Links 4/20/2024

What was that falling from the sky Friday morning? Graupel! MPR. Chuck L: “I have lived in Minnesota for all but 12 years of my life, but never before have I heard of graupel.”

Turning plants blue with gene editing could make robot weeding easier New Scientist (Dr. Kevin)

In Two States, Transforming the Model for Palliative Care Undark

As Syphilis Cases Soar in Newborns, ACOG Advises More Testing During Pregnancy Associated Press. Third world.

Influencers Love Ozempic—but They Aren’t Telling You About the Risks Wall Street Journal. IM Doc by e-mail some months ago:

We have already had 3 people in this area who have ODd on these drugs accidentally – resulting in rather long hospital stays for hypoglycemia. It is actually pretty wicked.

I will admit – I ONLY put the orders in for any of these drugs the first thing in the AM – the dosing and concentrations on these things are absolutely hare-brained.

But where is the outrage?



India makes a big bet on electric buses Yale Climate Connection

‘Water is more valuable than oil’: the corporation cashing in on America’s drought Guardian (Kevin W)

Removing PFAS from public water systems will cost billions and take time – here are ways you can filter out harmful ‘forever chemicals’ at home The Conversation. NYC has PFAS free water! You do get something for all those taxes.

EPA Will Make Polluters Pay To Clean Up Two ‘Forever Chemicals’ New York Times

Pathways Alliance Paid Google to Advertise on ‘Greenwashing’ Searches DeSmog

Experts raise concerns about how our environment will give rise to an ominous new era of unrest: ‘That’s the politics of the armed lifeboat’ MSN

New York Passed an Ambitious Climate Bill for Publicly Owned Power. The Perfect Partner? McKinsey Hell Gate


Chinese Cities Are Sinking Rapidly NPR

De-Dollarization: Even Businesses in China Are Hanging Onto Their USD Business Insider (furzy)


India election: Voting begins as Modi seeks 3rd term DW

Indian IT Outsourcing Firms Cut 60,000 Jobs in First Layoffs in 20 Years India Dispatch

Down Under

Sydney stabbing incidents stoke Islamophobia, antisemitism as social tensions in Australia unravel South China Morning Post

European Disunion

EU member worried about ‘underground’ mosques – media RT.Kevin W: “They should check Rome’s Catacombs!”

Old Blighty

Squatters move into Marco Pierre White’s Leicester Square restaurant days after Gordon Ramsay pub Independent

Crackdown on ‘sick note culture’ could see GPs banned from signing people off Metro (GM). More on this story.


‘Operation al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 196: Israel strikes Iran, Gaza health ministry says Israel destroyed the Strip’s health system Mondoweiss

Major U.S. Charity Blocks Donations to Gaza Relief Agency Amid Starvation Rolling Stone (ma)

The US Doesn’t Support A Two-State Solution, It Just Supports Saying It Does Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

Blinken shelves special request to probe Israeli war crimes: Report The Cradle

Is the Gaza war destabilizing Jordan? Responsible Statecraft

Israel v. Iran

Israel gave US ‘last minute’ warning before attacking Iran Telegraph. Includes “Netanyahu’s war cabinet splintering as security minister calls attack on Iran ‘lame’”

Max Blumenthal: Hamas Still Stands YouTube. See particularly starting at 14:07, on Israel press admissions about the effectiveness of Iran attacks, that Israel took down only about 84% of the Iran missiles, as opposed to the much ballyhooed 99%.

Precision over power: How Iran’s ‘obsolete’ missiles penetrated Israel’s air defenses The Cradle (Chuck L)

Israel Ceases to Exist If It Goes Nuclear | Andrei Martyanov Nima, YouTube. A topic of discussion in comments yesterday

Israel and Iran: Itching for War, Playing with Fire Juan Cole (Randy K)

New Not-So-Cold War

Sizing up the China-Russia ‘New Axis’ Asia Times

Ukraine introduces scheduled blackouts in 3 regions amid Russian attacks Kyiv Independent

SITREP 4/19/24: A Small Gust for Ukraine’s Sails? Simplicius the Thinker

ECB fires back at plans to seize Russian assets RT. From Thursday, still germane.

UK insurers refuse to pay Nord Stream because blasts were ‘government’ backed Grayzone

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Cops Can Force Suspect To Unlock Phone With Thumbprint, US Court Rules ars technica

Senate reaches deal to pass FISA reauthorization by deadline The Hill

UK digital visas to fully replace physical immigration documents by 2025 Biometric Update

Colorado Bill Aims To Protect Consumer Brain Data New York Times


Man Who Self-Immolated Near Trump Trial Has Been Identified: Live Updates New York Magazine. Daily Beast had posted a link to his Substack manifesto and appears to have also embedded it, but that has been scrubbed. If anyone has come across a copy that is still up (perhaps via the non-US press?) please pipe up with details.

Trump campaign says it will deploy thousands of election workers to monitor poll sites Politico

Trump Eyes Social Security Cuts By Slashing Payroll Tax Common Dreams (Paul R)

Our No Longer Free Press

Columbia Suspends Ilhan Omar’s Daughter Day After Omar Grills Its President Truthout

Microsoft’s VASA-1 Can Deepfake a Person With One Photo and One Audio Track ars technica


Linus Torvalds on ‘Hilarious’ AI Hype ZDNet

The First Unintended Consequence Of AI—And It’s Huge Forbes (furzy)

Meta’s newest AI-powered chatbots show off impressive features and bizarre behavior CBS (Kevin W)

Netflix Doc Accused of Using AI To Manipulate True Crime Story ars technica

Reddit Is Taking Over Google Business Insider

The Bezzle

Boeing Aims To Bring Flying Cars To Asia By 2030 Nikkei

Class Warfare

Why Do My Groceries Cost So Much? Counterpunch

A Great Labor Explosion: Will Auto Workers Unionize in Trump Country? Matt Stoller

Supreme Court should let states and cities clear homeless encampments Washington Post (Dr. Kevin)

FAA to increase time off between air traffic controller shifts after report highlights risks CNN (Kevin W)

War on the Young Scott Galloway (Robert H). Useful data, but agency wrong. This is capital versus the young, with young capitalists also benefitting.

Louisiana lawmakers vote to remove lunch breaks for child workers, cut unemployment benefits Nola (Kevin W)

IBM accused of cheating its own executive assistants out of overtime pay The Register

Antidote du jour. CC: “This guy showed up in my backyard last spring with six hens. The flock loved my birdfeeders. They moved on after a few weeks, but two hens stayed and still show up at the feeders every day.”

And a bonus (Chuck L). Is this doe a Darwin Award candidate, or has she worked out does are not allowed to be shot during hunting season?

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for finding that. I noticed on the news that there were no words about a tragedy or condolences to the family but it was an instant smear campaign against the guy while his roast flesh would still have been warm. The whole thing was so – off.

      1. digi_owl

        Likely because he was leaning towards the one segment neolibs hate more than “nazis”, the materialist left.

        also he seem to have lost his mother last year, and that is what perhaps started his psychological spiral, so he may not have any family left to offer condolences to.

      2. griffen

        It was covered albeit in brief during the first few minutes of the 8am hour on the East Coast. They made reference to a pamphlet or leaflets, but not much more than that.

        The above was a good find & I appreciate the posting for those inclined to read. I know others believe and contend the rules have been rigged going back a long way in American history, and they’re not wrong when practices like redlining were highly common. Might as well say fudge their rules and become your own boss aka Frank Lucas in “American Gangster”; live like a king or a prince and see if they catch you (!)…that should not be construed as a thoughtful suggestion for a modern career path…

        1. Randall Flagg

          >that should not be construed as a thoughtful suggestion for a modern career path…

          Maybe Go into politics instead,
          There’s not that many of them that go to jail and they seem to do pretty well for themselves…

            1. Rod

              Thanks for the Links to this crazy story.
              I found a real Truth in his Substack post (my emphasis):

              Why on earth would our elites do this? There are many reasons, but the simplest is because capitalism is unsustainable, and they knew it: Climate change and resource extraction would catch up eventually. So, they never intended to sustain it. They knew all along that they would gobble up all the wealth they could, and then yank the rug out from under us so they could pivot to a hellish fascist dystopia.

              The rest of what he says will give me something to think about the rest of the day…

            2. Jamie

              Off his LinkedIn:
              Master’s Degree from Rutgers University (City and Regional Planning, Technology, and Urban and Community Development)
              B.A. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Arts, Anthropology, and Public Policy)

              I think he Inadvertently joined Club “Curiosity Killed the Cat”. Members inexplicably end up killing themselves.
              Casolaro, G. Webb, Kilgallen, Prof. Tom Philpott etc. .

              A few of Maxwell Crosby Azzarello’s parting words:

              “I no longer have my original research files from the crypto rabbit hole. If you want to see them, you’ll have to get my laptop back from the government”

    2. Bugs

      I was not expecting The Simpsons. Marge vs. the Monorail is probably the greatest episode. Entirely written by Conan O’Brien, btw.

        1. Bugs

          Word is that it was shot as it was written, from his draft. He was gracious enough to never say so.

      1. begob

        He also singled out Dr Strangelove, listed irony as a failing, and linked to Amazon at the end of his post. It’s probably fair to assume that anyone taking their life out of frustration is a victim to the very rules they fail to understand. Absence of a sense of humour may be predictive.

    3. Idaho_Randy

      Here is link to Manifesto as posted on Substack. I downloaded it as a .pdf file just in case

    4. flora

      Thanks. This ties in a bit with what Catherine Austin Fitts says about “the missing money”, and also with Taibbi and Kirn’s America This Week latest episode about creeping authoritarianism in discussing the new NPR CEO and the new FISA extension.

    5. sleeplessintokyo

      I don’t get how the Simpsons brainwashed us?
      I do think the Simpsons was strangely prescient

        1. Big Farmer

          he seemed to think it was a sign of giving up, capitulating, making jokes instead of a revolution.

          he presents in an oddly schizoid manner, hurling fire-and-brimstone at everyone to get the scales to fall from their eyes so they can see they have the power to make a world in which they are straight happy, in which case they would have no need to satirize reality.

    6. Li

      I remember the Silvergate bank run coverage here at NC, and wasn’t the bank run triggered by a message from Peter Thiel in a Whatsapp group of VC-funded CEOs? Bank runs are not exactly a new phenomenon. The bank had a very narrow base of clients and was specially vulnerable to panic within the tech community. At the time it looked like a “we-live-in-the-stupidest-timeline” sort of thing, not a conspiracy to intentionally collapse the bank. I’m not saying Azzarello is wrong about crypto being a Ponzi scheme, or that there isn’t a possibility that Peter Thiel benefitted from the silvergate crash but it all seems… a little too nicely put together. Like everyone involved was a perfectly rational actor who was making decisions on the basis of a thought out plan and not panicking like startled mice.

    7. ArvidMartensen

      There are things in his manifesto we should actually think about.
      1. Bitcoin. Where did it come from? We can say for sure that it didn’t come from Russia or China or Iran or North Korea. And bitcoin has been allowed to run unchecked through the financial veins of the world since its miraculous birth. I am pretty sure that if I invented a new currency, it would get me some time in the slammer.
      Given all that, what was the purpose of Bitcoin? Was it to soak up all the QE that went to the people who were not approved beneficiaries? That is my guess. So, some sort of government initiative, which is why we will never find out who that ephemeral dude Satoshi is.
      And do they intend to pull the plug after all the “right” people have made a killing? That is the 64 Billion dollar question in my mind. I find that unilateral and sudden demonetisation of larger bank notes in India a while ago a bit scary. Was India a test bed for bigger things?

      On a side note, there is an interesting video by this fellow, ex hedge fund trader. A bit alarming because say 10 years ago, I could go and get a document that said I owned my place. I could put it in a safe somewhere. Now I’m told my land title document is just a bit of paper with no legal standing. And if I want, they will print me out another land title document which is just a bit of paper with no legal standing. I find that very scary given what happened re foreclosures in the US of A after the 2008 crash.

