Links 9/18/2023

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Where Can You Find the Oldest Cat Door on Earth? Smithsonian Magazine

Can This Piston-Less Engine Save Internal Combustion And Pose A Threat To EVs? Top Speed

Why so many new products for adults look like they were made for little kids Fast Company

Parasites turn ants into zombies that adapt to temperatureInteresting Engineering


Africa’s Lands Are Targeted for Climate Action, but Who Owns the Land? The Elephant


America’s largest water highway is in trouble, ominous for Midwest grain farmers The Star Tribune

‘It’s an emergency’: Midwest towns scramble as drought threatens drinking water Missouri Independent


Switching off the cytokine storm EurekAlert!

Old Blighty

The Centrist Dads won’t save Britain Unherd


Nipah Virus in Kerala Live Updates: 42 more samples test negative for Nipah, says Kerala health minister The Times of India

Crisis in India’s Bread Basket Himal Southasian

What’s Driving Hindu Nationalism in Nepal? The Diplomat


Trading Order The Polycrisis. On protectionism and interdependence.

How the ‘Unilateral Neoliberalism’ of the US Helped China to Weaponise its Economy for Geopolitics The Wire

China seeks to expand police power to collect biological information of suspects in minor offences South China Morning Post

Chinese police detain Evergrande employees after financial arm of indebted company fails to pay investors South China Morning Post

European Disunion

Poland, Hungary, Slovakia impose own Ukraine grain bans as EU measure expires Politico EU

New Not-So-Cold War

‘Biden’s phase’ of Ukraine war is beginning Indian Punchline

The Biden Administration is Providing Billions of Dollars of Weapons to a Regime Dominated by People With an Attitude Towards Russia that is Similar to Adolph Hitler Covert Action Magazine

Key GOP lawmaker voices support for sending long-range missiles to Ukraine The Hill

CNN Poll: Majority of Americans oppose more US aid for Ukraine in war with Russia Modern Diplomacy

Full transcript.

NATO Chief: ‘We Must Prepare Ourselves for a Long War in Ukraine’ VOA News.


Ukraine is firing shells faster than can be supplied. Can Europe catch up? CNN

Production of key munition years ahead of schedule, Pentagon says Defense News


Erdogan’s UNGA visit strained by Sweden’s NATO delay, Turkey’s F-16s sale Al-Monitor


Saudi Arabia pulls out of Israel normalization talks: ReportThe Cradle

Will Israel’s High Court defy the far-right government? +972 Magazine

Imperial Collapse Watch

Spook Country

CIA Official Questioned Over Wuhan Cover-Up Took Job at U.S.-China Consulting Firm Lee Fang


Top Democrats’ Bullishness on Biden 2024 Collides With Voters’ Worries New York Times. The deck: Party leaders have rallied behind the president’s re-election bid, but as one top Democratic strategist put it, “The voters don’t want this, and that’s in poll after poll after poll.”’ 

Biden again says US forces would defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression CNN. From 2022, still germane.

Gagging Donald Trump: Why Smith’s “Narrowly Tailored Motion” is Neither Narrow Nor Wise Jonathan Turley

GOP Clown Car

Man groped by Lauren Boebert during frisky ‘Beetlejuice’ date owns gay-friendly bar that hosts drag shows New York Post

Democrats en déshabillé

Some Democrats Are Trying to Preemptively Outlaw a Billionaire Tax Jacobin

Whose Fault Is It? How Things Work


Medical Debt Is Killing Our Patients MedPage Today

Police State Watch

New Orleans DA Fights ‘Terrorism’ on Streets With AI Spycraft WSJ

Our Famously Free Press

A few thoughts on the Russell Brand furore Jonathan Cook

Brand’s thoughts on the matter:


Austin church holds AI-generated service, uses ChatGPT KXAN


Apple continues to use our own mortality as marketing The Verge

Supply Chain

Silk Road vs Spice Route:  IMEC and its Implications Modern Diplomacy

Class Warfare

America’s Short-Lived Safety Net Has Almost Fully Unraveled The Nation

Poverty made an alarming jump. Congress could have stopped it. The Hill

What Happens When Wall Street Buys Most of the Homes on Your Block? New York Times


Marc Benioff drops a bomb after calling Salesforce workers back to their desks: ‘I don’t work well in an office—it just doesn’t work with my personality’ Fortune

Ultra-wealthy people are working remotely from their superyachts and running their businesses from the high seas Insider


Stimulants may be driving a “fourth wave” of the overdose crisis, with deaths at an all-time high Salon

Communities across Appalachia band together for first-ever 13-state Narcan distribution event AP

The Bezzle

First Celebrities Settle Lawsuits Over FTX Deals Decrypt

Requiem For Royalties: NFT Exchanges Abandon Recurring Compensation For Artists Forbes

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Ignacio

    RE: Switching off the cytokine storm EurekAlert!

    That was for me an interesting read, thank you. I hope luck for a project like this. SARS CoV 2 is not the only pathogen inducing cytokine storms. If all those other pathogens converge in the same MAPK and it can really be blocked temporarily and specifically that would indeed be good help for treatment of several diseases. Thank you for the link!

    1. CanCyn

      This news is interesting to me too. I have a friend recently diagnosed with liver cancer (metastasized from a very rare form of melanoma in her eye). Until recently, her cancer would have been untreatable and she would have had less than one year to live (she’s 50). Instead, she is about to undergo treatment via immunotherapy. The drug is Kimtrak (sp?), FDA approved last year, still considered clinical trial in Canada. She has to undergo the first few treatments in hospital because of the potential for immune system overreaction – ie cytokine storm. Her treatment plan is complicated by the fact that she also has rheumatoid arthritis, itself an immune system problem. The developments described in this story are too late to help my friend but here’s hoping they become practical treatments for people soon.

      1. Ignacio

        Immunotherapy is now improving Cancer therapies by a lot. Expensive but it seems to work quite well. Particularly in lymphomas which were quite intractable.

        1. CanCyn

          My friend’s treatment is in the 10s of thousands of dollars per weekly dose. Luckily (and surprisingly) her insurance plan is paying for it. And because it is so new and still somewhat experimental in Canada, the hospital’s research side would have paid for it if insurance hadn’t.

          1. Irrational

            In the case of my father-in-law, who got Merkel cell carcinoma, immunotherapy worked a treat at first. Then it didn’t. They tried another immunotherapy, but apparently if one does not work, then others are not likely to either. It didn’t. So: does not work for everyone, hopefully helps enough cases.

            1. CanCyn

              No one had made any promises of total remission. There are apparently cases when that has happened but few cases with a type of cancer that few people have means the numbers are not high. The hope is that the lesions don’t grow with the treatment. There is a plan B but I think it is a more traditional chemo drug and not very promising.

    2. Ferc

      If anyone is interested in a little history: cytokine storms were what made the 1918-1920 flu pandemic so deadly. The second wave could cause bacterial pneumonia, which was the major cause of deaths, but the cytokine storms would cause the young and healthy infected to also die. That’s what (fictionally) happened to a young character in Downton Abbey.

  2. Ignacio

    RE: Production of key munition years ahead of schedule, Pentagon says Defense News

    Not enough for Ukraine. For next spring 57.000 shells/month makes 1.900 per day while Ukraine is firing 6.000 – 8.000 per day (per the correction in the article). Quite possibly what is produced by 2028 doesn’t matter any more for Ukraine.

    1. Lex

      The production increase that’s been achieved in the US is realistic and probably sustainable. The goals DoD has and its claims will only be believable when they’re realized.

