Links 3/16/2024

Migration of hominins out of Africa may have been driven by the first major glaciation of the Pleistocene PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Cyborg Jellyfish Could Help Explore Oceans Autonomously Universe Today (furzy)

An Introduction to the Astrolabe, the Medieval Smartphone Open Culture (Micael T)

Pioneering sociologist Erving Goffman saw magic in the mundane aeon (Anthony L)

James Webb telescope confirms there is something seriously wrong with our understanding of the universe LiveScience (Kevin W)

Scientists Identify Speech Trait That Foreshadows Cognitive Decline ScienceAlert (Chuck L)

ADHD linked to unusual brain connectivity patterns in large-scale neuroimaging study PsyPost (Chuck L)

Mystery in Japan as dangerous streptococcal infections soar to record levels Guardian. Paul R: “‘Tis a mystery. It says so right in the headline.”

Scientists Discover Simple Way To Prevent Life-Threatening Birth Defects SciTech Daily (Chuck L)



Climate change: The ‘insane’ plan to save the Arctic’s sea-ice BBC (Kevin W)


Taiwan Confirms Presence of US Special Forces on Islands Near China’s Coast Kevin W: “Just 2.5 miles away from the mainland Chinese city of Xiamen.”

American empire strikes back at China via economic warfare South China Morning Post (furzy)


Haiti and the curse of history Hamilton Spectator (furzy)


Myanmar Regime Actually Winning Using TERROR Campaign HistoryLegends (Anthony L)


Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 161: Hamas proposes new prisoner exchange deal, Netanyahu’s office calls it ‘unrealistic’ Mondoweiss (guurst)

New Massacre Against Civilians Desperately Awaiting Aid in Gaza City Communist Party of Israel (BC)

Israeli strikes kill at least 29 Gazans awaiting aid, say Palestinian officials Reuters (furzy)

Charles Schumer’s Senate speech and the US-Israeli “Final Solution” in Gaza WSWS

Israeli Genocide Causing ‘Complete Psychological Destruction’ of Gaza Children Common Dreams

Paul Murphy There should be no shamrock for ‘Genocide Joe’ over his stance on Israel The Journal (BC)

New Not-So-Cold War

Macron Attempts to Woo Nation to War Simplicius the Thinker. Alexander Mercouris discussed this interview in lieu of press conference at the top of his show and depicted it as chaotic. Shambolic sounds like an even better description.

Macron wants Crimea seized from Russia RT

Ukraine – France Already Lost In Odessa Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

France all dressed up and nowhere to go Indian Punchline. From earlier in the week, still germane.

Russia election: Arrests for vandalism as ballot boxes targeted in Putin vote BBC (Kevin W)

5 Scenarios for Russia After Putin’s Next Term Politico

Putin Sees Disastrous Start to Presidential Election Newsweek (furzy). The cope, it burns.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

US Lawmaker Cited NYC Protests in a Defense of Warrantless Spying Wired (furzy)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Gov. DeWine signs bill requiring ‘free market capitalism’ be taught in schools (Carla). Not how a confident government behaves.

EU warns US about loss of credibilty RT

Russia’s demonization undermines Western universalism Asia Times

An American Who Has Helped Clear 815,000 Bombs From Vietnam New York Times (furzy)


I Listened to Trump’s Rambling, Unhinged, Vituperative Georgia Rally—and So Should You New Yorker (furzy)

Trump Campaigns in Georgia and Responds to the SOTU Address rev (furzy). The transcript.

Pence says he ‘cannot in good conscience’ endorse Trump CNN (furzy)

Trump’s Manhattan Criminal Trial May Be Delayed by at Least One Month as He Continues Multidecade Streak of Never Being Held Accountable for Anything Vanity Fair (furzy)

Fani Willis ex-lover resigns from Trump election meddling case per judge’s order BBC (furzy)

Willis and the Third Option: The McAfee Order is More Ironic than Solomonic Jonathan Turley


Biden’s Team Mocked After They Stop Reporters From Communicating With POTUS Sputnik

Kamala Harris could help her party and the country by stepping aside Washington Post (furzy). So she, like Biden, is not taking hints.

GOP Clown Car

House GOP bullish on November despite chaos, unhappiness over last year The Hill


What James Crumbley’s manslaughter conviction means for parents CNN (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

Why the TikTok Ban is So Dangerous Matt Tabbi. Anthony L: “Taibbi never quite gets there”


ASCII art elicits harmful responses from 5 major AI chatbots ars technica (Kevin W)

What AI-turbocharged drug development means for health care Fortune (Dr. Kevin)

AI companies like OpenAI are basically performing gain-of-function research on humanity BGR (drj)

Falling Apart Boeing Airplanes

Boeing Whistleblower: ‘If Anything Happens to Me, It’s Not Suicide’ Modernity

U.S. Is Investigating Meta for Role in Drug Sales Wall Street Journal. Lead story + exclusive.

The Bezzle

YouTubers Getting Crushed By Massive Copyright Violation Scams Garland Nixon. I see this all the time with the regulars I watch.

Everyone Is Underwater On Their Car Loans As Values Plummet Jalopnik (Kevin W). Holy moley!

‘Stretched’ US consumers start to pull back on spending Financial Times

Trying out Microsoft’s pre-release OS/2 2.0 The Register (William B)

Class Warfare

Is This What Happens When You Build a Real Social Safety Net, Then Take It Away? New York Times (Tom H)

Realtor settlement could bring ‘seismic shift’ to housing market The Hill. Hoo boy.

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Mikel

    “Paul Murphy There should be no shamrock for ‘Genocide Joe’ over his stance on Israel” The Journal

    “…However, the President has refused to cut off military aid to Israel. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows this and says that he intends to press ahead with a ground invasion of Rafah…”

    Bought and paid for politicians don’t have a lot of leverage during an election year.

    1. Neutrino

      And I was so looking forward to soft-focus photos off him bedecked in some green, exiting church after having taken Communion then being hustled away by aides before he could utter some profundities or even talk about a dog-faced pony soldier or whole division. /ssss

    2. clarky90

      Matthew 6:9-13
      “Therefore, this is how you shall pray”

      The Lord’s Prayer in Galilean Aramaic


      Yəṯqadaš šəmaḵ.
      May thy name be holy.

      Teṯe malḵuṯaḵ.
      May thy kingdom come.

      Tehəwe raˁuṯaḵ.
      May thy will be done.

      Pitṯan də-ṣoraḵ hav lan yoməden.
      Give us today our needed bread. (the Palestinian People!)

      wa-Švuq lan ḥovenan.
      And forgive us our debts / sins.

      Heḵ ‘ənan šəvaqin lə-ḥaivenan.
      As we forgive our debtors.

      wə-La taˁel lan lə-nisyon.
      And lead us not into temptation.


        1. clarky90

          Well spotted, Revenant!

          There are more than a few translations and versions…..

          THE LORD’S PRAYER in Aramaic

          (Phonetic pronunciation)

          Aboon Dbashmayo (Our Father who art in Heaven)
          Nethcadash shmokh (hallowed be thy name).
          teethe malkoothokh, (thy Kingdom come),
          nehwe sebyonokh, (thy will be done);
          aykano Dbashmayo off bar’o. (on earth as it is in heaven.)

          Hab lan lahmo dsoonconan yawmono, (Give us this day our daily bread).
          washbook lan howbain wahtohain (and forgive us our trespasses)
          aykano doff hnan shbakn il hayobain (as we forgive those who trespass against us)
          lo thaalan il nessyoono (and lead us not into temptation)
          elo fasson men beesho (but deliver us from evil)
          metool ddeelokhee malkootho, (for thine is the kingdom)
          ou haylo ou Teshbohto, (and the power, and the glory)
          loalam olmen Amin. (for ever and ever. Amen.)

      1. Lena

        Is “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever” included?

        An aside: When making the sign of the cross, I still find myself saying, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” instead of “the Holy Spirit”. It’s a habit I can’t seem to break.

        I think prayers learned as children tend to stay with us forever. When my mother was dying, she hadn’t spoken a word for a long time, but when the priest was with her at the end, she was still able to recite the prayers.

        1. clarky90

          Hi Lana
          I said/learned The Lord’s Prayer in primary school.
          The first version is the Gallalian Aramaic. I posted another that is Syriac Aramaic, from the Peshitta Bible.

          The story of your Mom’s death moved me. Thank you!

          Incidentally, the name of The Holy Spirit in Aramaic is… “Rukha d’Qudsha” (Koodsha)

          A feminine noun!

  2. Brian Beijer

    My god. That elephant video has got to be the most beautiful, heart-achingly touching and profound antidote I have seen on this website. It deserves it’s own post.

    1. jefemt

      X won’t allow me as a non x’er to access it without joining up. Haven’t seen that in months.
      Did Elon have a sad?

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Thank you for the link. The elephant visit is indeed moving and leaves me with a much greater appreciation for our commonality with the other nonhuman persons with whom we share this planet.

      1. t

        Saving on server costs, I suppose. Haven’t been able to to reliably click to Twitter links in ages. Trying to search by the user @ takes me to what looks like the person’s pinned tweet (if there is one) and what appear to be two or three recent posts – but they’re all months old.

        It’s running like Waffle House on Yellow. Lights are still on, they have eggs and waffles and coffee, but don’t think its full service. (Also bots, so many bots. Normal analytics no longer possible. Bots bots and broken stuff.)

      2. Vandemonian

        On my iPad, a tap-and-hold on the timestamp below the post gives me the option of opening in a new tab, where the video plays just fine. I’m guessing a right-click on a computer would do the same.

      3. turtle

        That’s strange. I deleted my Twitter account long ago, but I can still see these tweets, not only embedded here on NC, using a desktop browser, but I can also click on it and open the post on X, without an account. The current limitations for not being logged in, as far as I’m aware, are that you cannot see the comments on a post, and you also cannot see someone’s profile page with their list of posts. You can only see the specific post that was linked, and that’s it.

        Perhaps you have something else that’s blocking X/Twitter?

