Links 3/29/2024

Patient readers, there were five posts yesterday, and will be three today, because today is (for those who celebrate) Good Friday. –lambert

Crows Are the New Pigeons The Atlantic

AI boom drives global stock markets to best first quarter in 5 years FT


Taking into account climate and nature in monetary policy and banking supervision around the world Frank Elderson, Bank of International Settlements

Shock Discovery: Huge Carbon Credit Project in Australia Turns Out to Be a Sham Science Alert. “Shock” indeed!

We Need to Decarbonize Software IEEE Spectrum

The Fescue Fighters Grist

Worldwide population levels:


New Data: Long COVID Cases Surge MedPage Today

Long Covid in Aotearoa NZ: Risk assessment and preventive action urgently needed (PDF) Public Health Communication Centre

Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease Associated with E200K Mutation and SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Pure Coincidence or Neurodegenerative Acceleration Clinical and Translational Neuroscience. N = 1. From the Abstract: “In our opinion, the rising global prevalence of neurodegenerative complications following COVID-19 disease adds urgency to the study of this potential relationship, mostly in elderly patients who may experience worse long-lasting outcomes systemically and within the nervous system.”

Covid’s scientific silver lining: A chance to watch the human immune system respond in real time STAT

Are We Ready for the Next Pandemic? The Tyee

Humans give more viruses to animals than they give us, study finds The Pig Site


China’s Country Garden delays publication of 2023 financial results Channel News Asia

Xi Jinping’s chief of staff is China’s new internet tsar, sources say South China Morning Post

America’s latest move to block China’s economic rise Pearls and Irritations

China’s COMAC wide-body C929 jet in ‘detailed design stage’, official says Reuters

Indonesia’s eras: Reflections on Jokowi’s legacy and Prabowo’s presidency Brookings Institution


Mystery Rise in Infection With 30% Fatality Rate Sweeps Japan Newsweek. ‘Tis a mystery!


Top UN court orders Israel to allow food and medical aid into Gaza BBC

At The UN It Is A Rogue U.S. Against The Rest Of The World Moon of Alabama

Japan set to resume funding to UNRWA Anadolu Agency

US calls for probe into video of Israeli forces shooting, burying Palestinians Anadolu Agency

* * *

Israeli court deals blow to Netanyahu in ruling on religious students FT

Israeli opposition leader wins Yesh Atid party’s 1st-ever primary Anadolu Agency. Bibi critic, FWIW.

* * *

Obama and Clinton defend Biden’s support for Israel’s war in Gaza FT

New Not-So-Cold War

Today’s 13 minute interview on WION, Indian television: “Russian FSB says US, UK and Ukraine behind Moscow attack / What’s the truth? Gilbert Doctorow

West Desperately Deflects as Ukraine’s ISIS Gambit Backfires Simplicius the Thinker(s). Always worth a read, but when I read a sentence like “I’ve now studied Lukashenko’s exact statement” and there’s no link to the statement, I feel like pounding my head on my desk.

Russia Doubles Down on Blaming Concert Massacre on Ukraine and the West WSJ

* * *

Russia attacks energy facilities at night, damaging thermal and hydroelectric power plants Ukrainska Pravda

* * *

Putin’s Next Escalation Is Coming Hanna Notte, NYT

Russia’s Lavrov tells newspaper that Ukraine peace plan is pointless Reuters

Ukraine’s survival hangs in the balance Indian Punchline

Maneuver Theory and the Cold War Big Serge Thought

Biden Administration

US changes how it categorizes people by race and ethnicity. It’s the first revision in 27 years AP


Explosive New Documents Unearthed On Live Nation/Ticketmaster Matt Stoller, BIG

Baltimore’s Key Bridge Collapse

Analysts downplay Baltimore bridge collapse trade impacts Seatrade Maritime. Lots of detail.

‘Remarkably complicated’ | No clear timeline to reopen the channel to the Port of Baltimore following Key Bridge collapse WUSA

Baltimore Bridge May Trigger Historic Marine Loss, Says Lloyd’s of London Bloomberg

Titanic law could help ship owner limit liability in Baltimore bridge collapse Straits Times

Could protective barriers have prevented Baltimore bridge collapse? FOX

US provides Maryland $60 million to rebuild Baltimore bridge Reuters

The Bezzle

25 years for Sam Bankman-Fried Molly White, [citation needed]. Commentary from an attendee:


From SBF’s parents sentencing statement:

If true, very sad (since depression is something I would never wish on anyone). Should somebody check in on Stanford?

Digital Watch

Why error correction is quantum computing’s defining challenge Physics World. Oh.

Google AI Threatens Website with Demonetization. What’s Next? Down with Tyranny. Tip o’ the NC hat to DWT!


Slowly Suffocating Assange, Like its Other Enemies Caitlin Johnstone, Consortium News


Health care is ‘overwhelmingly complex’ for older adults, experts say: ‘Ever-increasing hurdle’ FOX. Caltrops.

The Final Frontier

Life as we know it could exist on Venus, new experiment reveals

Groves of Academe

The Real Crisis in Humanities Isn’t Happening at College The Honest Broker

Imperial Collapse Watch

One Satellite Signal Rules Modern Life. What if Someone Knocks It Out? NYT

Guillotine Watch

Jeffrey Epstein’s Island Visitors Exposed by Data Broker Wired. “[M]any of the coordinates captured by Near point to multimillion-dollar homes in numerous US states.”

Class Warfare

How asset managers came to own everything and you failed to notice (video) Mark Blyth, Rhodes Center for International Finance and Economics:

Capitalism Is Dead – Long Live Capital Crooked Timber. Yanis Varoufakis’ Technofeudalism.

Amazon’s Illegal Subpoenas Matt Bruenig, NLRB Edge

What do DEI, CRT, wokeness, and cultural Marxism have in common? Carl Beijer

The First New Deal Phenomenal World. On “economic planning.”

The stories we tell each other about the economy in which we live are more important than the data we collect about it Funding the Future

Maintain Your Brain Matt Taibbi, Racket News

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 Georgia On My Mind by Hoagy Carmichael as performed by Ray Charles)

    Hour by hour making do (each hour you make do)
    This is oh so wrong
    When mercy is declined (mercy is declined)

    Here in Gaza
    A food truck waits for you
    No one dares come near
    The snipers won’t be kind

    Legs and arms as thin as reeds
    Vacant eyes stare listlessly
    People wait for sweet release
    Too weak to care or move

    Here in Gaza
    Ohhh Gaza
    Human lives unwind
    We’re a forlorn throng
    This world has left behind

    Who can harm an olive tree?
    Make a child an amputee?
    Shoot a doctor in surgery?
    Steal your life from you?

    Woh-oh-oh-oh Gaza
    Always always on my mind
    Tens of thousands gone
    So many we can’t find

    Comes another dawn . . .
    Gaza on my mind . . .

    1. Kouros

      “The West has not been deaf to the accusations of hypocrisy and double standards over Gaza and immense suffering elsewhere. It simply, through a combination of inertia and impassivity, does not wish to change course.“. NYT Opinion.

      “Let them eat cake?!”

    2. ChrisFromGA

      Gaza is frequently on my mind. On Good Friday I ask that each of us pray about what we can do to help these folks.

      Antifa is doing something.

      I don’t know what it is we can do, but even small things can add up. Last night the emperors ball got disrupted by protesters. Good job.

      Letters to our so-called representatives may seem pointless but they’re better than nothing.

    3. Eclair

      Thank you, Antifa. Georgia on My Mind is a song of remembrance, loss, longing. Let us hope we will always remember Gaza.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Russia’s Lavrov tells newspaper that Ukraine peace plan is pointless”

    He’s right as this plan is Zelensky 10-point peace plan which basically requires Russia to surrender to the Ukraine and the west. Pretty sure that this plan is also the basis for the proposed Switzerland peace conference which the Russians have already said that they won’t bother attending, even if invited. And even if the Ukraine collapses and Zelensky goes into exile in either London or Florida, Zelensky would still be pushing for his plan.

    1. timbers

      The US came to isolate Russia. Instead the US is isolated and Russia is popular with The World Majority.

      The West came to regime change Russia. Instead they themselves are being regime changed.

      They came to destroy Russia, instead they themselves are being destroyed.

      Western leaders must be privately jealous they are puppets and/or mental incompetents while Russia has perhaps the greatest world leader since the last 50 yrs or so, and a host of lesser elected officials being sane rational actors somewhat responsive to their citizens if occasionally nominally corrupt – but still sane.

      1. mrsyk

        This western citizen is certainly jealous. Who the heck is in charge over here anyway. No idea.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The GOP is the GOP, but the real problem is the nominal center left party is just the “New Democrats” who should have been shown the door 25 years ago.

          The Yellen post plays into this. Ultimately, she’s going to China to ask Beijing to stop making the US look bad by dialing back the production of…solar panels. I don’t know what Yellen thinks, but she is aligned with a President who was recruited as a young man as a potential candidate by both parties. At best she has to put lipstick on the back end of a pig.

          Europe just imitated the US and UK falling into degeneracy. Social advancements have all been the result of agitators and were accomplished despite centrists.

            1. Antifa

              Putting lipstick on a pig’s rump?
              That’s like voting for Biden or Trump!
              They’re the donor-fed class
              Each a sow’s painted ass
              Neither one belongs out on the stump!

            2. Janie

              Heh heh, I remember wondering what my well-spoken parents meant when they labeled someone “the south end of a north-bound horse.”

          1. Glen

            Yes, we’re past even “the hand writing is on the wall” stage of the end of America’s empire, and the ascent of the BRICS. I’m beginning to think that American elites of a certain age or older cannot realize this new reality.

            I mean think about it – Boomer elites went from the Cold War to American Empire, and then they ran their own empire into the ground in a remarkably short period of time. They will probably never be able to accept that.

          1. mrsyk

            Yes, and well put. Whose friggin’ money would be helpful. I guess if nobody is in charge then nobody’s responsible. Good times.

  3. Neutrino

    SBF’s parents have a mindset, some might dare to call it a Weltanschauung, that is not rare amongst their ilk. They evince a pathology that mere mortals and even the lower orders see or at least manage to sense. When you live or work near those people then you can share the following sentiment:

    Why not sentence the parents, too?

    1. vao

      If I may interject a pedantic remark, it seems that the immediate problem of SBF and his parents, alluded to in the citations, is their Wertvorstellung.

    2. Jana C

      People truly believe they, and their offspring, are truly exceptional.

      Pride minus empathy.
      The root of human tragedy.

      Ecclesiastes 1:9
      What has been will be again,
      what has been done will be done again;
      there is nothing new under the sun.

    3. Enter Laughing

      RE: Why not sentence the parents, too?

      The parents in Lake Woebegone are hereby on notice!

    4. Craig H.

      Should somebody check in on Stanford?

      Sam Bankman Fried’s parents are not even close to the most interesting Stanford professors in the news this week. Kerry Howley’s New York Magazine piece on Andrew Huberman is ~ 200 to 1 in my bubble of the internet. He is (allegedly) the Tiger Woods of neuroscience.


      If you only have time to check out one Stanford weirdo professor scandal.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        read the article and listened to Saagar on Breaking Points defend this sick f%#k – seems that Saagar didn’t read the whole article – Huberman is a twisted individual –

    5. Dalepues

      I think they have also been sentenced, and every visit (they wouldn’t dare miss a visit) to the prison their punishment will intensify. What will they talk about?
      If he does not get parole, it is possible they will die before they see their son free.

  4. Ignacio

    RE: Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease Associated with E200K Mutation and SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Pure Coincidence or Neurodegenerative Acceleration Clinical and Translational Neuroscience. N = 1. From the Abstract: “In our opinion, the rising global prevalence of neurodegenerative complications following COVID-19 disease adds urgency to the study of this potential relationship, mostly in elderly patients who may experience worse long-lasting outcomes systemically and within the nervous system.”

    Maybe, only may be, N=2 at least. A neighbour here got Covid in 2021 and immediately started a neurodegenerative process very much like C-J (cannot confirm, much less of such E200K mutation whatsoever, this didn’t get to such depth of analysis). Unless one puts much more weight in casual events rather than causal ones. Let him rest in peace.

    1. JBird4049

      From what I understand, and I just read a lot, Creutzfeldt-Jokab disease its sibling Mad Cow among other similar afflictions are caused by misfolding prions or proteins; it is not truly “alive,” but only is the distortion of things made by the body itself. A misfolding protein meets a properly formed or arranged one and misfolds it, which can then also do the same.

