Links 5/21/2024

Posted on by

Teen rapper accidentally kills himself on social media video after pointing gun at his head and pulling trigger New York Post. Unusually visible Darwin Award winner.

Farmers Are Breeding Hybrid Dairy Cattle to Sell for Meat Bloomberg (ma). Hhhm.

NIH study shows chronic wasting disease unlikely to move from animals to people Nature (Paul R)


Does COVID-19 Persist? MedPage


Giant Hail Is the Weather Threat Keeping Insurers Up at Night Bloomberg

Satellites Reveal ‘Surprising’ Antarctic Ice Loss, Sea Level Rise Newsweek

HHS’s proposed rule pays lip service to addressing the climate crisis, the greatest threat to human health STAT

Microplastics found in every human testicle in study Guardian (Kevin W). Small sample but still…

‘Copper is the new oil,’ and prices could soar 50% as AI, green energy, and military spending boost demand, top commodities analyst says Fortune (Kevin W)


Why von der Leyen doesn’t want to join the US in a trade war with China Financial Times

China Uses Giant Rail Gun to Shoot a Smart Bomb Nine Miles Into the Sky Futurism

2 words explain China export ‘surge’: Global South Asia Times (Kevin W)

European Disunion

A United States of Europe aeon

Old Blighty

Water investors have withdrawn billions, says research BBC (Kevin W)

Education’s deepest crisis is being ignored by Westminster – and even harsher cuts are on the way Guardian


Three reported killed as DR Congo military averts ‘attempted coup’ AlJazeera. A friend with extensive diplomatic contacts in Africa says the word is Mossad was behind the planned coup.


Statement of ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan KC: Applications for arrest warrants in the situation in the State of Palestine International Criminal Court. Discussed in comments yesterday, but for your convenience.

ICC warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant may be the first of many aimed at Israeli officials Mondoweiss

Netanyahu vows to continue onslaught against Gaza despite ICC arrest warrant bid Anadolu Agency

US Congress threatens ICC with sanctions RT (Kevin W). More accurately, starting to act on previous threats.

US Navy warships in the Red Sea are fighting off missiles new to combat that are ‘way faster’ than anything else, destroyer captain says Business Insider

* * *

UN aid chief warns of ‘apocalyptic’ consequences of Gaza shortages Al-Monitor

More than 900,000 displaced in Gaza in two weeks amid surge in fighting: UN Aljazeera

The writing was on the wall for Israel’s torture of prisoners 972 Magazine (Dr. Kevin). 972 keeps breaking important stories.

Biden: What’s happening in Gaza ‘is not genocide’ Politico (Kevin W)

* * *

How Extremist Settlers Took Over Israel New York Times (Dr. Kevin)

* * *

Gaza Protests

The Intelligence Community Is Spying on Student Protesters Ken Klipperstein

University of California academic workers launch strike at UC Santa Cruz, as demands grow for system-wide walkout WSWS

Move to extend police protest powers ruled unlawful BBC

New Not-So-Cold War

Russian economic growth hits 5.4% RT

F.B.I. Shed Informants Linked to Russian Influence Operations New York Times. Mark G: “NYTimes story but buried. Reading this it sounds like they’re purging themselves of any informants who might actually know what’s going on in Russia.”

Conveniently ignores that it was the US and UK that broke up a peace deal in March 2022:

She looks pissy. Before she faked being a cheery yet steely voice of truth:


Who is Mohammad Mokhber, Iran’s interim president? Al Jazeera

How sanctions played havoc with Iran’s ageing helicopters Financial Times

Why Will Bombing Iranian Proxies Work This Time? American Conservative


Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Police Found Ways to Use Facial Recognition Tech After Their Cities Banned It Washington Post

Imperial Collapse Watch

The ‘inside track’ of Putin-Xi Jinping talks Indian Punchline


Alarmed Democrats flee Biden’s ailing brand in battleground states The Hill. Wowsers in terms of this development making it so clearly into print. This looks to be the way overdue second leg of the too-late-to-start effort to get Biden off the ballot (the first was a David Ignatius Washington Post op-ed telling Biden to step aside).

Biden’s presidential motorcade drives through deep blue Atlanta neighborhood – but draws only sparse crowd Daily Mail


A Trump Conviction Depends on Proving More Than a Hush-Money Coverup Wall Street Journal

RFK, Jr.

RFK Jr. lists voting address at Westchester home — that’s in foreclosure and where neighbors have never seen him New York Post (furzy)

FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg to Resign Following Report Detailing Sexual Harassment at Agency Wall Street Journal (BC)

Falling Down Bridges

Almost 2 months after it destroyed Baltimore’s Key Bridge, the Dali cargo ship has been moved and docked. Here’s what’s next CNN


Why “Hallucination”? Examining the History, and Stakes, of How We Label AI’s Undesirable Output Los Angeles Review of Books (Anthony L)

The Bezzle

Some People Who Rented a Tesla from Hertz Were Still Charged for Gas TheDrive

Guillotine Watch

Why tech billionaires are trying to create a new California city CBS (Kevin W). Far from the first report on this scheme, but it’s getting more notice.

