Links 9/27/2023

To protect wild bumblebees, people have to find them first High Country News

What Do Sharks Eat? Field and Stream

How to Outperform How to Outperform


Giant Batteries Helped the U.S. Power Grid Eke Through Summer WSJ

The Climate March: Magnificent and Misdirected Counter Currents

Theories about the natural world may need to change to reflect human impact (press release) Bangor University

Degrowth and ecosocialism – a reply Climate and Capitalism


New York Becomes the Latest State to Require Flood Risk Disclosure for Home Sales Inside Climate News


The shadowy Chinese firms that own chunks of Cambodia BBC

Why so many sport chiefs in China have come under corruption clouds South China Morning Post

‘This could be the holy grail to replace palm oil’ – research team BBC

The Bezzle

Robert Newland, who worked with convicted art dealer Inigo Philbrick, sentenced to prison ArtReview

Consumer Surveillance and Financial Fraud NBER

European Disunion

German far right party surges on immigrant ‘dystopia’ FT

Greek leftists elect former Goldman Sachs associate as leader FT

New Not-So-Cold War

Rus Prepares Offensive, Kiev’s Choice: Capitulate or Ukr Ends; Rus Capture Orekhovo; Canada Disaster (video) Alexander Mercouris, YouTube. As for Canada, I don’t know if anything that gives me such schadenfreude can be properly labeled a disaster; “debacle” perhaps?

Analysis of Ukraine’s Escalating Crimean Strike Campaign Simplicius the Thinker(s)

UPDATE ON UKRAINE 09/26/2023 Weapons and Strategy. A round-up.

* * *

Ukraine’s Defence Minister on Russian Black Sea Fleet commander: “If he’s dead, it’s good news” Ukrainska Pravda vs. Russian drone strikes on Odesa region hit port area and cut ferry service to Romania AP. One of these demonstrates strategic thinking. The other does not.

* * *

Russia’s War in Ukraine Is Not the Iraq War Noah Rotham, The National Review. Dude’s so huffy about Iraq you’d think he was a liberal Democrat. Correct, Iraq was not a proxy war with a nuclear power. Is that the salient distinction?

Blinken’s ‘Variable Geometry’ for a New Cold War Al Mayadeen

* * *

Visegrad Group wants Ukraine to withdraw complaint to WTO on grain embargo Ukrainska Pravda

Biden Administration

House Republicans Are Hurtling Toward the Most Pointless Shutdown Ever Ryan Grim, The Intercept


Biden urges striking auto workers to ‘stick with it’ in picket line visit unparalleled in history AP. Video:

Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire AP

Spook Country

Forget Collusion. Was “Interference” Also Fake News? and Timeline: DARPA and the DNC Hack Matt Taibbi, Racket News


Amazon’s most prominent antitrust critic makes her case FT

What motivated Apple? Big Tech on Trial. “The overarching theme of Cue’s afternoon testimony was that Apple sets Google as the default search engine, because it provides the best experience for users.” Hilarity ensues. If Apple really cared about “the best experience for users,” there would be a Human Interface Guidelines for iOS, as there is for MacOS. There isn’t.


Chatbots Are Not People: Designed-In Dangers of Human-Like A.I. Systems Public Citizen

AI girlfriends are ruining an entire generation of men The Hill

Another A.I.-Generated Artwork Was Denied Copyright Protection, Adding a New Knot to the Complexities of Creative Ownership ArtNet

American Exceptionalism Resides in AI, Not Pink Houses John Auther, Bloomberg. Oh.

* * *

Artificial intelligence: ChatGPT creator Sam Altman expresses concern about ‘under-regulation’ Sky. Dig your own moat, champ.

Congressional AI Caucus leader Ted Lieu says most AI should not be regulated FedScoop

* * *

iPhone 15 Teardown Reveals Software Lockdown iFixIt. “To effectively repair these models, you have to procure parts within Apple’s sphere and validate the repairs. Without calibration, the parts either don’t work at all, or have compromised functionality and incessant warnings.”

The 420

As state targets Syracuse shops for illegal cannabis sales, city shuts 5 businesses down (bob). “The state has been slow to roll out its own legal and licensed shops, called dispensaries, allowing a gray market to thrive.” I wonder what could be causing the slow roll-out…. 

Cannabis-friendly banks face pressure to differentiate Banking Dive


The World Needs New Antibiotics. The Problem Is, No One Can Make Them Profitably. WSJ

Addressing the saga of nitrosamine contamination in drugs Chemistry World

Reforms needed to alleviate persistent drug shortages AMA. From August, still germane.

* * *

How Ozempic and Wegovy Could Break the Healthcare System Barron’s. High Fructose Corn Syrup -> Obesity -> Big Pharma…. All things work together for good!

Behind Ozempic Media Buzz, Undisclosed Drugmaker Money Lee Fang

The fading of the mpox outbreak among men who have sex with men: a mathematical modelling study Journal of Infectious Diseases. From the Abstract: “The limited duration of the mpox outbreak in the Netherlands can be ascribed primarily to infection-induced immunity among MSM with high sexual activity levels. The decline was accelerated by behavioural adaptations. Immunity among those most sexually active is essential to impede mpox resurgence.”

B-a-a-a-d Banks

JPMorgan will pay $75 million on claims that it enabled Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking operations AP. To the Virgin Islands.

Supply Chain

In Support of Maritime Arbitration: The English Courts’ Role in Enforcing Peremptory Orders and Awards Hellenic Shipping News

The Final Frontier

Akin Adds Top Space Industry Leader, Building Out its Space Regulatory and Policy Practice (press release) Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Zeitgeist Watch

Sex Education, Heartstopper Intimacy Coordinator Talks Hickies, Sex Scenes and How He Choreographs Your Favorite Shows Teen Vogue. “Intimacy Coordinator.” Musical interlude.

How To Get The Best Sleep Of Your Life: Six Secrets From Research Barking Up The Wrong Tree. See NC on sleep here.

Sports Desk

Brooksie JoeBlogs

Imperial Collapse Watch

How the U.S. Created Its Own Reality Heather Cox Richardson, Foreign Policy. “At a certain age, a [wo]man’s got to be what [s]he deserves.” — Toby Esterhase, Smiley’s People.

HII Partners To Advance 3D Printing On A Virginia-Class Submarine Naval News. One part….

Class Warfare

Why America Has a Long-Term Labor Crisis, in Six Charts WSJ. ‘Twas a mystery! “Work experts have warned for years that the combination of baby boomer retirements, low birthrates, shifting immigration policies and changing worker preferences is leaving U.S. employers with too few workers to fill job openings.” And then we slaughtered a bunch of ’em, gave brain damage to a bunch of others, and put a bunch of others on permanent disability. Hence, robots, AI, etc. There is no market but the labor market (i.e., all other markets are epiphenoma). 

* * *

Why the Public Is Siding With the UAW Over the Automakers Morning Consult

Scolding Striking Auto Workers in Advance for Wrecking Economy FAIR

* * *

SAG-AFTRA votes for strike against video game makers The Hill

Capcom President Says ‘Game Prices Are Too Low’ Kotaku. First food and gas, then insurance, now this.

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus Antidote (DG):

DG writes: “I do have this wonderful Pileated Woodpecker (attached) which is one of a pair that has pretty much cleared the yard of stumps. I am always disappointed when I see people dig up stumps of old trees. Those are candy to pileateds and much more eco-friendly than nearly any other way to accomplish the same thing. Yes. It takes more than one season, but it’s worth it to have these guys in the yard.”

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. The Rev Kev

    ‘L’Affaire Trudeau’

    Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota is presently undergoing surgury to remove the bus-tire imprints on his back caused by Trudeau throwing him so hard under one. Trudeau has been pretending that the whole thing had nothing to do with him and that it was all on Rota bringing in a retired Nazi stormtrooper for a standing double ovation. But – and you know that there was going to be a but – that Nazi’s granddaughter had already released an image showing the old boy sitting in a wheelchair in a room where he was due to meet both Trudeau and Zelensky privately before they went into Parliament. So Trudeau lied but what else is new? Mind you, it does not let any of those Parliamentarians off the hook since it was not hard to work out that as this Nazi was fighting the Russians in WW2, then it would not be hard to extrapolate which side he was fighting on.

    1. mrsyk

      “It’s extremely upsetting that this happened. The Speaker has acknowledged his mistake and has apologized,” That’s what getting tossed under the bus sounds like. Here’s a link to the video (CBC)
      Nazis, Schmazis. We gotta fight that Russian disinformation!

      1. flora

        Trudeau is like the old Charmin’ Chatty doll: pull the chatty string attached to his back and one of a few prerecorded sentences play. Is this what they teach at the WEF young global leader school? The Stepford WEFs. / ;)

        1. ambrit

          Ouch! (But he does look kinda ‘purty,’ don’t he?)
          He would be perfect to be the first “leader” to let ChatGPT and Alexa make his speeches for him. While he is still there. (For some definition of “there.”)

          1. Wukchumni

            Oh Justin eh!
            Send him back to his native land!
            True expatriate loathe in all of us command.
            With a glaring despair we see thee rise,
            Slava Ukraini influence on ye!
            From far and wide,
            Oh Justin eh, we stand on guard for Nazis.
            God keep our land Nazi free!
            Oh Justin eh, we stand on guard for Ukrainian-Canadian SS Nazis.

            1. ambrit

              They don’t call him “True Dough” for nothing!
              As for “having your pie and eating it too” goes, nothing beats this ‘Betty Freeland Baking’ ad from the “Goode Olde Dayes:”
              “Nothing says lovin’ like some Rus in the oven!”

      2. Polar Socialist

        On top of everything, it seems that the very core of Russian disinformation, Poland, is now taking steps to initiate an extradition of this alleged war criminal to Poland. The Nazis and their supporters just can’t get a break…

        1. Kouros

          Poland has alsoe stated that they found no traces of explosives on the yacht rented from Poland that allegedly was used to blow up NS1&2. The games people play and the kicks under the table that we don’t see…

      3. magpie

        In Trudeau’s poor excuse of an apology, I think he says that “all Canadians” are embarrassed because of this incident. In fact I think he says it shortly before his “Russian Disinformation” non sequitir.

