Links 3/27/2024

What Birds’ Dreams Can Tell Us About Our Own New York Times (Dr. Kevin)

New archive of ancient human brains challenges misconceptions of soft tissue preservation Science Daily (Kevin W)

“Inverse vaccine” shows the potential to treat autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis. University of Chicago Magazine (ma)

Awaiting a decision on new research regulations, scientists pen dueling articles to shape ‘gain-of-function’ policies Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (ma)

What Is It Like to Be Manic? Oxonian Review (Anthony L). Mania is quite enjoyable and productive, or so I am told, but the one person who described it to me also said she made connections that weren’t necessarily valid (a tendency of schizophrenics) and she also had a tendency to paranoia.

#COVID-19

Falling Down Bridge

MV Dali Hitting Key Bridge in Baltimore – Track and Video Analysis YouTube (BC)

Ship Lost Power Before Hitting Key Bridge in Baltimore YouTube. Another good narration.

Crew on board Dali all survived bridge crash ‘by God’s grace’ Washington Post (furzy)

Baltimore Port: What impact will bridge collapse have on shipping? Reuters (BC)

Baltimore Bridge Crash Investigators to Examine Whether Dirty Fuel Played Role in Accident Wall Street Journal. The video shows the ship belching black smoke before the crash. But note also: BREAKING: MV Dali Cited for Propulsion Issues Before Baltimore Incident gCaptain

Climate/Environment

Crypto Miner, Pennsylvania Hit With Lawsuit Over Pollution From Bitcoin Mine Reuters

China?

iPhone Shipments in China Fell 33% in February, State Data Show Bloomberg

American Business Stalls in China Wall Street Journal

Xi meets US CEOs as American businesses seek to mend China ties Financial Times

Down Under

Australia chose Aukus and now it faces the prospect of having no submarine capability for at least a decade Malcolm Turnbull, Guardian. This is no surprise. Many including this humble site predicted that as the likely result.

Old Blighty

What Have Fourteen Years of Conservative Rule Done to Britain? New Yorker

Software Industry Calls for More UK Government Support Reuters. So maybe everybody should not learn to code?

4m hours of raw sewage discharges in England in 2023, data expected to show Guardian (Kevin W). Ugh!

Gaza

Live: Israel pounds Gaza, south Lebanon in overnight strikes Middle East Eye

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 172: Israel continues raids on Gaza hospitals following UNSC ceasefire resolution Mondoweiss

New York Times Misreports Gaza UNSC Resolution Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

Israel says UN resolution damaged Gaza ceasefire talks BBC (Kevin W). “They would say that, now wouldn’t they?”

Hamas is intact, so has Israel lost? The Cradle (Chuck L)

Israeli propagandist behind Hamas ‘mass rape’ narrative exposed as grifter, fraud The Grayzone

Trump tells Israel it made ‘big mistake’ RT (Chuck L)

New Not-So-Cold War

West Desperately Deflects as Ukraine’s ISIS Gambit Backfires Simplicius the Thinker

Yesterday’s remarkable statements to journalists by Alexander Bortnikov, director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) Gilbert Doctorow (guurst)

US Sanctions Spree Continues With 15 More For Russian Entities The Register

Erm….since when has Russia done well in propaganda/narrative influence in the West?

Since we need comic relief of sorts:

And in case you missed it, more Simonyan: RUSSIAN PROJECT ‘GRANDPA UNLEASHED’ YouTube

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Facebook Accused of Using Your Phone To Wiretap Snapchat Gizmodo

Imperial Collapse Watch

US racing to deploy sub-launched hypersonic missiles Asia Times. UserFriendly: “They toch on our lack of a nuclear umbrella here, but this digs in a bit more.”

Russian Navy MiG-31 Interceptors Force American B-1B Bombers Back in Arctic Military Watch. A reader in comments yesterday noted that the mainstream media ignored this incident. It did make the specialist press.

Trump

Trump’s new social media company looks like a meme stock Yahoo (furzy). Sigh, Like about half the tech stocks.

2024

Biden gains on Trump in 6 battleground states in new poll The Hill

Democrat wins Alabama special election in early test for IVF as a campaign issue NBC. Note in a Republican district

RFK, Jr. Heads exploding!

The Washington Monthly Newsletter: March 26, 2024. Leading the subhead: “RFK Jr.’s VP pick is an affront to democracy.” Mind you, I am not a fan, but the harrumphing that Shanahan is too unqualified to be “a heartbeat away from Presidency” is laughable in light of Kamala Harris.

RFK Jr.’s Running Mate Is Young and Very Rich. That Worries Dems. New Republic

Democrats en déshabillé

Saving Democracy From Itself: The Democratic National Committee Moves To Block Third Party Candidates Jonathan Turley

Immigration

NYC moving ahead with plan to give prepaid debit cards to migrant families Pix11, YouTube

Woke Watch

Gender and Its Enemies Chronicle of Higher Education (Anthony L)

Our No Longer Free Press

From a few days ago, still germane: Palestinian journalist at Detroit news station sues, alleges retaliation, racial discrimination Detroit News (ma)

Florida Braces For Lawsuits Over Law Banning Kids From Social Media ars technica

By e-mail, from reader Li:

Taibbi piece made it to the CFP [Citizen Free Press] stack! CFP gets 240m page views, more than WSJ and Politico

This is how it appeard 8 PM Wednesday:

Congress is prepared to fund new bridge for Baltimore.
Jamaal Bowman gets whiplash after 180* on Hamas.
Democrats want hearings on Jared Kushner.
Gay Chicago veterinarian arrested for plot to sexually assault his newborn son.
Used drugs to sexually assault multiple children.
Is the governor’s brother helping Illegal Chinese marijuana farms.
Something smells rotten in Maine.
7 construction workers fall into Chesapeake, only one survives.
Supreme Court (likely) to allow Abortion drug Mifepristone to remain available.
Could be 7-2 decision in closely watched case.
United Nations prepares to enforce world’s first ‘global tax on emissions.’
Google punishes financial website Naked Capitalism.
$100,000 for this photo of Obama.

Medicare Advantage is overbilling Medicare by 22% Morningstar

US small-caps suffer worst run against larger stocks in more than 20 years Financial Times. A collapse in breadth is often a precursor to a correction. Any technicians who care to pipe up?

The Bezzle

Elon Musk requires ‘FSD’ demo for every prospective Tesla buyer in North America CNBC

Do McKinsey and other consultants do anything useful? Economist (Dr. Kevin). They can but as the firm has gotten really big, they have gotten very good at selling makework studies to fill the pipeline.

Class Warfare

A solution to the retirement crisis? Americans should work for more years, BlackRock CEO says CBS News (Kevin W). As if that works for people who do on-their-feet work, which is hard on the body. Why do you think we have an opioid crisis?

Kids as young as 14 were found working at a Tennessee factory that makes lawn mower parts for John Deere and others NBC News (Kevin W)

High-end outerwear company slashing nearly 1,000 corporate jobs Fox

20 hospitals, systems where charity care lags behind tax breaks Becker Hospital Review (Dr. Kevin)

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus:

A second bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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241 comments

  1. Antifa

    I GOT OLDER
    (melody borrowed from Rocky Mountain High by John Denver)

    I can’t match the names to faces since my 87th year
    I got lost last week headin’ to the grocery store
    Old memories of soldiering still haunt me crystal clear
    But I keep a card with the address off my door

    The sacred years of childhood became a grownup’s day to day
    Did it right and sometimes did it wrong
    My heart got bruised and broken in a world that isn’t fair
    When it knocks you down get up and move along

    Now my aches and pains seem to multiply
    I’m cynical my humor’s dark and dry
    I’ve lost so many good friends as the years have hurried by
    I’m still a child (I got older)
    I’m still a child (I got older)

    There are years of free and easy while you’re out there having fun
    Then you meet the one and don’t care to be free
    There is nothing makes you grow up like a daughter or a son
    A second childhood beneath the family tree

    They grow up all too quickly and go chasing their own dreams
    With help when they make a mistake
    Eventually you’re useless for they have it well in hand
    Two thousand miles away for heaven’s sake

    But there’s innocence and wonder in my eyes
    I feel the life in the breeze and butterflies
    I’ve paid such heavy dues to be a little bit more wise
    I’m still a child (I got older)
    I’m still a child (I got older)

    Long years will leave you humble it’s a pleasure to be here
    It is clear to me that childhood never ends
    When you don’t live in tomorrow life’s a candy store
    Here and now your heart and soul can mend

    I shout back to the thunder in the sky
    And breathe the perfumed rain after it’s dry
    I’m a child of mother nature and my only name is I
    I’m still a child

    I sing to thunder shaking all the sky
    Breathe in the earthy smell after it’s dry
    I’m a child of mother nature and her only name is I

    I’m still a child (I got older)
    I’m still a child (I got older)
    I’m still a child (I got older)
    I’m still a child (I got older)
    I’m still a child (I got older)
    I’m still a child (I got older)

    Reply
    1. mrsyk

      Yo Antifa, this poem’s a keeper, thank you.
      I went to a number of Zappa shows back in the day. Mr. Zappa encourage fans to pass poems up to the stage where he would read them. Sometimes he would invite the author on stage to read his/her own work.

      Reply
    2. cousinAdam

      Wow. Just wow. Fits Denver’s melody like a glove but this deserves its own tune. It’s a safe bet you’re no spring chicken (I’m 68) – this oozes “been there, done that”. Reminds one that the only reality is the Now – past and future are mental constructs subject to individual interpretations. This one’s a Keeper. Thanks and keep’em coming!

      Reply
  2. vidimi

    Supposedly, Russia hit a military bunker in Ukraine, killing a number of NATO officers. Shortly thereafter, Poland announced the sudden death by natural causes of Brigadier General Adam Marczak.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      It was a SBU building that the Russians hit with Zircon missiles giving them only seconds of warning time. And they hit that building on – wait for it – Ukraine’s SBU day. I guess that the Russians wanted to help with the fireworks but it seems that a lot of people are being medically evacuated to Poland. Must have been a lot of NATO people there.

      Reply
    2. Martin Oline

      There were two strikes, one in Kiev at the SBU building and one at Chasiv Yar in what turned out to be a NATO command buildings

      Reply
    3. Martin Oline

      “It is with great regret that we announce that Brigadier General Adam Marczak, Chief of Staff of the EU Operational Command Althea in Mons, passed away on Tuesday, March 26, 2024,” the operational command wrote on Platform X on Tuesday . . . (his) “unexpected death occurred due to natural causes during his absence from duty,” the statement said.
      This is the reason I have avoided organic food over the last decade. There are so many people that I know, and more I don’t know, who have died from ‘natural causes’ in the last few years.

      Reply
      1. zapster

        Well, actually (reported on Telegram) “Top NATO general killed in a Russian Iskander missile strike on NATO underground base near Chasov Yar.

        ⚡️The Operational Command of the Polish Armed Forces have confirmed the death of Brigadier General Adam Marczak but are covering up the fact that he was killed in Ukraine.

        🇫🇲The official NATO narrative claims General Marczak “suddenly died of natural causes”.

        Several other NATO soldiers also had obituaries occur at the same time.

        Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘Why you should have a cat
    @ShouldHaveCat
    Follow
    this cat is a UNIT’

    That cat is not a UNIT. It’s a goddamn Ninja!

    Reply
  4. Stephen V

    A corollary to the Turley piece by Taibbi:
    https://www.racket.news/p/the-anti-democratic-movement-targeted
    “…Nader, had already been subject to an extraordinary — and extraordinarily underreported — campaign of litigious harassment at the hands of the Democratic Party. John Kerry told Nader he had 2,000 lawyers at his disposal and would do “everything within the law” to win. In Arizona, Nader opponents filed a 650-page challenge to his attempt to get on the ballot…”

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Thanks for link–Taibbi not mincing words

      But since Trump steamrolled the GOP clown car in 2016, establishment politics has increasingly consolidated under the umbrella of the one party that (just barely) succeeded in fighting off its populist challenger, the Democrats. The return to the Democratic tent of once-hated neocons like Bill Kristol (who was reportedly in attendance at the anti-No Labels meeting described by Semafor) has helped revamp the blue-party institutional space into something like a permanent Washington-against-the-world war council, fueled by an aristocratic contempt whose intensity is almost beyond comprehension.

