Links 1/14/2024

California’s grizzlies: gargantuan, dangerous meat-lovers. Totally wrong, research shows LA Times

Watch: Man Gets Rare Footage of a Jaguar in Southern Arizona Field & Stream

Huge ring of galaxies challenges thinking on cosmos BBC

Earthsickness At Sea JSTOR Daily


Canada’s record-breaking wildfires have widespread logging partly to blame Wildfire Today. On Canadian wildfires, see NC here.

Human ‘behavioural crisis’ at root of climate breakdown, say scientists Guardian


“We need to talk about the different ways that wastewater sequencing is performed” (Thread Reader) Marc Johnson, @SolidEvidence

Long COVID manifests with T cell dysregulation, inflammation and an uncoordinated adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2 Nature. Chalk up another one for Leonardi.

Natural SARS-CoV-2 infection in dogs: Determination of viral loads, distributions, localizations, and pathology Acta Tropica. Even if infecting children doesn’t bother people, perhaps infecting dogs will.


China says ‘reunification’ with Taiwan remains ‘inevitable’ after vote Channel News Asia

Taiwan tells China to ‘face reality’ and respect election results France24

US does not support Taiwan independence: Biden Anadolu Agency

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China Wants To Ditch The Dollar NOEMA. Big if true. Worth a read for better understanding of China’s economy, in any case.

South Korea

Commentary: K-pop without the ‘K’ just won’t pop Channel News Asia


Court case against Israel could restore international law InfoBrics

South Africa’s genocide case against Israel is imperfect but persuasive. It may win Kenneth Roth, Guardian

South Africa’s legal team in the genocide case against Israel has won praise. Who are they? The Conversation

Prof. John Mearsheimer: Yes, Israel Is Committing Genocide (video) Scheerpost

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Bibi’s war aims:

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Don’t Bomb the Houthis Foreign Affairs

All Ships Advised to Avoid Red Sea While Houthi Vow Retaliation for Strikes Maritime Executive

Why global commerce is now in the crossfire Good Authority, Brookings Institution

What the Red Sea conflict means for domestic transportation Freight Waves

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‘It is a time of witch hunts in Israel’: teacher held in solitary confinement for posting concern about Gaza deaths Guardian

Israel’s ‘People’s Army’ at War Foreign Policy. The deck: “Israelis have an especially close bond with their military, but Oct. 7 shook their trust to the core.” I’m not so sure.

European Disunion

Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: The Market for Lemons The Journal of Economic History. From 2017, but too fascinating to let pass by. “The main hypothesis is that the growth and consolidation of the Sicilian mafia is strongly associated with an exogenous shock in the demand for lemons after 1800, driven by James Lind’s discovery on the effective use of citrus fruits in curing scurvy.”

Dear Old Blighty

The costly, controversial outsourcing of NHS mental health services FT

New Not-So-Cold War

Who Is Gonzalo Lira? Pro-Putin American Expat Dies in Ukrainian Jail James Bickerton, Newsweek. Commentary:

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Russia says Ukraine’s security cooperation deal with UK leaves it without chances for peace talks Anadolu Agency

Are there any winners in the Russia-Ukraine war? Gilbert Doctorow

Russia’s Medvedev warns of nuclear response if Ukraine hits missile launch sites Reuters

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Bloodied and exhausted: Ukraine’s effort to mobilize more troops hits trouble Politico

Russia claims to have struck ‘Ukrainian military-industrial complex’ France24

Russia Making Growing Use of A-50U ‘Flying Radar’ Jets to Hunt Down Remaining Ukrainian Fighters Military Watch

Pentagon finds no credible evidence of US arms embezzlement in Ukraine Ukrainska Pravda


The fallout for Boeing will extend far beyond the 737 Max 9 grounding The Air Current (PI).

Boeing facing class-action lawsuit following near-disaster on Alaska Airlines flight 1282 KOMO (PI).

‘This Has Been Going on for Years.’ Inside Boeing’s Manufacturing Mess. WSJ

It’s Time to Nationalize and Then Break Up Boeing Matt Stoller, BIG

Digital Watch

Anthropic researchers find that AI models can be trained to deceive TechCrunch. That’s not a bug. It’s a feature (and it does make you wonder why Silicon Valley isn’t training an AI to be, say, a moral exemplar).

AI fears creep into finance, business and law WaPo

Daughter of George Carlin horrified someone cloned her dad with AI for hour special The Register

FTC bans major data broker from selling invasive location tracking details The Verge

Liv Boeree: On Competition, Moloch Traps, and the A.I. Arms Race (transcript) Eric Topol, Ground Truths


Saving Bidenomics Boston Review

Biden Administration

Johnson defies right flank, saying bipartisan spending plan ‘remains’ Politico

Congressional leaders reach short-term spending deal to keep government open until March NBC

The Supremes

Epistemic Communities in American Public Law Cass R. Sunstein, SSRN. “I suggest that judges live in, and help constitute, epistemic communities, broadly defined as ‘professional networks with authoritative and policy-relevant expertise.’ One result is epistemic overconfidence, which is a serious problem in American public law. The existence of epistemic communities, and the problem of epistemic overconfidence, create challenges for the project of originalism, but they also create challenges for public law more broadly.”


Is Vaccination Approaching a Dangerous Tipping Point? JAMA. “It is sobering to note that vaccine hesitancy to childhood vaccines, such as the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, has been found to cluster in middle- to high-income areas among parents with at least a college degree who preferred social media narratives over evidence-based vaccine information delivered by clinicians.” Commentary:

Thanks, PMC.

Zeitgeist Watch

Liberalism is battered but not yet broken Martin Wolf, FT. “What liberals share is trust in human beings to decide things for themselves. That implies the right to make their own plans, express their own opinions and participate in public life.”

Rebecca Solnit: Slow Change Can Be Radical Change LitHub

Book Nook

I behave like a fiend London Review of Books

The Gallery

Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks’ Captures the Isolation of American Modernity. Here Are 3 Things You Might Not Know About It Artnet

Imperial Collapse Watch

A Navy In Crisis: It’s Time For The Conference Of Admirals gCaptain

When The Hell That Is War Loses Its Power The American Interest

Why WA real estate agents are leaving nation’s most powerful group Seattle Times (PI).

Class Warfare

Companies Are Still Cutting White-Collar Jobs WSJ

The creator economy is ready for a workers’ movement TechCrunch

Johns Hopkins Medicine CEO, VP ‘repudiate’ ‘privilege’ definition in diversity newsletter following backlash FOX. “Privilege is an unearned benefit given to people who are in a specific social group.” So all benefits need to be “earned,” eh? Now I see why DEI spread like kudzu over every neoliberal institution; it’s, as we say, bug-compatible with it.

Want a Cure for Doomscrolling? Try P.G. Wodehouse The Common Reader

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. The Rev Kev

    “Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks’ Captures the Isolation of American Modernity. Here Are 3 Things You Might Not Know About It”

    Gotta admit to always liking Hoppers ‘Nighthawks’ as it is so different and draws the eye. Looking closer at this painting, it is not so much a matter of what he put in that painting as what he left out. And he really did a great job on colour usage as well.

    1. Hastalavictoria

      Watched a really good programme about Hopper,his life and works etc but the presenter/art critics final conclusion was the that Hopper was like a railway train rolling down the same track.Always found it difficult to rid my mind of that comparison.

      1. JM

        Funny, I was going to mention the same American Masters show, with a different conclusion. I recall them saying he was very influential, but at the end saying that he was the inky person who used his style, so it was a dead end track. Overall it seemed as interested in character assassination as anything else.

        1. Burritonomics

          I have never agreed with criticism of an artist (in any endeavor) who does something well, and then just does that. Not everyone needs to constantly strive to change once they arrive.

      1. ambrit

        Seeing how essentially derivative AI is, that aardvark must be yelling “Stella!”
        I’m totally using this bit next Tennessee Williams “Shout Out Day” down the French Quarter. Stanley Kowalski as a “furry.”

      2. Feral Finster

        I tried using AI to produce a heroic image of Norman Borlaug rendered in the style of Boris Vallejo, holding aloft a Torch Of Enlightenment whilst two scantily woman embrace his thighs.

        Results were….very mixed. More specific instructions just made the end-product even weirder.

      3. alfred venison

        I plumbed Natural Intelligence for a critique in the style of Ezra Pound on Pope’s Homer and came up with :-

        “very pretty, not Hopper”.

      4. Henriux Mill

        Regarding albrt comment at 8:28 AM.

        I would love to hear an explanation as to what makes Nighthawks (a true masterpiece; disclosure: I am a visual artist) “boring”.
        Hopper was a master of using extremely effective technical devices in a manner that makes his work look “simple” and even easy to recreate. Nothing could be further from the truth. Take a minute or two to admire the complexity and the originality of his compositions, his use of light and shadows, his (very modern and at times surprising) editing of the picture frame. The fact is that his attention to detail and his ability to capture human feelings and emotions (and to make them harmonize perfectly with the architecture and the urban environments where he places his characters) put him on a league of his own.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      One of the few great paintings I’ve seen in person and I honestly have no memory of viewing it or anything else from that visit to the Art Institute of Chicago in the late ’70s. I always recognize the painting instantly but as an image in my mind which has no frame and exists independently of any physical setting. Usually when I remember Nighthawks I have a sense of there being a gas pump outside which is reassuring because it means that if nothing else at least I’ve got all my Hopper together.

      1. Pat

        Funny, I was just going to say that if you can see it in person you should. It was more powerful than any print.

        The perspective is part of it but his use of color as almost an oppressive character was, for me, encompassing. I wouldn’t want to do it regularly, but I was so drawn into it I felt the need to get into the diner and out of the blue isolation as I stood there.

        1. bdy

          I felt the need to get into the diner. . .
          At his best Hopper sublimates alienation, invites me into modernity’s numb acceptance of the abyss — cool like James Dean.

    3. Carolinian

      There was a good PBS special about him that aired here recently. As the show and eventually the linked article point out the models for the couple in the picture were his wife and Hopper himself. So perhaps his alienation was from her? Apparently they did have an at times difficult relationship like many longstanding couples.

      Hopper started out as an illustrator and could be seen as a member of that great early 20th school of great narrative illustrators like NC Wyeth–whose son also produced a well known painting about loneliness. Now days we USians have a mania for the social but via the distancing medium of the internet. Perhaps an update of the painting would have her alone staring at her iPhone.

      1. ambrit

        An update of the painting would have all of the characters in the painting staring at their iPhones.
        I have wanted to do an illustration in the style of the 1940’s children’s “readers,” (like “Dick and Jane,” etc.) showing playing little children in a residential street about to be run down by a car being driven by an All American Mom texting behind the wheel.
        “See Dick and Jane play.”
        “See Dick and Jane play Crossing Guard.”
        “See nice Mrs. Biden.”
        “See nice Mrs. Biden driving her automobile.”
        “Mrs. Biden is not paying attention!”
        “Run Dick and Jane! Run!”
        Hopper would approve.

      2. digi_owl

        USians, and via the export of culture thanks to Hollywood, much of western world, seems to have confused social for voyerism and spectacle.

        Then again Facebook got its name from the nickname of the yearbook, and was early on a magnet for “teens” wanting to get external affirmation of their choices. But when grandmas (the classic customer of gossip magazines) moved in, the younger ones evacuated for Tumblr, Instagram, and more recently Tiktok.

    4. Susan the other

      Wow. What a thread. Testament to the power of Hopper’s imagery. Hopper is definitely my fave. And I can’t define it quickly except that he forces you to “be here now.” There is no escaping the existential grip he has on my heart. Literally. And Night Hawks is just one of many. Hopper is a black belt. And in Night Hawks he includes a background view of an old hotel front, windows, rooms above. I think he did a separate homage to this shelter titled stg. like “Sunday Morning” wherein Hopper captures the light and quiet of every Sunday morning that ever existed. Uncanny. And every time I see it it evokes an equally powerful reaction I have remembering Johnny Cash’s rendition of Chris Kristoferson’s haunting “Sunday Morning Coming Down.”Something we all share, right to our marrow. Art tells us. Words fail us.

    5. maria gostrey

      another fun fact abt “nighthawks”: the hemingway short story which inspired hoppers painting in the early 40s was chosen by tarkovsky as the plot for his very 1st film in the mid to late 50s. tarvovsky & other film students are the actors. available on criterion. & less than half an hr long!

  2. zagonostra

    Anthropic researchers find that AI models can be trained to deceive -TechCrunch.