      If it actually CJD, it is means that people’s bodies are so damaged that they are in greater danger from more than any virus or bacteria. Damaged in ways not easily seen.

      Well, at least it gives the scientists and doctors more examples patients to study treat.

      1. Angie Neer

        A friend died of CJD about 15 years ago, and I shudder at every mention of it. He died with the knowledge that his nervous system was being eaten away.

        1. Paleobotanist

          There is a theory that Alzheimer’s is a prion disease…

          Explains why spouses often both come down with it.

  5. zagonostra

    >Are We Ready for the Next Pandemic? The Tyee

    Somehow, despite the resistance of the minimizers, we need to develop a plan to truly minimize the harm any future pandemic might do. T

    From “Anti-vaxers” to “minimizer”. Nice transition Mr. Crawford Kilian, truly worthy of being entered into Orwell’s Newspeak dictionary.

    What I still occasionally see even today, is poor and indigent people with a dirty completely inadequate facemask pulled under there nose. There is no “WE.” I saw how unserious the U.S.’s response was regarding facemasks when people going into the local Publix had bandanas and home-made ones constructed so they could go in and shop.

    If this country was serious and if a virus was as deadly as they claimed there should have been N95’s, or whatever was/is efficacious, issued free of charge to every citizen. Are we ready for the next pandemic? Ha!, they’ll let the poor folks die in droves before really making an effort to roll-out a coherent and expensive program.

    1. JTMcPhee

      “expensive program.”

      Hmmm, what are the net costs of masking, ventilation, allowing off-labels like ivermectin and Vit. D and zinc, and public-funded and owned development of actual sterilizing vaccines, compared to the costs of letting ‘er rip?

      What a forked-up way of thinking about public health.

      But then people who frequent NC (except for those lurking to find snippets to go all Karen and cancellation on) know all this.

      Best can be done is what, individual risk management with no ability to mitigate or minimize the risks imposed by policy and our hateful careless fellow unmasked, vaxed but haphazardly spreading and mutating consumers?

      1. mrsyk

        Individual risk management is for the privileged. Introducing cost into public health policy recommendations is where capital dodges responsibility for labor.

        1. JBird4049

          Yes, but as JTMcPhee points out, worries about the public costs of dealing with a now endemic disease instead of the greater costs of not dealing with the disease is illogical or nonsensical.

          Just in the United States in the past 150 years, diseases such as malaria, smallpox, tuberculosis, and yellow fever, were killing more people each in a smaller population than today’s population with Covid, but were eliminated by a country with less understanding and with fewer tools. It was only by treating these diseases as a public health problem that they were dealt with.

          It is a pernicious, selfish, and suicidal worldview that our elites have created to justify their worship of both money and this pseudo meritocracy of theirs.

    2. t

      What I still occasionally see even today, is poor and indigent people with a dirty completely inadequate facemask pulled under there nose.

      Very much the opposite of my experience. I see the most masking from fast-food workers and from people who look like they probably have similar jobs. My life is like that tweet about “how come every time I go into McDonalds, all the workers are wearing masks.” Since I saw that tweet, I’ve really been keeping track and I have yet to go through a drive through without seeing at least one fully masked worker.

      And it’s probably worth noting that as a recently as the link on children’s ideas about mask, the math still says a large number of good masks is better than one or two in a proper mask. (I’d been wondering about that for a while, so often being in an mostly unmasked office space with a proper mask. And hearing in my head, the various docs and the one social worker whove told me if they had a choice of being the only one in the grocery store with their preferred 95, or being in a grocery store where almost everyone was masking in some way, the would prefer the latter hands down.)

      1. zagonostra

        Yes, our personal experiences will vary. In the Ft. Lauderdale, FL area you can go to just about any major intersection (Oakland and US1, Commercial and Prospect, Sunrise and US1, Powerline and Cypress, etc.) and see what I have described.

        My main point is that if there is a future deadly virus with high mortality rates, than damn it the gov’t better do a better job and the article’s zooming in on the role of “minimizers” is the least of our problem.

        1. Antifa

          The bird flu has shown up in cows
          It’s a thing evolution allows
          Birds to mammals so hasty
          No doubt we look quite tasty
          Use the time you have left to carouse

        1. hk

          It might be one of those times where the “less educated” are more sensible than the allegedly “more educated.”.

          My rejoinder to the stereotype of “superstitious sailors” has always been that there’s no true believer among sailors either. They know the risks of the unknowns better than those who think they know everything.

    3. The Rev Kev

      I think that we all know how ready we are for the next pandemic. If a new virus threatens to upend or damage the economy, the first priority of governments will be to protect the economy itself and not the lives of people. And god help us if the next one is aerosol spread. We are four years into the present pandemic and there is still a refusal to recognize this one as aerosol spread lest we actually have to change our society and economy to deal with it. Let us hope that the next pandemic is not a zombie one or else we will be hearing messages of how we have to ‘learn to live with the zombies’.

      1. Mikel

        “Let us hope that the next pandemic is not a zombie one or else we will be hearing messages of how we have to ‘learn to live with the zombies’.

        There was that fairly popular tv series “True Blood” that was all about learning to live with the walking dead in the form of Vampires.
        I’m sure the Vampire Squid enjoyed its wide acceptance.

      2. Not Qualified to Comment

        “the first priority of governments will be to protect the economy itself and not the lives of people”

        This of course cross-references to the discussion under the “Of Life and Lithium” feature – the earth’s environmental collapse is entirely down to the overuse of resources by an overlarge population. The solution? Cull the population. No something many will volunteer for and bullets are expensive, but pathogens are perfect.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Today’s 13 minute interview on WION, Indian television: “Russian FSB says US, UK and Ukraine behind Moscow attack / What’s the truth?”

    Apart from those killers trying to flee to the Ukraine proving their connection, the Russians are now saying that they have identified money coming from the Ukraine to these guys in the form of cryptocurrency. They picked up another guy yesterday that may have been involved in financing.

    Of course White House National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby decided to add his two bit in about the Russian claims saying-

    ‘…that it reminds him of his uncle, a small farm owner in Florida. “He used to say that the best manure salesmen often carried their samples in their mouths,” Kirby said. “Russian officials seem to be pretty good manure salesmen.” ‘

    To which Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova replied-

    ‘We don’t have such proverbs in Russia, because they carry manure in their mouths over the ocean, and not here. This explains why the expression ‘to wash one’s mouth out with soap’ is so popular in the US.’

    1. Ignacio

      If anything this reveals how far we are from any kind of understanding to end the conflict. The West decided long ago to treat any attempt on this as “appeasement” though it may well be, on the contrary, that the beast that needs appeasement is very much the same that mentioned the word in the first place.

        1. cousinAdam

          Thanks Rev! I meant to link the video and just coming back to add it – wearing 4” stiletto heels, no less! Where do I get the T-shirt? ;^)

    2. Es s Ce Tera

      Another example of Maria from a year ago:

      I can’t imagine any Western politician or government official engaging in this kind of long exchange during a press conference, they all have more important things to do than give their time and debate with the plebs.

    3. Shush-picious Character

      In a lengthy piece, Simplicius builds a flimsy consp-pyramid with CIA, MI6, and… the Mossad. Rather than a case of blowback when accounting for ISIS’s well-established antipathy toward Russia, against whom a grievance of being subject to years of brutal counter-insurgency warfare and aerial bombardment during the Sunnah revolution in Syria, Simplicius says “Ukraine” and shows us where the FSB took its prisoners. Of course disaffected Tajiks are common: Russia’s client, Rahmon, has been crushing Islamic jurisprudence in Tajikistan since 1994. Even an internal police force commander, General Khalimov, wanted to take a pop at Moscow, and defected to ISIS in 2015 to fight in Syria against Russia AND the United States, the latter of whom even placed a bounty on Khalimov (Rewards for Justice Program).

      Since starting a forever war with its neighbor, Putin can’t afford to fight more than one enemy at a time, especially an enemy culturally impenetrable to stretched Russian security services not known for hiring officers who practice Islam or read Arabic.

      1. Yves Smith

        Simplicius may make a poor argument, but yours is no better. These men were mercenaries, fleeing to Ukraine, a tightly-monitored border in a war zone. It would have been much easier for them to depart to the ‘Stans, where the border is more porous and they would not stand out.

        1. Not Qualified to Comment

          You’re right. In any paperback detective novel the reader’s antenna would twitch at this oddity and suspect a red herring the hero is going to pick up on and, from there, unravel the entire devious plot.

          And from the state of those four guys when they were produced in court I wouldn’t be suprised if they’d confess to Kennedy’s murder, cooking up Covid and being Jack the Ripper if it was put to them.

          Judge Napolitano is making much of the US coming out with a denial of the Ukraine’s involvement within an hour of the event, on a ‘methinks he doth protest too much’ basis, but the Russians picked up not only these guys but a gang of facilitators pretty quickly, too, which suggests they weren’t working from cold on this.

          Is it safe to accept without question Russia’s assertion these four guys are the perpetrators, and were apprehended en route to the Ukraine? Is Russia incapable of a fit-up, and with good reason here? Is the US?

          I still have an open mind – more open than many, it appears – and for me the jury is still out. In my view the stakes here are too high, the washing potentially too dirty for too many players, there are too many moving parts, for me to accept without some pretty concrete evidence what anybody on any side claims.

          1. Morincotto

            Video evidence strongly suggests it’s the same guys and that the process of hunting and capturing them went as the Russians say it did.

            Now, technically it’s always possible to doctor all sorts of things but that is also just an assertion.

            It’s debateable how high the stakes actually are.

            If Ukraine was involved I actually don’t think it will change much on the ground.

            Russia’s military strategy isn’t going to change because of one terrorist attack, no matter how tragic and horrible.

            The Ukrainians have been indiscriminately massmurdering civilians for many years now.

            Leading ukrainian nationalists have been quite openly talking about their willingness and intention of killing millions for more than a decade.

            The Russians are intensifying their Operation but they have been gradually doing so for a long time and for strong reasons.

            They did not in any way need additional justification and obviously they didn’t wait for it because the process of intensificstion has been VERY visibly ongoing.

            And even if so, the attacks on Belgorod would still have been enough a million times over.

            If anything Putin had to justify not being more ruthless all along.

            Now, the direct involvement of the West MIGHT indeed be a game changer, but even that might be debated.

            Everybody knew perfectly well that the masskilling of Russians is part and parcel of the western agenda.

            Nobody ever assumed that the West is somehow incapable of something like this.

            Everyone always knew about close relations between the US, Britain and ISIS.

            Again, even direct western involvement won’t change anything much about the war in Ukraine itself.

            What has really changed?

            The Russians won’t suddenly nuke NATO capitals over it and the West knows that perfectly well.

            Russia will nuke NATO capitals of course, but only in case of Open war with NATO.

            And it’s Not obvious that Western involvement makes this really substantially more likely in this case than in any of the endless prior provocations.

            They may blow up Budanov and Zelensky, but it’s been clear for quite a while that there’ll most likely be no alternative to that anyway.

            If it was Ukraine, little Changes.

            If it was the West any possible consequences would happen almost certainly after the current war, not during it and might not even be of a military nature at all.

            If somehow it was ISIS without involvement of Ukraine despite the fact that even western mainstream media covered ISIS fighters finding refuge there and it’s ties with the West being longstanding and not particularly controversial, so that there being a connection now certainly couldn’t be claimed to be surprising, it would Change nothing about the conflict with the West and Ukraine.

            Why would it and how could it possibly?

            Terrorist attacks will never suffice to provoke a direct confrontation between Russians and NATO forces (except If they were committed with weapons of mass destruction I suspect), only western troops entering Ukraine officially will do so (and no amount of genuine ISIS terror attacks could ever change anything about that either, ISIS will never manage to draw Russia’s focus away from the only enemy that is an existential threat, besides, as you yourself kinda hint at they seem to be doing a good job of rolling up whatever network there may be, including with Turkey’s help and probably that of Tajik authorities as well, without that having the slightest effect on stepping Up operations in Ukraine, normal nations don’t primarily fight terrorism with military means anyway).

            As usual the escalation ball IS firmly in the West’s court.

            And even if the attack really caused pressure on Putin to somehow escalate against the West, it certainly would be the first time that Putin, who tirelessly worked to avoid any such confrontation, would do anything to deliberately box himself in and put himself under such zugzwang.

            Putin always gave the impression of someone prefering to have a wide space of options.

