Links 2/11/2024

Everyone says trees are good for us. This scientist wants to prove it. WaPo

The Soliloquies of the Lambs Literary Review

People Should Not Prioritize What They Think Are “Vibes” Over Actual Data: The Economic Situation Really Is—Relative to All Other Years since 2000—Excellent Brad DeLong’s Grasping Reality

U.S. Container Import Volumes Soar Prompting Retailers to Increase Forecast Maritime Executive

Climate

Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course Science

What is the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)? NOAA

Atlantic Ocean is headed for a tipping point − once melting glaciers shut down the Gulf Stream, we would see extreme climate change within decades, study shows The Conversation

#COVID19

The Billionaire Who Wants To Live Forever Has Long Covid Nate Bear, ¡Do Not Panic!

Too many patients are catching COVID in Australian hospitals, doctors say. So why are hospitals rolling back precautions? ABC Australia

Thousands of seniors are still dying of Covid-19. Do we not care anymore? CNN

China?

China’s well-to-do are under assault from every side The Economist

How monumental is China’s challenge to build its own jet engine for the C919 as it seeks aviation self-reliance South China Morning Post

How Lunar New Year Is Being Celebrated By Asian Communities Around the World Time

Asia and the Pacific in 2024: Elections, Economics, and Geopolitics Asia Foundation

Myanmar

The 25 January 2024 mine waste failure in the Hpakant mining area of Myanmar Eos. American Geophysical Union.

Japan

Tokyo teens were less stressed during first COVID emergency: study Japan Times

Super Bowl

The 49ers Defy Modern Football. It’s Why They’re in the Super Bowl. WSJ. Interesting!

Travis Kelce Buys Super Bowl Suite for His and Taylor Swift’s Families for Over $1 Million Cosmopolitan

The Darkness And The Lights Of Super Bowl Parties The Defector

Syraqistan

‘We’re going to do it’: Israeli PM set on invasion of Rafah Al Jazeera. The deck: “Israel is yet to say how it will protect the 1.4 million civilians crammed into the city from the planned assault.” No doubt. From Bibi:

Israeli military operation in Rafah ‘cannot proceed,’ U.S. ambassador to the U.N. says NPR. Oh?

* * *

Palestinians returning home killed in Israeli airstrikes in northern Gaza Anadolu Agency

War on Gaza: Refugee camps and the Palestinian psyche Middle East Eye

* * *

“Israel is heading towards street battles between the far right and families of hostages” Seth Ackerman, Informer. Lots of Israeli sourcing.

Moody’s downgrades Israel’s credit rating on war risks; outlook negative Reuters

* * *

The ‘generals’ elections’ in Pakistan that turned against the military France24

European Disunion

Feature: Pipeline network crucial to Europe’s bold 2030 hydrogen plans S&P Global

Inside European finance’s most secretive society FT. The Institut International d’Etudes Bancaires.

Dear Old Blighty

Labour Under New Management Dissent. “Having tried and failed to storm Westminster as a left-populist party in the 2017 and 2019 general elections, the party has now recast itself as a force for stability.” Come on. Corbyn was knifed by the Labour Party apparatchiks, the spooks, the press, and the Israeli embassy. There’s no “tried and failed” about it.

New Not-So-Cold War

Follow up to Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin Gilbert Doctorow, Armageddon Newsletter. Well worth a read.

Tucker Carlson Promised an Unedited Putin. The Result Was Boring Masha Gesson, The New Yorker

* * *

Ukraine Poll Sends Worrying Message to Zelensky Newsweek

Trump says Russia can do what it wants to Nato allies who pay too little FT

Russia’s Adaptation Advantage Foreign Affairs

Biden Administration

CHIPS and Science Act programs are writing a new story about the Rust Belt Brookings Institution

South of the Border

Carnival extravaganza kicks off in Brazil Al Jazeera

2024

Biden plans to hold a March fundraiser with former Presidents Obama and Clinton in New York AP

Hillary Clinton says Biden’s age a ‘legitimate issue,’ but he should ‘lean into’ years of experience FOX. Ready for her close-up?

* * *

Could the Democrats replace Joe Biden? FT. If, heaven forfend, Biden strokes out and ends up in the Capitol Rotunda, that would generate wall-to-wall media coverage, especially in the summer, when news is slow. Silver lining!

Could they remove Biden under the 25th Amendment? Should they? Jonathan Turley, The Hill

The Question Is Not If Biden Should Step Aside. It’s How. Ross Douthat, NYT (Furzy Mouse).

A neuropsychologist clarifies science on aging and memory in wake of Biden special counsel report STAT

* * *

A President Trump in Year of the Dragon may just put out flames of war South China Morning Post

Spook Country

Ai Weiwei Says Western Censorship Is ‘More Concealed’ and Poses a Greater Threat Art News

Digital Watch

Bluesky CEO Jay Graber Says She Won’t ‘Enshittify the Network With Ads’ Wired

Coopting Disruption (PDF) Mark A. Lemley and Matthew Wansley, SSRN. “Our economy is dominated by five aging tech giants – Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft. In the last twenty years, no company has commercialized a new technology in a way that threatens them. Why?”

What Could Possibly Go Wrong with Sam Altman’s New Ambitions? Marcus on AI

Landlines In CA May Be Facing Their Death Blow: What To Know Banning-Beaumont Patch. “According to a 2109 study by HireAHelper, 29.8% of California homes still have a landline… That’s about 3,970,100 homes.”

Healthcare

The growing link between microbes, mood and mental health Knowable

The Friendly Skies

Horrified airline passenger is made to sit in BLOOD and DIARRHOEA during seven-hour flight from Paris to Toronto after previous flyer had ‘haemorrhaged’ in his seat (and is given wet wipes to clean it up) Daily Mail. Online commentary settled on Esophageal varices, and not a new plague. The passenger was evidently ill before the flight.

Pin detached during Virgin Galactic spaceflight Albuquerque Journal (DK). But not a bolt.

Boeing

A Cycle of Misery: The Business of Building Commercial Aircraft Construction Physics

Zeitgeist Watch

Police Officers Are Doing Ayahuasca Now Vice

Everybody Hates Cocomelon Off-Topic

Class Warfare

Tech Millionaires Take On Politicians in a Fight to Fix San Francisco WSJ

Mars? What for?


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.

264 comments

  1. Antifa

    PUSH HIM OUT THE DOOR
    (melody borrowed from When I’m Sixty Four by the Beatles)

    Biden is hidin’ things he won’t share
    Crimes we don’t allow
    As our Veep he’d creep across forbidden lines
    Shipping Hunter off to the mines
    He could have been a retiree
    But he still wants more
    Biden’s been naughty now he’s gone dotty
    Push him out the door!

    His campaign won’t do
    His thoughts and words are slurred
    He can’t follow through

    He cannot handle press interviews
    Rambles on and on
    All his brain cells have been slowly ossified
    He’s dementia personified
    Fetch him a nurse to see to his needs
    He’s not like before
    His brain is leaky this is too freaky
    What a dinosaur!

    Biden simply hasn’t got the wattage
    To tell wrong from right that is all too clear
    One foot in the grave (one foot in the grave)
    Long past his warranty
    Now off to his enclave!

    He should be resting somewhere supine
    Gazing at the blue
    He should be out boating on Kehoboth Bay
    Not in DC sleeping all day
    As a freelancer he can inform
    Tourists by the shore
    About his great deeds counting his proceeds
    Which we’ve all paid for!

    Wooh!

    Reply
  2. furnace

    “Israel is yet to say how it will protect the 1.4 million civilians crammed into the city from the planned assault.”

    Protect? That must be news to them. And damn, even Egypt, the most comprador elite possible, is getting antsy about this and sending troops to the border. Sisi (president of Mexico, surely) might well have to do something or face Arab street forcing him to do so.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘Israel is yet to say how it will protect the 1.4 million civilians crammed into the city from the planned assault.’

      Something is wrong with that figure. At the start of the war there were over two million people living in this small strip. Where are the other 700,000 people? The key in watching the news on this story is to see if they actually mention how many people that are there and if they try to fob it off as just a few score thousand instead. There is nowhere else for those people to go and those trying to go north are being killed by the IDF.

      Reply
        1. Polar Socialist

          The 30,000 is the number of dead registered by the Gaza Health Ministry. It does not include the dead buried under the ruins, which is estimated to be another 20-30,000.

          Moreover, Rafah is just one of the three cities in Southern Gaza strip. The others are Deir al-Balah and Khan Yunis, and the latter is slightly bigger that Rafah.

          So it is possible that not all the refugees from Gaza city and the refugee camps are in Rafah, even though that is the place the humanitarian help is brought in.

          Reply
      1. Alice X

        All I could find:

        See the Rapid Expansion of Tent Camps in Southern Gaza

        By Leanne Abraham and Zach Levitt Jan. 18, 2024, NYT

        The estimate for Jan. 14 in the piece for Rafah’s 25 square miles was 978,000, which is 39,120 per square mile. Together with Deir al Balah and Khan Younis the number is just over two million. Gaza’s total population is often cited as 2.3 million.

        1.4 million in Rafah currently cited is 56,000 per square mile. To me, that is unimaginably dense. Any sort of military operation there can only multiply what is already a staggering man-made tragedy.

        Reply
        1. IMOR

          I lived in a town on a rocky spit with 13k/sq mile, and imagining 4x that density with closed gates / borders / no permitted exit actually made me shiver once just now.

          Reply
        2. Wukchumni

          The estimate for Jan. 14 in the piece for Rafah’s 25 square miles was 978,000

          There’s 44 square miles here in Tiny Town, with 1,500 full time residents, to compare population densities.

          Reply
        3. Alice X

          From wiki:

          List of cities proper by population density

          …This list does not refer to the population, population density or land area of the greater metropolitan area or urban area, nor particular districts in any of the cities listed.

          Manila reigns at 111,537 per square mile. Several smaller US cities make the top 84, but NYC at 28k doesn’t make it.

          Manila must be one miserable place?

          Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    “Trump says Russia can do what it wants to Nato allies who pay too little”

    Just Trump doing his Boris ‘the Clown’ Johnson imitation here. He is laying it right out like he did several years ago. NATO is a protection racket and if you want protection, then you have to pay your money which here means buying American weapons. It would be interesting to see what happened if the other NATO countries got together to build up their own arms industry to the point that although they were meeting NATO contribution targets, they they were spending that money on European weapons and not American ones. The point is moot though. Through the blowing up of the NS2 pipelines and the massive blowback of sanctions against Russia, those other countries will not have economies capable of meeting those NATO financial targets. Not now, not ever.

    Reply
    1. Polar Socialist

      Ah, but the NATO target is a percentage of the GDP not an absolute. And as the Nord Stream blew up, the EU GDP plummeted. Soon just paying the salaries of the dwindling armies and upkeeping the collapsing barracks will be enough to reach the 2% target.

      What the [family blog], in a few years just sending the defense minister plus the entourage to an annual NATO meeting could be enough for some of the current members. That and a ceremonial guard for the state events…

      Reply
    2. Skip Intro

      I think they do have a way to pay NATO dues, Rev. As you mention, deindustrialization will prevent the European side of NATO from building or even maintaining their own arms production, while, IIRC, NATO payments are calculated as a % of GDP, so by shrinking their GDP to near zero, these valued suckers allies will still be able to afford the protection, and never be in a position to bite the hand that holds their choke chain. Trump just gave the chain a jerk to watch them yap. I’m sure they also expect him to open up the Texas spice LNG flow for them, if they behave.

      Reply
      1. wilroncanada

        Reminds me of the Pete Seeger song “Andorra”
        I want to go to Andorra, Andorra, Andorra,
        I want to go to Andorra, it’s the land that I adore.
        They spent four dollars and ninety cents
        On armaments and their defense.
        Did you ever hear of such confidence,
        Andorra hip, hurrah.

        Reply
    3. Carolinian

      Or the world could do what Putin suggests in the interview and have peace and security for all via international law and the UN. Of course such an outcome works to the benefit of Russia which has plenty of self sustaining resources–something that was once far more true of America and was never true of the UK.

      But surely if nothing else new thinking is needed. So far the 21st century is a pentimento of the 20th.

      Reply
    4. Victor Sciamarelli

      Prof Richard Sakwa noted, “Nato exists to manage the risks created by its existence.”
      I think Trump is promoting a false assumption. The main reason that EU countries have not spent so much on the military is that they did not consider Russia or China an enemy or military threat, and a European war was unlikely.
      It’s the US neocon position that views Russia and China as undemocratic, autocratic and a military threat. Thus, neocons say neither country can be trusted and diplomacy won’t work. A bloated military is the only answer to security concerns.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Or they pretend that’s their concern when what they really want are Russian resources. There was a discussion yesterday about whether the UK had abandoned imperialism. Perhaps what really happened is that they sent all their imperialists over here. The goals are the same. Or at least that appears to be Putin’s view of the situation–that we are the aggressors.

        Reply
  4. i just dont like the gravy

    So you’re saying an AMOC collapse will save Europe from climate catastrophe with reduced temperatures? Sounds like more reason to expand my CAFO operation and roll coal in my F350…

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      As I said years ago, in case of a AMOC collapse, Europe will have the same weather patterns as Siberia. With energy much more expensive and a gap in building capability after they lost cheap Russian gas, I would expect to see tens of thousands of people freezing to death in the UK and the EU each winter. Poor people mostly. And it is already happening now.

      Reply
      1. i just don't like the gravy

        Very interesting. Further evidence that, with the help of the USA, Europe is pioneering the new feudal collapse paradigm. If I live long enough to witness AMOC fall apart, it will be morbidly fascinating to witness what it does to the European nations.

        Based on the link above, USA will see cooling too but not nearly as drastic.

        Reply
      2. JP

        So, if the gulf stream stalls all that energy stays in the Caribbean. With new cat 6 wind speeds that means all the palm trees will be blown away. But more fresh water, because when it gets hot in the Caribbean, evaporation of the ocean surface causes rain.

        Reply
        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          Cat 6 wind speeds and then cat 7 after that. Also, that much heat remaining in the lower-latitude seas and oceans will mean a lot of water vapor boiling off and going somewhere. Where? Maybe to post-AMOC Europe and post-AMOC NorthEast North America, where it could fall out as so much snow as to restore some Ice Age-style ice caps on those high latitude Atlantic Lands.