Class Warfare

Average real wages rise for 12 straight months as prices decelerate faster than nominal wage growth Angry Bear. Voter perceptions of inflation diverge from these stats. We are featuring a post today on this topic that begs to differ with the real wage claim and has the analysis to support it.

From Aftershock News via machine translation. Note I can’t find an English language version so this must be only on TASS in Russian:

The largest mining companies will deposit up to 34% of their profits in the National Welfare Fund

ULAN BATOR, April 19. /TASS/. The State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia has finally approved the law on the National Welfare Fund (NWF), which will ensure equal income from the country’s natural resources for every citizen. Speaker of Parliament Gombozhavyn Zandanshatar announced this after voting at the general meeting.

I slept in my car and showered in the factory to work 12-hour shifts at Tesla. I still got laid off after 5 years. Yahoo

How to be a good follower Economist (Dr Kevin). Gah. “Follower” has religious overtones. “Team member” is hackneyed. How about “subordinate”? It describes the power relationship without extra baggage.

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Austin  by Dasha)

    (This here foolishness is for each soul out there who doesn’t feel at home in this world . . . hey there might could be a reason . . .)

    Some things you can – just know and know it innately
    Like Mum and Dad – I differ from my Dad greatly
    Born with this scar – it’s quite bizarre – it looks Minoan
    Phenomenon keep going on – there’s things I’m knowin’

    When I’m alone – I hear songs of Pandora
    When I’m alone – it’s so hard to ignore a
    Certain hunch – the numbers crunch – my situation’s whack
    There’s been a scam cuz who I am don’t match what’s off the rack

    Was there late night lurkin’?
    Somethin’ wild went down (wild went down)
    Has my lovely Mummy
    Done some steppin’ out? (steppin’ out)

    That mushroom I ate yesterday
    Perhaps I should have washed it
    The sun is fading from the sky
    I haven’t even flossed yet

    My suspicion’s growin’
    Barely sleep at night (sleep at night)
    I have dreams of Cthulhu
    I stand by His side (by His side)

    His antennae dance bright ballets
    That human souls get caught in
    He sheds a tear for Mummy dear —
    I might be mis-be-gotten

    (musical interlude)

    That’s heavy stuff – at first I was so grievin’
    Or was it chuff? A spell that He was weavin’?
    Shit happens. And flatus. You’re off track. Can’t catch it.
    My Cthulhu’s pelagic (oh oh)

    Cthulhu’s fond of twerkin’
    Both his arms spin ’round (arms spin ’round)
    While His jaw emits a funny
    Squealy shout (squealy shout)

    And when He stops the fishies pray
    He won’t turn off their faucet
    This universe will cease and die
    If Old One cares to toss it

    My suspicion’s growin’
    Barely sleep at night (sleep at night)
    I have dreams of Cthulhu
    I stand by His side (by His side)

    His antennae dance bright ballets
    That human souls get caught in
    He sheds a tear for Mummy dear —
    I might be mis-be-gotten

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Biden’s presidential motorcade drives through deep blue Atlanta neighborhood – but draws only sparse crowd”

    Obviously I do not live in America so cannot say if this is true or not but I read a comment from a guy in Florida on a The Duran video that was interesting so I will quote an excerpt-

    ‘One thing you’re not seeing here a lot is election coverage in an election year. Typically election coverage is being blasted over the media 24 hours a day, seven days a week during election years, coverage of the campaign trails, – but now barely being talked about here on the news.

    Most Americans are living paycheck and paycheck and that’s not even enough anymore and they are putting groceries and fuel on nearly maxed out credit cards and the personal debt spiral is mushrooming out of control. People on FB market place are selling nice used collectible vehicles and no one is buying them.’

    Lots of coverage of the Trump trials but that is not really election coverage, Bernie is MIA as is AOC this time around. Considering the fact that the election is in only a little over five months, the news of it seems to be swamped internationally by the Ukraine & Gaza while locally it is swamped by inflation and the cost of living as this guy points out. And who can get really excited about a rematch of two geriatrics in any case?

    1. Wukchumni

      Motored down to San Diego with Dusty the Adventure Dog and his human companion, and he likes to drive on the blue highways which trend red politically, and we didn’t see any signs for either presumptive Presidential aspirant-bupkis.

      My standard bearer for such things is Hwy 99 from Visalia to Bakersfield and not a sign of interest one way or the other…

      …what if you gave an election and nobody cared?

