Links 3/26/2024

Yves here. A friend who did not believe in doctors and seemed remarkably robust for someone in their later 60s developed severe intestinal upset. To make a long and sad story short, about five weeks later after a colon operation, and starting chemo, she’s dead. I know many of you have sad stories about friends and relatives dying, but it’s still a shock, particularly when it seemed like they would make it.

Here’s How Wild Animals Died in New York City Last Year THE CITY :-(

Superspreaders: Humans pass twice as many viruses to animals as we catch from them ZMEScience

Is python meat sustainable alternative to industrial meat from farm animals? ZMEScience (Dr. Kevin). Eel is delish. I am told armadillo (favorite New Orleans area roadkill) and alligator are also delish. By contrast, venison save the tenderloin is pretty gamey and needs to be prepared properly (as in matching cut to cooking method and seasoning) to be tasty.

The Evolution of Animation, 1833–2017 Open Culture (Micael T)

Words, words, words New Criterions. Anthony L: “Will we lose Shakespeare?”

‘Perplexing Paradoxes’ Review: Straining Credulity Wall Street Journal (Anthony L)

Abortion pill Supreme Court ruling could impact entire drug industry STAT (Dr. Kevin)

Falling Down Bridge :-(

‘Mass casualty event’ as Baltimore Key Bridge collapses BBC

Baltimore bridge collapse latest news: Rescue workers scramble to save dozens after colossal Baltimore Key Bridge collapsed in moments when container ship crashed into it sending cars into the river Daily Mail (BC). Daily Mail is particularly good at this sort of story.

Watch: Baltimore Bridge Collapses After Cargo Ship Collision WSJ News, YouTube (Kevin W)

#COVID-19

New Monoclonal Authorized to Prevent COVID in Immunocompromised People MedPage

Long COVID brain fog may be due to damaged blood vessels in the brain ScienceNews (Paul R). From a few days ago, still germane.

More than a thousand passages blacked out: Multipolar publishes the original RKI protocols that have been sued and “It should be scaled up” Multipolar Magazine (Micael T). A Freedom of Information Act equivalent in the Berlin Administrative Court.

Climate/Environment

‘Reef stars’ restored Indonesia’s blast-damaged corals in just four years Grist

You can start applying for the American Climate Corps next month Yale Climate Connection

China?

Are new Chinese rules a warning to AMD and Intel? Asia Times (Kevin W)

China’s central bank head dissuades real estate woes as Vanke teeters towards default South China Morning Post

Haiti

Haiti’s ‘deal with the Devil’: A malicious tale that emerges each crisis Washington Post (furzy)

European Disunion

Single EU army unrealistic – Borrell RT

Old Blighty

Smart meter customers face time-of-day charging plan Telegraph (Kevin W)

Gaza

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 171: ‘Horrific’ eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Israel’s siege on Gaza’s hospitals Mondoweiss

* * *

UN Security Council adopts resolution demanding immediate Gaza ceasefire and Israel’s war on Gaza live: No let-up in attacks despite UNSC resolution Aljazeera

Gaza cease-fire vote roils US-Israel talks on Rafah The Hill

* * *

On Israel, and the Way to Safety Anton Chaitkin (Chuck L)

* * *

The War Biosphere: A Lecture by Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah Internationalist 360 (Dr. Kevin)

Israel’s toxic legacy: White phosphorus bombs on south Lebanon Al Jazeera (Kevin W)

New Not-So-Cold War

Lightning Missile Strike On Kyiv. Second Stage Of The Avdiivka Offensive. Military Summary 2024.3.25 Military Summary. Note the comments on air defense and the bit-by-bit advances.

America has no Ukraine Plan B except more war Asia Times (Kevin W)

* * *

The Crocus Disaster [i] Black Mountain Analysis (Li)

What Did The U.S. Know Ahead of Moscow Terror Attack Claimed by ISIS-K? w/ Mark Sleboda YouTube. Good wrap of info to date.

SCOTT RITTER / MASSACRE IN MOSCOW, WHO DID IT? Through the eye of…. YouTube. Some telling details, such as a photo of the terrorists meant to substantiate that the killers were part of ISIS-K. The attackers released a photo showing the four swearing fealty using their unclean hand (starting at 7:00).

Alastair Crooke: Is Europe Preparing for War? Judge Napolitano, YouTube. Some good granular comments on the Crocus massacre and on the consequences of Israel and the US for decades not bothering to understand Palestinians.

* * *

Russian MiG-31 fighter intercepts US bombers over Barents Sea TASS (guurst)

Syraqistan

Inside the anti-Syria lobby’s Capitol Hill push for more starvation sanctions The Grayzone (Kevin W)

5 Chinese nationals killed in suicide bombing northwest Pakistan Anadolu Agency

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Pentagon’s Silicon Valley Problem: How Big Tech is losing the wars of the future Andrew Cockburn, Harpers (guurst)

Deterrence By Savagery? Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

25 years ago today, NATO became an aggressive alliance Anti-Spiegel (Micael T)

Trump

Trump says he’ll pay $175M bond set by court The Hill. Lambert had lots of links yesterday in Water Cooler….

Judge Keeps April 15 as Start of Trump Hush-Money Trial New York Times (Kevin W)

Amid Trump-Era Conservatism, Some Embrace Raunchy Christianity New York Time (Dr. Kevin)

From Riot to Insurrection to Terrorism: January 6th Continues to be a Tragedy in the Eye of the Beholder Jonathan Turley

Musk reveals major political flip RT

Democrats en déshabillé

Kamala Harris Accidentally Claps to Song Protesting Her Visit Newsweek (Paul R)

How Donald Trump, Joe Biden and grassroots liberals could upend Democratic politics in one of the country’s bluest states CNN (Paul R)

Our No Longer Free Press

Government-Made Comic Books Try to Fight Election Disinformation Intercept

Falling Apart Boeing Airplanes

Boeing’s CEO to Step Down in Overhaul Triggered by Safety Crisis Bloomberg. End of 2024? Ridiculous. End of second or third quarter more than enough.

Boeing 737 Mechanic Explains Why United Airlines Is Under Scrutiny Liveandletsfly (Kevin W)

The Bezzle

No One Wants To Pay $200,000 For A Tesla Cybertruck Anymore Jalopnik. Is that picture for real? That is cheapest-and-ugliest-looking vehicle evah made.

Adam Neumann makes a $500 million bid for WeWork that could hit $900 million if financing and diligence firm up CNBC (Kevin W)

Private Equity Firms Strengthen Grip on Struggling Renewables Firms OilPrice

How an anonymous letter caused chaos at McKinsey The Times (Dr. Kevin)

Guillotine Watch

A $20m mansion home was built on top of a 400ft skyscraper. The tycoon owner may never get to live in it. Business Insider (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

Easter food has become so much more expensive Aftonbladet. Micael T: “In honour of the killing of Jesus, they kill our household finances.”

Food inflation: The math doesn’t add up without factoring in corporate power CADTM (Micael T)

California Restaurants Cut Jobs as Fast-Food Wages Set to Rise Wall Street Journal

Providing Labor Market Context for Debt-Related Driver’s License Suspensions in Ohio
Cleveland Fed. Paul R:

It’s not real clear but it sounds like Ohio suspends people’s drivers licenses over unpaid private debt? In CA they do it if you owe old traffic fines but I think not for other stuff. Gack.

Google allows creditors to brick your phone Lemmy.World (Paul R)

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus:

A second bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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293 comments

  1. Antifa

    A CHILD PASSING
    (melody borrowed from Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind? by the Lovin Spoonful)

    You have never felt a pain of this kind
    Too sick to stand up but you can’t be left behind
    Your stomach is screaming your ribs are defined
    There is nothing less than food in your mind

    You have lost all sense of shame or of pride
    An orphan in Gaza all your people have died
    Your strength slips away like the ebb of the tide
    You drink from puddles and you suffer inside

    Your face is hollowed out big eyes your nostrils are runny
    You look up in fear up there where it’s sunny
    Your raggy clothes stink you’re an eight year old girl
    And you walk with other orphans all alone in this world

    You do not know or care what diplomats sign
    Your skin stretches over the bones of your spine
    The puddles taste awful of sewage and brine
    Got to keep up or you’ll be left behind

    (musical interlude)

    On days the sun warms all the world you tremble and shiver
    You’re easily distracted you babble and blither
    You daydream of heaven with grapes on the vine
    It is better to be dead because the angels are kind

    You see the bombers cross the open blue sky
    The orphans go hide but now you can’t even try
    You think you hear Mom sing her sweet lullabies
    They find a skinny body covered in flies

    Reply
    1. mrsyk

      Said it before and it bears repeating, mortality by starvation is going to ramp up quickly. This appears to be one side’s strategy.

      Reply
      1. ChrisFromGA

        I have a mental image of a US developer stepping over the fly-blown body of a Palestinian child, while surveying the land for a new oceanfront hotel to be built with financing from Wall Street.

        Reply
          1. ChrisFromGA

            Could be I had a vision. Note that Israelis are also salivating at the prospect of developing Gaza for their own use. Pretty sure that either way, the money will be traced back to Wall Street.

            Brings a new twist to “blood money.” Will they even bother to properly bury the bodies, or just sweep them into a mass grave and build right over it?

            Reply
            1. Lena

              ChrisFromGA, your comment reminds me of Shane MacGowan’s song “The Dunes” recorded by Ronnie Drew. It’s about living above the covered bodies and bones of the Irish who died during the Great Hunger. A very powerful song.

              Reply
            2. Max

              The pier has two functions: Land your sons, and a few daughters?, to fight for Israel in Lebanon and to evacuate all the Palestinians to take them somewhere else?

              FJB.

              Reply
          2. JBird4049

            I listened to Kushner’s interview and it was a wtf moment when he talked about developing Gaza. War is a profitable business.

            Reply
  2. Wukchumni

    Oh, say, can you see
    By the pre-dawn’s early light
    What so proudly we hail’d
    At the bridge’s last gleaming?

    Whose broad spans and brightly lit cars
    Through the perilous night
    O’er the internet we watch’d
    Were so gallantly streaming?

    And infrastructure upkeep money
    Had been spent instead on
    The rocket’s red glare
    The Houthi drones bursting in air
    Gave proof through the might
    That we needed to concentrate on there

    O say, does your star-spangled lapel pin yet waive you
    O’er the land of the free
    And the home of the brave?

    Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        The captain of that ship – Mr. Magoo – cannot be reached for comment. How the hell does a ship hit a bridge like that, especially as it must have been a marker for passage out of Baltimore harbour. Was the captain not on the bridge? Were they using wonky software for navigation? Did they not bother with look-outs? Lots of unanswered question at this stage. Come to think of it, is Baltimore harbour now blocked in by the wreckage of that bridge?

        Reply
          1. lyman alpha blob

            Not that that’s a good excuse, but with the early reports not providing any explanation as to how it happened, I was wondering if some “disruptor” in the shipping industry decided it was a good idea to save labor by letting AI drive the ship.

            Reply
            1. vidimi

              having rewatched the footage, the ship went dark for about a half-second just before impact but by then it would have been far too late to avert course. not going to speculate about what happened.

              Reply
                1. ChrisFromGA

                  There is unrest in the forest
                  There is trouble with the trees
                  For the maples want more sunlight
                  And the oaks ignore their pleas

                  The trouble with the maples
                  And they’re quite convinced they’re right
                  They say the oaks are just too lofty
                  And they grab up all the light
                  But the oaks can’t help their feelings
                  If they like the way they’re made
                  And they wonder why the maples
                  Can’t be happy in their shade

                  There is trouble in the forest
                  And the creatures all have fled
                  As the maples scream “Oppression”
                  And the oaks just shake their heads

                  So the maples formed a union
                  And demanded equal rights
                  “The oaks are just too greedy
                  We will make them give us light”
                  Now there’s no more oak oppression
                  For they passed a noble law
                  And the trees are all kept equal
                  By hatchet, axe, and saw

                  The Trees, by Rush

                  Reply
                  1. Max

                    Race to the bottom:

                    As a Maryland Port Commissioner, Ms. Karenthia A. Barber is widely recognized as a top consultant, strategist, and speaker with extensive experience in business, education, and human resources.