            I simply see no reason to assume that Putin would deliberately do something that would make a direct confrontation with the West more likely or might make himself more vulnerable to pressure in that direction.

            Nothing he has done over the years looked like him deliberately seeking confrontation with the West and I see no reason to assume anything about that changed over night.

            So it depends what exactly you are trying to accuse the Russians of.

            Lying that there is a connection with Ukraine even though there is none?

            Conceivable, though certainly not necessary and even if it were so, der facto it would change next to nothing.

            The same as above, but with the West instead?

            Theoretically a MUCH more serious thing, though in practice it’s not that likely to change that much in the short and medium term either, not If the russian government has anything to say about it.

            I don’t think the russian people need any further proof that the West is their implaccable enemy and only wants the worst for them.

            I think they got it, the West, mit Putin, managed to convince them of that for a while now.

            It may nonetheless change some things for the people, cause some degree of desire for revenge against the West that wasn’t there before.

            But as I said before, I don’t think at all that would be a change that Putin would be happy to see, even now.

            Playing up and manipulating emotions has never been Putin’s style at all.

            He has never been a demagogue trying to rile people up and work them to a fever pitch.

            He doesn’t soundbites as demagogues like to do, he NEVER returned relentless western hatemongering in kind.

            He clearly prefers not only to stay calm, controlled, rational and solution oriented, he also always have the strong Impression that he preferred that for the russian people as well.

            He certainly never treats them like idiots or a mob to be incited.

            So no, while there is little in this world that is impossible, I rather doubt Putin would insinuate western responsibility if he didn’t actually believe it.

            Might he in his outrage have made an obvious seeming connection that later could not be substantiated?

            Arguably unusual for him but of course possible though I doubt he would double down on it.

            That ISIS being culpable would in no way automatically disprove ukrainian or western involvement SHOULD be uncontroversial to any knowledgeable person arguing in good faith though.

            Finally, as you seem to insinuated, the Russians either somehow doing a false flag operation mass murdering their own children or at least allowing it to happen and doing some vast pre-prepared deception for what reason exactly?

            The reason for why it makes little sense and if anything would only create unecessary problems even if they just lied about it apply here as well.

            Besides nothing in the behavior, the careers or biographies of any member of the current russian leadership, nothing they did over the last two years and before suggests that any of them are criminal psychopaths.

            Which they would have to be.

            So yes, I actually think there is good reason to believe that Vladimir Putin is literally incapable of doing something like this.

            I don’t think he is a monster.

            He certainly never did anything during his entire time as president of the russian federation that would convince me that he is.

            Which is a lot more than I can say about many of his western opponents.

            He sure as hell ain’t a saint (though on the other hand, plenty of people much, much worse than him have been declared saints by both the russian and the catholic church), he certainly can be ruthless, as arguably any leader.

            But there is a huge difference between being ruthless against perceived or real traitors or even just political rivals and the sort of criminal psychopath who would massmurder peaceful, non-resisting citizens including large numbers of children.

            That was not even KGB practice.

            It’s fundamentally different quality even from brutally crushing an uprising.

            Putin, the guy who went out of his way to spare the lifes of enemy civilians and for the longest time even enemy soldiers, even to his and his soldiers’ detrument, as the coldhearted butcher of his own people, on top of that not even with any discernable political gain?

            Very unlikely to say the least.

            And yeah, part of me definitely thinks that anyone claiming such a thing kinda deserves to be punched in the face, I’ll gladly admit it.

            It’s BS.

            And it’s a typical, veeery western projection.

            A projection that says more about either the success of media indoctrinating or (Here perhaps more likely) about the Level of criminal psychopathy we here in the West have grown to expect from our own “Leaders”, than about Russia or Putin.

      2. Schopsi

        Hmh, projection much?

        If anything it seems pretty clear that there is no dearth of Muslims in Russia’s Security forces at all.

        And while Mexicans May seem culturally impenetrable to Americans despite them being the US’s immediate neighbours for it’s entire existence, I very much doubt any of the Stans or indeed any of Russia’s immediate neighbours are to them.

        Well, except possibly the Chinese, but even those they understand vastly better than the US does.

    4. Adam1

      This wasn’t an ISIS operation and it wasn’t Ukrainian either – or not at least with out direct support/approval from it’s master. Both are just vassal entities of the US or at least it’s deep state operations. I mean did ISIS really hate Russia so much to do this given what’s going on in Gaza???? Weren’t they trying to create a new caliph in the middle east just a few years ago? So why blow up something in Russia? No they’re just pawns taking the money and instructions from their masters in Washington.

      The crazy stupid part was not anyone realizing how THINNLY veiled this was. Just stupid.

  7. zagonostra

    >Obama and Clinton defend Biden’s support for Israel’s war in Gaza FT

    Biden’s strategy at the beginning of the conflict had been to embrace Netanyahu publicly, while privately urging him to scale down the military operation in Gaza, but Israel has often defied US recommendations.

    Public, private, Hogwash, propaganda. If you’re telling us that Biden is “privately” doing anything it is no longer “private,” it’s a carefully constructed narrative to provide cover for the ongoing slaughter of innocents. What is “public” is the before our eyes in the skeletal images of children starving.

    Clinton and Obama, two criminals with mass murder on their hands viz Yugoslavia for the former and Libya for the latter, only add credence to protestor’s chants of “genocide Joe has got to go!” at a recent fund raising event.

      1. t

        Pegasus spyware and SWIFT. That’s how the retaliation would come – maybe something else we don’t know about.

        I mean, even if he wanted to.

    1. Martin Oline

      I wonder if the appearance of three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse at the Biden fund raiser and their support of genocide has anything to do with the unpublished list of guests of Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Saint James?
      Is it a conspiracy theory when the evidence of a crime against humanity is before you? What we lack is the motive. Where is Columbo when you need him?

      1. Antifa

        The slaughter of the innocents
        Of people starving in their tents
        Doesn’t fit their polished script
        Can’t be spun or deftly flipped
        It spoils the plans of Presidents

    2. Vandemonian

      “Don’t listen to what people say; watch what they do.”
      ― Steven D. Levitt, in Think Like a Freak

  8. zagonostra

    >Capitalism Is Dead – Long Live Capital Crooked Timber. Yanis Varoufakis’ Technofeudalism.

    This might be the end of capitalism; it’s transformation into something even more sinister; or simply a new brand of global market economy. Maybe Varoufakis’s technofeudalism is yet another seriously mistaken prediction of capitalism’s death. Yet the idea that fighting it requires grappling with how to escape collectively from “carefully curated isolation” remains a crucial insight. If only we knew how.

    I agree with Miriam Ronzoni’s concluding paragraph copied above. I do take issue with the use of “technofeudalism.” The term “neofeudalisms” frequently used by Richard Wolff ,Chris Hedges, and others has been around quite sometime now. Michael Hudson indicated he has a problem with that term and eschews its use. Personally, I prefer Guido Preparata’s term “technostructure,” which closely mirror’s that of Varoufakis.

    1. Wandering Maritimer

      I’m reading Yanis’s book at the moment. He actually uses “technostructure” as a jumping-off point for his argument, though he traces the version he’s adopted back to Galbraith’s original articulation.

      I agree there are probably some valid critiques of his term “technofeudalism,” but I do think he makes a fairly compelling point that some kind of state change is unfolding, and probably not in a direction most of us are going to like.

    2. Michael Hudson

      No, I like the term neofeudallism. Next month there’s a whole meeting at U/Chhicago on this that I’ll be giving a paper for.

      1. CA

        The philosophical rationale for neo-feudalism:

        September 13, 1970

        The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits
        By Milton Friedman – New York Times

        When I hear businessmen speak eloquently about the “social responsibilities of business in a free-enterprise system,” I am reminded of the wonderful line about the Frenchman who discovered at the age of 70 that he had been speaking prose all his life. The businessmen believe that they are defending free enterprise when they declaim that business is not concerned “merely” with profit but also with promoting desirable “social” ends; that business has a “social conscience” and takes seriously its responsibilities for providing employment, eliminating discrimination, avoiding pollution and whatever else may be the catchwords of the contemporary crop of reformers. In fact they are–or would be if they or anyone else took them seriously–preaching pure and unadulterated socialism. Businessmen who talk this way are unwitting puppets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades…

        1. skippy

          Having been around a few decades watching various so called thinkers like Milton, whole rational agent model camp. I am always amazed how they all project their own group characteristics on anyone not in it, opening statements of totality proselytized.

          “Businessmen who talk this way are unwitting puppets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades…”

          I mean what does he think his lot is since its inception, employees to Capital seeking too shape society for its benefit. Somehow this then is twisted into the foundations of a free society. Just wow at the old social networks and Lippmann press et al agendas, but yeah, free society ….

          Now post that agenda the West is increasingly non competitive, monopolies abound, everything is geared for financial profit removed from everything else, and any nations not subservient to its wishes are the destroyers of all that is good in this world.

        2. JBird4049

          The old line industrial capitalists such as Andrew Carnegie were monstrous, but they created things, and they often felt their responsibilities to others, however faintly.

          Milton Friedman spent his life advocating for the freedom of being greedy without remorse or guilt, really the worshipping of the God Mammon; this has lead to the dominance of the financial capitalists, psychopaths who only want to fellate their egos, and have created nothing except destruction. A better proponent of Neoliberalism is difficult to find.

    3. matt

      ive read cory doctorow’s stuff on this topic. mostly in how the concept of ownership is slipping away in regards to software ownership. photoshop becoming an annual fee instead of a buy once and use it until it breaks type of thing. or with a lot of videogames. i think part of it is a reflection of our culture of disposability, where it’s easier to buy a new thing than maintain the old one yourself. and also shift towards rent over ownership. i need to explore the economic motivations behind that transition more.

    4. Kouros

      I think these two Canadian guys have penned it a bit better:

      Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler – Capital as Power A Study of Order and Creorder

      The only solution is much more democracy, or an alliance between democracy and authoritharianism, in order to curtail the oligarchy.

  9. Mike x

    I don’t have the slightest idea who John Wang is, but I found his tweet a little strange. “I attended…”, “…most mind-blowing experiences of my life”, “…as surreal as it felt sitting right behind him…”, “…here’s my story”. Then a picture of both him and SBF, and the font of “ME” and “SBF” is identical size, as if they are equally important. Maybe he is a young guy still trying to make a name for himself, or maybe he thinks he personally is the story. Just struck me as odd.

    1. paul

      While i can’t read the x post, was it just the sight of a well born receiving some admonishment that ‘blew his ‘mind’’?

    2. Bugs

      The kid is a crypto guy and idolized SBF. It pains me to know that many thousands of relatively intelligent people are up to their ears in that stuff. What a waste.

    3. digi_owl

      Welcome to the age of Narcissus. Everything is “me me me” as people try to somehow monetize attention through social media.

      Also the author seems to be a cryptobro, having been involved in a NFT company.

    4. LY

      From reading the thread, it seems like he’s a pro-crypto, having gotten into it while in college. The real world consequences and implications seemed to be abstract until the trial, with a judge who had deal with Al Queda, etc. And maybe it’s still abstract, since he referred to the jurors as “NPCs.”

      1. Jeff W

        From Wikipedia [here]:

        The NPC…derived from non-player character, is an Internet meme that represents people who do not think for themselves or do not make their own decisions; those who lack introspection or intrapersonal communication.

        Somehow I’m glad I didn’t know that and had to look it up.

        1. MaryLand

          In other words he looks on the jurors as lesser than “others” just as SBF had no regard for those he defrauded.

        2. ChrisPacific

          It’s from gaming and refers to characters controlled by the computer, who typically have just enough depth to fulfill their role in the setting and no more. It’s similar to the outright stereotypes in TV and movies, like the sassy black receptionist, or the goons that exist only to rush the action hero and get mowed down. It suggests a certain sense of unreality on the part of the observer (and a lack of empathy, obviously).

          The guy does seem to be able to see SBF as he is, rather than as he wants him to be (he mentions that he had lost sympathy for him after listening to all the obvious lies) but isn’t able to take that next step to look critically at the crypto sector. There’s a danger that people will think our industry is inherently criminal just because all of our most celebrated figures have turned out to be criminals. We need to explain it better to them, so that they can see the light, etc.

    5. Jason Boxman

      What I found disturbing was:

      The jury looked like NPCs randomly picked off the street. No-one looked younger than 40, half were obese, and some didn’t even bring a notepad. Lawyers had to explain every single crypto term. “When I was your age, mining was about getting rocks”, smirked the judge.