      And even if they hit the 100k/month by 2025, it’s not enough not soon enough. It will require two full years of that production level to simply replace what’s already been (officially) sent to Ukraine. One would think that DoD would make sure to hold a lot of stock in reserve in case it has to fight a war, but I’m not at all sure that it has. For example, the US probably needs at least 5 million shells in reserve in case of war with Russia, China or Iran. I’d be willing to bet total US stocks are <2M now and there’s a good chance that the stocks are a lot less than that.

      1. GC54

        The US fighting a peer will futz around with refueled Air Force and Navy then revert to threatened nuclear escalation blackmail from subs to freeze the conflict when it goes against us. That approach doesn’t work when we are the aggressor. Begs the question why as an island with benign neighbors we have an army not to mention a light infantry (Marines) whose replenishing hardware, as Col. McGregor notes, would simply be sunk in transit.

      2. ilsm

        Direct nuclear peer warfare, over the Fulda Gap, was on the agenda from 1947 through the end of cold war.

        NATO and Warsaw Pact forces in central Europe would attrit until one side went nuclear…. to prevent a breakout!

        Why hold a few hundred thousand soldiers hostage to a few days of grinding war when it is likely to go nuclear?

        Musk is opposed to tripping up on nuclear war and got in trouble with the media!

        1. LifelongLib

          It’s been a long time, but IIRC it was widely believed that NATO would lose a conventional war with the Soviet Union, and that ultimately the U.S. would accept this rather than risk an escalation to a full nuclear exchange. So why wasn’t there a war? Maybe the Soviets didnt think it was worth the risk, or maybe they weren’t the tomorrow-the-world demons we always said they were, or…

  3. furnace

    “‘Biden’s phase’ of Ukraine war is beginning Indian Punchline”

    The US is considering sending ATACMS long-range missiles that Ukraine has been asking for a long time with the capability to strike deep inside Russian territory. The most provocative part is that NATO reconnaissance platforms, both manned and unmanned, will be used in such operations, making the US a virtual co-belligerent.

    As they say, F around, find out (family blog). I don’t think the war hawks are going to enjoy finding out.

    1. Yves Smith

      The latest report is that the Big Z is not supposed to be getting them, or at least not on his charm tour to the US, due to the belief that Blinken et al (consistent with a recent Blinken speech) are trying to push Ukraine to the negotiating table….which Zelensky rejects and Putin ridiculed (Blinken even suggested that Russia should seek to open the talks, when the US didn’t even deign to respond to a draft Russia treaty in winter 2021 regarding Ukraine and European security, and then the UK and US broke up the Ukraine-Russia peace talks in late March 2022, which had made substantial progress). In other words, the US is trying to find an off ramp while making it look like it was all Ukraine’s doing and desire.

      Putin in the same speech already said the US is a co-belligerent, not using that expression but it amounted to the same thing.

      Sadly Bhadrakumar is uneven. He has some very insightful pieces and then ones like this. Russian experts criticize his lack of current knowledge about Russia. He seems not even to read recent Putin speeches that are in English on the Kremlin website.

      1. furnace

        Makes sense. I take Bhadrakumar as a sort of geopolitical whiz (for obvious reasons) so I didn’t really question much about the piece. As for ATACMS, it always seemed like it would be a sort of move of desperation by the US wanting to show results. What frankly worries me is 2024’s elections, given that election season makes tempers hot and decisions quick, which could potentially give war hawks even more leverage than they already have (Biden isn’t exactly a peaceful sort of politician anyway).

        But any politicians who aren’t utterly deranged like Baerbock have already smelled the way the winds are blowing. The Ukraine Project is a lost cause, and any further “investment” in it is simply throwing resources away, and cause for further embarrassments (like the Challengers fiasco). Here is to hoping cooler heads will prevail.

        1. .Tom

          Baerbock is astonishing. I think her particular psychopathology is believing that she’s a rabid American neocon family member of the Kagan clan. What kind of diplomat says that China is a dictatorship and therefore Putin must be defeated by waging war on Russia? A bonkers one.

          1. The Rev Kev

            She is a one-woman wrecking ball as far as German – Chinese relations are concerned. As Foreign Minister, it is a catastrophic mistake to call the President of China a dictator and you are not suppose to stoop to this level of idiocy in international politics. Old Joe does it but he is old, addled and senile. I do wonder who her audience is here. She has already said that she does not care for what voters want. So the question is if she is doing this to please an internal faction of German politics or whether she is doing this to please neocons on an international level to show that she is a player.

            1. John

              Baerbock is nothing more than a telltale of the level of dysfunction … and sheer self- mutilating craziness … that is the present German government.

            2. .Tom

              > I do wonder who her audience is here.

              Cases like Elizabeth Holmes or Anna Delvey show that aesthetics and style can get you a long way if the audience/market wants what you’re selling, even if what you’re selling is preposterous when you take a moment to think, e.g. “clean coal” power plants, “clean diesel” cars, CDO ratings, NFTs. The key message in F for Fake is not that fraudsters need a market but that markets attract fraudsters, especially when they get really big and hot, like the market for authoritative-sounding moral justification for war.

            3. Roger

              Baerbock sat on the Germany-Taiwan relations group of the Bundestag, so no surprise about her opinions. The expressing of those opinions publicly is an incredible diplomatic faux pas, especially with the depth of economic interconnectedness between Germany and China. Not even Hitler insulted foreign leaders in this way. Seems she has a desperate need to attest her fealty to the US Mafia State Godfather, she certainly is a wrecking ball for German foreign policy independence.

          2. lyman alpha blob

            Xi has been head of China for around 11 years. Angela Merkel on the other hand was the leader of Germany for – checks notes – 16 years!

            So how exactly does one differentiate between a “dictator” and someone who is merely the head of a different political system? It better not be simple longevity, or it might turn out that Baebock is a lying hypocrite!

        2. Yves Smith

          He typically does give very careful and well informed readings Here, he points out at the top that the Biden Administration is pushing Ukraine to negotiate with Russia, and not saying

          1. The US wants the hare-brained idea of ceasefire first, hopefully leading to a frozen conflict, while Russia does not stop prosecuting war while negotiating and would never accept a frozen conflict

          2. Russia won’t negotiate with Ukraine. It might take a few meeting just as a matter of form but that won’t go anywhere anyhow. Russia would negotiate with the US. if the US would get over itself. That means again that the most that is likely to happen even if things got that far is some exchanges where the two sides talk past each other

          3. The US thinks it needs ATACMS for China and it does not have a lot to begin with

          4. The US knows all ATACMS might do is kill/terrorize Russian civilians, which contrary to fantasies of Putin overthrow will only increase Russian resolve

          5. Therefore the most that might happen on the ATACMS front is a very few delivered to placate Congressional hawks and deny them a talking point in the 2024 elections.

          1. Feral Finster

            Zelenskii has less authority at home than the family dog. Wearing a shock collar turned up to maximum current.

            Surely Russia knows that.

            1. Oh

              It looks like that asswipe was on CBS 60 minutes (of propaganda. I noticed his mug as I was flipping channels but I refused to tune in. Whats low liives he and CBS management are.

          2. The Rev Kev

            The Ukrainians also brought out a law making it illegal to negotiate with Russia. I think that law was called the Burning Your Bridges While You Are Still Standing On Them Act of 2022.

            1. Feral Finster

              The Ukrainian Rada knew full well what their American masters wanted from them, and, like the good dogs that they are, obliged.

