Links 9/4/2023

Comprehensive New Amphibian Family Tree Revises Frog Evolution Timeline SciTechDaily

Housing market affordability is so strained that couples want down payment cash rather than a wedding gift Fortune

Zillow Is Rolling Out 1 Percent Down Payment for Home Purchases. It’s a Stroke of Genius Inc.

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


How deep-sea mining for EV materials could wipe out tuna populations Fast Company

As Hurricane Idalia caused flooding, some electric vehicles exposed to saltwater caught fire CBS News

Toxic Train Bombs

Union Pacific still says a leak caused 30 tons of chemicals to go missing Wyoming News Now


No, you don’t have the flu already. It’s probably COVID. Insider

COVID-19 caused mortality rate to increase for first time in 10 years The Asahi Shimbun. In Japan.

Could Corsi-Rosenthal Boxes Reduce Particles to “Cleanroom” Levels? Jim Rosenthal, Tex-Air Filters


Burning Man

There may not be Ebola at Burning Man, but hypothermia, stomach bugs, and food-borne illness will be a problem if storm conditions persist Insider

Old Blighty

Ben Wallace ‘threatened to cancel Chinook deal with the US’ over soaring £2.3bn costs after White House ‘blocked’ his bid to become head of NATO The Daily Mail

MPs and military chiefs question ‘yes man’ Shapps as new defence secretary The Independent

UK food banks bring in counsellors and private GPs to help exhausted workers The Guardian


A thread worth reading:

Raimondo warns China patience of US business is ‘wearing thin’ South China Morning Post

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi warns Southeast Asian countries ‘external forces’ are trying to ‘sow discord’ in region South China Morning Post

US expects to upgrade Vietnam ties, risks China anger Channel News Asia

China, Thailand hold joint naval drill, promote military cooperation Global Times

New Not-So-Cold War

Zelenskyy decides to replace defence minister: new approaches are needed Ukrainska Pravda

“New approaches”:

Ukraine Loses Nearly 600 Troops in Combat Over Past Day – MoD Sputnik

Ukrainian men flee the horrors of war Magyar Nemzet


Bound to Lose John J. Mearsheimer, John’s Substack

The U.S. and Europe Are Splitting Over Ukraine The Atlantic


Swedish liberals call for permanent NATO bases in country: Leader Al Mayadeen

Berliner Zeitung Makes A… Discovery. Andrei Martyanov, Reminiscence of the Future

Imperial Collapse Watch

G20: Last waltz in a world torn apart Indian Punchline

Turkiye Next For BRICS? Silk Road Briefing


The Libyan Backlash and Biden’s Weird Fixation on Normalization Deals Eunomia

Biden Administration

Biden Infrastructure Report Pushes ‘Disastrous Water Privatization Schemes,’ Watchdog Says Common Dreams

Biden’s use of fake names in email could cost him Jonathan Turley, The Hill


The Most Important Elections of 2023 Will Test Purple-State Voters—and Glenn Youngkin’s Clout Wall Street Journal

Some Democrats keep hoping for Michelle Obama in 2024, another sign of Biden’s vulnerability Washington Times

An Argument for the Relevance of RFK, Jr. Scheerpost

Democrats en déshabillé

Salena Zito: Democrats beware: These Black voters are fed up, and looking for a political home Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

GOP Clown Car

The Rise of Vivek. The Return of Masters. The College Libertarians Won’t Go Away. Mother Jones

Realignment and Legitimacy

For 30 years, a memorial to Nazi collaborators sat largely unnoticed just outside Philadelphia. Now it’s drawing outrage. The Philadelphia Inquirer

Our Famously Free Press

What’s Behind Talk of a Possible Plea Deal for Assange? Consortium News



AI May Influence Who Can Get or Prescribe Pain Medication MedPage Today


Psychiatric Journals’ Pro-Pharma Publication Bias Hides Suicide Risk of Antidepressants Mad in America

Digital Watch

Asean launches talks on $2.7 trillion digital economy pact to drive more seamless trade Straits Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch


Screening Room

Netflix is giving you bad taste Unherd

The Bezzle

Cruise refutes SFFD claim that AVs blocked ambulance, led to victim’s death KRON

Class Warfare

Labor Day is May 1: Today is a boss’s holiday. Jacobin. From 2015, still germane.

Most Americans have gone years without a raise: survey The Hill

Labor Day showdown: Deep-pockets N.J. hospital chain vs. strong nurses union Salon


Fractal Nature Atmos

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. JohnA

    Re The Atlantic piece talking about the US and Europe splitting, describes Ukraine as a ‘democracy-minded’ country. Perhaps the first acknowledgement that with Zelensky having banned all opposition parties and opposition media, attacked the Orthodox Church, and cancelled elections etc., Ukraine can no longer be labelled a democracy, and therefore the current conflict is not actually about ‘saving democracy’.

    1. BillS

      This Atlantic piece is another classic work of neocon myopia. It is describing the US elite narrative versus the European one. The voters in Europe are becoming just as skeptical as the American GOP voters. Trouble is, the political class does not listen to the voters any more. Baerbock summed it up well when she said that the voters don’t matter. The rise of AfD is precisely because of this. The sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines is contributing to a seething rage in many on the right and the left that will not easily be dissipated..and not just in Germany.

      Lately, the Russian composers have been returning to the Italian classical music radio stations and everyone I know, who even may have initially sympathized with Ukraine seem to be coming around to the idea that the real war is against Europe and that diplomacy was woefully neglected for the benefit of a corrupt elite.

      Point is: there is not much of a split between the US and European public. It’s the boneheaded undemocratic EU kakistocracy that wants to keep this debacle going.

      1. Darthbobber

        It seems to have things backward even at the elite level. The constant pressure to “do more” has come from the US plus the eastern Europeans, while western Europe other than the Brits have dragged their feet.

        If the US were no longer exerting pressure, Germany, France and others would likely abandon their enthusiasm for the venture pretty quickly.

    2. pjay

      These neocon propaganda pieces have become parodies of themselves. To read the title – ‘The U.S. and Europe Are Splitting Over Ukraine’ – any rational observer would assume it was about the Europeans tiring of the conflict. But of course this is The Atlantic, so the “split” is caused by insufficient war-mongering by Trump and the “populist” wing of the GOP. The Europeans are pleading: please, please America, don’t let Trump and the evil Putin appeasers end the Fight for Democracy! We *need* you! NATO forever!

      God what despicable sh**s.

      1. Random

        Europe is the one that’s going to suffer the most from a defeat.
        Once they jumped on board they had no way out unlike the US which isn’t as affected.
        It makes perfect sense that they are more invested than the US at this point.