      (bold mine)

      In NYC. Did they bus these people in to serve on the jury, or is obesity a thing in NYC these days?

      1. JBird4049

        I think that it means that obesity is becoming more American as Big Food keeps crapifying our food into “food” for every more profit. It is the upper classes that have the time and money for better, healthier food, not the food like products that a growing number of Americans have to depend on.

        Personally, I still eat poorly, but because I almost always eat stuff with ingredients that I can understand and cook my own food, my health is better and I have lost weight. Whatever is being sold in the grocery stores or in restaurants is often poisoned garbage masquerading as food.

      2. ChrisPacific

        Juries are randomly picked off the street, by definition, and the obesity rate in America is around 40%. Neither of these two things should have been a surprise.

        1. Jason Boxman

          I never saw that many obese people in Boston; I guess NYC is different, although I don’t recall seeing obese people in Midtown at least when I’ve been.

          1. JBird4049

            The obese are concentrated among the lower classes as they lack the time, money, and sometimes the skills needed to cook healthy food using the degraded American food supply.

            It is a class signifier of having a disgustedly healthy body matching pre 1980s Americans. It is like the gleamingly white, perfectly straight, cavity free, carnivore like teeth proudly shown by the upper classes, which requires both an adequate, healthy diet of quality food and the use of good dental care, both requiring resources that the bottom half just does not have (anymore).

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Life as we know it could exist on Venus, new experiment reveals”

    ‘It’s life Jim – but not as we know it.’ – Leonard “Bones” McCoy

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

    1. Lee

      See mine below. Also, I like Shatner’s take on the “final frontier” posted on yesterday’s Links. As for life on other planets, if detected, best run the other way at warp speed or nuke it from orbit.

        1. Lee

          Humans already manifest the dark forest hypothesis without any outside help. Hopefully it’s just a passing phase that in the fullness of time we will outgrow, should we last so long.

          1. Vandemonian

            …or maybe humans are something that planet “Earth” (as some humans call it) will outgrow.

            1. Joe Renter

              That is true. We do outgrow being chained to this planet after millions of years of incarnations. It will be common knowledge in the next 100 years or so.
              The path to Sirius, your option if you choose. I have often seen the star twinkling like a rainbow and thinking it was a possible UFO.


    Obama and Clinton defend Biden’s support for Israel’s war in Gaza, can’t afford FT. Zionists carry that much weight they can get neo-fascists and toddies to trot out and praise genocide?

  12. Vikas

    The piece on Epstein was an eye-opener for me — but not about his crimes or his network. You have to read to the second half to get past the Epstein related material to the heart of the matter: the extent of digital surveillance which is shocking even to this old cynic.

    1. digi_owl

      And ponder that they are trying to basically make the phone that enable it all the only possible way to interact with anything monetary or governmental.

    2. Ranger Rick

      Oh, it’s even worse than you think. If it is digitized, someone, somewhere, has sold it to a broker. If it involves a credit card, it’s tracked coming and going by every party involved in the transaction. Your cell phone location data is sold on the hour to interested parties. All your public information is in the database too, including things you may not be aware are exposed to the public, like whether or not you voted. Data you share with a third party is also on the menu, including things you may believe are covered by (conveniently context-sensitive) privacy laws like health information.

      1. sleeplessintokyo

        every phone call, text, email, website visit, shopping experience, zoom call, flight, drive, meeting, etc etc etc
        all of it.

  13. Lee

    Humans give more viruses to animals than they give us, study finds The Pig Site

    Late Pleistocene faunal mass extinctions have been often attributed to climate change combined with the naive prey phenomenon enabling overkill by organized groups of human hunters utilizing projectile weapons. This makes a lot of sense, but I do wonder to what extent the introduction of novel pathogens carried by anatomically modern humans may have contributed to these extinctions as well.

    As an aside, as much I enjoy futuristic fiction involving adventures in space and alien species, such tales, with few notable exceptions, take little or no account of the microbial matrices from which all more complex life forms on earth arose and upon which all still depend, that this is probably true of other life-supporting worlds as well, and that our respective microbiomes might not play well together.

    1. The Rev Kev

      As the Martians found out to their cost in H. G Well’s “War of the Worlds.” But it amazes me that H G Wells was thinking along these lines way back in the late 1890s. That was first class thinking that.

      1. Lee

        Yes, the germ theory of disease was just then replacing miasma theory. In more recent sci-fi, Robinson’s novel Aurora, the film Prometheus, and and the protomolecule as depicted in the TV series The Expanse all acknowledge microbiotic entities as powerful plot determinants, just as they are here and now on earth. We need to continue keeping a close eye on those wee beasties that both sustain and murder us.

    2. Ghost in the Machine

      In Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, there is an intergenerational spaceship on a mission to colonize a distant planet. It goes into detail about how difficult the struggle would be to survive on a spaceship multiple generations. They barely manage to get there. Once they get to the planet it’s pretty much barren but has a reasonable atmosphere and some water. It turns out that there’s a fatal microbe that starts killing them. They have to flee the planet. They do make it back to earth after much suffering and are very grateful to have made it back. Many sci-fi geeks consider the novel a kind of betrayal to space optimism. I thought it was good. I still thought it was pretty optimistic given that will never have ships even capable of that.

        1. Ghost in the Machine

          Ah yes, forgot about that. But wasn’t the vibe that they were pretty much doomed?

    3. Late Introvert

      Don’t forget it was Europeans who also spread infections to OTHER humans in “The New World”, sometimes even on purpose.

  14. i just don't like the gravy

    Isn’t anhedonia a relatively common experience among sociopaths? The way I’ve heard it articulated is that sociopaths (antisocial personality disorder in recent jargon) only feel disgust as an emotion. That although they can feel pleasure like we do it’s not internalized in the same way, leading to anhedonia. But their ability to be repulsed or disgusted is unchanged and the only thing left. Leading to the behavior we witness in SBF’s parents: their total disregard for the proles.

    1. digi_owl

      Lately i keep finding myself wondering if, under the right circumstances, the behavior can become Pavlovian. Meaning that if enough clinical sociopaths reach positions of power, they will foster an environment around them that condition others to behave like sociopaths.

      1. Feral Finster

        Of course, and this causes organizations to become dysfunctional because a sociopath is not motivated by anything other than his own personal aggrandizement. He will not work on behalf of a cause greater than himself, and his motive ever always only is “what’s in it for me?”

        In addition, organizations can make otherwise decent people behave like sociopaths.

        Take the example of a mid-level functionary in the colonial office of the British Empire. This might be an educated, civilized, honorable individual, a devoted father, a doting husband, a loyal friend, but the exigencies of his job might cause that to do monstrous things, and if he won’t, others can be found who will.

      2. Art Vandalay

        With 30 years of experience in corporate America, I have plenty of anecdata supporting the notion of increasing sociopathy and disengagement from facts as people climb the ladder. The conditions and expectations they place on those around (or, at least on the org chart and in their minds, beneath) them certainly drive sociopath-like behaviors. I don’t know that anyone who isn’t a sociopath is made into one, but it is a good sorting mechanism to ensure the leader-sociopath adjacent are like minded and, ultimately, that the highest tier of leadership remains populated almost entirely with sociopaths and those who embrace operating in a manner indistinguishable from them. TL;DR – selective conditioning programs work.

      3. Duke of Prunes

        Been there, done that. It’s called “stack ranking” and was popularized by Neutron Jack Welsh at GE and swept through bigcorp like wildfire in the 90s-00s. Annually rank your team top to bottom and get rid of the bottom x%. Either the manager figured out how to game their manager and let their team operate in disregard to the policy, or it turns the team against itself as each member must focus on what’s going to make them look best. Thank goodness it’s fallen out of favor, but given time I’m sure it will come back in a new and improved package.

      4. Kouros

        Dawkins, in his “The Selfish Gene” describes computer experiments with “individuals” moving around and having either “sociopathic” or “collective” attributes. Steady states were reached with populations of collectivists as well as with populations of sociopaths…

    2. Terry Flynn

      That’s a horrid comment. Whilst anhedonia might be common among sociopaths, the vast majority of people suffering from anhedonia are not remotely sociopathic.

      I have gone through the mill with personality assessments. I am currently anhedonic but have no evidence of any “population abnormal” traces of narcissistic disorders or any other red flags indicating possible sociopathic tendencies.

      1. Feral Finster

        Perhaps I should let gravy speak for himself, but “sociopaths frequently experience anhedonia” does not mean “people who experience anhedonia are frequently sociopaths”, nor does it mean that you are a sociopath.

        1. i just don't like the gravy

          You are right Feral Finster. I was not implying that all people who experience anhedonia are sociopaths. That is absurd.

          Somebody weeks ago read something into my comment that wasn’t there also. People are especially sensitive at the end of the world, it seems.

        2. Terry Flynn

          Apologies for anticipating the large majority of people who don’t understand Bayesian statistics or don’t read a headline without understanding the key distinction in a venn diagram.

          1. skippy

            “Bayesian statistics” – see orthodox economics. Lars Syll also has some granular observations about that all IMO …

      2. skippy

        Its a very complex topic people. Diagnoses are quite varied, per individual, per se a person can have tenancies, but it depends on how chronic it is. Even people with the same diagnoses exhibit differently in environmental situations.

        This is a much debated topic in the field right now, biological or environmental precursors with over lapping synergies. Due to some being grounded in, one or the other, over time in research this can create unneeded divisions.

        I grew up with a mother with BPD, low and behold I married someone that is diagnosed in today’s terminology as Co Histrionic/Borderline Personality Disorder, 30 years, 4 kids, Stroke at late 40s, divorced a year later … its maniacal … this person was a highly regarded clinical on road/Uni educator for 13 years.

        Originally thought she was a victim in her youth and that is what tempered my thoughts about the events, due to it, during our entire marriage. Only to find out not long ago it was not the case, she is just that way and there is no cure. Only thing on offer is a form of CBT which is self managed[????] in the real world.

        I recommend everyone tread very lightly on such topics.

        1. skippy

          Amends, Clinical Paramedic and Educator. Not the type of job most people would think diagnosed with her condition would excel at, very counterintuitive. Panic attacks happened daily in evenings when things were the most calm at home, 20 min ramp up, 15 min psychotic episode, and 20 min wind down. Totally relaxed afterwards whilst I am shattered lol …

        2. zach

          “Its a very complex topic people.”

          Damn skippy. And thank you for reminding us.

          A lot of pro’s paint with airless sprayers, you can cover a lot of area with a minimum of effort (discounting the prospect of carpal tunnel syndrome) but the finish isn’t as durable and overspray is a constant battle. If circumstances dictate that i must apply paint, I prefer my 18″ roller frame and 2.5″ bevel brush – takes a bit longer, looks about the same when it’s done, and I gain an appreciation (sometimes/often frustration) for the countours of a structure. It also keeps me firmly stuck in the “bush league” of painters…

          1. skippy

            Airless sprayers today have better pressure control and Fine Finish [FF] tips, also new products have emerged like fast drying water based enamels where spraying trims etc is easier – less sags/runs. New Guns are much lighter on the fingers and adjustable for length. On old hardwood weather board homes after strip and prep we use airless apply paint and back brush, speeds things up, no moving brush from pot to wall, just constant back brushing.

            Yes 18″ roller is use mostly for exterior ceilings and interior ceilings/walls.

            Then again I depending on work conditions will use a pressure/conventional pot and DeVilbiss spray gun for trims/windows. Huge change in control via adjustments on gun and nil over spray. Huge change in say interior/exterior balustrades set up and looks.

            Getting back to the psychology. Recommend a quick check of the diagnosis I pointed out, low pop ratio, but these people really have no control over it. Cycle between semi normal and then back to anti social behavior. Can be quite corrosive, most people would not have a clue unless close to the person for a period of time.

            Self-centeredness, feeling uncomfortable when not the center of attention
            Constantly seeking reassurance or approval
            Inappropriately seductive appearance or behavior
            Rapidly shifting emotional states that appear shallow to others
            Overly concerned with physical appearance, and using physical appearance to draw attention to self
            Opinions are easily influenced by other people, but difficult to back up with details
            Excessive dramatics with exaggerated displays of emotion
            Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are
            Is highly suggestible (easily influenced by others)

            Over 30 yrs I watched it evolve, age, hormones, environmental pressures, triggers, the lot, and nothing you can do about it. Well not really, you can hide aspects from others and lie to everyone about it for the kids so they don’t suffer blow back. Phew …they are all grown up and living their own lives now.