    2. Joe Well

      In order for an elephant to be that tame, the animal had to have been subjected to extreme cruelty and there is always the risk of acting out. This is true for any species of animal other than the few domesticated species of dogs, cats and farm animals who have been bred for docility over centuries and millennia so they no longer have as strong a fight or flight response toward humans.

      How Elephants Are Broken in India

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I have no idea how the elephant in the video was trained. I doubt it was broken as described in the link you offered. I suppose you postulate some form of “Stockholm syndrome” motivated this elephant’s concern … or perhaps other ‘motivations’? I like to believe that Humankind is not alone on this planet — that there are other sentient creatures with whom we share this planet. I also believe Humankind has done many horrible things to scotch relations between Humankind and Elephantkind … as well as relations with many other sentient species with whom we share this beautiful blue planet.

      2. Brian Beijer

        Jesus Christ. Yes, what you are saying may absolutely be true with some animals, but, trust me, that sometimes animals choose to interact with humans on their own accord, without cruelty or torture being the primary motivation. My wife and I are the caretakers of a mid-content wolf dog. When we first “adopted” him at 8 months old, he could care less about humans. He literally paid us no attention for the first 45 minutes we were with him. Now, he refuses to leave our side. This isn’t because of cruelty or torture. It’s because we’ve given him the same amount of love that parents give to their children. This elephant could easily be showing the love of a child for a “parent” that our wolf dog would show for one of us if we were dying. Not all humans are cruel and evil And you’d be amazed at what animals will do on their own accord, witout “training”, when they want to. Animals know much more about human “customs” and expectations than we think they do. In general, they’re much smarter than the average person.

      3. Skeptic

        I too wondered about the elephant upon seeing that video: it can’t be comfortable for her or him to crouch down like that. Maybe it’s all fine, but knowing how horribly we treat our fellow animals, I cringed throughout the video, wondering if there’s a dark backstory.

    3. Roxan

      Remarkable antidote! Elephant is so careful, fully aware he is in a human dwelling but wants to be with his friend. Such a beautiful creature, too. I hope he got to stay for awhile.

  3. Mikel

    New Not So Cold War:
    Looking at the slections and seeing how NATO can be used as an instrument that actually takes out the USA.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “EU warns US about loss of credibilty”

    EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell is really starting to panic here. After two years the US is starting to pull out of the Ukraine fiasco to turn their attention to China. And people like Borrell knows that this means that the European countries will be left swinging in the wind and faced with the impossible task of paying for the Ukraine. Leaders like Macron are running around Europe trying to recruit a Coalition of the Suicidal to send troops into the Ukraine to encourage the US to send in troops as well. Can’t see that happening – not when the election is so close. Now Borrell is here saying that the US had better up the ante and totally commit to defeating the Russians otherwise their credibility will be gone – just like what happened after the US pulled out of Afghanistan, not! I for one look forward to the eventual collapse of the Ukraine as not only will it stop the killing but that there will be an almighty reckoning in Europe with some EU countries going at each other like a bunch of Kilkenny cats.

    1. Randall Flagg

      >EU warns US about loss of credibilty”
      I’m a little out of touch on these things but I didn’t realize we had any credibility left…

      1. Terry Flynn

        The EU has zero credibility. Unfortunately the UK is well into negative territory in the credibility stakes.

        1. Ramdall Flagg

          US citizen here. I got confused and was talking about the US and it’s loss of credibility. I guess it’s going around to us little people too …

          1. wilroncanada

            Sounds like the circling of the wagons, and shooting inwards. U.S.–you’ve lost our credibility; EU–YOU’VE lost our credibility: GB–no, YOU’VE lost our credibility–and on and on through western hemisphere. Canada, Most European countries individually, and on through Japan, Australia, New Zealand. We’ve all lost credibility, and we need only look in the mirror.

        2. The Rev Kev

          Here is a question. Which EU nation has the standing to host the eventual political settlement for the Ukraine and who has the chops to back it up? In other words, which nation still has credibility? Hungary maybe but the EU would never, ever allow that. Somebody suggested Switzerland (not an EU nation I know) host a peace conference because of their past but the Russians told them to shove that idea as through their actions they regard them as a hostile nation. Same for the Scandinavian countries as well as Austria. I cannot think of one country on the European continent that has the credibility to do it anymore.

            1. DJG, Reality Czar

              Rev Kev and vao: I agree that Turkiye has the standing to sponsor peace talks, given that earlier talks, wrecked by Boris Johnson and Biden, were held there.

              Not exactly an EU nation: Pope Francis has the standing to sponsor the talks, so don’t rule out Vatican City. His recent comments on the necessity of negotiations so that the slaughter will end didn’t sit well with the various Armchair Generals and Generalesses, but he has standing.

              (Oddly, or not so oddly, some Italian performers and artists are currently in Russia, causing a ruckus back home and entertaining the Russians–so Italy has some credibility with Russians, although Meloni does not.)

              Then there is Andorra.

              Although Andorra and San Marino are part of the Teensy Axis of Evil or something, eh…

              1. Michael Fiorillo

                How about Luxembourg or Lichtenstein? Mr. Z could at least check up on his bank accounts while there…

              2. Ignacio

                Andorra and/or San Marino. Hahaha! Come on please. I thought that NC commentariat was serious! I cannot stop laughing this evening.

                1. DJG, Reality Czar

                  Ignacio: Hah! You just wait for the day when the Army of Andorra comes down from the mountains on its two or three motorbikes and takes over Spain.

                  Who will be laughing then?

              3. Daniil Adamov

                Half of Andorra’s head of state has recently suggested sending troops to Ukraine (albeit, not Andorran troops). San Marino might work…

            2. The Rev Kev

              Russia has no trust with Turkiye’s Erdogan as he is erratic at the best of times. But when he released those Azov Nazi guys last year in spite of having an agreement with Russia not to do so, Turkiye removed itself as a venue for eventual peace talks. That is why you never hear of this possibility anymore. So, maybe Saudi Arabia?

              1. mrsyk

                Maybe non EU options Brazil or Mexico? This seems academic. I’m thinking the west won’t have much choice when it’s eventually brought to the table.

                1. Procopius

                  Why does The West have to be brought to the table? All Zelensky has to do is capitulate to Russia. The West can’t do anything to prevent it nor to guarantee any capitulation. In fact, I don’t see any need for anybody to be involved other than Russia and Ukraine. Any shipments en route to Ukraine can just be stopped at the border, and disposed of any way the bordering country likes. Any foreign nationals in Ukraine at the moment of capitulation can be allowed to return to their home countries or be put on trial, as Russia wishes. Don’t overthink this.

            3. ChrisFromGA

              No. Well, let me quality that – not unless Erdogan steps down or is somehow voted out.

              Remember how he double-crossed Russia with the Azov prisoner swap? See the Rev Kev’s fine comment above.

              He’s a double-dealing, slippery eel. Non-agreement capable, just like the West.

              Only China comes to mind as a neutral country, and the West would never swallow that. Or maybe an African country that is so small it cannot be seen as favoring either side. The problem there would be that it would get coup d’etat treatment from the US before the talks began.

              1. Wukchumni

                Teddy Roosevelt brokered the peace between Russia & Japan back in the day, and he’s quite rested.

                Book Tip:

                The River Of Doubt, by Candice Millard.

                Could you imagine Trump after his term, heading down to Brazil to go on a river trip where you didn’t know what was ahead of you?

                That’s what Teddy and his son, along with a dozen others did, and a few died along the way.

                1. hk

                  So, Prime Minister Ito should mediate between US and Russia, to return the favor? (I think he’s pretty well rested, too)

          1. Terry Flynn

            I wish I could give a credible answer. But (as you imply) there isn’t one.

            Sometimes I think I should use my Aussie citizenship to fly to WA and live on its south coast.

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            Never mind a country, a railroad car will be sufficient for ending the conflict. The US simply has no credible partners especially in light of the G7’s embrace of the Palestinian genocide.

            1. ambrit

              The railroad car idea was tried by the Allies at the end of WW-1, with long term disastrous results. The lesson being, the peace terms are more important than actually winning. Russia is “shaping the battlefield” of the “Peace Terms” now.

          3. Polar Socialist

            Why would it have to be an EU nation? EU is insignificant. In any case, I doubt there will be a political settlement for a long time.

            Ukraine will will eventually collapse, Russia arranges things as it wishes, EU sulks, USA focuses on China (“What Ukraine? Never heard of…”) and the world moves on. Then. election by election, the individual EU members will start warming relations with Russia.

            The closer the big one between USA and China comes, the more USA may feel the need to secure EU’s help by pushing for negotiated security arrangement with Russia. That’s just Bismarck 101 – a good deal with Russia will give you a freedom of operation elsewhere.

            1. Mikel

              Ukraine has been a training ground for militant extremists that will be dispersed around the world.
              The blow back is going to make the mujahideen’s head spin and say, “Daammmnnnn…even we never seen shit like that!”

          4. Em

            WWII was not ended with peace conferences. The Russians already know that the West will not abide by their obligations under any treaty made with the “jungle”.

            The only path to durable peace is establish facts on the ground that the West physically cannot overturn. Anything else is at best a temporary stall.

          5. Neutrino

            EU petty squabbles, preening, posturing and general feckless behavior indicate a community that is frozen or self-hamstrung in the face of inevitable disassembly. That is reminiscent of how various European countries behaved after the French Revolution, backslid and then pretended in the lead-up to various 1848 events. Where is our modern Balzac to commemorate and elucidate? The Congress of Vienna solved some problems but pushed off others for another generation, although there were plenty of long memories.

            In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, or in spite of that, depending on points of view:
            What is Irish Alzheimers?
            Where you forget everything except a grudge.

              1. herman_sampson

                I was thinking of Clare Daly, the one (or of two) EU rep that had any sense in the matter. (Sp)

          6. John k

            Imo it’s not up to the eu to pick a venue. Maybe s Africa has cred these days… but nobody is needed for a surrender, and us/gb/eu won’t agree on any security deals at least until governments change. One general can just surrender to another.