              1. Principe Fabrizio Salina

                I think that the language you are using in this and other messages violates the basic principles of this platform. Please, stop.

          3. furnace

            Great points. The “future war with China” angle really is important and I should have taken it into account. The constant string of news of the complete failure of US arms production goes to show how dire the situation really is, and ATACMS really do seem like they might be needed.
            I do recall Brian Berlectic arguing that most stuff given to Ukraine would be unusable in a war against China anyway because that one is to be a naval war, which takes different technology from a land war like in Ukraine. I don’t really know anything about weaponry and their use cases, though, so I’ll trust wiser opinions.

            1. ambrit

              On the China Land War front, Russia’s latest rapprochement with North Korea effectively blocks both South Korea and Japan from becoming land war proxies for America. The Vietnamese are playing their traditional game of wary “neutrality” while the other land neighbours of China are lying low so as to not excite China’s “notice.” India and China seems to be a special case. No matter the status of the Himalayan border ‘crisis,’ China has never claimed suzerainty over India proper. So, sometimes, a little bit of “strategic ambiguity” can hold conflict at bay for as long as is desired.
              The problem with a naval war in the Pacific I see is that naval wars are generally either force projections or economic wars gone ballistic.
              As for force projection here, how much “influence” can even the “mighty” US Navy have over a strong and combative Chinese military? Events here would have to graduate up to nuclear exchanges for such a scenario to have a serious adverse effect on China. The results for the American Homeland after such an escalation do not bear contemplation.
              As for an economic war between America and China, well, with China being one of America’s main goods suppliers, that idea lurches fully into the realm of lunacy.
              Stay safe.

    2. Feral Finster

      Stop kidding yourselves. Russia really does not want this war, and has been desperately trying to avoid escalation.

      The neocons are betting that Russia will continue to show restraint. Unfortunately, Russian reluctance to escalate even as the West has ignored red line after red line has caused the West to lose all fear of Russia.

      1. furnace

        Is that really the case? Sure, Putin has proved himself to be the most dovish politician in Russian politics (I mean, there are folks arguing for nuking Ukraine), but by now he seems to have hardened his stance (as that Palestinian “meme” song of the start of the war went, “Harden your heart, O Putin!”, and I suppose he heeded their call). The immense production of industrial goods realized by the “accidental” protectionism caused by sanctions made Russia’s position a lot stronger long-term. On the diplomatic side, it has mended historical rifts (such as the China-Russia relations, very strained during USSR days), made the West into a pariah, consolidated public opinion in Russia, and overall seems to be paying strong dividends (one should be reminded that BRICS was originally a Russian initiative, according to the official history of the bloc).
        If he, and the Russian public, were reticent at the start, they are no longer. What is important to recall is that no one wants nukes being slinged, and the Russians see, despite everything, the Ukrainians as a brotherly people co-opted by the folks with curious tattoos from Lvov. They obviously don’t want to kill them all, despite the West’s best efforts to do so.

        1. Feral Finster

          For better or worse, most Russians are consumers, and Russia is a consumer society. Russians are in favor of the war, as long as it does not affect them too personally. Russia also does not want to admit that the West loathes them and looks down upon them and never will let them join their club.

          For their part, Ukrainians have been convinced that the war is their ticket to The Golden Billion, The Magical Land Where (unlike ukraine) Institutions Basically Work. If the price of admission to that Island Of The Blessed is hating their brothers and their own parents, so be it.

        2. John

          DC appears to assume that Russia’s restraint knows no bounds and thus poking the bear repeatedly will never trigger rage and action. This is foolish and it is foolish to think that because Tony B says we are not a co-belligerent that we are therefore not a co-belligerent. He is fond of words, our Tony. By any measure I would use, the US and the NATO nations that have given targeting data, conducted off shore surveillance, sent serving personnel in mufti and/or mercenaries by whatever name you choose to call them, supplied munitions, tanks, fighting vehicles, etc. ad infinitum are co-belligerents and subject to retaliation. But I forget … the Combined west is a rules based order and the rules are mutable … as in Calvin Ball. Assuming immunity from retribution because you say so is not a policy but a wish.

            1. redleg

              I’ll bet it starts with satellites. That would be a big step that doesn’t involve a direct attack on the people or territory of the US or NATO, yet inflicts real damage on enemies of Russia.
              I have yet to be dissuaded from a US first strike scenario. Would the above bring it on? The US so-called leadership is collectively irrational, at best, so any response might as well be selected randomly.

          1. digi_owl

            Why DC reminds me of school kids. Because that behavior is so typical of a cheap bully.

            If you do not react to their needling, then you are weak and they can do whatever they want.

            Rage up against them, and they go crying about how mean you are for hurting them.

            1. Feral Finster

              All true, not that it makes any difference.

              Force Is the language that sociopaths understand, but it also is the only language that they understand.

      2. juno mas

        Is decimating the Urkraine ground forces to the tune of 71,000 killed in a few months seem like restraint? It appears to me that the war of attrition is working. Russia has a history of diligence, if not patience, in conducting it battles. The US tempting fate against a nuclear armed Russia in an existential conflict is pure folly; and death and destruction in the US.

        1. Feral Finster

          I have said it before that the sociopaths would gladly eliminate 99% of life on earth, if that meant that they were granted dominion over whatever remained.

          I was too kind.

          The sociopaths would gladly eliminate 99% of life on earth, if that was what it took so that the Other Team did not win.

      3. fringe element

        I wonder about that. Ukraine gave Russia a chance to demonstrate what their hypersonics will do. I suspect the Pentagon noticed that even if the most hardcore neocons didn’t.

    3. ilsm

      Two points about ATACMS: Are they more than high tech accurate V-2?

      They can be intercepted.

      Not equal to counter force or counter value objectives of a strategic bombing campaign, too few, too small warheads. While reliance on long range bombing is suspect even if the USA would facilitate a 1943-44 8th Air Force style campaign.

      The WW II Strategic Bombing Study had a group of study members, Galbraith one, who questioned whether the value and cost of the bombing of Germany was justified, if optimal.

      Finally, the Germans have a similar system seems to ready to donate.

      1. R.S.

        > Are they more than high tech accurate V-2?

        More like Tochka-U. Ballistic, longer range, better CEP (at least on paper), similar payload.

  4. Mikerw0

    I find articles like “can the piston-less engine…” to be very frustrating.

    First, it contradicts the magnitude of the size and scale of hydrocarbon consumption that is not easily displaced. Even if it works, it will take decades to transition to any of these technologies, and that implies there are no economic disadvantages.

    Second, they imply that there is a technology bailout that will magically save us. There isn’t.

    And third, where will the hydrogen come from? Hydrogen is a really crappy fuel source.

    1. BeliTsari

      I’d thought the premise was: one more burn-anything turbine range-extender on BEV or PHEVs (beating NSU’s Wankel’s biggest issues?) Micro-turbine EV utility vehicles, were dumped as Biden’s cartel chose 1970s technology from favored ICE makers, doomed-to-failure products. It honestly stinks of subtrafuge, that our innovative start-ups are crushed & Asian components boycotted, to serve oilgarch funders?

    2. CanCyn

      It was interesting to me that they at least admitted that some/much of the information in the article was based on press releases from the company developing the technology. Happens all the time but few reporters admit what they’re up to.