            1. katiebird

              And there is very little help for the families of the mentally ill. I have my own experience with it and was told by a doctor that I couldn’t leave because he’d likely kill himself. So I stayed (for some years)… but what kind of solution to mental illness is that? And I never did find a support group for people like me who were checking the house every afternoon to make sure everything was “OK”

              I think of you and your experience – 30 years…. I am so glad you are removed from that situation.

              1. skippy

                Hi Katiebird …

                Yes as discussed long ago on NC … the Raygun destruction of the public mental health system – on ideological grounds – furthered by the commodification in the field itself with synergies with Pharma and here we all are …

                Like I said its complex, genetic factors due to Scottish heritage of father, marriage factors generations ago resulting in Thyroid dramas for the population of the region. Mother of English heritage presented with a few quirks as well. Older sister has her same condition which presents in early adolescence, ex was diagnosed Sophomore year in HS with eating disorder originally. Has been seeing the same highly regarded and publish Psychologist during the whole time off and on. Did SSRI’s back in the day, now its know that is a bad thing lol. Yet she will never be entirely out of my life due to kids and me caring for her two dogs.

                The drama now is the kids are seeing it as young adults living their own lives and having to contend with it on that level. Post her ICH stroke after a 6 week holiday in the E.U. based on a 10 days masters rowing comp in France two weeks back. Two months in Hospital, some motor loss, huge language loss, more executive function loss, added personality changes, she decided not to return to home. A male rowing friend 10 yrs older offered to stay in his apt that he is rarely at, spends most his time on his Cat sailing up the coast for weeks or overseas holidays. In 6 months she was in a relationship with him and engaged, off to a 2 mo long E.U. holiday, she had a psychotic episode in the hotel room in Budapest and he abandoned her. Daughter in London had to make arrangements on the fly to get her back home.

                She moves out once back to a flat on the West End Brisbane River, 4 months later back with him sailing for weeks at end up the coast, next a masters rowing comp in South Africa, now just back from a 7 week trip to America to Ski in CO and then had another melt down whilst at a Broadway show in NYC. She was on Valium the whole time to self manage and not have a melt down. Back in town now and the kids are getting a wee bit tired of the bloke and at her to stay away from him. Obviously in it for his own needs and no idea about her underlining condition. What bloke gets involved with someone just recovering from a major stroke that shows obvious sign of cognitive dysfunction and then on top of it all BPD.

                So as I have been saying its complex and I will never really be free of it all. All I can do now is let the kids grow up and make up there own minds on how they want to approach it. They were aware of somethings as kids, but completely blind to the most corrosive aspects of it in a marriage. That is going to take sometime to wash.

                On the other hand 3-ish yrs down the road after down sizing homes, lots of work, caring for these two dogs, working out a lot, finding myself again post divorce, I have met someone and dating. Both taking it very slowly and just enjoying time together out and about or at my place watching something with the two nutty dogs. To be 62, but look 52 and fit, dating some one 53, relaxed to be around, nil dramas, just enjoying being around each other … its almost surreal …

                1. katiebird

                  That is wonderful. I’m very happy for you!! And I pray that your kids work through it all.

    3. Don

      Anhedonia. On reading mom’s statement I flashed on Noah Hawley’s The Good Father, which I read last week. Life imitating art. Imagining SBF shivving someone in a prison shower is not a stretch.

  15. lyman alpha blob

    Lambert, I noticed your reply yesterday to my flippant comment about the slaves used a scribes. I sometimes forget that just because I know a thing, it doesn’t follow that everybody else does or should know the same thing.

    What I had in mind while writing the comment was this rather hilarious historical fiction about Pliny the Elder abusing his enslaved scribes – Awake. Maybe you will find that one worth adding to your list. And it’s short – you can polish it off in a afternoon!

    I also highly recommend the 2nd installment in Voetmann’s trilogy, which I liked even better than the first. That one has Tycho Brahe as the subject matter, who famously had his nose sliced off in a duel, thus the cover illustration – Sublunar. In between all the raunch and debauchery, you can find some pretty interesting contemplation on what exactly it means to do “science”.

    1. Martin Oline

      Thanks for the links, and a tip of the hat to Mr. Blob. Looks like I will have to break down and buy this one. I checked three separate library systems and none of them have it.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Analysts downplay Baltimore bridge collapse trade impacts”

    Tis but a flesh wound. If they can quickly clear away a large segment of that wrecked bridge to allow shipping in and out of Baltimore, that would solve a lot of problems. And it seems that a lot of the needed equipment is based in this are so that may be lucky there. But clearing away the rest of that bridge as well as salvaging that ship is going to be a right royal headache. For drivers in the Baltimore area it is also going to be a pain. I do not know the geography of this city obviously but I wonder if flat-bedded ferrys could be brought in to transport cars back and forth between the two shores. That is how cars traveled between the two shores of Sydney Harbour before the Sydney Harbour Bridge was built and I read that traffic was not that heavy along Baltimore’s bridge when it was standing.

    1. mrsyk

      Let us not forget the sixty odd containers of hazardous waste, described as “corrosives”, “flammables”, and “lithium batteries”, a detail that seems to be overlooked in all of the analysis I’ve read this morning so far. Waiting for the “controlled” detonation of the whole wreck. Seriously, I’m wondering how high the risk is of a fire breaking out.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Baltimore is in the Chesapeake. Virginia’s Democratic Senators and Republican Governor are jumping up send down to move the traffic despite concerns about capacity, and they won’t want to see it move back.

      This is a huge problem for Baltimore and it’s residents even if Amazon orders aren’t impacted that much. Baltimore is part of BosWash. Without real intervention, this is a disaster because the traffic can move. Sydney is a major city, but Baltimore is a neighborhood of the mega-opolis. Things can move quickly.

      I’m reminded of the Baltimore Orioles efforts to keep a baseball team from coming to DC. The casual Oriole fans would become Nationals fans over night, depriving the O’s of revenue streams. The growth of DC and Virginia in general means traffic can move.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        I remember a certain pandemic when only “essential” workers drove. All the knowledge workers stayed home and productivity went up, not down.

        So, any minute now those Senators and Republican Governor should be issuing a call to “be safe and stay home” for the good of the country, unless you’re a truck driver or have to be at a job site …. Oh wait, I forgot about that little CRE disaster unfolding; strike that.

        Keep staying packed like sardines in a Hellush commute for the sake of JPMorgan and Bamk of America. Screw the workers.

      2. Darthbobber

        I think it’s still ON the Chesapeake. Should take 2 or 3 more decades for it to transition to in the Chesapeake

    3. Benny Profane

      Most heading south will just divert in the other direction on 695. It’s another 30 miles, but faster than a ferry.

    4. ric

      In response to: “For drivers in the Baltimore area it is also going to be a pain. I do not know the geography of this city obviously but I wonder if flat-bedded ferrys could be brought in to transport cars back and forth between the two shores.”

      It’ll be a pain for SOME Balt area drivers, but not most, and certainly not for through-travelers except hazmats. There are four (now three) highway routes around Baltimore and that bridge is by far the least used route.

      Reports are that about 30K cars use that bridge every day. At 15k each way per day that’s really not that much. In contrast, about 200K per day go through the two harbor tunnels. The bridge traffic is generally limited to local traffic east of I-95 that needs to go to that side of the City and to the ports, which are mainly on the north side of the harbor. Hazmats aren’t allowed through the tunnels so they would previously go that way. They now need to go around the west side of the beltway (I-695) so there will be some impact there because it’s quite congested already.

      Biden said in his press conference that he’s very familiar with that bridge and that he crossed it a lot by car and by train on his travels to and from DE and DC. That statement is subject to quite the ridicule among the locals here in the Baltimore area. First, the train doesn’t go over that bridge. Second, I’ve lived in this area a good part of my life, have traveled that I-95 route hundreds of times and I have NEVER crossed that bridge. If you’re not carrying hazmat or you don’t have business over there, you don’t go that way.

    1. mrsyk

      What a depressing read. This kind of “environmental” think is oddly similar to SBF’s parents weird credentialed entitlement. I guess Wertvorstellung is the word of the day.

  17. Ghost in the Machine

    Jeffrey Epstein’s Island Visitors Exposed by Data Broker Wired. “[M]any of the coordinates captured by Near point to multimillion-dollar homes in numerous US states.”

    Don’t be coy Wired! List the names! I would like to help spread them around. Maybe someone should hire a billboard and post the info in their hometown. And I can properly title them in casual conversation with friends and family. For example, “hey, I hear Elite Scum Gates, He Who Chose Friendship With Epstein Over His Wife, has a new plan for Haiti,” or whatever.

    1. mrsyk

      Right?! The only reason I read that article was to see the names. I’m not at all surprised that the data exists so C’mon man, show us the names. Ron Wydan, you on that list? (“US senator Ron Wyden in early February urged federal regulators to launch investigations into Near Intelligence”).

      1. jhallc

        Martha’s Vineyard could be A. Dershowitz, amongst others. My ex ran into him strutting along Lucy Vincent beach (no clothes required) in the mid 80’s. She was in her mid 20’s and looked a whole lot younger. He would have been late 40’s.

      2. Late Introvert

        If you read to the very end there’s a weird comment about protecting the privacy of the victims, almost like you can’t do that while revealing the perps. A private date broker doing all of this for a client they won’t reveal. Crazy stuff.

  18. Phenix

    Worldwide population levels:

    Does he include the known revision to China’s population via vaccine surveillance?

    Does he include the recent revisions released this year discounting 100 million 50 and under?

    China is closing maternity wards.

    They have an amazing system. First world infrastructure. But it’s built for a population of 1.6 billion. What happens when it’s cut in half.

    That’s why I never take anyone at face value on China. China hawks only focus on demographics and pro-China voices never mention demographics.

    Hudson never mentions that China’s could give it’s entire population 2 or maybe 3 houses. That is not good. All of that infrastructure was never needed.

    People like Peter Zeihan say China will collapse by the end of 2020 but they base everything on demographics and apparently Xi is an irrational dictator.

    There is more truth in Hudson’s analysis but Zeihan is probably closer on the demographics….can someone chime in? I do not have X/Twitter access.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The infrastructure supporting the non-Manhattan style density is the question. I don’t think it’s a secret, but the goal is a rural/suburban depopulation. It’s the same in Russia. Theyou don’t want Raleigh-Durham sprawls. Can you imagine the world without Charlotte? Or if Northern Virginia was horse country and the government built vertically in Cleveland or Buffalo? Northern Virginia has a messed up godawful infrastructure incapable of doing anything other than creating nightmarish traffic. The metro has to limit its hours to do maintence because thye cant take lines off line during peak hours. Its over capacity with no where to build new lines. We didn’t have to do that. The only real solution is to build a Manhattan style city, move everyone, and turn the swamp back into a swamp.

      1. Phenix

        I knew a lot of people from NOVA and spent some time there from 2000-2010. Back then the metro was great but it was not capable of keeping up with the sprawl of the DC swamp.

        And I agree they should have built a Manhattan outside of DC but everyone wants a yard etc… the time I left the “DC” suburbs went all the way out to Winchester….that’s at the end of 66….I helped sell those homes. I would show them while in college. 3000 sq ft McMansions for a person that works in DC….they would commute 2-3 hours for that house…. absolutely insane.

    2. CA

      “I never take anyone at face value on China. China hawks only focus on demographics and pro-China voices never mention demographics…”

      What is necessary is to follow and pay attention to what the Chinese write about China, and that is simply done by looking to the news and analysis cgtn and xinhua.

      A statement such as “China is closing maternity wards” is ridiculously misleading but knowing that means at least when necessary looking to what the Chinese are actually doing.

      Michael Hudson is an entirely honest, knowledgeable and careful analyst. The other “analyst” mentioned is, well, evidently none of these things and all that is needed to know this is to understand that China is a benign 5,000 year old civilization of 1.4 billion, that is by far the largest economy, that has been by far the fastest growing economy these last 45 years… Start by thinking the Chinese must know stuff, and pay attention to what the stuff is.

      1. Phenix

        A lot of us on this site have been reading Michael Hudson for decades. He is the best economist/social scientist on debt and the economy. Hell he is just the best. The West would be a better place if his form of economics took over.

        I searched maternity and birth rates on the site you linked and did not get any results about closing maternity wards or Chinese birth rates.

