer for this article and was hostile to Russia. So I checked his bio and discovered that he was actually born in Moscow but more to the point, his name is Keith Gessen. And that is when the penny dropped. He is actually the brother of journalist Masha Gessen, another writer who is anti-Putin, anti-Trump and anti-Russian and whose articles have been linked on NC a coupla times. Funny, isn’t it? The Bidens, the Kagans, the Gessens, Nuland, Blinken, etc. – it’s all a family affair as far as Russia is concerned.

    1. R.S.

      > The Bidens, the Kagans, the Gessens, Nuland, Blinken, etc. – it’s all a family affair as far as Russia is concerned.

      Not sure about the others, but for the Gessens it seems to be it. It used to be a common pattern throughout the Eastern Europe. When the Soviet bloc collapsed, children and grandchildren of emigrants and defectors flocked in to become the new colonial masters, missionaries for the End of History or carpetbaggers. When they started to lose their influence and got booted out, they got really indignant and angry at those insolent savages, you know. Julia Ioffe is one more specimen that springs to mind.

        1. R.S.

          Kinda similar, and not necessary Russian. Radek Sikorski of Poland, for instance. Or Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the president of Latvia who oversaw her country’s ascension into NATO.

    2. ilsm

      Exists in Russia a tiny, but extravagantly supported in the west, group. Rand, and ISW types, Atlanticists, and neoliberals.

      As they support the neocon line of influence, they get outsized coverage.

      One member I had seen had roots in an angst against Stalin’s imprisoning a near ancestor. There remain a faction that despises the idea of Russia

      A source of the wishful thinking that Russians have forgotten how Yeltsin let Russia be pillaged and decline to the US.

  12. VT Digger

    Am concerned, lots of military convoys coming through our small town in the northeast again.
    A year ago we saw three or four HIMARS launchers with logistics train come through over the course of 2 weeks. Those convoys were about 4-5 vehicles if I recall.

    Now convoys of 8-12 vehicles are rolling through again, must have seen at least 5 in the past 10 days. No launchers this time, looks more like construction, towing, fuel tankers, etc. But a lot of materiel moving around through the backwoods up here. Hopefully not gearing up to do something stupid…

    1. Cassandra

      The F35s have been very active over the Upper Valley of the Connecticut River lately. Including some at night, which is unusual.

  13. timbers


    Dima at Military Summary frequently give titles to his summaries that don’t seem to match the summaries themselves, but today’s seems to: “Endless Roads of Death – Russians Control the Situation”.

    Still a better one might be “To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.”

    The world turns and few seem to learn that lesson. At least not yet the Ukrainians, Europeans of the Collective West.

    A Russian offensive is coming and the Kremlin will never tell us when.

    1. Benny Profane

      Get used to this pace. Putin is in no hurry to sacrifice maybe 100,000 of his own young men in an offensive, and certainly is concerned about what that would do to his own future. Doubtful he wants western Ukraine, just wants to starve and beat it into submission. That will take time. What would he do with it, anyway?
      Although all hell could break loose if the new ATACMS missles are used against Russia and Crimea, which they probably will be.

      1. timbers

        Worse than ATSCMS is the German storm shadow also coming soon or so says the internets with a 1000 km range. So unless the old men in the Kremlin prefer to evacuate underground or to the far reaches of Siberia, they might want to revisit their so far mostly hallow threats of targeting decision centers.

        1. nippersdad

          I seem to recall they did a pretty good job of intercepting those British depleted uranium munitions. They may just be waiting for them to cross the border and then destroy them en masse.

          1. timbers

            I seem to recall their air defenses are not 100% especially at the beginning of the learning curve and even then not 100%. In contrast, Russian missles can reach any decision center anywhere on earth. So why take chances? Better to be sure.

            1. nippersdad

              We are very lucky in our enemies. I am ashamed to say that were I in charge in Russia, the temptation to drop a Kinzhal on the Washington Monument or the London Bridge would have been well nigh irresistible several months ago. Their close proximity to Congress or the Pentagon, or Whitehall and the houses of Parliament, should have had some effect.

              You don’t get to say that you have no relation to the conflict when you are the only thing propping up Ukraine.

              And that, folks, is why I never ran for office. But then I would never have gotten us into all of these wars for fun and profit in the first place.

        2. The Rev Kev

          You want to know the worse of it? Both the US and Germany will make the Ukraine pinky-swear that they will not strike civilian targets in Russia. That is the ATSCMS for the US and the Taurus cruise missiles from Germany. And the first week the Ukrainians will do precisely that, even though they should be targeting vital Russian military targets and have none to spare. Then both the US and Germany will shrug their shoulders and just move on and start talking about F-16s or the next wonder weapon.

          1. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

            You think that the Ukrainians will be able to plot targets for the missiles on their ownsome? Without help (and a wink and a nod – “Now, Yuri, these coordinates would drop the ATACM missile on the Kremlin proper. Do not EVER use them!”)?

  14. Benny Profane

    Never once in that Sullivan essay is the word Ukraine used. He brings up the “strengthening NATO” trope, but, that’s easily debatable, especially if NATO loses and is essentially disarmed for years before the factories gear up to replace all the hardware wasted. I get that Biden is way too old, but way too old and picking serious fights with two great powers, both nuclear armed, was somehow ignored. Amazing.

    1. nippersdad

      I think those polls are using the word “old” in place of “senile”. It is not like this country has any difficulty voting for octogenarians these days.

  15. griffen

    I need an org chart for all the Marvel cross over and MCU movies and series that interweave or overlap. I guess not all of them actually do, now that I consider it; wasn’t the initial Ironman film just a standalone, first entry excellent movie (my opinion, others might vary). Glad they didn’t make “Ironman 12” or whatever the Fast XI / next installment from Vin Deisel is gonna be. Vomit, enough already.

    Back to the MCU and all the homework necessary…yeah I might possibly find a way to care and some time revert to watch each Avengers film in the proper sequence. But…yeah I’m not caring then when they released and not caring now either. Bigger and better is not always the outcome of sequels and new spin offs. Bigger and meh…

    1. digi_owl

      Before Iron Man there was Blade, that i suspect nobody even knew was a Marvel character at the time.

      Not to say that Marvel movies has not been tried before, but the FX was not up to the task. End result was muscle men in green paint, and objects suspended from fishing lines.

      1. Chris Smith

        But is the “Blade” series part of the MCU?

        One of the things that made the MCU work was that it was (necessarily) smaller than the comic book universe. For my taste, it got tiresome after “Endgame.” Although I liked the first batch of streaming series.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The first run wrap up was pretty tight with a focus on their big 3. The outsider movies dont have characters standing around going, “where’s Poochie?” In the bug wrap up, they leaned on Spiderman over other characters too because everyone knows he has the powers of a spider, is a loser, and makes quips as spiderman and the success of Black Panther which was on the shoulders of the deceased actor (he was like Christopher Reeves, he exudes friendlines) and had a ton of press. Still everyone served to get the bug three to the end. Even the emotional beats are with Spiderman.