    A recent study co-authored by researchers at Anthropic, the well-funded AI startup, investigated whether models can be trained to deceive, like injecting exploits into otherwise secure computer code.

    Yes and a dog can be trained to be aggressive. But it’s not the dog or the AI I’m worried about. It’s the lunatics doing the training. Just like the people running this government. Why are we being deceived on every level by our elected octogenarians “leaders.” Why isn’t there young men and women leading this country? Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Max Blumenthal was running for President with Aaron Mate as his VP and Katie Halper as Secretary of State, they could be heading an anti-zionist Political Party on the lines of the first third party in America, the Anti-Mason Party in the mid-19th century.

    Can the programmers please start working on an AI model that tells the American people the truth instead of trying to deceive them with lies, a computer program that would let a young man with new set of fresh ideas have a chance at the Presidency, could they please hack the system and let that program go viral.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘Why isn’t there young men and women leading this country?’

      Historically, the men that became President were in their 40s and 50s and sometimes their 60s. The past two Presidents pushed it to men in their 70s though Reagan came close at just short of 70-

      Would it be so bad putting an age cap of the retirement age of Americans for the Office of the Presidency? Probably there would be accusations of ageism here though – by mostly very old people. :)

      1. LawnDart

        But if you send a signal that people should be retired by their 70s, who will man the doors at WalMart?

        1. The Rev Kev

          You’re right. This could mean the end of dead peasant’s insurance! Come to think of it, is it too late to take out such a policy on old Joe?

        2. Wukchumni

          Wal*Mart used to have geezer greeters before the turn of the century, but they’re long gone-replaced by edgy younger exiters who make sure you paid for your gotten gains.

          The last time my exiter had a visual net worth of close to $8k in tattoos, how is that possible on $15 an hour?

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            They are free when your E5 is teaching himself the trade. And worth the price according to my eldest.

      2. griffen

        Well it happens at many US corporations, who on occasion are known to circumvent a pesky retirement age if the existing CEO is performing well. One example comes to mind, say if Jamie Dimon reaches a specified retirement age but they decide it’s ride or die with Jamie.

        Recently, Al Gore was once again in the news for exactly what is suggested…the age retirement as a requirement aspect…no longer shall he serve on the board of Apple. But rest assured, he could make another run at the Presidency.

      3. chris

        I don’t mind very old people being in charge. I mind very old people who lie about their health conditions, are on multiple mind altering prescription medications, and have staff that form an impenetrable barrier between them and citizens if the elected official becomes too inform to perform their duties. I also mind all these old codgers who never served their country unless it made them money but they keep sending our kids to wars for reasons that have nothing to do with our safety and prosperity.

        About 40% of American Seniors 65+ are on one or more prescription drugs. It’s not ageist to assert that as a class, this population should have to certify that they meet additional criteria proving their capable of performing the duties of an elected official during their term. And it’s not ageist to assert that some people may not be capable of meeting those requirements in the middle of their term. Strom Thurmond, MO Udall, RBG, and Diane Feinstein (to name a few) were signs that as a class we should reject the group of elderly elderly people who think they own their elected position until they die.

        1. GC54

          Even worse: link says 5 or more prescription drugs taken by 65+ in the last 30 days. Presumably one being a statin, despite recent advice to not bother at that age unless post cardiac event

      4. NYMutza

        In my view 75 should be the upper age limit for president. By this I mean a person is ineligible for the office if they will reach the age of 75 in their term. This would exclude a 72 year old from running. It would exclude a 70 year old from running for a second term. I would apply the same restrictions to the Congress.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Nope. Set the cap for 75 and you’ll just have to raise it again. To save social security. /s

      5. Late Introvert

        My only reservation is that at my 6th decade, I dare I say I’m more wise and patient than ever before, and way more humble. Probably those traits don’t select well for the political class of person.

    2. i just don't like the gravy

      Even if you programmed your AI to be anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist, the social structures in place would reinforce within the population a repudiation of your work as “disinfo,” claiming that your AI might hold some affection for Putin.

      This country will never have a “good” president for the Office of the President is itself designed to deceive and destroy humanity and enslave American citizens.

      The best we can hope for is that the sociopaths running this country self-cannibalize enough that everything falls apart before climate catastrophe makes most of the globe unlivable.

    3. Mikel

      The deception starts with saying an algorithm was “trained” and not programmed.
      I can’t with these f’ers anymore…

  3. Trees&Trunks

    Only 44% of Swedes are ready to sacrifice their lives for Sweden. It is both really sad and correct as well.
    Aurelien has written about th Western values not being worth dying for. I would also like to add the practical outcomes. The whole of the Swedish welfare state is privatized and crapified. Children don’t learn to read and write. People are euthanized during pandemics etcetc. The land is privately and very much foreign owned. Swedes are one of the most indebted populations on earth due to property prices fuelled by lax credit rules designed to keep people in debt bondage.
    Why fight for something you don’t own or get anything from?
    Hudson wrote that in Greece conquerors often offered to debt relief and were welcomed as liberators.

    It is extremely sad to see how the value of your homeland has sunk so low.

    1. JohnA

      And on Friday Sweden’s foreign minister Tobias Billström said that he not only stands behind efforts being made to maintain security and freedom of navigation at sea, but that Sweden can also actively contribute to this mission.

      From being neutral for 200 years, Sweden’s politicians are desperate to make up time in warmongering around the world on behalf of the US.
      No wonder Swedes are less willing to sacrifice themselves for their country. They have been increasingly betrayed since Palme was assassinated in 1986, quite possibly orchestrated by the CIA.

    2. digi_owl

      And yet the nordics gets slandered as some kind of socialist hellscape by the monied and their PMC entourage, that wants to bring in ever closer to US style economics.

    3. Skip Intro

      Maybe they don’t know what ‘dying for Sweden’ means, and understand it historically means dying for some politician’s ambition and ignorance.

    4. Albe Vado

      The goal isn’t to ‘sacrifice’ yourself for your country. ‘Fighting’ is a euphemism. The objective in conflict is murder, to make as many of the other poor, dumb bastards (doubtless also all good noble, noble patriots themselves) die for their country.

      I think reframing this is very important. Is something as abstract as a nation worth murdering for? The extreme focus on ‘sacrifice’ always felt like very cynical manipulation by leaders who are using us to pursue goals that usually have little to nothing to do with protecting or bettering a society.

      1. Trees&Trunks

        Well-defined and functioning in-groups fighting for survival have over time proven to be worthwhile causes for killing others as well as sacrificing yourself (putting your ass on the line to possibly die) for the greater good = the welfare of your family within the in-group and the in-group and its resources.

        I would say that a well-functioning nation with some sort of identity as a percieved in-group is worth dying for. A nation where conflicts between classes and regional identities (I am thinking on the level of capital vs next largest city, differences of accent across states/regions, not the Sykes-Picot mess) and access/distribution of resources within the nation are superseded by a sense of “us” against others is worth dying for. A nation where the elites have revolted against the people, may die and not be missed by anyone.

        1. Albe Vado

          “A nation where conflicts between classes and regional identities and access/distribution of resources within the nation are superseded by a sense of “us” against others is worth dying for.”

          But literally why? And, more to the point, are they worth murdering for? There’s a world of difference between vowing to die for something (it’s your life, you can choose to risk or end it for whatever cause you want) and the utter arrogance of taking the authority upon yourself to end someone else’s for something.

          To say that when the (I would say actually meaningful and fundamental) conflicts within a society are ignored in the name of ‘rah rah, let’s all unite to kill johnny foreigner’, how is that not almost always just more cynical manipulation?

          Especially as very rarely do the rich risk themselves in such wars. There are no good elites; elitehood is itself an abomination and a greater threat to any group than any outsider, especially given how the elite contrive to over and over again engineer wars against outsiders.

          “Look, let’s ignore internal issues of why me and my buddies seem to own ludicrously more than everyone else, and focus instead on what really matters: how we’re all equal citizens (except the majority that I happily rob blind) and must form common cause against the godless baby eaters next door.”

          To me you’ve laid out a set of very clear reasons why war is almost always bullshit, along with the entire idea of nationhood, and then say the clear bullshit is noble and just.

    5. Brian Beijer

      As a Swede, I can say that there is only one country I would fight to the death to defend Sweden against, and it sure as hell isn’t Russia or China. The only problem is that Sweden was already conquered by this country long before I arrived.
      I have a photo of Palme in my office to remind me of the last time Sweden was a soverign, independent country that made decisions in the best interest of its people.

      1. Mikel

        “As a Swede, I can say that there is only one country I would fight to the death to defend Sweden against, and it sure as hell isn’t Russia or China.”

        Bring on the Swehad!

        (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

      2. JohnA

        Yes, every time I come back to Stockholm, I go to visit his grave and spend a few silent minutes of contemplation about what Sweden has lost since his death.

    6. Feral Finster

      Why would anyone need to sacrifice their lives for Sweden? If the American Empire would quit using Sweden as a catspaw and flooding Europe with refugees, Sweden would have no security concerns.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Companies Are Still Cutting White-Collar Jobs”

    One way that corporations are doing this is called “quiet firing” –

    ‘Generally, “quiet firing” means pushing employees out by creating conditions that cause them to quit. At Amazon, insiders say the company is doing this by putting a higher number of employees in the lowest bucket of performance ratings, mandating a stricter return-to-office policy, or just unassigning them any work — all under the goal of pushing them out of the company, according to eight people who spoke to Business Insider.’

    1. Arizona Slim

      That happened to me in several jobs. And it’s one of the reasons why I’ve been self-employed since 1994.

      Hmmm, 30 years on my own. Perhaps I should throw myself a party…

    2. griffen

      Just this week, featured on CNBC discussions were both Citigroup and Blackrock. Ho hum, Citigroup going through yet another configuration of restructuring, or whatever they have to call it now. Fifteen damn years since the Global ClusterMess and still they aren’t right.

      Blackrock’s CEO, Larry Fink was on CNBC for a lengthy interview early Friday. Big news as they are acquiring a large infrastructure management firm, and also doing a restructuring of specific units. That interview covered a lot of territory, including the now official announcement from the SEC in regards to bitcoin ETF offerings.

      1. Wukchumni

        Towards the end of my mom’s life, she had a series of Philippine-American hospice nurses caring for her around the clock, and in conversation with one of them-she related that all her savings were in Bitcoin*, and I remained neutral and was merely a listener, and what a believer she was, whew~

        * she must be on Cloud 9, Bitcoin was $29k when we talked, now $42k, you go, girl!

    3. Jabura Basaidai

      made me remember a friend telling me about an intern assigned to him and asking all sorts of questions about how to do the job – light bulb went on immediately as to what was happening and he threw a spanner into the attempt to have him train his lower wage replacement by omitting and misdirecting certain aspects – he quit the job shortly after and was repeatedly called to come back – he laughed all the way to his next position at a different employer –

    4. NYMutza

      Corporations get around WARN Act notifications by staggering layoffs such that each group is below the reporting requirement threshold. My previous employer made an art of this.

    5. ChrisFromGA

      The weaponization of the office.

      Amazon is famous for “stack ranking” its’ employees every year and whacking the lowest group.

      You’re a rotter, Mr. Jassy
      You’re the king of sinful sots …
      Your heart’s a bad tomato
      Filled with moldy purple spots
      Mr. Jassy!

      You’re a triple decker toad stool sandwich …
      Laced with arsenic sauce!

  5. furnace

    South Africa’s genocide case against Israel is imperfect but persuasive. It may win Kenneth Roth, Guardian

    Wrong link.

  6. ambrit

    Concerning “too much doomscrolling”: being that this is the NC Commenteriat, in which there are multitudes, can someone give me a word for “Suicide by watching too much anime?”
    I know it is an assignment, but I have yet again discovered, to my dismay, that Google is not my friend.
    Google seems to have ‘scraped’ and ‘repurposed’ that classic bit of Washington advice into: “If you want a friend on this platform, buy something.”

    1. griffen

      I think we can use a bit of satire and levity, to counter all the negative headlines be they real and real time or just perceived to be a bit too harsh for even a bizarre reality. Such is life and living in America, circa 2024. I found a few recent nuggets available at the Bee, so I went with something more appropriate…

      Maybe to help answer, and “death by a thousand slow motion frames”? I don’t know much about anime, to be honest…I swear that I don’t anyway.

