Links 3/28/2024

Molly the magpie: Australia debates seizure of Insta-famous bird BBC


A Descendant’s Call for Whale Legal Personhood Atmos

Global Warming Is Slowing the Earth’s Rotation Scientific American

Planting trees in the wrong places could be contributing to global warming, study reveals EuroNews

Yes, beavers can help stop wildfires. And more places in California are embracing them LA Times. For more on beavers as “ecological engineers,” see here, here, here, and here.

Nobody Told EV Owners How Quickly They Burn Through Tires The Drive


COVID-Cautious Americans Feel Abandoned Time. It’s not a vibe. It’s true.

Clearing the Air Texas Observer. The deck: “Long COVID sufferers advocate for a healthier world.”


They know (see here). They just don’t want you to know.


Little-known Dubai prince who made a splash with US$500 million family office plan in Hong Kong postpones its opening at eleventh hour South China Morning Post

Xi Jinping tells US delegation China’s economy is ‘sound and sustainable’ South China Morning Post

BRICS Building Bloc in Africa Infobrics


Min Aung Hlaing talks tough as Myanmar’s armed forces face growing pressure Al Jazeera

Commentary: Conscription is pushing many in Myanmar to choose sides Channel News Asia


The battle that betrays Israel’s war plan FT. “The latest raid on a hospital comes as Israel’s closest allies, including the US, rapidly lose patience with Israel’s conduct during the war. At issue is not only the vast loss of life, widespread destruction, and the deepening humanitarian crisis inside Gaza, but also the abject lack of postwar planning.” This is silly. What we see is the post-war planning (until the real estate developers come in).

Israel agrees to reschedule delegation to discuss Rafah operation: White House The Hill. Who’s the vassal state here, anyhow?

* * *

Trucks, Piers, and Parachutes Will Not Solve Gaza’s Crisis RAND

Toward an Intellectual History of Genocide in Gaza The Baffler

* * *

Trade Unionists Shut Down UK Arms Factories Demanding Halt Of Arms Exports To Israel Defend Democracy Press

German bank freezes account of anti-Zionist Jewish association Anadolu Agency

Diaspora Bonds: Patriotism or Investment? (PDF) Capital Markets Law Journal

Dear Old Blighty

King lauds friendship ‘in time of need’ in first comments since princess’s diagnosis Guardian. “There will be a reduced number of members of the royal family present in order to avoid the health risks associated with large crowds.” Health risks? Large crowds? But why?

New Not-So-Cold War

As Russia attacks, Ukraine scrambles to dig enough trenches Politico

Expect more strikes ‘deeper and deeper’ into Russia, Ukraine’s spy chief tells ABC News ABC

Russia’s new river patrol force will likely have the same explosive problem battering its Black Sea Fleet, Western intel says Business Insider

Ukraine spy chief details assassination campaign against Ukrainians collaborating with Russia Independent

* * *

Russia-Ukraine latest: Putin responds to ‘drivel’ idea he will attack Poland and Czech Republic Sky News

Much of Putin’s inner circle thinks Ukraine had nothing to do with the Moscow terror attack, badly undermining him, report says Business Insider

* * *

What Ukraine Needs from NATO Foreign Affairs. Musical interlude.

EU ambassadors flinch at Ukraine free-trade compromise Politico


Haiti’s future governing council vows to restore ‘public and democratic order’ France24

Haiti Must Liberate Itself, Again Foreign Policy

‘A criminal economy’ Al Jazeera. Haiti’s, that is.

Baltimore’s Key Bridge Collapse

Feds Recently Hit Cargo Giant In Baltimore Disaster For Silencing Whistleblowers Lever News (antidlc).

Dali cargo ship suffered ‘severe electrical problem’ while docked in Baltimore days prior to bridge collapse crash that saw it suffer ‘total power failure, loss of engine failure’, port worker says Daily Mail

NTSB Releases “Black Box” Timeline of Baltimore Bridge Strike Maritime Executive. Informed speculation:

* * *

NTSB chair: Hazmat containers breached during bridge collapse The Hill

Titanic Law Helps Ship Owner Limit Bridge Collapse Liability Bloomberg

* * *

US supply chain task force to discuss Baltimore bridge collapse Reuters

Baltimore port bridge collapse: Global ocean carriers put U.S. companies on hook for urgent cargo pickup CNBC

The Baltimore Bridge Collapse Is Throwing the U.S. Coal Market for a Loop Heatmap

Singapore-flagged ship that struck Baltimore bridge passed previous inspections: MPA S&P Global. Many more commodities besides coal.

* * *

Baltimore bridge worker deaths highlight dangers of essential jobs The Hill. Ha ha. Remember “essential workers”? Good times.

Baltimore bridge collapse calls attention to the growing Latino labor force and the risks they face NBC

Digital Watch

Uber, but for Human Communication Crooked Timber

No installation required: how WebAssembly is changing scientific computing Nature

* * *

If Covid is over, why does ChatGPT censor it?

Plus, where is ChatGPT’s censorship policy documented? How is it implemented and maintained? What other topics are covered? Was the Censorship Industrial Complex involved? How about the Biden Administration/campaign team?

More doctors use ChatGPT to help with busy workloads, but is AI a reliable assistant? FOX

The Hidden History of Those Who Wrote the Christian Story Time

The Power of Pamphlets in the Anti-Slavery Movement JSTOR

The Final Frontier

Space is as cold and black as a squillionaire’s heart:


Puerto Rico health officials declare dengue fever a public health emergency, more than 500 cases reported FOX

Zeitgeist Watch

Human Remains Scattered On Disneyland Ride Prompts Closure, Horror Banning-Beaumont Patch

Class Warfare

The U.S. Is Witnessing A Considerable Growth In Strike Activity The Maple

Sega of America Union Workers Ratify Contract Less Than a Year After Recognition IGN

The USA, Greece, and Italy: An Anti-Fascist History The Anarchist Library

Daniel Kahneman, Who Plumbed the Psychology of Economics, Dies at 90 NYT

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from It’s A Mistake by Men At Work)

    Our country clearly has gone astray
    Dark money buys whomever runs
    Pay to play’s never called a crime
    Never by our favorite sons
    Our SCOTUS made it so
    Five judges straight up lying
    Without that huge cash flow
    No candidate is trying

    Now it’s all fake . . . They only take . . . This isn’t jake . . . It’s all opaque!

    The cash they’re after is speech they say
    Dark money flows in by the ton
    Once you’re in office you get to stay
    Till we elect your great grandson
    Voting’s a pointless story
    The drama’s overdone
    They shout and wave Old Glory
    Ballots list hired guns

    Now it’s all fake . . . They only take . . . This isn’t jake . . . It’s all opaque!

    They gerrymander and judges wink
    Each Party wants each ounce of power
    You won’t win if you’re out of sync
    With the donors in the tower
    Congress is a cartoon
    Honor’s a faded flower
    Cash is the only tune
    They raise it by the hour

    Now it’s all fake . . . They only take . . . This isn’t jake . . . It’s all opaque!


    (musical interlude)

    Now it’s all fake (it’s all fake)
    They only take (they only take)
    This isn’t jake (this isn’t jake)
    It’s all opaque (it’s all opaque)
    Now it’s all fake (it’s all fake)
    They only take (they only take)

    1. griffen

      Well done. Ah the enlightenment and ongoing gift from Citizens United. Let’s open wide and let funding flow from the deep pockets that ever existed since the turn into the 20th century. At a minimum by the early 1900 years or so under Teddy we started to get antitrust laws passed. So long Standard oil?