          I’ve spent a grand total of 6 dollars directly on these movies, so it was worth it.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      This goes back to when I was a kid and only saw comics when dad brought some home from the barber shop. DC Comics were best because their stories always ended in the same issue. Marvel comics were interesting but you never learned the end of any story because the stories were always continued. And because they were always continued, each new comic had to explain what had gone before. Sound familiar?

      Even for a little kid it was endurable. What makes the movies so much worse is the unbelievable amount of “messaging” being delivered. And not just PC/Identitarian stuff, the layers of sarcasm and meaningful looks are worthy of an archaeological dig! It’s gotten so bad I no longer want to have sex with anyone in the Marvelverse, not even the villains!

      1. barefoot charley

        In the original Marvel-verse, story lines ran for a few issues, and would not be resolved without a new cliffhanger tagged on to keep you breathless till the next issue. Back in the ’60s Stan Lee had a tiny-print column in back of every issue where he sometimes responded to fan complaints about this transparent manipulation. He replied, “I gotta get you to buy the next issue. Hey, it’s a living.” His roguish honesty about the gonif side of his industry made me a happier fan, till I tired of Peter Parker’s torments and left for college.

      2. Kouros

        I was very pleasantly surprised how varied, full of interesting art and characters the French band-designe are. I spent a week once in Rouen, lodging with the ex-husband of my ex-wife’s friend and he had a full wall with all sorts.

        Beats DC Comics and Marvel big time. Heck, there are all kinds of other graphic series. novels available in North America that are Leagues ahead of this hero crap.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Superheroes are a done franchise right now after all these years and should be retired right now. The last one was the Latino “Blue Beetle” which is struggling at the box office. A few years ago it would have been good enough to make a mint but that was then and this is now. Add to that how Disney has made a dog’s breakfast out of every franchise that they are involved with, including the Marvel Universe and the woke messaging that they insist on and you can see that the Marvel brand is running on fumes. Truth be told, Hollywood has forgotten how to make great films and you can see the result in a whole series of box office catastrophes which are losing hundreds of millions of dollars each. Good movies these days are few and far between and now corporations like Disney are in serious financial strife – and yet they continue to make all these financial flops and the MCU is not immune to all this. What is worse, they cannot get rid of the people that have been making all these disastrous decisions like Bob Igor and Kathleen Kennedy. Would it be so bad if Hollywood collapsed and made space for the independents to fill the gap?

    4. Carolinian

      As a moviegoer I’m always annoyed that you are expected to remember plot points from the previous movie of the franchise that may have come out two years ago. Marvel I’m just not that into you.

      But then story isn’t the main event of most movies these days whereas once it was everything. Now we have banter and attitude–at least in these hypervisual comic book movies.

    5. NotTimothyGeithner

      The first Iron Man was made before the Disney purchase and though relatively simple (there only like five characters) Jon Favreau had total control. He quit during the sequel. The set pieces were great. The banter was cute especially in light of Nolan’s Batman and a shift to gritty in so many things.I doubt there was a Spiderman II in the sequel given the difference in characters.

      1. hk

        Sometimes, mythologies (or the nostalgia for them) continue to fuel imperialism long after the empire, with “updates.” (See remakes of decades old movies with a lot of, eh, “updates.” Or, in real life, Poland ever since 18th century )

    6. PelhamKS

      Marvel comics, IMO, were great ONLY in their time (early ’60s) and their original McLuhanesque medium (small, cheaply produced magazines) and for their artists (Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and an assortment of others, notably including writer Stan Lee). They captured the essence of a brief period of trepidation, wonder and fearsome possibilities.

      The Marvel movies can’t compare.

  16. john

    Re: The Million Dollar Hustle…gives a naive picture of the US college football industry. 1) It’s a multi-billion dollar hustle–division 1 alone generating ~12 b from football. 2) Like Uber, big college football “redistributes” revenue from the players/workers to corporate and investors, namely coaches, administration, stadiums and buildings. Little is spent on athlete health, well-being or education; recall most schools continued playing during the pandemic. 3) Poor academic performance and graduation rates of most programs is a big issue. And the programs are losing money. Because so many players are black, this is becoming a civil rights issue. See Andrew Zimbalist, Smith, economist analysis.

    1. griffen

      It’s a really, really big pool of money when getting down to brass tacks. Seemingly an endless supply, if you measure it by this one article below, covering SMU and the recent positive vote to be added into the ACC. Conferences expanding and moving their boundaries to the lower 48, far as I can tell, it’s about the piles of money and little else.

      Been a fan of college hoops, mostly since I was a young kid and Jordan was still wearing the Carolina Blue for ol’ Dean Smith. It’s hard to recognize anything today that reflects an amateur status for men’s football or men’s basketball. For this fan at least, guys and girls alike, who may never make it to the professional rank or reach that status, can finally and legally get tangible benefits for their talent. No longer a need to dispense cash envelopes at a McDonald’s location.

      1. john

        what these young men and women don’t get are a quality education, career opportunities and healthy lives. (intense competitive sports take a toll on the body!) It’s sad that young adults trade their bodies for such meager amounts of cash.

      2. griffen

        And just to add, plenty of guys matriculate from high school into college playing their chosen sport and that’s the veritable end of their playing days. And yet others are blessed with a combination of talent, size, and desire and will move on to a professional league to to do great things; some often pivot to doing greater things for their local community. Here is one fine example, submitted for review.

  17. Henry Moon Pie

    Two pieces I wanted to strongly recommend out of today’s links:

    AI and Religion–

    The author, formerly The Atlantic’s religion writer, has the background to cover this beat, and she does a fine job of tracing the human hope for transcendence through technology back to Middle Ages theologians. She draws the parallels between Christian eschatology (study of the “last things” from the Greek “eschatos”), and she understands that humans create religions out of a need to answer questions or resolve societal conflicts:

    But it’s important to know where these ideas come from. Not because “religious” is somehow pejorative; just because ideas are religious doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with them (the opposite is often true). Instead, we should understand the history of these ideas — of virtual afterlife as a mode of salvation, say, or moral progress understood as technological progress — so we see that they’re not immutable or inevitable; certain people came up with them at certain times to serve certain purposes, but there are other ideas out there if we want them. We don’t have to fall prey to the danger of the single story.

    If you want to understand the weird role that AI plays in transhumanist religion, this article is a good start.