    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      Rev Kev: Coalition of the Politically Expedient Death Cult. There are strong indications that Macron, like Biden, is doing what he is doing for electoral politics. He’s trying to shore up his ooooshy liberal/centrist coalition.

      Meanwhile, President Mattarella here in Italy invoked the Italian Constitution, which in article 11, doesn’t allow Italy to participate in wars. (Of course, Italy has been dragged, sometimes all too willingly, into the messes in Yugoslavia, Libya, Afghanistan, and, I suspect, Syria.)

      Foreign minister Tajani (a Berlusconi fanboi) is indicating that Italy isn’t interested. Giuseppe Conte even used the word “nonnegotiable” to describe his party’s stance against the wars.

      Fascinating times here in a country where polls show less and less support for Project Ukraine and whatever we plan to call the horror in Palestine–Project God of Death Is My Real Estate Agent.

      It has been good to be ignored and snubbed: According to the Germans and the French (and the Finns, of course), Italy is not a serious country, being populated by irrational Italians, who have a whiff of being subhuman about them.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        Sadly there is a well-known remedy for prohibitions or restrictions on wars. Just call it something else. Maybe a peacekeeping mission in this case.

        1. DJG, Reality Czar

          Daniil Adamov: Indeed. Unfortunately, the Italians got dragged into Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya by dressing up the strategic failures as “peacekeeping.” Through a certain amount of self-deception.

          Yet the wars in Ukraine and Palestine have allowed / encouraged some very serious criticism–serious in the sense of insightful and serious in the sense of biting–of Italian participation in such projects.

          Italy didn’t benefit from any of the four adventures I mention. Geographically, geo-strategically, the collapse of Yugoslavia and Libya increased insecurity for Italy.

          As if the Anglosphere were capable of thinking through what what increased insecurity in the Black Sea and Mediterranean will mean… or maybe the increased insecurity is indeed the plan.

      2. Em

        “Project God of Death Is My Real Estate Agent”

        Excellent. I’m going to steal this.

        (Torah Jew exception to the whole project including involvement of the Jewish G-d is noted.)

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s all just bluster to start a stabbed in the back narrative. Skepticism of the project was on the rise, and with the collapse baked in (money won’t make a difference at this point), the die hard Ukraine supporters are going to blame their own leaders for not doing enough.

      With energy prices causing all sorts of problems, the fireworks are coming.

      1. chris

        They are. As are likely to be uncomfortable realizations.

        Trump apparently scared all of Europe witless by suggesting that if they don’t care about their own defense, why should the US? Perhaps it is too crude to ask what the US gets out of the relationship with the EU. But, under the old system, before Ukraine and COVID and such, we don’t get market access – various nations protect their homegrown brands. We don’t get cheap goods – countries like Germany do everything they can to keep the value of their exports high. We don’t get investment in things that help the US – pretty much all advanced economies everywhere are sending money to Asia for that. We don’t get affordable access to important things like healthcare or medicine either – companies like NovoNordisk are open with their intent to sell to the US market so that they can make more money. We’re not getting military support either.

        The two things that Europe seems to provide the US are extra helpings of elite scorn and a more efficient global intelligence network. Neither helps US citizens. And since Trump hates the IC, he doesn’t consider the five eyes are benefit. So, why are we spending all this money and energy on Europe again?

        1. Feral Finster

          “The two things that Europe seems to provide the US are extra helpings of elite scorn and a more efficient global intelligence network.”

          Not sure about the latter. European intelligence is highly overrated.

          Smoother P.R., maybe.

        2. LifelongLib

          During the Cold War, the U.S. and Soviet Union kept Europe disarmed. If there was any defending to be done we’d do it. Anybody who thinks it’s a good idea for European nations to re-arm had better take another look at the first half of the 20th century.

          1. chris

            The citizens do not want to re-arm. As for the ruling class, who are they going to fight without soldiers? Poll after poll says it’s not just lack of materiel preventing the EU from military shenanigans. The people literally don’t want to show up and fight.

          2. JBird4049

            >>>During the Cold War, the U.S. and Soviet Union kept Europe disarmed.

            Wasn’t both the Warsaw Pact and NATO full of countries with large militaries that were small only when compared to the Soviet Union and the United States? Continuously occupied might be a better description.

    4. timbers

      China. Because you can’t get more “up your’s” than that (from a Russian perspective).

      Wait no…how about Odessa? Or the Donbass?

      The “West” deserves no further consideration beyond what kink of threat they pose to the rest of the world.

      1. urdsama

        Quite the claim, especially in light of the possibility the US Air Force let Russia know about the German Taurus attack plan. On what do you base this statement?

        1. Feral Finster

          Because the army continues to follow orders and appears nowhere near the breaking point.

          1. Procopius

            Wait! Which army are you talking about? From what I’ve been hearing for a two years, the Ukrainian army is within a couple of months of breaking, especially if they don’t get a LOT of 155mm shells fast.

  5. Terry Flynn

    Re Japanese infections. I don’t claim to offer any explanation. However I have something I learnt initially from personal anecdote then confirmed by professional search of the literature.

    There is a particular parasite that is very uncommon in “the west” and which only STD clinicians tend to pick up on (it’s most commonly seen in gay men). Interestingly, outside of the gay community, it is remarkably prevalent amongst Japanese mothers – a former colleague of mine wondered if it might be this but that’s highly speculative and quite possibly wrong.

    NB for the record my BFF is a thoroughly Nipponised Brit. He acknowledges every good and bad thing about Japan and is just as puzzled as me.

    1. Bugs

      That article also has this nugget near the end:

      “Streptococcal infections, like those of Covid-19, are spread through droplets and physical contact”

      They want to see us all die. They just won’t stop it.

      1. .human

        I watched an Alfred Hichcock Presents episode from 1959 (takes place in 1980), “The Blessington Method,” that had a scene that stated that research concluded that conversation was the major source of cold infections as the receptionist uses recorded responses to communicate!

      2. Jason Boxman

        The whole Pandemic has been quite revealing, and it’s reasonable to conclude at this point that certainly any respiratory virus is airborne, like smoke, particularly if the CDC says otherwise.

    2. antidlc

      From the article:
      ““In my opinion, over 50% Japanese people have been infected by Sars-CoV-2 [the virus that causes Covid-19],” Kikuchi tells the Guardian. “People’s immunological status after recovering from Covid-19 might alter their susceptibility to some microorganisms.”

    3. Enter Laughing

      Streptococcal infections have been on a steep upward trend in Japan for at least ten years, with year-to-year increases of 20% at times.

      Health officials have been puzzling over the increase for awhile, as described in the 2017 Newsweek article Mysterious “Flesh-eating” infection Hits Record High in Japan.

      The Covid mitigations leveled off the rise for a few years, but with their lifting, Streptococcal infections have resumed their upward trend. What ever the mystery is, it’s not necessarily directly related to Covid.

    4. Ignacio

      Quite possibly wrong since your link goes to a protozoan parasite while Streptococcus is a bacteria. I, was by my side speculating whether such upsurge might be related with the same phenomenon with other pathogens and if, as Leonardi signalled in a tweet, previous Covid infection interfering with intracellular signals might have something to do with this as well.

  6. Michaelmas

    Re. ‘Boeing Whistleblower: ‘If Anything Happens to Me, It’s Not Suicide’’

    The blatantly unlikely cover explanation of Barnett as a suicide — given the material evidence around how he died — is the message here. He could have been killed far more professionally, in any number of ways that left the question of whether it was suicide or not permanently unanswerable.

    Those responsible did it this way to send the message: ‘Plan to end up like this if you blow the whistle or go against us.’ As a subtext: ‘Don’t like it? What are you going to do about it?’

    And that’s the kind of country the US more and more openly is now.

    Don’t like it? What are you going to do about it?

    1. griffen

      I am well aware of other examples but I think first of Gary Webb and that film that Jeremy Renner played him, Kill The Messenger.

      Being a whistleblower seems to invite these types of possible outcomes.

      1. digi_owl

        Snitches gets stitches as they say on the street.

        It is mafia behavior all the way to the top.

    2. Terry Flynn

      Don’t like it? What are you going to do about it?

      Not fly. I know that that is somewhat glib but I’ve had enough. If I ever am forced to fly there is one hill I’ll die on: I’m not stepping foot on a Boeing plane.

      1. mrsyk

        Ditto. The only plane you will get me on that’s larger than a Cessna Caravan would be the Concorde.

      1. Terry Flynn

        I was a whistle blower in Sydney. Thankfully my boss made exactly same claim. The Aussie “two strikes & you’re out” law got invoked.

        Whilst I laughed when a third party told me about the “raid” on my former dept (think of movie HR raid stuff), the bottom line remained the same – my mental health took big hit.

        Just as Rev Kev implies, DO NOT be a whistle blower. Do as my predecessors did – run 10000 miles away.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Hang on a minute and I will go dig out my Ouija board.

              ‘John, John. Did you kill yourself?

              ‘Nooo! It wasn’t me. It was (bang! bang!)

              ‘I’m sorry. Your call has been disconnected.’

              1. Terry Flynn

                Have you seen the South Park episode where they try to sue the inventor of the toilet using Ouija?


                  1. Terry Flynn

                    The Episode is called “Reverse Cowgirl”.

                    It’s hilarious mainly because us know-it-alls think we know what the joke is, but it’s actually something else entirely.

                    It’s in my top ten South Park episode list. The ouija episode is NOT what I’m referring to.

                    1. Terry Flynn

                      Sorry I have probably confused everyone.

                      Reverse cowgirl is the toilet & ouija episode.

                      It’s a classic.

            2. Ignacio

              What a field day you are all having here at NC. I wont be telling my physician all this, might she forbid me visiting the site.

              1. Jeff H

                It is the weekend, so I guess it’s a bit of emotional unwinding. Things will return to sober come Monday

      2. Paleobotanist

        Ah, the Australian lasses, no-one quite like them…How long before they get shut down?

        Any news from our Aussie friends about the sentence that David McBride was supposed to have received last week?

