Links 9/22/2023

Poland; No more weapons, Ukraine drowning man. Elensky refuses freeze. Assad in China (video) Alex Christoforou, YouTube. Shout out to NC and The Naked Capitalism Songbooks (download) at 22:23:

Yves writes: “Alex Christaforu talks about geopolitics  at least once a day, though his own YouTube channel as well as through The Duran shows with Alexander Mercouris. He provides news wraps and incisive commentary, and his signature is walking through the locales from which he is broadcasting (which have included cities in Cyprus, Greece, Serbia, and Russia) and his closing Clown World segment. The latter proves to be target rich.”

* * *
A 902-pound pumpkin? Why freakishly large fruits and veggies thrive in Alaska Smithsonian

This Gecko’s Camouflage Is So Good, It Masqueraded as Another Species NYT


Ghost forests haunt the East Coast, harbingers of sea-level rise PNAS

Less than half of respondents in Southeast Asia believe climate change poses ‘serious threat’ to region: Survey Channel News Asia


Comparative study showed that children faced a 78% higher risk of new-onset conditions after they had COVID-19 Acta Paediatrica. Retrospective cohort study. Italy. N = 3312. From the Abstract: “Exposed children had a 78% higher risk of developing new conditions of interest after COVID-19 than unexposed children.”



Predictors of the post-COVID condition following mild SARS-CoV-2 infection Nature. Norway. N = 214,667, but limitations. From the Discussion:

We found that a limited set of predictors provided substantial information regarding the risk of post-COVID complaints. To illustrate, while the average risk in our sample was 0.42%, the risk among those with the strongest risk factors was 10-fold (~4%; original virus, female, prior history (2017–2019) of respiratory, psychological and general health problems). These findings imply that a simple checklist of yes/no questions may function as a prognostic tool for predicting post-COVID health complaints….The checklist may further provide important knowledge for rehabilitation personnel.

The predictor most amenable to mitigation would seem to be infection. (The NIH, as I understand it, spent a billion dollars to create the precursors to such a checklist. So it goes. Out of scope for this study, but one can’t help but notice that biological mechanisms go entirely unmentioned, as with NIH, so prevention is out. “Living with checklists.”)


How Xi Jinping is taking control of China’s stock market FT

Chinese investors rush into local government bonds as Beijing eases default fears FT

China just stopped exporting two minerals the world’s chipmakers need CNN

U.S. revives Cold War submarine spy program to counter China Reuters

Couchfish: Playing Your Cards Right Couchfish

European Disunion

Greece’s working class demonstrates against new labor bill with massive rallies, general strike Anadolu Agency

New Not-So-Cold War

Defeat Michael Brenner, Scheer Post. Well worth a read.’

How Will The Biden Administration Cope With Its Loss In Ukraine? Moon of Alabama

Ukraine, before and after Scott Ritter, The Floutist

‘What’s our objective?’: Biden under pressure over Ukraine aid sales job Politico

Zelensky’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad D.C. Snubfest Simplicius the Thinker(s)

* * *
Understanding the Risk of Escalation in the War in Ukraine RAND

Ukraine Is Getting Its Abrams—but Not What It Really Wants Foreign Policy

Fighting ‘through hell.’ To reclaim Bakhmut, a Ukrainian brigade must first survive the forest AP

* * *
Polish President clarifies words of his Prime Minister on “termination” of military assistance to Ukraine Ukrainska Pravda

Why everyone loses from Poland’s Ukraine weapons tantrum FT

* * *
Normalizing fascism:


Who’s Afraid of Victoria Nuland? Kyiv Post

South of the Border

Brazil’s Indigenous peoples celebrate massive land rights victory France24

Our Famously Free Press

Rupert Murdoch’s Retirement Has Fox Insiders Stunned: “”I Never Thought He’d Do It”” Vanity Fair

Biden Administration

House Republicans cancel votes with just nine days until a possible government shutdown USA Today


Department of Justice removes key Google evidence from its website Search Engine Land and Here are the documents the Google antitrust trial judge didn’t want you to see The Verge. Google goes Mehta:

Mehta was, of course nominated by [genuflects] Obama (and, interestingly, served on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, so he knows on which side his spooks are buttered).

Google’s contracts with browser makers blocked us from distribution, says rival search engine DuckDuckGo CNBC

Meet the Law Geeks Exposing Google’s Secretive Antitrust Trial Wired

* * *
Catch Us if You Can Maureen Tkacik, The American Prospect. The deck: “The mysterious firing of Amazon’s most ruthless union-buster from his new job underscores the monopoly’s insidious stranglehold over shopping.”

FTC sues private equity firm Welsh Carson for medical price-fixing Axios. Well done!

The Bezzle

UK firm sold thousands of unverified jet engine parts, CFM says Reuters

95% of NFTs now totally worthless, say researchers The Register

Digital Watch

Inside Apple’s Spectacular Failure to Build a Key Part for Its New iPhones WSJ. Commentary.

iFixit retroactively dings the iPhone 14 over Apple’s parts pairing requirement The Verge. So, a right-to-repair workaround?

* * *
How banks are trying to get in front of new AI rules American Banker

Artificial Intelligence bigotry Rodger Malcolm Mitchell, #Monetary Sovereignty

Spook Country

The Spy Who Shushed Me: How the Government Is Removing Our Right to Read in Private Literary Hub

Groves of Academe

The Sycophant New Left Review


What to Know about the Medicare Open Enrollment Period and Medicare Coverage Options KFF. “Option” = complex eligibility requirements for “access.” A veritable Jenga tower of PMC gatekeeping and rental extraction.

‘Glitch’ deprived some 4,800 Mass. residents of Medicaid coverage Boston Globe, 500,000 nationwide.

Supply Chain

A Rough Harvest for Kansas Wheat Earth Observatory, NASA

Six reasons to bring millets to the market! FAO

Peek Inside America’s Largest Privately Owned Company Bloomberg. Cargill.

The Final Frontier

Why We’ll Never Live in Space Scientific American

Towering egos and careening space junk: why the new era of space exploration is a disaster in the making Physics World

Imperial Collapse Watch

F-35 fighter jets can only fly 55% of time, US watchdog says FT. To be fair, they don’t turn upside down and fall out of the air 45% of the time, either. So that’s alright, then.

F-35 Aircraft: DOD and the Military Services Need to Reassess the Future Sustainment Strategy (PDF) Government Accountability Office. Handy chart:

Parts of America are becoming uninsurable The Economist

Class Warfare

Kaiser Permanente employees threaten strike Medical Economics

How the fentanyl crisis’ fourth wave has hit every corner of the US BBC. The previous, pre-Covid tranche of lethality.