        Cute of him to think anybody should feel any of us would feel remotely responsible for his lack of judgement. I most certainly do not.

        However, I am glad my grandparents, whose nation was occupied by the Third Reich for five years and who both survived and subsequently immigrated to Canada, did not live to witness that abomination in Parliament.

        What a disgrace.

    2. Wukchumni

      How much dead wood would a Nazi Chuk chuck if a Nazi Chuk could chuck out dead wood if a Justin time delivery could?

    3. Benny Profane

      Has Zelensky made a statement? I think not.

      Was the Canadian parliament trying to overcompensate for the snubs in America, and well, whoopsie?

      1. Carolinian

        Key point. Actually I think he did say that anyone who objects to Nazis loves Putin and is now on his list.

        1. Skip Intro

          He doesn’t drink Canadian wine, why would he like Canadian N4zis? Imports all the way. Nothing says ‘you’ve made it’ like the rarity and authenticity of a real SS man.

    4. Amfortas the Hippie

      and it aint like there’s all that many WW2 veterans around, anywhere, and of any stripe.
      they had to hunt for one, by virtue of it being such a small and dwindling population(“hunt” is used advisedly,lol).
      someone surely noticed his actual record.
      then they either didn’t care, and/or didn’t think the hoi polloi would care(we is dumb, after all)…or there really is some nefarious plot to normalise and rehabilitate nazis and other varieties of war criminal(see: lil George and Cheney(man in yellow hat), Kissnger, etc etc)

      of course, the history of post war USA power elite and their various instruments and vehicles(cia, foggy bottom) are littered with tales of incorporating actual nazis into the upper levels of the body politic.
      (wanders off chanelling Johnny Lee:”…lookin for nazis in all the wrong places…lookin for nazis in too many faces…searchin their eyes…” and so on)

      1. Lex

        Oh this was a Freeland affair for sure. Being the deputy PM, she has the weight to get it done. Being the granddaughter of a Ukrainian Nazi propagandist and with the deepest roots in the Ukrainian-Canadian Banderite community, she had the motive. And she would know exactly where to find a Ukrainian SS veteran. During the event she’s directly behind Zelensky and the look of pride on her face is unmistakable. And then she issued one of those “apologies” that went something like “I’m sorry that people were offended by our affinity for Nazis …” She’s the one being protected.

        1. JTMcPhee

          I read that Ukraine at the turnover point had about 7% active neonazis, but these were the mostly thug males who were willing to do a Brown Shirt job on the body politic who largely had fond feelings for the Russians. Who after all, as the Soviets, made such infrastructure and healthy economy as Ukraine had (and now, at great expense, are taking it all back due to ingratitude by the kokhols. That 7% was enough to force out, by violence and concentrated effort on all the institutions and centers of power, any actual “democratic liberal sentiment.” I recall a link here that social scientists had determined that 7% was the magic number of adherents needed to capture a society and subject it to the interests of the minority. de Tocqueville, I believe, observed something much the same about the tyranny of the minority in the neonate America.

          So in addition to the recent pogroms in western Ukraine and the continuing bombardment of civilian places in the new Russian admits, and planned “cleansing” in Ukraine, now there’s MYROTVORETS, , the Nazi internet death list, worse than any Muslim fatwa, of people who the Nazis say can and should be executed on sight, and one get a big pat on the back from the Nazis if one kills a person on the list. One can get listed for the most minute infraction of the absolutist mandates to speak only Ukrainian, or singing Russian songs or reciting Russian poetry.

          I believe the Banderist/neonazi population of Canada also runs about 7%, maybe a bit more since they reproduce more, so as with other vicious state takeovers it’s no surprise that the vicious people who adhere to the Nazi ideology and are not afraid to use violence are in the ascendant in the supposedly polite polity of Canada. The US empire is run by a much smaller percentage of its population, colloquially the 1%, and its PMC. Slowly descending into the same swamp as Ukraine?

        2. BP


          Question is, who is protecting her, and why? Do you really think JT decided to take all this flack to protect HER? She is his political enemy, and he no doubt knows it.

        3. jrkrideau

          Being the deputy PM, she has the weight to get it done. \

          No, you do not understand how the Canadian Parliament works. The Govt has no say in who in invited to one of these dog & pony shows. It is totally the prerogative of the members of the House. If the Speaker had been subjected to pressure, especially by that powerful a member of Cabinet he would have immediately smelt a rat.

      2. eg

        I distinctly recall from the early ‘90s much controversy over Eastern European immigrants of a certain age to Canada and whether or not they might have been “on the wrong side” in WWII. All down the memory hole now, of course …

        1. jrkrideau

          Deschênes Commission, probably. . I very vaguely recall it but it was not that relevant to me so I think I basically ignored it.

    5. ex-PFC Chuck

      My in-house MSM consultant, who reads WaPo and views news on the likes of NBC and PBS so I don’t have to, reports as of last evening she’d seen nor heard nary a peep about
      l’affaire Trudeau/Hunka on such outlets.

        1. Polar Socialist

          There was this agreement made in Yalta and verified in Potsdam that Germany will be de-nazified, de-militarized and de-industrialized (to an extent) so that Europe would live happily ever after.

          But certain industrialist in USA, who had formed The Council on Foreign Relations to drive the international trade agenda they felt was necessary to prevent new depression, figured Germany had been US main trade partner before the war, and if Germany was de-industrialized, Germany would not have the dollars needed to trade with USA.

          While Mr. Marshall said that USA could just give them the dollars, and all would be good, these gentlemen felt that to be too socialist and not sustainable for a longer period, anyway. So USA did a 180 (or 360, as German foreign minister would say) and decided to split Germany and instead of de-everything, actually re-industrialize Germany.

          They also assumed that this would seriously aggravate the Soviets, being betrayed once again, and lead to sacrificing the Eastern Europe as a “security buffer” Stalin would have to create against the belligerent West. Third of Germany likely becoming a Soviet vassal, they would also have to re-militarize their Germany to prevent a forced re-unification, and that naturally meant re-nazifying the security elements of their Germany.

          Now, since it was settled that Soviet Union was to be The New Enemy, it was only right and proper to save as many of those who had fought against it and survived to tell the story. Unfortunately the story they told had very little to do with reality, and thus The West still thinks Russian hordes have only once ace – the hordes themselves.

          Sorry for the rant. Had a long day and a beer.

          1. Carolinian

            No, thank you for some good history. Blame it all on Churchill I say. I used to say blame it all on SC’s Jimmy Byrnes but I read a new book on Truman that said the diminutive haberdasher regarded Byrnes more as a former rival than as a mentor and Byrnes didn’t last that long at State.

            So, yes, the first Cold War was in many ways as fake as the current one but the MIC is a hungry beast. Eisenhower complained about it but didn’t mind overthrowing other governments on the cheap. The Repubs have always been the small government imperialists.

        2. NYMutza

          Why shouldn’t they get their German military pensions? GW Bush and Henry Kissinger are receiving their pensions here in the good old US of A.

    6. Feral Finster

      Apparently Google doesn’t work in Canada? Maybe all the maple syrup up there clogs the Google pipes?

      Maybe Putin’s famous mind control psychic powers allowed him to hijack the brains of every last member of the Canadian Parliament, not to mention the PM and his staff and prevent them from asking basic questions.

      Seriously, whom do they think they’re kidding? The fact that Trudeau calls the admitted fact of him and his Parliament applauding a confessed SS stormtrooper “Russian disinformation” simply shows that everyone involved either knew damn well what they were doing, or didn’t ask questions because they knew that they would not like the answers.

      The only thing that they are sorry for is that there was such a backlash.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Don’t forget that our rulers in congress and the last couple of presidents have given standing ovations and billions of dollars and the power to shape Imperial policy to creatures like Netanyahu and of course Zelensky. And kisses and flowers to Dick(less) Cheney and Powell and the Bush League and other such “democracy stalwarts,” “democracy” meaning “subservience to the Imperial Diktat and open gates to corporate looting, with maybe an occasional fig leaf ‘election’ to apply the lipstick of legitimacy…”

      2. Daniil Adamov

        That is also the only aspect of this situation that surprises me. Actual political consequences, how ever limited. Might be a sign of fatigue.

      3. eg

        I can assure you that the ignorance of the average Canadian where the history of Eastern Europe is concerned is truly galactic. And those Canadians of Eastern European descent themselves all harbour the grievances their families brought with them; it’s a seething cauldron of ignorance salted with competing narratives of grievance — not exactly a recipe for anything remotely approximating understanding …

        1. jrkrideau

          I can assure you that the ignorance of the average Canadian where the history of Eastern Europe is concerned is truly galactic.

          I think you are understating the case, particularly re WWII. Most (I hope) recognize Dieppe and the Normandy landings. Other than that I expect their knowledge comes from reruns of Hogan’s Heroes and “Saving Private Ryan”.

          Eastern what?

      1. jrkrideau

        Yes and by the time Hunka appeared they would have given a passing seagull an ovation.

        Curiously, it reminded me qog A US State of the Union address.

  2. Random

    Blaming loneliness on “AI” is a very interesting move. Loneliness has been on the rise for decades and has probably more to do with the overall economic/social conditions way before “AI” showed up.
    But of course we can’t talk about anything that could endanger the economic system that we have.

    1. Louis Fyne

      easier to blame the “new shiny thing” than say we need to go back to tax and banking policy from 1985.

    2. jsn

      Atomization is the essential political characteristic of capitalism, all those individual utility maximizers will never agree to the collective action necessary to wrest power from capital.

      Systemically, capitalism is incapable of “being careful what it asks for” because its more “flex net” power structure than it is “economic system”. On a systemic level it’s nothing more than systematic, opportunistic exploitation of change for money value, so agnostic as to where change happens or what kind of change it happens to be.

      But the atomization, like any of the other changes capitalism latches onto to exploit has organic limits and once those are past Marx’s contradictions set in. As Lambert noted, “There is no market but the labor market (i.e., all other markets are epiphenoma).” Thus as a totalizing system, capitalism is about converting whatever into money, itself a social relation used to alienate “value” from “life”, which makes it a sterilizing death cult. It’s always hard to put a happy gloss on sterilizing death cults.

