Links 9/11/2023

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Can We Talk to Whales? Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker. Interesting, but also a classic in a distinctively New Yorker genre: The writer, accompanied by a “native guide,” seeks an elusive animal in an untamed environment — but fails in the quest.

The oracle problem and the future of DeFi (PDF) Bank of International Settlements. “There is little clarity on legal recourse if a smart contract were triggered by false information (BIS (2022)), especially in jurisdictions where crypto activities are not regulated or forbidden.” Well, it’s not as if we have technology that generates false information at scale. Oh, wait….


The Race to Drill America’s Longest Oil and Gas Wells WSJ

Time to target fossil fuel demand, not supply Reuters

British Columbia’s fire crisis arrived decades earlier than forecast Wildfire Today

How Scientists Discovered the Staggering Complexity of Human Evolution Scientific American

Scientists say they have pinpointed the moment humanity almost went extinct CNN. “1,280 reproducing individuals” 900,000 years ago.


Quantity of SARS-CoV-2 RNA copies exhaled per minute during natural breathing over the course of COVID-19 infection (preprint). Important[1]. From the Abstract: “Here, we collected exhaled breath specimens from COVID-19 patients and used RTq-PCR to show that numbers[2] of exhaled SARS-CoV-2 RNA copies during COVID-19 infection do not decrease significantly until day 8[3] from symptom-onset. COVID-19-positive participants exhaled an average of 80[4] SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA copies per minute during the first 8 days of infection, with significant variability both between and within individuals, including spikes over 800[5] copies a minute in some patients.” And from the Discussion: “Levels of exhaled viral RNA did not differ across age, sex, time of day, vaccination status or viral variant[6].”

NOTES: [1] It’s telling that this study is from Northwestern, a fine school, but not Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, etc. [2] These numbers, bad as they are, seem conservative. [3] So the CDC’s 5-day isolation guidance promotes infection. [4] Do the math with X number of people in a 3-Cs space. I am not sure if an “RNA copy” is a virion (the complete, infective form of the virus). One estimate of the minimum quantity of virions needed for an infectious dose of SARS-CoV-2 is 300-2000. So again, do the math. [5] 800 sounds like a superspreader. [6] Therefore, non-pharmaceutical interventions work consistently over time, unlike vax and treatments, which must be tinkered with constantly (albeit profitably).

Performance of Rapid Antigen Tests to Detect Symptomatic and Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection : A Prospective Cohort Study Annals of Internal Medicine. From the Abstract: “The performance of Ag-RDTs [Rapid Antigen Tests, RATs] was optimized when asymptomatic participants tested 3 times at 48-hour intervals and when symptomatic participants tested 2 times separated by 48 hours.”

Cognitive ability, health policy, and the dynamics of COVID-19 vaccination Journal of Health Economics. From the Abstract: “We examine the relationship between cognitive ability and prompt COVID-19 vaccination using individual-level data on more than 700,000 individuals in Sweden. We find a strong positive association between cognitive ability and swift vaccination, which remains even after controlling for confounding variables with a twin-design. The results suggest that the complexity of the vaccination decision may make it difficult for individuals with lower cognitive abilities to understand the benefits of vaccination. Consistent with this, we show that simplifying the vaccination decision through pre-booked vaccination appointments alleviates almost all of the inequality in vaccination behavior.” PMCs do love their homework. On pre-booking:

Uppsala was the only health care region in Sweden to send out letters with pre-booked vaccination appointments to its residents aged 50 and above. Recipients could still choose not to take the vaccine by canceling the appointment or simply not showing up (both free of charge). The letter could thus be seen as a nudge turning the vaccination program from an opt-in into an opt-out program. Pre-booked appointments simplify the vaccination decision, as it signals that it is “good” to take the vaccine while also removing any barriers associated with booking an appointment.

So, not a mandate, a nudge.

More COVID-19 studies suggest BA.2.86 may be less immune-evasive than feared Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Column: COVID lockdowns saved millions of lives — so of course Ron DeSantis is angry about them Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times. Good for Hiltzik, standing up to GBD nonsense.

Amid another rise in cases, Covid’s new normal has set in Helen Branswell, STAT. Note lack of agency.

‘Gross negligence’: Judge gives go-ahead to COVID-deaths lawsuit against Ontario National Post


Commentary: Reading the chess move of Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro chip breakthrough in US-China tech war Channel News Asia

The China-Apple Cold War Heats Up Daring Fireball

Xi Jinping urges China’s northeastern breadbasket to step up efforts to overhaul agriculture and industry South China Morning Post

More Chinese seek bargains at Beijing market as confidence in economy wanes Reuters

Have we reached peak pessimism on China? FT


Myanmar militia repatriates 1,200 China nationals allegedly involved in online scams Channel News Asia


Inside the G20’s scramble to get consensus on the war in Ukraine Politico

Western nations accept ‘climbdown’ on Ukraine to salvage G20’s relevance FT

Biden finds himself on the defensive after G20 leaders fail to rally around Ukraine USA Today

G20 Summit: What India showed the world — and what it hid Al Jazeera

Israel ‘central junction’ in US-led transport corridor: Netanyahu Anadolu Agency. Yes, the stop before Chinese-owned Piraeus is Haifa.


Moroccans sleep in the streets for 3rd night following an earthquake that took more than 2,100 lives AP

European Disunion

Writing Like a Partisan The New Enquiry

Dear Old Blighty

‘Nothing works anymore’: Tories accused of having ‘broken Britain’ with public services ‘in crisis’ Sky News. That’s only the TUC. What does the PLP think?

New Not-So-Cold War

Senior US general believes weather leaves Ukraine 30-45 days for active offensive Ukrainska Pravda

Ukraine’s counter-offensive is stalling. The West must prepare for humiliation The Telegraph (!). We can’t say we weren’t warned:

This is a very long thread.

Ukraine’s Defence Forces liberate 1.5 more square kilometres near Robotyne, Zaporizhzhia Oblast Ukrainska Pravda, Or 1.5e+10 centimeters. That’s a lot! Commentary:

The Russian withdrawals from Kharkov and right-bank Kherson last year – and make no mistake, they were deliberate and considered withdrawals – were clearly conducted to consolidate the Russian position and ensure that Zaporozhe could be defended as strongly as possible for the inevitable battle to come. Their chaotic aftermath (and the operational sideshow in Bakhmut) also provided a priceless opportunity to entrench in relative calm over a period of months. This was the ruthless implementation of basic military principle well-known from Clausewitz – be as strong as possible on the decisive point, because winning the battle is everything.

The Zaporozhe Corridor was that decisive point. Holding Kherson City and Izyum – or even Nikolaev and Kramatorsk – would have rapidly become profoundly irrelevant had the Ukrainians been allowed to break the Russian center and seize the Azov shore. Absent enough troops to overrun eastern Ukraine in 2022 and foreclose a Ukrainian counteroffensive, retrenchment was ultimately the correct decision – and has largely been proven as such – regardless of any short term damage to Russian prestige.

This battle has been a fiasco for Western arms. When it is over the Russians will be well-positioned to do that which they lacked the resources to do last year, and get back in the business of drawing big arrows on big maps.

I believe Clausewitz’s word for “the decisive point” is Schwerpunkt (a discussion).

Blinken: ‘Putin has already lost’ in attempting to ‘erase’ Ukraine The Hill. A neutral Ukrainian rump state would not be “erased.”

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Biden edges closer to decision on supplying Ukraine with long-range missiles FT. The ATACMS (cute) carries a 500-pound warhead.

Why Belgium is not sending F-16s to Ukraine Gilbert Doctorow

Lessons From Ukraine for Security Force Assistance Lawfare

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Blinken Says Musk’s Starlink Should Keep Giving Ukraine Full Use Bloomberg. Musk comments:

Elon Musk: Ukraine hero or villain? The Spectator

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In Ukraine, a U.S. Arms Dealer Is Making a Fortune and Testing Limits NYT

Emotional support OnlyFans model claims Ukraine tried to have her smuggle weapons Dexerto

The Supremes

‘Shady and Corrupt’: Add Barrett Real Estate De​al to List of Supreme Court Ethics Scandals Common Dreams


Arkansas hospital sued thousands of patients over medical bills during the pandemic, including hundreds of its own employees CNN

Digital Watch

Scientific sleuths spot dishonest ChatGPT use in papers Nature. Better rip ’em out of the training sets. Oh, wait…

Pipeline safety agency’s proposed pilot for ChatGPT in rulemaking raises questions Fedscoop

Eric Schmidt-led panel pushing for new defense experimentation unit to drive military adoption of generative AI Defense Scoop

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Here’s How To Get Robotaxi Rides in San Francisco—and What It Will Cost and San Franciscans Are Having Sex in Robotaxis, and Nobody Is Talking About It The San Francisco Standard. You can’t just hail them; you’ll need to set up an account. Presumably accounts will take care of the body fluids problem.

Spook Country

In Missouri v. Biden Internet Censorship Case, a Win and a Loss Matt Taibbi, Racket News

Meta deletes Al Jazeera presenter’s profile after show criticising Israel Al Jazeera

Supply Chain

Lithium discovery in US volcano could be biggest deposit ever found Chemistry World (KS). Excellent. Now we don’t have to invade other controls for our supply.

The Final Frontier

How mapping Mars could help us live there CNN

First cat in space: how a Parisian stray called Félicette was blasted far from Earth Guardian

Zeitgeist Watch

San Francisco hires tourism boss to battle ‘ongoing narrative’ about surging crime, rampant druge use NY Post. But no copy editors on the East Coast, apparently. So I’d call the rivalry a draw.