      Eat that, Carnegie and Rockefeller. We don’t need your stinking library system anymore! \sarc

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Human Remains Scattered On Disneyland Ride Prompts Closure, Horror”

    The people that leave those human ashes surely must realize that those ashes will be soon going up a vacuum cleaner before going into the nearest garbage bin and then onto a landfill site. But their self-indulgence just takes precedence of all those people that just want to take a ride in peace I guess.

    1. Wukchumni

      The only backpack trip where dad went with me was also his last, he’d past away in September around the turn of the century just after i’d completed a 10 day walk across the Sierra with friends, and I hit up mom with a plan to scatter his ashes the following summer @ a spot I knew he would enjoy being for all eternity or 10,000 years, whatever comes first. Directly across the way is the near vertical wall of the Great Western Divide, a middle range almost as tall as the Whitney crest to the east.

      It’s 13 miles in on the High Sierra Trail in Sequoia NP, a place known as ‘Hanging Gardens’ as there are steep walls full of growth and flowers early in the summer, which was when 5 family members were on hand to do the deed.

      The spot always has a nice breeze coming through, maybe too much as we had a Big Lebowski moment where there was a little blowback, whoops.

      I’ve visited him maybe ten times since, my inspiration to traipse in the back of beyond, he was.

      Lay of the land: (first photo down)

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not a bad place to spend eternity as it certainly has grandeur. But maybe that blowback was your dad having the last laugh at everybody’s expense.

        1. Wukchumni

          A friend had passed away maybe 6 months before my dad and was planted @ Forest Lawn in Covina, Ca. which abuts the 10 Freeway and Mike was nearly by the slow lane in terms of pole position and the poor pastor could barely get a word in as cars loudly whizzed by, oblivious to the seriousness going on.

          It struck me as the worst way to go about things, and gave me inspiration to go about it the right way, being a long distance pallbearer for the forest yon.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      The headline gave me a much darker image than someone tossing cremains. I was envisioning someone finding a arm or a femur or a human skull.

      “Disney adults” are an odd breed.

      1. Jeff W

        That’s exactly what I thought, too.

        Scattering cremation remains at Disneyland is a practice? “Odd breed,” definitely. (Then again, I’ve never been a big fan of much that is Disney so it would be mystifying to me.)

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Let’s put it this way: I can’t say for certain it’s a practice, but I’d bet money it’s happened more than this once and the perpetrators then were more subtle about it.

          1. Jeff W

            You don’t have to say it. The article did:

            Still, the conversation has sparked numerous comments on the creepy practice of scattering cremains at the park and the psychological effects on park workers — Cast Members —forced to clean up the mess.

            [bold added]

            I was referring to that.

    3. B24S

      My father the artist spent 1/2 century painting the New York City skyline, often including the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty, etc.

      He’d wanted his ashes to be scattered in the East River there, off the BB. But he had the misfortune of dying in 2004, just three years after 9/11, and going onto the bridge and scattering anything would have invited more attention than we though advisable. So we went to a friends sculpture yard near Socrates Park in LIC, Queens, stood on the shore, and emptied his ashes into the East river.

      At which time the breeze came up, as did the ashes in our faces. Thanks, Pop.

  3. Keith

    ChatGPT’s censorship policy is two-fold. After training the initial model on a giant chunk of internet text, there is a “fine-tuning” phase that is less computationally intense but involves tweaking the model to do a specific task (regurgitating specific technical content, chatting on general purpose topics, etc). So certain responses can be tweaked in the model weights by fine-tuning the model (ex. don’t provide it any content during fine tuning whatsoever about COVID so it has no perspective to respond with).

    The second and more insidious phase is more of a manual override which involved hidden (or not so hidden) “prompt-engineering” which just is a list of rules that get appended to every chat you have with the model. So everything you ask ChatGPT may be appended with “Don’t talk about Nazis, don’t talk about Jan 6, never engage with COVID topics, etc). Very easy for the censorship industrial complex to bully MSFT & OpenAI for changes to this list.

    If OpenAI didn’t fine tune a model to avoid topics, they can always tweak the prompt engineering later. Mind you I don’t work for OpenAI but I am in the industry so this is my insider interpretation of how it works :).

    1. GF

      PBS Nova had an AI explanation show last evening here. Most of the show was anecdotal experiences but some of the show had the nuts and bolts about how the training process works. I was surprised that it takes months to “train” a machine with all the fine tuning required.

  4. griffen

    Something under the Bezzle or Class Warfare…the former crypto titan and altruistic young man endeavoring to share his wealth equally in DC lobbying attempts, Sam Bankman-Fried is scheduled to face the gavel today. I am placing the over on 20 years but fewer than 25 years. Place your bets.

    Maybe he’ll get a residential stay in the NC prison where Madoff was placed.

    1. Wukchumni

      I tweaked more songs in regards to Sam the sham-Sam I am than any other person, to the point where I ran out of songs with Sam in them as inspiration.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        I believe in you, Wuk. Inspiration will come.

        Possible backing tracks:

        “Thirty days in the hole” by Humble Pie.
        “Fulson Prison Blues” Johnny Cash

        I’m actually rooting for Sam because I don’t see justice in keeping him in prison for 20 years or longer. The kid screwed up bigly but where are the clawbacks from the DNC?

      2. griffen

        I’ll try to conjure forth some rhymes… seeing others make suggestions as well..

        “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard
        “One Piece at a Time” by Johnny Cash

      1. Stephen V

        HERE’S a Guardian update:
        “Judge Kaplan’s imposition of punishment was careful and appropriate, as you would expect from a highly experienced Southern District of NY jurist. The 25-year sentence was closer to what the government recommended than what defense counsel suggested. That sentence and the requirement that SBF repay $11 billion should deter SBF and many others who might be inclined to engage in behavior similar to SBF’s that they will be swiftly prosecuted and severely punished, should they choose to do so.”
        Question sports fans: where in the frak is he supposed to get $11bn? Podcasts from prison? I mean really! And this WILL be appealed, right?

        1. Craig H.

          Bitcoin is now at 70K. When SBF flopped it was 16. Did the bankruptcy vultures keep the bitcoin in the house or dump it at 16? There is a (very very remote) chance that all the ripped off people could get a bunch back.

        2. Michael Fiorillo

          The real scandal was the unanimity among Ds and Rs to not investigate SBF & Co’s political contributions, which were curated to maximize his PR halo while influencing any future regulation in his favor.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        Consider that keeping in jail and under threat of being “Epsteined” may ensure his silence.

  5. ilsm

    In the 1950’s I grew up in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium, the Harlem river was nearby, the local subway bridge was protected by piers!

    The Maersk engineer is describing “on rush current surge” as a candidate cause of the last redundancy to fail.

    This suggests that the last redundancy was inadequate. “On rush current surge” is what ‘we’ specify generators against! A new “draw” on the generator from starting an equipment cause ‘amps’ to surge and that stresses the generator!

    Preliminary/contributing failures presented, but the cause of the impact is likely inadequate ‘last hope’ design and ‘checklist’ actions. As well as sequences of start and stabilize the generators?

    Design, manufacture, integration, test, delivery, training, maintenance, on shift manning all contribute to safe or unsafe operation.

    Dolphins [concrete bumpers, were not in Baltimore] need to protect the pillars!!! Probably everywhere!

    It will be a long time before the investigation is complete.

    1. .human

      Just another systems failure that the rubes will be expected to pick up the tab for as Uncle Joe has already announced that the Feds will rebuild it.

      1. GC54

        Seeing how long the rebuild takes and the inevitable cost overruns will be excellent tests of late-stage “capitalism” vs say the Ketch Strait Bridge. One wonders what sort of “improvements” will be incorporated to run up the tab.