    3. Felix_47

      Here in Bavaria the LIdl grocery chain is phasing out Flugobst which means fruit and vegetables flown in. They are doing this to decrease global warming. No one says by how much. And overall by taking away the income source of African farmers they are simply going to make it mandatory thta they move to Germany with their families to survive and their lifestyle will be converted to the western high C02 lifestyle thereby eliminating any possible CO2 benefit of decreasing air shipments of blueberries. flowers etc. from Africa. The government wants us all to spend many tens of thousands of dollars on heat pumps to decrease gas and oil and wood heating. If this is to occur Germany will eliminated enough C02 to equal one day of China’s production and perhaps two days of the US production in a year. Meanwhile does anyone know how much CO2 is being produced in the US war on Russia? It would really help to know what magnitude of C02 prduction is decreased with various measures. Did Joe Biden emptying the reserve reservoirs of oil before the midterms to lower the price of gas lead to increased gas purchases in big SUVs and if so how much C02 or global warming was caused? Sadly I am no mathematician.

      1. digi_owl

        In a perfect world those African farmers would get their income from selling to locals rather than have the produce airlifted to Europe.

        1. Don

          I think that we can assume that they currently also see to locals. and that selling to said locals does not sufficiently sustain them.

    4. digi_owl

      Yeah the whole thing is groan. A diesel engine can potentially run on hydrogen if you get the setup right, and just about any other gas or dust that will go bang in the presence of oxygen.

      In the end though, more efficient engines will just spark more usage as the unit cost of operation drops.

    5. bdy

      Hydrogen is a really crappy fuel source.

      At the risk of inviting ad hominem, a guy who claims to have helped reverse engineer ufos disagrees. According to Lazar the problems are political. He’s apparently been driving around with proof of concept in the trunk of a ‘vette that kinda suits him.

      This has been doing the rounds for years. Might have even seen it here first, back in the pre-crash days when NC was getting cross-posted at Daily Kos:

  5. Wukchumni

    First Celebrities Settle Lawsuits Over FTX Deals Decrypt

    MLB was fortunate that the FTX imbrogliowe happened in the off season, allowing them to do away with not 1, but 2 FTX logos on what we are led to believe are impartial judges uniforms this season, as if it never happened.

    In fact the umpires last season only sported 1 MLB patch, outnumbered as it were by 1’s & 0’s in the numismatrix.

    I don’t hang with younger adults all that much typically, but after Burning Man 7 of us got together and camped out for 3 nights in the eastern Sierra and one in particular, a 33 year old male computer dude, regaled with tales of how everybody he knew was in crypto, and when I dared lightly naysay its prospects, it had nearly the same effect as going to a evang megachurch with a bullhorn and exclaiming that they are wasting their lives away being history majors in a brief period once upon a time a few thousand years ago.

    So, I decided to back off and turn into a potential backer, and he then told me all of the good cryptos to buy and the ones to avoid. I hesitated to ask the ad hoc shoeshine boy for any other tips, why lead him on?

    Getting back to beisbol been berry berry good to me, as i’m the average age of an MLB fan now in kind of a dying sport that demands your attention at least 162 times when you’d rather be doing something else in the spring through to early fall.

    Did MLB embrace FTX in order to get younger fans interested, or was it strictly Benjamins?

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Most hardcore baseball fan I know gave up after his team got caught in a cheating scandal. My team was, for much of my adolescence, a bunch of losers but then they got bought by a billionaire and start winning pennants again but the money sucked the joy out of it for me so I gave up on them decades ago.

      The more you know about American sports, the harder they are to watch.

      1. eg

        Baseball died for me the day Rick Monday homered off Steve Rogers to kill the Expos the first time around, which spared me the agony of the strike that finished them off for good about a decade later.

  6. The Rev Kev

    ‘- Spend $500 billion developing a stealth fighter
    – Engineer it to be as hard as possible to find
    – Lose one
    – Ask the public to help you find it’

    Hummppph. On D-Day in WW2, Allied aircraft for that day had black and white stripes painted on them to aid in recognition. Perhaps they can do the same with these F-35s but I would recommend using red and white stripes. After all it works for Wally-

    It’s either that or putting an image of an F-35 on the side of milk cartons or putting up ‘Lost’ notices at the local supermarket billboard. The weird thing is that one of the purposes of the F-35 is to spy on the friendly air forces that buy these things yet when one goes MIA in America, it just drops off the map.

    1. Wukchumni

      The Edsel of the air is the grift that keeps on giving…

      Imagine other countries pulling a fast one circa 2001, with the RNZAF getting rid of fighter jets, when offered a sweat deal on F-somethings by you know who to replace their aging fleet?

      1. The Rev Kev

        There is talk about bringing in New Zealand into AUKUS. You think that the kiwis would be leaned on to buy these turkeys? Doing a quick check I see that an F-35 would be lucky to make it to Oz much less anywhere useful. They were smart to dump their fighters as they are so isolated, no invasion force could even afford to pay the fares to go there.

      2. John

        The Edsel got a bad rap. Launched in a mild recession with an unpleasing design, it was in my limited experience driving one a well- engineered soundly constructed vehicle. It was capable of 105 MPH, more I am sure, but I took my foot off the gas at that point. Oh, you could drive it in the rain and on any sort of road. I grant you the F-35 is faster when you can get it out of the hanger.

      3. Cat Burglar

        Nations are signing up for F-35s and planning to retire their existing aircraft — it could turn out to be the biggest disarmament program of all time.

      1. R.S.

        Guys on the Russian TG say there’s nothing new under the Sun.
        On 4 July 1989, a pilotless MiG-23 jet fighter of the Soviet Air Forces crashed into a house in Bellegem, near Kortrijk, Belgium, killing one person. The pilot had ejected over an hour earlier near Kołobrzeg, Poland, after experiencing technical problems, but the aircraft continued flying for around 900 km (600 mi) before running out of fuel and descending into the ground.

  7. timbers

    New Not-So-Cold War

    Key GOP lawmaker voices support for sending long-range missiles to Ukraine

    Why not ICBM’s? – “An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with a range greater than 5,500 kilometres (3,400 mi)…Early ICBMs had limited precision, which made them suitable for use only against the largest targets, such as cities.” Wikipedia

    We can start with the old versions that Wikipedia says were best used on large cities and move to the newer more precise ones. The Kremlin, Moscow, all of Crimea and Russian naval bases.

    It’s only fair that Ukraine has the SAME weapons Russia has, otherwise it’s not a fair fight. And besides it not like we have worry about Russian retaliation because Russia never retaliates againt the US or NATO or almost never against Ukraine leadership because Russia is run by 11th demensionals and that’s a good thing.

    All we have to do it setup a bunch of ICBM’s in NATO, import a “Ukrainian” who pushes the button and say Ukraine did it, and do that over and over again. Ukraine would only be doing what Russia is doing to Ukraine with all her missiles.

    It’s only fair.

    1. furnace

      Are we sure the US ICBMs even work? By the F-35 standard, for all we know they may be unable to fly. Maybe if they gave nukes it would just be embarrassing.

      1. digi_owl

        I think i read something recently suggesting Pentagon, or the sub-contractors, has long since scrapped all the tools and plans that would be useful for maintaining them ICBMs, so now they have to invent them anew.

        1. The Rev Kev

          There was an article a coupla weeks ago describing the problems with starting up Javelin missiles (?) production after the last one had been produced a decade or more ago. They were literally running around and blowing cobwebs off old tools and they were tracking down old guys and retirees to come back to the plant to work again as they were the only people that had any experience with building them.

          1. R.S.

            That was Stingers.
            “Stinger’s been out of production for 20 years” (q) Wes Kremer, the president of RTX’s Raytheon division.

            “We were bringing back retired employees that are in their 70s … to teach our new employees how to actually build a Stinger,” Kremer said.