The secrets to sorority admission? Perfect highlights and an image consultant The Economist

Study Finds Drinking Children’s Blood No More Effective Than Regular Blood At Achieving Eternal Life The Onion. Take that, Peter Thiel!

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. Sardonia

    I’m glad that Alex Christaforu got some laughs from The Naked Capitalism Songbook. Some of the ones that I posted that were my favorites didn’t make it into the book, so since he’s commenting on Ukraine, I thought I’d repost one I did a year ago:

    As Zelensky realizes he’s been suckered in, WAY over his head, I can imagine him singing the song of his sad tale – to the melody of “Lola” by The Kinks – the tale of a boy who hooks up with someone who isn’t what he was expecting…:

    I met them at a banquet up in Brussels town
    Where you eat mignon with a golden brown
    Baked potato
    T…A…T…O, ‘tato
    They walked up to me, and they asked me to dance
    I asked for their name and in a voice of romance
    They said, “NA-TO”
    N…A…T…O, NATO
    Na na na na, NATO

    Well. I’m not the world’s most physical guy
    So when they said I might join, it brought a tear to my eye
    Oh my NATO
    Na na na na, NATO
    Well, I’m not dumb but I didn’t understand
    Why they’d encourage a war but wouldn’t send us a man
    Oh my NATO
    Na na na na, NATO
    Na na na na, NATO

    Well, they bought champagne and we drank all night
    Under electric candlelight
    They picked me up and sat me on their knee
    And said, “Little boy, let’s go make History!”

    Well, I’m not the world’s most passionate guy
    But when I looked in their eyes
    I almost fell
    For my NATO
    Na na na na, NATO
    Na na na na, NATO
    NATO I
    Na na na na, NATO
    Na na na na, NATO

    I pushed them away
    I walked to the door
    I fell to the floor
    I got down on my knees
    Then I looked at them
    And they at me

    Well, that’s the way that we started to play
    And I guess it’s just gonna be this way
    With my NATO
    Na na na na, NATO
    Into a proxy war I was hurled
    It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world,
    In bed with NATO
    Na na na na, NATO

    Well, I left Kiev just a week before
    And I’d never ever seen Kinetic War
    But NATO smiled and took me by the hand
    And said, “Dear boy, we’re gonna make you a man!”

    Well, I’m not the world’s most intelligent man
    But now I know I’m just a pawn, I’m a sacrificial lamb
    To my NATO
    Na na na na, NATO
    Na na na na, NATO
    Na na na na, NATO
    Na na na na, NATO

      1. Wukchumni

        Now, if we could only find somebody actually musically talented (not to typecast the talent displayed in the songbook, but its read music-not played) to take on the ditties and there is no shortage of subject matter, pick and choose oh online troubadour, and showcase your talents and ours.

    1. John Zelnicker

      Sardonia – Can you send me the song titles that were missing? Or, a link to the comment? I’ll check on them.

      Send to zelnickertaxservice [at] comcast [dot] net.

      Volume Two ends about April 28, 2023, so any of your songs after that aren’t included.
      However, I am still collecting and have some of yours since then, but maybe not all. I’d appreciate links to all that you’ve posted since April, if you have them.

  2. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “F-35 fighter jets can only fly 55% of time, US watchdog says” article at-

    Suppose a conflict arises with China? All the Chinese would have to do is mount patrols a coupla times a day forcing the F-35s to come up to meet them but that they would then retreat. After a month of this there would hardly be any F-35s in serviceable condition left. Not through being shot down but there being none in working order through lack of spare parts, problems with maintenance, problems with Lockheed contractors not wanting to work in a war zone, etc.

    1. Steve H.

      F-35: Fat Duck. Battle Penquin. Tarmac Operations Dominance.

      and now:

      Man Muss Immer Umkehren.

      (Please check out the video of the man describing the crash in Simplicius’ post. The sound of air superiority.)

      1. Wukchumni

        Somehow an advocate for Edsels appeared defending them the other day on here after I called the F-35 ‘the Edsel of the air’, and truth be said i’m not sure that i’ve ever seen one on the road, and have certainly never driven one, so I apologize if i’ve offended your sensibilities by comparing the F-35 to it…

        …but I have driven a 1974 puke green (manufacturer’s claim of hue being avocado) Pinto that was prone to blowing up real good if the rear echelon was so much as tapped lightly by another chariot

        I wonder if the F-35 comes in a hatchback?

        1. Wukchumni


          Somehow Pintos didn’t come with the dumbest 1970’s car option… that being Landau roofs, which cost a bunch more and rotted away after a few years in the California sun.

        2. Pat

          My family had an Edsel. It was my mother’s favorite car ever. Unlike the Pinto it was almost indestructible. I think it gets a bad rap. It was ugly and unappealing by the standards of the time, and it was the baby of a Ford heir no one wanted in charge. So it’s biggest problem was really unpopularity.

          So I have ridden in both Edsels and Pintos, and the better ride was the Edsel. The thing that always amused me about the Pinto wasn’t the boom problem it was that most of them in my experience were also built to fall apart. After a few years they were as rusty as VW beetles on their third owner. So I think they are a better fit for a F 35 analogy.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            In real time consumer psychologists blamed the Edsel’s distinctive grill design. The horse collar oval was too “oral” (to use a Freudian term) for most American car buyers who wanted tail fins and aggressive macho design. (cars were a “dad” purchase)

            Bear in mind that this was the era of the Big Three TV and shows with audiences in the low single digit millions were canceled.

              1. Wukchumni

                Fins were everything in the late 50’s heavy Detroit metal, and the hapless Edsel was severely lacking in that department, with I daresay, mamby pamby ones.

          2. Carolinian

            Ah yes Detroit, the golden years. Believe I have seen an Edsel but never driven in one. We did have a big old 70s Dodge with a landau roof–a real land yacht. Many of the cars of that era were comfortable to drive in. Just don’t expect the engine to last more than 100k miles.

            1. JohnA

              Perhaps a runner up in the ugly and unwanted car stakes is the British Austin Allegro from the 1970s, that actually had a square steering wheel.

              1. ambrit

                We have a contender for the award driving around our half-horse town; a Geo Metro. Bright yellow two door with a raggedy black rag top. A three cylinder 1 litre engine. Still running.

                1. Wukchumni

                  {imagines Car Go Cult pushing vehicles towards a mock gas station, where attendants check the water & oil for you-in theory…}

                    1. You're soaking in it!

                      I had one that lasted 310K miles. The engine never quit, I replaced at least one wheel every 40K miles, but it got over 40 mpg in an era when hybrid electrics were still Popular Mechanics projects. Lime green too, easy to find in the parking lot. RIP, they came out of a joint venture between Toyota and GM in LA, and mine was definitely off the Toyota side.