      In the USA Presidential elections only seem to last forever, in the past you’d see signs alongside roadways with over a year to go before decision day in November, but that was then and this is now.

      So it boils down to the reliable righty evang vote, and they are the only cohesive voting bloc in the journey, God save us.from our thieveocracy.

      1. Milton

        Trump seems to have undergone a populistectomy, with his campaign having gone into full far-right mode. From my vantage point here in the extreme sw corner of the country, the only Trump signs I see are in the wealthier areas. I don’t know who quit who, but the little people are going to sit this one out.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          The Wile E. Coyote geniuses running everything are trying to inject the newly coined word “neopopulism” into our political vocabulary.

          Near as I can tell, neopopulists consist of the 80% of the population not in on the grift and will be tightly linked to Trump who, unlike the 80%, owns a grift train.

    2. John

      I tell you three times.

      And who can get really excited about a rematch of two geriatrics in any case?
      And who can get really excited about a rematch of two geriatrics in any case?
      And who can get really excited about a rematch of two geriatrics in any case?

      Oh … And RFK jr. and …

      Give me a reason to be involved. As Biden said to us at the start of his term, “Nothing will fundamentally change.” Nothing did except for trying to destroy Russia with others to bleed for us and then there is that genocide in Gaza. DJT? he would bluster and strut, but nothing would change. Hey , I like that Donald John (Bluster and Strut) Trump. His opponent, Joseph Robinette (My mouth has two sides) Biden.

      Wow… Am I excited about this election?

      1. ArvidMartensen

        Nothing to do with “geriatrics”.
        Everything to do with the complete takeover of “democracy” in the United States of Israel by the wealthy upper classes who are followers of an old merciless religion or its large and more modern hypocritical offshoot.

        Geriatrics: My father spoke of the old grave headstone:
        Pause here stranger as you pass by
        As you now are so once was I
        As I am now so you will be
        So stranger pause, and think on me.

    1. zagonostra

      Canada has shown they can and will lock out political protesters, i.e., Trucker’s, from accessing their personal funds held in banks, and the U.S. has shown it can illegally confiscate Russian financial assets. The consequence on the former is that we pretty much know that the Constitution and enshrined rights can be shredded, that the notion that the “people” are sovereign is a myth, the sovereign is he can rule/control the exception (Carl Schmitt).

      China is slowly easing itself a safe distance from being subject to overwhelming powerful financial control of the West, they want to secure their sovereignty. How do we, in the U.S., as citizens, control our sovereignty?

    2. The Rev Kev

      China owns about $800 billion in US Treasury Securities according to this page from back in January-

      They know that sooner or later there will be pressure for the US to seize Chinese sovereign funds on a “temporary” basis until China learns to behave like a civilized nation. They saw what happened with the Russian sovereign funds and do not want to go there. The same must be true of Chinese funds in the EU. The EU has just approved sending the interest on those seized Russian funds direct to the Ukraine so now is definitely a good time to batten down the hatches.

    3. JP

      The dollar is currently pretty strong, which limits exports. Trump is on record endorsing a weak dollar, which will increase export revenue. If one is sitting on a lot of dollar proxies it might be a good time to lighten up. One can always buy them back at discount after Trump is elected.

  3. zagonostra

    >Biden: What’s happening in Gaza ‘is not genocide’ Politico (Kevin W)

    Biden and his team have sought to navigate the criticism …Democrats have said they’ve found the administration’s messaging around weapons sales confusing.

    Yes it’s all about “navigating” and “messaging” and re-framing reality.

    Reminds me of Bob Dylan’s Tombstone Blues:

    The geometry of innocence flesh on the bone
    Causes Galileo’s math book to get thrown
    At Delilah who sits worthlessly alone
    But the tears on her cheeks are from laughter

  4. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    Further to the Karim Khan interview, this is not new. details what the then UK foreign secretary Robin Cook told the BBC about the former Yugoslavia.

    His former UK cabinet colleague George Robertson, later head of NATO, is quoted in the article. Separately, Robertson told a Serb journalist that the ICC was “not designed to put on trial western democratic leaders”.

    The global south has long known this.

    1. Aurelien

      As you say, this is not new, and it was well understood by all at the time that the ICC was a court of exception. It has complementary jurisdiction, which is to say that it can become involved only when a state party is “unable or unwilling” to investigate alleged crimes. The idea among lawyers, NGOs and the more supportive governments (including the British) at the time was that there would be cases where a state had collapsed after a war, or where after a domestic conflict there was no chance of the defendants getting a fair trial. This is why there were special courts for Yugoslavia and Rwanda. It was assumed–it had to be assumed–that organised states would do their own investigations, since anything else would have overwhelmed the Court with hundreds or thousands of requests for investigations launched by states at each other.