      1. The Rev Kev

        That article says ‘The film is set to release next year and will star Mark Ruffalo, with a supporting cast including George Takei and Susan Sarandon, and will be directed by Rob Reiner.’

        Susan Sarandon is definitely the outlier here.

        1. pjay

          Yes. The refusal or inability to distinguish actual progressives from liberal pretenders reflects The Bee’s basic right-wing orientation. It’s been a great source for skewering the hypocrisy of the latter. But I wouldn’t count on it for political enlightenment any more that I would count on Donald Trump for political salvation.

        2. Carolinian

          Indeed. Guess the Bee satirists don’t like her support for the Palestinians?

          Similarly Turley claims to be a “free speech absolutist”–to be applauded–but then contorts into an opponent of campus Palestinian free speech as intimidating those poor campus Zionism believers. Rice bowls everywhere.

          1. Chris Smith

            We all have our blind spots. The question is, when our values come into conflict, do we confront the conflict head on or engage in the intellectual gymnastics to impose a BS reconciliation on the conflict.

            In this case, Turley did the latter. It is disappointing. We all hit this stumbling block and I have yet to meet someone who has not succumb to cognitive dissonance (myself included).

        3. griffen

          I take my satire and belly laughs where I can find them these days…Alternately they had a ringer about the biblical character Job and his suffering now that the Michigan football team had won the college football championship. “Why do I continue to suffer?”

          Alternately as well, the Bee had a zinger on the Joe Biden approval rating according to US military defense contractors..guess not every one can belly laugh at these.

          1. Wukchumni

            The America I grew up in used humor in a defensive way, take the Challenger for instance.

            When it blew up, almost instantaneously pre-internet, there were a dozen fairly horrible jokes that came about, such as: …what does NASA stand for? Need Another Seven Astronauts

            When the Space Shuttle Columbia done blew up in 2003, there weren’t any jokes, we’d become too serious of a country in the aftermath of 9/11.

      2. Wukchumni

        There are no exact guidelines. There are probably no guidelines at all. The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world.

        A state that denies its citizens their basic rights becomes a danger to its neighbors as well: internal arbitrary rule will be reflected in arbitrary external relations. The suppression of public opinion, the abolition of public competition for power and its public exercise opens the way for the state power to arm itself in any way it sees fit…. A state that does not hesitate to lie to its own people will not hesitate to lie to other states.

        Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not.

        Václav Havel

    2. .human

      This reminded me of that linked article yesterday abour proprietary software in pace-makers.

      If your heart depends on a platform…

    3. Jason Boxman

      I’ve been experimenting with Kagi, a paid-for search engine ($5-10/mo) that has no ads and doesn’t track you. So far, it seems no worse than Google, plus no ads or tracking. They also have a web browser (Orion) in beta that’s based on WebKit, not Chromium, which seems functional for basic browsing and supports some Chrome and Firefox plugins. If you enable session syncing, it uses iCloud. Oh, it is MacOS only, though.

      Maybe if Google does get broken up or nerfed, we’ll see more companies like this. Neeva was another search competitor that last year gave up and got acquired instead. No one wanted to pay for search. Their CEO was a witness at the recent Google trial, I believe.

      1. ambrit

        Yes. A good send up of Google would be an “Ad” for the platform presented by a ‘Spokes Demon.’
        “Hi! I’m Jaimie, but you can call me Master.”

  7. none

    Privilege is an unearned benefit given to people who are in a specific social group.” So all benefits need to be “earned,” eh? Now I see why DEI spread like kudzu over every neoliberal institution; it’s, as we say, bug-compatible with it.

    That definition offhand looks kind of reasonable. Give a random person an unearned benefit (say a cash windfall) and that doesn’t count as privilege. If counts if everyone in the person’s social group (i.e. people in the same economic class, or ethnic group, or with the same native language, etc, receive the befit while the out-group doesn’t. Social group here means a class of some sort, not just a few drinking buddies. E.g. people with “white” names get more CV responses than those with “Black” names even when the other CV details are identical.

    Yanis Varoufakis has a series of articles about this that I learned about here on NC. Basically, creating and reinforcing privilege seems to be an innate feature (bug?) of humans. See for example

      1. none

        The stereotypes are self reinforcing. See Varoufakis’ article. With anonymous players assigned red or blue at random, one color often established dominance in the game even though it’s players had done nothing to deserve an advantage.

  8. Wukchumni

    Hey, Davos! Oh, Davos!
    Hey, Davos! Oh, Davos!

    Davos, if you will
    Please send a little agenda for me to thrill
    An agenda who wants my alms and your arms
    An agenda with all the charms of you

    Davos, make for an exclusive lair
    A lovely private jet with importance in the air
    And take the brightest stars up in the skies
    And place them in Dubendorf for me

    Davos, Caviar Klaus that you are
    Surely the things I ask
    Can’t be too great a task

    Davos, if you do
    I promise to .01%’ers I always will be true
    I’ll give it all I have to give
    As long as we all shall live

    Hey, Davos! Oh, Davos!
    Make my dreams come true

    Hey, Davos! Oh, Davos

    Venus, by Frankie Avalon

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Thanks for nuthin’, Wuk. That must have been the 2nd or 3rd 45 I ever owned. Now I’m gonna have Frankie Avalon playin’ in my head all day.

  9. .human

    Pentagon finds no credible evidence of US arms embezzlement in Ukraine

    I thought, for sure, that this was an Onion headline…

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I was just about to click when I saw it wasn’t. Then I looked harder and realized it was.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Germany is unsure where its Ukraine weapons ended up as they weren’t really keeping track-

      ‘The German government only twice checked where the weapons it had sent abroad in 2023 ended up, Der Spiegel reported on Friday, citing officials. Meanwhile, Berlin’s massive military assistance to Kiev was also left unsupervised, with German policymakers relying on assurances from Ukrainian officials.

      The Ministry of Economics provided the information in response to a request from Bundestag member Sevim Dagdelen, who is now a member of the recently formed BSW party founded by MP Sahra Wagenknecht. The latter, often described as the ‘Icon of German Left,’ has been a vocal critic of arms deliveries to Kiev.

      Citing the reply, Der Spiegel noted that Berlin had checked the whereabouts of small arms sent to Taiwan in January 2023, and in June, it carried out a similar inspection in Cape Verde. German officials insisted that both on-site inspections meant to make sure that the weapons did not leave the end destination went smoothly.

      However, regarding the massive commitment to finance the Ukrainian military, there have been “no controls” whatsoever, Der Spiegel reported, quoting the ministry.’

      1. Bsn

        The Pentagon can’t even find its boss, Austin. I’m beginning to agree with Dima that he may have been injured in Ukraine. Hmmmm, the plot thickens. I predict we won’t “see” him for at least another week. Then again, perhaps an AI version of him will show up and announce that he’s feeling better and better but is going to lay low until he’s completely cured of prostate cancer (which can take decades to kill someone).

    3. Will

      Now that they’ve finished with that investigation, perhaps they could turn their attention to the $406 million the Canadian government gave them to buy an air defense system for Ukraine.

      On Jan 10, 2023, Canada announced the plan to:

      >>>pay the United States government the total cost of the system, and for the U.S. to enter into a foreign military sales agreement with Ukraine directly.

      Such an arrangement would allow Canada to avoid applying to the U.S. government for further approval to send the system on to Ukraine, which is required whenever American military technology is sold outside the country.

      Canada followed up with the cash in March of last year but so far, no news on where that money has gone or when the air defense system is to be delivered. Rather strange turn of events considering the Pentagon’s stellar reputation for keeping track of its money.

  10. griffen

    One to file under Class Warfare or ICW. The price of a dozen eggs, late December was roughly $1.15; and just yesterday the price of the same dozen was increased to roughly $1.80. Yikes.

    South Carolina, regional grocery chain. I don’t consume much dairy, so the carton of eggs proxy is the best I can suggest for varied inflation data points. How this fits into the varied CPI reporting to come through the first quarter, well I defer to a higher authority. AKA, someone in power to tell me my eyes and brain are deceived, and those same eggs are not higher in price.

    1. MT_Wild

      Wow that’s cheap. I just double checked Walmart price and we’re at 2.80 for a dozen of generic store brand eggs here in MT.

    2. Screwball

      I went to the grocery store yesterday. I buy for one. I buy the same stuff most of the time, with exceptions for cleaning stuff when needed. For the longest time it would cost me 60-70 bucks. In the last year or two, it has been 90-100.

      4 pound bag of cat food was $24.99. That’s $6.00+ a pound to feed my cat. I don’t buy $6.00 meat. I am not alone. I hear this from all the people I talk to. Not only food, but inflation/shrinkflation in everything.

      It must be a dream, gaslight central tells me they are taming inflation and I should be happy about Bidenomics. Well, I’m not. Kind of reminds me of an old joke about circle files.

      Cop pulls a guy over and while talking to the guy in the car a fly is orbiting his head. The cop keeps swatting at the fly and the guy says “having trouble with that circle fly?” What’s a circle fly says the cop. Guy explains that circle flies orbit around a pile of feces. Cop asks if they guy is calling him a pile of… Guy says, why no officer, not at all. Good, says the cop. Guy says – can’t fool them damn flies though.

      My wallet isn’t fooled either. Go blow smoke elsewhere Brandon.

      1. Jack

        So what if your food expenses have doubled? You didn’t read the above Bidenomics apologia from the Boston Review obviously. Get informed and stop complaining.

        Chinese billionaires are building a chip factory in Arizona and billions of borrowed dollars, or your taxes, are going to new power lines supposedly.

        And, aren’t you glad to be helping to defend democracy in Ukraine by sharing the pain of sanctions along with Joe Biden and his family?

        President Biden is getting away from the Neoliberal consensus with domestic policies, however foreign policy seems to be on steroids with THREE new wars since 2021. Do you know how much new manufacturing that is enabling in the U.S.?

        Get over your personal gustatory greed and help reelect Biden/Harris for a glorious future. /sarc

        1. Screwball

          LOL, thanks for this.

          Funny, when I was at the store the other day (Kroger, about the only choice here) the self-checkouts were full. We are expecting some really nasty weather (NW Ohio) in the next week, this was a Saturday (about 2) and there were 2 checkouts running. The place was a madhouse. Can’t have too many checkouts – costs too much – bottom line don’t you know.

          Then, after using all my coupons I push the big button – $93.89 – thank you very much. Used to be around $60 (I did get Kitty some $6 a lb food).

          I posted some links the other day about people who qualified for a $30 discount on internet (passed during one of the COVID bills I think). Many retirees like myself qualify. Had it for a couple of years now, but it times out in the next month or two if congress doesn’t extend it. Have not read a thing that tells me they will, but we’ll see. I expect my cable bill to jump $30 bucks in the next few months. Thanks again.

          But we have wars to feed. Priorities you know.

          Nothing is getting better, and nothing will. We are frogs in a big ugly pot full of water.

    3. chukjones

      Yes but, not a great proxy for inflation overall as a lot of the price increase in eggs is due to bird flu and the resulting culling of chickens to prevent spread of infection. Not so bad in the south, mostly in mid-west and west, indicated by region price difference.

      1. Carolinian

        Right. And a lot of food inflation reflects shipping costs and the price yo yo of the oil market.

        My impression as a grocery shopper is that the real inflation is in highly processed foods. Many of these are up fifty percent versus pre Covid.

    4. skylark

      Here on Cape Cod, eggs run $5 to $7 a dozen due to a 2022 law designed to take action to prevent cruelty to farm animals and ensure that Massachusetts has continued access to eggs (due to scarcity). My baking days have sadly been numbered.

      1. You're soaking in it!

        If you have a yard and some minimal investment in time and money, keeping a few layers can be an easy pastime. Added benefits, if you have a garden, they are great pest controllers, generate good manure, and sharing with neighbors is a great community builder! Of course on the cape I’m sure there are plenty of restrictions, but it is something to look into.

    5. chris

      My anecdata is that even though I take advantage of deep freezers and meat selling services to obtain protein at lower costs, my expenses for feeding a family of five plus 2 animals (two of the people have food allergies) is $350 per week. It’s been at that level since past September. Doesn’t matter how I break it out. Doesn’t matter if I shop at multiple stores. Doesn’t matter if I use shop savings programs or coupons. Doesn’t matter how we optimize our shopping. That seems to be just what it is for us now in DC/MD/VA. Now I eat nice stuff and we do enjoy cooking. I’m fortunate enough to be able to swallow that expense. But it’s a 35% increase over what I paid last year. I’d rather do something else with that money. And I’m certainly not going to donate to Brandon who keeps telling me things are great.