            2. Alice X

              Some years back a neighbor had a ’70s MG sports car (I believe). Though thirty years old it had very low miles and was in perfect cosmetic shape. He said most of them were like that cause they never got very far on the road before breaking down.

                1. Wukchumni

                  Lucas : You couldn’t bring yourself to kill me before and I don’t believe you’ll destroy me now.

                  Darth Vader : You underestimate the power of the Dark Side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny.

                  1. Revenant

                    Wuk, is that a very sly dig at the old advice to identify all the parts made by Lucas… and replace them!

                2. skippy

                  Having owned and rebuilt many a English 60s/70s sports car I would reference the mechanic/driver in the movie GT40. American dad brings in new sport car for a tune and complains about regular need for tune ups … mechanic informs him its not the car … but the driver …

                  Needs revs and sporty driving = not driven like a family sedan.

                  In that era all sports and muscle cars required constant tuning and fiddling around with, part of owning them was busting knuckles and getting greasy. The first thing you do with an English sports car is rip out the old wiring loom and build a new one from scratch, most importantly affix rubber grommets wherever wires pass through metal walls. That will eliminate over 95% of the dramas, carbs are an art form that has to be learned not only by measurements but by ear and feel.

                  1. ambrit

                    Too true about maintaining ‘sports’ vehicles. I once had a Kawasaki H1 500cc two stroke triple cylinder motorcycle. Those three Mikuni carbs were almost a Rite of Passage level ordeal to tune.
                    I gave it up after it tried to kill me yet again.
                    Fully agreed about English sports car wiring harness. A soldering rig and shrink wrap tubes for wire repairs are a necessity in the ‘basic’ MGs.

                    1. John Zelnicker

                      Hey, ambrit. All of the English sports cars from the MG’s to the Jaguars had those horrible Lucas electric components.

                      Jaguar finally solved their electric problems when they switched to Bosch parts a couple of decades ago, IIRC.

                    2. skippy

                      Kawasaki H1 500 2 Stroke Triple … merriment …

                      Yeah you’ll get the attempted dismemberment and death with a 500 two stroke on those old suspensions/tyres, thought you were Kenny Roberts eh. Power curve on those things is mad mad mad … no power and then all of it at once … hence why guys like Roberts back in the day were on one wheel on the straight bits and back down to two in the corners [slow] and back up on one again.

                      Don’t feel left out as a Kawasaki 1400 [inline six] done up sport style tried to kill me, weeks in hospital with insides rearranged, whilst in military. Although had a good time as solider next too me suffered a big hernia trying to close a stuck hanger door and we used to piss ourselves to tears when the cute nurse came around for sponge baths. Close the curtain for privacy but make noises like something else was going on. Then when curtain was open we could see each other were in pain from injuries whilst laughing so hard which made it even more funny/hilarious which upped the pain level even more – feed back loop good times …

                      Oh and whilst the English gets a lot of stick for crazy electrical dramas, back in the day, the Italian cars are just as bad. Yet both just have such great little motors, nimble, and nice bodies. Had a 67 Triumph Spitfire 1600cc MKIII in High School in small town Missouri, first tea bag car, could out do small blocks off the line and everything in the twisty bits.

                      Fare thee well mate …

                    3. skippy

                      @John …

                      Now days you can get all the old original Lucas electronics gauges reworked. So you have the originality without all the bugs and glitches.

                    1. skippy

                      As noted above in reply to Ambrit its a passion and sorting out the bad stuff is just part of the joy of ownership. Sorta like my currant employ of fixing up all these great old Queenslanders around Brisbane. Something old that has had so many lives and yet with the right knowledge and skills can be made better than it ever has been. Then passed on to the next user of it aka not demolished so some questionable quality new build for affluence is stuck right in the middle of a area that has unique charm about it due too the historical builds. Did I mention the gardens, back yard bee hives, possum houses in trees, yards kids can play in, and many are over or near 100 years old, albeit many have renos from the 80s onwards.

                    2. skippy

                      Oops … wanted to say eldest daughter and her man in SE-1 are ready to leave and come home. Seems a trend at the moment. What was a passage back in the day now seems a less than enjoyable experience.

                      Youngest daughter is wandering around in Wales at the moment and working in property Mgt, dang that girl gets around, front desk at ED and now this ….

        3. Peter

          Don’t bash the Edsels, they were actually very good cars… same parts as the Ford, Lincoln, Mercury.
          The styling was the only bad issue.

          Except the pushbuttons in the center of the steering wheel… that actually worked really well, I had one

    2. ilsm

      Note well!!

      That 55% represents F-35’s that can take off and have hope of landing safely. Partly mission capable means that one or more of the missions the aircraft is capable to fly is not working!!

      Fully mission capable (FMC) is the aircraft can do all the missions it is equipped to perform. That rate is sadly, politically, not mentioned in the text of the GAO report! FMC is probably around 20%!

      Note if an airplane is “deployable” it used to be FMC!

      One point GAO made is the F-35 is massively dependent on the prime vendor for mission capability, repair instruction, and supply!!! All cost plus with no regrets for failing to keep the unreliable dog flying some of its missions!

      Aside from the fact the aircraft is late to meeting any rapidly evolving ‘threat’!

      Expensive disarmament for Lockheed dividends.

      1. Wukchumni

        F-35’s are still getting it on upstairs around these parts doing loop de loops and whatnot, not that i’d know.

        You almost get the impression that NAS Lemoore knows these are the last new manned jets, and they are certainly getting their paces out of them.

        Last month on a weeklong backpack trip in Sequoia NP, the din above was seemingly relentless with their roar.

          1. Wukchumni

            We were at Planes of Fame air museum in Chino last century on a day when everything seems to get flown, and their P-38 hardly made any sound when a few thousand feet above us, amazing!

            The only Zero with the original engine and flyable was a completely different story, and sounded like a popcorn machine on steroids with an endless amount of kernels as it took off.

            1. Carolinian

              Wish I had been there. I love old planes. Phoenix had a museum of them at a local airport but it has moved elsewhere. Almost all of them had a pan under the engine to catch the oil drips.

              1. Wukchumni

                Planes of Fame was a really cool place and unlike some airplane museums owned by fabulously rich fellows, was conceived by a guy who loved old warbirds, and flying ones if possible, although the static display was no slouch.

                There was a ME-262 that Ed Maloney acquired for $500 in 1955, that ended up @ a rich guy’s warbird museum in Washington, for a bit more money.


