Links 9/5/2023

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Quantum entanglement visualized for the first time ever Advanced Science News (furzy)

Here’s to naps and snoozes aeon

2 passengers were kicked off an Air Canada flight because they refused to sit in seats covered in puke, fellow traveler says Business Insider (Kevin W)

#COVID-19

Climate/Environment

Biological Recycling’ Would Be Truly, Truly Amazing The Atlantic (David L)

To Stop an Extinction, He’s Flying High, Followed by His Beloved Birds New York Times (ma)

THE FUTURE OF URBAN CONSUMPTION IN A 1.5°C WORLD University of Leeds/ARUP

China Reaches Peak Gasoline in Milestone for Electric Vehicles Bloomberg

Home insurers cut natural disasters from policies as climate risks grow Washington Post (Kevin W, furzy)

Germany begins dismantling wind farm for coal EUObserver (Micael T)

Removing bugs from our habitats is coming back to bite us Washington Post (furzy)

New tech boosts Dutch drive for sustainable farming BBC (David L)

China?

The US chips war against China is proving to be self-sabotage even faster than I imagined, and I sometimes have an active imagination:

Teardown of Huawei’s new phone shows China’s chip breakthrough Reuters (Kevin W)

How Sanctions Failed To Hinder China’s Development Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

Chinese proposals for Metaverse show that we are negotiating for “Cyberterritory” Modern Diplomacy (Micael T)

Chinese Gate-Crashers at U.S. Bases Spark Espionage Concerns Wall Street Journal (furzy)

Will China’s Economic Slump Be Contagious? New York Magazine

US businesses losing patience with China – Biden official RT (Kevin W) Moi: “What about ‘It’s a Communist country’ don’t you understand?” They knew that when they went in…

Traveler’s Tales: My August 2023 Trip to China chinahand (guurst)

India

India Seeks to Fill a China-Sized Gap in Global Economic Growth Bloomberg

Africa

The Next EU Military Deployment in West Africa German Foreign Policy (Micael)

Old Blighty

Labour-run Birmingham City Council declares itself ‘effectively BANKRUPT’ after being hit with £760m bill to settle equal pay claims – as officials blame ‘rampant inflation’ for ‘going bust’ Daily Mail

Surging interest rates set to risk more UK firms going bankrupt: Report Anadolu Agency

Pressure mounts on Sunak and Keegan over school concrete crisis Guardian (Kevin W)

European Disunion

Macron doesn’t really want to step down as French President? International Affairs (Micael)

New Not-So-Cold War

Exclusive: Egypt buys nearly half a million tons of Russian wheat in private deal Reuters (Kevin W)

‘Cocaine Grain’: Baerbock Slipped Again While Talking About Ukraine NewsUnrolled (Micael T)

The fog of war brought down to earth Gilbert Doctorow

Romania Debunked Kiev’s Latest Lie Aimed At Escalating The NATO-Russian Proxy War Andrew Korybko

Another Russian mercenary group shows discontent with the Kremlin: ‘A sign of more to come’ France24.(furzy). To the extent this is not exaggerated, I wonder if this is really about pay. Russia is now compensating regular soldiers very well (hence the high sign-up rates). One wonders if the mercs feel their risk premium is no longer high enough.

US Officials Keep Boasting About How Much The Ukraine War Serves US Interests Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

Biden Must Explain to the American People Why We’re Supporting Ukraine—Before It’s Too Late Newsweek (Kevin W)

Syraqistan

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

UN committee releases exhaustive study on the legality of Israel’s occupation Mondoweiss

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

US Spy Agency Dreams of Surveillance Underwear Intercept

California DMV Now Offers ‘Digital’ Driver’s Licenses. How to Get Your ID on Your Phone San Francisco Standard Kevin W: “What could possibly go wrong?”

Wanted: Skilled Workers To Combat the Rise in Cyber Crime Financial Times. Um, you usually need crooks or at least the crook adjacent to be any good at this.

Imperial Collapse Watch

More small airports are being cut off from the air travel network. This is why MPR (Chuck L). Article points out, airlines were bailed out as quasi utilities, then they do this.

Trump

Trump’s co-defendants are already starting to turn against him Politico

Biden

Biden, Manchin at odds over revival of Pentagon cost-cutting office Defense News

GOP Clown Car

Military Secretaries Issue a Dire Warning on Tommy Tuberville Newsweek (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

Secretive Covid disinformation unit worked with security services Telegraph (Kevin W)

Apple and Microsoft clash with EU over ‘gatekeeper’ label for iMessage and Bing Financial Times

AI

Guild behind actors’ strike fears video game workers also at risk from AI The Register

AI May Influence Who Can Get or Prescribe Pain Medication MedPage Today (Dr. Kevin)

The Bezzle

Musk Blames Anti-Defamation League For X’s Poor Ad Sales, Threatens Lawsuit Forbes (furzy)

Why Self-Driving Cars Slowed Down in High-Tech Boston Boston Globe

Reddit faces content quality concerns after its Great Mod Purge ars technica

Class Warfare

Bosses mean it this time: Return to the office or get a new job! Washington Post

Industrial (in)action Energy Flux (Micael T)

Antidote du jour (Robert G):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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126 comments

  1. The Rev Kev

    “Macron doesn’t really want to step down as French President?”

    Yeah, this article kinda understates Macron thoughts on the matter. What he actually said was that it was ‘damnable bulls**t that one could not be reelected’ following their second five-year term. He has to step down in 2027, whether he likes it or not, though why he thinks France wants to see him continue in the top job I have no idea. Furthermore-

    ‘Once a major colonial power, France has regularly urged African leaders to implement and respect term limits in their own countries, though in modern times Paris only adopted similar rules following a 2008 constitutional reform. Before that time, there was no limit on how many terms a president could serve, with elections previously held once every seven years. The French prime minister, meanwhile, is not subject to a formal term limit, and holds office so long they maintain the support of the National Assembly.’

    https://www.rt.com/news/582252-macron-blasts-presidential-term-limit/

    Maybe what he is worried about is being arrested for his actions after he leaves the job in 2027.

    Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        The French media did their part here. A reporter highlighted a Paris news stand with scores of magazines on display. Many of them had Macron’s mug on them but Le pen was only on one magazine cover and I think that she was sharing that cover with another person.

        Reply
      2. Jon Cloke

        Interesting how tiny these guys are who keep getting into power on the ‘Better the Thief than the Fascist’ label, isn’t it?

        Macron is tiny, so is Sarkozy and Richie Sunak keeps being referred to as the UK’s Prime Miniature..