    6. ambrit

      Related: The monthly price of plain old cable Internet “service” went up four dollars, from $61.95 USD per month to $65.95 USD per month. This is now an annual ‘event.’
      Weaseling about on the ISP site and I find that someone is trying to switch our contact phone number. Pretty well disguised as an “Information Confirmation Request.” Confirm the telephone number as the secondary contact number, but it is not our number, but one close to it. If someone was not paying close attention, one would ‘automatically’ click on it and approve it as a new contact number for the account.
      Modern Problems.

    7. playon

      That’s a lot cheaper than here in WA state. The best deal for us is at Costco — two dozen Wilcox cage-free eggs for around $7… the eggs are excellent.

      1. NYMutza

        Just so you know, “cage free” a scam. Chickens can be designated cage free if they are given 6 square feet of room. A former chicken farmer in the Carolinas mentioned this is in a documentary I recently watched.

        1. bdy

          Apparently “pasture raised” is the label of kindness. I’m a sucker for ‘em, anyways. P-R organic have held steady @ 5.99/doz at Natural Grocers for the past 18 mos. Same carton topped 12.00 at Safeway during the gouge, and have settled in at 9.50. Nice that there’s a local vendor with half a conscience.

          But .50 for an egg ain’t nuthin.

    8. Stanley Dundee

      We have a small flock of free-ranging chickens (around 60) on our tiny Catskill farmstead, one of numerous production lines for us. We feed them exclusively organic feed and kitchen scraps. Our cost of production for their eggs (about 15 doz./wk), materials and labor, which we track closely, runs around 6/doz. We sell them for 10/doz at our direct-to-customers farmstand. We pay at least 20/hr for labor (more for more skills, head farmer gets 30/hr). Our farm overhead runs about the same as our costs of production (i.e. to break even we have to price around double our cost of production). Despite the high cost, our eggs are very popular with our relatively well-heeled customers. They are the best tasting eggs I’ve ever had. Good food locally produced is sadly very expensive. Wish it were otherwise.

  11. timbers

    The fallout for Boeing will extend far beyond the 737 Max grounding

    Definitely. Why, they might have to lay low and reduce some stock buy backs here and there for like months or something, until people forget and are told all is well like last time. They might even miss buy backs to the point the CEO won’t be able to reduce shares outstanding so he game out his EPS target that triggers is huge bonuses.

    And that would be absolutely devasting. And let’s hope Congress has removed Boeing from it’s insider trading list of sure bets with all that spending they just gave to “defense” after Nancy’s call out to “take a look at look at defense stocks”.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Looks like Boeing has yet more trouble. A domestic Boeing 737 All Nippon Airways flight took off but had to return to the airport when they saw a crack develop in the outermost layer of their windscreen. Nobody was hurt or anything but hope to see exactly how old that windscreen was-

      Meanwhile in the US, investigators are hoping to find the bolts that came from the plug that blew out that Boeing 737 MAX and have asked people to keep a lookout for them. Good luck with that one.

      1. digi_owl

        That was a 737 NG though, a variant of the 737 baseline that has been flying reliably for decades already. Not sure how old the particular plane was, but it may well be stress fatigue showing up from years of flying.

        1. rowlf

          Cracked outer panels of the windshield laminate are common. A large airline may have one once a month in their fleet. The flight crew has a quick reference handbook that gives guidance on how to handle the situation safely.

    2. Katniss Everdeen


      As if there shouldn’t be a max ration of “fallout” for an airplane manufacturer whose newly delivered “product” blows a giant hole in its side in mid-flight while loaded with passengers.

      A recent cnbc segment “wondered,” straight-faced, whether boeing shareholders should “suffer” because of the “incident.” Of course not. It was just a coupla bolts. Coulda happened to anybody…

    3. Glen

      Think about it – Boeing is having trouble properly making an airplane that it has been building since 1967. The door plug design that failed was first used on the 757, then on the 737-900 and there are literally hundreds of airplanes with that exact door plug design flying around right now. Tens of thousands of people made and installed the pieces that make the airplane, and thousands of them were to perform QA and inspect the work to make sure it was correct.

      In many ways Boeing is like the canary in the coal mine of American manufacturing. It exists atop an industry of suppliers and manufacturers in a highly regulated and controlled industry that has a singular focus on building a safe product. Yet it has failed. But Boeing isn’t doing anything unusual per American management practices. In fact to many, it was late to the game. Taken over by the management of the company it merged with in 1997, and managed by acolytes of Jack Welch since then. Todays Boeing is a good indicator of the state of American heavy manufacturing, including it’s once vaunted military industrial complex.

      The fallout for America will extend far beyond the grounding of the MAX.

  12. Steve H.

    > Rebecca Solnit: Slow Change Can Be Radical Change LitHub

    It’s fascinating that her examples can be so compromised, while her conclusions have such depth. It goes to the fundamental wisdoms, that sustain without the ideals being met.

    >> It’s not accepting defeat; it’s accepting the terms of possible victory.

    I recently watched the mixed martial arts match of Ilir Latifi vs Aleksei Oleinik, from 2022. It was the most thrilling boring match I’ve ever seen (don’t try searching it up). Oleinik is known as The Boa Constrictor, he’s in his forties and still successful, with a strategy of wait for a mistake and then choke them out. Latifi fought an utterly dull fight, and won by the discipline of doing nothing heroic. He found what his foe was willing to accept and used that to his advantage.

    >> We’re just unpacking boxes. You do things step by step.”

    Even if the ideal goals aren’t met, the frame of mind and practice can allow the failure to be survivable. The organizational skills being developed will still be relevant when the framework that developed them dissipates. Solnit has writ an essay that rings true.

    As a fellow once said:

    Don’t be Hasty.

    1. Giordano Bruno

      Patience is only part of the equation, knowing when and having a willingness to act are also required in equal proportion. And there is the paradox, it can look like you’re doing the right thing because you’re being patient when in fact you’re failing because you failed to act.

  13. albrt

    “and it does make you wonder why Silicon Valley isn’t training an AI to be, say, a moral exemplar”

    AI ignores laws that are inconvenient, makes stuff up, robs you blind, and tries really hard not to say the N-word.

    Sounds like a moral exemplar of Silicon Valley to me.

    1. Wukchumni

      AI ignores laws that are inconvenient, makes stuff up, robs you blind, and tries really hard not to say the N-word.


      1. Ken Murphy

        I’ve long pondered the linguistic aspects of the “N-word”, at least since the days of “Ebonics”, though as a pasty old white guy I’m obviously not permitted to use the word myself.

        I’ve recently taken to substituting Bubba, particularly for example for the incredulity use of the “N-word” to imply “Srsly, are you for real, did you really just say that you ignoramus?”

        So, someone might say “MBAs are a sure route to corporate prosperity”, and I’ll simply reply “Bubba, please” (it helps to use the Dave Chappelle voice).

  14. DJG, Reality Czar

    Origins of the Sicilian Mafia in the Market for Lemons.

    I happen to be re-reading Giuseppe Barbera’s Agrumi. Agrumi is the Italian word for the citruses. Barbera, interestingly, places the arrival in Italy of citron, lemon, and lime trees quite early–he has sources that go back to Pliny. Barbera was a prof at the University of Palermo in the tree science department. Worth a read–if you read Italian.

    The linked article is long and highly detailed. The one description that doesn’t align with Barbera, though, is of growing lemons from seed. Because citrus trees hybridize so easily, Barbera maintains that they have to be grafted. Growing from seed often means ending up with a plant that reverts to the ancestral type–which in the case of citrus is the pomelo.

    The article is worth a read, although I’d say that what it reduces to is an Arabic writer’s observation quoted by Barbera: The life of citrus trees relies on water. So the mafia may have arisen from control of water. Barbera has an interesting anecdote, rather dire, of one farmer said no (this was some 100 years ago) and who ended up with the mafia cutting off this water. As he watched his trees suffer, he knew that he had to give in. And he did, for the sake of the trees.

    On the other hand, U.S. readers may be surprised at the sheer amount of export of lemons to the U S of A, even in the 1840s and 1850s. Yet Sicily was the citrus OPEC of its time.

    For a vivid discussion of the weakness of the state, which is a rather nebulous concept, the classic is, in a sense, Il Gattopardo, The Leopard, by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. The novel is about a whole world, not just a state, but it has insightful observations about the problems of the state asserting itself in Sicily. The scene of Prince Fabrizio and Chevalley from The Undisclosed Region is iconic.

    The mention in the article of sulfur mines does undermine my argument that it’s all about water. There are photos on line from the sulfur mines. The miners were treated as beasts of burden.

    And as a resource curse: There is an eye-catching anecdote in Elio Vittorini’s remarkable Conversations in Sicily in which he watches a dejected Sicilian seller of oranges who hasn’t sold any, along with his wife, who is so sick of oranges that she refuses to eat one that he offers her. And Vittorini describes the oranges as having not much use other than polishing copper pots.

  15. Richard H Caldwell

    As I said here before, it’s time to nationalize Boeing. Nice to see some movement in that direction. Our safety as citizens and our security as a nation are both at risk.

    1. Trees&Trunks

      Nationalize may be overkill. It would suffice to force the top 3 levels if leadership tonfly with their own planes to fix the problem.
      In general, I believe that the top 3 levels of any company and their lids should be force-fed their own products. Maybe we would see some improvement.
      What a lovely sight to watch Monsanto-management families eat glyphosate-contanimated food. Or families living and breathing the air full of toxic pollution from factories.

    2. Carolinian

      I think if nationalization is on the table I’d rather have them nationalize the health care system. The criticisms of Boeing are certainly justified but in safety terms modern air travel is still near the top.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        In somewhere other than bizarro world, “nationalization” of a number of systems would make sense.

        But I don’t want anything “nationalized” until the “nation” gets rid of the people who think it’s just fine for a guy in full on dementia to be running the joint.

        Take a look at the border for a glimpse of the shit show that would turn out to be.

  16. William Beyer

    Anthony Hecht, longtime professor of poetry at the University of Rochester, Georgetown, Yale, Harvard, and Smith, served as U.S. poet laureate from 1982 to 1984, winning many of America’s top poetry awards. He also wrote light verse, inventing a humorous form known as the double dactyl with john Hollander. In 1967, they edited an anthology called “Jiggery-Pokery: A Compendium of Double Dactyls.” To avoid complicity in genocide, I hereby submit my contribution – a double-dactylic dozen:

    Somberly bomberly,
    Bibi the Butcher says,
    Gaza’s a slaughterhouse,
    That’s our main aim.
    If we can’t kill enough,
    Bombing apartment blocks,
    Snipers will mop up to
    Cripple and maim.

    Sniperly wiperly,
    Genocide Joe proclaims
    Cease-fire no good for us
    Send in the drones.
    Veto that U.N. res,
    Palestine, bombs away,
    Genocide Bibi can’t
    Do it alone.

    Bibi contrarian,
    Starving the vermin puts
    Israel first.
    Still short of water, boys?
    Wait for a drop from goys,
    Suck on the ocean if
    Dying of thirst.

    Wildly apartheidly
    Ben Nazi-yahoo says
    Targeting journalists
    All good for us.
    Bombing the hospitals
    Fills up more body bags
    Stopping the killing is
    Just too much fuss.

    Holy-land Stolen-land,
    David Ben Gurion,
    Two-state solution was
    Just a sick joke.
    Criminal Israel,
    Kills Palestinians,
    Murders subliminal,
    Hurts to be woke.

    Muddily bloodily,
    Bibi the butcherman,
    Kills with impunity,
    Keeping a list.
    Journalists, doctors and
    Poets are targeted,
    Watch out Mideast, you may
    Cease to exist.

    Murderly girderly,
    October seventh dead,
    Many were slaughtered by
    IDF tanks.
    Making no difference,
    Slaughtering innocents,
    Covers incompetence
    Down through the ranks.

    Lastingly blastingly,
    Bibi has nukes we know,
    Never a cease fire ‘til
    Hamas is toast.
    But if he escalates,
    Maybe incinerates,
    Everything sacred from
    God to the coast.

    Jiggery pokery,
    Nuclear Benjamin,
    Bristles with arrogance,
    Balled to a fist.
    Biblical Amalek,
    Finger on trigger threat,
    If Bibi booms, we may
    Cease to exist.