                    She is the Founder and CEO of Professional Development Associates, LLC, a consulting firm that provides leadership and workforce training, coaching, and human resources consulting services.

                    Additionally, the firm conducts diversity, equity, and inclusion audits and consulting, which highlights Ms. Barber’s commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace….
                    https://fox2now.com/business/press-releases/ein-presswire/648711993/karenthia-a-barber-appointed-first-black-woman-to-serve-as-maryland-port-commissioner/

                    God help us. Can we please bring back Civil Service Exams and competitive hiring based on expertise, not skin color?

                    Reply
                    1. lyman alpha blob

                      So nothing in her curriculum vitae at all about any actual experience in operating, well, you know, ports, before being made port commissioner.

                    2. marym

                      Decades of lack of government and corporate investment in critical infrastructure, where decision makers historically have not been “DEI” hires, and an accident the cause of which we don’t yet know, but oh, look, a woman of color who’s been one of 6 commissioners less than a year.

                2. bob

                  Is the DEI in the room with us now?

                  Perfect culture war scapegoat. DEI ate your dingo baby, and then had more babies.

                  Reply
                  1. Wukchumni

                    It’s getting crazy in Baltimore, many drivers are now clamoring for trans rights with transportation chief Mayo Pete, undeterred by those seeking alternative driving lifestyles, Pete slipped on a safety helmet to better look the part, and uttered words that seemed important, although nobody could remember what he said.

                    Reply
                3. Anon

                  I’m not certain I’ve observed anywhere in ‘DEI’ policies where it says those unqualified for the position should be hired… am I to assume that every “DEI” hire is inferior to one that is not? Also, that every non-white hire is a DEI hire? State your position.

                  Reply
          2. John Steinbach

            According to WAPO, the captain radioed Mayday when ship lost power & authorities were able to block traffic. Apparently 5 or 6 vehicles were still on bridge. This will almost certainly shut down Baltimore Harbor for some time> The bridge was a massive structure & less than 50 years old.

            Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          There should have been a harbor pilot onboard too. The power seeming to go out and the smoke indicates a mechanical issue at some point as opposed to human error on the bridge.

          Reply
            1. mrsyk

              This from the BBC link “what we know now”,
              The governor says the ship, the Dali, was moving at 8 knots, roughly 9mph (15km/h), which he says was “very, very rapid”
              I’m curious if that was a too fast approach to the passage under the bridge.
              I see black smoke coming from the ship before impact. Haven’t seen any cargo specifics yet.

              Reply
            2. scott s.

              First off, my professional background is US Navy marine engineering, not commercial. Merchant world is controlled by IMO / SOLAS regulations, and then classification as required by the registration. In the US flag world the ABS Steel Vessel Rules, with additional USCG rules apply.

              Ships like this use a slow-speed direct coupled diesel that does a max of 90 rpm or so, designed entirely for fuel efficiency. The diesel is remotely controlled via a local control panel. AFAIK typically intended for unmanned operation, though I don’t know if a watchstander is required for entering/leaving port. I assume the local control panel and individual cylinder controls are battery-backed for loss of power.

              It’s not common in USN, but I believe most ships like this would have athwartships operating AC motor driven bow and possibly stern thrusters. I don’t know if these would be connected to the emergency electrical power switchboard.

              Ship’s service AC power would be via separate diesel generator with emergency diesel or battery as backup. Certainly the steering motor has normal and emergency power source. In USN practice we use AC motor-driven redundant hydraulic pumps. We have the ability to hand pump the hydraulics (and also set the direction of travel manually) but it’s slow. Actually there is also a big nut on a screw thread alongside the ram and a monster wrench that can be used in last resort to force the rudders into position.

              All the control circuitry (helm to rudder and EOT to engine) should be battery-backed.

              It was mentioned they did drop an anchor which is also standard naval practice. But just putting an anchor “underfoot” doesn’t provide much holding power. You need to veer chain so the mass of chain works against motion.

              Reply
        2. Feral Finster

          Seems that the captain of said ship was a Ukrainian. Not surprising, as lots of Ukrainians work in such capacity.

          Pretend he were, instead, a Russian. How quick would the MSM and security organs be to point the finger at Putin?

          Reply
        3. juno mas

          My sources say there was sabotage involved. ISIS-K disabled the rudder-motor and the ship “unwittingly” veered into the bridge abutment and “unfortunately” the bridge span collapsed and “lives were lost”. Sources say it’s payback for the CIA not getting ISIS members back into Ukraine safely. Stuff happens! ;)

          Reply
      2. mrsyk

        I’m absolutely gobsmacked. The destruction of the Key Bridge definitely not on my bingo card. I’ve been following the debacle known as the Washington Bridge (Rhode Island) which seems to be caused by the more familiar American style of shoddy engineering/construction. Wiping out a major bridge with a boat on the other hand……We are not a serious country.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          If it had been a Russian ship hitting a major Russian bridge, then John Kirby would have put out a statement blaming ISIS-K for it less than an hour after the crash. But today I realized something. Terrorist attacks are the bane of every modern country and when such an attack happens these days, national monuments around the world are lit up in the colours of the flag of that country such as the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House. So last October for example, buildings around the world were lit up in the blue and white of the Israeli flag. Now here is the thing. After this massacre near Moscow, anybody hear of any buildings lit up in the red, white and blue of the Russian flag?

          Reply
          1. mrsyk

            If it had been a Russian ship hitting a major Russian bridge, we would already know the cause, responsibility would be assigned, an action would be taken, we’d already know approximately how long before it’s up and running again, with the punch line being Russia then following through and completing the project ahead of time. We are not a serious country.

            Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              Thanks for that. Of any place, I figured that they would have done this in the Middle east. But for the west, it looks like a spiteful act not to do so.

              Reply
          2. communistmole

            The German-language media are already focusing on the fact that Putin wants to blame the attack on Ukraine (and that the assassins were apparently tortured).

            For example, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung:

            “The terror in Moscow exposes Putin’s propaganda image

            Putin and those closest to him seem to have been taken completely by surprise by the events. It took the president nineteen hours after the attack before he made his first public statement on the event. It was striking how he did not say a word about the threat posed by the Islamic State of Khorasan (IS-K), even though the letter of confession from this terrorist group had long been available at the time and there were numerous indications of an Islamist motive.

            Instead, the head of state cynically constructed another “lead”. He made the accusation that the attackers had backers in Ukraine and had tried to flee to the neighboring country with their help. With his formulation that a “window” for crossing over the military front had been agreed, Putin implied that the Ukrainian security forces were directly involved. …

            This propaganda maneuver is all too transparent. Putin clearly wants to distract attention from his failure in the fight against terrorism and use the tragedy to further incite the population against Ukraine. There is no evidence whatsoever that would show Ukrainian responsibility for the bloody deed. …

            There was never even the slightest security policy reason for the war against the neighboring country; this campaign can only be explained by the aging Kremlin clique’s delusions of power. Putin therefore has his priorities completely wrong. This underlines the extent to which Russia lacks a leadership that is genuinely concerned about the security of the country and its own population.“

            https://www.nzz.ch/meinung/terror-in-moskau-und-falsche-ukraine-spur-putin-entlarvt-sich-selbst-ld.1823531

            Reply
            1. JohnA

              I am currently in Spain. On the Spanish news, they were talking about Putin’s unique thesis of the attack. Unique in as only he thinks it could possibly be Ukraine. Beyond mindboggling the western propaganda being churned out.

              Reply
        2. ChrisFromGA

          Irony department: A country sends billions to Ukraine to try and take out the Crimean bridge and fails.

          Forgets to spend on safety measures in its own harbor and causes billions in damages to its’ own infrastructure.

          #NotASeriousCountry

          Reply
          1. Mason

            You know that pretty much every concrete structure over a hundred years old has to be demolished and rebuilt because of rusting rebar? Too bad we blew our economy blowing up other countries and fighting for their reconstruction instead of ours.

            Reply
        3. bob

          “Wiping out a major bridge with a boat on the other hand”

          It’s very easy to do that. Not hard. Take a very large ship that has thousands of tons of mass and hit the thing holding it up. I’m not sure any bridge engineer can say they design for that.

          This is moving into “why did the world trade center fall?’ territory. Because it was hit by 2 planes. Sometimes, it’s that simple.

          Reply
          1. mrsyk

            My point. If you leave your entire nationally critical piece of infrastructure vulnerable to the law of diminishing returns, well, that’s an own-goal. Where are the tugboats to ensure that the obviously vulnerable and absolutely crucial bridge doesn’t get hit by the once-in-a-whatever stray?

            Reply
            1. bob

              How would a fleet of tug boats standing by have changed this? Jump in the middle?

              the law of diminishing returns on cliches and goals just hit 15,682

              Reply
    1. griffen

      Whitney Houston is that really you at the ( checks date ) Super Bowl circa 1991?

      The daytime coverage I just tuned on, this looks very very bad. Big container ship, now with I presume a lot of containers that must be transferred off.

      Reply
      1. ChrisFromGA

        No worries, they’ll just trot out Kamala to give a speech on how it is not Mayor Pete’s fault, this was a tragic incident or maybe it was ISIS-Special-K that drove the container ship into the bridge.

        Then she’ll break out into her cackling hyena laugh.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Transportaction flunky: sir, a major bridge collapsed.

          Buttigieg: I’m the secretary of TRANSPORTATION. It’s out of my purview now.

          Flunky: but Baltimore harbor

          Buttigieg: oh, uh, yeah, maybe we should send the Vice President….

          Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    Condolences for the loss of your friend, especially since it was so unexpected. As the years go by friends and family unfortunately just drop away. My wife just finished writing up a new book of her telephone contacts and it was disturbing how so many of the people in the older book were no longer alive. The newer book is a much thinner version.

    Reply
    1. Steve H.

      If you’re wise enough to stay healthy and live a long life, you better be wise enough to find young people to love enough they love you back.

      Reply
      1. Lena

        Being “wise” does not always result in being healthy. Presuming that it is so is a slap in the face to people dealing with serious illness or those mourning the deaths of loved ones. Be careful what you say. Words hurt.

        Reply
        1. Steve H.

          I’m sorry for your losses. My plate is piled with a mountain of skulls. They roll off and shatter on the floor. I clean the floorboards with qtips for blood, so the dog doesn’t whine and go scratching.

          And yet I still advocate for love. And you call that a slap in the face? Every death I’ve dealt with is different. Do you think I haven’t seen wisdom fail?

          When you look in the dark mirror, it’s your own eye that you see.

          Reply
            1. CA

              I am so saddened that you were slapped. Such slapping monsters are seldom stumbled on, however.

              Rather, a gift:

              https://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/05/books/books-of-the-times-who-saved-civilization-the-irish-that-s-who.html

              April 5, 1995

              Who Saved Civilization? The Irish, That’s Who!
              By Richard Bernstein

              HOW THE IRISH SAVED CIVILIZATION: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe
              By Thomas Cahill

              https://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/opinion/17cahill.html

              March 17, 2010

              Turning Green With Literacy
              By THOMAS CAHILL

              WHY should we celebrate the Irish?

              Reply
              1. Lena

                Thank you, CA. You are such a kind soul. Having you here at NC has meant so much to me, it is hard to express in words.

                Reply
    2. Laughingsong

      I need to do the same RK, as my old book is falling to bits, but for the same reason, I just…..can’t.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Last year I was looking through some old photo albums. The sort we all had before digital cameras came in. But then I was brought up short by the realization that all of the people in those photos were either dead or have grey hair and wrinkles. It was kinda unnerving when it hit me and that is when the neck hairs started to raise as I realized that it was always going to be this way.