    3. Carolinian

      The Atlantic, home to the neocons and the neolibs, is like the anti-NC but guess it does give us something to talk about. They do turn out lots of articles. Just to the point

      The talk-show host Tucker Carlson, for instance, in a August address in Budapest, maintained that anti-Christian bias motivated American opposition to Russia.

      Such claims are ridiculous, not least because Russia is one of the least religious societies on Earth

      I must have imagined all that Pussy Riot agitation that preceded the current crisis. For those who don’t recall the Rioters were criminally charged for vandalizing a church. Putin himself is devout Orthodox and he even made it into pop media House of Cards when their Putin like character was depicted as a villain for hating the gay.

      Which is not to say this is the reason the Hillary crowd hate him but any stick to beat a dog if it can enlist their fellow Dems into mindless warmongering (yes you Rachel Maddow). The Great Game needs pawns as well as queens.

    4. ChrisFromGA

      I’m just so sick of all these state sponsored propaganda outlets masquerading as legitimate media enterprises.

      Just take the whole lot of them, the Atlantic, Business Insider, Forbes, and merge them into one giant Ministry of Truth, with Goebbels as the mascot.

      Fold it into the government as a Cabinet line agency. Nikki Haley would make a great secretary.

      Let’s cut to the chase.

  2. El Slobbo

    It would be something if that mysterious golden object turned out to be some form of plastic waste.

  3. digi_owl


    I guess the participants at Burning Man wish they were amphibians right now.

    Anyways, the problem with antidepressants, as i understand it, is that they solve the wrong end of the issue. They target the lack of energy or initiative found among those suffering from depression, thinking that will give them the will to sort out their lives. But this lack of energy may well be a defensive mechanism that keeps dem from acting on the dark thoughts that are fueling the depression.

    And solving those dark thoughts require far far more than a prescription of pills.

    1. Terry Flynn

      Indeed. IIRC, NC once drew attention to a key study whose key takeaway was “the real reason SSRIs work – somewhat – but are simultaneously dangerous for suicide risk”. The clever lab people ages ago cast doubt on the “stated” pharmacological reason why SSRIs can work. Those articles were circulating pretty much from the get go in the 1980s.

      More recently, they surprised people by claiming SSRIs do have a “real” mode of action but it is like you say – giving people energy which might be dangerous if it energises them to act on negative thoughts and the now ubiquitous warning about the “dark thoughts” you must report if experienced on SSRIs.

      Part of why this isn’t such an issue with those “old nasty” antidepressants is that they have an additional, different, primary (kicks in after 4 days) mode of action that does a lot to combat such feelings. They have their own issues of course (in the interests of balance regarding their effectiveness and I’m on one).

  4. The Rev Kev

    “For 30 years, a memorial to Nazi collaborators sat largely unnoticed just outside Philadelphia. Now it’s drawing outrage.”

    Maybe they should take a second look and see if they cannot find any memorials to al Queda and ISIS while they are at it. Yeah, that may be unlikely but you have had these Nazi memorials sitting there for decades being deliberately unnoticed in countries around the world so who can tell?

    1. digi_owl

      Basically nothing on this screams nazi unless you happen to know Cyrillic, or catch that it is styled on a iron cross.

      Never mind that where it sits would likely only get visited by people already in the know, and that is why it got left alone for so long.

      And also, didn’t sikhs get targeted after 9/11 by angry mobs that associated their headwear with Arabs?

        1. The Rev Kev

          I think that it was the bit where that memorial was dedicated to the SS 14th Waffen Grenadier Division. Intense research on my part has shown that this was not one of the Divisions that were on the Allied side in WW2. :)

            1. ambrit

              If our experience here in the North American Deep South is any guide, give it another hundred years.
              When the Ukraine finally ‘falls,’ will we next be regaled with tales of nefarious “stabs in the back” and then the rise of a glorious “Lost Cause” tradition?

              1. hk

                Already happened before: there was that stab in the back in 1921, when Poland sold the Ukrainians down the river in exchange for Galicia-Volhynia. Of course, there are now talks about Poland retaking Galicia-Volhynia again.

    2. Mikel

      “largely unnoticed”
      Not unnoticed. I’m going to take that to mean the lense is now focused on any concerns because another contentious election year is on deck.

    3. EssC etera

      The article is very annoying in its attempt at an apologetic, claiming that allying with Germany was perceived as a path to freedom.

      If you had joined, voluntarily signed up for, a German SS unit, knowing it was about death squads and rounding up and genociding Jews, Poles, Slavs, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the LGB community, the disabled, and this was the price you were willing to pay for your freedom, then….wow…you are worse than scum. Most likely you believed in racial purity.

      And then, long after the war when almost all was known about it, you still thought in retrospect it was worth commemorating this unit? Most likely you STILL believe in racial purity, the Nazi ideology.

      This is so-called journalism? Sad. Ask the most relevant question, for crying out loud.

  5. Wukchumni

    The heartbreak of psoriasis is prevalent here @ Burning Man, as playa hair from duststorms is a given, with the silver lining being that we are all safe from further incursions as you can’t gin up anymore dust on account of it being mud now.

    Got a little rain yesterday, but not too much.

    It isn’t colder at night than a witch’s tit, but maybe her hands. Nothing a 30 degree sleeping bag can’t fix though.

    The man burns today and exodus probably starts Tuesday or Wednesday as things dry out with no more rain expected.

    We aren’t in any particular hurry to get out, but lotsa peeps got to get back to the default world, so it could be a mad, mad, mad world of a scramble…

    …stay tuned mainstream media, and thank your lucky stars you have something to fill the void in what has been a really slow news week otherwise

      1. Wukchumni

        My $7 Wal*Mart day pack will have to suffice.

        The root word of fungi is of course fun, and looking forward to seeing the man go up in flames tonight

        One of my favorites this year, it features this sneaky interactive music above you in the bottom section, and is like a theramin, albeit the music comes from above, not below.

      2. digi_owl

        Reading into it, i feel i have seen something like this from their R&D before. It involved a box with various sensors hung around the neck.

        Given that most of the smarts here will be offloaded to “the cloud”, i guess it is a backpack mostly for the battery needs and that it looks a bit more fashionable than a oversized lanyard or sensor studded vest.

    1. curlydan

      Or if any Burners are ironically burned out by the mud, they could try a “harrowing 6-mile hike” like Neal Katyal (“Supreme Ct lawyer;law professor;extremist centrist”!) did as he also tried to guide people about how to do it correctly while needing to be questioned about “what did you do with your stuff?” and reminded to “encourage people to take lots of water”.

      Apparently, he’s got people to get his stuff out later.

      He made it. I hate to think of the people who tried this and maybe didn’t make it.

  6. Amateur Socialist

    Solidarity to all on this US Labor Holiday. Yes I know it should be May 1 and I know why but anyway.