      2. Mainstream Media. If anybody thinks that the level of censorship we are seeing at Google and Meta etc just started recently with social media, I have a bridge to sell them. People here know that censorship goes way way way and has covered all media, papers, tv, movies, the lot. But now as we head towards the totalitarian state, the spooks seem to be out and proud. As if nobody can touch them any more. I find that very scary too.

      3. When does living in a crazy, toxic, life-destroying self-referential cult with rigid rules, ever-present enemies who are always plotting to kill us, and increasing spruiking of end of days to a powerless populus (climate change, species collapse, pandemics(X)) drive every ordinary person mad?

      And who are our most vulnerable in this amped-up, 24×7 cult soup? Our young. And what is happening to them? Well so many of them are on SSRI anti-depressants and anti-ADHD meds which funnily enough seem to be addictive. Gosh, who would have thought that legal meds would be addictive? Surely it can’t be to profit off the misery of our young?

      To my mind, the state resources that disappeared this guy before he was even dead, are also very scary. And it says to me that he hit a nerve, a very raw nerve. Otherwise they wouldn’t have slammed him like they did.

    8. Grebo

      I was expecting a MAGA nut or a victim of TDS. He doesn’t seem to be either. He is literate and mostly cogent. Apart from his strange take on the Simpsons etc. he could almost be an NC reader. Shame he went off his rocker instead of doing the podcast circuit.

  1. The Rev Kev

    “Israel-Iran live updates: Israel ‘launched missiles at Iranian nuclear defences'”

    That Israeli attack as not so much an expression of Israeli national interest but Israeli Cabinet compromises which I think that Iran recognized, hence them not going ballistic over their reaction. Some of the Cabinet members are actual lunatics like Ben Gvir is while some are also lunatics but also are a bit realistic and Netanyahu is one of those. The hard liners wanted to go scorched earth on Iran for daring to attack Israel but the fact of the matter is that without US support, it is a no go. And after expending so many anti-air missiles in the Ukraine, Gaza, Yemen and wherever else, the US is running short. So this limited counter-attack was organized. They did some interviews of Israelis on the streets and they were saying that they should have hit Iran harder and were very disappointed in the scale of the attack. They should be careful what they wish for. Time will tell if this exchange is done or the hard liners successfully demand a full scale attack on Iran. Hubris is a terrible affliction.

    1. furnace

      I’m always shocked by how bloodthirsty the average Israeli seems to be. Have they forgotten that what goes around, comes around? I had hoped the videos of them panicking during Iran’s attack might have inspired some sanity, but seems like that was not the case. The Zionist project is falling apart at the seams.

      1. Emma

        Elon Pappe long predicted that this generation of Israelis will be even more extreme than their parents due to the state’s extremist education curriculum. Not sure how you deprogram 6 million genocidal kleptomaniacal Karens who hate Arabs as naturally as they breath.

        Maybe the Chinese head of Uyghur de-radicalization can offer some suggestions. I still like my idea of shipping the whole lot over to Lithuania or Galicia and let them work it out with the peoples who were most responsible for the Holocaust.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Emma.

          It’s not just in Israel.

          Jewish schools in the UK are similar. Education inspectors are unable / unwilling to call out.

          It’s funny you use the term Karen. There’s one such at the BBC. She shares your forename. Her backstory is outrageous, but not uncommon.

          1. digi_owl

            Because the second they do, the Israeli ambassador will be all over the news decrying the inspectors as death camp guards…

        2. The Rev Kev

          I have seen a video of a school where these bigwig Rabbis came to visit and they actually want to bring back slavery and I quote-

          ‘The gentiles will want to be our slaves. Being a slave to a Jew is the best. They’re glad to be slaves, they want to be slaves,” he told a class in one of the video clips. “Instead of just walking the streets and being stupid and violent and harming each other, once they’re slaves, their lives can begin to take shape.’

          There is a lot more in this article and the guy even goes on to praise Adolf. And this is what they are teaching those kids who seem to have absorbed these lessons judging how some of those kids answered questions in the original video-

          1. skippy

            Ah … piercing ones ear in the doorway of their Master[tm] with an awl … after a Jubilee too clear consolidation of contracts …

        3. CA

          “Maybe the Chinese head of Uyghur de-radicalization can offer some suggestions…”

          Interesting and important remark; the answer to which begins with a focus on economic development and opportunity, and secular education, free all through…

      2. timbers

        Sad fact is, all that Israel needs to do is learn to play nice with her neighbors, grant statehood to Palestine, and give back occupied land. That really is all there is to it. If she did, we might see a revival of Israel could take her to heights she can not imagine as well as have world respect and protection. All this is possible despite Israel’s questionable origins at her inception. She have to work on her apartheid thing too. But no. She just can’t bring herself to do it. And with US power wanning, if she does not change course, what we may be witnessing is the beginning of a dying nation in Israel.

        1. Objective Ace

          To play devil’s advocate, when has “playing nice with your neighbors” worked out geopolitically? I’m sure its happened, but more often then not, neighboring states take that as a sign of weakness and started muscling in. NC has linked to articles in the past about how low Israel’s birthrate is relative to her neighbors. This will make it all the more easier for neighbors to “muscle in” in the future should they want to

          Obviously, this doesnt excuse a genocide. It’s just an interesting thought experiment. In an ideal world, strong nations would continue to maintain strong defense capabilities as a deterrent without actually using them. This was what the US was supposed to do after the cold war. Unfortunately, through some combination of “power breeds corruption” and/or unethical/evil individuals rising to the top, sitting on that weaponry once it existed was never an option.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Are you saying that most countries have been at war all the time with all their neighbors?

            I’m pretty sure that “playing nice” has been done way more than not: a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation says that between the city states of Archaic Greece there was violence only about 2.5% of the period (320 years). The rest of the time they “played nice”.

              1. Polar Socialist

                I used Ancient Greece as an example, because it’s pretty well recorded and times were somewhat brutal. The thing is, that there were over 20 city and tribal states and even if there were recorded wars almost half of the period, those were mostly between two belligerents, and the rest lived in peace.

                Had I the time, I would have checked the neighborly relations of the 195 countries in the world for the last decade. That’s 323 border relationships, if count only close neighbors. I’d just venture a guess that huge majority of those are good, nice or at least neutral.

        2. EY Oakland

          Never mind conventions – how can anyone possibly refer to Israel as a “she?” To come upon that construction is jarring to say the least.

          1. Art_DogCT

            It is an antique usage at this point, but it was commonplace (say, pre-1960) to apply ‘she’, ‘her’, and ‘hers’ to nations, such as was once common and I believe still current in referring to ships.

            1. LifelongLib

              IIRC in WW2 (Nazi) Germany was the Fatherland, but the Soviet Union/Russia was the Motherland. I don’t know how a gender gets associated with a nation.

              1. Polar Socialist

                Russia is both Fatherland (оте́чество/otéčestvo) and Birthland (родина/rodina) usually translated as Motherland. Also Mother Russia was quite popular during the Great Fatherlandic (Patriotic) War. The like of which is standing on the Mamayev Kurgan, for example.

                In general, I think Motherland is the one that gives you birth and raises you – the one that you carry with you, and Fatherland is the one that obligates you – it’s also the one you can change.

              2. sarmaT

                I don’t know how a gender gets associated with a nation.

                Do you know how to associate a gender with a person and not get cancelled? :)

                The whole gender thing in English language is a bit of a mess, not unlike the spelling thing. Slavic languages, and many others, have gramatical gender (that applies to every noun, including countries and ships, and is not a matter of choice). Russia is feminine for Slavs, because the name ends with “a” (hence a mother, not a father). Land is zemlya/zemlja, and is also feminine. Many things get lost in translation.

                1. EricFromGr

                  I always found most facinating the german case, where the moon is masculine (der Mond) and the sun is feminine (die Sonne). Goes to show that grammatical gender is quite random and not as important as assumed.
                  Just sayin…

      3. Belle

        There is a psalm that is controversial by the last bit, so it often gets bowdlerized or abridged. It’s a common misconception that the last bit is rejoicing, by both proponents and opponents. It’s easy to read that way, but it could be read as a warning. It’s Psalm 137, at least to those who aren’t Catholic. The next to last verse is about how the ones who treated Israel one way will face the same treatment at the hands of others… And the last involves violent death of children.
        I recently read an article referencing a Rabbi’s commentary on Passover, which reflects a similar sentiment.

      4. Kouros

        Surprised? You likely never read the Bible then. Just remember what Dinah’s brothers did, for example.
        Nothing has changed in the attitude. Bronze age barbarians wanting to bring back animal sacrifice, for purification purposes. How pure must be the Gazan soil now with so much human sacrifice done on it…?!

        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          What percent of present day JewIsraelis want to bring back animal sacrifice? Has anyone run the numbers?

      1. ilsm

        In 1973 U.S. supplied Israel with latest guided weapons and facilitated stopping Syria and really hurting Egypt.

        Then we saw Camp David which bought off both Israel and Egypt. That ended contiguous nation military threats, with Lebanon sundered as a state, and Syria blunted and flanked by Israel occupying heights at Golan.

        The Iran Israel thing is from USA angst over tossing Shah using Israel as side effort to defeat Iran and Hizbolah in Lebanon.

        USA is threat to life in most of the world, especially the surrounds of Israel.

    2. Alice X

      In the Finkelstein/GG link yesterday, he discussed C. Wright Mills’ crackpot realists, of which the Israelis seem to have more than a few. A very dangerous group.

  2. Wukchumni

    Just a few months until the Ozempics in Paris, where competitors will have a fortnight to showcase weight loss strategy in the city of light. (how appropriate!)

    Events include the awkward wearing of old fat clothes, XXXL frocks and whatnot, walking down the catwalk-only to shed them to reveal the new you, while pirouetting.

    5.7, 5.8, 5.7, 5.9, 6.0

    The BMI mass marathon event heavily favors the American side, where contestants will drive 26.2 miles (with a stop at a convenience mart for doughnuts & coffee) with more than a few hitting the wall @ 20 miles, needing a pastry to keep on keeping on.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘Just a few months until the Ozempics in Paris’

      Only 97 days away by my reckoning. Of course this one will have to go ahead with the war in the Ukraine and the genocide in Gaza still going on. But Macron will make sure that there is plenty of mention of the former and no mention of the later as the Russians refuse to give him that Olympic truce that he is demanding from them, even though they are not even invited to the games.

      1. Wukchumni

        In the Ozempics, the ‘Face-Off’ event has a much different meaning than in Ukraine or Gaza, the latter has sagging problems with armaments hollowed out, while the former has sagging features and a hollowed out look.

    2. Well Worn

      This is so funny, so clever, that I will not diminish it by attempting to add something of my own (unlike my normal practice).

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘Nature is Amazing ☘️
    A hunter while aiming at a deer, pulls down his weapon, and she peacefully approaches him.’

    Kudos to that guy for not taking the shot. When that deer ran to him, he must have thought that it might have wanted to go him which is why he put his gun barrel out. But now, instead of just getting a quickly forgotten kill, this guy has a great memory and an even better story to tell his buddies. The best part? He has the video to prove it actually happened.

    1. BillK

      If you watch TV series like “Hope for Wildlife” about caring for injured or orphan wildlife, they emphasise that the baby wildlife must not get imprinted with humans. The animals must be wild and fear humans when they are returned to the wild. If they get imprinted with humans and regard them as friends, then they cannot be released. This deer has been imprinted with humans and will quickly get shot by the next hunter that arrives.