    Hellery Bellery
    Bibi the Butcher of
    Gaza is telling us
    Duck, or you’re dead.
    Taunting the ICJ,
    Nazi Likudniks are
    Shamelessly lying to
    Mess with your head.

    Higgledy piggledy,
    Israeli genocide,
    Tars all it touches,
    U.S. complicity,
    Globally illustrates,
    Shilling for Bibi sows
    Death for a fee.

    Orderly borderly,
    Gaza is withering,
    Once it was Palestine,
    Now burning ruin.
    For retribution go
    Pray at the Wailing Wall,
    Send Netanyahu to
    Hell; he’s a shoo-in.

    1. Antifa

      Oh, these are fun!
      You’ve done masterful work here.

      Palestine ought to be
      Freed from insanity
      Jordan down to the sea
      Pleasant and calm
      Jewish hypocrisy
      About humanity
      Hubris and vanity
      Ride on each bomb

    1. CA

      Boeing Chief Executive David Calhoun has an undergraduate degree in accounting.
      Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury is an engineer…

      [ Really, really important and typical since the days of Jack Welch deciding to turn wildly successful manufacturer GE into a soon to fail bank. ]

    2. griffen

      Seems like the right person for the role as it were, according to the Board of Directors. Twenty six years at General Electric, surely he learned well at the feet of Jack Welch after all. After the long term stint at GE he went onto be CEO at Nielsen Holdings (following a buyout) and then afterwards at Blackstone.

      I’m sure a lackey on CNBC would opine further and say all CEO’s are “worth every last penny they earn”…which is hardly true about every single US corporation…I look forward yet again to my time in the moderation bin this Sunday…

    3. jan

      So what that makes me think is,
      Boeing makes airplanes to make money,
      Airbus makes airplanes to make airplanes

  17. FreeMarketApologist

    Thanks for the LRB article on the Mansfield biography. Terrific bit of literary history, and interesting to see how bitchy Woolf could be (something that gets glossed over by her current admirers).

    1. Revenant

      The whole reputation of Bloomsbury is of one long BoBo catfight – there can’t be anybody who thinks VW was a Madonna, can there? Nor can there be anybody who would want such a thing, half her talent is in her critical scorn.

      Her diaries are much livelier than her novels….

  18. Wukchumni

    Gold Hat: We belong in the WEF… You know… The mounting inflation

    Davos: If you’re inflationary, where are your entry badges?

    Gold Hat: Badges?… We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking entry badges!

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Who Is Gonzalo Lira? Pro-Putin American Expat Dies in Ukrainian Jail”

    Nice drive-by smear article this. And of course they took testimony from Sarah Ashton-Cirillo who is so unhinged that they were even too much for the Ukrainians and lost their job as spokesperson. The author of this article – James Bickerton – tells too many lies and misrepresentations to bother taking apart but what I will say is that Newsweek is a garbage publication for doing this article. You wonder who they were sucking up to or whether they were asked to do this article by people in the admin.

    1. Mikel

      The “Pro-Putin” in the headline was the giveaway. (not “pro-peace” or even “pro-Russian)
      I didn’t agree with much of Lira’s social commentary, but was fascinated with what he was doing from the perspective of actually being in Ukraine.

    2. Es s Ce tera

      Not to mention, by all means let’s totally ignore that a journalist was in prison for the crime of free speech, in a so-called democracy, and that the United States is very much okay with that, and apparently so is Newsweek.

      1. digi_owl

        These days you are only a “journalist” if you have gone the college route and is on a media company payroll…

    3. Feral Finster

      Tl:Dr Newsweek is all for totalitarianism, as long as only people they don’t approve of are in the receiving end.

  20. upstater

    Regulatory capture, railroad edition:

    After East Palestine, the Rail Safety Act of 2023 was introduced and has been bottled up for months. Supposedly Schumer is going to put it up for a vote; McConnell is playing the black hat role (always need bad guys!). And in the unlikely event it gets out of the senate, what are the chances in the house?

    McConnell stands in way of Brown, Vance victory on Rail Safety Act

    Election year performance art. They’ve kept it bottled up for almost a year intentionally. Neither party wants to clip PSR down to size, it would impact profits and campaign contributions. The bill went for 18 to 77 pages is because railroad attorneys rewrote it with loopholes. Crew size, train length and ECP all stripped out before the committee vote. No doubt more stripping to come.

    Regulatory capture isn’t pretty. Greed is good. East Palestine is like the Boeing 737 Max. The federal government allows self-regulation to the obvious detriment of public safety.

        1. undercurrent

          …while the invisible feet of capitalism were straining mightily to get the hell away from genocide Joe’s attack dog, Commander.

    1. Reply

      Old story, The Pelican Brief, with Supremes.
      New version, The East Palestine Brief, with Senators.
      Now, whom to cast?

  21. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Who is Gonzalo Lira?

    I suppose Newsweek deserves some credit for even covering the story, but after reading the article, it sure looks like a cut-and-paste job with bits and pieces taken from other publications. As to Lira’s allegations of being tortured, the article gives us this –

    “These allegations were strenuously denied by Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, a former American journalist who became a sergeant in the Ukrainian army, in an interview with Business Insider. Ashton-Cirillo said: “In an effort to gain sympathy, Gonzalo Lira made up allegations of abuse and torture. As someone who spoke to him shortly after he was returned to custody, it was clear that he was in good health and treated extremely fairly by the state security services.” ”

    And that’s that! No attempt whatsoever to mention what an unhinged freakshow this Ashton-Cirillo person is. No mention of the disgusting, vicious, racist language calling for the deaths of Russians. I believe this person also gleefully called for Lira’s capture and whatever punishment he received afterwards, although I’m not going to bother to link to anything from this person, who doesn’t deserve the clicks. Not hard to find if you’re interested. This person also had a hand in the legal cases against Trump, at least according to their own self-promotion, but claims they were acting “undercover” in the NV Republican party, “posing’ as a MAGA supporter to get the real dirt.

    Dr. Frist alert: This person comes across as a deranged, attention seeking, grifter with some serious mental problems. They should not have been cited as an accurate source by any publication that wants to be considered newsworthy.

    1. digi_owl

      Do wonder what payrolls the editors of that Wikipedia article are on to be able to maintain a straight face.

        1. digi_owl

          I can see that, as it seems all of the idealist communities of the early 2000s have been overrun by those with the deepest pockets. And who’s are deeper than the MIC?

          After all, they can pay hordes to flood all channels with bafflegab and edits that volunteers, even if legion, can’t hope to match.

  22. aleric

    Mafia and the Lemon Fields: The excellent Ghost Stories for the End of the World podcast has covered the origin of the Sicilian mafia in great detail: episode 1

  23. Mikel

    “Commentary: K-pop without the ‘K’ just won’t pop” Channel News Asia

    This is all part of the process in that kind of musical genre.
    The main influence is being producer and management company driven – which is nothing new. That’s why it has that assembly line flavor with interchangeable workers and standardized parts.

    1. digi_owl

      I’m old enough that i recall the flash in the pan that was boy/girl “bands”, a bunch of young pretty faces that could just about hold a tone. Basically they were assembled just like k/j-pop with talent contents/auditions.

      I get the feel the industry tries this ever so often when there is a slump in revenue, but invariably fails to grasp why the “original” caught on.

      The cultural equivalent of ultraprocessed food perhaps?

    2. Will

      These sorts of articles seem to pop up from time to time. And not just with respect to musicians but actors and entertainers in Korea generally. As I understand it, the Korean entertainment industry operates in the mode of the old studio system in the US. The companies invest a great deal of money and time creating stars but their return on investment is seriously affected by the mandatory military service requirement for all men. They can try and return to the industry after they serve their 2 years, but generally not to the same level of fame or money. And trying to avoid military service is not tolerated by the public.

      Way back when, I worked in Korea for a bit and Daniel Henney, who’s mother is Korean, was a very popular TV actor. I believe his Korean improved a great deal, but he didn’t really speak Korean when he first started. But he’s a good looking guy and wasn’t going to stop working to play soldier, so the system pushed him along.

      As for non-Korean members of K-pop groups, that’s been a marketing ploy for a long time. Usually from other Asian countries to help with marketing in their home countries. In that light, a group comprised primarily of non-Koreans seems more an evolutionary than revolutionary change.

  24. antidlc

    I went through the drive thru at the local pharmacy yesterday to pick up a prescription.

    The drive thru was closed “due to staffing shortages”.

  25. jefemt

    Is Vaccination Approaching a Dangerous Tipping Point? JAMA

    I found the article, and comments, quite interesting. Four of the five comments, and the article, had a very top-down patronizing tilt that indicates the average human is incapable of thought, regardless of background, formal education, or circumstance. My experience is that is a dangerous approach to viewing the world and fellow humans.

    The fifth comment got to what I believe is the crux of the biscuit— words matter. The commenter drew a distinction between a sterilizing vaccine, and a protective prophylactic shot. And clear information of attendant potential ‘side effects’ — hopefully not like the ones Steve Martin satirized!
    Think flu shot versus MMR Vaccine. Think Tetanus shot versus Polio Vaccine.

    My recollection, during rollout of mRNA SARS Cov-19 vaccine is the medical community and regulatory agencies re-defined what exactly a vaccine is. This to me was a huge, profit-driven mistake. It actually got the cynic in me (follow the money) to be additionally wary of “the ‘vaax’ “. Couple that with other evident hasty panic-driven decisions, and I for one was very guarded.
    I have read some have taken up to 8 (eight!) mRNA covid preventative injections. To me, this is clearly an indication that the injection is a shot, not a sterilizing vaccine. And this was NOT the message at the time. No honesty, no transparency, and an overt change in the Terms and Definitions.

    In the Information Age, there is no shortage of data freely accessible to most. The more precise (and honest) our language can be, the more possible it is to have positive outcomes- public health and otherwise.

    That said, as a counterpoint, seeing the Oil and Gas industry engaging on an assault on the first amendment— the right to lie and misinform — will certainly be used as businesses chase every last loose penny to thrust down their gullets. Fois Gross.

    1. Thomas Schmidt

      Like most industries, Big Pharma has not adapted to the liberalization of control of information. It’s like Luther translating the Bible: do you trust what the churchman SAYS the Bible says, or do you want to read it for yourself? Much of the statistics work that once required Mainframe packages like SPSS can now be done on Excel. The little people can fact check your ass, as they used to say of the Internet in general.

      Until digital natives take over, mainstream narratives will continue to fall, like changing the definition of vaccine but forgetting that the Wayback Machine will show previous definitions in literally thousands of places. The PMC could try being honest but they’ve been schooled that “knowledge is power” and they’re going to keep using threats and political power to offset their loss of information monopoly.

      They will lose. At this point, one could live cheaply in the USA divorcing oneself from the medical complex, using well-tested drugs from years ago. Cutting off new suckers from the maw of the complex will send it crashing down.

    2. Bsn

      Gotta watch out however. Don’t let the distraction (and nudge) of “Oil and Gas industry engaging on an assault on the first amendment” fool you. It’s the Democrats in subservience to the deep state that are assaulting the first amendment. The Dems are good at blaming others while their hand circles to snag your wallet and your voice.

    3. Jason Boxman

      These people are dumb as bricks, in the same journal article:

      In addition to making a difference regarding childhood immunization, communication regarding the potential benefits of vaccination can hopefully also improve the number of individuals accepting vaccination to protect against COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus disease. Vaccination rates against these respiratory pathogens are inadequate, and this is most distressing in older individuals in whom the benefits of vaccination in reducing hospitalization and death are eminently clear. In fact, uptake of the updated COVID-19 vaccine (XBB.1.5 monovalent) in the US is only about 35% in those older than 65 years, which is about half the rate in this age group in the UK.

      (bold mine)

      These people gotta stop lying before anyone is ever going to believe them, and start off by apologizing profusely for lying about COVID shots being vaccines. This personal clearly knows the difference, and conflates these shots with MMR vaccines, for example.

      This ought to be criminal at this point. It is malicious.

      Until the public health establishment owns up to having lied to everyone’s face with a sneer, we’re going to continue this ongoing debacle of vaccine hesitancy and outright refusal to inoculate children with lifesaving, sterilizing vaccinates.