    Good People Are the Worst–

    This is a good exploration of moral reasoning. Here’s a key paragraph that goes to the root of why “good people are the worst:”

    Psychologists reason that modern humans ultimately see morality as transactional. They believe they can build up moral credits and establish a self-perception as a “good person.” It tends to work. Once you establish a reputation as a good person, you don’t have to work hard to maintain it.

    This transactional approach–if I do something good, God/karma/Tao will reward me–is what James Fowler identified as the mythic-literal phase of moral development. So this status as a “good person” is not just a matter of reputation among other humans. It goes deeper than that. It is a conviction that one is right with the universe if one has built up some credits.

    And this quid-pro-quo phase is what most people enter during elementary school. It’s very “immature” in terms of worldview development.

    So we live in a society where many, indeed most, suffer from stunted moral development.

    1. mrsyk

      Back in the late 90s I knew a guy who wanted to develop a new currency backed by moral behavior which he coined “heaven credits”.
      I’m currently reading Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower”. The idea of the utility of religion to help people navigate what they don’t/don’t want to comprehend is discussed both pro and con, as is living a transactional existence.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Samuel’s article mentioned Terasem, which claims to be modeled on Earthseed, the religion Butler invented in Parable of the Sower.

        I hope you’re enjoying Parable. Butler’s vision of what happens when the old world passes away is a very distinct possibility for our future.

        1. mrsyk

          I find the storyline in Parable would fit inside both Gibson’s Peripheral and Stephenson’s Snowcrash.
          Edit. Yes I am enjoying it for sure.

    2. digi_owl

      Time and time again i wonder if my interest in tabletop roleplaying lead me to see this stuff coming early on.

      Back around 2009 a game came out that was all about mind uploads and what it could enable. Things like replacing your mk1 body with something tuned from the ground up to be a world class athlete. And later expansions even including such exotic options as space whales that could spend their days body surfing the sun’s corona.

      Later some of the people involved in the production of this game would reveal themselves to be “woke” hardliners.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Games are a place where these ideas play out first. I play strategy games like Civ. Civ 2 actually had climate change as a significant end game factor with the agricultural quality of squares decreasing in steps if there was too much pollution from industrial development. Civ 6, which I’ve never played, makes it even more of a factor. I wish the Sid Meier franchise would make a “Land the Plane” version that starts with our current predicament and challenges the players to make changes to see if they can reduce energy and other throughput requirements without sending the civilization into revolution or Mad Max.

        I think the connection between transhumanism and transgenderism is quite close. Both seem to have no regard for our animal nature or how we came to be what we are on this planet. They’re living in their heads and proud of it, and they seem to have nothing but contempt for the “meat world.” It seems to me that our problems result largely from having forgotten who we are and where we came from. Too many people, and it doesn’t take that many, who think they’re giants or gods as Wendell Berry says.

        1. digi_owl


          Invariably the biggest proponents of all this is so far up the Maslov pyramid that the material base is lost in the clouds below.

        2. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

          I actually let a Civ2 game go on without fixing the pollution, just to see what would happen in game terms.

          Well, actually I helped things along by throwing nukes around willy-nilly and not cleaning up.

          The eventual CLIMATE DISASTER!!!! map was … interesting!

    3. albrt

      I’ve never seen it yet to fail
      I’ll never see it fail
      A girl who’s in love with a virtuous man
      Is doomed to weep and wail

      Stonecutters cut it on stone
      Woodpeckers peck it on wood
      There’s nothin’ so bad for a woman
      As a man who thinks he’s good!

      My mother used to say to me
      When you grow up, my son
      I hope you’re a bum like your father was
      ‘Cause a good man ain’t no fun!

    4. JTMcPhee

      “ God gave me my money. I believe the power to make money is a gift from God . to be developed and used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind. Having been endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it is my duty to make money and still more money and to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience.”

      John D. Rockefeller
      Quoted in Peter Collier and David Horowitz, The Rockefellers, an American Dynasty (1976)

      Unshakable conviction meets rationalization…

      1. Carolinian

        The original prosperity gospel-er? Or would that be all those holy oil anointed? What does the divine really think of King Charles?

      2. Mikel

        JT, this is on the wavelength of what I was thinking.

        With fintech/crypto applications at the forefront of the minds of AI market enthusiasts, it’s the worship of the same old Mammon, but disguised in digits.

        AI is half of TINA. If people can be convinced to let automated neo-feudalism and authoritarianism do their thinking for them….

    5. Lex

      I think that in all religions, this idea exists on two planes. We mostly encounter in the lay plane where it is very transactional. But in the theological plane things aren’t so simple. The Mahayana Buddhist understanding of karma is pretty far from spiritual transactionalism. I think the same could be said for a Christian monk’s relationship with God.

      That said, our primary interaction with religions is always at the lay level where a transactional relationship with the divine has held sway since someone decided to offer a sacrifice for good luck, somewhere back in the mists of prehistory. Similarly, our relationship with science isn’t the process of discovery and validation but the technological output.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        “The Mahayana Buddhist understanding of karma is pretty far from spiritual transactionalism.”

        Exactly. And Christianity’s primary trait is that it is not transactional:

        But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

        Romans 3:21-24

        No works. No quid pro quo. Sola gratia. Now is that what the Christian in the pew believes? It may depend on the day of the week, because “works righteousness” is that fall-back quid pro quo position that was the default early in everyone’s life. But a Christian who’s just heard the Law preached full blast followed by the Gospel in all its gracious sweetness will cling to grace rather than works for at least a few hours.

        1. some guy

          Yes, there is a foundational quid pro quo. The quid is that you have to believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. The quo is that once you have sworn that allegiance, you are saved from burning forever in the Hell which Christianity preaches that every non-believer in Jesus as their Lord and Savior burns forever in.

          That’s in the Bible. Or at least in the New Testament.

      2. JP

        I don’t think we have to look at this through a religious or moral lens at all. Showing kindness to strangers or helping your neighbors is probably a better social glue then the law. Being a criminal or an a$$hole can be hard and unrewarding work. Building good relationships, on the other hand, is smart business. This is more in line with eastern concepts of karma, the goal of which is liberation, as in not creating karma. Looking at all your interactions as good or bad is not the point.

        The big question is if AI can be crafted to pull metaphysical levers. These mechanisms exist in the realm of sorcery and I know I can personally make it rain or make the stock market decline so why not.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          “Building good relationships, on the other hand, is smart business.”

          Have you let the bankers and the Tech Masters know?

    6. Kouros

      In Iain M Banks The Algebraist, the “currency” used by some gas giant denizens was translated as “kudos”… for the good deeds accumulated…

    7. Bazarov

      The psychologist studies that Ok Doomer cites seem very similar to those that, uh, don’t seem to replicate.