        Reply
    1. Aurelien

      Macron allegedly made this comment at a meeting of political party heads. It found its way into the media via the inevitable Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who had boycotted the meeting, but was told about it by someone who was there. Other leaks appear to confirm that Macron said that, or at least something of that sort. He was actually replying to a question about whether he thought that the change from a 7-year to a 5-year term for the President under Chirac was a good idea or not, and he appears to have wandered into talking about other things. I wouldn’t personally give it too much importance: it’s not even clear that Macron would want to continue after 2027 if he could, because he detests France and the French, finds being President frustrating, and fairly clearly sees himself as effectively President of Europe in a few years time.

      For the record, there are five or six different issues here. The most important are (1) the terrifying void where the French political system should be. There’s no-one who is obviously Presidential material from the current decrepit political class. Nobody from any definition of the “Left” is likely to make it even into the second round in 2027, and the only figure on the Right who might is Edouard Philippe, who did a decent job as Prime Minister under Macron after 2017, but is probably too right-wing to inherit enough of Macron’s political base. (2) That means 2027 is going to be an unholy shambles and probably the worst Presidential election since the founding of the Fifth Republic. Almost anyone could win. (3) The French political and media class is obsessed, beyond all other domestic political issues, with stopping Le Pen being elected in 2027. Any issue that might possibly rebound to her advantage has to be ruthlessly suppressed. (4) French politics in general is now a wasteland. By occupying most of the political space with a non-ideological managerialist party in his own image, Macron has ensured that there is no-one, not even from his own party, who is available to follow him. To a very large extent, he is the problem.

      Reply
      1. Feral Finster

        As long as it is not LePen or any other figure unacceptable to the French, European and American political classes, it doesn’t really matter which muppet occupies the Champ d’Elysee.

        Reply
    2. Kouros

      If German Chancellors or British PMs don’t have time limits, why should French Presidents, eh?! C”est pas normale, non?!

      Reply
      1. Aurelien

        Because French Presidents are directly elected for a fixed term. Prime Ministers are not. It’s in the Constitution.

        Reply
  2. Mikel

    “Chinese proposals for Metaverse show that we are negotiating for “Cyberterritory” Modern Diplomacy

    “…The hope of Metaverse being created to liberate people from their assigned identities, and integrate them into a world society seems to be fading away with recent proposals by China as just the start to it…”

    Won’t be liberating people from the assigned identity of consumer.
    They expect people to adopt phony world crap at high prices because the real world good stuff is going to be reserved.
    If you aren’t liberated where you live amd breathe, you are a new kind of pathetic slave.

    Reply
  3. digi_owl

    The biggest mistake that was made when LTE was introduced was that it was made into just another dumb TCP/IP pipe. This stagnated standardized services for messaging and calls at UTMS quality.

    Reply
  4. ExMilitary

    Wanted: Skilled Workers To Combat the Rise in Cyber Crime

    Good luck with that considering downloading a song or lighting a blunt will likely deny you the security clearance you need to do this work for the government.

    Even worse, the SF86 (questionnaire for obtaining a clearance) has turned into the thought police with questions that begin, “Have you ever considered…”

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      That, and I suspect that most people with cyber skills would rather watch the Corporation and information capitalism burn than lift a finger to put out their fires.

      Reply
      1. playon

        If only that were true. I think the reality is that the US has legions of cyber people employed as hackers and IT professionals.

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          Most, not all. Having known a guy, there are a few people who don’t like doobie and are basically resigned to the end of information freedom, who would enjoy the long leash, decent hours, and relatively free exploration that the gilded cage of black-budget R&D affords.

          Reply
  5. Wæsfjord

    Re: Trump’s Travails

    I see no other way but that the Donald has to win the next election. It’s evident that the Blob want to destroy him by any means necessary. He must become president to pass laws that will protect him and his crime family. What will he promise the rubes to get their votes? He might also decide that he’s not safe as a private citizen and declare emergency law or some other ruse to prolong his reign. Will he pardon the Jan 6th rioters? I, for one, am really looking forward to the shenanigans to come. What do you all think?

    Reply
    1. britzklieg

      Nice try… the “blob” wants to destroy him but he will pass laws to protect his “crime family” and it’s “rubes” who will elect him to his “reign” – not voters – while pardoning “rioters” – not protestors.

      One can believe that Trump is about as bad as it gets (I do) and still know that Biden is worse. What do you think about that?

      Joe’s gotta go, fella.

      Reply
      1. vidimi

        what’s happening with trump is an effort to secure control over him, first and foremost. Just like in his first term he made a deal with the establishment and brought on board deep state neo cons like bolton and pompeo.

        Since he no longer needed them, the establishment lost its grip on him so now they are putting pressure on him in different ways. since he is rather craven and cares only about his own interests, he will probably strike some sort of deal allowing the neocons to control his government should he win again. that way, the electorate gets its say and is disappointed again.

        Reply
          1. jsn

            To be clear, I intend “cynicism” as a compliment”

            “The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.” G. B. Shaw

            Reply
        1. Katniss Everdeen

          …since he is rather craven and cares only about his own interests…

          jeezus h. christ.

          If he only cared about himself and his “crime family,” he’d have taken the “esteemed” pundit rachel maddow’s advice and just stayed out of the “race.” If he had, he’d be holding court at Mar-A-Lago, playing golf every day, and entertaining the reconstituted procession of corrupt “public servants” with their hands out begging for campaign “contributions” by now.

          Like it or not the guy’s on a mission, and, in case you haven’t noticed, there are plenty of americans who like it a lot, and are prepared to support him in seeing it through.

          Reply
        2. Roland

          1. Trump crushed Bolton. It was a classic case of getting a guy under one’s thumb, and squishing him. Bolton got ignored, then mocked, then tossed aside, with the memorable quote, if I had ever listened to that guy, we’d probably be fighting World War Six by now.

          2. If Trump only cared about his own interests, then he wouldn’t have embarked on a gruelling anti-establishment political career, that has made him the enemy of the state security apparatus, and more villainized than Orwell’s fictional Goldstein.

          3. If the establishment had a grip on him, then how did Trump become the only US president in over thirty years to not add to the number of wars in which his country is involved? How can you be blind to this big deviation from the trend? It is a fact that Donald Trump passed a crucial moral test, which Barack Obama had failed. Look at what is right in front of you, instead of trying to explain it away.

          4. Trump’s administration was unable to make effective reforms, because Trump doesn’t have a political party from which to draw a cabinet or other officials. The Republican party establishment is not pro-Trump. Any anti-establishment figure is likely to have the same kind of problems. And don’t forget that the US constitution does have effective checks upon executive power, even if those checks had languished in the decades prior to Trump.

          5. I have seen more fight in Donald Trump, than in all the rest of the US domestic political opposition scene, put together. Does it offend one’s sensibilities that the world’s mightiest nation can only be saved by an aging and boorish celebrity billionaire? Yes–but so what?There it is. Do you prefer war?

