Links 9/7/2023

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I dunno. I published this Links early too! Mercury-in-retrograde seems unusually powerful this year. Sorry! –lambert

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The Revolutionary Influence of the First English Children’s Novel Smithsonian

The incredible American consumer FT


The $100tn path to net zero FT

Big oil companies are spending millions to appear ‘green.’ Their investments tell a different story, report shows CNN

Vast Majority Of Investors Are Willing To Sacrifice Returns For ESG Goals Dealbreaker. If indeed they must.

How a mere 12% of Americans eat half the nation’s beef, creating significant health and environmental impacts We think of the Bell Curve as ubiquitious, but power curves are too (and too rarely mentioned).


Heating Waters Force Change in Industries That Depend on the Ocean WSJ

Why you should give a damn about America’s dams The Hill


Outpatient treatment of COVID-19 and incidence of post-COVID-19 condition over 10 months (COVID-OUT): a multicentre, randomised, quadruple-blind, parallel-group, phase 3 trial The Lancet. From the Abstract: “Outpatient treatment with metformin reduced long COVID incidence by about 41%, with an absolute reduction of 4·1%, compared with placebo. Metformin has clinical benefits when used as outpatient treatment for COVID-19 and is globally available, low-cost, and safe.”

Novavax’s updated XBB.1.5 vaccine shows promising cross-neutralizing antibodies against new COVID-19 variants (preprint) News Medical Life Sciences. Not mRNA: “a more traditional vaccine that uses moth cells and tree bark.”

Previous COVID infection, side effects top reasons cited for not getting 2-strain booster Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy


China’s Credit Wreck Exposes Governance Failings to the World Bloomberg

Why are China’s workers studying ‘Xi Jinping Thought’? Al Jazeera

How BYD snatched Tesla’s crown Rest of World


Military, Chinese preparations underway to open Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone and deep sea port Myanmar Now

Myanmar Junta Jails Journalist for 20 Years Over Cyclone Coverage The Irrawaddy


G20 agrees membership for African Union on par with EU Reuters

No Delhi Declaration? West Rejects India’s Compromise Text at G20 Sherpas Meeting The Wire

Is India changing its name to Bharat? G20 invite controversy explained Channel News Asia

Never Say Never to an Asian NATO Foreign Policy


India’s fertility rate faces sharp decline amid rising concern over lifestyle factors, infertility Channel News Asia


What we are witnessing in Africa is not an anti-colonial revolution Al Jazeera


Former Mossad chief Pardo claims Israel is enforcing ‘apartheid’ system in West Bank Times of Israel

European Disunion

German Manufacturing Orders Tumbled by More Than Expected in July WSJ (DC).

A Cloistered France Harper’s

The Spanish Impasse New Left Review

Dear Old Blighty

The ‘angry young man’ who fought to save London’s architectural soul The Telegraph

New Not-So-Cold War

Blinken hails ‘real progress’ in Ukrainian counteroffensive Anadolu Agency

Zelenskyy’s fourth defence minister: why the president is replacing Oleksii Reznikov with Rustem Umierov Ukrainska Pravda

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Andrey Melnichenko: ‘It’s pointless to talk about good and evil’ FT

Crime and punishment The Economist (!). The deck: “Its agents have become expert in dark revenge. But some worry a clear strategy is absent.”

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Russia’s Eastern Policy: Old Restrictions and New Conditions Valdai Discussion Club

South of the Border

Two Women To Vie For Mexican Presidency In 2024 Agence France Presse

Biden Administration

Biden administration cancels remaining oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic Refuge AP

The shutdown threat would be off the table, under newly proposed legislation Government Executive


Trump says he will ‘absolutely’ take the stand and testify in his own defense FOX

Biden Extends Sizeable Lead Over RFK Jr. Among Democratic Primary Voters Morning Consult. Stability in the headline, volatility in the text.

Spook Country

Docs Offer Glimpse Inside Censorship Industrial Complex RealClearPolitics

B-a-a-a-d Banks

Real-Estate Doom Loop Threatens America’s Banks WSJ

WeWork tells landlords it will renegotiate most office leases FT


What OpenAI Really Wants Wired

The plan for AI to eat the world Politico. Commentary on the above.

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Exclusive survey: Experts favor new U.S. agency to govern AI Axios

The Supreme Court’s major questions doctrine and AI regulation Brookings Institution

The Bezzle

I’m so sorry for psychology’s loss, whatever it is Experimental History. One for KLG.

Supply Chain

Mind the Gap On wooden pallets.

C. L. R. James’s Radical Vision of Common Humanity Boston Review

Class Warfare

Biden hails West Coast ports union deal as potential auto strike looms The Hill

Labor Could Be Detroit’s Next Big Disruption WSJ

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‘It’s slavery for modern times’: how children of 12 toil in Colorado’s fields Guardian

Canada’s temporary foreign worker programs ‘breeding ground’ for contemporary forms of slavery: UN expert Anadolu Agency

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Unconditional cash transfers reduce homelessness PNAS. A cluster-randomized controlled trial.

A surprising account for such a message:

My Horny Raccoon Roommate and Me Hell Gate. N entirely SFW. But a testimony to the life force….

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Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Double bonus antidote (Desert dog):

Desert dog writes:

My daughter sent this from Springfield, MO.

We discovered Monarch caterpillars in our side rock garden.

I was perplexed because I know monarchs only eat milkweed. Then I discovered the vine that I kept pulling out of the beds was actually a milkweed vine. That’s what it shows here in these pictures and the larva are feeding on them.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. digi_owl

    > How a mere 12% of Americans eat half the nation’s beef, creating significant health and environmental impacts We think of the Bell Curve as ubiquitious, but power curves are too (and too rarely mentioned).

    Never underestimate the power of social markers. Best i can tell from outside, eating beef, and it has to be cooked a certain way, is supposed to send a signal of the eater’s “manliness”.

    Food is perhaps the oldest social signal there is, with for example white bread being the food of kings etc as it was labor intensive to prepare (ironically obesity and type 2 diabetes used to be ailments of old rich men).

    1. griffen

      While I’m not in the 12% referenced in the article, I do enjoy a good burger at the most a few times per month. But I am in the cohort of men between 50 – 65, so I suppose that means I’ve met the enemy and it is me and myself and I? I dunno…the burger I ate Sunday evening was especially good after a 5 or 5.5 mile hike that afternoon north of Greensboro, NC. Calories burned leads to calories consumed!

      1. thousand points of green

        If your good burger is strictly grass/pasture fed every single time, then you are not the enemy. You may even be a carbon benefactor if what Gabe Brown and Gary Zimmer and John Kempf and others are telling us about pasture-and-range under cattle is true.

        ” If it is true”. Is it true? Someone should start gathering all the relevant data so that we can really know.

    2. WobblyTelomeres

      Considering that estimates of up to 80% of global warming emissions can be attributed to livestock production, I wonder if the red meat allergy induced by proteins carried by ticks (alpha-gal syndrome) will end up saving the world?

      1. Verifyfirst

        Well no, a quick internet glance says it’s about 15% of total for animal production–perhaps 60% of all food production emissions.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        I’m curious where that 80% number is coming from. This
        EPA webpage has a chart showing that all of agriculture contributes 10-11% of GHG emissions. Even though that’s significant, that’s a long way from 80% for just cattle.

        I did find this from the fine folks at Stanford that claimed that “the worldwide phase out of animal agriculture, combined with a global switch to a plant-based diet, would effectively halt the increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases for 30 years and give humanity more time to end its reliance on fossil fuels.” The study was co-authored by Patrick Brown, professor emeritus of biochemistry at Stanford and published in “open-access journal PLoS Climate” (not peer reviewed?).

        Patrick Brown also just happens to be founder and CEO of Impossible Foods. LOL. Shameless.

        1. KLG

          Pat Brown is also the developer of gene expression microarrays. They were revolutionary in allowing one to measure the expression levels of hundreds of genes in a single sample. The heat maps were beautiful. But then reality intervened…mRNA levels do not necessarily reflect protein levels (DNA makes RNA makes Protein). The experiments were not reproducible from lab to lab. Microarrays have not faded from view, but they no longer dominate the literature after a sparkling but relatively brief heyday, and the presumed Nobel has faded into oblivion. Probably. So now we have Impossible Foods. Is this a great country or what?

          Anyway the paper is here. After a quick glance it looks like the SOS (same ol’ stuff). His coauthor is also a famous Berkeley computational biologist. Both are founders of PLoS, which is an interesting idea. The funniest part of the enterprise was hearing from Nobel Laureates that they would publish their work there, so everyone else should, too. Yeah, that’ll work for career advancement if you are a relative unknown. Not.

          Regarding meat, industrial CAFOs are the problem. Not the animals. Last I heard from the Georgia Cattleman’s Association, 95% of yearling cattle from this excellent livestock-raising area (lots of rain and grass) are shipped to feedlots in the Great Plains for “finishing.” Grass-fed beef and pigs raised in pastures containing the little pig houses are not the problem. Nor are yard bird chickens.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            If CAFO’s are the problem, then inexpensive animal protein is the problem, since the former allows for the latter. That’s an observation, not an argument; the prices of energy-intensive products should rise (with compensating subsidies for advesely-affected populations), but we can’t pretend that a move away from industrial agriculture isn’t going to make high-input products like meat more expensive. I know that is also an industry talking point, and I’d be happy to be refuted, but I don’t see how it’s not the case.

            I remember an interview from many years ago with a food historian whose name I forget, who said that the democratic Everyperson image of a cheeseburger, fries and Coke was a historical illusion, since that most iconic of US meals contains white flour (a luxury item, historically), beef (likewise) combined with a second protein that would have been atypical for most people, served with deep fried potatoes (again a historically expensive thing), along with the luxurious sugar from the soft drink. At one time, calorically and otherwise, a meal fit for a (gout-ridden) King, yet available to the working person in the US thanks to economies of scale and a vast externalizing of the costs to animals and the physical environment.

            The same is true of chicken, whose meat was also far from the everyday item it currently is in the US. In Southern Italy, chicken was “sick people’s food,” because in a poverty-stricken region, why would you sacrifice a food-producing animal except for a sick loved one? Even the “Chicken In Every Pot” campaign slogan misattributed to Herbert Hoover in a sense alludes to the one-time scarcity: you’ll be prosperous enough to eat your chickens, rather than depend on them for eggs…

            1. GF

              ” the prices of energy-intensive products should rise (with compensating subsidies”

              Isn’t the reason for cheap meat due to the subsidies to animal feed farmers and CAFO operations corporate overseers? Time to take the pork out of the $Trillion Farm Bill.