Imperial Collapse Watch

‘Woke’ military policies’ effect on recruitment overblown, other factor fueling crisis: expert FOX

Class Warfare

Why Are Archaeologists Unable to Find Evidence for a Ruling Class of the Indus Civilization? Grassroots Economic Organizing. “The Indus Valley was egalitarian not because it lacked complexity, but rather because a ruling class is not a prerequisite for social complexity.”

American workers are demanding almost $80,000 a year to take a new job CNN

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. zagonostra

    >US 2023 Tennis Open Schadenfreude

    Watched Novak Djokovic beat Daniil Sergeyevich Medvedev in three sets yesterday. It shows how crass the tournament’s owners are when the score graphic had a picture of Djokovic and his Serbian flag and Medvedev had a picture but a blacked out flag…gawd! Also, loved when the camera panned to Djokovic and in the background the US open sponsor, “Moderna” was clearly visible since Djokovic was banned in ’22 for not taking the “jab”.

    1. foghorn longhorn

      They have ‘banned’ the Russian flag at the tennis tournaments since Feb 23 2022, the day the SMO started.
      We are an unserious people ruled by unserious imbeciles.

      1. John

        Unserious is a polite euphemism for mindless or idiotic, foolish, bemused or brainwashed Take your pick. “freedom fries” hang your head in shame.

        1. The Rev Kev

          The guy that suggested the name “freedom fries” – North Carolina Representative Walter B. Jones – was later remorseful of that whole idea while the guy that implement that name in the Capital complex – Rep. Bob Ney – later had to resign over corruption charges and was sent to prison-

          I like the way that the story starts-

          ‘I’m a high school student and my history teacher just told us about how the United States once called French fries “freedom fries” to spite France. Please tell me he’s joking.’

          1. some guy

            After America’s entry into WWI, part of the massive wave of anti-Germanitic persecution President Wilson unleashed all across America involved petty little things like renaming sauerkraut as ” liberty cabbage”.

      2. digi_owl

        College has for ages been touted as some kind of culturing experience.

        But more and more it seems to infantilize and perpetuate a schoolyard clique mentality.

        The only thing that matters is how many likes and such they get on social media, the actual material outcome of their actions is not even a consideration.

        It is all vapid to the extreme.

    2. communistmole

      Also the flag of Belarus, where Aryna Sabalenka (runner-up in the women’s tournament) comes from, was blacked out.

    3. Craig H.

      Medvedev was gracious after beating Alcaraz Friday in a stadium 95% cheering against the Russian.

      I didn’t watch the match. I hope they weren’t applauding his double faults. I did see the highlight clips. Anyways good for him. If he could have beaten Djokovic that would have been even better for him, but that is a Hercules task.

    4. anahuna

      That made the men’s final all the sweeter. Two players, each previously banned and scorned, with the crowd obliged to cheer for one or the other. Djokovic in his speech again repeating his account of growing up in Serbia during the bombing (instigated and carried out by what-country-was-that), Medvedev praising his friend’s unfailing kindness and humanity. Neither one a particularly familiar topic to that crowd.

      I noticed, too, the renditions of “America the Beautiful.” The first, for the women’s final, by a (black) woman singer, first name Celine, who placed a so often omitted line firmly in her first stanza: “God mend thy every flaw.”

      For the men’s final a black male singer (apologies for not knowing names), who sang Ray Charles’ version. Closed captioning, unprepared, gave up entirely after the first two lines.

      1. paul

        Must have been a nightmare for the guardian to report.
        A serbian (ugh!), vaccine sceptic (double ugh!) versus a murderous representative of that putin (triple ugh!).

        With 3 ughs each,if only both could have lost!

    5. Bosko

      The flagless Russian names are ridiculous indeed, but keep in mind that Wimbledon didn’t even let the Russians play last year. Medvedev is one of my favorite players, on the strength of his intelligence and personality, but his game is really boring.

  2. .Tom

    > Jens Stoltenberg remarks at a meeting of European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.

    Was this linked already? I mostly took the weekend off from news.

    Then lastly on Sweden. First of all, it is historic that now Finland is member of the Alliance. And we have to remember the background. The background was that President Putin declared in the autumn of 2021, and actually sent a draft treaty that they wanted NATO to sign, to promise no more NATO enlargement. That was what he sent us. And was a pre-condition for not invade Ukraine. Of course we didn’t sign that.

    The opposite happened. He wanted us to sign that promise, never to enlarge NATO. He wanted us to remove our military infrastructure in all Allies that have joined NATO since 1997, meaning half of NATO, all the Central and Eastern Europe, we should remove NATO from that part of our Alliance, introducing some kind of B, or second class membership. We rejected that.

    So he went to war to prevent NATO, more NATO, close to his borders.

    He then brags that NATO then added SE and FI as new NATO members on RF’s border.

    1. Yves Smith

      As we pointed out in our Ukraine post today, in comments, Sweden has not joined and may never. This link is from August 21, well Erdogan made his July 10 commitment in Vilnius:

      The decision on Sweden’s NATO membership will be made by the Turkish parliament, which monitors Stockholm’s actions, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters, APA reports citing TASS.

      “The process of sending Sweden’s NATO membership protocol to the parliament and the process of its approval is directly related to Sweden’s fulfillment of its obligations. The decision will have to be made by the parliament, how much it will be discussed in commissions, how long this process will take, we do not know. First of all, Sweden has to control the streets of Stockholm. If they [the Swedish authorities] do not do this, if the attacks on our holy shrine (the Quran) continue, then they should not be offended that Türkiye does not approve its NATO bid,” the TRT TV channel quoted Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying.

      So Finland will not be in such a hot position if it is in NATO and its next-door neighbor is not. Perhaps Sweden will relent and prosecute the Koran-burners, but I have yet to see any willingness to do that. But then again, Sweden may simply become NATO-lite, although that model is not working out so well in Ukraine.

      But it is instructive to see Stoltenberg, who clearly knows where things stand, telling flagrant lies about Sweden’s NATO status.

      1. .Tom

        Yes. I also thought it interesting that Stoltenberg says that NATO provoked the war. This is no surprise to NC readers but it is still orthodox to talk of an Russia’s “unprovoked war of aggression” in the mainstream western news. Stoltenberg saying so is different.

        1. Synoia

          As a future general in the British army said to me “You are one of those people who believe Honesty is the policy”

    1. chris

      This is where you get jokes about American men discovering the metric system because it makes them feel huge!

      It is all getting rather pathetic, isn’t it? 1.5 square kilometers… so, about 370 acres. The Ukrainians have managed to capture a piece of land the size of a small farm. Progress! Victory is just around the corner, I have no doubt…

        1. a.wells

          True, if every barn was a bit smaller than hydrogen atom and sufficient pressure was applied to plaster them over 1 layer. easier to imagine is each barn being a molecule in air, and they would extend to about 300 feet from the ground.


    The results suggest that the complexity of the vaccination decision may make it difficult for individuals with lower cognitive abilities to understand the benefits of vaccination.

    Or dumber people don’t read as much propaganda…

  4. FreeMarketApologist

    Re: The oracle problem and the future of DeFi

    Nice little paper from BIS on the topic. Even if you’re not interested in crypto, it’s worth a read, particularly for the more broadly applicable paragraphs on institutional trust and governance, which they break down into “trust in competence” and “trust in intentions”.

    “…[DeFi] requires sacrificing trust in intentions (whether individuals or institutions are fair and ethical) that cannot be fully captured by consensus protocols. This restricts the scope of DeFi to communities that are willing to rely solely on trust in competence.

  5. Cervantes

    ‘Shady and Corrupt’: Add Barrett Real Estate De​al to List of Supreme Court Ethics Scandals Common Dreams

    Ok, so one brand new Notre Dame professor moving to South Bend bought at a house from another Notre Dame professor leaving for a new job in D.C. South Bend has a population of around 100,000. No hint that the comps show the price was wrong. Tell me how this is shady and corrupt.

    1. griffen

      It’s an odd phrasing mid article…”purchased Barrett’s private home in October 2020…”. Something I thought about yesterday, real estate is worth the valuation of what the next moron in line is willing to pay for said real estate. I’m all for pointing out the hypocritical dealings of our elite leadership classes from both sides of the aisles, but there just isn’t much of substance to this real estate transaction. Perhaps there is more to uncover if someone pulls at the thread.

      Now do the same for the Obama administration, and just for example where individuals like Eric Holder and Mary Jo White have rebounded into legal positions or law firms post their time in DOJ. It’ll never end, the door revolves at a fast pace.

      1. John Zelnicker

        “real estate is worth the valuation of what the next moron in line is willing to pay for said real estate”

        According to Michael Hudson, IIRC, the value of a house is ultimately based on the amount of the mortgage that a bank is willing to issue for its purchase.

        As I see it, this makes the banks the key driver of changes in property valuations.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          JZ – “…house is ultimately based on the amount of the mortgage that a bank is willing to issue for its purchase…” – there is truth to that statement but in a “hot” market folks will make up the difference between what the bank is willing to lend and what somebody wants for the property out of pocket – and although after ’08 RESPA enforcement became a bit stronger, lenders still found ways to get the appraisal they wanted in order to close the deal and book the mortgage – would have to say that appraisers have quite a bit of influence on property valuations too since bankers don’t go out and evaluate, they send appraisers – but as a real estate broker, for the most part would agree banks hold strong influence to determine value – but just as true is what someone is willing to pay regardless what the bank will loan –

      2. Feral Finster

        Barrett could donate her South Bend residence for use as a battered women’s shelter and she and her family could live in a tent on the streets of DC, eating out of soup kitchens and scrounging through trash cans, and the MSM would insist that this must be shady and corrupt.