    I wavered on whether or not to open my little pinball gallery today; as a worker I kind of resent the idea of working on this holiday especially. But then I decided the community may need me to help with the celebration, so I will be open for free admission from 2-6 pm to all workers, retirees and especially union members. (I figure this more or less covers everybody in this small So. VT town)

    And anticipating the concerns of the commentariat, the little basement storefront has terrible ventilation but with highs in the 80s today I will leave the front door wide open, with our 3 CR boxes running full speed. I will be in my usual respirator and the box of free N-95s will be near the entrance as usual. Solidarity!

  7. Alice X

    >Labor Day is May 1: Today is a boss’s holiday.

    Ok, I haven’t read it yet (I will), but in making a comment elsewhere I revisited this piece by Eric Chase from 1993 at the I.W.W. website.

    The Brief Origins of May Day

    At its national convention in Chicago, held in 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (which later became the American Federation of Labor), proclaimed that “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from and after May 1, 1886.” The following year, the FOTLU, backed by many Knights of Labor locals, reiterated their proclamation stating that it would be supported by strikes and demonstrations. At first, most radicals and anarchists regarded this demand as too reformist, failing to strike “at the root of the evil.” A year before the Haymarket Massacre, Samuel Fielden pointed out in the anarchist newspaper, The Alarm, that “whether a man works eight hours a day or ten hours a day, he is still a slave.”

  8. Wukchumni

    I heard that Mike Pence-if elected President, promises to enact Labor Day festivities, where if you deliver come Monday (RIP Jimmy) not only are all hospital expenses free, but you also get a Gideon Bible and a years worth of formula & diapers.

    Condolences go out to those moms that just missed by having their bundle of joy emerge on Sunday or Tuesday.

    1. ambrit

      Don’t forget one of the ‘Hidden Codicils;’ to wit, babies born on Labour Day are exempt from mandatory organ harvesting regulations.

      1. Hepativore

        I have to work on Labor Day, as the only holidays we get off are Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day, and no, we do not get holiday pay.

        There was talk of organizing a union around five years ago at our store, but corporate said that if we did that, then maybe we only need one store in town instead of two locations, so it never got off the ground. I need my job too much to be the sacrificial lamb for a union drive thanks in part to Biden’s refusal to follow through on his student loan relief promise.

        I think that the doctrine of “at-will” employment needs to be changed to that of requiring a just cause. It is simply too easy for employers to wantonly violate labor laws with impunity as at-will gives them any pretext that they need to terminate an employee even if it was for an illegal reason. There is also the fact that it is very difficult to legally challenge an employer in court for labor violations due to the difference in legal resources of an employer vs that of the average person, and even if an employer is found guilty, the penalty is usually such a slap in the wrist that most companies would consider it the cost of doing business.

  9. Lexx

    ‘Zillow Is Rolling Out 1 Percent Down Payment for Home Purchases. It’s a Stroke of Genius’

    Okay, I skimmed this article several times and may still have missed the part about the length of the contract… the real stroke of genius. Is that over 20 years? 25? 30? 50?! How low can they go on a down payment isn’t the right question from the borrower’s POV, but how long will it take to pay off. Yes, I’m old, I still think in terms of ownership.

    And when they say ‘qualified’, do they mean ‘has a pulse’?

    1. digi_owl

      Ugh, gets me thinking about some stories around here about houses having built on leased (99 year contract usually) land.

      Becomes all kinds of ugly when the original “homeowner” pass away.

      1. Carla

        Community Land Trusts (CLT) provide a mechanism for the land lease to be inherited by owners’ children:

        “How Community Land Trusts Work

        Community land trusts are a form of shared equity ownership. CLTs use public and private investment funds to acquire land on behalf of a specific community. The CLT owns the land in perpetuity (that is, forever).

        Community residents can purchase their homes but not the land on which the houses sit. Instead, residents enter into low-cost, long-term property leases with the CLT, known as ground leases, typically for a 99-year period. Monthly charges for the ground lease can be $100 or lower.

        Although CLT residents can never sell the land their home is on, they otherwise have the same rights as other homeowners. During the term of the ground lease, they enjoy full and exclusive use of the property, as well as common privacy rights associated with homeownership.

        CLT residents also have many of the same obligations as other homeowners, including liability for property taxes. Historically, property taxes have presented difficulties for CLTs when states assessed taxes based on the actual market value of CLT property rather than the managed values that the CLT sets. 

        CLT residents can sell their homes, although the CLT has a right of first refusal for every sale, and there is a cap on resale profits so that the housing remains affordable for the next owner. CLT residents may not sublet their properties. Instead, CLT leases typically include an occupancy requirement that the property must serve as the owner’s primary residence. Critically, however, CLTs allow residents to pass the property lease and ownership of the home to their children, which promotes generational wealth building within families.”

        I’ve read that in some CLTs, the land lease is as low as $100 a YEAR.

    2. ambrit

      Also sounds suspiciously similar to the pre-2008 Panic “Liars Loans.”
      We all know how well that worked out.

      1. mrsyk

        Absolutely, this was the first thing that came to mind when I was reading the article. I guess that pursuing the American dream requires more tolerance for risk than it once did. Besides, every foreclosure, every sheriff’s sale, every personal debt restructuring generates positive cashflow for the PMC.

    3. playon

      Maybe it will be like Japan where the great-grandchildren are still paying off the loan 100 years later.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “US business trust in China is wearing thin, warns US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo”

    Say, does anybody remember the time when a Chinese official came over to the US and told them to change their laws and regulations to suit Chinese businesses or else their trust in the US would wear thin? No, me neither. Gina Raimondo may be doing what old Joe Biden wants here to do by throwing around her weight and making demands of another country but that style of diplomacy has had its run and it has proven to be a disaster in practice. I guess that the Biden White House thinks that as there is a Little Trouble in Big China, that they can force their demands on them but I would not bet the house on this boorish type of behaviour.

  11. ChrisRUEcon


    Pittsburgh Post Gazette link is broken .. find real link here.

    That article is a doozy! Too many juicy excerpts!

    I wish they all had good options to vote for – perhaps Brother West (who was not mentioned) might be able to draw independents such as these.

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        LOL … Yep!

        > “Joe Biden has taken care of infrastructure that Donald Trump ignored.”

        … and which multi-verse are you from ma’am?

      1. britzklieg

        P & N aren’t the only ones dancing, but my jig is for a different reason while they’d best curb their chop-licking enthusiasm… neither can beat Trump, imo.

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          > neither can beat Trump, imo

          Oooooooh … ;-)

          I dunno … Biden dropping out would be a reset … I can’t concur based on that.

          Trump beats Biden … this much I believe. Could a Newsom or a Pritzker come in after Biden falters and (try to) articulate some kind of “new contract with America” or some such?!


          There is also, in my estimation, a kind of exhaustion with repeats … If Biden is not there, that exhaustion falls upon Trump … also younger people joining the voter rolls.