              1. Michael Fiorillo

                Indeed, but I was thinking of subsidies for meat-eating consumers who are priced out of eating meat., no longer made cheap by the subsidies you mention and the higher cost of grass-fed meat.

            2. thousand points of green

              Ban CAFOs and let the price of green eco-meat rise rise to reflect the cost of raising green eco-meat plus enough more to allow the raiser of green eco-meat to make a living.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          I read it a few days ago. Looked for it to link but my (too brief) search didn’t pull it up. Prolly some reddit bs. Sorry, all.

      3. Val

        80% doesn’t leave a lot for our gloriously unnecessary military emissions or the enthusiastic private jet malthusians.

        Math science suggests this particular freakout tops at 100. But regarding climate change, excessive emissions are encouraged: Please bill gates, do something to us!

        Perhaps 40 years of mood music has an effect on these rather psychological estimates?

        Mussorgsky’s Bald Mountain?, no, too upbeat and focused. Williams’ Jaws theme, with a long warbling cowfart droning like a sitar for 40 years. That’s about right.

        Hand wringing, cause and affect.

        1. Tom Denman

          It would be an abomination to force a vegan to eat meat, yet the worthies at the World Economic Forum have no scruples about forcing carnivores to rely on bugs as our protein source. These are the same people who tell us that we must sacrifice all privacy in the name of “transparency” (people will have to change their personalities sayeth the James Bond villain in chief, though they won’t have to worry if they aren’t doing anything wrong) in the coming social credit system hell.

          It pains me to admit it but it turns out that the LaRouchites, who for decades I dismissed as crackpots for going on about “neo-malthusianism,” were right all along. WE are to be the metaphorical if not literal meat in the coming Green–as in Soylent Green–Economy.

          I cannot do anything to stop the dystopic future the Davos crowd has in store for us but I plan to continue eating a half lb. of beef nightly ’til the apocalypse comes. And no, I’m not *&^%ing eating bugs!

      4. JustTheFacts


        Cows eat grass and shit manure. Grass grows capturing CO2 from the atmosphere, and benefit from manure. No carbon is added to the closed cycle. (Only nuclear processes can create new atoms, and neither cows nor grass nor the atmosphere are nuclear reactors). If the cow farts a lot, that’s more methane which is 35 times worse than CO2, but decays into CO2 after 12 years. Given a fixed number of humans eating regularly over time, that’s a fixed buffer of methane added to the atmosphere.

        What adds carbon to the atmosphere is fossil energy extraction: taking carbon out of the earth and adding it to the atmosphere by leaking it, burning it or converting it into something else that will decay into carbon dioxide. If you want to fix the climate, fix that by having less industry, fewer wars and using less fertilizer.

        Converting fossil fuels into corn into ethanol for cars, for instance, is stupid. Letting cows graze in Wyoming, and then eating them isn’t. A person from Wyoming who replaced his diet with veggies and fruit from California or South America would likely be doing way more damage than if he ate a cow produced next door.

        Reducing fertilizer is already happening thanks to the idiotic adventure in Ukraine. (look forward to less food soon). Industry (at least in Germany) is also falling for the same reason. But the release of all the methane in Nord Stream, the massive use of weaponry in Ukraine, killing people who will cost more fossil fuels to replace, the shipping of Russian fossil fuels to India/China and then back to the EU to pretend we are “sanctioning Russia”, and so on, is resulting in more carbon extraction.

        Meat consumed in the US is the least of our problems. However, causing hatred of meat benefits artificial “meat” made by industrial facilities owned by the same people who have profited greatly from the misery of the last 4 years. So here, it’s an illogical narrative pushed by people who benefit from it. It’s another story for other countries such as China, South Africa, Iran, Iraq, and so on who now eat more meat and import it from Brazil which is cutting down the Amazon to create more fields for it.

    3. Mark Gisleson

      Beef is me. It’s also me at my healthiest.

      Has there ever been a scientist who studied nutrition who dealt with sample populations who were doing hard physical labor? Because I don’t think these clowns understand the difference between desk jobs and manual labor. Not even close.

      I appreciate the environmental impact of beef. That’s real. The health impact? I’ll let you know if I ever achieve my goal of losing the last fifty pounds of glued on permafat from my decades of following the insanely flawed USDA food pyramid guidelines. Building tires on that diet made me hungry all the time because carbs weren’t what my body needed.

      The swells simply refuse to acknowledge not all lifestyles are the same, not everyone has the same nutritional requirements. I’m sure they’ll fix this with a tax of some kind. Of course if you really want to cut down on meat consumption, smoking cigarettes helps with that. I’ve seen ads where doctors say so!

      1. The Rev Kev

        Had the same thought as you reading that article. You get some guy busting his hump all day long doing hard work, he is going to need a lot of calories to keep him going and beef is pretty dense in calories. Not the same requirements for somebody hammering a keyboard all day long in contrast. And age comes into it as well. I also agree with your comment about the food pyramid. I still find it amazing that we are well into the 21st century and scientists are still scratching their heads about what the ‘average’ person should be eating and what the body’s requirements are supposed to be. You would think that this would have been sorted out over a century ago but it seems commercial interests want to keep the picture muddy and the food pyramid is a reflection of this.

        1. Jason Boxman

          It must be that the same people are investigating this that handled RECOVER for NIH. Genius all around.

          1. Synoia

            How I lost 60 0-70 ib

            I was 260 – 270 Ib

            1 Went to gym weights and Yoga
            2 Traveled by Bicycle
            3 Did 10 – 20 miles per day on the Bike

            Now I am about 190 lb.

            If yo can loose the car.Walk and bike.

      2. Amfortas the Hippie

        amen to all that,Mark.
        ive known quite a few vegitarians/vegans in my time…many of them on a sort of working farm/commune i used to frequent.
        couldn’t keep up with me with the harder work.
        so yeah…i’ll continue to eat meat…including beef.
        in fact, Eldest is fixin to buy a steer from his buddy to feed out and stick in the freezer. $500 for the critter…which mom will name, and i’ll call “steer”…another $250 worth of corn…and we’ll put maybe $2k+ worth of beef in the freezer.

        already got 4 sheep frozen…and 2 castrated goats waiting for cooler weather to be cut up.

        as for the corn to finish the steer…its what we can do, right now…pasture fences are adequate for sheep and even goats..but not cows.
        and that leads to a question: whats the difference in “emissions” between CAFO cornfed cows, and grassfed?
        my adage for raising meat animals: we’re not growing (cows, sheep, horses, etclol)…we’re growing grass”.
        ie: focus on the pasture and whats in it.
        same with all my birds…i grow as much fodder for them as i can, so as to limit the necessary supplementary inputs.
        all of this animal rotation will get easier once i get this dern infrastructure done(4th chicken house attached to giant greenhouse(5-8btu per bird..for supplemental heat in coldest part of year)…fences that cant get done until all the infrastructure is done..etc), as well as when mom goes to her reward(number one thing she yells at me about is pasture management,lol…of which, of course, she knows nothing)

        1. Revenant

          How do you fence, Amf? I am curious because fencing in Britain has strong regional traditions, especially in the design of gates!

          We fence with 4″ diameter, 5’6″ length round posts (point on the bottom, driven about 18″ into the ground) every ~5 yards, with sheep netting and then two strands of barbed wire at the top. Strainer posts of 6″ diameter with 4″ lateral bracing posts at ~30deg to the ground are used at every change of direction and gateway and also every so often in a long straight run. This fencing is good for everything except keeping horses in (barbed wire) and deer out (needs 8ft posts).

          This fencing is used in Devon on the inside of the traditional field boundary of a four foot earth bank, and its source ditch, with a hedge of mixed trees (beech, holly, alder, ash, willow, oak, blackthorn etc) planted on top and “laid” into a barrier by cutting and layering (and coppicing any medium-sized trees). These days farmers cannot afford to lay hedges properly (when farms had many labourers rather than tractors, it was a winter task to lay a few fields each year on a ten or fifteen year rotation) so most hedges are cut with a hedge cutter, which leads to bushy regrowth and is not stock-proof in the same way because there is no wall of woven branches, hence the need for fencing inside.

          Even this fencing is expensive. It will cost you at least £8/m to put in, materials and labour and machinery (tractor with fencing attachment for post driving, rockspike etc). I have to refence the farm and, because of the traditional small fields and many hedge banks, fencing 80 acres was going to require about 10,000m of fencing! And that’s just a quarter of the farm…. I’ve put the job off until a grant may be available. :-)

          So, how’s it done in Texas and, more importantlt, why doesn’t it keep cows and bullocks in?

          1. Amfortas the Hippie

            hope you see this.
            fences around front pasture are 40+ years old, and patched extensively where the hogs tore holes, or the wire rusted.
            around mom’s house and environs, its oilfield pipe, welded, with a pipe running on top..and what we call stock panel welded eo it.
            expensive…but a forever fence.
            back pasture is 10 or so feet high…steel corner posts with h braces every so often, and what we call T Posts every 10 foot or so…single strand of barbed wire at top…and then i came along with telephone poles at the bottom wherever it tends to wash out.
            mountain lion can jump this fence, but nothing else.
            on my side of the place, its telephone poles cut eo 12 foot, sink in and concreted 3 to 4 foot(hard pan and bedrock limit depth…and t posts in between…and stock panel if i can afford it…otherwise, its that roll wire(like your sheep netting).
            then i put a 4 foot chicken wire along the bottom to keep birds in.
            chicken runs, where i confine them when i’m growing stuff, are 14 foot high chicken wire, with “hardware cloth” at the bottom.
            for mammals, like cows, fences are as much a psychological barrier as a physical one.
            woe be the rancher who has a cow that learns that a fence can be trampled…or a cattle guard can be jumped…send that one to market right quick, before she teaches the others.

            1. Revenant

              I saw it!

              Hats off to the scale of your fencing. Everything is bigger in Texas. :-)

              We just rely on cows not pushing down the barbed wire fences and the fact that even if they do, they have to get through and over our mudbanks and plaited tree and thorn hedges to get out. Oh, and we’ve nothing deadlier than a fox to keep out.

              I’ve seen sheep learn to roll over cattle grids but never a cow, yet….

              On the psychology, it works both ways. You can train them to an electric fence and then turn it off. The fear of the shock is enough for quite a while….

      3. thousand points of green

        Then too, it is the environmental impact of CAFO beef which is negative. The practitioners of green pasture and range beef claim the impact of green eco-beef is positive. Are they right? Are they wrong? More data are needed.