        Because The Other Team

    2. flora

      Lot of important cases look like they could be headed to the Court: a B impeachment if it comes, the recent ruling of govt sensor ship of social media, the Hunter Biden et al cases. It’s possible the outcome of next years election could hang on a SC decision, a la Gore v Bush. I’m not at all surprised the Dems in DC and the MSM are “working the refs”, that is, trying to imo harass the Justices to “get in line” just at this time. Because given the context, harassment is what this looks like to me.

  6. .human

    Blinken Says Musk’s Starlink Should Keep Giving Ukraine Full Use Bloomberg. Musk

    LOL. In grand NC style, If your war depends on a platform…

    1. The Rev Kev

      Musk drops the boom on his critics-

      ‘Elon Musk
      I am a citizen of the United States and have only that passport. No matter what happens, I will fight for and die in America.

      The United States Congress has not declared war on Russia. If anyone is treasonous, it is those who call me such.

      Please tell them that very clearly.’

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Scientists say they have pinpointed the moment humanity almost went extinct”

    That is at least twice that we humans almost went out. The other time was the Mt. Toba explosion 90,000 years ago which reduced humanity’s population to about 10,000 individuals. That was also a “Matrix”-level bullet dodge. Just this week I saw mention of these two events in an amateur scifi story where a Galactic Union has commented that because of these two events, that as a species humans are shockingly inbred. They’re not wrong.

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      “…as a species humans are shockingly inbred…” – now that would explain a lot, now wouldn’t it –

  8. Zephyrum

    Gruber of Daring Fireball ends his piece with:

    If Apple does ease away from China, though, who can China replace them with? Who could they tout as a world-class technology company that relies upon China for manufacturing? Second place is so far behind Apple you can’t see it.

    The blindspot here is the belief that China cannot live without the US, just like sanctions would ruin Russia. (Never mind that China does not need to “tout”.) Accepting sacrifices to disarm one’s adversary is an old and honored choice of nations. The graveyard of empires is full of indispensable ones.

    1. douglass truth

      Gruber might as well be paid by Apple. He’s their biggest fan and he’s having a very hard day.

    2. neutrino23

      It’s a fair point. Maybe not for the “prestige” of assembling iPhones, but certainly for the jobs. China already has problems feeding its population a huge fraction of youth don’t have work. A war with Taiwan would cost them millions of jobs and access to food supplies. I can’t guess how Xi makes that calculation, but it would be extremely costly for China to attempt to got to war with Taiwan.

      On the other hand, China could try to retake it’s old territory around Vladivostok and I doubt the world would bat an eye.

      1. Schopsi

        Who’s the world?

        China has zero interest in invading Taiwan and much better options instead of outright Invasion even if it had.

        The Taiwan situation has very little to do with territory, the Chinese would have been perfectly happy to retain the status quo (quite likely more or less forever).

        The US arming Taiwan and using it as an unsinkeable aircraft carrier is the only way the US could get the Chinese to actually invade, in which case the job question would indeed not stop them.

        Russia of course is the only country China knows it will ever be able to truly rely on to provide them with the good they need, and the most reliable ally the could Hope for in many other ways.

        Thus also the last country on the planet they’ll ever risk getting one the bad side of.

        It’s the breadbasket of China and increasingly “the world”.

        The actual world being highly dependent (if anything ever increasingly so) on Russia would almost certainly be very upset and deeply worried about any hypothetical disturbances between Russia and China, thankfully there is no reason to expect any such thing.

        China’s historic beef with Taiwan before the current crazy attempts by the US to weaponize it we’re not about territory and more related to the fact that was a goverment there that for a long time upheld a claim of being the sole goverment of all China (and at one point basically was), a situation no government and country would be happy to be in.

        But without US involvement China probably would much more likely be in conflict with Japan than with Taiwan.

      2. Polar Socialist

        Ah, but the Outer Mongolia, or Green Ukraine was populated by Ukrainians in the 19th century! And to top that, there’s also the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, the first Jewish state since biblical times.

        Now, there’s some cause for a total confusion, eh?

  9. flora

    New Mexico’s guv. “Temporary.” Remember when the Patriot Act was passed as “temporary”? Or when Bush’s tax cuts were passed as “temorary”? All these “temporary measures” keep getting renewed. / oy

    ‘After suspending the right to carry firearms, New Mexico’s Governor just said her duty to uphold her oath to the constitution is “not absolute” ‘

    1. Jack

      The governor is not legislating. She is, in provocative way, advocating for a constitutional amendment.” rel=”nofollow ugc

      Here is a news report of one of the cases to which she refers: Let’s start with a strong case. This is not a gang affiliated city child, he is a country boy, insufficiently trained in firearm safety, gone blood-simple after an unintended shooting while showing off.

    2. chuck roast

      I lived in ‘burque’ on three different occasions. Almost 30 years ago some guy took a pot shot at me from the top of a rural mesa about 200 yards away. The bee buzzed my left ear by a few inches. He put the rifle down and he and his buddy drove off in their car. I hustled up to the road on the bluff and they were just passing, but I got their plate number.

      I called the cops and told them two guys in this car just randomly shot at me. The woman answering the phone told me that the cops typically don’t pursue these cases…I guess she’s talkin’ about near-misses or they’re too busy going for cruellers…or something. The people in the valley must have all developed their expertise in the interim.

      1. cgregory

        The governor needs a law that defines “a well-regulated militia” as being one that is regulated in exactly the same way as the state’s National Guard. Then she can disarm those who are not members of a “well-regulated militia,” and hence not entitled to bear arms.

  10. FreeMarketApologist

    It’s a shame that Hiltzik is a sloppy writer (or has no editor):

    Unfortunately for the cause of intelligent discourse, his statement was erected upon a pediment of lies.

    Particularly since he says in the next paragraph “…Lies that undergirded his administration’s gruesome failure.”

    So, no. A pediment is the top of the architectural pile. You erect things on foundations, or since he’s throwing around terms of classical architecture, the stylobate or stereobate. These are the things that undergird everything else.

    1. Wukchumni

      The give-away newspaper in Mammoth was 24 pages long, just a couple pages shorter than the LA Times in dead tree format.

      The newspaper of my youth and young adulthood was once a viable source of information, but has fallen on hard times and editing costs money, man.

  11. KLG

    SARS-CoV-2 in exhaled breath, from the Abstract:
    “Levels of exhaled viral RNA did not differ across age, sex, time of day, vaccination status or viral variant.”

    Jha et al.: Nothing to see here, move along.

  12. griffen

    Biden on the defensive after the G20 summit. Further into the article, you reach the point to guard your American wallets, there are plans afoot to request or allocate $20.6 billion in relief and assistance funds to the Ukraine, by the end of the year. Let’s keep this rolling turd going downhill. It’ll be sweeter to the senses by the spring, trust us.

    1. mrsyk

      I heard Justin Trudeau offered his full support for further Ukraine funding in exchange for a lift back to the western hemisphere.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “How Scientists Discovered the Staggering Complexity of Human Evolution”

    A good article but I really do think that mention should have been made of the development of persistence hunting and which may have given us the edge over the other human species. So you might have Gronk chuck his spear at an animal and if he misses, then that is it. But then you have his cousin that chases after that animal until it eventually collapses due to exhaustion, heat illness, injury, etc. Man, we were the Terminators of the ancient world – ‘It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop… ever, until you are dead!’ But there must have been other physiological effects. Maybe bigger and deeper lungs, more oxygen for the brain, better and stronger legs, much less hair on the body to facilitate sweat to cool our bodies down which those animals couldn’t. So those who adopted persistence hunting must have had an edge over those who did not – or could not.

    1. Synoia

      Communication and groups communicating also had an effect. However I believe the real prize passes to Human females, for the invention of group solidarity, communication, and the creation of of farming.

      The men just chucked spears, and I suspect it was the females who suggested pitting points on the spears.

      The Masai are, or were; a good example of these behaviors.

  14. bonks

    The China-Apple Cold War Heats Up

    “iPhones aren’t just the nicest phones in the world — they’re arguably the nicest and most complex mass-produced consumer products in any category.”

    No, they’re not. They have really shitty camera lens and software effects you cannot switch off without an external app. They are barely better than mid-range Xiaomi or Oppo, and nowhere as impressive as Huawei with Leica lenses. Even Panasonic managed to make better camera phones, with full f-stop/shutter speed control and no stupid HDR effects. As someone who works in the creative industry it’s such a huge disappointment, especially when Apple products used to be touted as the go-to hardware when I was in design school. My iphone 13 pro max hangs every few hours for no reason, its touchscreen refuses to cooperate and iOS has the worst file-extractions system known to mankind. Androids provide so much more flexibility. The only reason why I’m still in the apple universe is because I’m stuck in their cloud system and to move to Android is a huge learning curve. One of my good friends is a product developer in Apple who hears me lament about his company every time he’s in town to check up on one of their Shanghai factories. He said that the software department considers their userbase as idiots and do not take their opinions into consideration.

    Don’t get me started on the shitty keyboard on their macbooks and the lack of ports.

    When my iphone finally sputters and dies I will be jumping ship to Huawei.

    1. OnceWere

      I’ve had two Huawei smart phones – never a problem with them – beyond my tendency to butterfingers and dropping them from great heights onto concrete. I did keep one of those going for another year or two notwithstanding the artfully spiderweb-cracked screen. Moved on to TCL now – another Chinese brand – which has also been entirely trouble-free and only cost me 250 bucks for a model with 256 GB of internal memory.