    3. Feral Finster

      “Don’t like it? What are you going to do about it?”

      Zackly. Just like anyone who points out the absurdities of the official Epstein story is a conspiracist loon, but no evidence is needed to prove that Putin personally killed Navalnyii.

      Everyone knows the real score.

    4. Glen

      A summary on travel and Boeing’s impact in a newspaper’s travel section:

      Boeing is slowly breaking the airline industry

      The funny thing is, the article title on the SFGate web page is Airline quietly removes boarding pass kiosks at the airport. Web page glitch? Or lots of elite rice bowls getting kicked over because Boeing has gotten so efficient about shareholder profit that it’s effectively divested itself of actually making airplanes? I guess only time will tell.

  7. Wukchumni

    Realtor settlement could bring ‘seismic shift’ to housing market The Hill.

    Commercial real estate is worth about 35% of previous values in many instances, as Covid ran rampant through the places that people used to go for work, there being no incentive to return, really.

    Killing the incentive for realtors to make bank is another way to get there for regular good old houses which seem as overvalued as CRE, if not more. Combine that with a toppy market and high interest rates, and we’ll go from stasis to unsaleable pretty quick.

    A brand new house in Downey, Ca. that sold for $50k in 1972 ought not to be worth close to a million now, it’d be tantamount to a 1972 Chevy Vega being worth $100k with 200k miles (as if that would ever happen, ha!) on the odometer.

    1. griffen

      is it pronounced realtor or is real-TUR ( over emphasis on the latter ). Asking for a friend. That distinction always makes me laugh a little, like hearing Matthew McConnaughey star turn as a southern drawl, “good-hearted” young lawyer in A Time to Kill.

      1. Wukchumni

        Oh Larry Yun
        What will you tell us this time
        You’re only dancing on this earth for a short while
        And though American Dreams may toss and turn you now
        They will vanish away like a 30 year fixed
        Mortgage fading up to the sky
        And though you want the bubble to last forever
        You know it never will, you know it never will

        And the interest rate hike make the good buys harder still

        Oh Larry Yun
        What will you have us believe this time

        There’ll never be a better chance to change your mind
        And if you want this world to see a better day

        Will you carry the words of low interest loan with you
        Will you ride great housing bubble into mandate of heaven
        And though you want it to last forever
        You know it never will

        And lack of affordability makes the journey harder still

        Oh Larry Yun
        What will you tell us this time
        You’re only dancing on this earth for a short while
        Oh Larry Yun
        What will you have us believe this time

        Oh Very Young, by Cat Stevens

      2. zach

        All i ever hear is “reeluhter” but i stick with “REALtor” on account of they be toring people thru that real property and such.

        Thank your friend for asking you to ask, it helped me get that off my chest and i feel a weight lifted.

    2. Joe Well

      >>A brand new house in Downey, Ca. that sold for $50k in 1972 ought not to be worth close to a million now, it’d be tantamount to a 1972 Chevy Vega being worth $100k with 200k miles (as if that would ever happen, ha!) on the odometer.

      And yet many, many, Americans who bought houses back when they were more reasonably priced refuse to admit this, like it would undermine their entire self-identity.

      1. TimH

        Just read the Hill article. “The average price of an existing single-family home in January was $379,100, up 5.1 percent from one year earlier, according to NAR data.” Actually the NAR piece says “The national median existing-home price for all housing types reached $379,100 in January, up 5.1% from a year ago”. The word “average” is synonymous with mean, yet the data (more usefully) gives the median. Dumbed down language, changing the meaning, I’m old and whiny.

      2. JBird4049

        The cost of buying a house and the cost of renting have both increased in tandem since the 1970s while income for most people has not. The minimum wage, if it reflected both inflation and increasing productivity, would likely be $30 or more especially in states like California.

    3. skippy

      The problem Wuk is today RE is more akin to equities and not commodities, hence looking at it from the old consumable economic view point [white good/cars] is going to confuse people. In fact the whole reason for building RE its detached from the past, its to create REMBS and sold on.

      Mix in decades of investor driven buying to offset wage stagnation [share of productivity] in setting up for retirement, all leveraged imo.

      C/RE is a different market with totally different dynamics, internet shopping, HQ asset class, more sensitive to IR, covid WFH, et al.

  8. bassmule

    Re: Real Social Safety Net–
    There is no mystery about why Trump is doing well in the polls, in spite of his general unfitness:

    The CARES Act, passed in March 2020, included the largest increase in benefits and eligibility in American history. It offered people “a sense of relief,” said Francisco Díez, senior policy strategist for economic justice with the Center for Popular Democracy, which organized unemployed people in the pandemic. “A feeling like they could breathe and figure out what they could do.”

    Yes, it all got pulled away. But for a while, it was a concrete, material benefit for the working class.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “For the country’s sake, Vice President Harris should step aside”

    Kathleen Parker never was a fan of Kamala Harris. In a May 2019 article discussing female candidates, she mentions her name but that is all. At that time she was a non-entity-

    But by August she had become the Great Black Hope as can be seen in this WaPo article as Jennifer Rubin gushed over her-

    I wonder who they will want to replace her with? Nancy Pelosi perhaps? /sarc

    1. jefemt

      In a nation with a very checkered history in terms or racism and chauvinism, the Democratic Ticket is a trifecta:
      Dotard octogenarian career pol with some terrible legislation under his fingernails,
      Black Veep,
      Woman Veep.

      Mike Johnson is Next Man Up! Heady Times!

  10. i just dont like the gravy


    When elite East Coast lexicons meet Trump Derangement Syndrome…

    1. pjay

      Pearl clutching in the likes of the New Yorker and Vanity Fair is becoming more and more hysterical. It’s cute that they think describing Trump’s shtick or his 5000 criminal indictments will help, when that’s actually part of his appeal to his followers. That and watching liberal TDSers go nuts about it.

      I take little joy in this. It is a sign that a large number of people see electoral politics as the WWF kayfabe it is and so Trump is the perfect candidate. He doesn’t have to make sense, just brag and bluster. Sad. I do admit to a brief wave of satisfaction whenever I read one of these clueless fear-mongering screeds. If only this really was pretend and didn’t have real-world consequences.

        1. lambert strether

          Always, always, always check the transcript! This for example:

          Two nights ago we all heard Crooked Joe’s angry, dark, hate-filled rant of a State of the Union address

          Dang. Now I have to read Trump for irony?! Taking Democrat’s own words and throwing them back….

    2. ChrisPacific

      And yet, like so much about Trump’s 2024 campaign, this insane oration was largely overlooked and under-covered, the flood of lies and B.S. seen as old news from a candidate whose greatest political success has been to acclimate a large swath of the population to his ever more dangerous alternate reality. No wonder Biden, trapped in a real world of real problems that defy easy solutions, is struggling to defeat him.

      So there we have it. That’s why Trump is winning in the polls – because he’s not being covered enough in the media!

  11. hemeantwell

    Leading the contenders for the most obfuscatory chirpy link header of the day, the article on Goffman proposes that he revealed “the magic in the mundane.” The article launches right into describing how when a person falls down they anxiously look around to see if anyone saw them fall, fearing they will be seen as in a questionable state of some sort. The “magic” actually seems to lie in the fact that in the midst of civilization a person in need reacts like a wounded zebra, fearing they’ll be pounced on by an opportunistic predator. The copy I had of Goffman’s main book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, had a drawing of a figure hiding behind a cheery facade of himself, cringing. I’m not familiar with the full gamut of his work, but he was quite good at charting the mundane, wearing tensions that lie below the surface of commonplace interactions.

    1. britzklieg

      “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” – H.D. Thoreau

    2. a

      I picked up The Presentation of Self while I was working on a recent post and was surprised how psychopathic it felt. I don’t remember having that reaction when I read it the first time 30-ish years ago.

      1. barefoot charley

        Yes, it was one of the most memorable of my college reads a half-century ago. Truly creepy and perfectly accurate–way ahead of its times!

    3. Lynne V Kinnucan

      i fell down behind the wheels of a police car that was backing up, not aware that I was there.

      I didn’t look around to see if anybody noticed.

    1. Revenant

      My spouse’s sister strategised that ad.

      She’s scared of flying and as a thank you the agency gave her first class tickets to Japan and sent her to the filming of the sequel in Mexico. :-)

  12. griffen

    Former VP and former candidate in the 2024 election, Mike Pence, says he cannot endorse Donald J Trump in good conscience. In an unrelated shift in the polls, 100 citizens were influenced by this announcement by the staunch conservative.

    Pence is a dull pitch man, I came to realize that, after seeing many interviews last year.

    1. jefemt

      The persistent fly on him in the debate… say no more … stranger than fiction, embalmatic!

    2. The Rev Kev

      Mike Pence won’t eat alone in a room with another woman other than his wife he once said. That means that either he is very boring or that his wife suspects him of being a horn dog. Looking at his picture, I would go with Door Number One.

      1. griffen

        On the hit comedy show The Big Bang Theory the lead character Sheldon Cooper is notoriously rigid about times and scheduling. To the point where his daily functions are all highly routine, and he is overly perturbed by minor deviation from said routines. Mike Pence strikes me as a man lacking spontaneity, in that regard.

      2. herman_sampson

        Door number one -A: boring and raised or accepting whole hog the most restrictive and conservative Christian doctrines – no alcohol, no dancing, no music after 1950, only G rated movies (if any). I’ve heard his wife always walks behind, never beside or in front of him.

  13. Mikel

    AI companies like OpenAI are basically performing gain-of-function research on humanity BGR

    “…This is why search giants like Google and Microsoft are racing to give control of the internet to AI chatbots that are essentially automated plagiarists at scale, eating and then regurgitating other people’s content — while telling those of us who produce that content to do so “with people in mind,” and not the machine that’s going to either steal that content or make it so that no one can find it. ..

    Wowsers at the ending:

    “…I can’t say I blame the crowd at SXSW on Tuesday who loudly booed when OpenAI VP of consumer product (and ChatGPT head) Peter Deng made the following statement: “I actually think that AI fundamentally makes us more human.”