    4. Peerke

      This study where to begin. The study was just referring to one 24 hour period. So what about the rest of the week? The headline/conclusion could be simplified to “84% of people eat a large-ish portion of beef once a week” or maybe “Some people eat beef everyday and some might eat it once a week but we don’t really know since we only looked at one day’s worth of data”. Bottom line: beef is being eaten and sometimes in portions greater than 4oz and this accounts for 100% of the beef eaten in a week. Therefore people must be eating a nice steak sometimes? Or am I missing something?

      1. mrsyk

        What’s up with the 4oz sizing of proteins anyway? Seems at odds with how Americans eat and an unreliable benchmark on which to draw conclusions. From the research paper

        Intake amounts from these three FPED groups were summed for each individual. Individuals were then classified as “disproportionate beef eaters” if they consumed more than four ounce-equivalents per 2200 kcal. In the DGA, the “Healthy US-Style Dietary Pattern” for a 2200 kcal level recommends 4 oz eq/d for all meats, poultry, and egg products combined [2], so we considered an amount above this threshold from just beef alone to be disproportionate. Scaling was important since the energy requirements of individuals vary, and we used the 2200 kcal diet plan since that roughly corresponds to the mean energy intake of our sample.

        When’s the last time your burger or steak was less than or equal 4oz?

        1. Yves Smith

          I make a point of eating only 4 oz of protein for dinner. If the portion is larger than that, save the excess for a later meal. Americans eat far FAR larger portions than needed, particularly of protein. We have been conditioned to do so by restaurants, which for many years increased portion sizes (comparatively cheap to enlarge) to justify high prices.

          2200 calories a day is excessive, particularly for women, unless they are intense exercisers.

          The US has also normalized our high intake of calories by moving the goalposts. From a 2004 New York Times story:

          The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reported in the current edition of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that in 1971 women ate 1,542 calories on average, compared with today’s 1,877, while men went from 2,450 calories a day to 2,618. Those numbers dwarf the government’s recommendations of 1,600 calories a day for women and 2,200 for men.

          And as for protein, all you need is 2 roughly 4 oz portions a day. A 4 oz cooked portion of most meats and fish is typically at leat 25grams of protein unless it’s a very fatty cut.

          Most adults need around 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight per day (for the average woman, this is 45g, or 55g for men).

          Most adults need around 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight per day (for the average woman, this is 45g, or 55g for men).

          For instance

          4 oz of cooked chicken breast = 33 grams of protein

          4 oz of cooked chicken breast = 31.43 grams of protein

          4 oz of 85% meat/15% fat ground beef = 17 grams of protein

          4 oz of steak = 25 to 30 grams of protein

          4 oz of cooked tuna = 27 grams of protein

          4 oz of cooked salmon = 23 grams of protein

          1. Peerke

            Thanks. So accordingly 1 8oz Steak for a man is perfectly acceptable in terms of protein intake. Inflammation wise maybe not.

            1. Revenant

              But if you eat excess protein, it is simply broken down into amino acids and, compared with carbohydrate, poorly metabolised into energy. It will give your liver and kidneys a work out but it won’t trouble anybody with normal organ function. Plus not all protein is the same: we have requirements for amino acids we cannot make internally (from memory, cysteine and tryptophan?) – for which grass-fed meat is a very good source. Limiting protein intake will limit amino acid intake and may result in inadequate nutrition at the AA level depending on the exact protein composition. Better to eat protein in moderate excess, whether from animal or plant origin…..

              1. Yves Smith

                I am not keen about ketogenic diets except on a short term basis for weight loss (to your point about inefficient metabolization…). You wind up not eating much fruit and veg and not getting those micronutrients. And having been on them for a few weeks, your brain works fine but exercising becomes VERY difficult.

                I have had blood readings that have pointed to perhaps needing more protein (the albumin/globulin ratio). I had to ask about it being slightly out of band. No doctor deemed it to be worth mentioning.

          2. mrsyk

            That’s cool, I wish I was as organized. I’m a man though, and I tend to work outdoors for parts of most days. I’ve yet to meet a quarter pounder that didn’t call for another. When I was younger, there seemed to be no limit to my appetite. Am I an outlier?
            I’m of an opinion that the 4oz portion doesn’t translate once your ordering food instead of cooking it. Most sit-down protein portions are at least 6oz. Much fast food protein as well.
            Another confounder is not representing anyone under the age of 18. N=1, by the time I reached 15 years of age I could eat you out of house and home (to paraphrase my mother). My older brother as well for that matter.
            Thanks for the list. I am trying to eat healthy this days.

            1. Michael Fiorillo

              Teenage boys’ appetites are a force of nature, to be sure: I grew seven inches in my thirteenth year, and was perpetually ravenous. I was almost thrown out of summer camp because I was hangry so much of the time. Immediately upon returning home from camp, my mother and I went to a local deli and I then devoured at home two tuna salad sandwiches, two roast beef sandwiches, half a pound of potato salad, half a pound of macaroni salad, two beers and large serving of ice cream. I still consider that feat one of my more notable achievements in life.

    1. Alice X

      Ha, I’ve just been watching The Imitation Game on Turing. Of course the film takes considerable historical liberties but I found it fascinating. What did come through was that the Brits were second to none in the dark arts of deception.

  2. digi_owl

    > A Cloistered France Harper’s

    From what i have been told, once France prided itself on considering anyone that spoke the language and lived inside its borders as French.

    but increasingly it seems even France is succumbing to the idea that if your ancestors moved there at some point, and you do not have a “European” complexion, you are forever a foreigner even if both yourself and your parents were born and raised there.

    I guess it is easier to dismiss the problem that way, than admitting that the neoliberal beast is making impossible for European nations to deliver on its post-war social security promises.

    1. Aurelien

      I’m afraid it’s more or less the other way round. Neoliberalism has had as disastrous an effect on France as on most countries, and has been the ultimate source of a lot of the discontent of the last few years. But that’s only part of the story and not the most important one.

      Republicanism is based, as you say, on the idea that if you live in the society and speak the language, you can become French. That’s why five years’ service in the Foreign Legion entitles you automatically to citizenship, whatever your skin colour. It’s thus a bargain: you do your part, we’ll do ours. Large numbers of people with non-European complexions have always lived here and become integrated citizens. You’ll find non-European looking individuals at the highest levels of government and politics, in business, in the medical profession and in academia: probably disproportionately more than the percentage of the French population they represent. And entertainment (especially music) and sport are dominated by people from the Maghreb and further south.

      But as I say, it’s a bargain. In the last generation, two things have happened. One (an effect of neoliberalism and open borders) has been the arrival of very large numbers of migrants from largely-agricultural societies around the world. Most (but not all) are culturally Muslim, and their interpretation of Islam is extremely socially conservative, especially with regard to women. This has happened, before, but at a much smaller scale, and eventually such groups came to accept the norms of society. Many of these people don’t speak French, a significant percentage are illiterate and many adults never bother to learn the language and make no effort to fit in, whilst simultaneously trying to preserve the social structures they left behind. So a man will refuse to get into a lift in an apartment building if there’s an unaccompanied woman there, and a bus conductor will refuse to allow an unaccompanied woman on a bus, and a hundred other things. In effect, part of the population living in France doesn’t want to be French, doesn’t want to live there except for the economic opportunities and the free education and healthcare, and wants to impose its own rules on its members, and others, even if they conflict with the law. Large numbers of such people live only part of the year in France and present themselves, sometimes aggressively, as Tunisians or whatever. In the circumstances, it’s not surprising that people, including settled immigrants, are starting to ask why the state should keep its own side of the bargain.

      This is made worse by the arrival over the last couple of decades of fundamentalist preachers from Qatar and Turkey, sent by those states as a soft power initiative, and responding to the explosion of the Muslim population. They are adherents of Political Islam, which holds that either the laws of a country are consistent with the Koran, in which case they are unnecessary, or they are inconsistent, in which case they are sinful and a good Muslim should disobey them. Indeed, in their view, retailed by Youtube and satellite, the very idea of a secular inclusive state is a sin, and such a state should be destroyed. There’s a substantial political movement behind these people, bent ultimately on the creation of an explicitly Islamist political movement along the lines of Enahda in Tunisia. They’re very adept at playing the discrimination card, and have a distressingly large amount of ignorant support among factions of the IdiotPol Left.

      There’s a lot more to add, but in summary France is the first European country to have to deal with a fraction of the population that does not accept democracy, human rights, the equality of the sexes and a separation between Church and State, and is prepared to use all measures, up to and including mass violence, to try to enforce its ideas.

        1. Eclair

          Or the Hasidic Jewish communities in NYC and Orange County, NY. The Amish live separately, with their own schools, religious gathering places (members’ living rooms) but pretty much eschew politics.

        2. Jabura Basaidai

          interesting link – the bs occurring in W. Olive has caught my attention since a very close friend owns a home there on Lake Michigan – lots of Drumpf stuff there and not too surprised of the Ottawa Impact takeover – they are now arguing over who runs the health department – the whole thing is a tempest in a teacup imho, life goes on – we have a savvy governor in michigan who seems to know how to balance her legislation moves so everyone is happy – now if we could just get Line 5 removed –

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘the very idea of a secular inclusive state is a sin’

        Isn’t a ‘secular inclusive state’ the very definition of France?

        1. Aurelien

          Well, it’s the definition of the Republic, not the territory but the political system inspired by the Revolution. But in practical terms, apart from a few ultra-catholics, the Republic was pretty much accepted as equivalent to France until a generation ago, when these things started to happen.

      2. Ignacio

        Here a question Aurelien, regarding migrants with a panorama that is somehow different in Spain. Here, a large group of migrants come from South America (larger than in France I guess) and they already happen to know Spanish, even if some or many can barely write correctly in Spanish. Between the Latin American there are wide differences (cultural, adaptability…) depending on their origin, and my guess, this is only a guess, is those coming from rural environments suffer the highest migration shock. Some have brought a trend, that I dislike, to form let’s say urban tribal bands. Regarding African migrants I distinguish from the “rural” migrants that come for the strawberry season in Huelva or the horticultural production in the Mediterranean. Then we have the urban African migrants who are those of which I know more of them. Not the same those coming from the Magreb or those from the Sahel even if they are all mostly Muslims but with sharp cultural differences among them. I am always amazed by the relatively high cultural standards of many among Sahel-Urban migrants who learn very good Spanish while they also dominate French and/or Italian. When I have talked to some of these, even if they are frequently shy to share with whites like me, once initial barriers are broken, conversation is fluid and I can say that I share and understand very well most of their worries and find them not so distant in some many aspects.