        Reply
      2. MaryLand

        My sincere condolences for the loss of your friend, Yves. Such sudden losses are so difficult.

        About address books and the emotional pain of updating them: my mother in law had one of those tiny address books. She was a child of the Great Depression and extremely practical and frugal. All her entries she made in pencil so she could easily erase to update. She kept that same address book until the day she died at the age of 104.

        I can’t bring myself to use pencil as it seems like it’s too easy to erase the existence of someone. We keep our memories as a way of honoring the person. I keep all the Christmas cards we receive until the following Christmas. If the person has passed away or is now unable to communicate I keep their last card and put it in with the current cards. The rest I discard. When going through the few cards we still receive (changing times) it’s always nice to read the greeting from my grandmother and aunt who are no longer with us. It makes my day to see their handwritten message and signature year after year.

        Reply
    3. griffen

      I’ve often thought since ~ 2002 that one way to go out might be a path that cuts quickly and cleanly. Live a sufficiently long life to see children grow and marry, enjoy the young grandchildren before they perhaps become little “teen zombies” on their smart phones. Granted that is all first hand observation from a parent dying from cancer in the aforementioned 2002.

      Said parent was having symptoms late 2001, losing mobility on one side of his 6 ft frame but by middle January the mild stroke became a more proper diagnosis of cancer originating from the kidneys. By then it was spread to the lungs. Radiation treatments in February 2002, chemo scheduled to start mid March I think. Nope, March 9 in the ICU with a pneumonia diagnosis. And that was that, in the next week 70 year old dad was gone from this mortal life. Sorry if that’s a bit of over sharing.

      Reply
      1. Lena

        This month is the anniversary of your father’s death. Sharing the story of his passing is a way to deal with grief, so don’t apologize. My condolences for your loss.

        Reply
        1. griffen

          Thank you that is very kind, and consideration for others experiences often goes a long way. On most days I’m not dwelling on such experiences of loss…but then March rolls by or the reminders on his birthday….

          Hoping this finds you well.

          Reply
    4. Benny Profane

      Yeah, as kids we lose grandparents, then parents, then our friends in the late stages. The most tragic is losing your own children, if you live long enough.

      This should be a lesson to stop putting off that colonoscopy. It’s a cancer that can grow without many effects until the end.

      Reply
    5. jefemt

      Yves, so sorry for your loss. Not sure if it’s simple demographics and aging, or that there is MORE, or I have increased awareness, but it seems like there is a LOT of loss these days. I wish you peace and grace.
      I marvel at the sh*te my 95 year old mother in law has been through in the last three years-
      lost husband to cancer during covid- no memorial, and then buried her youngest son, and then lost a nephew.
      I get overwhelmed- and I KNOW she has seen so much more –and other loss and suffering– in her years.
      She’s still living on her own in a 5 BR 4.5 bath home where she raised nine kids?!
      May you find similar equanimity, mercy and strength!

      Reply
    6. Wukchumni

      Yes, condolences for the loss of your friend…

      My largest investment is in interest bearing memories of doing things while I still could, and they are light as a feather up there in my cranium, adventures of a mere mortal in the mountains, mostly.

      …i’ll cache them in often when I age out or have no regrets if it’s on a permanent basis

      Reply
    7. Louis Fyne

      Sounds like another anecdote of “turbo cancer”—-which allegedly hav been more prevalent in the past few years.

      Very unsettling.

      Reply
  4. none

    Eel is delish. I am told armadillo (favorite New Orleans area roadkill) and alligator are also delish

    I recently learned the best way to cook alligator. In a croc pot!

    Also, condolences.

    Reply
    1. griffen

      I thought last week was the buffet of tasty creatures up for debate and discussion. I don’t mind a little game now and then but it’s been a really long time. I dare to presume how the chicken I eat nearly each day is treated or likely mistreated, but hey fast convenient lunch is a priority most days.

      Probably best I don’t consider the poultry welfare lest I drop it altogether. I’ve tried going with different protein sources and I just can’t go that route, mileage may vary for others. Python will not be on my list as a food source anytime soon.

      Reply
    2. Bugs

      My grandfather, who was a red-haired terror, Sierra Nevada gold miner, and could drink just about anyone under the table, used to just love rattlesnake.

      When he found one under the house or in the brambles, he’d kill the poor thing, strip the skin, chop it into pieces, bread it in corn meal and fry it up in bacon grease. I was too young to have partaken in this tradition. My father tells me that it tasted like chicken, lol.

      Reply
    3. Lena

      When my grandmother was a young wife and mother living in a NYC apartment, she brought home some eels to fix for dinner. It was her first experience cooking eels. She thought they were already dead when she bought them but apparently they were just frozen. By the time my grandfather returned home from work, he found my grandmother in tears and live eels slithering through the apartment. After hearing that story as a child, I have avoided eels, although I am sure they are delish.

      Reply
      1. Reply

        Eels and baseball, for the new season. Lou Gehrig attributed his strength and endurance to the pickled eels that his mother made. A short supply chain from local waters to table.

        Reply
        1. rowlf

          A friend took me to a fishmarket in the early hours in Hamburg, Germany soon after reunification. The fishmonger made a good show of what was being sold and why it was better than competitors’ offers. Fun to watch and the fishmonger would throw eels into the audience as samples. Apparently baseball was not a popular sport in Germany as many in the audience failed to catch the thrown eels and got hit in the face by the thrown eels.

          Reply
      2. Martin Oline

        That is a wonderful story, thanks for sharing it. I went eeling once using four foot twisted wire lines with grape vine handles. It was a bitterly cold early morning during one lowest tides of the year between Bolinas and Stinson Beach. The abalone bait was thrust under boulders in the surf. I gave up after an hour as it was too cold for me. They did get some later I heard.

        Reply
        1. Lena

          That sounds exciting. I like fishing but have never been eeling.

          My grandfather was an excellent fisherman. Every summer, the whole family would go up to Georgian Bay to my grandparents’ cottage, mostly to fish. The water was always cold. My grandmother complained that all she did was clean and cook everyone else’s catch but in truth she liked to fish, too. She never wanted to see another eel after that initial experience though!

          Reply
          1. Martin Oline

            It was kind of thrilling at first with the breakers coming in and standing in one or two foot of water, trying to keep your balance as they broke around the rocks. The anticipation of catching an eel as big as your arm was rather off-putting. I never had to deal with that though. We each had burlap bags to put them in but eventually it just was too cold and wet for me.

            Reply
      3. JohnA

        I used to fish for eels in the Baltic, by fish I mean lay out traps. Then either ate them fresh or smoked them, smoked eel much better I think.
        Even after being killed and chopped into pieces to fry, fresh eel pieces will still jump about the pan as though still alive. A bit offputting perhaps, for the unwary.

        Reply
    4. Bsn

      Too bad no one has a recipe for fryed, died and tossed to the side ….. Nutria. At least they make good compost in our garden, eventually.

      Reply
  5. Henry Moon Pie

    A bit of good news in the midst of plenty of bad. Harvard’s solar geoengineering project, sponsored by Bill Gates, ist kaput:

    A controversial environmental geoengineering experiment led by Harvard Chemistry professor Frank N. Keutsch is officially no longer being pursued, according to a Monday statement from the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability.

    The Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment, commonly known as SCoPEx, was initiated by Keutsch and Applied Physics professor David W. Keith and had a preliminary goal of gathering data on atmospheric conditions in order to learn more about the impact of aerosols on the stratospheric environment.

    Not to worry though. David Keith, the professor most closely connected to the project, has slipped away to the U. of Chicago to pursue the same thing:

    SCoPEx had its latest setback last year when Keith — one of the Harvard professors leading the project — left Cambridge for a faculty position at the University of Chicago, where he leads the Climate Systems Engineering initiative.

    Keith said in an interview on Tuesday that critical news coverage and pressure from climate activists complicated SCoPEx’s ability to “move forward with the experiment.”

    But still, it’s encouraging. This is the second setback for Ecomodernists and oil company paid liars at Harvard. Last year, Jody Freeman, a Harvard Law professor of “environmental law” and a well-compensated member of the Conoco-Phillips board, was forced to resign her board position.

    What’s next? Maybe call a halt to Bill’s robot bees?

    Reply
    1. zagonostra

      Yes this is good news. And, in case you missed it Tennessee has proposed the following legislation:

      House Bill No. 2063*

      WHEREAS, it is documented that the federal government or other entities acting on the
      federal government’s behalf or at the federal government’s request may conduct
      geoengineering experiments by intentionally dispersing chemicals into the atmosphere, and
      those activities may occur within the State of Tennessee; and…

      Now if you google this topic, the detractors of this legislation are out in full force, denouncing this as “nonsense” and as prompting “a conspiracy theory.”

      New Hampshire has also proposed a similar bill and I’ve read other States are working on like Bills.

      https://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/113/Amend/SA0653.pdf

      Reply
    1. Bsn

      Your comment inspires me to ask if we should bring the US Coast Guard back from China to patrol our coast, it’s so much closer and we could use the help.

      Reply
      1. scott s.

        “Our coast” includes American Samoa, Guam, Marianas, and various unorganized territorial islands in the Pacific.

        Reply
  6. zagonostra

    Words, words, words New Criterions. Anthony L: “Will we lose Shakespeare?”

    So much has been written about Shakespeare over the centuries that it feels redundant to praise him. This is a writer, after all, who has been compared to God the Creator and has had a religiously inflected word, bardolatry, coined to describe the devotion he inspires.

    Actually Shakespeare did not write the works attributed to him. Oh jeez, there he goes again with crazy conspiracies, so would the Zagonostra of 20 years ago have thought. But there has been much scholarship conducted on the subject as well as many good books written, my favorite is by Petter Amundsen. And, even Wikipedia now concedes there is amble evidence to cast a very serious doubt as to whether William Shakespeare was the author of many of his best know plays.

    Personnaly, my favorite pick as the true author is Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. The fact that Shakespeare’s daughters were illiterate, that he hardly traveled outside of Stratford-upon-Avon, and a myriad of other interesting facts has me 95% convinced Shakespeare was not the author.

    From Wiki:

    Since the 1920s, Oxford has been among the most prominent alternative candidates proposed for the authorship of Shakespeare’s work

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_de_Vere,_17th_Earl_of_Oxford

    Reply
    1. .Tom

      LRB podcast had an interesting episode in recent months that discussed the strict orthodoxy that for many decades punished anyone discussing alternative author ideas.

      Reply
    2. Mark Gisleson

      I’ve always suspected that much of Shakespeare’s “greatness” was the result of a collaborative effort by the Bard, members of his acting company, and one or more outside contributors. A mind so astonishing as to have single-handedly created all those works is possible, but how is it possible that a mind so fertile and blessed left so little other proof of his existence?

      If any of us had ever gotten a letter from Stephen Sondheim, Harold Pinter or August Wilson, it would be a family heirloom. Had Shakespeare been the sole author, every letter he ever wrote would still be with us, cherished by the families of the original recipients if only for the signature.

      Any literature we hold in common gains significance if only as a common reference. I’ve always suspected that many of Shakespeare’s most famous lines were at the time fairly trite and commonplace, as if hundreds of years from now academics praised our era for such brilliant observations as “I’d like to give the world a Coke,” “fly the friendly skies” or “quality is job one.”

      Reply
        1. Mark Gisleson

          My understanding of history is that letters were greatly valued and saved, especially if from someone notable. That Shakespeare’s letters have not survived suggests he either didn’t write many, or that his name was not held in as high esteem in real time as we think.

          And no, “collectibles” didn’t exist yet but it’s hard to imagine that anyone could have found a letter from Shakespeare from the mid 17th Century forward without thinking it would have value.