      2. neutrino23

        Good idea for the Federal Government to rebuild this quickly and let the legal system take time to figure out who is at fault who will have to pay for this. No need to lose the functionality of the bridge while this is worked out. Thank you Joe Biden.

        At the time the bridge was built protection for the piers was not common. Certainly that would be part of the rebuild. I’m not up on recent bridge design trends. Will this become a suspension bridge?

    2. JP

      I assume the harbor pilot was driving. In which case the captain is blamless. It would seem going full reverse at the same time as engaging the thrusters and activating the rudder hydraulics might have been the panic response that overloaded the generator. Not that I am second guessing the appropriate response but it was simply too abrupt for the generator capacity. Of course there could have been automated safety protocals to protect the generator with UPS protected microprocessor but I guess not.

      1. cfraenkel

        You can hardly blame the pilot for a ship with no power, either. If the Daily Mail story is verified, the blame rests with whichever bean counter decided the ship had to leave port with a broken (?) or failing electrical system. And if we’re looking for root causes – with the just-in-time, efficiency at all costs, wring every last dime out focus of our Wall St masters.

        1. JP

          I have no knowledge of international maritime law but I imagine it is complicated. Who owns the ship, what flag it is sailing under, what port it is in, insurance requirements are probably in the mix, not to mention whatever treaties govern the whole mess.

          However if the shutdown could have been avoided by not bringing all remedies online at the same time then that might a consideration in the final assessment. But like with Boeing responsibility rests in the C suite. It might not be Wall St but even a Greek owner sailing under a third world flag with an attendant corrupt bureaucracy.

    3. scott s.

      The general scenario presented by the Maersk chief engineer seems reasonable. The motor controllers for for large AC motors are designed to limit start-up current draw. From some searching I found this manufacturer’s manual for what I believe is the propulsion diesel in the ship, but there are many customer options that would have to be known.
      MAN B&W S90ME-C8
      What’s striking in this model is the degree of computer automation incorporated into engine controls. As pointed out as IMO “marketing speech”, done to reduce operating costs and meet environmental regulations. Compare to their older designs where a fairly simple pneumatic servo-motor (powered by compressed air from the engine start system) repositioned the cylinder fuel pump cam followers to reverse engine direction.

      IMHO there’s something to be said for having an electricians mate sitting in front of a switchboard watching the meters, rather than looking at a screen with keyboard and trackball. (Of course, we also had something called “battle short”, sort of a “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” thing).

  6. SocalJimObjects

    If Covid is over, why does ChatGPT censor it?

    Because it might point out that more people have died from Covid under Biden than under Trump, and instead of a bogus link, you will instead be redirected to that infamous Twitter post where Biden said that “Anyone Responsible For So Many Covid Deaths ‘Should Not’ Be President”.

    Sam Altman certainly does not believe in remote working, in other words he thinks Covid is over. The guys working under him have plenty of IQ points to spare, so a drop of 3 IQ points won’t even register.

  7. zagonostra

    >Trucks, Piers, and Parachutes Will Not Solve Gaza’s Crisis RAND

    But as with everything in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the problem is rarely as straightforward as it might seem. In this case, the humanitarian disaster in Gaza is not one problem, but at least two. There is the throughput problem—getting aid into Gaza—and then there is the distribution problem, which involves getting aid to those who need it most.

    Truly an piece of work that Orwell’s Newspeak bureau would be proud of. I did a control “F” and mister Raphael S. Cohen (Jewish Zionist?) of Harvard does not use “genocide” once in the article. Instead he informs us of a “conflict, humanitarian disaster, a distribution problem;” how utterly sickening, vapid, and misdirecting, use of the English language.

    The U.S. will not recover from what is being broadcast all across this globe in the next 100 years anymore so than the horror of Jews and Catholics and Gypsies and myraid other groups were slaughter, during WWII. I hope Mr. Raphael S. Cohen enjoys his financial remunerations from his writing, though I doubt the stench of rotting corpses of innocents will wash off that easily.

  8. The Rev Kev

    Mar 27, 2024
    Parliamentary buildings often have AMAZING air quality.
    Strangely unlike school classrooms.’

    Not surprised by this at all. About 20 years ago or so ago in the State of Victoria in Oz, a report was issued to the Victorian Parliament saying that Victorian schools were heavily infected with asbestos. There was much humming and hawing about what to do and as the work was so expensive, could the State really afford to do anything about it? But then soon after another report came out saying that the roof of the Victorian Parliament building had heavy usage of asbestos too. Immediately that building was evacuated and teams of asbestos removal teams went into get it all out and Parliament did not sit in it until it was completely safe for them.

  9. Mikel

    New Not So Cold War:
    Oppenheimer in Flip Flops

    “..At the top of Anduril’s mission statement, Luckey poses the question: “Xi Jinping thinks he can out-innovate American defence. Is he right?”

    But here’s the real slip of the tongue that is a testament to the disregard for humanity and why all the BS has escalated with more to come:

    That is where artificial intelligence, often referred to in defence circles by the less ominous-sounding “autonomy”, comes in. “The thing that’s so powerful about autonomy is that you can clearly show your adversaries that you have weapons that do not cost all that much money and that don’t cost human life,” Luckey says. “It’s a powerful part of deterrence that the US has lost over time as our willingness for death has gone down and the cost of our systems has gone up.”

    Now…that’s a load of twisted non-sense.
    Weapons DO cost human life…unless one doesn’t think the targets are human.
    Weapons in the hands of people who fundamentally don’t recognize the humanity of others and need constant control over all is a recipe for war. Not deterrence.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      It has always been the case that Americans recognize only their own casualties, maybe those of their allies. George McGovern is the only candidate for President that I can remember who ever mentioned the casualties we caused as a cause for regret:

      And this is also a time, not for death, but for life. In 1968 many Americans thought they were voting to bring our sons home from Vietnam in peace, and since then 20,000 of our sons have come home in coffins.

      I have no secret plan for peace. I have a public plan. And as one whose heart has ached for the past ten years over the agony of Vietnam, I will halt a senseless bombing of Indochina on Inaugural Day.

      There will be no more Asian children running ablaze from bombed-out schools. There will be no more talk of bombing the dikes or the cities of the North.

      And within 90 days of my inauguration, every American soldier and every American prisoner will be out of the jungle and out of their cells and then home in America where they belong.

      Hard to believe that came from the Democratic Party nominee a little over 50 years ago.

      1. doug

        My first time voting was for him. Hitched hiked home and back to school that day. There were hand counted ballots put in different cardboard boxes. I recall the excitement, and the following disappointment when the results were tabulated.

        1. Kilgore Trout

          Mine as well. I met him once a decade or more ago at a bookstore book signing appearance. Truly a decent man. I’m glad I got a chance to shake his hand, and thank him. Truly a decent and honorable man. In stark contrast to nearly all who’ve come after.

      2. Feral Finster

        No wonder the Establishment lost their minds.

        n.b. McGovern was a decorated B24 bomber pilot during WWII.

  10. digi_owl

    “Feds Recently Hit Cargo Giant In Baltimore Disaster For Silencing Whistleblowers Lever News (antidlc).”

    “Something is rotten in the kingdom of Denmark”…

  11. The Rev Kev

    “German bank freezes account of anti-Zionist Jewish association”

    The German political elite has lost their minds. Wanting the contact addresses of a whole association? For what purpose? To put them on a watch list? To visit each of them and try to intimidate them? Maybe just to steal the money in that bank account? Saw another example of how the German elite are losing their minds. Germany’s citizenship test is now set to include question to do with Israel such as ‘what a Jewish prayer house is called, when Israel was founded and who is allowed to become a member of the German-Jewish sports club Makkabi. The candidate is also required to know how Holocaust denial is punished in Germany and to list the reasons behind the country’s “special relationship” with Israel.’ Strange how to pass a citizenship test, that you must now know the details of a separate country nearly 3,000 kilometers away-

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Maybe the Germans are just worried that someone is going to propose swapping out Palestine for Bavaria. Let the Zionists have Munich. There’s a little justice in that. Let the Palestinians get their land back. And let the Germans expiate their guilt more thoroughly.