        1. Cristobal

          Regarding immigrants, another commment from the perspective of someone in Spain. Having only lived here for about ten years, I have been surprised by the lack of racial tensions that I have seen in Andalucia, and in particular Seville. I lived in in a neighborhood off the tourist track in which most of the residents were poor (but not los tres mil). Lots of people just getting by, a fair share of homeless people, young people, and immgrants. Everybody lived in the same sort of crappy apartment buildings and went out every day to the mean streets. The families, whether they were Spanish, muslim or african, all shared the same concerns. There was a sense that they were all neighbors. Obviously there were differences, but they shared the things that werre important to them like the safety of their families, helping their children avoid the evils that surrounded them, getting to the end of the month. There was no sign of an african ghetto or a muslim one. Sure, some of the old people did not speak Spanish and it was common to hear arabic or god knows what language spoken on the street. Could be the class system in Sevilla, here there are the rich people and then there are the rest – the deplorables all thrown into the same lot regardless of race, religion or national origin. I don´t know if this sense of solidarity (amongst the deplorables) is a result of the innate friendliness of the Spanish people (in general) or not.
          I am not a complete Polyanna, and am aware that many Spanish people resent immigrants, but they mostly keep it to themselves. Prejudice against gypsies, too, is hundreds of years old here, but these prejudices have not led to large parts of the population being excluded (gypsies somewhat, but I now live in a small city with a large, well integrated and respected population of Roma). I believe that the problems in France have multiple causes. Not least, in my opinion, is the French national character, or at least the character of the political class. All you have to do is look at Mr Macron or Mr. Sarkozy and you know all you need to know about them. It has been said that the French are the only national group that can hold a candle to the Americans when it comes to self esteem. As David has said, France was very succesful for many years in integrating immigrants into the national culture, but something has gone wrong. Years of bad policy, or no policy directed at integrating people into the society. Maybe it goes way back to the 19th century when the Spanish were way more reluctant to embrace liberalism than the French – still a little behind them.

      3. Bugs

        I’m glad you’ve posted this because I think it illustrates very clearly your thinking on the multicultural country that we’ve become. Some might say that we need to find a way to live with the Muslim French, because they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.

        Your points about illiteracy and opposition to secular law and representative government are things I hear about but have seen less in immigrants than in rural ethnic French. I wonder which Muslims you’ve actually had relationships or friendships with, because it’s just not something that I’ve ever experienced in 25 years of living and working here, as an integrated member of society with Muslim friends and co-workers.

        We’ve all read about radical imams, dangerous mosques getting shut down and such, but you can’t seriously believe that these are some insidious 5th column plotting to turn us into something out of Houellebecq’s Soumission.

        That said, I’m convinced that the although the vast majority of the European ethnic elite here would never risk saying such things publicly, they would be in nearly complete in agreement with you. Perhaps Darmanin in his campaign for president will say such things, but he’s also a neoliberal, and not a very interesting man. The RN and the Zemmour clique are another story.

        1. Aurelien

          It’s not about the “Muslim French”, as I hoped I had made clear: indeed, they are the first victims. I don’t claim any great originality for these views: they are held by many people including the part of the traditional Left that has not had its brains fried by IdPol. Indeed, the strongest criticism I have ever heard of these people comes from “Muslims”, including those who came to France precisely to live in a society that was not dominated by religion. It’s not about intolerance, racism or discrimination, except insofar as these are instrumentalised for political gain. It’s not even really about religion, except insofar as religion is used, as elsewhere in the world, as a mobilising and radicalising device to gain political support, in which it is succeeding. It’s not a problem limited to France: we’ve already seen Political Islam in power in Tunisia and Egypt, and try to take power in Algeria. (Turkey I don’t claim to understand.) Even in Europe, the situation is as bad or worse in Belgium, where the government has continually given way to Islamist pressure but has not been spared violence and intimidation. The problem is that the Islamists themselves, who may be religious but are not stupid, are very good at using the strengths of societies against themselves, and are supported in this by errant leftists who are afraid to criticise, say, forced marriages to cousins for fear of being called “racists” on Twitter.

          Ultimately, and as in many other countries, the political objective is power through the radicalisation of certain groups and the intimidation of others. This is all clearly laid out and there are endless studies about it, which nobody takes any notice of. These groups don’t want to take power in France, of course, if only because the very notion of the nation-state, as opposed to a community of believers is anathema to them. Nation-states are to be destroyed, especially when they themselves insist on a separation between church and state with no political role for organised religion.

          Ultimately, it’s Popper’s paradox: how does an open society deal with closed minds? How does a society based on democracy and secular justice deal with groups who believe that both concepts are sinful? So far, the tactic, across piles of dead bodies, has been to pretend that the problem doesn’t exist, or it’s all “Islamophobia,” and anyway we mustn’t upset Qatar because of the commercial links. But that excuse is visibly wearing thin. Meanwhile, we take refuge in our smug tolerance and our refusal to hate: as the philosopher Michel Onfray remarked, acidly, “they have Kalashnikovs, we have candles.”

          It is, of course, culturally very hard for westerners, soaked in Liberal values from birth, to seriously accept that there really are people out there, well-funded, well-armed, well-organised and with states behind them, who literally want to destroy their society, and whose ideal political system would be a cross between Calvin’s Geneva and the Spanish Inquisition, without the tolerance and relaxed humour of either. But it’s true, and I’m very much afraid that if democratic forces don’t deal with these people, – by making them obey the law, for example – then non-democratic forces will. And that will not be funny.

          1. some guy

            Liberals should be treated with liberality. Illiberals should be treated illiberally.

            If a society’s liberals are too self-hating to understand this, or hate their own countries too much to apply this, then that society may well find its own native illiberals to put into power to save themselves from the religionist slow-motion aggression and subversion which you describe.

            As Spiro Agnew once said, ” Confronted with the choice, the American people would prefer the policeman’s truncheon over the anarchist’s bomb.” Here is a link to that quote.

            And it may be that when faced with the analogous choice, the French people ( and etc.) would prefer the policeman’s truncheon over the Cannibal Liver-Eating Jihadi’s machete. Or Burqa

          2. mary jensen

            Aurelien, thank you for your posts. I live across a lake from France and have been very affected by recent events in your country ie the riots, to the point of cutting off contact with muslim and black immigrants here who enthusiastically support such riots. I won’t hear it.

      4. Kouros

        When did the French abolished the word “metec”? I thought it is a fixture, and the integration of many is rather superficial, more like one way street.

    2. Darthbobber

      One of the things that set the young Fanon on his path was his realization that even in academia and on the left, who took the “we’re all French” myth most seriously, it was largely B’s, and that no African intellectual was going to be treated as an equal

  3. griffen

    Birds and beautiful scenes…maybe it’s just my nature but that looks an awful lot like a phallic image at the outset. This scene of birds and nature brought you to from the magical kingdom? It’s there…no it isn’t there…wait a sec…

      1. JohnA

        When I see starling murmurations at dusk, they often remind me of the Northern Lights in the way the flocks move. Mesmeric both.

    1. Ignacio

      Stop seeing phallus everywhere! hahahaha. I saw a mushroom. Probably made by the same common starlings featured in the pic above. Those nice birds and what a gorgeous pic in the antidote! In Spanish this is the estornino pinto. Even the name is beautiful.

      1. juno mas

        If the Common Starling had stayed in Europe (where it’s native) the America’s would be better off. It is a highly invasive, non-native, prodigious consumer of agricultural products, here. Gardeners growing fruits, berries, pomes (apples), and melons hate them for pecking pits into their produce. Nesting native birds are the worse off, too.

        Colorful? Yes. Useful? Less so.

        1. LifelongLib

          It’s been many years, but IIRC when I visited Baltimore the occasional Starling and House Sparrow were the only birds I saw near my hotel.

        2. Jabura Basaidai

          agree totally with you – they are a nuisance bird – flocks descend and scare all the other birds away and hog the bird feeders – read that a flock of 60 were brought from Britain around 1860 and released into Central Park

    2. Wukchumni

      One of the art installations at Burning Man was simple and so effective, imagine a 20 square foot box with upright 2×6’s and little flags and small brushes here and there, an archeology dig is your first thought, and then you start brushing away the alkali dust and the dig is full of plaster of Paris penises of different sizes. You laugh and cover them up for the next burner to discover.

  4. Terry Flynn

    Psychology article. Right for the wrong reasons. Citing Tversky and Kahneman 1970s paper? Out by 2 decades. People’s inconsistency was hypothesized and demonstrated in the 1950s by a group including Anthony AJ Marley (RIP, with whom I’ve published) plus his PhD supervisor R Duncan Luce (they proved various now well known findings like the blue bus red bus “paradox” in choice theory – rank ordered logit used in so much stuff like voting etc? They initiated its investigation. McFadden thanked them in his “Nobel” lecture. ).

    People’s inconsistency does not require exotic theories to explain it in many cases (the joke in math psych is that *allegedly* Tversky was to get the Economics “Nobel” – note quotes – but he died so allegedly Kahneman got it by default).

    “Simply” (simple in theory, intensely difficult to observe and model in practice) add error/whatever you want to call it distributions around the deterministic preferences assumed in economics and it’s amazing how much of psychology is corrected (or shown to be…. Allegedly……. Wrong/made up)

    1. Terry Flynn

      TL;DR Economics may well be right that there are “a pretty small number of psychological rules” that goven most human existence…… BUT

      Economics refuses to acknoledge we’re not deterministic. That’s why it’s so easy to show example of instransitivity: A>B; B>C but then C beats A when it shouldn’t. Economists and those adjacent to it think up exotic new rules. But just add probabilistic distributions and the problem is solved. Like they did in the 1950s. Math psych people spent the next 60 years laughing at economists and applied psyhologists who had no maths training.


    On Psychology’s Loss:

    I find it extremely depressing that an entire field went from the depths of the psyche to a Malcolm Gladwell book within a hundred or so years. That’s the problem more than lack of new ideas as far as I’m concerned.

    1. Bryan Steele

      All of which begs the question, why? Maybe the answer lies in where psychology studies get their funding. The link between psychology and marketing began with World War 1 and the likes of Edward Bernays, the nephew and student of Sigmund Freud and one of the fathers of modern advertising. If funding for psychology research was largely provided by corporations seeking to manipulate consumers for profit, wouldn’t that explained the current situation?