      There was a lot of idealism and naivety at the time, especially among the NGO community. As a number of us feared then, the Court rapidly went downhill, after the first Prosecutor, a shallow, publicity-seeking individual, tried to turn the Court into a political actor and governments tried to manipulate it to do things it had never been intended to. I think it’s now pretty much a lost cause.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Aurelien.

        I’m glad that you have piped up as you were involved with the former Yugoslavia.

    2. Ratimir

      Russians knew that they are next, even then. The Ukrainian war is just a continuation, running on the same script.

    1. Trees&Trunks

      Not only that he is telling tje truth but also that the Russian government makes lives better for their citizens, not worse as in the West

    1. ilsm

      Nuland is demanding escalation so US’ new Vietnam runs deeper than the 1970’s sunk cost fallacy.

      And today Kiev’s dictator is as democratic as the puppets in Saigon from 1963.

      Empire tripe rhymes

        1. ambrit

          Or: Ngo’s to the rescue!
          I’m waiting for a new NGO: “Dictators Without Borders.”

      1. Stephen of Ohio

        They are even rehashing Domino Theory to justify involvement. Their geopolitical thinking is stuck stuck stuck!

      2. steppenwolf fetchit

        Way back when I lived in Knoxville, Tennessee and the Vietnam War was just reaching full volume under President Johnson, we used to get a paper called The Knoxville New Sentinel . . . a Scripps-Howard paper. They ran a political cartoonist last-named Bassett whose tiny mascot-emblem was a tiny little basset hound sometimes drawn in a corner of the cartoon.

        Anyway . . . I still remember a very telling cartoon which if I could find a link to it I would, since describing a political cartoon is a distant second-best to actually being able to show it. But I can’t find a link, so here is a description.

        Picture LBJ with a little Nguyen Van Thieu puppet on his hand. Picture LBJ looking unhappy and stumble-walking forward. Picture a ring in LBJ’s nose. Picture the little Thieu puppet grin/smirk/leering at Johnson. Picture the littleThieu puppet holding a string in its little puppet hands. Picture the string leading to the ring in Johnson’s nose.

    2. nippersdad

      That was funny, and I was surprised that no one on Napolitano’s shows yesterday caught it.

    3. Acacia

      She looks pissy

      Not only that, she looks insane and physically unwell… so just keep these videos coming.

  5. flora

    re: Red Lobster

    ‘Previous PE owner sold land and leased it back to Red Lobster at “above market rates” ‘

    “Private Equity” sounds better than “vulture capital”, better than “financial colonialism.” / ;)

    1. griffen

      Well that’s a damn shame…saw an AP column which helps to clarify reasons why they might have “floundered” a little bit more than their casual chain competition. History repeats, they lost their shirt with an Endless Crab promotion in the early 2000s…did so again with a promotion for Never Ending Shrimp…

      Private Equity wins, Acquired Company Loses,. Repeat Every 10 to 15 years.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      This is a very common strategy with companies that own their own real estate. Described in 2014 in Eileen Applebaum and Rosemary Batt’s book Private Equity at Work. The above market rate lease allows the PE operator to sell the real estate at a high price to third parties. The lease is effectively more leverage on the operating company.

      1. ambrit

        The same ‘theory’ will work for residential real estate? (Substitute “rent” for ‘lease’ and the absurd rises in residential rents, plus the ‘stickiness’ of the apparent home values, and it looks similar.)

  6. Mikel

    I slept in my car and showered in the factory to work 12-hour shifts at Tesla. I still got laid off after 5 years. Yahoo

    Last paragraph:

    “Right now, I’m a store manager at GNC, but going forward, I’m planning to grow my YouTube channel and I’m planning to move into my car full-time.”

    Such an aspiration says more than any alleged “perception of inflation.”
    This is the kind of thing people are noticing more of. To hell with the whining over BS statistics from a lame economic theory.

    1. Lena

      You get to the point where your “Bucket List” consists of only one thing:

      1) Survival

    2. griffen

      There is an odd thing left out of that column, a lengthy commute indicates ( at least to me ) that he indeed had an actual residence to drive to and from, especially if he was working several days at 12 hour shifts per workday. But yeah, capitalism will take whatever you wish to provide as labor and leave your carcass in the Vegas desert. He might have a case if his employer gave insufficient notice I would suggest ? IDK, those laws vary by state. Personal experiences but having been let go twice from financial institutions post 2008, I’m certain even they had to check a few boxes in this regard.

      Neither here nor there I suppose. In the past year, I read a comparable article about a driver for Instacart who certainly lived in his car and it was not by choice.

      1. ambrit

        Yes. Cruise about your hometown one weekday morning about dawn and try to spot the car sleeping parking lots. Also, check for the cars that are filled up with personal living items. A lot of the car dwellers I have seen are women. Is it an artifact of the gender gap in wages?