      1. Em

        Considering the viciousness of Latvian and Lithuanian attacks on Jews during the Holocaust, I propose giving one of them over to the Zionists and the other one to any Palestinians and interested non-Zionist Jews interested in a Schengen passport, as compensation for historical crimes. The few aging inhabitants can stay as they will not present any demographic challenges to the Zionists. Historical Palestine can be held in UN trusteeship until such time as when the long dreamt of Pan-Arab state can come into being.

        That’s my two/three state solution and they can all participate in Eurovision. I’m told that Habibe funk is very popular in Europe these days so perhaps this move will enrich the cultural tapestry of Europe.

    2. Marc

      Given AIPAC’s success at writing anti-Palestinian legislative language in spending bills, I would not be surprised to see AIPAC take a page out of the German citizenship test and insert it into some future bipartisan deal on immigration reform.

    3. Feral Finster

      This is simply a test run for the ban of the AfD, or any other political force that dares question US hegemony in general or the War on Russia in particular.

  12. Henry Moon Pie

    Those three beautiful cheetahs remind us that the rest of the animal world takes life as contingent on a daily basis. There’s no freezer full of meat in a cave somewhere in case today’s hunt doesn’t go well. That kind of contingency, even dependency, seems to produce more solidarity than competition among these three. Hunting together, as we humans once did with only spears and rocks for weapons, they meet that contingency day-to-day, never amassing wealth nor building skyscrapers, but growing in harmony with each other and with the universe they share with all other living things.

    Lisi Krall on the dangers of surplus w/ Nate Hagens

    A 50+ year-old song by the great songwriter, Eric Kaz (“I’m Blowin’ Away”):

    Green trees grow on mountain tops
    Birds still sing while morning comes
    Though I treat her carelessly
    Mother Earth provides for me

    When the grasslands crave for water
    And the harvest needs sunlight
    These are times when I am helpless
    Mother Earth makes all things right

    Covered by Tom Rush

    1. digi_owl

      Solidarity through familial bonds most likely.

      Keep in mind that a male lion may kill a female’s cubs just so he can mate with her.

      And chimps in the wild have groups of young males form up and go on raiding parties to nearby groups.

      1. John9

        And Bonobos have sex to solve their conflicts. Nature has an amazing number of contingency plans. Violence is only one of many options. But it is there. Think about what the cheeta does to the antelope to get that tasty meal.

    2. Eclair

      I got stuck on a PBS nature show last night, quite by accident as I was doing a cleanup by the TV screen that my spouse keeps on. It was about rabbits. One interesting part was the inter-relationship, in the Canadian Rockies, between the snowshoe rabbit (the prey) and the Canadian lynx (the predator.). The stress produced in the rabbits as the must constantly outrun the lynx, who wants dinner NOW, results in hormones that are passed on to the rabbit’s offspring, making them less likely to reproduce. Plus, the stress also slows down the rabbits’ reproductive cycle, resulting in fewer batches with fewer offspring per batch. Effectively, starving the lynx population so it moves on to another location. A ‘winning’ strategy that does not involve fighting back.

      Somehow, it made me think of Gaza. But, then, Gaza’s on my mind, these days.

      1. GF

        I read in a 2016 book “Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History” by Dan Flores that coyotes do the same slow down in reproduction (as the rabbits in comment above) when stressed by mass killing via humans. They will still produce one or two pups but not the much larger quantities as when food is plentiful and their predation is low. After they are through being slaughtered, and the human killers have left their territory, the coyotes will revert back to big number litters.

      1. .Tom

        Yeah, I know, it’s weird and one of the downsides of being a Taibbi sub because so much of what he talks and writes about is TV.

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        It sure is. My mom and many in her cohort watch it all day every day. It may not have much relevancy to those of us younger than Biden, but there’s still an audience who hasn’t died off yet.

    1. Screwball

      Too funny.

      MSNBC talking heads are news versions of The View. Maybe they should sell themselves as comedy – they are better at that than news.

  13. digi_owl

    “No installation required: how WebAssembly is changing scientific computing Nature”

    Webassembly is a weird one. It is a subset of javascript that forms an CPU of sorts that a compiler can target. This is then, when run, fed through the interpreter/compiler of the web browser, that in turn pass things on to the operating system, that finally may allow all of this to reach the actual physical CPU.

    Turing machines stacked on top of Turing machines as i saw one article put it recently.

    It all seems a bit hedonistic.

      1. cfraenkel

        You’re looking at the wrong end of the pipeline (you, that is). You and I know how to install and run R. That’s not the issue. The reason WebAssembly is appealing is – ‘can we trust the idiots downloading this to properly maintain their system and not have piles of malware and cruft installed?’
        One of the old, now long lost rules of thumb in software development was to have everyone spend half a day or so sitting in on tech support calls. Anyone who has done so knows intuitively the answer to that question.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Oddly enough, my career in academia has partially consisted of fixing R for people since the thing installs so much cruft… Also teaching them how to runnit in a grid, and hating the platform.

          I do find my solace by reading the numerous rants by comouters scientist that have taken a look at the darl soul of the beast.

          Thar said, I doubt WebAssembly is the solution.

          1. digi_owl

            It seems like every language that comes with an attached package repository descend into that dark corner of hell.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I’ve concluded some time ago that the Web as an application platform is a dumpster fire. It affords unlimited flexibility, and no batteries are included, so we have hundreds of JavaScript ‘frameworks’ and libraries so that you can… display and interact with custom designed widgets, built with HTML and CSS, for which there are, wait for it, dozens and dozens of frameworks, including ones like Tailwind, that actually anti-pattern CSS because CSS is too complicated, because it had to be to allow for unlimited creativity and design.

      Dumpster fire.

      Don’t even get started with TypeScript vs JavaScript. And now Web Assembly, because why not let someone deal with all of the above, but in the language of their choice?!

      True dumpster fire.

      We should all be using native UIs frameworks that communicate over a REST or RPC protocol on top of HTTP and have done with it. What a joke.

      And it’s all so complicated, you need constant updates of your web browser to the latest version of Chromium to include security updates, and it’s always the latest version, with whatever “features” Google wanted added, because you can’t reasonably maintain a stable version of Chromium that everyone has, without new features constantly, and new bugs, because Google. Why can’t we just have a stable API for the web, and, just leave it alone.


      Someone linked a blog here this year sometime, from a software engineer or architect, that mentioned that for example Chromium is so complex, no one understands how it works. It’s too many lines of code. It’s huge. So who knows what is even in it? The fact that it’s Open Source doesn’t even matter. You could spend a lifetime understanding the foundations of its implementation. A browser rendering engine is insanely complex.

      Dumpster fire.

      1. digi_owl

        Well the web was never really envisioned as a application platform initially. It was intended to ease CERN document sharing and reference following.

        The application thing happened firstly with ActiveX, JAVA and Flash, but then moved on to Javascript once MS released AJAX onto the world.

        Since then the web has been a tug of war between app people and doc people (style sheets as a concept comes from publishing).

        Since Google and Amazon, we are seeing the app people winning. This because it allows them to potentially stuff the personal computer cat back in the bag via Software as a Service. Hence cloud, the reanimated corpse of time-share computing.

        And corporate control over large open source projects are inevitable, even if they do not start them. This because they can pay programmers to hammer the repositories with patches, churning the code into a froth that part timers will struggle to keep up with.