          Next to hotter heats in the lower latitudes.

          Reply
      1. Dessa

        Same way they always do: By denying human involvement and declaring it an act of God. The less pious will say it’s just a cyclical earth thing, couldn’t have been helped.

        Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      Yo VIP, let’s kick it
      Ice age, ice age baby
      Ice age, ice age baby

      Alright stop, collaborate and listen
      Ice age is back with brand new cold convection
      Something grabs a hold of land tightly
      Flow like a frozen wave daily and nightly
      Will it ever stop? Yo, I don’t know
      Turn off the soil and on ice what can you grow?

      To the extreme, it’ll rock the MIC like a vandal
      Light up a stage and wax an ICBM like a candle
      Dance, go rush to the money that go boom
      I’m killing your brain like a poisonous nuclear mushroom

      Deadly, when I play a climate zugzwang melody
      Anything less than the best is a felony
      Love it or leave it, you better gangway
      You better hit bull’s eye, the atmosphere don’t play
      If there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it
      Check out the free freezers while the ice floes hit

      Ice, ice baby
      Vanilla colored Ice, ice baby

      Vanilla colored Ice, ice baby
      Vanilla colored Ice, ice baby
      Vanilla

      Now that the climate change party is jumping
      When the frozen kicked in, with all that oil pumping
      Quick to the point, to the point, no faking
      Cooking MICs like a pound of bacon
      Burning them, if you ain’t quick and nimble
      I go crazy when I hear there goes a symbol
      And hi-lo temps with a souped up tempo
      I’m on a roll, it’s time to go Han Solo

      Yo mankind, let’s get out of here
      Word to your mother

      Ice, ice baby, too cold
      Ice, ice baby, too cold, too cold
      Ice, ice baby, too cold, too cold
      Ice, ice baby, too cold, too cold

      Ice Ice Baby, by Vanilla Ice

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSiAVUz0Blg

      Reply
    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I have little doubt that nothing of substance will be done to reduce the burning of fossil fuels, or reduce the increases in CO2 and methane. The great machine will grind along until it cannot, suddenly seizes, and stops. The climate will continue its transition to a new climate far less comfortable for Humankind. Humankind is most adaptive to change, but adaptation is crippled when faced with rapid change. The IPCC tends to present climate change as nicely behaved gradual change. Collapse of the AMOC will be one of many sudden and shifting changes in climate — Climate Chaos.

      The same patterns of Civilization and Society — Neoliberal Economics — that drive the race toward Climate Chaos also drive manic efforts to waste and consume resources as rapidly as possible. They also construct the complex fragile interlinked networks that nourish and give foundation to the Empire. At the time when these networks collapse they threaten rapid catastrophic collapse of the Imperial Civilization and Society adding Social Chaos to Climate Chaos.

      I believe Humankind will survive. I fear so much, so very much, of Humankind’s achievement will be lost, either forgotten or reduced to myth and song.

      Reply
      1. undercurrent

        Humankind, if it is still around, and I’m not so sure of that, will see a world where human life will become more impossible, and will be torn by the same last paroxysms of greed and violence that created that last frightening world. It’s self-destruction will signal it’s very last achievement. I’m sorry, but I don’t think that the myths will be told, the song sung.

        Reply
        1. Jeremy Grimm

          This is not the first time that Humankind has faced passing through a crucible of Climate Chaos and change. I believe the greed and violence that characterize our frightening world are innate flaws of the present Civilization and Society — but there are and were alternative Civilizations and Societies. I believe our frightening world is a recent invention alien to most human nature, designed by sociopaths and psychopaths, and painstakingly forced upon the rest of us in an effort of centuries. I believe the book “The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity” by David Graeber and David Wengrow provides a convincing picture of alternative Civilizations and Societies, many of which lasted for millennia. I want to believe that the cold dogma — there is not alternative — TINA — has captured your imagination and lead to your bleak view of Humankind and its prospects for the future.

          Reply
          1. undercurrent

            One thing that I’ve concluded, and I am not a scientist, is that climate disruption is real, that it’s here, and that a rational response to it is beyond any current political system. And while a collective response is needed to “deal” with a global climate catastrophe, I remain certain that nothing essential will be forthcoming soon, or likely to appear in the future. The nations of the world are unwilling to surrender their sovereignty to begin to meaningfully approach the problem. They deny its existence, or minimize the climatic impact. While we’ve arrived at this point, where nations whitewash their impotence by presenting one meaningless climate conference after another, I read article after article in which climatologists report that the crisis is exceeding the predictions of their models. It seems to be much worse than previously believed, and it’s occurring far faster than they ever expected. I offer up, as fact, that this crisis is new to a world of eight billion humans and counting.

            Agreed. It is a bleak prospect. Saving our planet is a bleak prospect. Losing our planet is bleaker still, and that’s why so few people go there. I honestly wish it were not so, and that this same life-giving world would exist into infinity for all human generations. But, that would mean confronting most directly the sociopaths and psychopaths who rule the world; and how different from them are we? We must be certain that, in fact, we are very different.

            Reply
            1. Jeremy Grimm

              Conferences like the United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, e.g. COP28, COP#x … are political events designed to placate the Populace, push happy stories and nostrums, and enable the continued unencumbered pursuit of profits. I believe the climate crisis exceeds the predictions of the climate models because many of those models are tools to support climate conferences like COP#x. Besides many unknowns in Climate Science remain. Models can only model what is known. The climate is a complex of non-linear systems difficult to model. I believe the research portraying Paleoclimate provide a better estimate for the way our climate will progress. Paleoclimate transitions include periods of rapid and ‘exciting’ changes quite unlike the slow relatively stable increases the climate models portray. This is indeed a new world to eight billion humans. The new world will not likely be able to support eight billion humans.

              As for confronting the sociopaths and psychopaths who rule the world — I doubt that will happen before things get really ‘exciting’. However, I am quite certain far the greatest part of Humankind is very different from the sociopaths and psychopaths who rule the world. I believe the tremendous efforts required to brain-wash and control the Populace and the many forces assembled to police the Populace gives testament to that difference.

              The Earth will survive as it has survived the many changes of the past. I believe Humankind will survive. I am concerned about the quality of that survival. I also worry about how much of the great achievements of our doomed Civilization and Society will survive. Some of these achievements may never be duplicated in a future without large stores of readily exploited energy. Some of the Knowledge — if somehow preserved — could make life in the new climate and the new age much less nasty brutish and short.

              Reply
  5. The Rev Kev

    “The Question Is Not If Biden Should Step Aside. It’s How.”

    A few marbles left on the White House staircase? A jack-in-the box left in the Oval Office? A gap between his Air Force One plane and those mobile staircases? Maybe a pillow over the face? They gotta do it before the damn fool starts another war somewhere. In the meantime, maybe they should wipe the computer controlling the nuclear football and install Doom on it instead.

    Reply
    1. zagonostra

      I think the issue of his “few marbles” is a psyop of sorts. Yes he make have cognitive decline, but whatever happened to impeaching the genocidal b%stard. Not that I think he is running anything, but the Republicans have the majority in the House, where the the heck is the impeachment process.

      It’s just like Trump saying he is going to jail HRC. It’s a form of theater, Putin made it clear he doesn’t quite know who is in charge, though I believe he knows more than he let on in the TC interview. Who ever they are they need to be flushed out of the system like I need to have my car radiator flushed now that I’m getting close to 100k miles.

      Reply
    2. Robert Hahl

      The first season of The Sopranos involved an old gagster pretending to be senile to avoid prosecution. Just saying.

      Reply
        1. Martin Oline

          Thanks for the link. I was trying to find this the other day but mistakenly thought it had been a parody of Jimmy Carter by Ackroyd and couldn’t find it.

          Reply
        2. irenic

          Any comedian who defends Biden and isn’t doing a comedic bit about Biden’s diminished mental capacity, even one half as hilarious as the reversal with Hartmann’s Reagan, should have their comedy license revoked.

          Reply
    3. Es s Ce tera

      This should be simple – Biden and Harris, standing next to each other, announce that they are both in agreement that the candidate most likely to defeat Trump, and most needed in these times of conflict, especially the Palestine/Israel conflict, is Bernie Sanders and therefore they are both endorsing him for the presidency. So many problems solved.

      Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          Landon & Sanders both have the same amount of letters by Alf. (edit dept: math is not my long suit, but in fairness to the comparison will let it stand for continuance reasons)

          The beating of Bernie would be tragically worse than when the DNC bus rolled over him in North Carolina, and like the loyal puppy dog he turned out to be, requested that said bus be put into reverse so it could roll over him again, just to be sure.

          Reply
        2. Es s Ce tera

          I personally hope he doesn’t, America deserves to be held to account for its support of Israeli apartheid and genocide, not to mention other atrocities it has committed.

          But it seems to me an alternative reality and timeline might be a Jewish president, who had lived on a Zionist kibbutz in Israel for a time and thus has the Zionist cred and bona-fides, can announce, as a Zionist, that the Zionist project has been a failure and it’s time to move on, thus setting the stage to transition away from it, ending this ongoing atrocity, and also setting the example – and meanwhile saving Zionist face too. Anyone else who isn’t both Jewish and Zionist would just be taken out Corbyn style, wouldn’t stand a chance.

          Although, as it is, nobody would stand a chance with AIPAC, so America is doomed to follow the path set by looming ICJ recognition of its crimes against humanity. It will double down on those crimes, or it will course correct. It’s looking like the former is more likely.

          Reply
      1. Big River Bandido

        Voted for Sanders in 2016. Would have voted for him in 2020 had he not endorsed Biden.

        Now, if Sanders announced my response would be, “meh”. Too late now.

        Reply
      2. Feral Finster

        Even if Sanders would become president today, he has demonstrated abundantly that he is too weak to stand up either to the neocons or Team D.

        The man would make Jimmy Carter look like Huey Long by comparison.

        Reply
      3. Kurtismayfield

        Can we please find a non octogenarian to run? I am getting tired of watching the old regime try to hold onto power.

        Reply
        1. Lefty Godot

          They really have no one on the bench. The Democrats are like that old Kevin McCarthy-Dana Wynter movie where the pod people replace all the humans. Buttigieg, Newsome, Pritzker, Beto O’Rourke, Schumer, Amy Klobuchar, Kaine, Gillibrand, Clyburn, Wasserman Schultz…an undead horde of pod people. And that anyone could seriously propose Hillary Clinton as a replacement at this point is insane. But…no more so than proposing Michelle Obama…who is qualified by virtue of what, exactly?? We might as well go back to the old George Clooney or Oprah Winfrey boomlets. The party has nothing left, having staked their all on a brand identity of being not-Bush, not-Trump, etc., while continuing most of the policies their supposed nemeses initiated.

          Reply
    4. Skip Intro

      The real question is how they remove Biden without getting Harris. Old Joe is well-Quayled with Kamala as VP, he just dare not turn his back on her.

      Reply
    5. .Tom

      Can the party change candidates at the convention? Say Biden makes it through Super Tuesday, winning enough delegates to control the vote at the convention, and then he steps out (however they want to make that look). This would allow the convention to choose someone other than Harris. Could this work? I honestly don’t understand elections here well enough to know. I’m basing this on some remarks from Keaton Weiss that I may not have understood.

      Reply
      1. Victor Sciamarelli

        The DP is a corporation and, as such, it’s not beholden to voters or even the members of the party. The DP has leadership in charge or running the corporation and bylaws to serve as a guide.
        During a court case after the 2016 election when Sanders was cheated, the DP leaders asserted they were under no obligation to be fair or impartial.
        However, it would play out much better if Biden agreed to step aside and the Dems had somebody ready in the on-deck circle.

        Reply
        1. Dessa

          If they wanted to lend it some air if legitimacy, they could let the superdelegates vote on it. That’s supposedly why they exist in the first place (and totally not to have a public-facing backup option to override democracy).

          Reply
        2. scott s.

          Not that up to speed on the DP, but it is not a “corporation”. There is an entity, DNC, with an elected membership (from 57 state-equivalent party organizations) that sets the stage for a national convention. As such, it attempts to straight-jacket what the convention can do via rules that allow power to be retained by key elements in the party. But at the end of the day the convention could “go rogue”, especially if the state-level delegates were able to form a big enough coalition (suspect they would still need insider support).

          It has been the goal of Progressives since the 1890s to eliminate the power of parties, except perhaps as fund raising vehicles. It isn’t obvious to me that the various “primary” systems in place result in better candidates.

          Reply
          1. Victor Sciamarelli

            From Independent Voter Project: A federal judge dismissed the DNC lawsuit on August 28 [2017]. The court recognized that the DNC treated voters unfairly, but ruled that the DNC is a private corporation; therefore, voters cannot protect their rights by turning to the courts:

            “To the extent Plaintiffs wish to air their general grievances with the DNC or its candidate selection process, their redress is through the ballot box, the DNC’s internal workings, or their right of free speech — not through the judiciary.”

            Rather than reflecting on the consternation everyday voters are having over the conduct of the Democratic presidential primary, the Democratic National Committee is doubling down on the assertion that the primary election belongs to the people who control the party — not voters.

            In the transcript for last week’s hearing in Wilding, et. al. v. DNC Services, d/b/a DNC and Deborah “Debbie” Wasserman Schultz, released Friday, DNC attorneys assert that the party has every right to favor one candidate or another, despite their party rules that state otherwise because, after all, they are a private corporation and they can change their rules if they want.
            https://ivn.us/posts/dnc-to-court-we-are-a-private-corporation-with-no-obligation-to-follow-our-rules

            Reply
      2. Jeremy Grimm

        The party has changed VP candidates at the convention. The party sand-bagged the nomination of the popular Henry A. Wallace as Roosevelt’s VP and replaced Wallace with dark horse Harry S. Truman.

        Reply
  6. ex-PFC Chuck

    Re: Could they remove Biden under the 25th Amendment? Should they? Jonathan Turley, The Hill
    Turley adheres to Betteridge’s Law with one hilarious sentence:

    “In other words, it is about as likely François Mitterrand coming forward to say that he faked his death and has indeed been in communication with Biden.”