    2. notabanker

      I don’t want to get into an Apple fanboi debate, but having used both extensively, although Android is more advanced technology, it often doesn’t work, breaks constantly via updates and requires shorter new purchase intervals to make it work. Google’s software practices are horrid compared to Apple. I went back to Apple after over 10 years on Android, and it is a far better user experience, like not even close. YMMV.

      1. cfraenkel

        Kinda speaks to a preference for wanting Apple to just ‘do everything’ (and by extension, it’s the Apple way or the highway), vs wanting a computer that does what *I* want.

        I used to be a Mac fan, back in the system 7 days, back before they turned their back on their own human interface guidelines. Not anymore. The straightjacket that is ios really does feel like the product of developers designing for idiots. No thank you. But if it works for you, have at it.

      1. bonks

        That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Photography-on-the-go is important for my livelihood, for the price I’m paying I shouldn’t have to carry another Sony camera just for casual photos.

    3. digi_owl

      I dear say much of the Apple appeal in the creative industries come down to the first Mac being the “birthplace” of desktop publishing and Adobe’s Photoshop.

      Since the iPod, Apple has been more about fashion. And it in turn was largely a success because someone convinced Jobs to make it compatible with Windows.

      iPhone piggy backed on that by being a drop in upgrade for existing iPod owners, and then the iPad piggybacked on the iPhone ecosystem in turn.

      1. bonks

        “I dear say much of the Apple appeal in the creative industries come down to the first Mac being the “birthplace” of desktop publishing and Adobe’s Photoshop.”

        Very much so. Luckily for us Adobe is now facing strong competiton from companies who don’t offer subscription models, especially with AI-assisted editing programs. Noone needs to be tied down to Mac machines anymore

  15. deedee

    Arnaud Betrand: “All the top strategic thinkers had their advice ignored (which begs the question: why?)”
    Because arrogant psychopath Yale-educated Kagans, Applebaum et al. who no one elected and who know nothing about the military or foreign policy have been allowed to bounce from one administration to the next and have never been held accountable for their long history of failures. Elites have long made stupid decisions but the modern version are even more suck-tastic.

  16. Richard H Caldwell

    “Or 150,000 centimeters” — um, actually, 1.5e10 or 15,000,000,000 square centimeters ()1.5.x 1000 x 100 x 1000 x 100)

    1. JTMcPhee

      And of course nothing could go wrong as the battheads start digging deep, like Tolkien’s dwarves, in their insatiable quest for “white gold…” There be Balrogs down there, and who knows how much removal of overburden is “safe” when there’s a volcanic magma mass in the mix?

      Do we mopes get to vote on the geoengineering activities, other than by “participation in the (rigged) marketplace, where the elite present the latest Hobson’s Choice?

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I think the answer is “Hell no!,” JTMcPhee. I ran across this little breadcrumb trail that ran on Yahoo News this morning:

        When a modified Korean War-era aircraft bearing an unusual payload began crisscrossing the skies over Alaska in March, it opened a new frontier in the fight against climate change. During a dozen flights in a WB-57 bomber, 17 instruments customized for the mission spent 60 hours collecting trace gases in the Arctic stratosphere.

        The goal is to acquire baseline observations of the stratosphere that would lay the groundwork for “climate intervention” should current efforts to stop burning fossil fuels fall short and global-warming-related catastrophes worsen.

        Call it Plan B: a Hail Mary attempt to cool the atmosphere by injecting aerosols up to 12 miles above Earth’s surface to reflect sunlight back to space.

        They do admit some possible problems:

        These include more acid rain. Greater air pollution. Increased malaria in developing countries. Heavier precipitation and devastating floods in northern Europe. More monsoon and drought in some parts of the world, less in others.

        Solar radiation modification could renew the deterioration of our protective ozone layer. Diffusing sunlight could worsen soil acidity and lower the yield of corn, rice and soy — crops that prefer direct sunlight. Spraying droplets of sulfuric acid into the stratosphere also may cause the disappearance of blue skies.

        So given that we’re still excreting carbon into the atmosphere in increasing amounts, “somebody” thought it would be a good idea to explore what we might do if we don’t meet the goals associated with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C:

        Climate diplomats are finalising a 15-strong lineup of former presidents, ministers and representatives of international organisations to explore options for deep adaptation, carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and geoengineering, Climate Home News can reveal.

        The Climate Overshoot Commission will address sensitive questions around the ethics and feasibility of potential ways to reverse warming that are problematic or unproven at large scale.

        “The primary strategy to combat climate change should remain reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but it has also become necessary to explore additional strategies,” Jesse Reynolds, executive secretary of the commission, told Climate Home.

        France’s Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organisation between 2005 and 2013, has been appointed as chair. He is president of the Paris Peace Forum, which will host the commission.

        So now we have a Climate Overshoot Commission, hosted by the Paris Peace Forum. Wonderful. I’m sure they’re all just as grassroots and representative of us plebes as their chair, Mr. Lamy of the WTO, is.

        So who’s behind the Paris Peace Forum that serves as “host” and provided us with Mr. Lamy. This page list the various “partners,” and here’s a sampling:

        Microsoft; Open Society Foundation (Soros); Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Breakthrough Energy (Gates); Amazon; The Rockefeller Foundation; Bloomberg.

        Now we see Gates connections a couple of times. I’m sure he’s behind The Overshoot Commission just to make sure everything is nice and safe before any serious steps are taken. But wait. Is Mr. Gates himself advocating for this solar geoengineering and funding it at Harvard? Why yes he is.

        So we shouldn’t worry about that long list of terrible consequences that might come from solar geoengineering ranging from acid rain to depletion of the ozone to the end of blue skies. Nor should we be concerned that hundreds of scientists and international relations experts, mainly European, signed an open letter calling for an international ban on solar geoengineering. No one should lose sleep over the fact that solar geoengineering, once begun, can never be halted without a huge bump in the built-up temperature increase.

        It’s all OK now. Gates, Soros, Bezos, Bloomberg and Rockefeller have hired some real smart folks to make sure everything goes just fine.

        1. artemis

          I just finished reading and highly recommend The Venomous Lumpsucker, a satire set in the near future when corporations can invest in extinction credits in case they’re planning to accidentally wipe out a protected species or two. Funny not funny but a good read.

        2. Glen

          Just a little history on that WB-57 Canberra:

          The primary user of the WB-57F was the 58th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Kirtland AFB, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who received their first aircraft in 1964. These Canberras were deployed throughout the world where there was suspected atmospheric testing of nuclear devices to sample the upper atmosphere for nuclear debris.

          A Brief History of the B-57 Canberra

          I’m surprised there are still three flying for NASA. Those are old birds.

          As to the rest of it. Nice to know we’ve got billionaires beavering away with solar geoengineering, and a crack neocon foreign policy team working on more forever wars.

          Funny how none of this got mentioned during the last Presidential election campaign.

          1. Ranger Rick

            They’re old, but not “old.” The NASA WB-57s were essentially completely rebuilt Ship of Theseus style. New engines, airframes, wings, avionics, the works. Their high altitude performance is put to work doing some interesting stuff like racing a solar eclipse or watching rockets on takeoff and capsules on re-entry.

            1. Glen

              Nice! Thanks for the link!

              I once visited NAS Jax and saw all the work done to keep the P-3s flying back in the day. Practically took them completely apart and put back together – expensive! But like you say – almost a new airplane.

    2. Carolinian

      Yes that’s a very old story indeed despite the article date. I had assumed some new discovery was the subject.

      Here’s a more newsy article that says the project is now under construction.

      Jonathan Evans, president of Lithium Americas Corp., the Vancouver, British Columbia-based parent company, said all federal and state permitting is complete and production is finally underway.

      “[Thacker Pass] will be one of the largest lithium producers in the world and will help strengthen national security by reducing dependence on foreign fuels, as well as strengthen the nation’s commitment to combating climate change and clean energy by reducing carbon emissions,” Mr. Evans told The Washington Times.

    3. juno mas

      Yes, the article on the fecundity of the Lithium site ignores many tangents, the Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation being just one. The other is that the lithium component is within a clay rock complex. The processing of the clay will require agua fresca. The volcanic caldera where the mineral is geographically located is the Thacker Pass (~miles north of Black Rock Desert—Burning Man); water (agua fresca) is not abundant and likely will need to be drawn from underground sources (if available at all).

      1. Mikel

        Even before this era of one click access to news, I was a weekly newsstand browser. I doubt I’m the only one here to make that claim.
        Is the deja vu not overwhelming to others as well with alot of these studies?

    1. ambrit

      Beat me to it. We knew a young couple who lived through the coup while in Chile. He was/is Chilean while she was/is Irish. She remembers seeing American helicopters, with the markings painted over, flying in and out of Santiago all through that day. An American aircraft carrier task force was sitting just off of the coast.
      They said that the film “Missing” underplayed the brutality of the situation.
      I occasionally re-read Sinclair Lewis’ book “It Can’t Happen Here” as a political palate cleanser.
      Americans as a group don’t know just how close we are and have been to sliding into full on Authoritarianism. Lest people pick that up as an anti-Rightest screed, do remember that people are people and either political flavour can go fascist. Mussolini started out as a socialist. Lenin started out as a Communist. Stalin turned that into a classic Oriental Despotism. Cincinnatus was a Military Dictator and then went back to his farm.
      As someone wiser than me said; “Character is destiny.”
      Stay safe.