      1. Terry Flynn

        Sort of. A lot of “mainstream academic marketing research” was industry-funded and in turn “got the limelight” in terms of what you’d find in internet searches. A few solitary figures managed to obtain the funding whilst keeping in with the people in MATHEMATICAL psychology (who I had the honour to work with for over 10 years) and publish the seminal studies proving all sorts of interesting stuff like the properties of the rank ordered logit model, so beloved of many who advocate Proportional Representation (despite the fact the rologit, just as Arrow showed, cannot satisfy all the generally accepted principles of “fair voting” simultaneously). It does, however, remain a noble system to aim for compared to the awful systems we have in places like the US/UK and is used in certain States of the US for state (I don’t believe Federal but could be wrong) elections.

        Nowadays “proper” academic marketing (which involves high level mathematics, in a way that theoretical physics does), is a dying art and increasingly is, as you say, just part of the marketing field, who use and misuse it to their heart’s content. If you want to see an attempt to correct things (which I’m sure will ultimately fail, since my co-authors died in first 18 months of the pandemic) go look at the edits we made to correct the maxdiff entry in wikipedia and show that it is a long-established mathematical model of how humans may or may not make choices (references there), and NOT a method bound to any particular company.

    2. Reply

      I’m old enough to have been surprised a replication issue in 1987. Forbes Magazine had a columnist named Srully Blotnick who wrote for some issues, got noticed, and then abruptly disappeared. The New York Times had a brief article about the matter.
      All that was before I started paying more attention to science, and later, social science replication issues.
      So much for that naïve thought that scientists wouldn’t fudge their data, would they? That went against the very principles. One more chapter in a Bildungsroman.

  6. DJG, Reality Czar

    Mercury-in-retrograde seems unusually powerful this year.

    Indeed. Usually, I am not strongly affected by periods of Mercury in retrograde, because Mercury / Hermes is my patron divinity. But this year, from 23 August (and even the shadow week before) through today and, presumably, till 15 September or so, events have been bumpy.

    Hermes is the Psychopompos, who leads the souls away: And I have discovered that Pluto, the Rich One, is also in retrograde. Pluto is rich because Pluto is Hades (the Unseen One) who, in the end, gets all of us. All of that great wealth.

    The past eighteen months (nay, the past thirty-six months) have seen a great harvest of souls descending to Hades. So, maybe, Mercury, herald of the gods, is signaling that the gods have something in store for the fall. Those ancient gods like Hermes (He of the Rocks) surely must be more effective than the Monotheistic One.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The internet gods require nothing less than a blood sacrifice to be appeased or else they will keep on causing trouble. I nominate both Biden and Trump for the sake of bipartisanship.

          1. DJG, Reality Czar

            Lambert Strether: I wouldn’t put it past Mercury to engage in plays on words and professional in-jokes. It is his nature, given that Hermes invented letters and numbers.

            At least he doesn’t spend his time like Yahweh, arranging rains of toads.

            1. Reply

              Was Hermes the courier just a jumped-up bagman for the others? He reinvented himself inside the Hexagon as Hermès, no longer a font of information.

          2. Brunches with Cats

            > May still be, for all I know

            The Greek equivalent/predecessor of the Roman Mercury, Hermes, was indeed the god of heralds and messengers, a.k.a. “couriers.” In modern astrology, Mercury rules the internet.

            The ancient Greeks did practice blood sacrifice to Hermes and attributed the very concept to him (animal, not human), but not all offerings had to be flesh. You might try one of three acceptable vegan/vegetarian offerings: incense, honey, or “cakes,” which I interpret according to British usage, called “cookies” in the USA. How, exactly, one “sacrifices” cookies, I’m not sure. Maybe distributing them at political protests?

            FYI, the Greeks also worshipped Hermes as the god of animal husbandry, including the herding of cattle, sheep and goat and the breeding of horses — in other words, he was the god of shepherds. Accordingly, animal sacrifices considered most pleasing to Hermes were lambs and young goats. No reference in anything I’ve read about whether the “sacrificial lamb” was every tenth animal in the herd, but there’s this:

            The staff (rhabdos or skêptron): it is frequently mentioned in the Homeric poems as the magic staff by means of which [Hermes] closes and opens the eyes of mortals … According to the Homeric hymn and Apollodorus, he received it from Apollo; and it appears that we must distinguish two staves, which were afterwards united into one: first, the ordinary herald’s staff (Il. vii. 277, xviii. 505), and secondly, a magic staff, such as other divinities also possessed.

            Full entry on Hermes/Mercury at Theoi:

    1. bdy

      Seven planets in retrograde if you count Pluto and Chiron. Venus dropped out Sep 3, Jupiter dropped in Sep 4. Kids are home alone while the Gods r and r at Railay.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “No Delhi Declaration? West Rejects India’s Compromise Text at G20 Sherpas Meeting”

    ‘A failure to issue a declaration would reflect poorly on India globally, and especially on PM Narendra Modi, who has tried to showcase the routine rotational presidency of G20 as a huge diplomatic achievement.’

    No, this enforced failure reflects poorly on western countries who all year long have tried to hijack every G-20 meeting and force them to come out with a final communique that attacks Russia. But as the article mentions, the G20 meetings are supposed to be all about economic matters, not geopolitical ones. The fact that the success of hosting the G20 by Modi is being sabotaged must annoy him no end and probably the other smaller countries as well. The Ukraine is a western obsession, not a global one. That senior EU official that was saying that the text drafted by India did “not go far enough” to be accepted by G7 and EU members? What he actually meant was western countries and not the countries of the Global Majority. And antics like this only serve to isolate the western countries even more as they just can’t move on and get on with business. All roads have to lead back to the Ukraine.

  8. cnchal

    > Canada’s temporary foreign worker programs ‘breeding ground’ for contemporary forms of slavery: UN expert

    Obokata said. “Employer-specific work permit regimes, including certain Temporary Foreign Worker Programmes, make migrant workers vulnerable to contemporary forms of slavery, as they cannot report abuses without fear of deportation.”

    “Canada must offer a clear pathway to permanent residency for all migrants, to prevent the recurrence of abuses,” he said.

    Perhaps the current prime minister can reduce the residency requirement to three months before obtaining Canadian Citizenship and point the newbies to the voting booth. His daddy ran the play in the seventies and managed to hang on to slim majorities as a result.

  9. zagonostra

    >Biden Extends Sizeable Lead Over RFK Jr. Among Democratic Primary Voters – Morning Consult.

    While Biden faces no serious challengers for the Democratic presidential nomination, the presence of gadfly candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson have contributed to some unhelpful headlines for his re-election bid in recent months. But the survey also suggests those candidates may have already seen their own high-water marks.

    Gadflies? RFK Jr., Marianne Williamson, Cornel West were all interviewed by Jimmy Dore. Last night’s live stream interview with Cornel West, which was very painful to watch and which various clips are making their Twitter/X rounds this morning, clearly demonstrate that these candidates are not ready for prime time and they will have to do a lot better if they are going to attract non Democratic voters.

    Also, who are these “Democratic voters” who might be swayed by “unhelpful headlines?” And that “high-water mark,” that wouldn’t be because the corporate media makes sure the sluice is working to keep that “water level” under control, would it?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I was looking for a distribution of respondents to this polling. This is all morning consult says:

      Surveys conducted in 2023 among more than 800 registered voters each who said they plan to vote in the 2024 Democratic presidential primary or caucus in their state, with unweighted margins of error of +/-3 percentage points.

      Now I don’t know anything about the mechanics of choosing “representative” respondents to polls, but if they were equally distributed in all 50 states, it would mean 16 people per state. If states were polled according to population, some states could have very few respondents–in single digits.

      The whole thing doesn’t seem very persuasive to me. Considering the “gadlfy” reference, I’m inclined to think that the dems are desperate to counter reports of Trump’s demolishing of the repub field with some ukraine-style ersatz demolition of their own.

    2. Jabura Basaidai

      oh please……my stat teacher way back when said that polling is always biased and can be manipulated based on the questions used and how the info is correlated – they should ask if the Husk should debate if they are so sure that these “gadflies” are a nothingburger – the idea of the Husk having to take off his sunglasses and think on his feet must terrify the DNC – even with this lame polling these dem gadflies have enough to qualify if there ever are debates – wish RFK Jr had a better voice, first thing folks say is his voice bothers them….oh well, why listen to the message(duh) – agree that all three are not ready for prime time but there should be a primary and a debate – of course leaning into the idea that the DNC will find a way to exit the Husk and find a replacement, but who? Newsom is a joke and being from Cali is a millstone around his neck for most of the country, but he’s so good looking(gag) – mayo pete? kamala the giggler? the rest of the backup team from 2020 primary are useless – the dems have a quandary and they ain’t too smart, among other things pissing on the unions, railroads-dock workers-and the backstabbing going on with the upcoming autoworkers’ negotiations, won’t help –

      1. Don

        I’ve got no problem with the voice, but the ugly, racist position on Israel and Palestine — yikes! And then there’s his overall moral fluidity and opportunism. Same old, same old, you might as well just vote for
        the Big Guy.

        1. Onward to Dystopia

          Couldn’ta said it better.
          If RFK jr. was a firebrand for Medicare 4 All or yelling about raising the minimum wage, maybe I could look past some of the other stuff — or maybe I’d try at least. I think people just want something to get onboard with to break out of this bleak, stagnant political landscape, but I just don’t get the appeal. Sorry.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            it wasn’t a rah rah rah for RFK Jr but the nonsense propaganda of the “polling study” – would agree with the point about Israel giving Palestinians the shaft and was sad to hear that pov in an interview RFK Jr gave and there was a link today about a Mossad guy saying it is apartheid – it’s unfortunately a whole lot more – and there is a certain opportunism RFK Jr parrots in the wonders of capitalism and the ‘free market’ – again, not the point to uplift RFK Jr, but do like his perspective on Ukraine – Marianne is a hawk -it’s the unrelenting propaganda that there is no need for the Husk to even try to earn the candidacy that bugged me, not the moral make-up of the ‘gadflies’ – where is Mike Gravel now that we need him – as mentioned previously, if there’s a primary would vote for RFK Jr to mess with the dems and would vote for Cornell in general…….if i even vote – i will always vote for in-state candidates, but the federal just doesn’t make a lot of sense when they seem chosen for us – and the bs never changes – i put a quote from William Burroughs further down in comments that you may find interesting – onward to dystopia, eh……i like it…..certainly has felt like that for a while – appeal ain’t the point i was making but y’all saw a meaty bone, don’t blame you at all for taking a bite –

      1. Mark Gisleson

        A typewriter font. I must admit I prefer the monospaced typewriter fonts. Proportionally spaced typing was only a thing from late ’70s? until laser printers replaced typewriters but then again those were formative years for many NC oldsters.