      1. Objective Ace

        Yea, I was thinking some nearbye homeowner must be feeding the deer. As cute as it may be, absolutely not natural

        1. griffen

          Hey now, don’t go knocking the Old North State… North Cackalacky…that is my native state albeit much nearer to the coasts and Nags Head, etc…\sarc

          Could be they were transplants visiting and don’t see actual “wildlife” except in a zoo or on at a wild safari park…but the stupid burns no matter

    2. Yves Smith Post author



      You can normally shoot bucks only although he could try claiming she looks liked an antlerless buck (she is on the big-framed side for a doe). If he had any hunting buddies and they saw he’d killed a doe, it would be seen as very very unsportsman-like UNLESS there was a doe season. Sometimes deer overpopulations get so bad that the state Department of Natural Resources will declare a portion of hunting season where does are on the target list too.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Sorry, but deer shooting isn’t that big a thing here in Oz so I don’t think that we have such laws on the books. But as it turns out, the region that I live in does have deer courtesy of some that were brought out back in the 1860s. Even though I have lived here for some thirty years, I have never seen one in the wild but I know that there must be some there-

        1. Benny Profane

          After I moved to Saratoga Springs (almost in the ADK) in ’04 from Westchester, a place that’s covered in deer, I asked a co worker after six months, hey, how come I never see any deer here? His response was, because we eat them.

          1. steppenwolf fetchit

            If Mad Deer Disease become commonplace among the Saratoga Sprinks region deer herd, then people there may stop eating them.

      2. scott s.

        Looks to be a shotgun. Some states have shotgun only, or in some cases primitive and shotgun seasons, may be antlered only but either sex seasons aren’t unusual.

        1. Hokieweezer

          Lol. My family is from West of the Blue Ridge.
          As Joe Bageant said ..the Scots-Irish are a culture.

  4. Benny Profane

    Eastern skiers know graupel well. The upper mountain vegetation is coated by it early season.

    1. Wukchumni

      The best backcountry skiing of the year happens during March-April in the Sierra where you hope to come across ‘corn snow’ which is another word for graupel snow, but not as cool sounding as ‘hominy snow’, which i’ve never heard said, but read about it on the internet.

      1. jefemt

        Graupel generally falls from the sky, usually on the leading edge of a front, and if the snowfall continues, as air temp decreases, transitions to more typical snowflakes.
        Corn is a transitioning springtime existing snowpack- the upper snowpack surface, subjected to freeze-thaw overnight. Upper ‘soft ‘ few inches occur with the warming of the day. Great fun to ski, but timing is everything. And one does NOT want to be out when the snowpack ‘goes isothermal’, turns to corn from surface to ground, as it is very prone to sliding, or just a plain old post-holing bottomless slog.
        This is interior Rockies data… Sierras and Cascades, with dozens of feet at play, are likely a completely diffrnt critter.

  5. Jake

    “Supreme Court should let states and cities clear homeless encampments”
    THIS. So. Much. This. The 9th created a mess for the whole country. The solution to homelessness is not “turn every city into a meth camp.” But, that attempted solution does turn the general public against homelessness activists big time. Once they get a foothold in a city, the activists come crawling out of the woodwork demanding tents be allowed anywhere and then people be allowed to smoke meth and stumble around in traffic or hack people up with machetes. Ties right in to:

    “Columbia Suspends Ilhan Omar’s Daughter Day After Omar Grills Its President”

    When I see a protest camp setup at the university, it takes me right back to the DSA protest “camp” that was setup in front of city hall in Austin during the lead up to the vote on Prop B which passed by a huge margin. All those protesters cried about the 9th circuit decision saying that Prob B was unconstitutional. And of course the city council went along with that idea instead of pursuing the will of the voters because they are all PMC and it’s just easier for them to turn the city into a meth camp instead of standing up to the bullies at Home Not Handcuffs, sorry, Dangerous Camps Not Homes. These camps create a culture of crime and drug that is terrible for homeless people trying to better their situation.

    It’s been almost a year since I left Austin and things are slowly starting to improve for me. I hope none of yall have to experience the horror of having homelessness activists turn your neighborhood into a meth camp. Things still aren’t good enough for me to be able to read the responses to my comments here, or see if my comments have been removed. I really appreciate NC for allowing discussion that isn’t allowed most places online.

    1. Emma

      Criminalizing homelessness is unconscionable. They’re people just like you and me and they have to live somewhere, even if that somewhere makes people like you uncomfortable. If you want to stop being uncomfortable, then advocate for housing and assistance programs to get them off the street and into safer environments.

      People who would trade their conscience for the comfort of not having to experience icky things…

      1. Captain Obvious

        Criminalizing homelessness is criminalizing poverty. It’s slavery with extra steps, and is fully intentional. Those that are “uncomfortable”, have no problem with slavery, as long as it’s done to someone else, and is not in their backyard.

        1. Antifa

          Oh . . . you mean like that whole 13th Amendment ‘except as a punishment for crime’ thing? Where one out of five black males gets to make license plates, sort used clothing, clear highways, and work on farms.

          1. steppenwolf fetchit

            There should be an ammendment to ammend the 13th Ammendment, by just simply striking and erasing the ” except as punishment for crime” language out of it.

            If that were successfully done, then convict slavery would no longer be Constitutional.
            Of course if such an “ammend the Ammendment” ammendment were passed, the pro-slavery community would try finding technicalities upon which to get the FedSoc (Federalist Society) Supreme Court to declare the ” ammendment to ammend the Ammendment” ammendment to be null and void. The anti Convict-Slavery movement would have to be prepared for that.

      2. Lena

        I want to thank you too, Emma. As a person who was recently homeless, I appreciate your comments and the comments of others like you at NC. For the record, I am not and never have been a drug user or a drinker or smoker. I’m someone whose rent went up so much, I could no longer afford it. That’s the reason why most people in the US become homeless. I couldn’t find an affordable place to live until a kind soul I didn’t even know helped me. I hope I can ‘pay it forward’ some day, some way.

        1. Lena

          Preventing homelessness to begin with would greatly reduce drug addiction, mental health problems and other serious illnesses which studies show very often begin *AFTER* people become homeless. Most people would prefer not to live in ‘squalor’, believe it or not. It is a downward spiral we can stop as a nation if we put real money into fixing the real problem of homelessness which is a lack of affordable housing.

          I hope my comments today are making sense. My health problems (untreatable cancer) are taking a toll but I feel very strongly about this issue. I want to help people to understand it.

          1. CarlH

            I always appreciate your comments here, Lena. I’m constantly afraid I’m not making sense, so take heart!

        2. Garty


          Did you vote for the politician who has facilitated the importation of 10 million plus competitors from the Third World for whatever housing becomes available?

          Also competitors for food banks, charity and willing to undercut even minimum wage salaries that might allow one to slowly rise out of poverty?

            1. CA

              “I don’t understand your questions…”

              Unfortunately, the questions are only meant to change the subject and end productive conversation.

              1. Emma

                Exactly. As if our votes could actually affect anything in the first place. If they were serious about illegal or legal immigration, they could stop forcing wars and austerity programs on countries in the global South and severely punish employers who hired illegal workers. But it’s always about individual responsibility with that lot, unless it’s something that they’re personally responsible for.

          1. spud

            our country is still reeling from bill clintons disastrous free trade policies, let alone the destruction of the new deal, that’s where the massive homelessness and poverty is coming from.

            no amount of draconian laws will mitigate those disastrous policies, except it will make a few social Darwinist elites feel better about themselves.

            the seattle demonstrators against free trade were right, and now they get to gloat at the idiots who supported free trade

            nonetheless, it’s hard to dispute that we were right in warning against the disastrous consequences of corporate-led free trade

            we were treated as extremists by the “very serious people” in charge of global affairs.

            free trade is dead, Foroohar informs us—and we should all be grateful for that.

            free trade impoverished the working class and laid waste to our industrial capacity, public services, vital infrastructures, and local communities. Western nations became ever-more dependent on foreign states for the supply of everything from energy to food to basic medical supplies.

            It is good that we are now moving away from free trade, given how damaging it was to our social fabric.


            “hyper-globalization truly started with Bill Clinton in the ’90s. That’s when a series of trade deals, culminating in the entry of China into the World Trade Organization in 2001, took the guardrails off the global economy. “It’s amazing but true,” Foroohar writes, “that when it came to trade, Democrats in the ’90s were far less protectionist than the Republicans who came before them. Indeed, they supported the WTO rules that, by 2000, made it nearly impossible for countries to craft their own trade policies.”

            Many US manufacturers went out of business during this period. About 80 percent of the decline in private-economy employment between 2000 and 2003 can be traced to factory job losses related to what academics have called “the China shock”—the process by which a seemingly unlimited supply of low-wage Chinese workers became available to multinational corporations following that country’s entry into the WTO. Research shows that “job losses from rising Chinese import competition” between 1999 and 2011 were “in the range of 2 to 2.4 million.”

            Foroohar goes beyond the standard mainstream framing by recognizing that hyper-globalization wasn’t just an economic project, but a political one, as well: It wasn’t just about giving more power to corporations, but also taking power away from the people, by surrendering national prerogatives to international and supranational institutions and super-state bureaucracies, such as the WTO and the European Union. These institutions completely untethered capital from national democracy. What we ended up with was an increasingly hollowed out democracy—more akin to a plutocracy or corporatocracy.”

            the free traders that still run this country, will simply try slave, forced, immigrant labor with no rights as a way to go to the glory days of manufacturing under the new deal.

            enslavement does not bode well for innovation. the massive innovation came from the power of labor.

            the free traders do not care, nor understand, they want numbers again, missiles shells etc.

      3. Es s Ce Tera

        I would also add, most aren’t, but what if someone were homeless by choice? What gives the government/court the right to take that choice away from anyone? What of freedom of choice/belief?

        And what if I decided, on religious grounds, to follow Christ, shun money, and take a vow of poverty? So what about freedom of religion?

        Christianity in particular would never have become a religion had the US legal climate been in place at the time, since Christ and his followers were wandering homeless. Christian communities in those early days were miniature Occupies, encampments of homeless people who had given up all their earthly property, by choice, and eventually became monastic. What of freedom of community/association?

        If the courts rule against homelessness they’re ruling against freedom of choice, religion, belief and association, all of which were baked into the constition, no?

      4. Objective Ace

        If you want to stop being uncomfortable, then advocate for housing and assistance programs to get them off the street and into safer environments.

        One can both advocate for housing and assistance programs while at the same time not want to be accosted or exposed to drug use. Incidentally, housing services do exist in many metropolitan cities and yet tent cities still exist because the housing services require users to be clean.

        1. Lena

          It is extremely difficult to get housing services in metropolitan cities and smaller locales. The waiting lists are years long and usually are not accepting applications.

          From the website of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA):

          “Currently, the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly known as Section 8) waitlist is closed. HACA last opened its Housing Choice Voucher Program waitlist from Sept. 17 through Sept. 24, 2018.”

          1. Janie

            About 20 years ago, the Los Angeles Times reported that the wait for Section 8 public housing was seven years.

      5. Well Worn

        Emma, as someone who has voluntarily picked up more trash than anyone else on this board – – as in literally thousands of large bags of the stuff, I wish only that those of the homeless who are not mentally ill would discard somewhat less than they now do. And the concerns run deeper than merely a surface desire for an attractive environment.

        1. converger

          If only if there was a place besides the street where homeless people could discard things…

          …I know! I know! Maybe a stable place for people to live. With a regular trash pickup.

        2. Emma

          I agree that the problem does go a lot deeper than an attractive environment. It’s actually having to confront with living in a society where people have to sleep rough, face constant harassment by the police, and may have untreated addiction and mental illnesses that can make them a risk to themselves and others.

          But disappearing the homeless and making their already difficult lives even harder, is unconscionable. It indicates an anti-human mentality that should be called out by everyone.