          Doing some online sleuthing I discovered that letters from the 1600s can easily be bought online, and that there is only one known letter that was written to Shakespeare (asking for a loan). That there are no known letters from Shakespeare is dismissed by one expert who goes on to prove Shakespeare wrote letters because look at all the letters that appear in his plays!

          I suspect we know all we’ll ever know and that in the future we will know even less.

          Reply
      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        Mark Gisleson: Keep in mind that in England around 1600 scripts for plays were memorized and discarded. One convention was to write a manuscript for each part–a player had only the lines for his own part on paper.

        The First Folio, then, was a prodigious undertaking to unite scraps of Shakespeare with memories of what people did on stage.

        Likewise, Sophocles wrote some ninety plays–and what do we have?–six of them? Of Aeschylus we have six or so and of Euripides, what?, twelve?

        “Time arts” were / are perishable. It is well known that the Greeks and Romans were great dancers–and we have almost no records of choreography.

        Reply
        1. Polar Socialist

          We usually have difficulty to fathom a world before 1890’s when all music was live performances. If you wanted background music, you sang.

          I’ve read that both Mozart and Bethoven were brilliant improvisers and in their own time were much better know as performers than composers.

          Reply
          1. ceco

            Basso continuo. It was common practice in baroque music for the bass clef to be sketched out as a simple line in notes along with some other, essential harmonic information. Performers would improvise the accompaniment using that, much like how jazz musicians use chord charts. This also supported being able to rearrange a piece for different ensembles by just writing out the essentials. By all accounts, Bach Sr. (in particular) was a phenomenal improviser.

            When that practice fell out of favor during the classical era, figured bass notation was replaced with standard, written out parts. I first learned about this in Derek Bailey’s book, Improvisation: It’s Nature and Practice in Music, which is a good read if you have interest in musical improvisation. It’s a broad survey, and not overly technical, so you don’t need a PhD or equivalent understanding of music theory.

            Reply
            1. juno mas

              Okay, I watched most of the video, until Gould starts debasing Mozart for using descending Fifths. The tonal Fifth of a diatonic (8-note) scale is the tone that is most compatible (pleasing?) compared to the Tonic of that scale. A piano in the 1700’s did not sound like the piano on which Gould plays in the video. The piano did not implement ‘escapement’, the ability to do rapid key hammering, until the early 1800’s.

              So Mozart was composing for an instrument that had very different sound and keyboard qualities. Maybe if Mozart had lived beyond the age of 35 he would have incorporated more variation into his compositions. Compositions that the young Glenn Gould likely learned from and, over time, extended his harmonic improvisation.

              Make no mistake, Gould was brilliant (died at 50). He stood on the shoulders of all the classical pianists that came before him.

              Reply
      2. Feral Finster

        “I’ve always suspected that much of Shakespeare’s “greatness” was the result of a collaborative effort by the Bard, members of his acting company, and one or more outside contributors.”

        I didn’t think that was seriously debated. The whole idea of a work of art being the expression of the unique and individual creativity of a lone genius pretty much began with the Romantics.

        Reply
    3. The Rev Kev

      I remain highly suspicious of such historical re-editing. So they are saying that old Bill could not be the author of his works because he was not much more than a jumped-up peasant but hey, we have an actual Earl ready to get the credit for it and who is more acceptable. Historical records from this era can be sketchy and the English Civil War which broke out a generation did not help them much either. I’m sorry but this all reminds me of the Greek scholar who spent 40 years proving that Homer could not possibly have been the source of the ‘Iliad’ and the ‘Odyssey’ – and that it was a Greek guy of the same name.

      Reply
      1. Steve H.

        And thus it is so.

        At the end of the day, someone wrote’m. My most beloved conspirator, Roy, assays that only the nobility had the wealth and breadth of life experience to split such fine hairs of legal jargon. Roy is the most erudite translator of Greek metric poetry that I know. Roy grew up on an Indiana farm. He is thus his own refutation.

        Reply
      2. DJG, Reality Czar

        The Rev Kev: Indeed. Further, Stephen Greenblatt in his Will in the World, How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, points out that we do in fact have a great deal of information about that upstart crow from Stratford. Greenblatt’s book is worth the read.

        The special pleading for nobles like Vere / Oxford and Francis Bacon strikes me as snobbery. I once read a long article (it may have been in Harper’s Magazine) with the usual conspiracy fantasies about how the man from Stratford was some front man, et cetera, et cetera. Naturally, many of the people rooting for Oxford or Bacon are lawyers–a major hotbed of snobbery and inability to see the forest (of Dunsinane) for the trees.

        In European literature, nobles of the rank of Oxford and even Bacon were never capable of producing writing of the quality of Shakespeare, let alone for the stage. Literature comes out of the bourgeoisie, the middle classes, and the working classes. Dante and Boccaccio were more or less middle class. Corneille’s father was a lawyer. Racine as an orphan who was sent off to law school–luckily, it didn’t stick. Christopher Marlowe’s father was a shoemaker, and no one goes around doubting Marlowe’s existence.

        Further, the English nobility has never been known for intellectual brightness. Charles the Three is about the highest level the English can achieve. Even Murasaki Shikibu at the court of the emperor in Kyōto was not part of the imperial family–Shikibu indicates a religious functionary.

        So: Leave the young man from Stratford alone and content yourself with the timeless plays

        (and poor Majmudar even falls into the Anglosphere trope of evoking Otello as a “black” man, when Otello was a Moor, that is, a Berber, an Arab.)

        Reply
        1. digi_owl

          Hardships sharpens the pen?

          I guess you see something similar with music, where some of the most heavy hitting rock tunes came out of the UK and US working class.

          I guess one could say that one either find a creative outlet for one’s frustrations in life, or one go around picking fights with uniforms.

          Reply
        2. Carolinian

          Those who wish to see the Shakespeare as front man theory made cinematic can check out Derek Jacobi’s film Anonymous. It’s fairly entertaining..

          And if I had to spin a theory–which of course I have in abundance–it would be that Shakespeare’s enduring greatness is as a psychologist as much as a poet of words. After all the works have been a success in many languages. Maybe the Bard too is about “actors acting.” Certainly some of our greatest actors have been devoted to his works.

          Reply
      1. jefemt

        A pal’s parents retired, moved ‘ back to land’. First two piglets were Hamlet and Sir Francis Bacon.

        Reply
    4. John

      As with THE Homer not being the author of the Iliad, but another Greek also named Homer so you aver that THE Shakespeare was merely a front for the shy and retiring Edward De Vere? Is that correct? I think that is nonsense and quite beside the point of the article which focuses on the richness of the language.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Nah. It was always Bill that wrote all those works. Maybe he and Edward De Vere met up in London and swapped notes or were even drinking buddies. Maybe even influenced each other. Who knows? But there is only one Shakespeare.

        Reply
      2. Craig H.

        Reading Shakespeare is not a light task.

        The energy required to participate in a Shakespeare authenticity debate is low. The time spent doing it could be applied more fruitfully! : )

        The other day I read that Julius Caesar’s last words were messed up in the play. It was a tidbit from some classics scholar that they were not Et Tu Brute, but a then well-known short Latin phrase best translated as “See you in hell.”

        Reply
    5. Kate Sims

      Read the dedications to the First Folio, by the people who knew Shakespeare personally and compiled the volume in tribute to him. No room for doubt.

      Reply
      1. t

        All the Shakespeare wasn’t Shakespeare theories rely on assuming no one else was alive at the time, no one worked with him, no one attended theater….

        Reply
        1. Cristobal

          Of course there is the theory that Will´s ¨missing years¨ were spent in Spain where he met and perhaps colaborated with Cervantes. I take it with a grain of salt, but you can look it up. Cervantes certainly was no slouch in the psychology of people either.

          Reply
    6. Wukchumni

      Good riddance brave new world, auspicious assassination, amazement all that glitters is not gold, majestic eventful radiance to thine own self be true. Critic in a pickle undress wild goose chase.

      Reply
  7. timbers

    New Not-So-Cold War

    “Not only the underground production facilities and the Patriot air defense control center were destroyed, but also these premises filled with personnel.”

    “Russia has never attacked such buildings directly since the beginning of the war. Thanks to this, Ukraine and NATO filled and used such premises to the brim.”

    Oh.

    Take your gloves off, Putin, and keep them off. And prepare a list of targets in NATO nations and the US you can use after you complete your SMO yet the West continues to supply weapons to attack your civilians. Unless you are fine with endless escalation from the West.

    Reply
    1. timbers

      And:

      “Russia is now moving directly towards the top figures attacking its own territory. Many high-ranking figures of the SBU, GUR, AFU and other important units were probably eliminated along with their Western curators.”

      A year late is better than never. I knew w/o being able to prove Russia was capable of these types of vastly more effective military strikes, and have been godsmacked as to why they wouldn’t do it.

      The quickest way to end this, is to make the elites pay the price of war.

      Reply
        1. Skip Intro

          Typically, there will be some helicopter accidents or other mishaps. This was noted after Azovstal was cleared, for example.

          Reply
    2. Feral Finster

      “Take your gloves off, Putin, and keep them off.”

      Therein lieth the rub. We’ve seen Russia escalate on multiple occasions, then back off rather than keep up the pressure.

      All that does is teach your enemies how to adapt.

      Reply
        1. Feral Finster

          That is a somewhat different question, since this wasn’t in response to Russian escalation but a simple lack of men and materiele.

          And it makes sense for Ukraine. Mobile defense requires trained troops and officers who have the confidence of their men. Ukraine lacks both.

          Reply
  8. Zagonostra

    >Deterrence By Savagery? Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

    “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion (to which few members of other civilizations were converted) but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.”

    “Its superiority in applying organized violence,” what a wonderfully tuned/turned phrase by Samuel P. Huntington, truly worthy of Shakespeare. But, I think the Inquisition was “superior.” After all, the “organized violence” was for the good of the subject of the mercifully applied torture, it was for the salvation of his/her soul.

    Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        It has been updated. Tacitus originally wrote ‘To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire, and where they make a desert, they call it peace.’

        The newer 21st century version says ‘To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire, and where they make a lawn, they call it peace.’

        Reply
      2. ilsm

        Roman soldiers occasionally did the “kindness” of breaking the crucified victims’ legs to speed their demise!

        War is “industrial scale murder”.

        With business development features for the MICC.

        Reply
        1. Revenant

          I was taken aback to read this in the libretto of the St John Passion I attended on Sunday, only in SJP the Jews asked for the leg breaking to hurry the process along to get the bodies down before Passover and the Roman soldiers break Barrabas’s and the other prisoner’s legs but not Jesus’s because he is already dead. Upside!

          The Jews come off badly in that work. Pilate comes across as a mensch, on the other hand (despite being a pagan oppressor). The framing seems arbitrary and I got a strong whiff of Christian antisemitism from the whole proceedings of the St John Passion.

          I hate to think of what Bach would make of Gaza (although, in fairness, the libretto is anonymous poetry, not Bach’s work).

          Ruht Wohl, all….

          Reply
      3. Not Qualified to Comment

        3,500 years on and some people are still behaving like a certain Bronze-Age tribal gang exterminating entire peoples who just happen to occupy lands they covet:

        “Then Joshua and all Israel with him turned around and attacked Debir. They took the city, its king and its villages, and put them to the sword. Everyone in it they totally destroyed. They left no survivors. They did to Debir and its king as they had done to Libnah and its king and to Hebron.

        “So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded.

        ” Joshua subdued them from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza and from the whole region of Goshen to Gibeon. ”

        -Joshua 10. 38-41.

        I’d hoped humanity had moved on, but alas…

        Reply
  9. .Tom

    > Single EU army unrealistic – Borrell RT

    I wonder how many of us thought the same when we first heard of the idea. If each country has a veto on what the army does then it’s not going to be much of a threat. Postwar Europe has operated as a political entity by consensus. That’s ok for trade, borders, banking rules etc. War otoh requires strong political union.