      I take such widely publicized psychological “findings” with a big grain of salt, considering recent revelations of fraud in this field and the general replication crisis (which is not limited to but seems very pronounced in the sort of headline grabbing psychological literature used often to lend op-ed level “insights” the veneer of scientific objectivity).

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Ageist Attacks Aren’t New in Presidential Campaigns, And They Haven’t Worked”

    But I beg to differ. There was that time back in ’72 when this 29 year-old guy challenged a sitting Senator and saying that the guy was too old for the job and was out of touch. Readers can guess who I mean-

    ‘Biden was 29 years old when he was elected to represent Delaware in the US Senate in 1972. His campaign offered a preview of the highly personal style of attack ads that would come to dominate American politics in the years since, with one radio ad describing his opponent, incumbent Republican Cale Boggs, as being trapped in the past.

    “One of the biggest differences between Cale Boggs and Joe Biden is the things they worry about,” the ad stated, according to a CNN report on Tuesday. “In Cale Boggs’ day when Stalin ruled, Americans had visions of the Russian soldiers in our streets. In Joe Biden’s day, Americans have visions of American criminals in our streets.”

    “Joe Biden, he understands what’s happening today,” the ad concluded.

    “Cale doesn’t want to run,” Biden told the Delaware Evening Journal on the campaign trail. “He’s lost that old twinkle in his eye he used to have.”

    And as this article points out, Biden is currently nearly twenty years older than that sitting Senator was whom he beat-

      1. some guy

        Except that Biden isn’t really a Boomer, is he? And what does that have to do with millions of non-poltical Boomers out here in the field anyway?

        1. Richard

          The young people who did best out of the boomers coming of age were their immediate precursors. Those born during the war were just enough older to have the independence and maturity to lead the children’s crusade. I’m thinking, for example, of the rock and rollers like the Beatles who burst on the scene after the dead period that followed early Elvis, Jerry Lee, etc., and the radicals like the SDSers — most just a few years older than the mass of boomers, born in ’46 and after.

    1. Pat

      Biden’s previous campaigns are lessons in hypocrisy, nastiness and misrepresentation, and have numerous clues to how venal unpleasant and yes corrupt he is. I can usually see why some of our more odious politicians got elected, but Biden kept being outed during his campaigns and still got elected. I just don’t get it.

      1. JTMcPhee

        1$ = 1 vote.

        The ratchet only turns one way.

        Until the machine breaks.

        But the math and physics seem immutable, given the course of many empires and “human social constructs.”

        Maybe the LGTBQ+++ers will break the model? Er…

      2. nippersdad

        Delaware being our most corporate state, the Senator from MBNA is their most perfect representative. That part has never really surprised me.

        1. playon

          Biden’s early political career was bankrolled by the credit card industry, he’s been a corporate shill since day one.

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        Small state issues that can be managed is why he kept getting reelected. A bought Democrat who isn’t keeping the GOP out of a majority is perfect for the usual suspects. It gives the veneer of bipartisanship.

        For most Americans, he simply didn’t exist until 2008. He’s campaigned in Iowa and NH before and did horribly in 2020 primaries. I suspect tv news consumers internalized the idea of 2016 negativity and thought the goofy guy from The Onion was real. Kids said he was bad, but Rachel Maddow said he cured cancer. And Biden promises everything going will be easy. He can handle China because he’s met Xi and knows how to handle him. It’s just childish drivel, but its an easy answer to empty factories and everything made in China instead of tackling Wal Mart.

      4. Katniss Everdeen

        I just don’t get it.

        biden’s not Trump. Absolutely nothing else can be allowed to matter, especially 50 years of biden and democrat betrayal and hypocrisy. Rightly or wrongly, Trump and the constituency he represents are that threatening to the status quo.

        And this lesser-of-two-evils rot, which historically inures to democrat benefit, not only runs deep, but has become generational.

        Here is a link to a “debate” from two days ago between krystal ball and kyle kulinski on one side, and Briahna Joy Gray on the other. ball and kulinski take the position that democrat party rule must be preserved at all costs because of Trump’s “fascism,” and citing biden’s puny incrementalism as an astonishing “accomplishment” worth preserving.

        Gray takes the position that a vote for green party candidate, Cornell West, would help to break the corporate political duopoly and legitimize a third political party with ballot access and matching funds. Gray even makes the remarkable statement that she’s “not afraid of Trump,” and considers destroying the two party system a far more worthy goal than preventing a Trump second term.

        It’s a fascinating discussion if you’re interested in getting into the heads of this latest generation of political “pundits” not of the linear TV variety, and figuring out why bad history keeps repeating.

        1. Screwball

          I used to watch Krystal & Saager when they were Rising. IMO, something happened when they left and went on their own. I suspect $ has something to do with it. I can’t stand 5 minutes of Krystal anymore, and Saager has changed too, but not as bad.

          Jimmy Dore did a couple of video’s skewering Krystal & Kyle for various reasons, mostly because they have a different narrative today than they did a few years ago. I don’t know if Kyle & Krystal’s marriage has anything to do with their brain rot, but they are both inflicted with it now. I can’t stand to watch the above video all the way through, but I feel bad for BJG getting ambushed by those two phony grifters.

          TL;DR – Krystal, has went from someone who would criticize the democrats and their establishment, while backing people like West & Williamson (she hates JFK Jr. as her interview with him made quite clear) – to a “vote blue no matter who” sock puppet. After that interview, I wonder how her and BJG get along. As I understood it, they were good friends (BJG was at her wedding) and BJG was pretty hard on Krystal in her Twitter feed.

          IMO, if the K twins (Krystal Kylinski & Kyle Ball) went far far away, not many would miss them, and we would all be in a better place. I find them both truly awful.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            FWIW i agree with your evaluation of Krystal – like you i enjoyed their show on Rising but when the success of BP seemed assured her arrogance became overwhelming and was impossible to watch anymore – i like Sagar’s take on many things and feel sorry that he is no attached to Krystal – she has no tact in interviews, using a baseball bat to make her points – stopped watching a while ago when the subjects they chose to cover seemed days late and already covered in NC and the commentariat – Dore has his issues too –

          2. Dr. John Carpenter

            One thing to keep in mind; Krystal came from MSNBC and Huffington Post. She also ran for congress as a Democrat. I think the Rising period was the exception and what we see now is who she always was.

            Kyle I’ve never had any use for. Brianna I disagree with sometimes, but I think her heart and head are in the right place.

      5. some guy

        Massive support from the various chartered-in-Delaware banks and credit card companies whose interest he lived to serve.

      1. some guy

        Maybe somebody should run those exact ads their own selves. And then say something like ” sauce . . . goose . . . gander . . . . eh, Mister President?”