        3. CanCyn

          There was a reference here recently to an article about the people in the homeless camps not being solely responsible for the trash in the encampments. People with homes dump at the camps to avoid dumping fees! Sorry no link but I remember the article and not being one bit surprised by it. people really can be sh*ts.
          I too am made very uncomfortable by the addicts and mentally ill who roam the city closest to where I live but moving and turning our backs is clearly not the answer. There were fewer by magnitudes homeless when I as a kid in the 60s and early 70s – life was more affordable and services for the poor and mentally ill were more available. The solution to this problem doesn’t take rocket science to figure out – it takes heart and empathy for our fellow humans. Oh and maybe not continually throwing billions of dollars at the latest wars, not to mention a genocide. Sigh.

          1. steppenwolf fetchit

            Wasn’t the 60s and 70s before the mass closing of all the mental institutions during the Reagan Administration under the false promise that upon their closing that huge numbers of neighborhood halfway safe houses would be created for all the de-institutionalized mental institution inhabitants? And weren’t all these promised neighborhood halfway houses then carefully and deliberately on purpose never built so as to turn all those evicted long-term mental patients out onto the streets instead?

            Isn’t that where the first huge waves of homeless people came from?

            And now of course we are adding huge new waves of Hoover-era-style internal economic refugees.

      6. Seen it all

        A lot of them are mentally ill. California closed down almost all of our mental hospitals. Since 2020 onward California has spent over 24 million to combat with darn little to show for it.

        I belong to a community garden that was at one time surrounded by an immense homeless camp. It was a nightmare. So, if you advocate that they should be able to set up anywhere, you don’t have a clue what happens.

        The mental hospitals should be bought back and real housing built, accompanied by programs that help them to stabilize their lives. That is the humane solution.

        1. ArvidMartensen

          In the 1970s I earned money driving taxis while a student. I would get a young group from the city mental home, and have random conversations with them while I drove them wherever they were going. They must have got day passes or something. Anyway, they must have liked me and started asking for my cab, but then I got a bit uncomfortable as a young person, tbh, and started to become “unavailable”. And then I went back to uni.

          When I heard that the home was being closed down, I wondered what would happen to them.
          Now I know after 40 years. They probably ended up homeless or on drugs or both. Criminal lack of responsibility by government.

    2. Wukchumni

      When we left the City of Angles nearly 20 years ago, the only place you’d see homeless was Santa Monica (home of the homeless) and skid row in downtown LA.

      When my mom was living, I’d drive to LA maybe 5-6x a year to see her, and to watch the burgeoning crisis flow over into all over LA, it wasn’t uncommon to see somebody in a Coleman with a net worth of $9 living within howling distance of a house worth $900k, and I oft wondered what is the proper procedure for a new arrival in the neighborhood, fresh baked cookies shared in the vestibule of their pee’d-à-terre?

      The only places likely not to be infested by homeless are our National Parks. The tyranny of distance and a profound lack of handouts are dissuading factors. I’ve never seen a homeless person in Sequoia NP.

      1. Peter Steckel

        I’ve seen “homeless” living in National Forests, plenty, though, in North Georgia. Talked to a Sheriff’s deputy I saw driving through one about 2010 (last big housing crisis). He said they did a safety check once a week on the families with children living in tents in the forest campsites to make sure they had food and were able to get the kids to the local school. In a 9 mile loop, in which I counted approximately 100 primitive – and clearly long term – campsites, at least 20 had children under 10 living there.

        1. Wukchumni

          We have a sliver of BLM land around these parts and you don’t see any homeless on it really-again that tyranny of distance thing-combined with less than ample food/drugs/booze offerings here in Tiny Town versus a Big Smoke, but most everything else is bordered by the National Park, most of which is pretty hard to access in the lower stretches except on foot.

          If I was homeless by choice (what some call backpacking) i’d much rather be in about a dozen awesome off-trail camping spots only a few miles in on NP trails, where nobody would ever know you were there.

          The new place to be homeless in Godzone is camped along Hwy 99, saw dozens of encampments along the way that weren’t there previously.

          1. juno mas

            “‘Homeless” persons have been using rural public lands since the Depression, at least. Heck, when I first visited the Saline Valley hot pools in 1980 there was a large community. (Staying refreshed, and unbothered by authority seemed to be the prevailing consensus.)

        2. Cat Burglar

          Bend Oregon has a significant homeless population living in the Deschutes National Forest right outside town, hard against residential neighborhoods. During the arid summers, unattended or runaway fires from camps are discovered all the time. It is only a matter of time before something big happens.

          As far as I can tell, most of the people in the camps work for a living. But like most resort towns, Bend has expensive and almost-non-existent rentals gatekeeped by semi-criminal property management companies. There is no affordable housing, but the service jobs need to be done. The Forest is the low-income housing.

          There is pressure on the Forest from Bend residents to force the camps out, but they do not have legal authority to do so, and the writ of the city and county do not extend to the Forest.

      2. Carolinian

        Au contraire. Nomadland is all about homeless people driving around and living on our national lands. Of course some of them may be driving 100k RVs but by no means all.

        But they are nomads rather than squatters–an ugly word that nobody wants to use. And just to repeat what has already been said about this issue, we all have human rights but when those rights impinge on somebody else’s rights then courts and laws have to play Solomon. Perhaps putting the tents in Beverly Hills is exactly where they should be but it’s more likely they will be in less swank locales that may have people who are also poor or struggling. Our elites love to be compassionate when it doesn’t really cost them anything they care about.

        1. Wukchumni

          I mean of course, walking into the National Park & setting up shop with tent and debris field that always seem to accompany us even in our most down & out stage, and doing it without a net, er a shopping cart.

          If you have a viable vehicle, you may be for all intents and purposes homeless, but not that kind of homeless.

          Around Lake Kaweah here there are 4 or 5 pullouts that kind of hide you from the road, as hillocks are in the way, and each of them can handle 4 or 5 vehicles and every night they get filled by the Car Go Cult, not really Nomadland, but more of a safe place to overnight.

          So far the only time i’ve seen homeless in the wilderness was at Deep Creek hot springs near Hesperia and on the PCT trail, which I was doing a stretch of with my longtime backpacking partner in 2017.

          We had walked from Big Bear and it was a much anticipated stop on our walk, and the 4 or 5 transients were so off-putting we hardly soaked and moved on. Their squalor was sprawled.

          1. Carolinian

            Traditionally all national lands were open to wild camping. That still seems to be true of BLM properties but back east National Forests are designating only certain, still amenity free, spots for this use. In both cases there’s supposed to be a 14 day limit until you move on.

            I note scanning the Yosemite site that sleeping in your car is prohibited unless at a campsite you paid for. Take note Asian and European guests of which there are so many. A lot of NPS camping now requires computer reservations on top of payment. What would Jack London think? Tramping isn’t what it used to be.

            At any rate the Depts of Interior/Agriculture (Nat Forests) sound a lot less homeless friendly than downtown Los Angeles!

            1. Cat Burglar

              When I last checked, you could camp for free in any National Forest if you are 250 feet off any road. You may not build a fire unless you have a fire permit. I can assure you that there are also many turnouts off the road where you may spend the night unharrassed, for free. BLM is even less regulated, if only because they do not have the money to patrol it.

      3. anahuna

        Please, Wukchumni, take a moment to contemplate the word you just used. “Infested” calls up the image of unwelcome insects and vermin.

        The homeless, as Emma and Lena remind us, are human beings like ourselves. Some vicious societal perversion has created the conditions that tend to dehumanize them in our eyes. I don’t imagine that the Jews, Gypsies, Communists and Slavs in concentration camps smelled or looked attractive either. It is often said that the Israelis have turned Gaza into an open-sir concentration camp now become a killing field. Don’t American cities now have their own smaller versions of that camp?

        1. Joe Well

          I was a bit taken aback by Wuk’s attitudes too, in light of his usual light-hearted comments.

          Data point: I decided to get into camping and immediately discovered a huge online community of people who are basically homeless but refuse to call themselves that. “Car camping” as well as “van life” and “digital nomads”. I was a digital nomad for a while but I went from city apartment to city apartment, not sleeping in a van. I suddenly see why so many people are willing to pay $60/night for a campsite. I can only imagine that the “rustic” campsites must be more like Hoovervilles.

          Btw, if anyone wonders why the under-60s have such low opinions of “Boomers” it’s because most of them were born on third base in terms of housing, and are callous toward the rest of us who, if we’re not homeless, are one lost job away from being so.

          1. SocalJimObjects

            You might want to give this a read,

            Goh Chok Tong had been appointed as Prime Minister by Lee Kuan Yew, the so called Father of Modern Singapore, and a known dictator, albeit a “benevolent” one. Even if the Lees were guilty, no one would DARE to raise a finger against them in Singapore. I have the utmost respect for Lee Kuan Yew, not for his benevolence, but for doing whatever it took to make sure that Singapore would be a viable nation.

            There’s also this, And yes it is a fact that a lot of ill gains from Indonesia and other corrupt countries in the region are stored in Singapore, and why not, after all Singapore law protects those with the most capital, which is part and parcel of whatever it takes to make sure Singapore is a viable nation …. at the expense of neighboring countries.

      1. Janie

        Aye, there’s the rub: if the problem were easily solved, it would have been. Some years ago, Steve Lopez, senior columnist for the LA Times, wrote a series about his involvement in trying to get a homeless man, a mentally ill musician, off the streets. It took months and significant resources. See “The Soloist” book and movie.

    3. griffen

      There is an awful lot that can be said here from opposite angles…With the help and aid of our better “angels” as it were then a particular situation can be improved upon and perhaps conditions for a city or a central business / residential district will slowly improve. There are unfortunately some seriously bad apples around and in Austin, these headlines with “machete attack” have become more of a thing in recent years. I have read in past years ( over five years ago ) how Dallas & Ft Worth handle their situation with homeless camps, and gathered they really could not solve it.

      Machete attack engenders something else entirely. I’ll suggest rampant, illicit drug use might also be a recurring theme. If this country was serious about solutions, as opposed to buckets of money to the NGO complex ( looking at California, Newsom in particular ) the problem could be resolved or at a minimum, somewhat ameliorated.

      *any good Samaritan approach might well have safety and well being concerns if people are armed with such instruments.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Supreme Court should let states and cities clear homeless encampments”

    The Washington Post Editorial Board is unhappy that the Courts won’t let them simply bulldoze those people away. Just pretend they are Gazans and take a leaf out of the Israeli playbook. No word as to maybe actually taking care of these people instead and helping out those that can be helped. But are they going to start with the Vice-President’s hometown first? (30 sec video)

    Remind me again how much money they are voting for the Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan right now?

    1. Emma

      There are still far more empty homes than homeless in the US. Allow any REIT owned housing unit that’s been unoccupied for more than 45 days and all housing units that have been unoccupied for more than 180 days to become available for squatting.

      This would solve homelessness and actually do something to force rent to come down.

      1. mrsyk

        Turning REITs into affordable housing would really make me smile for a change. Instead of the looming bailout we could do this. Now that’s my kind of convertible security.

        1. Cat Burglar

          REITs are a form of property holding that was created by an act of Congress — it is not a natural, tangible form of possession, but a legal form created according to somebody’s conception of the public good. It follows that it could be further modifiable according to that conception.

      2. Stephen V

        I like this Emma. It always will get back to property rights, or our perception thereof.
        I was in South Africa a couple of months ago (talk about “displaced people!”) I was told that people have the right to camp in a public space. However when provided with govt subsidized housing they have no right to return to the streets.

      3. JustTheFacts

        Any housing that has been unoccupied for more than 180 days? That’s ridiculous. People get posted abroad, go to hospital, die and their relatives can’t deal with it, for longer than 180 days.

        If someone owns something, it’s theirs, not anyone else’s to do with as they think best. Most of the people who own it spent their lives building it, sacrificing opportunities they could have otherwise enjoyed. Just taking it is incredibly disrespectful. Oh, but what about my feelings of compassion? You don’t get to assuage your feelings of compassion by hurting others. That’s not compassion. That’s self-absorption in your own feelings.