      These people reordered the geography of the world, blithely moved whole manufacturing sectors from one continent to another, started moronic wars that pointlessly killed millions and created millions more refugees, bailed out corrupt banks while whole regions went into foreclosure, and failed to accomplish much but a growing sense of foreboding and decline despite decades of promises to the contrary. Still, they feel sincere rage at the idea that they should have to earn votes.

      While I’m no fan of the Hunger Games movies the Dems have become a similarly bizarre grotesquerie with figures like Pelosi and Biden who are closer to cartoon parodies of ruthless oligarchs. It’s their imaginary world and we are just living in it. Trump himself fits right in and was Hillary’s choice as her ideal opponent until he unexpectedly defeated her. When the Dems then tried to correct their mistake they called themselves The Resistance based on a Star Wars movie so that too was part of the made up narrative that they/we are living in. Since it’s all fiction then why not Russiagate which they passionately believe was true. Our hegemon runs on massive infantilization and bad Hollywood product.

      There seems to be no way out but maybe Trump will at least eject Biden who is even worse than him. But otherwise many of us try to ignore the whole thing.

      Reply
      1. mrsyk

        steamrolled the GOP clown car , got me wondering if “clown car” is NC born nomenclature. It’s been a mainstay here for quite some time.

        Reply
        1. Ranger Rick

          We’ve had a “Republican Funhouse” section for some time. It’s not much of a stretch to include another place clowns are known to congregate.

          Reply
    2. elissa3

      Nader’s book, Crashing the Party, references the genesis of the process in the 2000 election. A process that became much more overt in succeeding elections. I was the (figurehead) chair of the Independent party in our state created solely for the purpose of getting Ralph on the ballot in 2008. Thanks to great staff work and grassroots effort he achieved that goal. The current efforts by the unDemocratic party are now much better financed and organized, especially in battleground states.

      Reply
      1. JohnnySacks

        If there’s one thing I’ve learned over time, it’s how ‘skillfully’ the Dems deal with populist interlopers pissing on their parade. Nader, Gravel, Kucinich, then, on steroids and meth, Sanders when he got even closer than any of the others. They seem to play rougher against their own than they do their opponents. My example is how Kerry rolled over like a frightened dog when the swift boaters came at him, thinking the nice guy would prevail, when he should have went for the jugular. Would the outcome change? Maybe not, but why not try not to lose.

        Reply
    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      I know this is super nitpicky, but I hate that headline. Many of “we” did pay attention. The way the Dems treated Nader in 2000 convinced me to finally believe who they were telling me they were. 2004 only sealed the deal. I wouldn’t care, except “we” took so much guff over pointing out the inconvenient truth regarding Nader. I know in some parts it’s still accepted that Nader cost Gore, and even Kerry, the election.

      Still. Good article. Hope it reaches people.

      Reply
  5. Em

    Before this announcement, Shanahan was best known for ending her marriage to one very famous billionaire (Brin) through her affair with an even more famous billionaire (Musk).

    I think she’ll be a great unserious addition to RFKJr’s profoundly unserious candidacy. Plus both she and RFKJr have this weird overtanned overtoned uncanny valley thing going, so they will look well matched in campaign photos.

    Reply
    1. .human

      In all seriousness, what are the requisites for a VP, or for that matter President?

      This is a conversation that does not happen. The USA is not a serious country.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Prominence and public morality or politics. They have staff to deal with minutiae or lack of “experience. ” The experience argument is embraced with people like Biden and Clinton because they lack good politics. Trump too. He was a businessman. Shrub would have his daddy’s pals to tell him what to do. What that was, who knows? They had “experience.”

        TV is problematic for prominence as once upon a time it would promote vaguely accomplished people versus rapid risers.

        I think anyone connected to Robert Kennedy is a clown at this point, but I feel like the “experiemce” argument is largely designed to distract from record. Biden has an extensive record, and the implication is he was ready for the job for many voters. It’s just he sucked during those 50 years. We failed to have conversations about the direction.

        Reply
        1. Em

          I don’t think Kennedy is unserious because he doesn’t have prior political experience. That’s arguably a plus, though he would have done well to pair himself with a proven and effective politician like Jesse Ventura or Dennis Kucinch.

          I think he’s unserious because everytime he opens his mouth, random unconnected and contradictory stuff comes out. He has no message discipline and no coherent idea about what he really wants to accomplish and how to go about doing it. Adding Shanahan just emphasizes how detached he is from reality- he’s going about his campaign as though he is planning a Camelot themed high society charity ball.

          Reply
          1. Carolinian

            It’s an ego trip, clearly. When he brought out the “vote for a Kennedy” line was when this became obvious.

            Long ago Roger Mudd asked Ted Kennedy why he was running for president and his confused reply sank him. They are ditherers pretending to be romantic heroes.

            Reply
            1. t

              It’s a bigger stage than he had as a “no one cares about your health but I do!” grifter. Arguably, the amount of actual work he has to put in and the visibility means a huge drop in ROI with this scam.

              Reply
          2. Lena

            I’m sorry to say but RFK Jr is just scum. I have some personal knowledge of him from back in his junkie days (not because I was ever a junkie, let’s just say it’s complicated) and although he has cleaned himself up, so to speak, he’s still the same psychologically messed up, entitled SOB he always was. He’s living off the Kennedy legacy, literally, making some occasional ‘good noises’ but don’t be fooled. His VP pick says volumes about who he really is.

            Reply
              1. Feral Finster

                Conflict has a way of doing that.

                This is why any story not intended for the smallest readers requires conflict, as conflict shows who the characters really are.

                Reply
            1. ambrit

              Hmmm… RFK Jr is the ‘Hunter Biden’ of the Third Way?
              I’m beginning to suspect that a vote for the ‘Dread Lord Cthulhu’ will be a legitimate alternative to all of the other people running this cycle.

              Reply
              1. Thistlebreath

                I’m stickin’ with Vermin Supreme. Can’t find any instances of him claiming “Palestinians are pampered.”

                Reply
          3. vidimi

            also, Rabbi Schmueli is running his campaign along with his “ex-” CIA daughter-in-law.

            It’s pretty clear that he is running to syphon votes from a Republican challenger to Biden.

            Reply
            1. Em

              The ex-CIA DiL is also the daughter of someone who made a killing in Russia in the 1990s and stepdaughter of a Zionist billionaire.

              I had some interest in him before he kicked out Dennis Kucinch and brought in Rabbi Kosher Buttplugs, even though his constant references to his father and uncle from the very start deeply unsettled me. No way I would ever vote for him now.

              Reply
          4. Dr. John Carpenter

            Bingo. Add in that what message I can make out just sounds like the same old same with maybe a little new lip service for the same old pig.

            Reply
        2. Gregorio

          Sadly, even as much of a Zionist clown RFK is, he would be at least as good, and possibly even a better choice than the other two Zionist clowns in this least awful race.

          Reply
      2. Em

        The most important one for the PTB is to have sufficient dirt/leverage on you to ensure compliance. The politico version of making Mafia made men kill a target before they’re allowed into a seat of power.

        Reply
    2. Henry Moon Pie

      I think the focus on making America healthy again is savvy, but the guy advocates at least some policies that have made things worse, especially with Covid and Maskophobia.

      Reply
      1. Phenix

        RFK Jr would follow well established pandemic protocols. Masking with surgical masks and cloth masks are not an effective prevention method. N95 masks, properly worn, are effective.

        Reply
    3. Neutrino

      George Gascon.
      Those two words, and her financial support of him, demonstrate a lack of appreciation for the impact of crime on everyday people. First in San Francisco and next in Los Angeles the effects of his revolving door and non-prosecution of repeat offenders resulted, and continues to result, in quite harmful policy failures. The shoplifting and retail closures are the least of it.

      Reply
    4. Trees&Trunks

      “Shanahan was best known for ending her marriage to one very famous billionaire (Brin) through her affair with an even more famous billionaire (Musk).”

      So a gold digger? Or just a simple slut?

      Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “Israeli propagandist behind Hamas ‘mass rape’ narrative exposed as grifter, fraud”

    And on the news tonight was this Israeli women coming forward – who was released last November – and who claims to have been raped by Hamas soldiers. She just forgot about it till now or something but her coming forward just after the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza for this month was surely only a coincidence-

    https://allisrael.com/released-israeli-hostage-reveals-how-she-was-raped-by-hamas-captors-in-gaza

    Fortunately Israeli soldiers have never never accused of raping Palestinian girls and women. Well, except on days that end with a ‘y’ that is.

    Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Her mail drop for money is called the Deborah Institute, a name taken from the story of the warrior prophetess/”judge” Deborah in Judges 4-5. It’s one of those little feminist stories that sneaked its way into the very patriarchal Hebrew bible.

      Reply
  7. griffen

    Work longer, live a shorter life as Americans gradually accept the notion of what our elites and Davos minded conjure forth. We’re already rich so we don’t worry about ourselves and we honestly don’t care about you all that much…citizen … consumer… whatevs…\sarc

    I’ve got a plan but no certainty that I can actually plan ahead to a designated age for retirement. Hypothetically I’ve been using 66 in my targeted plan with a retirement advisor guiding my way. Helps having a plan but I’m gonna need more years of earning let alone having reasonable health , dental and vision coverage. Just about sixteen years to go…absent any unforeseen windfall. Mr. Fink is talking his book perhaps but his firm has been highly successful from a humble start, I wish to recall.

    Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Ben Shapiro is also the guy who gave Candace Owens the sack for – mildly – speaking up for Palestinians. The Hasbara is strong with this one.

        Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      It’s great hearing these politicians lie about the need to raise the retirement age because of rising life expectancy, when the truth is that LE is at its lowest since 1996. And this is how the “exceptional nation” stacks up against its peers.

      Reply
      1. Randall Flagg

        Well the politicians pretty much get a pension after they reach the age, (you know that ain’t going to be touched), and many just become lobbyists or whatever after office. Of course it’s easy for those J-offs to talk about raising the retirement age rather than increasing the taxable income limits or means testing the program among many easy changes. I sound like Bernie Sanders…

        https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/RL/RL30631

        Reply
      2. Feral Finster

        Many of those politicians make the members of the Brezhnev-era Politburo look like spring chickens enjoying the Summer Of Eternal Youth, physically and mentally.

        Dianne Feinstein’s dementia was for years an open secret. Rumor has it that many leading members of Congress, both Team R and Team D are taking Alzheimer’s meds.

        Reply
    2. jefemt

      There seems to be quite a concerted effort between financial media, ‘experts’ like Canadian Kevin O’Leary and Dickensian-monikered Larry Fink, congress (at home ‘on break’- to talk up Social Security failures), raising retirement-age chatter. Heck, retirement s a flawed notion!

      Oh, and yes, why not slip all those savings over to me and Jamie for safe keeping, so I can buy up MORE housing inventory? I have this neat new financial product and ideas for worker savings…

      Man oh man, I had too much coffee and have had a little too much of too many ugly news topics today!
      Disheartening and enraging

      Reply
      1. Kevin DeNardo

        oh C’mon – I think its extremely kind he took the time out to give us little people some advice – for free! He is doing god’s work ya know…. (sarc)

        Reply
      2. Reply

        Wall Street safekeeping of Social Security, or anything, reminds me of that W notion of unleashing 401k accounts about two decades ago to the wiles of those greedy liars.

        Where are the customer’s yachts life savings? Awaiting looting and pillaging. /:

        Reply
    3. vidimi

      there was nothing organic about the Daily Wire’s growth so I’m skeptical of Fink’s successful steering of Black Rock.

      Reply
    4. eg

      From his palace in Versailles, when informed that aged peasant retirees are starving for lack of bread, the BlackRock CEO replies, “then let them eat cake …”

      Reply
    5. Benny Profane

      He just wants the SS money, which is substantial, even in his world, so he pushes the narrative that SS is close to failure. You would think that someone who has been so successful in the money changing business would be just a little honest and come clean that SS will be just fine with revisions, like raising income cut offs, telling Congress to keep their hands off the cash, and waiting for the Boomer bulge to pass. I mean, hell, just tax BlackRock transactions another 1%, and that may solve the problem.

      Reply
      1. griffen

        To paraphrase from Chief Brody in Jaws, we’re gonna need a deeper trough. Government excess will come down only when or rather if, defense and DOD pet projects get the knife according to their collective slice of GDP. Guess we have the Space Force now as well to throw endless buckets of money into as well. No Defense Contractor Left Behind.

