Links 4/23/2024

‘Like a film in my mind’: hyperphantasia and the quest to understand vivid imaginations Guardian (Kevin W)

Scientists push new paradigm of animal consciousness, saying even insects may be sentient NBC (Dr. Kevin). So the Jains are right….

The universe may be dominated by particles that break causality and move faster than light, new paper suggests Live Science (Dr. Kevin)

Norway women bring seaweed to culinary heights in Europe PhysOrg

The Bird Flu Outbreak Is Alarming. And the Government Is Stumbling. Bloomberg


Common antibiotic may be helpful in fighting respiratory viral infections MedicalXpress

#COVID-19: How the search for the pandemic’s origins turned poisonous Associated Press (furzy)


Is a plastic-free future possible? Dezeen

A ban on single-use plastics takes effect in Hong Kong in a bid to reduce pollution Associated Press (furzy)

Europe Baked in ‘Extreme Heat Stress’ Pushing Temperatures To Record Highs Guardian

California Is Grappling With a Growing Problem: Too Much Solar Washington Post

Biden unveils $7 billion for rooftop solar in Earth Day message Reuters (furzy)

Heat-Related Emergency Department Visits — United States, May–September 2023 CDC (furzy). Seems odd these reports come out so late.


A Big Deflationary Push From China But Will Biden or Trump Allow That? Michael Shedlock

EU opens probe of TikTok Lite, citing concerns about addictive design TechCrunch

Chinese Flying Taxi Sector Claims Global Lead Thanks To Regulatory Support Financial Times

China is still years behind the U.S. despite Huawei’s breakthrough chips, Raimondo tells ’60 Minutes’ CNBC (Kevin W). Raimondo believes what private equity tells her too….


Modi Calls Muslims ‘Infiltrators’ in Speech During India Elections New York Times

High Court In India Rules That Viewing, Downloading Child Porn Is Not A Crime The Publica (Dr. Kevin)

Old Blighty

UK Parliament approves Rwanda deportation bill Associated Press (furzy)

Tragedy as ‘five migrants die crossing Channel’ trying to reach Britain – hours after Rwanda law finally passes through Parliament as Rishi Sunak vows to push on with flights within weeks Daily Mail. Lead story


State Department To Delay Withdrawal Of U.S. Troops From Niger Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)


The Stark Reality of Israel’s Fight in Gaza New York Times (Kevin W). Many admissions against interest, even while taking Israel’s claims about Hamas and Israel losses at face value.

Will Zionism self-destruct? Alastair Crooke

Mediterranean ports warn of overflowing storage yards in latest threat to supply chain Financial Times. Fallout from Houthi Red Sea attacks.

Speaking With Missiles: Iran’s attack on Israel Wilmer Leon, YouTube. This is Wilmer Leon with Scott Ritter. Leon is an excellent interviewer (asks few and very good questions) and deserves a much bigger following. The reason for calling attention to this talk is that starting at , Ritter gives a blow-by-blow description of how the Iranian drone/missile attack, and how it overwhelmed the Israeli/US defensive systems, which were believed to be the best in the world, at least at one site Iran targeted. Ritter goes way beyond “drones led Israel to fire, revealing how its defenses worked.” For instance, Ritter goes through how Israel’s layered defenses were supposed to work under fire. The longer-form version starts at 29:50.

Gaza Protests

Columbia University holds remote classes as pro-Palestinian protests continue. Read the president’s statement. CBS

I doubt this is official, and it produced massive pushback in the replies. Nevertheless:

Note I cannot verify the validity of the tweet on the source account. While this story is plausible, if the image is a fabrication, it is also the sort of thing that discredits critics:

Met police chief defends ‘professional’ conduct of officer in pro-Palestinian protest row The Standard

Contrast with:

Red Heifer Watch

Police detain 13 trying to smuggle goats onto Temple Mount for sacrifice ritual Times of Israel (Kevin W)

Note the sought-after effective date of the application to bring knives and whatnot to the site was April 22. That did not necessarily mean the sacrifice would take place then. April 22 was the first day of Passover. Perhaps this is still on for today? Or tomorrow, after the second Seder?

Note also the killing of the heifers does not mean an immediate attack on Al Aqsa. The sacrifice and preparation of ritual purifying water is the final precursor. And the heifer-murder spot is not in Al Aqsa but very near by.

New Not-So-Cold War

Mobilization law condition for new supplies of arms to Kiev by NATO — source TASS

What Can We Learn From Our Forever War in Ukraine? Chas Freeman, (Kevin W)


THE 3,000TH DANCE WITH BEARS John Helmer. Chuck L: “Fascinating memoir.”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

SEC illegally tracking Americans who invest in the stock market, lawsuit claims New York Post (Kevin W)


Trump hush money trial adjourned after opening statements conclude, 1st witness David Pecker briefly testifies: full coverage Yahoo (furzy)

New York Courts to Publish Daily Transcripts of Trump Trial New York Courts (furzy)

What’s clear about this case is that Trump is right: Turley Fox

NEW: Thanks to order by Judge Cannon, key evidence related to classified docs case is now unredacted. Julie Kelly, ThreadReader

Judge approves safeguards for Donald Trump’s $175 million civil business fraud appeal bond USA Today


Biden Fears RFK Jr. as Independent Candidate Gets on Another Ballot Sputnik. In Water Cooler yesterday, Lambert highlighted reports that take the view that RFK, Jr. is more of a threat to Trump as a fellow anti-status quo candidate than Biden. The flip side is there is a contingent of Democratic voters that is very anti-vax and pro-non-allopathic medicine. And they skew wealthy. Whether they add up to much vote-wise is questionable, but they may have some financial heft if they swing into action behind RFK, Jr.


Supreme Court takes up Biden administration’s ‘ghost gun’ appeal The Hill

California wants Big Tech to pay for news. Google is fighting back. Washington Post


Nvidia’s falling share price shows the AI reckoning has begun Unherd

AI now surpasses humans in almost all performance benchmarks New Atlas

A coffee roastery in Finland has launched an AI-generated blend. The results were surprising TechXplore (Dr. Kevin)

The Bezzle

Investigators say Harvard University’s morgue manager was part of an underground network trafficking human remains. Here’s how it unravelled ABC Australia (Kevin W)

Amazon Ends California Drone Deliveries TechCrunch

Guillotine Watch

Meet the private doctor to the wealthy — at $40,000 a year CNBC

I have a friend who was in PE who has a lot of doctors and nurses in his family and his wife is a prof of medicine at a highly respected West Coast school.

He says the dirty secret is these concierge doctors are less good than most pretty good MDs (which these guys could easily get to) due to not seeing enough sick people and thus not having great clinical experience.

He had many examples. The one I remember was when Reagan was shot. Hospital head of surgery was insisting on doing the operation. He had to be talked out of it to have the trauma surgeon in the ER who did gunshot victims all day remove the bullet. Same principle.

BlackRock steps up security for Larry Fink after ‘anti-woke’ backlash Financial Times

Class Warfare

Tennessee’s GOP governor says Volkswagen plant workers made a mistake in union vote Associated Press

Who needs butter when you got guns? World arms spending reaches $2.5 trillion Responsible Statecraft

Supreme Court appears to favor Oregon city in dispute over homeless camping ban ABC

How much does the ‘American dream’ cost in your state? The Hill (Kevin W)

Antidote du jour (Alan T):

And a bonus:

Another bonus:

Yet one more:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Thank God I’m A Country Boy  by John Denver)

    Yeah, I’m a vegetarian from way, way back
    Keep everything I own in a burlap sack
    Never shave my beard long hair in back
    Thank God, I’m a crunchy boy!

    I never put deodorant under my arms
    People say I’m ‘earthy’ — just one of my charms
    A pinch of patchouli can’t do you no harm
    Thank God, I’m a crunchy boy!

    Oh, the world turns ’round till you look at the spindles
    Workin’ folk trapped in rich folk swindles
    That’s when your taste for the treadmill dwindles
    Thank God, I’m a crunchy boy!

    Ain’t nothin’ makes me happy ‘cept to come and go
    And a-workin’ on my anarchist manifesto
    I make a decent living from the stuff I grow
    Thank God, I’m a crunchy boy!

    Yeah, the best exercise is a-choppin’ wood
    Wandering the wilderness does a man good
    I couldn’t be a normie once I understood
    Thank God, I’m a crunchy boy!

    Oh, the world turns ’round till you look at the spindles
    Workin’ folk trapped in rich folk swindles
    That’s when your taste for the treadmill dwindles
    Thank God, I’m a crunchy boy!

    (musical interlude)

    I love to upcycle, repair, and reuse
    Just a simple soul livin’ this life as I choose
    My homework’s done and I’ve paid my dues
    Thank God, I’m a crunchy boy!

    Oh, the people I’ve met and the places I’ve been
    I never do nothin’ that feels routine
    I’m a bookish refugee from a time machine
    Thank God, I’m a crunchy boy!

    Oh, the world turns ’round till you look at the spindles
    Workin’ folk trapped in rich folk swindles
    That’s when your taste for the treadmill dwindles
    Thank God, I’m a crunchy boy!

    (musical interlude)

    All modern education is a pack of lies
    Graduating classes look so tranquilized
    I got a Ph.D before I realized —
    Thank God, I’m a crunchy boy!

    It is plain our economy is gettin’ mighty brittle
    Like to fall down if it stumbles just a little
    Better pick your side there’ll be no one in the middle
    Thank God, I’m a crunchy boy!

    Well, the world turns ’round till you look at the spindles
    Working folk trapped in rich folk swindles
    That’s when your taste for the treadmill dwindles
    Thank God, I’m a crunchy boy!!

    1. Randall Flagg

      Great work!
      For whatever odd reason, this reminds me of the song by the Charlie Daniel’s band, “Long Haired Country Boy” maybe you can apply your talents to that shot someday.

  2. MD in Berlin

    Who can help me find a link? Sometime in the past two weeks, in Links I think. A piece discussing climate policy/demands from a class/privilege perspective. Forgot to bookmark and couldn’t find it when I trawled back through.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Mobilization law condition for new supplies of arms to Kiev by NATO’

    As part of this push to get more fresh meat for the collapsing front, the Ukrainians will now “temporarily” freeze all consular services for all men between the ages of 18 and 60 in foreign countries. If they have to renew their passport to stay in a foreign country or any other service, they will have to return to the Ukraine to do so where they will then be ordered into military service-

    1. Peter Steckel

      Terrifying. I spent the about a year, from the fall of 2022 through summer 2023, tutoring English to a middle-aged Ukrainian man who had escaped by the skin of his teeth. He sent his wife and pre-teen children over the border in late Feb. 2022. They stayed in a small basement apartment in Hungary, IIRC, for six months. Luckily for them, his wife had spent a “year abroad” in the US in high school and remained friends and in contact. They were able to come here on a temporary, two year program as refugees and ended up in my rural / suburban Georgia county. The husband followed in the fall.

      The man was clearly “shell shocked” though not from front line battle. He had 2 grad degrees and had been running / operating three different companies, employing over 100 folks. When the war came, he was “press ganged” in to a unit, given two weeks of training, and then assigned to remove un-exploded ordinance from a variety of locations. They’d literally drive up in a “technical”, or basic truck, and have to figure out how to disarm the missile or shell, dig it out of the pavement or building or ground, and drive it to a disposal station. He was skittish and nervous and wide eyed at everything, though clearly very relieved. His wife and kids spoke English at a high level, and adjusted very quickly. He threw himself in to studying English and work and exercise. I cannot imagine him returning to that charnal house, and leaving his wife a widow and the kids fatherless, in a strange land.

      His story is better than most I’ve seen. Yesterday I watched a video, probably shot for propaganda purposes, but moving none-the-less, of a 50+ year old Ukranian man FaceTiming his wife and letting her know that (a) he was alive and ok and (b) he was part of a group in which some of their front unit had surrendered rather than die defending an undependable position, or “raising corpses” as he referred to it. In the grand scheme of things, their personal tragedies and relief at the end of “their” war are not considered by the policy makers who have set these machinations in motion, but it is sobering to see and know how many have suffered because of it. I cannot help but sigh when I consider their stories against the Ukie flag waving of our legislatures on Saturday.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Somebody with the skills should take the footage of that flag waving and transform it to a footage from a Ukrainian cemetery with all those hundreds of flags on the graves flapping in the wind.

        Maybe ending with a superimposed text: “Let’s hope Ukraine can forgive”.

        1. Emma

          Yes, by engaging in a grinding slow war, the Russians have shown t the true face of EU/NATO to the Ukrainians. I don’t think the survivors will forget this lesson.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Was the flag-waving reference to the spectacle of Dems in Our Congress ™ flapping little Ukie flags and shouting “Slava Ukraine” on vote for $61 billion more for Moar Ukie War? Juxtaposed to the video of hundreds of thousands of flags marking the graves of Ukie KIAs in vast cemeteries across 404? “Have you no shame?” I guess not.

            No flags for the hundreds of executed Gazans being excavated from mass murder graves in hospital grounds savaged by IDF of course.

            1. Feral Finster

              Sociopaths have no shame or concern for their own hypocrisy.

              Once you accept the simple fact that we are ruled by high-functioning sociopaths* (“high-functioning” in the sense that they can fake empathy when convenient), everything they do makes perfect sense. Those who aren’t full-blown sociopaths are amenable to blackmail.

              * yes, that includes Team R and Team D.

        2. Feral Finster

          The neocons and neolibs will simply spin that into fake contrition that We Didn’t Do More.

      2. Emma

        He should do everything he can to find his way to Russia. It’s likely the only place where he will be safe until the conflict ends. Someone with his skillset would likely easily find employment there.

      3. ChrisFromGA

        Not an immigration law expert but can you apply for asylum after already having made it into the country as a refugee? Hard to see the US kicking people out given the current lax border situation.

        We have friends who came here from Colombia as refugees and are now US citizens. Would the Biden administration be so evil as to deny Ukrainian refugees the privilege of claiming asylum due to fleeing a war zone? I believe that is a violation of the UN convention.

        Large numbers of Ukrainians showing up at the Southern border and applying for asylum could also make for some interesting optics.

        1. Emma

          “Would the Biden administration be so evil…”


          The West and especially Biden wants the Ukrainian conflict to drag on as long as possible, whatever it takes. If course it’s going to force Ukrainian men, women, and children to “fight for Ukrainian democracy”.

          1. ChrisFromGA

            I agree with the evil part, however, forcibly dragging people out of homes, a lot of which are Christians who have hosted Ukrainian refugees, isn’t going to fly in an election year.

            1. Benny Profane

              They won’t go into homes. They’ll be followed to their jobs or out to shopping and quickly abducted on the side of the road.

              As far as “a violation of the UN convention”, I mean, what the hell? Has anyone been paying attention?

              1. The Rev Kev

                I was reading that this well-built young guy was nabbed on the street and thrown into a van where he was beaten. It was only when they examined his ID card that they realized that though a bit biggish, that he was only a 14 year-old kid and useless to them. So they stopped the van, threatened him not to talk about what happened and then they threw him out and he had to walk a dozen miles back to his town. Such is life in modern day Ukraine.

              2. ChrisFromGA

                We do need to think this one through, at least here in the US. No idea about Europe. But here in the US, legally, police departments are local and many cities have declared themselves as “sanctuary” cities where the police promise not to cooperate with Federal immigration authorities.

                To deport someone you need a judge to issue a deportation order. Then, someone needs to enforce that order. Many illegals live in the US for years under deportation threats. If picked up for unrelated crimes and jailed, they might eventually get deported, but it can take years and there is a legal process to contest deportation.

                Are you saying that the Biden admin is going to create “secret police” to apprehend Ukranians who overstayed visas? I mean, I wouldn’t put it past them, but understand that is what it takes and I really don’t think liberals have the stomach for this sort of work. Even in western Europe, I don’t see it. Ukraine and maybe Poland are different stories.

                1. Michael Fiorillo

                  I don’t know. I’m sure what you say is true according to the letter of the law, but I’m unhappily waiting for a flood of Ukrainian and Israeli fascists to materialize in NYC and elsewhere in the near-to-intermediate future…. For Humanitarian reasons, of course.

                2. Objective Ace

                  What do you mean “create” secret police. The FBI, CSA, and other 3 letter agencies have been doing things for decades that liberals wouldnt have the stomach for. That’s the whole reason its done in secret

                  1. ChrisFromGA

                    They do all sorts of dirty things but at least for now, they don’t drag immigrants off the streets and throw them into vans, then send them to a warzone without due process. At least, not yet.

                    1. JBird4049

                      >>>They do all sorts of dirty things but at least for now…

                      Yes, for now, but the future? And what about when the expanded state powers and tools (always created for our “safety) are used on American citizens?

                      During the Red Scare during and right after the First World War as well as the Great Depression, they deported, often without judicial review, scads of people. Presumed Reds and terrorists during the former and Hispanics,
                      presumed not American citizens sometimes falsely during the latter.

                      We don’t like what we think you are, whatever it is, and we are going to arrest, jail, even deport you, perhaps without a judge ever seeing your case.

                      Do not think that this is hyperbole or would not happen to Americans because it has albeit roughly a century ago. It is like the black list Americans could and can find themselves one. The various red scares of the 1920s and 1950s-60s or the no fly list of today’s war on “terror.” Again, done without warning or review.

    2. ddt

      I wonder if the Russians are dropping any leaflets on the other side, offering any perks to those who surrender. Or showing how the oblasts that were taken early on are being developed and repopulated (with plenty of western companies also involved I hear, at least in Marioupol).

      1. Cas

        The Russians at the front have a radio channel Ukranian soldiers can use to surrender. Months ago I saw a video (on telegram?) encouraging Ukies to surrender. It showed a young soldier in house to house fighting, deciding whether to rush forward. Then flash backs how he got there, narrative showing his family trying to pull strings, mother counting her savings for a bribe, father going through his phone book, calling contacts, the guy hiding in the attic, finally getting conscripted–now at the moment of truth he could rush out and get shot or step out with arms up and surrender. Sorry I didn’t save it, it was well done.

      2. Feral Finster

        They have. The problem is that Russia cannot offer membership into The Club, The Golden Billion, The Magical Land Where Institutions Basically Work.

        Of course, the West has no more use for Ukrainians than it did for Afghans. BUT the poor fools want so badly to believe otherwise.

        The description of the early years of US occupation of Afghanistan and the return of the Taliban all are most instructive.

    3. Feral Finster

      Now, pretend that Russia were press-ganging any warm live body it could find into frontline units. Every headline would instruct us as to the proper level of outrage we should feel. But since Ukraine is our pet, the whole thing is just another humdrum news story.

      The real question is when EU countries will either deport military-age Ukrainians or otherwise not-so-subtly convince them to leave. Say, cut off their benefits, block their bank accounts, make sure they cannot legally get jobs, and offer free bus tickets back to Ukraine.

      Once that source of manpower runs dry, NATO will openly and directly intervene.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I read there’s a lot of deserved resentment among native Europeans due to the flood of Ukies. Many of whom bring aggression and sense of entitlement to special privileges, along with Banderite ideology that will be useful for CIA MI-6 Gladio-type operations, but not so much for civility in Euro nations “going forward.”

        Living in interesting time of monsters, we are.

        1. Feral Finster

          Yup. This resentment will be used only when and as convenient to the rulers, and ignored or called bad names when inconvenient.

  4. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    Further to the Mossad Commentary, whoever operates the account, it is very believable and a warning.

    For years, zionists have been trapping Palestinian sympathisers or trawling their social media posts and reporting them to employers etc. Recently, people defacing or tearing down posters of Israeli hostages have been filmed and reported accordingly.

    It’s not new. Readers based in Blighty may be aware of l’affaire Gideon Falter (and the BBC’s role in pushing his narrative). As per, Falter has form, this time going back to 2009. The Guardian, Daily Mail and Jewish Chronicle facilitated Falter’s conspiracy then.

    Late last year, the Henry Jackson Society met to discuss how to combat the wave of sympathy for Palestinians. Columnist Melanie Philips, now at the Mail and formerly at the Guardian, and Falter addressed the audience. Soon after new year, Falter’s campaign started. Last Saturday’s show was just the latest.

    Readers who have seen the Sky and Channel 4 and online footage, not the BBC’s which is from one of Falter’s organisations, may have noticed Falter’s bodyguards, a tall black man and less tall, but stocky white man. The latter is from the Israeli embassy’s security team. The embassy is coordinating matters.

    1. Mikel

      But here’s the rub…nothing makes a job or a degree more worthless than those things being the tools of genocidal monsters.

        1. JBird4049

          For the individual, facing personal shame, public humiliation, or destitution can create an awful dilemma, but since one is going to have to make a choice, somehow, what is more important? Being right or being safe? Morality or comfort? Truthfulness or food?

          Personally, I have not had to face such a choice over Gaza. But I have to look in the mirror and think about about the possible future consequences of lying either to myself or to others, or not.

          And what are the possible consequences for the people I know? Such as my family? There are a couple of people who might suffer. Those who are immoral enough, or who think themselves speaking for god or perhaps the greater good sometimes harm the people that their critics care about.

        2. Objective Ace

          Yes, but young 17 and 18 year olds dont. If they start seeing these lauded degrees come with a host of strings attached that can desecrate their value it may make them think twice about a college degree.. or at least one at specific ivy league schools

    2. Feral Finster

      “Readers based in Blighty may be aware of l’affaire Gideon Falter (and the BBC’s role in pushing his narrative). As per, Falter has form, this time going back to 2009. The Guardian, Daily Mail and Jewish Chronicle facilitated Falter’s conspiracy then.”

      Hell, Jeremy Corbyn, and pretty much the entire UK media piled on.

  5. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Is a plastic-free future possible?

    Given that 100 years ago or less there were no plastics anywhere, isn’t the answer obviously “yes”? It would obviously require a sacrifice of some convenience though, and quite a bit of profit – the horror, the horror…..

    I’ve tried to find an article several times now unsuccessfully about a world with no garbage. It was in Harpers years ago, written by an older Lebanese man thinking back to his childhood. He recalled the first aluminum cans, which was the first time there was anything to throw into the trash. Before that, waste either disintegrated on its own or was presumably burned, and food waste went to animals to eat. It sounded like a really nice place to live, in that less disposable world.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Plastics are made from a by-product of refining crude oil. As the article advocated, unless we radically cut the need for gasoline, diesel, kerosene, that by-product will have to be disposed of safely if it’s not made into plastic. That will cut the profits of the oil/refining industry, so a likely no-go in our profit-uber-alles system.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        The first major plastic was PVC, which arose as a byproduct of the steel industry which produced surplus chlorine as part of the Mannheim process.

        Most modern plastics are made from the ‘enes’, i.e. wet gas, which is usually flared off in oil/gas wells and refineries. Years back I knew an petrochem engineer of the old school who was very proud of his role in the 1960’s of persuading the Saudi’s to develop an ‘ene’ based petrochem industry instead of just flaring off anything non-petroleum. He maintained that it had a huge impact in improving air quality and reducing waste in RSA, and in one sense he was right.

      2. Revenant

        Plastics are not a byproduct of refining. They are largely made from unsaturated light hydrocarbons, which could otherwise we be burnt. They are a diversion from combustion. Given their longevity, they are a better carbon sink than wood. Not arguing for the use or their abolition, just tired of seeing the relationship mischaracterised.

        Moreover, we could manage in a way with fossil fuels. At great hardship but we could adopt solar, stop travelling or working at night, reserve electric vehicles for industrial production and distribution and so on. But we could not maintain any semblance of modern life without plastics. I don’t mean bags and coffee cups but high performance materials without which anaesthesia, surgery, dialysis, pharmaceutical production, etc is impossible. And most of these plastics do not have “renewable” feedstocks….

    2. PlutoniumKun

      ‘Waste’ is a matter of definition, and all societies have had waste. Mesolithic middens are a common feature of northern hemisphere coastlines (i.e., a pit where hunter-gatherers threw away the shells, flint flakes, and occasionally the chewed bones of an enemy). Neolithic and later homesteads usually had a waste pit somewhere, although most waste ended up underfloor, where the breakdown of organic material provided some cheap underfloor heating. Societies dependent on low fertility soils (such as in Japan), had less waste as any organic material was well worth adding to soil for structure or minerals. But archaeologists will still always find some back of the way place where detritus got tipped.

      For much of European history, waste was ash as anything surplus ended up in the fire (hence ‘dust’bins). Big cities had nightmarish dust piles along with even less pleasant detritus as Dickens described in detail. Smelly wastes were dumped out of the city, non-organic material usually just got compacted into the ground – hence medieval churches are often a couple of meters below the level of modern European cities. This still occurs – in the 1990’s in the UK when a landfill tax on construction waste was introduced it was estimated at the time that this raised the average new house by about 6 inches – it was worthwhile for developers to ‘lose’ waste material as foundation.

      When the industrial revolution hit, the quantity of non-organic waste multiplied enormously, but was often dealt with imaginatively. Pretty much every 19th century rail or canal embankment in European cities were made from compacted ash and other wastes – often highly toxic. It was mixed in with brick and cement and many other materials. Often it was just used for land reclamation. It still is in Japan. The move away from burning waste in fireplaces and small local burners created a whole new problem, hence the modern landfill.

      Plastic is just one big modern issue, but by no means the biggest. Domestic plastic is in reality a small percentage of our overall waste problem – just as one example, its dwarfed by agricultural waste, not to mention our own sewage, now so contaminated with drugs and organochlorines that it can’t usefully be composted.

      Plastic in general is actually for the most part quite easy to recycle. The problem is the production side – we produce multiple types of plastic, often with numerous additives which make separation and processing unviable. If we could just pick one plastic to use, and reduce the number of additives, we’d largely solve the problem

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘non-organic material usually just got compacted into the ground – hence medieval churches are often a couple of meters below the level of modern European cities.’

        There may be another reason for this phenomena. In the book “At Home: A Short History of Private Life” by Bill Bryson, he mentions how he was talking to Brian Ayers – retired county archaeologist of Norfolk, in the East of England. This is that conversation-

        ‘ “Have you ever noticed,” Brian asked as we stepped into the churchyard, “how country churches nearly always seem to be sinking into the ground?”

        I allowed … that I had no idea.

        “Well it isn’t because the church is sinking.” … “It’s because the churchyard has risen. How many people do you suppose are buried here?”

        I glanced appraisingly at the gravestones and said, “I don’t know. Eighty? A hundred?”

        “I think that’s probably a bit of an underestimate,” Brian replied with an air of kindly equanimity. “Think about it. A country parish like this has an average of 250 people in it, which translates into roughly a thousand adult deaths per century, plus a few thousand more poor souls that didn’t make it to maturity. Multiply that by the number of centuries that the church has been there and you can see that what you have here in not eighty or a hundred burials, but probably something more on the order of, say, twenty-thousand.” ‘

        And Bill Bryson goes on to say that this was a simple Norfolk church in the countryside where nothing much had happened over the centuries.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Posted a reply to this which seems to have vanished… so apologies if this ends up a double post.

          While its true that organic material adds to graveyards, its mostly from ground disturbance (i.e. repeated decompaction). Its mostly an Anglican thing to repeatedly re-use graveyards on a surprisingly short cycle – for whatever cultural reasons, catholics tend to spread their graveyards wider. My paternal grandparents were buried in a ‘shared’ graveyard – once full, the catholics went and bought more land, while their long term anglican neighbours kept re-using their tight little spot.

          This may change with modern regulations – nowadays you are supposed to have 2.5 metres of relatively free draining soil without any groundwater to bury bodies – this is surprisingly hard to find in Ireland. A friend of mine has a dream of establishing a green burial ground – every chunk of land she has found has turned out to fail geology tests. Its a good thing our ancestors weren’t so fussy I guess.

          1. JBird4049

            Just how and why the land changes can be interesting. Older cities often rise in hight as new buildings and new or resurfaced streets are placed on top over centuries. It is often why a city is higher than the surrounding areas. The mound is called the tel.

            Even a young city like San Francisco has risen and expanded especially along the bay. During the Gold Rush, ships at what is the Embarcadero were abandoned by the crews, often burnt during the many fires, and sank into the bay. Then more ships and the occasional garbage dump on top. There is a bar that has its basement a buried ship at least a block from the water.

            And this is just a bit of all of the changes done for thousands of years by people.

            The changes done during the Industrial Revolution are just a part of it.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        The article I referred to was talking about a small town, and for sure there has always been some kind of waste around any human settlements. I’ve dug through some of it myself. As you noted, things changed dramatically after the industrial revolution. The obsidian chips, pot shards and fossilized olive pits I dug up weren’t harming anybody.

      3. Carolinian

        Thanks for the interesting comment PK. Also don’t forget the environmental damage caused by steel, the thing plastics so often replaced. Back in its heyday Pittsburgh had to burn street lights in the daytime because it was so dark from the pollution.

      4. Feral Finster

        Archaeology has been described as rummaging through ancient dumps.

        I wonder whether future archaeologists will query whether Coca Cola was a king or a deity of some sort, and was McDonalds a temple or another god in the pantheon.

      5. Amfortas the Hippie

        plastic is about the only thing i havent figgered out how to recycle/reuse or otherwise incorporate into my doings.
        theres a few exceptions…the things that frozen juice concentrate comes in…i drill holes and use them in place of 4″ pots for starting seeds.
        same with any similar sized plastic container.
        and old tupperware things that have lost their lids…or gotten gross under the couch or porch or whatever…shop is full of those to contain bolts and hinges and whatnot.
        if the latter are clear enough, i’ll use them as cloches to protect plants if theres a freeze after they go out to a bed…put a rock on to keep in place.
        when all these things begin to break down…due to uv or whatever…thats when they go to the dump.

        practically all other kinds of trash gets used/reused around here.
        if it was just me, i wouldnt hafta make a dump run but maybe twice a year(mom is terrible about this…and boys eat out a lot, so generate trash that i am unable, mostly, to intercept and sort.)

        and…i’m a jar nut.
        wife always made fun of my OCD jar saving….screws, seeds, qtips, safety pins…theres a jar for that.
        part of her ashes are in a jelly jar above the head of my bed….in a coozy with a drunk bear riding a bicycle.(momma bear’s what boys called her)

  6. JohnA

    Re Norway women bring seaweed to culinary heights in Europe

    The Norwegian coast is ice free thanks to the Gulf Stream. If climate change does cause this to collapse, that will be the end of that enterprise, sadly.

    1. digi_owl

      Meh, place used to be colder in the past. I have stories from parents etc about the local fjord freezing reliably. And i personally can’t shake the feel that there used to be far more snow for longer growing up. But then looking back my sense of time during childhood seem a bit messy.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Most northern hemisphere seaweeds are pretty resistant to seasonal freezes.

      Seaweeds have long been eaten in the celtic lands and used for other purposes – up to the early 20th century collecting sea rods for iodine was an important source of extra income for the poor along the Irish western coasts.. As a child I collected carrageen and dulsk on shorelines of the west coast. We chewed dilsk as a pleasantly salty chewing gum replacement. I never developed a taste for carrageen, probably because my mother made me drink a sort of smoothie made with carrageen and poteen when I had a chest infection, and I hated the taste. Ironically, carrageen attracted a lot of attention during covid for its claimed anti-viral properties (its often used in nasal inhalors). My mother also made a sort of blancmange with it, which all of my family insisted tasted vile, but my mother insisted was good for us. Adding stewed apple (which my mother loved) didn’t help.

      I enjoy nori and other Japanese dishes with seaweed, but although some seaweeds are commonly used in various breads or even cheeses in Ireland, I’ve never really enjoyed the taste. It always seemed to me to be a food looking for a purpose. It adds umami to soups, etc., but the flavour rarely seems to go with anything, except maybe some very subtle Japanese dishes.

      1. JohnA

        It is not so much resistance to seasonal freezes, more access to the seaweed if the sea is frozen over. The article states the women stand in the water for certain times to harvest the seaweed. They make so-called lavabread out of seaweed in Wales.

      2. vao

        It always seemed to me to be a food looking for a purpose.

        Could it be that it was the kind of edible stuff that really poor people in the past, always mired in food dearth, would eat to complement whatever else they had at hand?

      3. R.S.

        Yes, seaweed and “culinary heights” in one sentence made me chuckle. I’m used to kelp, but it’s more like a filler for salads than actual food.

  7. Henry Moon Pie

    Kudos to the students standing up to the threats made against their future livelihoods by Bill Ackman and his ilk. Strike! No spring exams! No graduations! Shut it down!

    If the Israeli mad dogs are not stopped by a change in U. S. policies, there may not be a future for anyone.

    1. Kevin Smith

      Speaking of Bill “Ben Zona” Ackman, I was just wondering this morning about him and his charming wife. They seem to have gone silent …

    2. The Rev Kev

      I read a very long time ago that if you want to find out who has power in your country, just look to who you are not allowed to criticize. Would you believe that Biden is now calling these students antisemitic for the crime of criticizing Israel? Good thing that he does not need the votes of American-Palestinians in the coming Presidential elections. Or Muslims. Or young people. Or anybody with half a brain.

      1. Cristobal

        There is a lot of talk about potential civil unrest and violence if Trump loses the 2024 election. I am actually more concerned about the potential unrest on the part of the dems if Trump wins.

        1. The Rev Kev

          What happens if the Democrats lose – but then refuses to recognize the results of the election? The Democrats have twisted and mangled so many laws and even Constitution rights at the moment to eliminate their main political rival, I cannot see them going gracefully but trying to dispute the election results in the law courts. That could drag on for weeks or even months and there might be riots in the streets but Biden and Co. would not care.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            You don’t have to wonder – they already game planned it and bragged about it before the 2020 election.

            The article above doesn’t really get into the gory details, but Taibbi revisited this Transition Integrity Project a few months ago –

            The interesting thing is everything they claimed Trump might do if he lost in 2020 was extremely similar to what the Democrat party had already done to Trump after losing in 2016. A LOT of projection going on with this “Project”.

        2. Lena

          I’m not worried about them. The Dems I know are going on lots of vacays, including many cruises. They usually come back with these ‘strange colds’ that are *definitely not COVID*! When not cruising, they are checking out the latest trendy restaurants, plays and other super spreader events. Also engaging in manic shopping, working out at the gym and injecting themselves with that weight loss drug that is meant for diabetics. With the exception of Trump’s rumored flatulence (which fascinates them no end), politics is barely registering in what remains of their brains. Protests would take valuable time away from their immense self-absorption.

        3. steppenwolf fetchit

          Unrest from whom? Well-to-do PMC White people who believe in gun control? Even if such people got unrestful, how effective could unrest from such soft semi-pacifist people be?

      2. Carolinian

        As has been pointed out here many of those protesting students are Jewish, unlike Biden. They, unlike Biden, don’t want a future where they have to take the blame for a self described Jewish state in the Middle East. Since Biden and his peeps like to make such a big thing about democracy perhaps world Jewry should be given a vote as to whether they consider Palestine their true home and spokescountry rather than the places where they live.

      3. Big River Bandido

        Good thing that he does not need the votes of American-Palestinians in the coming Presidential elections. Or Muslims. Or young people. Or anybody with half a brain.

        Pretty sure you intended that as snark? Democrats will have huge trouble in Michigan this fall. Minnesota has been less and less friendly to the Dims in recent cycles. Both states have significant Muslim populations.

      4. Feral Finster

        Biden has a huge fundraising advantage as well as every institution on his side and the censorship power.

        His handlers are not worried.

            1. Martin Oline

              Ignorance is bliss and I’m a happy guy. That seems to be a rare attribute these days.

    1. zagonostra

      The Ukraine war is not – as is claimed – about democracy vs. authoritarianism. It is about delineating the post-Cold War U.S. sphere of influence in Europe.

      I think the author falls into a “fallacy of composition.” In his article title he has “we,” mentions throughout the article “us,” and “national objectives’, he refers to entities such as “NATO, The U.S., Ukraine.” Both “individuals” and “collectives” seem somehow confounded. Democracy has elements of authoritarianism, authoritarianism has elements of democracy. That there are “forever wars” seems true enough, at least in my lifetime. But I think Orwell’s “THE BOOK” (1984) had a more inciteful explanation, though it does not explain everything, nothing ever does.

      the balance of power always remains roughly even, and
      the territory which forms the heartland of each super-state
      always remains inviolate…the object of waging a war is always to be in a better
      position in which to wage another war.

      The primary aim of modern warfare…is to use up the products of the
      machine without raising the general standard of living.
      Ever since the end of the nineteenth century, the problem of
      what to do with the surplus of consumption goods has been
      latent in industrial society

      [1984, page 238]

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Europe baked in ‘extreme heat stress’ pushing temperatures to record highs’

    If the Atlantic Conveyor Belt collapses like has been predicted in the coming years, then extreme heat will be just a memory. But if the extreme heat is triggering massive fires like they did in Greece, then they may have to seriously rethink about what trees and vegetation that are presently there. Certainly getting rid of Eucalyptus trees would be a great start. I just punched in the words ‘eucalyptus trees europe’ into Google and the first thing that came back was this-

    ‘The most planted species in Europe is Eucalyptus globulus Labill, native from Tasmania and introduced in south-western Europe (Portugal, Spain) in the mid-19th century. Nowadays, E. globulus covers around 1.3 million hectares mainly located in the Iberian Peninsula.’

    Spain and Portugal have their work cut out for them.

    1. digi_owl

      Said conveyor is mostly for the British Isles and Scandinavia, as say the Mediterranean is in line with USA geographically.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I think that it is also for the European mainland as those easterly blowing winds push the released warm air from that current over the continent allowing for its temperate climate.

        1. Alice X

          I concur. The effect goes as far east as Moscow which is less harsh than Siberia at the same latitude (though certainly not mild).

        2. Revenant

          Westerly, they blow east but come from the west. In the UK and Ireland, the prevailing wind is Southwesterly. No idea how it works on the Continent with them Pyrenees and Alps to constrain things.

          However, I do know that Yurp lacks the violent “weather” (hail like melons, tornadoes, rainstorms) of the USA because its mountains run east-west and prevent Arctic and warm air masses from mixing. Whereas the Rockies run north south and Kansas is the unhappy battleground on Canadian and Gulf atmospheric systems

      2. Carolinian

        We who live in southern climes say “you’re welcome.” Indeed, take our heat, please!

        Presumably the Gulf Stream is also what makes Ireland and England so soggy–as I found out while once riding around the former on my bicycle.

  9. digi_owl

    “Norway women bring seaweed to culinary heights in Europe PhysOrg”

    Could have sworn this was a gag in an ads some years ago.

  10. digi_owl

    “The universe may be dominated by particles that break causality and move faster than light, new paper suggests Live Science (Dr. Kevin)”

    Yay, tachyons. Scifi’s favorite excuse to break physics in the name of a “good” story.

    1. pjay

      “Tachyons almost certainly don’t exist … But…”

      Why do theoretical physicists get to do this and remain “scientists” in full standing while the rest of us don’t? I’m jealous.

    2. Patrick Donnelly

      Why does gravity vary as the square of the distance if mass is the source of the attraction? It should vary as the cube???

      Galileo disproved weight as the source when he experimented at Pisa.

      Area function is a clue as to why the three body problem cannot be solved with what some say is Newtonian science.

      Look me up for more …

      1. Captain Obvious

        Why does gravity vary as the square of the distance if mass is the source of the attraction? It should vary as the cube???

        It’s not only gravity that vary as the square of a distance. Google Coulomb’s law for example, or get into electrical engineering 101. Or rewrite the whole of it, in regards to what is the source of attraction. Don’t look me up for more.

      2. NN Cassandra

        With cube (or any number other than 2) you will not get planets orbiting around suns. Things will either fall into the center or fly away from it. Square/number two is the only constant where things get interesting.

  11. digi_owl

    “Is a plastic-free future possible? Dezeen”

    I suspect the problem is not plastics as such, but petrochem sourced plastics. Years ago i read about a German company that claimed they could make plastic from wood lignin. And that it was usable in injection molding.

      1. Paul O

        All my socks are made from polyester sourced only from bamboo. Not sure this is good thing but I’m ‘encouraged’ to think so.

      2. neutrino23

        Modal (similar to rayon and lyocell) is a plant based fiber used for clothing. It is biodegradable. The one knock on it is the harsh chemicals used to make it from cellulose are dangerous for the workers.

  12. digi_owl

    “China is still years behind the U.S. despite Huawei’s breakthrough chips, Raimondo tells ’60 Minutes’ CNBC (Kevin W). Raimondo believes what private equity tells her too….”

    Another question is, do we really need those latest chips? Outside of maybe the most esoteric “machine learning” research chips seems to have long since hit the “good enough” stage. Slap a SSD into a computer from a decade ago and it will do most office tasks just as well as the latest from from the big brands, as most slowdown comes from disk IO.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Do we really need those latest chips? That is a very good question that. I do wonder if a reason for using the latest chips is to force people to upgrade to the latest hardware so that they can simply use the new standards of software. I’m using what would be considered an obsolete computer running Windows 7 but it does everything that I need for it to do so who cares? Maybe we need two or three tiers of computer chips. AI can use the hottest new chips while everybody else can use bog standard chips. Those who are gamers or are people like graphic artist swho need high performance can use a tier of chip between the first two.

      1. Grumpy Engineer


        Up until late last year, my father was doing heavy Photoshop work with a 14-year-old PC. As digi_owl suggested, we “slapped an SSD” into it (and added some RAM) a number of years ago, and it was quite adequate for email, web browsing, MS Office, and even Photoshop. What finally forced the change was his old CPU’s lack of support for AVX2 instructions, which a couple of new Photoshop plug-ins required. If it weren’t for that, he’d still be on his old one.

        Of course, the upcoming end-of-support for Windows 10 (Oct of 2025) is going to force most older (but still reasonably capable) computers into obsolescence, as the hardware requirements for Windows 11 are quite strict and will prohibit software upgrades on many computers. This is one reason I run Linux. My main PC hardware is 12 years old, but my software load is state-of-the-art and will continue to support my PC long past Oct of 2025.

        1. Benny Profane

          Yup. The only reason I am in the market for a new computer is to run the latest version of Photoshop. And this isn’t the first time.

          1. Glen

            I finally upgraded for similar reasons after using the same motherboard/CPU for over 15 years. Even though I use Linux, the photography software required the advanced instruction sets (AVX, and the latest SSE variant). I ended up building a new PC during the first year of covid, and upgraded the CPU to a multicore monster a couple years later when the CPU prices had dropped a bit.

            Plus, VM software has reached the point where I would recommend that somebody who uses Linux, but had a Windows software requirement, just set up a Windows VM and run the software on that. If that requirement included unique hardware, I’d be a bit more leery, but if one has a multicore CPU and sufficient memory, the VMs are approaching “run on hardware” speeds (except for GPU speeds unless wants to get deep into SR-IOV and GPU pass thru).

          2. Vandemonian

            Haven’t used GIMP seriously, and I suspect it’s not a fully fledged alternative to Photoshop. Have had any experience with it?

            1. Glen

              It depends on what you want to do, but in general, best to assume it’s not as good. If you are interested in processing raw photos in Linux, there are a couple others to look at. Links below:

              Photoshop vs GIMP: the difference between the two powerful photo editors

              If you’re mostly looking at processing raw photos, take a look at the following:

              And here’s the color mangement software:
              Argyll Color Management System

        2. Jason Boxman

          My mid-2015 MBP w/ 16GB RAM and the mid tier processor is still rocking on, although Apple predictably finally dropped support for it with OS 12 or whatever. I might upgrade when the battery finally expands again and threatens a case crack, which happened twice so far. The last time the replacement battery was originally quoted as almost as much as a Macbook Air!

      2. Alice X

        ~I do wonder if a reason for using the latest chips is to force people to upgrade to the latest hardware so that they can simply use the new standards of software.

        Capitalism 101. Buy a new machine, ’cause last years is obsolete.

        I’m a Mac person. So far Apple blocks installing the latest operating system on post 2008 machines (mostly) only in software, so the installer can be tricked. I run a 2016 version on my 2013 machine because most of my valued programs break after that, but I also use virtualization to run a newer OS when I need to (I can run ubuntu, Windows 10 and various older and newer Mac OSs). It is inevitable though that at some point their OS will only run on their newer chips.

      3. Not Qualified to Comment

        Granted I don’t need heavy-duty graphics manipulation and it can take a few seconds I can easily spare to load in an OpenOffice wp or spreadsheet app, but I can do 95% of my daily computing including emails and browsing on a Raspberry Pi 4B.

    2. Emma

      It’s to have sufficient computing power to control and suppress us.

      We really should have a Butlerian Jihad soon.

        1. Revenant

          Hey, how are you, JHB? I have not seen you comment for a long time and to my shame could not remember your name we’ll enough to enquire if others had. :-)

          You had quit New Orleans for points west and said something cryptic about your new life not accommodating posting much here (one hopes fulsomely not Folsom-ly!).

          Hope this heralds a return and life is treating you well….


        Maybe a Butlerian Jihad is overdue. When I went to refresh my memory with a DuckDuckGo search, the first result that came back was this:
        Report Ad
        Get Your Butlerian Jihad – Get Butlerian Jihad On eBay
        Find the deal you deserve on eBay. Discover discounts from sellers across the globe. No matter what you love, you’ll find it here.

  13. digi_owl

    “How much does the ‘American dream’ cost in your state? The Hill (Kevin W)”

    “But, following multiple years of stubborn inflation, coupled with a housing market that refuses to cool and a trend of mounting debt”

    If Steve Keen is to be believed, what comes first is the debt. And i suspect much of that debt is mortgage debt. And each time a house is flipped, the added debt injects more money into the economy that then drives inflation unless there is more goods and services introduced to spend it on.

    1. Darren

      The Hill article says “roughly $15,000 more than California.” That’s horseshit.

      Living in CA Imposes a $26,478.72 “Cost-of-Living Penalty” on Typical Middle-Class Family. Most of this is taxes, fees and social penalties imposed by the Democratic supermajority, and the new taxes heaped on us by the Newsom Regime that’s controlled the state since 2006.

      The Cost of California report documented the following cost penalty in each category:

      Housing Costs: 32% for homeowners; 47% for renters
      Gas Costs: $2.10 per gallon higher, 25% more on average
      Food Costs: 4% higher for grocery bill
      Water Costs: 47% higher
      Healthcare Costs: 42% higher for health care services
      State and Local Taxes: 14% higher
      Childcare: 34% higher
      Electricity Costs: 48% higher
      Car Insurance: 22% higher

  14. .Tom

    Daniel Dennett died Friday last week. I read all his books apart from the recent memoir, which have greatly influenced me. Recently I listened to this long conversation with Curt Jaimungal, which is excellent and gave some good updates but probably not introductory He warned last year that there should be laws against making and passing off counterfeit people (open this in a new private window) .

  15. digi_owl

    “A coffee roastery in Finland has launched an AI-generated blend. The results were surprising TechXplore (Dr. Kevin)”

    Maybe i’m an uncouth swine, but i drink coffee for the caffeine. Unless it is out and out revolting, it goes down.

    1. yep

      The article is just a marketing pitch, though it could be a well written satire. Putting “AI” on everyting is in trend.

    2. Polar Socialist

      Black, warm and contains caffeine, that’s pretty much it. I don’t think it possible to make pure coffee taste good, palatable is probably the zenith of what it can do.

      That said, the best coffee(s) I ever had also contained good cognac and a dash of hazelnut liqueur… Still brings a smile to my face!

        1. Polar Socialist

          Can’t remember where I saw this recipe for excellent coffee:

          Put a penny in a coffee cup, pour coffee until you can’t see the penny, then add blended whisky until you can see the penny again.

  16. Ghost in the Machine

    #COVID-19: How the search for the pandemic’s origins turned poisonous Associated Press (furzy)

    Wow. This is an extraordinarily dishonest article in what it leaves out, clearly trying to pin everything on China. It leaves out all the leaks and FOI requests that gave us things like the DARPA grant application and Fauci emails to the authors of the ‘Proximal Origin’s’ Nature paper, where they admit they think a leak is possible/likely then write the opposite. Jeffery Sachs who headed up the Lancet investigation has summed it up on a number of occasions: the virus was a US designed and funded gain-of-function project OKed and possibly even helped along by Fauci, the technological know-how was transferred from the Ralph Baric lab in the US, the funding overseen by Ecohealth Alliance led by Peter Daszak. The work was transferred to Shi’s lab in Wuhan to avoid the costs and oversight.

    Here is Jefferey Sachs discussing it.

    1. pjay

      When I saw that it was an AP story I assumed it would be either an anti-China narrative or a “debunking” of the lab-leak hypothesis. In a way it was both – anti-China and, as you point out, a complete whitewashing of the *US* role in a possible lab-leak scenario. Predictable.

      1. cfraenkel

        I was only able to skim over it (yech), but even at that level the obvious blame China for shutting down inquiry fearing blame without mentioning all the US “China Virus” fearmongering and hysteria was a bit much.

        Remember all the cancelling flights from China but leaving travel to Italy wide open?

  17. Mikel

    “SEC illegally tracking Americans who invest in the stock market, lawsuit claims” New York Post

    So the SEC, technically, could resolve identity theft issues? The breadth of info collected suggests as much.

    1. Neutrino

      An admission against interest for the SEC. They would resolve a curated list of the right people while letting the wrong people be accessed through the back door(s) by their dark collaborators other public servants.

      Advice for the modern era: Proceed as though doxxed. :(

  18. Es s Ce Tera

    re: AI now surpasses humans in almost all performance benchmarks New Atlas

    I’m surprised there isn’t a benchmark for writing flawless code in any programming language, or at least the piece doesn’t mention it. In any case, I and my friends tested this and found AI to be very wanting, concluding AI is not anywhere near replacing developers. It does, however, often save time for a developer to AI generate code and then fix it up. Flawless code would be an important benchmark, however.

    If you see any companies out there betting on using AI to replace their developers then you would probably do very well to short their stock. I predict interesting results forthcoming.

    1. EarlyGray

      Yes. Generative AI is useful for certain tasks, but to achieve high levels of reliability, keeping humans in the loop will still be required. However, this means that the cost-saving benefits being touted are going to be much harder to achieve, which a lot of people are starting to realise.

      re: Nvidia’s falling share price shows the AI reckoning has begun
      Nvidia is actually one of the few companies to actually make real money from the current AI boom as they make the hardware being used, just as the people who profited most from the Gold Rush were those who sold the shovels.

      1. cfraenkel

        but to achieve high levels of reliability, keeping experienced humans in the loop will still be required. …. ftfy

        Fine for the short run. The problem of how to generate new, experienced developers is a problem for the student….

      2. sleeplessintokyo

        moreover, humans are evolutionarily not well suited for finding he needle in the haystack. Which is what all this assumes those human employees will be doing. Think of the radiologists struggling to keep up with AI read images to find the rare error.

      3. Albe Vado

        Nvidia is going to take a hit in the short term, but long term they are likely to still have a noticeable edge in ‘AI’.

        With the heavy caveat that the stuff being billed these days as ‘Artificial Intelligence’ absolutely isn’t (automated dumb algorithms are not AI. Actual AI research hasn’t advanced much in probably forty years), AI isn’t going anywhere. Where we are now is that the hype has burned out and where this tech is actually genuinely useful has become apparent, and where it isn’t is going to start falling away.

        Maybe some people don’t want to hear this, but automated algorithms are actually beneficial tools in some scenarios. For Nvidia, a big part of that is video games. AI upscaling and antialiasing, and AI frame-gereration, are revolutionary, especially as they’re coming along just as real-time raytracing is transforming how lighting is done, while also being intensely performance heavy.

        Fundamentally all the algorithms can do is auto-generate unimaginative remixed content based on datasets fed to them beforehand. While for many things like writing, art, or music this is a minefield of legal and ethical issues, and also AI can never create anything truly new, for a video game where the data set is data generated by the hardware itself milliseconds before, there are no such problems. You feed the algorithm a clean 1440p 30, or even better, 60 fps image, and it spits out a pristine 4k image at 120 fps.

        This isn’t theoretical; it’s happening right now. People are using this tech on the latest games, and even injecting it into older games that don’t natively support it. Nvidia is years ahead in this, with AMD, Intel, and Apple struggling to even catch up to where Nvidia is now, while Nvidia themselves are likely to pull further ahead with each new iterative hardware generation.

        I can’t speak for other uses of AI, though I gather in at least a few areas it has legs and is going to stick around, but in at least one field of direct relevance to Nvidia it isn’t going anywhere. It’s legitimately not a fad.

    2. SocalJimObjects

      Flawless code is in the eyes of the beholder. To the owners of capital, flawless code is one that is good enough to generate endless profits while minimizing cost i.e. developer salary.

    3. neutrino23

      We had a customer who gave us a backhanded compliment when she said our algorithm was “often correct”. That’s the issue I see with AI. It miraculously often produces some really good results, kind of like the kid who studies just for the test. The problem is reliability. I asked one of these a question in my area of expertise and was able to grade it about a C+. If it was not my area of expertise how would I know what was correct and what was BS? Or what was missing? That’s the reason we have experts. They know the difference.

  19. Grumpy Engineer

    Seeing the following two headlines side-by-side was rather depressing, but Yves was correct to lump them together.:

    California Is Grappling With a Growing Problem: Too Much Solar (Washington Post)
    Biden unveils $7 billion for rooftop solar in Earth Day message (Reuters)

    Alas, this seems to be typical of the Democrats in DC. Throw a lot of money at a half-baked solution, and then be slow to even recognize (much less fix) the resulting problems.

    1. Neutrino

      Anything for the coalition, especially in the critical even-numbered years.

      Common sense and consequences need not factor in.

    2. JohnnySacks

      Excess electricity? Hydrogen does have value. What’s wrong with using it for hydrogen electrolysis from water? H2O = H2 + O

      The only other way I know of to make it is by reforming from steam and natural gas in a massive furnace (2)H2O + CH4 = CO2 + (3)H2

      Seems an environmental win, but what do I know?

      1. Giovanni Barca

        Doesn’t the thought of making other substances out of water make anyone else nervous? I mean, we might need it someday.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “High Court In India Rules That Viewing, Downloading Child Porn Is Not A Crime”

    Maybe the Madras police should raid the judges of the Madras High Court and download their browser histories from their personal computers. Just sayin’.

  21. CA

    The maliciously false way in which attempts at intimidation are repeatedly used by the Biden administration before a pretense of American diplomacy:

    April 22, 2024

    Blinken says genocide in Xinjiang is ongoing in report ahead of China visit
    By Simon Lewis – Reuters

    WASHINGTON – Beijing is continuing to commit genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in its western Xinjiang province, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a report published on Monday, ahead of his planned visit to China this week…

    1. SocalJimObjects

      China should really write a report on how the USA is still occupying Native Americans’ land after hundreds of years.


    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      At this point, who is he even putting this out for? I know the WH is seeing everything through brain addled Clintonista politicos worried about how Republican voters in1994 will respond, but do they not get they have no credibility?

      Is this just a weird hail Mary where Biden thinks Muslim populations will suddenly go, “oh the China men are bad. Let’s trust the crackers behind destroying Iraq, Libya, and Syria and the most recent genocide.” I suppose the culture that would accept a pal of Strom Thurmond as leader of tne party believes this is how this will play out.

      1. Carolinian

        Even Obama thought Biden was a goof. But Joe’s the blind alley that TDS hath wrought. They are a lot more afraid of MAGA than they are for Biden.

        Of course the MAGA guy hates China as well. All these agonists need an antagonist to puff themselves up.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Imagine that you are getting ready to visit China for a series of critical meetings. And that before you do, you make up the most outlandish lies to humiliate and denigrate your Chinese hosts. Then again, just imagine that you are Antony Blinken. When Germany’s Scholz visited China recently he was met by the vice-mayor of the local city. Not the Mayor. Not the Governor. Not somebody from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Just the local vice mayor. Blinken will be lucky if he gets met by a janitor from the airport. God, does he always have to be so stupid?

      1. Benny Profane

        “God, does he always have to be so stupid?”

        At a certain point, you would think there would be some self reflection in that head, considering the results of his efforts in the past few years, but, no. There is no penalty. He’ll score a board seat and a think tank position, maybe a faculty appointment, too, and never have to.
        These people certainly have given up in fearing how they’ll be viewed by history. I remember Dubya being asked about that during Iraq when it turned into such a mess, and he responded in that way of his, and, I paraphrase, I don’t give an F about that. And looked what happened since. He went from worst president evah to almost forgotten in the noise.

        1. Pat

          One thing I will give Bush is that he was smart enough to actually retire, unlike either Clinton or Obama. Seriously short of funerals when do you see or hear about him. I think that has allowed him and his sins to be largely forgotten.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I found it bizarre that the Democrats came out to rehabilitate George Bush who was a Republican. And the Obamas were at the forefront of this. In my books he is still a war criminal and will not be missed when he passes.

            1. Feral Finster

              I don’t find it bizarre at all.

              The election of Obama did more to neuter the antiwar movement than anything Dubya or Cheney could have done, not if Bush were made Maximum Leader For Life and Cheney appointed Supreme Generalissimo.

            2. Pat

              I agree. I had already learned to despise Barack, but Michelle made it onto my list with her active participation in welcoming George into the fold.
              But I do have to admit that if I were grading on a curve, George would edge out Bill, Barry and Joe. I am willing to revisit it, but I think he was the least destructive overall of our four horseman of the apocalypse.
              (I really have to hold my tongue when someone talks about Trump as the worst President ever, since I consider him a mere wannabe compared to those four.)

          2. Kouros

            Bush comes from old money whereas Clinton and Obama as “arivists”, new comers, looking to develop their multigenerational wealth…

        2. Oh

          Of course he doesn’t give a F. He got his money and his 8 year term and he will still be handsomely rewarded by the rich ones whose agenda he carries out!
          Blinken is just a peon carrying a message. I hope he gets to meet with another peon over in China.

      2. John k

        What if the objective was avoiding good relations with China? We tried, but they’re just impossible to work with?

        1. sleeplessintokyo

          what if the objective was to pretend we don’t already have the Manchurian Candidate

    4. jrkrideau

      Blinken says genocide in Xinjiang is ongoing in report ahead of China visit

      This level of total incompetence would, a few years ago, have been unimaginable. Today one expects it of US faux diplomats. Does the idiot think that the Chinese politburo will not have his remarks in their morning briefings?

      It really seems counter-prductive to announce that you are off to negotiate with genocidal war criminals. Their feelings might be hurt.

      I don’t live in the USA. Is this some kind of ritual bargining thing that one does in negotiations, say among corporations, there?

  22. LawnDart

    Re; Chinese Flying Taxi Sector Claims Global Lead Thanks To Regulatory Support

    First, “flying taxis” is a misnomer– they flat-out don’t work that way. These will be flying from hub-to-hub, and not offering curbside pickup, ever.

    Second, yes: engineers, researchers, government technocrats worked and are working together closely to develop the “Low-Altitude Economy” as incorporated into the national 5-year plans.

    It’s 180-degrees from what Galbraith illustrates in the earlier post on this site– government that works efficiently for the overall good of the nation.

  23. Pat

    I’ve been thinking about the poll, and the idea, that RFK Jr takes more votes from Trump than from Biden. And while I think it is possible, but I wonder if this election is too volatile for the usual “change” candidate meme. If it is just the current guy is a disaster, can’t vote for him thing, Biden has already lost a minimum of 20% of his voters from the last election. (The most recent poll in NY does not bode well for Biden’s popular vote numbers. And in this deeply blue state, the majority may still support Ukraine but that support has dropped while Israel has split pretty easily. IOW the wars also aren’t going Joe’s way.) I hate them both favors third parties or staying home. For change voters the question was always return to Trump, stay home or third party in the swing states. Since Trump is a hybrid known agent AND change agent that might favor Biden voters going to Kennedy perhaps saving Joe’s bacon.

    But to me that makes it really about voter turnout and tribal base numbers for the two main candidates, who has the larger vote for them no matter what cushion is probably going to win this. Both the main candidates are known entities. The wackiest possibility is the vote being divided three ways and Kennedy edging out a win in a state and taking those electoral college votes out of the equation. I do not see it happening, but as Lambert keeps pointing out lots can change in six months.

    1. Feral Finster

      Even if Trump wins, nothing will change. He is weak, stupid and easily manipulated, as well as amenable to flattery.

      Call Trump a coward and Putin puppet and he’ll cuck out like he twice did trying to leave Syria. Tell him that he looks churchillian and resolute as he pushes the button and like a trained dog, he’ll do as instructed.

      I detest Biden, but because he has the MSM and every major institution on his side, he can do things that Trump will not or can not, such as leave Afghanistan.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        I can make a pretty good argument that Biden is now the lesser of two evils. He probably wouldn’t do something crazy like nuke Moscow. Can’t say the same for Trump.

        And as a bonus, we’ll keep Lina Khan around for 4 more years to make trouble for Wall Street crooks.

        I’m still voting for either RFK Jr. or Jill Stein, though.

        1. Feral Finster

          I have precisely zero intention to vote for Biden, unless I am on a jury voting to convict. I will vote Stein, even though her post-election 2016 performance leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

          I have the luxury of living in an entirely safe state, one that makes Texas look like a hippie commune by comparison.

          1. ChrisFromGA

            We have to remember also that Trump put John Bolton, the worst of the neo-cons, in power during his admin.

            Alex Christoforou pointed out in his video today that Trump has some bizarre weakness when he gets around the neocons. He may not be one of them, but as you say, he is easily manipulated.

            1. Roland

              What are you talking about? Trump politically castrated Bolton, and then publicly mocked him, with a famous quip:

              “If I had ever listened to that guy, we’d probably be fighting World War Six by now.”

              Trump’s presidency was a big defeat for the neocons.

              If only every neocon could get used, abused, and tossed aside like Donald Trump did with John Bolton, this world would be a happier place.

              1. Feral Finster

                And in the meantime, Bolton sabotaged every peace effort he could.

                Had Trump not appointed the man, he would have been reduced to fulminating in the OpEds.

                1. steppenwolf fetchit

                  There is one peace effort Trump destroyed on his very own. And that was the JCPOA with Iran. Trump was so vengeful and spiteful about Obama being credited with an obvious win that he burned it down to get even with Obama for having built it up.

                  That doesn’t excuse Biden for viewing ” restoration of JCPOA” as an opportunity to try extorting something else from Iran in order to ” restore JCPOA”. That was Biden’s contribution to keeping JCPOA destroyed.

                  Sometimes nasty officeholders don’t need neoconservative input to do nasty things. Often they do. But sometimes they don’t.

        2. John k

          The meme ‘trump didn’t start any wars’ does it for me. I would ask, if trump hadn’t brought back 80% of those in Afghanistan, could Biden have managed the rest? Imo it probably took 2 presidencies to overcome deep.
          Granted, where I live is so blue it doesn’t matter, and if it did I’d just cancel the wife’s vote anyway. I used to write in Bernie when he wasn’t on the ballot, this time I’ll probably go green.

        3. Pat

          Really. I can totally see Biden getting annoyed and.hitting the button far more than Trump. He has literally brought us closer to WW3 since the Cuban missile crisis.
          Neither of these two people should be in he White House. Most of Congress should be in jail or banned from holding office. As should most of Biden’s foreign policy team, cabinet and much of the top military and intelligence departments.
          I have voted third party in the last three Presidential elections. That isn’t going to change this time around. My analysis, such as it is, has little to do with my preferences. If they did we would have a different President, I’d have different senators, a different congressperson, a different mayor and most importantly a different state AG. ( She would be prosecuting Cuomo, not just for sexual harassment but for corruption.) But I do take a perverse pleasure watching the disaster that is our election system play out.

        4. vao

          He probably wouldn’t do something crazy like nuke Moscow.

          If he is affected by senile dementia, as seems to be the case and therefore will increasingly be the case in the future, then you do not want to give such an important position to somebody who is literally losing his mind.

          1. Feral Finster

            Blinken will just hide The Button from the old dotard or distract him by promising ice cream instead of fruit cup if he is good.

            Blinken or Sullivan or the rest of the crew, if course, would push The Button without hesitation if it were in their interests at the moment. And they would know full well what they were doing.

      2. Roland

        I think you’re mistaken here, FF. Trump could have had an easy time as President if he had made more war.

        Proof of this is shown by the only time NYT and WaPo ever praised Trump: when he did that single, token, cruise missile strike on Syria.

        I think Trump showed considerable strength of character in resisting the pressure to wage more wars. Trump showed a stronger character when in office than either Obama or Bush 43.

        Look, you can try to call Trump a “cuck,” simply because he wasn’t ready to embark upon a wholesale, simultaneous, purge of both the Pentagon and the CIA–over an issue like Syria.

        Hopefully Trump’s second administration will come in with some more institutional capability.

        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          Unfortunately, the more institutional capability will be devoted to the functional abolition of such residual consumer and safety regulation, environmental protection, conservation, etc. as still exist in this country. ” Deconstruction of the Administrative State” and all that.

          Drill baby drill.
          Frack baby frack.

          And when it comes to University and college protests . . . 2, 3, Many Kent States.

    2. gf

      Jamie Diamond signaled that Trump is the establishment’s choice a month or 2 back. There is no way they let RFK Jr on the ballots in swing states unless this was the case. Biden’s base is not in the same playing field in terms of base loyalty.

  24. Carolinian

    Helmer on 1918

    Reid is so certain this is not the lesson of today’s allied war against Russia she declares her conclusion at the very beginning of her book. “There is no simple read-across from the Intervention. Today’s war is not a civil one, and the impressive and staunchly democratic Ukrainians are not the inept, revanchist Whites. The lazy lesson from 1918-20 – that Western meddling in the region failed then, and will again now – is completely mistaken. If the Intervention does have something to teach, it is that Putin will fail for the same reason the Whites did: because he underestimates the desire for freedom of the non-Russian nations…”

    So we have a secession, Slavic brothers fighting against brothers, foolish expectations and massive slaughter. If it walks like a Civil War and quacks like a Civil War maybe it is a civil war. Certainly the villain Putin says he considers the Ukrainians to be common folk. Sounds like the Soros sponsored book would also consider Abe Lincoln to be a Putinesque villain. After all the secesh were just fighting for their freedom to enslave.

    And in fact in the 1860s many in the British upper class wanted the South to win. They sure know how to pick ’em.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Argument of Reid is based on a false assumption. Ukrainians are not fighting for freedom. They’re fighting to become a fully vassalized state, with no autonomy or future other than a dumping ground for weapons and a failed state.

      Mission accomplished!

  25. The Rev Kev

    “Scientists push new paradigm of animal consciousness, saying even insects may be sentient”

    Yeah, nah! The line for what animals humans should consume should be sentience. And no, insects or fish do not rate as sentient as their thoughts are limited to move, eat, mate and that is mostly it. With octopus, the jury may still be out on that one as are dolphins. But these scientists may be taking it a bit too far. Maybe they should invent Star Trek replicators and that way the problem would be solved-

    1. Bugs

      Come now. Are you saying that dogs are not sentient? Horses? Of course these animals have thoughts and feelings, interior lives, loved ones, dreams and maybe even life plans. It’s perfectly obvious when you interact with them enough. I’ve been recognized by a seabass who lived in an aquarium at a restaurant, after not seeing him for a year. It was an emotional experience for me and I think him. The staff refused to take him out of the tank and he died a peaceful death of old age. I know an elephant in India who has horrible mood swings and cries tears for his old mahout. Is that not sentience?

      1. Lefty Godot

        It’s chilling to read the number of comments in places like Hacker News where the presumably highly educated commenter insists animals other than humans are not really experiencing pain the way we do with our exclusively conscious minds. So therefore the continuing torture of animals in medical “research” and factory “farming” is totally okay. The only property that I see as exclusive to humans (or maybe to the sub-family of apes that includes us) is our ability to inflict cruelty on our fellow humans and all other creatures that we consider inferiors, purely out of spite and greed, when it’s by no means necessary and requires some intent, or intentionally blithe carelessness, to perpetrate.

      2. AndrewJ

        It’s incredibly subjective, but one of my favorite replicable experiences is visiting the wild fish viewing windows at the top of the ladders at the dams on the Columbia River. Especially with the big salmonids, I feel like there is another conscious creature there, looking right back.

      3. The Rev Kev

        Dogs, horses and cats obviously have sentience to a large degree which is why we bonded with them so much as a species. In many scifi stories, a key aspect is where humans ‘uplift’ them to the point of them having full sentience. The problem here is that we really do not have a real definition of what is sentient or not and it results in articles like that I originally referenced.

  26. Michael Fiorillo

    Regarding the ABC News link about Grant’s Pass v. Johnson:

    “The Oregon law’s defenders (in making it illegal to camp on public property) say the ordinance merely criminalizes the conduct of camping in public, not the fact that the campers have no house.”

    “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and steal their bread.”
    – Anatole France

  27. Alice X

    After several days of self medicating, due to mental health concerns, this morning I briefly still had a mental Genocide free moment, but it quickly lapsed.

    On the tweet re Nasser hospital horror, hoisted from comments:

    Q: The Soviets uncovered a concentration camp and mass graves.

    State Department: We are inquiring about it with the German government.

    I can only hope the ICJ is keeping a thorough log in the South African case. The Zionist Entity is everyday losing the case.

    1. Feral Finster

      “I can only hope the ICJ is keeping a thorough log in the South African case. The Zionist Entity is everyday losing the case.”

      So? What difference will that make? The US will be sure to bully any country that dares do anything about it, and will veto any UNSC resolution that Israel doesn’t like.

      1. Alice X

        ~So? What difference will that make?

        That’s a cynical threshold I have not passed. The people of the world must overthrow their cynical governments. The time is coming. Today is a world where we can see events in real time.

        1. Feral Finster

          Would to God that you prove correct.

          I would say that The Iron Law Of Oligarchy is described as an “iron law” for a reason. There are no answers, no solutions, only temporary expedients that break down as sociopaths get in, surely as rust corrodes iron.

      2. Kouros

        ICJ and ICC work based on international agreements.

        Why a mandate of arrest from ICC for Putin’s arrest to be pursued and not for a Zionist official or military commander? US can make laws forcing the government to attack ICC in Holland if an Israeli is brought to court, but it will be easy to call the bluff. And similarly, it will be easy to call the bluff if laws are passed to punish countries that catch such Zionists and give them to the court.

        I would really like to see what the US is going to do if Spain (which is prepared to recognize Palestine) catches such scum and sends it to trial.

        That US and Israel will huff and puff is one thing, but that will be mostly hot air. The magic is gone.

        1. Feral Finster

          “Why a mandate of arrest from ICC for Putin’s arrest to be pursued and not for a Zionist official or military commander?”

          Because the laws apply only when the sovereign says so, and they don’t when the sovereign doesn’t want them to.

          “US can make laws forcing the government to attack ICC in Holland if an Israeli is brought to court, but it will be easy to call the bluff. And similarly, it will be easy to call the bluff if laws are passed to punish countries that catch such Zionists and give them to the court.”

          Which in turns raises the question of why that bluff never is called. And spain isn’t going to recognize anything. The American will snap their fingers and spanish knees hit the floor with a resounding thud!

          1. Kouros

            We have to wait and see, don’t we. There are already a handful of EU countries that have recognized Palestine, eh?!

            The caricature world you are presenting to us most of the time is not exactly that. In the last vote at UNSC, US has tried to convince enough country to vote against or abstain so that they won’t need to veto the resolution of bringing to the UNGA the proposal of recognizing Palestine as a state. Only 2 countries abstained, the rest voted for, so the US had to veto the resolution.

            Maybe reading “I am a cat” by Soseki Natsume will help you with the world of humans.

  28. Objective Ace

    the dirty secret is these concierge doctors are less good than most pretty good MDs

    I’m guessing the super rich don’t limit themselves to one doctor. The point of these concierge doctors isnt necessarily to get the best advice. Its to get access to products mainstream doctors are unwilling or unable to prescribe: ivermectin, stem cells, peptides, stimulants etc.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You can’t get stem cells in the US due to FDA restrictions. You can get charlatans selling amniotic fluid and platelet-rich plasma as stem cells, or harvesting your own fat and/or bone marrow and extracting the comparatively few stem cells in there and shooting them into a joint. Studies show that does not do much of anything.

      This idea that you need magic MDs is marketing hype. My very much PMC MD in NYC prescribed IVM and has Rxed stem cells for me (not that my insurance will cover them but I do have reasons for an Rx). Pretty much any regular doctor in NYC will (sadly!) pull out their Rx pad and be ready to give you anything from Adderall to anti-depressants if you complain of fatigue.

      To get real stem cells, you have to go outside the US. Any many many clinics similarly don’t sell good or safe product. I do know of a reputable regular person MD at the Hospital for Special Surgery (who does have some fancy clients) who refers people to a clinic in Antigua and goes there 2x or so a year to administer shots.

      By contrast, there are reportedly also a lot of clinics here in Thailand that do stem cells, and I would not trust them. Ditto Mexico unless I had a very solid lead.

      Having said that, there are what IM Doc calls Dr. Moonbeams who prescribe all sorts of Michael Jackson-level supplement and magic potion regimes. Those patients spend all day taking pills.

      1. Emma

        Every overclass needs something to visually distinguish them from the masses. It appears that our overclass has decided on using plastic surgery and biohacking to distinguish themselves from the proles. I wish they had stuck to arsenic and super tight corsets.

    1. Late Introvert

      I don’t wish to take pleasure in her suffering, and I don’t. But what the family blog did these people expect when they decided to put money before their, and everyone else’s, health? You’re going to see more and more of this over the next 2-5 years I think.

      My guess is Zurich Insurance Company’s idea of “responsible” investment would leave something to be desired, but I shouldn’t be speculating on this blog. I just don’t have the heart to check up on it.

  29. Tom Stone

    A home insurance anecdote, my Ex Wife recently had her home insurance with AAA cancelled and one of the few Insurance firms still writing policies in Sonoma County is LLoyd’s of London.
    Their quote was $40,000 annually.
    This is for a 2 BR 2 Ba 2700 Sq Ft mid century modern home on 3.5 not very usable acres with decent but not great pastoral views.

  30. Tom Stone

    Those aren’t Mass Graves in Gaza, those are “Soil Amendments”, all part of the heroic effort by Israel to make the desert bloom.

  31. XXYY

    Re: Bonus antidote:

    If you or someone else are in a wheelchair and need to go over an obstacle, go backwards. The big wheels will take you over something several inches high. The tiny swiveling front wheels are useless.

    I was cringing through this whole video.

    1. Oh

      I may be wrong but from what I observed the small front wheels seem to have made it but the boy had trouble getting the large wheels over the tracks.

  32. Kouros

    How funny that US can easily find evidence of genocide in Xiniang, but not in Ghaza, always needs more investigating. The latest batch of 180 body bags in a destroyed Gaan Hospital needs more investigation and clarifications. As if the 10 body bags are invisible or they dont exist. They might methamorposize in 180 Hamas fighters…

  33. Willow

    > Mobilization law condition for new supplies of arms to Kiev by NATO

    Cynical interpretation: whole point of the new Ukraine funding is to kick the inevitable out to some point past the US presidential elections.

  34. vidimi

    Re JFK Jr, I absolutely believe that he is running a deep-state campaign as a spoiler candidate to help the Democrats win. His main selling points are Ukraine War and vaccine skepticism. The former puts him in a similar niche to Trump, while the latter helps to differentiate him from Trump, who is very enthusiastic about the vaccines he helped deliver. Voters who are both would be uninterested in voting for Biden anyway.

    But now that Trump is fully onboard the Ukraine war, there is no longer a need for him running.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      That is hard to fathom given that RFK, Jr. regularly excoriates the Blob and depicts them as behind his father’s and uncle’s deaths. Some of many examples:

      Robert Kennedy Jr. blames CIA for President Kennedy assassination WABC (this seems to be blocked outside the US, so you might need a VPN

      Robert Kennedy Jr. sees ‘overwhelming evidence’ CIA involved in JFK assassination The Hill

      RFK Jr.: The Function Of The CIA Is To Provide A Constant Pipeline Of War To Serve The Military Contractors Real Clear Politics

      And see this story from someone who made the effort to actually meet RFK, Jr. fans earlier this month:

      The weirdness of Kennedy’s base—Reagan Republicans and environmentalists holding hands with anti-vaxxers—makes it difficult to assess precisely what type of spoiler he is. With RFK on the ballot, a March Harvard CAPS-Harris poll found, Trump’s lead increases over Biden by 1 point. Trump scored 44 percent to Biden’s 37 percent, while Kennedy raked in 18 percent. Still, it’s also plausible that RFK Jr. could end up tossing the election to his former party, becoming a sort of Nader in reverse.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        Well . . . he and West and some others taken collectively would be a “measure of our discontent”.

        Whereas the collective percent of the vote going to Trump and Biden combined will be a “measure of our fear, loathing and hatred.”

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