      1. lambert strether

        > It’s always hard to put a happy gloss on sterilizing death cults

        Dude, where’s your team spirit? You could at least try!

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        “all those individual utility maximizers”

        Rawls didn’t overcome this, did he? He was out to reform humanity by tweaking the human individual rather than improving the system.

        This seems like a place where a comment on the degrowth and ecosocialism piece might fit. The author voices this challenge to Marxism:

        The socialist left, however ­ with a few important exceptions ­ totally ignored the Report [Limits to Growth] and remained wedded to growth and productivism. They/we regarded the emerging environmental and ecology movement of the 1970s as a middle class diversion from the real struggle. As a result of this damaging blunder no section of the socialist left, neither radical or social democratic, was able to challenge the increasing grip that growth and productivism was able to establish over the trade unions and the Labour Party, and which remains largely unchallenged today.

        And that seems to fit into this argument whether modernity will continue given the biophysical restraints that our Growth Forever! mindset is encountering. He puts the problem deeper than class, which after all is a product of modernity.

        This brings me to a foundational concern. I would claim that the philosophy upon which modernity is built is fundamentally incompatible with its own longevity: a fatal flaw in the operating system. At its center is the notion that humans are the apex species, rulers of the planet, increasingly in control of our own destiny and the world around us, on our way to becoming godlike masters of the world—and galaxy/universe among the more imagination-challenged. I lump this all into what I think is best characterized as a human supremacist culture.

        Could we, however, dial lifestyles back to a nearly-modern 1750 mode? Or could we find long-term success in a reduction to, say, 100 million affluent humans living modern standards? Maybe we could dilute the “bad” by simply having less of it. In these scenarios, I can’t get past the rotten philosophical foundation. I doubt that a human supremacist culture would limit its bad self in this way and keep itself there. To do so would require putting non-human concerns first. The entire 10,000 year lineage of modernity has held expansionist, exploitative beliefs centered on humans. Those who have rejected such beliefs lived in ways alien to modernity. The ontological basis for modernity is the engine that produces incompatibility. Unless the dynamical foundation changes, why would we expect a different result?

        Any system that puts short-term human concerns above all else—to the exclusion and detriment of the community of life—will surely fail, taking many species down with it.

        1. jsn

          Boiling it down (or over, depending on how you look at it), humans are the energy capture animal: cooking food gave us our higher (strictly in a processing power sense) brain function.

          Exploitation of resources is inherent in our genome as an expression of how we became what we are.

          We are behaving like a bacteria and the world is our petri dish.

          1. Amfortas the Hippie

            not all of us behave like bacteria…a few of us try our best not to.
            the problem is a million years of inertia, like you say…hyperexploitation is wired in to our Monkey Minds, but that doesn’t mean that we are all, necessarily, slaves to all that.
            of course, such is modern life that few are even able to conceive of a different way…a conscious choice to not be bacteria.
            and remember, we’re not killing the planet…rather the version of the planet that we’re used to and have evolved to survive and thrive in.
            cockroach or jellyfish archaeologists long hence will likely marvel at all the crap we leave behind.
            (ht: Archdruid, some time ago)
            i reckon there’s enough anecdata to surmise that our hyperelite are aware that the fundamental problem is too many humans, all aspiring for an average american lifestyle, circa 1999.
            hence the various culling attempts and trials…from lack of healthcare for those of us at the bottom of whatever national pile we’re in…to unmitigated pandemic spread…to endocrine poisons in the food and water…to the incessant encouragement, even if only tacit, to murder each other under various pretenses and stressors….to the recurrent ruminations about the “survivability” and even beneficence of nukewar.
            so fear not! our Betters are on it!

            1. jsn

              I like the Graeber / Wenegrow conception that “civilization” was a wrong turn!

              Now that we have it and the technologies it keeps kicking off, its really hard to see how we get the psychopath/sociopath genome back under permanent control.

              As individuals we are capable of deep compassion and sophisticated integration with life and the ecosystems supporting it. As heuristic communities, which is what we were before “civilization”, natural limits were visible and apparently integrated with how we collectively inhabited the world, at least this is a sub-thesis in “The Dawn of Everything”. But with “civilization” and its systems the psyco/sociopaths who like the power those systems bequeath them will always kill to keep their power. Maybe some kind of social movement can re-contextualize power into sustainability, but even if it does locally, there’ll always be the psych/sociopaths across the street, the lake, the ocean to reimpose the exploitative power structure at scale. So, if bacteria is as bacteria does, we’re likely more like bacteria than not on petri dish earth, conceding that the petri dish will likely live on!

            2. Jabura Basaidai

              AtH Gore Vidal may disagree with you –
              “Think of the earth as a living organism being attacked by billions of bacteria whose numbers double every forty years. Either the host dies or the virus dies, or both die.”
              Gore Vidal

              and personally i find we act knowingly or unknowingly as a pathogen – unknowingly without intent – knowingly with the avarice unique to our species – but those of us, like yourself, try our best not to (excuse dangling participle) – what’s a poor boy to do – btw may gain some respects for the Stones – Jagger mentioned that if they sell their catalog of songs it would be for charity – that would be an awesome act of kindness –

          2. eg

            The bacteria analogy may be more apt than you realize — in brute numbers I’m pretty sure our gut flora outnumbers our own cells …

        2. Redlife2017

          The always interesting Prolekult film / video communist collective has a sub-20 minute video on this very subject from a few weeks ago which discusses some of this. They are working on a 2.5 hr + film about this topic as well.

          Link to video: Marx and Nature

      3. Allourproblemsstemfrom2008

        So Japan the last 30 years doesn’t really explain why we are where we are? We’ve been following the exact same playbook they did after their bubble burst. Asset prices insanely high and wages insanely low. Why would you expect young people to recreate when those with brains and instincts know they can’t afford it? The only people who do nowadays are the super rich and the super poor. Both living off the government dole.

    3. GramSci

      Chatbots are like most humans in one important respect: They don’t care about Truth. They only dare say what other people are saying.

      Lonely in a crowd.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Anomie leads to running amok.

        “In 1849, Amok was officially classified as a psychiatric condition based on numerous reports and case studies that showed the majority of individuals who committed amok were, in some sense, mentally ill.[14] “Running amok,” is used to refer to the behavior of someone who, in the grip of strong emotion, obtains a weapon, which is usually a gun, and begins attacking people usually ending in the murdering of an innumerable number of people.[15] For about twenty years, this type of behavior has been described as a culture-bound syndrome.[15] As of the DSM-V, the culture-bound syndrome category has been removed, meaning that this particular condition is no longer categorized as such.[1] Culture-bound syndromes are seen as those conditions that only occur in certain societies whereas standard psychiatric diagnoses are not seen that way regardless if there is some sort of cultural limitation.[1]

        “Recent research has revealed that Amok syndrome is not culture-specific but a syndrome that could happen anywhere around the world because anyone could experience an episode of Amok.[16] Throughout history, mass murders have occurred in the United States, such as the Columbine High School massacre and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, bringing into question if Amok syndrome is based on mental illness or the simple act of committing mass murder.[16] Amok syndrome, would in turn, be more prevalent in other societies and not only in Malay cultures. In fact, there are other societies like Polynesia, such as “cafard,” and Puerto Rico, “mal de pelea,” that have similar syndromes with different terms.[17]“

        Something to look forward to as time ticks down to A Cockwork Orange…

    4. dave -- just dave

      The community of discourse found in blogs like this is very helpful to an old retired guy like myself – I do have a few family and friends in real life, but saying what I actually think about some topics would freak them out – as it says in the prayer named after St. Francis which spouse and self repeat daily, I “seek to understand more than to be understood”.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        my dear departed Dad was active in the St Vincent dePaul Society of our church and St Francis was his and my Mom’s favorite and i’ve always found the holy cards with St Francis with all the birds and animals around him pretty cool – St Francis’s advice you use as a mantra is something i should follow more often –

  3. zagonostra

    >Forget Collusion. Was “Interference” Also Fake News? and Timeline: DARPA and the DNC Hack – Matt Taibbi

    Seems like Taibbi is always reporting on what is in the rear view mirror. I like Taibbi, but I always hear Leonard Cohen’s song “everybody knows,” when I see his latest reporting. I appreciate the details and timelines, but it seems too close to midnight to garner much motivation to read/study them.

    There is an oncoming train wreck, I’m looking for signs of it derailing/stopping it before it runs off the cliff, historians, if there are any, can study the details/timelines.

    1. flora

      Everybody suspects is different from now everybody knows, with hard evidence. Everybody suspected there was something fishy going on with social media, now everybody knows, for example. / my 2 cents

      1. JBird4049

        Yes, getting that hard evidence for one’s suspicions is good thing, and this is what people like Taibbi do; journalism is not what our elites want to see, which is a reason for most of it now being stenographic garbage.

      2. Jeff W

        “Everybody suspects is different from now everybody knows, with hard evidence.”

        And, just to complete the epistemic chain, everyone knows that everyone knows (i.e., common knowledge) is different than everyone knows (i.e., mutual knowledge). It’s a bit harder to maintain something (e.g., the emperor has no clothes) when everyone knows that everyone knows that that isn’t the case.

    2. chris

      It’s also different because no one else in the media is doing this. They’ll spend endless amounts of time on people like Trump and Brand and what they did wrong decades ago. They’ll take zero time to evaluate any of the propaganda they were fed and the effect of it on the American people. If what Orwell wrote is true, and those who control the past control the present, then Taibbi and others are pushing back against people trying to control our information about the past. In that train wreck you see coming around the bend, I see several episodes of “we must look forward, not back” that were warning signs. So even though I agree that harping on the same line gets tiresome because there is so much awful behind us, I think we have to keep doing it.

      I just wish Taibbi wasn’t so headblind on Ukraine.