        Or in other words, the GOP will “cut all that entitlement spend” when pigs fly and Hell hath frozen ( yes indeed, the Eagles finally did reunite ) Party of small government my eye. Fink and his firm has been more successful at staying open and avoiding stupid risk than say, by example, a Bear Stearns or Lehman…just to make an obvious comparison.

        Reply
        1. Benny Profane

          Well, of course. It’s beyond depressing that, in an election year, our congress and Senate can only bring themselves to argue about war and war funding. And they wonder why they are despised.

          Reply
          1. Henry Moon Pie

            I’m grateful they’re arguing about whether to spend money or not. Usually, they just argue about who wants to spend the most.

            Reply
    6. lyman alpha blob

      Just to show how out of touch he is, the Blackrock [family blog]er seems to think the retirement age is 65. It’s already 67 for anyone born after 1960, which would be just about every single person looking to retire in the next few years.

      Reply
    7. notabanker

      F U Larry Fink, times 1000. 45 years conscription to the corporate delta force is not enough for you?

      The smugness of these jerks is quite palpable. Unfortunately, it is a common attitude from the BOD on down, until it’s one of their own that ride off into the sunset with multi-million dollar packages in their 50’s. Then it is all platitudes about how great they completed their service. It is getting so easy to literally hate these people, and I work with many of them.

      Reply
  8. Mark Gisleson

    During my manic cycles (which I tried to sync with election years) I alway likened mania to “free cocaine.” Yes, it’s that good, caveat etc.

    Reply
    1. .Tom

      > What Is It Like to Be Manic? Oxonian Review

      Paul Lodge touches on some important points about the subjectivity of mania during and after, including long after. I’m grateful that he concludes with the topic of how the person may interrogate their memory of and the evidence left by an episode, what it means, its value and impact, including if it was a positive or enjoyable experience.

      In 2008 I got so angry with Kay Jamison’s book “An Unquiet Mind” that I wrote a review for my blog titled “Mania is a fraud that Dr Jamison’s unquiet mind overlooks” — you get the idea. It got way more views that all my other posts, except for another about BD.

      Last year I found an analogy for mania that I also blogged. In Alan Turing’s essay “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” there is the following paragraph.

      Let us return for a moment to Lady Lovelace’s objection, which stated that the machine can only do what we tell it to do. One could say that a man can “inject” an idea into the machine, and that it will respond to a certain extent and then drop into quiescence, like a piano string struck by a hammer. Another simile would be an atomic pile of less than critical size: an injected idea is to correspond to a neutron entering the pile from without. Each such neutron will cause a certain disturbance which eventually dies away. If, however, the size of the pile is sufficiently increased, the disturbance caused by such an incoming neutron will very likely go on and on increasing until the whole pile is destroyed. Is there a corresponding phenomenon for minds, and is there one for machines? There does seem to be one for the human mind. The majority of them seem to be “sub-critical”, i.e. to correspond in this analogy to piles of sub-critical size. An idea presented to such a mind will on average give rise to less than one idea in reply. A smallish proportion are super-critical. An idea presented to such a mind may give rise to a whole “theory” consisting of secondary, tertiary and more remote ideas. Animals minds seem to be very definitely sub-critical. Adhering to this analogy we ask, “Can a machine be made to be super-critical?”

      I like the idea of a manic mind as an atomic pile that is too large and getting hot, each idea bumping into other parts of the mind knocking more ideas into motion. In this condition I yearn for the capacity to have a nice simple thought that “will respond to a certain extent and then drop into quiescence, like a piano string struck by a hammer.”

      Reply
    2. t

      First, there is the ever-present uncertainty about whether the same kind of experience might emerge and what kinds of social consequences it might have.

      Your experience is more in tune what I’ve heard and seen than the “social consequences” in the piece. Which seems not to consider financial or school or career consequences.

      My friends who first experienced florid mental illness in their early 20s needed years – years – to materially recover from the cost – financial, missing semesters and there for losing their place in the program and not making the cut next time and having to set up even more financing for another degree plan which is trickier when you’ve racked up credit card bills that make bankruptcy look like the best option. And for one who had been terrorized by a parent’s issues, the first episode was taken as a sure sign that they, too, would eventually destroy every relationship and end up “living in a van down by the river.” (That one didn’t come to pass, for that friend. Perhaps in part because the cost and availability of treatments were better then. If we were both 20 again it could be much worse for them.) So yeah, free cocaine including the long morning after. That’s what I’ve seen and been told.

      Reply
    3. .Tom

      Paul Lodge also mentions how after his serious manic episode he got depressed and started taking Zoloft and soon became manic again. Don’t do that. My own psych MD insisted it is dangerous for people with BP to use antidepressants and it should only be allowed with a robust mood stabilizer and supervision (e.g. family) and every competent psych MD knows this.

      Separately, the lit on SSRIs says (without regard to BP) that a significant minority of SSRI users end up with agitation and/or aggression. Now, given that SSRI’s are highly addictive and often given by GPs perhaps ignorant of the infrequent but dangerous side effects and perhaps without a psych eval, the old news reporting trope: Was the perp of such-and-such horrific act off his meds? kinda gains a different meaning.

      Reply
      1. Reply

        School shooters form a subset for investigation of off-the-meds that could be informative. Combining adolescent brains and SSRIs or other meds would seem to invite unintended consequences.
        Maybe some work has been done in that area, outside the influence of pharma and maybe even replicable.

        Reply
      2. cousinAdam

        I had nothing but bad results with different SSRIs in the late’90’s. For someone with a high IQ (a very mixed “blessing” ) being in a state of “busy brain” was not infrequent and “normal” for me. Elevated serotonin levels prevent synapses from firing too easily- good for schizophrenia or a manic episode “exceeding critical mass” but incredibly frustrating or worse for “deep thought experiments” that I am fond of. Serotonin can be replaced nutritiounally (niacin in particular) and with bed rest. At the time, I was suffering anxiety-induced depression and sought out an MD psychiatrist for pharmaceutical relief who persisted in prescribing SSRI solutions- I later found out he had a reputation for trialing meds for big Pharma. (The last straw was one that wrecked my libido- no sex life for several years :^\ ) Instead I developed a fondness for good bourbon- living in Brooklyn I didn’t drive much and I was able to reinvent my life and resume playing music for fun and sporadic profit. Alcohol is a two-edged sword to be sure and I’ve made some regrettable choices and eventually earned a second DUI so YMMV when considering it as a medication. My current advice is talk therapy- find someone who is a good listener with some credentials and you’ll find it allows you to unload oppressive baggage- it may take some time and persistence but perseverance pays!

        Reply
        1. Mark Gisleson

          Didn’t mention it but I took almost all the antidepressants the doctors had to offer and in retrospect the SSRIs were the absolute worst #$@! drugs I’ve ever taken but a special mention needs to be made of Lithium.

          Giving Lithium to someone who’s hit rock bottom is a near death sentence. No, you don’t get more depressed but you do get locked into a deep trough many never climb out of. In my case, I discovered that Owlsley acid trumped Lithium (for 6-8 hours anyhow). Being able to lift myself out of that trough periodically kept me going when otherwise I would have continued to just stare at the walls while listening to Lou Reed’s Berlin over and over and over again.

          I also tried counseling but when you’re broke the odds of getting a helpful counselor are quite slim. Finally I gave up on everything ditching the talk sessions and meds and started working on my diet and more exercise. Which worked. And (sorry but this has to be said) this all made me stronger. Not trying to be toxic but every med exacerbated my condition, getting off them (and processed food and (sadly) booze) cured most everything.

          Know who you are and hold onto that. Drugs that tell your brain to shut up are not helpful. Food that disrupts your gut brain is harmful to your well being. Diet, exercise and something outside yourself to focus on is what worked for me.

          Reply
  9. The Rev Kev

    “Baltimore Port: What impact will bridge collapse have on shipping?”

    In short, a lot. I suppose that it will take weeks to clear a part of that bridge so that all those trapped ships will be able to get out. And that will require some heavy duty cranes on barges – I guess – along with a team of divers to cut up some of that wreckage to enable it to be lifted out. Come to think of it, make that months of work. Old Joe has said that he will visit Baltimore when he gets a chance but has Pete Buttigieg gone there yet? He is after all the Secretary of Transportation – when he can be found. But this is definitely not a problem that you can make disappear by throwing money at it. This one will require actual engineers.

    Reply
      1. griffen

        Will James Cameron the IV be making a documentary on the sinking of the aforementioned now submerged bridge? I can see it now on the Imax nearest our biggest cities and sprawling metropolitan regions.

        Much like the mighty blade that was broken in LOTR, we Americans will reforge a new bridge to span that river once more! Remember the Key.

        Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Oh crap. It is much worse than I thought and I quote-

      ‘The maritime experts interviewed today expressed skepticism that repairs will be swift and straightforward. Due to a lack of salvage equipment in the region and the Navy’s reduction of its salvage fleet, there’s a scarcity of government ships and equipment to assist commercial operations. Although the Army could build temporary piers and ferry passengers across the river, it also has divested most of its watercraft equipment. Much of its remaining Joint Logistics Over The Shore equipment has been dispatched to build piers in Gaza. Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers is struggling to find enough American dredges and construction vessels to complete existing projects.’

      https://gcaptain.com/can-biden-deliver-on-his-promise-to-baltimore/

      The US Coast Guard has a duty to inspect vessels like this one but what if too much of their manpower has been dispatched to places like Papua New Guinea and the Middle East leaving not that much capacity at home?

      Reply
      1. Pat

        Funny how the Harvard/Chicago School MBAing of all aspects of American life has worked out. Stripping all assets to the bone to enrich the C Suite and a few stockholders has been an ongoing disaster that just snowballs. The thing that is most ironic to me is that the people most responsible for this blame the people with the least sayin it and will make sure their ill gotten gains are never ever on the table to offset the costs of work arounds and repairs.

        So much money to the DOD, but none for the aspects of the armed services that provides support services and maintenance…not enough grift for the right folk I guess.

        Reply
        1. mrsyk

          I’m still stunned by this event because it’s shifted the paradigm of who the negatively affected are in an event caused by regulatory capture/indifference with this case having major business interests being the “victims” (victims of their own stripping down of safety measures no less). It’s a massive, utterly avoidable own goal.

          Reply
      2. Michaelmas

        The Rev Kev: Oh crap. It is much worse than I thought

        It is exactly what I expected, on the other hand.

        Not that I’m any expert on this kind of infrastructure. But I lived in the Bay Area and watched the years-long struggle to replace the Bay Bridge’s eastern span between Oakland and Yerba Buena island from 2002 to 2013. Even then it was obvious that the US had sunk a long way from its mid-20th century prowess in infrastructure megaprojects.

        In 2024 the US is now Boeings and neoliberalism all the way down, to some greater or lesser extent.

        So let’s see if it take years to replace this bridge segment in Baltimore and, indeed, whether they don’t actually have to consider the recourse of getting a Chinese construction company to build it in the end.

        Reply
          1. ilsm

            Need bigger roads going up from Norfolk< Va through the DelMarVa peninsula and get to I95 north of Philly.

            Over several years living in Tidewater, Va I used that route rather than dealing with DC and Baltimore.

            Over the years driving from Boston Metro to DC I used the Key bridge.

            Reply
            1. scott s.

              Fort McHenry tunnel made a big difference. But I don’t care for the toll road I-95 so would take the Bay Bridge across to US 301/13 past Wilmington up through NJ and cross over into Philly from there (going to Philly naval shipyard).

              Reply
        1. Reply

          Chips Act redux, with DEI, uh, engineers, overseen by DOT.
          For local form, see also DC Metro where everybody gets a say, so no one takes responsibility.
          What could possibly go wrong? /s

          Reply
      3. Wukchumni

        Oh say can you see
        Gaza piers being built
        For the genocide we were part of
        Was so badly streaming online
        And hurting our image abroad

        Reply
      4. skippy

        Right after it happened I saw a road map popped on screen and went – OH SH!TE – as all north/south travel just went poof …

        On top of that the whole thing is a precursor to inflation and I know the MBA’s on it right now for how much they can over charge for … everything[tm] …

        Reply
    2. Martin Oline

      Thanks for the link to the YouTube video “Ship Lost Power…” I had many questions this morning as to why it struck the bridge pylon and this was very helpful. I thought with simple kinematics that even without power it should has stayed on course and not skewed as much as it did. The narrator says they probably reversed the screw when the power came back on and doing this usually causes the ship to change the direction it is headed. Basically, trying to stop screwed them up, kind of like stomping on the brakes steering away from a skid on ice.