            There’s been a similarly eerie article about building icebreakers just recently. (If it’s already featured here, my bad. My memory has more holes than a sieve.) The last heavy icebreaker was commissioned in the 70s, the last medium one, in the 90s.
            U.S. officials are racing to procure new polar icebreakers because one of only two that the Coast Guard now sails has reached the end of its life, and the one assigned to the Arctic is out of service for maintenance every winter.

            Out of practice, U.S. shipbuilders have had to relearn how to design and build the specialized vessel, say officials in the industry and the government.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Thanks for that. Last night I just could not remember which missile that it was. Would you believe that I made a comment a coupla months ago on this situation arising as a joke? And yet is has come true in real life but hopefully those retirees are making out like bandits. So the question arises. As these things are mostly hand made because of forty year old practices, why are they not designing its replacement which can use modern manufacturing methods instead.

          2. Laura in So Cal

            I was personally involved in an effort like this associated with spare parts for an old military aircraft. DoD hadn’t ordered any of the parts for over 15 years so the tooling, drawings, test procedures had all been mothballed and since the company had been sold in the interim and the new company had “cleaned house” both physically and of people, it was a huge scramble. It took over a year to produce any parts and they were super expensive since they to reverse engineer a whole bunch of stuff.

    2. Feral Finster

      The US will continue to double down. ATACMS are baked in the cake while Russia continues to dither.

      Any time you read that the “Administration is considering” a new escalation, that means that the decision has already been made.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Ultra-wealthy people are working remotely from their superyachts and running their businesses from the high seas”

    This may or may not be true. But I am willing to bet that these very same people still gather together in big blow out parties from time to time because what is the point of being a ultra-wealthy if you can’t show your wealth off or nobody recognizes you by face, especially on social media.

    1. Wukchumni

      The ultra wealthy crave exclusivity (they have a 317 foot long yacht-we have a 900 foot long cruise ship) and its unlikely a dinghy will show up on the high seas asking politely if they’ll share their Starlink password.

        1. iread

          checked out the trailer…too over the top for my taste
          looks like a waste of a great moment for a more Renoir Rules of the Game style
          take or some such; I wish. Just a quarter teaspoon to the gallon of Holly Bolly wood make a
          big difference

  9. The Rev Kev

    “China seeks to expand police power to collect biological information of suspects in minor offences”

    The Chinese police have some catching up to do. They need their own version of the UK’s Criminal Justice Act 2003 where-

    ‘Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, the police now have the power to take and retain a DNA sample of any person arrested for any recordable offence, regardless of whether they are even charged or, if charged, subsequently acquitted.’

  10. timbers

    ‘Biden’s phase’ of Ukraine war is beginning

    In the YouTube interview at the end of the article, Douglas McGregor when responding to Glenn Diesen appears to be a bit exasperated when talking of Russia’s response or lack there of, to US and NATO escalations by frequently saying Russia is “sitting on the fence” and other examples including an exasperated tone of voice. Glenn was mostly silent looking like a lectured first grade school boy as McGregor displayed his impatience with Russian failure to act, as if someone had thrown warm milk into his face. And this:

    McGregor: “I think the incentive for Russia to exercise restraint is no longer that great. I think the inducement to act is enormous. So I would expect action. There is no shortage of Russian capabilities. The chess board belongs to them.” That got a Medusa Gorgon stone face look from Glenn Diesen followed with a polite thank you and closing comment.

    Russia has a known history of sitting on the fence too long to her considerable detriment even in this war, alone.

    1. Felix_47

      Any signficant Russian advance is going to cost a lot of men and equipment. And waiting a few months until there is more clarity as to how this next US election is going to go down seems to be prudent. The war is extremely expensive for Russian. Normally their military budget is a tenth of that of the US. The US is spending 150 percent of what Russia’s entire military budget is. Given the defensive lines they have prepared time it seems is on their side. Wars throughout the world are more often won and lost and fought by briefcase toting Ivy League lawyer lobbyists buying politicians in Washington.

      1. rkka

        Von Moltke the Elder, he of Franco-Prussian war fame, believed that it was best to wage war on the strategic offensive, but on the tactical defensive. You seize something your opponent Must Have, then dig in & let him bleed himself white trying to get it back.

        Mr. Putin & Mr. Shoigu have both recently commented to the effect that Ukraine’s “mobilization resource” is nearly exhausted. I suspect that they’re not upset at the present course of the war, staying focused on their strategic war aims & not being distracted by headline-grabbing incidents inevitable in the course of a modern war, as the accomplishment of their war aims slowly approaches.

    2. Ignacio

      Americans are always in a hurry and cannot understand why others, apparently, aren’t. That explains McGregor’s impatience.

      Mercouris speculated yesterday (or said some speculate) that Russians might have not been interested in reducing Ukrainian artillery near Donetsk fast because the constant shelling of the city keeps support in Russia strong. Speculations can we make a lot of them.

    3. hk

      Russia has nothing to gain by wrapping up the war quickly in Ukraine. The war in Ukraine is a sideshow: Russia is really at war against US over Western Europe. Even totally obliterating Ukraine unless that has some sort of impact on DC, Berlin, or Paris. Unless Europe is about to turn or Washington is ready to talk about the big picture, Russia has no reason to stop.

      1. Advantages of Madness

        Russia is not indicating it has the material capacity to wrap-up in Ukraine. TASS still often reports significant increased production in vague terms, without defining particular values. If ruble value is declining, TASS might as well report,
        “We’re getting worse at producing things cheaply.”

        As coy as the MoD is with data, the State also owns Rostec, Russia’s biggest armament manufacturer, which in the interest of investment reports no substantial increases in employment nor earnings which would correspond to TASS claims. Russian manufacturing indices do not show a significant increases in the type of machinists that would produce items like weapon components. Russia’s private sector could glowingly report enormous surpluses in gear without actually increasing production of the actual key systems (latest-gen cruise missiles) needed to succeed. Figures for 2022, as a function of the above, suggest a treading of water in Lake Conflict.

        Note the Russian 2023 internal security budget is larger than the defense budget, which are unusual books to keep if winning the war one started were possible. Or while insisting aggressive NATO expansion is of concern. Or while insisting on an exponential increase of war materiel. Or while mobilizing large amounts of troops with incentive packages, ballooning operational costs.

        Finally, Russia seems to have lost 2 S-400 batteries, recently. The export price of each is $500 million. After replacing those, a sub, a destroyer, three to 5 landing ships, a bulk carrier, etc., massive increases in defense spending next year are needed for the Kremlin to just break even. Not a coincidence that last night, as seen by European civilian aviation radar, Russian bombers flew round-about from Murmansk to the Caspian Sea to fire their missiles, a sign that air superiority, granted by the recently shacked counter-missile batteries over Russian territory, is no longer a given.

        1. nippersdad

          Some of your points seem a little off to me,

          Where are you getting your information about how Russia is not indicating a material capacity to wrap up their SMO? RUSI (Royal United Services Institute) was reporting last year that they had ramped up production to the point where NATO could not keep up. Recent bombing of air defenses and the efforts made to countervail them are not a sign of permanent disability, as shown in their flexibility in the face of other attacks elsewhere at different points in the conflict.

          The potential problem with the Ruble, as reported by the Duran guys, has been addressed by allowing it to float in order to reach a sweet spot wherein they can balance their domestic and foreign expenditures to best effect. Their alliance with OPEC has made the price of oil and gas go up, filling their coffers to the point where they are seeking ways to spend their surpluses.