      1. Benny Profane

        “I just wish Taibbi wasn’t so headblind on Ukraine”

        I’m guessing that he feels that he has enough problems with the Dems trying to muzzle and jail him, that he’ll leave that hot one to the others covering it. Also, the Russian/Putin patsy argument could easily be used against him because he spent so much of his earlier years there.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            ain’t that the truth – it was brutal watching the his and Shellenberger’s testimony in front of the congressional subcommittee – was wishing the most evil things possible for Wasserman Shultz and Stacey Plaskett and other dems – definitely nothing to lose with the dems – remember he’s only a “so-called journalist” – it was also sad to see the ACLU going along with the censorship BS – old enough to remember the ACLU defending the KKK/Nazi right to march in Skokie –

    3. Darthbobber

      Everybody who relies on the mass market outlets for their knowledge still doesn’t know. And that’s still a hefty majority of everybody. Once you step outside a relatively small group of people who trouble to follow the details of such things, you’re among people who follow even the corporate news outlets only cursorily and who are so fundamentally alienated from politics that on that subject they usually just stick with whatever set of preconceptions they brought in the door.

      Many of them are more likely to seek details about the maybe Swift-Kelce relationship or the remaining undetermined MLB playoff spots than about this.

      I’ve often found myself amazed at the gap between what I assume to be common knowledge and what actually is.

      1. Benny Profane

        Like, for instance, the Nazi ovation in the Canadian parliament incident. Pretty much radio silence. And, as the guys at the Duran pointed out, Trudeau’s little apology ended in a not so veiled threat to the media that they should avert their eyes and furgetabout this whole thing, uttering the magic words, “Russian disinformation”.

    4. pjay

      This was basically my reaction as well. But with Hillary out there screeching “Russian interference” warnings for 2024, and Trump/Putin/Russia derangement continuing to rage, I will encourage all attempts to puncture that piece of mainstream mythology wherever they appear. Old news for some of us, but unknown history for most.

    5. Feral Finster

      Everyone knew it at the time, too, or at least anyone with any sense. The whole story was too absurd for Mel Brooks.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Wouldn’t it be funny is one of those Parliamentarians took off his jacket in the Canadian Parliament revealing the dress uniform that the SS wore in WW2. And the Parliamentarian explained as Parliament felt compelled to honour Yaroslav Hunka so lavishly, that he wanted to do the same by wearing the uniform that Hunka was entitled to wear in WW2.

      1. flora

        At this point nothing would surprise me. The Canadian Parliament applauded Nazi Waffen SS old dude who fought against the Allies ,which included Canada, in WWII? How long did it take anyone to figure that out? I thought Trudeau was a dimwit, now it’s confirmed. / oy

          1. Micat

            I heard part of the speech and what caught me was the reference to russia during ww2. I had to check, it was the USSR then, russia after 1992.

            And somewhere I read that Poland is demanding he be returned to them for war crimes trial.

            1. Jeff V

              Can Poland not just call in a drone strike? That’s the modern approach to these issues, as I understand it.

            2. jrkrideau

              Russia seems to be almost everyone’s shorthand for the USSR. I get the feeling a lot of the West never noticed that Imperial Russia was not the USSR and the USSR is not the Russian Federation.

              IIRC, Churchill in his famous “Iron Curtain” speech referred to Russia not the USSR. He knew better, he was on good terms with Tzar Nicolas II.

              It’s like people referring to England when they mean the UK.

          1. flora

            Thanks for the link. My question: does Ukr or Z do anything without D.C.’s prior approval and perhaps direction? enquiring minds…. / ;)

            1. The Rev Kev

              It could be that the bubble that Trudeau and his team live in is so detached from reality by now, that inviting this guy into Parliament was actually seen as a brilliant pr move on their part. You can see from the videos that Trudeau was really hyped up during that session. And if anybody wanted to point out the folly of what they were doing, they would have been isolated and marginalized. You get the same with Germany’s Robert Habeck where he accuses anybody that disagrees with any of his plans as being Putin sympathizers,

              1. nippersdad

                That whole affair strongly reminded me of when the US Congress gave a standing ovation to Zelenski as he presented them with a Ukraine flag covered in Azov signatures.

                Canada just couldn’t be left behind, could it? And it worked out so well the first time.

              2. Lex

                That bubble includes the deputy PM who is the granddaughter of a Ukrainian-Nazi propagandist. It wasn’t a mistake. Maybe most of the people clapping didn’t know because of ignorance (no excuse, it’s been an open secret in Canada for decades) but the deputy PM knew. These are her people and she’s been deeply involved since she was a student publishing in the Banderite Canadian newsletters.

        1. hk

          Next on the agenda, Canada salutes the heroes of the 12th SS Panzer Division. /Sarc in deliberately bad taste. (12th SS pz is infamous for its massacre of Canadian PoWs. But, they fought Russians!)

      2. Jabura Basaidai

        find it so weird that when Zelensky won his election in 2019, it meant that for the first time in Ukraine’s history, the country had a president and a prime minister, Groysman, who were both Jewish and open about their Jewish background and Jewish grandparents – big Z had pictures taken of him putting flowers on the grave of his Jewish grandfather who fought in WWII against the Nazis and who must be turning over in his grave –

        1. flora

          So, wait….(confusion ensues…) does this mean being a member of a particular religious or ethnic group does not determine one’s political beliefs? Is there individual agency beyond and outside of ascriptive group identity? I’m so confused. / ;)

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            yeah, i get your point and do deserve the scold – bet those Azov guys get together and play poker with Z, but their agency may be a bit narrow and unbending despite Z’s politically pragmatic beliefs – just thought it a bit weird –

  4. Michael Fiorillo

    Why does the hype surrounding Ozempic and Wegovy, and the “what patients need and deserve” rhetoric accompanying it, remind me of the Oxycodone-doesn’t-cause addiction hype from Purdue Pharma back in the day?

    1. johnherbiehancock

      Same people pushing it?

      A couple months ago, my fiance’s (kinda dumb) friend told us she and her husband were taking ozempic for weight loss purposes. While they lost some weight, it caused long term loss of appetite and a bunch of really unhealthy sounding side effects that seemed to come from actually starving your body. She fainted a bunch of times as well. Sounded like an insane way to lose weight to me. Just exercise and eat right…

      1. Randall Flagg

        >Just exercise and eat rright..
        C’mon man, that requires discipline and effort. Who wouldn’t rather just take a pill… but that’s kind of how we think today
        Sarc off

      2. The Rev Kev

        Maybe you could have taken that friend’s husband aside and quietly told him to be careful as that drug is rumoured to cause long-term brewer’s droop. Yeah, call it a white lie but one that is in a good cause. But like you say, just exercise and eat right.

        1. Laughingsong

          What about those Bette Davis Knees? And Industrial Disease?

          Sorry, couldn’t resist.

          On the whole “exercise and eat right” thing, though, I must take exception, this doesn’t always work. I’ve always had trouble with my weight, regardless of how assiduously I watch my diet and exercise.

      3. Boomheist

        Just watch. A couple years on from now we will have learned this drug does indeed cause all sorts of nasty long term problems, and addiction. Will the impact be as catastrophic as oxy? Who knows. I would bet the answer is yes, that millions of people will somehow shed dozens of pounds and for a year or two it will seem as if a miracle has occurred and then the bad stuff will begin – people dropping dead, wasting away…..This miracle drug showed up pretty recently and I will guess the trials and time to fully test will emerge to be way too short…..just guessin, here…..

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Yup. Not a subscriber anymore, but in the past, recommended NEVER taking a drug that had been on the market for less than 7 YEARS.

          They also made statements on various drugs with the template, “You are not overweight (the malady) because your body doesn’t make enough wegovy (the drug.)

          Words to live by IMNSHO.

    2. Wukchumni

      I’m melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness? Oooooh, look out! I’m going! Oooooh! Ooooooh!

      I wonder if ‘Wizard of Ozempic’ is trademarked yet?

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        Bravo! and thank you for your advice yesterday – “Once you embrace the absurdity of it all through this here looking glass, all you can do is laugh at what we’ve become-as the joke is on us.”

        1. John

          Rule of Thumb: Avoid all products over-hyped on TV. Or keep it simple, purchase and use only what you need ignoring advertising as nearly 100% of the time as you can manage. Works for me.

          Unless of course “they” have invaded my consciouness and I know not what I am doing.

        2. Wukchumni

          Thanks for the compliments…

          Was watching a Frontline from 1992 with Hedrick Smith on the fallen USSR, and as always Bizarro World collapse rules apply when comparing their endgame to the USA.

          Oh, the moaning over food prices going up quite a bit, and we’ve already had quite a taste of that, but you ain’t seen nothing yet.

          After Gorbachev’s USSR (1992) – Russia during winter of 1992 (56 minutes)

    3. Craig H.

      One of the supplement guru guys presented research (such as it is–not double blind randomized control trials with a behemoth N) that body fat percentage goes up and muscle mass is selectively reduced in a bunch of the patients.

      On the other hand Musk and Kardashians endorse it so resistance is futile. Scott Alexander’s post on semaglutinomics is excellent. The medication is currently affordable only for the ubers.

  5. chris

    JD Vance asking for my support.

    I can’t imagine what reasons someone has to think there are good motivations to support a continuing conflict in Ukraine. The only people who want that are military contractors. I wish we could shame these fools to the point where they’d just shut up but they are all shameless. They’ll keep begging to kill people and waste billions on pointless causes as long as they can.

    1. Boomheist

      Chris there are a lot of people, usually people who are much older and remember vividly lives facing the Soviet Union, who believe in their bones that Putin’s main and only goal is to recreate the Soviet Empire, re-establish the old Soviet Union, and that the invasion of Ukraine is but the first step in a long term plan. This view is held, in my opinion, by the entire Slavic disporia that emigrated to North America in the years after 1917 (Russian Revolution, then WW2, then the Hungarian event in 1956) and which staffs government bureaucracies and think tanks….

      1. GramSci

        Yes, the Nazis killed some 25 million Russians. After the war, I can believe a lot of Slavic Nazi sympathizers felt persecuted and wanted to emigrate to the friendly West, especially after it got rid of FDR.