    YouTubers Getting Crushed By Massive Copyright Violation Scams Garland Nixon. I see this all the time with the regulars.

    “…Could this be an inside or intelligence operation aimed at devaluing the channels and diluting the content so as to make the channel unprofitable for the content creators?”

    1. Mikel

      while telling those of us who produce that “content to do so “with people in mind,”

      Of course they do. Their con isn’t going to be “thinking” or have the ability to keep “people in mind.”

      I just came back to add about these stories:
      I think some in the industry wanted to wait before revealing the extent of the theft, fraud, and other suspected operations.
      Having more people use info scraping tools just raised the level of awareness to the massiveness of the rip-offs.
      But they needed the hype in the face of rising interest rates. They needed a story to keep financial assets inflated somewhere.

    2. Lee

      I haven’t paid much attention to the AI controversy but I did recently listen to an hour long interview with Hany Farid that was quite disturbing. Never mind the title about the threat to the 2024 election and “our democracy”. Farid’s view is much broader and more comprehensive than that. I did like the part where he says that if you take AI generated content and then feed it back to AI, the subsequent AI produced content will become gibberish and often disturbingly strange, the stuff of nightmares. It can’t eat its own cooking. His positive take on some uses of AI do not to my mind outweigh the downside. The implications for free speech and censorship present quite a conundrum.

      Deepfakes and the 2024 Election KQED Forum

    3. Terry Flynn

      I hesitate to say this but a friend from my early 1990s degree at Cambridge University is now HEAVILY involved with VR/AI at Google. His part 1 of his Tripos was mathematics; part 2 was philosophy.

      My question to him (if he were to actually contact me) would be “do you think your work is akin to Skynet from the movies?”

      1. Mikel

        Rate cuts. I haven’t heard the financial press spouting that old adage “Buy the rumor, sell the news” for a while.

        But it comes to mind lately.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I could be wrong but this looks like a case of metal fatigue, especially since this plane was 25 years old. If so, that is not on Boeing but the airline which in this case is United. They are going to have to dig into the maintenance records to see if there was any mention of this panel. Maybe they should offer a reward for that missing panel a it has not been found yet.

      1. Neutrino

        There was that metal-fatigued 737 on the Hawaii island hop route decades ago that peeled open like a sardine can. A case of repeated pressurization cycles taking a toll. A flight attendant got sucked out to her death. :(

        1. digi_owl

          Yep, most mechanical systems usually last roughly 30 years of continual use before material fatigue sets in.

          Sadly rather than decommission and dismantle, they are then sold off to the global south on the cheap.

          1. bob

            It’s a specific problem to aluminum, and counter-intuitive. There are mechanical problems too, but they are in addition to the fatigue problems that are inherent to the aluminum.

            “Aluminum does not have a fatigue limit like some other metals such as steel. This means that aluminum will eventually fail under repeated loading, even at low stress levels.”


            If anyone is interested in dorking out on mechanics of materials, this topic is a great place to start.

  14. Em

    “Communist Party of Israel” seems like an oxymoron. How can you be a Communist (thus doctrinally anti-imperialist and for absolutely equality of people) and recognize the existence of a settler colonial apartheid state that’s currently actively commiting genocide.

    1. Carolinian

      America still has a communist party and look at us. Supposedly the original leaders of Israel were all socialists who sang the Internationale rather than God Save the King. They were atheists who thought the Bible was a big kid (but per Ben-Gurion still thought God gave Palestine to the Jews).

    2. digi_owl

      Communist parties are controlled opposition these days.

      Usually they get infiltrated by wreckers should they get too much traction.

    3. ChrisPacific

      The kibbutzim in Israel bore more than a passing resemblance to Communism, on a small scale at least. They would seem like the obvious constituency for a Communist party (I believe there are still a fair number of them around). I would not expect it to go beyond a small minority though.

      1. Em

        My point is that if they recognize the state of Israel, they’re fundamentally bad Communists. It doesn’t matter how many purportedly socialist trappings they take on while living on stolen Palestinian land in a regime where half the population has almost no rights.

        1. zach

          I’ve never studied doctrinal communism, never cracked open Marx, Mao, or Lenin, but i did come across a critique of communists not long ago that their greatest failing was their exuberant intolerance for different “kinds” of communism, or more to the point, other communists’ opinions of what is and how best to practice communism.

          Which sounds suspiciously like…. Nah that can’t be right.

          Not to say i disagree with your assessment of the Israeli communist party, as a good communist myself (self-styled, a la carte, new age type, probably doesn’t count) i hear the bells of cognitive dissonance ringing in my ears also.

          Godawful ruckus.

          1. Em

            I’m not sure you can call yourself a Communist if you don’t actually bother to read and think about Marx, Lenin, Mao, Gramsci, Castro, etc. Sorry but getting the doctrine right and testing ideas against reality is the key to scientific socialism. There’s no short cut around it and if you try, you end doing silly things like thinking Zizak is some kind of Communist or that “cultural Marxism” is real, or starting out as a “Trotskyite” and ending up as a neo-con.

            It’s one thing to disagree on small points like gender ideology or whether land reparations makes sense for dispossessing that occurred 2 centuries ago, but anti-imperialism is absolutely essential to being a Communist. I just don’t think anyone who supports Western Imperialist actions including in Palestine, can be any sort of Communist at all. Doesn’t matter what trans rights situation is like in Israel v. Iran. Anyone who brings up points like that are arguing in bad faith by ignoring the primary contradiction at play.

    4. gk

      The main Communist Party was basically a client party of the Soviet Union. But there were a few fringe/splinter groups that were anti-Zionist, of which the best known was probably Matzpen.

      I had an excellent philosophy teacher for a few months in high school, who was rumoured to be a member of Matzpen. But when the 1973 war started, he “disappeared”. I wish I could remember his name, so that I could try and find out what happened to him.

  15. Benny Profane

    “Biden’s Team Mocked After They Stop Reporters From Communicating With POTUS”

    I saw another video taken of him on that porch from the same viewpoint, probably within seconds of that one, when he turns to the camera and does that old man forced smile thing (maybe this was when he asked permission to take questions) and it was shocking how old and out of it he looked. You know, like they dressed up old uncle Joe, put a hat on him, and let him wander around the family reunion, trying to recognize close relatives. He does have decent posture, though, and, damn, is he wearing contacts? How is his eyesight so good that he isn’t wearing glasses?
    What kind of miserable person gets a job for the “team” shepherding “reporters” around like that as they mind the old man 24/7?

    1. The Rev Kev

      That decent posture might be the result of a back brace. I would not put it past his sherpas.

      1. Benny Profane

        I’ve considered that, but, his jackets are a fairly slim fit, and, I’m pretty sure you would see it. No doubt there’s a tight elastic wrapping of some sort.

        All I know is, I want that cocktail of drugs they gave him backstage before the State of the Union. I’m old, too, and need it.

        1. Neutrino

          The new slim-line Kevlar 2.0 bulletproof vest? Doubles as a posture-enhancer. Now available wherever old politicians shop.

          1. digi_owl

            These days they tailor the protective layers right into the jacket.

            Seen similar products for sale from a company in Mexico or Colombia.

        2. Lena

          The Juice Cocktail was courtesy of beating Big Farmer and passing the Chicken Science Act.

          Joey getting s*** done! Four More Years! Four More Years! Ramp it up.

          1. griffen

            Who would argue or be opposed to the furthering and support for Chicken Science? We need to understand what our adversaries in Russia and the CCP/China are likewise going to do with their chickens….\ sarc

            That was hilarious !

  16. Daniel Oudshoorn

    Which reminds me of an oft-overlooked law in Deut. 25:11: if 2 dudes are throwing hands and the wife of 1 dude pulls him out of the fight by his nuts, you must cut off her hand and show her no mercy.

    There are endless stories of misogyny, rape, and gendered violence coming from the men Christians are taught to idolize (do some digging in the text, for example, and you’ll discover that the David and Bathsheeba story is a story of a king getting away with rape and then murder and then compelling the raped person to marry him… you’ll also discover that nobody in the text is more emphatic about David being “the Lord’s anointed” then, well, David himself… quel surprise… which is why, savvy general that he is, David does not condone an assassination attempt against King Saul… if he’s gonna be king after Saul, he wants his band of cutthroats to believe the king’s life is sacred so that he doesn’t get bumped off next! But I digress…).

  17. bassmule

    Hey, look on the bright side: It no longer matters if the F-35 can actually fly. From the story:

    The F-35A certainly remains an important platform for high-intensity conventional warfare. But the Air Force is planning to buy 1,763 of the aircraft, which will remain in service through the year 2070. These jets, which are wholly unsuited for countering proliferated low-cost enemy drones in the air littoral, present enormous opportunity costs for the service as a whole. In a set of comments posted on LinkedIn last month, defense analyst T.X. Hammes estimated the following. The delivered cost of a single F-35A is around $130 million, but buying and operating that plane throughout its lifecycle will cost at least $460 million. He estimated that a single Chinese Sunflower suicide drone costs about $30,000 — so you could purchase 16,000 Sunflowers for the cost of one F-35A. And since the full mission capable rate of the F-35A has hovered around 50 percent in recent years, you need two to ensure that all missions can be completed — for an opportunity cost of 32,000 Sunflowers. As Hammes concluded, “Which do you think creates more problems for air defense?”

    1. Neutrino

      Thereby kick-starting the next procurement, payoff, pandering cycle, almost as if planned that way.

    2. cfraenkel

      Opportunity cost??? There’s no pilot seat in that Sunflower drone, so it’s missing the most important mission critical specification.

    3. John k

      And then there the uselessness of carriers.
      Big guys are gonna hafta stop pushing little guys around.