    1. Chas

      I don’t know as I like the new “typewriter” font, but probably just because it’s a change. Who moved my cheese?

    1. furnace

      No, I’m seeing it also. The sidebar has broken as well for me, being pushed to the bottom of the page instead of being, well, on the side.

      Edit: seems to be fixed.

  10. Mildred Montana

    >Mind the Gap On wooden pallets.

    An orchard-keeper I once worked for was having a running dispute with his next-door neighbor. Instead of resorting to Hatfield/McCoy tactics he erected a fence of old pallets on the property line. No by-law against it and so there it stood, a permanent wooden raised middle finger.

    1. petal

      At our community garden, pallets were re-used to build several 3-sided bins to hold plant waste. I need to track down a pallet in order to safely store the top half of a broken headstone in its gap through the winter months until the stone can be epoxied back together. Lots of re-uses for them.

    2. mrsyk

      A good friend is an engineer for a specialty tool manufacturer. He scavenges the discarded pallets and takes home the ones constructed of hardwood, which he disassembles and reuses the lumber.
      I currently am using discarded pallets as bases for my outdoor woodpiles and as a base for my rooftop nightshade garden.

    3. Amfortas the Hippie

      pallets used to be free pretty much everywhere.
      not any more, though.
      luckily, Hardware Lady separates the “send back” kind from the “free kind”…
      when she accumulates too many of the latter, she calls me.
      because i use them for all manner of things…sawbucks for cutting firewood in a back-friendly manner, 3 pallet fences to keep sheep from eating young trees, a dumpster to store up the trash until a dump run is warranted…temporary fences to manage sheep in sensitive areas(orchard, gardens)…”nest boxes” for geese, out in whatever pasture they’re in when laying season happens(like little A-frames)
      and now, she’s got an overload, and i told her we’d take em(may even deliver,lol)…and i’ll cut them up and stain the flat slats and use those for the inside walls of the cabin…like poor mans parquet.(planning on looking into adding boron or something for added fireproofing…idk…i’ll get around to it when it gets cold gotta be an electrician in there first)

      1. homeroid

        Over the decades I have made many things from pallets. Knowing the various woods from different parts of the world. makes for fun hunting. Around here AK they resell most pallets. but alot get left out to rummage through. In fact i have a end table next to me that was made of northern cal walnut salvaged from pallets beautiful. Asian pallets are all kinds of meranti. NE hardwoods Birch,maple,oak,ash. Low grade lumber but some times they aint. Ring nails suck but a sawsall twixt slat an stringer can yield a good slat. I dont seem to spot any south american woods tho.

  11. ChrisFromGA

    Perhaps a bit tardy, but here’s a little ditty I thought up while reading the indictment of the nineteen “conspirators” in Fulton County. Apologies to Becker, Fagan:

    Hey Nineteen

    Way back when, in 2020
    It was a criminal, enterprise
    Orangeman accostin’ electoral villains
    Moved down to Georgia, but where the hell’s the crime?

    Hey nineteen!
    Now we gonna dance, together
    No we can’t talk, at all
    Please lend me a dime, while we all go down

    Hey nineteen, that’s Fani Willis
    She don’t remember, her criminal law
    Hard times befallen, the Kraken survivors
    She thinks we’re guilty, in stir we’ll all grow old

    Hey nineteen!

    No we got no plea in common
    No we, can’t dance at all
    Please call Dershowitz, else we’ll all go down

    sure looks good …
    We’ll skate if venue’s moved out now

    The jury pool
    The Fulton County jail
    Make freedom a dubious thing

    (say it again)

    The jury pool
    The Fulton County jail
    Make freedom a dubious thing (say it again)

    The jury pool
    The Fulton County jail
    Make freedom a dubious thing

    No we got no plea in common
    No we, can’t dance at all

  12. The Rev Kev

    “WeWork tells landlords it will renegotiate most office leases”

    Most mysterious this. Earlier today I was reading how WeWork was frantically seeking to cut all the dead wood that they could but now I cannot find that article and it sees to have disappeared off the net. Strange that. So maybe this renegotiating of their leases is just a tactic. If they have a WeWork branch that is not making any money, they could go to the landlord and demand a 95% reduction in rent. When the landlord refuses, they end that lease to make it sound like that it was not its fault that the landlords were being obstinate.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      It’s all about the bargaining power. WeWork is on the verge of bankruptcy, and if they end up going that route, all those leases are much easier to break. Being so big, they can threaten to go bankrupt as a negotiating tactic. Eat a cramdown, or we’ll see you in court.

      It’s variation of the old adage, “if you owe the bank $10k, it’s your problem. If you owe them $10M, it’s their problem.”

    2. Random

      When you have a massive amount of leases and office real estate is not doing too well you have some room to negotiate.

        1. mrsyk

          Me too, but that doesn’t make it so. I very, very much hope that it’s not true. If indeed it turns out to be so I expect Russia will be blamed. Or China.

          1. OnceWere

            It’s science fiction. The latest US naval nuclear reactors range up to 500 MWt (165 MWe) in power. This is so far below what you’d need to generate to produce a microwave beam hot enough to melt glass over a broad area from space that the whole idea is ridiculous unless you think that the same US arms industry that designs jets that can’t reliably fly in thunderstorms has cracked dilithium crystal technology and antimatter reactors.

              1. OnceWere

                I’ve been seeing the same basic story over and over for years now – with prototypes being built and glossy promotional videos being made. But every time its the same thing – a laser weapon that can take out a relatively fragile object travelling at not much more than 200 km/h out to a couple of kilometres. That’s a niche capability that’s hardly worth the effort of fielding – though perhaps the advent of the age of suicide drones will change that calculus. At any rate I don’t think the capability will advance much more absent earthshaking advances in basic physics and materials science.

            1. GramSci

              I agree. Space weaponry strains my credulity, too, but I checked out online photos from the Tubbs fire of 2017, supposedly independently sourced, and saw a similar pattern. The questions seem to be (1) can a large microwave resonance be induced in a local grid, and, if so, (2) [how] can it be kept local [without the cooperation of the grid]?

            2. Katniss Everdeen

              Why don’t you just start by explaining some of the observations the arborist made in the aftermath of the fire?

              Why didn’t the leaves on the Banyan Tree, a ficus, or the fronds on the palm trees, burn but the structures around them are burned to white ash for instance.

              Or the bright blue umbrellas. Or the wood around the destroyed structures. Or the polyester tires. Or the plastic garbage cans.

    1. zagonostra

      Even with my tendency to doubt the official narrative of just about everything since the beginning of time, this one is hard to internalize, compelling presentation…thx for link

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The evidence presented does appear to raise some questions about the Maui fire and some fires in California. But if microwaves caused the fires somehow … are there no reports of people tearing off their watches, rings, wire-rimmed glasses and tossing away the coins in their pockets … as these items were heated by the microwaves? What about accounts from people with pacemakers, old tooth fillings, hip, knee, and other replacement parts?

      Did you watch this video to the end? Both the interviewer and the Guest come off sounding a little bit wacko: “spiritual battle between Good and Evil” … “this is Biblical” roughly :50 and on. Actually watching the guest fidget and all but roll his eyes as the interviewer waxes eloquent I started to wonder whether they were both on the same wavelength. The interviewer made a lot of almost incoherent references to some other issues explored at the website “Stand Together Hawaii”. The guest’s body language and the interviewer’s babble made me wonder about the provenance of this video.

      The website “Stand Together Hawaii”, referred to at the end of the video in its calls for action is interesting to visit. I poked around the whole site without finding any indication about who or what funded it. Look toward the bottom of the page at the videos in the section “What Geologists & Climatologists Say About Climate Change!”. I do not know how much money it costs to set up a website these days but my first impression of this website is that it appears to reflect more money than a small grassroots development. I tried a few of the videos the site embeds. The videos appeared to be commercial-free on youtube — unlike many of the videos I have tried to watch on youtube in the past [I do not subscribe to youtube and I do not opt to play videos commercial-free].

      This looks like somebody’s gray possibly partly black propaganda working toward ends mysterious to me.

      1. flora

        All good questions. About the CA Paradise fires. Smart meters? House grounding or lack of? Houses used to have lightening rods but that’s rare now, and would not affect the pulse energy coming in from a Smart meter. It’s a mystery.

        MELTED SMART METERS!! Part 2 Paradise Fires–Massive “Event” Expert Testimony Retired Fire Captains

        1. Micat

          I had to look up the temperatures of when does steel get soft enough to bend, about 1000 degrees. What I couldn’t find was about the expansion and warping because of the that expansion.

          Then I looked up what a house fire burns at, which most fire services say is usually around 1500 but ranges from 1000-2000f. Wind being a big factor in the temperature, more wind a lot hotter. Just to start wood burning is about 300f.
          Which said to me that the fires could certainly have gotten hot enough to allow the steel to bend but not melt it which is what the photos show me. But could be wrong.

          And I looked up how smart meters work. They communicate via cell phone networks, which is why so many people don’t like them I guess. No big energy surge coming through a few watts of cell connection.

          House grounding is universal in the US and I’m not sure how that applies as I seem to remember that the power was out in paradise before the fires hit.

          I learned a lot researching this info. Thx

    3. micat

      I used to live near the santa rosa fire.
      The winds during that fire storm were 60-80mph. Personally I don’t find it compelling what that arborist says.
      I have listened to many fire science folks who I do trust. This includes CalFire, the local fire chiefs, etc.
      The reason many of the larger buildings such as the fast food places etc which indeed are often concrete stucco sided burn is that the roofs are made of asphalt and often are not cleaned so they collect organic debris which does catch on fire and they burn from the top down. There are photos of buildings with walls flat on the ground because the interior of the building is burned to the ground and they can’t support themselves.
      The subdivision that burned up were all wood sided, and close together, so once the upwind ones get started then the wind/heat just goes from next to next.
      The issue he raises about it crossed a 4 lane freeway, I think its 6 lanes around there and again with 60-80 mph winds that is not going to stop burning debris from crossing that distance. The spot fires were jumping like 1/2-1 mile at a time, that fire grew at a staggering rate just like the Maui fire.
      Cars often burn from the bottom up as the embers are being blown all around, and they get into something that can ignite, coupled with extreme winds and its gone. Take trying to start a camp fire with not blowing air vs using a leaf blower. With the leaf blower you can start about anything on fire.
      If you look at any wild fires there are always things that don’t burn, its just the luck of the draw. its called a fire mosaic by some.
      So no I don’t believe that somehow the US has a secret massive power source that can beam a weapon with that kind of accuracy and energy, to destroy Maui? Why exactly?