          IMO there’s too much uncertainty if Biden drops out to assert that Trump beats whomever replaces #Jo3yN0rdStre4m.

  12. Lex

    Can C-R boxes make a clean room? Yes, of course! The C-R box is simply a “crude”, DIY version of the same methods by which clean room are built. I say crude only because a true clean room will have more overall control, for example making the room positive pressure, higher grade filtration (HEPA) and perhaps significant dehumidification.

    Serious clean rooms and even hospital ORs are not pleasant places though. Mostly because they’re dehumidified to levels well below human comfort. No home built system will achieve those levels unless you live in the north, it’s winter and you’re heating with forced air. In commercial settings dehumidification is passive via desiccant wheels rather than compressor dehumidfiers (which don’t work well outside median parameters).

    Make more C-R boxes. They’re an elegant solution.

  13. divadab

    “Swedish liberals call for permanent NATO bases in country”

    Man now that is a wonder – “please invade us Mr./Ms/Mx Imperial master and impose an army of occupation upon us”.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Wait until those very same Swedish liberals demand that the US base nukes in their country to make them safer.

  14. John Beech

    Regarding 1% down, stroke of genius it is *not* because it means a lack of skin in the game. Or are memories so short jingle-mail has been forgotten? Jingle mail being folks mailing the keys to the mortgage holder and walking away from the obligation.

  15. chris

    I haven’t seen too much discussion of “Rich Men North of Richmond” on here. Apologies if I missed it. After his recent appearance on Joe Rogan, Christopher Anthony’s song is causing a ruckus around the MD/NoVa circus. The only article I’ve read that points back to how out of touch the talking heads are with respect to what’s in the song was published by Spiked.

    It is amazing to listen to my friends and acquaintances in the area simultaneously criticize Anthony for “punching down on welfare recipients who are fat” while also criticizing said welfare recipients for being on welfare and not having better health habits. It is amazing to see these well educated people guffaw over the assuredly QAnon linked conspiracy in the song and then go quiet when you ask them who was in Epstein’s little black book.

    It’s odd how popular the song is because I don’t hear it being played anywhere but everyone has heard it. It’s not blaring from radios. It’s not on speakers at parks when people are having picnics. It’s not played at community pools. But it’s number 1 on the charts.

    What I think I see when I observe the reactions to “Rich Men” in the well to do areas of the world I frequent is fear. This may be the start of some wealthy people discovering how much they are despised by the proles they’ve oppressed for so long. The dawn of them seeing how ignorant they are of a society that does not consider them heroes or even nice people. They’re the enemy.

    Which makes me wonder how long before they react in even more draconian terms to kill any cultural rebellion before it leads to something more significant.

      1. chris

        And he did so while on Joe Rogan! Hard to imagine a combination of circumstances more likely to cause an apoplectic PMC reaction. Also a great example of why Rogan is a legitimately good interviewer. It has been so refreshing to listen to people like Tucker Carlson and Joe Rogan interview people. They let their guests talk. You find out a lot more from the conversation. I do listen to Krystal and Saagar too, but their style is too aggressive for me most of the time.

    1. John

      “Well, God, if you’re 5-foot-3 and you’re 300 pounds / Taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds”
      Oliver Anthony
      Maybe it’s more of a critique of our corrupt and abusive welfare system that serves big ag and industrial food rather than people in need. For some people those fudge rounds are just as deadly as the Sackler’s drugs or fentanyl. Just takes longer to kill.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>For some people those fudge rounds are just as deadly as the Sackler’s drugs or fentanyl. Just takes longer to kill.

        True, but sugar and caffeine in those fudge rounds are also boosters that can help one to get through the shift. Then add that the corn syrup that is in all that “food” whose creation is subsidized by Uncle Sam. Fudge has never been healthy, but the homemade original recipe stuff is far less unhealthy.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that the original idea of hot bedding goes back to US submarines where there were more sailors than beds to save on space. One sailor gets up to start his day and is replaced by another sailor coming off shift. This setup here reminds me of the story of the Catholic Bishop who heard that one of the Parish priests slept in the same bed as his housekeeper so went to investigate. The young priest admitted that it was true that he slept in the same bed as the comely housekeeper but said he kept a wooden board running down the middle of the bed between them. When the Bishop asked him what he did when he felt the temptations of passion, the priest replied ‘Oh, I just remove the board.’

      1. mrsyk

        Lol, and straight at the “requires boundaries” hand wave at morals we once had but are willing to auction off to the highest bidder. It’s like private equity on an individual basis where once you sequester your beliefs from each other they become easier to commoditize over your now divided moral objections.

      2. Carolinian

        Funny. Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable had the “walls of Jericho” (a blanket on a string) when they had to share a bed in It Happened One Night.

        Being the ’30s they did have to get married before the walls came tumbling down. But prior to that we certainly knew what they were thinking in this great, great movie.

      3. divadab

        “The young priest admitted that it was true that he slept in the same bed as the comely housekeeper”

        In Quebec, which until a generation ago was majority very observant Roman Catholic, the old-age home for retired priests and nuns also hosts retired housekeepers of the priests. Stands to reason, I think the logic of turning a blind eye to those relationships was to ensure the priests were taken care of in that domain and not tempted by the daughters and wives of the parish.

        Incidentally, the celibacy rule for priests was originally a prohibition on Married priests – so their positions would not become hereditary sinecures (aka a prohibition of Simony). It was expected that priests, being natural men, would have sexual relationships but their offspring would be illegitimate and therefore not able to inherit family assets as such.

      4. JBird4049

        Hot bunking is older than that. It was also a Victorian/Industrial Revolution practice. I have read multiple British, American, German accounts, mostly, mostly, but not always, of New York, London, Berlin, and IIRC Vienna. They are always blurbs like btw at such and such place, the tenants rents a bed by the shift.

        Like child labor that existed and is making a comeback. (And those prepubescent child prostitutes and brothels that had them in New York, London, and New Orleans in the same era.)

        It is really, really disturbing to realize that practices that I started to read about as a high schooler are coming back. It was occasionally with just a shiver of horror. That little shiver that can run along the spine. Those large European and American cities were horrible places although the worst of it was cordoned off from polite society, from the good people.

        However, it was about things I believed, in my naïveté, were long past and nicely dead, but who could blame me? Homeless encampments, lines of people sleeping on the street, gilded age levels of corruption, child labor, hunger, epidemic diseases, diseases that only regularly exist in slums or war zones, now hot bunking. At least we do not have brothels with prepubescent children. Or do we?

        It still feels like I am being a paranoiac twit and honestly, the 19th century was still far worse in levels of misery, disease, and sheer death than today’s levels, but for how long?

        I really do feel like I am going insane in some dystopian horror.