      2. Jonathan King

        Boomheist has described something I’m familiar with. A lifelong friend of mine — we were in high school in the ’60s, and still socialize — is the daughter of Holocaust survivors who emigrated to Southern California after the war. She’s made her career in what used to be called international relations, almost entirely on think-tank side, with many decades at RAND. She’s hyper-intelligent, very analytical, and believes precisely what you describe about the worldview of the Slavic diaspora in its PMC dimension. She maintained prior to the invasion that Putin, if not stopped, would be marching on Brussels next. She dismissed the notion that NATO encroachment legitimized any of Putin’s red lines. Nothing that’s happened since has changed that viewpoint, and I don’t bring it up anymore, lacking her command of blobbish talking points and footnotes.

        1. Kouros

          John Mearsheimer has stated many times, publicly, that he has seen no evidence of such intentions from Russia and Putin… It will be easy to find the citations and the videos on the internets…

          1. John

            Mearsheimer is of course correct, but it is equally correct that the person described by Johnathan King, while otherwise brilliant and hyper-analytical, is a true believer and immune to any argument that contradicts her convictions. Is that not a definition of fanaticism?

        2. Polar Socialist

          In other words, she must also believe that NATO is not a deterring Russia.

          And that this war actually was inevitable since Putin had to be stopped and what Putin wants has very little to do with it.

          And that NATO is incapable of engaging in diplomacy to secure it’s members, it can only project power and use violence.

    2. redleg

      The crazy Christian end-timers are still around, and they think that fighting Russia (Magog) in Syria (close to Megeddio) with nukes fulfills Armageddon prophesies laid out in Revelations. They really want this to happen because The Rapture. There are more of these people around and in power than any sane person thinks possible.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “HII Partners to Advance 3D Printing on a Virginia-class Submarine”

    It is an intriguing thought this though not the way that Naval News presents it. What if you could have a 3-D printer aboard each ship with a library of ship’s parts that it could print. Essential spare parts would still be carried but what if you could print a replacement parts for when one is needed. I wonder how far his could be applied.

    1. chris

      There’s been a lot of movement in this area for the past several years. For something like a submarine, the biggest question is how to maintain print quality when you can’t guarantee a stable printing environment.

      As for how far this goes, look to toys. Especially toy centric hobbies like miniature wargaming. Companies like Siocast have started something where the concepts of warehousing and shopping and shipping are all interconnected such that you can have one company headquartered in say, the UK, with distribution partners in China, Poland, US, and each of those places has a warehouse with a printer. Then, based on local demand, you have the ability print and ship locally. You can even customize things to the level of what the local market wants. A Siocast device centralizes production in a small unit the size of a filing cabinet, where the toy molds are created and used in the same device, based on the 3D data you transmit to the device. And the quality coming out of the machine is really good!

      It will take sometime but I can see a near future where a person in Australia doesn’t have to wait for something to ship from China to reach them, everything will be produced and shipped locally even if the company involved and the IP behind it are in completely different countries.

      1. digi_owl

        Years ago i was passed a set of blog posts or articles arguing that the electrification of manufacturing went the wrong way.

        That instead of simply replacing steam axles with electric engine, it should have miniaturized and distributed the production system so that all that was shipped around was generic materials.

        Thing is though that where i live there were multiple small scale wood and garment businesses. But they all ended up shutting down as moving the production to Asia and shipping the finished products back in bulk was just that much cheaper in total.

    2. Kouros

      Kim Stanley Robinson addresses this idea in his novel Aurora – a generational spaceship. Not sustainable…

  7. Henry Moon Pie

    Brooks Robinson–

    A great player on a great team. When we were in DC in ’77, we drove up to old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore to see Brooks in his last season. Chesty Morgan provided additional entertainment, running around the outfield during the 7th inning stretch.

    Another memorable game was in September of ’74. The Red Sox were trying to stay in the Eastern Division race against the Orioles. A friend got us front row seats behind home plate in Fenway. Now normally, that’s not my preferred spot. Behind first or third is better, but that day, behind home plate was the place to be. Mike Cuellar, the ace junkballer, was throwing screwballs at the Sox. Bosox pitcher, Spaceman Bill Lee, said that Cuellar’s screwball looked as big as a grapefruit as it approached the plate, and when you hit it, it went just about as far as a batted grapefruit would go. Sitting behind home plate that day, you would swear that you could give those pitches a ride. They looked like sitting ducks.

    But as Yaz and Dewey desperately tried to get something going against the O’s, their mighty swings would produce a grounder headed to the left side of the infield. That’s not where you wanted a ball to go if you needed a hit for two Gold Glovers, Robinson and Belanger, were both powerful vacuum sweepers capturing everything that came their way. Cuellar went nine that day, giving up 8 eight hits but only two runs. For the Sox, that season would be a disappointment, but the next year, they made it to the Series where they lost to the Reds in seven.

    Robinson and Belanger won the East in ’74 but would run up against the great A’s team that won three in a row. Robinson would play 3 more years, and the O’s great run would come to an end.

    1. Wukchumni

      Our hometown MLB player was the Orioles catcher in their 1966 & 1970 World Series wins, Andy Etchebarren.
      To give you an idea of how things have changed from an MLB renumeration standpoint back then, Andy opened up Etchebarren’s Liquor in 1971, and I met Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, Davey Johnson & Dave McNally there in the grand opening, and they signed specially made baseball cards & 8×10 glossies for the occasion.

      You’d see Andy minding the counter during the off-season, and forget about scoring some underage booze, that wasn’t gonna happen. You needed to go to Mickey’s Liquor on Valley Blvd in La Puente.

      That liquor store had another twist to it too – it was owned by Andy Etchebarren, the catcher of the Baltimore Orioles. This was the early 1970s and the Orioles were big too – World Series Champs in 1970 and pennant winners from 69-71. It was cool that local boy Andy had a store within a block from my house.

      Then there was “The Event of the Century” in Hacienda Heights. During the spring of 1971, when the O’s came to town to play the Angels for a weekend series, Etchebarren arranged for 4 of his teammates to join him at the store for a promotional event on a Saturday morning. This was a big deal for my little town in the eastern outskirts of L.A. County as the Orioles were the defending World Champs. Jim Palmer, Dave Johnson, Brooks Robinson, Dave McNally and Etchebarren were to be there signing autographs and posing for pictures. Palmer had just won the Cy Young Award and Brooks was the World Series MVP from the previous Fall Classic. I’m telling you, kids were coming out of the woodwork for this event.

      I had one problem that day though as my Little League team had a game that morning that started at the exact time. By the time I arrived after my game, they were wrapping things up. There had to be 500 kids in that small parking lot, all clamoring to get autographs from one of the players. I didn’t have a prayer. The players were getting in cars and starting to leave. My only shot was Davey Johnson, who was a bit more accommodating to the kids and signing for many that stood behind ropes on the path to his vehicle. I had nothing for him to sign except my worn out baseball mitt that I was carrying as I returned from my game.

        1. Wukchumni

          It was pretty common on the back of baseball cards to state what sort of occupation an MLB player had in the off-season back in the day, as they didn’t make that much until the mid 1970’s with the first million $ per year pro athlete contracts, and it only got progressively dumber in terms of amount.

          Players were only signed to 1 year deals, what if you got injured and couldn’t play next season?

          Sandy Koufax & Don Drysdale held out for 3 year deals @ $500k per player in 1966 after winning the 1965 World Series, and the Dodgers told them to go pound sand and both settled for 1 year contracts @ $130k and $105k.

          Sometimes on the radio i’ll hear of some pro sports player who inked a 5 year $80 million deal, and i’ve never heard of them.

    2. Michael Fiorillo

      Yes, those Oriole teams were beautiful to watch… three 20- game winners (McNally, Cuellar and Palmer) when they lost to the Mets in 1969.

      And to think the Reds traded Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas because he was “old” at thirty…

      1. Wukchumni

        Circa 1971 my little league team goes to an Angels game and get there an hour before the first inning for batting practice, and we are about 50 rows up and my teammate yells to Frank Robinson way out in the outfield to throw a ball to him, and as if on command Frank hurls a perfect toss a few hundred feet away to my teammate-who doesn’t move his glove an inch, and i’m standing right next to him, in awe.

    3. Lee Too

      As a long-suffering Indians fan back then, my hat is off to Brooks Robinson and the great Orioles teams and organization of the 60’s and 70’s. My favorite World Series remains that of ’66 when the Birds shutout the Dodgers of Koufax and Drysdale in the last three games. I believe LA had scored in the third inning of game 1 and never scored again. Earl Weaver’s formula for winning baseball was ‘great pitching and three-run home runs’. And you could certainly add defense to that.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        When they had Robinson and Belanger on the left side of the infield, they had Paul Blair in center field. He was among the best too.

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          Beautifully soft gloves, all… I grew up a Yankee fan and remember how excited I was when Paul Blair came to them later in his career.

    4. Mark K

      I hadn’t known that Brooks Robinson was a natural left hander before I read this piece. That’s actually pretty significant because it means he was fielding the ball with his dominant hand. It’s a well-established research finding that dominant side reaction time is faster than non-dominant side reaction time. I suspect that advantage contributed to Brooksies’ greatness.

      I wonder if he was the only player in Major League history to field with his dominant hand and throw with his non-dominant hand.

  8. Steve H.

    > I am always disappointed when I see people dig up stumps of old trees. Those are candy to pileateds

    A small (2″) mulberry anchoring the upper garden bed died and another grew in its stead. Yesterday I trimmed off the wands to push into the bed and sat to contemplate the next right thing, when a small woodpecker landed on it and worked its way up the trunk.


  9. Wukchumni

    Lucifer Sam, crypto cat
    Always sitting in your Brooklyn cell
    Always waiting for your chance to tell
    That cat’s something I can’t explain

    Ellison, Ellison you’re a switch witch
    You’re the left side
    He’s the right side
    Oh, no
    That cat’s something I can’t explain

    Lucifer Sam lives in the all bar motel
    Be a vegan cat, good luck with that
    Somewhere, anywhere
    That cat’s something I can’t explain

    At night prowling for someone to blame
    Hiding around on the MDC ground
    He’ll be found when his court date comes around
    That cat’s something I can’t explain

    Lucifer Sam, by Pink Floyd

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Excellent choice for a melody, Syd showing some of his finest spaced-out, psychedelic genius.