      1. flora

        So why didn’t the trees burn down? Why wasn’t the free standing plastic melted. A lot of anomalies.

          1. micat

            Here is the Paradise fire from 2018. Showing standing unburnt trees next to destroyed homes next to untouched homes.


            Here is a photo of the santa rosa fire that shows trees all burned up.

            My dad lost his house in the Oakland fire of 1991. On his street every single home was burnt to the ground, and every car but one was destroyed,. Just this one car with a slightly burnt tail light next to complete destruction. It just happens.

            1. some guy

              I once went on an organized birdwatching trip to northern Lower Peninsula Michigan many years ago to the Jack Pine area to see Kirtland’s warblers.

              We saw a burn-zone in the Jack Pine forest. Fires are set periodically to clear land back to treeless for a next generation of Jack Pines to start growing. The Kirtland’s warbler likes to nest on the ground under their branches when they are between 5 and 15 years old.

              We saw a few bunches of unburned taller trees here and there in the burn zone and were told that the burning pines can suck oxygen out of one or another little area and if that area happens to contain a few taller pines in that area of de-oxygenated air, that little bunch of taller trees won’t burn because it doesn’t have any oxygen to burn with.

        1. marym

          Based on a total personal lack of scientific knowledge backed by quick unscientific search:

          Some links regarding trees. References to melted plastic were about how much it was contributing to toxic residue.

          “Maui wildfires burned trees, despite claims online”

          “It is not unusual for some trees to remain standing in the aftermath of a fire while surrounding buildings and vehicles burn, fire dynamics and environmental experts told Reuters.”

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        well you’re the end of this thread and all i can think of is Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and the Jewish space lasers she ranted about – kinda weird if you remove the Jewish part, are these folks in agreement with MTG?

  13. mrsyk

    How a mere 12% of Americans eat half the nation’s beef, creating significant health and environmental impacts. A few random comments here.

    First, the headline rubs me the wrong way because it aims the blame cannon at the consumer instead of big ag and its sponsors. The big agriculture beef industry is wedded to big ag corn. There are some serious rice bowls involved.

    If I’m interpreting the IPR results correctly, the poorer you are, the less (beef) you eat.

    The study refers to USDA’s “MyPlate” a number of times. The USDA is not very good at nutrition, IMO, and in the opinion of Harvard’s School of Public Health.

    As a side note, here in the southern greens of Vermont organic beef (lamb and pork as well) is widely available and relatively inexpensive (I get local organic ground beef for $6/lb). Organic chicken is hard to find, particularly boneless cuts. If you can find a boneless breast, it will set you back $12/15/lb.

  14. antidlc

    ‘Don’t tell them I didn’t have it on’: Biden flaunts not wearing mask after COVID exposure

    President Joe Biden joked about not wearing a mask Wednesday following this week’s positive COVID-19 test of his wife, first lady Jill Biden, sending mixed signals as White House officials insist the president is following CDC guidelines.

    Biden walked into the White House State Dining Room holding − not wearing − a face mask before delivering remarks to a room of reporters, White House aides and stakeholders on a new contract between unions and shipping companies in West Coast ports.

    “Let me explain to the press: I’ve been tested again today. I’m clear across the board,” Biden said as he got underway, holding up a black face mask. “But they keep telling me, because this has to be 10 days or something, I’ve got to keep wearing it. But don’t tell them I didn’t have it on when I walked in.”

    Video at the link.

    1. Randy

      The Politico article about that same thing said that Biden “strode” to the podium. A bit of exaggeration that.

      Was he always that stupid or did he acquire his “wisdom” with age?

      1. some guy

        Down the years at his blog Sic Semper Tyrannis ( the old name before adopting the new name Turcopolier), Colonel Lang wrote the occasional article about Senator Biden noting that Biden was this stupid, nasty, ignorant and belligerent decades ago. Colonel Lang found in his personal dealings with Senator Biden to reveal Biden to have been this way right from the start. And never ever changed.

        Enough time-burning iron-butt searching through the Sic Semper Tyrannis archives could find those posts.

  15. Carolinian

    Re getting all gooey about raccoons–as we Southeast campers know they are fiercely aggressive wild animals who are not at all afraid of humans and–going by a couple of nature shows I’ve seen–even intimidate larger animals like coyotes. They are also big carriers of rabies. Undoubtedly they are smart (which is how they quickly learn humans are unlikely to hurt them) but my first thought would be “pest” rather than cute. Opinions may vary.

  16. Jason Boxman

    Inflation sighting; The local breakfast place that I sometimes do takeout from just raised by 30%; I did a double take at the register. It hasn’t increased 30% in quality, and the cheapness made it appealing. Might be my last time, and it’s the only game in town close enough to justify that also does takeout. Sigh. They also do a credit card usage fee to recoup that cost, not sure that was true a few years ago.

    1. curlydan

      Another breakfast inflation sighting. Here is Kansas City, a glazed donut at Lamar’s (probably the best donuts around here) costs $2.89–for one donut!! A few years ago, it was maybe $1.25 to $1.50.

      That means one dozen glazed donuts would be well over $30.

      I’m hoping it’s so pricey because they’re paying their workers well… but who knows?

    2. griffen

      Inflation is coming down. Behold, the mighty Oz has spoken…\ sarc

      Yeah on the breakfast items. Visiting family over the weekend, a local chain known regionally as Biscuitville ( which I recommend trying!! )…breakfast for two no combo was ~ $14…check the prices on a regular soft drink…and for a 2nd breakfast item anecdote from shopping at the local grocery not called Wal Mart. A dozen eggs yesterday ran for $1.10 or in the range; store brand eggs. And yet a carton of 18 eggs was priced about $3.15…pity the math deprived.

      1. ACPAL

        The Fed says inflation is only 3% which means my retirement check is only going to go up about 2.5%. Meanwhile burgers have gone up 30% as has most of my groceries. Meanwhile the three branches of the government appear to be on the take from industry, the military-intelligence group is getting fat raises to buy worthless junk, and foreign despots are getting billions. I can identify with the song “Rich Men North of Richmond.”

  17. Mark Gisleson

    I didn’t find the dog account support for strikers surprising. The writers strike is a wedge that’s lets PMCs side with strikers because there is ZERO inconvenience incurred by such support. The moment a picket line impacts the ability to shop, support drops. This is a very easy strike to support.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “G20 set to grant membership to African Union – sources”

    Good news for the African Union but I wonder if it will be so simple to bring them into the G20. What I mean by that is whether the western nations will only support their entry provided that the African Union distances itself from Russia and China both individually and as a group. Normally I would say that that would be stupid that but after watching the antics over the final communique for the G20, I am no longer so certain.

  19. Jason Boxman

    Americans Are Losing Faith in the Value of College. Whose Fault Is That?

    A decade or so ago, Americans were feeling pretty positive about higher education. Public-opinion polls in the early 2010s all told the same story. In one survey, 86 percent of college graduates said that college had been a good investment; in another, 74 percent of young adults said a college education was “very important”; in a third, 60 percent of Americans said that colleges and universities were having a positive impact on the country. Ninety-six percent of parents who identified as Democrats said they expected their kids to attend college — only to be outdone by Republican parents, 99 percent of whom said they expected their kids to go to college.

    1. juno mas

      Thanks for the Link. Interesting read.

      I’m on a community college campus often. The purpose of a college education is more than just getting a job. For all young students it’s their first independent life experience: new friends, different cultural habits, need for self-discipline, and exposure to rigorous study. The experience outside the classroom is as important as the lab work inside.

      Those following an Arts curriculum (which includes science and math courses) are usually following their muse or simply enjoy what they are learning (theatre arts majors learn about building stuff (scenery); musicians learn about the science of sound (recordings). Those seeking a STEM curriculum have usually already decided on that path in high school. In college, they are exposed to yet another level of academic intensity. Some change their focus.

      In the end, no matter what level of higher education attainment, learning how to learn is what is most important.

    1. Mikel

      As incredible and remarkable the American consumer may be…
      Walmart makes a first-ever change to prevent crimes in superstore

      “…While the Howell Mill Road Walmart will remain permanently closed, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said the former Vine City Supercenter will reopen with a pharmacy, grocery store, and police station to help combat crime and better serve the neighborhood…”

      File under “What could go wrong?”

  20. Nikkikat

    The remarks from Tony Blinken about the war are incredibly insane. However, he must have been so overwhelmed at “Big business’s” return to Kiev in the form of McDonalds. Tony got down to discussing lots of big things “Over fries”. Like how many years it takes to train 70 year old men to fly F16 planes. How multiple countries plan to build tanks right there in Ukraine. How well planned the counteroffensive turned out to be and of course
    How to cause cancer and death for years to come when the Nazis get a hold of those radioactive munitions. Not to mention those cluster bombs and the many years that they will remain hidden only to cause death and maiming in multitudes of children yet unborn. Oh, you are a laugh a minute Tony.
    But, ukraine will definitely win the war and it will all be worth it.
    I do wonder how much if that billion dollars from the US will end up in Tony’s bank account. The institute for the study of war must be making a bundle out of this whole mess. With 10% for the big guy.

    1. Michaelmas

      Nikkikat: I do wonder how much if that billion dollars from the US will end up in Tony’s bank account.

      It’s a big club and you ain’t in it.

      Take only one outfit, Pine Ridge Partners, of the several Blinken is an executive or board member for.

      It’s a PE firm specializing in defense investments founded in 2018 by John Thain, who those with some recollection of the 2008 GFC will recall as possibly the most verminously psychopathic bank executive among the many such then —

      Check out who Pine Ridge’s roster, beside Blinken, includes: –

      General Lloyd J. Austin III, Retired

      U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss

      U.S. Senator Tom Daschle

      U.S. Senator Byron L. Dorgan

      Lucas Evans

      Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michéle A. Flournoy

      Representative Richard Gephardt

      David Horowitz

      Robert Knox

      Wm. Russell Mann

      Admiral Michael Mullen, Retired

      U.S. Senator Don Nickles

      Clyde Tuggle

    2. ilsm

      I am waiting for a pix of blinken standing next to a Russian dragon tooth…… sort of like I am waiting for a picture of Saddaam’s a-bomb

  21. Jabura Basaidai

    OK – here goes –
    “AI experts at leading universities favor creating a federal “Department of AI” –
    this caught my attention and immediately reminded me of William Burroughs’s take on bureaucracy –

    “Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer. A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. Bureaus cannot live without a host, being true parasitic organisms. (A cooperative on the other hand can live without the state. That is the road to follow. The building up of independent units to meet needs of the people who participate in the functioning of the unit. A bureau operates on opposite principles of inventing needs to justify its existence.) Bureaucracy is wrong as a cancer, a turning away from the human evolutionary direction of infinite potentials and differentiation and independent spontaneous action to the complete parasitism of a virus. (It is thought that the virus is a degeneration from more complex life-form. It may at one time have been capable of independent life. Now has fallen to the borderline between living and dead matter. It can exhibit living qualities only in a host, by using the life of another — the renunciation of life itself, a falling towards inorganic, inflexible machine, towards dead matter.) Bureaus die when the structure of the state collapse. They are as helpless and unfit for independent existence as a displaced tapeworm, or a virus that has killed the host.”