  19. furnace

    “Fourth Update on Niger Crisis: Tinubu Pushes for a Compromise; But Threat of Military Intervention Remains” thanks for sharing. Thought you folks might find it interesting, it’s a guy who analyses things in West Africa a lot closer to the ground, since he (I believe) is based in Nigeria. He very much downplays the “imperialist” side of the story (which is real, and he doesn’t deny it) and focuses on regional and internal dynamics, which is something very difficult to find written about elsewhere.

    As for the situation itself, it does seem like no one really wants war besides France and the smaller ECOWAS nations (as well as the Nigerian MIC, which doesn’t seem to be huge but also isn’t irrelevant). I remain hopeful that war won’t break out. It remains to be seen, I suppose.

    1. Paleobotanist

      A friend is just back from Senegal (member of ECOWAS). She reports that the unpopular govt is pushing for war, but that the people are firmly against and happy to see the French shoved out.

    2. Aurelien

      Yes, it’s an unusually good piece, which goes on a bit, but is well worth reading. You’ll learn a lot more from it than any ten opinion pieces in the western media. The author is a Nigerian, which is good in that he’s from the region, but less good in that Nigerians often fail to understand francophone Africa, and have a reputation (often deserved, I’m afraid to say) for arrogance towards the smaller countries. (I remember once going to the Nigerian Embassy in Paris and finding that all the visa application forms were in English only, and few of the consular staff seemed to speak French. Tough, was the response to complaints from the French speakers there.) He also, partly for this reason, still retails some of the old anti-colonial and anti-French clichés found in the region.

      It’s clear that the diplomatic pressure from ECOWAS and the AU is working, and it’s likely that the junta will step down at some point, with face-saving arrangements. There’s nothing to indicate that the US is a serious actor here. On the other hand, the resistance of some AU states to outside involvement (this includes Turkey, a major sponsor of the anti-Gaddafi forces in 2011, and which is trying to construct Ottoman Empire 2,0 in the region) is less about military intervention than about the political cadre for any settlement. It goes back, at least, to furious rows between the French and the South Africans in the late 2000s about the management of the crisis in the Ivory Coast. There’s zero interest in Paris in a military intervention of any kind, though I’m fairly sure the military have contingency plans for the evacuation of French nationals: they would be remiss if they didn’t.

      What may not be obvious from the article is the extreme sensitivity of the mercenary issue in Africa: it doesn’t matter which nation the mercenaries are from. Africans still remember the mercenary units that fought against independence movements (in Rhodesia for example) and their use in overthrowing governments during the Cold War. Wagner had better be careful.

  20. antidlc
    This weekend’s G20 summit in India could be a COVID super-spreader event, experts caution

    lobal leaders will convene in India this weekend for a two-day summit—quite possibly bringing with them various COVID variants surging in different parts of the world.

    Will the gathering of G20 heads of state serve as a super-spreader event?

    The photo at the top shows Biden coughing.

  21. Pat

    Recently there was a discussion in the comments discussing how bad most of us thought Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot movies were.
    This was Indie Wire’s bad review.
    The thing is they have it wrong, based on the other two films they are not plodding and lethargic because of Branagh’s respect for the material. They are duds because he both doesn’t really understand the material and is too narcissistic to allow Poirot to be the observer of the action and human drama. His Poirot pulls focus at inappropriate moments and his expanded personal drama is the point.
    I enjoyed the Knives Out movies, but I suspect they are going to age about as well as most of this century’s superhero films are. But done well, both seriously or with tongue in cheek, Christie’s Poirot holds up. The best seventies films are lovely and the Suchet series is top notch. They are still as entertaining as either Knives Out film.
    About the only thing we do agree about is Branagh’s films are not entertaining.

  22. Carolinian

    Never mind JFK. Kunstler’s ranting can be my kind of ranting.

    “Joe Biden” was Mr. Obama’s device for wresting control of the DNC from Hillary Clinton’s gang. But now “Joe Biden” has criminal problems of his own that threaten to take down not only his own presidency, but of everything connected to it, namely his controller, Mr. Obama & Company, and the Democratic Liberal order itself driven insane by its own criminality. Meanwhile, his nemesis, Donald Trump has proven to be extraordinarily resilient in the remorseless war against him. And now that has culminated in the (so far) four cockamamie criminal cases cooked up by Obama / “Biden” as the final line of defense against the Golden Golem of Greatness — who obviously has no intention of surrendering.

    More CT here

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Carolinian: Put down that ranting before somebody gets hurt. Yikes, the piece is bad, even for a Kunstler rant.

      There’s this: “All of that psychodrama was hijacked, of course, by the serious neo-Marxists lurking among the Left, who used it in the usual neo-Marxian way: to overthrow everything in the established social order. And who were these? The circle around Barack Obama.”

      Yep, Rahm “Lenin” Emanuel. Michelle “Kollontai” Obama. David “Red Star” Plouffe.

      Then Kunstler tries to drag in Ayers. Wowsers. Ayers is a thoroughly insignificant person in Chicago and Illinois politics.

      Then the Common Core State Standards. In my last publishing job, I had to read the Common Core State Standards. Believe me, there is nothing Marxist or revolutionary about them. They are the usual Ed.Doc. bureaucratese.

      Kunstler is having an off day. If I were you, I’d send him a bottle of rye whiskey.

      1. Carolinian

        Well I did say ranting. I’d say much of the JFK stuff is off the wall as well. Brian DePalma even once made a movie satirizing it called Greetings.

        And while I’ll give you the neo-Marxist when he meant neoliberal, Kunstler’s main CT that Obama still mostly lives in Washington so he can pull administration strings isn’t totally off the wall. Why does he still live in DC? And does he have lots to hide that we don’t know about? By most accounts he had quite a lot to do with Russiagate.

        Re Ayers–back in 2008 rumor was that he actually authored Obama’s books. Whadyathink?

        1. pjay

          I’m not sure which “JFK stuff” you are referring to here, and this is not the forum in which to do it, but I’d be more than happy to match evidence of a conspiracy involving agents of government in the Kennedy assassination with evidence that Obama is part of a “Marxist” conspiracy.

          I mean this in the friendliest way since I often agree with your observations. But based on this and other comments, you seem to have a “thing” about Kennedy and his demise. I do, too (see my comment below). I hope your not basing your views on Seymour Hersh’s CIA smear-job, or Chomsky.

          1. Carolinian

            Hersh, Chomsky, Cockburn…not exactly chopped liver. And I really have no opinion on the matter other than that those who think they know what happened are likely to be wrong. And that’s what DePalma was riffing on and the problem some of us have with Oliver Stone and his thesis that history would have been different except for Allen Dulles or, as some theories have it, LBJ and his Texas supporters having him killed.