          Reply
    2. Mark Gisleson

      I do think that it would be a very magnanimous gesture on Trump’s part if he were to in fact pardon — in exchange for testimony — all the law enforcement embeds and “rioters” acting under the direct orders of parties yet to be identified. But he really does need to get detailed confessions first because it’s important we learn just who exactly in government signed off on the Reichstag riot.

      Everything about that “riot” stunk in real time. The footage that emerged immediately from the crowd was often exculpatory, showing ringleaders like unindicted Ray Epps haranguing people to commit crimes. People have been sent to prison for the crime of talking to each other about not liking our government.

      Reply
      1. marym

        Re: footage

        Official surveillance tapes
        44K hours were provided to the Republican speaker of the House, who provided them to Tucker Carlson, who released only one (or maybe slightly more than one, I don’t recall) clip of one rioter in a seemingly calm situation. The tapes were allegedly also shared with a few other right-leaning reporters who (to my knowledge) haven’t made any of them public.

        Participant video
        Many videos were shared on what Pro Publica describes as “a largely pro-Trump social platform Parler…Parler’s failure to “effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others [sic with link to NYT]” led Amazon to expel the site from its cloud-hosting servers. Some people managed to grab the material before Parler went down, and one of them shared a trove of videos with ProPublica. We culled the collection to some 500 videos uploaded to Parler…” You would need to make your own assessment of Pro Publica’s “culling,” analysis, and published video clips.
        https://www.propublica.org/article/inside-the-capitol-riot-what-the-parler-videos-reveal

        Reply
        1. Mark Gisleson

          OK, I looked. If you get a chance to ever talk to someone who does video, ask them about crowd shots. They always tend to look chaotic if people are moving, even just walking slowly. Cameras get pointed toward the action, not orderly movement. Especially if there were soft embeds there just to point cameras at anyone being naughty (or being paid to be naughty).

          Carlson showed examples of how the footage was manipulated. I have never been involved in any kind of public rally that couldn’t have been shown in the same light if there were a couple of agitators creating violence to highlight. The Ray Epps exhortations are why I say Reichstag. 1/6 reeks of set up and manipulation. No proof shown has been conclusive and much of what was shared has been exposed as heavily edited. The detentions have been unConstitutional and the trials and sentencings medieval.

          If your case relies on theatrics, I have to assume bad actors are involved. Enough footage has emerged to undermine the narrative/storyboarded production. Riots are scary all over, not just here and there where the cameras are.

          And…the language in 1/6 reporting is not journalism, it’s psychoanalytical interpretation of posssible events. That’s another tell.

          Reply
          1. marym

            I have seen commentary and examples showing how crowd scene photos can be manipulated. For the Capitol riot there’s also video from a high vantage point (including time lapse and time-stamped) to get a sense of the crowd size and movements. Maybe someone more sympathetic to the rioters who now has access to the surveillance tapes and social media postings will some day share additional information and interpretation.

            As far as what Tucker did or didn’t show, as I indicated I didn’t follow it at the time. I know it included video of the shaman guy walking calmly behind/among the cops, which has been interpreted as evidence that the cops calmly escorted peaceful rioters. There is, however, other video and testimony about him including breaching the barriers and arguing with cops. Quote and link: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2023/07/200pm-water-cooler-7-21-2023.html Whether one thinks that additional evidence is sufficient for the verdict against him, it does support questioning the degree of peacefulness of the event.

            As with protest events on the left, there’s always the possibility of provocateurs – leo, radicals supposedly aligned with the cause, or people caught up in the moment. There’s a line to be drawn somewhere between blaming the provocateurs and considering those who are provoked as at least in some measure accountable for being alert and proactive and for controlling their own behavior.

            Reply
          2. ex-PFC Chuck

            In the summer of 2022 “The Revolver” put up several posts that contained extensive video clips now it’s strongly suggested at least half a dozen agents provocateur were active, both on the ground and atop scaffolding that had been temporarily erected to hold the TV cameras that would cover the subsequent inauguration. Although I haven’t found the links I recall seeing at the time this one contains several clips that are reminiscent of what I did see then.

            Reply
            1. Lambert Strether

              Am I correct that the FBI agent who suckered a bunch of stoned wingers into the Whitmer “kidnapping” plot — and what a shame that didn’t elevate her to Presidential timber status, but there’s still time — was also in charge of the DC area (vague, I know) during the January 6 riot?

              Reply
  6. john

    #Covid-19: Royal Society published report (8/24) on the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) including ventilation, finding them effective in fighting the pandemic when used in combination. NPIs are especially important early on; in short, act quickly and decisively to mitigate/slow spread of disease AND save lives.
    Mundane, I know. But worth repeating as we seem to be deaf.
    https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/projects/impact-non-pharmaceutical-interventions-on-covid-19-transmission/

    Reply
  7. griffen

    US spy agency has dreams of smart underwear. Will a future equipped pair of such underpants be deployed against an opposition leader? Asking for a friend. Be a shame of that opposition leader fell victim to a decoy from the fairer sex!!

    Peak levels of idiocy, er, ingenuity.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      This idea will leave a stain on American intelligence gathering and shows that they are on the skids. It can only redeem itself if it shows the presence of something dramatic – like a dirty bomb.

      Reply
    2. cnchal

      The plan is to make a law whereby it is illegal to not wear the CIA’s underwear. That’s the endpoint of all this intense surveillance. You can’t move without generating reams of data, a circular jerk requiring ever moar data centers. Oh shit! We are almost there already. Not much between a spy phone and your underwear.

      Reply
      1. paul

        Reminds of the dictator in woody allen’s bananas (not aged well, but still funny in places), where he decreed that every citizen must wear their underpants outside their clothes.

        Public hygeine was the rationale, I think.

        Reply
  8. Mikel

    “Wanted: Skilled Workers To Combat the Rise in Cyber Crime” Financial Times. Um, you usually need crooks or at least the crook adjacent to be any good at this.

    Too late. Looks like cyber criminals are already running things when you see this happening:

    “California DMV Now Offers ‘Digital’ Driver’s Licenses. How to Get Your ID on Your Phone”

    Cyber criminals and cyber security companies are popping champagne.

    Reply
  9. Terry Flynn

    Surprise surprise, the Daily Mail is attacking a Labour Metropolis. Sheesh – So much money comes from central govt but they strangely don’t mention that. Plus most businesses round here in “red wall” territory are too poor to even qualify to pay business rates. It is RENTS paid to big business landlords that tend to kill them.

    The irony that modern late stage capitalism will have Adam Smith spinning in his grave because capitalists simply can’t survive…. All the money goes to landowners, directly or indirectly. For instance my Dad’s industrial company would be dead if he didn’t own the land on which his factory sits.

    Reply
  10. John

    US business losing patience with China? Define patience in a business climate that has a three month horizon. Why exactly is China supposed to meet the expectations of Us business? Is it too much to say “neo-colonialist thinking?”