  26. CA

    January 12, 2024

    Global Warming Acceleration: Causes and Consequences
    By James Hansen, Makiko Sato and Reto Ruedy


    Record global temperature in 2023 helps reveal acceleration of global warming on decadal time scales. The proximate cause of the acceleration is increase of Earth’s energy imbalance, specifically a substantial darkening of the planet (decreased albedo) equivalent to a CO2 increase of more than 100 ppm, although it is difficult to apportion the albedo change between aerosol forcing and cloud feedbacks because of limited global measurements. Large 2023 warming is consistent with key findings in Global Warming in the Pipeline: * reduced aerosol cooling and high climate sensitivity. We expect record monthly temperatures to continue into mid-2024 due to the present large planetary energy imbalance, with the 12-month running-mean global temperature reaching +1.6-1.7°C relative to 1880-1920 and falling to only +1.4 ± 0.1°C during the following La Nina. Considering the large planetary energy imbalance, it will be clear that the world is passing through the 1.5°C ceiling, and is headed much higher, unless steps are taken to affect Earth’s energy imbalance.


  27. Zephyrum

    “What liberals share is trust in human beings to decide things for themselves. That implies the right to make their own plans, express their own opinions and participate in public life.” — Martin Wolf

    Calls to mind:

    “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” — William F. Buckley

    I cannot generalize to all liberals, but I am extremely familiar with the thinking of those I work with here in San Francisco. They claim a monopoly on virtue and test for loyalty to the group daily, if not hourly. The thinking switches constantly and they move in formation like a flock of birds. If you don’t adhere to the pattern then you are suspected of hidden thought crimes. They are a principled people, and the principle is my way or the highway. No action is forbidden if it be such as promotes the righteousness of their opinions. Lying is rare, though self-deception is the norm. I survive by keeping my mouth shut 99% of the time, but occasionally I let slip some contrary perception of reality and land on immediate probation. Proclaiming some sort of misbehavior by the hated Republicans generally lets me back into the flock as a reformed apostate. One has to be careful; those in positions of power can, will, and have done real damage to those who don’t toe the line. Maybe the conservatives are worse, as the mantra here goes. If so, they must be truly terrible people.

  28. Jen

    Looks like the Biden administration is looking to privatize public lands. Apologies if NC has already covered this…

    “a new SEC rule … would create a new investment vehicle called a “Natural Asset Company” (NAC), which would provide opportunities for elite investors and governments to profit from the protection of natural resources. The arcane proposal enables the so-called “conservation leases” alluded to in the earlier BLM-proposed “Conservation and Landscape Health” rule.

    The SEC acknowledges in its notice that the assets that will be held by Natural Asset Companies will be U.S. public lands.”

      1. Bsn

        Natural Asset Companies are discussed at length by both Whitney Webb and Ian Davis. Large corporations (via NACs) are trying to define the “worth” of natural resources so they can then “charge” for them after they “purchase” them of course.

  29. CA

    January 15, 2024

    Average Global Temperature (Degrees Celsius)


    Jan ( 14.87) 7th warmest *
    Feb ( 14.98) 4th warmest
    Mar ( 15.20) 2nd warmest
    Apr ( 15.00) 4th warmest

    May ( 14.94) 3rd warmest
    Jun ( 15.08) warmest
    Jul ( 15.19) warmest
    Aug ( 15.19) warmest

    Sep ( 15.48) warmest
    Oct ( 15.34) warmest
    Nov ( 15.43) warmest
    Dec ( 15.37) warmest

    Average ( 15.17) warmest to that year

    * Warmth of the month and year relative to that month or year at any time since 1880

  30. Wukchumni


    Everybody was pretend Kung Flu fighting
    The new strain was fast as lightning
    In fact, it was a little bit frightening
    But they ignored with expert timing

    There was funky Fauci man from funky NIAID town
    They were social distancing them up, they were 6 feet apart
    It’s an ancient bullshit art, and everybody knew their part
    From a feint into a slip and then a biting of the lip

    Everybody was pretend Kung Flu fighting (huh!)
    This new strain was fast as lightning
    In fact, it was a little bit frightening (hey, yeah)
    But they ignored with expert timing

    There was funky Bibi, and old Joey from DC town
    He said, “Here comes the big chance, let’s get it on”
    We took a bow and made a stand, started Gaza swaying on demand
    A sudden motion made rubble quick, now we’re into a brand-new trip

    Everybody was pretend Kung Flu fighting (huh!)
    Those new strains were fast as lightning (ha!)
    In fact, it was a little bit frightening (huh!)
    But they ignored them with expert timing (ha!)

    Oh, yeah
    (Oh-ho-ho-ho) ha!
    (Oh-ho-ho-ho) ha!
    (Oh-ho-ho-ho) ha!
    (Oh-ho-ho-ho, ha) keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on
    Sure enough

    Kung Fu Fighting, by Carl Douglas

  31. CA

    January 13, 2024

    UNSC has not authorized force against Yemen; China urges all parties concerned to abide by international law: China’s UN envoy

    China opposes any forcible transfer of the Palestinian people from the Gaza Strip, and all measures must be taken to alleviate the humanitarian catastrophe and make a cease-fire the most urgent task of the moment, China’s permanent representative to the UN Zhang Jun said during a UN Security Council conference on Friday local time.

    An immediate ceasefire has become the overwhelming call of the international community, but a permanent member of UN Security Council (UNSC) has vetoed the consensus reached by the UNSC in this regard on various grounds, which is a blatant defiance of international fairness, justice and the authority of UNSC, Zhang said.

    The UNSC failed to adopt a draft resolution on December 8, 2023 that would have demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza due to a veto cast by the US. Many countries expressed disappointment over the US veto of the Gaza-related draft.

    It is a blatant double standard for some people to talk about the protection of human rights and the prevention of genocide while pretending to be deaf and dumb, covering up and diverting attention from the tragic situation in Gaza, Zhang remarked, “We must remove all interference and take vigorous action to quell the war, save lives and restore peace.”

    In addition, Zhang stressed that that any forcible transfer of the Palestinian people must be firmly rejected.

    Over the past three months, millions of Palestinian people have been forced to relocate repeatedly and were under constant threat to their lives, said Zhang, noting that China is gravely concerned about the “voluntary emigration” of Gaza people, which has been advocated by some Israeli politicians.

    The horrific idea of displacing two million people from Gaza and turning it into a “safe zone” devoid of human habitation, if implemented, would constitute a grave crime under international law and completely destroy prospects for the “Two-State solution,” Zhang remarked…

  32. Mikel

    “Human ‘behavioural crisis’ at root of climate breakdown, say scientists” Guardian

    About the culling of the herd.
    Talk about built in austerity!

    Anyway, it shall not be without entertainment because THIS I have to see:

    “…Just one-quarter of the world population is responsible for nearly three-quarters of emissions. The authors suggest the best strategy to counter overshoot would be to use the tools of the marketing, media and entertainment industries in a campaign to redefine our material-intensive socially accepted norms.

    We’re talking about replacing what people are trying to signal, what they’re trying to say about themselves…”

    I don’t think they realize what they are saying. It’s all still in the realm of the cult of the corporation.

    “Population growth is a difficult topic to broach given the not-too-distant history of eugenics and ethnic cleansing practised in many nations around the world…”
    But if anybody is willing to rebrand all that and give those things another whirl it’s going to be somebody unironially called a “behavioural influencer” and the people who are already interested in a techno-fuedal world.

    1. flora

      Waiting for the great Davos WEF crowd, to sell us carbon offsets for every breath we take and every move we make, (they’ll be watchin’ us). / ;)

    2. digi_owl

      Consumerism came to be because industry had too much output after WW1, and now consumerism is both good and bad at the same time. Good because of GDP (that i think someone recently mention had been denounced by China as bunk, and internally replaced by directly measuring inputs and outputs), bad because of the environment. But lets not attack the beast head on, because that would be communism. So instead lets pressure the public into consuming “greener”.

      1. Will

        >>>lets pressure the public into consuming “greener”.

        Perhaps even worse. The article talked about how 1/4 of the world population is responsible for 3/4 of emissions, then pivoted to trumpeting success in getting people to have smaller families. I could be wrong, but large family sizes are not the the norm among the over-consuming 1/4. If the “public” turns out to be the poor 3/4 of the world and forcing them to do with even less, then it’s just another green-washing diversion. So yes, we need to openly tackle consumerism, and unfettered capitalism, head on.

  33. Mikel

    “It’s Time to Nationalize and Then Break Up” Boeing Matt Stoller, BIG

    Kind of a related question: How can anything be nationalized if the govenment has been privatized?

    1. Polar Socialist

      Are you saying that if all big corporations were nationalized, then the government would also be de-privatized?

      Sounds like a plan!

      1. Mikel

        “Are you saying that if all big corporations were nationalized, then the government would also be de-privatized”

        No. Not all. But as far as what you are talking about goes, if the government wasn’t privatized maybe anti-trust laws could be better enforced.

    2. Reply

      Where there’s a fee, there’s a way!

      The sharpies on Wall Street to the rescue, for themselves, their posteriors and their Hamptons abodes, again.

  34. Goingnowhereslowly

    Thanks so much for the reminder to reread Wodehouse.

    Many years ago, I took a week off of work to accompany my father in sitting by my mother’s hospital bed as she recovered from major surgery. He, a historian by training, had brought King Leopold’s Ghosts, which had just been published to great acclaim, and sat between her bed and the window quietly reading this appalling saga.

    I had brought with me a couple of volumes of Jeeves stories and read them aloud in the most florid upper class British accent I could manage, much to the confusion of the good nurses of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    I look back on this, as do my parents, as one of my better ideas.

    Leopoldian waves of evil threaten from so many sides to overwhelm our fragile sanities. Wodehouse is a bodhisattva for our times.

    Pip, pip!

    1. lambert strether

      I just finished (again) Summer Lighting (Blandings Castle) and found it quite slow going, not because of Wodehouse’s effervescent prose, but because the plotting was so intense I had to stop every five or ten pages to catch my breath.

  35. Wukchumni

    California’s grizzlies: gargantuan, dangerous meat-lovers. Totally wrong, research shows LA Times
    As drivers on the 5 Crest the Grapevine and drop down into the Central Valley, lies the little town of Lebec, named after the earliest known victim of a Grizzly attack in Cali at what is now Fort Tejon in 1837. He was likely a fur trapper for the Hudson Bay Company.

    Carved into a valley oak well above eyesight was his epithet…


    The bear in question has been identified as a California grizzly, as early European-American settlers in California referred to brown bears as “x bears” due to the pattern of dark fur sometimes seen on their back. There is a single California grizzly specimen showing this pattern at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley.

  36. tegnost

    Saving bidenomics

    Well that was a tough read filled with coulds, mights, and a vast array of goodthinkers gobbledygook.
    Sort of a mix of deconstruct/disintegrate to reimagine and recombine if only there were targeted deregulation to focus re regulation preventing wrongthinkers from wrongsizing what might be best sized by competent re sizers compelled to act in concert with the unsized who really don’t know whats good for them but need to be sized for their own good. Didn’t see much in there about the truly exceptional aspects of the presidents (bipartisan, of course) nomics, whatever they might be, with a strong undercurrent of if you don’t vote for biden you’ll never know because at this point they are essentially vaporware. Trying to separate biden from reagan was a real eyeroller for moi.Reagan was clearly to the left of our entire current political clircus

  37. Es s Ce tera

    Reading the various analyses of Israel’s defense in the ICJ, and just watching it myself, I can’t help but think, and I’m not a lawyer, that I would have defended this case very, very differently than they did.

    The best they could come up with was that they were letting some food aid in so the population isn’t starving, the bit about human shields, and what Israeli leaders said they didn’t really mean. And they did not dispute the majority of the facts presented by the South Africans.

    If you’re having difficulty making the case that something isn’t genocide, it probably is.

    The Israeli team no doubt had a strategy session and realized they couldn’t reasonably do this, thus opted for another strategy, almost a Chewbacca defense. Which is, I think, very telling.

    And watching the expressions of the Israeli legal team, I’m not getting a sense they think the South Africans are wrong.

    I think they gave the court what it needed to make a judgement. I’m leaning towards the justices maybe thinking the same.

    And Netanyahu already making statements to the effect that Israel will ignore the ICJ suggests the likely outcome.

    1. Will

      I read South Africa’s application earlier. And having read the transcript of the Israeli presentation (the legal parts, not the blatant propaganda) and some of the cases they cite, I think Israel’s case is weak. I’d even say that the legal arguments presented by Mr. Shaw were misleading. Perhaps even made in bad faith. At this point, I have to wonder if the fix is already in or the entirety of Israel’s presentation was designed to be used for propaganda after they lose.