        Keep in mind that the core of Chrome, Blink, via Apple controlled Webkit, trace its origins back to KHTML. A web rendering engine created for the KDE Linux desktop Environment. But Apple forked it, and when pressed released their changes as a massive blob that made it basically impossible to reincorporate into KHTML. And then Google forked Webkit because Apple was slow to adopt changes Google pushed, creating Blink.

        And these days even Microsoft, that maintained, in some sense, their Internet Explorer engine for decades, has caved. Edge is basically Chrome with a different face. Same as Opera (also had a independent web engine named Presto), Vivaldi and Brave. Only Mozilla clings to Gecko, though more and more of the surrounding plumbing, like browser extensions, now follow Google dictates.

        1. scott s.

          Reading this in Waterfox “classic” with my UA set to Gecko/Firefox 60.0. Still “mostly” works but Youtube really hates it.

          1. digi_owl

            Wasn’t that variant pawed off to some shady company as the effort got too much for the person responsible?

    2. JohnnySacks

      The world is propped up on stupid HTML tricks. Can’t get the functionality your app needs in a browser? Dumb down your app to the browser level.

      Don’t want to develop for MacOs, Windows, Android, IOS? Hide stupid HTML tricks behind an app facade layer.

      Not a complaint, just an observation, supporting a server app which spews cleverly built HTML text paid my mortgage and put my kid through college.

  14. Carla

    Has anybody actually tried to read “The Hidden History of Those Who Wrote the Christian Story”? Has TIME dispensed with copy editors entirely, or assigned the task to ChatGPT? It’s unreadable; I gave up.

    1. Lena

      I read it with some effort. My exegesis: It’s a tribute to upcoming Administrative Professionals Day (April 24th) which used to be Secretaries Day before the gals at NPR decided that “secretary” was a bad word. Anyhoo, it wants us to know that the little people matter and it has always been thus, so buy them a card and some flowers before they shuffle off the mortal coil and are forgotten by history forever, okay?

      1. hk

        Well, that explains why we now have admin professionals running depts of state, defense, and transportation nowadays. I miss secretaries running those places.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I did. I will save others the trouble – this history is only hidden if one lacks any understanding of how the ancient or modern world works and all common sense.

      She has discovered that some ancient Xtians had secretaries. This, on the heels of her other recent expose that the water in ancient baptismal fonts was indeed wet, although the ancients didn’t call it “wet” because the English language was not in existence yet. Next up, I hear she she will regale us with the discovery that Joe Biden doesn’t write his own speeches.

      I will give the article some small accolades for noting that the institution of slavery did not start in North America in the early 17th century, like so many modern culture warriors suspect it did.

      1. Feral Finster

        Because no Roman had a scribe or amaneuensis, no, not ever…in Ancient Rome, even Caesar had to send his own emails and answer his own letters.

        At least that’s what I got from that article.

      2. lambert strether

        Wrong. The key point is that secretaries were slaves (and slaves who could copy edit). That’s not how we think about the new testament’s creation and transmission, but it’s obvious as soon as you think about it.

        That is why I placed the link immediately below AI, since if AI’s fulfill the dreams of their advocates, they will be slaves; and above the article on creation and transmission of abolitionist pamphlets.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Nobody Told EV Owners How Quickly They Burn Through Tires”

    This seems to be a function of the excessive weight of American EVs with ‘6,000-pound sedans and “midsize” trucks that weigh as much as a dually pickup.’ I wonder if Chinese’s EVs have the same problem. That BYD Seagull that is selling for under $10,000, for example, has a kerb weight of 1,160–1,240 kg (2,557–2,734 lb) which is less than half the weight of the mentioned 6,000 pound sedan.

    1. Benny Profane

      The more I read about these Chinese EVs, the more I think that is why we are threatening war. TikTok is one thing, but, if those cars are allowed to sell here and within the NAFTA regions, the western economies are doomed.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The big car companies have not learned a thing for over half a century. They always want to go big with their car designs and encouraged consumers to prefer them. As a teenager I saw an American car her in Oz and it fit it’s description – a ‘living room on wheels’. Back in the early 70s the docks had plenty of small Japanese cars which did not sell much. But when the oil shock of ’73 hit, all those small cars got snapped up overnight. And yet when they got a chance, they started to make big vehicles again with those SUVs that are now everywhere.

        Read about another example here of always wanting to go big. The original Ford Mustang came out in ’64 and it was an outstanding success. But the engineers went to work and that car increased in weight and size but not in power. It got so bad that Ford came out with a much smaller version of the Mustang in ’73 that was able to cope with the oil crisis. But then it started to increase in size as well. The idea of a small, compact, fuel-efficient car seems to be anathema to them and I have no idea why.

        1. Benny Profane

          “The idea of a small, compact, fuel-efficient car seems to be anathema to them and I have no idea why.”

          Because that’s what people want, and they are much more profitable than tooling up for something entirely new. Nobody is forcing the public to drop 60,000 and more on a damn pickup truck with forty year old tech besides the screen doo-dads in the dash, and 60,000 dollar mini bus SUVs with the same old tech, but I see them everywhere, and they aren’t used for work or farming. Hell, farmers complain because the city slickers have driven up the cost of a vehicle they actually need day to day.
          The car companies made attempts to change over to small, efficient cars, but couldn’t compete with the Japanese, and it was ridiculously expensive to tool up for it. Then gas prices dropped back down, and America went back to big. The auto companies were happy, because they didn’t have to R&D and retool. They just kept on raising the price of, basically, an old ladder framed giant V8 relic, and the money rolled in. They’ve been surviving on those profits for decades now.

          1. digi_owl

            More like people will buy what is on the lot, because they need a functioning vehicle for their daily lives and do not have the luxury of time to go comparison shopping or wait.

            1. Benny Profane

              Check out the sticker price on a large American pickup truck and get back to us about that.

          2. griffen

            I saw a recent vehicle posted via social media for sale, a recent year offering of the Ford Bronco. Appeared to be bigly enough for a family of 5…until an unexpected bonus baby arrived late 2023, months after the aforementioned Bronco was acquired.

            Offered for sale I want to say, $62,000? Holy heck. As for the manufacturing of larger vehicles, GM had a large plant based in / near Arlington, Texas, I think for the building of the Tahoe.

            1. JohnnySacks

              The Tahoe and Suburban 3.0 Diesels get 30 mpg. But they’re not for the economically challenged. 3 with 2WD within 500 miles, none with diesels. And they are far from utilitarian, just massive buckets of useless bling and features.

          3. cfraenkel

            What people want (esp re cars), is what the advertisers and marketers tell them.

            Would we have todays plague of monster trucks without 40 years of competing gravelly voiced Superbowl ads?

            And that in turn was driven by the manufacturer’s whining to avoid crash test and fuel efficiency standards. You can’t expect hard working tradespeople to pay another $5k on their work truck to survive a crash….

            1. Benny Profane

              C’mon, we’re talking pocketbooks here. If they sold in the 20s and 30s, maybe marketing, but people aren’t that gullible.
              Then again, the minivan has a hard time selling to men. And that’s the most practical family vehicle out there.

          4. Not Qualified to Comment

            “The idea of a small, compact, fuel-efficient car seems to be anathema to them and I have no idea why.”

            In a head-on between a 3,000lb small, compact, fuel-efficient car and a 6,000lb sports-utilty-tank I know which I’d rather be in. Survival of the fattest.

        2. Henry Moon Pie

          Carroll Shelby started customizing Mustangs almost as soon as they came out. In ’65, the Shelby GT350 had a 289 cu. in. engine, the standard Mustang V-8, but souped up with a Holley 4-barrel carb. By 1967, Shelby was stuffing a huge 427 cu. in motor with 2 Holley 4 barrels into that Mustang.