        1. Janeway

          Walmart is the go-to place for sleeping in your vehicle. At least around here in Western NY.

          1. marku52

            Here in Medford OR, the WallyWorld has a sign “No overnight parking”

            Maybe local regs are different. I know a lot of RVers used to use WalMarts as night stays.

        2. griffen

          I can and do, frequently spot people walking that look familiar…usually their belongings in a single large plastic bag ( probably it’s not a Hefty bag )…

          At a local gas station colloquially known as QT, I recently had someone hit me up for funds to eat something before his cancer treatment. I relented not because I’m an angel but well he just was not a threatening individual…there for the grace of God and all. My soul is dark but it isn’t dead…

      2. juno mas

        He would only have case if he can pay for lawyer to represent him.
        The law only works for those that can afford it.

    3. wendigo

      The American Dream.

      “The belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were both into, can obtain their vision of success in a society in which upward mobility is possible for everyone.”

      So living in your car on the upper floor of a parking garage must be the new vision of success in upward mobility.

      1. The Rev Kev

        It has been said that to believe the American dream these days, you have to be asleep.

      2. Wukchumni

        We have to soften the language of those dwelling in their 4 wheels good, which henceforth will be referred to as…

        RV’s (R.E.M. Vehicles)

    4. Emma

      In a generation, living in a van in a state forest went from being a cautionary tale to being the American dream of being a self employed influencer.

  7. Enter Laughing

    Gaza pier debacle update:

    About the only thing the Gaza pier has delivered since opening last week is pitiful results.

    On Friday, the first ten trucks carrying humanitarian aid made it to the World Food Program warehouse in Deir El Balah, Gaza.

    Saturday, only five trucks made it through – the other 11 trucks that left the pier were pillaged by desperate Gazans.

    Nothing else made it through Sunday or Monday.

    So instead of the promised 90-150 trucks a day of aid, so far the pier project only managed to get 15 trucks in four days through to the warehouse.

    As a U.N. official dryly noted, “We need to make sure that the necessary security and logistical arrangements are in place before we proceed,”

    1. digi_owl

      Quite likely the measurements are taken using different sensors like radar or lidar. The latter in particular has become very popular for doing land surveys from space, because it can look past foliage to get a reading of any hard surface beneath. Some old ruins in the Amazon jungle was discovered that way.

      At best you would get back out a computer rendering from the “point cloud” the sensor generates, but for the scientists the numerical data produced is likely more interesting.

  8. Es s Ce Tera

    re: Biden: What’s happening in Gaza ‘is not genocide’ Politico (Kevin W)

    With this statement Biden just gave Israel a green light to proceed as they have been, which means he has approved the complete destruction of Gaza, and the West Bank next, and also approves colonized ethnostates.

    And set the United States on a path to accept Israeli methods as legitimate for the United States. Which actually makes sense because, well, look at the 500k-1M civilian death toll in Iraq. And look at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is probably the legacy of that – the US can never admit that mass civilian deaths is in any way wrong else it faces a reckoning over its own conduct in war.

  9. DJG, Reality Czar

    Fernanda Gallo. Recover the vision of a free and united Europe.

    Would that it were so. The article is a wonderful evocation of some of the more romantic sides of the revolutionary era in Italy from about 1800 to 1860. This was the time of what the Italians call their wars of independence. Mazzini was one dashing figure, as were Belgiojoso and Cattaneo. So was Garibaldi and his Thousand in their red shirts. So was Anita Garibaldi, a remarkable figure in her own right who died needlessly very young.

    The famous Gattopardo (Leopard) by Tomasi di Lampedusa in book form or as filmed also evokes the practicalities combined with a certain romance–that timeless ballroom scene by Luchino Visconti of Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale, ne.

    Here is an image by the Italian painter Silvestro Lega.,_1873.jpg

    It is a deeply moving image of someone whose ideals didn’t start to unfold in Italy for another 75 years.

    Altiero Spinelli and Ernesto Rossi are also dashing and romantic, well, in a more middle-class way. Wu Ming 1 wrote a novel called La Macchina del Vento, which describes the writing of the document in a mythic setting of exile and deprivation and solidarity on Ventotene. I doubt that it has been Englished. Future president Sandro Pertini was also a prisoner and is a character. So, too, is the god Hermes. (And Spinelli’s daughter, Barbara Spinelli, is a political analyst and journalist worth your while, again, if you read Italian.)

    So I recommend Gallo’s article. For what might have been, purtroppo, because I don’t see how to revive this spirit.