        You want to fix something? Great. You get to do it by building your own stuff and giving it away, not by taking other people’s stuff and giving it away. Yes, it’s harder. It requires work. But that’s how other people built their stuff.

        This attitude is just as awful as that of large corporations seeing a nature or another people’s country, and saying “Yes, I’ll take that and exploit it”. It’s also the reason we dislike colonies and slavery. It’s called theft, and it’s encourages lawlessness. There’s a reason all successful cultures ban theft: It’s not a utopia when anyone can just walk into anyone else’s place and take their stuff. It just breeds violence because it’s stealing people’s life-energy through parasitism.

        1. Cat Burglar

          f someone owns something, it’s theirs, not anyone else’s to do with as they think best.

          That does not apply in many cases — for example, structures that are public nuisances (Seattle is considering an ordinance on exactly this, right now). There are laws allowing for confiscation of property used for illegal purposes. Ill-gotten gains can be clawed back. In these cases, the owner forfeits the right to have the state protect their right of ownership — it is not absolute.

          If we want to comment plainly on our situation, let’s start from reality, not imagined first principles.

        2. Emma

          If your idea of homeownership is to indefinitely leave empty (and 180 days is plenty of time to arrange some sort of rental or let arrangement, or sell the house outright) homes that could otherwise house people affordably, then I would say you don’t deserve your property. You’re the parasite for prioritizing your misbegotten sense of personal property over the proper use of a house, which is to provide a safe home for people who need it.

          1. JustTheFacts

            Houses don’t magically exist. Someone has to build them. That takes a lot of energy and work. Yet you think you get to decide that the people who spend that energy and work don’t deserve to keep the results of their labor? Why would anyone spend that time and energy building a house then?

            You want to know who doesn’t deserve a house? It’s the person, like you, who decides he gets to decide who deserves a house without making the effort himself or herself. Instead of being so certain of your virtue, and attempting to impose your morality, you’d be well advised to learn the history of other places which tried your ideas. Those ideas didn’t work out well for them, because only thinking of the first order consequences and not the second and third (etc) order consequences leads you to ruin.

            If you want to make the world better, stealing from others at the bottom is not the path forwards. Changing the flow of power is… and that’s very difficult.

      4. Kouros

        Where I am in Canada, I would need to pay $16000 tax per year for my small townhouse if I were to keep it unoccupied.

    2. Chris Cosmos

      It is hard for many American to face the fact that we are, as a culture, profoundly hostile to compassion and love for fellow humans. This is a hyper-materialistic culture that encourages alienation as a virtue. More than other cultures I’m familiar with we valorize ego and self-promotion. We pretend to promote some traditional virtues but if we actually practice these virtues we are penalized. In the world of large organizations there are two rules: 1) no good deed goes unpunished; and 2) cover your ass.

      Above all we devalue community and commitments in favor of “personal expression”, fulfilling fantasies. Many people constantly move from one part of the country to the next rather than attempt to encourage local economies. Thus if homeless people start coming together we want to destroy their communities and the individuals inside punishing them for the poverty they live in everyday particularly if they attempt to ease their pain through taking drugs–we just see them as “bad” rather that people who are in f-ing pain. The “solution” to homelessness is not that hard to find but for governments throwing money at the problem it’s mainly food for corruption.

      1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

        In the dystopias of my youth, I’m thinking particularly of the film Soylent Green, at least there were humane (and delicious) ways of disposing of all the human waste. Maybe that should be “waste humans.”

        1. LifelongLib

          “Soylent Green” with its climate change, dying oceans, and widespread homelessness seems the most prescient, although the high tech amidst squalor of “Blade Runner” is a close second.

      1. JBird4049

        The median is 2k? In the San Francisco Bay Area, that seems like the minimum for an apartment of any size.

        I am starting to think that the one million homeless often stated for Americans might be an understatement. A large one.

  7. LawnDart

    Re; The Bezzle

    Boeing aims to bring flying cars to Asia by 2030

    Yeah, well maybe they should concentrate on keeping their aircraft airborne first.

    Anyway, China is already commercializing this tech– part of the latest 5-year plan (10-year, 15-year, etc.). The world leader is a company called Ehang, which is actually a software company. Their flagship aircraft (which has already been flying for several years) is the EH 216:

    Ehang raised its start-up cash on Wall Street, but now that they’re off the ground (so to speak), they’re looking at moving their stock listings to Hong Kong, probably because of all the BS USA delisting crap, and the fact that the real action and innovation is elsewhere in the world

    I digress.

    Anyway, China is SO so far ahead of USA in developing the low-altitude economy, NEVs (New Energy Vehicles), and the supporting infrastructures, that the old Cold War-era “Sputnik moment” ain’t got nothing on this.

    Most people in USA have no idea how crude and backwards their country is. This move by Boeing is a PR-stunt, a cash-grab, and an effort to ride the coat-tails of an industry that they have no experience in, and no business being in.

    1. digi_owl

      My first thought on that headline was the age old “even a brick flies with enough thrust”.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Built by Boeing? Strike One!
      Autonomous technology? Strike Two!
      Experimental design? Strike Three!

      If I lived in Japan’s Nagoya, I would be investing in steel roofs and helmets by 2030. Maybe they should have gone to Okinawa instead. The people there have experience with American aircraft falling out of the sky.

      1. LawnDart

        Autonomous technology is already a thing. Lambert’s covid-updates, especially the parts about executive-dysfunction, might give some reasons as to why this might be a good idea… if properly designed, tested, and implemented– unlike that Tesla crap.

      2. Randall Flagg

        Well, would you want to be in one of Boeing’s flying cars and suddenly the door comes off, or the altitude adjustment software fails and you’re heading into a building?
        What’s the saying now, ” If it’s on a Boeing, I’m not going?”

        1. LawnDart

          Thankfully the ones actually flying are Chinese, not American.

          Wait… did I just say that?

    3. Kouros

      I have seen some clips and when you think how fast the Chinese can scale up… it is quite something. “Overproduction” my behind.

  8. furnace

    Is the Gaza war destabilizing Jordan? Responsible Statecraft

    Yeah, Jordan’s monarchy seems mostly doomed, and once things spiral out of control there the Zionist Entity is going to be in a lot worse position than before. Seems like the doubling down on the genocide and general chaos is going to finally upend all the imperial structures the US worked so hard in creating and maintaining. As always, Gramsci comes to mind; this is the time of monsters. Interesting time to be living in a historical sense, very much 4th century redux, with the Romans having been replaced by the world’s current overlords.

    1. Emma

      One of the alt media shows reminded me that King Abdullah’s very handsome half brother is still under house arrest for an alleged coup attempt in 2021. He probably still speaks Arab with an English accent but at least he is 75 percent Arab rather than 50 percent Arab.

      The whole Levant down to Egypt (what Zionists claim as “Eretz Israel”) was a coherent single cultural and administrative entity before WWI. The Brits and French went in after 1918 and doled it out to their favored local despots. This process needs to reverse and an United Arab Republic be put in its place.

      1. The Rev Kev

        King Abdullah couldn’t speak Arabic when he came to the throne and he is the last of the Hashamite Kings who were originally a transplant from Saudi Arabia. Uniting the Levant Arabs may or may not be possible after all this time. Certainly the Saudis and Gulf states look down on them and may not want to see them unite. Certainly the US, Israel and the EU would never want to see this happen either.

        1. Polar Socialist

          It’s not like pan-Arabism is a new idea. They even have a party with an agenda: Ba’ath. Remember that one?

          I used to have a Libyan colleague (way before Libya was “democratized”), and when talking with him about his homeland ect. is was often hard to follow whether he was talking about Libya, Mahgreb or all Arab countries – at some level it apparently was all the same to him.

        2. steppenwolf fetchit

          I believe it wasn’t “Saudi” Arabia until some years after the Hashemite Family was transplanted from its Hejazi base. I don’t think the Saudi family and its warfighters from Nejd Province conquered a lot of the rest of Arabia until sometime in the 1920s. That’s just my memory, though, and could be wrong.

          The other locally prominent power-Family in Nejd was the Rashidis, who were driven out by the Saudis. I believe there are still some al Rashidis living in exile in London and other places.
          I could be wrong about that too, though.

    2. MRLost

      Not that long ago a frequent Israeli claim was “Jordan is Palestine.” So Israel is all in favor of removing the current Jordanian government and population – many of whom are displaced Palestinians – and replacing them with more Palestinians. A recent comment regarding Israeli Lebensraum encompasses this aim.

    3. irenic

      King Abdullah is the official defender of Al Aqsa. What what will the Islamic world think of him if on Monday there is a Zionist sacrifice of a red heifer(and possible destruction?) at Al Aqsa?

      1. furnace

        If Al Aqsa gets destroyed then all hell will break loose. Afaik there were no major calls for jihad outside of Palestine, but can the anger of the Muslim (not just Arab!) world be contained if their third holiest site just got blown to pieces? People have declared actual war for far smaller transgressions.

  9. LawnDart

    Re; China

    Liberal Arts majors, rejoice!

    Your skills are finally recognized, just not in the west:

    PLA sets up information support force, to advance Chinese military’s competitiveness in modern warfare

    Xi stressed that the information support force is a new, strategic branch of the military and a key pillar in coordinating the construction and application of the network information system. It will play a crucial role in advancing the Chinese military’s high-quality development and competitiveness in modern warfare.

  10. Keith

    Scott Galloway is the Fisher-Price-neoliberal version of Adam Tooze. I made the mistake of listening to his podcast w/Kara Swisher a few times, so bad.

    1. junkelly

      I clicked on today’s link thinking I was going to read something from the UK politician _George_ Galloway. I was . . . disappointed.

    2. Benny Profane

      Yup. Like two Scarsdale ladies gossiping over lunch. He loves to say, in a nutshell, I got lucky, but I got mine, what’s your problem?

      She should never be taken seriously after MCing that DIIA conference in Ukraine. Orwell would be shocked.

  11. digi_owl

    “Linus Torvalds on ‘Hilarious’ AI Hype ZDNet”

    Hrmf, as if programmers are not hell bent on reinventing wheels over and over. The Linux graphics stack is a clear and recent-ish example of that.

    And i really do worry that Linux will go the same path as Unix once Torvalds retires, and some corporate stooge gets the drivers seat. So far we are benefiting greatly from Torvalds having he foresight to decline a offer from Red Hat back in the day.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Given that he’d be working for IBM now if he’d accepted that offer, I’d say so.

    2. Carolinian

      Yay Linux.

      And given the tech industry’s love of planned obsolescence reinventing the wheel is what they do. Some of my favorite programs were written long ago because when it comes to standard algorithms for video and graphics they were invented back then and now are continuously repackaged. Linux is a at least a lot more stable than the ever changing world of Microsoft–at least according to my complaining brother.

      Not that I’m any kind of expert on this but I do try to know what I need to know. You control it or it controls you.

    3. earthling

      Exactly. He’s not exactly replaceable, but still should be spending some of his time and brainpower coming up with a succession plan.

    4. JustTheFacts

      It’s not just Linus. Once those of us of his generation retire or die, free software/open source will most likely die. What can be harvested by corporations will be. The rest will disappear.

      The young’uns don’t use their “hard skills” for fun or to change the world. They use them to get money or build a portfolio for their careers. It’s particularly obvious in the demoscene. Pretty much everyone’s a grey beard. The original hacker ethic is dying.

      The idiots in charge probably think their “hard skills” needs are now solved by AI but don’t realize AI just regurgitates the software we wrote.

      1. LifelongLib

        In fairness to the young’uns, the days when you could slide by on a part-time job while you pursued your dreams are gone. You need to work full time and then some just to survive. I don’t envy the young of today at all.