          What took the pizzazz out of the Classic Car era by 1973 were pollution controls, mileage standards and insurance companies refusing to ensure these street dragsters. All good things for sure, but took some romance and fun out of the car industry.

          Now if you wanted really light but really powerful car, the way to go was Shelby’s Cobra. Curb weight for a ’66 Mustang GT 350 was 2,800 pounds. That’s with a 289 engine. The Cobra, with a 427, weighed 2,200. It was basically a motor, four wheels and a steering wheel. Not easy to drive, reputedly.

          But the Rip Chords dug ’em.

          1. Benny Profane

            Enzo Ferrari famously said, I don’t sell cars, I sell engines. The cars I throw in for free since something has to hold the engines in.

          2. skippy

            The 302 was a good compromise between the 289 and the large blocks like the 390/427.

            Should be noted that these cars were built with Trans Am racing in mind and not drags or sprints. Breathers with high revs, lol at those that used short ratios in the diff for off the line and then spend a fortune at the pump. Even had a friend that had a 72 stang coup and would swap diff gears for holiday long trips. Had other 70s cars as well, really nice ZZ top style Cougar. This was mid 80s Calif.

      2. digi_owl

        China is going gangbusters on all fronts, because Xi and co has put the welfare and longevity of the nation ahead of finance.

        Keep in mind that US companies fervently moved their dirty and marginal activities to China in order to goose their quarterlies and attract Wall Street interest (and defang unions along the way).

        Unless congress is drained of its fat cat Wall Street insiders, USA is doomed to circle the drain. Question is if one of their figurehead presidents will order the ultimate launch before that happens.

    2. Peerke

      All depends on how many wheels are driven/regen ie connected to a motor and whether not the drive system allows freewheeling on the driven wheels. My model 3 SR+ ended up as an unwitting anecdata generating experiment since tire were never rotated by Tesla. Front undriven have lasted 21K miles – rear driven/regen lasted 14.5K – looks like new tires will be lucky to get to 10K. The driven/regen tires are always either pushing or pulling never freewheeling while front undriven are always freewheeling unless I use the brakes which is rare (emergency or misjudged distance). 4 wheel drive heavy EV are worst case for this effect.

      1. t

        salespeople may be unaware or unwilling to share what they know about differences with electric car ownership

        This is from the linked article. Are there readers who generally think a car salesman is there to inform buyers? Are gearhead journalists just gentle with the industry for access?

        1. ArcadiaMommy

          The sales people at a car dealership (BMW in my experience) have no clue what is going on with any aspect of a car purchase. I assume this is by design.

          They are clueless about the car’s capabilities. They have no way to explain financing. They are completely unfamiliar with basic financial terms.

          I lease our cars. The sales person freaks out when I start asking questions about lease terms. They now bring the cars to the house for us to test drive and I tell them the amounts the forms should have and they deliver the new cars and pick up the old one after the paperwork is signed.

          On the plus side, getting the car serviced is outstanding and there are no unexpected expenditures maintenance (I can’t recall repair that has been required in 20+ years). They gave my newly permitted 15 YO a lesson on how to use the different controls on the car until his grandmother buys a new car and gives him her little Toyota SUV.

          I get the feeling they don’t want me asking pesky questions in front of other customers.

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            Please show your 15-yo how to locate the turn signal switches in your BMW. This, too, is apparently something the BMW salesmen forget to do.

      2. skippy

        Lots depends on tire compounds e.g. soft sport or hard for miles. Same goes for driving styles, here in OZ people that go fast through round a bouts always ware the left front out long before the others.

        Per se people that drive without having to use the breaks much or never hard end up with lower running costs and better safety records.

    3. Micat

      Hi Rev. don’t forget to add that EV accelerate really well, all have regen braking. Most are 2 wheel drive meaning that acceleration and deceleration is going through only 2 wheels contributing to much higher wear rates.

      I don’t know what impact the special tires( low rolling resistance ) they use has on tire wear.

    4. Carolinian

      That’s basically what my compact, not subcompact, Hyundai weighs. The Seagull has a shorter range than a Tesla and so one reason other EV weigh so much the Musk insistence on electric cars that have the range of a gasoline car. This was a mistake. The only true cure for range anxiety would be charging sites as abundant as gas stations. Trying to make an EV that is in every way as good as an ICE car (and in many ways better) was the square peg that rich guy Musk pounded into a round hole so as to appeal to people like him. Butt hauling around all those extra batteries (they take up the entire floor of a Tesla) adds lots of weight and cost.

      The old Volkswagen beetles weighed less than 2000 lbs–truly a tin can.

    5. .human

      LOL. I remember a Mad comic from decades ago that lamented the constant, repeating cost for new tires. The solution: Tires made of concrete and roads made of rubber!

    6. Kramer

      Rarely mentioned, is how much fun EVs can be. I can imagine that the acceleration an instant torque have much to do with excess tire wear.

    7. Cyclist

      Another thing about tires: the high performance ones often don’t last nearly as long as the ones that go for 50,000 mi because the former are grippy. This is a known complaint of people who by a high performance car for prestige, but know little about cars (I paid all this money for a car and the tires are shot after 10k….). Many of the electric vehicles sold in the US are very powerful and can accelerate strongly – I’m sure they need some suitable tires.

    8. skippy

      Tires eh … a much much more interesting and more expensive result is multi story car parks mate …

      Never engineered to take such loads … chortle …

      1. Pat

        He lived in Riverdale. The large mid priced coops and condos that line the Henry Hudson mask the beautiful homes behind them and that doesn’t even consider those north of that. So Yes, it is in the Bronx, but it is one of a handful of neighborhoods in the Bronx that disguise how poor the poorest neighborhoods are. They are the Bill Gates to the homeless vet who walk into the bar so it becomes a middle class bar.
        Even if the Liebermans were in a “retirement” complex, it was one that you had to be in the top 5% to afford to buy the space and then pay the monthly assessments.
        What I will give you are that residences in Riverdale are still not as expensive per square foot as the best neighborhoods in Manhattan.

        1. Benny Profane

          I lived there for a year. Very Jewish hood. And, yeah, there are a few nice retirement homes, and it’s a quick drive down to Manhattan on the west side.
          It’s just that he was a senator from Connecticut. Much nicer, but too many goyum?

          1. Pat

            I always felt like Joe was from Connecticut in name only. I know he lived there, but he always came off as more NYer. Perhaps he was like the athletes who move from the US to smaller countries with less competitive opponents to get to the Olympics. And then had to stay there six weeks a year…

            Or what you said.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            Leibman’s, a true shrine!

            Oy, I shouldn’t have eaten that last piece of stuffed derma!

    1. CA

      Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

      This US official who just resigned from the State Dept confirmed the US is “aware of plenty of evidence that Israel was violating international law”, and that “the Biden administration was violating US law by continuing to supply weapons.”

      Rogue state.

      State department official’s resignation highlights rifts over US Gaza policy
      Annelle Sheline says ‘I no longer wanted to be affiliated with this administration,’ claiming Biden is flouting US law over Israel

      7:35 PM · Mar 27, 2024

  16. Benny Profane

    Just to point out, the “Expect more strikes ‘deeper and deeper’ into Russia, Ukraine’s spy chief tells ABC News” is from Jan. Of 23. I was looking at the picture and thought, hmmm, Badanov has windows in his bunker? Not any more, I’ll bet. And I doubt he’d allow a western reporter near him, and I really doubt any western reporter or politician wants to be anywhere within a few miles of him and Zelensky now.