    Reply
  7. Henry Moon Pie

    Super Bowl parties–

    I believe that I hosted one of the first Super Bowl parties. Technically, it was still the AFL-NFL Championship game held on January 15, 1967 between the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs and Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers of the NFL. We had no naked girls in body paint, but my eight-grade buddies and I enjoyed the chips and pop more than the Packers second-half beat-down of the Chiefs. On that dark day, we would have felt better if we had known that the Chiefs would be back 3 years later to conduct their own beat-down of the NFL Minnesota Vikings, who had been favored by double digits over the AFL Chiefs despite Namath’s victory over the Colts the year before.

    During the fifty years that followed the Chiefs SB IV victory, they managed to win only one divisional playoff game after which the Bills quickly dispatched the Joe Montana-led Chiefs in the AFC championship. No more trips to the Super Bowl While they enjoyed a lot of regular season success at times, they could never win playoff games, especially at home. By 2012 though, things had deteriorated even further. The Chiefs were the worst team in the NFL during a season whose low point was the suicide of Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher performed at Arrowhead in front of the team’s coach and GM after Belcher had shot and killed his girl friend at their home.

    Cue the arrival of the recently fired Eagles coach, Andy Reid, who cleaned up the team’s operations, got the team in the playoffs and began a string of divisional championships that has now reached eight, short only of the Patriots’ eleven. Still, playoff wins with quarterback Alex Smith were rare. At the end of the 2017 season, the Chiefs blew a 21-3 halftime lead over the Titans with rookie Patrick Mahomes sitting on the bench.

    Since that game and Mahomes assuming the starting QB role, the Chiefs have gone 14-3 in playoff games, reached six straight AFC championships (short only of the Patriots’ eight) and will play in their fourth Super Bowl in five years, something only managed by the Bills (who lost all four) and the Patriots, whose streak ended in 2018. The Chiefs, who dominated the AFL during its existence with 3 championships in 10 years, have finally reached an even higher pinnacle with Mahomes under center.

    And as was the case 57 years ago, we’re hosting a little Super Bowl party attended by all three of our children, including the eldest back from Thailand for the first time in over a decade, and both our grandchildren. Nothing too fancy on the menu–burgers, brats, posole for good luck, pies, etc.–but we’re really looking forward to the family time together.

    Our middle child roots for the 9-ers, a holdover from the days when he played Tecmo Bowl with his brother and dad and became enamored of that team during its Steve Young/Jerry Rice phase. We watched the game three years ago together, and he’s still sensitive about the Chiefs’ three touchdowns in the last 7 minutes of the game to overcome a 10-point deficit for the win.

    So over the last nearly six decades, a game that was widely ignored back in ’67 has become an occasion for people all over the world to get together and celebrate something. After the two recent wins for the Chiefs, I’m not too invested in a Chiefs victory this time around. I’m already enjoying the win of having everybody together. And best wishes to everyone today whether you’re joining in ritual or pointedly ignoring it.

    Reply
    1. Carla

      Have a wonderful time with your family, HMP! I’ll be thinking of you during my sister’s 70th birthday party (pulling lots of our family together here in New England).

      Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      I’ve been in NZ a couple times when the Super Bowl was on (go in February to the South Island if you wanna hike when there is the least chance rain in a place that gets it 200 days a year) and one time we were in our motel room, and the other instance we were in a little town called Westport on the west side of the South Island, and for whatever reason, it wasn’t on TV, so we scrambled around looking for a venue and there was exactly 1 place to watch, a crusty old bar. We got there an hour before the game started-the initial pigskin pilgrims, as eventually a dozen Yanks found their way to the only game in town.

      I think we were evenly divided in terms of who you hoped would win, but all being innocents abroad, the novelty factor glued us together as a team in face of a couple of Kiwi drunks who kept making disparaging comments particularly in regards to linemen and their obviously apparent eating habits. We vainly tried to defend them by saying things such as ‘sure he’s 347 pounds-but can do a 40 yard dash in 5.1 seconds’ but to no avail as said suds induced tormentors well into their cups howled derisively at our pithy defense of well, the undefendable, not to mention one of them asking why we were still using yards, a no win situation.

      In lieu of the glue that keeps the game going-the tv commercials one sees in the USA, we were treated to local commercials for Morrie’s used cars and the like, thank goodness it was an entertaining game otherwise boredom might have prevailed.

      We were at a wedding in Tahoe in 2002 that was on the Saturday before the Super Bowl when we discovered what a perfect day SB Sunday is to go skiing, it’s like a ghost town on the slopes and seeing as resorts close @ 4 PM, you ski until 3 PM and then go watch the game in your motel room, easy-peasy.

      We’ve skied on SB Sunday maybe 7 times and its the best time ever to be sliding down a mountain, recommended!

      Reply
    3. Mark Gisleson

      The Oakland Raiders were the first team I ever bet money on and won.

      Disappointed to learn that Henry Moon Pie and I came out of opposing AFL camps.

      I mean, Hank Stram? When you could have rooted for Al “just win baby” Davis’ teams?

      Reply
      1. Henry Moon Pie

        The year the Chiefs won SB IV, Lamonica announced before the AFL championship against the Chiefs that the Kansas Citians weren’t worthy of carrying his shoulder pads.

        It would be nice to see that rivalry heat up again.

        Reply
    4. griffen

      I am of a mindset, hoping the hype of the past week is substantively delivered on the field. And no random tossing of a late penalty against either team becomes fodder for one fan base over the next quarter century. Blaming refs is like politics, though, in the partisan way of how things turn out.

      I’m not betting and I am not a giver of advice. My prediction, the Chiefs win on a late FG. And the performance at half time is a more memorable turn compared to last year. I think Usher delivers & I usually don’t care all that much. Now I’ll add, an idiot talking head on ESPN was encouraging Usher to do brief cover or shout out to Taylor Swift during his set tonight; “hell no he should not” was my reaction. Good grief will this nonsense stop soon enough? I guess that she is great and all, seemingly everywhere at once but is she supplanting all time greats aka, a Michael Jackson or the Beatles already?

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I’m taking the exclusive DraftKings ‘Bet $5, Get $200’ promo offer which boosts your new account when you sign up today and bet $5 on tonight’s Super Bowl.

        You wonder how much longer before a Major Major Major Major gambling scandal rocks their world in between the sidelines?

        Reply
        1. mrsyk

          I was wondering what the odds are for Taylor Swift taking the stage at half time. According to pro football network:
          The other intriguing market available with some bookmakers involves potential guests who could join Usher. Names like Alicia Keys (-1000), Lil Jon (-1000), and Ludacris (-333) are priced as almost dead certainties to join him. There is little value in betting on any of them right now.

          The most intriguing is Taylor Swift at +700, given her relationship with Travis Kelce, the fact she will be at the game, and her current tour. However, that is priced as a long shot compared to other options, so it would be a surprise.

          Were I a gambling man that would be my wager.

          Reply
    5. Bugs

      Thanks for this lovely Chiefs history. There’s something very joyful about spending a lifetime with a team and watching them come back from the wilderness to find the luck and skills to climb up to the winners’ circle once again. It’s very emotional.

      As a Packers fan by birth, I will be cheering on the AFC Champs tonight. We don’t mention the team from SFO in my house lol.

      Come next year, I’d love to see a rematch of that ’67 game 😎

      Reply
      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Old Chiefs fans would like nothing better than to get the chance to avenge their defeat at the hands of a hungover Max McGee. If we could just dig up Lombardi and make him eat his words. ;)

        If the Chiefs win this year, they will join the Packers and Giants with 4 SB victories, just behind the Cowboys and Niners with the Steelers and Patriots at 6.

        Reply
    6. Jason Boxman

      I’ve used it as an excuse to watch while doing my taxes, but waiting until March this year, so no idea if I’ll watch hours of commercials and a few minutes of game time or not.

      Reply
  8. Gramsci

    Re Brad DeLong’s confidence fairy:

    «The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on an online sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Toluna, a technology company that delivers real-time [blah blah blah]»

    However Brad and Noah may have other data to back them up. I’m on a smarmphone, so I can’t readily do the math, but on a quick glance, it looks like R2 with consumer confidence is in the 90s:

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GASREGW

    Reply
    1. griffen

      It is a two fer and it’s not even Tuesday. Brad and Noah, cheering for their particular brand of a good economy. Most excellent economic time since the turn of the century. Best time ever, best economic performance by this administration. Even includes a quote from Krugman. I have a good memory about 2005 to 2006, which appeared solid on a few fronts but with hindsight yeah not so great.

      My assessment. Stock Market gains and increases in market caps don’t cover the higher insurance billings or the increase expense for auto maintenance and repairs. My personal view on inflation is that the Federal Reserve is not poised to cut or begin easing until mid year…I don’t see much in the way of critical reviews of the Federal government deficits and deficit spending.

      Here for the uncritical thinkers…please consume our kool aid and ask no questions!

      Reply
      1. lyman alpha blob

        Someone needs to tell Brad, Noah and Paul that the rest of us can still see all the Bidenville tent encampments and everything costs a lot more even as the Fed tries to keep wages down so we’ll never keep up.

        Clapping louder isn’t going to reanimate this corpse.

        Reply
        1. ilsm

          They would respond with “ignore your lying eyes…. you deplorable”.

          Note in this “great economy” the federal deficit is up year on year.

          Gaslighting the people.

          Reply
        2. curlydan

          Wall St and economists keep looking at inflation and saying it’s mild–only 3%! But that’s the year over year (YOY) number (and still suspect) when people don’t live YOY, and elections are evaluations of now versus 4 years ago. Prices were only starting to crawl up in 2020, but then they went crazy from 2021-2023, and we the voters remember it! If Biden had jawboned corporations (particularly consumer packaged goods corporations) to lower prices, at least it would have shown he cared. But he didn’t, so he gets no credit… just blame from us the voters with memories longer than YOY.

          Reply
          1. Maxine

            Another aspect of that.
            Landlines In CA May Be Facing Their Death Blow

            Price regulated landlines maintained by Communication Workers of America union are now in the hands of Newsom’s five appointees to the CPUC.

            Looking at their history with Newsom’s main corporate donor, PG&E, the old and sick and people with no cell coverage are screwed.
            FGN!

            Reply
            1. JBird4049

              “We’ve seen a precipitous decline in demand for telephone services provided over our copper networks,” AT&T officials told CNN. “We are focused on enhancing our network with more advanced, higher speed technologies like fiber and wireless, which consumers are demanding.”

              Nice lying with facts. The cost of basic phone service is not cheaper than internet or cellphone service. If I add long distance, it is greater, and it is basic, cheap service that I hardly ever use. Meaning, cellphone and internet is likely cheaper than a single landline.

              I have I have a landline as backup, if nothing else, because cellphone and internet connections only last about three to six hours during a blackout. The cell towers only have a limited battery backup and nothing else; the copper landlines have their own power. When the fires and storms knocked out the power lines or had to be turned off to prevent more fires, due to PG&E’s lack of preventative maintenance, it sometimes took 2-3 days for the power to come back. This could happen where there not were actual fires but tens or even hundreds of miles away.

              What this means is that as PG&E f— up my power due to their lack of maintenance for over fifty years causing increased power failures, while also jacking up their prices as well, AT&T, after also jacking up the cost of a copper line faster than inflation or its other services’ costs, is now yanking my most reliable means of communications in an emergency.

              They want to force me to depend on their less reliable cell and internet connections, and I do believe that, if they succeed, the cost of internet and cellphone services will massively increase. After all, the landlines have despite the lack of maintenance or expansion.

              This is just corruption, much like Enron’s, no difference that I can see, but Governor Gavin Newsom will just make bank from all the bribes as will other members of the California Democratic Party. My state needs a political enema.

              Reply
      2. tegnost

        They see their own financial system as good, but they hear from the Media Machine that there are lots of things going very wrong elsewhere, and they are concerned because they are not without empathy—at least, not without empathy for the right kind of people. And that, truly, is something we can build on.

        Repubs are not without empathy, dems, on the other hand…well they just need to be rich and everything is fine

        https://tenor.com/view/it%27s-fine-im-fine-its-fine-im-fine-fine-everything-is-fine-gif-4044255692100841679

        losing war in ukraine, unpardonable genocide, (are the very not empathetic dems going to try to create a win by
        “saving” rafah?) the tent people, open borders (hey look, those people aren’t saddled with student loans and get free health care, it’s just business, nothing personal…) , vax and relax (you’re not seriously still thinking about that are you? Cmon man, move on! The future is here got fired for not vaxxing? Get another job, heck, get 3 jobs and climb the meritocracy ladder! (pro tip, always kick down)
        I must say it astounds me that someone would say “Look! We used supply side disruptions to raise our prices even further above our costs and since ya gotta eat, ya gotta heat, and ya need shoes on yer feet we’re looking at massive gdp numbers here! (bill gates walks into a room with 99 destitute people and everyone in the room is a millionaire, so tell me why all the whining?)
        Buy! Buy! Buy! (h/t jim cramer)
        On the other hand, 15 bucks for a six of ipa and six bucks for a bag of chips has improved my diet significantly since I’m not buying, I’m sure there’s a “substitution” story in there somewhere and I’m surprised they haven’t tried to take credit for that too…

        Reply
        1. Eclair

          “…. get 3 jobs ….”

          One doesn’t get a second, or third, job in this brave new world. At least according to the joyous ads on my litter feed. “Three Side Hustles If You’re Low on Funds!” “Get yourself a little side hustle.”

          Algorithms are targeting my demographic, or listening in to my phone calls, or reading my emails. At least the ‘how to get rid of unwanted belly fat in three days,’ ads have eased off.

          Reply
      3. Jeremy Grimm

        These are the best of times as Great Wealth waxes. These are the worst of times as the Rest face higher prices, wages lag, and the Poor freeze in our cities streets.

        Reply
      4. eg

        Not to mention the preceding 40 years of deteriorating real wages for those in the bottom half of the income distribution. The misery is real.

        Reply
    2. i just don't like the gravy

      These pundits deserve to be in a gulag. Peasant, the economy is great and you should kiss the feet of the Dementor in Chief as you are not sufficiently grateful for the portfolio gains he has given you.

      What pathetic navel gazing as the Empire falls apart…

      Reply
    3. Mikel

      They are going to find out about “lagging indicators”…that’s for sure.