      1. Pat

        “Missing” could probably be listed as a large piece of what pierced my naïveté about my country and led to me finding out and recognizing how little we respected others self governance and how brutal we could be when democracy threatened capitalism and corporate dominance.
        Intellectually I know it didn’t show it all, but considering how it affected me, I don’t know that I could have handled the reality. My respect for survivors is profound.

      2. Jabura Basaidai

        “Character is destiny” – made me think of this old chestnut –
        Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become words
        Be careful of your words, for your words become actions
        Be careful of your actions, for your actions become habits
        Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character
        Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny

    2. .human

      I teared up as I always do watching President Allende’s UN speech.

      A note to uninformed commentariat; on 9/11/73 unmarked, white-painted fighter jets bombed the Presidential Palace killing two of Allende’s grandchildren. There is video documentary of the Pinochet military coup by independent journalists embedded with the socialist coalition.

      1. skippy

        Milton Friedman …. I only educated [indoctrinated] them … never forced[tm] them too do anything … no agency or intent on my personal behalf …

        Always as such these people are never ever anywhere near where their thoughts [ideology] is applied to other humans and if the outcome/s don’t square with the utopia sold it due to faulty implantation, faulty human generations, or ev’bal forces of human altruism/communalism/or any other anti market notion …

  17. OnceWere

    Moon of Alabama highlights Zelensky’s latest interview with the Economist. Apparently he says the following in regards to the possibility that some European countries are becoming reluctant to continue the aid to Ukraine :

    “There is no way of predicting how the millions of Ukrainian refugees in European countries would react to their country being abandoned. Ukrainians have generally “behaved well” and are “very grateful” to those who sheltered them. They will not forget that generosity. But it would not be a “good story” for Europe if it were to “drive these people into a corner”.

    Anyone else picturing Tony Soprano : “Nice little European garden you have here, be a shame if anything happened to it.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      The title of the article says it all – ‘Zelensky Threatens To Terrorize Europe.’ And I can believe that. The whole attitude of the Ukrainians since the war started is that the whole world owes us. And if they lose, you can bet that those very same people will blame western countries for not doing enough by not declaring war on Russia or something. As an example, even though Poland is the Ukraine’s biggest supporter, the Zelensky regime keeps on threatening them and they do the same to other countries like the UK-

      I notice that MoA gives a call out to Yves’s new post ‘Has the West Closed All Its Project Ukraine Exits?’ near the end.

      1. Detroit Dan

        The Biden Administration convinced Zelensky not to make peace with the Russians by guaranteed “whatever it takes” to win the war. Hence the attitude…

        1. Yves Smith

          As we said before, “Whatever it takes….to kill every adult Ukrainian man.”

          You’ll notice no one every finishes the ritual inculcation. That’s the tell.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Are the millions of males who’ve scrammed to the West included in that prospective butcher’s bill? Will Russia maybe reduce their fifth or sixth column exposure by sending back every Banderite that’s gotten into Russ?

            Note to WEF: this is not an efficient or even eugenically effective way to cull the herd.

      2. Feral Finster

        It’s not terrorism when it’s our team doing it. Ukraine could use toddlers to clear minefields and MSM would fall all over themselves to praise Zelenskii for his hard-headed realism.

        There’s also likely an element of getting Europe on board with the deportations.

      3. JTMcPhee

        That Uk attitude smacks strongly of the attitude of another set of people. Ze already has said that Uk is another Israel and deserving of the same obeisance. Who knew the Imperial dog has two tails to wag it?

        Good thing Ukr does not have nuclear weapons. But they’ve already used chemical weapons on Russian troops, and apparently partnered with Imperial death dealers in developing biological weapons. EU open borders leak a lot more than “redirected” Western weapons from the billions sent to Ukr, and millions of “entitled” and disaffected Ukrainians.

        One has troubled dreams of what the end game could very well be.

        I hope Putin, Lavrov et al. have plans for the various contingencies, beyond just pulling up the ladders and slamming the portcullises…

    2. JohnA

      There was a story that Ukrainian refugees in Berlin decided to stuff dog poo in mailboxes of Russian speakers there. Sadly for them, they mixed up addresses and ended up fouling the mailboxes of Germans. They are an incredibly ungrateful bunch, to say the least. And whatever gets sent to Ukraine be it funds or materiel, Zelensky always cries ‘not enough’.

    3. Ignacio

      Except that Zelensky’s regime might be considered the one that drove them into that corner and now is asking European countries to bring them back as meat for the grinder. I guess most of them don’t want to.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Not that it matters much, but I think EU defines the Ukrainians in EU as “displaced persons” and not “refugees” precisely to avoid the very idea that Ukrainians wouldn’t like, or heaven forbid accept, the Kiev regime.

    4. Gregorio

      “There is no way of predicting how the millions of Ukrainian draft dodgers in European countries would react to their country being abandoned.” There, fixed it!

    5. panurge

      Anyone else picturing Tony Soprano : “Nice little European garden you have here, be a shame if anything happened to it.”

      Yeah, does anyone remember all the MANPADS disappearing in the Ukr “black market” at the beginning of the war almost 18 months ago? Right, coming back at any european airport near to you… /s

  18. Steve H.

    > Schwerpunkt

    : Christopher Alexander – The Nature of Order – Book 1: The Phenomenon of Life

    There is a mathematical reason for thinking of the coherent entities in the world as centers not as wholes. If I want to be accurate about a whole it is natural for me to ask where that whole starts and stops. Suppose, for example, I am talking about a fishpond, and want to call it a whole. To be accurate about it in a mathematical theory, I want to be able to draw a precious boundary around this whole, and say for each point in space whether it is part of this set of points or not. But this is very hard to do. Obviously the water is part of the fishpond. What about the concrete it is made of? .. the air which is just about the pond? … the pipes bringing in the water? These are uncomfortable questions … The pond does exist. Our trouble is that we don’t know how to define it exactly. But the trouble comes from referring to it as a ‘whole.’ That kind of terminology seems to make it necessary for me to draw an exact boundary … That is the mistake.

    When I call a pond a center, the situation changes … the fuzziness of edges becomes less problematic. The reason is that the pond, as an entity, is focused towards its center. It creates a field of centeredness. But, obviously, this effect falls off … the organization of the pond is caused by a field effect in which the various elements work together to produce this phenomenon of a center. This is true physically … and it is also true mentally in my perception of that pond … The same is true for window, door, walls, or arch. None of them can be exactly bounded. They are all entities which have a fuzzy edge, and whose existence lies in the fact that they exist as centers in the portion of the world which they inhabit.

    … if I call it a center, it already tells me something extra … it makes me aware of the larger pattern of things, and the way this particular element … fits into that pattern.“

  19. John

    in re: Musk, Starlink, and Crimea
    Why exactly was it assumed that Musk wished to become a party to war against Russia, but then it was David Ignatius questioning him, or was that carrying water for unnamed others?

    The Dc Bubble and Echo Chamber was deranged before and becomes ever more so as the days pass.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Maybe Russia told Musk in their own indubitable way – ‘Nice Starlink platform system that you have there. It would be a shame if the whole thing was sabotaged across the whole world.’

        1. cfraenkel

          How? Are you claiming they can break into the network and disable it? That’s the only action that would have global effect. Do you have a source?

          Jam the network over Europe, sure. Shoot down a handful of satellites, maybe. But either would likely be considered an act of war, and both sides have avoided crossing that line so far. But even then, it wouldn’t bring down the whole network, there’s too many satellites.

          1. ambrit

            Simple celestial mechanics. Send up satellite full of autonomous shotgun shells. Launch shells against Starlink satellites one after the other in a line. Do it from the direction the satellites are moving toward and you add together the delta v’s. Instant wreckage. Act of war? Isn’t the NATO side using the commercial satellite system to perform military tasks also an act of war? By using the ostensibly ‘commercial’ space hardware for military purposes, NATO has legally defined said hardware as legitimate military targets. Musk’s lawyers had to have figured that out and told him so.
            Also, there is a term for such an intertangling of Business and the State.

  20. JM

    Cornell West just brought on Peter Daou as campaign manager. I’m not sure what to make of that, but since Daou has been doing well calling balls and strikes on D failings, hopefully this leads to West being more vocal in his criticism. I’d link but it’s from his Instagram and I’ve rarely had great luck with that.

    1. zagonostra

      Daou was an online communications adviser to the John Kerry 2004 presidential campaign. In 2006, when he was hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign… During the 2020 primaries, Daou penned an op-ed for The Nation in which he implored Democrats, progressives, and leftists to move past their 2016 battles over the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, uniting behind a shared goal of defeating Trump…Daou and James Boyce claimed to have performed a founding role in the Huffington Post

      I also saw a Tweet/X by Max Blumenthal this morning and it wasn’t encouraging. After the epic Jimmy Dore/Cornel West interview, I’ve come to despair of a viable 3’d party challenge to prowar uniparty.

      1. JM

        I wasn’t familiar with Daou other than the couple of times he’s been linked here, which were generally good; I think it was only a week or two ago when he was linked and I saw comments questioning his history. But you’re right, his history is why I’m uncertain. It’s possible he’s come around, or maybe he’s playing the long con to shank any possibly viable candidate on the left.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          He was a Clinton attack dog who supposedly saw the error of his ways in recent years, but I still don’t completely trust his Damascene conversion.

          I had been really been looking forward to voting for Brother Cornell, but he seems to be going wishy washy.