                1. skippy

                  Yet the P-47 did the work and the sexy stuff got PR treatment … not sleek and sexy … yet in good hands could take out anything in the air and on the ground … take a pounding … give a pounding …

                  Basically old tech beat new tech but industry decided other wise for a payday and more so a PR idea that would foam the runway for so much profit for a few …

            2. eg

              We live one municipality east of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Their Lancaster regularly circles overhead — I can’t imagine the sound of hundreds of them …

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          like ive said, we’re on the eastern edge of the West Texas Training Area.
          lots of aircraft, compared to anywhere else ive lived.
          but the fighter jets are apparently allocated the area to our north…over Brady.
          i can hear them from here, sometimes, but rarely see them….so have no idea which F- they are.
          that said, i was in town a couple of months ago when what looked like a “Trainer”…F14?…roared right over the town…couldnt have been 500 foot up, below the level of the big hills surrounding the town.
          sonic booms and everything…and moving so fast, hardly anybody saw it.

          we get much more helicopter activity, here…and when war’s afoot, the c130’s and that warthog plane that flies in circles, will fly all around out here, day and night.
          i havent heard that any of these aircraft(esp C130) have anywhere near the same issues as the F-35(falling from sky and such).
          so all that activity is mostly an annoyance.

      2. Skip Intro

        The F-35 represents the peak of US defense science, extracting the maximum profit per unit for the most contractors and their congressional pet turtles, not just before the sale, but forever after. It is the new PaaS* model for ‘defense’ related rent extraction.

        * Plane-as-a-Service

      3. Tom Stone

        The F35 does exactly what it was designed to do, make a lot of money for the right people.
        No Airforce would choose this airplane unless it was corrupted, it was NOT designed to fly and fight, it WAS designed to be Extremely profitable and uncancellable because there were Jawbs at stake in every congressional district.
        The Little Crappy Ships and the Ford Class Aircraft Carriers are also totally unfit for purpose ( If the purpose is fighting) and obscenely expensive.
        And Aircraft Carriers have been obsolete since the sinking of the Belgrano in 1982.
        All are symptoms of a failed State.

      4. digi_owl

        Well Norwegian news could today report that Norway’s F-35 had successfully landed on a Finnish road.

        It is less absurd than it sounds, as apparently Finland, like Sweden, has stretches of road that can also serve as runways. And with Finland now being a NATO member, other nations has started to train there. Alongside Norwegian F-35s there apparently also British Eurofighters.

        1. Wukchumni

          We prefer the Harrier on the 405, but they tell me any of the F series models are perfect for Interstate 15 landings en route to Vegas.

        2. ilsm

          Can the Finns get 16000 pounds of fuel, scarce parts, 6 Lockheed employees, and satcom to Fort Worth Tx to get it back aloft?

          A-10 has high over tail engines, and was made to land on unimproved roads…

          1. John Beech

            A-10 engines are located the way they are (up high) for a totally different reason – and unrelated to landing on unimproved runways.

            This is a ground attack aircraft and when it lights up it General Electric GAU-8/A Gatling gun, in 2-second combat bursts, it’s releasing 30mm rounds at 3900rpm (rounds per minutes).

            Thing is, the explosive bursts lack oxygen (of course, since that’s consumed with propellant when as it combusts). So the gun exhaust lacks oxygen and ingesting same would cause the engines to flame out. Not good. So mounting them up high is actually all about about keeping them within clean air.

            For the curious, here’s a brief video showing operation.

        3. Leftcoastindie

          Our interstate system was built with the same capability. Every so often there is a stretch of about 1 mile where the freeway is straight, so if needed, planes can land and take off.

  3. Wukchumni

    Hey kids, shake it loose together
    The spotlight’s hitting something
    That’s been known to change the weather
    We’ll kill the fatted calf tonight
    So stick around
    You’re gonna hear martialistic music
    Solid walls of sound

    Say, Volodymyr and Vladimir, have you seen the F-16’s yet
    But they’re so spaced out, B-B-B-Biden and the Jets
    Oh but they’re old and they’re wonderful
    Oh Biden he’s really keen
    Its the golden anniversary of both of their skein
    You know I read it in a magazine
    B-B-B-Biden and the Jets

    Hey kids, plug into the aegis
    Maybe they’re ancient
    But Biden makes them ageless
    We shall survive, let us take ourselves along
    Where the fight is out in the streets
    To find who’s right and who’s wrong

    Say, Volodymyr and Vladimir, have you seen the F-16’s yet
    But they’re so spaced out, B-B-B-Biden and the Jets
    Oh but they’re old and they’re wonderful
    Oh Biden he’s really keen
    Its the golden anniversary of both of their skein
    You know I read it in a magazine
    B-B-B-Biden and the Jets

    Biden and the Jets
    Biden and the Jets
    Biden and the Jets
    Biden and the Jets
    Biden, Biden and the Jets
    Biden, Biden and the Jets

    Bennie & The Jets, by Elton John

      1. cfraenkel

        BeOS was awesome at the time. Running videos in background windows!! All kinds of goodness, and all as tightly integrated as a Mac (better even, at the time. much better than the current iphone corrupted monstrosity you get from apple these days).

        You can still run it in a VM, here is one how-to This one happens to be meant for putting it on a little adafruit board, but it’s more or less the same process on any virtualbox setup.

    1. AK

      Speaking of Google, Hacker News currently has a big discussion thread on, a premium search engine (first 100 searches free, $10 a month for unlimited searches, no ads, no tracking, offers AI and personalisation features, search results reportedly at least as good as Google’s).

      For what it’s worth, the Hacker News thread has 1,500 upvotes; that’s more than any thread I can recall.

    2. digi_owl

      And it has not become better since.

      Now all computers ship with MS controlled certificates embedded in the UEFI.

      This can refuse to boot unless the bootloader etc is signed by Microsoft. Or you know the proper procedure for loading your own certificates etc onto UEFI. But that in turn suggests you have a second computer already set up to handle the signing of anything you want to install.

      And come the near future it may well be that your bank’s web site will refuse your login unless you are using a computer with a OS and browser that has been attested by said UEFI certificates.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “UK firm sold thousands of unverified jet engine parts, CFM says”

    Seems that the UK government is content to let the UK become some sort of pirate kingdom with things like these illegal parts. You can’t do that. There was a flight that crashed back in ’89 called Partnair Flight 394. After air crash investigators went to work, they tracked down the cause of the crash to counterfeit parts. This led to further investigation which showed that this was a widespread problem and it was found that even Air Force One also had some of these counterfeit parts. A massive crackdown followed so the fact that this UK firm was doing this has no excuse-

    1. Wukchumni

      Its kinda crazy, at the very same time the sorority @ LSU all look like earth mothers to me in dress, stewardesses were wearing micro miniskirts up in the air.

      For yours truly, the tartan skirted private tour guides @ Disneyland were quite something to see, circa 1971. The skirts had reached minimum length and the lasses carried what looked like a riding crop, I think they were the basis of my first crush, even if our family never took a tour, I adored from afar.