      But it’s all kind of hilariously desperate – the silly stock index pump and all. It’s more evidence that bubbles are all they got. The likes of Bezos are cashing in, so I guess all is well again.

      Reply
    4. Mikel

      I say Jerome and crew should do another measly .25 percent rate hike if everything is so “better than ever.” Get it up to more historical norms.
      That would be a perfect test.

      Reply
    5. chris

      I’m enjoying all these very well credentialed people repeatedly showing us that the Economy, and how well people are doing in the US, are two completely different things. Maybe that will cause some of our leaders to stop worrying about the Economy and begin to focus on all the misery we have in this country.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        TV’s & Marijuana are leading deflation indicators, my niece in Oregon related that ounces are fetching $25 in pot shoppes there, which was the going rate for a 4 finger lid in 1969.

        It’s more $40 an ounce of avoirdupois in Cali.

        On TV sets, both the price and content of fare keeps getting a lot cheaper.

        Reply
        1. Mark Gisleson

          I believe mine comes from Oregon. By the time it reaches Minnesota those ounces go for $300 because the legal (clearly inferior) product sells for much more.

          But twixt the West Coast and the Midwest are several states funding their cops by arresting bootleggers. Patchwork legalization is still a War on Drugs but this time it’s more about the financial seizures than the vindictive prison time which is about as much improvement as the transition from slavery to Jim Crow was.

          This is getting much harder to tolerate as we learn more and more about how untested our “vaccines” are. This pothead has not caught the COVID, and of all the folks I know, potheads have been been the healthiest.

          This is not on law and order anymore. This is all on Big Pharma and their insatiable need for monopoly-driven profits.

          Reply
          1. lyman alpha blob

            ~$300/oz here in Maine too, and our legal industry is supposedly trying to favor in state growers. You hear rumors of warehouses full of weed that nobody can smoke fast enough because so much has been grown. With the overabundance of supply and of weed outlets in the area, you’d think one might drop the price down to something more reasonable and put some of the extraneous stores out of business, but so far nobody has done so, and the price remains at or above what it was when it was illegal. I smell a cartel.

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              I’ve heard that many a grower in the Emerald Triangle have ceased production on account of current spot prices for intrastate trade.

              Reply
              1. divadab

                Yes. Legalization has enabled a glut. In WA we have $40 oz’s (admittedly not the best quality) and legal growers are staying in business through “exports” to prohibition States (anecdotal!). Long-time growers in Oregon are getting into other businesses – the glut is particularly bad in OR ($25 oz’s jfc!) – and a WA producer license can be had pretty cheaply.

                Only the very best quality pot can economically be grown indoors under lights. Makes sense from an energy conservation perspective – cannabis should be grown outdoors under natural sunlight, like tomatoes. The indoor grows are a relic of prohibition and will at best become a high-end niche – hydroponic, added CO2, really classy horticulture and expensive product.

                Reply
    6. digi_owl

      Getting deja vu of 2007-2008, where mainstream economists were busy congratulating themselves on a job well done right before it all went belly up.

      Reply
    7. eg

      These knuckleheads just don’t get it. Top line macroeconomic data tells us precisely nothing about the distribution of either income nor wealth, nor does aggregate inflation data match anyone’s individual spending patterns.

      Worse, these numpties are chattering among themselves in venues and outlets in an echo chamber utterly divorced from the lived experience of the lower quartiles of the electorate, let alone the other half of the population that doesn’t even vote.

      If they actually believe that convincing one another amounts to anything where fly-over country is concerned, they are delusional.

      Reply
  9. ilsm

    Doctorow on Putin’s lecture.

    I listened to the whole interview.

    I thought the time on history important. There are too few Americans, most under 60 years of age who remember Yul Brenner as Tarus Bulba.

    The 30 minutes lead to: Russia is still struggling to keep the Polish Lithuanians (who sank to nil with the rise of Prussia) out!

    I thought he did well on NATO expansion! I heard no anger.

    The point I wanted to hear from Putin: “why do you ignore Washington’s warning about getting entangled in European dynastic wars?”

    A question/answer about the hegemon going against (Thomas Jefferson and the Barbary wars an early hint) its republican origin would have been good.

    While inside the DC beltway more “aid” is demanded to be wasted.

    Reply
    1. John

      Those who found the history “lesson” boring might put down the mobile phone with its relentless focus on the present moment and realize that now, now, now and me,me,me are not the whole world. For those who nit-picked what was included and what passed over might, I suggest you extemporaneously construct and deliver your own version of that slice of history. I have taught Russian history and I found it quite adequate and informative for the uninitiated.

      Reply
      1. zagonostra

        I enjoyed it too and was surprised to hear Aaron Mate opine on the Grayzone with Max Blumenthal on a podcast yesterday that it was a mistake for Putin to have spent so much time on historical and lengthy details at the beginning of the interview, not directly answering the opening question Tucker posed. I think Aaron has a good sense of the majority of American consumers but might be mixing them up with citizens.

        The number of people seem on the surface to have had a desire to hear the interview, at last count it was about 200M, where Fox’s normal nightly audience I think is just short of 2M. As Putin pointed out in covering the NordStream pipeline CIA terrorist attack, you have to ask more than cui bono, you also have to ask who has the capacity. Consumers don’t have either, since changing elected officials yield no benefits and they have no chance in hell to elect a third party and someone who is not vetted by the same Power Elite that control who is actually put in front of the electorate.

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          I agree with Mate and Blumenthal. The conflict is not about history but about common sense. The essence of what Putin had to say was his query: why is America here meddling thousands of miles away? Don’t they have problems of their own?

          Precisely. If one needs the history of Russia then Wikipedia awaits. Of course history and especially WW2 history is highly relevant to the Russians themselves and Putin’s justification made to his own people. But supposedly the point of the interview was to persuade an international audience. In the interview he says Russia has now given up on the West and maybe that’s the vibe he is conveying, consciously or not. There’s a lot of water under the bridge since Oliver Stone’s much more informal encounter.

          But Doctorow is right that in many ways it was a missed opportunity.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            Burt Lancaster narrated The Unknown War, from 1978 which was the USSR’s companion piece to the BBC’s World At War.

            Its 20x 1 hour sessions and you’ll learn much.

            For instance, Kiev looked like any standard issue German city after the war that was bombed to smithereens, and somebody had to rebuild it, which is part of the hesitance to destroy it once again, methinks.

            The Unknown War (TV documentary). Part 1. June 22, 1941.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ibizxvxgaY

            Reply
          2. nippersdad

            I thought that was pretty essential background; it has everything to do with history.

            If the US had a state that was routinely used as a superhighway for other country’s invasions I’m pretty sure we would comprehend the necessity of watching and defending oneself from it. If one were to start the story in ’08, as Doctorow suggests, it would not have the same impact as pointing out that this has been going on for a thousand years.

            Reply
            1. Carolinian

              Of course Americans should be far better informed about the rest of the world–particularly if we are going to go around bombing it. I simply don’t think Putin is the one to do it. As some have pointed out, leading off with this dryly presented history meant many never made it to the more relevant and newsmaking second half.

              Reply
              1. nippersdad

                Which brings up the question: If not him then who? If not now then when?

                And, though it would be nice, I am not entirely sure that a Western audience was who he was aiming for. The RoW was watching as well, they all have similarly long histories to which many of them can relate, and had he not given such an interview then they might have asked why. This gave him yet another opportunity to look reasonable to them when he said that there would be no difficulty turning on the remaining pipelines to Germany, or even ending the war through NATO ceasing to fund it.

                IOW, at this point he may just not give a damn what we think. If he lost a few viewers then sobeit.

                Reply
                1. eg

                  This was my thinking as well. While the American audience was important, it wasn’t the only, nor the largest audience.

                  I find most of the criticism stems from focusing on the American audience and its own peculiarities.

                  Reply
        2. flora

          Tucker’s site has the video available with clickable Timestamp Headlines. The viewer can click on a timestamp to start the interview at that particular point.

          One can skip over the first 30 minutes of history and start at minute 25 – NATO Expansion, or at minute 30 – NATO & Bill Clinton, etc.

          Helpful for viewing comments on a specific topics.

          https://tuckercarlson.com/the-vladimir-putin-interview/

          No paywall for the interview on Carlson’s site.

          Reply
        3. Feral Finster

          There was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, and this will always be “the man in the street.” Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology.

          Joseph Goebbels

          Reply
      2. Robert Hahl

        I thought that Putin was annoyed by Tucker’s approach and by his facial expression, and decided to show him who was boss – by making him sit through a history lesson. They had a pretty good interview after that. I’m sure many people appreciated seeing this play out.

        Reply
      3. Benny Profane

        Imagine an American president doing a history lesson of his own country. “Well, we are quite young, in the timeline of civilization, to start. Our nation was formed in the seventeenth century after some Christian fanatics and agents of British royalty arrived and immediately committed genocide of the native peoples for the land, and fought the French and Spanish for the land that they took by commiting genocide. Then we imported a million slaves to farm it. We lucked out when the Europeans decided to kill each other in two massive wars, even profiting greatly by building industries to supply those wars, emerging as a great power over the rubble, protected by two oceans from the destruction of those wars. Now we’re letting it all slip away with our hubris, but, it’s been fun! Lucky us.”

        Reply
        1. EMC

          I enjoyed the historical survey, and watched it with someone who really appreciated it because it was new to him. If Tucker had done his homework he would have been prepared for it. I agree with Doctorow in that Putin did not appear in top form. To me he looked tired and stressed – not necessarily in the moment, but overall, as if this ongoing war is taking a toll on him. Regarding Ritter’s and Johnson’s positive assessments of the interview, I felt that Ritter in particular was a model of graciousness in that he obviously knew Carlson did a B-grade job as much as I did. His used his platform to enhance the value for which I applaud him.

          Reply
        2. griffen

          on the subject of history lessons…while the film is widely understood but to be a lot of fiction, there was indeed a William Wallace and Scotland indeed once fought to be independent of the English crown. One of my particular favored quotes from film, is the opening scenes of Bravheart.

          “Historians will say that I am a liar, but history is written by men who have hanged heroes”…Robert the Bruce

          Reply
      4. Watt4Bob

        Doctorow makes that statement about being bored as if it’s evidence of Americans as being a more sophisticated audience.

        What it’s really evidence of, is a populace fully drenched in exceptional individualism.

        While much of the world continues to enjoy music, poetry, and story telling in small social settings, singing a song, reciting poetry, or telling a story in the company of average Americans will result in crude displays of boredom.

        This is not evidence of sophistication, it’s evidence of barbarity.

        They‘, TPTB, have succeeded in degrading any sense of community that might make us feel connected to each other, and replaced it with a focus on the ‘self‘, and one’s singular ‘identity‘.

        Even listening to supposedly ‘Public radio‘, one will hear stories of injustice, repression and unequal economic opportunity, only as it pertains to individual ‘identity‘ groups.

        For instance, the economic situation of working class, as a whole are never addressed as such, only the problems as faced by some small sub-set, and the smaller the better.

        Reply
      5. rudi from butte

        From Doctorow: Secondly, Putin is not a professional historian and anything he said would be pulled to pieces by academics in the States, not just by the usual journalistic commentators.

        Really? Is Doctorow saying Putin’s understanding of history is wrong? Is he saying that Putin is making this account up as opposed to conveying his understanding of Russian/Ukraine history through reading/studying PROFESSIONAL HISTORIANS. Silly point.

        BTW….make sure you read the always “BITTER” Masha Gessen. Is she a professional ? ugh.

        Reply
        1. ilsm

          Heck ‘we’ cannot agree on what started US’ “war of northern aggression”!

          History is not science, it is observation affected by the observer, non uniform instruments, and [lately in US of A] narrative.

          Reply
    2. hk

      Personally, I thought Doctorow’s point about history was spot on: it was simultaneously too long and too short. For the regular audience, it was too long and devoid of context–they wouldn’t know what to make of it, even if they could follow it; those who know the context, those few who are more historically minded but without a Russian bias, the history was disputable. Not necessarily wrong, just that there aren’t enough “facts” to make the Russia-centric interpretation Putin offered the only possible interpretation. You could, potentially, spend hours arguing the particulars without going anywhere if you opted to, even without getting to how the history sets up the present. (I thought the simple interpretation of history really should be that, even in the 16th century, there were Ukrainians who decided to seek Russian protection by emphasizing their Orthodoxiness, while there were others who wanted to keep their distance by embracing the Pope. The division is old and little effort have been made over past 5 centuries to create a common identity for these groups who still want to go different ways. By this interpretation, the only paths forward are to build an “inclusive” state and hope something comes out of this, which was tried and seems difficult to rebuild now, or to let them go separate ways. But I’m digressing badly now.)

      Reply
      1. rudi from butte

        Again, from Orlov….Putin seems to have done some homework on Tucker. Tucker studied history while attending Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut (but failed to graduate). Seeing as Tucker was fired as a journalist and is currently unemployed (i.e., a blogger), Putin naturally assumed that Tucker is an amateur historian with an incomplete professional education who came as a political emissary to hear some words of wisdom from the leader of a great nation on a certain specific subject — the Ukraine. Therefore, Putin saw it as perfectly reasonable to fill the lacunae in Tucker’s education by presenting a brief outline of the last 1000 years of Russian history with a specific focus on the territory that for just the last 3% of that history has been referred to as “the Ukraine” or “ukraine” or “okraina.” This word translates as “outskirts; fringe; periphery; border districts; outlying districts; marginal land.” This definition begs an obvious question: “The ukraine/okrainа of what?” Of Russia, obviously!

        Reply
        1. Em

          The problem is that he’s not just speaking to Tucker but a Western audience who probably never had a previous opportunity to hear him speak at length. That brief outline went on for a looong time at the very start of the interview and likely went over the head of the vast majority of the audience. And even they could follow it, it didn’t bolster the case for why Russia was right to launch the SMO.

          Reply
          1. Carolinian

            Right. It’s not about Tucker and he had agreed to let Putin have his say as a condition.

            Of course as Putin himself says in the interview the Russians are about results, not PR, but that has hurt them to a degree and helped keep this bloody mess going (IMO–he didn’t say that)..