          1. j

            “…don’t completely trust his Damascene conversion…” – ya think? a snake is a snake – and like you it is disappointing to see the wavering of Brother West – will still probably vote for him to just provide standing for a third party –

    2. Mark Gisleson

      Peter Daou does not know how to run a national political campaign. Yes, he ran Marianne Williamson’s just long enough to get the office coffee machine working back in April but that’s not really what most folks would consider “experience.”

      Let me put this another way: I have as much blogging time in as Peter Daou, and that’s spotting him all his Salon years in the ’90s. [Weirdly, Daou’s Wikipedia page does not mention Salon at all.] No aspect of blogging speaks to running a political campaign. Srsly, there is virtually no overlap except in the minds of the bloggers who process the information fed to them by campaign operatives (just like the real media).

      Running a campaign is not a figurehead position. It’s a real job that requires real experience. Experience Daou only has on paper but not in substance. Social media doesn’t win campaigns unless the opposition is equally befuddled. Democrats think they can steal all the votes they need (anyone else notice that when the neocons began switching parties they brought the keys to the voting machines with them?) while Republicans run ruthless ground campaigns to control legislatures and apportionment. Vote stealers and gerrymanderes run our duopoly.

      Cornel West is doomed.

      Btw, I’m assuming American University in Beirut is connected to American University in D.C. (search engines aren’t just bad lately, they’re aggressively hiding basic information like American University’s ties to the CIA). When I de-Daoued myself during his Hillary years, I read plenty that made me think he fit the profile of a CIA recruit. And yes, this is trash talk, but it is informed trash talk.

      1. artemis

        Daou is not a campaign manager, and West is not a politician, he’s a public intellectual. It tells us what this campaign is for, basically speaking out against the duopoly and for the issues that will never seriously be addressed by them. Bernie’s not in this one and I’m glad West stepped forward.

        I know there will be GP members who are not happy about this. The party wanted to hire Daou a while back to do media and the idea was quickly defeated due to his past loyalties.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          Thank you. There are other branches of the one in D.C. but google defeated me at every turn when I tried to figure out where they were.

          And maybe I’m being a dinosaur when I say Daou can’t run a winning campaign. Social media comes first, got it. I assume there will also be boots on the ground and whoever’s in charge of that will be more in line with my idea of a campaign manager.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That transport corridor may also be a trap for Saudi Arabia. Biden has been pushing for that country to sign up for the Abraham Accords but they have refused because why should they? Perhaps by having Israel as the entry port for the Mediterranean, that it would force the Saudis to sign up as their transport networks would be connected. Another factor is that as it goes to Israel, that country would be able to have a choke-hold on all that trade so they would refuse all Iranian goods for a start and any other country they want or the US wants. Not a confidence builder that.

      1. John

        Perhaps a choke hold,but only so long as Saudi puts its throat in their hands. There re alternatives and that proposed corridor sounds overly complex to me, both for the ship to train to ship to train requirements and for the poloitics of the nations involved.

  21. Steve H.

    > Why Are Archaeologists Unable to Find Evidence for a Ruling Class of the Indus Civilization?

    >> In its heyday, from about BC 2600 to BC 1900, the Indus Valley Civilization created what may have been the world’s most egalitarian early complex society, defying long-held presumptions about the relationship between urbanization and inequality in the past.

    Just fyi, that ends right on the cusp of the Bronze Age.

    >> Heterarchy asserts that complex political organization, including cities, can emerge through the interaction of many different, unranked social groups, rather than from top-down decisions by an elite: that cooperation, not domination, can produce collective action. It’s now widely argued that multiple social groups contributed to the construction of Indus cities and the economic activities that took place in them, and that none seemed to dominate the others.

    Just musing that the difference of power that bronze over stone… tools would enable an elite to control resources concentrated by heterarchy. Or is this a Golden Age story?

    1. The Rev Kev

      The whole article seems suspect somehow and perhaps it is because we are trying to see these ancient elites like more modern ones. So what if – stay with me here – what if they were ‘working elites? Ones that did not sit in a palace but one who got their hands dirty. ‘Who worked side by side with those workers. Who ate mostly the same food & drink that their workers ate and lived not far from where their workers lived. Ones who provided the engineering know-how and who were in charge of organizing people and resources. So a functional elite. It could very well be.

      1. caucus99percenter

        Like the Meistersingers of Nuremberg in the eponymous opera by Wagner? Where the local governing elite appears to consist mostly of guild-certified master tradesmen/craftsmen (the villain and butt-monkey of the piece, the town clerk named Beckmesser, being an exception)? And the leading citizen, Hans Sachs, is also the town shoemaker?

      2. cfraenkel

        Or like the cooperative, reputation based social organization of the Americans. (as described in Dawn of Everything )

        You’re echoing Graeber and Wengrow’s main point – just because we’re stuck in an oligarchical hierarchy, doesn’t mean that’s the only system humans have ever operated under.

  22. Darthbobber

    It being the 50th anniversary of 9-11, thought I’d share a couple of links I ran across on the website of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research
    They try to situate the coup within a broader perspective, for example:
    “If there had been no coup in Chile, there might not have been coups in Peru (1975) and Argentina (1976). Without these coups, perhaps the military dictatorships in Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay would have withdrawn in the face of popular agitation, inspired by Chile’s example. Perhaps, in this context, the close relationship between Chile’s Salvador Allende and Cuba’s Fidel Castro would have broken Washington’s illegal blockade of revolutionary Cuba. Perhaps the promises made at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) meeting in Santiago in 1972 might have been realised, among them the enactment of a robust New International Economic Order (NIEO) in 1974 that would have set aside the imperial privileges of the Dollar-Wall Street complex and its attendant agencies, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Perhaps the just economic order that was being put in place in Chile would have been expanded to the world.”

    “But the coup did happen. The military dictatorship killed, disappeared, and sent into exile hundreds of thousands of people, setting in motion a dynamic of repression that has been difficult for Chile to reverse despite the return to democracy in 1990. From being a laboratory for socialism, Chile – under the tight grip of the military – became a laboratory for neoliberalism. Despite its relatively small population of roughly ten million (a tenth of the size of Brazil’s population), the coup in Chile in 1973 had a global impact. At that time, the coup was not just seen as a coup against the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende, but as a coup against the Third World.”

    I had somehow managed not to run into Tricontinental’s work before, perhaps because their interventions aren’t as frequent as many other sites, but their perspective is interesting.

  23. Wukchumni

    Gooooooooooooood Mooooooooooorning Fiatnam!

    While he wasn’t zackly a helmeted Jane Fonda on an ack ack gun, Hanoi Joe embraced our old foe enthusiastically, a latter-day version of the Vietnam Wall if you will.

    Fiatnamization was proceeding as planned, what could go wrong?

      1. Wukchumni

        I don’t want to make hey of the situation, but apparently when his handlers told him to get ready for the G20, he yelled:

        Bingo! and held up his winning card.

      2. Amfortas the Hippie

        i’m torn between pity, outrage and digging a bunker to further remove myself from the body politic.
        this is the best that we can do?

  24. ambrit

    I’m surprised that no one has yet wished the Commenteriat a “Happy 9/11: The End of Freedom Day.”
    Alice X above mentions the previous 9/11, fifty years ago when America overthrew the democratically elected socialist government of Allende in Chile.
    Kurosawa Sama did a film of related plot lines to this phenomenon: “The Bad Sleep Well.”
    The Forces of Reaction are not playing silly buggers. Neither should we.

  25. Carolinian

    Mock existential versus real existential could sum up our whole foreign policy. Americans are like Fitzgerald’s version of the rich in The Great Gatsby. We go around breaking things and stay blithely unaware of the consequences. Or at least our jet setting elites remain unaware. Ordinary people may get tired of the inflation and the body bags and dispatch our own weak regime. Can’t happen soon enough.

    Thanks for the Crooke link btw. They seem to have changed their URL or maybe it’s a mirror.

      1. John

        That Gatsby quote fits all too many people and situations with which we are fated to co-exist. One of my favorites.

  26. Mikel

    “American workers are demanding almost $80,000 a year to take a new job” CNN

    For full-time jobs. Ask to your heart’s content. Part-time jobs and “gig” jobs are the main things growing.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      Cost of living is making people demand this money. This is driven by inflation in living expenses.

  27. The Rev Kev

    “Emotional support OnlyFans model claims Ukraine tried to have her smuggle weapons”

    Nice word play in this article. They supposedly give the facts but they do not come out and say the important part. That they wanted that girl to smuggle weapons out of the country. That was the important part but I doubt that it was the Ukrainian mafia. More likely Ukrainian officers on the make.

  28. Mikel

    “San Franciscans Are Having Sex in Robotaxis, and Nobody Is Talking About It” The San Francisco Standard.

    Robotaxis seem more shady than an unattended restaurant buffet.

    1. chris

      I think about what Uber drivers report people doing in their vehicles when there’s a human driver present. I can’t imagine how awful people will be in a robo taxi.

      1. Darthbobber

        Eons ago I did my Infantry School at beautiful Ft. Polk, La. The nearby town of Leesville, parasitic on the base, claimed well over a hundred cab companies. Some of them even had cabs. All of them had girls. Most of them had pot.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Far more impressive would be doing the nasty while driving. Not sure why anyone would be impressed by essentially fooling around on a couch – anyone can do that.

      Standards are falling everywhere you look.

  29. Jason Boxman

    The dubiousness of many scientific studies, either accidental or otherwise, is a topic of discussion here. So I wanted to highlight this study in the accidental camp:

    Challenges and recommendations to improve the installability and archival stability of omics computational tools (Serghei Mangul, et al. PLOS Bio (2019)). Key findings:

    We found that 28% of all omics software resources are currently not accessible through the URLs published in the paper.