    Reply
    1. jsn

      The travel piece at the bottom of todays’ China section is an interesting on the ground look at what’s actually happened and happening in China. Interesting insights and speculations.

      This, “anti-Cuba/Iraq/North Korea/Russia”, however, caught my eye. The author seems to believe China will be debilitated by a US economic cordon that hasn’t worked since Haiti.

      It’s amazing that after 200 years these clowns still think they can do to anyone what they did to Haiti when it had a total population of a half million people, 90% of whom had just thrown off their bonds, were dirt poor and had no access to anything other than themselves.

      Reply
      1. jsn

        Okay, I posted the previous note before finishing the article.

        The sanctioned nations list appears to be a nod to doctrinaire US readers as the conclusion bears out a more realistic perspective: if China looks to succeed in building an alternative to Western debt peonage for those outside the Golden Billion, the US will go to war with China because escalation is the only response we know to failure.

        Can our Oligarchs achieve Crassus fate without taking the world with them?

        Reply
        1. curlydan

          As China starts to reduce its Western connections and dependence, I suspect we’ll see a similar pattern play out with Taiwan as we did with Huawei. That is, the US forces China’s hand to reduce dependence on the West due to US belligerence and bullying, so once China achieves this dependence reduction to a large measure, then conflict over Taiwan actually becomes a more likely scenario. China won’t have to fear a massive economic whiplash from conflict and the inevitable sanctions and freezing of assets. China is strengthened by our bullying.

          We keep doing these 1-step moves, never thinking about the moves 2-3 steps in advance.

          P.S. The travel blog was also right about the frustrations with WeChat. If you are a foreigner, you likely will come to hate WeChat and want to pull your hair out over the delays etc. trying to use it in China

          Reply
          1. bonks

            Wechat has a steep learning curve but once that’s been overcome it’s one of the most useful apps that everyone depends on in China. I can book train tickets, hotels, pay my bills, look up information like how I would on Google, pay anyone and for everything and of course run an entire online business on it, on top of using it as a messaging app. It lets you open other apps within the app, which isn’t something I’ve seen elsewhere.

            Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “The fog of war brought down to earth”

    Some of that fog is already rising The Russian MoD has come out and said that as a result of Ukraine’s offensive, that-

    ‘Kiev’s forces have lost more than 66,000 troops and over 7,600 heavy weapons since launching their push in early June, the Russian official estimated on Tuesday.’

    And they still haven gotten past Robotyne yet which is in the gray zone. Speaking of Robotyne, a video has emerged from this area showing a burning British Challenger 2 tank-

    https://twitter.com/Osinttechnical/status/1698874142957752322

    Personally, I wouldn’t go near that thing without a Geiger Counter.

    Reply
    1. Schopsi

      Maybe Doctorow expected the ukro army to dissolve like the afghan “army” at one point, after being sufficiently mauled.

      Perhaps someone needs to remind him that a proper, serious army sometimes keeps fighting like demons and remains capable of inflicting heavy casualties on their opponents for years after suffering catastrophic, irreplacable losses and being strategically defeated.

      Reply
    2. Polar Socialist

      The latest news is that Russians actually counter-attacked in Robotyne today, pushing the Ukrainians off from the village (or what remains of it). Russians are now in the southern end and the rest of the village is no man’s land. The Challenger 2 was reportedly destroyed during this counter-attack – whether it was a mine, artillery or ATGM, we don’t know.

      But I would guess at least a few Russians troopers are filing a claim for the bonus of getting that beast.

      Anyway, it will be hard for the Ukrainians to keep attacking in Verbove direction before they re-re-re-take Robotyne, so they’re kinda back in the square one.

      Reply
    3. Jeff V

      If the Russians have destroyed a British Challenger 2 tank then that’s an interesting development. It’s something I believe only the US Airforce has achieved up until now, and in that case they had the advantage of surprise (since they were supposedly on the same side).

      Reply
  12. WhoaMolly

    Re: Naps and snoozes

    Sleep scientists call this “segmented sleep”. It was common prior to the Industrial Revolution, until factory work and electric lighting forced people into one long chunk of sleep at night. One of the most famous practitioners of segmented sleep was Benjamin Franklin.

    About two years ago my own sleep began to ‘segment’. I began wake at 2:30 AM, then fall asleep again at 8. Nothing seemed to help. Not sleep hygiene, a new bed and mattress, eliminating caffeine, nothing. After months of fighting ‘the problem’, I learned to treat the 2:30-7:30 time slot as my “work day”. A quiet time to write. The afternoons, after about 11 AM, are for physical work around the homestead.

    Reply
    1. GramSci

      For the 500,000-odd years after getting fire under control and before the electric thermostat, I used to get up in the middle of every night to tend the fire.

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      There was a link on NC about this a coupla years ago and the concept was so interesting that I saved a page on this phenonema-

      https://www.thecut.com/2017/03/sleeping-through-the-night-is-a-relatively-new-invention.html

      People back then would get up, do some work, lite a pipe, go for a walk and meet the neighbours, make a cup of tea, talk with their partners and when it was time again, would go back to sleep for the second half of their rest. Sounds like your body is reverting to this age old practice and I can see that you are making good use of it so congrats.

      Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Modesty led me to omit other other articles saying that men, who would wake up and could not fall back to sleep back then, ‘reached for their wives’.

          Reply
      1. Kouros

        All over the world? I hardly doubt it…

        And this is why the North American student has became the representative of human behavior, eh?!

        Reply
    3. Lexx

      A couple of things I’ve learned about my own body and sleep cycle in the past year and past few days.

      1. The cooler the room and the fresher the air, the better I sleep through the night uninterrupted. The best sleep I’ve gotten this year was in the 5th wheel in March in New Mexico. It also helps to be physically tired.
      Being on the road with a camper can be exhausting no matter how carefully we balance the load.

      2. Not everything we do to our bodies is active. PT’s ask questions like, ‘well, what did you do?’ The answer I gave her was, ‘I twisted to the right and dove off the raised bed to escape an attack from the wasps who had decided I was too close to their nest while picking green beans.’ That’s so she could help me with my knee; we’re about to leave on vacation. The new compression sleeve was sweet relief; it gave my knee the support it needed. An ace bandage doesn’t quite cut it.

      But the bigger problem I think is much older and more passive and I’ll give her my solution on Friday. I’ve been sleeping on the same side of the bed for 46 years. The mattresses have been changed, there have been new houses and new bedrooms, but my sleeping position has remained pretty much the same for decades, so I asked my husband to change sides of the bed with me and he agreed. We get into ‘sleeping habits’; they all need review once in a while and maybe changed. The first few nights were tough, my body objected and little sleep was had those nights, but I persisted and last night was better. I slept through for 6 hours and woke up much less sore. A PT can give us lots of exercises to do at home, but they’re going to be ineffective if the problem (injury?) is occurring the hours we’re unconscious and relatively inert, perhaps the more so with age.