    The aspect of the UA/FR war that most astonished me and has kept me somewhat baffled ever since is how come the political elites of every EU country snapped to attention and saluted Biden as it began and how they maintained this posture despite what they surely had been advised would be the consequences. (Orban and now Fico exceptions.)

    Now, with Biden no longer interested, except for the domestic PR problem, these political leaders have nobody to salute and obey and their notion of themselves as consensus-driven liberal democracies managed by elite technocratic bureaucracies is showing its limits.

    Reply
    1. vidimi

      related from the national post (CA) a few days ago: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/secret-rcmp-report-warns-canadians-may-revolt-once-they-realize-how-broke-they-are

      However bad things are going to get in Canada, you can bet they will be an order of magnitude worse in Europe, which has none of the resources it needs to survive. You can bet as well that Macron and the other EU leaders know this, which is why the keenness to send men to Ukraine to die, rather than have them set up guillotines in the Place de la Concorde again. War would also distract the population and give the people something to blame (of course, it can’t be forgotten that Russia was at war in 1917).

      These “leaks” have a second purpose. I am fairly certain that the Canadian government won’t be going after the leaker of this report because they want to incept the idea that things are going to get a whole lot worse in the public’s mind so they more readily accept it.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Read something relevant just yesterday. It is said that you have a war when the leaders of a country tell you which country is your enemy. But when people themselves work out who the real enemy is, then you have a revolution.

        Reply
      2. danpaco

        What’s different now is the idea of fighting for “King and Country” doesn’t exist. Its going to take some serious PR to try and whip up an army in this environment!

        Reply
      3. Feral Finster

        Canada is just the one we read about in public.

        Anyway, the methods that Trudeau used to break the Trucker Protests (yes, we know that many here do not approve of the protests or the protesters, but all that is beside the point) are most instructive.

        Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Early on, I think the runts expected a swift, glorious victory. After all, the f35 goes so fast, carries so much firepower, and has computers. What the numbers bandied about in briefings meant never received follow up, they were just awesome. Then they threw so much into an obvious loss they can’t conceive of an off ramp.

      But following Joe Biden is simply bizarre. My other thought is the orange skinned and brown skinned US presidents of the previous 12 years simply broke the former colonizers psyches, and they saw this as a chance to restore order.

      Reply
      1. chris

        Joe Biden is a bizarre character but he’s clearly not the person making the decisions here. I do think his administration and his stubbornness is the reason we see stuff happen in fits and starts. But his voters don’t seem to care. I’ve spent some time with friends lately who all do not agree with many of my views. They all consider Trump an extencial threat, a domineering autocrat who will ruin America. Voting for anyone but Biden is a sign that you don’t care about the future of the country.

        I expect it’s the same with similar well off people in the EU right now.

        Reply
      2. ilsm

        F-35, the spec sheet is different than the airplane!

        In the US’ MICC “acquisition” process, the spec sheet that sold the “system” is never rigorously tested….

        It becomes dangerous to plan a war around the weapons!

        Reply
        1. digi_owl

          Again and again when the military tries to build something that fits multiple tasks, it becomes a homermobile.

          Reply
    3. Aurelien

      The idea of a single European Army, in the shape of the European Defence Community, goes back to the early 1950s when, ironically, the Americans were its main proponents. It’s never got anywhere, and Borrell is simply repeating the standard line since 1991: collective defence would be for NATO, but Europeans could and should try to establish multinational military coalitions for other operation such as peacekeeping. There have been a number of attempts at this; but the British could be counted on to sabotage the more ambitious ones (I have an essay on this topic coming out tomorrow, as it happens.)

      The Europeans now find themselves in a desperate situation. With a quasi-religious belief in the inevitable triumph of their Liberal ideology, they taunted and insulted the Russians for more than a decade, treating them as a declining military and economic pygmy, that would soon be forced to abandon its futile efforts to stand against the inevitable social and economic transformations that had already taken place up to, and including, Ukraine. War, when it came, seemed a welcome opportunity to hasten this inevitable end. It would last a few days or a week, Russia would collapse and the EU would be negotiating a partnership agreement with a Russian delegation a year later, led no doubt by the newly emerged Muslim homosexual President.

      Thus, panic. For as long as the US seemed to be travelling a parallel course, albeit for slightly different reasons, the situation was just about maintainable. But it’s clear the US is losing interest:, and can disengage, hoping to minimise the direct damage it suffers. Not so for the Europeans, who are confronted with the complete wreckage of the policy they have followed since at least 2014, and the appearance of a new (or previously unsuspected) military power in Europe against which they are essentially helpless, and with an unreliable ally whose own military capability turns out to have tank-tracks of clay. It’s for that reason that no European leader has been, or is going to be, stupid enough to urge sending troops to Ukraine to fight the Russians. So what happens now? Well that’s in tomorrow’s essay as well.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘led no doubt by the newly emerged Muslim homosexual President.’

        Nah. It was always going to be Navalny. The quickest way to break up the Russian Federation would be a civil war and Navalny was just the guy to start a war with the Muslim Republics which would have gotten the job done. He hated Muslims so for the spooks, that was just a bonus. And if the west wanted to loot Russia again like they did in the 90s, they would have to break it up this time for good.

        Reply
        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Rev.

          The Henry Jackson Society has been pushing not just for break up of Russia for two decades, but having the pieces join the EU and, until Brexit, the UK leave the EU and join an enhanced Five Eyes.

          You’re in Australia. The wacko jackos would like to see the five eyes becoming a sort of EU, without the currency union. They have no objection to the likes of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan associating with that alliance, but as second tier members.

          Reply
          1. Willow

            Yep. We (Australia) should have focused on becoming closer to ASEAN but no, we hitch our wagon to a set of increasingly economically crippled old white colonialist countries. UK is already on the slippery slope a failed state. US and Canada not far behind. (& NZ doesn’t count).

            Reply
      2. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Aurelien (formerly David to readers not familiar).

        Please include Blighty in the definition of Europeans. Since November of last year, I have been involved again with regulatory and trade policy, which includes engaging the Labour opposition, whose thinking has been contracted out to the charlatans and vulture capitalists associated with Blair.

        They are so ignorant of what goes on, it beggars belief. Last week, in the space of a few minutes at the reception after a workshop, I heard from an economist advising Labour that Ukraine is losing due to it not listening to American advisers and, a moments later, due to the west having a gentleman’s agreement with Putin, everything is personalised, not to provide certain weapons.

        Such engagement has been enlightening, amusing and infuriating in equal measure. It will be fun to watch New New Labour heads explode when their world comes crashing. The crackdown on civil liberties is in some anticipation of the war not turning to the west’s advantage and having to fend off an irate public, a public disaffected over a range of issues and after decades of capitalist predation.

        Reply
        1. Lee

          “The crackdown on civil liberties …”

          As a devotee of crime and spy fiction and non-fiction, I am duly impressed by the intrusive ubiquity of the UK surveillance system where crimes are solved and spies outed by detectives and spooks not hitting the streets but sitting at desks watching videos and listening in on the conversations and lives of others.

          Reply
      3. spud

        i vaguely remember obama snidely saying let russia try to build that bridge to Crimea, implying they were to stupid to do it.

        most likely his incredibly stupid observations have been removed from as many sites as possible.

        Reply
    4. Mikel

      Indeed. Counting on crazy Uncle Sam to prevent the continent from blowing itself up every century isn’t realistic either.

      Reply
    5. JTMcPhee

      The “single European army” would seem an intrinsic and necessary part of the Greater Europe Project to be bossed by the likes of van der Lyon’ and Borell. Would be an indispensable enforcement mechanism to unleash on the uppity farmers, truckers and other indispensable working stiffs. Maybe man’d and woman’d and LGBTQ+’d by all the disaffected Nazis imported from Ukraine? Who have serious form, after all, and likely lattices of organization already in place?

      Reply
      1. vao

        EU countries have already lost the most important traits of sovereignty: money (with the EUR), borders (with Schengen), national budgets (all the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact, including the revision of national budgets by the EU Commission). In the legislative domain, sovereignty is being relentlessly eroded (tranposition of EU directives, supremacy of the EU courts).

        Military and diplomacy are the very last vestiges of sovereignty that are not controlled by the EU. I contend that European countries will do everything they can to hold onto them, independently from whatever happens or could have happened with Ukraine — including their individual ambassadorial representations, and, for France, its permanent seat at the UNO Security Council, and its nuclear deterrent.

        Reply
        1. .Tom

          As the pressure on Europe grows it will have to either unify politically or it will fall apart. Either a military super-state takes what remains of national sovereignty or the integrations you listed will return to the states as nationalist politics takes hold. I also think it’s pretty clear which of these is more likely.

          Reply
    6. Kouros

      There was a 20 years effort by the Americans to bring in line the Europeans, by cultivating, blackmailing, bribing, threatening, and thoroughly spying on the Europeans. The cold shower served to Americans in 2003 prior to the illigal invasion of Iraq, when most of European countries and Canada said no likely triggerd a long term, concerted effort from the part of the Company to secure such events would not repeat. Europe then got Annalena, Macron, Chrystia and all the other cookie cutter copies of politicians.

      Reply
        1. Kouros

          Yes, I was trying to make the point that nobody was spared, since in 2003 Canada also did not join US in its illgeal war on Iraq.

          Reply
    1. Lena

      That is lovely.

      I am comforted by the thought that our loved ones who have passed away remain with us always. I still talk to my mother every day although she has been dead for years. She answers me in different ways – a favorite song playing on the radio, the sight and smell of lilacs in bloom, the sound of a night train traveling far away…

      Reply
      1. Randall Flagg

        You are not alone in that belief.

        I also notice at times odd /funny little things that I like to think is my son making his presence known. Some would say it’s just my mind playing tricks and I’ll entertain that, concede that even, but all the same…

        Reply
      2. Amfortas the Hippie

        yeah.
        i talk to Tam all the time.
        and hear the dog rearrange herself in Tam’s armchair in there, and startle.
        and then theres the birds…specifically painted buntings and red tanagers.
        never had many of the former until the june she died, now, it seems theyve proliferated.
        and the red tanagers came up from mexico some years ago and just stayed…Tam talked to them…and i fed them on the front porch for her during winter.
        now, theres always one in a bush in the corner of my eye.
        2 years in june.

        Reply
    2. Lee

      Thank you. I am of an age when my beloved dead have become quite a crowd. It’s good to have had such friends and lovers and to feel that one is still among them.

      Reply
  10. vidimi

    Eel is delish but, unfortunately, it’s also critically endangered, at least here in Europe where few wild rivers remain. This is also to do with its mysterious reproductive cycle, with no eels having ever reproduced in captivity. There are some eel farms (e.g. in Spain) but they function by catching elvers and raising them.

    Reply
    1. britzklieg

      After “The Tin Drum” the idea of eating eel is decidedly off-putting.

      I”ll vouch for alligator being tasty…

      I ate bear in Denmark and reindeer in Finland. Well prepared and tasty!

      Reply
  11. Es s Ce Tera

    re: 25 years ago today, NATO became an aggressive alliance Anti-Spiegel

    In other words, today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of the United Nations.

    Reply
    1. digi_owl

      Looking at it historically, NATO was always the aggressor. After all it was formed 6 years before the Warsaw Pact…

      Reply
        1. digi_owl

          Funny how all the people with deep knowledge about Russia that do not tow the “Russia bad, NATO good” line gets vilified and sidelined as Putin stooges.

          And on that note, i think the only times Russia/USSR has advanced westwards has been in response to aggression from western “neighbors”.

          Reply
        2. ilsm

          NATO was created because the Soviets lost the peace!

          They wanted a disarmed, agrarian buffer from the Rhine eastward. The west immediately united its zone and began reindustrializing!

          The rebuilding industry aspect of the Marshall plan was against the early “understanding” with FDR.