      1. Bsn

        “I Found It” (remember those bumper stickers?). But I did. I skimmed through the pictures in Wuk’s link and found, one, yes one picture with an “overweight” person in it. Everyone else (literally) looks like they could be hiding a body like Schwarzenager or RFK Jr. under their shirt/blouse. My how times (and weight) have changed.

        1. Wukchumni

          I noticed it last year and often the Central Valley is a place to make changes for McDonald’s nationwide, and they had started phasing out all-you-can drink soda fountains, mostly i’d say on account of the homeless helping themselves to empty calories, but also cost cutting.

          Now they are getting rid of them all over the country…

          Who can say whether these soda fountains were the primary cause, but we started putting on a lot of weight after they first showed up in the 1980’s.

    2. digi_owl

      These things gets me thinking about the reporting on the Columbine shooting, and how they were in particular targeting anyone wearing white caps. Because they saw it as signaling a certain group/clique allegiance.

      I am more and more convinced that USA is a deeply dysfunctional society driven by fear and bullying. And that its various other issues, drugs, gender, violence, derive from those.

      1. Reply

        Signaling can take many forms, pro and con, or approach and avoid. One generation’s white cap could be another’s blue roof. /s

  5. furnace

    “Zelensky’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad D.C. Snubfest Simplicius the Thinker(s)”
    I think the end of this piece warrants the “Imperial Collapse” heading:

    But the much more alarming sub-story revolves around rumors that there’s a coverup as to what really happened. The incident has many incongruities, and a top cyber security expert now claims the entire software security suite for the F-35 has been compromised [image]

    Green Hills Software produces the Integrity 178B Operating System that powers the F-35, F-22, F-16, and B-2. It also powers the Airbus A380. It was also quite possibly leaked. Now you understand why the entire USMC air fleet has been grounded. Fun fact: the CEO of Green Hills Software is none other than infamous Elon Musk hater Dan O’Dowd.

    The leak of air traffic control audio from the crash seems to suggest the ‘zombie’ plane flew on by itself after the pilot ejected, which is what resulted in their not having a clue where it actually crashed:

    And why would a pilot even eject from a plane that’s still capable of flying for a long time on its own afterwards? It would almost suggest someone took remote control of the plane and hit the ejection button.

    Footage of the “debris field” shows no clear—or even unclear—signs of debris, giving echoes of 9/11’s strangely disappearing jumbo jets. It also seems odd that all aviation was grounded, pointing to a potential compromise that affects every platform [image]

    On Monday, the Marine Corps reportedly issued a two-day stand-down for all aviation units over the military’s missing F-35 that disappeared after its pilot safely ejected due to a “mishap.”

    This could all of course be speculation, but it feels like there’s something rotten in Denmark. If there’s even a hint of truth to any of it, it suggests the U.S. military has much bigger things to worry about than their floundering Ukrainian campaign.

      1. ilsm

        Most of F-35 maintenance is based on Lockheed manuals which are a problems, per GAO 23-105341.

        The tech manuals are inadequate, do not present theory of operation, nor aids to trouble shooting and so Lockheed personnel are often needed!

        So much overrun cost things like repair manuals!

        Lockheed runs F-35 supply!

        F-35 is scarcely deployable and would require Lockheed to suit up!

        On tracking the errant F-35B: FAA airport surveillance radar likely had ‘coverage’, but stealth and lack of beacon emissions likely did not show on a scope in a tower.

        1. JBird4049

          On the United States contracting out everything including the F-35, when blackpowder artillery was used, civilian contractors were the ones who supplied and maintained it. Of course, aside from not wanting to die, they wanted to keep safe their artillery. Meaning, whenever there was the slightest danger, say at any battle ever, they would pull out the guns. Then there was the whole problem of getting the contractors to go where and when they were needed especially as they only used oxen. Oxen only have one speed, which is very slow, unlike horses. Overpriced and unreliable. It was still not possible to fire them as they were the only ones with the training, and experience, plus all the equipment to maintain and move the guns.

          IIRC, Gustavus Adolphus (the Great) just before he entered the Thirty Years War, ditched the contractors and used his own soldiers for the artillery and exchanged the oxen for horses. He started a trend. That was early in the sixteenth century, say 1625-30? or roughly four centuries after gunpowder artillery became routine in Europe. I am not saying that the four centuries of the such artillery was a civilian business and or the four centuries it has not been has any connection, but it is interesting. I wonder if the people running the military ever thought why most things connected to the military especially the weapons had been run by them? Suppose that there is a war? Just how does the air force or marines make the civilian contractors stay around?

    1. Carolinian

      Fortunately the Pentagon’s zombie jet didn’t kill anybody. Atlanta has Dobbins in crowded Cobb County and a jet on approach to that base crashed into an apartment building after the pilot ejected. Rural SC is more sparsely populated so you can drop jets on us with better odds. Still there must be quite a story behind this incident–a story we likely will never hear.

  6. lambert strether

    > In Simplicius, the F35 operating system

    “…. Integrity 178B Operating System …”

    Never eat at a place called “Mom’s”….

    1. RobertC

      Mom’s is DO-178B, Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification

      Mom’s new location is DO-178C, Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification

      Since the release of DO-178B, there had been strong calls by DERs (FAA Designated Engineering Representatives) for clarification/refinement of the definitions and boundaries between the key DO-178B concepts of high-level requirements, low-level requirements, and derived requirements and a better definition of the exit/entry criteria between systems requirements and system design (see ARP4754) and that of software requirements and software design (which is the domain of DO-178B). Other concerns included the meaning of verification in a model-based development paradigm and considerations for replacing some or all software testing activities with model simulation or formal methods. The release of DO-178C and the companion documents DO-278A (Ground Systems), DO-248C (Additional information with rationale for each DO-178C objective), DO-330 (Tool Qualification), DO-331 (Modeling), DO-332 (Object Oriented), and DO-333 (Formal Methods) were created to address the issues noted.

      Green Hills Software’s product name is a sad joke as are L-M logistics systems, ALIS and ODIN, with likely matching quality.

  7. ChrisFromGA

    REIT-wrecks update:

    “Ahoy, matey! REIT wrecks, dead ahead!”

    Yesterday we had a bit of a meltdown in a sub-sector of Mr. Market: office REITs. W.P. Carey’s management team decided they’d had enough of the waiting game, as in waiting for all the diaspora of office workers scattered about the nation to miraculously come back to the mother ship, and save downtown central business districts.

    WPC management threw in the towel, as too many teeth had been loosened by the uppercuts, right jabs, and crosses from the dreaded pirate J-Powell and his band of pivot-deniers. End result: WPC is going to dump all their office properties, either outright or by spinning them off into a “bad REIT” similar to the “bad banks” circa 2008, stuffed to the gills with toxic subprime mortgages of 2007 vintage.

    I’m sure this will end well …

    1. Pat

      Ooh who had 2024 on the commercial real estate banking crash!?!