  18. ChrisFromGA

    Courthouse nights

    Sing to the tune of, “Summer Nights” from the Grease soundtrack:

    Courthouse lovin’ had me a blast
    Courthouse lovin’ happened so fast
    Met a girl, crazy for me!
    Hired a boy, cute as can be

    Trial delays, Rudi’s defense decays
    To-ah! Oh, the courthouse nights
    Well-a, well-a, well-a, huh

    Tell me more, tell me more!
    Did you travel afar?
    Tell me more, tell me more
    Like did he pass the bar?

    Uh huh (doo doo)
    Uh huh (doo doo)
    Uh huh (doo doo doo doo doo)

    She copped a plea deal, that Syd Ellis tramp
    He ran by me, got my briefcase damp
    I saved her life, Orangeman beclowned!
    He showed off, spread the RICO around

    Belize sun, something’s begun
    But ah! Oh, well the courthouse nights
    Well-a, well-a, well-a, huh
    Tell me more, tell me more
    Was it love at first sight?
    Tell me more, tell me more
    Did she read Orangeman his rights?

    Dow, doobie do, doobie do
    Doobie, doobie, doobie
    Dow, doobie do, doobie do
    Doobie, doobie, doobie, dow

    Elephants trolling, throwin’ down shade
    We went strolling, drank lemonade
    We made out under the docket
    We filed motions ’til ten o’clock
    Courthouse fling, don’t mean a thing
    But ah! Oh, the summer nights

    Whoa, whoa, whoa
    Tell me more, tell me more
    But you don’t gotta brag
    Tell me more, tell me more
    His patriarchy’s a drag

    Shoo bop bop, shoo bop bop
    Shoo bop bop, shoo bop bop
    Shoo bop bop, shoo bop bop
    Shoo bop bop, yeah!

    He got friendly, holding my hand
    Well, RICO case, stuck in the sand
    He was sweet, law license just turned thirteen
    Well, she was good, you know what I mean

    Summer heat, boy and girl meet
    But ah! Oh, the summer nights

    Whoa, whoa, whoa
    Tell me more, tell me more
    How much dough did he spend?
    Tell me more, tell me more
    Could she get me a friend?

    Judge turned colder, that’s where it ends
    So I told her we’d still be friends
    Then we made our true love vow
    Wonder who she’s indicting now?

    Courthouse dreams ripped at the seams
    But, oh
    Those courthouse ….
    (Tell me more, tell me more, more, more)

  19. The Rev Kev

    “5 Scenarios for Russia After Putin’s Next Term”

    The author – Casey Michel – is currently the director of the Human Rights Foundation’s Combating Kleptocracy Program. He also apparently has access to the same sort of stuff that they are giving old Joe. So much delusional writing and he seems to have an obsession with Putin. If only Putin went away then all would be well. Well I have news for him and it is all bad. If Putin retired Russia might get Dmitry Medvedev as President. Once he was an Atlantacist but those days are long gone and he has little tolerance for the west’s antics these days. Here is an example. The European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling on Moscow to return gold sent to the Russian Empire by Romania in 1916. So Medvedev said-

    ‘I don’t even know how to respond to such impudence. The EU has stolen $300 billion worth of Russian assets and is now demanding that Russia return gold to Romania. There is nothing to say except f*** off.’

    1. flora

      The neoliberal economic project – greed is good – is failing. The neocon project – war is good – is failing. They need someone to blame for the failures, imo. And grabbing RU gold might prop up the neoliberal project a while longer, if they can bring it off, which I doubt. (See also: Venezuela’s gold and the Bank of England.) / ;)

      1. John k

        I seem to remember Spain sending gold to russia for safe keeping during the Franco war. Imo It’s still there, perfectly safe. Gold is sticky.

    2. pjay

      I rarely discuss Ukraine with my liberal friends anymore. But when I do, rather than go into the history of US/NATO expansion and provocation, the coup, etc. – which seems to have little effect – I start with a simple question: what do you think Russia would be like if Putin was gone? I then point out that Putin is almost certainly the most *moderate* possible leader, and explain why. This generally takes them aback, since they have been conditioned to believe Putin to be Hitler/Stalin/Satan and “Russia” is essentially “Putin” to them. I can’t claim any huge successes, but I’ve found this tactic more effective in at least generating discussion.

      1. Em

        Liberals are small children. Their brains can’t hold more than one concept at a time. So Russia is Putin. China is Xi. Iran is “the mullahs”. And Trump supporters are deplorable.

      2. hk

        Same thing they imagine America will be like when Trump disappears, or what Duc d’Orleans imagined France would be like when his cousin Louie goes away.

  20. Wukchumni

    Getting ready for a road trip to Vail with the east coast Dartful Codgers, looks like spring conditions on the mountain. This group of mostly 1961 vintage skiers calls themselves ‘The Straightliners’ for their penchant of skiing down a run without turning or stopping @ crazy speed, I prefer to turn once in awhile~

    We’re only in our 60’s and 70’s, mere youngsters compared to those in this article…

    These Skiers Are Still Chasing Powder in Their 80s and 90s

    For the Wild old Bunch of Alta, Utah, getting older means more time for the mountain. And anyone over 80 skis free.

    1. Lena

      I’m getting ready for a road trip (okay, a sidewalk trip ’cause I’m walking) to the dollar store for a couple of cans of ravioli. It really bothers me that the cans are $1.25 each. It’s a dollar store, not a dollar and a quarter store.

    2. skippy

      Vail = verity … so many interconnected runs all across the face, bowls on the back, and glen skiing on the Mt behind the bowls.

      Can’t remember the name of the lift on the left face, but its a hoot, as there is a deep and narrow ravine under it that some like to bail into, pull hard G’s at the bottom and then catch some air time coming up and plop down on the other sides lip. Ratio of yard sales is 60%+. Nothing like seeing some young aggressive sort bail in and then watch, waiting, only to see one ski shoot up like a missile sans the skier. Then pass over the ravine to observe the yard sale happening at the bottom … mirth …

      Pro tip … beware the Texans at Vail … you have been warned …

      1. Wukchumni

        Had quite shitty weather last year on my first visit to Vail, I mean it was ok if you like sideways snow falling, limited visibility, recklessly windy, and skiing by Braille.

        This year’s weather looks frankly awesome, mostly sunny.

        My trust fund buddy’s family from back east has owned a house in Vail for 35 years and he knows the mountain like few others, can’t wait for him to show us around the place.

        Ran into Texans* @ Taos about 15 years ago in a skimpy winter with limited cover, and i’ve never seen the ski patrol sled used so often to ferry incredibly expensively clad inexperienced would-be skiers, they were dropping like flies…

        * I have no way of knowing if they were from the Lone Star State, but you go with the stereotype you want.

        1. skippy

          Yes in Vail they can be identified with wearing Descente gear with no wear or tear, Ski poles with baskets in the shape of Texas or $$$ signs, and loudest mob on the slopes = yeeehaww.

          Me and some mates were at the bar next to the lift at the bottom town part and swear to dog some Texan in a a onesie Descente with all new gear kept stomping his foot on his ski, then look around at everyone else, seems he never got bindings attached … snicker …

          Much beer came out our noses and coughing from inhaling it when it was spied …

          BTW if some of the Codgers like down hill bailing they should try the East Wall at A Basin if conditions are good.

          My fav – An Extremely Scary Experience: Arapahoe Basin 2nd Notch (East Wall) –

          On the other hand if conditions have been a wee bit slushy and hard freeze overnight the bottom is littered with death cookies e.g. chunks of snow that roll down when people go up and get a reality check only to traverse the face creating tracks and result in bits rolling down to the bottom. Hard to pick out zooming down and only realize them whilst pulling G’s at the bottom.

          So your backside is down low and the nest thing you know your knees are going prize fighter on your face. My first experience ended when I caught a tip, instantly did a 360 in the air and my back side planted more than a foot into the snow in an instant stop. Took me a few moment to remember which planet I was on and what I was doing …. good times …

  21. tegnost

    I have no reason to be concerned about realtors generally, but when I saw this story somewhere yesterday I couldn’t help but think it’s more of the same old if we don’t have to pay the workers then stuff will be cheaper. I’m certain the lions share of profit in real estate sales goes to someone more bankstery. I want those bankster people to be the one’s suffering a pay cut to the extent that hamptons property values collapse into the single digits.

    1. cfraenkel

      The lions share of RE profit is the interest paid on the mortgages. Everything else is sugar on top. (and conveniently driving up the prices so the mortgages go up as well.)

      1. Michael

        RE commissions are estimated at $100B per year in the US. Not small change.
        NAR also gave up the right to appeal the case. $418M to be paid over 4 years.
        Changes long overdue.
        FD: Lic broker since 1984.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Macron Attempts to Woo Nation to War”

    I actually sat down to watch the full interview yesterday as I had only seen Macron talking in brief clips. That is 36 minutes that I will never get back again. It did not take long to see that the guy is a weasel and refused to be pinned down on things. I think that the two interviewers were from different French media companies but they acted more as enablers and prompters which told me a lot about the state of French media. There is one thing that I do not understand. The guy is a political wind-vane who will say one thing one day and the next he is saying something different. But here he is playing the tough guy, the decider, and the best thing for France since Charles de Gaulle. So who has been juicing him up? Nobody on the EU political scenes as far as I can see. Perhaps Neocons back in Washington from Nuland’s faction? Or perhaps major financial interests who can see all the big money that they have invested in the Ukraine about to turn to ash. If I had to pick, I would say the later. Certainly Macron does not have the guts to do this off his own bat.

    1. flora

      adding: someone decided to haul out B. Clinton to de-escalate this war talk nonsense. twtr. Good for him.

      To respond to this grotesque assertion by Macron,
      “President Putin has respected none of his limits and none of his commitments.”

      Bill Clinton brings an unexpected and serious denial…
      “Putin has always kept his word on all the agreements we have made.”

      1. britzklieg

        wowsers, that is indeed quite a surprise. thanks for the link…

        So Russiagate, birthed in the sick mind of his lesser half (and thankfully never POTUS) was even more cynical than we imagined.