          Reply
  12. ChrisFromGA

    Could someone please explain how the US State Department gets away with calling yesterday’s UN resolution demanding a cease fire over Ramadan “non-binding?”

    https://news.sky.com/video/us-calls-un-security-council-resolution-on-gaza-ceasefire-non-binding-despite-resolutions-being-binding-13101838

    Here is a link to the text: resolution

    There is nothing in the language that says it is non-binding, aspirational, or otherwise voluntary.

    In fact, section 1 states:

    Demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire, and also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access to address their medical and other humanitarian needs, and further demands that the parties comply with their obligations under international law in relation to all persons they detain

    On a practical level, since the UN has no enforcement arm, all resolutions rely on the cooperation of the parties. But for the State Department to outright lie like this seems beyond reason.

    So, all this talk of a “divorce” with Netanyahoo is silly nonsense. We’re his hidebound stooge, as always.

    Reply
      1. ChrisFromGA

        The US abstained. Now they want to claim the resolution was “non-binding”

        The Chosen are very powerful. They’ve invaded the body of Linda Thomas Greenfield.

        Reply
      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Tin foil hat alert: Could Linda Thomas-Greenfield have acted on her own accord?

        Politically, I’m not sure Biden can fire her if she did, hence the non-binding nonsense.

        Reply
    1. Aurelien

      All UN resolutions are binding, especially if the word “demand” is used. What is true is that the resolution didn’t include “acting under Chapter VII”, which is the “all necessary means” phrase that would have authorised the use of force. But it’s binding, and to say otherwise is silly.

      Reply
      1. Feral Finster

        Even if the Resolution had expressly authorized the use of force, who is going to do that, in the face of the United States?

        Reply
        1. mrsyk

          The foundation under the feet of your theory is subject to rapid change. This aligns with the theory that the US is provoking WW3.

          Reply
        2. Bugs

          The UN would send in peacekeepers. It should have been done decades ago to enforce Res. 242 but I think there’s a very legitimate fear that Israel would massacre them rather than see foreign troops in blue helmets on the ground in Palestine, where an independent and autonomous state could finally be erected. Remember, the Stern Gang killed Count Folke Bernadotte for attempting to find a fair solution for both sides, and the crazies running the genocidal policy now are even more bloodthirsty. Hard to believe.

          Reply
          1. Aurelien

            If you mean “would” and not “should” that would be under Chapter 6, with a SC mandate for which the US would have to vote (or at the very least abstain) and by agreement with the parties. Blue helmets don’t “enforce” resolutions in my experience, and not many nations would volunteer their troops to be in the middle of all that to do so.

            Reply
          2. digi_owl

            I seem to recall something like that was tried once already, during the early days of Israel. The peacekeepers just ended up being target practice for both sides.

            Reply
        3. Alan Roxdale

          US troops will probably be going in one way or the other, so better they go in under a UN mandate. Or maybe that’s being naive.

          Reply
    2. JohnA

      And the Zionists and western politicians keep demanding the immediate release of the ‘hostages’ without ever even suggesting also the release of Palestinians, including very young and very old, kept without trial and subject to inhumane treatment. One of the fundamental Hamas negotiating points.

      Reply
      1. Kouros

        The resolution calls for the release of ALL hostages, and Israel holds many thousands of palestinians as hostages under flimsy reasons.

        Reply
    3. Alan Roxdale

      Could someone please explain how the US State Department gets away with calling yesterday’s UN resolution demanding a cease fire over Ramadan “non-binding?”

      Because they are making it up as they go.

      The entire US position at the UN has been legal barratry at best and more like outright fraud. First there was the “imperative for an immediate ceasefire” fraud, that had to be vetoed by 2 other permanent security members. Then came the actual vote, where the US team edited the call to remove the adjective “permanent” from “ceasefire” at the last minute (the Russians tried to vote in an amendment reversing that). Then came the US ambassador with an immediate declaration that the vote was somehow “non-binding”, under a legal interpretation about something else the US might have edited.

      No-one could ever trust a character who acted like this in court, including the judges. The UN security council has only vetos and no judges, but expect that for a very long time no one is going to trust US or UK delegations to draft or edit important documents without serious scrutiny. I foresee a shift in the working language of the UN as a result, the better to avoid Anglo-American-Israeli duplicity. That is, if the UN ever survives these US fissures.
      Having torpedoed the US dollars reserve currency status, maybe the Biden admin is now going for the US’s reserve legal system status as well.

      Reply
  13. The Rev Kev

    “No One Wants To Pay $200,000 For A Tesla Cybertruck Anymore”

    The damn thing looks like a Minecraft version of a truck. But they have a problem.You leave them out in the rain and they rust. No, seriously. Who wants to buy a brand new truck that you can’t park outside lest it rust? How can you show off your Tesla Cybertruck to your rich friends if they see rust on it?

    https://www.wired.com/story/this-is-why-teslas-stainless-steel-cybertrucks-may-be-rusting/

    But Wes Morrill – the Tesla Cybertruck’s lead engineer – has weighed in and said ‘Nah! It’ll be fine!’

    https://www.carexpert.com.au/car-news/no-the-tesla-cybertruck-isnt-rusting-claims-lead-engineer

    Reply
    1. fjallstrom

      They are supersafe! Nothing can shatter the windows except a lightly tossed rock but if you drive into a pond you can’t get out!

      Notice in the second link that she was on the phone, in the car, for 8 minutes, knowing that should would die. Afaik doors and windows in Teslas are operated electronically, and manual safety switches are intentionally hidden, so if the power goes out and you are in a sinking car you are probably not going to make it.

      Reply
        1. Tom B.

          Don’t recall the source but recall reading recently that those dinky little hammers don’t work worth a damn on modern laminated glass windows which are made that way for safety reasons. After frenetic pounding for awhile, you might crack the glass, but get at most a tiny hole in the inner plastic. No escape. Perhaps a shotgun would work better?

          Reply
    2. That’s life

      Going to work one day, a Tesla truck rolled passed me. I laughed my a** off. It looked liked an unpolished trash dumpster on wheels.

      Reply
      1. B24S

        Saw one in the fast lane the other day, for the first time. I very much agree with the description of an unpolished dumpster. A high-speed unpolished dumpster. Gawd, was it ugly.

        Reply
  14. JW

    Assange given reprieve until May. UK Court decided that US has 3 weeks to give assurances he won’t be given death sentence if convicted as he is not US citizen. If not forthcoming they will immediately grant right to appeal.
    Rumours were that US considering reduced charge that would meet these conditions, plus possibility that sentence due under the reduced charge could be met by the time already incarcerated in UK, too optimistic?

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      I believe that if found guilty in a US court, that his sentence will be for 175 years imprisonment so the past five years he has spent in that British Gulag will mean nothing.

      Reply
    2. digi_owl

      Last i hear, for particularly bothersome inmates USA do not do death sentences. Instead they hang themselves while on suicide watch.

      Reply
    3. Es s Ce Tera

      This is giving the US a bone, in my opinion. The last thing the US wants is try him in public, they don’t really want him deported. The details of the whole thing would be revisited in a very public way, lots of inconvenient facts repeated, US behaviour on display, it would get more views than Amber and Johnny. And there’s a good chance on the facts alone he would actually have the case dismissed since he’s not actually guilty. They’ll want to dismiss before the plane even lands rather than drag all the skeletons out of the closet. I’ve always thought Assange should just take the deportation option.

      Reply
      1. Expat2uruguay

        I agree. No way that Team Democrat wants Assange here to attracting media (and Trump/Republican) attention. Trump has already said that he would pardon Assange, but of course he didn’t when he could have, but I digress. The point is that Trump would make the claims again in stump speeches which would embarrass the Democrat party, therefore I don’t see Julian Assange arriving in the US before November.

        Reply
    4. Eclair

      Death may be preferable to life imprisonment, with no possibility of release, in a US Federal facility.
      One of the many remarkable people I met while working at the Denver Catholic Worker House, was a woman who had been convicted of, I think the charge was ‘trespassing,’ at the notorious Rocky Flats Plant, that produced triggers for various nuclear mechanisms.
      Raised by Quaker parents, she was a committed pacifist, who repeatedly snuck under the fences surrounding the facility and quietly sat in protest. The Feds finally threw up their hands, arrested, tried and sentenced her to a couple of years. She wrote a book about her time in Federal prison, detailing the soul and mind-numbing regime of dehumanization and petty humiliations. For example, prisoners were referred to by their number and she refused to respond, saying she had a name. She was placed in isolation, repeatedly. She was a vegan but the prison administration gave her meat-based meals, which she refused to eat and had to be hospitalized. She was transferred numerous times, without notice, so her support group of family and friends would have no idea of where she was located. She did say that there were one or two sympathetic guards who would try to make things easier for her, but they were hampered by the implacable bureaucracy.

      Reply
  15. digi_owl

    “Russian MiG-31 fighter intercepts US bombers over Barents Sea TASS (guurst)”

    And not a single mention in Norwegian media, even though it is in our back yard.

    And just after the latest NATO exercise winds down as well.

    Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “Government-Made Comic Books Try to Fight Election Disinformation”

    Not the first time that the government has used comic books as a sort of manual. Back during the Vietnam war, the government issued instruction manuals for the M-16 in the form of a comic book. Maybe it was thought that this format was needed because of the introduction of ‘McNamara’s Morons’ and a comic book would be easier to read-

    https://www.military.com/history/original-m16-manual-was-vietnam-war-comic-book.html

    But this comic to fight election disinformation might just be seen as an invitation for Republican to make comic books of who is actually doing the disinformation.

    Reply
  17. ilsm

    Yves, I am sorry for your loss!

    I am at the age when losing loved ones becomes routine, it never is.

    Now I hesitate to pick up calls from friends and relatives fearing who is gone…..

    Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    “Musk reveals major political flip”

    Musk may be many things but I do not think that he is a fool. He must realize that the Biden White House is extremely irate with him for taking away their favourite plaything – Twitter. They could say whatever they wanted on it and any opponents they could have silenced or even banned outright. It was great. But then Musk took away this toy and changed it all around. So maybe Musk realizes that if Biden gets back in again, that they will come gunning for him. Maybe force him to sell Twitter like they are trying to force China to sell Tik Tok to them. So for him, the Republicans would be a safer bet and who would leave him alone.

    Reply
  19. Skip Intro

    America has no Ukraine Plan B except more war
    Actually the war is Plan B. Plan A was the economic sanctions blitzkrieg that would crush Russia’s consumers and squeeze their oligarchs so hard that they regime-changed Putin out, and color-revolutioned in some Yeltsinoid neoliberal puppet to divy the spoils. I think the promise to Europe, and especially Germany must have been a cut in the resources they were getting cheaply, but wanted to pay themselves for. Oops

    Reply
    1. vidimi

      yes, definitely the europeans were promised the spoils of a defeated Russia, broken up into multiple rump states. they salivated at the thought of cheap, almost limitless gas. but then the US blew up Nordstream and the war went pear shaped and navalny died.

      Reply
      1. Skip Intro

        Yeah, they had to pull Nordstream once it was clear that Plan A had failed, and Germany found itself glancing abysswards. Blowing 3 of the 4 lines, and leaving one as hostage has clearly strengthened Germany’s resolve.

        Reply
  20. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Words, words, words

    The author notes the rule of thumb is that a language lasts about a thousand tears before it becomes incomprehensible. That may be about right, but there are always exceptions. Modern Greek for “make a mistake” is “kano lathos” with “kano” being the verb “I make” and “lathos” being “mistake”. When I visited Crete about 30 years ago, I remember hearing one older local say “lanthanomai” which is the ancient Greek equivalent of “kano lathos”, but using a different grammatical structure with the modern noun included in the verb. . I also remember Cretans using the ancient Greek “ornithos” to say “chicken” rather than the modern “kotopoulo”.