      Lordy, the hits just keep on coming for Biden Harris 2024.

      All joking aside, looming disasters just keep accumulating and the bipartisan clown car running the country’s tool chest consists of bad hammer and a torx screwdriver.

      1. AndrewJ

        I will not stand idly by and let you slur the good name of the dependable Torx, good sir! Pistols at dawn ;)

        1. Pat

          I apologize if I gave the impression that I was slamming Torx. It works beautifully when it is used. Any good tool box should have a few sizes, along with multiple Philips head and slotted head screw drivers (or bits).
          But unfortunately trying to use a Torx screwdriver on a Phillips or slotted screw just doesn’t work. So having one means you have a severely limited tool box. IOW the slam was on the Beltways tool box and its “carpenters”.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Study Finds Drinking Children’s Blood No More Effective Than Regular Blood At Achieving Eternal Life”

    Well that’s gunna be a bad knock to the Ukrainian children export industry.

    1. Wukchumni

      Come on, young people now
      Smile on your older brother
      Everybody get together
      Try to loan blood to another right now

      (…with apologies to the Youngbloods)

    2. Lexx

      I was wondering at what age ‘elderly’ kicked in and one could consider their blood a legal weapon*? Do you have to drink it or could you use it like a water balloon or maybe an aerosol spray? What happens if you leak a little from a paper cut into the punch bowl? I’m just musing here… ‘asking for a friend’ like. Could you shave off a decade or two with a schmear hidden in the bagel and lox? I mean is it black or white, alive then dead, or could you have some fun with it before kicking the bucket?

      *66 and 10 months?

  9. .Tom

    The West negotiating with itself makes sense if The West actually has global military and financial dominance. Elbridge Colby said very clearly in that paragraph that was tweeted and linked a couple of days ago: USA strategy depends on being able to escalate any dispute to “if you don’t capitulate then we kill you.” A USA with that power need only negotiate with itself and its vassals. So what’s it going to take to teach the USA that it doesn’t have that power any more, besides the destruction of the Ukraine?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Even that neocon warmonger Obama was forced to admit that Russia has escalatory dominance. They can dial up the pressure, they can dial down the pressure and you can not go one further than they can, not even with nukes. Alexander Christoforou has said that the US/EU planned on the Ukraine becoming a quagmire for Russia but as it turned out, it is the US/EU that are stuck in this quagmire with no way out except to admit the defeat of Project Ukraine. But at the moment, they both refuse to do this even though they do not have the weapons to send to the Ukraine and soon they will not have the money to send either.

      The repercussions of this defeat are enormous and I just saw one example a few minutes ago-

      ‘Xi’an Jiaotong University, one of the top public research universities in China, has confirmed that it has removed a requirement for students to undertake a mandatory College English Test (CET) to join or graduate from the institution.

      Plans to reduce requirements for students to learn English have been gathering pace for several years. National People’s Congress deputy Tuo Qingming said earlier this year at a legislative session in Beijing that fluency in English has “little practical value for many people.”

      Wow. Just wow.

      1. Mikel

        And there’s this:
        China’s ultra-rich Gen Zs flock home as global tensions rise

        “…a growing wave of Chinese youth returning to the mainland and eschewing what used to be coveted overseas jobs and foreign citizenship.
        And while China is facing the world’s biggest exodus of millionaires and growing capital outflows, rising geopolitical tensions and the perception of increasing hostility abroad towards Chinese nationals are changing the calculus…”

        How much of a trend it continues to be is something to keep an eye on.

      2. .Tom

        More and more READMEs on GitHub are written in (what I guess is) Chinese. It’s a trend I became aware of over the Covid years. So that’s happening.

        If the advances China made in Si tech over the last year are an indicator of their rate of tech development broadly then in a few years China will have escalatory dominance in trade wars with so-called The West.

        That being the case the smart move would be to learn Chinese. But I dunno if that idea will go over very well in a country that has a national panic over a weather balloon.

  10. Benny Profane

    Where do these Ukranian Nazi soldiers find the time for silly photo re enactments?

    Actually, how many of them are alive and/or healthy today?

    1. hk

      Goebbels found time to divert thousands of Wehrmacht soldiers for filming the Kolberg movie…while ironically, the real Kolberg was about to fall to the Red Army.

  11. Louis Fyne

    So I’m hold with a student loan processor for a minor administrative thing that can’t be done online—–wait time = 65 minutes!

    and I’m on minute 44.

    How is this supposed to work for someone who can’t leave the phone on for >60 min? (no weekend call center hours)

    1. Louis Fyne

      I am on minute 90 of holding. (feature, not a bug).

      I wish that I was Thanos and could banish Muzak from the universe

    2. Louis Fyne

      finished my call.

      It’s still relatively early in the day and the customer service representative sounded defeated—-probably from constantly being berated by folks on hold for >60 min.

      Show some empathy for folks on the other side of the phone….

      Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        like with foodstamps, ssi, etc(in Texas, they want you to “just dial 2-1-1!” for all the po folks stuff)…the goal of the clunky nonfunctionality is to encourage you to just give up, and leave them alone.
        you’re prolly just a criminal, anyway(at least regarding the po folks programs)

        if nobody can get through, the system doesnt hafta pay out what its supposed to…and then they can find that loose change later, in an accounting artifact…and send it to ukraine, or something.

        back when i had ssi…long enough to get my hip, and learn to hate them* in spite of my hip…i’d sit on hold for 2 hours, only for the call to drop.

        (* yes, the system is at fault…but some of the actual humans are not exactly the most caring individuals,lol…chicken or egg, idk.
        does the job drive the humanity from them?…or, like the aggressive bill collectors, are they selected for their inhumanity?)

    1. pjay

      Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. I read that gold bars were involved; nice touch!

      I’d like to say that this is one corrupt war-monger down, hundreds more to go. But he’s weaseled out of similar charges before. At least he has been removed as chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, where he’s been a reliable lackey for the neocons and Israel (not sure listing them as separate entities is accurate, but…). Unfortunately, there will always be someone ready to step up and take the place of people like Menendez.

  12. Ken Murphy

    “Why We’ll Never Live in Space Scientific American”

    I can remember back to my early days of reading SciAm back in the late 70s/early 80s. It was challenging, and I enjoyed it.

    This article is a good example of why I stopped reading SciAm back in the 90s. It’s a fluffy opinion piece making a big assertion, but fails to adequately support that assertion.

    As far as I’m concerned, this article is a bit of sly Chinese propaganda intended to further dissuade the U.S. populace from pursuing any interests in space endeavors, giving them further time to lay the groundwork on their own ambitions. Then again, I also am of the opinion that if the Chinese were looking to slow U.S. space efforts they couldn’t have hoped for more than what we have done to ourselves over the last few decades.