            Reply
          2. Greg Taylor

            When reciting the history, Putin was speaking to a global audience and in particular to Russians curious to see how he presented the conflict to westerners. The history was a way to maintain morale for fighting the war when thousands are dying every month. He told a story that promoted Russian identity as a force for good in a world still plagued by the evils of Nazism. It needed to be good enough to maintain war support among Russians and I think its likely to achieve the goal. He was very well prepared and Russians likely paid attention. Losing the interest of westerners clearly wasn’t a concern. Putin wants Russians and the rest of the world to think he is doing a good job of promoting his country and providing a coherent rationalization for the war.

            Reply
        2. GF

          “This word translates as “outskirts; fringe; periphery; border districts; outlying districts; marginal land.” This definition begs an obvious question: “The ukraine/okrainа of what?” Of Russia, obviously!”
          According to the authors of “A History of Russia” 7th edition, the Ukrainians of that time period were outsiders living on the edge of the 11-13 principalities in the family controlled area between the Baltic and the Black Sea.

          Reply
      2. Em

        Agreed. It’s just not going to connect for a non-Russian audience with no knowledge of Russian history. These people don’t even realize Russia’s sacrifice in the Great Patriotic War and the role of Ukraine as the West’s invasion path in 3 hugely traumatizing wars in the past 200 years. Talking about a shifting borderland and ethno-genosis going back over a thousand years is going to go over their heads at a point in the interview when Putin should be building rapport with his interviewer and the audience. He should have started in 1917 or 1939 or 1990 or 2014. It would have been a much better interview if it started with the China question and ended before the supernatural question.

        Reply
    3. Socal Rhino

      After thinking about this since watching the interview, I think the key thing is the criticality of free speech and the ability to hear people’s words unfiltered. I would like to see more of this. I don’t know many people will listen to the whole “history lesson” but I know it would have been zero if Carlson hadn’t put this out there where anyone who wants to, can.

      As to criticisms of the interview, less horse race talk on optics and more focus on substance would be welcome. The truth or falsehood of the role of Western Ukraine in WW2, for example, has real current day implications. Tucker’s facial expressions or interview preparedness do not.

      Reply
    4. Enter Laughing

      I think the Tucker Carlson interview was earthshaking in the sense that it shows why the Deep State (or Blob, or MIC) is so consumed with expanding its censorship capabilities so as to squash any dissenting voices.

      Here is a Tucker Carlson — a private citizen — announcing that he intends to interview that dastardly Putin. The gnashing of teeth and wailing that arose from the powers that be was something to behold. But Carlson went anyway. After all, we’re not at war with Russia (officially); there are no bans on travel there. So Carlson goes and conducts the interview. Was it perfect? No. Is it better for all of us that he went? Absolutely.

      The proof is the hundred million or more views the interview has racked up.

      And that has to terrify the powers that be. When one person can defy the Blob to record an interview with Putin, that’s bad enough. But when the interview finds an audience of millions and millions of people absolutely starving for another perspective on international relations, that is something that simply can’t be allowed to happen again.

      So I give kudos to Carlson for risking it all to go to Moscow. If he’s not careful he’s going to end up on somebody’s kill list, which is the ultimate censorship tool.

      Reply
      1. eg

        Also this. Criticisms of Carlson’s preparedness or performance miss the larger point — that the interview took place at all and has been widely distributed and discussed.

        The impotent fury of the goodthinkers in reaction is its own kind of tell — they dread having failed to insert themselves as intermediaries between an important world actor and the public at large since it undermines their narratives while simultaneously exposing the mechanisms by which they are maintained.

        Reply
    5. MRLost

      I have never understood people who want to ignore other peoples’ history. History always sets the stage for what is happening now. Consider Christians – totally focused on an event that occurred 2000 years ago. Should those Christians just drop their interest in the origin of their world and carry on regardless of such old and stale foundations? To where? Only slightly more recent for Muslims. Readers can fill-in for other groups. History is not bunk.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I see evangs as history majors in the narrowest sense, specializing in something that may or may not have happened once upon a time.

        It’s as if the couple thousand years since then are so much chopped liver…

        Reply
      2. Not Qualified to Comment

        I’ll wager a large majority of Christians have only the vaguest idea why the Catholic Church is ruled by a super-Bishop from Rome, and of those who know it’s supposedly something to do with St. Peter being the first Bishop there few know this is a self-serving legend with no historical evidence whatsoever.

        Similary, few Christians are aware of how little is known of the four Gospel authors, where and when the Gospels were written, how much and why they are inconsistant and of the politics that went into the selection of these four out of the dozens floating around in the 4th Century. Likewise the politics that produced the Creeds and the alternative, widely promoted and quite valid early interpretations of ‘Christianity’ they are designed to refute.

        If every sermon delivered from the pulpit began with an honest history of the Book it is based on I’d offer that the scales would fall from the eyes of a great many people.

        Reply
    6. Craig H.

      There is no way that I could listen to that whole thing but I did read the transcript and I thought the history recap was the most interesting part.

      (Taras Bulba was not actually a real person. I did not know this until I looked it up and was disappointed to learn this.)

      Reply
    7. Boomheist

      Like some others I found the long history lesson quite fascinating, and generally accurate. One aspect not yet touched on in this thread as I write this concerns the discussion of the Canadians applauding the former SS member. What Carlson totally missed, and what I fear nearly everyone in the English speaking west continues to miss, is that, for the Russians, the horror and losses from World War Two, while now over 80 years in the past, remain vivid and real to Russians. As Putin said, how can you think Nazism is dead when, today, you are cheering a living Nazi? I wonder what percentage of living Russians today have parents, grandparents, and great grandparents who were killed during the war? The experience, the vulnerability to invasion from the west, must be seared into the Russian psyche. It seems Tucker, and everyone else, remain blind to that reality.

      Reply
      1. juliania

        I am late coming here, and although I do enjoy Doctorow on other subjects I feel he missed the boat on this one. The history lesson was important, and for those who might be interested, the thrust of it was how different national entities became involved in slicing and dicing Ukraine without the people living there having any say. Putin didn’t come right out and say that, but he has made that point in the past, that it is for the people who live there to decide with whom they want to cast their lot, and that is what Russia intends for all of Ukraine. You could see that in how he focussed on language and customs when talking about western Hungarian language Ukranians, or even as events have unfolded where it was the people of Crimea or the people of Donbass who petitioned to become part of the RF. That did not happen in the history he was describing.

        Thanks NC commenters – this was a good stretch returned to the subject of the interview. It can still be found on youtube in various formats and there is plenty of interest – might take a few viewings of various parts but to my mind that is well worth the effort.

        Reply
  10. griffen

    Darkness and the lights of Super Bowl parties. Interesting perspective, but I suggest it’s worth a quick read to follow the aspirations of a young NFL player who perhaps never reached the highest levels ( aka, no TB12 or Mahomes here )…but a reminder of NFL also means Not For Long.

    It’s like if the movie Swingers had a worthy sequel, and I can’t suggest I recall that movie very well aside from the young characters generally being broke but going to Vegas anyway. BTW, I recall a story from ESPN Radio where former defensive lineman Mike Golic described the real nature of the gambling and casino mecca. They don’t build those vast temples to mammon and indulgence without the losers.

    Today’s forecast for the game time weather is artificially lighted and air conditioned in the domed stadium….

    Reply
    1. Pat

      The lesson everyone should learn before going to any Casino, whether it be Vegas, Indian run or online, is that the only guaranteed winner is the House. The odds are always in their favor.

      Fun fact, today’s slot machines are designed, built and tested to be hypnotic dopamine inducing machines. The lights, bells and even the timing of small wins have been optimized to keep people mindlessly playing.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        I have seen that effect with family members but I don’t understand it. To me they are as boring as **** and too noisy to boot. But as the House says-

        ‘And may the odds be ever in your favor’

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          When coins went away I noticed how quiet slot machines became, heck winning 3 Quarters back in the day was a right cacophony with said 6 bits hitting a metal pan at the bottom, you’d have thought you won a few million.

          Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          When I had a gambling addiction back in the day I could narrow down my problem very easily in that I bet too much when I was losing and not enough when I was winning.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            What cured Phyllis and me from entering the cut rate gambling dens along the Mississippi Gulf Coast was the time way back when when we sat around sipping our watered down “free” drinks” and watched a committed optimist feed $800 USD in five dollar slugs into a big, flashy “dry” slot machine. He got exactly zero “hits.” That is no wins out of one hundred and sixty spins of the ‘Wheel of Dearth.’
            Predictably, he went off the deep end and it ended up with the cops called in, (the house heavies could not contain him,) the taser deployed, and not quite $800 USD worth of physical damage done to the premises; but he did give it the old College Try.
            As we were leaving, Phyllis mentioned to one of the “Managers” deployed onto the floor to calm the crowd down that; “This was the best floor show we have ever seen at a casino. You should publicize it more.”
            And we wonder why the casinos have ATM machines in their lobbies?

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              We have Native American casinos here catering to naive Americans, in order to scalp their wallets sum.

              Must have 5 of them within 3 hours drive, not that i’ve ever been in any.

              Reply
              1. ambrit

                Our favourite story of financial pettifogging is the Tunica Casino, built on the banks of the Mississippi River in the northern half of the state. Built during the time when Mississippi “dens of chance” had to be on legitimate riverboats, the casino was in a riverboat that floated in a pond built exactly five feet away from the hull in all directions. It was often referred to as the “Boat in the Moat.” This being the North American Deep South, you could often find real “moat monsters” aka alligators, in those restricted waterways. It gives the old waterways sign “No Wake” a new meaning.

                Reply
      2. eg

        My line is that the only sure thing at a casino is the buffet.

        I have never spent a penny in one other than for food or drinks (not that I have been very often). Gambling doesn’t interest me and I also fear that I have an addictive personality.

        Reply
    2. lyman alpha blob

      It really is draw dropping to see Vegas in person. I had the same realization as Golic back in my salad days, looking up at a huge pyramid and wondering where they got all the money to build something like that, until I remembered that my own wallet was already significantly lighter than when I’d arrived just a few hours before.

      There are (or were) ways to beat the system a little bit. My buddies and I had a very good time playing nickel slots at the Riviera after we discovered they’d keep bringing us free booze as long as we gambled on something. Too bad we only figured that out after we were down to our last $20.00. I will always remember the cocktail waitress we had that day, who pegged us as not being locals. When we asked her how she could tell we weren’t from Vegas, she said “Because you actually tip”.

      Reply
      1. griffen

        I did relatively okay in my one college course for statistics but never really followed up on that with big time winnings ( Las Vegas or otherwise). Did win an office pool here or there, which typically coincided with a final game UNC-CH victory in the NCAA March Madness tournament ala in 2009. The team went on a six game heater and was pretty dang impressive.

        I did have a former boss, incredibly smart, who would occasionally clean up at playing the dice table. It’s a different game and my finances are better off not following that or even attempting to do so. The aforementioned boss had a framed poster of the Scorsese film “Casino”.

        Reply
        1. lyman alpha blob

          If you want to win money and not just relatively cheap alcohol, craps is the way to go. You just have to know which bets to avoid and which to take advantage of. Craps tables pay out 34 to 1 for double sixes, or something like that, but it’s a sucker bet since it doesn’t pay out the true odds. Avoid those bets. The bets to make are the “behind the line” bets on a certain number coming up – those pay out at true odds and take away pretty much all of the house advantage.

          Possibly the best way to win at a casino is to play not against the house directly, but against drunk people. If you can spot a poker table with an empty seat and a few drunk people with decent stacks, odds are you’ll do pretty well. Take the money and run though, because the house takes a cut on every pot. I was at a small stakes table and won $100-$200 over the course of a few hours one time, but when I figured how many hands I’d won overall and the rake the house took from each of those pots, I realized I’d have had double the winnings.

          Overall, the casino is obviously not the place to go to improve your finances, but they can make for good stories.

          Reply
      2. Pookah Harvey

        The mathematician Ed Thorp was one of the few people that have been able to beat the house odds in Vegas. His method of “counting” made him a big winner at the casinos. He later moved on to Wall Street where he became the father of the Quants. My favorite Thorp quote was when he was asked why he changed venue to the stock market. He answered ” because they don’t break your legs when you win”..

        Reply
        1. lyman alpha blob

          That group of MIT card counters made so much money it was eventually 86’ed from every casino in Vegas from what I understand. Possibly apocryphal story, but supposedly one of the big New England casinos – Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun – didn’t do their homework properly when they initially opened and that group showed up the first weekend and made a killing, before getting 86’ed from New England too.

          Reply
        2. Feral Finster

          I have always thought it unfair that casinos treat card counting as “cheating”, when it merely is using a higher level of skill to tilt the odds.

          Reply
      3. Bsn

        I wouldn’t say “jaw dropping” I’d say “stomach turning”. It is such a revolting place full of kitsch, glitter, wasted looking people sitting and pulling on machine handles while chain smoking. Very sad and disgusting atmosphere. American culture at its worst.

        Reply
      4. eg

        I have only been in Vegas very briefly once. I passed through it on my motorcycle on my way back from a trip down the Pacific Coast Highway in 1990. I stopped for lunch at a diner (can’t recall whether it was a local joint or some chain or other) and drove on.

        I think I got fleeced less than the average visitor …

        Reply
  11. SomeGuyinAZ

    Beautiful antidote and bonus today. Impressive to see just how well they blend in with the snow. Thanks for sharing those.

    Reply
    1. Enter Laughing

      Don’t know why Taleb thinks it has to be an either or thing. He’s free to amble around in the woods and drink water while other more adventurous types explore the boundaries of human achievement.

      Reply
    2. Em

      But we could see all that a lot more easily and safer with satellites and rovers. Physically being there is kind of like buying a full size organ and taking months to learn to play a song, when we can now stream much better stuff from our phone.

      If it was just an organ, that would merely be a harmless eccentricity of the very rich. The problem with Elon and his ilk is that they think leaving Earth means they don’t need to live with the consequences of their class trashing humanity’s known home.

      Reply
      1. Ken Murphy

        In many respects it is the physicality of the experience of space that is so compelling, just as is the case with an amble through the woods here on Earth. Should we all stay inside and just use rovers and go-pros to do the walk in the woods for us? It would certainly minimize our impact on the purity of nature.