        1. mrsyk

          “However, it was about things I believed, in my naïveté, were long past and nicely dead, but who could blame me?” Add the war on science to that list.

        2. Lexx

          I think that what we read about here are the ups and downs of ’empires’, the broad strokes perhaps, the details that go with those strokes that get glossed over in the history books, in hindsight, but were painfully evident to those living through their own short time on earth.

          We have Covid, this is the Covid time, but plague has always been with us and used to their advantage by the powerful. Even if they didn’t know exactly how diseases were transmitted, oligarchs knew those who knew the signs of what was coming and used that foreknowledge to protect themselves and profit. We revel in what is new, but what most of what we’re seeing and living through is old, very old. There’s a kind of weird comfort in that knowledge, it’s so very human. Disaster too connects us to our ancestors. :-)

          1. mrsyk

            Brilliant. Chris touches on this in an intersectional remark below regarding republican presidential candidate Ramaswamy, “He’s pointing out that the only reason some on the right are looking more positively at climate change related legislation is because they’ve discovered how much money can be made when you paint a new power plant green.”

  16. Mildred Montana

    Re: Vivek Ramaswamy

    Can’t stand the man. My hatred is visceral, but for all the right (to me) reasons. Here’s a list of them:

    1. His “glittering Ivy League credentials” in the words of PBS’s Firing Line. Ugh.
    2. He calls himself an “entrepreneur”. In actuality, he is a FAILED entrepreneur. From a profile in the New Yorker:

    “…[Ramaswamy]then started a pharmaceutical company, Roivant Sciences, where he made hundreds of millions of dollars. That a chunk of this wealth derived from a failed effort to bring an Alzheimer’s drug to market is 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘥𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘴.” [Emphasis mine]

    3. He 𝘪𝘴 a success, however, at making money with hedge funds, venture capital, IPOs, and asset management. In other words he gets rich off other people’s money. File him under The Bezzle.

    4. Rabid climate change denier. ‘Nuff said.

    Of course this glib phoney has no chance at the Republican nomination. He languishes in the polls among the many also-rans with single-digit support. Still, there are a few fools who tout him as a contender and a rational choice. They remind me of losing bettors at the racetrack, desperately looking for a longshot to beat Secretariat.

    1. Alice X

      Yeah, I saw him in a Glenn Greenwald interview, he was execrable. But is he really running for The Orange Man’s VP? I dunno. I don’t vote for duopoly cretins in any event.

    2. Carolinian

      Trump just said he’s great (probably because he defended Trump in the debate) implying he might be a good VP choice.

      Aren’t we covered up with glib phoneys? At least Ramaswamy is against the war unlike Nikki Haley who just luuuuvs the war.

    3. chris

      I kind of hand wave the “making money of other people” issue. So it has always been. Aside from Cornell West is there a candidate who is running and doesn’t have Ivy League credentials? And even West has them from his time as a professor.

      The climate change angle is interesting because he’s right in what he says, but his assessment of the better policy is incorrect. His famous equivocation isn’t that climate change is a hoax, but that the climate change agenda is a hoax. He’s said that current climate change adaptation plans are fueled by fossil energy and that the current proposals are likely to kill more people than climate change. He’s right! He’s pointing out that the only reason some on the right are looking more positively at climate change related legislation is because they’ve discovered how much money can be made when you paint a new power plant green. He’s right about that too!

      Now, based on multiple discussions on NC, you could take those observations and derive many other policies that produce better results for people and the planet. Vivek is not advocating for anything like that. In this I think he is the advent if Trump 2.0. “I point out everything that’s wrong with the world, which you public citizen agree with, however, I will not do anything to fix it. I’ll run for office being an outsider no matter how long I’m on the inside or how I continue to profit off the problems I highlight.”

      I can see him riding to the top if there’s an implosion in the Republican party or the DNC decides to get even dirtier when fighting Trump.

      1. Mildred Montana

        He did point out in one of his interviews the “virtue-signaling” and “green-washing” that is some corporations’ disingenuous response to climate critics. Fair point. But to call climate-change a “hoax” is going too far. And to say further(as he did in his interview on Firing Line) that he is in favor of “prosperity” above all is just unrealistic. The kind of prosperity I think he is talking about is what got us to this point in the first place.

        As far as his and other candidates’ chances in both nomination races, it’s not impossible that the doctors or The Grim Reaper will have a say in the outcomes. Of the two favorites, one is growing increasingly infirm and the other is pretty long in the tooth.

        Finally, I can’t “hand-wave” away his making money for nothing off other people. It’s a personal thing. I had a bad experience with a financial advisor once upon a time. That memory dies hard.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        He loves debaters’ games. True, he limits it to “agenda,” and as this video among many does a nice job of demonstrating, the “electrifying the Titanic” idea is a hoax. There’s not the mining capacity and in some case the reserves to produce this massive electrification.

        But Ramaswamy preaches worship of hydrocarbons. Drill, baby, drill. No talk about the carbon issues or the rapidly decreasing Energy Return on Investment. Humanity benefited so much from hydrocarbons, he says. We must prioritize human welfare, he says, like that’s not what people are pleading for. He as much as anyone knows it’s all about profit over human welfare, but he’ll try to sell anything from drugs that don’t work to ideas that are deadly.

  17. John Beech

    To the Atlantic article . . . as a usually reliable Republican voter, I am *not* opposed to aid for Ukraine. Don’t bet Donald Trump is, ether.

    As I recall, his chief complaint with NATO was Europeans weren’t pulling their weight (recall, 2% of GDP is legally supposed to go to fund NATO). So what DJT actually did was open the discourse and air the complaint. Basically, getting them to realize the free ride was over.

    After all, who in real life likes it when someone clambers on their back and cracks the whip . . . without doing enough of the wagon pulling? Why should ‘We the people’ be any different in this regard? Nobody likes being taken for a chump and Europe has advantaged themselves of our generosity. Time to pony up.

    1. Screwball

      I agree that other NATO countries should be pulling their weight. BUT, as a US taxpayer, I have a problem with sending almost as much money to Ukraine as their annual GDP for (our) crooked politicians, oligarchs, and slimeball grifters like Zelenski to launder and steal for their own self wealth.

      And on top of that, all these people who are so gun-ho for this war, and getting the evil Putin, should drive themselves right quick to the nearest recruiting office, sign up, grab a gun and go have at it.

      War is a racket, someone once said. This one appears to be the crème de la crème of grifts and rackets.

      Screw this war and all the warmongers who support it. We are living in an ever worsening $hithole due to money dumped in endless, pointless, greed driven wars. Let’s take care of people at home who so desperately need it.

    2. Alice X

      >Time to pony up.

      It is way past time to disband NATO altogether. Its sole purpose is to promote US hegemony and arm sales.

      My party line doctrine is anarchists unite!