          Given the propensity of the West to use internal forces for coup attempts it sounds natural that they would spend more on the internal security budget than on the SMO. Russia is the largest country in the world, composed of Republics that may not always be a natural fit. If they feel surrounded and infiltrated, that would be a natural response. They don’t need any more Chechnya’s at the moment, and I have no doubt that there are neocon plans in the works for plenty of them.

          Your points sound like they are largely composed of wishful thinking rather than an analysis of how things have been progressing to date.

          1. Kouros

            I think he is taking from Perun, who always has some assumption constructed from thin air, that then adds like spice to his facts.

        2. Polar Socialist

          You seem to have “oddities” in pretty much every paragraph:

          First: several officials and company reps have stated that they are producing now in a month what they produced during the whole of last year. Yes, it doesn’t give numbers, but it indicates increasing production.

          Second: just 10 days ago in Kommesant newspaper Rostec’s HR director said that last year the company hired over 30,000 new employees, all to fulfill “defense orders”. This year they’re short of 23,000 skilled machinist (due to extremely low unemployment, assumes the newspaper). That would mean that in two years Rostec is trying to double the workforce related to military products. Russia doesn’t really have a private defense industry sector.

          Third: military and war takes about 40% of the current budget. And that does not include internal security. So, if that takes more than 40%, then there’s less than 20% for all the rest, and we can assume Russia will implode in the next few weeks when hospitals stop working, bureaucrats walk off, bridges start to collapse and so forth and so forth. Or, we may reconsider you claim with “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”.

          Fourth: we have seen claims by Ukraine that they have managed to hit parts of S-300 batteries (in general consisting of at least 12 vehicles). Russia has about 2000 of them, so they are not in a hurry to build new ones. A few months ago Shoigu stated that Russian Navy will receive 12 new ships by the of this year, and quite likely twice that amount in 2024, so the “increase” need is already in the system. Russia actually has very extensive ship construction program going on.

          All that said, Russia probably doesn’t have the capacity to wrap-up Ukraine. Depending on the definition of “wrap-up”, of course. Russia still has to keep majority of her armed forces securing the borders and guarding against NATO.

      2. Feral Finster

        Nothing Russian can or will do will turn western Europe. The US could pre-emptively nuke The Hague and Eurocrats would mewl about how it was justified.

        Don’t believe me? Look at the response to the destruction of Nordstream? The US committed an act of war against Germany, and the German response was for Scholz to scurry off for a photo-op with Biden while Europeans stared at their shoes and mumbled something about how they were bad slaves who deserved to be beaten.

        Even if Europeans freeze and starve this winter, The People Who Matter in Europe will not do so, and that is all that matters.

    4. Polar Socialist

      For what it’s worth, if there’s a rasputitsa this autumn, Russian units have mostly tracks while Ukrainians ar either on foot or have wheels. So in principle, the Russian can literally run circles around the Ukrainians. And with the low overcast and rains for 2 to 4 weeks, neither the drones nor the satellites can provide very good situational awareness. According to RUSI the equally vaunted and maligned Battalion Tactical Group* can operate 3 days before it needs resupply.

      On the other hand, something I read today from Awful Avalance regarding Kim’s visit got me thinking. According to him the Russian Pacific Fleet got a valuable gift from North Korean leader (but refuse to say what it is). So, what would Russian navy think is valuable? How about a shared naval base in Raseon or Wonsan? That would allow the Russian Pacific fleet to spread it’s assets, have shorter distance to Chinese waters (for training, of course) and maybe put some pressure on South Korea and Japan.

      I think this would be called “lateral pressure”. As in “if you escalate in Ukraine, we’ll escalate… well, you’ll find out soon enough.”.

      * yes, I know BTG was a temporary construct and that we don’t really know the current organization of Russian mechanized troops. Regardless, no matter how they are organized, a battalion will still remain the smallest operational unit. If anything, they will have more capabilities than BTG, being backed up by divisional logistics.

  11. Wukchumni

    Volodymyr the Showman
    Was a stand up happy soul
    With a green shirt on and a brown nose
    And two eyes on the goal

    Volodymyr the Showman
    Is a neo-liberal fairytale they say
    He was made of all show, hoping for go dough
    How he came to DC one day

    There must have been some magic
    In that oft worn green shirt they found
    For when they placed it on his shoulders
    He began to dance around

    Oh, Volodymyr the Showman
    Was alive as he could be
    And the President says he could get more aid
    Just forget about you and me

    Volodymyr the Showman (showman)
    Knew the political heat was hot that day (hot that day)
    So he said, “Let’s run, and we’ll have some funds
    Now before I melt away”

    Volodymyr the Showman
    Had to hurry on his way
    But he waved good-bye, saying, “Don’t you cry
    I’ll be back again for more arms some day!”

  12. eg

    “Silk Road vs Spice Route” is a thinly disguised press release no doubt sourced by the usual spooks. I particularly enjoy the warnings of the “debt trap” posed by Belt and Road — as if the former colonial possessions have been well served by 75 years of US dollar diplomacy … *eyeroll*

  13. Jason Boxman

    So here we are in the midst of year 4 of a global Pandemic, with a virus for which some evidence, and certainly a potentially powerful narrative, exists the an American adversary since the Obama administration, engineered a dangerous level three pathogen, which leaked or was released into the world, and arrived in America to begin infecting people. I can think of no better casus belli for nationalists and virulent racists than this.

    Instead, we have a bi-partisan policy of mass infection without mitigation, with no nationalist calls that I’ve seen that we ought to by rights treat this as a Chinese attack on American citizens.

    What a strange timeline, that this has been ripe for the pickings… and nothing happened. In so far as we’re not in a hot war with China, this is certainly a good thing. Perhaps the armchair warriors aren’t as stupid as they appear, and understand on some level that even a limited war with China would be a complete disaster for the United States. Or continuous mass infection of Americans is such a disgrace that no mention of it can be made, since Washington does seem keen on getting into a war with China over Taiwan.

    Still, that SARS-COV-2 wasn’t used as a cause for war is puzzling. It could have been propagandized easily by our state media as a cause for war, much like 11 September.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The neoconservatives aren’t proper hawks in that risks to their lifestyle is the greatest threat. It’s like baseball fantasy camp for them. Highschool sports injuries caused less by freak incidents but long term wear and tear opening people up to injuries they wouldnt sustain 30 years ago and poor nutrition are clearly having an effect on potential US manpower.

      So occasionally they like red baiting, they want to make sure MSDNC is free to broadcast their views or fancy parties are still held. Imagine if conscription took the cast of Hamilton! In the end, war with China will require shared sacrifice, and we’ve squeezed the lower 80% to a breaking point.

    2. Skip Intro

      Are you saying the Pentagon was a US adversary since Obama? That would sure explain a lot. And of course Trump used Covid to agitate against China, which made it temporarily forbidden. Discovering the US funding and direction of the work in the Wuhan did not seem to change the utility of this arrow in the anti-China quiver.

  14. bassmule

    re: Russel Brand: The Economic Case For Cancel-Culture: It makes headlines, it makes views, it makes money. And it seems the hunger for aghastitude only increases.

    1. Wukchumni

      It had the look and feel of a prisoner shot in the back attempting to escape, in a pre-crime mutually agreed upon by the UK media in a coordinated attack and abetted by scamp followers in maim stream media elsewhere.

    2. Pavel

      I never liked Russell Brand much as an actor or celebrity and although I agree with many of his current positions I can barely stand listening to him — his messiah-style schtick leaves me cold.