    1. Skip Intro

      More strikes that they will not be involved with? The shelf life of these pretexts is really getting tiny.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I heard the interview and you could see that he was confirming all these murders that the SBU had been committing. But when the Ukraine collapses, I have one word of advice for him-


    1. MaryLand

      Is there a list of products that contain these chemicals? I only find that these chemicals are in flame retardant garments, many disinfectants (soaps too?), and possibly in hair conditioners.

      1. Cassandra

        Well, sh*t. My rinse of choice for Covid has cetyl pyridinium in it. Also supposed to be good for periodontal issues. These compounds are also apparently very stable with long persistence in the environment. Wouldn’t it be great if we had some sort of, I don’t know, governmental agency that would test chemicals for safety?

        Generally, ready-to-use QAC disinfectants are considered a low risk to humans because these products contain low concentrations of QACs. There is a higher risk of toxicity with highly concentrated QACs and inhaled or ingested exposure routes.[7] QACs induce oxidative stress by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can disrupt normal cellular function.
        The most commonly used QACs are alkyldimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride (ADBAC or BAC), cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), dodecyl-dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC), and cocobenzyldimethyl ammonium chloride (BKC).

        The toxicity of QACs is secondary to a combination of cell membrane disruption, nervous system overstimulation, and mucosal irritation leading to oropharyngeal, respiratory, and gastrointestinal distress. The intended antimicrobial effects of QACs occur via similar mechanisms.[11]

        QACs interact with negatively charged cell membranes, leading to physical damage and membrane function disruption.[14] The subsequent inflammatory response is characterized by the recruitment of neutrophils and macrophages to the affected tissues and the release of proinflammatory cytokines, resulting in increased membrane permeability, loss of ion homeostasis, leakage of proteins and nucleic acids, and cell death.[15][16]


        QACs have also been shown to disrupt mitochondrial function resulting in decreased ATP production and cell death.[1][6][17][4] Direct contact of QACs with the lipid bilayer can lead to significant irritation of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts resulting in inflammation, swelling, and pain. This can manifest as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea due to the irritation of the intestinal lining and disruption of normal gut microbiota.[18]

    2. Don

      Quats are pretty much required under regulations regarding sanitizing commercial kitchens and washing dishes in restaurants, with sometimes diluted bleach, which is much more labour intensive and hazardous to handle, or high temperature sterilization, which is prohibitively expensive, being allowed as alternatives.

  17. Skip Intro

    If Mayo Pete is still trying to fail upwards, he is doing a truly spectacular job of it. I can’t wait to see how he’ll top this when campaign season gets hot.

    1. Benny Profane

      He called the Baltimore bridge a “cathedral of American infrastructure” He actually did. Then said something about it being a big part of the Baltimore skyline, when it’s a mile or two from downtown and hardly anybody sees it. Oh, and he said rebuilding is going to be hard. Then went home to play with Legos with his child.

      Did he write that?

      1. mrsyk

        Ha ha ha, he’s correct of course about the cathedral thing. According to the NTSB the Key Bridge is/very much was a “fracture critical” bridge defined by having zero redundancies. Why does it feel like I live in a Netflix series, endless, always underperforming, that friggin’ soundtrack.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Dali cargo ship suffered ‘severe electrical problem’ while docked in Baltimore days prior to bridge collapse crash that saw it suffer ‘total power failure, loss of engine failure’, port worker says”

    If it comes out that those ship owners sent out a ship that had not been properly repaired, then there will be lawsuits galore. It might have been wiser to request the services of two tugs to get it out to sea safely but then that would bring up the question of why a mechanically-suspect ship is going to sea in the first place. It may be that those ship owners were more concerned at getting that ship out to sea as it makes no money for them sitting in a port. There were schedules to make! Right now I heard the Feds suggesting that it will take $2 billion to repair that bridge but that sounds kinda low to me. But I do wonder how many years that it will take to rebuild it.

    1. Benny Profane

      The new Tappan Zee bridge (I refuse to call it the Mario Cuomo bridge, as many here do) cost 4 billion. It’s an awesome bridge, and came in on time. I think it may be tall enough for big cargo ships, but they don’t even pass into NY harbor.

      1. Pat

        I keep hoping that upstate legislator manages to get his bill to officially go back to Tappan Zee through.

        And even though it is a new bridge, I bet more people call it the Tappan Zee anyway. Sort of like Sixth Avenue and the 59th Street Bridge among other things where the official name is not what they are called.

        1. Benny Profane

          It was a few years ago, but I heard the traffic and weather guy on the news and weather radio channel call it Tappan Zee. I smiled.

        2. Michael Fiorillo

          May the Good Lord smite me down if I ever refer to the Fifty-Ninth St Bridge by the official name honoring NYC’s 105th Mayor, a nasty piece of work if there ever was one.

      2. B24S

        I was born in 1953, and spent my first few years on the western side of the Hudson, between Nyack and Haverstraw. The Palisades Parkway was marked as “planned” on maps, and the Tappan Zee wouldn’t open for two more years.

        It will always and forever be the Tappan Zee, new or old, and most I still know back there will never ever refer to the new bridge by any other name.

    2. Louis Fyne

      liability of a ship crashing into a thing is limited to the value of the ship.

      maritime law writren decades ago, presumably influenced by the interests of the shippers.

      technically Maryland is on tne hook for the rest as Maryland owns SR-695. obviously Feds likely will pay most/all of it

      1. ChrisFromGA

        I read on Bloomberg that the port, the ship owner, and the bridge were all insured, so strict liability says “pay out, insurers.”

        I’m sure they may try to shift the cost to the government, but the government has no business paying any costs until the insurer’s first payout. Bailout of insurers?

        1. mrsyk

          There will be a bailout, it will be obscene, I hope I’m wrong. I’m still waiting on even just a brief outline of a comprehensive plan from….somebody?

      2. .human

        The cargo owners all share in any liability. The percentages are arcane and very specific.

        Putting on my tin foil hat, I wonder if that cargo bound for Sri Lanka had a hand in a rushed departure along with the known condition of the ship.

      3. Henry Moon Pie

        “liability of a ship crashing into a thing is limited to the value of the ship.”

        I think that might have been the first case in my 1st year torts casebook.

    3. vao

      The same Daily Mail article includes the following paragraph:

      Six workers who were on the bridge, pouring concrete to fix potholes as part of a graveyard shift, remain missing and are presumed dead.

      Graveyard shift… Sometimes, expressions are a bit too much on the nose.

      1. B24S

        My wife worked nights and PMs at a Bay Area Childrens’ Hospital for 35 years. Both our boys work in local ERs, often nights/extended PMs.

        Most hospital deaths happen around 2AM. Nights are NEVER called graveyard shift in hospitals, at least by those on the floor. It got to the point that even I corrected others, and I guess I still do.

    4. Boomheist

      There should be one single priority right now in Baltimore, and that is, clearing the ship channel. Period. It astonishes and upsets me that this does not yet seem to be the main focus. Biden comes out and says the taxpayer will build a new bridge. Excuse me? Mayor Pete is as always eloquent but says nothing.

      This bridge collapse is a project begging to be handled, meaning, moving heaven and earth to clear that channel. That means getting heavy lift barge cranes on station, using divers to cut the fallen sections into manageable pieces, marshalling resources and people and barges to accept the fallen pieces. A big, urgent, immediate project that must be resolved before Baltimore can reopen. Where is the declaration of emergency, the establishment of a project team with authority to eliminate red tape, the race to get cranes and barges and people? We see talk about building a new bridge and speculation about the damaged ship but we shuld be seeing, TODAY, video of barge cranes coming into the harbor or on their way. Who is the designated Project Manager in charge of this thing? I don;t mean Mayor Pete or Joe Biden or the Governor of Maryland – who is the hands on driver who is running this thing, someone who has built big time sensitive projects, preferably in the marine sector, someone who know what the hell to do, who to bring in on his or her team to help? It used to be, in this country, we could stand up and finish an enormous project in months or a few years. Here we have a bunch of steel in a channel that has to be pulled out and away. This should not take more than two weeks, but every day we dither and consider and fight about turf is a day lost, and days are being lost.