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

    the parade through the Potemkin village is always entertaining – no butter on popcorn please –

    1. Anonymous 2

      Watched an Al Jazeera discussion on AI yesterday. I am a complete novice on this but their view was that we are on the brink of major problems with AI. Expect the 2024 election to be swamped by disinformation on social media to an extent that will make anything that has happened until now look like child’s play. Also major risk of widespread identity theft as the technology is pretty much there to steal people’s faces and voices.

      The view was that without effective global regulation we are in for an ocean of hurt.

      But what do I know? Pretty much nothing.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          a good starting point – and to Anon2 allow a rhetorical question…who the F cares, it’s such a mess already? – every one thinks they can make a silk purse out of the pig’s ear –

  22. MaryLand

    Comparing Xtwitter to Mastodon has been interesting. I still have an account at X, but tried Mastodon. I do get many more responses to a post at M where I seldom do on X, even when posting the same thing. A lot of M people like to say they hated X because of all the hate trolling they got and how much they hate Musk. I rarely experienced that at X.

    I’m in the social instance at M that happens to be dyed in the wool Dems and there is a ton of hate there towards Republicans. I have been attacked for even suggesting points to consider that are not 100% pro-Dem. I just unfollow those people. I will stick with it for a time to see if my curated list of people I follow will be better.

    It reminds me of how so many of us deal with turbulent times by searching for “safe groups” where everyone agrees with us as a kind of comfort. Applies to real world as well as online.

    1. digi_owl

      Been observing something similar with the hoopla over Reddit limiting their third party app access, and people firing up Lemmy instances in response.

      The result so far seem to lean very much in the same direction, something that is a bit ironic given how heavily they were also represented on the major sub-reddits before the circus kicked off.

      Anyways, what is particularly curious about that event is that while i had seen various app devs decry the upcoming change for months it only really got mainstream attention when it was a major iOS app that spoke up. It is tempting to speculate that the “powermods” of the various big sub-reddits were overwhelmingly iPhone users.

      And while i know iPhone has a massive marketshare in USA, elsewhere it signals “membership” of a certain economic strata.

    1. Jason Boxman

      True. Times has a story today about COVID rise, experts optimistic with new vaccines coming. These people are stupid. If they’re coming, with exponential rise, it’s already way too late. Plus they don’t stop transmission.

      Meanwhile I look outside, or see people in zoom calls at work, everyone be out and about doing whatever, like nothing is happening. It’s all quite maddening, and I wonder if I might seriously lose my grip on reality at some point. It’s just surreal.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        yesterday, alone, the scanner had 3 covid positive calls…all elderly.
        (out of a county pop of 4500, 45% are over 65.)
        2 more calls yesterday were mystery illnesses that sounded a lot like covid…also elderly folks.
        i just happened to be within earshot all day yesterday.
        today, been just for the last hour…already 2 calls of likely untested covid…one, 83 yo woman, airlifted away.
        notably, after each of these calls, tired emt guy says “we’ll be out of service for a while, disinfecting”.

        and yet, in my running around tuesday and today, not a mask to be seen.

        luckily, i rarely leave the farm as much as i have this week.

      2. antidlc

        “It’s all quite maddening, and I wonder if I might seriously lose my grip on reality at some point. It’s just surreal.”

        I know what you mean, Jason!

        I dropped off a relative at the doctor’s office yesterday. Doctors and staff were not masked, but the people in the lobby (mostly older) were masked.

        A family member had to make an emergency visit to the dentist. We had been staying away because the staff doesn’t mask and the dentist and hygienist only wear the surgical masks. Family member took a couple of wrapped, unopened N95s and asked the dentist if he and the assistant would wear them. The dentist said they already “masked up” and wearing the N95s “won’t be necessary”.

        I feel like we are living in the Twilight Zone.

        –antidlc, slowly making our way out of Obamacare hell after months of appeals and phone calls.

  23. Ghost in the Machine

    Regarding ChatGTP, I am just not worried about general intelligence arising from this technology. Years ago I took a neural networks (machine learning) course in an electrical engineering program and then later in life did research on neurons in various brain regions as an electrophysiologist. We have no idea how consciousness works. None. We even have trouble defining it.

    I asked ChatGTP how many parameters it had. I believe the response was 9 billion. These are weights connecting ‘neurons’ (nodes) organized in layers. The new transformer networks are a bit more complicated than this but this is the basic architecture. The weights are adjusted during training with a large data set. What results is a statistical model acing as a glorified auto complete function. That’s it. A statistical output based only on previous work of humans (and now AI statistical results, often garbage) with all the errors, biases, and diversity that humans produce.

    Machine learning is based on the idea of the synapse, the chemical connection between neurons, but this is only one aspect of neurophysiology. Neurons are connected in other ways as well and exist in a physiological context that changes, such as circulating hormones, which in turn changes neuronal behavior. Neurons themselves internally have the capability for computation and state changing with their ridiculously complex biochemistry, calcium signalling, local electrical activity in dendrites etc. The machine learning architecture is embarrassingly simple compared to the billions of neurons connected via trillions of synapses (and other ways as well) in a complex web. Of course there are different brain regions connected in a variety of ways for reasons difficult to decipher because the ‘why’ of these connections resides in billions of years of evolution with all its contingencies and accidents.

    Then, most damning, is the issue of computability. Early on Church and Turing addressed the fact that some problems are beyond the capability of the Universal Turing Machine, the computer. An example of a problem beyond the capability of a computer is deciding whether a statement formed from first order logic is provable or not. Complex systems are generally not computable. Our mind arises from a complex system. We are asking something which is impossible. Even for addressing simpler problems, neural nets just find correlations in the data set. It is a black box. You still have to dig into reality with experiments to determine if anything underlies the correlation and how it mechanistically arises if it is real. We are asking a machine to solve the problem of consciousness which with we have floundered with for millennia. Might as well ask a hammer.

    What I AM terribly afraid of is that these profoundly unwise tech bros are going to lobby our corrupt politicians to force us to treat these tools like they are intelligent. So once again we will have to dumb down our human capabilities to interact with machines incompetently replacing humans so more profits can be grubbed. It will be writ large the hell of screaming into the phone: THE SPELLING OF MY NAME G…H…O…S…T……”I am sorry, could you repeat more slowly’….At which point I start pounding on the 0 key. Or maybe artificial intelligence could ‘optimize’ billing and ‘improve’ healthcare even more than our wonderful electronic medical charting has already done. ;) Such a wonderful future!

    And of course, we have plenty of evidence from the likes of social media and such that altering our behavior to interact with the machine is stultifying for the mind in the same way that the car was stultifying for our physical health. People like Sam Altman are creating a hell for us, not a paradise.

  24. mrsyk

    I haven’t done a roundup on the Marion County Record in a bit, so here goes.

    “Poor vetting can mean poor hires”, Hillsboro Star Journal Worth a read. Apparently Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody and Marion County Sheriff Jeff Soyez are/were friends.

    “Transparency demands that Marion County attorney explain his role in ‘chilling’ newspaper raid”, Kansas Reflector. Concerns Marion County Attorney Joel Ensey’s participation in the affidavit/warrant debacle. Apparently, he’s been rather cagey about his role.

    “Marion mayor defends police in newspaper raid: ‘I’m not sure exactly what they did wrong’, Wichita Eagle. Here Marion Mayor David Mayfield displays that he’s willing and able to participate in a circular firing squad.

    One other interesting detail I picked up, from KCTV5 is “The Sheriff’s Department has returned pictures that the office took during the raid, but the paper is still waiting for photos members of the Police Department took with phones.
    Joan Meyer claimed police took pictures of her son Eric Meyer’s financial statements which would be completely outside the scope of the warrant.”

  25. Jeff W

    Is India changing its name to Bharat? G20 invite controversy explained Channel News Asia

    See also this piece “A short history of ‘India’ versus ‘Bharat’” in for a deeper dive into the history of the two words.(Spoiler: India as “Bhārata” dates back 2000 years while India as “Hindustan” goes back to the 13th century and, perhaps unsurprisingly, neither refers to what would be, geographically, modern-day India.)

  26. JCC

    “Former Mossad chief Pardo claims Israel is enforcing ‘apartheid’ system in West Bank”

    Having recently, finally, gotten around to reading John Mearsheimer’s book, The Israeli Lobby and US Foreign Policy ( ) published in 2007, it’s more than obvious that things have gotten far worse in Israel, and for the Palestinians as well as Jordanians and Syrians. This includes the US support of massive Israeli abuse on every level, despite US Public rhetoric on its support of a Two State Solution, etc.

    One example here is that we now have 35 States here in the US that have instituted anti-BDS laws and policies. This in a supposed free market, capitalist country that preached for many years that its citizens have the right to free speech and the “dollar vote” (about the only vote we have left… except when it comes to Israel).

    As of 2021, 35 states have passed bills and executive orders designed to discourage boycotts of Israel. Many of them have been passed with broad bipartisan support. Most anti-BDS laws have taken one of two forms: contract-focused laws requiring government contractors to promise that they are not boycotting Israel; and investment-focused laws, mandating public investment funds to avoid entities boycotting Israel. There has been debate over whether the laws violate the right to free speech and organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) have challenged many of them in court cases.

    72% of Americans, according to the above article, are against these laws and policies, but obviously that majority has no say in any of it, and for many even their “dollar vote” is illegal.

  27. maipenrai

    Metformin: while anecdotes are anecdotal, i will say my long covid patients are mostly on metformin, THat speaks to people who are mostly obese and diabetic though.

    Regarding new vaccines for the fall, the manufacturers themselves have said that there is no reliable Ab correlate of protection. but that is all were are going to get here on trials in humans will be run.

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