      And if (as has been asserted) he was friendly with Jimmy Savile in any way that is just horrific.

      Having said that, I do wish the corporate media would pay as much attention to hunting down Jeffrey Epstein’s clients and demanding release of the videos and other data as they do Russell Brand and his self-confessed sexual escapades with consenting partners.

      1. Pat

        For as many people I want to burn in hell for their complicity, I tend to give a fair number of people a pass on Savile. There are lots of people who casually knew him who didn’t have a clue.

        I worked with someone who was convicted of having child porn. They weren’t able to tie him to any actual abuse, although he did plead out all charges by admitting to psychological sexual problems so I’m not sure how deep the investigation was. We didn’t work around children often, and everyone I knew was deeply shocked. No one had an inkling. His wife was even shell shocked. (And no she wasn’t a good enough actress to carry it off if she wasn’t.) My point being that this is not cocktail or water cooler conversation stuff. There are a lot of people who know but pretend, people who should have known but didn’t, and there are even more people in the lives of pedophiles who never were in a position to know and would have no clue.

    3. Alice X

      >Russel Brand: The Economic Case For Cancel-Culture

      I’m not sure where that comes from but as for:

      Jonathan Cook’s A few thoughts on the Russell Brand furore

      6. There has been a long-running, and annoying, tendency on the left to treat Brand as “rightwing” because he refuses to stick to the Democratic party line. I have written about this preposterous “left” yardstick before. Brand is on the left because he consistently and publicly supports the key issues that concern the left, as I explained here. The fact that he demurs from some of the left’s most unthinking, knee-jerk positions, and is prepared to consider some on the right as potential allies or listen to their arguments, doesn’t make him rightwing, except to the most unthinking, knee-jerk devotees of the left.

      Brand is an anarchist, I mean that in a good way. He may find coherence in anti-authoritarian sentiment on what is simplistically called the right wing. The authoritarian Democrats (it is silly to call them the left) are one of the problems. But he is about as far from right wing as one can get.

      I like him.

    4. Raymond Sim

      I wish I saw more signs of people asking themselves how someone like Brand ended up as the face of opposition to neoliberal warmongerong. There’s more than one way to have controlled opposition.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Poland, Hungary, Slovakia impose own Ukraine grain bans as EU measure expires”

    When Big Z heard this, he blew a gasket. The Ukrainians are talking about taking Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia to the World Trade Organization (WTO) as soon as Monday to show that ‘these actions are legally wrong.’ The EU lifted tariffs and quotas on Ukrainian goods last year to support its war effort against Russia but it is sinking in what having the Ukraine in the EU would actually mean. Brussels may rant at Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia but those three countries are seeing too much cheap grain flowing into their country and undercutting their economy to just sit back and let it slide. They keep on saying that the Ukraine has to go into the EU for all its efforts but I would expect Turkiye to go before them.

  16. Carolinian

    Thanks for the Turley. From yesterday he takes on the fuzzy “facts” of the Stop Cop City movement. To wit, the activist shot during the clearing operation did in fact own a gun and the gun was at the scene. And while many choose to disbelieve the forensic report that said this gun shot a state trooper in the abdomen, the person the dead man’s family chose to do their own autopsy has a history of ethics violations that provoked an investigation by the AJC.

    And “old growth”?

    With the site having been clear-cut several times in the last century, a foundation study found fewer than 20 specimen trees.

    It was a prison farm meaning crops were grown there and trees removed.

    Turley’s link also debunks the argument that the issue is training center versus public parks since most of publicly owned land surrounding the site will still be made into park land. So a movement being sold as an environmental protest is really and has always been a defund the police effort such as those sponsored by George Soros. And it has been militantly so, not simply non violent. By skewing the facts those activist newsletters promoting this may have lured some young people into very big trouble indeed given the counter reaction by Georgia authorities. And some of those authorities are Democrats which is why hopes that Garland may get involved seem unlikely.

  17. Jeff W

    Where Can You Find the Oldest Cat Door on Earth? Smithsonian Magazine

    The answer hasn’t changed in the 20 days since the Water Cooler referred to a similar piece “The World’s Oldest Cat Door Has Been Letting Working Cats Enter the Cathedral Since the 14th Century”—mysteriously sans link and publication title but presumably referring to this piece in My Modern Met. I was kind of hoping it had or that there might be some intense academic debate brewing but unfortunately not.

    1. Revenant

      Yes, we’ve had this link several times. And, while we are on that topic, it is not “Devon County”, it is just Devon (like the “London Times” is just the The Times).

      Child #2 just joined the Exeter cathedral choir so we get to see a lot of the catflap. Yesterday was the Bishop’s farewell service. You might be interested that, in a flash of the Mediaeval living among us, the procession into the cathedral was led by the Bearer of the Dogwhipper’s Rod, followed by the Taperers, the Processional Cross, various Banners, the choir, the headmaster of the cathedral school, multiple Virgers, the Dean, the Lord Lieutenant, the Chapter, various lay canons, prebends and so on, the Bishop’s Chaplain, the (legal) Chancellor, vice-Chancellor and Registrar (in full bottomed legal wigs and lace), various guest Bishops and finally the Bishop. The full procession occupied two lengths of the nave. I had never before seen the unity of Church and Court and Executive power in person. It was fascinating as a one-off but imagine having lived like that preWW2 when it all *mattered*….

      The bishop entered in full regalia, mitre, crozier and cope and vestments of cloth of gold. The bishop’s last act was to lay his mitre upon the altar, kneel, hand his crozier to the Dean to keep safe until his successor and leave bareheaded and barehanded (but fortunately not bare naked!). We apparently won’t get another one for two years. Apparently the wheels of God’s HR grind exceedingly slowly….

  18. Carolinian

    Thanks for the Covert Action history of Ukraine. It really puts the fight to recapture “their” land into perspective.

    1. ilsm

      The sordid history of anti Russian official Ukraine is tuned to the 60 Minutes interview where Zelenskii tosses out the Munich 1938 card.

      Interesting because like Russian speakers in east and south Ukraine Hitler used “abuses” of Sudetenland Germans to meddle in Czechoslovakia, another stitched together state.

      Likeness to 1938 ends there. Putin has no obvious motive for liebensraum, and the presence of US nuclear tripwire mean no career unless you are in the US military industry complex.

    2. Alice X

      The author cites Wiki at one point so, that’s not so good. It does have some useful information but omits much. I suppose that is inevitable for any short piece

  19. .Tom

    > The Centrist Dads won’t save Britain Unherd

    Cat Boyd and David Jamieson were bemoaning Centrist Dads on a recent ConterCast: From The Grave.

    Speaking of Conter, the most recent sermon is astonishing. 10 minutes of back-to-back truths about the EU and how it relates to real politics, real economy, and real people.

  20. ChrisFromGA

    Re: Erdogan’s UNGA visit strained by Sweden’s NATO delay, Turkey’s F-16s sale

    The story is a good example on how Washington treats any foreign leader as a supplicant.

    So Erdo has the audacity to point out that since Congressional buffoons like Lindsey Graham won’t approve the F-16’s he wants, the Turkish parliament has a similar right to have a say on Sweden’s NATO membership bid, which looks to be 86-ed.

    That sounds like reciprocity to me, a normal feature of diplomatic relations. But that’s not the way this dying empire rolls, they want to boss every country around like the hired help.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Turns out that Erdogan gave the OK to Sweden’s entry into NATO and releasing those Azov prisoners and he got nothing for his troubles. No IMF loan, no F-16s, nothing. All he did was to p*** off the Russians and made it look like he had been suckered by the west. The F-16s Biden backtracked after only a day or two.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        I’m simply astonished at how the beltway cabal acts in bad faith, then expects others to just forgive and forget. Remember Lavrovs’ “not agreement capable” remark? It really should be the winner for best line of the century.