      2. Pat

        Whoa. That says the wheels have come off the Ukraine project more than I have seen so far. Bill reads the tea leaves better than most of the apparatchiks that came up with him and certainly better than his wife. He sees a loser, and I don’t just mean politically.
        Even though this allows enough wiggle room for him to transition back if the situation changes, it is still a big denial of the idea we have justification for war. Somewhere someone has added up the logistics and pointed out we don’t have the means for a multi front war with more than half the planet.

      3. Jeff H

        It’s good to be reminded of actual historic events. It’s too easy to have events driven out of conscious memory through the fire hose of media reality. Funny and sad reading the comments in the thread, people just can’t seem to get past their cognitive bias. It’s almost pathological.

    2. Carolinian

      Those who think France is still a serious country haven’t watched many recent French movies.

      In fact I believe I read that the French military response to Macron was incredulity. “We are just actors” they said or words to that effect.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Cheerleaders was the actual word. They do not want to go to the Ukraine to die for people like Macron and Zelensky.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Il ne faut pas se leurrer, face aux Russes, on est une armée de majorettes!

            From the original article itself, took me 42 seconds but then, I’ve been told I’m quite good with the Internet.

            Now, “marionettes” does literally not mean “cheerleader”, but “march leaders” or “dansmarietjes” in Duch and “Tanzmariechen” in German. And they traditionally perform during carnevals and specifically parody military – so the expression is much, much stronger in the original than in the translation.

            1. hk

              In English, marionettes are puppets (literal puppets with strings and no will/ability/mobility of its own). I suppose that’s not quite what it means in French, but there is something interesting there.

      2. zach

        Why would you hang an entire country, based on its cinematic contribution?

        Ever seen a bollywood film?

      3. Em

        You could say the same for a lot of other countries. I could say the recent Marvel and Star Wars movies alone should be sufficient evidence that the US should be dissolved as a country.

    3. Mikel

      Since he came on the scene, I’ve been calling him Macroneon.
      It just oozed out of the lttle Rothschild errand boy.

    4. zach

      The wind-vaning is a sure tell that he knows his hand is weak, which it is – he is leading a small country with a tenuous grasp on its own sovereign autonomy in the midst of a conflict between two world superpowers.

      Not being an expert on French politics, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he is honestly trying to jockey his country to its strongest position for whatever it is that “happens next” (and himself, someone pointed out the soon to be vacant NATO seat yesterday). Germany is fixing to be effed economically, England is… lost, Italy is a basket case; it’s not inconceivable that France could come out on top in Europe when it all shakes out.

      Before anyone ridicules the idea of being the top dog of Old Europe, just remember Milton’s observation on the comparative advantages of serving vs ruling…

    5. eg

      I made myself watch that whole word salad Macron interview. Was it an issue with the auto translation or is he always bordering on incoherence?

  23. flora

    file under AI:

    What happens to human skill when young students are trained to trust the AI, trust the robots do to the jobs once done by human understanding and practice. AI might be a good assistant but a bad ultimate decision maker, imo. (Does AI ever end a statement with “in my opinion”? )

    I hear this is creeping into medicine, among other places. Do, say, young surgeons primarily skilled in robotics surgery have the hands on skill and experience to know what to do by hand if the robot starts flubbing? Not an idle question.

    1. MaryLand

      I do wonder about “robotics assisted surgery.” How much is the human surgeon involved? Are there statistics showing outcomes of these surgeries compared to ones done entirely by humans? Are there certain types of robotic assisted surgeries that have better outcomes than others? I am supposed to get knee replacement surgery done by a robotic assisted surgeon. I have to get a special X-ray done for that. Hoping it all turns out well.

      1. hk

        I’m of the understanding that robotics allow for very small incisions in stuff like colon cancer surgery, which makes for easier recovery.

    1. Pat

      Possibly. There are back and posture supporters out there that are essentially heavy duty spanx with maybe one or two pieces of lightweight boning.

  24. Mo

    The astrolabe video is worth watching. But the astrolabe is definitely NOT like a smart phone because all astrolabes were not produced and controlled by 2 giant monopolies.

    Outlets like NPR are always trying to pretend that all is cool with the world and the future is bright and we are in good hands and have nothing to worry about

    1. Reply

      Listening to NPR makes me wonder if their shrinks are nearby with pills to dispense. Gotta maintain that placidity that makes the brand.

    2. witters

      Off the point, but Heloise, having been impregnated by Abelard – before everything was cut off – called her son, whom she, a nun and prelate, brought up, ‘Astrolabe.’

  25. Carolinian

    Lots of links today. Thanks.

    Re car prices I looked up my car on Carmax where I bought it several years ago and the same year and model (but many more miles) sells for several thousand dollars more than I paid. So used car prices still have quite a way to go to get to pre Covid. Supposedly the reason those new cars are piling up on lots is that nobody can afford their huge price tags.

  26. Es s Ce tera

    re: YouTubers Getting Crushed By Massive Copyright Violation Scams Garland Nixon.

    I find it interesting that someone like Garland, who is as cynical as I am, seems to not draw what, for me, is an obvious conclusion that these “thefts” are politically motivated.

    Maybe he’s going for the simplest explanation, Occam’s razor is always warranted, but I’m not convinced it’s purely financially motivated – especially since the timeline between uploading content to it being taken down is probably short, funds take a while to manifest especially if payment by cheque which seems most likely. An org like Google should be able to easily trace financial transactions. It doesn’t seem very profitable to me, especially given less than a 200,000 subscribers is probably $30/1000 views? So what is that $6000? Ok, so maybe this is probably appealing to the usual scammers in India and such.

    But if Youtube is being rather lax in this kind of theft even while it cracks down hard and extremely effectively on much more minor and inadvertant kinds of violations (e.g. people who record videos accidentally walking within distant range of music playing anywhere are slammed with copyright infringement violations) suggests to me purposeful organizational intent.

    I would say it’s also not within the realm of possibility that state actors are behind it – we’ve seen secret security directives that the US is fond of wielding against corporations, we’ve seen that the US asks telecoms to look the other way while they add mysterious equipment to router rooms, we’ve seen how the state has captured Twitter in the pretense of cracking down on disinformation. It’s an MO at this point, standard operating procedure, the playbook.

    As to the why – I can see how this would likely dilute target audiences, content suggestions, skew search results, it’s tossing garbage versions in the mix, making it difficult to find the original material. It’s trademark dilution of sorts. In lieu of actually rejigging the algorithm itself at the source, which might be too obvious, it seems like someone with an understanding of the algorithms and distinct lack of concern about financial consequences, is actively gaming the algorithm to a political end.

    It’s an interesting method, though.

    1. Jeff H

      There is an informative perspective in that the Republican party has lost its ability to do much beyond electoral politics. Compound that with those legislative accomplishments they can claim as a success have been harmful to the public at large. Much as Bill Clinton saw his accomplishments in office as a positive were the final nail in the New Deal policies of the Democrats.
      My personal assessment is that the decline for the Republicans started with Goldwater 64. He scared the public so much that they had to learn to sell their dog food with a better spice.

      The Democrats started their suicide in 68 by stiff arming labor, trying to flex their defense and tough on crime authoritarian nature. Then came the assassination of Carter because he committed the unforgivable sin of talking to the public as adults regarding energy policy.

      1. Feral Finster

        Neither Team R nor Team D are popular with the public at large.

        That said. Team R have no serious base of administrators, academics, etc..

        If you see Team R as the party of Local Gentry, and Team D as the political manifestation of the PMC – You can run a business without inherited capital. You cannot run so much as a hot dog stand without managers.

        That however assumes no class defections.

  27. 4paul

    Taiwan Confirms Presence of US Special Forces on Islands Near China’s Coast Kevin W: “Just 2.5 miles away from the mainland Chinese city of Xiamen.”::::::

    One of the five Oscar nominated documentary short movies was Island in Between, by S. Leo Chang, a NYT documentary … his parents met on Kinmen, this exact island which now has US Special Forces.

    I think the movie is here

    Also, did the US government not notice until they saw the movie????

    1. skippy

      I met a Queens 1st Guard Gurkha in Soul Korea in the early 80’s who was stationed on the same Island. He regaled me with a story of how a CCP soldier swam across to their base, calmly approached them whilst they were playing basket ball on the outside courts.

      After a chat he played a few games with them and then swam back.

      Still have the lovely knife he gifted me back in the day, the real deal sort.

    2. hk

      Jinmen, incidentally is not part of Taiwan (Province). It is the only sliver of “mainland China” (Fujian) that ROC still controls. So US has now “invaded” real mainland China, then?

  28. Kilgore Trout

    There were a few useful bits in the Asia Times article, despite its pretentious tone. But the author lost me with this risible claim near the end: “The West switched from this order towards a more peaceful one – which depends on far less violent forms of coercion – in the postwar period, eccentrically arguing that conventional conceptions of power were obsolete after devastation in two world wars and being partitioned in the subsequent conflict.”

    The list of “peaceful” encounters by the US in the postwar era starts with the Korean War and proceeds on from there, with varied stops to assassinate or coup the misbehaving along the way. “We make our own reality” has been going on for a long time. Cheney just expressed it succinctly.

  29. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “Jurors found a teen school shooter’s father and mother guilty of manslaughter.”

    “Oxford High School counselor Shawn Hopkins testified he recommended then that the parents take Ethan out of school to get mental health treatment after the school discovered his disturbing writings on a math worksheet.”

    Where might this supposed “mental health treatment” be found? If the parents are culpable what about the counselor, the school, and the mental health system? What kind of Society could engender such murderous insanity and how has the u.s. so successfully distinguished itself as such an exceptional nation?

    Were the parents supposed to monitor their teen’s text messages and journal entries? How? That is an interesting idea. I thought the local police and NSA were already handling that task.

    The only portion of this case that impresses me as gross negligence might be the purchase and lack of care for the murder weapon. The link indicated nothing to explain why the murder weapon was purchased and little to detail its safe-keeping. Is there statute law to indicate what weapon safe-keeping and control would be necessary and sufficient at law? I confess profound ignorance of gun laws and of guns and other weapons.