      Reply
      1. Jason Boxman

        I’ve been on a 9 month question to find a pillow with enough loft to sleep on my side. The struggle is real. Now I get pillow anxiety when I’m trying a new one.

        Reply
        1. Reader

          I use a Water Pillow for that. It’s heavy but you can customize the height by adding water. Haven’t had a leak in 20 yrs of using them. The standard fiberfill model is superior to the down version for side sleeping.

          Reply
  13. Lexx

    ‘2 passengers were kicked off an Air Canada flight because they refused to sit in seats covered in puke, fellow traveler says’

    Oh, Air Canada, what will end up costing you more money… the two paying customers you failed to accommodate, or the many reading this article (and everyone they tell) who will never fly Air Canada again?

    I was imagining being anywhere within earshot of such a conversation and wondered whether I’d really feel safe flying with that pilot? Could I expect my safety be as questionable as the pukey seats, FO crew attitude and punishing belligerent pilot? ‘Yes, please escort us off the plane and thanks for the head’s up. We almost put our lives in your hands.’

    Reply
    1. Mildred Montana

      The latest on this from a Canadian source:

      https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/air-canada-apologizing-to-customers-after-seats-were-reportedly-soiled-with-vomit-on-flight-to-montreal-1.6547493

      Oh, Air Canada! One of my 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘴, but Trudeau’s baby. Billions in bailouts, loans, and government purchases of its stock three years ago. For this largesse (millions of it siphoned off by executives) we Canadians get an airline with the worst on-time record of all major carriers in North America and one that makes it difficult for wronged customers to get reimbursements.

      And now this. Oh, Air Canada! You’re proof of the axiom that paternalism leads to dependency and dependency leads to pathology.

      Reply
      1. Lexx

        I was wondering if the flight included first class and whether the pilot would have been so threatening to two first class passengers? Was his contempt reserved for the cheap seats? I’ve never flown first class, so I can only imagine… and share.

        Reply
      2. TimH

        Don’t forget AC’s refusing to refund passengers per legal obligation.

        https://paxex.aero/air-canada-covid-refund-dot-settlement/

        Air Canada and the US Department of Transportation agreed to a $4.5 million fine related to the airline’s failure to provide timely refunds to passengers after cancelling flights in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

        I ended up doing a CC chargeback to get my money back when {different airline} cancelled my flight during CV.

        Reply
    2. Paleobotanist

      We don’t call it “Scare Canada” for nothing. I haven’t flown since before covid. I feel no desire to start flying again between not wanting to catch covid, wanting to lessen my CO2 contributions and the fact that service in the air is getting worse and worse…

      Reply
    3. Shleep

      Here in Canada, it’s common knowledge that AC’s unofficial motto is “Air Canada: We’re not happy ’till you’re not happy!”

      Last time I flew them, I could see from my arriving flight a fire in an air-side garage. Upon boarding connecting flight, captain informed us we’d be late because some of the baggage handlers needed to traverse that garage. Some time later, he further informed us that some paperwork had gone missing.

      A few hours later, I received an email from AC stating that my flight had been delayed due to “weather”.

      Reply
    4. LawnDart

      Whereas Delta here did the right thing by its passengers and crew:

      Flight forced to divert after passenger’s diarrhoea ‘ran through plane’

      A plane to Barcelona was forced to turn around after a passenger on board suffered a bout of diarrhoea that was declared a ‘biohazard’.

      ‘I was on this flight! The culprit diarrheaed as he walked up the aisle from the back rows toward the bathroom,’ Ty described the horror scene.

      ‘Then as the plane ascended he slid on the poop like ice skates all the way to the back rows again, leaving actual poop skid marks in the aisle. Total Tom & Jerry stuff.’

      https://metro.co.uk/2023/09/05/flight-had-to-divert-due-to-passengers-diarrhea-that-ran-all-through-plane-19447457/

      Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “Romania Debunked Kiev’s Latest Lie Aimed At Escalating The NATO-Russian Proxy War”

    Romania was playing it smart here. If they had gone along with the Ukraine and said that it was an attack by the Russians, then NATO would have quickly sent in a reaction force to that river border. And what that would mean is that if things got out of control, that Romania would find itslef direct on the front lines of a war against Russia. Yes, they support the Ukraine and thousands of their men have gone to fight in that war but no way would they want their own country to become part of an actual war zone.

    Reply
    1. John

      The US and the EU seem quite content for Ukraine to do the dying while egging it on and, in the case of the US, profiting from the war. It’s obscene.

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        Errr… the bridge from Transnistra into Ukraine was destroyed earlier this year. There’s no land route from Romania into Ukraine right now. The 5,000 U.S. troops there can’t be used to defend Western Ukraine and should be transferred up to Poland, but probably won’t be. It’s not certain that Romania would attack Russia even if some Russian drones did accidentally land in Romania. Stay safe.

        Reply
  15. LaRuse

    RE: Covid-19 and “mild symptoms.”
    This passive language has seeped into every aspect of our lives. Has anyone else noticed now we are only ever “experiencing” only “mild symptoms” and we are no longer ever “sick” or “ill”? At least in my workplace, that means there’s no reason to take a sick day any more. When the media doesn’t say “the First Lady is sick/ill with COVID” the implication is that she is fine and working. And if that is good enough for a senior citizen, then what do the rest of us have to complain about??? Get back to work, ya whiners!
    I got well and truly sick with strep last December. At least I was on vacation already or I would have had an impossible time asking to take sick leave after the initial fever broke, because at that point my symptoms were “mild” – never mind that there was a crushing headache, intense fatigue, and I could not actually speak above a whisper.
    I caught a run-of-the-mill cold (it was so different that COVID that I am 100% sure it was a standard cold and the tests backed me up) after camping for two weeks last month. The best I could request was a work-from-home day on a mandatory in-the-office day. Now that we all “experience only mild symptoms” – whatever we are sick with – there are no reasons to ever call in “sick” anymore! It’s the greatest magic trick ever pulled by our corporate overlords.

    Reply
    1. Verifyfirst

      Apparently the Bidens visited an elementary school in DC (checks calendar) eight days ago..(where Joe was seen copiously coughing into his hand, btw)

      https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/bidens-visit-dc-students-on-first-day-of-school/ar-AA1fTuTw.

      And, “The first lady will participate in more back-to-school events this week, along with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday.”

      So spreading the love far and wide, role models for us all….

      Reply
    2. CanCyn

      Seems to me there are two general scenarios:
      1. Tested +ve but mild, no big deal
      2. Tested -ve so not COVID but really sick, bad flu or cold I guess

      It #2 I worry about, I think these people probably do have COVID and the test is wrong. I know a few folks in that category (all sick after travel except 1 who is a school bus driver!) – if I suggest maybe the test was wrong, they get quite incensed.