      Reply
      1. .Tom

        We don’t know if the screw was reversed. In any case Idk if I accept what he said about that explaining the rapid change of direction. But he also said that another video showed the ship dropped an anchor. A ship with all that momentum and an anchor chain dragging it backwards from close to the prow seems for me to better fit what we saw.

        Reply
      2. Robert Hahl

        Doesn’t the government’s immediate assertion that there was no foul play here suggest to you that there probably was? Such as a cyberattack commanding a hard rudder turn at just the right moment, followed by a total power failure. That sounds like the perfect plan. I would give ten to one odds this is blowback for truck-bombing the Crimean bridge. Why wouldn’t the Russians say: Do really want to know how to knock down a bridge? Watch this.

        Reply
    3. Glen

      I would guess that there are already small odds that the bridge is never rebuilt. You’d better bet that the elites responsible for funding this all mention which helicopter air service they have retained to get around, and all give a little chuckle about never needing to use this bridge ever again, then they start the funding meeting. I will believe all the happy talk about rebuilding bridges if all the war with Russia and China stops.

      Interesting to see how fast the bridge wreck can be cleared and the harbor opened.

      Reply
    4. .Tom

      After watching both videos I was left wondering if it is wise to let gigantic single-engine, single-screw ships with little (any?) control beyond power and rudder routinely drive that close to bridge pylons that are not designed to fend them off. In the tracking video we see the two tugs disengage as soon as the ship enters the channel. Would the collision have been avoidable if they had stayed with the ship until it was safely past the bridge?

      Reply
  10. The Rev Kev

    ’60 Minutes
    @60Minutes
    X, formerly Twitter, only responded to 30% of the notes from researchers flagging misinformation in posts, says Kate Starbird, the leader of a misinformation research group. https://cbsn.ws/4askOI5

    Could it be that this Kate Starbird actually wants a job with Twitter/X and saying that she can be more effective on this inside. But since Musk cleared out most of these people when he took over Twitter, I do not fancy her chances if so. But somehow this sort of person wanting to determine what I can and can not see on the net is something that I am not in favour of. Too much like a Nanny State.

    Reply
    1. digi_owl

      Those most eager for power are those least suited for office, or some such?

      And i do wonder what happened to “reality has a liberal bias”…

      Reply
  11. zagonostra

    >Trump tells Israel it made ‘big mistake’ RT (Chuck L)

    It’s a very bad picture for the world. The world is seeing this…every night, I would watch buildings pour down on people,” Trump continued.

    “Go and do what you have to do… If people didn’t see that, every single night I’d watch and every single one of those… And I think Israel wanted to show that it’s tough, but sometimes you shouldn’t be doing that.”

    Yes, it’s not the vile, evil, despicable, craven, genocidal violence per se, it’s just allowing it to be broadcast and visible to the world that’s the problem.

    I think Edward Curtin has it right:

    Biden, Trump, and RFK, Jr. – all stand firmly behind the Israeli genocide in Gaza that any human being with a soul would condemn. That these men are controlled by the Israel Lobby is obvious, but we can pretend otherwise. That this is corruption is obvious, but we can pretend otherwise.

    We can pretend and pretend and pretend all we want because we are living in a pretend society.

    https://edwardcurtin.com/the-cia-does-soulful-work/

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Ah but if Trump says it TPTB must find it disgusting? It’s not his policies they mind so much as the mortal fear he may become a “class traitor.”

      I believe there’s at least the possibility that Trump might turn on a dime re Israel if he thought it was hurting him politically. Biden, fund raiser and politician, is a lot more dependent on the Lobby than Trump is. The lobbyists are his “base.” Trump has his MAGA.

      Reply
    2. John k

      Yes. But I read ‘stopping’ as more permanent than ‘ceasefire’. Clearly disastrous for us.israel. He’s always been pretty good at reading the room, and seems to have concluded there are more votes in stopping the carnage than continuing. Maybe important considering it’s the reps, especially evangelicals, that are most bloodthirsty.

      Reply
    3. Roland

      Trump actually said that showing that you’re tough is something that you shouldn’t always do.

      When was the last time that any prominent politician in the USA said such a thing?

      Donald Trump is the peace candidate.

      Reply
  12. DJG, Reality Czar

    New Republic article, profile of Nicole Shanahan.

    A couple of days back, Lambert Strether noted (the ever doltish) James Carville complaining about preachy women in the Democratic Party. The problem with the Democratic Party and especially the Hillary Diehard Wing seems to be an “ungendered” lack of impulse control. Didn’t Hillary call me a fifth columnist a few weeks back? They can’t stop announcing their flawed strategies and bloviating about the correctness of their opinions.

    Gem paragraph: “In 2000 and 2016, we ignored independent and Green Party candidates,” said Lis Smith, who’s advising the effort to battle third-party candidates by the DNC, referring to Ralph Nader and Jill Stein.

    I seem to recall much caterwauling from the Dems about Ralph Nader. And wasn’t it Hillary herself who called Jill Stein a Russian asset? Now these geniuses want to battle over ballot access because the election is going to be close (as if the last few weren’t). The old adage about opening one’s mouth and leaving no doubt that one is a fool applies.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Hilary also called Tulsi Gabbard a Russian asset as well. It seems to be a thing with her. There was also this-

      ‘In October 2019, false and later corrected stories claimed that former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said that Russia was “grooming” a female Democrat to run as a third-party candidate, who would help President Donald Trump win reelection via a spoiler effect. The media understood Clinton to be referring to Gabbard, which Nick Merril, a Clinton spokesperson, seemed to confirm to CNN by saying: “If the nesting doll fits”‘

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsi_Gabbard#2020_presidential_campaign

      Reply
      1. Benny Profane

        “It seems to be a thing with her.”

        Hillary is going to the grave blaming Putin for her loss to, of all people, Donald Trump. It must have been so hard for her that night, that I’m pretty sure she is walking around (although, if you’ve noticed, you don’t see her these days anywhere but a comfy chair) with PTSD. But, unfortunately for her recovery, she has many enablers in politics and media validating her fantasies. It’s an industry unto itself.

        Reply
        1. griffen

          Making an assumption here…but do vampires actually ever retire to a dirt nap without proper assistance with a stake into the heart…? \sarc

          The enablers like Robby Mook, one Donna Brazile…people that don’t actually fail stay in the circle one supposes some way, some how. Likely these enablers manage to avoid small planes as well, with good reason

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Gerrymandering and state borders have left so few contested seats very few of the Democratic courtier class is ever actually tested. Then the Clintons came to town amid a retirement wave and oversaw a Congressional wipeout leaving the Clintons as the only game in town. Their ilk filled every spot over the next 16 years until Obama who didn’t want to change anything and just kept them around.

            Brazille and Mook don’t get chased out of town because they are all the same or dotards who were the kids of donors and just sat safe congressional seats. There are limited challenges or places for challenges to come from. A comparison in China is the relative authority local governments have over total budgets and spending. Competition is there. Unlike in the states, politicians can’t gripe about mandates, dillon’s law, and waiting on the federales.

            Reply
        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          In Hillary Clinton’s case, it’s actually two losses and a race from very senior citizen from a small state. Because Obama won in style, its been ignored, but the Clinton clown show in 2007/8 was simply breathtaking.

          Misplaced nostalgia and vicarious appeal were her biggest assets, but except for the Sopranos announcement video, she was a joke who could barely conceal her contempt for the black guy. She tried cheating when she was ahead. There is a Wacky Races where Dirk Dastardly is about to win without cheating and goes back to cheat because he’s a villain.

          Even Hillary’s “she’s ready” slogan was dumb as it hearkened back to her walkabout in the woods when the race was up. Stretching it out to just the Clinton brand, they won in 1992 with a major third party spoiler, lost Congress for nearly a decade, squeaked out a re-elect, and then saw Gore let an election be stolen. They are even terrible what they claim to be good at.

          In terms, its not what could have been, but avoiding, my god, what did we do?

          Reply
    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      Wowsers. This is going to be a fun election. I am glad that I will be in occultation in the Undisclosed Region, eating fabled plin. From Shanahan’s Wikipedia entry in English:

      “In 2023, Shanahan held a “love ceremony” of commitment with Jacob Strumwasser, who is an advisor at Lightning Labs, a bitcoin software company. She described the event as a handfasting ceremony influenced by Druidic tradition.[39] The pair met at the Burning Man festival in summer 2022.[39][40]”

      Wukchumni? Were you the ring bearer?

      I for one am in favor of handfasting ceremonies, especially if the Druidic tradition includes some Irish whiskey. Yet what will Mike Johnson, Speaker of the House and Elect of God, think?

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Sure, put me down for cupid, but i’ll take no credit for her cupidity.

        Burning Man marriages are kinda cool-I’ve watched parts of dozens of them, and unlike the Elks Lodge that wants $2500 and the ceremonies have to be done and everybody out of there by 5, they’re minimal affairs & what’s the rush?

        And I guess i’m a Druid too, so there’s that.

        Reply
        1. Pat

          That wasn’t the part that set off my alarms. Put it down to unconventional but cool. Nope it was:

          Jacob Strumwasser, who is an advisor at Lightning Labs, a bitcoin software company.

          They may be tech experts and rich, but Google Founder, drug addicted mad tech genius, bitcoin services….she seems to like swimming with the top turds in the silicon cesspool. Ichhhh.

          If her taste in partners is any indication, I don’t think I want to know what she thinks of our mess of a patent system and copyright law.

          Reply
  13. John Beech

    I tend to vote Republican but I am DELIGHTED with the results in Alabama because I loathe not so much how the Supreme Court tossed this back to the states (I agree it is a states rights issue) but for how individual states have responded. Texas and Oklahoma are a disgrace in my opinion. Their business, not mine, but the sheer disdain for half of the populace is uncomfortable for me. Thinking they acted more like what I’d expect of Middle Eastern Mullahs forcing their religious views on the populace.

    Like it’s my view our country is not *my way, or the highway*, thinking it’s more like *let’s all work together*. So it’s one thing if *you* do not want an abortion, but to force your view on others is where I cross the line and vote with Democrats. And I’ll do it in November, also. So hard-core Republicans may ignore me (and those of us who are more moderate in our views), but they do so at their political peril.

    Let me share what I thought was an unusual example. Next door widow woman, early 80s. She and her husband were hard core Republican voter since Nixon, think FOX News on all the time. Well, she’s angry on her granddaughter’s behalf at what’s going on with the far right trying to ban the sale of Mifepristone. Like I’m surprised she’s paying attention. She is. And she’s pissed about it. Not that it’s for sale but that they’re trying to force their views on others by banning it on specious reasons. The granddaughter? 26 y/o and for sure and certain is going to vote. Central Florida.

    So one case, eh? So what, right? Maybe not. Another widow woman, dear friend’s wife who just passed. Fellow business owner. Conservative. She’s ticked off about the same issue. She too is paying attention to the news about Mifepristone. Not kidding. She’s mid-70s and too old to give a hoot, right? And no children, either. Ticked off at others telling women what they can and can’t do with their bodies.

    Maybe none of this matters and Central Florida is safe. Thinking maybe it isn’t as safe as they presume.

    Republicans? Heads up! Me? I’m thinking maybe this is the reason Biden is showing life in the swing states. Some things transcend the economy and outrage.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Every healthy male in his prime has 100 to 200 million spermatozoa, I mean it’s tantamount to playing the lottery to be the one she asks out on a date…

      Each of us could populate say Germany with the wasted lives we so cavalierly think nothing of.

      You think going from 1 1/4 billion of us in 1900 to over 8 billion now was something~

      I’ll give you a population boom like you’ve never seen if we can get the usual blowhard Congressmen to protect mens’ precious bodily fluids!

      Reply
  14. john

    Woke watch. See Judith Butler’s discussion at LSE, on LSE YouTube channel. IMO, better discussion. Butler herself, not re-interpreted.

    Reply
  15. Pat

    I’ve come to the conclusion that we need an enforced retirement program in the US. Well a two part one, actually.
    The easy one being that no politician can run for any office where they turn 70 while in office. And all government employees must retire on or before their 70th birthday. If you are paid by a local, state or the federal government you are out at 70.