      If the current administration and the state of Maryland and city of Baltimore approach this as a national emergency and critical project, that channel will be cleared within days or a couple weeks, enabling the port to reopen. This is Biden’s chance to show he can deliver, his opportunity. He needs to set up a take no prisoners team to get this done, now, and move heaven and earth to make it happen. Break a few eggs maybe a lot of eggs. Maybe, behind the scenes, this is happening? As someone who has built port expansion projects as large as 275 million I can say that by now we should have already been told that a special team is being assembled, with proper authority to GET THIS DONE, no holds barred. I fear instead what is happening are bureaucratic struggles among a dozen agencies trying to figure out how to do this, consuming time, time, time.

      My guess is that the ship channel into Baltimore is a federal channel, dredged by the Corps of Engineers to 50 feet for the bigger ships, and navigable waters are under US control. So this needs to be a Federal removal project, run by the Corps or the military or the Coast Guard. So who is running it? Has anyone been named? Does whoever who has been or will be named have the personal experience to get this done, meaning, someone who knows cranes, dredging, marine work, diving?

      1. mrsyk

        Has anybody seen an actual “plan” from the government? 30,767 vehicles per day usage (per the NTSB). Me thinks nobody want’s to take ownership of this.

      2. Glen

        This! Clear the channel! Huge huge priority!

        I did read somewhere that there are many cranes heading towards the bridge (cranes on barges, very normal for marine facilities work).

        And looking at the numbers mrsyk posted above. 30,767 vehicles per day ends up being 21.3 vehicles per minute. To be honest, that’s not massive. I’m sure it peaks around the rush hours, but I almost question if that number is correct, it looks low.

      3. John D

        The Army Corps ofEngineers is on the case. The first crane barge should arrive today or tomorrow. The Army Engineeer being interviewed said that some of the steel is razor sharp, meaning a serious danger for divers.

        The initial plan is to clear a 700 foot wide channel for movement of ships in and out of the port.

        They have had two days of bad weather. That has impacted operations.

      4. Not Qualified to Comment

        “take no prisoners team to get this done, now, and move heaven and earth to make it happen. Break a few eggs maybe a lot of eggs.”

        So you want a bridge designed as quickly as possible, intended to be erected as fast as possible and thrown up by whoever promises to do it in the shortest time?

        Well I’ve never been to Baltimore and likely never will, so I’m very glad I’ll never have to cross whatever comes of that.

        1. Boomheist

          Just talking about clearing the channel, getting the steel out of the waterway, allowing ships to come and go. The bridge replacement is a whole other kettle of fish, and will take years at least. Different issue. Of course from a traffic standpoint the replacement bridge is critical, but for that you can take the time to design it properly.

  19. Pat

    We already discussed it, but just saw a headline about how three Presidents are banding together to defeat Trump.
    I wonder how many people thought to themselves or commented that if the Biden administration had not been such a disaster for most people, he wouldn’t be having to haul out Clinton and Obama in order to try to convince people they are imagining their problems.

  20. ChrisFromGA

    Starvation Strategy

    Sung to the tune of “Rock and Roll Fantasy” by Bad Company

    Here come the aid trucks, one, two, three
    It’s all part of my strategy
    I love to food bait, and I love to lure a crowd
    Hit them with some JDAMS, and laugh out loud


    Here come the food drops, one by one
    Your belly’s callin’ but they’ve still got guns
    You’ll find your meal ticket might be your very last
    Run! Before they drone you, and break your long fast

    It’s all part of Bibi’s starvation strategy
    It’s all part of his genocide dream

    Pull out the stops now, one and all
    Before the hunger devours your soul
    The pangs are so bad, but you can hear the sounds
    Of warplanes in the sky, bombing every square foot of ground

    It’s all part of Bibi’s starvation strategy
    It’s all part of his genocide dream

    Strategy, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah


  21. antidlc

    Dr. Al-Aly –People Magazine –

    COVID Linked to Lower IQ, Poor Memory and Other Negative Impacts on Brain Health

    “COVID-19 poses a serious risk to brain health, even in mild cases, and the effects are now being revealed at the population level,” clinical epidemiologist Ziyad Al-Aly said

    Mounting scientific evidence suggests that being infected with SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID — profoundly impacts brain health in many ways.

    Ziyad Al-Aly, a physician and clinical epidemiologist, wrote an essay for The Conversation — which was later republished by Scientific American — detailing the numerous studies that highlight what he describes as the “indelible mark” that COVID leaves on the brain and its functioning.

    1. tegnost

      wow…it’s almost like if the overlords didn’t have covid to achieve these things, they would’ve had to create it themselves :/

      # deathcult

    2. britzklieg

      cue the unverifiable report based on BS stats telling us that the vaccine-that-isn’t-a-vaccine protects the brain from said damage…

      in 3,2,1…

  22. antidlc
    King lauds friendship ‘in time of need’ in first comments since princess’s diagnosis

    The Royal Maundy service is an annual event where the monarch, who is the head of the Church of England, presents specially minted coins to people recognised for their community service. Camilla will be deputising for Charles at the ceremony on Thursday.

    There will be a reduced number of members of the royal family present in order to avoid the health risks associated with large crowds.

    (bold mine)
    WHAT??? There are health risks with large crowds?

    1. Not Qualified to Comment

      I wouldn’t wish cancer on anybody but I’d feel a lot more sympathy for Princess Kate if she joined the queue for treatment with the NHS. At the back.

    1. .Tom

      Taibbi watches too much TV. He’s a great writer but I get bored with his hot takes because the TV he’s reacting to is itself boring, predictable and repetitive. There’s only so much you can do with that.

  23. Mikel

    “NTSB Releases “Black Box” Timeline of Baltimore Bridge Strike” Maritime Executive.

    What’s sad is that the accident – which requires a serious re-evalutaion tech and engineering – is being “culture warred.”

    The DEI criticisms not taking into account or wanting to deal with so much that had to go wrong BEFORE the DEI and the incident in particular.
    Especially things like the entire ideology of efficiency over safety, etc.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Nobody seems to be examining the costs of growth, the ravenous hunger for more stuff, bigger container ships, more ports, more transaction volume.

      Surely these took their toll on the aging port infrastructure. I find the picture of the doomed ship entangled in bridge wreckage, and stacked sky-high with containers, a perfect symbol for the death of late-stage capitalism.

      I am sure Kunstler will write about this, if he hasn’t already.

      1. Benny Profane

        Pretty much. Those boats were a fever dream when that bridge was designed, and the port wasn’t much either.
        I feel the same way when I see the floating cities they call cruise ships.

  24. Lefty Godot

    Remember “essential workers”? Good times.

    Can we just rename them “expendable workers”? Because that seems to be the meaning behind the phrase.

    1. .Tom

      Essential worker now means: somebody who won’t be taken off the job no matter how dangerous it is because the employer considers getting the job done important but the worker expendable.

      The first time someone told me in 2020 they had to get home to do the 7pm cookware bashing ritual I sputtered, stammered and eventually gathered myself and said, “I think hazard pay would be more useful.” Earning double time would have taken more of the sting out of doing that hospital work back then. But no, we’re not even going to give them adequate supplies of respirator masks. Or air quality monitoring, or windows that open to the outdoors, or even the correct information about transmission. Expendable.

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