    Among the tools selected 49% were difficult to install or could not be installed at all.

    (bold in original)

    Another study I can’t find the citation for showed that the output of the same genomics sequencing pipeline produced slightly different output depending on which public cloud provider it was run on!

    Fun times, eh?

    1. hunkerdown

      It’s more important that they identified common traits about the software that has stuck around, and offered a best practice: namely, standard utilities for code/data hosting, (un)installation, and dependency hosting. Those are the same qualities that have made casual experimentation with generative AI so abundantly fruitful lately.

      Computers, like humans, are restricted to approximating transcendental functions, and different architectures will use different approximation methods, etc. With cloud computing installations trending toward bespoke in-house architectures, diagnosis and attribution of such errors will be difficult.

      Ah well. Reality is stochastic.

  30. antidlc

    Arkansas hospital sued thousands of patients over medical bills during the pandemic, including hundreds of its own employees

    Notably, UAMS also exploited a loophole in state law that allowed it to collect on debts that may have been too old for most hospitals to bring to court. Arkansas’ statute of limitations blocks debt collectors from suing over medical debt if more than two years have passed since the debt was incurred or the last payment was made. 

    But in some cases, UAMS sued over debts that were three or four years old, because that statute of limitations doesn’t apply to the state government.

    Running out the clock isn’t an option.

  31. Wukchumni

    Mother, mother playa, I have heard you call
    Wanted to ride upon your alkali since I was three feet tall
    You’ve seen it all, you’ve seen it all

    Watched burners who rode you, switch from beach to desert scene
    And in your belly, you hold the treasures few have ever seen
    Most of ’em dream, most of ’em dream

    Yes, I am a 60’s hippie, 60 years too late
    Height-Ashbury don’t thunder, there’s no sense of wonder
    I’m an over-sixty victim of fate
    Arriving too late, arriving too late

    I’ve done a bit of snuggling, and I’ve run my share of grasp
    I made enough money to buy a ticket, but it all went away so fast
    Never meant to last, never meant to last

    And I have been gone now for over two weeks
    I passed out and I rallied and the heavens sprung a few leaks
    But I got to stop splishin’, got to go missing
    Down to the default world again
    Just a few friends, just a feast of friends

    I go for the art, hung out with several a while
    Though i’m now away, i’ll come back one day
    Still could manage to smile
    Just takes a while, just takes a while

    Mother, mother playa, after all the years I’ve found
    My occupational hazard being dust just not around
    I feel like I’m grounded, gonna head uptown
    I feel like I’m grounded, gonna head uptown

    A Pirate Looks at 40, by Jimmy Buffett

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I was humming along thinking this was a song from The Wall and it worked just fine.

      Missed the cutoff for hippies and grew up a freak. We see the politics in everything whether it’s there or not!

  32. Susan the other

    Amazing. This sounds promising. Good points about making offending TNCs and rich nations accountable to the public in those countries. And finally – end biased dispute resolutions by effective dispute prevention. Eliminating tax dodging might just make it ultra-dodgy but there has gotta be a sense that all this piracy is over. Because it has achieved a level of civil dysfunction approaching extinction at this point.

  33. Wukchumni

    I was at Fort Knox the other day, or should I say Fort Rocks.

    Obsidian Dome is a few miles off of Hwy 395 north of Mammoth, and it isn’t all obsidian, but there is a 40 foot high band in the 100 foot high ridge where the eruption of Mammoth and environs happened 750,000 years ago, which created the largess.

    It’s the craziest scree field below with shiny black boulders weighing thousands of pounds all over, interspersed with the usual granite boulders one sees normally in such a setting.

    Obsidian is pretty rare on the western flank of the Sierra Nevada and points westward-making it more desirable the further you went, while on the ocean, the Chumash tribe had a near monopoly on the shell game, a useful go-between as ersatz money for all of the tribes, and whose value went up the further you got away from the ocean.

    Those 2 items were the most valuable things a tribe such as the Wukchumni could hope to possess, one for hunting and the other for commerce.

    None of the Native American tribes seemed to give a fig in regards to all that glitters, though.

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      I’ve been mulling the half-baked idea that one reason metallurgy wasn’t as big a deal in the America’s was that all the good rocks hadn’t been picked over by 3 million years of tool-using ancestors.

  34. chris

    Posting this as a follow up to prior discussions. Here is an industry trend piece discussing the appeal of microgrids for sustainability and reliability in expensive communities.

    I really do worry about what will happen when gated communities put what used to be common utilities behind the gates. Are we creating new city states? 15 minute walkable paradises with broadband, reliable electricity, community pool, and a high fence patrolled by armed guards to the keep the desperate proles on the other side…

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      a microgrid*, essentially, is number one on the list for when mom shuffles off….assuming she hasnt spent too much on fancy pet food and re-covering furniture,lol.
      aside from the still ongoing infrastructure projects i’m slaving away at right now(and for which i have almost all the materials on site and paid for), energy is the last piece of the autarky puzzle left.
      all that will be left to import/pay for is property taxes, internet, and milk products.

      (* microgrid, because the 4 houses are 100 or so feet apart, and trees and existing structures make independent…or even rooftop…systems problematic. having 4 smaller systems would also entail what i consider unnecessary expenditure on the most high dollar components…battery banks and inverters…and yes, big enough wire aint exactly cheap,lol.
      my buddy who does solar for a living agrees that while i’ll need to factor in more generating capacity to account for loss in transmission…and finding someone with the requisite skills to help me will be a challenge(everybody he knows is essentially plug and play…not problem solvers)…i’ll end up better off being my own utility company,lol)

  35. flora

    re: American workers are demanding almost $80,000 a year to take a new job – CNN

    Which Americans for what jobs where? Not around here. This CNN story reads like a lobbying effort.

    From NYPost:
    Mayor Adams demands Biden fast-track work permits for NYC migrants at rally

    (I’ve thought from the beginning the de facto ‘open border’ policy is about importing cheaper labor and increasing competition for low end jobs and lowering wages. I could be wrong. / ;)

  36. Joan Fong

    While FBI data shows that San Francisco has a relatively low violent crime rate, it has a considerably high overall crime rate…

    “Low crime rate” because most people in my home city no longer bother to report crime. In one year, 36,000 car break ins, SIX arrests, for “property crime.” Assaults and violent acts are so common now as to be like leaves in the gutter.

    The cops show up an hour later, rarely make an arrest, the criminal is let out on their own recognizanse, since cash bail is ‘racist’, and the judges let them off. If “children”, free to go on with basically zero consequences.

    As of July 30, 2022 the police department had logged 1,550 robberies; 3,284 burglaries and 18,307 thefts.

    The lick your finger, windsock mayor, hoping to replicate the rise of mediocrity Kamala Harris or Newsom career, is useless.

    The real problem is drug tourism, 95% of drug arrests are people with out of town addresses, quoting the police chief imported from Atlanta. “Homelessness” is a billion dollar feeding opportunity for non profits that donate to local politicians who perpetuate the disaster, as highlighted in this article from a great independent local newspaper:

    “why they came to San Francisco to be homeless and got the same answers I’ve gotten for years: It’s easy. Easy to get drugs, do drugs, put up a tent, steal to support your habit — and San Francisco will pay you more than $600 a month for the pleasure. It may not come as a surprise, but cities that offer general assistance payments have more than twice the rate of homelessness as cities that don’t.

    1. flora

      I knew a couple several years ago who lived in a gated community in SF. Somehow burglars could still occasionally get past the “gate” and rob houses or cars. When said couple’s house was burgled they called the police to file a report. The police would not take the report because it would make the city’s crime rate go up if they took reports on all robberies and burlaries, make the city’s crime rate look too high for – I forget what – city insurance rates? Business interest in locating into the city? The police told them this directly as the reason they wouldn’t take the report. It was all about making the stats look good, making SF look a lot better than it actually was/is. Stats vs reality. This was decades ago. Sounds like it’s only gotten worse.

  37. JBird4049

    San Francisco hires tourism boss to battle ‘ongoing narrative’ about surging crime, rampant druge use NY Post. But no copy editors on the East Coast, apparently. So I’d call the rivalry a draw.

    Drug usage and crime have a close connection to homeless, which has been a rising problem for over forty years, but let us not solve that. We should hire a professional liar instead, which is ever so much cheaper.

    Not to pick on the city, mind you, as this is the same, albeit to a lesser degree, in the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area. Really, I could say the same for the rest of the state especially in the “liberal” metro areas of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and just from reading, San Diego. In this state, governing is performative or theatrical, not something done in a real or serious way; however, there is more profit in such fakery and much less so in doing the actual work of governing.

    It is painful, really, to realize that my whole state is a giant grift with the government being a façade, the ruling elites pretend to work while getting a goldmine, but the people who do the work, they get the shaft, while everyone else gets the street; often enough the workers go to the streets as well, eventually.

    The Golden State is made of fool’s gold.

  38. Gregorio

    Re the Lawfare article: “Lessons From Ukraine for Security Force Assistance”
    “Why did security force assistance work in Ukraine but fail in Afghanistan?”
    Only a complete sociopath would consider assistance “working,” considering that there are 400,000 dead Ukrainians.

  39. some guy

    Putin has already lost in attempting to ‘erase’ Ukraine?

    If the RussiaGov is only able to turn Central Ukraine into a depopulated Free Fire and Exclusion Zone and is able to turn a rump Galiciakraine into a low-population country as poor as Albania for the next several decades, perhaps that is a loss that Putin will live with. And if the Banderazovi Government of Galiciakraine with its capitol in Lvoviv launches terror attacks all over EUrope to get revenge against EUrope for not having supported Ukraine hard enough, I suppose the schadenfreude of it all might help Putin laugh a little through his tears of defeat.