        1. JustTheFacts

          I know what you mean, but there’s a difference: a lot of us started coding at 10 and it was really difficult and expensive to get a computer in those days, particularly with the income of a 10 year old. Now they’re everywhere but the interest seems to have evaporated. And they’re cheap. If you can’t find one being thrown out you can get a $35 Raspberry Pi which is insanely powerful in comparison to the computers we had, and people throw monitors away all the time.

          1. digi_owl

            I do wonder if most that got into programming was not into it as such, but into trying to make the thing produce images and sound that impressed their peers.

            Thus once the web and Shockwave/Flash came along, most moved there and left the brass tacks coding behind.

            And now they can make videos etc by hitting record, and upload it to any number of social media services.

  12. digi_owl

    “The First Unintended Consequence Of AI—And It’s Huge Forbes (furzy)”

    Ah yes, them oh so valuable “soft skills”. Groan.

    The over-emphasis on soft skills is what has lead us to we are at present, with endless meeting and tiptoeing around an ever growing list of “sensitive” vocabulary.

    1. Jesper

      Interesting article. This bit though:

      Repeatedly and predictably, in surveys year after year, executives and recruiters list communication and the ability to work week within a team as the top two most sought-after and difficult to find skill sets—more than accounting, engineering, research, etc. What they’re saying, essentially, is that they can get all the hard skills people they need. What’s keeping them up at night is the soft skills issue. Billions of dollars are spent annually on this.

      The way recruitment is done nowadays:
      1. Place an ad with requirements (hard skills)
      2. Review (either by AI or by some HR-grunt) applications and reject all that lack the hard-skills
      3. Since only the ones with the hard-skills are being interviewed then people with the ‘needed’ soft- kills who are lacking the hard skills (which companies claim they can coach/train) then the recruiters end up with few acceptable candidates.

      Sometimes the requirements in job-ads are simply ridiculous and it would be the (only/mostly) very out of the ordinary person to have managed to acquire all the hard-skills sought. Survivor bias. The soft skills might not be as rare as those people think.

      & recruiters and executives have two possible explanations for failing to recruit:
      1. It is the fault of the world (ie, not recruiter or executive fault)
      2. Recruiters and executives are bad at their jobs
      Unsurprisingly they blame the failures on the world…

      (and one other thing, the quote from the article contains something odd to me, am guessing that the word ‘week’ is the result of poor editing, the word ‘well’ seems to be more appropriate)

      1. earthling

        Perhaps the good communicators read the ludicrously demanding job expectations and decline to apply. Because they can read between the lines and see they will not get much respect. Off they go to start their own struggling startups, or work for a smaller sized firm which does not run human ‘resources’ through a mechanized meat grinder.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “GPs in Britain could soon be stripped of powers to hand out sick notes”

    So who are workers supposed to get sick note from? Their boss? A new government agency that you might have to travel hours to visit? Or maybe the emergency department at the local hospital as they would be glad of the extra work. This whole thing seems to be a way of getting rid a useful metric to determine how many sick people there are out there. If it is showing more and more sick people each year because of an unspecified virus, that might embarrass the government and we can’t have that.

    1. antidlc

      “So who are workers supposed to get sick note from?”

      No one. No sick note — no disability payments.

      “This whole thing seems to be a way of getting rid a useful metric to determine how many sick people there are out there. ”

      Also a way of getting rid of disability payments.

    2. JustTheFacts

      No. They’re supposed to work. If they’re genuinely ill with say brain fog, they’ll underperform. Then they’ll be fired or laid off. If fired, they won’t cost the government anything. If laid off, and unable to get a new job, their unemployment benefits will run out. Then they’ll not cost the government anything. Then, they’ll die off. It matters not one whit to our ruling classes.

      It’s inhumane.

        1. JustTheFacts

          Well, there is British America, and it seems to be struggling to keep its southern border closed, so there is that option.

          1. JBird4049

            British America? What do you have against Canadians and Americans like me? Let us get rid of the Elites responsible for all this. Antartica is a frozen wasteland and will still be even if the ice sheets themselves should melt. It would a cold hell matching the cold souls.

    3. Grebo

      The sick note itself was always only meant as a disincentive to shirking. Now you can’t even get an appointment with your doctor within a couple of weeks so it’s entirely pointless unless you have cancer or something. Perhaps they should hire more truancy officers.

  14. Joker

    Experts raise concerns about how our environment will give rise to an ominous new era of unrest: ‘That’s the politics of the armed lifeboat’ MSN

    “At times of such huge uncertainty, a veritable plague of toxic public feelings can be unleashed, which provide the effective underpinning for political movements such as populism, authoritarianism, and totalitarianism,”

    So, it’s not Putin’s fault. All the mess in former Soviet Republic of Ukraine was actually caused by increasing climate shocks.

  15. Wukchumni

    The Bad Coin

    Things had started out innocently enough, a small but useful purchase in the mid one figures of Bitcoin, oh to be a player with the big boys, was the initial attraction.

    Our relationship soured when Bitcoin wanted to go out to bars @ night, sometimes paying for endless rounds for all the patrons, trying to prove that it wasn’t a johnny come lately fluke. It rarely got up before noon and that was to only check the latest quote repeatedly before going to a Starbucks to try and sweet talk the 20 & 30 somethings into a relationship, the nerve of my 2-timing invisible friend I thought to myself!

    The final straw though was Bitcoin buying a Cybertruck to impress the laddies, despite not being able to drive it because it was a figment of our imagination.

    1. griffen

      What do you call a Cybertruck that has been bricked by the company software. That’s a modern work of art convenient to shift around the lawn, given the four tires are in working order? At least with the DeLorean, Doc could retro fit and create a time travel machine.

      Behold, this new Tesla vehicle it is my $75,000 new addition to my front lawn!

        1. griffen

          Sounds like a collectible item for the cooler kids, much like those who were subjected to the satirical derision from a film like Glass Onion. As the guests begin arriving at their host’s secretive location, they pull into harbor and reach some clever looking pier emerges for the yacht to be docked…pieceofshite per the approaching Captain..

          No wonder Tesla shares are in a sad state in recent weeks.

          1. Wukchumni

            I was around 20 and used to walk around my childhood hood and one day to my amazement in a San Gabriel Valley suburb so boring that it might only rate bottom fold on the front page in the LA Times if Jesus himself showed up there, I saw 5 or 6 car carriers full of brand new stainless steel DeLoreans just parked in front of houses, maybe a total of 30 DeLoreans, and whatever their reason to be in Hacienda Heights that day, i’ll never know.

            To complicate the saga, Back to the Future was filmed @ Puente Hills mall 5 years later, not too far away.

            1. JohnA

              Some months ago, a stage version of Back to the Future opened in London. The whole of Shaftesbury Avenue, (equiv to Broadway I imagine) was full of DeLoreans parked outside.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Israel and Iran: Itching for War, Playing with Fire’

    ‘Hamas, of course also committed atrocities against the Israeli population on October 7. Over 600 innocent, noncombatant Israelis were killed, alongside more than 400 Israeli military personnel. Many of the civilians were peace-loving people, who disagreed with their own government’s punitive policies toward the Palestinians.’

    Fariba Amini should check her sources more. Those 400 Israeli military personnel were fair game as it was actually a series of battles that day. But is she deliberately ignorant as to who killed most of those 600 civilians or trying to signal that she is still a team player? My takeaway from those deaths is to never hold a festival next door to a concentration camp. The prison guards are more likely to shoot you than the prisoners.

  17. yep

    The US Doesn’t Support A Two-State Solution, It Just Supports Saying It Does Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

    The US does support a two-state solution, in Taiwan, while talking about One China policy. In former USSR/Yugoslavia, it supports n+1 state solution, while being honest about it.

  18. Wukchumni


    About 20 years ago we were in NZ for a few months, and herb was rarely encountered as a tourist and it wasn’t as if I was gonna hit up my lifelong numismatist friend in Auckland-he being a Mormon.

    I remember inquiring of a likely local in Queenstown who advised me to look for the Maori fellow in a vertically striped hoodie who probably knew somebody that could set me up.

    We didn’t try as hard as we could have to score-and truth be said it was a nice respite, so late in our trip we go on a guided walk to Fox Glacier (they no longer offer guided walks-the glacier has receded so far that it isn’t possible-only helicopter trips to the upper glacier now) and you had to walk a few miles just to get it, and how magnificent, the giant wide white tongue bordered by rain forest!

    We get about halfway to where we start walking on the glacier and our young Kiwi guide announces, ‘ok, folks, we’re going to stop here and have a safety meeting’… and I know both of us started salivating for sativa, but it turned out to be just that, a genuine safety meeting, who knew.

    Later, I explained what ‘safety meeting’ was slang for to our guide, and oh how he howled in laughter.

    We finally scored on the Routeburn track, an Irish fellow traveler made a spliff about 9 miles long, but in reality more like 8 inches, a hard draw.

    1. Bruce F

      NZ has to be seen to be believed. I, too, more than 25 years ago (!), remember walking through a rain forest with 20′ tall giant ferns all around and looking over at Fox Glacier. We’d later move out onto the glacier, and walk around for a while. I think I was wearing shorts, it was that temperate. One of the strangest experiences of my life.
      Since you often give fascinating links to the hikes you’ve taken, I thought I’d share the travelogue/site of my friends Art and H2, who have been visiting NZ for month long trips in their (NZ’s) off season/winter for many years. They like to go then to avoid the crowds. Camping/driving/eating, and doing a lot of hikes. Heidi has posted a lot of gorgeous photos there, making it a good way to vicariously travel to NZ.

      1. Wukchumni

        We were about to get on Fox glacier and there was a 5 ton boulder that had rested on the say 25 foot deep glacier, and I inquired of our young guide, what do you call that, pointing to the boulder, and he says ‘a Rock!’ and I explain how we call those erratics in the Sierra Nevada, and they end up resting on the ground after a long time also having sat on 25 feet of perma-ice, once upon a time 6,000 years ago in the west.

        Thanks for the links, i’ve hiked plenty in NZ and urge a visit to those of the outdoorsy sort.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “ECB fires back at plans to seize Russian assets”

    This story is kinda funny in a way. The US and the EU have been hyping each other up about that $300 billion and want to steal it. But even after two years, they still have not found a legal way to take it that does not end up blowing in their faces. Now Washington has assured Brussels that they have determined that taking that money is actually legal so now everything is fine. And then came the kicker. Washington wants Brussels to go first in stealing the $200 billion that they have at Euroclear. Even European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde is not that stupid however hence this warning.

    1. digi_owl

      Gets me thinking about Poland not wanting the point man on delivering their mothballed MiGs to Ukraine, and instead wanted to fly them to Ramstein and let the Americans do the handover. Because everyone knew the second they crossed into Ukraine airspace it would be open season.

    2. Feral Finster

      Legality has nothing to do with it. The concern is that everyone whose assets are held in the West or are denominated in USD or EUR will know that his title to those assets is always conditional at most.

      Anyway, the seizure will happen eventually.

    3. TomW

      Since they haven’t done it yet, why would they do it now? The powers that be have 1/2 thrown in the towel this week. They are going to need a deal sooner or later…now looking like sooner.
      And now, it is obvious that money alone won’t win this for the West. And if the assets are looted, they will just disappear. And whoever is holding it likes holding it. It generates lots of fees.
      At this stage, Ukraine will do anything possible to get the West more involved. Which makes them our enemy, no? A desperate, defeated ally is dangerous. The US has no problem, in principle, to a deal. From a pre 2014 neutral, Ukraine to a rump neutral Ukraine. Lines on a map that no one in America outside the Neocons care about remotely. All that needs to happen is to revise the narrative to call this deal a victory…while parceling out the blame. The victory part…not so difficult. plucky Ukraine punching above their weight. Russia’s military exhausted just fighting those plucky freedom fighters. And not close to touching NATO. And it is all Trump’s fault it wasn’t total victory.