    3. scott s.

      If NATO countries “pulled their weight” I assume they would expect a bigger say in how it’s run. For current US strategy, the existing situation is a feature, not a bug.

    4. The Rev Kev

      The Europeans did float the idea of having a proper EU militarily but when the US realized that with an EU military, that NATO would become obsolete as would US control of any European military, they thumped down on that idea but hard. Another factor was that an EU military would invest in and source weapons from the EU mostly eliminating the need of buying wonky US weapons like the F-35. The US would never allow that and you must remember how the US made a law saying that it is illegal for other countries to buy Russian weapons for example. This ‘free rider’ meme is just that – a meme – and hides the fact that the US is running a high-end protection racket. Smedley Butler would have recognized it.

  18. The Rev Kev

    ‘❗️🇵🇱🇺🇦Polish volunteer on what is happening in the AFU: “they have no one to fight”.’

    Several months ago I read that well over 2,100 Poles had been killed in action in the Ukraine but recently I heard that by now it may be even as much as 10,000 dead Poles. If that is just the dead, then there must be thousands if not tens of thousands of Polish wounded who went back to Poland. And you can bet that these guys are telling their fellow countrymen what the real score is with the Ukraine which appears to be undercutting the Polish government’s support for this war. And this tweet is just an example of this happening.

    1. JBird4049

      Historically, a good rule of thumb is 2-3 wounded for every death although with a good medical system the ratio can be much higher. Ukraine’s medical system seems bad, but I would still think at least thirty thousand injured for those ten thousand dead. Lovely.

  19. Not Again

    The latest WSJ poll was just released showing a deadlock between our two geriatric candidates. If you want to see what a real insurrection looks like, wait till you see what the Democrats do if Trump ends up with 270 electoral votes in 2024. Will Martin Sheen have to come out of retirement? Will the border with Canada look like Saigon, 1975? Will Democrats start believing in the Second Amendment?

    If the 2024 general election for President were held today, for whom would you vote?
    Registered voters Aug
    Republican Donald Trump …………………………………………….40
    Democrat Joe Biden …………………………………………………….39
    Green Party candidate Cornel West…………………………………2
    Libertarian Lars Mapstead ……………………………………………..1
    (Undecided) ………………………………………………………………..17

    1. chris

      On the Trump front, something that I haven’t seen discussed is, what happens to the Secret Service detail assigned to him if he goes to serve time? Are we really going to condemn these people to the rest of Trump’s life in some kind of prison? I think not.

      I can only imagine the howls of outrage from the Blue Anon Faithful when they realize Trump will likely be under house arrest. If he actually wins the election then I can expect all hell to break loose.

      The thing that surprised me the most post 2016 and during the summer of “mostly peaceful” riots was how quickly the Left got guns and religion. The “let’s punch a Nazi” crowd turned violent very quick. I expect that to occur again if the Trumpen Fuhrer ascends to office. If The Greatest President Ever manages to clear out the bureaucracy as he has threatened, I expect to see all of my “Blue No Matter Who” neighbors who work for the federal government to start open carrying the instant the staffing orders come through.

      1. Alice X

        >what happens to the Secret Service detail assigned to him if he goes to serve time?

        I suppose they would just show up for their detail and check into the hotel with Orange Man, for their shift.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Could we please dispense with the fiction that Trump and biden are equally “geriatric?”

      Trump maintains a schedule and sustains a stress level that would destroy most ordinary americans, while biden has one foot in the memory care center and the other foot in the grave.

      It is not about chronological “age.”

      Adult wall street whiz kids, who could be their great-grandchildren, still slobber over the investing “prowess” of warren buffet and charlie munger. munger will be 100 years old next New Year’s Day, making him 18 years older than biden (and 18 years older than mcconnell and 9 years older than feinstein). buffet is 6 years younger than munger so, unless you’re biden, the math is simple.

      There is really no comparison “geriatric-wise” between Trump and biden.

      PS. The scariest thing about this is that biden and mcconnell are only 10 years older than I am. I gotta get off this computer and go ride my bike.

          1. Pat

            Biden has also had to admit to plagiarism at least twice that I know about. And he has repeatedly been shown to have lied about numerous things in various campaigns and public appearances.

            I may not think he has spent the day drinking, but I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell anyone who thinks that man has been a teetotaler.

          1. SocalJimObjects

            I have always wondered about what will happen if Washington DC were to be wiped out in an attack? That possibility is probably zero, but does that mean there will be no way to launch America’s nuclear arsenal? So my thinking is, the nuclear launch codes are just protocol, if someone in a nuclear silo wants to launch a Minuteman or two, he’ll just have to press a big red button. It’s probably more important for that guy not to be drunk.

            Also, under the two man rule, the President does not have the authority to launch a nuclear attack on his own.

    3. curlydan

      OMG, Cornel West and the Greens just threw this theoretical election to Trump!! Because we all know that those 2% who theoretically voted Green party would have of course theoretically voted for Biden if the Greens weren’t on this theoretical ballot.

      1. LifelongLib

        Yup, that’s how it’ll be played. Although as West points out in a video that was linked here earlier, most people who vote for him would never vote for Biden (or Trump) and there’s a huge number of eligible voters who don’t vote at all.

      2. Glen

        Yes, except…

        Half of Americans Don’t Vote. What Are They Thinking?

        It’s from 2020, but I would not expect the numbers to shift that much for the next election.

        And I fully expect to hear all the crazy rebooted stories about how Nader or Stein or (next in line) West cost the Democratic party the election.

        But the party that lost the election? It LOST the election because it did not do enough to win, and that’s about all there is to it.

    4. flora

      “Will Martin Sheen come out of retirement?”

      omg, that’s funny. Sheen was in one of the TV ads run in my state after the Nov 2016 election performing a script encouraging all duly sworn state electors to become “faithless electors” and vote against the state’s winning candidate at the Electoral College vote. He wasn’t the only actor doing this. Desperate for another acting role again? Putting their art above their common sense? (Assuming they had any.) / ;)

  20. MaryLand

    Political report from flyover country: my sister lives in a small town that was rural and became somewhat of a bedroom community for a medium sized city in the Midwest. The town has a population of about 4,000. She went to their annual Labor Day parade at this town this weekend. At the end of the parade are usually local politicians, tractors, big trucks, and horses with their riders. This time it included a big truck with Trump posters all over it.

    She texted me, “there were no cheers or yells for it. Just total silence from the crowd. I was totally shocked
    by the looks on people’s faces—no smiles. No fist pumps. Just absolute silence. Never thought I’d see that reaction in this town!”

    It’s the town we grew up in and we know there are plenty of loud mouths with big beer bellies there. It’s a mostly red area on the outskirts of a county that goes
    blue. It’s pretty typical of the small towns in that area that used to be farming communities.