      That cat’s something I’ll try to explain: White privilege gone bad.

  10. DJG, Reality Czar

    Probably not the holy grail. (BBC) At least palm oil is edible, and for many people, the percentage of saturated fat is not a factor in their health. The processing can be. Think butter: which, come to think of it, isn’t all that risky for most of us.

    Key dubious quote:

    It is made from a by-product from the linseed industry, plus natural fibre and rapeseed oil.

    As I have gotten older, I find myself more and more mistrustful of the use in the human diet of any fats or oils not from oilseed plants. I already take a pass on corn oil. I mistrust soybean oil. And when I discovered that Crisco and other artificial shortenings are from cottonseed oil, it seemed obvious to me that certain oils have entered the human diet as a way of getting rid of trash. They require all kinds of processing.

    Rapeseed oil is from the cabbage family of plants, so it is more or less legit. Linseed? Flax? Byproducts of processing? (Yes, I know that some people much on flaxseeds, but…).

    Others with more experience and chemistry and food preparation, please weigh in.

    1. mrsyk

      It is made from a by-product from the linseed industry, plus natural fibre and rapeseed oil. So it’s a floor wax and a tasty dessert topping??? Pray tell, are they branding this “Shimmer”?

    2. Amfortas the Hippie

      via long study and the considered elimination of one thing, then another, i figured out what was screwing up my belly whenever mom cooks: rapeseed oil(“canola” is a marketing triumph,lol…b/c putting “RAPE!” in big yellow and blue letters on yer bottle of oil is not conducive to selling it, it turns out).
      with me, its the same with the stems of other Rapa species…broccoli(flowers are fine),turnips, mustards.
      leaves and flowers are cool, but not the stems.
      Rape is an industrial lubricant…but Big Ag figgered out how to splice in a roundup ready gene early on, so they just had to rush it out and force farmers to plant it.
      mom, of course, doesn’t believe me on this…so the chickens get whatever fried food she sends home to me.

      1. TimH

        Canola is low erucic acid rapeseed oil, for human digestion. Standard rapeseed is grown for animal feed.

        Is avocado oil good to use? I know avocados are, but then eating an orange is much better than snarfing a glass of instanly digested OJ.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          we use olive oil, peanut oil on the rare occasions we fry things…and a lot of lard, butter and bacon grease.
          at my recent physical, my doctor marveled at my bloodwork…as well as at my overall health(except for my skeleton and joints, but thats all due to “wear and tear”)

    3. Lex

      Linseed oil is from flax. Traditionally if it’s food grade it’s called flax seed oil and if it’s used as a wood (also stone and metal) finish it’s called linseed oil.

      The real difference is that unlike say olive oil, flax oil will polymerize with heat. Linseed oil can be obtained either boiled or unboiled, with the boiled being more common. Boiling partially polymerizes the oil so that it cures at lower temps and faster. However, the “boiled” linseed oil found at most home improvement stores as a wood finish is not actually boiled; heavy metals are added as driers.

      True boiled linseed oil is food safe and even edible. And flax oil has a long history as a seed oil, with flax being one of those handy plants with multiple uses. Most of the paints of Northern Europe on both wood and stone architecture are linseed oil paints. That’s just boiled linseed oil with pigments added. Sometimes the surface is first treated with raw linseed oil because it soaks in deeper than boiled, then painted with boiled linseed oil paint. It’s a pretty great paint, partly because the oil carries the pigment into the pores of wood or stone so it can often be refreshed with just a coat of oil rather than more paint.

      There are a few manufacturers of real boiled linseed oil finishes out there. I finish any cutting boards I make with it because mineral oil is nasty and doesn’t last and because I can tell the recipient that they can refinish with flax seed oil from a heath food store and setting it out in the sun on a warm day to polymerize it (or put it in a warm oven).

      1. Irrational

        Hubby swears by boiled linseed oil, too, but then we are in Europe so you can’t just label anything as something.
        (We have plenty of other problems, of course.. )

  11. John Beech

    ‘This could be the holy grail to replace palm oil’ – research team BBC

    Puts me in mind of pot and kettle as those in the global south have a product for sale, those in the global north don’t like it because it destroys old growth forest in favor of new crop production. So they offer up a substitute product grown in the global north. Yet in the global north, widespread forest destruction for the paper industry is a fact, and present day land under cultivation was once forested but I don’t see any condemnation of that.

  12. Louis Fyne

    —Akin Adds Top Space Industry Leader, Building Out its Space Regulatory and Policy Practice —

    fun fact: more legal certainty if you get hit by another car on your weekend drive than if two satellites crash in space.

  13. Roger Blakely

    Re: How to Outperform How to Outperform

    The idea in this article, which makes a lot of sense to me, is that it is harder for well-informed players in financial markets to run away with winnings when access to quality information is widely available. There are fewer suckers in the market from whom the well-informed can steal lunch money.

    Okay, I get that. But what about the people who don’t read NakedCapitalism? What about the people, including the people who run this planet, who have access to the best information in the world and still have their heads up their butts when it comes to the most basic functions of the global economy? If they’re so well-informed, why do they keep driving us off of the cliff?

    I’ll be diving into financial markets. There is still plenty of other people’s lunch money out there to be had.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      My response is that they’re very well informed within the limits of the game they’re playing. Beyond that, it’s a forest/trees problem for them. Our system is set up so that those who are good at playing that particular game, acquiring and analyzing that particular kind of information, are granted power and deference in matters far beyond their ken. “Let the businessman decide” is a pretty good summary of neoliberalism. We say The Market decides, but that anthromorphizing hides who’s really deciding in world that is a business.

    2. Kouros

      “why do they keep driving us off of the cliff?” Because “us” doesn’t include “them” as well…?!

  14. Jason Boxman


    The rise of virtual artificial intelligence (AI) girlfriends is enabling the silent epidemic of loneliness in an entire generation of young men. It is also having severe consequences for America’s future.

    How is something that seems so ridiculous — a virtual AI girlfriend — causing a future crisis among Americans? Well, with millions of users, apps have created virtual girlfriends that talk to you, love you, allow you to live out your erotic fantasies, and learn, through data, exactly what you like and what you don’t like, creating the “perfect” relationship.

    No, Tinder ruined an entire generation of men; it’s taught them that if you aren’t in the top 10% of attractiveness, you don’t matter. No longer do you need to be one of the best in the immediate vicinity, you need to be in the top 10% in a huge geographic area. Good luck with that.

    1. hunkerdown

      Market totalitarianism in general has ruined at least two entire generations, maybe 3½.

      How much is OpenAI paying for these “think” pieces, I have to wonder.

    2. digi_owl

      Tinder may well have broken the camels back, but it may well have been the deteriorating job market for vocational jobs that got it all rolling. Because supposedly ladies do not date downwards.

      Then again that may also be a side effect of dating being localized. So with more women heading into the big city to get a degree while men are stuck in the sticks subsisting on odd jobs and welfare, the dating pool becomes whatever men that are also getting a degree. Or that can afford to hang around adjacent to the universities.

  15. DJG, Reality Czar

    Hmmm. Heather Cox Richardson at Naked Capitalism. Let me get out my fork and knife for some dissection.

    I consider Heath Cox Richardson a regime historian. From my experience with those who send links to her pieces to me, she seems to have much appeal to upper-middle-class white women who want to be “in the room.” Richardson’s almost tedious attention to the nuts and bolts of history makes it seem as if she is objective. She is not.

    Today’s tasty treat. I’ll dispute these two assertions:

    The breakup of the Soviet Union gave political operatives and the politicians in the United States for whom they worked a new, crucial tool to undermine U.S. democracy: money, and lots of it, from international authoritarians, especially those from Russia and other former republics of the Soviet Union.

    Aha! It’s the Russians. Even when Russia was in free fall, as described by Jeffrey Sachs and Naomi Klein, the Russians couldn’t stop themselves from interfering in unsullied America.

    And it gets better: Or, oh, please Heather Cox Richardson, get some perspective:

    Although the United States had traditionally considered torture illegal, the administration now argued that any limit to the president’s authority to conduct war was unconstitutional. When news of the program broke in 2004, Congress outlawed it, only to have Bush issue a signing statement rejecting any limitation on “the unitary executive branch.”

    Traditionally what? Tell that to the thousands tortured in Latin America in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. It was widely known that there have been U.S. torturers in Guatemala on and off for years. Years ago, Penny Lernoux detailed the horrors of U.S. involvement in torture in Latin America. Domestically, the Miranda case came about in part because of the “third degree” (you know, torture) widely in use at U.S. police stations.

    Better historians, please.

    1. Darthbobber

      She probably means that the US had traditionally affected to regard torture as illegal, and now the affectation was dropped. There’s actually a sadly large stable of historians Who take the pose as the reality for their own nation, though generally less so for nations not their own.

      One can see Tucumán doing this in the Vietnam War chapter of the March of Folly. When looking at other nations and times she generally sticks with objective interests, but when it comes to this debacle for her own nation, she frames it as a betrayal of the high ideals we are alleged to hold.

      1. digi_owl

        Nah, USA seem to be highly adept at word games. It is not torture, it is enhanced interrogation. It is not prison, it is rendition. And so the euphemism treadmill keeps on going. Maybe it is a side effect of the number of lawyers in politics, that thing they can tap dance around the spirit of laws with clever language.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      It might have been more history if she had paralleled her attempt to claim the Russkies have taken over the Republicans with a chronicle of the relationship between the Chinese government and the Democrats going back to Clinton and Gore. Even more interesting would be a tracking of how the Democrats and their fellow travelers became such authoritarians themselves.

    3. lambert strether

      > I consider Heath Cox Richardson a regime historian

      Yes. Putting it politely! That was the point of my Toby Esterhase quotation….

    4. GramSci

      Funny. I’ve never read Heather Cox Richardson, so when I read DJG’s first quote, I read it as follows:

      The breakup of the Soviet Union gave political operatives and the politicians in the United States for whom they worked a new, crucial tool to undermine U.S. democracy: money, and lots of it, from international authoritarians, especially those from Russia and other former republics of the Soviet Union, funneled through the Clinton Foundation.