        I do not think that China has any interest in creating an American style empire but it is dependent on America’s imperial system. Something will have to give.

        The US is dismantling the global system. It doesn’t serve their purposes….it never served my interest (US peasant….err working class).

        Id like to write more but it’s hard to put together coherent paragraphs/arguments on a phone. I appreciate your contributions here. They help the community.

      2. CA

        March 19, 2023

        China’s maternal, infant mortality rates continue to drop

        BEIJING — In 2023, China registered a maternal mortality rate of 15.1 per 100,000, which is 10.7 percent lower than the figure from 2020, China’s National Health Commission said Tuesday.

        The commission also noted that in 2023, the infant mortality rate and mortality rate of children under 5 stood at 4.5 per 1,000 and 6.2 per 1,000, down 16.7 percent and 17.3 percent from 2020.

        According to Shen Haiping, an official with the commission, China now has 3,491 emergency medical centers for pregnant and lying-in women in critical or serious condition. Furthermore, the country has established 3,321 emergency centers to provide timely medical attention to newborn babies.

        The commission will continue to facilitate the enhancement of medical institutions’ capacity to treat acute, critical and major illnesses, said Shen, adding that it will also help improve hospital services to cater to the needs of pregnant and lying-in women.

  19. Victor Sciamarelli

    Russia Doubles Down…, WSJ and Putin’s Next Escalation…, NYT
    Years ago, US politicians took turns denigrating Putin as a former KGB intelligence officer; Putin was a KGB Colonel.
    Meanwhile, as the NYT and WSJ reported that Putin alleged the West was behind the Moscow attack, they ignored the fact that Putin understands how intelligence is gathered and interpreted. And he knows exactly how to make the most of the meager evidence of the moment and what it takes to pull off the attack in Moscow.
    Imo, I think Putin now realizes that besides Ukraine’s defeat, he needs to dismantle, or weaken NATO, otherwise Russia will be haunted by continuous interference from the US, especially if US foreign policy remains in the hands of the neocons like Biden and his advisors.
    The NYT recently disclosed, “C.I.A.-supported network of spy bases constructed in the past eight years that includes 12 secret locations along the Russian border.”
    Will the US convert Ukraine’s defeat into a US/UA covert war from what remains as “free” Ukraine? If so, I think Putin will take steps to make sure that never happens.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Related, I’ve always found it interesting that Putin’s KGB background is used as a point of derision by the same people who welcome ex-CIA folks with open arms. (And is one ever really EX-CIA anyway?)

      1. Victor Sciamarelli

        You’re right, not only do they welcome ex-CIA folks but defer to them on important questions and don’t challenge them. I don’t think anybody in Russian Intell would dare try to bullshit Putin.
        Perhaps the Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin tried to pull a fast one on Putin; a bad idea during wartime.

        1. caucus99percenter

          > the first Bush was a CIA Director

          … who notably claimed inability to remember where he was or what he was doing when JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

  20. Terry Flynn

    Am I the only person who in light of the just announced incident in Northern Ireland is thinking that Star Trek may have got Irish reunification prediction date correct?

    (Look up Jeffrey Donaldson).

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Shock Discovery: Huge Carbon Credit Project in Australia Turns Out to Be a Sham”

    ‘Vast swathes of land across Australia’s desert Outback have been earmarked for native forest regeneration, which is meant to offset emissions as new trees suck up carbon.’

    Imagine my surprise that somebody wanted to grow a forest in the middle of a desert to make a quick buck and it failed. Oh I’m sorry. Did I roll my eyes out loud? Was water an optional feature in this place? How about soil nutrients. Because Oz is the oldest continent, a lot of the nutrients have been washed out of the soil over all those eons so was that where they were trying to grow that forest? Every time I hear the words carbon credit, I always think the word scam.

    1. CA

      “Shock Discovery: Huge Carbon Credit Project in Australia…”

      Forest and meadow growing and desert reclaiming efforts are emphasized all through China, and worth pay attention to:

      March 28, 2024

      China home to 47 UNESCO Global Geoparks

      CHANGCHUN — With six Chinese geoparks newly designated as Global Geoparks by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday, China is now home to 47 Global Geoparks.

      Among the newly designated sites, the Mount Changbaishan Geopark in northeast China’s Jilin Province covers an area of over 2,700 square kilometers. It hosts dramatic landforms and diverse rock types that document significant multiphase volcanic eruptions. ..

    2. CA

      December 3, 2023

      China’s largest environmental desert control PV project starts operation in Kubuqi desert
      By Feng Fan

      China’s largest environmental desert control photovoltaic (PV) project in the Kubuqi desert, North China’s Inner Mongolia, has connected to the grid. The 100,000-mu (6,666 hectares) project is providing clean energy for China’s power grid while helping improve the environment of the desert, showing China’s latest efforts at eco-development.

      With an installed capacity of 2 million kilowatts, the project is expected to generate 4.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, saving 1.23 million tons of standard coal and avoiding the emission of 3.19 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to China Three Gorges Corp.

      The project will use drones in seeding and planting high-quality pasture grass and medicinal herbs under the PV power panels, achieving ecological restoration while developing agriculture in the field.

      This environmental desert control system is a new use for PV. PV panels in the desert can collect enough dew to provide water for ecological restoration and develop agriculture under the panels…

    3. ChrisPacific

      This feels like it’s asking for a treatment by ‘The Onion’, where reporters are shocked to find a carbon credit program that is actually planting trees and doing all the things they claimed and isn’t a scam.

  22. Martin Oline

    I am a retired tool, die, and mold maker and I found this video interesting. It shows an ordnance disposal specialist stripping down an intercepted Storm Shadow missile. I suspect there a few people here who could be interested in how their appearance on the inside. The story says there is a longer (3 minute) video at RIA Novosti but this link takes you to the RT story which only has a one minute video. Storm Shadow video

    1. The Rev Kev

      So now the Russians have an intact Storm Shadow missile which they can take apart and learn exactly how they work. I suppose that sooner or later, that it will end up in Moscow’s military museum when they finish with it. If they get any more western tech, that museum will have to throw out a wing soon.

    2. vao

      From the full 3 minutes video, it appears that the missile is somewhat damaged — probably some dud that fell to the ground or was brought down without exploding.

      You can find the video on Bitchute; search for “Russians take apart captured Storm Shadow missile”.

      1. Martin Oline

        Thanks, I’d like to see that. I went to RIA Novosti this morning but all I could find were 10 still photos of the missile without the promised video.

  23. digi_owl

    “The Real Crisis in Humanities Isn’t Happening at College The Honest Broker”

    For years, while everyone was fuzzing about Twitter and Facebook, something was brewing on a social media platform called Tumblr. I never ventured there myself, but i kept seeing chatter about how wacky the ideas being peddled there was. In particular around sexual expression.

    What i can’t help wonder happened, looking back at my own time online, is that on places like Tumblr, Twitter, Reddit and others were, unlike on Facebook, you do not operate with a face, name and age attached, different age groups intermingle.

    So what happened perhaps on Tumblr was that some social science graduates and some teen and maybe even tweens intermingled without being aware of their difference in experience etc. And this then seeded slanted ideas partially lifted from the fringe and frontier of social sciences. And the teens took to these with the fervor only that age group can produce.

    Thing is that pre-social media, in particular pre-smartphone social media, the education system was tiered. Some ideas and topics were only encountered at certain tiers, when the system deemed that the student was had the proper foundation to tackle them.

    Usenet has this expression, eternal september, referring to when AOL allowed all its users unfettered access. Because what commonly happened on Usenet was that each september saw a new year of students getting access as part of their university enrollment. And each time the seasoned users had to deal with teaching them manners and behavior developed over years of experience. But when AOL opened the floodgates, this state of things became permanent, as the onrush of new users became too large for the older users to cope with.

    Dune is popular these days, so perhaps what we are seeing today could be akin to whole generations being “preborn”…

  24. JM

    Interesting that Newsweek went to someone at University College London to get an immunity debt explanation of why people are dying of Strep A. Along with navel gazing that maybe the under 50’s, a group that isn’t normally the prime sufferers of Strep. Toxic Shock Syndrome, are going to parties and that’s where they’re getting infected…

    By god they’re not going to just let that idea go.

  25. digi_owl

    “One Satellite Signal Rules Modern Life. What if Someone Knocks It Out? NYT”

    Only out of sheer arrogance. There is nothing special about GPS time keeping, it is just a very convenient way to tap into an atomic clock without investing in the infra.

    One could just as well set up atomic clocks with radio towers. And that was even done at one point, as desk and wrist watches able to receive the signal and sync to it was all the rage.

    1. mrsyk

      Ooh, another mega own-goal waiting to happen. This is where the “we are not a serious country” meme goes.

    2. BillS

      Time signal broadcasts still exist. Self-synchronizing clocks are still sold here in Europe.

      Rubidium atomic oscillators also have come down in price and are commonly used in digital broadcast transmitters and cellular base stations to maintain short-term timing and phase stability. GNSS “disciplining” is used to maintain long-term phase stability between stations. In the absence of the GNSS signals, these stations would remain on frequency continue to function, but would gradually drift out of phase with respect to one another.

      In short, it is not because there is anything special about GNSS signals, but it is a convenient centralized system for keeping a myriad of radio systems operating in lock-step. I would need to do a bit of digging, but I believe that there have been experiments in using alternatives like WWV.

      Anyone interested in this topic should pay a visit to the Time Nuts site and its group of experts.

    3. Bob Tetrault

      The headline elides the more central fact of GPS. It’s isn’t about the substitution of your wristwatch. It’s all about what the initials mean: Global Positioning System, knowing exactly the whereabouts of anything that the DoD deems important. Sure, you can find your lost phone, but contemplate the implications.
      Russia has a similar system as does China.

      All improvements in timekeeping precision go directly into positional precision in the military sense.

    4. cfraenkel

      The article even touches on that. No one want to pay for setting up (and maintaining – the important part) the towers. The Coast Guard is set to decommission their next gen version for lack of corporate support. And of course, the money can’t abide the Government doing anything productive, that’d be Socialist! Welcome to our capitalist dystopia.

  26. digi_owl

    “Capitalism Is Dead – Long Live Capital Crooked Timber. Yanis Varoufakis’ Technofeudalism.”

    I’m not sure if Marx ever really advocated for a destruction of capital in the revolutionary sense. I think that was more a product of Lenin and later.

    Instead he was advocating for workers being made conscious of their own worth within the capitalist system. And then, when capitalism has one of its crisis, said workers would step in and take control of the factories and such that the capitalists leave fallow.

    Thing is though that once that control has been grabbed, one must be willing to defend it with violence if need be. And that is perhaps where the whole language about revolution has come from.

  27. Aurelien

    I share Lambert’s mixed feelings about Simplicius, and his frequently cavalier attitude to facts and sources. He’s good on certain military things (though I’m not sure he was ever a professional) but outside his core competence, he’s a lot less reliable, and frequently observably wrong. He’s an example of what I describe as Pundit Creep: there are plenty of people who have made what are effectively specialist small businesses out of writing on Ukraine and the wider confrontation between Russia and the West, but now feel obliged, to keep their audience, to write about subjects such as Gaza, Hezbollah and now the Crocus bombings, where you can see they are manifestly ill-at-ease, and where they try to compensate by blustering and turning the volume up to 11, as here. If there was one piece of significant verifiable evidence cited in this rambling piece, I confess I missed it: it’s all innuendo and supposition.

    What strikes me about so many of those who have pundited recently about the IS is not just that they seem to have made no effort to do any research, it’s that they don’t actually see the need for any. They knew what they thought within five minutes, and aren’t going to be swayed by anything as banal as knowledge. (They resemble those pundits who regale us with stories of Russian human-wave attacks, but who have never bothered to search for videos or even expert military commentary, or those who apparently have decided that the recent Baltimore Bridge collision was a revenge operation by the Russian SVR for the NATO-supported attacks in the Crimea, without feeling any need to do any research on bridge construction or maritime safety.)

    Instead, pundits seem to be operating off a series of popular culture stereotypes of islamic terrorism: a bit of Taliban, a bit of AQ and a bit of Hollywood. So I keep reading that the attack couldn’t have been the IS because it was carried out on a Friday. Well, the most destructive IS attack in history was carried out in Paris and around in November 2015, and it was carried out … on a Friday. (Few pundits even seem aware that there were many attacks carried out by IS in Europe, especially in 2015-16, with quite sharply different techniques. You’d have thought that might be a place to start.) With the IS you are dealing with the type that would have been thrown out of the Waffen-SS for stupidity and unnecessary brutality. Few of them had more than a faint grasp of Islam, and many of those captured and interrogated confessed they had never even opened the Koran.