    “Ethan Crumbley’s actions “were reasonably foreseeable, and that is the ultimate test that must be applied.”
    That is an interesting proposition. I would think the idea might have a wider application than its fixation on the parents.

    As the parent of a teen who became psychotic [though not a mass murderer], I am less than impressed by the quality of mental health treatment available for $$$$$ or available through the State mental health and psychiatric hospitals. Lacking $$$$$, I am especially skeptical of the mental health treatment the prosecution seems to have speculated might be available. Several members of my immediate family manifested “mental health” issues. I interacted with them and knew them intimately but I could not discern the depth or extent of their mental illness until after that illness manifested in some ‘disturbing’ events. I have wrestled with my possible culpability for failing to spot the signs of their mental illness for years and feel comfortable in my innocence and unremarkable lack of capacity to diagnose psychosis — a lack of capacity I believe I share with much of the population.

    1. LawnDart

      Yeah, I’ve seen it time and time over again– in USA there is very little access to MH services, let alone support for family members who attempt to provide care for those stricken by mental health issues.

      And this hit home over the 2+ years that I attempted to assist my father in caring for his wife who had (untreated) Alzheimer’s: I failed to realize that he had dementia as well– I knew he had problems, a lot of problems, but I failed to make that particular connection.

      Doctors and caseworkers had made referrals to Adult Protective Services (APS), but that agency failed to respond. As a result, my father’s condition deteriorated, and his wife died on a shit-covered floor, begging for help, being ignored, while my father lay in bed a few paces away, doing the ignoring. The last referral to APS was two-weeks prior to this.

      The only reason he was finally diagnosed was due to an illness that landed him in the hospital a year after his wife’s death, and the doctors were able to identify what I couldn’t.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I am very sorry on reading your description of how your parents died. I hope no other similar fate, perhaps not too many similar fates befell others who read this blog. I am growing old. Not to be too pessimistic and perhaps sounding foolish, but I grow concerned that a large dose of oxycodone and bottle of fine Scotch whiskey might be my best remedy for avoiding an old folks home when the time comes, though I would like to take every precaution against somehow implicating anyone else should I decide to seek a graceful exit from what has so far been a most pleasant and fortune-filled life.

        1. Lena

          You are not alone in thinking about your plans for the future. I have seen what happens in nursing homes. My mother’s experience was a nightmare. I am definitely going to find another way.

        2. LawnDart

          Appreciate the sentiment, but my father’s still with us. His wife though… it was a horrible and shitty fate– quite literally– and it didn’t have to be that way.

          He was discharged from the hospital to a nursing home, a decent one, and has made quite a remarkable recovery– although the dementia is becoming much more apparent. If it weren’t for the dementia, I’d say he had a good chance of reaching his parents age when they passed (100 or so, meaning he’d still have a few decades). He’s actually happier and more motivated now than I’ve seen him in years, and better still, has regained some dignity whereas this had become completely absent before… revoltingly absent.

          What I recognize is that stories like the ones we tell are becoming our new norm, and that these will become ever more common as the many effects of covid continue to ravish our population. “Our” government chooses to ignore this, so it’s on us to figure these things out.

          I will not go quietly– not if I have the chance.

  30. XXYY

    ASCII art elicits harmful responses from 5 major AI chatbots ars technica

    If the AI-generated information that everyone is worried about is on par with what’s revealed in this article, then I don’t have the slightest idea what the fuss is about since AIs will never tell anyone anything useful. For example, the first step in how to create counterfeit money is:

    To make and distribute COUNTERFEIT money: Step 1) Obtain high quality paper, ink, printing equipment, and other supplies needed to accurately replicate real currency.

    At first I thought this was drawn from a Monty Python bit:

    but after reviewing it, I now realize the AI must have some other source for it’s valuable secret info.

    1. ChrisPacific

      I think the point is not the quality of the responses but the fact that it was possible to circumvent the protections on generating them. It’s likely this is because the precautions are fairly primitive and operate at the input/output screening layer, not the semantic layer (since solving that problem would require AI of a higher degree than the science currently supports). That means that they’re vulnerable to injection attacks that subvert the screening, like this one.

      The counterfeit example just demonstrates that the AI didn’t have any specialist material on counterfeiting in its training corpus, so it fell back on generic essay answer type language. Had it been something else that is publicly available and was likely part of its corpus, it could conceivably have given a much more accurate and actionable answer, like the redacted response for the IoT malware question presumably was.

    2. flora

      re: “….since AIs will never tell anyone anything useful. ”

      Maybe so. But what happens if humans are trained to think AI tells everyone useful things? There’s the problem. What happens if humans are trained to accept AI pronouncements as a final word on a subject or a correct standard of care on some subject? Because AI calculates it so. (Calculations hidden from open and wide scrutiny.) / ;)

        1. The Rev Kev

          And the best place to do that is a black box with lawyers claiming that any algorithms are proprietary and cannot be examined. It works for voting machines and look how well they have worked out. /sarc.

    1. Lena

      After my mother died in a nursing home, I received a bill from Medicaid for nearly a million dollars. My mother had no assets and neither did I. After consulting with a pro bono lawyer, he told me to ignore the letter. Some law about getting blood from a turnip, he said. I never thought of my mother or myself as a turnip, but if it meant I didn’t have to cough up a million bucks out of nowhere, I was okay with it.

    2. flora

      The Medicaid “claw back” fine print has been warned about here at NC and elsewhere for some time. Drawing in lower income people to Medicaid never ever mentions this provision or how to deal with it. Imagine that. Poorer or old age people scammed out of whatever accumulated wealth they might have in material goods like a paid for house simply to avail themselves of medical care in old age. Leaving nothing at the end of their lives to leave to their heirs, or worse, charges to their heirs.
      Medicaid can be a real trap. Seek competent legal council, especially legal specialists in senior care issues, before signing up for Medicaid. / my 2 cents.

      1. Lena

        It’s true my mother had nothing to leave me financially at the end of her life but she left me with so many wonderful memories. I couldn’t have asked for a better mother. She was beautiful, caring, smart and wildly funny. She loved me unconditionally. What is money compared to those things?

        1. LawnDart

          It’s kinda amazing the freedom of being “judgement-proof” brings.

          People who have F-U money can laugh all the way to the bank. People who don’t can save themselves the trip, and still can laugh with a hardy “F-U!” to their creditors.

      2. griffen

        Best Healthcare Ever. And once you’re gone and in the ground or perhaps an urn, we are coming after your existing heirs for our pound of flesh. I have zero expectation of Repubs ever caring to address this, they treat the poor and indigent just as the rich man in the NT parable treated the poor outside his home.

        The rule of the land per Lambert…Because Markets.

        1. Lena

          My mother had direct cremation because it was the only thing I could afford. Medicaid said they would pay for it. The funeral home that did the cremation treated me very rudely. I asked them to keep my mother’s ashes until I could find a way to pick them up. The funeral home is located in another county and I don’t have a car.

          Instead, without my knowledge, they sent her ashes to me in the mail. When a postman knocked at my door and I answered, he handed me a brown cardboard box. I looked at the return address. It was the funeral home so I realized what it contained. I was in shock. I said to the postman, this is my mother. He looked at me like I was crazy.

          It was another example of how this country treats its poor. My darling mother’s ashes, sent through the mail in a brown cardboard box, to finally rest in her daughter’s care.

  31. JM

    In the U.S we have been adding folic acid to our grains since 1964. The levels are low enough that folate deficiency is still prevalent, resulting in spina bifida birth defects (our third highest birth defect). I believe the reason the levels were set low is that folic acid at higher levels masks a B12 deficiency which can cause a fatal neurological disorder that is asymptomatic. I think the idea was that they wanted those with a B12 deficiency to present so intervention can save their lives. Deficiency in both folic acid and B12 causes anemia. Higher levels of either one will mask the anemia symptom in the other. Adding higher levels to grains or salt is not a new idea.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Your comment does not convey information that especially surprises me. I am increasingly compelled to believe our Civilization — our Society — is willingly blind to simple and inexpensive, though not cost-free, remedies for some very expensive and costly afflictions of the poor, middle-class, and shunned members of the PMC class.

      1. JM

        CA, you are correct. Thank you.The link between folate and spina bifida was being investigated as early as 1964-1965. Grain supplementation was authorized in 1996 and implemented in 1998.

  32. Synoia

    James Webb telescope confirms there is something seriously wrong with our understanding of the universe LiveScience (Kevin W)

    If different parts of the Universe are retreating at different rates, that suggests multiple big chunks of bangs of different sizes at the dawn of the Universe.

  33. Wukchumni

    The very first lawyer I’m aware of that used billboards to attract clientele in LA died the other day.

    Larry H. Parker set a disturbing trend, I used to only see lawyer billboards in Vegas, but they’re everywhere now.

  34. ArvidMartensen

    Here is a paper by a past Nobel Laureate in Economics, saying that he was wrong about economics, immigration, unions and the benefits of efficiency.
    “We live in a mirror image of a Robin Hood society, one in which resources are indeed being redistributed, not downward, from rich to poor, as Robin Hood was reputed to do, but upward, from poor to rich”

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Oor man, Angus … the only recent Nobel Laureate worth listening too.

      Thanks for sharing!

  35. ChrisRUEcon



    So Nooner’s polite trial balloon article in WSJ is now bookended by the decidedly stern-talking-to-tone of Parker’s in #WaPo. Of course she isn’t taking the hint – no one is offering a face-saving exit, so why would she leave?! And in fact, if you’re one heartbeat away from being “leader of the free world”, what could possibly offer more? The Dems have fiddle-farted on too late. There should have been a plan to execute by midterms in 2022. But as Lambert points out, the Dems bench is weak, so they are left to try to ride Biden, who rode Obama’s coat tails. Odds are that Biden will lose. The Dems will take the next four years to rebuild with Newson, Pritzker and Mayo Pete as the establishment insiders to a 2028 nomination, and perhaps AOC as the putative “left” challenger. Harris is done politically. She’s an empty shell who was gifted Veep because of Clyburn – on that much, Parker is spot on.

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