      I gather that is not what she meant.

      1. Nels Nelson

        HCR publishes a commentary on Substack called Letters from an American. I would describe her as a Biden White House stenographer and for her work has been given a private audience with Joe in the Oval Office. She could never be accused of being objective and all she does is rant about how all the problems facing the US are or were caused by the Republicans and the Russians. Subscribers love receiving her daily letters so much which I think she writes from a little town in Maine that they pay an estimated $1,000,000 per year for them.

  16. t

    The linked story about a palm oil alternative went to a page with a link to an earlier story about a palm oil alternative made from yeast, which we can eat, and not rapeseed oil, which we cannot. (The UK seems to use rapeseed oil to describe both rral rapeseed oil and canola oil, which is the product of extremely modified rapeseed that goes through extensive processing. Think of the chocoloate covered cotton balls in Catch 22, and cottonseed oil- although cottonseed oil is edible, but needs processing to be part of one’s daily diet.)

    I’m team yeast.

  17. Wukchumni

    According to the 2020 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government survey, the Park Service ranked 353rd out of 411 agencies, and last year’s survey dropped the agency to 371st out of 432 agencies when employees were asked if their agency was accomplishing its mission.

    More recently, the latest Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey conducted by the federal Office of Personnel Management ranked the Park Service 371 out of 432 government agencies in 2022 (in the bottom 15 percentile) and 396th when it came to “the level of respect employees have for senior leaders,” said PEER.

    Digging into that survey’s results reflect the challenges confronting Sams in his mission, with both positive and negative measures.

    Overall workforce satisfaction of those surveyed [43 percent of eligible employees] with the Park Service, their job, and their pay dropped from a high of 60 percent in 2020 to 56 percent in 2022, lower than that found elsewhere in Interior Department bureaus and across the federal government.

    The survey’s authors attributed the drop in satisfaction to employee unhappiness over pay levels.

    At the same time, however, the survey found improvement in “employee engagement” — a measure of how employees view their senior leadership, supervisors, and “elements of their work experience.” That measure rose to 67 percent last year, up from 63 percent in 2019. And while the survey ranked NPS employees’ views of senior leadership’s “ability to motivate, communicate, and engender respect and integrity” lowest across government, it did note that “positive responses are trending upward” by 8 percent.

    PEER also obtained a handful of pages from an internal Park Service “Work Environment Risk Factors” memo from late August that “highlighted slight improvement in some survey results but cited some ominous slippage on already poor results,” the organization said. “Compared to the previous year’s survey, fewer employees rated NPS as a good place to work (down 6 percent), being satisfied with their job (down 1.8 percent), or satisfied with the organization (down 2.1 percent).”

    Just celebrated the 133rd birthday of the 2nd National Park here @ Sequoia NP the other day, and we treat our crown jewels like cheap tawdry costume jewelry.

    The esprit d’corps @ Sequoia NP among the NPS employees is frankly horrible, the employee housing dates from Mission 66 and is cramped, old and not nearly anywhere near sufficient, and there are no rentals available here in Tiny Town because of AirBnB, so really outdoors type of people have to live in say Visalia and commute 40 miles to & from the NP, and guess what, nobody really wants to do that among the fern feeler set, so there’s all sorts of positions that go unfilled.

    We sustained an awful lot of road damage in Sequoia NP this winter, and maybe 1/3rd of it has been fixed-most of it on a temporary basis, and getting funding for the rest is like pulling teeth, as Congress holds the purse strings, and while its no big deal giving the Ukraine $100 billion, try getting those clowns to fork out money for something everybody agrees is one of the best things we ever did, in inventing the concept of National Parks.

    1. Carolinian

      Congress holds the purse strings

      Twas ever thus. Gingrich and some of his cohorts wanted to outright privatize the public lands and his Fee Demo Program (no longer a demo) was step one by putting ticket booths everywhere. Seems trees just don’t have a good lobby to bribe Congress to fund them for the public benefit.

      Which is to say Dems these days aren’t much better on this issue than the Repubs. They want to privatize everything too.

    2. NYMutza

      Have you read “The Last Season” by Eric Blehm? It was published in 2006 and is a story about a back country Park Service ranger in SEKI (Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks) who went missing in 1996. It is a terrific book and an eye opener with regards to the work back country rangers do and how they are treated within the NPS bureaucracy.

      1. Wukchumni

        I know about half the people in that book and a few are good friends, and i’ll give you an idea of how tenuous things are as far as money goes in the NPS, this summer here in Sequoia NP, they did away with Backcountry rangers needing law enforcement credentials, as it mean’t $6 more pay per hour, and allowed them to staff more backcountry positions with the savings.

        This in a job where you need to be able to walk around 500 miles, have EMT skills and more for a seasonal job that pays about the same as a fast-food employee.

  18. pjay

    – ‘How the U.S. Created Its Own Reality’ – Heather Cox Richardson, Foreign Policy. “At a certain age, a [wo]man’s got to be what [s]he deserves.” — Toby Esterhase, Smiley’s People.

    OMFG! It was the *Republicans*! In cahoots with the *oligarchs*! And the *neocons*! And Putin! Clinton and the Democrats were apparently just naive bystanders. Oh, so were normal Republicans like GHW Bush, whose first invasion of Iraq was a justified and measured response. Oh for the days before the radical right-wing Putin loving Republicans took over.

    Could there be a more ironic title to an article? I’m sure Professor Richardson, “expert on American political and economic history,” discusses the contributions of Obama and Hillary and Biden and Nuland and Ukraine and Yugoslavia and Libya and Syria and Russiagate and Harvard and the NY Times and all the rest in her book. Could someone read it for me? I don’t want to.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “German far right party surges on immigrant ‘dystopia’”

    When the main political parties of a country lock their doors to keep out their voters and tell them that they do not have to listen to them anymore or pay attention to any of their needs, they should not be surprised to discover that those voters do have somewhere to go after all and that is the party that has opened their doors to the voters.

    1. digi_owl

      Sadly for most of those voters immigration is really a proxy for jobs.

      As in the problem is that Germany is export focused and has been so for decades. But as German companies rake in the profits, they need to maintain low wages to stay competitive. For a time they managed to convince unions to accept frozen wages, but now they seem to rely more and more on immigrants to fill low wage job needs.

      And what is happening is that immigrant as a term gets used interchangeably between work immigration and refugees. And it is the latter that the right wing xenophobes wants to get rid off (toss them back into the sea if they could). And by confusing the language, they get the workers to vote for them.

      It is kinda the same dynamic that has been going on in USA since its inception, where first the English got the Irish and Scotts to fight each other over crumbs. Then later get them to gang up on Blacks, Hispanics and Asians as the nation expanded south and west.

      And something similar played out in Africa, where the colonial “powers” managed to set locals against locals so they didn’t gang up on the colonials. And we see the reverberations of that to this day.

  20. mrsyk

    “In Rare Alliance, Democrats and Republicans Seek Legal Power to Clear Homeless Camps”, NYT. Note the carefully neutral tone of the article. The big tell is the Times using the (low ball) census number for homeless without mentioning that number is considered a massive undercount, How Many People in the United States Are Experiencing Homelessness?, Population Reference Bureau. Estimates of homelessness in the United States range from fewer than 600,000 to more than 1.5 million people, and the estimates vary by source. The two key sources of data—the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Point-in-Time Count, and the National Center for Education Statistics Count of Students Experiencing Homelessness—vary greatly in their coverage and in their annual estimates.
    The PRB article is worth a read if you are interested in how homeless numbers are calculated by HUD and NCES, and the differences in those calculations.

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      my youngest is a hs senior…gpa:4.5, national honor society, well liked, etc etc(ie: everything his weirdo genius dad was not, back in his day).
      2 weeks ago,i knew him and his buddies would be drinking beer at the goat cookoff in brady. had a Designated Driver…and all drinking was to be done in nonpublic places…as per my rules.
      but DD had a tail light out(!!)…cop knew my son, from basketball.
      said, i know yer drinkin, not gonna ticket you, but you must tell your coaches.
      so my boy must run 40 miles for that….which is a bit excessive, i think, since:1. kids are gonna drink, because its a part of the dern culture, like it or not…and 2. they did it right, w DD, etc.
      (and youngest is not really a drinker, anyway…rare, special occasions…goat cookoff is something of a tradition for HS kids…and i am certain that majority of our seniors were there, drunk and stupid, based on reports from my spy network)
      meanwhile…2 d-halls for forgetting band shoes and wearing flipflops to marching practice…and 3 d-halls for having an errant whisker or two on 3 occasions(*)
      so i get all this dumped on me last friday,lol….5 d-halls apparently breaches some threshold where “something must be done”…so 3 options:1. 2 swats(i said, yall aint allowed to beat my kid with a stick…to crestfallen coaches,lol). 2. ISS for 2 days, which would also mean having to take finals at end of semester(above certain gpa, exempt from finals)… or 3.– 4 hours of saturday school.
      last option is what i picked.
      so, not attempting to escape punishment for his crime spree….but geez!.
      flipflops and whiskers, and coaches lose their minds.
      (band guy is pt coach, too…as is dean of students, who does all the discipline…we are overrun with coaches at this ISD…and it shows in the policies and enforcement thereof)

      my son didnt want to do saturday school this weekend, because he’s got a band contest, and didnt want to let down his fellows….i said, awraht! I’ll be down there with bells on(and flip flops, and a beard and long shaggy hair and a crazy eye) and set em straight…get it moved to the following weekend.
      son sez, nope, pops…i’ll deal with it.
      and he did…partly because local PTB know me, and how much trouble i’m willing to cause them when they piss me off….in the form of, in this case, appearing before the school board, thus making my beef public record…and thereby freeing me to pen an arid and eviscerating letter to the editor of the local paper/brochure..and thus stirring up debate over all of this policy universe…and maybe even a public discussion and airing of just how draconian we want the discipline at our school to be.
      i mean…why are whiskers on a 17 year old male still shocking to these people?

      anyhoo…my point in these anecdotes is that the insistence on Conformity is still with us…authoritarians abound in positions of authority…and most people just let it go…even if they admit to me in private that its wrong.
      and the conformity teaching is begun at an early age, and via official education policy…as well as through the vehicle of frelling football, which is as near to a civic religion(L:”to bind”) as we can apparently get in Texas.