  20. antidlc

    RE: Laura Miers
    “I made countless threads about the nefarious players who infiltrated governments & defunded & gutted public health as a gift to business. The worst people on the planet are running this show. ”

    Reminds me of this…
    Fire Jeff Zients

    Biden’s COVID czar has gone from ‘Mr. Fix-It’ to grim reaper, steering the administration’s pandemic response to catastrophic lows.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “SITREP 4/19/24: A Small Gust for Ukraine’s Sails?”

    Check out the brief clip of Boris Johnson talking most of the way down that page. What he has to say in the last few seconds of his spiel is a zinger, I promise you.

    1. pjay

      Yes, pretty funny. But I was even more impressed by the opening rant by Mike Johnson at the beginning of Simplicius’ piece. That was quite something! I had been pretty amazed by Johnson’s 180 after his “intelligence briefing” the other day. I know he was really just the typical Republican poser, but his rhetorical transformation was striking. I’d jokingly suggested that they must have shown him the “secret Kennedy video.” Perhaps I wasn’t that far off.

    2. Benny Profane

      The Brits have no military, a fading finance system that depends on our dollar, which has a shaky future, and it’s society is approaching third world status, and he and Cameron are talking like it’s still 1920. Upper class twits.

  22. dave -- just dave

    The disturbed man who committed suicide by fire near the Trump trial wrote

    The Daily Mail has an informative biographical article with interviews with friends, etc.

    In broad outline, he was not completely wrong – the rich and powerful are lying to us, stealing from us, committing mass murder and degrading the biosphere in ways definitely not to our advantage. The details matter, however, and one always faces the existential question: What now?

    May the Holy Spirit comfort those who mourn.

    1. Bsn

      “Disturbed???” That word is not a positive description of a person. Would you enjoy being called “disturbed”? Do unto others, please.

      1. Emma

        I know that word has a bad connotation but, if you’re not disturbed by everything happening around us, you’re not paying attention.

    2. Li

      yeah, i feel like he got the disease right but misdiagnosed the causes, and for getting out of this mess, the causes are important.

  23. edgui

    “Turning plants blue with gene editing could make robot weeding easier”

    Just a digression. That certain fascination that genetic modification generates seems to suggest how hostile its receptivity will be. Similar practices have been denounced in the global south for decades. Such modifications, I understand, have ultimately been to make farmers dependent on their inputs rather than to increase productivity, not to mention the environmental impact.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      Wait, don’t these people think before they write? Chlorophyll b absorbs blue light. If you make the plants blue, you are going to reflect the very energy they need to live. Berries don’t need to absorb the light so they can be blue.

      1. JBird4049

        >>Wait, don’t these people think before they write?

        Oh, you mean read, do some research, and double checking of facts? No, they don’t.

  24. Wukchumni

    Yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah!

    I woke up this mornin’ with the sundown shinin’ in
    I found my mind in an internet blog within
    I tripped on a cloud and a missile fell-about eight miles high
    I tore my mind on a jagged sky
    I just dropped in to see what condition each missile deterrence condition was in

    I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in
    I watched myself crawlin’ out as I was a-crawlin’ in
    I got up so tight I couldn’t unwind
    I saw so much war I broke my mind
    I just dropped in to see what condition their condition was in

    Someone painted “April Fool” in big black letters on a “end-timer” sign
    Both had their foot on the gas as they went down this dead end road and blew out my mind
    Eight miles high outta Persia and Israel got no spare
    Eight miles straight up gotta land somewhere
    I just dropped in to see what condition their condition was in

    I said i just dropped in to see what condition their condition was in
    Yeah yeah oh-yeah

    Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Is In) by Kenny Rogers & The First Edition

  25. The Rev Kev

    “Sizing up the China-Russia ‘New Axis’ ”

    Noah Smith should have noted that the west has been mostly demilitarized already. But what he does not mentioned that it was the US and the EU that pushed Russia and China together in the first place and then declared them enemies of the Collective West. And the US is hardly going to reorganize its economy as that would mean dumping Neoliberalism which they will never do. Actually I am surprised that he did not whack Iran into that Axis as well as that seems to be a thing now. But truth be told, there are so many falsehoods in this article that I am sorry that I bothered to read it. Not a few falsehoods but a lot.

    1. CA

      Sizing up the China-Russia ‘New Axis’

      Simply noticing the term “Axis” was enough to make me pass on and not even open the article. Learning here the name of the author, my thought is “of course.”

        1. CA

          Japan, Italy and Germany were referred to as the “Axis” before and during the World War. Japan invaded China in 1931 and rampaged through the country killing millions from there. Japan’s government has never apologized to China and indeed Japanese leaders routinely honor leaders of the invasion of China at a memorial in Japan.

          Referring to China as “Axis” is beyond unfortunate, beyond decency.

          1. yep

            It’s not unfortunate, but intentional. You might have noticed that Putin is also called Putler, and Russians are Russhist (Russian fashists). Also, war is peace, and freedom is slavery.

    2. Kouros

      “Russia is mainly a gas station with nukes”.

      How stupid you have to be to utter such nonsense. The Russian manufacturing can produce its own figther jets, nuclear submarines, missile delivery systems unmatched, AD systems unmatched, ice breakers, cars, chemical industry, and of course, has the most comprehensive production chain in nuclear energy in the world.

      They lack only people, which, if push comes to shove, could be sourced from Central Asia, China, North Krea, Iran, Belarus.

      1. Kouros

        Plus this, as a starting axiom:
        “Obviously, factors like training and competence come into play, and these are in favor of the US.”
        The hubris, it hurts.
        How many wars, since WWII, has US and its allies actually won? “training and competence” my behind.

      2. CA

        “Russia is mainly a gas station with nukes”.

        The meanness of John McCain who spoke earlier in this way and repeating the demeaning phrase now is that understanding the belittling phrase should always have been enough for our foreign policy personnel to work peacefully with rather than being increasingly threatening to Russia.

    3. Kouros

      I had a look at his substack and this particular article. The commentariate there is the ultimate paying circle jerk. It reminded me of arelatively recent novel of a re-established Russian empire allied with the Chinese where a new Okhrana runs the society. Some of the initiation practices of this three leter agencies were boozin, mushrooms with biolumiscent properties that would make pricks glow, and then the Greek style circle jerk one might see on some of the amphors at the British Museum, in the basement…

      That was my impression of that particular commentariat.

    4. Zephyrum

      Noah is much beloved by the liberal intelligentsia who populate my San Francisco technology workplace. They admire his obvious intelligence and adhesion to their common viewpoint. Such a person can only emit facts, or so it is faithfully believed in those circles.

  26. Tom Stone

    Does anyone in the Commentariat have a suggestion about how to enlist Tucker Carlson’s help in starting a grassroots campaign to send Genocide Joe some marbles to replace the ones he has lost?
    I’m sure Joe would take the ribbing in good humor, he’s almost as well known for his sense of humor as he is for his “Superpower” of empathy.

    1. jefemt

      Choking hazard!?!
      He might mistake them for left over jelly belly(tm) jelly beans from the wonderful Reagan Era(tm).

    2. Kouros

      The process of mummification on this one is too far advanced, probably more than half of his brain has been extracted via one of his nostrils.

  27. tjm2510

    Zero hedge had a working link to.
    The substack of the self immolating antifascist. That was at 8 am EDT. I downloaded it, but I am not sure if it is complete. I am away until 2 pm

  28. spud

    anyone who thinks we can regulate and tax the rich, yet ignores why the rich have so much power now, that they have formed a global oligarchy, is a fraud.

    free trade is the conduit, without free trade, and under protectionism, the rich would be collared.

    this one paragraph about water says it all,

    “Nearly a decade ago, Greenstone Resource Partners LLC, a private company backed by global investors, bought almost 500 acres of agricultural land here in Cibola. In a first-of-its-kind deal, the company recently sold the water rights tied to the land to the town of Queen Creek, a suburb of Phoenix, for a $14m gross profit. More than 2,000 acre-feet of water from the Colorado River that was once used to irrigate farmland is now flowing, through a canal system, to the taps of homes more than 200 miles away.”

    any country that tolerates excessive wealth, is open to the rich secretly working against their civil society, even in countries that are opposed to our system.

    their oligarchs also have their tentacles all over the world, working against civil societies.

    1. Chris Cosmos

      Thank you. Money and power are real things and applying money/power works for the oligarchs particularly in a society that has given up on morality despite the the rhetoric of “preserving democracy” when they are doing the exact opposite.

  29. antidlc

    Long twitter thread by aerosol scientist Prof. Jose-Luis Jimenez on the WHO report

    aerosols vs. droplets

    from the 18th post:

    18/ During pandemic, many experts told me @CDCgov
    has long been dominated by hospital industry

    Which views infection protection as:

    – Cost or savings for hospitals
    – Health burden or benefit for health care workers

    They choose savings for hospitals, burden for workers

  30. Es s Ce Tera

    What does the NC commentariat think about adopting and persisting the recent trend that I’ve seen in progressive Jewish circles to use the name Palestine-Israel when referring to Israel? I think it’s a great way to counter the erasure of Palestine and have decided that henceforth I shall do the same.

    1. britzklieg

      I’d wonder if the reason I’m not aware of it or have not seen it reflects the minuscule number of “progressive” Jews who use it…

  31. CA

    Li Jingjing 李菁菁 @Jingjing_Li

    Strong words from China’s permanent representative @ChinaAmbUN at the UN.

    “Today is a sad day. Because of the veto by the United States, the application by Palestine for full membership at the UN has been rejected, and the decades-long dream of the Palestinian people ruthlessly dashed. China finds the decision by the US most disappointing.”

    9:21 AM · Apr 19, 2024

    1. Daryl

      From China, that language might as well be f*** you. Meanwhile the US is trying to somehow reconcile on-paper support for Palestinean statehood with… not supporting Palestinean statehood. Imagine being Linda Thomas-Greenfield and doing all this nonsense.

  32. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    Yup, this really puts all the China collapse or “peak China” stories into perspective: *

    According to the latest International Monetary Fund projections, China will be the world’s top contributor to global growth over the next 5 years, “with its share bigger than all G7 countries COMBINED”! Its contribution to global growth will also be 61% bigger than India’s.

    * China Outweighs G-7 as Leading Driver of Global Economic Growth

    9:27 PM · Apr 19, 2024

      1. CA

        “Beautiful takedown of The Economist by Singapore’s Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam.”

        Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam:

        The Economist can’t resist sneering at us. It’s an instinct lodged deep in the unconscious of the British commentariat class. They can’t stand that a people they were accustomed to lecturing are now doing better than they are, across the board….

  33. Jeff W

    Microsoft’s VASA-1 Can Deepfake a Person With One Photo and One Audio Track ars technica

    “It paves the way for real-time engagements with lifelike avatars that emulate human conversational behaviors.”

    I can’t say I want to engage, real-time or otherwise, with a lifelike avatar that emulates human conversational behaviors.

  34. flora

    From Mark Goodwin and Whitney Webb at Unlimited Hangout:

    Debt From Above: The Carbon Credit Coup

    Latin America is quietly being forced into a carbon market scheme through regional contractual obligations – enforced by the satellites of a US intelligence-linked firm – which seeks to create an inter-continental “smart grid,” erode national and local sovereignty, and link carbon-based life to the debt-based monetary system via a Bitcoin sidechain.

    1. Steve H.


      Here’s just one facet: how much energy will be devoured to feed blockchains in this digital greencredits world?

      And there’s still Part II…

  35. juno mas

    RE: Sizing up China…

    This article is patent nonsense. China, Russia, PRNK, Iran, and others are, in fact, coordinating both economically and militarily to end US hegemony because they see the world destruction that the US promotes. By observing NATO over the years they see how their coordination can thwart both economic and military subjgation by the West.