    Admittedly, finding out about IS takes a bit of work, since few military-political organisations have been more studied in modern times . Even if you restrict yourself to English, and ignore the vast literature on Political Islam and Islamist violence generally, you’re talking about hundreds of books, articles and papers, hours and hours of interviews with former fighters, untold more hours of IS propaganda videos, and video reportages from Mosul at the height of the IS’s power. But even Wikipedia is a start.

    Ultimately, I’m prepared to listen to somebody who says “this is outside my core area of expertise, but I’ve spoken to a number of experts and I’ve done some reading and this is what I think,” even if I disagree with them. But I’ve no time for the pundit who is so certain of themself they simply can’t be bothered to do any actual research.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      You might find Richard Steven Hack’s analysis a bit more thoughtful:

      Usual disclaimer: no idea who this guy is but I stumbled onto him thru the MoA blog.

    2. BillC

      “Ultimately, I’m prepared to listen …”

      Me too. But I’m determined to listen to someone who writes about what they know from extensive first-hand experience in and careful study of affairs that shape history. Which is why I always read your posts carefully. Thank you.

    3. digi_owl

      Pundit creep seems like a subset of mission creep.

      The kind of thing that all NGOs etc suffer from as they reach their initial goals, and all the people that dedicated their life to that org now find themselves adrift.

    4. ChrisPacific

      It happens in other spheres too, like Nate Silver, who made a name for himself based on rigorous statistical analysis of election data, but has since progressed well down that slippery slope from “Here’s what my models say” to “Here’s what I think”.

    5. zach

      I appreciate St.T for his/her/its occasionally fast-and-loose analysis – it’s clumsy, which makes it easier to avoid getting hypnotized by a narrative. When I read things that, say, make me want to pound my head on my desk, I take it as an indication that the thing inside my head is doing its job.

      What’s the difference between an opinion-haver self-disclaiming, and an opinion-haver who just shares their unvarnished opinion? Etiquette?

      Omfg we need a Walter Cronkite AI bot.

  28. Christopher Smith

    Re: What do DEI, CRT, wokeness, and cultural Marxism have in common? Carl Beijer

    Well worth a read. However, what Bejier misses is the reason why people hate the DEI/woke phenomena is the fear of getting fired or unbanked if one refuses to mouth their pieties like “centering whiteness” and what not. Of course, being forced to endure being lectured about one’s “privilege” typically by a white guy with more privilege than I can ever hope to have is galling on its own.

    I was watching the Three Body Problem on Netflix and the thought occurred to me that the woke mob at my former employer would have beaten me to death with a belt if they thought they could and could get away with it. As Ian Welsh says, your enemy is the person trying to harm you. That makes the woke mob my biggest enemy, certainly worse than any MAGA cohort.

    The truly ironic thing about the Beijer piece is the discussion of functionalist views of language. In common usage, “racism” means something like racial bigotry with an ideological basis (hence the “-ism’). That is the way the word is actually used. DEI/wokie types are linguistic prescriptivists. They want to expand the use of the term “racism” beyond how it is used and loudly insist that the rest of us are using it wrong. In my experience, it’s not the conservatives who are the linguistic prescriptivists, it is the wokie progressives.

    1. Aurelien

      Agree with that, but it seems to me that, in the case of the recent bridge misadventure, the question is perhaps simpler: are people being promoted into positions for which they are not actually qualified just because of DEI considerations, and is that dangerous? The answer is surely “yes”, just as it would be if they were promoted or recruited on religious or political grounds.

      1. Christopher Smith

        I agree with Beijer on bridge crash point. DEI is bad, but to many conservatives want to blame every bad thing that happens on DEI.

    2. Es s Ce Tera

      Being lectured about ones privilege and “centering whiteness”, whatever that is, is not actually what happens with DEI. Your understanding of the DEI/woke phenomena is very different from mine.

      Corproate DEI trainings typically focus on understanding why diversity in the workplace increases profits. For example, an all white middle aged male workplace is a stagnant workplace with no fresh ideas about, let’s say we’re a bank, what sorts of financial products and delivery methods might appeal to women. Without diversity you’ll get white middle aged male financial advisors who ask women clients “what does your husband think?” or “does your husband approve of that?” Or perhaps you’ll reject a mortgage application because you think someone might be taking a mat leave. Or perhaps you’ll unconsciously rate a woman’s potential earnings based on your weird idea that women who have kids can’t be high earners. You need women at the table for the same reasons you need ethnic and cultural diversity and people with disabilities, it connects you with reality, pops the bubble of these odd and erroneous assumptions and misconceptions.

      Another aspect of DEI is exploring how unconscious bias manifests in the workplace. There’s a bank here in Toronto, known for not being too keen on the DEI trainings, where a long time repeat customer who happened to be Black came into his branch to deposit a cheque from the sale of his house. The bank teller went to her manager and they phoned the police who arrested him on the spot, in the branch, for fraud. The transaction was entirely legitimate, he was in fact a very long time customer, this was his long time branch, he did in fact sell his house, his identification was correct and matched what was on file, his former address on record matched the house, he knew the PIN on his client card, there was nothing whatsoever to suggest this transaction was in any way suspicous and everyone involved in the real estate transaction was able to confirm the sale. Literally, the only factor was his skin colour, there was nothing else. Charges were dropped but not before he was put in jail and this made the national news. That bank, to correct the problem, will now train employees that, you know, Black people aren’t criminals just because they’re Black. Bias is based on unfounded and unjustified beliefs, that Black people can’t own houses is one of them.

      Can you imagine the reputational and brand damage this did to the bank? How costly this was? All because a branch teller didn’t receive the same DEI training as was normal at competing banks? Can you imagine the mess with shareholders and investors? The impact employee morale? DEI training is about pointing this out. And by the way, that example is now used in DEI training.

      It’s also the corporate answer to reducing overhead costs caused by destruction to the cohesiveness of business units, especially in terms of increased employee turnover, reduction of job satisfaction, increased training costs, replacement expense, even the quality of work output. The corporate environment is essentially a social environment and some kinds of perfectly avoidable dynamics (like unconscious bias, microagressions, ostracization/exclusion, untruthfulness/dishonesty, rumour mills, etc) degrade that environment and is directly translatable into hard costs and loss of profit and quality. DEI is the corporate solution to that.

      And it has been part of the corporate world for…oh….the last 15-20 years. People who oppose DEI now are coming to this pretty late. Not to mention….I have to wonder about their employement situation.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        DEI training isn’t necessarily going to stop a prejudiced bank teller from mistreating a customer. What it will stop is the bank from being successfully sued by that customer. We shouldn’t pretend that big corporations are implementing DEI for the betterment of humankind – they are doing it because some actuary somewhere has determined that the cost of the DEI program is less than the cost of a lawsuit.

        It reminds me of the TIPS (can’t remember what the acronym stands for) training I had to take as a bartender back in the day, which taught restaurant workers how to make sure they didn’t overserve customers, which can be a really tricky depending on the situation. What I learned is that if the restaurant gave their employees this training and later some drunk customer leaves the bar, gets in a car and kills someone, the restaurant is not liable but the server now is.

        A relative is a fairly recent immigrant from Angola, and is an HR professional who recently started working for a consulting firm. She says that they know advise clients against implementing the types of DEI programs most people have seen in the last decade or so. Instead, they counsel the C-suite first and get them on board, with the expectation that if the execs have the right attitude, it will filter through the company culture, with any “diversity” training for the rank and file being minimized if not eliminated. I for one, after having been lectured by middle aged white ladies about “diversity”, think this is probably a better approach.

        1. Es s Ce Tera

          This is precisely my point. Everyone has the wrong boogeyman, it’s not the “woke left” driving DEI initiatives, it’s not even cultural Marxism whatever that is, it’s purely cost cutting and profits. Racists, homophobes and misogynists are bad for business, mess up operations, negatively impact quality, cost the firm money and prestige.

          Marx, looking at the social and civic rights progress of his time, especially the rise of feminism, and noting that so much progress had been made since the advent of capitalism, predicted capitalism would logically arrive at this point where it would subsume itself and become socialism. He’s being proven right as we speak.

      2. matt

        even if your situation is true, people may not feel it is helpful. ive gone though various protocol situations for my job (currently in an industrial kitchen) and the trainings feel quite worthless to the employee in the moment. it’s just a lecture you have to sit in for an hour before going back to work. even if the safety information is important, getting told it by upper management in a rather dull class or lecture gives it a terrible taste.
        it’s a class thing, it’s a complaining about management thing. people won’t listen to these initiatives with open ears, they’ll just brush it off as corporate nonsense irrelevant to the job. think of it as, the people praising dei initiatives are also the people causing ‘trauma’ for employees. in the form of fear of losing a job, or just generic hating your boss. and when people here these words coming out the mouths of people they dislike (for valid reasons!) they skip over the words and just start associating the language with annoying wealthy management telling them what to do.
        what you say is true- but are people hearing it? not always, and that’s what leads them to complain.
        the article is question of language pissing people off. regardless of if dei intitiatives are good or not, for some people ‘dei’ means ‘more rich corporate nonsense, making my job harder’.
        i hope my explanation makes sense. again, it’s about how dei initiatives use the language of an upper class that people resent. irrespective of the initiatives themselves.

        1. Es s Ce Tera

          That’s valid and you do make sense. In the case of an industrial kitchen, and possibly a huge part of working America, I have no doubt a DEI lecture will seem very odd. I imagine it’s likewise for assembly lines, or for truckers or dock workers, electrical workers, etc. Where I see it possibly making sense is for workers where a culture of racism or misogyny may persist, perhaps the construction trade for example.

          In my world, the corporate world, these kinds of impacts are directly traceable to dollars, we can point to the exact cost of a lawsuit, and lawsuits = bad, not good, must avoid, so the culture shifts to become allergic to what causes the lawsuits, eventually an exec says time for a purge, identify all the problematic folks, get rid of them, and meanwhile someone build training. Not a single Marxist or socialist thought was involved in the making of that training.

      3. Kouros

        Can people just mention and apply the Golden Rule: “Treat others how you would like to be treated!”?

      4. Christopher Smith

        “Being lectured about ones privilege and “centering whiteness”, whatever that is, is not actually what happens with DEI.”

        I am happy to send you my complaint to the New York Division of Human Rights with the accompanying email, video, and documentary evidence because that is exactly what happened. So please don’t tell me what happens with DEI. In fact, I get the feeling you are indirectly calling me a liar and I don’t appreciate it.

        1. Es s Ce Tera

          Elsewhere you’ve mentioned you’re a professional philosopher and I think what’s happening here is we are witnessing different versions of DEI.

          You’re probably in an academic setting, I’m in a corporate setting. I would guess the version of DEI you’re encountering is more grounded in the theoretical and philosophical side, what I would expect when academics devise a curriculum around it. My version will have tended to come from management science, emphasizing tangible and measurable costs and impacts of bias in the workplace, how to avoid them, and coming from lawsuits from employees alleging workplace improprieties, so will tend to concentrate on practical applications.

          Meanwhile, Matt, above, sees yet a third version of DEI – it sounds like a version where management haven’t quite thought through the implications of teaching anti-discrimination to what is probably a largely ethnically diverse workforce (as most kitchens are) and which in everyday life tends to be on the receiving end of said racism and discrimination.

  29. Pat

    I’m going to be utterly unsympathetic here. I don’t give a fig that little Sam was precocious. I have no interest in his reasons for his food choices. And while it sucks to never feel happiness, I am not sure I believe either SBF or his parents on this. But even if true none of this mitigates his actions. And frankly the only thing that gives me some pause is that his parents really have no clue that none of this remotely justifies his actions. How could they have instilled values they clearly do not have themselves? But parents are not the only influence so it is remote.

    In truth the only thing that makes me sad is that SBF is not a beginning. He is not unique, he isn’t the worst financial criminal, and yet he is probably the only prosecution we will see for years.

    1. Christopher Smith

      Indeed, I know several depressed people and none of them are sociopathic predators. Family blog that runt for using depression as a scapegoat to avoid his richly deserved sentence.