      Reply
      1. Verifyfirst

        You can be “mild”, or even asymptomatic and still end up with long covid and/or other internal damage.

        As far as testing, the rapid tests are about 70% accurate for negatives, almost 100% accurate for positives. So false negatives common on these non-PCR home tests. There is also a lot of chatter at the moment that the rapid tests are not showing positive for a number of days symptomatic, as many as 6 days.

        Your #1 and #2 above could both be infectious. Yes big deal.

        Reply
        1. CanCyn

          Indeed! I should have been more clear. Both scenarios are very worrisome – but what has been worrying me is that this is how many people are explaining COVID away. Our public health ghouls saying that now is not the time for preventative measures just adds to the fun. My sister is travelling this month, she had no plans to mask on the plane. She has had COVID, in her view it wasn’t that bad. Explained what I could about the risks of long COVID and told her that one mild case is no guarantee that re-infection will be as mild. I think it was the long COVID info that convinced her to mask on the plane. Also reminded her to eat on patios whenever possible.

          Reply
  16. pjay

    – ‘Biden Must Explain to the American People Why We’re Supporting Ukraine—Before It’s Too Late’ – Newsweek (Kevin W)

    Yes. As this author tells us, “The problem is one of messaging.” And what is that message? He sums it up in his concluding sentence:

    “The White House must stress the concerted effort across the globe to overturn a world order that seeks to uphold basic human rights, political freedoms, and existing international law. Ukraine is the first line of defense for all of us invested in liberal values.”

    The rest of this “opinion” piece is similar tripe. But how does “a 4th year political science doctoral candidate at Northeastern University” get to publish an opinion piece in Newsweek? I wondered, so I did a quick bio search. Found this in ten seconds; I’m sure there’s more:

    “Yoni Michanie was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1993. He received his BA in Political Science from Florida International University and his MA in Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution from Israel’s IDC Herzliya. Yoni’s writing has been published at the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Journal, Daily Wire, La Opinion, Jewish News Syndicate, The Forward and The Algemeiner…”

    “Yoni worked for two and a half years for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) as a campus advisor and strategic planner. From 2014-2016, Yoni served in Israel’s Defense Forces with the Paratrooper division…”

    Sounds like he could have a promising future in “journalism.”

    Reply
    1. Retired Carpenter

      Pjay,
      Thanks for the research. These MSM “editors” appear to hold their readership in utter contempt; they must be very confident that very few readers would check the bona-fides of their vaunted “journalists”, or understand what such a resume would mean if they did check. Evaluating information independent of its source is getting harder by the day for the discerning reader.

      Reply
    2. digi_owl

      They do really make it hard these days to comment without coming across as some kind of raging anti something or other.

      Reply
    3. Kouros

      He doesn’t mention Kosovo as a place were US broke international rules of respecting countries territorial integrity. He also doesnt mention Minsk II (UNSC approved) and how Ukraine was killing etnic Russians there for years, before Russia intervened, exhausting all avenues, and after Ukraine starting to intensify shelling of Donbas… Funny those omissions…

      Reply
  17. The Rev Kev

    “The Next EU Military Deployment in West Africa”

    ‘The EU plans to launch a new military mission in West Africa. According to reports prior to the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Toledo yesterday (Thursday), soldiers and police officers are to be deployed in the northern regions of four countries at the Gulf of Guinea (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin).’

    I think that those four countries will possibly find themselves with a future difficulty. What if they ask that EU force to leave down the track – and they refuse? The US was told to leave Iraq but refused. The French were told to leave Niger and they refused as well. And it should be remembered that it was the EU which destroyed Libya which encouraged radical Jihadists throughout central Africa and military forces like the French just can’t get a handle on them – which meant that they had to stay and became their justification. I can’t speak for what economic interest the EU has in those four countries but maybe it is more of a matter of the EU fearing that the US wants to push those EU countries out of Africa so that they can have control of those resources all to themselves.

    Reply
    1. Aurelien

      For thirty years now the EU has been talking about sending military missions outside Europe, and talk is pretty much all it has been. The EU and its member states have funded worthwhile initiatives like the Kofi Annan Centre (the article’s implication that it’s a sinister organisation is hilarious) but the vast majority of states want no part of actual operations, and at most will send a few trainers. Training is fine, but, as we saw in Mali in 2013, Africa armies are not equipped and organised to fight the kind of threat now coming from the Northern Sahel. The French were bitterly complaining about being left to do the fighting, although many other countries were suffering terrorist attacks from AQMI and other organisations established there. The fact is, that the vast majority of European states have no serious military forces, and no interest in sending the few they do have abroad. I doubt if anything will come from this meeting except proposals to set up a few programmes for human rights and gender equality training.

      Reply
      1. digi_owl

        Yeah i guess you could say that while EU do a fine job of beating smaller nations to obedience, it fails in getting members to project a united front when dealing with larger ones. As seen amply with Germany setting up deals with Russia and China seemingly without care what Brussels has to say about it.

        Never mind the spectacular farse of horse trading on display with each member trying to keep their most valuable exports to Russia off the sanctions list.

        I do wonder what the reaction would be in DC if say California or Texas tried setting up their own trade deals.

        Reply
  18. BillS

    Regarding Russian mercenaries – I would have thought Russian leaders would listen more to the council of Niccolò Machiavelli than to their own neoliberal ideologues.

    “Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous; and if one holds his state based on these arms, he will stand neither firm nor safe; for they are disunited, ambitious and without discipline, unfaithful, valiant before friends, cowardly before enemies; they have neither the fear of God nor fidelity to men, and [one’s own] destruction is deferred only so long as the attack is; for in peace one is robbed by them, and in war by the enemy. The fact is, that they have no other attraction or reason for keeping the field than a trifle of stipend, which is not sufficient to make them willing to die for you. They are ready enough to be your soldiers whilst you do not make war, but if war comes they take themselves off or run from the foe….

    I wish to demonstrate further the infelicity of these arms [i.e., mercenaries]. The mercenary captains are either capable men or they are not; if they are, you cannot trust them, because they always aspire to their own greatness, either by oppressing you, who are their master, or others contrary to your intentions; but if the captain [i.e., the leader of the mercenaries] is not skillful, you are ruined in the usual way [i.e., you will lose the war].

    And if it be urged [i.e., argued] that whoever is armed will act in the same way, whether mercenary or not, I reply that when arms have to be resorted to, either by a prince or a republic, the prince ought to do in person and perform the duty of captain…. And experience has shown princes and republics, single-handed, making the greatest progress, and mercenaries doing nothing but damage; and it is more difficult to bring a republic, armed with its own arms, under the sway of one of its citizens than it is to bring one armed with foreign arms. Rome and Sparta stood for many ages armed and free. The Switzers are completely armed and quite free.”