  40. Brunches with Cats

    Starlink? We don’t need no stinkin’ Starlink. We got the BOYKO TOWERS!

    Why the Return of Boyko Towers to Ukrainian Control Matters So Much

    Includes a hint for why Crimea really matters.

    Maybe related, maybe not: Naftogaz, Ukraine’s state-owned gas company, has been in contract negotiations for several months with Exxon, Chevron, and Halliburton, almost certainly for fracking.* Meanwhile, I’m detecting a pattern of anti-corruption “success stories” in which seized corporate assets include natural gas. Coincidence? Not to mention that Naftogaz itself deeply corrupt and no doubt would be far more efficient if privatized (/s). BlackRock surely is on it.

    1. Brunches with Cats

      Includes a hint for why Crimea really matters.

      Maybe related, maybe not: Naftogaz, Ukraine’s state-owned gas company, has been in contract negotiations for several months with Exxon, Chevron, and Halliburton, almost certainly for fracking.* Meanwhile, I’m detecting a pattern of anti-corruption “success stories” in which seized corporate assets include natural gas. Coincidence? Not to mention that Naftogaz itself deeply corrupt and no doubt would be far more efficient if privatized (/s). BlackRock surely is on it.

    2. Brunches with Cats

      OK, that’s it, no more NC for me.

      The above comment is a truncated version of a longer one that contained info on nat gas development in Ukraine and some additional observations. Vaporized, YET AGAIN!

      As much as I’ve enjoyed the commentariat over the past decade and indeed needed the “island of sanity,” being effectively blocked from meaningful engagement is taking a toll on my mental health. I can’t justify wasting hours upon hours researching and writing comments that apparently are offending a machine algorithm programmed to shoot on sight, without benefit of judge or jury — ironic and more than a little depressing, given that NC prides itself on being a bulwark against that very sort of system in the material world.

      1. Yves Smith

        I am very sorry and very much appreciated your comments. But I wrote you privately advising against what you had been doing, which was posting long comments and then posting them repeatedly. I found a recent case where you had tried posting the same comment four times. That is what spammers do.

        We have this warning in our site Policies:

        Naked Capitalism comments are filtered for spam using Akismet. We have no control over Akismet, and sometimes it acts like Skynet.

        Akismet operates algorithmically. If you act like a spammer, Akismet will classify you as a spammer and throw and keep throwing your comments into the spam bucket, which is so overwhelmingly full of genuine spam that we won’t have time to fish them out.

        Therefore, don’t train Akismet to think you are a spammer! Don’t post duplicate (or very similar) comments, because that’s what spammers do. And don’t post with more than four links.

        We have to have Akismet, or something similar, otherwise comment would quickly be overwhelmed by spam garbage.

        I advised you in my e-mail against trying to post long comments, since our system was seeing those from you as a spammer. I again am sorry this happened but our Policies and my e-mail advised you what not to do, but you apparently were not willing to post shorter comments.

        1. Brunches with Cats

          Yves, I never received any email from you. I’ve checked my spam folder, nada.

          Normally, a comment containing words or phrases on your suspect list goes to moderation, and it shows up on the screen with a message saying it’s gone to moderation, along with the same editing countdown clock that appears on comments that have posted. My comments have been vanishing instantly, with no indication they ever went to moderation. I didn’t know what to think — was it just me? Did I hit a “cancel” instead of “post?” In the past, I did wait to post again, hoping the comment would eventually show up. Some did — hours or days later, long past the shelf life of the post. Many didn’t. So yes, I tried reposting. The 4x was due to extreme frustration, sorry. But what am I supposed to do when I just spent so much time writing, and my work is vaporized?

          As for the length — yes, I write long, often due to the amount of material I’ve found. But in fact, I do spend a lot of time trying to tighten up my writing (as you know, it actually takes more time to write shorter). I even started splitting up comments into segments. But then I ran into the problem that a vital part got vaporized, and without it, the rest made little sense. I waited more than 24 hours, and it still didn’t show up. By then, the discussion was over. In any case, I don’t think it’s fair to be singled out for writing too long, when many others (not talking about the brain trust) write far longer than I.

          Links: I’ve had comments disappeared that had only one link. In a couple of cases, I reposted without the link, and they went through. I rarely post even two links anymore.

          1. Yves Smith

            Thank you for replying. I sent the message from my account. It explained as follows:

            I hate to tell you but very long comments are not a good idea.

            The spam service regularly captures thousands of comments a day. We do not begin to have the resources to go through it and hoist legitimate comments out of it.

            On top of that, if your comment are being designated as spam, you are training our service to see you as a spammer. I ddi go and find your comment and it was in spam and you posted it THREE times [upon further inspection, it was actually four times]. You are engaging in the behaviors that we strongly recommend against because you are training our service to see you as a spammer. We cannot undo that.

            Had you read our Policies, this would not have happened. I don’t think we can undo it.

            NEVER submit a comment more than once.

            I don’t have anyone else reporting as not having gotten a message. It went out with the subject line “Re; Vaporized comments” as a reply to the message you sent Sept 8. The message went out at 12:40 PM on Sept 8, mere hours after you e-mailed me.

            1. Brunches with Cats

              Checked my spam folder several times over the weekend, looking specifically for email from you or delegate, and there was nothing. After replying above, I checked it again for the heck of it, and of course it’s there now. Although it doesn’t happen often, this isn’t the first time I’ve had delayed Gmail.

              Just so you know, I have read NC comment policy. I had a website at one time and used it as a model to discourage virtually guaranteed trolling, given the theme. But whatever. Bottom line appears to be that I’m permanently flagged.

              Since your email did turn up, I’ll send a few more observations privately, but need to get some sleep first. In the meantime, sincere thanks for taking the time to reply.

    3. Brunches with Cats

      * Although there are extensive deposits of shale gas in the Donbas (short for Donets Basin), there’s still a lot in other parts of the country. If anyone is interested, I’ll see if I can dig up a USGS study floating around in 2014.

  41. Jeff W

    Wow, there wasn’t a whole lot there in that New Yorker piece “Can We Talk to the Whales?”—the dek about summed it up: “Researchers believe that artificial intelligence may allow us to speak to other species.” The scientists are trying to gather the data from these whales, which isn’t easy to do, and…what? There’s next to nothing about how artificial intelligence might work to decode whale clicks—how, for example, very different human languages map to the same “geometric space” with close correspondences with the use of AI. (See this video on YouTube with Aza Raskin of the Earth Species Project for more about that.)

  42. ilsm

    Doctorow on F-16 to Ukraine

    Subject countries are not in line for Fire Control Radar upgrade, which means air to air combat will be problematic.

    Close air support puts the F-16 no better than late Soviet aircraft, and use of guide munitions is similarly 1980’ vintage.

    I had not expected the EU F-16 to be nearing 8000 hours “fatigue” limit.

    Some F-16 wing boxes have shown issues at 4000 hours when the engineers took a deep look not done in usual cycle maintenance.

    For 60 aircraft a dozen odd the older Pratt and Whitney spare engines would need to be sent unless they use airframes as warehousing for parts.

    Sustaining a sortie rate for these would require a large stock of parts, and hundreds of expert technicians.

    USAF has not met budgeted readiness in the last 10 years.

  43. Willow

    if > what the Western response should be and why Ukrainian victory is the only way to secure Europe’s future.

    and > Senior US general believes weather leaves Ukraine 30-45 days for active offensive

    How does the West ensure a Ukrainian victory within the time constraints of US Presidential election & Ukraine running out of manpower? With mud season starting and then winter which is to Russia’s advantage, you’d have to think tactical nukes are the only option left? Would Pentagon be willing to go there if overriding concern is to end Ukraine conflict as quickly as possible so that focus can pivot to China conflict? All hope & sanity rests with Biden’s cognitive capacity not to go there.

  44. Glen

    Ray McGovern talking about 9/11.

    9/11 Remembered – What We’ve Never Been Told w/Ray McGovern

    I had to listen to this a couple of times. It’s [family blogging] crazy. I’ll have to go back and check what Ray was saying back then because this is new to me. I had always assumed an incompetent W just ignored the warnings, but Ray thinks Cheney essentially let it happen. This is pretty much the same gang of neocons that has us messed up in Ukraine now.

  45. Amfortas the Hippie

    this day killed my Cafe,22 years ago…”Freedom Fries”…and everybody stopped wanting my eclectic jibberjabber of foreign inspired Real Food.(i did manage, with a couple of better capitalised others, to utterly change the menu way out here)
    and 5 years ago, at 5am, i was looking over the ER doctor’s shoulder as the MRI image rendered and revealed the giant tumor in Tam’s belly.
    “oh, shit”, i said.
    “oh, shit, is right” the ER dr said…and thus our lives changed utterly.

    that’s what 911 means to me.

  46. Wukchumni

    We bought a house in February of 2001, and 9/11 was really the kickoff of the first round of the nationwide housing bubble, our abode in the City of Angles doubling in value by the time we sold it in 2005, adios Big Smoke.

  47. Jorge

    About sex in robotaxis: JC Decaux developed “self-cleaning” public toilets and they’ve been on the street in San Francisco for decades. They were coin-op, probably QR/app now. (I don’t know if they’re still there and still working.)

    Now, hear me out: self-cleaning robotaxis! After the trysters exit, jets clean out the backseat like a dishwasher.

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