    1. pjay

      I am so cynical and suspicious these days that I read everything with a jaundiced eye, looking for the ideological spin in everything. So while I did enjoy the article and agree with you on the romantic idealism of these “democratic republicans,” two questions kept arising as I read through this piece. The first: why was this vision of a “democratic republican” Europe stillborn, and indeed a romantic utopia? And why was this not addressed at all as far as I could tell in this article? My simplistic answer is that just as “economics” without analysis of political power is deficient, so, too, is political history without considering economic interests. That’s why we call it ‘political economy,’ and why it is so often mystified by a Western academia that likes to keep the two separate. For Europe at this time, history was inextricably intertwined with the political economy of capitalism emerging out of various traditional pasts. If this was mentioned here I missed it. I bring this up because I remember my own romantic vision of a “democratic socialist” Europe as a young and uninformed student long ago. My limited understanding of the logic of capitalism and the political power behind it allowed my utopianism. I grew out of it.

      The other question is: what is the author really advocating here? My suspicious self sees the author describe Russia, China, India as the Other to “Europe” in these writers. She makes a point of emphasizing that Turkey, Poland.. and *Ukraine*, were part of this “democratic republican” vision of Europe. Hmm. “Democracy”? “Republicanism”? Where does *capitalism* fit in? Why does the author think the EU emerged as a “technocracy,” and what interests does that “technocracy” serve? Ukraine? Really?

      I guess I’m a hopeless anti-romantic these days.

      1. gk

        > democratic republicans

        A few years ago, the Jewish museum in Rome had an exhibition of Jewish painters who fought with Garibaldi, “taking pictures” of the battles when they had a chance. One of the captions referred in Italian to “democrati e repubblicani”. The English “translation” had “Democrats and Republicans….”

        As to your question, one of the other issues in 48-49 was nationalism. This provoked Grillparzer to write in 1849, I think about Hungary: “Der Weg der neuern Bildung geht. Von Humanität Durch Nationalität Zur Bestialität”, This was a faourite quote of Leibowitz, but I doubt he was thinking of Europe.

      2. R.S.

        > I bring this up because I remember my own romantic vision of a “democratic socialist” Europe as a young and uninformed student long ago. My limited understanding of the logic of capitalism and the political power behind it allowed my utopianism. I grew out of it.

        Thank you. There’s an old magazine illustration from 1916 I’ve seen some years ago, and for some reason every time I encounter the romantic utopia of “Europe united by values” or something like that, it pops up in my mind.

        I guess it’s not the picture itself, but it with the combination of the title and caption. If you don’t read German, the title is “The Twentieth Century”, and the caption is a line from “An die Freude”, the one that is used as the hymn of the EU. The artist did not and could not know, but I find it somewhat prophetic.

        1. Ratimir

          The drawing itself reminds me of Metropolis, a German film from 1927. Dystopianism turned out to be about predicting the future. Utopianism turned out to be opium for the masses, needed to herd them into dystopia.

          In the USA they have ran out of their The American Dream brand of utopium, so they had to switch to real opiates. In EU they reverted back to default setting of hating Russians (and Serbs by extension). It’s a value that have united Europeans on many occasions.

  10. ChrisFromGA

    Is anyone else asking: “what the heck happened to the GOP?”

    Putting up bills that confer benefits on par with those who serve in the US military to those who abandon their country to fight for the IDF?

    This is not the party of Reagan, Ron Paul, or even Newt Gingrich. This is past unpatriotic – it’s putting a foreign power above their own country and violating their oaths of office to defend the country and the constitution.

    We no longer have two parties, just a uniparty and a bunch of religious fanatics that would make the Ayatollah blush.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Wasn’t there a tweet a coupla months ago saying how the Israelis were going to funnel aid money from the US into educational benefits for Israeli veterans of this war?

      1. GramSci

        I expect they’ll also sell $60B of unused ordnance to assorted ‘businessmen’, albeit at a steep discount.

      2. ChrisFromGA

        That’s par for the course. Introducing bills that actually encourage US citizens to fight for a foreign government over their own – that’s next level treason.

        Imagine if a future Israeli state declares war on the US. These GOP zealots would be literally giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

        Don’t forget about the US Liberty.

        1. flora

          Pericles’ speech was made after the first year of the 26-years-long Peloponnesian War which Athens lost.

          per wiki:
          “The Peloponnesian War reshaped the ancient Greek world. On the level of international relations, Athens, the strongest city-state in Greece prior to the war’s beginning, was reduced to a state of near-complete subjection,… ”

          History and classics aren’t taught much anymore. I wonder what reference points our current pols use when deciding questions?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            It’s a hodge podge of movies and trivia from breakfast mats. Throw those people into DC, and you get fanatic followers who believe liking the John Wayne parts of The Longest Day (the only non veteran in the flick) conference valor.

            The shallowness is appalling. Gillenbrand was yammering about the Abraham Accords not too long ago with the explanation that she knew who “Abraham” was. This isn’t a public consumption line but the level of discourse leaking out.