            Don’t forget that JFK was himself a Cold Warrior and ran to the right of Eisenhower with his made up “missile gap.” I think this is why Vietnam opponents like Chomsky and Hersh and Ellsberg didn’t like him. There’s been zealous hagiography to paint Kennedy the other way. A little dissent on the question doesn’t hurt.

            1. some guy

              Was Kennedy still a Cold Warrior when he pursued the Atmospheric Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the USSR? What was Kennedy planning to do about our involvement in Vietnam after 64, if re-elected?

              Here is an article mainly on the Rabin assassination, which as a partial aside offers a little dissent ( which doesn’t hurt) on the question of why certain prominent “leftists” like Chomsky and Cockburn dismiss Kennedy and the assassination. Here is a paragraph explaining that “little dissent on the question” which “doesn’t hurt.”

              . . . ” There’s a reflex among some on the left to embrace the lone gunman hypothesis, because they regard the alternative as an embrace of a hollow liberal myth. Noam Chomsky and Alexander Cockburn regard John F Kennedy as nothing but a patrician cold warrior who would have delivered more of the same had he lived. Rabin receives the same treatment, if not more, for his harsh words and measures during the Intifada and for the flawed Oslo Accords. But their killers were not appraising them from the left. From the hard right, they were both men who had risen through the system and had become traitors to it.” . . .

              Here is the link to the entire article.

              (By the way, I remember having read some articles by Alexander Cockburn in which he claimed that global warming was a hoax advanced by the nuclear power industry to gain for itself money, power and markets.)

              If Chomsky and Cockburn are not exactly chopped liver, they are pretty close to it.

              1. Carolinian

                Yes people love to cite Cockburn’s AGW skepticism (he loved big old American cars) in the spirit of “gotcha now.” But maybe a little dissent on AGW is not such a bad thing either given that those who claim to passionately care about the matter are doing so little about it–perhaps can do so little about it. We live in an era where our oh so educated elites are obsessed with right think and wrong think but arguably the main thing is simply to think and keep an open mind. And that’s the thrust of my original Kunstler comment too. He’s committing rhetoric and argument. It’s not an oracle from on high.

                1. some guy

                  “Skepticism” is the perfume which the pig of AGW denialism loves to spray itself with.

                  The elites’ obsession with right think and wrong think is irrelevant to the existence or not of man made global warming. Either the global is warming or it isn’t. And if it is, either industrial man is warming it or it isn’t.

                  If you think man made global warming is a hoax, you have an excellent contrarian investing opportunity laid out before your feet. If you buy land in Florida or Louisiana or someplace like that, you should be all set to make serious money when the global warming which does not exist according to Cockburn fails to take place and people finally realize it.

      2. Michael Fiorillo

        While I’m far from a supporter of open borders, Kunstler’s take on immigration is nasty. I stopped paying attention to him years ago, and I’d urge everyone to do the same.

    2. JP

      Kunstler sounds like a team player to me if he doesn’t know by now that criminal behavior is the price of admission regardless of party. Of course the biggest crime is building empire through military conquest and maybe all presidential races are actually coup attempts.

  23. Lex

    I’ve never been deep into the JFK assassination, but the article was deeply interesting because it addresses one of the major loose ends. I can understand why Landis didn’t bring it up until the end of life, unless he wanted to spend his time as a major player in the JFK conspiracy community there was no point.

    The fact that the USG refuses to finish declassifying documents is the strongest indictment against the accepted version of events. Everyone involved is either dead or will be soon enough. The only thing that could be damaged is institutional reputation. Most likely it’s that Allen Dulles and the CIA did it.

    1. GramSci

      Most likely it’s that Allen Dulles and the CIA did it had it done.

      Fixed it for ya. Per the participle of plausible deniability.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        thank you for correcting it – “most likely” hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah – they did it – Oswald was played – reading “JFK The Unspeakable” right now – Dulles brothers were evil incarnate –

    2. pjay

      Sure, I can understand why a Secret Service agent would wait *60 f**king years* to explain the magical appearance of the “magic bullet,” perhaps the *most important piece of physical evidence* in the assassination! He was depressed, confused, PTSDed… yeah, right.

      Every 10th anniversary of the assassination there is a spate of articles and books about it. Whenever such an article appears in any mainstream media source, it is almost always to do one of two things. The vast majority explain why the Warren Commission was right – the Lone Nut did it! I am old and much more humble than I used to be, so I almost never say I am certain about anything anymore. But I can say with absolute certainty that anyone who still believes this is either completely ignorant of the evidence or lying. Either way, it’s still the Establishment Narrative, so most deviants will simply be written off as “conspiracy theorists” and ignored.

      There are, however, two sub-genres of “conspiracy” literature that have sometimes been taken seriously and actually reviewed by the mainstream press. The first are “the mafia did it” books. The second are the “Cuba (and/or the USSR) did it” books. I can’t recall when the mainstream press has ever promoted or accepted or done anything but trashed a work that points to those most likely involved in the assassination and cover-up based on the evidence (and there is actually quite of bit of it since the 1990s, thanks to Oliver Stone’s JFK movie and the resulting public outcry that led to some major declassification).

      So this is my long-winded way of asking a basic question: why is this article appearing now? What’s the scam? Is Landis just wanting to make some money for his family during the 60th Anniversary year? Or is there something else involved? That this author acts like this one revelation is somehow earth-shattering and changes everything is pretty laughable to anyone who has been following the story seriously.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          agreed – good question – the UFO thing, why not, anything to keep the click-bait masses entertained – perhaps because they still haven’t released everything under the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act – muddy the water, create the curious – hmmmmm, who doesn’t have secret service protection? – going to be an interesting election cycle – tired of the popcorn, a good cognac sounds about right –

    3. Tom Stone

      Earl Warren disavowed the “Warren Report” in his later years for good reason.
      It may still be the “Official” story but it was obviously horse shit from the gitgo.
      Learning that Mitch WerBell was in Dealey Plaza that day certainly raised my eyebrows, as did the use of a Carcano by an Ex marine.

      1. Omicron

        Never thought about the implausibility of the Marine-Carcano connection. Whenever I get into an argument with someone who wants to believe the Warren “report” au pied de la lettre, I recite the following experience. I was always mildly skeptical, but only that, of the Warren “report.” Thirty years after the event, I had occasion to visit Dallas for the first time on a consulting gig. By coincidence, the day before I left I looked again at the Zapruder film. At lunch hour, I walked down the street toward the Texas Schoolbook Depository and turned left into Dealey Plaza. I looked at the angles and at the site, and the scales almost literally fell from my eyes. The fatal shot, the one that blew JFK’s head apart, was fired from the grassy knoll. Nothing else could have caused Kennedy to jerk backward and to the left (as is plainly visible in the Z film), and certainly not a shot from the right rear (which is where the TSD stood relative to the Presidential limo at that point). I’ve seen the arguments that a from-the-rear shot would cause the victim to lurch backward because of the expulsion of brain matter from the front of the head, etc., but, because they would require a right-angle lurch to the left, I don’t find them at all persuasive (nor do people who know a lot more physics than I do). I don’t have a good countertheory, but if you start with the ancient investigative dictum, cui bono, “who benefits?”, you don’t wind up with a lone ex-Marine who defected to the USSR, married a Russian woman, and *got* *out* of Cold War Russia with her a year after the Cuban missile crisis. I don’t like to think of who you *do* wind up with.