    Very interesting for 2024. Maybe the media coverage of Trump’s arrest, etc. is having the effect desired by the Dems.

    1. divadab

      Perhaps they figured out Trump is just another WWF-style fake. Maybe the Democrat Party will figure it out eventually……until then, it works for them to keep Trump as the heel in their show.

    2. pjay

      I don’t know the reason for the (non) reaction; perhaps they were irritated at the partisan political message at the end of their parade. But I was born and raised in a small town in a midwestern “flyover” state, and I have many friends and relatives in such places. My overwhelming sense is that Trump’s arrest, etc., is having quite the opposite effect – which would seem to be verified by polling data (such as it is). Even in my moderately blue suburban county in upstate NY, a significant segment of the population is turned off by the blatant politicized lawfare to keep Trump handcuffed.

      I could be wrong. But my impression is that the Dems and their media partners are doing much more to help Trump than to hurt him.

      1. Nikkikat

        I was living in southern California when Trump ran and won against Hillary. Very place I went there were people wanting to talk about the election. I was checking out at a Home Depot store when I stuck up a conversation with the clerk. She declares she was going to vote for Trump. Railed against Hillary, whom she had always hated for sticking by bill Clinton and all of his women, just so she could stay in politics and run for President. She said she was sick to death of these rich people taking advantage and she hated the DC crowd so much that she felt she was striking a blow against people like Pelosi, Hillary and Obama. They look down their nose at people like me, the working class.
        I heard this same screed from everyone I talked to about Trump. I was therefore not surprised at all when he won.
        They were more about voting against Hillary than for Trump. The stupid Democrats are going to do it again. Now I hear the same. I’m voting for him because of what the democrats are trying to do. Only a banana republic would try to have their opponent arrested on fake charges.

      2. mrsyk

        Observational note, partner and I took a drive to Grafton, NY (east of Albany) yesterday to climb the fire tower and have a gander. Along the drive, Trump supporting banners, signs and general festoons in abundance with a capital A. Much of this ephemera-plus sporting the 2024 date.

    3. IM Doc

      Exact opposite in my blue leaning area.
      Trump signs are emerging everywhere. A whole new phenomenon – big Trump flags flying everywhere. Multiple young Latino and Black men in my practice voicing their adamant support for him – way way more than 2022.
      The Trump car in the July 4th parade brought on screaming so loud it hurt my ears. The Latinos in the crowd were going ape. The Biden car brought on loud boos. Seriously loud.
      And this area is literally as blue as it gets.
      I think Donna Brazeal was correct today when she was talking about a movement. It is sure starting to look that way to me. I sense the Dems are not only losing independent voters but now clearly some of their key constituency is peeling away. I will say if it is Trump and Biden again, I will not leave it blank like I did the last time. It will be Trump that I vote. And I am a lifelong Dem. But it will not be for him it will be against what the Dems have become. They must be put down. I assure you I am not alone. If they manage to get RFK on the ballot, that will likely be a completely different story.

      1. britzklieg

        Given those choices I too will vote for Trump. I swore I’d not vote for Biden in 2020 and soiled myself by changing my mind. That won’t happen again. And there’s not another mainstream Dem I’ll vote for either. If RFKJ defies the near insurmountable odds and is the nominee I’d vote for him despite his execrable take on apartheid Israel. But any other dem that supported Biden, overtly or silently, is off the list. I’ll even forge my vote for Dr. West if it seems Biden has even a small chance at 4 more years. Joe’s gotta go.

    4. playon

      Back in 2016 I was in a small western town that had a good-sized rodeo on Labor Day along with the attendant parade. Near the end of the parade was a flatbed truck full of Trump supporters, covered with Trump posters. Same thing, the crowd lining the streets went silent. Standing just in front of me were a young Mexican couple and their small daughter — I had to wonder what was going through their minds at that moment.

      1. britzklieg

        And yet Trump won that election while gaining significant support from Latinos, whom the arrogant and malign DNC took for granted.

    5. kareninca

      Are they fist pumping for other things?

      The people I see who have had a couple of bouts of covid do not have any fist pumping in them for anything.

  21. Lexx

    ‘Union Pacific still says a leak caused 30 tons of chemicals to go missing’

    One might imagine then that the plants/weeds along the 800 mile back trail for the train would turn a lush and vivid green come the first adequate rain… if the ammonium nitrate leaked. Mystery solved.

  22. Dave

    Re: corsi boxes – built one when we had wildfire smoke and ran it along side an air meter that had pm2.5 & 10 it did really really well I was super impressed. It could lower my entire downstairs from pm2.5 – 70 down to like 8 in 40 minutes. Outside levels were at like 160. Probably 800sq ft, forget the rating on the filters not the highest end but almost (needed square) I think they were 10s. Very happy with the air meter and corsi box. Feel like Smoke was a good test case since it was testable with the meter and nose.

  23. antidlc

    What to know about COVID as hospitalizations go up and some places bring back masks

    Topol told USA TODAY the number of people affected by long COVID could be more than 10 million people in the United States. The symptoms can range in severity, and can include constant fatigue, “brain fog,” cardiac issues neurologic symptoms and others, he said.

    Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said earlier this year that about one in 10 infections could lead to conditions after a COVID infection, “suggesting that hundreds of millions of people will need longer-term care.”

    While risk of a serious outcome from acute infection still remains higher for people with underlying conditions and the elderly, Topol said risk for long COVID is present for anyone regardless of their age or prior health status. The chances of long COVID are reduced when an infected person uses available treatments like Paxlovid and when they are up-to-date on vaccines and boosters, Topol said.

    (emphasis mine)

      1. Yves Smith

        Topol does have a tendency to be early among orthodox types to state when Covid policies are not working. So he’s very useful for what amounts to admissions against interest.

  24. Roger Blakely

    #COVID-19 – No, you don’t have the flu already. It’s probably COVID. Insider

    The article mentions that wastewater samples show plenty of SARS-CoV-2 but no flu virus.

    I have posted this before, but it is worth posting again. My theory is that you can feel really sick with COVID-19 and not test positive. I have heard people say, “I didn’t test positive, so it can’t be COVID-19.” My theory is that the immune system is often good enough at knocking down the virus to keep virus loads in the nose below detectable levels.

    Something else that is interesting that isn’t being talked about is the tolerance for infection. People in this society are finally beginning to let go of what I call the zombie-not-zombie notion of COVID-19. You are either a zombie because a zombie bit you or you’re not a zombie. It seems that health care a public health professionals don’t care about your COVID-19. The only thing that matters is whether or not you are spreading SARS-CoV-2. We are using the COVID-19 tests as a proxy for transmission. Your body can be riddled with SARS-CoV-2, as is mine, but as long as we can’t find SARS-CoV-2 up your nose with a rapid antigen test, you are probably not spreading SARS-CoV-2, and it’s all good. Get back to work and stop whining.