            1. deleter

              I read years ago that the Lt. Colonel Wayne portrayed in that flick was 28 years old and a battalion commander in the airborne. The Duke was pushing
              60 I believe, at the time.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        Is that a reference to Orangemanbadeh?

        Seems that the GOP has a complicated relationship with him. Mikey and the Zealots went to NY to show solidarity, but the optics of hanging out with Busty Daniels, a disgraced, disbarred attorney who stole from his employer, and the publisher of the National Enquirer look a little shaky on my Ten Commandments scorecard.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Don’t underestimate the optics of 115 Dims voting with the GOP and Biden’s craven devotion to Likud.

      Team Blue elites may loathe gotv organizing, but the GOP knows wall to wall ads on msdnc don’t move the needle for Team Blue.

      1. Glen

        I’d guess that our DC/EU elites and billionaire oligarchs are in the denial and anger phases about the end of the unipolar world.

        And that they themselves brought about the downfall of their empire with their own actions only after they [family blogged] their own country into the ground may never reach their event horizon.

        So, yes, expect some completely illogical, irrational thrashing about by our “betters” as they slowly realize the only people they can continue to pound down with impunity is their own hapless, now completely unrepresented citizens. (And bummer that I am one of those citizens!)

        I’m going to consider getting thru these particular stages of acceptance a success if our dear leaders don’t blow the whole world up in a nuclear war. (But watching our own rights be even more eroded into crap? Yeah, ouch!)

  11. GramSci

    Re: GI Benefits for IDF Vets (Briahna J G via X)

    Note that the coauthor of the bill is being opposed by Independent Dennis Kucinich.

    1. Verifyfirst

      Apparently Kucinich (who I have supported in the past) has become a crypto guru at the tender age of 77, bless his vegan heart (he looks a lot better than Biden or Trump, physically.

      “Through his attorney, Andrew Stebbins, he denied consulting for FirstEnergy on cryptocurrency or blockchain.

      Stebbins said Kucinich, 77, has a “depth of experience” in blockchain and cryptocurrency. Stebbins said Kucinich Consulting has advised many clients on the matter. He noted Kucinich is speaking on a “Running on Crytpo: Electing a Pro-Crypto Congress” panel alongside GOP U.S. Senate Candidate Bernie Moreno at the Washington D.C. BlockChain Summit this week. In 2018, Kucinich spoke at the Blockchain for Impact Global Summit, held at the United Nations.”

      I’m not sure (and not going to spend the time to look) where he stands on vaccines and Covid mitigations.

  12. Captain Obvious

    China Uses Giant Rail Gun to Shoot a Smart Bomb Nine Miles Into the Sky Futurism

    Who writes these things? A gun shoots shells, not bombs. It’s a guided shell, not a “smart bomb”.

      1. Captain Obvious

        I did not want to get too technical. Guns can also fire other things than shells, i.e. shots.

        What makes rail guns (and coil guns) different from regular ones, is the way projectiles are accelerated. USA made rail gun was supposed to fire solid projectiles that do damage with kinetic energy alone, AFAIK. The project has been abandoned, which should surprise no one.

        Purely kinetic rounds require flat trajectory and short distance in order to be effective. Perfect example are APFSDS rounds used in all modern tanks. Wikipedia lists Russian 125mm APFSDS having muzzle velocity of 1,715-1,800 m/s (Mach 5) and effective firing range of 3,000 m.

        Those types of projectiles are not suitable for naval engagements. Firing solid shots at high angles does not make much sense because they lose kinetic energy. In order to make them effective at long range, they would have to be sent to outer space and pick up speed while falling down (akin to hypothetical kinetic orbital strike weapon, aka rods from God).

        Based on the description, the Chinese gun is more of a howitzer type. It lobs projectiles filled with high explosive. The ones used in testing were probably inert, i.e. not filled with high explosive, but still called shells. Guided shells, akin to Excalibur and Krasnopol. They probably want to achive longer range with higer muzzle velocity.

    1. Terry Flynn

      I flew LHR-SYD via Singapore (and using SQ) regularly for 15 years. By only the 2nd flight I knew all about the nasty weather or “nice weather but sudden turbulence” around the equator.

      Basically unless you are desperate for the toilet, you keep seat belt buckled for 2 hours north or south of Singapore unless you enjoy the risk of hitting the ceiling.

      1. digi_owl

        So this is nothing new? Because i swear there has been an uptick in coverage of such events recently.

        1. Terry Flynn

          It’s been known about for years. Assuming google is not totally crappified, there’s loads of stuff about the problems the northern vs southern jetstreams cause around certain parts of the equator.

          It’s becoming more “obvious” because costs are causing airlines to take routes that are more direct but more vulnerable, entitled people feeling it is their right to “unbelt” the moment the light goes off and the A380.