      If Israel does win, then I am very curious to see the reasons given by the court. That is a very thin needle to thread if they don’t want to torch the ICJ framework. Having said that, the ICJ is not bound by its prior decisions (no system of precedent, ICJ Statute Article 59), so it kinda doesn’t matter. But also it matters (ICJ Statute Article 38(1)(d)).

      The underlying cases are often tragic, but I’d forgotten how ‘fun’ international law itself can be. Which is a problem because the underlying cases are often so tragic.

    2. Kouros

      Letting humanitarian aid comming in is not a sufficient argument. If before the war there were 600-700 trucks coming in per day in Gaza and now you get 50-100, you have a seven fold reduction in volume. Back of the envelope calculation, with lots of assumptions will make one conclude that if prior Oct 7, Gazans were getting 2100 cal per day from 700 trucks (mind you, they were also fishing and growing some food), now they might be getting 300 cal per day… That is below starvation diet…

  38. ISL

    I skim-listened to AI Carlin, and was unconvinced. The bite is not there, the attempt to use profanity to shock, which was only in his earlier work, and the delivery had no rhythm, which Carlin was famous for. Even so, Kelly should sue.

  39. Wukchumni

    I keep hearin’ you’re concerned about my steadiness
    But all that thought you’re givin’ me is conscience I guess
    If I were walkin’ in your shoes, I wouldn’t worry none
    While you and your friends are worried about me, I’m havin’ lots of fun

    Countin’ war zones on the wall
    That don’t bother me at all
    Playin’ solitaire ’til dawn with the state named # 51
    Smokin’ out Hamas and watchin’ IDF do what they do
    Now don’t tell me, I’ve nothin’ to do

    Last week I was in Valley Forge, pretended I was on the town
    As long as I can dream it’s hard to slow this Donald down
    So please don’t give a thought to me, I’m really doin’ fine
    You can always find me here, I’m havin’ quite a time

    Countin’ war zones on the wall
    That don’t bother me at all
    Playin’ solitaire ’til dawn with the state named # 51
    Smokin’ out Hamas and watchin’ IDF do what they do
    Now don’t tell me, I’ve nothin’ to do

    It’s good to see you, I must go, I know I look a fright
    Anyway my eyes are not accustomed to this light
    And my shoes are not accustomed to this hard concrete
    So I must go escorted back to my room and make my day complete

    Countin’ war zones on the wall
    That don’t bother me at all
    Playin’ solitaire ’til dawn with the state named # 51
    Smokin’ out Hamas and watchin’ IDF do what they do
    Now don’t tell me, I’ve nothin’ to do

    Don’t tell me, I’ve nothin’ to do

    Flowers on the Wall, by the Statler Brothers

  40. Jason Boxman

    (Was a reply, but somehow it’s a top level post now. Still applies.)

    This is the United States of America: failed state. This should have been obvious after the Financial Crisis, but it became painfully clear with the Pandemic by way of the CDC and FDA and NIH response. There isn’t a federal agency that isn’t so thorough captured or corrupted by incompetence or malice left in this country. You can’t trust any government department or agency. America is a neoliberal hellscape. Period. All you can trust is that, when tax day comes due, you better pay up. And you better not cross the national security state.

    Just one example, there’s been investigative reporting show that FDA food side is thoroughly, completely incompetent. They even ignore Congressional directives to provide information, without consequence: The FDA’s Food Failure.

    Now we’re seeing about railroad safety, as for example they don’t bother to track train length. I mean, why do that?

    Or air traffic control, massive shortages and old equipment. For decades now.

    Why can’t you get a person on the phone at Social Security for hours? Basic good governance.

    They EPA is required by law to assume chemicals are safe until proven otherwise, lol.

    Not. A. Serious. Country.

    1. Lefty Godot

      The people in authority have always been guilty of evil intent, corruption, and covering up for each other, so that aspect of today’s leadership (in both government and corporations) is not surprising, even if it’s gotten worse.

      What is surprising and dismaying is the level of sheer incompetence and fantasizing rather than dealing with reality that those in authority are demonstrating on an almost daily basis now.

    2. Acacia


      Remember when Trump talked about “sh*thole countries” and many people got upset?

      Evidently, he hit a nerve.

  41. lentil

    “Origins of the Sicilian Mafia”

    Thanks for the link — fascinating! One branch of my family tree goes back to Sicily, and this article shed some light on the old family stories I’d heard: that the family had been prosperous landowners in Sicily who cultivated lemon groves, but they were driven off of their land by the mafia. They fled the island in fear of their lives, and immigrated to the United States in the early years of the 20th century.

    I always wondered if the old folks were just telling me tall tales, but — now I see that the details check out.

  42. Mikel

    “Pentagon finds no credible evidence of US arms embezzlement in Ukraine” Ukrainska Pravda

    Kind of like: “Foxes find no credible evidence of missing chickens from the hen house”

  43. Wukchumni

    China Wants To Ditch The Dollar NOEMA. Big if true.
    Unfortunate Cookie saying:

    That’ll be 119 Yuan for lunch, and we don’t take Yankee $’s anymore. Please pay your server.

    Unlucky numbers

    1 7 9 11 12 41

    1. CA

      “China Wants To Ditch The Dollar. Big if true.”

      Forgive me.

      China always clearly explains policy objectives and there is no such Chinese objective. Not even remotely close. The point of the article is to further alienate the American sense and opinion of China, which is what the Council on Foreign Relations is always all about.

  44. Raymond Sim

    So I learned today that the Russki AWACS are sub-par, but can shoot at you using S-400’s, and apparently have successfully done so in combat.

    American writing on defense matters is starting to sound like word salad.

  45. Morincotto

    I think China should Just ditch the whole “re-unification with Taiwan” thing.

    They were totes content for decades upon decades with the status quo, there is no real need or reason to directly Control or incorporate the Island into the country.

    That they continued to say that they want to seems for a very long time have had to do more with the political inertia that Aurelien writes about than with anything else.

    It started out with good reason, seeing as the ruthless, vengeful Kuomintang fascists had fled there en masse and were still quite strong and out for blood, adamant about being the only “legitimate” government of all China with full support from a proportionally vastly more powerful US, eager to re-conquer the mainland and drown the young People’s Republic in death and destruction.

    With mainland China vastly poorer and more vulnerable that was at the time a deadly threat that had to be taken very seriously.

    So the thought of “We will eventually have to take them to ensure that they will never take us!” made a lot of sense.

    But as the discrepancy in power eventually began to grow more and more in favor of the mainland, together with the People’s Republic’s de facto universal recognition, it became increasingly about inertia, the inability to change a position that one held for so long and declared to be existential, which it at one point was but over time slowly stopped to be.

    Plus of course a hefty dollop of national(istic) pride.

    Taiwan in and off itself has not been a credible threat to China in a very long time now and while people in Taiwan may want to be independent, there hasn’t been any interest in going to war with and much less conquer the mainland in just as long.

    There is very little interest in actually becoming a proxy aka battering ram aka sacrificial victim for the US, or so it seems.

    The wish for independence does not seem to translate into active belligerence and hostility, at least not in the broad population and for now not in the political establishment either.

    Certainly we are far from the pathological hatred and murderous zeal that grabbed Ukraine and I suspect the thought of going through their own version of Banderisation would fill most taiwanese people with horror.

    The US is the threat and China has played into their hands by insisting on political re-unification gar past the point where there were any compelling reasons for it.

    Cultural and political divergence would make Taiwan a bad fit and a long lasting headache even if China managed to forcibly integrate it relatively smoothly and quickly.

    Indeed, even if a total success,it would still provide China’s actual enemies with huge amounts of amunition, threaten it’s standing in eyes of the global majority, all for precious little real gain.

    There isn’t anything in Taiwan that China needs and can’t get from an independent Taiwan if it plays it’s cards well (and it has plenty of good cards to play).

    Indeed, done right China officially recognizing Taiwan’s independence and giving up all claims to it could upend all of Washington’s carefully set out decades old strategy in the region.

    From the perspective of the US this is the worst thing that could possibly happen.

    Yes, of course the West would portray it as a sign of weakness, but the global majority doesn’t share the Empire’s conviction that force and violence are the only alternative or opposite to weakness.

    China indeed could potentially become one of several guarantors of taiwanese independence and security instead of a threat to it.

    The US would of course try to convince Taiwan that this is a Trick or trap, some people in Taiwan, at first perhaps many would believe them or at least consider it a possibility and sorry about it.

    But over time those fears would be layed to rest with the Taiwanese releasing a HUGE collective sigh of relief.

    Washington would be beyond Furious and do anything it it’s power to keep tensions up and stoke fear, they would try to move heaven and earth to attempt to bribe, manipulate, bully and cajole Taiwan into taking a position hostile to China, they would try to foster hatred and perhaps even to seriously re-activate old Kuomintang dreams of supremacy and domination, but they are very likely to vastly overplay their jand,. especially under the impression of such a shock.

    The Taiwanese would very, very likely see through them, if not immediately then soon.

    It would be a catastrophic look for the US to try and double down on aggression in the face of such a huge step on China’s part and yet they would.

    The US would find itself unable to pose convincingly as any sort of protector.

    They’d try to go for a coup and would be universally hated for it.

    And even whatever forces there might be that would like to follow the US on a path of naked aggression towards China would find themselves stymied because they would no longer be able to play the victim card and risk being seen as the bad guys internationally and even domestically.

    If Taiwan got guarantees of independence and treaties about lasting leace and friendship, with the opportunity to continue good economic relations with China in exchange for neutrality and refusal to be militarized against China, would it take that golden opportunity or would it pull a Ukraine and nonetheless jump on the suicidal anti China War Bandwaggon?

    From all we hear the US and it’s political puppets haven’t yet managed to turn Taiwan into an equivalent of Banderastan in all those decades, not for lack of trying, despite the fact that, let’s face it, Taiwan had and for now yet has vastly better reasons to fear China (based on China’s own rhetoric and stated goals) than Ukraine EVER had to fear or hate the Russian Federation.

    So I think there are good reasons to assume that the answer is no.

    And even if it is yes or more likely the US manages to impose a radically antichinese, militaristic regime on Taiwan against the will of the majority of the people, the only thing that will really have changed from the current confrontational course is that any pretense of Taiwan and the US being the good guys and China the aggressor will be gone.

    1. Yves Smith

      You have the trajectory wrong. Xi expressed this as a vague aspiration to happen by 2049. It’s the US that has been supporting independence and not respecting the one China policy. That is what led China to start pushing back.

      1. Morincotto

        I am totally aware that all that independence Talk isn’t homegrown and that China probably would have been content to kick that can down the Road potentially forever and that Taiwan was generally okay going along with that before the US increased it’s meddling.

        I suspect at least some people were always bound to be worried, especially with a Date being Set, even if only as a vague Aspiration (hell, I wouldn’t be surprised If Xi and the Chinese leadership were thinking that it was far away enough to have time to think of a face saving way to perpetuate the can kicking beyond 2049 and any other potential date).

        In no way I wanted to suggest that China was ever genuinely aggressive.

        But I think it is nonetheless undeniable that China provided the US something to work with, something that the US can Twist and then present as proof that China is a threat.

        While on the other hand it has to be acknowledged that according to all the old Taiwan hands here the majority of the Taiwanese aren’t keen on being part of the People’s Republic in a more than symbolic way and that that seems unlikely to change until 2049 and beyond (and they likely weren’t keen on it for quite a while).

        And even though China and the majority of the taiwanese people were okay with keeping the arrangement (one might call it a charade) as it had been, it still seems that as long as said arrangement is in place there always will be an opening for malicious US meddling.

        Officially coming to a different mutually beneficial arrangement might well close that particular opening.

        The US pushed China to provoke it into pushing back, this could be a way for China to nope out of a stupid game and win at a different one.

  46. Tom Stone

    I wonder if the waves of Covid will be coming closer together as the population’s immune systems are successively damaged.
    Each wave killing the most vulnerable and leaving a new cohort with damaged immune systems in its wake, leaving more and more at risk from Measles Etc as well as Covid.
    If it is 5 Months between waves we have two more due before the Election.

    1. ambrit

      If I was a Trump campaign consultant, I would be prepackaging a campaign meme for the expected “October Surprise” Coronavirus-19 wave. Let us call the ‘offending’ viral strain “JB-2.” “How are you doing coping with the Joe Biden Two Covid? Let Joe know on voting day.”