        In my last lecture before I retired from my career as a university professor of English, I told my students that they would never know what it was like being 25 years old, finishing your Ph.D., and having Jack Kennedy for your president. I did, and my sense of loss remains indescribable. Jack had his flaws, Lord knows, but this country has gone straight down hill ever since that day nearly six decades ago.

        1. Screwball

          Thank you for this. I have been there as well (late 2000s). I have been a JFK hobbyist since I was shocked to see what happened as a 2nd grader. I’ve read countless books, watched everything I could watch ever since. I never bought it.

          Then I went there, and to your great points. I was in Grapevine at a huge conference but had an afternoon to find something to do before we flew home. That’s easy – off to Dealy – chance of a lifetime. The first thing I noticed was how small it was compared to how it looked on TV. The second was how tight the security was. No cameras, metal detectors to get in, guards all over. I found it strange and intimidating. They were adding a 7th floor, and had a few displays in already. Three guards followed me.

          Looking from the snipers nest at the X on the street where the first shot was suppose to have hit, there is no way the geometry lines up with the official story. This was my “smoking gun” you might say – pun intended for the NSA ears. Ironically, you walk not too far down the aisle and there is the mock-up of the plaza used in the Warren Commission hearings. There is a string wound up laying on the display floor, an open window on the sixth floor, and the limo on the street where the X is. Why isn’t the string attached to the window and the car? Because the angle isn’t even close – and somebody might notice that – especially since they just looked out the 6th floor window less than a minute ago.

          I spent at least a half hour going back and forth between the model and the window. I am an engineer by trade, specializing in CAD. Angles Я us. No sale.

          I spent a good 4 hrs walking the entire plaza, including the tracks and overpass. From the knoll, if the other X painted on the street is accurate, a prime place to be. I think a good hired gun could have done it with a pistol. I’ll bet he could be within 100 feet.

          I also spent an hour talking to a couple of panhandlers on the knoll. One was Robert Groden of all people. I read his books. It was an interesting conversation to say the least. But I had fun. A bucket list kind of deal.

          I still love this stuff. Tin foil hat off. :-)

        2. Jabura Basaidai

          was in 9th grade sitting in the second seat of the first row at UD Jesuit high school in Detroit when we got the announcement our first catholic president had been assassinated – Allen Dulles was a member of the Warren Commission, how convenient – your 10 years older than me, the loss had to be more visceral – i listen to his UN final speeech, Peace speech at American U and the Secret
          societies speech to the Newspaper Publishers Association at least once a year for the last decade or so – the hill you write of seems greased really well with the cascading consequences of the corporate world – it’s a Death Economy, pure and simple – and it ain’t just this country – now i really will have that cognac –

        3. Richard

          Agree about the critical importance of the JFK assassination to the way the 60s unfolded. Lots of people say JFK would not have escalated Vietnam. That is very possible. But, even if not, the politics and protest of the period would have been different. To pick one thing, I can’t imagine tens of thousands of college kids marching through Washington chanting “Hey, Hey, JFK. How many kids did you kill today.” Even with the draft.

          The whole atmosphere would have been different — better — and that would have counted in many spheres.

      2. Jason Boxman

        I never thought anything about the assassination, having been born many years after. Someone here recommended the JFK film when I asked about films during the initial stages of the Pandemic, and I finally watched it, and I’m amazed that it was actually made. It’s clear the official story doesn’t hold water.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        anyone Hellary labels a Russian asset can’t be all bad – she had good perspective on Syria – where the US forces are still stealing oil –

    1. scott s.

      Haven’t seen her in Hawaii, at least where I look. Same thing with BJ Penn. She’s right that the new Gov did create his emergency powers declaration on housing in July (instead of Build Back Better he gave us Build Beyond Barriers) and it sure smells like west Maui is the test case for his emergency powers. The woman tapped to lead this state effort (Nani Medeiros) just resigned this week with excuse about too much pressure/social media attacks.

  24. Reply

    Biden transition? Here is a jumbled line of succession. Scary.

    Winkin, Blinkin and Nod*

    *answer key – Heels Up, Clueless SoS & Bidet

  25. LadyXoc

    New Yorker article authored by another Gessen: serves to rehash Bucha Massacre trope (that I believe has been debunked, pointing instead to Ukrainian war crimes against suspected “collaborators”), mentions “several thousand dead” (when Russian MoD estimates state upwards of 500,000 Ukrainians dead), and the nonsense that formerly Russian-occupied areas contained mass graves, filtration sites and kidnapped children. These salient talking points are embedded in a longer piece so you just ingest them smoothly and they don’t stick in your craw. As they should, being the regurgitated ISW propaganda that they are.

    1. R.S.

      …and Keith Gessen was once considered “Russia-friendly”. Yeah, when I read that, I kinda raised my eyebrow. The previous version of Bucha IIRC was pretty different. I quite vividly recall all those politicians doing their macabre pilgrimage to body bags.

      My guess it’s just yet another example of narrative management a.k.a. “we all say so, and so it must be true.”

  26. GramSci

    Re: Optimizing outcomes by thinking the best of people.

    This is kind of a companion piece to “Good People are the Worst”, extensively commented on above. My reaction to both, but to “Optimizing outcomes” in particular, is that people judge their own “goodness” by the behavior of people around them. In our present sociodarwinist society, red in tooth and claw, only individuals well protected by wealth can afford to think well of their neighbors, but they are usually too avaricious to do so.

  27. Carolinian

    Turley on the Biden family’s Doublethink re laptop–it’s not his but how dare you expose it.

    Of course there’s an MSM angle too

    Devine and her colleagues at the New York Post (as well as Fox News and the Wall Street Journal) have pursued this story since the beginning when it was suppressed by social media companies before the election. They have pursued the story for years as the media went through a series of false denials and narratives. Instead, the media endlessly pursued every allegation in the now-infamous Steele dossier and the New York Times and Washington Post received Pulitzer Prizes for a story that not only has been debunked but shown to be the product of Hillary’s Clinton’s presidential campaign.