    The not so easy one is that every finance wizard, banker, private equity genius, etc on obtaining a worth of 100 million be forced to retire, liquidate all stock and equity assets which will be placed in a combination of long term bonds and bank savings accounts. They will then be banned from all trading floors, corporate offices, and large businesses. They can choose to live on the interest payments or to start a small product production or service business (nothing financial)with a maximum of five employees, where they must also work building the product or doing the service themselves. This is triggered regardless of the age of the wealthy jerk.
    I admit the latter is in lieu of having the ability to turn Ben Shapiro and friends into sanitation workers and street cleaners living pay check to paycheck but finally doing something worthwhile for the community.

    Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “What Is It Like to Be Manic?”

    ‘…but the one person who described it to me also said she made connections that weren’t necessarily valid (a tendency of schizophrenics) and she also had a tendency to paranoia.’

    Sounds like people like that would flourish in the CIA by seeing intelligence links that are not there, working extra hard and being paranoid in the office.

    Reply
    1. griffen

      Isn’t this a theme in the film entry for the Jason Bourne films, featuring Jeremy Renner in the lead role? He isn’t manic I suppose but his required regular meds have run perilously low or out….and his character then “somehow” finds the one med doctor that can guide him on how to stave off death.

      Took me awhile to get around to watching that one.

      Reply
  17. Jason Boxman

    For what it’s worth, looks like WJS consistently blocks archive.ph now. I always get a captured page that is WSJ 404 page. Was nice while it lasted.

    Reply
  18. dandyandy

    Baltimore Bridge Crash Investigators to Examine Whether Dirty Fuel Played Role in Accident

    Maybe they should investigate whether absence of protective structures around the bridge supports had anything to do with the ship’s bow being able to take clean out one of the four primary vertical supports of the biggest bridge in the county. The photos show top ~10 meters of starboard bow having been sliced off by a solid object (ie. a column), without any apparent damage to the hull.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      thats called a “dolphin”, if i remember right.
      i reckon the same thing could be accomplished with a great many dump truck loads of riprap, too.
      ship hits that, and not the bridge support.
      the ones ive seen along the texas coast also sometimes make for decent fish habitat.

      Reply
      1. dandyandy

        exactly.

        to protect two principal column sets – $100M.

        to rebuild bridge and buy a new ship – $20B

        sweet

        Reply
    2. lyman alpha blob

      What I’d like to know is why ships that large were going under that bridge to begin with. Hard to tell from the videos, but there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of clearance, and if the ships were supposed to go through the shipping lane between bridge supports, it seems like only a matter of time before there would be a collision.

      The bridge I drive over every day is a drawbridge. Tugs bring big ships close, and I don’t believe they start moving to go under it until the drawbridge has gone up. There is quite a bit of clearance between the bridge and the top of most ships even when the drawbridge isn’t up. From what I’ve seen in almost two decades of going over, it is that the drawbridge goes up mostly to accommodate the tall antennae on some ships – if a ship tried to go under before the drawbridge was up, it would rip off the ship antenna but not the whole ship and definitely not the bridge.

      The bridge I drive over is about 25 years newer than the Francis Scott Key bridge though, which opened in 1977. I don’t know exactly when these large container ships came into widespread use, but I’m wondering if perhaps there weren’t any ships that large being used regularly when the Baltimore bridge was designed. And if that is the case, how many other bridges are in danger due to being designed before large container ships became so prevalent?

      Reply
  19. vidimi

    I wish dumping raw sewage were a uniquely British problem but, unfortunately, France does it too, and I would be surprised if they were the only culprits in Europe.

    Recently, I discovered raw sewage dumping into the river a few hundred meters upstream from me. Nestled discretely under a tree below street level, it was visible mostly by the plume of brown water flowing out from under the bank. I contacted all the authorities I could find but mostly they all said it was outside their jurisdiction. Finally, one agency looked into it and told me that the dump was authorised. Most of France’s water treatment facilities are old and dual use, collecting also rainfall. Because of this, they don’t have enough bandwidth to treat everything and dump the excess into the river. As long as it stays under 5% of the river’s discharge, it’s legal.

    But 5% is a lot. Imagine a glass of water with 19 parts clean water and 1 part raw sewage. Not for a million bucks would I drink that.

    Reply
  20. earthling

    re: Saving Democracy From Itself: The Democratic National Committee Moves To Block Third Party Candidates

    This outrageous blocking of any alternatives to the two puppet parties. Both should be charged under the RICO laws. If they weren’t roaming the halls of Congress they would be considered racketeers running corrupt organizations, and broken into bits by their capos and lieutenants being sent to prison. If there were any prosecutors not part of the organizations.

    Reply
  21. ChrisFromGA

    Something to keep an eye on, in the far corners of the market. The Yen is weakening dramatically, almost breaking the 152 mark (USD/JPY pair) and ZH has a story up about emergency meetings.

    The JCB recently “raised” rates from negative territory to zero; normally when a central bank raises interest rates the currency strengthens, not weakens. So, something big might be up, like a total loss of control. Kyle Bass is probably making an extra large batch of popcorn right about now.

    Others more knowledgeable in the currency markets than I are welcome to chime in. The second order effect I can see happening is the JCB propping up the Yen by selling assets like US Treasuries denominated in dollars to buy Yen.

    Reply
  22. Carolinian

    Re Ronna and her firing before even taking the airwaves–NBC has said they are still looking for an acceptable (to them) conservative voice. Nikki, you’re up.

    Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      It’s pretty funny seeing the herd gather to express their distaste for someone with Trump cooties, but we know what the real standard is when we see Casie Hunt hosting those two Cheney hyenas, Frum and Goldberg, on the CNN morning show.

      Reply
  23. Martin Oline

    I once owned a used book store and a customer recommended the book Shogun by James Clavell. I never got around to it but now FX has started a dramatization of the novel. I am sure this will rekindle interest in the book. My library had a long waiting list for it and I joined the queue. I found they had a book Shogun The Life of Tokugawa Ieyasu by A. L. Sadler, Professor of Oriental Studies at the University of Sydney, copyright 1937. There was no waiting for that so I have read it. It is indeed about the same period but the show has changed the names of everyone. The Englishman John Blackthorne is actually Will Adams and Yoshii Toranaga is the Tokugawa Ieyasu of this book. I have shared some of this with my grandson and will copy some of it here.
    Tokugawa Ieyasu was quite enthusiastic about about flying hawks. There is an interesting part in the book when he is eight years old. Someone gave him a rare bird but he gave it back. He said “Apparently this bird has no song of his own, so it shows it’s defect by imitating those of other birds. . . So it is with people. They are valued for their natural character. People with this easy facility for doing all sorts of things never do anything great. Beings without abilities of their own . . . are no fit companions for a future leader of men.” The author remarks that this explains the low place assigned to actors in Japanese culture.
    There is much more of course. I doubt the romance with the interpreter took place. The book has a section about a woman who became a Christian and adopted the name Gracia (Maria in the show). She was the daughter of Akechi Mitsuhide who did cause the death of the Shogun Nobunaga after he was insulted and demoted by the latter. She reputedly learned Portuguese and Latin and was the most advanced Lady of her time, converting to Christianity against the wishes of her husband Hosokawa Tadaoki. They live in Osaka and he is quite cruel so much of it is true. I won’t reveal her fate as this show may deal with it as it happened. Will Adams stayed in Japan and later married a native.
    The Critical Drinker liked Shogun and for those without access to FX can view his review and see a bit of the drama. Shogun review

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      It is a great book and a favourite of mine. I have seen clips of the new series and I can see where they have diverged from the book which is to be expected. But too many times it would have improved the plot and character development if they had stuck closer to the story in the original book. Other people’s views may differ. Oh, and they also suffer from the modern trend of making their films dark with lots of grey colours as if sunlight was not a thing. You will see what I mean in that Critical Drinker review.

      Reply
    2. CanCyn

      I read Shogun when I was high school age. It was very engaging and interesting to my teen self. The culture clashes were well written and made for a good story. Am very much looking forward to the series. Can’t decide whether or not to re-read the novel.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        that was a minisieries in the early 80’s, too…i liked it enough that i obtained and read the paperback(still in my Library)my first introduction to the Japanese people aside from WW2 movies.

        Reply
        1. Pookah Harvey

          The 1980 series is available at achive.org. I read the book first and had a hard time with the casting of Richard Chamberlain as Pilot-Major John Blackthorne.

          Reply
      2. Martin Oline

        You’ll have to wait at the library but the good news is the book will be much easier to find for a decade. All of the paperbacks I had were from the 1970’s, I think. I would say give the book Shogun – The Life of Tokugawa Ieyasu a shot if your library has it. It is 320 pages but can be confusing when you aren’t sure if a word is a name, rank, office, or place.

        Reply
    3. CallMeTeach

      Just to clarify, Shogun was never meant to be a biography of Tokugawa or the time period. Clavell purposely wrote a fictionalized account of the time, borrowing heavily from history. The show didn’t change any names; they always were different. (The show’s writers changed some things, but have hewed closely to the plot mostly.)I highly recommend both watching the show and reading the book (Be warned. It’s a massive tome, but worth the time.) The sheer amount of work put into making every detail correct–down to bringing in experts in gestures of the Tokugawa period–is fascinating and impressive. I’ve fallen into more thane rabbit hole watching the “making of” videos. And if you want more background into the super complicated politics of the time, Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan (currently on Netflix) is a great primer.

      Reply
      1. Martin Oline

        Good to know as I haven’t read the Clavell book. I figured historical fiction with the emphasis on the fiction. Sadler’s book describes many battles with tens of thousands of soldiers and a thousand or more cut-off heads piled up afterwards. It reminds me, perhaps unsurprisingly, of Kurasawa’s later epic movies because the Samurai often band together into groups that charge around here and there on the battlefield. It’s not like European warfare at all with ranks of troops.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          That was a key feature in the book Shogun. That Blackthorne trained up a Japanese rifle regiment using European tactics on behalf of Tokugawa which had the ability to blast through any regular Japanese line. Though a naval pilot, he was once trapped in a city during a siege and watched the Duke of Orange using troops like pieces on a chessboard to devastating effect. And here he put that knowledge to use. Funny story here. In primary school in the 60s they had a history textbook that mentioned this guy in a footnote and at the time I thought that that would be a great book. It seems that James Clavell saw the same footnote in his daughter’s history textbook and from that came “Shogun.”

          Reply
          1. Martin Oline

            The Liefde (Charity) made it to Japan on 9 April 1600. William Adams (Blackthorne), pilot-major, was the Englishman of the 24 survivors. The inventory included 500 matchlocks, 5,000 cannon-balls, 300 chain-shot, 5,000 lbs. power, and 350 fire arrows. It also says that Adams was earlier in command of one of the ships against the Spanish Armada, taking supplies to Drake’s fleet and this probably influenced his attitude towards the Spanish.

            Reply
        2. digi_owl

          Interestingly samurai armor while elaborate are more akin to splint or scale armor by European definitions.

          This perhaps due to most iron coming from metallic sand rather than mining.

          Reply
      2. digi_owl

        I seem to recall getting ragged on decades ago when i used the book as my source of insight into historical Japan.

        Japan was and continues to be a weird place, the island seem adept at mixing foreign influences while still staying somehow distinct.

        Reply
        1. playon

          The Japanese seem very open to trying new things, while the Chinese are very different in that way. My Chinese sister-in-law once told me about going on a trip to Europe as part of a Chinese tour group. Their tour was carefully planned so that the group could always find Chinese restaurants for their meals. It’s hard to imagine people touring Europe and refusing to eat food from Italy, France, Spain etc.

          Reply
          1. Reply

            Curiously, relatives traveling in India were guided to Chinese restaurants, to avoid Delhi Belly or so they were told.

            Reply
        2. gk

          > Japan was and continues to be a weird place

          A Japanese friend once made me pasta alla Napoletana. It uses lots of ketchup….

          Reply
    4. Wukchumni

      I read Shogun back in the day, along with Clavell’s other works…

      Once a month the City of LA would auction off the possessions of those who died without heirs in the City of Angels and there were always many tables with kitchen stuff, books by the box, along with LP’s by the box, 27 TV’s, 5 cars, and coins & jewelry-which was what I was after mostly.