    2. Jen

      Can’t speak to the waves but my dad had 3 infections in as many months. He’s gotten religion on masking but the damage is done.

  47. ThirtyOne

    “Just as her birthplace is not clear, Sarah’s life does not make much sense or correlate to how, in a matter of years, she was a journalist, an undercover agent within the Nevada Republican Party, a disgruntled former member of the Democratic Socialists of America and a foreign soldier in the Russia-Ukraine war who achieved international fame for threatening to “hunt down” critics of the European country.”

  48. Mikel

    “When the Hell That Is War Loses Its Power”

    “…But the problem we have today is that war no longer works. War no longer serves as a stop-gap, a fail-safe, to resolve those problems that cannot be resolved politically…”

    If war had ever solved the big problems between people, the world wouldn’t be in the state it is in now.

    No truer song: “War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again…”

  49. Roger Boyd

    The “Epistemic Communities and Judges” academic paper manages to show a lot about what is wrong with academia. On its face it is a well written and well argued paper, but the problem is what it leaves out. Academics are very good at skirting topics that should not be talked about, such as the class basis of power, the ruling class’ dominance of societal institutions etc. So we get very little political economy (as in the treatment of politics and economics as a single social entity, rather than the vacuous attempts to apply economics to politics) and whole lot of post-materialist post-modernist, post-structuralist cleverness.

    Judges in the US were hell bent against the working class, ruling again and again and again against labour unions, worker legislation and anti-monopoly law until the 1930s when a section of the ruling class decided on a grand class compromise that was then “magically” supported by the judges (something to do with Roosevelt threatening to swamp the Supreme Court in with new judge perhaps).

    Since the 1970s that compromise has been rejected by the ruling class, and hey presto judges are now more and more ruling against unions, business regulations etc. The Judges reflect the background (upper middle/upper class) that they come from, the schooling they got (increasingly infiltrated by extreme liberal views of unencumbered property and “takings”) their prior careers (big law firms serving corporations) and gifts etc that they receive from their “friends” (e.g. a certain Supreme Court judge and a billionaire).

    But instead of covering this elephant in the room the researchers pick on the academically “cool” topic of epistemic communities. Their careers will progress (an additional paper published in a reputable journal) and all will be fine. Now lets consider what would happen if they published a paper on the political economy of the US legal profession and judges specifically, specifically identifying the role of the US ruling bourgeois capitalist class. So, most especially in the US such papers will not get written. The academy will continue to reproduce the hegemonic culture that supports and legitimizes the ruling class, or even more make it invisible.

    The only real political economic analyses will come from outside the academy (e.g. Michael Parenti), from professors with long tenure and/or in much lesser universities (e.g. Gabriel Rockhill, Chomsky) and from other countries with somewhat more academic freedom (e.g. the Amsterdam School).

    This is why intersectionality sans class and identitarianism and subjectivism unmoored from materialism tends to rule the social sciences (outside the even more self-serving medieval style metaphysics of mainstream economics). A wonderful happy place for clever careerists.

    1. eg

      The courts are filled with what used to be called aristocrats; the academy is filled with what used to be called courtiers.

  50. Tom Stone

    A few days back there was a discussion here about what constitutes “Art” and like most such discussions it missed a fundamental point.
    What Artists, Galleries and Auction Houses sell is not “Art”, it is a story, the better the story, the higher the price.
    That $65,000,000 NFT is an example, one of many.

  51. Screwball

    From the ongoing war on Orange Hitler from NBC News today.

    Tweet from NBC News

    A network of public interest groups and lawmakers, nervous about former President Trump’s potential return to power, is quietly devising plans to foil any effort on his part to pressure the U.S. military to carry out his political agenda.

    This stuff is becoming comical. I can only image the frenzy they will have people in by election day, which I suppose is the plan to begin with. Why not, it works. The most important election EVER!!!!!!!

    1. Lefty Godot

      In the aftermath of last election, there were all kinds of rumors about the military (JCS) preparing to thwart Trump launching an attack on Iran before Biden could be sworn in.

      I wonder if they will be equally willing to thwart Biden launching an attack on Iran before Trump gets sworn in again in 2025?

  52. KD

    The curious might find this interview with Arestovych interesting, even if by many accounts the man is a snake:

    Not sure what is going on behind the throne, but his political program while supposedly anti-Russian sounds consistent with Russia’s stated objectives. If the plan were to depose Z and put Arestovych on the throne, it sounds like he might be able to reach a deal with the Russians, but its hard to imagine that Nat Sec crowd would ever sell out their patriotic friends with the cool Norse tattoos. On the other hand, he might be a trojan horse which gets at the essence of the Arestovych problem: he’s smart enough to know what to say but how can you know if you can trust him?.

  53. Darthbobber

    I was greatly underwhelmed by Solnit’s paean to patience. If an approach to a problem is fundamentally flawed, it can confidently be expected not to deliver the desired results regardless of how much patience one has.

    And her choice of key example, the process in which one version of the Green New Deal, in itself somewhat flawed but with the potential to ignite further change IF enacted, got sliced up into a traditional pork barrel project which leaves the rate of environmental destruction continuing to accelerate, rather than being even incrementally slowed.

    And indeed, the premise that we can avoid blowing through the various planetary boundaries including climate change while maintaining a system based on the continued unlimited accumulation of capital, and requiring exponential growth to avoid collapse is so fundamentally flawed that to state it is practically to refute it.

    I found the Thunberg quote to be a tad disingenuous, as we’re intended to take from it that she’s also a believer in incremental change bounded by the premises of the existing economic structure. But she’s nothing of the kind.

    One hates to resort to metaphors, but at the time the variants of the Green New Deal were being rolled out with great enthusiasm the drowning person’s head was about a foot below the surface of the water. At the “end” post Build Back Better etc, it’s become a foot and a half. And I’m expected to see THIS as a success story? (Granted, it is in a sense. It’s a success for those who channel demands for change into confines that the existing social and economic order can accommodate.)

    The planet’s patience is pretty much exhausted, and nature is pretty much immune to pleas for patience.

  54. alfred venison

    I must say I’m not impressed by someone directing AI to “improve” Nighthawks. What would impress me, though, would be someone directing AI to render Nighthawks in the style of Casper David Friedrich or David Hockney, for example. That might actually be instructive, as well as entertaining. Like Victor Borge playing Happy Birthday in the style of Rachmaninoff or Copland.

  55. scott s.

    “A Navy In Crisis: It’s Time For The Conference Of Admirals”

    OK, going to throw in my .02. Shipbuilding (and also maintenance) has been a growing problem and I don’t see a quick fix.

    I trace the problem back all the way to 1898 when the USN eliminated its Engineer Corps and merged the Engineers into the “line” community, with a subset “restricted to engineering duty”. That was followed by the elimination of the Constructor Corps in 1939. The constructors were also moved into “engineering duty”.

    Under consolidation engineers were responsible for the Naval Shipyards and Supervisors of Shipbuilding, but increasingly divorced from the day-to-day operation of ships. Technically, engineers became specialized outside of steam engineering and architecture into ordnance and radio (electronics).

    Over time to increase efficiency, the technical function was consolidated into what now is homogenized Naval Sea Systems, which also “owns” the shipyards and supships while the technical community has lost its distinctive branches.

    During the 20th century requirements were managed by the “General Board” and later the “Ships Characteristics Board”. (Recall that after WWI, naval arms limitation treaties resulted in intense negotiation over how to manage the restrictions in displacement and armament.) These boards were intended as “grey-beards” hashing out the needs of the navy against available resources.

    Over time, though, “program management” theories came to dominate with program managers coming from outside the engineering community. These program management offices came to be the focal point, and their importance elevated by creating “program executive officers” who were direct reports to an Asst Sec of the Navy (aka acquisition czar), making them responsive to political/policy offices.

    I don’t think it helped that we stopped doing new construction in the public yards. Back during the DDG-51 development there was an effort to create an in-house naval architecture capability; not sure what the present status is of that.

    There also used to be a 4-star Chief of Naval Material. That was eliminated, I guess considered to be no value added. Don’t know if that made any difference.

    The two areas which seem best managed are those with tight control over the engineering: Naval Reactors and Special Projects (Polaris/Poseidon/Trident missiles).

  56. Wukchumni

    737 Max 9 door comin’ out of the sky
    Won’t you take me down to Portland keep me alive
    I wanna move
    Prayin’ for a travelin’ ban
    Well, they’re flyin’ ‘cross the land tryin’ to find demand
    Prayin’ for a travelin’ ban

    Take me to the hotel, baggage gone, oh well
    Come on, come on, won’t you get me to my room
    I wanna move
    Prayin’ for a travelin’ ban
    Well, They’re flyin’ ‘cross the land, tryin’ to find demand
    Prayin’ for a travelin’ ban

    Listen to the radio talkin’ ’bout the last flight
    Someone got excited, thought they’d get sucked outside
    Wanna move
    Prayin’ for a travelin’ ban
    Well, they’re flyin’ ‘cross the land, tryin’ to find demand
    Prayin’ for a travelin’ ban
    Oh wow

    Here we come again, Boeing didn’t do it right
    With your accountin’ and your buybacks, you really let it slide
    I wanna move
    Prayin’ for a travelin’ ban
    Well, they’re flyin’ ‘cross the land, tryin’ to find demand
    Prayin’ for a travelin’ ban
    Oh wow

    Oh, I’m prayin’ for a travelin’ ban
    Prayin’ for a travelin’ ban
    Why’d you come and mess up an epic brand?
    Well, I’m prayin’ for a travelin’ ban
    They’re flyin’ ‘cross the land, tryin’ to find demand
    Prayin’ for a travelin’ ban
    Oh wow

    Traveling Band, by Creedence Clearwater Revival

  57. Willow

    > Taiwan tells China to ‘face reality’ and respect election results France24

    DPP only getting 40% and other 60% going to a split vote for pro-China parties suggests ‘reality’ sits with China not the West. There was also a 7% drop in turnout over 2020 to 71%.

    1. Morincotto

      To be fair, the pro China parties seem to also want more to have good relations with China than to actually be part of the People’s Republic in any way that is more than symbolic.

      And so the best way to end a dangerous and unproductive game for China might be to undercut all of the US’ evil plans by starting to talk to the Taiwanese about granting them their darn independence.

      In exchange for neutrality, of course.

      There seems little in way of eagerness to actually fight China, so the combination of such a huge demonstration of good will on China’s part and the chance to keep and further improve good economic relations with a way to avoid Ukraine’s terrible fate could go a long way to defang the US’ venomenous puppets on the ground.

  58. chris

    This video is making the rounds. It’s not as bad as the freaked out reactions had me believe. I wonder if what will finally get the comfortable class to push back against all the BS in life is the relentless push to go back to the office and return to a “normal” 40 hour work week.

  59. Willow

    Alastair Crooke: ‘Who Will Open the Next Phase of the War? We are at ‘Pass-the-Parcel’ Time”

    Everyone wants to fight but no one wants to go first and are waiting for Israel to jump the gun.

    “For now, initiating the next stage is akin to the childrens’ game of pass the parcel — no one wants to be holding it when the music stops. Who then has the most ‘strategic patience’? Well, not Netanyahu, and not the fevered ‘Israel’.”–we-are-at–pass-the

  60. rowlf

    From an older age of airline travel

    Bob Rivers & Twisted Radio -Beat Up Old Jetliner

    Goodbye to all my friends I’ve known
    And the travel agent I trusted
    I’m riding along on this beat-up old plane;
    Look out the window. All the rivets are rusted

    As that ground crew pushes us backwards
    On that rickety L-1011
    I’m feeling around for that flotation device
    And when the safety film is shown
    I’m payin’ close attention

    Beat-up old jetliner
    Hope you got a tune-up today
    Ohhhh, beat-up old jetliner
    Did they sneak you past the FAA?

    Bouncin’ ’round in a thunder cloud
    Landing gear won’t come down
    My seatback is up and my belt is on
    I see the fire crews sprayin’ foam on the ground

    And if I get to my final destination
    I know the next flight will surely be free
    But I don’t think I’ll go back up
    Into that piece of shit just to save a few pennies

  61. Jon Cloke

    Martin Wolf may believe that “What liberals share is trust in human beings to decide things for themselves”, but that certainly isn’t how they behave.

    Liberals trust human beings to the point where their house prices or shopping bills are affected, then they turn into ravening, screaming zombies prepared to eat human flesh and tear limb from limb…

Comments are closed.