    My experience is that minimizing the amount of SARS-CoV-2 that I inhale continues to be worthwhile. Once again the zombie-not-zombie idea of COVID-19 is flawed. There is more to COVID-19 than testing positive. The more SARS-CoV-2 that I inhale, the more intense are my COVID-19 symptoms. Efforts to wear masks and respirators and to install Corsi-Rosenthal boxes continue to be worthwhile.

  25. Mildred Montana

    >Netflix is giving you bad taste Unherd

    Just skimmed the article; not that interested in algorithms making suggestions. Perhaps I am being too dismissive of them, but I can choose movies, books, and music by myself by other means, thank you very much.

    However, the comments were interesting, For any Brits reading, they contain a long thread (oldest first, about twenty down) on the apparently sad state of BBC radio. Seems to mirror the wretched decline of Canada’s public radio, the CBC.

  26. Katniss Everdeen

    If you hadn’t posted this, I would have.

    “By 2030, these giant corporations (black rock, state street and vanguard) are on track to own 60% of the single-family homes in our country.”

    To my mind, “we” have an absolute responsibility to not only prevent but reverse this.

    1. Socal Rhino

      I think he’s confused Blackrock and Blackstone, and I vaguely recall reading that Blackstone has been pulling back on housing investments. The three he names have in common being administrators for investments owned by their clients, in funds and ETFs.

    2. mrsyk

      “By 2030, these giant corporations (black rock, state street and vanguard) are on track to own 60% of the single-family homes in our country.”
      The current interest rate climate says otherwise.

  27. Jason Boxman

    Most Americans have gone years without a raise: survey

    Salary woes are widespread in the current economy. Real wages for American workers, adjusted for inflation, are lower now than at the start of 2020, according to Federal Reserve data.

    Remember Bidenomics?

    LOL yeah.

    But a newly released OnePoll survey of 2,000 American adults finds ennui in the workplace.

    I had to look that one up:

    a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement: he succumbed to ennui and despair.

    French, of course.

    Clearly the author wanted to be clear as to not belonging to that ordinary group of workers.

    Doesn’t mention length of tenure; If you started a job in the past year, you probably haven’t had a raise anyway. And with all the talk of quit rates, some of those surveyed likely haven’t been at the current job for a year.

      1. LifelongLib

        I agree with the overall point, but using the Depression as a comparison may be misleading. I’ve heard stories from people who lived through it that if you had a job, you could live better during the Depression than before (or later) because prices had dropped so much. It was an anomalous situation.

  28. Jason Boxman

    Housing market affordability is so strained that couples want down payment cash rather than a wedding gift

    The Knot does not take a percentage of cash registry gifts and it is free to start a fund, link a bank account, and share your registry, Haight adds. First home funds can be especially valuable for couples now that housing affordability is increasingly strained. For reference, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. in 2022 was $30,000, according to The Knot.

    (bold mine)

    What?! That’s insane. Nothing says getting off to a good start financially like blowing all your money. I’d like to see the breakdown by income, though. I’d guess wealthy people are drawing up the average a lot.

    Cassie and Oliver ended up purchasing the 900-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath condo, which was listed at $300,000 for $292,000 at a 7% mortgage rate. They also pay about $600 extra in HOA fees each month, which brings their total housing cost per month to about $2,300.

    That’s insane, wow. I guess that’s less than half what you’d pay in Boston metro these days though.

  29. antidlc

    “Every Door You Open Ultimately Leads To Blackstone”

    The Lever’s founder David Sirota is featured in a new docuseries scrutinizing one of the world’s most powerful billionaires

    Here at The Lever, we’ve made it our mission to expose the people and corporations manipulating the levers of power. It’s why we’re excited to unveil David Sirota’s work in The Ruling Class, a new docuseries by Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney that profiles members of the social and business elite who use their outsized influence to manipulate the world around them.

    David joins the series for its episode “American Buyout,” which explains the rise of Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity firm.

    As Sirota notes in the program:

    “Private equity lurks one or two layers in the background from the things that we interface with in our daily lives. So Steve Schwarzman is fairly low profile compared to how powerful he is. It’s like the Wizard of Oz. Every door you open ultimately leads to Blackstone running larger and larger parts of the economy. He really is the man behind the curtain.”

    You can watch “American Buyout” and other The Ruling Class episodes on power brokers like Elon Musk and Betsy DeVos on the MGM+ streaming service.

  30. Mary

    “Cruise robotic vehicle blocks ambulance, person dies.”

    Whenever we see one of these vehicles sitting unoccupied in traffic, a common occurence in the northeast corner of San Francisco, we spray paint the cameras and sensors and slash the tires. Enough of of this job destroying, elite enriching bullshit!

      1. chris

        As long as people are discussing illegal property damage, please limit the damage to things that don’t hurt other people. Setting the batteries off creates a hazard for people in the area and the emergency responders. Once those batteries start going they’ll keep reignited until all the energy inside is spent.

  31. Glen

    Good discussion here:

    The New Atlas LIVE: The Duran on NATO’s Industrial-Scale Problems in Ukraine

    The first part is about the Ukraine war.

    I found the discussion that starts about midway with a very good discussion about the relative comparisons of world economies as more interesting and eye opening. The amount of cope occurring in the Western press to explain relative economic strengths between world powers is frankly getting embarrassing.

  32. Indus

    Yesterday Henry Moon Pie, kindly shared a link to Nate Hagens vlog/podcast on EV. From that link got another interesting link to economics and climate change etc..which I found quite interesting.

    Yes I know NC has been saying pretty much saying the same, but still it’s good to see a good panel coming together and talking about economics and how misguided analysis it is producing esplly w.r.t climate change.

    Those interested please watch Unlearning Economics: Jon Erickson, Josh Farley, Steve Keen, Kate Raworth | Reality Roundtable

    Thank you HMP. / NC crowd.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Indus, I agree that roundtable is excellent. I’m beginning to think Raworth belongs with Carson and Meadows, women who’ve been waking us up to he problem and pointing toward responses.

      And Keen’s sarcasm about neoliberal economists is hilarious.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      That frog looks stoned when he looks at you in a certain way. ;) I think it is a really warty frog.

  33. zach

    Regarding the Burning Man Fiasco – if, as humans, we observed 70k+ of anything other than humans congregating in one locale for 10 straight days, we would likely be alarmed, and depending on the organism, may even describe the event as a natural disaster.

    Consider if 70k+ locusts descended on a wheat field just prior to harvest. Consider a red tide algal bloom. As inhuman as it may sound, i find it hard to muster any concern for the sentient organism that determinedly organizes what i would characterize as an annual intentional natural disaster, for fun, and then gets caught in it because it rained a bit.

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