    Chapter XII “How Many Kinds of Soldiery There Are, And Concerning Mercenaries”, The Prince

    Reply
    1. Schopsi

      Simplicius has written about the russian command using PMCs to experiment with various (primarily small unit) tactics before applying what they learned to the army proper, and how they apparently very successfully did so with Wagner.

      Can’t really judge something like that myself, but even from my layman’s perspective it seems plausible that neoliberal foolishness is not necessarily the only or even primary reason for Russia’s use of mercenaries.

      Reply
    2. Lex

      The mercenaries and volunteers were mostly the only way for Russia to support Donbass before 2/22, because the Kremlin wanted little to do with the fighting and certainly no direct part in it. That is an issue now and it will be interesting to see how (and if) the Russian state can manage putting the genie back in the bottle.

      Reply
    3. Keith Howard

      I believe that the USA makes considerable use of ‘contractors’ in prosecuting its various wars, liberations, peace-keepings, trainings, etc. Should these hired hands properly be classed as mercenaries? If not, why not?

      Reply
    4. R.S.

      That article is, to put it bluntly, an exercise in connecting the nonexistent dots. There’s reportedly no “piercing Russia’s first line of defence” to begin with. And there are no sizeable “mercenary units” at Robotino, at least as we know it.

      That “Rusich” group is a weird case. They used to be a small, roughly platoon-sized motley crew of volunteers who came to Donbass in 2014. The rumour is they saw combat, but got repeatedly vetted out and kicked around by commanders, cause they were good fighters, but bad soldiers IYKWIM. They were either “extreme far-right” or indeed “neo-Nazi”, and some ppl associated with that group were flat out sickos. (One filmed himself maiming and killing dogs for fun, another one collected human bones, you get it.) After the Minsk agreements in 2015 they declared they were pulling out cause “there was nothing left to fight for” or something like that. Since then, some guys were reportedly with Wagner in Syria, others travelled around, someone ran afoul of the law and got sentenced in Russia, etc etc.

      IDK what that apprehended guy was doing in Finland, but he was definitely not fighting on the frontline.

      Reply
  19. The Rev Kev

    “German Foreign Minister Burbock called Ukraine’s grain cocaine”

    What do you know. Germany has their very own Kamala Harris.

    Reply
  20. The Rev Kev

    “AI May Influence Who Can Get or Prescribe Pain Medication”

    Actually it could get worse. I could see some corporations leaving it up to AIs entirely about pain medication. Would they be up to the task before unleashing them to treat people? No. But this is like those driverless cars being sent down public streets who are obviously not ready either.

    Reply
    1. Mark Gisleson

      “The Police Dept. just did what the judge allowed them to do.”

      Mayor who accuses media just making stuff up shouldn’t be dropping quotes like that Jack Handey-esque incumbency-killing deep thought.

      Reply
  21. Mildred Montana

    >Trump’s co-defendants are already starting to turn against him Politico

    A year or so ago Politico had a piece suggesting that Trump’s support was falling. Since then it has gone up. From the little I have read of it, it seems to be consistently wrong on Trump.

    As they say in the stock market, a useful contrary indicator.

    Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      f-aw-ni willis seems to be leaning hard on the three “fake electors” in establishing her charges of “conspiracy” and “forgery” in her attempt to get Trump. From politico:

      That could be a particularly significant phenomenon and incentive for those charged alongside Trump in Georgia. Three of them — David Shafer, Cathleen Latham and Shawn Still — recently said in court filings that nearly all of the charges they face were the result of instructions from Trump and his lawyers.

      The three GOP activists all posed as pro-Trump presidential electors, signing documents claiming they were Georgia’s legitimate electors even though Biden won the state. In legal filings seeking to transfer their prosecutions into federal court, they all indicated that they took that step at Trump’s “direction.”

      The false electors scheme plays a key role in both the Georgia indictment and the separate federal case in which Trump is charged with conspiring to overturn the election…

      Apparently there is actually precedent for appointing two sets of electors in a challenged election, stemming from the 1960 presidential contest between JFK and Nixon, which was cited as recently as 2000 by al gore’s democrat lawyers. The precedent involves the awarding of Hawaii’s 3 electoral votes in the very close general election that year.

      Not that any “news” outlet is telling anyone about it, preferring to create the “fake” elector / seditious conspiracy / interrupt the sacred “peaceful transfer of power” narrative.

      Here, for anyone who’s interested, is a factual, unembellished-with-TDS-hysteria account of what happened in 1960, that forms the basis for the Trump team’s legal theory. I have to assume it will all come out eventually, once this gets out of the georgia kangaroo court.

      Reply
  22. hk

    Ray McGovern dropped a pretty big bombshell:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB4btU2jI-E

    He asserts that, according to his sources, Russia has supplied NK with Topol-M missiles. That’s a real quantum leap in the ability of North Koreans to reliably deliver nuclear warheads at great distances: basically, if they do successfully operationalize it, NK now out-ICBM’s US.

    Vis-a-vis SK and Japan, this does not (directly) enhance NK capabilities: they have had short and medium range weapons that can hit either of these countries for many decades. What it does is to subvert US’ alliance structure globally: will US risk Washington DC being glassed to get involved in East Asia? In a way, advanced missiles in NK hands are even more of a credible deterrent, so to speak, against US neocons than Russia’s (or China’s) own nukes are: NK have established themselves to be so itsy with their trigger fingers that no one would confidently say “they have no red line.” (and Korea is small enough that nukes on NK will inevitably seriously damage SK: this probably will not deter US, but it will reorient the SK, away from US, towards Eurasia generally (and with improved relations with NK), undoing what I suspect was the color revolution against Park a decade or so ago) If true, this is a huge game changer.

    Reply
  23. Mikel

    https://news.yahoo.com/huge-threat-u-budget-receded-123602746.html
    A Huge Threat to the U.S. Budget Has Receded. And No One Is Sure Why.

    “…Medicare may even wind up saving money because of COVID-19 — because the older Americans who died from the disease tended to have other illnesses that would have been expensive to treat if they had survived, according to an analysis from the Medicare actuary…”

    So the budget was the huge threat concern, not Covid.

    Reply
  24. Jason Boxman

    Note that the cost of Medicare, and thus provision of care to seniors, is the threat: A Huge Threat to the U.S. Budget Has Receded. And No One Is Sure Why. Because the budget needs to be protected, is also mentioned.

    For decades, runaway Medicare spending was the story of the federal budget.

    Now, flat Medicare spending might be a bigger one.

    Something strange has been happening in this giant federal program. Instead of growing and growing, as it always had before, spending per Medicare beneficiary has nearly leveled off over more than a decade.

    In any case, no one knows why this is so. That many are dead under Trump and Biden’s eugenicist policies is mentioned as a contributor. The costs of long-COVID as one possible contributor to returning to trend in the next few years, which is what CBO projects.