        To Erdogan’s credit, he is holding Sweden’s bid hostage to force the bad actors to act.

        Even Mexican cartels and mafia bosses exhibit better ethics than Biden, Graham, Blinken, and the rest.

        1. John k

          Is the deal good for me today? No? Well then, that’s the end of it. Whatever the meaning of ‘it’ is.
          They will never change, only option is to change them out.
          The eu says, well, ok, we’ve got a bad master. But he feeds me, I’ve got mine… so, he’s still the master.

  21. Edgui

    Thanks to the great follow-up, Naked Capitalism team. For the first time I’m starting to feel somewhat informed about what’s going on out there. The coverage of Latin America, however, is a bit limited, could you recommend some portals or bulletins on the subject? I consult Resumen Latinoamericano, but sometimes they border on a certain propagandistic monotony. If the recommendations come from outside the NC team, go ahead.

    1. furnace

      I suppose it might suffer from the same “propaganda-itis” as Resumen, but Telesur has a non-mainstream reporting on issues. Specifically about Brazil, Brian Mier’s Brasil Wire (spelled like that) often has excellent deep dives, though posts are infrequent.

  22. Bsn

    Folks, did anyone see this seemingly interesting article: The Supreme Court Will Rule on Censorship by Matt Taiibi? I tried to use to see it, to no avail. It’s an important story to follow and NC has covered it extensively. Well, I’ll try again.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I’ve been using but it seems that browser choice is an issue. My older Firefox build goes into a captcha loop when I try to access the archive, but my old Chrome browser can still open the links.

  23. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Why so many new products for adults look like they were made for little kids Fast Company

    Answer was something to do with nostalgia for things from childhood, like the Easy Bake Oven, making younger adults “happy,” and willing to open up their wallets.

    But I can’t help thinking that there’s a connection with the article on boebert’s adolescent behavior at the theater. Ostensible “adults” (and an elected “representative” in government ferchrissakes) behaving like overindulged high school freshmen in public.

    Act like a child and get marketed to as one. “Capitalists” don’t miss a trick.

    Unmentioned in the Fast Company article is my personal pet peeve, “adult” vitamins as gummies. Come on, honey, you have to take your vitamins. See, they’re just like candy.

    jeezus h. christ.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Whatever works; I can’t swallow large vitamins, so if a gummy is the only vehicle available for me, that’s what I’m stuck using. (Fortunately 1-a-day minimal vitamins I can swallow and they make chewable vitamin C, so no gummies here yet.)

    2. Carolinian

      Then there’s the huge success of Barbie and–to me–the career of Wes Anderson. The Millennials want their Mommie back [ducks]

      Whereas Boomers just took a lot of drugs for their anxiety.

    3. digi_owl

      Or it could be that product design moves in phases, and often loop back on itself given enough decades.

      For example a whole lot of Apple products while Ives worked there used design cues from 60s Braun products.

      And i think for a while recently kitchenware was sporting the same kind of bright colors that i kinda recall was the latest fashion around the 60s-70s.

      And i did have a moment maybe a decade ago when a pair of young ladies passed me by, and i was struck by how they could have walked right out of a 80s music video. Same kind of hair and wardrobe from back then.

      That said, the behavior of an increasing number of people, in particular in positions of power, seem almost like that of petulant kids.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      What do you expect in a country full of “Disney adults”? I’m astounded by the number of people I know who go on vacations there and have no children. But perhaps I’m biased – hated that damn mouse as a kid and still do.

    1. Carolinian

      Well I don’t have it even though I live in SC. Apparently the pilot put it on autopilot before ejecting and they say it could be anywhere. It may appear in Putin’s next May Day parade.

      1. Carolinian

        The wreckage of the plane has been found 80 miles from Charleston in woods near Florence, SC which downstate below Columbia.

        We used to drive through there on the way to Myrtle Beach where the F 100s would roar across the surf with afterburners alight. Perhaps the Pentagon should go back to those.

    2. Chas

      Maybe Russians hacked into the F-35’s computer, ejected the pilot, and auto-piloted the plane to Cuba where it is now being inspected by Russian engineers.

    3. Keith Howard

      The F-35’s flight range using its internal fuel is said to be 1,350 miles. How slowly can it fly and still remain airborne? I don’t know the answer, but it would seem that unless the autopilot has called up aerial refueling, the plane is on the ground by now. No?

      1. John k

        Or in the ground. And that ground might have a mile of water above it.
        I would think if it grounded above sea level within 1300 miles of the pilot somebody would have noticed.

  24. maipenrai

    I seem to recall a certain someone who was accused of rape precisely at a time he was exposing undesirable news…only for all allegations to have been shown to be made up…cant quite recall who that was now…

  25. noonespecial

    Re VOA article NATO Chief/Ukraine

    In the link, NATO chief declares, “…we must recognize if [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy and the Ukrainians stop fighting, their country will no longer exist.”

    It’s a good thing those humanitarians at Raytheon are on point looking out for Z and his people. bold is my doing

    Quotes from Defense One:

    Ukraine will receive a new variant of the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile in three to five years, according to weapons-builder Raytheon Technologies…Paul Ferraro, president of Air Power at Raytheon, told reporters Thursday…the next-gen AMRAAMs are “wildly different, both hardware-wise and software-wise,” than the current missile, Ferraro said…“I can tell you that the capabilities that are in this missile and have been exercised and tested in the flight test program show outstanding ability to perform its mission in the most stressing environments that we understand will be faced both today and in the future, and it also lends itself to…continual software based upgrades to keep pace with any emerging threats,” Ferraro said.

    Oh good, continual software based upgrades, gee like the alerts I get to upgrade to a more robust data plan? (snarc obvs). And what will the opposing military forces/planners do? Sit on their thumbs and not improve upon detection systems of today that seem to be playing the part of the car that squashes frogger?

  26. Willow

    Why did Angela Merkel shut down Germany’s nuclear power plants? Merkel likely realised war is returning to Europe and nuclear power plants would represent an unacceptable risk/vulnerability. Fukushima exposing magnitude of risk (a reminder of Chernobyl) and impetus to address the vulnerability.

  27. John Beech

    Poland, Hungary, Slovakia impose own Ukraine grain bans as EU measure expires Politico EU

    And the terrible thing is, this grain is all they have to sell. For or part, we should be buying if only to dump in the ocean and not disturb markets if not to give to the starving. Why? To give them more hard currency. Currency which we print until the presses run hot, anyway and has an incremental cost near zero.

    What passes for political in the west is a shame. Small minds lacking big thoughts.

    Further to this, in this article:
    CNN Poll: Majority of Americans oppose more US aid for Ukraine in war with Russia Modern Diplomacy

    . . . and this, I feel, is only because it’s been so poorly presented.

  28. John Beech

    Amfortas the Hippie . . . on the off chance you don’t go looking at yesterday’s tractor discussion, this may help you learn more about attachments;

    . . . believe me in this is nothing else, on God’s green earth there is nowhere with more sheer human inventiveness on display than tractor attachments.

    Two of the first things you’ll need;
    1. A quick hitch. Many brands. Pick one. If it were me, I’d ask around with your neighbors to see what they favor, then get the same one. Trust me, this will pay off.
    2. A box blade for doing road work (drives)


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