    2. britzklieg

      I’d be more outraged at SBF if the “system” also chose to take on the likes of Dimon, Sharfe and all the other privileged bankers who, in consort with their political concubines, are constantly bailed out after absconding with other peoples money, the criminal fleecing that “isn’t a crime” (Obama) but which does far more damage than a chubby little boy playing with the seriously unimportant domain of crypto currency. Hey, look over there!

      1. Pat

        Our system is so broken. I have to wonder if the financial masters of the universe hadn’t gamed the system and decriminalized clearly criminal acts, if SBF would have happened. Oh he could have, but I think Dimon, Pandit, Mmunchin, etc going to prison 15 years ago might have had a chilling effect. But unfortunately they probably needed to be joined by more than a few politicians as well. But we also decriminalized corruption as well.

  30. lyman alpha blob

    I’m hearing complaints that emphasis on DEI was responsible for the Baltimore bridge collapse (complaints I personally disagree with) being labeled as “disinformation” and then blamed on conservatives. This is just the latest in what has become a pattern by the speech police.

    I would count those complaints as “opinions” and I was under the impression that right or wrong, we were entitled to have and enunciate them here in the supposed land of the free.

    Really, really tired of having to defend people I don’t much agree with, all because some smug wannabe technocrat with a holier than thou attitude wants to butcher the English language to fuel their own superiority complex along the way toward cashing in. I swear, 30 years in and some people are just discovering not everything on the interwebs is true, and think they’re going to make a lucrative career out of pointing that out to us mopes incessantly.

    Dictionaries are always making a big deal out of new words added every year. They should make a new category for neologisms that are determined to be anathema and therefore must be expunged. I would put mis-, dis- and mal- information as the trifecta at the top of that list.

    1. britzklieg

      “Really, really tired of having to defend people I don’t much agree with, all because some smug wannabe technocrat with a holier than thou attitude wants to butcher the English language to fuel their own superiority complex along the way toward cashing in.”

      This. Could not have said it better myself.

  31. Jason Boxman

    Help. the stupid.

    ​Why School Absences Have ‘Exploded’ Almost Everywhere

    Nationally, an estimated 26 percent of public school students were considered chronically absent last school year, up from 15 percent before the pandemic, according to the most recent data, from 40 states and Washington, D.C., compiled by the conservative-leaning [AEI]. Chronic absence is typically defined as missing at least 10 percent of the school year, or about 18 days, for any reason. ate the divs, so copying and pasting is apparently not possible. ugh.

    Does mention kids out sick, but mostly this is claimed to be a behavioral problem, not COVID, because stupid timeline. Mentions teacher absences also a factor, no mention of why that might be, just a link. Also draws link to remote work, because obviously this must be a cultural shift, not because there’s a Plague right now.

  32. Jason Boxman

    From One Satellite Signal Rules Modern Life. What if Someone Knocks It Out?

    Seriously, lack of executive function. Our elite are stupid. Apparently just ours.

    Russia, too, has a long-range Loran system that remains in use. South Korea has upgraded its system to counter radio interference from North Korea.
    The United States, though, decommissioned its Loran system in 2010, with President Barack Obama calling it “obsolete technology.” There was no plan to replace it.

    I didn’t realize we still had Loran, and it was part of the exhibit at the Air & Space Museum back in 2019 discussing navigation, a surprisingly big challenge to overcome, and one that is confounded once you take flight, to say nothing of going into orbit. Navigation systems are truly a human marvel.

    So hilariously despite Obama’s pivot to Asia, and growing tensions with Russia, no one thought we ought to have a backup to GPS? LOL.

    In January, the government and private companies tested an enhanced version of Loran on U.S. Coast Guard towers. But companies showed no interest in running the system without government help, so the Coast Guard plans to dispose of all eight transmission sites.

    Oh, capitalism. It is self limiting. It’s so rapacious, it eats itself, leaving the host body politic so thoroughly rotten, exigencies eventually dispose of it.

    This is the stupidest timeline.

  33. JohnnyGL

    Re: Fescue

    I call total BS on the idea that fescue grass is a problem. Greg Judy is a cattle rancher who’s been on youtube for years and swears up/down and every which way about how excellent Kentucky 31 Fescue is as cattle forage. He talks about how it lets him extend his grazing season by months, providing fresh forage in November and February.

    He acknowledges that some cattle breeds have digestive problems with it. His solution: “Get rid of animals that cannot eat it and get more cows that can eat it.”

    I think Mr. Judy’s got the right approach and whomever the writers at the Grist are talking to are probably wrong.

  34. Aurelien

    Since I’ve been very critical of one blogger earlier, let me put in an enthusiastic recommendation for the latest Big Serge, linked to above, which covers the end of WW2 and the confused and scrappy period that followed, including the origins of NATO. It seems very well-founded and has some interesting detail.

    1. Kouros

      Reading it really reminded me of your many descriptions of the period and the logic behind the developments…

      1. Polar Socialist

        I must admit I stopped short (as I often do with Big Serge’s writings – sometimes I do get back to them, though) right about where claimed that ability to roll out big armies was a Soviet Union thing (it wasn’t, Russia has been doing it since 16th century) and that Soviet Union armed Chinese communists around the time (which it didn’t, Stalin supported Kuomintang and left Mao hanging until the early 50’s).

        Big Segre is quite enjoyable to read when he does his normal thing; pick one particular lens to analyse a set of military phenomena or events to see how they are similar or different on that particular axis. But he gets the big picture often so wrong that it’s too painful to follow his chain of deduction from there.

        It’s also extremely weel documented that Soviet Union was neither capable or willing to invade western Europe in the late 1940’s and that this was well understood by US military. On the contrary, between Potsdam and founding of NATO Stalin was not interested in occupying even the eastern Europe – as long as the new governments were neutral and anti-militaristic.

        It was NATO that forced him to turn the eastern Europe into a buffer zone so that when NATO eventually attacked, the battles would not be fought on Soviet soil. The best Soviet troops would take the first blow and stop NATO, giving time for the second echelon to mobilize than then destroy the NATO forces. Then you needed the third echelon to make sure the terms of peace would be beneficial to Soviet Union.

        1. Aurelien

          It’s all about contemporary perceptions, which is the one thing that we find most difficult to accept, when they differ from our understanding today. It’s well documented that in the state of nervous collapse after 1945, the Europeans were terrified of the massive numerical power of the Red Army–never mind its fighting quality-being used to intimidate Communist governments into power in countries like France and Italy, which already had large and well-disciplined Parties anyway, along the lines of the recent coup in Prague. At that stage a war wasn’t thought likely, and so the Washington Treaty was a purely political one. That changed with the outbreak of the Korean War, which persuaded western political leaders that the next strike would be in Europe and that it was essential to rearm as fast as possible and to construct an international defence system. That was NATO. The Soviet buffer zone existed long before NATO, and was a reflection of Stalin’s paranoia, and the trauma of WW2 (we tend to forget there was trauma on both sides). Stalin perceived NATO as aggressive, though it was incapable of aggressive operations, and remained so until the end of the Cold War. If they only knew then what we know now … but in Stalin’s case I doubt if it would have made any difference.

          1. Polar Socialist

            That changed with the outbreak of the Korean War, which persuaded western political leaders that the next strike would be in Europe and that it was essential to rearm as fast as possible and to construct an international defence system. That was NATO.

            NATO preceded the Korean War, though.

          2. Kouros

            Stalin’s paranoia? As if the West was not utterly paranoid about the Red Scare starting with 1918? McCarthyism more than complements Stalin’s “paranoia”… especially since USSR was a totally destroyed and deeply wounded country that needed quite some time to lick its wounds… while Americans were making plans on how to nuke Soviet Union…

            There is a reactivity and at maximum an oportunistic approach to Russian way of doing things, especially war. Americans on the other hand…

  35. Jeremy Grimm

    I watched “Apollo 13” again last night. As the movie ended I felt strong melancholy for all that the u.s. has lost, all the potential contrasting so starkly with the sad direction the Empire chose. After reading the links and posts here for over a decade, I am more than appalled by what the u.s. Empire has accomplished during my lifetime, and by what I foresee as its prospects for the future. I doubt the Empire of today could ever duplicate the successes of the Apollo program — answering the questions raised at the end of the movie.

    What might the Empire have accomplished had it reapplied the remarkable commitment and expertise so many applied to enable Humankind to travel to the surface of the moon and return back to Earth, to other great challenges? Instead, NASA’s budgets were cut, scientists and engineers were laid off, and much of the remarkable infrastructure, managerial expertise and technical excellence was discarded while the u.s. continued its destruction of Vietnam and of much of a generation of young men.

    1. digi_owl

      Keep in mind that the space race was a quasi-military one-upmanship with USSR.

      If you have the tech to lob people to the moon and back, you definitely have the tech to ballistically lob some nukes around the world. And thus shift the posture from on-alert bombers and interceptor jets to missiles in hardened silos on hair triggers.

      Without the cold war background, things may still have happened. But on a much slower and smaller scale.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        That the funding of the space race relied on its ties to military applications and quasi-military one-upmanship with USSR and peculiar nationlistic competitive sport does detract. I believe the passions that drove the people who worked on the space race had little or nothing to do with Imperial military ambitions. I worked with some of the few people who survived the post space competition layoffs. That implicit and explicit military justifications seemed so necessary to justify the funding for much of the u.s. research of the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s adds to my sadness. Without military applications in mind I doubt there would have been anywhere near the level of funding that u.s. Research enjoyed during those decades. The Reagan Revolution, research contracts, and the ascendancy of Neoliberalism shifted the blue-sky tolerant military intentions for Science and Research to pecuniary intentions.

  36. sleeplessintokyo

    I am a bit puzzled why the Baltimore bridge incident has not yet been blamed on the Russians…
    Accidental looking hits of American infrastructure might be a thing?

  37. thousand points of green

    From the Fescue Fighters article . . . ” Even with the leaner cool-season grasses, their native fields produce twice as much forage as the old fescue fields and generate a much higher amount of organic matter, enriching the soil and allowing the pasture to hold more water. A soil-health specialist from NRCS tested their soil’s organic matter content before the 2012 restoration, then again five years later. The result was pastureland that holds up to a half gallon more water than a typical fescue field. ”

    I suspect, in my own amateur way, that part of the reason the soil could hold more water five years after the native grasses-forbs restoration, was because it had a higher amount of hydrophyllic carbon-based organic matter in it. That means more carbon in the soil. And this happened under the cattle living on the pasture on that soil. So that certainly looks like soil under pasture under cattle has gripped and held some of the skycarbon from the air above it.

    If that is really as true as it looks, then the people who are buying and eating beef from the cattle grazing on that multi-species pasture are paying the Hamiltons to increase their rate of skycarbon-suckdown and soilcarbon-buildup. So the eaters of that beef are doing their part to help the Hamiltons do their part to draindown the skycarbon and dewarm the global.

    1. thousand points of green

      ( And I see that reading deeper into the article, this point is made even harder and realler. The moral seems to be . . . . eat more beef from proven carbon-sequestration multi-species pasture. And eat less beef or best-of-all zero beef from corn-soy-grain feeding CAFOs).

  38. ArvidMartensen

    If you think that US “entertainment” is trojan horse for US attitudes and culture to steamroll other cultures and to spread correct thought, then studying the embedded patterns in said ‘entertainment’ can be interesting.

    One such pattern is flagging what is about to happen. As if surprises and plot twists make the viewer uncomfortable. Or maybe that the viewer is seen to be of such limited intelligence that they won’t understand an event when it happens.
    A simple example. There is a big hole in the pavement in front of a cafe. A bunch of John’s friends in the cafe see him walking towards them. So the dialogue goes something like “Do you think John will see the hole?”, “I don’t know, he’s on his phone and he might fall into the hole”, “I hope John doesnt fall into the hole”. And then, of course, John falls into the hole. Whereas most non-US movies and sit-coms would let the viewer work it out.

    US politics mirrors this all the time. “We will put an end to it” (Biden before they blow up Nordstream”. “Russia is in for a big surprise”, Nuland around the time of her ‘resignation’. Just 2 of the examples, there would be zillions of them.

    Why do they feel the need to do this? So many theories but which one is close to the truth?

  39. Willow

    > Russia attacks energy facilities at night, damaging thermal and hydroelectric power plants

    Western military systems & command ops are very energy hungry. Purpose of taking out electrical grid is to force these operations to use diesel generators which stand out like the proverbials in thermal imagining. In winter doing this would have had a punitive impact on civilians but now less so in autumn. Attacks on Kharkiv is less about preparing for an offensive and more about taking out Western military commands.

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