    Tapping the resources of energy and space to advance our economy and prosperity is the U.S.’s industry to forego. We were ahead of our peers in pioneering the industry, and we still retain certain advantages, but this sitting on our laurels is going to cost us in the long run.

    Sadly, what it will require is that we move our engines of commerce and industry away from a focus on value-extraction (I.e. maximize shareholder value), and back to a focus on value-creation (I.e. let’s make the best darn widgets on the planet). The looting and pillaging can only go on for so long, and the damage to our corpus economicus is substantial and worsening. And everyone else is on the sidelines munching popcorn and laughing at our auto da fe.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Had a long comment about this that went MIA but what I said was that who can tell if gravity plates might ever be a thing. It would certainly solve a lot of the medical problems right off the bat. Are gravity plates possible? No idea. But I am going with the idea that we do not understand all the science in the universe just yet so any talk of closing the patent office and ditching the Nobel awards as there can be no more discovered in physics may be a bit premature. And as Konstantin Tsiolkovsky once said-

      ‘The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever.’

      1. digi_owl

        Unless we find a way to manipulate gravity using electromagnetism, not going to happen.

        Closest we have right now is a sentrifugal force, and that introduce all manner of other complications.

        Frankly, physics should have the moniker of dismal science rather than economics.

        1. Ken Murphy

          And we have to find a way to manipulate gravity using electromagnetism to make it happen because…?
          The only real data points we have to date are 1g and micro-g. From my own experience on a Zero-G flight Martian gravity (0.38 of Earth’s gravity) is okay but felt very similar. Moon gravity was awesome and frankly I would love to experience it again. Would really like to go rollerblading on the Moon, or maybe regoboarding down a crater wall. Flying would be cool, too.

          But instead of going out and trying we should just accept our Doom to be forever tied to this planet? Sounds like loser speak to me. I think we (or rather, those that want to) should go out and at least try and let that experience determine the answer. Will we likely evolve into our new environments over time? Probably. Should we not let that happen? Why not?

    2. Louis Fyne

      “Why We’ll Never Live in Space Scientific American”

      I disagree with *never*…..BUT building a permanent space presence is akin to putting a cruise ship into space.

      Barring a Star Trek-type leap in tech, with current and foreseeable tech and costs, it just isn’t economical unless a space presence can generate some sort of income.

      (alas) I do think that we will never live in space *in my lifetime*

    3. Benny Profane

      And, why in the world do we want to live in space?We’re inventing robots left and right to perform tasks better, cheaper, quicker, and safer on Earth, and yet some are still obsessed with this sending humans into a horribly hostile and almost certainly fatal environment just, well, because. It’s sad and absurd. I blame a generation pickled in science fiction literature and film. I get the moon, that was thrilling but a cold war competition that we almost lost, btw, but, why go back? What the hell is there? And don’t start with building some sort of Space base to leap frog to somewhere else. C’mon. Have you ever been to a space launch? And they think we can build that on the…moon? Silly.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “The Spy Who Shushed Me: How the Government Is Removing Our Right to Read in Private’

    It must really bug security agencies that they cannot track what a person reads if they just walk into a library, pick up a selected book, and then just starts reading. Book purchases can be tracked as can borrowing a book from you library too. Downloaded books are too easy to track but when you have people reading books in-library or worse, buying book with cash from second-hand stores or markets, what is to be done?

    1. Wukchumni

      Book em’ Danno!

      2 counts of reading something untrackable…

      If my sister is any indication, there is little to worry for much of the populace, as there aren’t any books in her house in a family of 4.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Reading is a habit that has to be fed. I was once overseas in this tiny backwater of a place and got so bored, that I found myself reading the side of a toothpaste tube.

        1. Wukchumni

          Books in NZ were/are the most expensive of any place in the English speaking world, and I learned to bring your own.

          Traveling in Europe in the 1980’s was more of an access issue, i’d be in Switzerland and tomes in English were few and far between, make sure you BYOB.

          1. hk

            The great thing about Asia is that books are remarkably affordable: buying Japanese books via (sorry!) costs heaps in shipping, but books + sh turn out to be no more than buying books in English in the States, for example.

    2. R.S.

      > if they just walk into a library, pick up a selected book, and then just starts reading

      Back in the days it was called “special storage”. The point was that those books were NOT on the shelves for regular visitors.

      1. Bsn

        In our neck of the woods, St. Vincent de Paul has a strong book section. Well organized by author, subject, etc. And very low cost. Often $1 for hardbacks, less for paperbacks. Lps as well (old school vinyl fan here). On the other hand, Goodwill has books randomly stacked and higher priced. Also, St. Vinnies is not for profit whereas G’will is a “for profit” corporation.

  14. Wukchumni

    Unbelievably, the Donkey Show has tossed around the idea of supplying the votes to tide My Kevin (since ’07) over and avoid a shutdown if he’ll give up on the Biden Impeachment proceedings.

    I knew they were cheap and tawdry, but this verifies they are terrified of the prospect, too.

    1. Wukchumni


      Kevin Crisis Line: 800-868-686

      You wont have Kevin to kick around any longer is the refrain I imagine occurring as the nation once again turns its back on McCarthyism, and i’ve taken measures including a countdown clock in the upper left corner and a number should the Speaker need to talk it out.

  15. Darthbobber

    Looks like the prosecutors get another bite at the Menendez apple. Gold bars? Over 400,000 cash stuffed in jacket pockets? I’m sure there’s a perfectly innocent explanation, can’t wait to hear it.

  16. Tom Stone

    I’ve been thinking about the Presidential Election next year and I believe it reasonable to assume that whoever ascends the thrown will have at least the tacit approval of the Intelligence Services.
    If Biden is still their fair haired boy I would think that allowing a terrorist attack, perhaps the assassination of RFK Jr might further those ends.
    After Nordstream are there any limits?
    If Joe is too much of an embarassment then letting the public see more of the Biden Family corruption should do the trick…

  17. Mikerw0

    “Parts of America Becoming Uninsurable”

    While I didn’t read the whole thing (paywall), I suspect it is a bit misleading. The real issue is the price an insurer would have to charge as well as obtaining CAT cover from the reinsurers (excess of loss) is unpalatable to the regulators. This is the essential problem with homeowner’s where they have to file rates and have them approved.

    1. Synoia

      The insurers will not insure.

      The property becomes abandoned. because without insurance the lenders will not lend.

      Consumers will not take the risk of no insurance.

      The neighborhood becomes abandoned or an dangerous slum.

      1. albrt

        Consumers often take the risk of no insurance, usually in situations where that is the worst possible decision.

        You are right about the lender part, though.