        I’ve experienced microgravity as well as lunar and Martian gravity on a Zero-G Corp flight. The experience was visceral and amazing and awesome. I would do it again in a heartbeat. To this day, my muscles still remember the experience and jones to experience it again. It’s why in tall buildings I’ll jump just as the elevator starts descending, to get that briefest instant of free fall.

        Part of the motivation for space development is to move heavy, polluting industry off of the Earth, take it out of our ecosphere, and give mama nature a fighting chance at remediation. These industries, products and their appurtenant effects aren’t going to magically go away. They can, however, go somewhere else where they do not directly affect the Earth’s environment; I have it on good authority that the universe is a very, very big place.

        That opprobrium that you direct towards the wealthy, I direct towards those who would condemn humanity to a future forever on this planet, stewing in our own juices. There are alternatives, there are solutions. We just need to go looking for them, not sit around hoping that we’ll figure something out.

        Reply
      2. Cassandra

        >Physically being there is kind of like buying a full size organ and taking months to learn to play a song, when we can now stream much better stuff from our phone.

        I’m sorry, but that is a spectacularly bad analogy. Back in the day, I invested a number of hours learning to play a major Bach work on a large pipe organ. And when I was actually able to make that music come pouring out of the instrument and shake the stone walls 25 meters away, it was a transcendent experience that was one of the high points of my life. Even though I am a rank (that is for you, Wuk) amateur, listening to a recording of that music on a phone is nothing.

        Reply
        1. Em

          I have attended organ concerts and yes, they are very impressive and the organists are amazing performers. But how reasonable would it be for a normal person to say “I deserve an organ in my home because I like music”? I think that’s apt considering that we’re comparing a nice hike on Earth to space tourism.

          I agree it is a poor analogy in that organists are extremely skillful performers who serve an useful purpose in society (you need a big polyphonic instrument to fill a big space) whereas the only use of billionaires in space is if they never come back to Earth again.

          Reply
    1. Randall Flagg

      Burning that car..
      A modern day Boston Tea Party, start of a new revolution starting on the west coast this time?

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Introducing:

        pedestrAIn

        AI versus AI (rest in peace MAD magazine-you were a primer to game of life for a little kid such as yours truly)

        Reply
    2. JTMcPhee

      Nah, as with corporations, the Supremes will simply decide that AIs are “persons.”

      “A fig for your Four Laws of Robotics! All persons are equal, but some are more equal than others” — KA-POW!

      Reply
  12. The Rev Kev

    “Israel is heading towards street battles between the far right and families of hostages”

    ‘This is a pillar of Israel’s strength — to wage a war to free one man, to free a thousand prisoners for him. This is the strength of a society and an army. As someone from the outside, as an enemy, I would prefer that Israel abandon that value, even at the cost of not freeing our prisoners’

    Looks like Seth Ackerman got his wish. Israeli doctrine is to kill people being taken hostage – civilians included – and the bulk majority of civilians killed on October 7th were actually killed by their fellow Israelis. I hope he’s happy. And as the Netanyahu regime has made no serious attempt to free those hostages apart from that one-time truce, it is pretty obvious that it would be better off for him if they all got killed. People should be careful what they wish for.

    Reply
    1. Em

      I think the Palestinian resistance are well aware that struggles against Western imperialism are costly to their own side, they and their families have paid for it for generations. They know how much blood it cost the Kenyans, the Algerians, the Koreans, and the Vietnamese. Worse yet, Israel openly stated before 10/7 of its intent to annihilate them as a people, so fighting is the only path to survival.

      Their objective is to permanently free their people from the yoke of a genocidal regime. And Israel acting its Israeliest and the West and Arab comprador regimes openly enabling Israel is just going to hasten the day when Israel ends.

      Reply
      1. Em

        PS – Ackerman didn’t say that quote. al-Arouri did.

        Was interesting to see the sort of language and tilt that an editor at Jacobin is using against Palestinians, 4 months in. He’s clearly another liberal Zionists who hates Netanyahu but has zero problems minimizing Palestinian suffering. Jacobin is also an op.

        Reply
    2. Carolinian

      From the same article this is interesting.

      The reason the situation is so flammable is that, to put it bluntly, the whole Israeli leadership class took the country to war on the basis of a lie. And that lie is now being exposed.

      They assured their public that “destroying Hamas” by military means was a feasible war objective. Not just feasible, but indispensable — the condition for all further progress. They saw to it that the lie was parroted by the leaders of all the other nations of the Rules-Based International Order — the Axis of Rules, for lack of a better term — starting with the Head Ruler in Charge, Joe Biden.

      And when Israel’s leaders said it, their public believed them. Worse, many Israelis — enclosed as they are in a suffocating bubble of wartime jingoism — likely still believe it. But they’re about to be rudely disabused, and no one can predict how they’ll react once they find out they’ve been misled.

      In other words they Hasbara themselves. Perhaps the narrative obsessed elites–there and here–are going to learn that PR is not a “fact on the ground.” They are terribly slow learners however.

      Reply
      1. pjay

        The real lie was the claim that “destroying Hamas” was the goal of this campaign, when the obvious actual goal was the ethnic cleansing of Gaza. Anyone pretending otherwise is deluded or lying, though I think that is more of a significant issue outside Israel than among the Israelis themselves.

        Reply
        1. hk

          They weren’t lying (the Israeli leaders that is): to them, Hamas and the Palestinian people are one and the same. So “destroying Hamas” is exactly what they are doing.

          Reply
      2. Feral Finster

        “The reason the situation is so flammable is that, to put it bluntly, the whole Israeli leadership class took the country to war on the basis of a lie. And that lie is now being exposed.”

        Now that they got their war, it doesn’t matter. Much like atrocity tales in WWI, or lies about WMDs not so long ago.

        Reply
  13. zagonostra

    Everyone says trees are good for us. This scientist wants to prove it… People Should Not Prioritize What They Think Are “Vibes” Over Actual Data

    I don’t know if there is any such thing a “metamessage,” I am familiar with meta data. When I see two links/headlines like this I automatically think of Nominalism, William of Occam, Positivism, and Materialism. Do I need a scientist to tell me what the “good” is? Do I need “actual data” to guide my “vibes?” Doesn’t anyone read Plato anymore? Do we really think that the “good” is going to be defined and illumed by “scientist?” I thought that ship had sailed and sunk a long long time ago. But, apparently not, it’s still rearing it’s medusa head.

    Reply
  14. Screwball

    Biden to travel to East Palestine to mark one year of train derailment. – The Hill

    February 16 according to the article.

    I live in Ohio and read a tweet from a Toledo News station about this yesterday. I responded; the people of EP should offer him a drink of well water. After I pushed the send button I had second thoughts, but oh well. The gestapo will probably be knocking on my door come Monday.

    ***
    Also, from the links today; 2024 – Hillary Clinton says…I stopped right there. Who cares – go away, please.

    Reply
      1. Screwball

        That incident was exactly what I was thinking about when I wrote it. To this day I wonder how many people don’t understand the insulting stunt St. O pulled that day. Disgusting, IMO.

        I have no idea what Joe expects to gain out of this little photo op, given that part of Ohio is not filled with Biden fans (the mayor has admitted this). Surely not votes. It might even be quite unpleasant, but I’m guessing there will be more Secret Service than towns people allowed to get anywhere near him.

        Reply
    1. griffen

      I’m sure that his minders including Jill will have him going and ready on the right meds. Otherwise who could know sorts of spite and spittle will spew forth. I’m not too sure that sitting POTUS in the past could do the emotional pleas and convince us they understand the agony and pain.

      “Hey pals, how is it going up here again in this bumfudged place in Indiana…oh wait, darn you are right it is Ohio. Yeah it’s a big damn country with a lot of y’all here in the Midwest. Hey you all getting these checks yet from FEMA …oh that’s right”. \Sarc

      Reply
      1. Screwball

        He won’t be able to look any more useless than when wind-up-toy Pete went there, put on a hardhat, a snot green vest, and pointed at air trying to look like he was actually doing something. At least he didn’t ride in on a bicycle this time. Creep.

        Reply
  15. Wukchumni

    Well, he stand & delivered @ Netanyahu’s behest
    Excitable goy, they all said
    And he greatly disbanded the MIC’s war chest
    Excitable goy, they all said
    Well, he’s just an excitable goy

    He talked of recent Mitterand & Kohl offers
    Excitable goy, they all said
    And you got the feeling he also saw Jimmy Hoffa
    Excitable goy, they all said
    Well, he’s just an excitable goy

    He took exception to forgetting Beau’s death
    Excitable goy, they all said
    And he raged against the press
    Excitable goy, they all said
    Well, he’s just an excitable goy
    After four long years they let him out of the home
    Excitable goy, they all said
    And he rode on Amtrak to Delaware all alone
    Excitable goy, they all said
    Well, he’s just an excitable goy

    Excitable Boy, by Warren Zevon

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZokPAuhD6k

    Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “Too many patients are catching COVID in Australian hospitals, doctors say. So why are hospitals rolling back precautions?”

    This is our medical establishment at work trying to normalize the Pandemic to keep the government happy and doing their bit for the economy – and their stock portfolios. If only that Long Covid would just go away everything would be sweet.

    Reply
  17. Mike

    RE; A President Trump in Year of the Dragon may just put out flames of war South China Morning Post

    Oh, probably damp down the overt funding of Ukraine, but what about his favorite boogy-men, Syria, Mexico and China? Can he have anything to say about Gaza that won’t make that worse? Do we forget his stance on them? Besides, he promised he could end the Ukraine war in 24 hours, was asked by Zelensky and Duda to come do it, and did not respond. Brag away, Donald- all to shift the focus, probably.

    Reply
    1. Roland

      If he became president, he could stop the war quickly.

      How? Simple: reduce US aid to Ukr.

      Talks would resume shortly.

      Biden could do it himself, if he wanted peace. It’s not hard. I don’t think he would need Trump to teach him how.

      As for Syria, Trump wanted to pull US troops out of there. Pentagon was able to frustrate that intention. While today’s American generals are not very good as generals, they are really quite marvellous bureaucrats. It was a classic example of how entrenched insiders can thwart elected officials.

      Reply
  18. lyman alpha blob

    The Taleb tweet reminded me of a quote from a book I recently read by Adam Ehrlich Sachs called The Organs of Sense. It’s a pseudo-historical fiction involving the mathematician Leibniz and the court of the Hapsburg Emperor Rudolph and it’s a tremendous shaggy dog tale. The quote, which I suspect many NC readers can relate to –

    “A man delighted by a cat is discomfited by existence, a man delighted by existence is discomfited by a cat.”

    A truly cynical view, in the school of philosophy sense of the word, which makes we wonder whether ‘cynics’ might be better called ‘felesians’ or ‘felixics’, although the latter doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue…

    And after I purchased the book, I came to find out that Adam Ehrlich Sachs is the son of economist and diplomat Jeffrey Sachs, who is very familiar to NC readers!

    Here’s a good review of the book – https://www.zyzzyva.org/2019/06/26/the-organs-of-sense-by-adam-ehrlich-sachs-the-pleasures-of-misdirection/

    And if you aren’t yet delighted by cats, philosopher Jon Gray can tell you why you should be – https://daily.jstor.org/john-gray-cats-can-teach-us-about-the-meaning-of-life/

    Gray’s book Feline Philosophy would be a good one to read along with the one noted in the Soliloquies of the Lambs link above. Lots to learn from our animal friends.

    Reply
    1. eg

      I don’t dislike cats (despite my childhood allergies which may or may not still be active; I don’t own any pets) but I regard them much as I imagine they do me — surplus to requirements …

      My father’s attitude was perhaps harsher. He grew up on a farm where they were like the rest of the working animals, which unlike the dog, belonged in the barns rather than the house.

      Reply
  19. tegnost

    Re chips and science act…

    With that said, it’s far from certain that a complete Midwestern transition will actually occur. Technology-based economic development remains a challenging pathway for any region, let alone one with a tough history of deindustrialization and brain drain. There are no guarantees for anyone.

    It’s vaporware

    Reply
  20. CA

    https://twitter.com/RnaudBertrand/status/1756596270922334509

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    The results of this

    ( https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nana.13007 * )

     contrasting China’s and America’s “sources of national pride” are absolutely fascinating.

    Basically the Chinese are very down to earth, mostly finding pride in technological achievements and economic prosperity, whilst the Americans are very ideological, finding pride in their values and political system.

    I imagine this is very counterintuitive for most as they’d probably expect the communist country to be more “brainwashed” with ideology than the uber-capitalist one, who logically should be more about tangible success. But it reflects my own experience in China: there’s surprisingly little indoctrination around values, with instead a huge accent on seeking tangible achievements, what they call “national rejuvenation”.

    It also reflects both countries’ approach to foreign policy. America broadly has a values-led approach: you’re either one of the good guys who share our values so you can be an “ally” or you’re an adversary because, by definition, we cannot compromise on values… China meanwhile is values-agnostic: they’ll deal with anyone as soon as it delivers tangible benefits and they prioritize stuff like trade agreements, innovation partnerships, and infrastructure deals.

    It also hints to both countries’ weaknesses. For instance China’s pragmatism makes it vulnerable to shocks that’d negatively impact progress as it’d directly hit the Chinese population’s sense of what makes their country great. America’s main weakness, meanwhile, is that it is locked in conflict: externally it cannot but go on constant crusades trying to impose their values on others, and internally it is also constantly fighting around ideological purity.

    There are of course many paradoxes to these results but the biggest one to me is of course the massive dichotomy between what Americans say their values are, and their conduct on the world stage. Who can say that facilitating genocide in Gaza promotes liberty or equality? Stuff like this is not new, it was also the case during the Cold War.

    Which means that there are probably actually two sets of values: the stated ones (freedom, equality, democracy, etc.) and the ones they actually crusade for, which is basically all about supremacy, enforcing their God-given right to be the “exceptional nation” and submit the rest of the world. It’s still values-led but with a heavy dose of hypocrisy and self-serving pragmatism mixed in.

    * https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GGCiJ9UbMAAkygl?format=png&name=small

    3:29 AM · Feb 11, 2024

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      >>>America’s main weakness, meanwhile, is that it is locked in conflict: externally it cannot but go on constant crusades trying to impose their values on others, and internally it is also constantly fighting around ideological purity.