    The article states that North Korea is only a threat to South Korea! This is nonsense. NK is a direct threat to Japan and all other nations aligned in the south Pacific with the AUKUS grouping. NK, through their own development and technology transfer from Russia, is the elephant in the room in this part of the world when it comes the military threats. They are an integral part of the C-R-Iran military cooperative (the New World ‘NATO’).

  36. Screwball

    I’ll just drop this here; from the NYT not long ago today

    House Approves $95 Billion Aid Bill for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

    I tried to read this but I couldn’t because it infuriates me. Besides, I don’t like the NYT and I don’t believe much of their drivel anyway. But I digress…

    I can only imagine what else these slimeballs put in this bill, but just as infuriating is the cheering I see from the usual suspects – the PMC class. My PMC friends are jumping with joy they passed more money for WAR. I’m old enough to remember when the democrats were anti-war (for the most part) and now they cheer for more money to line the pockets of Wall Street and bomb makers while forgetting (or not caring) this money will end up killing people.

    And, as discussed above, we have a massive and growing homeless population right here at home that nobody is addressing. Not to mention…never mind, I have to stop before I have to check my blood pressure.

    I am so disgusted with almost everything I see today. What a country. We are ruled by insane people who are cheered on by more insane people.


    1. CA

      April 20, 2024

      House Approves $95 Billion Aid Bill for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan
      After months of delay at the hands of a bloc of ultraconservative Republicans, the package drew overwhelming bipartisan support, reflecting broad consensus.
      By Catie Edmondson

      The House voted resoundingly on Saturday to approve $95 billion in foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, as Speaker Mike Johnson put his job on the line to advance the long-stalled aid package by marshaling support from mainstream Republicans and Democrats.

      In four back-to-back votes, overwhelming bipartisan coalitions of lawmakers approved fresh rounds of funding for the three U.S. allies, as well as another bill meant to sweeten the deal for conservatives that could result in a nationwide ban of TikTok.

      The scene on the House floor reflected both the broad support in Congress for continuing to help the Ukrainian military beat back Russia, and the extraordinary political risk taken by Mr. Johnson to defy the anti-interventionist wing of his party who had sought to thwart the measure. Minutes before the vote on assistance for Kyiv, Democrats began to wave small Ukrainian flags on the House floor, as hard-right Republicans jeered…

      1. Belle

        Can someone run an ad campaign targeting members of Congress for backing Kiev? Bring up how they interfered in 2016, and how they gave training to neo-Nazi groups that attacked Americans, like the Rise Above Movement.

    2. Chris Cosmos

      This is why we are, as a culture and country, in steep decline. It’s not “insanity” it’s a lack of morality which stems from our drift (pushed by the news and entertainment media) into nihilism. This is why we need a spiritual revolution badly and it has to start with each of us. I do not mean traditional religion (most religious people are not spiritual) but we need to acquire a metaphysical center that allows us to discern good from bad.

      1. Fuzzy Guy

        I like the idea of a metaphysical center, but find myself a little lost. Everything we do (driving, eating, working) runs on oil, everything we earn gets taxed to subsidize true evil, and the petty conveniences and luxuries (stand mixers, non stick frying pans, collectible miniature games) we enjoy tend to be created at substantial cost to our environment.

        Not trying to be gloomy but a ‘metaphysical center’ only tells me that I’m fueling the anthropocene extinction while subsidizing the worst elements of society. And recognizing such is deeply unpopular.

    3. Thomas Wallace

      I’m shocked it took as long as it has. The uniparty has never opposed this spending. “Minutes before the vote on assistance for Kyiv, Democrats began to wave small Ukrainian flags on the House floor, as hard-right Republicans jeered…”. The Republican’s jeering was refreshing. This is about positioning for the blame for Ukraine’s defeat.
      On a pure, single issue, up or down vote, this is wildly popular. They. will promote Johnson as a modern Winston Churchill for a week.

    1. Martin Oline

      I wonder where they will get the money? Here is a somewhat related story:

      After the US Congress greenlighted a potential theft transfer, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Saturday “America will have to pay for this, if it is indeed so,” the Russian official said, referring to the potential confiscation. Russia will tailor its response to “serve our interests in the best possible way.” Confiscating Russian assets undermine the principle of “inviolability of private… and state property,” he said. Such a move would prompt many investors to withdraw their money from the US and cause “irreparable damage to the US image,” Peskov believes.

      Break out the champagne!

          1. skippy

            Hear Minsky explain financial fragility in his own words at an event in Colombia, November 1987. Read more about the event in Institute Working Paper No. 917, ” Two Harvard Economists on Monetary Economics: Lauchlin Currie and Hyman Minsky on Financial Systems and Crises”


    2. Jason Boxman

      The War Party strikes again! Imagine if those funds went to East Palestine instead. At least Biden finally showed up.

  37. CA

    What has happened from my perspective these past weeks, is that a social studies or humanities focus at the college or graduate school level has become dangerous. We went from a highly prominent Russian studies professor from Princeton and NYU being called a villain in a news article in the New York Times in 2014, to students at Colombia in a thoroughly peaceful rally being arrested.

    The sense I have for a student is shut your mouth and study biology and be especially careful of even a literature course.

      1. juno mas

        If Columbia accesses federal funds (which it does) then they are violating fundamental civil rights of the students. While college campuses, in general, are open to the public, enrolled students have a stated federal right to be on campus, unless suspended through a Due Process Hearing (mandated by federal law and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

        Columbia is likely to face real monetary consequence. (Not including payment to their federal court counsel.)

  38. Glen

    Anecdotal covid report:

    So a friend of my daughter was in the ICU this week due to an extreme bad reaction to anti-biotics (not sure which one). He is now out of the ICU and doing OK, but he saw that the ICU was FULL UP with covid patients, and the hospital staff was in a rush to get him out of there because they did not want him to catch covid too, and they had more covid incoming that needed that bed. This is in a major PNW city (located in Oregon.)

  39. furnace

    US House approves bill to transfer seized Russian assets to Ukraine

    Welp. What are the real consequences of doing that? Obviously no amount of money can save Ukraine, but seizing assets does seem like it can, y’know, implode confidence in leaving your money where the US can take it. It’s only 5 billion out of the total 300 billion in Russian assets (theoretically anyway, didn’t they say somehow like half that money just went missing a couple of months ago and no one could find it?) Of course leaving your assets where the US could seize them was always a dicey proposition, but usually seizure was reserved to weaker players such as Venezuela.

    Man, living in a time of the collapse of empire sure is strange.

  40. Willow

    > Israel and Iran: Itching for War, Playing with Fire

    What was the point of Israel’s ‘feeble’ Iran attack? To show US Israel’s willingness to go there. Outcome? US (Biden) is now in lock-step behind Israel and currently in process of cleaning up Syria & Iraq risks. US air tankers, which Israel is dependent on, are particularly at risk if a serious attack on Iran is to take place. Sound of crickets coming out of Biden Admin over Israel’s attack suggests their play has only finished the preliminary first act.

  41. Angie Neer

    I’m curious about the turkey antidote, because it has an odd quality like a painting or drawing. It triggers my AI-suspicion radar, but I hope it’s not AI. I wonder whether it’s the result of “digital zoom” where a small portion of a photo is greatly enlarged, and an interpolation algorithm is applied to smooth it out and suppress digital noise.

    1. Bazarov

      I noticed the same thing. It could be synthetic, but I think it’s more likely a photo that’s been “over-processed” by an iphone. The “oil painting” effect is a common complaint about such photos.

      My iphone’s camera has disappointed me greatly. About half the photos taken with it look fake.

      1. CA

        “My iphone’s camera has disappointed me greatly. About half the photos taken with it look fake.”

        This is important, showing what we might argue is a difficulty so far in understanding that AI does not compensate for limited lens development. This is seen in Africa, where proper projection of skin shades means lens development not mere AI enhancement:

        February 11, 2024

        How Chinese Phones Won in Africa: Targeting young consumers with devices that meet local needs


        1. The Rev Kev

          That’s a very interesting article that, especially how well they tailored their mobile to local needs. They really did their research. It may be worth keeping an eye to Transsion to see how well it does in the coming year.

  42. The Rev Kev

    In today’s Clown World-

    ‘Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into state law a bill that would mandate curriculum about “the dangers and evils of Communism” for students starting in kindergarten. The legislation was signed on the anniversary of a botched US attempt to topple Cuban Communist leader Fidel Castro at the height of the Cold War.

    One of the main goals of the curriculum is said to be to “prepare… students to withstand indoctrination of Communism at colleges and universities,” DeSantis’ office explained in a press release.

    Touting the legislation, the governor stressed that “we will not allow our students to live in ignorance, nor be indoctrinated by Communist apologists in schools. To the contrary, we will ensure students in Florida are taught the truth about the evils and dangers of Communism.” ‘

    Today the only listed communist States are China, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, and North Korea so may be flogging a dead horse here.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        And spray-painting the word “communism” on Social Democracy, New Deal Revivalism/Restorationism, etc.

        DeSatanis views Florida as a test-bed for what his kind of ilk hope to roll out across the country, one Gilead state at a time.

        Floridumb and Floridumber. That’s the goal.

        Wouldn’t it be neat if Rep nominee Trump and DeSatanis kiss and make up, and DeSatanis becomes Trump’s VP running mate? I’m not going to predict it, but wouldn’t it be indeed interesting?

  43. CA

    Importantly, what was repeatedly reported as a $61 billion war aid bill, turns out to be a $95 billion war aid bill. This is always the case with military spending, always understate the spending. This is why military spending is already running at $1,022 trillion, before counting this $95 billion war aid bill.

    April 20, 2024

    House Approves $95 Billion Aid Bill for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan
    After months of delay at the hands of a bloc of ultraconservative Republicans, the package drew overwhelming bipartisan support, reflecting broad consensus.
    By Catie Edmondson

    The House voted resoundingly on Saturday to approve $95 billion in foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, as Speaker Mike Johnson put his job on the line to advance the long-stalled aid package by marshaling support from mainstream Republicans and Democrats…

    1. CA

      Military spending was $1,022 ttrillion, before counting the coming $95 billion war aid spending:

      March 28, 2024

      Defense spending was 56.2% of federal government consumption and investment in October through December 2023 *

      $1,022.0 / $1,820.0 = 56.2%

      Defense spending was 21.0% of all government consumption and investment in October through December 2023

      $1,022.0 / $4,871.8 = 21.0%

      * Billions of dollars

    2. The Rev Kev

      Zelensky is only going to get about $9 billion of that $61 billion but he has a lot of people to pay off if he knows what is good for him. Israel really needs that $26 billion as their economy is swirling around the toilet bowl and may be on eventual US life support if the war keeps up. And that money for Taiwan is only a down payment to make it the Asian Ukraine from next year on.

  44. Jason Boxman

    So Dune Part 2 was surprisingly good, although unlike Part 1 it deviates from the book somewhat. Worth a watch though if Dune is your jam.

  45. steppenwolf fetchit

    Quite a few threads ago, I noted that a few restaurants in my college town are now offering mild price-discounts for payment in cash. Now that trend is starting to spread around enough to where it has been noted and reported on the ” MildlyInteresting” subreddit. Here is the link.

    And here from the NextFuckingLevel subreddit is a video of a Raven winning a tic tac toe game .

  46. old Gulf hand

    re: Rome’s ‘underground’ mosques

    I worked for a good few years in Saudi and I learned to laugh bitterly whenever the occasional story appeared in the news whining about the unfair discrimination being perpetrated against the Muslims in Europe when they sought planning permission for big, ornate mosques in Rome or elsewhere. The obvious retort, which could not be uttered, was ‘how many (authorised, tolerated) Christian churches are there in KSA?’ (Answer: zero.)

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