      One day about 30 years ago before the internet, there is a circa 1600 Samurai suit going up for bids, and I knew this fellow who specializes in Orientalia, and called him up and he raced over, and was one happy camper who ended up buying it for a decent price, allowing a decent finders fee for yours truly.

      I can still see it in my mind, a very cool looking item-totally original.

      Reply
      1. Revenant

        Did you read King Rat? IIRC Clavell wrote it about his experience in Changi prison POW camp in Singapore under the Japanese. Although dark, it is quite an uplifting book for the collective response of the British POWs to adversity. King Rat though is an American individualist, bowling alone….

        Reply
        1. Tom B.

          If you get a chance to see the 1965 film adaption with George Segal as Rat, check it out. It was a fine survival story with a great cynical antihero performance by Segal.

          Reply
        2. Janie

          Had a neighbor who was Singaporean Chinese in his mid teens during the occupation. He occasionally mentioned the mist harrowing experiences. The teenagers went out at night, searching for food; Japanese shot them for sport, competitive marksmanship.

          Reply
    5. Roland

      Shogun made a big impression on me, when I first read it, as a slightly precocious 12-year old. I have re-read the book many times since, and I think it holds up very well.

      Despite some exploitation of cultural stereotypes, and the sort of sensationalism one would expect in a popular adventure novel, nevertheless Shogun is a fascinating portrayal of intercultural encounter, and a virtual testament of toleration and moral relativism.

      What’s all the more remarkable is that James Clavell had been a PoW in Japanese captivity during WWII, surviving the Changi prison camp. His first novel, King Rat, was based on that experience. Yet Clavell was able to write a book that did a great deal to heighten interest about Japan in the English-speaking world.

      I haven’t seen the latest screen adaptation. I just hope they haven’t butchered it on account of political correctness. While Shogun was a rather liberal and progressive book in the 1970’s, many parts of it would doubtless run afoul of our currently prevailing dogmas. Clavell was humane and broad-minded, often willing to portray sympathetically things of which he disapproved. I hope that the producers treat his work with the generosity it deserves.

      Reply
  24. Mikel

    “Xi meets US CEOs as American businesses seek to mend China ties” Financial Times

    The U.S. caught trying to bring biological weapon into China to devastate Chinese farming… https://t.co/BLKMlCprAw

    — 倪明达 (Ni Mingda) (@NiMingda_GG) March 26, 2024

    Now the world waits to see if Xi ever comes to the same conclusions as Putin about relations with “the West.”

    Reply
    1. ChrisFromGA

      Xi seems to have at least figured out that it is not worth meeting with the putative US government officials and go straight to the real owners.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Xi: ‘Joe, from now on i’ll dictate the terms with leaders of American business.’

        Biden: ‘Gee willikers, was it something I said that almost instantly I repudiated?’

        Xi: Why are you calling me willikers?’

        Reply
      2. digi_owl

        Because unlike Russia, China has US corporations by the proverbial family jewels.

        By contrast Russia’s one miscalculation was the degree of self-immolation EU would do in order to placate big bro USA (increasingly it seems like European Greens are US plants).

        Reply
  25. The Rev Kev

    ‘Sarah Wilkinson
    @swilkinsonbc
    Watch this: Aldi changes details on its israeli dates to deceive buyers into thinking they’re South African @NoThanksBoycott | @EalingFOP’

    This sort of stuff always goes on. In the late 70s I was in Apartheid South Africa and met this guy who was an exporter. I asked him how he got stuff out of the country and he said there was all sorts of ways such as labeling South African produce as ‘Product of Africa.’ He also told me that some of the biggest critics in Africa of the South African regime were also some of the biggest importers of their products as well as their technical expertise in projects. It’s a funny old world.

    Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        If Israel wants a date they can go out and buy themselves a calendar. And once a week they can console themselves with a Sunday.

        Reply
    1. digi_owl

      Chinese goods becoming “made in Hong Kong” is a classic. All it took was a few last screws and boxing after trucking the basically finished product over the border.

      If one truly were to label a product based on origins, one would need a fold out sheet attached to every box.

      Reply
    1. Alan Roxdale

      If you’re searching on Google or Bing or probably Yahoo, you’re fighting a losing battle. That internet is dead.
      You can try some alternative search engines, but my main advise is to learn to use bookmarks and RSS feeds again (RSSOwlnix allows you to import these from sites still supporting them) and frequent sites you trust, and ignore ones you don’t no matter how hard Google pushes them at you. Social media users to follow are there for now, but I think it’s only a matter of time before all that gets re-censored.

      If worst comes to worst, there’s always Usenet or IRC, like old Soviet days.

      Reply
      1. JohnM_inMN

        Thanks for the feedback, Alan. I was using Duck Duck Go on my iPad. The Kos post was just an example, but representative of the many that pushed the non-binding narrative. I looked in to it a bit and found this from 2017, which discusses the question of binding/non-binding specifically wrt a UN resolution of Israeli settlements, as well as more generally. It seems the word “demands” is key.

        https://www.ejiltalk.org/legal-bindingness-of-security-council-resolutions-generally-and-resolution-2334-on-the-israeli-settlements-in-particular/

        Curiously, the NY Times replaces “demands” with “calls for”. Per today’s link, M of A is on top of it.

        Reply
  26. antidlc

    https://www.levernews.com/feds-recently-hit-cargo-giant-in-baltimore-disaster-for-silencing-whistleblowers/

    Feds Recently Hit Cargo Giant In Baltimore Disaster For Silencing Whistleblowers

    Regulators cited Maersk for its “illegal policy” blocking employees from reporting safety concerns to the Coast Guard.

    The company that chartered the cargo ship that destroyed the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore was recently sanctioned by regulators for blocking its employees from directly reporting safety concerns to the U.S. Coast Guard — in violation of a seaman whistleblower protection law, according to regulatory filings reviewed by The Lever.

    Eight months before a Maersk Line Limited-chartered cargo ship crashed into the Baltimore bridge, likely killing six people and injuring others, the Labor Department sanctioned the shipping conglomerate for retaliating against an employee who reported unsafe working conditions aboard a Maersk-operated boat. In its order, the department found that Maersk had “a policy that requires employees to first report their concerns to [Maersk]… prior to reporting it to the [Coast Guard] or other authorities.”

    Reply
  27. Alice X

    ~Greenwald last night – two segments

    13:40 – analysis of most recent Assange ruling,

    33:05 with Stella Assange

    43:08 with journalist Jeremy Loffredo who covers Israeli citizens blocking aid to Gaza (it’s chilling)

    Assange Wins Very Partial Victory in UK Court, w/ Stella Assange. New Film Shows Mass Israeli Extremism, w/ Journalist Jeremy Loffredo | SYSTEM UPDATE #248

    *****

    Katie Halper in the same vein:

    Journalist Films Israelis ADMITTING to WAR CRIMES + Latest Julian Assange Updates

    Partying at the gates of the death camp.

    Reply
  28. The Rev Kev

    ‘FunnyWorld1313 ???????????????????????????????????
    @FunnyWorld1313
    The video showed China ???? Port Customs checked a luggage claimed to contain clothing only.
    But when scanned, the Customs Officer found there were more than 60 bottles containing the larvae of Drosophila.’

    Fruit flies? You wonder how often this happens. So a large country may have a competitor with a smaller one in some agricultural crop. One discrete infestation later the problem goes away. I do not know if the Chinese will escalate this biological warfare attack – and who knows what gets transported in a diplomatic bag. But it is a zero-sum game that long-term benefits nobody.

    Reply
  29. Amfortas the Hippie

    plug the taibi and turley into the same buss as karen starchild(or whatever) saga of woe…as well as a couple of things ive come across from Moeni(https://www.compactmag.com/article/why-europe-sacrificed-ukraine/) and Cass(https://twitter.com/oren_cass/status/1772642611238510600)….and a pattern emerges.
    add in Aurelian’s recent work on PMC…as well as my own ongoing wading through mothers bullshit factory(as my kept PMC proxy specimen)…
    these frelling people,lol….
    i was already in trouble with my mom the other day…about the pasture, of course….so i poked her when she got on a rant about trump’s legal problems.
    me: but how is it democratic to force a guy from the ballot…shouldnt biden/dems instead attempt to run a better campaign, with a better platform and agenda that would appeal to more people?sounds like he’d be pretty easy to beat fair and square….
    her: no…because he’s a criminal that will ruin this country
    me: like cutting medicare and social security, starting proxy wars with nuclear powers, supporting genocide and preventing alternative views and candidates from even getting out of the gate?
    her: bidens not doing any of that…you need to stop listening to fox and alex jones(i do neither)…stick to reputable sources.
    (i was protected from screeching insanity by the presence of stepdad’s cousin and her hubbs…up for the eclipse)
    they are never wrong, you see…and if only we would get in line and follow their lead in all things….
    im pleased that the messianic and crusading nature of these folks is gaining attention…especially outside of a thin sliver of pseudoacademia and obscure twitter.
    i’m seeing it in more and more places.
    i doubt that Kos or Rachel have picked up on it as yet…so for mom, it didnt happen.
    i thinkl “epic sulk” is a rather polyannish expectation, though….when its obvious to even these that its no longer 1999 and that the empire has fallen, they’re gonna totally lose their minds.

    Reply
    1. Mikel

      “you need to stop listening to fox…”

      Hear the same from my mother. They’re actually the ones that listen to FOX because that’s all that the other MSM talks about! EX: It’s been about 15 years since I’ve watched an MSNBC show. One of the things I could no longer stomach was the constant coverage of FOX.

      Reply
    2. Kouros

      today’s links show that cutout from the ISW on how russia is winning because is better at the PR war…

      Reply
  30. The Rev Kev

    “Australia chose Aukus and now it faces the prospect of having no submarine capability for at least a decade”

    Cue the appropriate music-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQeezCdF4mk

    Just goes to show you that when Scotty from Marketing set up this deal, that he was a real neoliberal neocon. And the outstanding characterize of such people is not only a lack of knowledge about logistics and industrial capacity, but a refusal to even learn about such subjects.

    Reply
    1. CA

      “Australia chose Aukus and now it faces the prospect of having no submarine capability…”

      This is especially important because such disabling policy is being evidenced through the West. Australia, Germany, Japan, Netherlands; all at the expense of American policy and American administration economists such as Janet Yellen are boasting about what is happening:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/27/business/yellen-china-green-technology.html

      March 27, 2024

      Reply
  31. bobert

    That gender article is a carnival of absurdities, smears, and “missing bricks” of the bigger story. We are told that there is a “crusade” against gender but then immediately it’s revealed that there is no set definition of gender. Perhaps this is at least one source of criticisms of the concept as it’s wielded? No wonder it’s become “phantasmatic” when it’s proponents can’t tell you what it is. This is, of course, a feature and not a bug.

    Anti-gender is an attack on sex education….but the gender ideologue denies the primacy of sex, a biological fact found in consensus experience. Butler claims that we “live in fictions” and these “exceed us all” but this is only partially true as there is a non-fictional world outside of our mental sand castles that fundamentally informs our self-fictions. And some mental sand castles, or parts of them, are authentic in that they reveal real relationships between the world, inside themselves, and between themselves.

    Gender is “overdetermined” by the gender critical but then it’s Butler and her ilk that claim that gender is informed by a multiplicity of inputs. Attacks on gender are anti-democratic, so claims the writer of the article, but no examples are provided. The groups agrees there are “contradictory criticisms” from the gender critical but this pretends that all gen-crits are coming from the same set of ideas. Gen-crit a “very well-networked authoritarian movement” which ignores that gender ideology is backed by billionaires and powerful medical technology and surgeons groups because of the cash cow of trans. A backing that includes funding for inroads into academia, medical “advocacy”, and primary education. Not to forget politics.

    Butler claims that it’s gen-crit that’s responsible for the impossibility of having “rational arguments” but it’s her own theories that are profoundly irrational, giving primacy to the concept of fictions over observed reality. Sex isn’t a fiction. It’s something in the world. A world that causes Butler “anxiety”. A world that Butler’s claims ultimately deny. Because we live in fictions. And anyway, how to you make a claim about gender when it means so many different things?

    And what does this claim make of her own theories. If we live in fictions, why then all her writing are mere fictions as well, no? In fact, all knowledge becomes suspect under her claim. Does she have some special window into reality that paradoxically allows her to see through this all encompassing nimbus of fiction? Of course not.