      True, what kind of conflict is the question. As a nation, we are always, always look for a crusade and when it was the the American Revolution, the American Civil War, the Progressive Movement, Civil Rights Movement, the Space Race and the landing on the Moon, it was something positive. It is in our cultural DNA. But it has to be directed and right now, for the past fifty years, it has been fear everything and buy more stuff. The latest crusade has been very successful, has it not? The leadership of the American Hegemony has gotten fabulously wealthy making increasingly impoverished Americans fear each other while destroying entire countries in giant, sometimes multi decade long, chevauchées while urging the worship of wealth.

      I think there is a hunger for another crusade, but I worry what the goal of that one will be. Self improvement much like Civil Rights or the Progressive Era, or a different kind of hegemony instead?
      Even the Progressive Era had its faults such as a focus on eugenics, but it also removed much of the corruption, built much of the infrastructure that we still use, had women’s suffrage (voting rights), was a foundation for the New Deal and the Civil Rights Movement, as well as having the the Black Nadir, as reformers, their proteges, and their descendants moved about. The roughly concurrent City Beautiful Movement, which used Beaux-Arts architecture, was also a part of the Progressive Movement, and San Francisco City Hall and its plaza are examples. The time was fascinating, inspiring, and horrifying all at once.

      Inward or outward, creative or (self)destructive, an American Republic again or another American Empire? Ruin and damnation, or rebirth and salvation, corny as it must read. A crystallization. It will depend on some unknown, probably random, acts by unknown people who probably do not know or believe that they will be the lose pebble that will decide just where, when, and how the avalanche will start.

      Reply
    2. eg

      I think American “values” are akin to the moralizing cant which accompanied European colonialism almost everywhere. It’s for the assuaging of consciences, and not to be taken too seriously when profits for “our betters” are at stake.

      Reply
  21. Pat

    Just caught part of an interview CBS had with the last person between Donald Trump and the Republican nomination. No kidding that is how they introduced Haley. The rest of the interview I watched was even more pandering. You will be happy to know that Nikki has been dealing with Russia every day for years. (Similar to the missing question wondering how Haley thinks she has a chance at the nomination, the one checking in what capacity have you been dealing with Russia daily since leaving government service, I am sure the public would like to know about your business dealings with Russia as a private citizen was missing. But noooooo.) They were too busy asking leading questions about NATO and Trump’s personal insults at her husband.
    That five minutes was all I could handle.

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      After all the buildup you do wonder what Nikki will do after she loses here (Trump now 32 percent ahead). Of course she never stood between Trump and anything and doubtless thought she was running for VP before the press made her their TDS Joan of Arc.

      And there is a lawfare angle since once Haley steps aside Trump becomes the de facto Republican nominee being prosecuted by the Biden Justice Department–not a good look.

      As for dealing with Russia, she did once deal with the Russian UN ambassador before stepping aside in 2019 after some scandal rumors. Most likely then president Trump had had enough. So even that was all about him.

      Doubtless the MSM have no problem with one type of mental incompetence (Biden) being replaced by a different kind since they think they are running the show anyway. But then their poll ratings are even lower than Haley’s.

      Reply
      1. Feral Finster

        Haley was a never-trumper in 2016. Then they and others like her made nicey-nice after he won and proceeded to steer Trump back to a standard issue Team R foreign policy.

        No reason to think they won’t do it again.

        Reply
    2. ambrit

      But can she see Russia from the top of Sassafras Mountain? At least Sarah “Conner” Palin could from her back porch, (admittedly with the help of ‘over the horizon’ radar.)

      Reply
        1. ambrit

          Agreement from me on the Haley Option. It points up to me the amoral, borderline delusional mindset of the Establishment Republican Party money backers. (Financial backers sounds a bit too particular. I like “money” as denoting a far wider field of “interested parties.”)
          I wonder if a comparing of Trump to Andrew Jackson, both “outsiders” of their days, would be legitimate. Both espoused a form of “Populism,” that included much small ‘c’ conservative policy.
          One big mistake of the political class in America is their mistaken belief that “populism” generally equates with progressive policies. (The definition of the term “populism” is a subject for a thread all it’s own.) As example, the original ‘Tea Party’ movement was “populist” in origins before being co-opted by the ultra right wing oligarchs. (Is “ultra right wing oligarch” an oxymoron?)
          So, I am not surprised to see the Establishment grab at any straws to stop the “outsider” candidates. And evidently, that is precisely what Mz. Haley is, a weak straw who is hoped to be the one to break the populist camel’s back.
          Ah well. We live in interesting times. Stay safe.

          Reply
  22. spud

    Corbyn was knifed by the Labour Party apparatchiks, the spooks, the press, and the Israeli embassy. There’s no “tried and failed” about it.

    no, he knifed himself.

    Reply
    1. pjay

      Good thing, too, because according to this impeccably “leftist” journal, Labour seems to have righted the ship under Starmer and is steering a new course toward the future – just like the Democrats here in the US:

      “The productivist, corporatist brand of social democracy articulated by Starmer and Reeves differs almost as much from the messianic liberalism of Tony Blair as it does from the left populism of Corbyn. Labour’s leaders are enthusiastic about industrial policy, hawkish on China, and in thrall to the U.S. progressive narrative that the Biden administration’s policies represent a major break with the economic orthodoxies of the past forty years. Far more so than the Conservatives, who are hopelessly divided between nationalist and libertarian views of political economy, the party feels comfortable talking the language of the “new Washington consensus.”

      The “new Washington consensus”! I can’t think of a better path for a “Labour” party. Why, Starmer is as far from a Tony Blair as, say, Biden is from Bill Clinton. I’m gratified that in this incisive critique of “left populism,” Dissent has followed the tradition of our other leading “leftist” publications like the Nation or the Guardian.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        >>>“The productivist, corporatist brand of social democracy articulated by Starmer and Reeves differs almost as much from the messianic liberalism of Tony Blair as it does from the left populism of Corbyn.

        So, it like the differences between the Democratic and Republican Parties as described by the Washington Times and the withered husk of the American Left?

        Then there is the question of do these writers believe what they write or are they merely paid enough to sell their reputations and self worth?

        Reply
      1. spud

        Corbyn turned to tony blair for advise, and embraced free trade even though the people who voted for labor, despised tony blair and had been destroyed by free trade and the E.U., and voted enmass for brexit.

        sanders could not have done better by endorsing hillary, and his friend biden.

        Reply
  23. chris

    RE: DeLong, Krugman, and other cheerleaders for the status quo…

    I keep asking myself, what data are they looking at that I don’t see? I’m happy to be wrong. I would love to see proof that there was some easily altered condition that would improve our horrible child poverty, homelessness, and deaths of despair indicators that wasn’t because of structural economic conditions our ruling class is wedded to forever. I would love to see people acknowledge that the stock market is not the economy.

    So am I wrong in thinking one way to puncture the claims that it’s “just vibes” is to begin with the labor participation rate, then show the current population of working age people, and the follow those with the numbers of people with second jobs? Because that data shows there are roughly 209.3 million working age people in the US, but only 130.8 million are employed or actively seeking work, and about 10.5 million of those have two or more jobs. Which means the tiny variations in the unemployment rate we’re seeing are dwarfed by any shifts in the labor participation rate and the number of people with one or more jobs. We’re trumpeting the statistic that shows 7.8 million people are still trying to get jobs when 10.5 million have two or more jobs in a time when fewer people are working overall, but we’re getting more and more people who need jobs. You need to have a stellar 250k+ jobs on the labor survery every month for a year and to cover the gap between those seeking employment and the multiple employed. So why do they keep insisting that these numbers are great when the last time the labor participation rate was this low, it was 1978, when a little less than 50% of women were working?

    Or how about the bizarre contradiction in the data that a family making the median income has more than enough money to afford the median house (assuming they have a 20% downpayment), where the median price of a house is about 420k$, and the median family income is about 95k$, but the places where you’re most likely to earn that median income are also the places where a house costs far more than thecmedian sale price. For example, the median house sale price in California is about 780k$. And that’s before you consider how many people making that median income happen to have 80k$ saved to put towards the downpayment. People can’t afford houses where they live to make enough money to afford a house? This is OK?

    My eyes tell me the situation is awful and things like food prices are out of control. Vehicle prices are sky high. Home repairs cost a lot. Education costs a lot. Medical care for yourself or your pets is a bankruptcy event. We also have more homelessness and crime than any other time in my memory. Several of my neighbors have woken up to their cars being stolen or on blocks because sometime stole the tires over night.

    And the data says our national economy is seriously out of whack.

    So what are these people seeing that I’m not? It looks like we’re in an awful place as a country. Happy to be proven wrong though.

    Reply
    1. hk

      The “average” bias. If half the people are way too tall and half the people are way too short, then no one is average (despite the terminology, this applies to medians, too). This is compounded here by people using multiple stats that behave differently–median income and home prices for different locales that you pointed out, for example.

      Reply
    2. Jason Boxman

      Bidenomics only comes to those that wear the right colored glasses. You need the ones that blue-shift. Then it all comes into focus, I promise!

      Reply
    3. Bill Urman

      Can’t locate right now but have seen several reports that approx 60% of workers live paycheck to paycheck.

      When the narrative gets challenged, the only thing the narrative managers can do is turn up the volume. The volume is pretty much maxed out but the masses aren’t buying it. Tough job trying to convince people the economy is grrrrrrreat when people are f*****g stressed crazy trying to survive.

      Reply
  24. Tom Stone

    The SF Chronicle has had Zero coverage of Hur’s conclusion that Biden is suffering from a cognitive deficit, or Genocide Joe’s conflating Mexico and Egypt.
    Which is curious…

    Reply
    1. pjay

      Not really. They are just acknowledging the Science as noted in that STAT article above in an interview with an actual neuropsychologist in SF. The point of this article is the last paragraph:

      [Q:] Do you think in the case of Biden, our prejudice against aging is showing?

      [A:] In some cultures, when the elderly are more venerated and respected, the problem we’ve had clinically is that the family doesn’t recognize that the person is impaired. But in our country, I don’t know if it’s a cultural bias or rather the lowest level of political nonsense. I think there’s a certain degree of that criticizing Biden’s memory and cognitive function … it’s political in this case.

      See, its *political*! The SF Chronicle isn’t going to countenance any fake news about some mythical “cognitive deficit”!

      Reply
    1. Albe Vado

      The White House response to a likely Rafah offensive has been even more incoherent than usual. The last few days have seen multiple condemnations of it, that it’s completely unacceptable, including from the US ambassador. But just today Biden came out and basically said ‘well okay, but if you’re going to do it make sure you have a civilian evacuation plan’.

      Evacuate them to where, you demented monster? Egypt has already said it won’t be a dumping ground for ethnic cleansing.

      Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Burying the lead

      The operation came after weeks of Atlanta officials promoting a campaign to catch activists linked to arson against construction and police equipment, all the while activists have been committing more acts of sabotage, alternating with nonviolent, civil disobedience.[…]

      One activist, John Mazurek, was arrested in Thursday’s raid and charged with first-degree arson, in connection to an incident in July in which eight police motorcycles were burned. “More arrests will come soon,” the Atlanta police chief, Darin Schierbaum, told a press conference.[…]

      At the same time, activists burned construction equipment at least twice in January

      A social media account explained the dual approach: “There is not two movements, one that dismantles earth-destroying machinery by night, another that coordinates nonviolent direct action by day.

      Gee why didn’t MLK think of that. He could have just burned down those police stations in Alabama and Mississippi. Meanwhile in the city of MLK the national Antifa life support movement rolls on. To the would be monkey wrenchers: good luck in court.

      Reply
      1. J.

        You missed the part about

        Andre Dickens, the Atlanta mayor, told reporters that the right way “to make your voice heard” on the project was by doing things like “going to city council” meetings – even though the same city council has refused to verify and count more than 100,000 petition signatures from Atlanta voters seeking to put the question of whether the training center should be built on the ballot in an upcoming election.

        Note that the population of Atlanta (without the metro area, because only City of Atlanta residents could sign the petition) is only around 500,000.

        Anyway the governor is going to take care of annoyances like MLK by requiring bail for more offenses and criminalizing bail funds.

        https://abcnews.go.com/US/new-bill-georgia-criminalize-bail-funds-expand-cash/story?id=106897028

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          So you agree that Antifa, er, “Cop City” protests should be non violent?

          Total Atlanta metro area population is nearly 6 million.

          https://www.macrotrends.net/cities/22922/atlanta/population

          Having lived there I think it’s safe to say there’s virtually no chance that a majority of those voters would support your cause. Indeed one motive for the training center was to keep the city from losing Buckhead and shrinking still further.

          So as I see it this is a national defund the police movement being imposed on a city that as a whole feels differently. Can’t the “anti fascists” find a more compelling cause? Trying to save Gaza might be one.

          Reply
          1. J.

            Yes, I think the city should shut down the project, which would end the violent protests.

            The number you give is for the entire metro area, not the city, which is much smaller.

            https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/atlanta-ga-population

            This is a City of Atlanta project, even though it is being built on City of Atlanta-owned property outside of Atlanta. Only voters registered *in the city of Atlanta* could sign the petition. Around 20% of registered voters signed it.

            I’m sure there are some Defund the Police people against Cop City. There are also environmentalists against it, taxpayers against it, and likely people who just don’t want it in their backyard. There are probably a few people in Buckhead who are for it, although I haven’t met any.

            I’d like to see the city quit wasting taxpayer money on no-bid contracts for their buddies, personally. This is a major misallocation of funds. Plus they’ve wasted more than a million on outside council to thwart the voters.

            https://twitter.com/ThatSeanKeenan/status/1732074449455714580

            There is even a Gaza connection. Atlanta police cross train with the IDF through the GILEE program. Not Officer Friendly training.

            Why do you think Cop City is so great?

            Reply
            1. Carolinian

              Why do you think shutting down a project that is already under construction with much of the money spent will accomplish any of your goals? Police will still be trained. I’ve gone on at length in previous comments about the bogosity of the eco argument that alleges “old growth” where there is none other than a handful of trees. To repeat, the site has been cleared, construction under way.