  18. truly

    Alex and his walking tours:
    I have been watching The Duran since the SMO started. Very informative. I think Alex’s walking tours will sets the standard for You tubers. I expect to see more and more copycats. Amazing to tune in for news and then get a quick view of the church where Barnabas is entombed. Or see the statue, and hear the story of some ancient hero.
    I so wish he would get an assistant to go back and “tag” every video with the location where it was shot. Country, city, neighborhood, maybe even street. Make it searchable.
    I sailed out of Piraeus this spring. Would have been so amazing to watch Alex walk that neighborhood first.
    The mystery to me though- he walks these neighborhoods when they are absent of people. Almost totally deserted. And based on shadows he does them mid day. Where are all the people?

    1. nippersdad

      Siesta? Today he remarked on the lack of people out in the streets, and attributed it to the temperature of 35-40 degrees Celsius. And what I always notice are the tortured trees; poor creatures. Were those mine I would put them out of their misery and start over.

    2. Lee

      Based on his remark about the temperature, I assume most of the people have retired to their respective shelters during the hottest part of the day.

      If you like walkabouts, albeit apolitical and of a very different kind, you might enjoy Wonder Hussy. She’s quite an engaging character.

    3. hk

      The thing that really surprised me is that Alex is a Cypriot and not an American. It’s pretty incredible that he has flawless American accent (I’d have expected that a Cypriot speaking fluent English would have English accent, not American). I suppose he is from a family of diplomats, but still pretty incredible.

  19. Feral Finster

    I see that Biden has reversed himself and that the United States will provide a small number of ATACMS to Ukraine.

    Another Russian red line ignored.

    And don’t kid yourselves, more will be coming soon, along with Lord know what else. The United States only continues to double down as Russia dithers.

    1. Synoia

      Politically, the US appears to have no options, only arm Ukraine.

      If there are any other options, please list them.To retreat or pull out at this juncture, consider the loss of f respect and actions from the well armed Ukrainians. Not to mention the actions by Neocons in DC.

      I think the observation is the the DC brigade are too clever by half. And the multitude in DC would be disgraced and maybe employable, starting with the innocent.

      I am sure The Biden’s have a good stash secured in some Haven,

      1. Feral Finster

        So how does this end?

        Russia massively miscalculated by not using enough force early on, forcing NATO to take the loss before sinking more more more costs into the Ukraine project, before portraying Zelenskii as Jesus, Solon and George Washington all rolled into one, before insisting that Syrskii was the reincarnation of Caesar and Zaluzhnyi was another Napoleon Bonaparte.

        That said, I’m none too worried about the “well armed Ukrainians”. Besides the fact that they need unceasing transfusions of money and equipment, it wasn’t hard to keep them out of Europe before the war, Europe could easily do the same.

  20. Jabura Basaidai

    checking my email a few moments ago – there are relatives of mine that live in Wisconsin with the same last name and for some reason, although i live in Michigan, some entity thinks i live in Wisconsin and started sending unsolicited email for someone who lives in that state from democratic politicians from Wisconsin – never subscribed or took part in anything in Wisconsin or anything for dems anywhere, i’m not a registered voter of any party – usually 86 it but this one caught my attention because of who it is from – makes me wonder if it’s the early stages of the switcheroo for democratic prez –
    it was from Gavin Newsom
    Friends –
    You may know this already, but as you read this email in Wisconsin, Democrats in Virginia — Old Dominion — are just weeks away from a pivotal election for their state and the entire country.

    I’m reaching out today to ask if you can contribute $3 to the Virginia Democratic Party as they work to beat the far-right and protect our democracy.

    And if you’re not convinced yet, please, read on.


    In 2019, Virginia voted in its first Democratic majority in the state General Assembly in decades.

    They immediately got to work expanding the right to vote, protecting communities from gun violence, passing long-needed climate legislation, and much more.

    But just two years later, all of that progress was put in jeopardy when Republicans took back the state house and the governorship. Only the Senate remained in Democratic control, where for the last two years Democrats have been able to block the worst of the far-right’s legislative proposals.

    Now, with increasing attacks on our democracy and civil rights by today’s Republican Party, it’s more important than ever to flip Virginia blue once again.

    All 100 seats of the House of Delegates and all 40 seats of the State Senate are up for grabs in this election — and with Republican gerrymandered districts now eliminated, Democrats have a chance to win everything.

    Glenn Youngkin has made it clear that if the GOP wins a majority in both houses, they’ll get right to work stripping abortion rights, voting rights, LGBTQ+ rights and everything else we’ve fought so hard for.

    And if far-right Republicans win in Virginia, they’ll take it as a sign that they can go on offense and win in states across the country in 2024.

    Volunteers are on the ground right now across Old Dominion, working to get more pro-democracy voters to the polls and win highly competitive swing districts.

    So please, with just a few weeks to go:

    Show Democrats in Virginia that the Badger State has their back. Make a $3 contribution to the Virginia Democratic Party today and help power key campaigns as they make their final push towards election day on November 7th.

    If you’ve stored your info with ActBlue, we’ll process your contribution instantly:


    1. Yves Smith

      I am sure the substance is good but I hate hate hate the mention of Bellingcat. There is all sorts of cognitive bias research that indicate that putting “Bellingcat” and “open source watchdog” in close proximity actually reinforces the idea that Bellingcat is that despite the explicit attempt to disclaim that.

      1. flora

        Yep. Putting that name with that phrase is practically an oxymoron. Aside from that, it was a pretty interesting article.

  21. willow

    > Understanding the Risk of Escalation in the War in Ukraine RAND

    Russia has already taken out a very expensive US surveillance drone without US escalating. If Russia escalates it will be by taking out US (or UK) surveillance satellites not by using tactical nukes. Degradation of US surveillance assets would be to China’s huge advantage and would likely put the Pentagon seriously offside against the State Dept.

  22. ArvidMartensen

    If the US was your neighbour…..
    # They would come over and supervise your landscapers to make sure your yard improved the value of their house
    # They would assume they could walk into your yard and use your pool any time they want, because after all, it is on their street
    # They would suggest that the landscapers put in a gate between their place and yours to give them easier access to their pool
    # They would call the cops if somebody they didn’t like was in the park at the end of their street, and make up some felony to get that person or family removed
    # They would come over and check out the parcels at your front door to see if they were interested in anything because, once again, the parcels were delivered to their street
    # They would chuckle at the antics of their kids running through your yard, and their dogs crapping on your front lawn, as ‘cute’ and ‘kids will be kids’
    # They would explode into outrage if you asked them to keep to their own yard and respect your privacy
    # They would find 6 ways from Sunday to make your life hell if you took any steps to stop them encroaching on your life
    # They would call the cops if they found you on their property.
    There’s a meme around people like this, could apply? What’s the term Konrad? Klaus? Karine?
    Like – the US is the Karine of the world

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