    I’m not fluent in either modern or ancient Greek, so I could only pick up bits and pieces, but clearly some of the ancient language has persisted for 2,500 years or more. What I’ve been told is that reading ancient Greek for a modern Greek speaker who hasn’t studied it would be like reading Shakespeare for a modern English speaker. If that’s the case, in Greek at least the language drift is a lot slower than the article’s linguistic heuristic. Maybe DJG our Reality Czar can speak to the accuracy of this better than me…

    I am very much looking forward to do some new linguistic research next month, probably in a taverna with a caraffe raki in hand, when I get to visit Greece again for the first time in a couple decades.

    Reply
      1. bassmule

        Skip the retsina and go directly to wine made from a grape called Vidiano. My friends in the biz call it the “sweetheart” of Greek whites.

        Dafnios is a good producer.

        PS: That first sip of raki always tastes like 89 octane to me…but it gets better after a few more.

        Reply
        1. lyman alpha blob

          It depends on the distiller. I really like visiting in October when they make the raki – you can see little puffs of smoke all over the countryside when people fire up their stills. Lots of visiting goes on where people walk from one to the other and check out the product. Some are definitely smoother than others, but after a few samples, it doesn’t really matter ;)

          Reply
    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      lyman alpha blob: You know Greek much better than I do. A question back to you: Can a modern (living) Greek read the New Testament, which is written in Koine?

      My impression is that the Katharevousa form of modern Greek is deliberately closer to Koine–but then, almost no one speaks Katharevousa. Everyone speaks Demotiki. There are twenty or so villages here in Italy that have preserved some very old forms of Greek–but their language is an object of study now, rather than part of modern Greek.

      I can “read” some Greek if I have a translation set next to it. The last few months, I have been slowly going through the poetry of Constantine Kavafis with a good Italian translation. Yet the translator notes that Kavafis’s Greek is eccentric, stylish, and distinctive. I noted that Kavafis used some older forms like “ornithos” for bird and “anthos” for flower, which in modern Greek is louloudi. Just as you mentioned.

      So the “thousand year” rule in the article may not hold. There are a few other assertions in the article that I find glib. Contrariwise, Greek, because of its enormous literature and prestige in the Mediterranean world, tended to change somewhat more slowly,

      Meanwhile: Athens? I was there in October 2023. The big museums have been spruced up–and are mind-blowing. For food: Head directly to the Psirri neighborhood and start reading menus. (You can skip Little Kook, which is Hellenized Disney–I once had a piece of layer cake there that was impregnated with so much sugar syrup that it almost killed me.)

      Reply
      1. lyman alpha blob

        Hmm, I will have to ask someone that question about the New Testament during my “research” next month. My mother’s side is Greek and she is extremely Xtian (the USian Baptist type despite being baptized Orthodox), so many years ago I got her a copy of the Septuagint so she could have a Greek bible. I haven’t looked at it myself though since I gave it to her.

        And thank you for the tips on Athens. We will be staying there just for one day with limited time to see stuff, so I was debating whether to check out the Acropolis and National Museums since I’d been there a few times. I will be sure to stop by now.

        And for you or anyone who likes Greek pastries, I was always curious how they make phyllo dough and the shredded dough for kataifi. I’ve gotten pretty good at making Asian dumplings, and found that the shredded breading for some types of those is actually done by just thinly slicing up wonton wrappers. I assumed it was something similar with the shredded kataifi dough being made from sliced up phyllo, but apparently that is not the case. This is a really great video on how it’s done that I stumbled across a few weeks ago, and I might try stopping by this bakery if I can find the time – How to make Greek pastries baklava and kataifi

        Reply
  21. Schweik

    Have they ever heard of tugboats? Aren’t you supposed to take all precautions to protect multi-billion dollar infrastructure and revenues? Oh, I forgot, neoliberalism.

    Reply
  22. TomDority

    Food inflation: The math doesn’t add up without factoring in corporate power CADTM (Micael T)

    What the article says about food inflation can also be said of most asset price inflations that drive the cost of living up and up.
    What the government used to do was make living and working cheaper has now turned 180 through government capture to make living and working more expensive.

    Reply
    1. Procopius

      What the government used to do was make living and working cheaper …

      I’m so old I remember when a first class letter cost 3¢. Air Mail was 7¢. A cup of coffee was 5¢. A paper-backed book was 25¢. I first became aware of inflation in 1947, and it’s never slowed down since then. In the early ’30s prices were going down, but that was not government policy, and farmers and small businessmen were begging for “a return to inflation.” The 21st Century has had remarkably low inflation almost the whole time — it used to be 3%-5% per year. I’m sorry, but in my lifetime, the government has never made living and working cheaper (unless you mean the anti-labor statutes).

      Reply
  23. Henry Moon Pie

    Relevant to “saving our democracy,” I thought this was a fun rant:

    Any available elective office summons demons, fiends and gargoyles from the burning sewage pits of hell – things with eyes pulsating, greedy and murderous. We want to keep these monsters calmly interred beneath the soil, and that can only occur if voting is treated like small pox.

    May we all be safely delivered from the voting booth, from the ballot box, from corporate punditry – please protect us from the rot oozing up from the the political depths. If the mutant powers of the ballot box can be stilled, those hourly speeches about border security will fade and evaporate as if we all awoke at once from the same nightmare. George Carlin told us decades ago that he doesn’t vote – but George made it into a personal decision. Maybe I should call myself a radical Carlinist – nobody should be certified to vote in my view. Look at the wreckage surrounding us. We voted for it.

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Can Sortition Save Us From the Zombies of Extinction?

    Reply
  24. Mikel

    “Google allows creditors to brick your phone” Lemmy.World

    And as a comment in the story link reminds us:
    “This type of tech is already being put into vehicles as well.”

    Because the real excitement from the establishment about EVs is mostly about implementing these dystopian features.

    Reply
  25. Carolinian

    That Andrew Cockburn/Harpers is very much worth a read.

    Nate Koppikar, who has made hundreds of millions of dollars betting against tech as co-founder of the investment firm Orso Partners, is another skeptic. “What’s been going on in tech since 2016 has just been, for lack of a better term, a bunch of bullshit,” he told me. He pointed out that the sector has been losing money and cutting staff following a bubble that finally burst in late 2021, losing industry investors roughly $7.4 trillion. “And then all of a sudden we’re sold this promise of AI as the next big thing.” He believes that the fears over evil AI robots “like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator” are part of a marketing campaign to convince us of the awesome power of the technology which, as he pointed out, suffers from inherent defects, including a propensity to make things up, a seemingly intractable tendency known in the industry as “hallucinations.” He pointed to Palantir, which, he said, had been losing money prior to going public in late 2020. (The stock went from a high of $45 in January 2021 to just under $8 two years later.) “So they’ve completely flipped the script,” he said. “This year they turned themselves into an AI company.”

    The Mike Judge HBO show Silicon Valley spent a lot of time on the Jekyll v Hyde nature of the place with geeky altrusm up against corporate money hungry villainy. Our MIC loves technology going back to Billy Mitchell and the advocates of air power–an earlier tech bubble–who said it would make armies and navies obsolete. Thousands then died in those “Flying Fortresses” over Europe as the miracle turned out to have feet of clay. The thinkers as opposed to the do-ers can get you killed even if not an “adversary.”

    Reply
  26. The Rev Kev

    ‘Lord Bebo
    @MyLordBebo
    🇺🇦🇷🇺🚨‼️ Has Russia started a de-energization campaign?
    The Kharkov administration complains that as a result of the latest attacks in the city, ALL substations have been destroyed.’

    I think that this is very important. The Russians are now going after power supplies itself. But there remains only one place that is capable of replacing and repairing that destroyed grid system and that is Russia. And that implies that Russia expects to take that city back again and maybe have the electrical grid working again before winter kicks in. I have no doubt that the Russians have repair plans in place and have stockpiled all the heavy duty grid equipment that will be needed to replace the destroyed gear.

    Reply
  27. russell1200

    [Superspreaders: Humans pass twice as many viruses to animals as we catch from them ZMEScience]

    This has been known, but maybe not intensely studied.

    The classic case that comes to my mind is the similarity of cholera strains in South America and Africa and with the seal population that goes between the two continents. This led to all sorts of confusion until DNA-level testing made the connection clearer. African humans > seals > South American humans.

    Reply
    1. Revenant

      My guess is the loss of power was earlier and the temporary blackout was an attempt to recover power to the affected systems by “rebooting” the ship (or its distribution boards). You would not turn out the lights to address a helm / propulsion problem except as side-effect of the core remedy.

      Reply
  28. griffen

    Oh goodness the gift of always giving and this time, our Madame VP Harris is doing it without speaking a word. That is a priceless headline and article. I’d imagine that former VP Pence would find clapping to a rhythmic beat to be something evil and to be avoided in the pence home.

    Kamala…it’s a wonder what we’re gonna do if we American people are forced into relying on you…

    Reply
  29. Bsn

    Yves, we’re sorry about your friend. Yes, we have a few stories like that as well. One of the studies that Lambert highlighted in his Covid overview a few days ago showed evidence of increasing rates of death, especially among younger people. Found it, it was here: US -Death Trends for Neoplasms ICD codes: C00-D48, Ages 15-44
    “We show a rise in excess mortality from neoplasms reported as underlying cause of death, which started in 2020 (1.7%) and accelerated substantially”.
    Again, we’re sorry about your friend. We also have had a few friends and family with cancer out of no where. Seems it’s getting beyond anecdotes and becoming national statistics.

    Reply
  30. Jason Boxman

    Is that picture for real? That is cheapest-and-ugliest-looking vehicle evah made.

    I saw one here, amazingly, someone from TN had driven in and had it parked at the lake. Some people were looking at it. It looks like a vehicle out of some kind of dystopian sci-fi film. Looks dangerous to drive, visibility looks questionable. These should not be on the road, but in America billionaires can do whatever they fancy. No consequences. Musk should still be in jail for violating CA county public health order and re-starting manufacturing back in 2020.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      I’ve seen a couple of them on the road and ‘circled the wagons’ on one on I-70 in Utah last week. getting a view from all angles.

      They’re all about the ‘See me-Dig me’ trade now, you can’t help but glance at the rolling pyramid scheme. which has DeLorean back to the future tendencies as you can only get it in stainless steel.

      Reply
    1. Lefty Godot

      What did the filmmakers slather on that cat?! I can’t believe cows are that frantically attracted to the natural odor of cats.

      Reply
  31. Screwball

    Smart meters; I’m not in the UK, but Ohio, under AEP Electric, and I have a smart meter.

    Our electric rates have went way up over the last couple of years. AEP warned us there would be a significant increase, and they were right. So I’ve been on a mission to reduce my usage. To make a long story short, I created a spreadsheet to track my bills over the last 2+ years. I have also changed electric providers based on rate per kilowatt charges, which AEP allows us to do. That is the electric usage part of the bill. The rest is distribution, transmission, and customer charges added on by AEP. My last bill, 32% of my bill was electric, and the rest charges and fees.

    I also started reading my meter on a daily basis at 6pm each and every day. On another tab of my spreadsheet I track the meter and what appliances were used on that day (like clothes dryer, stove which are high energy use items). I also put an ammeter on all the appliances and objects to measure the amount of power they used. All in the attempt to find the number of kilowatts I use per day and from what.

    If you create an account with the power company you can see your energy usage by month or day via a bar graph, complete with outside temperature, just as I do with my spreadsheet.

    Interestingly, I found that my meter and the daily bar graph provided by the power company showing my usage do not always match. Some days they are the same, others not. I wouldn’t worry if they were close, like within a kilowatt, but some of mine are off quite a bit. For example, I have days where my actual meter readings say I used 12 kilowatts, and the AEP bar says I used 20. That’s 8 kilowatt difference. It also works the other way; my reading says 20, but theirs says 12. I will also add, if you take the daily usage given by the AEP chart and add the entire billing cycle together, they add up to the same total I get (or very close). But why the daily discrepancy?