    This doesn’t stop her from using “rationality” though, on a topic for which it is inapplicable, as one of the contributors points out in a rare moment of lucidity in the piece. But I again claim that under her framing of reality rationalism is impossible. It ignores the primacy of observed reality in our lives and it’s all a fiction anyway.

    We are told that the “fear of gender is a fear of theory”. But gender isn’t a theory, lacking a coherent application of observed reality in it’s formulation. And again it’s just a fiction. So it’s not a fear of theory, it’s a fear of rank ideology.

    Next we learn that it’s only a confusion in the popular discourse that believes gender denies sexual reality. But this is exactly what Butler does in her writings. The claim is a misrepresentation, unless Butler has come forward with some alteration to the foundational planks of her theory.

    Butler is as Sartre himself, speaking for the “masses”. But do the masses find a voice in Butler? In Sartre for that matter? I’m willing to bet it’s a rather tiny slice of the human population who buy into either.

    Gen-crit has a “ring of reasonableness” but as a “sizable”(?) segment of society claims it to be something it’s actually unreasonable. This ignores the pernicious influence of the billionaires et al., the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent to instigate and guide those perceptions. This is par for the course for the trans salespersons who rely on such hazy concepts as gender ideology to ply their trade, the big money behind it all. Bezos is there.

    At this point I gave up due to boredom. The thing comes off as some pro level naval gazing. About a topic no one can define.

    Reply
    1. Dessa

      You’re overcomplicating this: Gender is a mutual fiction in the same way cash is a fiction: It’s a construct of human society. And just as how cash can be based on fiat or tied to a physical commodity, gender may or may not be based on a physical thing.

      An obvious example is how Spanish might gender a word, “El” or “La.” A table might be one gender, and a shirt another. Neither of these have genitalia that should indicate one or the other. They are simply societal associations we ascribe to things. This might be different in French, or German (which has a third, neuter gender for its words), which may have different opinions about if tables are boys or girls.

      Likewise, the societal associations we apply to people with this or that genitalia can vary from one society to the next. What is feminine to one culture might be masculine to another, or even to the same culture in another time period.

      Gender is specifically descriptive of things that we associate with masculinity, femininity, and, occasionally, other genders as well. As invented as fiat cash. Something that we all agree exists in some form. It really is as simple as that.

      You may disagree that gender should be decoupled from genitalia, but on some level, you know that gender is what we, as a society, make of it.

      Reply
      1. Roger Boyd

        That’s an overly simplistic view when natural science points to sex not only affecting biology but also psychology (our brains after all are material things) and visa versa (e.g. depression depressing the immune system). There is a chunk of psychology which is nature, a chunk which is co-determined between nature and nurture (i.e. epigenetics), and a chunk which is nurture with a lot of overlap. Now if an utterly psychopathic person wanted to override some aspects of genetics they possibly could through horrific maltreatment of young children or even adults, but this exceptional case does not revoke the direct linkages between sex and gender. Society cannot simply decide how physical sex (a Y chromosome or no Y chromosome) is reflected in the vast majority of gender-normative (i.e. sex-normative) behaviour.

        A good example of the linkage between sex and gender is the utterly different biochemistry of human males and females which directly affects psychology. The attempt to divorce sex and gender calls back to medieval religious meta-physics where the “body” and the “soul” were treated as two separable things. The attempts to eradicate sex by replacing it with the term gender is an utterly delusional rejection of the material world, combining fantasy and reality in the way that a schizophrenic would.

        Unlike the position of those such as Derrida, material reality tends to have a major impact on culture and words do not define reality in any real sense. In the same way the word games of the “gender scholars” cannot redefine what is material reality. No matter how hard they try.

        Reply
        1. Laura in So Cal

          This reminds me of when I had amniocentesis about 20 years ago. They inserted the needle to withdraw amniotic fluid while watching the process via ultra-sound to avoid touching the baby with the needle. The tech and doctor both claimed to have a 90% success rate in determining the sex before they ever saw any genitalia if the baby was awake. They said that boys and girls reacted very differently to the disturbance in their environment. Girls would move away and Boys would move toward the needle.

          Reply
        2. Dessa

          Sex (we’ll go with chromosomal sex and set aside uncommon chromosomal sexes for the sake of this argument) doesn’t map 1 to 1 to lhychology or physiology even in the most casual of examinations. There are women with male typical trais and men with female typical traits, even within the strict confines of XX and XY, and to be more specific, the SRY gene which develops most male-typical traits (XY people that lack the SRY gene are often so indistinguihsable from genotypical women that they aren’t aware until well into adulthood that anything is amiss).

          Since we’re keeping to science here, we know about some sexually dimorphic brain structures, and studies find that trans people tend to have brain structures that match their identified genders raven prior to any hormonal treatment. Biologocal variation can cause brain sex to be atypical like it can with shoe size or breast development.

          And then when we start to introduce hormonal treatments into the picture and bodies and brains further tend toward typicality of the target gender — That is if we’re being strictly biologically essential about how brain sex determines gender identity, trans women are more often biologically women, trans men are more often biologically men. No metaphysics needed.

          Reply
      2. Mikel

        “Gender is a mutual fiction in the same way cash is a fiction.”

        I always thought that was in reference to gender ROLES. Or at least there was a time…

        Reply
      3. bobert

        No, your premise is incorrect, gender is a mixture of fiction and fact. Otherwise, what is it that gender is referring to? What does it mean to be “transgender” if there is no thing to actually be trans to or from? The question cannot remain completely open or it loses all meaning. Which is par for the course with this none sense. The “le’s” and “la’s” you mention have objective connotations, otherwise what would be the difference, the point of having a “le” over here and a “la” over there? Interpretations of gender vary but their rootedness in observed reality, the reasons they exist in the first place, is very solid.

        And if you’re looking for overcomplications, look no farther than the first paragraph of the piece in which we learn that gender means “an academic field of study, at other times the existence of LGBTQ+ people in certain spaces and the social recognition of their existence”. Those things aren’t what gender means, though of course there are gender studies and being a proponent of gender ideology. Just sloppiness on the part of the writer? Or revealing of a fundamental gray zone in the discourse of gender, the fact that you cannot pin down a coherent definition?

        Your definition is nicely succinct but then again that’s only your version, your truth, as it’s all a fiction by Butler’s own “lights”. You see, when you cede the notion of any consensual epistemic basis by the very claim you make about the world, you gut shoot any further claims you make about it. If everything is a fiction, then knowledge is impossible. Something that ding-bat Derrida missed.

        The societal associations we apply to genitalia vary widely but what doesn’t is the genitalia. Or at least that much, if you include developmental discrepancies arising from the enormous complexity of sexual biology. More specifically, the pathway of cellular development that an inseminated egg takes, Paulian/female or Wolfian/male, doesn’t vary a whit. From that flow both biological realities and cultural/personal fictions including gender. One is fluid (gags), the other is set in the proverbial stone.

        All this ignores that the gender ideologues sometimes treat gender as if it IS sex and sometimes it’s something that simply supersedes sex. Sex both doesn’t exist and exists, simultaneously, in gender ideology. More mental wing nuts.

        Cash has a consensus component. Material or electrical if you take into account bitcoin etc. Just like gender does. It’s not just a swapping of fictions, like saying “Hey I paid you the five bucks you owed me” isn’t sufficient to settle a debt.

        Of course gender cannot be disengaged from sex, sex is fundamental to the very concept of gender. Or what is it we are talking about here? Just free floating ideas of personal identity in someone’s head? But we already have words for those things, words that exclude the sexual element because they aren’t related to sex as essentially as gender is. Gender is not merely what we make of it, it’s what we make of an aspect of the objective world.

        Reply
        1. Dessa

          I’m confused. You acknowledge that gender has a consensus component, but that it cannot be disengaged from sex , which you say is purely wolffian/paulian. This wpuld appear contradictory.

          It’s my opinion is that gender IS the consensus component of sex, and consensus is fungible and can be engaged or disengaged from sex as we decide.

          So what is it to be “transgender” then? Transgender people are people who identify as a gender different from their gender assigned at birth. That is, if you were identified at birth as a boy, and later you say I am not a boy, you re transgender (for example). There is no confusion about this particular term in the community, and very few would dispute it accuracy. This is why we call it “transgender” now. Because you were gendered one way and you now gender the other way.

          Finally, to address the point of gametes, we dont use these to gender people in any practical sense. Doctors don’t examine babies for the presence of wolffian ducts before declaring them boys and girls. Legally, we don’t demand verification of gametes before writing a gender on a birth certificate or state issued ID. And if we did, we would have to reconize that this isn’t binary because some people have both and some have neither. Functionally we recognize gender as a collection of traits.

          If you find this all irritatingly vague, that’s because it really is a complex subject that resists eaay categorization.

          Reply
          1. bobert

            When I use the word consensus here I’m making an ontological point. We have the subjective world, our inner lives, and we have the objective, consensus world where I see you and you see me. It’s not an epistemic point such as a group of people claiming a certain type of knowledge. Gender lives in the subjective; sex lives in the consensus.

            I didn’t say that sex is purely Wolfian/Paulian but that those developmental schemes are at the basis of sex. Nature is messy but not all the time, sometimes she is crystal clear. It’s a necessary but insufficient item. There is much more to sex such as the physiological permutations of those initial processes.

            I wasn’t asking what it means to be trangender in and of itself. I was pointing out that without the component of biological sex in the concept of gender, what could it possibly referring to? Goats? Volcanoes? Birthday cakes? The same holds with the concept of trans. The concept of sex is baked in to the whole mess but gender ideology at best sidelines it and at worst denies it’s existence.

            Biologists use them to describe how mammals reproduce the species, via the two sexes. When doctors observe the sex of an infant, they are taking a pretty safe risk in looking at the genitalia because for the vast, vast majority of cases there is a correspondence between them and the pathways of embryonic development. As mentioned before, nature is truly complex and messy but that doesn’t dismiss the concept of sex. You can gender this aways or that aways, wear a wig or cut off your healthy fourteen year old breasts, but your body undertook one of two paths of development.

            You’re confusing sex and gender here again, a point I made above about the flimsiness of the conception of gender as promulgated by it’s ideologues. Gender is a collection of traits elementally related to sexual development. It’s not a free floating balloon of an idea with no tether. And, in one sense, gender ideology does use gametes to gender, as again it must be referring to something. When a man dresses or alters his body to look more feminine, there is a thing that that feminine represents. What is that thing? A woman.

            I don’t merely find gender ideology irritatingly vague, I find it intentionally vacuous and an assault on notions of an objective world. A kind of solipsism that arrogates primacy to fancy and fantasy over biological reality. And ultimately unhuman, as it denies a basic aspect of our experience of ourselves and reality. Not to mention the tool of powers that view vulnerable children as livestock.

            Reply
            1. Dessa

              I’m not saying gender has no meaning, I’m saying the meaning is defined by social consensus (which is generally how words work) It’s a simple matter of descriptivism vs prescriptivism.

              We see entire socities and cultures past and present that have examples of third genders, such as Hijra, Muxe, and Two-Spirit. These are categories of people understood by their respective socities to embody genders beyond the binary. I think it would be disingenuous to say that they are mistaken about the rules and definitions of their own cultures.

              And I’ve already pointed out that sex, even the wolffian and paulian gamete development you keep hammering on, is not binary. There are 4 apparent results: Wolffian, Paulian, both, and neither. Not a binary. But most societies recognize 2 genders today, not 4.

              There is no cold, objective tie between gender and sex. That’s the point. That’s why we have a different word for gender to begin with. Gender is inherently subjective, inherently ideological, so you ought to include yourself when you speak mockingly of gender ideologues.

              Reply
    2. Kouros

      It used to be that gender” was just a polite word for “sex”, for the puritanical and for the Victorian minds….

      Reply
  32. Wukchumni

    Stop the press!

    I’m elated to announce my guaranteed best seller…

    ‘God Bless the USA, and the women & children that are unfortunate in being in the right place at the wrong time’ Bible.

    Limited addition of 32,000 (and counting)

    Reply
    1. griffen

      Buy your personal copy while supplies last! It’s a limited edition that only the right and truly chosen can purchase for themselves and for loved ones. \sarc

      This isn’t a sign of a pending apocalypse since we’re running out of room on the white board to connect all the lines of string. Side note about books for sale or books from throwing, I saw a mid-day report per CNBC that one Hunter Biden is seeking the dismissal of his alleged wrong doings in his income tax case. Allegedly he avoided those taxes by chasing white lines and permissive companionship.