    Reply
  25. Ghost in the Machine

    THE FUTURE OF URBAN CONSUMPTION IN A 1.5°C WORLD University of Leeds/ARUP

    So I read the executive summary of this paper. To avoid what they term ‘climate breakdown’ urban consumption has to half by 2030 and high income city consumption has to fall by 2/3s by 2030. So climate ‘breakdown’ it is.

    Reply
  26. Carolinian

    While I normally would avoid Dana Millbank that’s a great WaPo on insects.

    Without insects, the legendary biologist E.O. Wilson wrote nearly 40 years ago, “I doubt that the human species could last more than a few months.” First, “most of the fishes, amphibians, birds and mammals would crash to extinction.” Next would go the flowering plants and forests. “The earth would rot,” he continued, and the remaining vertebrates would disappear. “Within a few decades the world would return to the state of a billion years ago, composed primarily of bacteria, algae and a few other very simple multicellular plants.”

    The piece says that urban infestations of mosquitoes have much to do with urban decline of their predators and that in the countryside they rarely bite.

    I’m not sure that’s true going by walks in our state park woods but certainly there are a lot more in my back yard than the huge nature park. When I was a kid trucks used to drive around in the summer spraying DDT and then malathion but no more of that thank goodness. Later we seemed to have large populations of bats but don’t see those anymore either. Meanwhile an infestation of Barred Owls (they make calls that sound like jungle creatures) may be scaring away the birds and of course outdoor cats don’t help with this either.

    And finally the article’s attack on manicured lawns instead of insect friendly wild plants couldn’t be more true of this neighborhood where golf course quality lawns are the norm.

    All I can say is thank goodness the blood suckers are about to go.

    Reply
  27. noonespecial

    Re EUObsever link

    From EUObserver: “The enlargement of Garzweiler has also led to significant destruction and displacement of communities in the area west of Cologne in recent years. Several municipalities have had to be relocated.”

    The bold words equally apply to some people in Colombia affected by operations from a US-based company with almost 40 years of coal extraction (Drummond Ltd of Alabama origins).

    A judicial order from 2010 requires Drummond and other companies to foot the bill for re-settling peoples as a result of the coal ash affecting areas near the coal mines. This (2023) order has been upheld by the country’s Administrative Tribunal of Cundinamarca.

    Today, one of Colombia’s leading daily news services published an op-ed by Drummond’s chief wherein his words defend the need to continue to extract coal until at least 2050. (Following is my quick translation from the op-ed:)

    https://www.eltiempo.com/opinion/columnistas/otros-columnistas/los-retos-de-la-transicion-columna-de-jose-miguel-linares-802587

    1. The key to companies that produce and export is to maintain an efficient operation, and that the country ensure their legal and fiscal security, and that enables them to remain viable and competitive in the international arena. (let’s recall this is a US private company, so yay Monroe’s doctrine! /s)

    2. From here on out extraction of carbon ought not to end abruptly, since that would deprive the country and the regions of great opportunities. In the case of Drummond, we generate more than 11.000 direct jobs and 44.000 indirect ones.

    Paging Germinal’s author Mr. Zola so he can remind folks of how pleasant company owners can be. And on that note, let’s look at an article from Oil Price for some additional information related to Drummond.

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Explosive-Testimony-Suggests-Energy-Companies-Helped-Finance-Colombias-Civil-Wa.html

    Allegations of collusion between Colombia’s government, corporations, including mining as well as oil companies, and rightwing paramilitaries to suppress organized labor and opposition to energy projects have swirled for decades… In Mancuso’s controversial testimony (Spanish) before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP – Spanish initials) he accuses major corporations, including Drummond of financing paramilitary groups…Mancuso, who was once second in command of the AUC (paramilitary group a/k/a United Self-defense Forces of Colombia) revealed in his testimony how energy companies [like] Drummond, a U.S. coal miner, maintained lengthy financial relationships with paramilitaries…The former paramilitary commander went on to detail how security chiefs from those companies provided the names of unionists who were then murdered by paramilitary fighters. Mancuso further alleged paramilitary units were used to intimidate as well as even murder local community leaders, human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists, and environmental protectors opposed to energy projects.

    Reply
  28. some guy

    So . . . ” Musk Blames Anti-Defamation League For X’s Poor Ad Sales, Threatens Lawsuit” . . . eh?

    Here is an article I saw about that on Reddit, titled . . . ” Elon admits his new version of Twitter lost 40 Billion in value “. Here is the link, from a subreddit called EnoughMuskSpam.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/EnoughMuskSpam/comments/16aljtj/elon_admits_his_new_version_of_twitter_lost_40/

    There are a lot of interesting comments to various versions of the effect that businesses don’t necessarily wish to advertise on a platform which places their ad right between two nazi posts, or places their ad in a little rowboat floating on a lagoon of alt-right sewage in general. Maybe the advertisers never would have found out about that or smelled the new reality rising from Musk’s new TwitterToy if the ADL hadn’t told them about it. Or maybe they would have found out about it anyway.

    Some of the commenters say “let Musk go ahead and sue ADL. See what ADL drags out about Musk’s handling of Twitter and placement of ads between bags of garbage, etc. in discovery. Might make Musk sorry he sued.

    Why is Musk so upset about it anyway? Wasn’t Musk’s goal to destroy Twitter all along, so that no non-Musk-worshippers and non Alt-Rightists would have Twitter anymore to use as an information and mutual outreach and keep-track tool anymorer? Isn’t ADL just helping Musk realize his ambition for Twitter anyway?

    Now more than ever, somebody really needs to found a Twitter-emulator. They can call it Cricket or whatever else they want, but somebody should really build it.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I think Musk’s case is foolish. However, I used Twitter a lot before and after Musk. I have not encountered this “right wing cesspool” phenomenon and certainly not any neo-Nazi material save people who don’t like the Ukraine war pointing out Nazi insignia and whatnot in various media photos of Ukraine soldiers and even Ukraine officials.

      Reply
      1. some guy

        The only thing I actually know about Twitter is what I have experience linking to particular Twitter items linked-to here. Other than that, what I know is what I read, and if I have read false information, then my knowledge will be false.

        So . . . could it be that those who know in detail how to use Twitter for purposes of their own which they understand very well are able to create and have a clean hi-valu Twitter experience? I remember Lambert writing about how he has carefully curated his feed-list so as to get a mostly treasure/ very little trash stream of input.

        Have the people who claim a rising tide of nazi material and alt-right trolling on TwitterX been lying about that? Have they blundered into parts of TwitterX where that is a problem?

        I hope Musk brings this suit and fights it out to the bitter end. If one side or the other side is lying here, a conclusive victory for one side or the other in court is the only way for low-information non Twitter/ TwitterX users like myself to really know.

        Reply

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