    As usual Turley hits the target although his columns may get carried away with the headline “hooks.” Don’t want to be accused of having a “quote boy”*

    *see Doonesbury on George Will

  28. EnigmaWrappedInBacon

    New Mexico governor issues order suspending the right to carry firearms in public across Albuquerque

    * * *

    The Order issued by New Mexico Governor Grisham has a chance of backfiring and making it harder to regulate guns and address more traditional public health emergencies.

    New Mexico is part of the 10th Circuit. It is therefore likely that the challenge to the Governor’s order will first be heard by a Federal District Court Judge in New Mexico, and, if appealed, to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    I would describe the Tenth Circuit as moderately conservative. The 12 active non-senior judges are about evenly spilt between Obama/ Biden appointees and Bush/Trump appointees. The Chief Judge of the 10th Circuit is Jerome Holmes. He is the only African American on the Court and I believe the first in its history. He is a former large law firm corporate attorney and prosecutor but has shown independence. For example, he penned a concurring opinion supporting the constitutionality of same sex marriage.

    In a prior life I worked for a federal District Court Judge. In my experience a vast majority of federal judges draw within the lines most of the time. They pick and choose when they want to push the law outside its current parameters.

    All of this suggests that the New Mexico District Court judge assigned to this case and the Tenth Circuit are going to use traditional rules of interpretation to evaluate Governor Grisham’s Order. Here, that means that the Order will likely be struck down.

    And perhaps more importantly, this is exactly the kind of Order that the more conservative Justices on the Supreme Court can latch on to. The Supreme Court has mostly taken a piecemeal approach to Second Amendment cases. They started by declaring a constitutional right to bear arms to protect yourself in the home and then every few years have addressed a related fact pattern (e.g., do you have a right to transport a gun outside the home).

    This New Mexico order runs the risk of a more categorical approach. And one of the easiest ways for the conservative majority on the Supreme Court to send a message to other states and cities who want to broadly limit gun possession is to make more sweeping decisions attacking the ability to declare public health emergencies to justify a range of issues, including pandemics.

    At this point, it might be better if the Order is struck down at the District Court level and then not appealed.

    1. GramSci

      From what you say, the best might be if Governor Grisham, having exercised her fifteen minutes of fame, withdrew the order before the court rules.

      1. Pat

        Can we say that the odds on Governor Grisham realizing that whoever was telling her that this was her way into the viable VP future Presidential candidate pool was actually a saboteur and that she has shot herself in the foot is worse than being a triple MegaMillions jackpot winner?
        I don’t know who she has pissed off in her family and the legacy New Mexican Democrats, and how, but I think she is about to find out how little of her career has been because of her talents and abilities.

      2. EnigmaWrappedInBacon

        That’s an interesting question, but not very likely to happen for at least a couple of reasons. One is the opponents of the Order are surely working all weekend so that they will be able to go to court first thing Monday morning seeking a temporary restraining order. The organizations opposing the order and their lawyers probably like how this issue would be framed for the court.

        The other reason this is likely going to court and not being withdrawn relates to the Governor and her political calculations. I am far from an expert on New Mexico or its politics. I suspect she is genuinely outraged by the increasing body count and wants to say that she at least tried something.

        My concern is that the something she has tried may end up being counterproductive in the extreme.

  29. Teodora Famy

    War on cash; Cash is winning.

    Restaurants and bars throughout the Bay Area who rely on Square to take payments were left frustrated and scrambling. Many posted to social media, telling customers to bring cash. Cash App, another mobile payment service run by Square’s owner, Block, was also down. Many businesses couldn’t take online takeout orders, another source of lost revenue. Viet Pham, a Food Network star and restaurant owner in Salt Lake City, shared on social media that he lost nearly $18,000 in sales.

    Square, was managed by the same Globalist, Sara Fryer, who now runs Nextdoor Neighbor, the Orwellian, data-vacuuming, censored, fake local site.

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      without a doubt – Drumpf only gets free press and easy to discern it is politically motivated – he’s a scrapper – Michael Moore said don’t underestimate Trump’s ‘evil genius’ in 2020 and it applies to 2024 too – as mentioned previously, this is going to be an interesting election cycle – Drumpf certainly has the money to effectively defend with attorneys – seems to be a time thing mostly – but the dems certainly have their problems with the Husk – still say he’s going to pull a LBJ – “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.” – the bench ain’t deep but it seems inevitable –

  30. Glen

    Here’s a good article on the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LTS) or as it’s not so affectionately known in the Navy, the Little Crappy Ship:

    The Inside Story of How the Navy Spent Billions on the “Little Crappy Ship”

    I left service long before these were implemented, but with the end of the USSR, the US Navy was no longer going to be fighting a “blue water” navy, and many of the combat systems were “non-optimal” in littoral water (i.e worked poorly, or not at all). So it was recognized that ships and systems which could operate in those conditions were required, but it looks like the resulting ships just flat don’t work.

    I think that the problems seem in the LCS program are endemic in America today (and maybe the EU). The GFC which is much discussed here has much in common with the LCS failure: warnings from workers in the trenches that things were going wrong which were ignored, resulting in failures later on when pushed into service, and trying to solve the problems by throwing more money at it rather than fix the underlying issues.

    To me, this is not a failure in terms of the concept, or the systems in place to manage execution of the program. It is a failure of leadership, of the actual people running the show, of the leaders at the very top, and of the mid-level managers refusing to respond to reality from the trenches.

  31. Kouros

    When the breakwater bursts.

    These are mere trickles. Every continent has myths from long ago experiences, when some natural barriers broke, and waters from one place started discharging in some other place. Like the probably original Deluge stroy in the Bible, with the wall separating Black Sea from Mediteraneean Basin some 8,000-10,000 years ago…

    Now think Greenland ice sheet melting, or East or West Antarctic going downhill…

  32. Jack

    To speculate about the governor’s move, I note she has law enforcement at the table with her, not healthcare, though her decree is about public health, and her background is in healthcare. Albuquerque Police Department has been condemned for excessive violence for decades. The APD may have “drawn back” as Sullivan put it, since BLM. Gun violence in Albuquerque is in APD’s jurisdiction. I speculate she’s acting as a ‘stiffener” here, putting pressure on APD to perform.( I recommend watching the complete video of the press conference.) She has also characterized her move as a sort of experiment, for thirty days. The judiciary could drag its feet for that long. It seems that the gun owners were tipped off to her play, perhaps by someone at the table with her. I don’t read anything from the Sandy Hookers in her support. She did not say anything like ” thoughts and prayers have proven inadequate”, there’s no weeping mothers. Commenters Pat and Gramsci might watch the entire video and compare her performance to any press conference of Vice-President Harris. Enigma has the right of it: she is outraged by the body count, and says in several ways that she’s been hearing from the citizens about their outrage as well. Any successful play will involve the second amendment, of course. She’s made a bold opening move. As Yogi said,
    ‘it ain’t over til it’s over.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *