Links 5/12/2024

Study discovers cellular activity that hints recycling is in our DNA

Scientists Confirm Exercise Slows Down The Perception of Time Science Alert

Bending Reality: Einstein Meets Quantum Mechanics in Antarctic Ice SciTech Daily

Massage Guns the Likely Culprit in Two Cases of Acute Vertigo MedPage Today


Pennsylvania wastewater could meet 40% of US’ lithium needs: Study Interesting Engineering. Wastewater from fracking.

The Extracted Earth GRANTA


Biodiversity loss is biggest driver of infectious disease outbreaks, says study The Guardian


Virome Sequencing Identifies H5N1 Avian Influenza in Wastewater from Nine Cities. medRxIV. Texas. From the abstract: “we report the detection of H5N1 in wastewater in nine Texas cities, with a total catchment area population in the millions…A variant analysis suggests avian or bovine origin but other potential sources, especially humans, could not be excluded.”


Nations Struggle to Draft ‘Pandemic Treaty’ to Avoid Mistakes Made During COVID Associated Press

Majority of long Covid insurance claims rejected in Switzerland


TB outbreak in California’s Long Beach: 1 dead, 170 likely to be exposed The Economic Times


The IMF has hypnotized Africa’s Policymakers Grieve Chelwa, Africa Watch

Making lasting peace in the Sahel An Africanist Perspective


Restoring the Sun God In Kashmir Open Magazine

Canada arrests fourth Indian for suspected role in Hardeep Nijjar’s killing Business Standard


The Migrant Workers Who Never Made It Home Pekingnology. On the Guangdong Province highway collapse. A brief summary: “Longyan experienced considerable environmental degradation due to extensive mining operations. As the local economy shifted and mining companies ceased operations, villagers sought new employment opportunities, primarily migrating to factories in Guangdong to work in the electronics and machinery sectors….it was noted that many victims of the recent disaster were employees at an auto parts city in Guangzhou, working continuously with no weekends, only returning home during national holidays…the depth of damage in this incident on the Meizhou Expressway to be exceptionally rare, suggesting that overlooked factors during initial surveys, such as underlying layers or structural faults, inadequate drainage design for extreme weather, or lack of anti-slip measures during construction, might have played roles.”

Power and Financial Interdependence Brad Setser, The French Institute of International Relations. From the abstract: “Both parties [the US and China] thus worry about the possibility that financial interdependence can be weaponized yet find it hard to extricate themselves from the inevitability of financial interdependence absent a clean break from an entrenched pattern of trade imbalances.”


Gaza truce talks ‘back to square one’ as tens of thousands flee Rafah The Cradle

Causalities, including women, children, in Israeli airstrikes in northern Gaza Anadolu Agency

Another 80 Bodies Found in Three Mass Graves in Gaza TeleSur


Israel likely violated intl law in Gaza, ‘no evidence’ to stop arms transfers: White House The Cradle

The US continues to provide cover for Israel’s genocide in Gaza Middle East Monitor

US offers intel on Hamas in exchange for Israel killing less Palestinians in Rafah attack Middle East Eye

European Disunion

The EU is turning into a Remainer nightmare Thomas Fazi

Eurovision’s Songs of Shame Tribune

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine SitRep: The ‘Sanitary Zone’ On The Northern Border With Russia Moon of Alabama

Travel Notes, St Petersburg, April-May 2024:  fourth and final installment Gilbert Doctorow. “…Russian forces have de facto created a ‘sanitary zone’ from which the Ukrainians can no longer fire artillery , drones and short range missiles into the residential neighborhoods of the Belgorod region on the other side of the border, killing civilians and creating havoc as they have been doing for months.”

“Report from Donbas.” The Floutist


NATO risks World War III in Ukraine — while lining the defense industry’s pockets Douglas MacKinnon, The Hill. Don’t worry, the Atlanticists have capabilities and contingency plans:

Poke the Bear and Find Out Tarik Cyril Amar


German MPs propose that NATO intercept drones over Ukraine Ukrainska Pravda

German Defense Minister: Restart conscription, pursue 3 percent GDP on defense Breaking Defense

The Zeitenwende, Two Years On International Centre for Defense and Security

Imperial Collapse Watch

She Was at the Top of the State Department. Now She’s Ready to Talk. Politico. Life is apparently “wonderful” for ‘Toria’ Nuland in case you were concerned, and she is open to returning to government despite her March “retirement.”

O Canada

Israeli flag-raising event going ahead at Toronto city hall Toronto Star

Biden Administration

How Airline Lobbyists Just Got Humiliated BIG by Matt Stoller

Big Oil is doing way better under Biden than under Trump Yahoo Finance

Groves of Academe

Protest and dissent can absolutely push the empire to retreat on Gaza Caitlin Johnstone, Pearls and Irritations

Campus protest crackdowns claim to be about antisemitism – but they’re part of a rightwing plan The Guardian

What My Students and I Learned in Jail After Protesting on the UTD Campus D Magazine


9 students facing suspension after Bobst demonstration, PSC says Washington Square News

University of Alberta:

Hundreds return to campus after University of Alberta, EPS dismantle pro-Palestine encampment Edmonton Journal



Pro-Palestinian protests continue across Europe Anadolu Agency


More Than 180 Harvard Faculty Sign Letter Urging Garber to End Pro-Palestine Encampment The Crimson

In Defense of Punching Left. The problem with ‘Solidarity.’ Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine. Commentary:

Our Famously Free Press


Three Bob Fergusons now running for governor as race takes turn for the weird Washington State Standard


IRS Audit of Trump Could Cost Former President More Than $100 Million ProPublica

Trump nixes Haley for VP Axios

The Supremes

Justices Thomas, Alito complain about ‘nastiness’ and ‘imperiled’ freedom of religion USA Today


Boeing plane carrying 85 people catches fire and skids off the runway in Senegal, injuring 10 Associated Press


AI chatbots turn conspiracy theorists into skeptics through dialogue ZME Science. But what if the conspiracy theory, or SCAD, happens to be true?

Sports Desk

Sports Is Betting It All On Gambling Defector

Police State Watch

California is spending more on fewer inmates. Why isn’t Newsom closing more prisons? Cal Matters

Financial aid for California students takes a hit in Gavin Newsom’s new budget proposal Cal Matters

Zeitgeist Watch

Ex-Fatburger CEO accused of using company money for Rolls Royce Phantom, other items in $47M scheme ABC7

Class Warfare

Steve Albini, the Facilitator Tribune. “Albini, who has died aged 61, was one of the most uncompromising figures to ever defend art against its corruption by market forces, and for musicians to be considered as workers who deserved the full fruits of their labour.”

How Can Labor Win at Scale? Labor Politics

Today, We Remember Striking Workers in Occupied Europe Jacobin

How revolutions happen: Trotsky on party and class Counterfire

Fall of Civilizations: The histories of greatness and ruin that mirror modern decay Middle East Eye

The mystery and magic of Petra Wrong Side of History

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “Eurovision’s Songs of Shame”

    You notice this trend going through lots of western organizations. The ICC gives out an arrest warrant for Putin on some very dubious grounds. But when it comes time for an arrest warrant for Israeli leaders, it all starts falling apart. The Olympic committee bans the Russian contingent and seeks to humiliate the individual Russians athletes that will go while the Mayoress of Paris says that they are not welcome. Meanwhile, the Israeli team is packing their bags to go to Paris. And here you have Eurovision also banning the Russian artists – while welcoming the Israeli artist who wants to sing a song about the Hamas attack. Boy, didn’t that blow up in their faces. Every time the Israeli entrant sang, you could hear the boos coming from the audience. People weren’t standing for it and for Sweden it became a PR nightmare. So it is with great interest that I will wait to see how the Israeli team are greeted when they march into the stadium at the opening ceremony in Paris next month. By then the Israelis will probably doing fighting and yet more massacres in Rafah and people will be watching.

        1. Steve H.

          I should’ve said, this is video from a cellphone at the event.

          Also, needs confirmation, but:

          : Eden Golan, who represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest 2024, has been placed on Ukraine’s notorious Mirotvorets website for participating in a children’s song competition in Crimea back when she was just 12 years old.

        1. Benny Profane

          First time I’ve bothered to watch any of it, considering present times. Awful. No offense to 15 year old girls, but, music for 15 year old girls.

          1. digi_owl

            This time round i found myself pondering how much they may act as a mirror of the society, and social strata, they came from.

            Or maybe i have just gotten sensitive to such things in recent years.

      1. Emma

        Had Eurovision produced any tolerable winners since ABBA?

        (Checks Wikipedia entry…nope). It really is just an excuse for the Balts, Ukraine, and Israel to pretend to real countries, ain’t it?

        1. Polar Socialist

          Tolerable is such a flexible word… I think winners like L’oiseau et l’enfant, Ein bißchen Frieden and Amar Pelos Dois are way better than that boogie-woogie ditty.

          On the other hand, the winner is very, very rarely the best song of the lot. Like Rúzsa Magdi’s Aprocska Blues (9th), Urban Symphony’s Rändajad (3rd), Hanna Pakarinen’s Leave Me Alone (17th!), Amandine Bourgeois’ L’enfer et moi (23rd!!) or Barbara Pravi’s Voilà (2nd). Both Cornelia Jakobs (Hold Me Closer) and Sam Ryder (Space Man) deserved win in 2022 way, way more than that ridiculous Ukrainian crap.

        2. digi_owl

          It has much the same issue as film reviews etc. The jury is looking at the technical of the composition and the performance, not how “popular” it may be.

          And that is before you take into account the inescapable political elements.

  2. diptherio

    Re: The mystery and magic of Petra

    Flowerdew’s case would become one of the most-well known examples of westerners claiming to have memories of past lives, an occurrence commonplace in cultures which accept reincarnation, but unusual among those from Abrahamic traditions.

    I have to quibble with this a bit. In reading Gershom Scholem’s book about Sabbatai Zevi, it was brought to my attention that belief in reincarnation was a common Jewish belief for a long time. I had come across some Hasidic stories in the past that involved reincarnation, but thought they were the exceptions. Turns out, rabbis writing to each other in the 17th century discussing the messiah’s arrival took it as given that reincarnation was a thing that happened and part of the normal course of events. In fact, it seems like it was such a commonplace belief that it rarely got mentioned in texts, as it was just taken as given. Not sure when (or even if) that part of the belief system fell into disuse but, historically, at least one of the Abrahamic traditions did include reincarnation in its belief system.

    1. Lena

      For a fictionalized account of ‘false messiah’ Sabbatai Zevi’s influence on the Jews of Eastern Europe, I recommend Isaac Bashevis Singer’s book “Satan in Gorey”. It provides fascinating insight into shtetl life during that time.

      1. gk

        Herzl was accused of being a new Shabbtai Zvi. So when he wrote his (hilariously bad) novel Altneuland, he has a performance of a new opera about Zvi at the Haifa opera. Like a bad Viennese critic, he describes the plot of the first two acts, but focuses more and more on the social scene in the intervals. As a result, we never find out how the opera ends…

  3. Wukchumni

    Sports Is Betting It All On Gambling Defector
    I cashed my first bet @ the Pomona fair racetrack when I was 13 (Quite A Day was the steed, it went off @ 26-1 and I bet $2 to show and it paid $13.60) and it was off to the races!

    During high school I was a numismatist’s apprentice in Arcadia, just a few miles from Santa Anita and an easy get. 3 of my high school teachers were RTD’s (race track degenerates) who regaled me with tales of hitting a $1462.30 exacta on a $5 bet (anything over 300-1 was taxable, thus getting in under the wire was a double win of sorts) but when I went to the track with them, they couldn’t pick a winner to save themselves, they were awful @ the game.

    In theory you needed to be 18, but nobody cared @ the racetrack, and 21 in Nevada casinos, but again it was more of a suggested age than anything else, if you had money to wager-you’re in!

    I moved to Lake Tahoe in the mid 80’s to address a skiing problem-which resolved itself (I needed a winter of skiing to really learn the game-mission accomplished) and the idea that my car had casino cruise control meant that anytime I was near a house of chance it would veer into the casino parking lot, and being a man of action I might be ensconced @ a blackjack table for 33 hours, and I suffered from the gambler’s usual fate in that I bet too much when I was losing and not enough when winning, compounded by the idea that my bankroll was maybe 1/10,000th of the firepower the casino had, they could simply outlast me.

    I haven’t gambled in over 30 years aside from the occasional visit to the horse races where I might bet $5 to $10 on a race, or the occasional lottery ticket when it hits a billion, I think I bet around $23 last year, to give you an idea of how the mighty gambler has fallen.

    To be able to gamble back in the day, you had to travel a fair distance and most importantly, you had to be there.

    None of that matters now, you can get a bet down while sitting on the crapper in the privacy of your home, and a funny thing in regards to gambling addicts, they don’t look any different than those not afflicted, you’d never know by looking at them that there is a problem, and America we have a huge problem on our hands.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’ve seen close family members fall to the gambling bug and it is weird to see a normally rational person just become a crazy person. One would gamble so much money into poker machines that to get themselves out of the hole that they were digging for themselves, that they had to win at least two jackpots on the same night to do so. Glad to hear that you did not fall by the wayside or else we would have never gotten to know you here and who knows where you would have ended up. Not a good thought that.

      1. Michael Hudson

        At UMKC one of our students did a study of how families went bankrupt in the early 2000s. Most of us expected it to be in real estate, but it turned out to be gambling in the boats on the river.
        The families that lost were so desperate that they knew the odds were against them, but felt the winning was the only possible way to meet their debts. They hoped that God might see that they were good people, and would help them win.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I see that the Ukrainian government has a problem with the amount of gambling that their soldiers are doing. About 9 out of 10 soldiers on the front line have gambling problems. I guess that those soldiers figure that they have nothing to lose and maybe if they win big, that they can buy their way out-

          ‘The measures developed by the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (SNBO) include making online casinos limit the amount of time and money that can be spent, as well as a ban on multiple accounts. It also introduces a state monitoring system for online gambling and orders a government electronic communications watchdog to block all websites granting illegal access to the activity.’

          In addition, the National Bank of Ukraine has banned banks and pawnshops from accepting military gear like thermal imagers and drones as collateral for loans to soldiers who use the money for gambling purposes-

        2. Lambert Strether

          > They hoped that God might see that they were good people, and would help them win.

          Same logic with Covid, no doubt. “Infect thy neighbor as thyself.”

    2. Benny Profane

      The subtitle, “selling cigarettes on your phone”, is perfect.

      I too experienced gambling in South Tahoe when I was first there in the nineties, and thought, huh, this is a fun way to enjoy apre ski hours. Fortunately, the next time I returned I was repelled by the cigarette smoke and general depressing ambiance of hanging out with gamblers. I’m glad I never got the bug. It’s a shame what money has done to sports, and now they’re diving into the deep end with gambling without considering how all that will kill all trust in final scores. Shame. Turning on the game use to be the last refuge. Now they want a few hundred a year for the privilege, and the gambling ads come fast and furious. Bye bye.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        i never caught the bug, either…altho a severe and lifelong lack of money sure helped a lot.
        Wife’s Familia are all gamblers to one degree or another…few of them seem to be the problem kind…but they’ve infected the boys.
        Eldest went with Wife’s cousin and entourage to Vegas last year, and lost his shirt…hopefully that cured him.

    3. Lee

      I’ve known a couple of serious horse race handicappers, and one sports bettor who made decent but not spectacular livings. What they did looked a lot like hard, number crunching work to me.

    4. Cas

      Ralph Nader did a segment on internet gambling last Jan. The guest spoke of the deliberate targetting of school children and the strong lobby that the gambling industry has in place. The Sports Betting article is good but I think the writer is optomistic that government will intervene. We’ve seen the opposite: I remember when gambling was illegal, thus creating Las Vegas, now it is increasingly legal in multiple forms. Anyway, it’s a good discussion and worth a listen.

      1. Benny Profane

        Let’s not forget that Trump blew his very substantial inheritance in AC, and he actually owned the casinos! Well, him and the Philly mob.

    5. Dean

      I have a hypothesis that the recently resurrected “off-season” (American) football league is in direct response to the online/app betting environment. It couldn’t quite take off before.

      There is a need for content to fill the airwaves and betting apps.

      Scrolling through espn’s Roku app right now and there’s so many games especially college sports.

      Looking at one game now: Princeton v Boston College women’s lacrosse. (Yes it’s the ncaa playoffs right now but I can’t eliminate the connection in my mind that betting has made this content more valuable).

      Which begs the question: college sports can provide significant content to the online betting maw. Their conference’s tv deals must be more lucrative now too.

    6. Mark Gisleson

      Always thought I was a gambling addict until I read more about what ’70s style antidepressants did to my risk aversion instincts. Never bet on animals though. Growing up on a farm I knew better. Took me a while to figure out betting on humans was the same thing.

    7. Michael Fiorillo

      My uncle was a degenerate gambler on the ponies: my mother would periodically get tearful calls from his wife when he’d lost that month’s mortgage payment, and before he got too sick to do it, the two of them would sweep up discarded tickets at the track and then go through them at home, looking for bets that’s had placed or shown but been accidentally discarded.

      All Horse Players Die Poor was the refrain I grew up hearing.

      1. Wukchumni

        Used to be that there was a 30-35 minute wait to gamble on the ponies in between races, but racetracks have satellite feeds of damn near every racetrack in the world, so you can be in action the whole time you’re there but the horses aren’t.

    8. Janie

      We lived near Tahoe for 15 years of retirement for the skiing and the hiking. Out of town visitors would ask for the best place to gamble. Our reply: no idea; if you like to gamble, you shouldn’t live here. However, we can discuss buffets.

  4. flora

    The MSM is not reporting how bad Canada’s Online Harms Act is and it is not reporting the equally awful WHO pandemic treaty’s terrible provisions.
    Jimmy Dore interviews Meryl Nass about the WHO’s proposed Pandemic Treaty to be voted on this month by appointed, not unelected WHO representatives. utube, ~40 minutes.

    The WHO Is Seizing SWEEPING Global Powers w/ Dr. Meryl Nass

    If the Online Harms Act sounds bad wait ’til you learn the details about the WHO’s proposal.

      1. Verifyfirst

        I have not had the spoons to follow the Pandemic Treaty stuff, I just have been assuming that whatever they agree to is not going to be followed when the rubber hits the road. Politicians in individual countries–who would have to implement and enforce WHO pronouncements–are not going to cede authority in a crisis to WHO, especially now, after they each did whatever they wanted re: Covid and WHO proved itself to be anything other than a light in the darkness. The Treaty will more likely have as much effect as the CDC’s pandemic guidebooks, written before Covid and carefully left on the shelf when the actual event happened.

  5. JohnnyGL

    I forgot how much of a douche bag jonathan chait really is. His column provides a wonderful reminder of a crystal clear, shameless conflict of interest.

    He always has plenty of vitriol for teachers unions and is very up front about how his wife is a charter school consultant, but, as he states, it TOTALLY does not impact his judgement at all. Very reassuring.

    The essence of liberalism…nakedly advocating to advance your wife’s destructive choice of career path. Collaborating with billionaire donors all along the way.

    He’s worried about undemocratic protestors exerting ‘undemocratic’ influence over politics, but never about his wealthy sponors getting too influential.

    1. Neutrino

      Another reminder that the world needs an update to the old saying.

      First they came for the honest, objective journalists and I wrote nothing because I was not an honest, objective journalist.

      Then they came for the ink-stained wretches … and I was not an ink-stained wretch

      Next they came for the on-the-take propagandists and stenographers blah blah blah

      Eventually they came for the samizdat and I wrote nothing because my self-identifying PMC elitism gave me a get-out-of scrutiny free card

      And there was nobody left to read, teach reading, think about what was written

    2. Camelotkidd

      A good rule of thumb is that whatever Chait says–do the opposite.
      He’s the perfect weathervane of wrongness, much like Thomas Friedman

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Ever since he wrote “Why I’m a Peeliever” (yes, he really did) about why we should believe the Trump Pee Tape Story, I’ve considered him beneath Friedman, which is really saying something.

        @McResistance media at its worst.

    3. Amfortas the Hippie

      i rarely bother with Chait/Childe Jonathan anymore.
      just gets me blood up, and theres already enough that does that, these days.
      the part of this missive that makes me want to chase him down the street is how it is just assumed that voting and such is the way to go to enact the change we need.
      this in a time when both parties engage almost openly with shenanigans with every aspect of the electoral machinery…from ballot access to even the right to vote.
      is it those dastardly republicants that are trying everything under the sun to keep Jill, RFKjr and even Trump as far away from the ballot as possible?
      and thats just high level national politics.
      at the more local level…its the Dems who subvert democracy literally all the time in Texas…even while they remain out of power and supine before the rabid right.
      Chait is always and forever blind to all of this…of course, its never in the MSM, so how would he know,lol?

  6. chuk jones

    Palantir CEO Alex Karp chimes in: “The peace activists are actually the war activists, and we’re the peace activists.!”

    An infection? Sound facistic IMO.

    1. ajc

      If Orwell’s spinning corpse was a rotisserie chicken, it would be a pile of ash by now.

    2. southern appalachian

      Sounded to me that Miley was claiming that the US is guilty of war crimes. And has been for a long time. That and Karps statement seem remarkable to me.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Update: Trump nixes Haley for VP”

    Well of course he would. When he was President, he made the mistake of bringing in hard-core Neocons like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo into his team and they ran rampant and mostly out of his control. So why would he bring in another radical person like Neocon Nikki into his government in his second term? She would use her VP to white-ant him in his own government with the full support of the DC deep state. It would be like having another Cheney as the VP.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      It’s clear Trump has not read the Godfather. Don Corleone would have advised him to “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. But then again the Don never met an enemy quite like the deep state. My take however is it does not matter, there is not a single unpoisoned chalice out there, Trump might surround himself with a “better” team this time around, but one meeting with the CIA, where a subtle threat or two or three would be made against Dear Ivanka and the rest of Trump’s family, and Trump will fold.

      I’ve said it before, only nature can fix America. The rest are just kayfabes.

      1. i just dont like the gravy

        I’ve said it before, only nature can fix America. The rest are just kayfabes.

        Based on sea surface temperatures this will hopefully start happening this year.

      2. Big River Bandido

        The rule about enemies only applies to those capable of harming you. Haley simply isn’t a threat to him.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          And it NEVER applies to someone who only gets ahead by doing you in.

          You look at the horizon, try to figure out which Cabinet slot is most hazardous and offer that one to Nikki Haley so you can fire her later when you’ve figured out how to handle whichever mess you saddled her with.

      3. Mikel

        Trump has had casinos, been a devoloper in NY (dealing with construction), a regular at fast paced clubs with dubious ownership, and Roy Cohn as a mentor.
        Sure he’s familiar with the that type of criminal world…and the law enforcement agencies around them.

    2. Emma

      He needs assassination insurance. He should probably just bring in RFKJr since they both fueled by Zionist money and faux anti establishment branding (while being super establishment in actuality). Plus they can hang out swapping tanning bed tips and entertainment industry gossip.

        1. Emma

          I used to think that, but she seems cunning enough and deep state connected enough to initiate her own attempt. She’s definitely auditioning for it and may have passed on the RFKJr VP slot to make a play for it.

        2. Mark Gisleson

          Tulsi for Secy of Defense. That would quickly and more accurately establish who she really is.

          I’ve been Tulsi-curious forever and I still haven’t figured her out. That’s either really really good, or …

          1. Amfortas the Hippie

            i like her mainly these days because she’s hot…and has that smoky voice.
            her total flub on the israel thing really damaged her integrity with me.
            but i prolly aint voting again, anyways…so whatever.
            its gonna come apart no matter who gets into the oval or the national observatory.

    3. Benny Profane

      Maybe he’s saving Haley from that warm bucket of piss, and saving Secretary of State or even Defense for her. It’s not as though he seemed unhappy with Pompeo.

  8. Robert Hahl

    Re: Boeing

    These airplanes remind me of the cars that Detroit was selling us in the late 1980’s. I had a Plymouth that wouldn’t run for the first ten minutes, stalled after every red light.

    1. The Rev Kev

      They really killed the golden goose here. All they had to do was use their deep bench of aeronautical engineers and experienced workers to turn out reliable, safe aircraft and sit back and take in the orders. Instead, they got rid of those aeronautical engineers and experienced workers to goose their financial quarters on Wall Street and now more and more people are coming to understand that any new aircraft built by Boeing has inbuilt booby traps built into them. It is not just the Boeing 737 MAXs that are problematical. There is no joy taken in this criticism as once it was a great company that brought us such noteworthy planes like the Boeing 707 and the Boeing 747 jumbo jet. Now anything with the name Boeing is suspect.

      1. chuk jones

        I hope the Starship uses better engineers. Supposed to launch with people this week…

          1. John

            Of course Boeing got rid of the engineers. Why would an aircraft manufacturer need people who know how to design and build airplanes. It clearly needed “finance engineers.” The finance weenies who took over are one-trick ponies. Now that they face real world difficulties that cannot be waved away by “creative accounting” what ever are they to do?

            I am reluctant to board something made by Boeing.

      2. digi_owl

        Every last publicly traded company go down that route sooner or later.

        Institutional “investors” buys control of the board, board introduces a yes man management, the share value soars while the products and services deteriorate.

        I wonder what will happen is that the military branch of Boeing will either be spun of into a separate entity, or sold of to Lockheed Martin under duress.

      1. Wukchumni

        The door never fell off the Wukchumni family hand me down puke green (manufacturer’s claim: Avocado) 1974 Pinto.

  9. Tom67

    Re: German defense minister and 3% of GDP. Ridiculous and smoke and mirrors, that´s the word. First thing the German goverment did, when suddenly claiming Germany needed to get ready for war, was scrap the planned French-German fighter jet and instead ordering that US desaster, the F35. Artillery shell production at Rheinmetall (owned by Blackrock, Vanguard et al) is supposedly “soon” to be in the hundreds of thousands. But at prices that would bankrupt the defense budget if it were true.
    There´s a silver lining in all this: if they really seriously believed in the Russian threat they would act completely differently. It shows you it is all for internal consumption and for the enrichment of some shareholders. The Russian threat needs to be hyped so no more questions about Nordstream and deindustrialisation. No war – and certainly not with Russia – on the horizon. Our goverment – the most unpopular in post war history – is running scared of the population and a nice external threat is their last refuge. They are blasting their “preparation” for meeting the Russian threat all over the airwaves and it is working. The defense minister is the most poular member of the government. The question is for how long it will work. They sure are praying that there´s no coup d´etat in Ukraine and a new goverment that acquieces to Russia´s demands. That would be most awkward…

    1. ilsm

      The Kiev government terms out the week of 20 May.

      Thence, Kiev will be Saigon, American puppet running the fake “democracy” threatened by the enemy.

      Except this instance US’ enemy has nukes.

      1. Tom67

        It´s total short termism by the US and its German vassal. Survive until the next day and hope for a miracle. I don´t think for one minute the Kremlin takes the West´s threats seriously. The Russians are patiently biding their time. Time is their friend and the West´s enemy. The Russian threat is purely for domestic consumption. There´s a limit to the life time of a bogey man.

  10. Henry Moon Pie

    Zia Gallina, the “subversive farmer,” has another beautiful piece up at Resilience that combines her fine prose with lovely pictures of her farm. Here’s an enticing excerpt:

    The farmer’s personal garden, the orto—a mix of fruit trees, vegetables, grape vines, and flowers—is always next to the house. For most of us, it’s right outside the kitchen door. We drink our morning cup of coffee in the garden, sit there for most meals, our children play there and it is there we have a glass of wine while the bats come out at night. It is the most visited room in our house. When the poppies and wild carrot seeds blew in and settled themselves among the potatoes and artichokes in the orto, I left them. They reproduce in larger numbers every spring and so far the fruit trees and herbs and vegetables all share the space and seem to thrive on the company. Poppies are joyful. They bloom continuously all spring. Soul food.

    When I was a child, our little family would frequently head out on spring and summer Sundays to view fields where the anhydrous ammonia and other chemical fertilizers that my dad sold had been applied. Such recreation was not unique to our clan. Farmers generally liked to take drives to see their colleagues’ handiwork. The dark green of a recently fertilized field of corn drew positive reviews as did straight rows and weedless spaces in between. Order, uniformity, even precision were the marks of a “good” farmer, revealing that the standard for “good” was maximum human control of the environment.

    Zia has a different approach:

    Plants do not line up in neat rows in the natural world. Nor does a tree live in isolation. On our entire farm there is only one lone tree, a walnut in our hay field. I suspect it was not always alone, that all its brethern were cut down for firewood. The natural inclination of trees—like people—is to all hang out together, keeping their kids close by dropping their seeds directly underneath. Plants exist in guilds; in groups of trees and understory shrubs, herbaceous plants, mosses, fungus… Yes, they share a liking for similar conditions but that would be too simplistic an explanation. They cooperate because they provide one another with the shade or the nutrients, the insect resistance or the moisture they would not have if they were flying solo. Trees are the essential ingredient. In the mountains, we are all farming on an incline. The trees hold the soil from erosion, capture and release water as needed, and participate in a complex nutrient exchange with their surrounding neighbors. They keep the immediate area cooler in the summer and serve as vital windbreaks.

    Her idea is that the farmer lives in harmony with the environment she cultivates, welcoming the stray poppy seeds that settle and sprout wherever the Tao might lead them. Rows? When did you ever see Nature plant in monocropped rows? It all reminds me of Wendell Berry’s profound and wise statement:

    We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. And this has been based on the even flimsier assumption that we could know with any certainty what was good even for us…We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn what is good for it.

    Those farmers I grew up around were not bad people. In those days, they were still intimately connected to Nature, hunting and fishing on their land even as it was being poisoned. But they were seduced by the Enlightenment idea that Nature is here for the exploiting, the extracting, even the torturing for her “secrets.” To not assert control over the environment was to be lazy, incompetent, a failure. Until we change our assumption that “what is good for us is good for Nature,” our alienation from the planet that has shaped, really created us will continue to worsen until it destroys us.

    1. Judith

      Hi Henry. Good to see you.

      Nice farmer story. Wendell Berry would feel at home.

      In Edgar Anderson’s classic book “Plants, Man, and Life”, which I bought new years ago for $1.95, he shows a diagram of a Mayan garden, a kitchen garden really, with all sorts of plants growing together but not really in rows. One of his arguments is dump heaps might be where gardens originated. Mixing up plants, as opposed to monoculture, is a good way to prevent pest infestation as well.

      Regarding black walnut: the tree secrets a toxin to prevent other plants from growing nearby. Some desert plants do this as well, to ensure access to enough water.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘with all sorts of plants growing together but not really in rows.’

        You must be talking about the Three Sisters which I find fascinating-

        ‘During pre-Columbian times Native Americans, mainly tribes from North America and Mexico, grew corn with beans and squash as companion plants which became known as the Three Sisters. Corn provides a natural pole for bean vines to climb. Beans fix the nitrogen with their roots, which improves the overall fertility of the plot by providing nitrogen to the following years of corn. Bean vines also help to physically stabilize the corn plants, making them less vulnerable to blowing over in the wind. Shallow-rooted squash vines become a living mulch, shading emerging weeds and preventing soil moisture from evaporating, thereby improving the overall crops chances of survival in dry years. The spiny squash plants also help discourage predators from approaching the corn and beans. The large amount of crop residue from this planting combination can be incorporated back into the soil at the end of the season, to build up the organic matter and improve its structure. Corn, beans, and squash also complement each other nutritionally.’

    1. Emma

      A fair assessment of Chinese socialism is to compare it to cohorts such as India and Nigeria, not to what Westerners living under the economic privileges accumulated from centuries of imperialism (and cryto-imperialism enforced by IMF enforced under development) thinks is adequate. As the Chinese would admit themselves, there’s much more to do on reducing income inequality, but they’ve certainly done a lot already.

      As it is, Chinese elderly are by and large doing quite well, living longer and far healthier than American elderly cohorts. They’re often very closely integrated into the lives of their children and grandchildren. In wealthier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, retirees often have free municipal services such as home visits and meal deliveries, low cost enrichment classes and activities, discounted transportation and park entrance fees, and pensions that comfortably support their retirement including traveling.

      It’s trickier for migrant workers since their home pensions are much lower than the wealthy cities where they worked. However, it should be noted that most migrant workers save substantial amounts towards a retirement nest egg, a paid off home, and paid off major expenses (children’s weddings and education). So while the local pension is meager, it would likely be enough to let them have an adequate diet and daily needs. The couple in the story seem to be working because they’re able bodied and able to work renumerative jobs to further build their retirement nestegg and possibly subsidize their children.

      1. Emma

        What do westerners know about all the countries that they freely comment about?

        Their knowledge about the country is generally limited to whatever Western news organs (‘Reuters’) tells them and at best a couple books on the topic (usually by Western academics or journos) or maybe from having one or two acquaintances from the country (nevermind that people who leave their home country for the West are atypical and usually highly hostile to the current ‘regime’).

        So their sources of information are the people that they no longer trust for reporting on their own country and the equivalent of having an American who defected to the GDR or Cuba represent the totality of America.

        1. IMOR

          To your last: Hah! If only those had been our reps to the world in those years!
          I think it inverts your point. More like the way we took Werner and the Project Paper Clip guys, or Bautista’s policemen and mob tools as ambassadors / representative of the nations they left.

          1. Emma

            I agree that the latter is far more apt as to good/evil but would require Americans to understand Operation Paper Clip and the CIA’s extensive ties to the Miami Cubans. I was responding to a Reuters article, after all. Plus I was trying to invert it to the West and people who leave the West are typically the sensible ones.

      2. bonks

        I can vouch for the retirees in Shanghai. The women get to retire at 55, men a few years later, collect their pensions every month, enjoy subsidised bus trips just to pass the time with no destination in mind, gossip after lunch then pick up their grandchildren from school before making food for the family.

        My housekeeper from neighbouring Anhui – modest as her income may be by SH standard – has a home back in her village, and a grownup son who has his own family and property.

        My office cleaner and her husband began their day at 4am, then retire for the day by 3pm. Meanwhile I get to work at 10AM and often don’t head home until midnight, sometimes the next morning (that’s how I found out they begin at 4AM) so one could argue I’m the one with the lower quality of life, even if I love my job.

      3. CA

        “A fair assessment of Chinese socialism is to compare it to cohorts such as India and Nigeria…”

        August 4, 2014

        Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, India, Brazil, Nigeria and South Africa, 1977-2022

        (Percent change)

        August 4, 2014

        Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, India, Brazil, Nigeria and South Africa, 1977-2022

        (Indexed to 1977)

        January 15, 2018

        Life Expectancy at Birth for China, India, Brazil, Nigeria and South Africa, 1977-2021

        January 30, 2018

        Infant Mortality Rate for China, India, Brazil, Nigeria and South Africa, 1977-2021

      4. Vicky Cookies

        The phrases “by and large ” and “often” seem to be shouldering quite a heavy load. First, you cite no sources to evidence your assertions; second, don’t those terms obscure class divisions? Forgive the ultra-leftistm, but how, given that private property still reigns in China, can their government be said to be working on a socialist project? At this point, wouldn’t Lenin’s définition of imperialism apply more?

        1. Emma

          I don’t forgive the ultra leftism. Western leftists strongly tend towards idealism where no actual existing socialist country passes their purity tests, while they continue to live in countries built on the legacies of colonialism and imperialism. In doing so, they are the unwitting tools of Western imperialists in undermining the accomplishments and positives of socialism and upholding an impossible standard for socialism, thus ensuring that nothing good ever happens.

          So stop criticizing countries that are at least trying to pursue a developmental and socialist path to the benefit of their populace and focus on problems closer to home.

          The Chinese never claim that they’re Communist already, just that they’re working towards socialism. That require development of their economy and infrastructure first, then figure out how to direct the development towards the control and welfare of the many. Lenin himself signed off on the NEP to strengthen the Soviet economy, despite recognizing the contradictions that it would bring into the system.

        2. Emma

          As for citations. They’re readily available if you want to search for them but I would recommend focusing on genuinely Chinese sources. Migrant workers and treatment of an aging population are both vast topics of academic and popular discussions on China.

          These are not topics of particular interest to me and what I have stated is not disputed within China. You can believe whatever you want, it really doesn’t matter just as my opinions about China doesn’t matter. Whether their doing well or doing poorly, it’s an internal matter for them.

    2. Benny Profane

      Well, it’s not as though China has transitioned over to a domestic consumer economy that can support itself, yet. The west is doing it’s damned best to prevent that, like putting a 100% tariff on their electric cars last week. Forty years ago those cleaners were born to dirt scratching poverty, with zero chance to get out of that state, and would probably be lucky to make it past 60. Let’s see what happens thirty years from now.

      1. Emma

        40 years ago they were materially quite poor but they could still expect to live rent free in their own homes, have access to at least 6 years of education that covers the basics of literacy and numeracy, have access to basic medical care, and have enough food to eat. Women earned and kept their own wages and were no longer just the possessions of their fathers and husbands. Life expectancy went from 36 in 1949 to 64.4 by 1980.

        I know that the West continuously malign the period between 1949 and 1980 as some kind of hell world of unendingly struggle sessions and economic disasters, but there was also a massive upgrade in human capital and infrastructure that happened during those years.

      2. CA

        “Well, it’s not as though China has transitioned over to a domestic consumer economy that can support itself, yet…”

        China however easily supports itself. China is already years past ending severe poverty through the country and incomes are increasing rapidly especially in relatively poorer rural areas. China has increasingly comprehensive social insurance coverage, with old-age insurance covering over 1 billion people. Infant mortality is lower than that of America and life expectancy as high and increasing.

        January 15, 2018

        Life Expectancy at Birth for United States and China, 1977-2021

        January 30, 2018

        Infant Mortality Rate for United States and China, 1977-2021

    3. Neutrino

      Steve Martin had it easy. He only had to get up at 7:00 AM to go to the drugstore to sell Flair pens. /s

    4. CA

      May 4, 2024

      China’s basic old-age insurance covers 1.07 bln people

      BEIJING — The number of people covered by basic old-age insurance in China had reached 1.07 billion by the end of March 2024, official data showed.

      This figure represented an increase of 14.34 million people compared with the same period last year, according to data released by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

      By the end of March 2024, 240 million people were covered by unemployment insurance, an increase of 4.49 million year on year, the data revealed.

      The number of people covered by work-related injury insurance had reached 290 million by the end of March, a year-on-year increase of 5.58 million people…

    5. CA


      May 8, 2024

      The elderly in China will live a long and miserable life,” said Fuxian Yi, a demographer who is also a senior scientist at University of Wisconsin-Madison. “More and more migrant workers are returning to the countryside, and some are taking low-paid jobs, which is a desperate way for them to save themselves.”

      I find no reason to think this is or will be so, and rather notice the revealing bitterness of the language. Along with Chinese social-benefits programs that cover over 1 billion and are being continually expanded, China has long had a very, very high national saving level. The level of savings as a portion of GDP in China has for many years been significantly over 40%. Older Chinese overwhelmingly have homes. Community benefits for older Chinese are extensive and continually expanding…

      1. c_heale

        Maybe he’s realised that he’s living a long and miserable life and is projecting…

        1. Emma

          Unless you’re Ken Hammond, you can’t be a pro-PRC professor in an American university. He’s just adding a negative spin to the situation to keep his academic career viable. (I may be exaggerating here but it does seem like we’ve moved from Sinophilic profs 2-3 decades ago to Sinophobia profs today. Like that guy at Cornell who couldn’t even speak the language but spend all his time dissing China.)

          In a country of 1.4 billion people experiencing very rapid economic/social changes, a lot of contradictions and oddball situations are bound to come up, some of which will take some time to unwind and resolve. Just look at the housing market – everybody has agreed for 20 years that it is overpriced and causing affordability issues, but it keeps going up and timid attempts to solve the issues keeps getting beaten back. Maybe those time they’ll be serious about use tax and public housing, or maybe they are hoping the freeze the market price and hope inflation eventually soft land the problem.

          I was surprised that the Reuters article picked out a janitor couple making 4,000 yuan a month each. That’s actually a pretty good salary for fairly light unskilled work and they would likely be able to save half or more of the money assuming they can secure inexpensive housing. 4,000 yuan is what very hard working delivery workers make in major cities, that’s an extremely tough life, especially during sweltering summers (Shanghai summers are bad, but river valley cities like Chongqing and Wuhan are infinitely worse).

          I also noted that they spoke of not being a burden to their children (who are likely in their 40s). This is very common in China where parents will sacrifice greatly to give their kids the best opportunities. A lot of the officially retired ladies with Shanghai hukou will continue to work, not because they couldn’t comfortably retire on their pension but to help their kid buy a business or flat or with educational expenses. Once they have grandkids, then they will retire and commit themselves to hovering over the grandkids 24/7.

  11. barncat

    WRT Gaza’s flee Rafah: I speculate the Israeli plan may be to concentrate the Gazans in the smallest possible area, then use a neutron bomb on them.

    1. Emma

      Why do that, when they’ve laid out a total siege and is quickly starving them all to death while DC is distracting us with definitions of ‘major invasion’ and ‘genocide’? The ones who survive can be shipped off to Rwanda as slave labor for their own genocidal mines in the Congo. (Remember that the US is supporting multiple genocidal regimes and now is a great opportunity to feed US tax dollars and trafficked humans to one of the other genocidal regimes.)

      And the ghouls in DC and Brussels will be just as happy to ship you or I off, when we become inconvenient and there’s enough cover to act. Some of them want to do it to protesting Western students now. And your cable news watching elderly relatives probably agree with them.

      1. barncat

        Perhaps because time and narrative are running out faster than the Gazans are starving.

        1. John

          Not all the “elderly relatives” watch cable news nor do they disagree with the “inconvenient”. Your brush is too broad.

          1. Emma

            Thank you and apologies. Certainly didn’t imply all elderly watch cable news or are supportive of Israel. I am wrong to give that impression.

            But a disconcertingly large number of people over 45 so fall into that camp, or at least seem very comfortable with saying “it’s complicated” to salve their conscience. There’s a lot of people in my life whose opinions on anything I will never take seriously again.

      2. ChrisFromGA

        The Institute for the Study of War calls it a “precise operation” thereby proving that they are the captured stooge entity we knew they were.

        If you look close you can see Blinkens hand up their [family blog] and moving their lips.

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘James Jackson
    Germany’s biggest newspaper has printed pictures of lecturers who signed an open letter against the brutal eviction of a student protest camp, calling them perpetrators’

    The German media can be pretty bad at the best of times but now they are into doxxing? Seriously? And they label those anti-genocide demonstrations as Jewish hatred demonstrations? It’s so strange how nowadays that if you do not support a totally foreign country, that that is a sign that you are a traitor to your own.

        1. i just dont like the gravy

          Don’t forget the prions! Airborne Mad Cow Event is my new punk band.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I can’t see any solution there. This is all a result of industrial cattle farming and the scale of operations means that any State government organization won’t touch this thing. I suppose that the owners of those feedlots are not worried by those neighbours and figure that if they are forced to sell out because of the bio-hazards, then they can buy those ranches up and turn them into industrial cattle feed lost as well. And this all works – until the water gives out that is.

      1. TomDority

        It’s the meatpacker giants Cargill Inc., JBS SA, Tyson Foods Inc., National Beef Packing Co., and Swift Beef Co. who have consolidated and operated together to divide-up the and control the prices for cattle, and who escaped 1.25 billion settlement by getting a judge friendly with the Tyson group to overturn the fine – Sherman act violations. So it ain’t the feed lot’s that control their own destiny but, the packers who set the prices and select who they buy from – the producers (cattlemen and feed lots) used to get 75 to 80% of the take and packers 20-25%…. now it is the exact opposite – you got the same thing on the chicken and bird side of things where if you are under contract with say Tyson – you got to produce the product at contract price to their standard – and even doing so – you may lose your farm or feedlot unless you sell-out to some one bigger and more connected – so your overcrowded lots is just a side effect of monopoly and financialized business. It ain’t the lots fault it’s the packers fault

    2. Neutrino

      California has that sprawling feedlot operation in the San Joaquin Valley by Coalinga right next to the interstate freeway. You can smell it for miles, so you are probably breathing some of that aroma, too. Think of that as the chaser after you get a whiff of the oil fields further south.

      Locals would say to drive at night where there is less wind and the lower temperatures reduce the effects.

    3. Daryl

      Having driven near Lubbock, I can confirm the whole thing smells like cowshit for miles.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Isn’t “That’s the smell of money” the frequent retort of local boosters when the fragrance of the local mill/refinery/feedlot, etc. is mentioned?

        1. Wukchumni

          Bumper sticker you see on the rear echelon of vehicles on occasion in the Central Valley:

          ‘Dairying Is Not A Crime’

  13. Lunker Walleye

    The New Yorker illustration: I looked up the artist, Nash Weerasekera, and the clear colors in his other work made me wonder if the editors hadn’t opted for the red screen. Perhaps it has also been “posterized” which may account for the aged appearance of the faces. His work reminds me of Alex Katz. So many great links today. Thank you Conor.

  14. NotTimothyGeithner

    Superstition is always an explanation. Rural rabbis weren’t checking in as often with other urban rabbis.

    So you could have the belief but not have it in official religious practices. From the wiki,, it seems the modern Kabala fad comes with the arrival of rural eastern European jews showing up in cities (formerly they were heavily involved in lumber and forest management). Religious leaders are all the same. They need to put on a show. Would you rather hear about living forever or listen to some guy drone on and on, especially if you are unattached to a particular house of worship.

  15. Bugs

    It’s fine to eulogize Steve Albini as a sort of musical genius and his accomplishments were many for the independent music movement. The philosophy was not at first anticapitalist but rather an extension of the straight edge punk movement, with no lawyers, only handshake deals, 10% cut for the label, flat fees for the studio. People who stepped outside and signed with a major to try and make a living were quickly shunned and often lambasted by the man himself in zines and online. But listen to a few of his engineering accomplishments like PJ Harvey’s Rid of Me, Joanna Newsom’s Ys or of course Nirvana’s In Utero and it’s pretty obvious that this was an extremely talented man with a unique vision of how to make musicians sound more true to their idea of the songs and “real” in the recording.

    Now then. The man himself was, until very recently, a repellent, nihilistic curmudgeon who kept company with some pretty awful characters. I won’t say more but I knew these people and am glad that I put plenty of distance between myself and them when I did.

      1. Bugs

        Those quotes and that article are the good side of Steve. I said that I wouldn’t say more and I won’t. I’m glad to see people like that go away to the great beyond. Preferably where he deserves to be.

    1. QuicksilverMessenger

      Re- your second paragraph to add: He was a snob and a put down artist- an ‘everything sucks except for my pristine opinions’ kind of mindset. I grew up in Seattle in the late 80s early 90s and this outlook was the general ethos of the cool music kids at the time. I guess it’s a punk thing. It seems like a very constricted way of approaching music. Albini said something like “Anyone can play notes. There’s no trick”. Really? There is so much good music across all genres – why be such a pr*ck about it?
      And I’m actually not convinced about his ‘production accomplishments’. Cobain and Novoselic didn’t like the In Utero mix. Cobain: “I knew there was something wrong. The whole first week I wasn’t really interested in listening to it at all, and that usually doesn’t happen. I got no emotion from it, I was just numb”. They thought the vocals and the bass were buried. The record was remastered and remixed.

      1. Savita

        QuicksilverMessenger, can you link to where Kurt Cobain said that about In Utero please? I’ve read everything about the creation of that album and never read that perspective.
        The album was not re recorded. Two tracks were remixed, to please the record label. (Heart Shaped Box and All Apologies) So the label could release them as singles
        People wouldn’t be referring to it as a classic example of masterful recording if the whole thing was disposed of, as you suggest (!)

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      Someone somewhere called Albini the first edgelord. While it might not be 100% accurate, it’s not 100% wrong either.

    3. redleg

      Until recently? More like once and always. But he did like to teach his trade even if he was pontificating. His means and methods of recording and mixing drums (in particular) are replicable and sound amazing.

      I missed my chance to record with Albini years ago when the other songwriter in the band found a bargain* to record closer to home. Oh well. The musicians I know that recorded there all had positive experiences even if Steve mocked them during the process. I suppose it all depends on one’s sense of humor.

      * it wasn’t an actual bargain at the end of the process. It cost the same as the Electric quote and we didn’t get Albini’s expertise.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Report from Donbas.”

    It’s funny how on the news here in Oz that when they talk about Crimea or the Donbass, they always say that it is “Russian occupied”. And I do not mean every now or then but every single damn time as if they were under government orders. I do not know if it is the same for the US or the UK TV news. But Scott Ritter has some news for them and it is all bad. He has visited these regions and say that the people there regard themselves as Russian ‘in their hearts, in their souls.’

    Those territories are never coming back to the Ukraine, especially after all the cruelty practiced on them over the years. They are done with the Ukraine.

    1. digi_owl

      They are likely betting on people’s knowledge of the history of the region be lacking.

      1. Feral Finster

        They don’t care. Just as, if Crimea were to somehow fall into Ukraine’s odious lap, they’d cheer on the resultant slaughter with a song on their lips.

    2. LifelongLib

      Here in the U.S. it was generally “Russia’s Unprovoked Invasion” or “Putin’s War”. Recently though I saw “Ukraine’s War With Russia” so maybe there’s some subtle signaling going on…

    3. Grebo

      There is definitely a style guide. The BBC—like most corporate media—always, always said “unprovoked invasion” until one day they all switched to “full-scale invasion”. The insinuation being that Russia started invading in 2014. No doubt that was “unprovoked” too.

    4. gk

      And they always call the Russian SMO “unprovoked”, while nobody (except me) talks about Bush’s unprovoked invasion of Iraq.

  17. antidlc

    More evidence they knew:
    2021 UN Geneva Annual Report

    Page 13:

    Technology and cooperation

    Cooperation within International Geneva led to the refinement and
    sharing of a web-based tool to assess the risk of aerosol
    transmission of COVID-19. CERN developed the COVID Airborne
    Risk Assessment tool and generously provided UN Geneva with
    access to it for use at the Palais des Nations. The tool assesses
    indoor spaces based on a range of key indicators, such as the
    number of people in a room, the type of space it is, the type of
    ventilation and the wearing of masks, to provide a measurement
    of the risk of aerosol transmission. This information can be used
    to help inform health and safety measures.

    All spaces at UN Geneva – especially the new Building H –
    performed highly in the assessments with protective measures in
    place. In its convening role, UN Geneva established an inter
    agency technical working group to coordinate access to the
    COVID Airborne Risk Assessment tool. Since then, an international
    group of experts has been set up by the World Health
    Organization to standardize the approach to airborne risk
    assessment for respiratory pathogens using such tools as the
    COVID Airborne Risk Assessment.

  18. flora

    Did James Carville just compare himself to spaghetti, 80-year-old spaghetti? / ;)

    James Carville is frustrated that Trump is ‘more ahead than he’s ever been’, and that Democrat tactics are ‘not working’:
    “It’s going the wrong way. It’s not working.Everything we’re that throwing is spaghetti at a wall, and none of it is sticking, me included.

    1. Screwball

      I’m guessing as the election gets closer we will hear more about Project 25. From Wiki; Project 25

      There is also Agenda 47. From Wiki; Agenda 47

      We are being warned by none other than The Lincoln Project. Their Tweet;
      Lincoln Project Tweet

      The difference between Project 2025 and Trump’s usual authoritarian ravings is that Project 2025 isn’t an empty threat, it’s a concrete plan that will roll back your rights and put the government in your life. We’ve been warned.

      They are going to scare people into voting blue no matter who. My PMC friends are all in. They are scared to death. If Trump wins it is the end of America as we know it. Trump will become a dictator and there will be no more elections. All because people are too stupid to vote for Biden.

    2. Feral Finster

      Trump is weak, stupid and easily manipulated. However, voters are quite rationally choosing him over Halfwit Joe, because the existing system is so corrupt and beholden to special interests as to be unreformable.

      The only alternative is to Burn It All Down.

      1. flora

        I never thought anyone could make T look like a victim. Really. Braggadocious T, multi-millionaire T as a victim? Impossible. The Dem estab has done the impossible. It’s like they just broke the four-minute mile or something, and not in a good way. / ;)

    3. Glen

      Just astonishing that they are OUT OF IDEAS what to do. It’s all those things they have been BLOCKING for twenty years now. All those, and the really clear demands from the students that are protesting.

      But as Biden clearly explained to Wall St “nothing will fundamentally change.”

      So our DC elites have been running the country pretty much the same way for 40 years now, and well, their empire is disappearing, and the country is in the toilet. Voters are pretty tired of being told to vote for the slightly better toilet, but that’s all Carville is prepared to offer – a slightly better toilet.

      Trump’s gonna make promises that he may not keep, like ending all the wars, but that’s all he needs to do to win.

  19. pjay

    – ‘Campus protest crackdowns claim to be about antisemitism – but they’re part of a rightwing plan’ – The Guardian

    Guardian headlines I don’t recall seeing:

    “Anti-Corbyn crackdowns claim to be about antisemitism – but they’re part of a rightwing plan’ – The Guardian

    Come on, man. This is just getting too easy. The article is actually pretty good, but not as good as the editorial hypocrisy.

  20. Lefty Godot

    The Guardian should know all about weaponizing “antisemitism” crackdowns to further right-wing plans, given their enthusuiastic smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn.

  21. flora

    Russell Brand and Mike Benz on twtr.

    How Did Google get The Tech to create google maps? Get ready to have your mind blown by Mike Benz

    adding: the mil still has classified satellite video image data that if uni scientists want access for their own work they have to pass security checks and keep the computers with access to the data isolated from non-security cleared access. This data is useful for anthropology an ancient archeology studies, for example.

  22. John

    Re: Corporate America never really quit forced labor. The thirteenth amendment in full states:Section 1

    Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    Section 2

    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Forced labor today means prison industries, a source of considerable profit with vanishingly low labor costs. Seems to me that Congress has the power to, at minimum, set the wages for compelled labor in prisons. Earnings of prisoners might be banked for them providing them with “seed money” upon their release. At best this is a palliative. The real solution is to expunge, “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted,” by constitutional amendment. There ought not be forced labor of any kind.

    1. flora

      The one change to the Constitution I’m on board with making is removing the “exception” rule in the 13th Amendment. From that exception flowed chain gangs, private prisons run for profit, and other horrors. See California holding men in prison past their sentencing release dates to use as unpaid forest firefighters, etc.

  23. Frank Little

    Thank you for the kind comments on the photo of Bryce.

    Yesterday I attended commencement for MS and PhD public health students at a major university in the northwest US. A family member was getting their degree. The commencement was specific to the school and in a lecture hall that became stuffy over the hour; I wish I had brought my Aranet. Among everyone present (faculty, student and family/friends), I was literally the only person wearing a mask. Sigh.
    1. a mind-[family blog] (resistance is futile?)
    2. Malpractice?
    3. Engendering ill thoughts (go H5N1!)
    4. Sad that I only have three Airgami masks left
    5. Hope for a sterilizing nasal vaccine

    It’s most appropriate that the Watercooler pandemic section starts with this quote/mantra:

    “I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison

    Thank you Lambert, Yves, and the Naked Capitalism community.

    1. i just dont like the gravy

      Of the few academics I have close contact with, the public health stooges are the most disconnected of all.

      It’s hard to take seriously these “advanced degrees” in a subject that is ostensibly about supporting public well-being when those people who hold them are willfully ignorant of the mass brain damage we are inflicting upon everybody.

    2. Kevin Smith

      I’m switching to N95 masks with exhaust valves, in particular for long flights, long movies or plays. More comfortable, less fogging of glasses. Won’t protect those around me very much, but they have all decided to be unmasked … so they are doing NOTHING to protect me.

      1. Martin Oline

        These types of masks (with exhaust ports) were the only approved type by OSHA for work environments. They said you could only wear them for so many hours because they were concerned with carbon dioxide build up in the users. I mentioned this on Phasebook back in the day and was immediately flamed by all the conformists who accused me of some strange Q-anon bred conspiracy. That was a week before I left the lemmings there and haven’t looked back. Let them have their Darwin awards, I don’t care.

  24. chris

    Random observation I had while teaching someone how to do something with tools yesterday.

    The trick I was showing was one of those things someone taught me, who taught him, who had been taught by someone else, and we could probably trace back the chain of properly using a spud wrench for several hundred years before we reached the originator of the tool and the first person to discover this particular use for aligning bolted connections properly. And it made me think about how much craft and skill with tools is associated with both memory and experience. Whereas digital technology as sold to the masses these days is sold as something evergreen, where the person using it only has to apply their unique skill or knowledge with it in order to use it just as well as anyone else. And then the next patch or update will roll through which obviates some of what was done before until you have a mash of code with various dead ends and calls to useless objects or references that people editing the code may not have any concept of why they existed in the first place.

    I realize that good code can be elegant and well written software that can be maintained and easily followed is every bit as much craft as anything like building heirloom quality furniture. But both of those tasks require experience, practiced skill, shared stories from past failures, in other words memory. Both collective and individual.

    Which made me wonder if one of the reasons craft type jobs, and an approach to mastery of a skill, has been pushed out of modern western society. Because a reliance on memory tends to foster a kind of conservatism. And keeping memories like, “here’s how we did it when we used mainframes…” or “when there weren’t power tools” also comes with memories of having plant jobs that paid living wages.

    So is the internet, and the direction of society, being pushed to shed memory so that people stop being able to remember that things were ever different? Is the lack of craft in our lives being impressed on society so that people stop suggesting things could be different? And by extension, is our society shedding tradition at all levels because maintaining any traditions will lead people reflect on how very wrong things are going? Is the ruling class plan to throw all of us into a memory hole so no one can disagree with what they want to do?

    If so, that might explain episodes like St. Hillary coming out of the woodwork telling people that they don’t appreciate what her husband did for peace in Gaza. Or this classic, where a CEO showed how ignorant he was about the US history he was trying to use to bolster his argument at the WEF. Which then begins to explain what is happening with Ukraine, I think… our leaders have forgotten so much, they take too much for granted, and because they’ve forgotten our past, they’ve lost the ability to adapt to the present. But not so in China or Russia. So when our ahistorical, memory holed society, bumps up against societies that haven’t sacrificed the hard fought knowledge of the last 50 years for the sake of convenience, we lose. Not just on the battlefield, but in our factories. In our schools. In our towns. Everywhere.

    1. flora

      Great comment. There’s an unremarked apprenticeship time in every job and occupation where the older experienced hands show the newbies all the stuff not in the books or classes, in everything from carpentry to tool-and-die making to law and to medicine. No one ever talks about that aspect of education/learning, which is in some ways the final and most important aspect in a student’s education in any job and career, imo.

    2. digi_owl

      The blessing and curse of IT is that so many can be and are self-taught.

      A blessing in that it allow someone to “bootstrap” themselves to profitability.

      A curse in that it keeps reinventing the wheel. The PC generation was largely ignorant of hte mainframe generation etc. Now we have people developing massive cloud “apps” that are ignorant of the hardware and software that makes their databases and javascripts hum along.

      And that is before we take into account the perverse incentives that are driving corporations to lock us into eternal “rentals”.

      1. flora

        A very good comparison. I often compare it to people who know how to drive a manual transmission car/truck graduating to automatic transmissions and those who have no experience on manual transmissions driving an automatic transmission. I guess you’d need to be of a certain age and/or experience about what gear to use (automatic D1-D4) when, where, and why to make sense of this comment. / ;)

    3. eg

      My brother who spent several decades in a trading room on a repo desk is convinced that the recurring disasters in markets is at least in part due to serial forgetting which is a feature of the industry’s relatively short turnover, especially within specific functions (exacerbated by the “up or out” ethos).

  25. diptherio

    A found parody to add to the pile (not sure who to credit for this one)

    Welcome to the Garden
    Please respect the rules.
    We got all the plants you need
    we tend them with our tools
    We are the people who can grow
    whatever you may need
    If you’ve got the money, honey
    we’ve got your daisies

    Garden, Welcome to the Garden
    Watch it bring in all the…
    sha-na-na-na-na-na bees, bees

    To the tune of Guns N’ Roses Welcome to the Jungle

  26. TomDority

    Find the choke point, solidify or monopolize, squeeze all the capital out from your customers, bleed your suppliers, avoid all system improvements and avoid maintenance – take the bags of cash, launder and disappear legally with the cash. Its the new American way of pickpocketing the public through advancements in financial chicanery in contracts of adhesion. They got to be sticky for all that cash to stick to em’

  27. Mikel

    “The EU is turning into a Remainer nightmare” Thomas Fazi

    The last paragraph summary:
    “All of which is to say that, as challenging as Britain’s economic and political challenges may be, the EU’s dysfunctional and increasingly authoritarian nature is evidence of the fact that the UK made the right choice in decoupling from a failing bloc. As much as the British political class failed to address many of the concerns embodied in the Brexit referendum, that vote nonetheless provided a democratic outlet for many of the tensions that are now building up across the EU — and potentially opened the country to the possibility of democratic national renewal. And if that isn’t justification enough, we need only look to the EU to witness the dismal alternative.”

    I made comments back during the Brexit debate. They were along the lines of it was a choice of frying pan or fire – it being interchangeable which outcome was fire or frying pan. And this is because the Brexit movement itself was not especially a grassroots type of movement.

    1. Anonymous 2

      Fazi is writing in Unherd, which is financed by Paul Marshall, who clearly has ambitions to join Murdoch as one of the far right oligarchs who really run the UK. Whatever Marshall is aiming for, you can be pretty sure it is not the democratic national renewal that Fazi offers as a potential outcome of Brexit.

      Beware Greeks bearing gifts. Anyone on the Left should be aware that the Far Right have become very skilled at exploiting legitimate grievances to further the Far Right cause. They are not your friends.

      As for the EU, of course it has problems and there is much going wrong there at present, but Fazi’s piece, though making many legitimate points, is pretty clearly a hit piece which, as so many of these do, conflates decisions made by national governments and EU institutions with a view to muddying the water and confusing readers as to where the power and responsibility really lies (hint: national governments in the EU still have a lot of power though it often suits people to pretend otherwise).

      1. Michaelmas

        Anon 2: As for the EU, of course it has problems and there is much going wrong there at present….

        The EU’s main problem is that no more neoliberal institution exists on the planet.

        That’s because it was explicitly designed by high-level members of von Hayek’s Mont Pelerin Society to promote neoliberal goals — to restrict the economic policy space available to democratic governments against the market and to reduce social protections — from its very beginnings as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and then the EC back in the 1950s. For example —

        Wilhelm Röpke, personal advisor to Konrad Adenauer, West German Chancellor, and his Minister of Economics in the late 1950s, supervised the creation of the ECSC/EC on the German end, before leaving to literally become president of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1961-62.

        Ludwig Erhard, the second Chancellor from 1963-66, was a member of the Mont Pelerin Society since 1950.There were many others.

        As the EU began, so it has continued. Robert Mundell, chief designer of the Euro when it was introduced in 1999, was also the father of ‘Reaganomics’ and went on record boasting about how the Euro would work to ‘discipline’ — immiserate — the European working classes.

        …The euro would really do its work when crises hit, Mundell explained. Removing a government’s control over currency would prevent nasty little elected officials from using Keynesian monetary and fiscal juice to pull a nation out of recession.
        “It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians,” he said. “[And] without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business.”

        All this was laid out by von Hayek in his “The Economic Conditions of Interstate Federalism,” explicitly framing the free movement of capital, goods, and labour – a “single market,” in von Hayek’s own words – among a federation of nations as the most promising means to subordinate employment and social protection to goals of low inflation, debt reduction, and increased competitiveness.

        And that’s what you see in the modern day EU. Article 107 TFEU allows for state aid, for instance, only if it’s “compatible with the internal market” and doesn’t “distort competition.” Whether or not state aid meets these criteria is at the sole discretion of the European Commission – and courts in member states are obligated to enforce the commission’s decisions.

        In the UK, specifically, it’s no accident that the Tories under Ted Heath took the country into the EU and that Thatcher was initially a big fan and promoter of it.

      2. digi_owl

        Much of it because the left keep getting mired in civil wars over semantics, while the right can bark out cheap slogans like “close the border!!!” and scoff at how it targets refugees (who the right wants to get rid off) just as much as it targets migrant workers (the real pain point for most of the working class).

        1. flora

          Imo, neoliberal ideology is far right economic ideology dressed up in the PR disguise of leftist sounding semantic clothing. A social PR camouflage, if you will. / ;)

          1. digi_owl

            Basically why for all the memes about it, the political compass is a far better model for recent political positions than the old left-right split.

            Because it allows one to sort a political position on the economic independent of the social.

            And that way most western parties today will tilt towards the free market side economically, while being split liberal-conservative socially.

            Yet if one map most voters, they will be protectionist economically while equally split between liberal and conservative.

            Another thing is that it can be easy to get someone to move to the liberal side of the social split, if they feel secure economically.

      3. eg

        In my experience, Fazi is mostly despised by the readership of Unherd, so I’m less convinced that he’s a Marshall/Murdoch mouthpiece.

        Fazi has also been pretty consistent in his position on sovereignty and the neoliberal disaster that is the EU, going at least as far back as 2017 and his collaboration with William Mitchell in Reclaiming the State

    2. flora

      No, Brexit leadership was not especially grassroots. Jacob Rees-Mogg, aka JRM as grassroots? Really? I don’t think so. And yet, watching Ursula von der Layen’s behaviors, (and there’s hope a afoot to make Mario Draghi, an EU central banker, the next head of the EU), I still think the wider voting polity of the UK had the right instinct to vote for Brexit. Now they need to clip the wings of the UK oligarchs. / ;)

      1. digi_owl

        The way i see it, EU acted as a bandage and sedative for the nation after Thatcher broke the trade unions.

          1. spud

            BINGO Flora. free traders hate sovereignty. but under your own sovereignty, you have a chance to manage your own destiny.

            1. digi_owl

              Because sovereignty means protectionism, means rules against moving goods and money across borders to leverage cost of living differences.

              EU, particularly after the expansion eastward (pushed by UK no less), has suffered the same kind of race to the bottom on taxes and wages as USA has had between its states.

              Germany became the EU powerhouse thanks to getting labor unions to agree on a wage freeze that has been going for decades now. And it was further compounded by the Euro introduction, as other members could no longer counter by doing exchange rate adjustments.

    3. Anon

      Re: The EU is turning into a Remainer Nightmare

      I made a similar comment about Brexit being “excellent timing” a few weeks ago, and nobody took me on. The irony though, that they are nonetheless involved, pushing from the rear as it were. ‘Geopolitics’… ?

    1. c_heale

      The Democrats are such dumbass losers. If they want Biden to win they need to come out and convince people to vote for them. Hiding away on the Internet and behind censorship ain’t going to work anymore.

  28. Mark Gisleson


    A bit awkward but a word that we need right now. We would not being having so much crappification had not The Blob crappified government into becoming a true crapstablishment.

    Kakistocracy comes close but I believe kakistocrats have a firm commitment to enshittification. Crapocrats just don’t give a crap. The real deciding point here is: are things going badly on purpose, or simply because no one cares?

    1. Lena

      Maybe because no one cares on purpose.

      “I go to bakeries all day long / There’s a lack of sweetness in my life”

  29. Mikel

    “Three Bob Fergusons now running for governor as race takes turn for the weird” Washington State Standard

    Seems to me like the kind of shenanigans that would actually make more people pay attention than be confused.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Last time Sharon Anderson ran for the Republican nomination in Minnesota the state Republican party did a lot of outreach to make sure people understood she was a crank candidate. She still got 12% of the vote.

      Sharon Anderson is a common name in Minnesota. This is the one I’m talking about.

      The Bob Ferguson thing is great. Anything that shakes up an election is a good thing for democracy. We’ll never have good elections until None of the Above is an option.

  30. Tom Stone

    Anecdote: I ran into an acquaintance yesterday who works as a patient advocate, a very tough and loving Woman.
    She told me that every medical office she works with is overworked, understaffed and that a lot of healthcare workers keep getting sick.
    “The whole system is on the verge of collapse”.
    I suspect we’ll see cascading failures, with healthcare being the first, or one of the first critical systems to break down completely.

    1. Lost in OR

      I am a patient at a three-doctor clinic (all D.O.’s). As my doctor says, “we are a mom and pop shop. The staff answers the phone, no phone tree.
      I had an MRI late Thursday, Friday morning my Dr called me at 8:00 am with the bad news and a referral.
      I am truly happy to be in their care.

  31. sleeplessintokyo

    “It would surprise any liberal to learn we have no desire to redistribute wealth, tackle climate change, or advance social justice and care only about corporations and the status quo.” Chait

    Well yes, i am certain it would surprise most liberals. Doesn’t mean it isn’t so.

    1. eg

      It’s only surprising since liberals are generally too thoroughly engaged in mutual self-congratulation to entertain any self-reflection.

  32. Amfortas the Hippie

    hey, by the way…happy momma’s day to our NC Moms, and all.

    i boycotted my own mother…made sure to call my Wife’s mom…and did some therapeutic beer drinkin and cookin on fire to help get back into gear from the rain we’ve been having(i’m like a frelling Rain Jesus…i pay for every drop we get with my suffering)

    Eldest showed up with scallops, trout and black drum(which i consider bait/trash-fish)
    and i steam-sauteed the whole bit on a mirapoix of homegrown carrots, onions, peppers and chopped green beans.
    in lard and olive oil…and with the carrot greens, french sorrell, green onions, giant sage leaves and summer savory and a few shredded collards on top.
    very end, i threw a jigger of meyers dark rum into the big french skillet, and flash fired the whole lot. =10 foot flame that lasted for 3 seconds.(this is on an open fire, remember)
    (why i have fire extinguishers,lol…for drunken seafood)

  33. Willow

    Ominous – appointing Belousov as Defence Minister means Putin is expecting a much longer war which requires further expansion and integration of Russia military industrial complex into wider economy. Russia is going to play economic chicken with West just like Reagan did to the old USSR. What goes around, comes around..

    Also, don’t be surprised if Shoigu’s side move is to ultimately set him up for heading an eventual Novo-Russia Ukraine. Which means what Ukraine will lose in territory to Russia will be sizeable.

  34. flora

    Taibbi’s latest. Public excerpt. Oh great, a proposed No Fly list for campus protestors. What was it Walt Kelly’s cartoon Pogo character possum said?….

    More Republicans Betray Causes They Supported Ten Minutes Ago

    The Great Bipartisan Constitution-shredding project of 2024 continues at breakneck speed

    Libertarianism is looking (slightly) less wacko all the time. Who could’a imagined?….

  35. Wukchumni

    Went for a walk with a friend in Mineral King, and she likes to use GPS to tell her how long we traipsed, and got to our destination @ Franklin Falls-a 3 mile walk, and looked at her phone and it claimed we went 109 feet, hmmm.

    She reset it and watched the action as we walked back and it had us going backwards and forwards-apparently alternating, and then settled down and was reliable again…

    Could this have been caused by the solar storm?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Yeah, the same thing is happening with the GPS guided tractors that farmers are using. Ooops.

    2. flora

      Maybe. Several websites had unusual outages, delays, errors, etc during the solar storm. My analog compass still worked accurately… I think…maybe. / ;)

    1. Daryl

      Almost makes up for all the dirty basketball players.


      ;) Good job Duke students.

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