      Reply
  33. dave -- just dave

    Lodge did not get the full manic patient experience, as he apparently wasn’t hospitalized. Here’s my own autobiographical account, from forty years ago:

    Midway in my life’s trip through a dark wood

    Archaic myths of heaven and of hell
    that slept beneath the surface of my mind
    awoke and filled my days – this earthly shell
    was just one phase in Yahweh’s Grand Design –
    The Son of God, I STOOD AT CENTER STAGE!!!

    With Haldol and/or time I came back down,
    put limits on my ecstasy and rage,
    and moved from outer space back into town.

    The Son of God no more, but just a man
    like any other man, I’m back on earth.
    The world won’t end – just my allotted span.
    It’s up to me to make it what it’s worth.

    There’s mud beneath my feet, and stars above –
    I’m here to lessen fear and foster love.

    Reply
  34. Feral Finster

    “Do McKinsey and other consultants do anything useful? Economist (Dr. Kevin).”

    AFAICT, the consultant’s job is to tell management what they want to hear and provide cover for management to do what they want to do, wrapped up in the latest corporate buzzwords.

    This also has the side benefit of providing a shield from certain pesky fiduciary duty suits, since management hired McKinsey or whatever and followed their advice, so how could that be a breach of the duty of care?

    Reply
    1. antidlc

      ““Do McKinsey and other consultants do anything useful?”

      What about this report?
      https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare/our-insights/one-billion-days-lost-how-covid-19-is-hurting-the-us-workforce#/

      One billion days lost: How COVID-19 is hurting the US workforce

      Do the math, and 315 million to 1.05 billion worker days were likely lost to COVID-19 last year, equivalent to 1.3 million to 4.3 million workers dropping out of the workforce for the full year.5 At the high end, that’s about double the average number of sick days taken by US workers in the decade before the pandemic. Stated differently, the cumulative impact of lost time due to COVID-19 is equivalent to a 0.8 to 2.6 percent reduction in the availability of the US workforce.6 In our view, this is a hidden loss that could help explain the persistent US worker shortage.

      In this article we review the analysis and explain our assumptions. And while our review is confined to 2022, early epidemiological estimates suggest that US case rates will continue on a similar trajectory in early 2023, particularly if new subvariants such as XBB.1.5 drive new waves of disease. If that happens, then the US workforce will lose productive days at a similar rate.7 In the meantime, severe outbreaks of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in the United States are also wreaking havoc on workers’ availability.8 Many analysts have asked about the missing US workers.9 Our answer: they’re out sick, and companies will have to adapt.

      Reply
    1. ChrisFromGA

      My read on the situation is that Bibi will launch his Rafah operation on April 10, the end of Ramadan.

      That should really tank the Chosen’s poll numbers. And induce Sleepy Joe to give in and vote for, or abstain from a UN resolution authorizing force to stop the IDF from further genocide.

      Congress comes back on April 8th and MTG will defenestrate Johnson.

      Stock up on popcorn for April.

      Reply
    2. John k

      This being an election year, that matters. So… if us forces israel to stop, has Hamas won?
      Whatever, imo many more seculars will likely leave israel, and not clear israel can survive long without them.
      And Trump might see an advantage here with indies.

      Reply
  35. zach

    “And there will be even more disturbance for those for whom mania brought a sense that it is only with a recognition of the total inadequacy of language that insight begins.”

    That’s an unpleasant thought – a prisoner of ones own reality, incapable of bridging the gap, existing in a decoction of atomized agnostic autocephaly.

    Sounds like contemporary American society!

    (The one I read about in the papers anyway).

    Reply
    1. anahuna

      I wonder, to what extent has spiritual ecstasy been redefined as mania?

      And, no, an experience of realities beyond the bounds of spoken or written language is not necessarily “atomized agnostic autocephaly” (that’s quite a definition!).

      Reply
        1. britzklieg

          Which is why Chomsky believes that we sang before we spoke and that we only developed language because we needed to tell lies.

          I don’t often reference Chomsky anymore, especially after his “the unvaccinated should be put in concentration camps” abomination, but the man had some profound insights about language and I wont toss out those babies with the bathwater.

          Reply
      1. zach

        I wholeheartedly agree, I got carried away – an alliterative opportunity beckoned, i must confess to overindulging at the expense of precision. My artistic license has been held up in the mail (apparently there’s a backlog of applications) I woulda flashed it before commenting otherwise…

        Reply
  36. ChrisFromGA

    Aurelien has new post up on his substack about the French and Europe:

    https://aurelien2022.substack.com/p/france-saves-europe

    He discounts the WWIII scenario, which I have to say I don’t agree with. I see all parties slumbering towards a total war in Europe.

    One datapoint though agrees with him – markets are totally ignoring the scenario of direct NATO-Russia war. I have often wondered why; even discounting TEOTWAWKI there would be huge inflation, mass deaths on a scale not seen since WWII, and the end of Europe as a market for US corporations. Dead consumers don’t buy anything.

    Aurelien also argues that NATO is simply incapable of escalating in any meaningful conventional way. Therefore, we get either a status quo stalemate or some sort of end to the crisis where Russia wins, but the West spins defeat as victory.

    Reply
    1. Feral Finster

      I reiterate my comment found there: we are ruled, not by well-meaning children who are sometimes naive or clueless, but by full-blown sociopaths.

      We exist only for their own aggrandizement, as serfs and artisans to enrich them, as lovers for their beds, as sycophants to praise them, as props in the play starring them. The movie “Don’t Look Up!” is funny because it accurately rings such humans.

      They would kill off 99% of life on earth without hesitation, if that were the price of dominion over whatever remained, or, for that matter, just to prevent the other guy from enjoying what they see as rightfully theirs.

      Reply
      1. ChrisFromGA

        Agree; my query though is why markets as evidenced by stocks don’t seem to have the slightest trace of fear right now. There is a big problem with “just die!” in consumer-based economies like Western Europe and the US – you kill off the consumers, and there will be a huge demand drop.

        We’ve already seen W. Europe taking the brunt of the economic damage.

        The West participated in inducing 500k Ukrainians to die for the sake of a fake “democracy.” Those are 500k people who’ll never buy a Big Mac again.

        Reply
        1. Feral Finster

          I’ve asked myself the same thing. I suppose the answer is that if we all get blown up, there’s no real way to make any financial bets pay off, and nothing to do with the money even if the winners could collect. If we don’t get blown up everything goes on as normal. So, sort of like Descartes’ Wager, we might as well carry on.

          For that matter, IIRC, the markets were pretty ho-hum in the leadup to WWI. If anything, Mr. Market seemed to think that a jolly little war was just the thing to goose stock prices even higher. (There was an influential pre-WWI school of thought that held that any general european war could only last a couple of months at most, as all sides would run out of munitions and money. They were actually correct – judging by prewar standards, but they didn’t take into account how far each side would go to keep their respective war machine running.)

          And 500,000 consumers, especially in a relatively poor country, is a drop in the bucket.

          Reply
      2. Polar Socialist

        As comforting as it is to think that The World is “ruled”, the evidence mostly disavows.

        I mean, as historians have pointed out, in Byzantine empire (and elsewhere in early medieval Europe) an aristocratic family could count on no more than two generations of access to power, then they were gone. Because when you bred morons, they could not compete in the corrupt, violent, scheming society of the day.

        Now we have capitalism, stability and the selection of the fittest has been replaced by the survival of the richest. In other words, even morons can hang on to their inheritance and stay in the elite since 19th century. That kind of walled garden doesn’t produce evil overlords – it’s incapable of doing so.

        Reply
    2. Mikel

      “…In order to escalate, you have to have something to escalate with, and somewhere to escalate to: NATO has neither…”

      “…The operational parts of western militaries, weak and undermanned as they are, are not designed for the kind of war that is being fought in Ukraine…”

      Aurelien has pointed out the delusions throughout the article. However, he forgets how deluded many are about their “apps.” Wallowing in all that hype can lead to some very dangerous outcomes.

      Reply
      1. ChrisFromGA

        Right. Exhibit “A” – magical thinking that we can just “print” weapons on demand, ignoring real-world constraints like labor and natural resources.

        Reply
  37. Regis Tufarian

    Re: Who’s Afraid of Gender.

    The participants all seem to think that those who promote “trans” and “gender fluidity” etc. are the rational ones and that those of us who can’t get past the reality of biology are engaged in “phantasm.” Well, here is the definition of gender identity which is now part of Australian law:

    “gender identity” means the gender-related identity, appearance or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of a person (whether by way of medical intervention or not), with or without regard to the person’s
    designated sex at birth.”

    I.e a complete tautology un-moored from reality because it is an attempt to define gender without reference to biological sex, which is impossible.

    Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      And then you shall be as gods…

      What are mere evolution and biology to deny me the ability to redesign myself according to some image of my choosing (or that’s been implanted in me)?

      If people are that consumed by self-hatred, they should consider living in some virtual world without intervening in their body’s functioning.

      Frankenstein was not a how-to.

      Better to cling to the root and remain connected to the raw wood.

      Reply
    2. Dessa

      Often, I find in these discussions that the realities of biology are poorly understood by those who rely on biological arguments the most, and that biologists tend to recognize that sex is much more complicated than the simplified version that intuition suggests.

      In either case, gender is a sociological concept that describes things associated with sex. Biology just recognizes reproductive capacity and dimorphic tendencies related to that. “Pink” is gendered “feminine,” and has nothing to do wth chromosomes. Breasts tend to appear on women but gynecomastia isn’t uncommon on men. Even fundamental concepts like pregnancy don’t map cleanly, as ants have entire sterile castes of females, and humans simply have infertile women sometimes.

      And it’s like this this for almost every simple categorization about anything we define. Boundaries exist to simplify complex things for the sake of expedience, and biology is notoriously blurry at the edges. Society determines what is within those boundaries and we call that gender.

      Reply
  38. Mikel

    Some Legal Scholars Push For Justice Sonia Sotomayor To Retire – Huffpo
    “The cost of her failing to be replaced by a Democratic president with a Democratic Senate would be catastrophic,” one said.

    They pull this game just about every election. “Do it for the Supremes.”

    Reply
  39. timotheus

    Re “Democrat wins Alabama special election in early test for IVF as a campaign issue,” she crushed the Republican candidate 62-37 in a red district. And it wasn’t just over IVF but abortion itself. This looks quite significant.

    Reply
    1. Jason Boxman

      Looks like losing abortion nationality will do more for Democrats than protecting it ever did. Sixty years of failure paying off.

      Reply
  40. Ignacio

    On Mark Johnson’s tweet storm on SARS CoV 2 mutational analysis with regards to its origin:

    It is quite a nice discussion and the concluding remark is, IMO spot on. It was widely though that, as in many cases before, the ancestral SARS CoV2 must have gone through many rounds of evolution, taking probably several years, in one or some intermediate host(s).

    Thanks for this link.

    Reply
  41. Jason Boxman

    Fitting to remember that Lieberman is the reason some states didn’t expand Medicaid. I can only hope he meets the fate he deserves today when judgement is upon him. I have no doubt the hagiography will be glowing.

    Reply
  42. Willow

    > Australia chose AUKUS

    AUKUS was always a Johnson/Morrison brain fart. Original basis was to create a reason of UK nuclear subs to be based in Australia if Scotland became independent (UK base is in Scotland..). Other reason was UK defence industry & economy desperately needed money and shafting the French seemed like a good idea. UK industrial capability is substandard, creating a whole heap of ships & subs which are lemons. Hence subsequent pivot to US Virginia subs but which have production capacity constraints.

    Reply
  43. Willow

    > Institute for the Study of War: Russia cannot defeat Ukraine or the West – and will likely lose – if the West mobilizes its resources to resist the Kremlin.

    If West mobilizes all its resources to defeat Russia, what do they have left for China?

    Pentagon taps the sign ‘Russia is only an adversary, China is West’s existential enemy.’

    Reply
    1. SocalJimObjects

      “If West mobilizes all its resources to defeat Russia, what do they have left for China?”

      Presumably, tons of orders for all sorts of things, because the West mobilizing all its resources just seems like an oxymoron. The West shipped most of its factories to China a long time ago, so the irony here is that in order to defeat Russia, they need China. Heck, in order to beat China, they need China.

      Reply

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