              And as for public opinion, the black leadership of a majority black inner city exercised the democratic process by voting yes for the training center. If local residents are outraged they can vote them out of office.

              Finally if you say the only way to stop the violence is to shut down construction and give your movement their way then I guess you do favor violent protest such as fire bombing etc. I don’t.

              I also don’t live in Atlanta any more so in that sense it’s all academic to me. But I find the claims and talking points–mostly coming from newsletters, not major media–deeply unpersuasive. They never talk about the BLM riot in downtown Atlanta, the burning down of a south Atlanta Wendy’s because a cop shot a man in the parking lot etc. It turns out anarchy has consequences. One of those seems to be an expensive police training center.

              Reply
  25. Francine

    “Travis Kelce Buys Super Bowl Suite for His and Taylor Swift’s Families for Over $1 Million”

    Remember, all you peons enjoying your barely affordable Walmart pizza in your doublewides and praying the funky widescreen TV won’t burn out before the end of the game, make sure and obey billionairess Taylor’s endorsement of Biden.

    Whatever you do, don’t even think of not voting for Biden, who truly represents you and your family’s values and has done so much for defending them against8 million wage lowering Bidenvenidos.

    Wonder who the woman earning $14 an hour with no benefits pouring $18 beers at the game will vote for?

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Way up north (north to America)
      Way up north (north to America)
      North to America, we go north, the rush is on
      North to America, we go north, the rush is on

      Big Juan left Michoacán in the year of ’92
      With Josefa, his partner, and brother Paco, too
      They crossed the Tijuana River and found the bonanza gold
      Below that old white mountain of money, just a little north of his home
      Juan crossed the majestic mountains to the valleys far below
      He talked to his team of coyotes as they shouted ‘stay low!’
      With the Border Patrol lights a-runnin’ wild in search of a few
      Yes, Juan was a northern sojourner in the year of ’92

      Where the river of humans is windin’, big amounts they’re findin’
      North to America, we go north, the rush is on

      Way up north (north to America)
      Way up north (north to America)
      North to America, we go north, the rush is on
      North to America, we go north, the rush is on

      George turned to Sam with gun dropped from his hand
      Said, “Sam, you’re lookin’ at a lonely, lonely Border Patrol man”
      I’d trade all the seekers that’s harried in this land
      For one small way to thwart their hand
      ‘Cause the family down under needs remittances all the time
      Remember, Sam, we can stop such practices-draw a fine line
      We’d force them to put down roots at their new home
      Below that old white mountain made of money, just above the border zone

      Where the river of humans is windin’, big amounts they’re findin’
      North to America, we go north, the rush is on
      North to America, we go north, the rush is on

      Way up north (north to America)
      Way up north (north to America)
      North to America, we go north, the rush is on
      North to America, we go north, the rush is on

      North to Alaska, by Johnny Horton

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLONWy46gIE

      Reply
    2. LifelongLib

      Dunno. I’m reluctant to begrudge the occasional athlete or musician who makes a fortune. Most of them barely make a living, those who do often can’t hang on to it, and athletes at least sometimes have the kind of long term health issues you wouldn’t wish on anyone. The few wealthy ones have basically lucked out in a system that’s stacked against them. It’s like winning the lottery.

      Reply
      1. eg

        That this “Plantation” you call an athletic lottery exists is a tragedy; that it is so thoughtlessly celebrated is a travesty.

        Reply
  26. digi_owl

    I think in part tech companies are ossified because tech is no longer amenable to a couple of graduates working out of a garage.

    Reply
    1. eg

      The other part is that the big tech oligopolists gobble up everything on their horizon like baleen whales do krill.

      Meanwhile the anti-monopoly regulators are either captured or have been anaesthetized by decades of Borkean legislative Ambien.

      Reply
  27. hk

    Taleb tweet reminds me of something I heard about hospitals a while ago (so this may not be up to date): doctors drive frumpy cars, pharma salespeople drive fancy cars. Some professions require putting up a certain image and they also draw less sophisticated people due to a lower barrier to entry. So there is a bit of selection bias here.

    Reply
  28. Boomheist

    Re: AMOC, Gulf Stream, and climate change. If you filter through these articles on the possible shutting down of the Gulf Stream, what emerges is that once the Gulf Stream stops operating then Europe, Asia, and North American fall into a deep freeze; in other words, snows don’t melt year to year, and over centuries great ice sheets build up and, once again, as has been the case over 20 times in the last two million years, the earth falls into a roughly 100,000 year period when things are much colder than today. We are now living in what is called an Interglacial, that warm period between ice times; have been for the last 10,000 years. These periods have also repeated, with the last one, the Eemian, occurring roughly 120,000 years ago. During that period, and this was before industrial carbon emissions, when CO2 levels were below 200 ppm, average temperatures were 2-3 degrees C higher than today, the Arctic was ice free, and sea levels were anywhere from 30 to 50 feet higher than today.

    This is not to say that human-caused activity hasn’t contributed to what may be happening today; not at all, simply to suggest that climate change has been an enormous, even driving factor ever since homo erectus emerged about two million years ago. We humans have lived through up to 20 ice ages during that time, developing and learning during periods, 80 percent of our history, when the earth was much colder than these last 10,000 years.

    It may just be that what is happening right now has little to do with industrial emissions, except as they may be slightly accelerating a very natural process that has ruled during the entire Pleistocene – during the interglacials, the earth warms, ice sheets and glaciers melt, and this accelerates, such that the floods of fresh water draining into the ocean bring the great Gulf Stream currents to a halt, throwing then the northern hemisphere into a time of ice and cold. The tipping point is reached, the Gulf Stream slows down, or stops, and then Europe, Asia and then North America get colder, cold enough such that the winter;s snows fail to melt one year, then another, then another, then hundreds and thousands of others, such that enormous sheets of ice rise in place, further reflecting sunlight and heat.

    Reply
    1. Cristobal

      In the spirit of ¨nothing lasts forever¨ I have been thinking about the Earth´s rotation after reading a few articles about wobble, the moving around of the magnetilc north pole and other big picture shifts of this kind that we don´t really know much about. We also hear that the ice at the north and south poles is melting. That is a lot of weight being taken away from the poles and redistributed to the lower latitudes. I can´t help wondering if that might have anything to do with the flash frozen mastadons that get dug up from time to time in Siberia. Supposedly one of the Russian Czars even had a piece of one of them served for diner.

      Reply
  29. Daryl

    > The Billionaire Who Wants To Live Forever Has Long Covid Nate Bear, ¡Do Not Panic!

    Legendary coach Dan John has a list of “correctives” for athletes looking to perform at the top level. The list features top secret hacks like… don’t smoke, wear your seatbelt. The joke being that most people are looking for “one weird trick” when really taking care of these things is going to account for 90% of the health outcomes in our control and only Olympic-level athletes should be worried about things like which supplements to take.

    I am thinking “wear a mask” should be added to the list of correctives for now. Not getting covid or at least not getting it repeatedly is going to be one of the single largest factors in our health over the next decades. Much more so than getting red light therapy, only eating meals at 8:47 AM, and taking 47 different supplements.

    Reply
  30. Jason Boxman

    From Thousands of seniors are still dying of Covid-19. Do we not care anymore?

    The death toll was shocking, as were reports of chaos in nursing homes and seniors suffering from isolation, depression, untreated illness, and neglect. Around 900,000 older adults have died of Covid-19 to date, accounting for 3 of every 4 Americans who have perished in the pandemic.

    As someone recently pointed out on Twitter, this also constitutes an unpaid labour supply for child care, so a role not infrequently taken on by senior citizens for their children’s kids now must be done by others, such as the parents themselves.

    Another possible reason for the labor “shortage”.

    Reply
    1. kareninca

      That is a very good point. My neighbor died not long after she arrived in Ireland for a family visit; that was at the very start of the pandemic. It was probably due to covid. So her daughters don’t have her for help with their kids. And her cleaning lady, here in California, lost both of her parents to covid, so she does not have their help with her small child. Along with the terrible pain this has caused there is also the lack of the help that those grandparents would have been able to give.

      Reply
  31. ChrisFromGA

    I don’t know why but I sometimes see “Sam Altman” and mentally transpose it to “Sam Bankman-Fried.”

    Not sure if this is an early sign that I’m on the road to Freeze Frame or pudding-for-brains status, or if it’s the universe whispering a trading tip to me.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      I have the exact same mental juxtaposition happen. Is Jung’s ‘Collective Unconscious’ trying to tell us something?

      Reply
  32. Jason Boxman

    From the garbage-in-garbage-out world of LLMs:

    To investigate, GitClear analyzed approximately 153 million changed lines of code, authored between January 2020 and December 2023 [A1]. This is the largest known database of highly structured code change data that has been used to evaluate code quality differences [A2]. We find disconcerting trends for maintainability. Code churn — the percentage of lines that are reverted or updated less than two weeks after being authored — is projected to double in 2024 compared to its 2021, pre-AI baseline. We further find that the percentage of “added code” and “copy/pasted code” is increasing in proportion to “updated,” “deleted,” and “moved” code. In this regard, code generated during 2023 more resembles an itinerant contributor, prone to violate the DRY-ness of the repos visited.

    https://www.gitclear.com/coding_on_copilot_data_shows_ais_downward_pressure_on_code_quality

    I can’t say this really surprises, I mean, I wouldn’t have guessed because I’m not thinking about stuff in this space, and obvious stuff is always obvious in retrospect. In my own experience, assisted coding is really a grab bag. It is copy and paste on steroids. I only use it for short scripts to do one-off tasks that I don’t want to bother thinking about. But you aren’t getting sophisticated code reuse, refactoring, or modularization, and language support is better for some languages than others. JavaScript is such a moving target, good luck with that. Python or Go are more stable, so you get better results.

    But ChatGPT for example definitely can’t tackle more complex problems. You have to have some idea what’s going on. I had it write a script to parallel process a long running task. It seemed fine, to start, but the design continued to accumulate memory because it kept adding values to a dict in the loop that spins off long running tasks, but doesn’t periodically free this, so it uses memory in the gigabytes eventually. I can see why, but an inexperienced developer wouldn’t even know this code was suboptimal. You’d need to understand what you’re going into ahead of time and try to explain in the prompt and with pseudo code how to deal with it.

    The quality of stuff on the Internet is in any event likely to continue to deteriorate.

    I didn’t download the report; GitHub has a ton of Open Source repositories, but I don’t know how well this report correlates with the quality of private source code. I wonder if this includes private repos? I’d think not, or at least not all of them, because of the IP implications. Professional software ought to have more quality control gates, like code reviews and unit tests, so maybe GitHub CoPilot does less damage to commercial projects?

    Fun times ahead.

    Maybe we enter a world where real, human written stuff becomes a prized commodity because, right or wrong, at least it won’t be repeat garbage absent any thought at all, dictated solely by the next most probable token.

    Reply
  33. Willow

    > People Should Not Prioritize What They Think Are “Vibes” Over Actual Data

    Reason why economic health of US economy has been a surprise is because no one in MSM can acknowledge this has been the upside of the Ukraine conflict with Russia. US is sucking the economic life blood out of Europe. US economy ticking over very nicely with higher oil & gas production at same time as higher prices. (thanks to Putin, Australian economy also still going strong with federal government even having a budget surplus). Along with uplift in military-industrial complex production. Plus success of Trump’s policies leading to onshoring of some manufacturing from China and other countries. (who’d thought anti-globalist policies would benefit the American worker? /s).

    Europe & UK though are screwed big time which eventually will be the economic chickens that will come home to rooster for US.

    Reply
  34. Icecube12

    When I saw the Daily Mail article about the airline passenger who hemorrhaged, I clicked, thinking it would be about the case I read about earlier this weekend about a passenger from Thailand to Germany who died vomiting blood. I almost freaked out when I realized this article is about a separate instance of hemorrhaging on a flight, wondering if it actually could be some new horrible plague, before realizing the Daily Mail article is from July. Still kind of freaked though.

    https://www.scmp.com/news/world/europe/article/3251690/man-dies-thailand-germany-flight-after-cold-sweats-and-losing-litres-blood

    Reply
    1. kareninca

      Soon we’ll need to pay a premium for the non-hemorrhaging seats. And then if we happen to ourselves hemorrhage in them we will have to pay an extra surcharge. I’d one should go long 3M stocks since they sell washable fabrics (https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/heavy-industrial-us/surfaceprotection/), but I don’t get the impression that the airlines can be bothered to do much cleaning afterwards. Maybe we will be able to buy grossly overpriced DIY clean-up kits in the airport Hudson shop.

      Reply
  35. kareninca

    The same container of cayenne that cost me $7.12 in 2022 now costs over $12. The cost to service my Honda Civic has nearly doubled. Also, all of a sudden, cheap generic aspirin seems to be out stock in the places I shop. These plus countless other real life things cause me to think that the economy is in not good shape at all.

    Reply
    1. kareninca

      Also, from what I read on reddit, a lot of young people are now explicitly giving up on saving or planning for the future, so the continued high level of purchasing doesn’t mean what it once might have. In Taiwan and China they are called the “Moonlight Clan”, and some live that way even if they don’t need to (https://www.cnbc.com/2023/04/13/moonlight-clan-greater-chinas-young-living-paycheck-to-paycheck.html). I know a lot of PMC boomers who are spending money as if they might die tomorrow; maybe they will since none of them pay attention to covid. I don’t think that this new attitude to the future (and thus spending) is sufficient taken into account by people who are claiming the economy is great.

      When I was a kid in the 70s my dad was shocked by a friend of his who had learned that he was about to lose his job. His reaction was to go out and buy a bunch of costly LPs. He figured that he wouldn’t be able to have much fun of that sort pretty soon. The reason my dad was shocked was because the guy had kids. Most of the people who are spending like crazy now don’t have dependents, so it is hardly shocking; other than any environmental concerns about it maybe they are right to do this.

      Reply
      1. Route 77

        Just the opposite with wise older people, especially conservatives; we have stopped spending money on anything but food and energy. We’re going to exacerbate the already dreadful Bidendepression and help shut up the Bideneconomy boasting by sitting on our wallets until after the general election, or if can stand it, after January 2025.

        Saving all our discretionary and even some essential spending for the next president and his administration.

        Reply

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