      (*-texas courts a couple of years ago ruled in favor of a native american boy in navasota or somewhere regarding dress codes: if girls can have long hair, earrings, etc…then so can boys—which is the very same argument i used when i was in HS, but to no avail.
      this falls under Equal Treatment, as well as whatever Title in the texas code that makes ISD’s have equal sporting opportunities for girls…and that allows girls to play football, too.
      ..but our ISD is apparently resisting this…too important to enforce conformity and continue to pretend that its 1952, and that the 60’s never happened.)

  21. antidlc
    About 250,000 courses of COVID pill Paxlovid being administered per week – Pfizer CEO

    Pfizer Inc’s (PFE.N) chief executive said on Tuesday that almost 250,000 courses of the drugmaker’s oral antiviral COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid were being administered per week as cases surged in the United States.

    Speaking at the Cantor Fitzgerald Annual Healthcare Conference, Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said the company is still uncertain about when Paxlovid, which is currently being distributed by the government, will receive approval to be sold in the U.S. commercial market.

  22. Pat

    The contrary details in that Wall Street Journal article about the use of giant batteries were more disturbing than the actual premise of the article for this electric is the answer for climate change complaints skeptic.
    They were largely in use in areas with large renewable electricity generation. The batteries kept the grid going for the period between peak solar generation and when the wind farm generation picked up overnight, but they were drained. There are more programs for increasing numbers of batteries, but there are less for renewable energy production.
    Even where they were used the majority of the electricity was produced using fossil fuels.

    So with increasing temperature extremes requiring more cooling and heating along with the push to replace cars, furnaces and stoves so all are electric, how is this supposed to work. Solar is not a feasible replacement in many locations, wind is also problematic, and the grid itself is creaky at best. And even in solar friendly areas the giant batteries only took up the slack for a couple of hours.

    We are not ruled by serious people.

  23. MaryLand

    Covid Vax availability update: here in Pennsylvania my husband and I tried to schedule the latest Covid shots since we are seniors. The pharmacies giving the shots are allowing only a certain number of appointments per day. If we want to get the shot a a nearby pharmacy we have to wait a month for the appointment at RiteAid. Walgreens would not allow us to schedule at a nearby location at any date, but would only let us schedule at locations that are about 45-60 minutes from our home. Those appointments were for this week. We chose the nearby RiteAid even though it will be a month before we can get the shot. Three years into the pandemic and it is still not organized well at all. They are not trying to get people vaxxed ASAP, even older people like us who are more vulnerable. Where are the vax clinics like in early days where hundreds of people could get vaxxed in a day? They just don’t care.

    1. Pat

      Well there is no Covid Emergency, and so now the vaccines are largely performative.
      The PR value is the ability to tout a solution to numbers that cannot be ignored and making sure that access to the vaccine happens is all that is required to back that up. Immediate and easy access is not.

      I would really love to know why the people (in and out of government) who have directed this response think they are protected from Covid and long Covid.

      1. MaryLand

        Yep, performative. Our PCP office is offering a flu shot clinic. Apparently flu is a bigger threat than Covid.

    2. Jason Boxman

      This is the market based approach Jha keeps crowing about; while in the same breath professing to care that 100,000 people might die over the winter from the “tripledemic”. Well, this is that market based approach that you so craved Jha. What a murderous hack. Public health and marketed based are entirely orthogonal.

    3. Adam

      Going to get the latest Moderna vax on Saturday. (Lucky number 6!). It only took two weeks to get an appointment at Walgreens in the Chicago suburbs. Not excited about getting it though.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        No kidding. The pump-and-dumpers loves ’em some “pent up demand.” It really drives “share prices” and “price to earnings” justifications.

    4. NYMutza

      A CVS is my neighborhood has a big display just inside the entryway announcing free flu and Covid shots at the pharmacy. I was in the store and did not see any lines for the shots. It seemed that anyone who wanted the shots could get them there quite easily.

    5. eg

      Here in Ontario I have heard precisely zotz about Fall booster availability, either with respect to timing or age eligibility.

      1. jrkrideau

        On Ministry of Health
        “Recommendations for Fall booster doses will be available closer to Fall 2023.”

        Fall seems to be getting closer fast.

        At least the Minister of Health has not resigned yet /s

  24. Brenton Talcott

    The Trump ruling is hyperbolic in it’s absurdity, do honest people who disagree with DJT exercise any intellectual integrity?

    1. DMK

      I don’t understand the basis for this lawsuit. The New York AG brought this suit, not the banks and insurers who made loans to or insured Trump properties. So who was harmed by Trump overstating the value of these assets? If Trump did not default on these loans, who was harmed?

      Once again, the press fails to get to the heart of the story.

    1. Wukchumni

      You’re thinking of the vestal versions of excuses as to why JP Morgan would agree to fork over almost 1/12th of a Billion, perhaps?

      1. ambrit

        Make that 1/12th of a Golden Billion and we can deal.
        That sounds like a Demographic on Tinder; Vested Virgins. (“Cutting capons, cutting capons.”)

  25. Tom Stone

    A couple of things I noticed recently are the appointment of Penny Pritzker, who is a long time supporter of and donor to Gavin Newsome and the Aristocratic wing of the California Democratic Mafia and the lack of SS protection for RFK Jr.
    Brandon isn’t looking good, I could see him retiring for “Health Reasons”, Kamala pardoning Hunter out of compassion to a sick old Man and Newsome being appointed the new VP.
    Joe is a tad stubborn, which complicates matters…
    And if RFK Jr is assassinated or crippled in an assassination attempt, the “Domestic Terrorism Bill” Old Joe has been pushing for decades is ready to be rolled out on a day’s notice or less.
    It’s going to be quite a show!

    1. ambrit

      I’m ‘stacking deep’ myself.
      The kabuki show of elections and public representation is being exposed now as a complete fraud. The Elites no longer seem to care what the “lower orders” think. Now is the time of Peak Neo-liberalism, which means that Rule #2: Go die, is morphing into Rule #2A: Go kill.
      I hope, for their sake, the Elites have adequate “Personal Protective Paramilitaries” available. They are going to need them. Starving people will do anything to feed themselves and their ‘loved ones,’ anything.

      1. flora

        Waiting for the dem estab elites to try foisting newbie Michelle O on us, because virtue signalling. /heh

        Did ya hear the joke about the virtuous person who tried to return their Tesla car because the virtue signal stopped working? You mean the turn signal stopped working? No, the virtue signal. / heh

        adding: the virtue signallers in my smallish uni town think it’s a great idea to set up homeless camps in low income neighborhoods’ parks. Because ‘help the homeless’ and ‘who cares about low income residential neighborhoods.’ riiiight.

  26. Jason Boxman

    House Republicans Are Hurtling Toward the Most Pointless Shutdown Ever

    At least when Trump shut the government down in 2018 he had an actual demand: money for his border wall. (He eventually caved, got no money, and built some of the wall illegally anyway, by moving money from other places.)

    That’s certainly one take — another take is that Pelosi and liberal Democrats shutdown the federal government over a pittance of wall funding, virtue signaling at the expensive of the American public, and after Trump folded and later Biden was elected, Biden continued to build the wall that Trump began.

    What a joke.

  27. Wukchumni

    On our backpack trip this past weekend one of the walkers was a 49 year old Serbian ex-pat who was 17 when things started going south in the former Yugoslavia, and it kind of chilled me as the way she described it, her male friends were being forced to fight against foes who were friends not all that long before. At first the sweeps would come and they would be shanghaied into the army, and every male learned to hide away or better yet somehow find a way to flee the situation.

    Our political leaders have seeded hate, and there’s 400 million hand cannons at the ready…

    All we need really is identifying uniforms, and we’re good to go~

  28. Neutrino

    Workforce, who coulda foreseen da problems?

    Anyone who had the misfortune to have to work through rounds of lies, downsizing, HR intrusions for “training”, and not just in how to use scare quotes, then acquisitions, spinoffs, PE lies, investment banker lies, recruiter lies and the occasional malingering co-worker. Bah, humbug.

  29. Wukchumni

    Michelle Obama to get a check for $741,000 for a one-hour speech about ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ at Munich conference (Daily Mail)
    ‘Piece in our time’

      1. flora

        The “boss girl” elites’ version of feminism is well past its sell-by date. Where are they when it comes to unions and wages for working class women?

  30. .Tom

    I didn’t get the same impression from Blinken’s speech at Johns Hopkins as Al Mayadeen in Blinken’s ‘Variable Geometry’ for a New Cold War. To me it read like he’s fishing for a new job and is doing his best to draw our attention to how hard and earnestly he’s been working on so many difficult complex problems with so much moral passion in his heart and maybe he thinks we aren’t going to ask about the outcomes of his efforts.

    As to the content, it seems to me very different from what Al Mayadeen said. He as much as straight up said that the Ukraine war has revealed to all that the status of the USA is it’s no longer the single global military and economic superpower and to get big stuff done going forwards it will have to work on building trust with partners.

  31. maipenrai

    “Is that the salient distinction?”
    No, the salient distinction is in one case a country went to war to prevent made up Weapons of Mass Destruction and in the other to prevent true Weapons of Mass destruction.

  32. Pat

    In titles that make you go “Well duh!” I submit this from the Atlantic:

    So Much for ‘Learn to Code’
    In the age of AI, computer science is no longer the safe major.

    So nice of them to notice.

    I realize that there might be some content not worthy of snark there, but I know too many people who bought the idea that there was a workers market for coders who ended up struggling like most others to find a decent job. And that was a decade ago. Even their brilliant top of the class friends, who got their choice of jobs, found themselves on the short end of things and scrambling in a matter of years.They might as well have been factory workers. Coding hasn’t been the safe job for awhile.

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