    I decided to ask, so I sent an e-mail to Ohio AEP billing and asked why this is happening and at what time of the day do you read my meter? Why are they different? After about 3-4 days I received a reply from the AEP “Smart Meter” division telling me they would forward my e-mail to someone that can help. It’s been over a week now and I have heard nothing further. Why?

    Because they think I’m nuts, probably. But one would think they either 1) don’t know themselves (which I doubt) or 2) they don’t want to tell me. Seems to me they would have a manual of some sort explaining how these smart meters work, and when they post the readings.

    I should also add, you can go into your account and download the data of your usage. They take a reading every 15 minutes on the quarter hour. The data, once converted to an excel spreadsheet is huge since it takes 4 readings an hour 24/7/365. It only tells you the usage every 15 minutes so you have to add your own calculations to find the hourly/daily usage. I have not done this because it is so time consuming, but that will be my next step.

    My conclusion; how do I trust my meter and the power company when my numbers and their numbers don’t match?

    This is probably more than anyone wants to know about an electric bill, but it’s now become a “thing” with me as I’m old, retired, cranky, and have plenty of time to play these silly games. FWIW, I thought I would share.

    Reply
    1. Bsn

      Naw, Screwball, we do want to know. They are forcing our community to go all in with Sfart meters. They allowed us to opt out and when the meter reader comes, we chat and they always say thanks for helping us keep our job. No opting out now. It’s as bad as when a car salesperson (Ev or otherwise) says “trust me”.

      Reply
      1. Screwball

        Funny, I got a reply just after I wrote that.

        They tell me because I read my meter at 6p each night, the kilowatts used after 6 would fall on the following days reading.

        Not sure I’m buying that either. Their readings go from 12:00am to 11:59pm according to their e-mail. I can see the difference, but it would still work out pretty close when you are only using 12 kilowatt a day, and whatever deviation would show up the next day, but it doesn’t. Not 20 by them and 12 by me, or visa versa.

        At least they gave me a better answer. Now I’m going to go to the days with a large discrepancy and compare my readings to their 15 data.

        Reply
    2. MicaT

      If you want to meter your house separate from the utility. Here is a pretty inexpensive option. I use it at my house so you can double check the unity. You can measure all sorts of loads and or just the total.
      https://www.emporiaenergy.com/energy-monitors/

      The utility measures kilowatt hours and your billed in kWh.
      And even if you have residential demand charges it’s usually kWh per 15 minute period.
      I’m guessing the 15 time block is kWh, would be normal.

      Reply
  32. Angie Neer

    The attackers released a photo showing the four swearing fealty using their unclean hand
    Ritter states “we’ve all seen the photo,” but I haven’t. I do know that it’s quite common for photos shot with phones to be left-right transposed, so I would need to see the image before accepting his assertion that “that’s all you need to know” to prove they’re pretenders. Ideally it would have some writing in it to resolve whether it’s mirror-imaged.

    Reply
    1. Bugs

      There’s a Daesh flag behind them and the script is going in the right direction. The other “theory” is that they were allowed to use left hands, since they had guns in their right ones.

      Reply
      1. Willow

        Or some spook stuffed up the photoshop overlaying the attackers with the Daesh flag and thought it looked better flipping the attackers in the image? Usually you would hold the phone in your right hand to take a selfie, yes? Which nonetheless reinforces the point that the attackers weren’t ISIS/Daesh. That the whole ISIS thing looking like a ‘post-production’ fabrication.

        Reply
      2. Revenant

        Yves, Yves, wash your keyboard! Nick Griffin is the former leader of the National Front / British Union of Fascists / constantly renamed Blackshirt saddoes here in Blighty.

        A source is a source but I thought you ought to know if you have other choices of sources for the pic. Especially with Mother Google sharpening her knife over you….

        Reply
    2. vidimi

      what i don’t get about this is that the attackers were all muslims, and you don’t have to be ISIS to know that your left hand is unclean if you’re a muslim.

      Reply
  33. cosmiccretin

    I apologize for re-posting this comment. (it was originally posted in connection with Yves’s “Monstrous Zionist Extermination in Gaza Continues as US Attempts Voter-Appeasing Headfakery” posted March 25).

    I do so only for the purpose of checking that the bill I refer-to really was passed by the House and sent on its way to the Senate – ie that I didn’t dream it.

    Can anyone confirm, please?

    (original)
    Within the past few days I’m certain that I saw a reference somewhere (I thought it was in NC ‘Links’, or maybe ‘Comments’ but if so I can’t locate it) to the House having just passed by a large majority a bill which affirms continuation of the suspension of US funding of UNWRA until 2025, and which also provides that if the Palestinian Authority should be so bold as in any way to assist a third party to bring charges or complaints against any Israeli persons or institutions relating to the ongoing persecution/dispossession/murders in the West Bank then that too is to automatically be punished with de-funding. The passage I saw also stated that this bill will now be duly rubber-stamped by the Senate and signed into law by the President – in short order.

    (Sorry that I can’t quote the exact terms but as far as I recall that was the gist of the original reference).

    Meanwhile on March 22 CA posted a link to this X posting:-
    rnaud Bertrand
    @RnaudBertrand
    “How can this be allowed to happen in the 21st century? The cruelty of starving an entire people is just unfathomable.

    “The IPC, which is the global authoritative institution for hunger assessment, on which governments and multilateral organizations rely, now determines that half the population in the Gaza strip is in IPC Phase 5 (Catastrophe/Famine), the worst classification where “starvation, death, destitution and extremely critical acute malnutrition levels are evident”.

    Let’s see if I’ve got this right. At more or less the same time as the IPC announced half of Gaza’s population had reached its highest “Catastrophe/Famine” level (and the rest only one category lower?) Congress was falling over itself to tighten the screws from now on and until 2025 – by which time Israel’s objective to have starved to death those Gazans not by then slaughtered can safely be assumed to have been achieved. And remembering that the suspension of aid to UNWRA was imposed by Joe Biden as his (and Blinken’s) unhesitating and unquestioning response to the complicity of UNWRA employees in the 7/10/23 Hamas incursion, alleged by Israel (in the complete absence of impartial corroboration) on the day following announcement by the ICJ of its finding that S.Africa’s complaint that Israel is carrying-out genocide in Gaza is plausible. The juxtaposition being purely coincidental, naturally.

    Each time one believes that the US might at last have plumbed the depths of degeneracy, it promptly sinks one step lower still. No doubt this latest descent will soon be surpassed in infamy just as all earlier ones have. One is forced to wonder whether there exists any level to which the US will not sink.

    Back in the ‘eighties (I think) Pat Buchanan dubbed Capitol Hill “Israeli-occupied territory”. He wasn’t wrong. The truth is that for all practical purposes the government of the USA is nowadays to be found in Tel Aviv. The entire governing apparatus of the United States of America has subordinated itself and become an accessory of the government of the State of Israel and its population of about seven million (and electorate of – what, four million?) who call all of the shots. US legislators have, almost to a woman/man, sold themselves to AIPAC. What a pathetic spectacle!

    Reply
  34. Bsn

    Reading Moon of Alabama’s take down of the NYT article nudging its readers to think that the US resolution “demanding” that Israel (and Hamas) employ a ceasefire got me thinking. Is anyone else pulling for BRICS to end up being composed of 80% of the world’s nations? It already has a majority of the world’s population.
    I could imagine, say 10 years from now, as BRICS+ nations work for peace via commerce and culture as opposed to war (as they do now) that they would agree to boycott countries like Israel and the US for their ongoing genocide. No need to invade, just stop all trade. I’ll wager that would be more effective than a toothless resolution “demanding”. BRICS, BRICS, BRICS! Not quite as poetic as USA, USA, USA – but one can hope.

    Reply
    1. CA

      BRICS = Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

      Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Iran are now full members of BRICS, while Algeria is a partial BRICS or New Development Bank member.

      Share of World GDP, 2023

      Brazil ( 2.3)
      China ( 18.9)
      India ( 7.5)
      Russia ( 2.9)
      South Africa ( 0.6)

      https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/weo-database/2023/October/weo-report?c=223,924,132,134,532,534,536,158,546,922,112,111,&s=NGDP_RPCH,PPPSH,&sy=2000&ey=2023&ssm=0&scsm=1&scc=0&ssd=1&ssc=0&sic=0&sort=country&ds=.&br=1

      Reply
  35. Big River Bandido

    re: Abortion pill Supreme Court ruling could impact entire drug industry STAT

    “Today we can say that the FDA is viewed as setting the gold standard, not just here in the U.S., but for the entire world, because we have never let politics trump good science,” Marsha Henderson, a former associate commissioner for women’s health at the agency, told reporters last week.

    Major, major eyeroll. Was she crossing her fingers while she said this?

    Reply
  36. Wukchumni

    Well since she got put down I’ve been out doin’ in my head
    I come in late at night and in the mornin’ I just lay in bed

    Well, Ronna you look so fine (look so fine)
    And I know it wouldn’t take much time
    For you to get hired by NBC
    Help get her a mainstream media part

    Help me Ronna
    Help, help me Ronna
    Help me Ronna
    Help, help me Ronna
    Help me Ronna
    Help, help me Ronna
    {bow, bow, bow, bow}
    Help me Ronna
    Help, help me Ronna
    Help me Ronna
    Help, help me Ronna
    Help me Ronna
    Help, help me Ronna
    Help me Ronna yeah
    Get her a mainstream media part

    She was gonna be the RNC den mother
    And Trump was gonna be her man
    (Oh Ronna)
    But she let Lara come between us
    And it shattered our plans
    (Oh Ronna)

    Well, Ronna you caught the NBC eyes (caught the eyes)
    And I can give you lotsa reasons why
    You gotta help thee Ronna
    Help get her a mainstream media part

    Help me Ronna
    Help, help me Ronna
    Help me Ronna
    Help, help me Ronna
    Help me Ronna
    Help, help me Ronna
    Help me Ronna
    Help, help me Ronna
    Help me Ronna
    Help, help me Ronna
    Help me Ronna
    Help, help me Ronna
    Help me Ronna yeah
    Get her a mainstream media part

    Help Me Rhonda, performed by the Beach Boys

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1THDLgL_bs

    Reply
  37. bob

    “Daily Mail is particularly good at this sort of story.”

    Because they have pictures! It’s unreal how few pictures are published anymore. In front of or behind paywalls, no one does good pictures. It’s not hard, even the brits do it.

    And forget about searching for them. Selecting “large” in the google image search returns 275×183 pixel photos. That should even count as a thumbnail. Bad and getting worser

    Reply
  38. Mickey Hickey

    Large public gatherings in Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria usually end with prolonged cheering and chants of Europe with placards depicting Europe on display. Clearly there are tens of millions looking forward to the day they can enter the EU. My relatives in Germany are quite anxious about large influxes of Slavs who by and large are not skilled labour. In Ireland they see themselves as providing temporary shelter for people who intend to get to the UK and USA. Here in Canada the people getting off airplanes from Eastern Europe are by and large well off and are looking forward enthusiastically to entering the USA. I see the EU waking up to the fact that they will have to improve the standard of living for Eastern Europeans in Eastern Europe or they will be doing it in Western Europe.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘Clearly there are tens of millions looking forward to the day they can enter the EU’

      It was the same in the Ukraine a decade ago. So how is that working out for them?

      Reply
  39. Willow

    wtf?

    Bedrettin @bedbolukbasi
    https://twitter.com/bedbolukbasi/status/1772786319254565060

    NEW — Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic:

    ▪️ “For now, it is not easy to talk about the news that has come to us in the last 48 hours.”
    ▪️ “The vital national interests of both Serbia and the Republika Srpska (Srpska) are under direct threat.”
    ▪️ “In the coming days, I will tell the Serbian people about the challenges ahead.”
    ▪️ “This is the hardest one so far. We will fight. Serbia will win.”

    Reply

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