          I hesitate to promote anecdotes but the sheer heft of the A380 gave me smoother flights than B777s. The effect was not large, however, and I never had safety concerns generally with the B777. It was designed back when Boeing concentrated on safety not profit.

          1. Revenant

            There’s a related issue of thunderstorms storms in the tropical convergence zone – the Doldrums either side of the Equator. These storms and the icing of the aeroplane and sensors were what did for the Air France flight from Brazil. My friends brother in-law was scheduled to fly that flight but swapped with another pilot….

            1. Terry Flynn

              Thanks for adding the thunderstorms bit. One thing I’ll clarify re my A380 comment since I don’t think I expressed myself well is that whilst the A380 had something of a reprieve after larger than expected bounceback after covid first wave, its economics are (outside of the big middle eastern carriers) generally inferior to B777 on the route in question.

              I suspect (but again, anecdote) that too many people got used to smoother superjumbo flying and reverting to (albeit upgraded) B777s means greater susceptibility to air pockets. SQ Flight attendants I chatted to didn’t disagree with my thoughts re A380 vs turbulence.

              Whether that’s true or not, the fact so many countries are now off limits in terms of airspace between SE Asia and Europe means planes must prioritise political issues (few/no Iran/Syria/Afghanistan/Ukraine/Russian aligned countries etc) and it’s easy to wonder if the remaining routes are less ideal in terms of weather.

  13. JTMcPhee

    Private towns for billionaires: so much to say.

    Nothing new about the urge. Company towns and affinity burgs all part of the rich tapestry of great wealth. The Hamptons, Newport in Rhode Island, gated suburban enclaves. And mafia metropolises: I grew up in Northbrook, IL. There was a large Catholic seminary and nunnery there, several square miles of land that was farmed for sustenance and profit. There’s a southwest Chicago area suburb that became, over time, a Mafia-dominated and peopled spot, but it was run down and not so nice by the 60s. The Catholics were having a hard time getting young men and women to submit themselves to the discipline (and abuse) of the Catholic orders and so the religious population was way down and the property was becoming a drain on the Diocese. A guy named Anthony Tonelli, who owned a pizzeria in Northbrook frequented by “made guys,” somehow finds the wherewithal in the tens of millions of dollars to make the Christian Brothers an offer they couldn’t refuse for all that black-dirt farmland, to be turned into a walled and gated community of Sicilians. Zoning restrictions magically overridden, community concerns beaten down. I think the only reason this scheme did not go forward was the capos finally got annoyed at the pesky normy citizen protests, and found some other prettier locale to set up their club and retirement homes and upper middle class don’t-be-too-showy housing.

    I’m sure there’s dozens, hundreds of examples of purchased exclusivity out there. I was tangentially involved in the creation of the “Bill Gates compound” on the shores of beautiful Lake Washington adjacent to Seattle. He got away with zoning murder, buying out neighbors on the lakefront and building a largely underground palace of tens of thousands of square feet.

    1. The Rev Kev

      And when in only a few years time, Bill Gates is lying on his death bed in that mansion, his last words will be-

      ‘I won! I had the most toys!’

      1. SocalJimObjects

        Before the end, he would transfer his consciousness into Azure, also known as Microsoft’s cloud offering, where it would merge with ChatGPT to form Skynet 1.0. Well failing that, there’s always the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a power that’s stronger than love itself, ready to execute Bill’s every whim even after his passing to Techie’s Paradise.

        You don’t get rid of Bill Gates, he gets rid of us.

    2. griffen

      Indeed the very development of swampy South Florida into an enclave for the truly elite and ultra wealthy dates to the Flagler family, the patriarch of that clan ( as it were ) was essentially a right hand executive at Standard Oil. Henry Flagler saw that with the rise of railroads and an increase in American ultra wealthy travelers, certain locations in the humid south could be developed into off season playgrounds for families much like his own.

      Thinking more along the lines of Palm Beach and Boca Raton, than Miami for the record. I believe that Donald Ross designed a lot of golf courses thereabouts too ( when he wasn’t a resident of Pinehurst, North Carolina), Pinehurst developing as well as a respite for the wealthy.

    3. digi_owl

      “buying out neighbors on the lakefront”

      I seem to recall reading something similar about Zuckerberg in recent years.

        1. Wukchumni

          The thing is with potentates of the past was when we unearthed their tombs, there was really good swag in there, such as King Tut.

          What are we gonna get out of Gates or Zuckerberg?

          …a bunch of use by 2056 freeze-dried meals and inoperable computers

          1. John k

            He’s no doubt studied tut. So… wouldn’t wanna be outdone… Maybe a couple tons of gold hidden in the tombstone? Or some bunker? Just in case…

        2. inchbyinch

          Reminds me of a song, I don’t know who did it, but the line went ‘I take whatever I want, and Hawaii, I want you.’ A song for all the brave, young, capitalist dudes.

        3. Michael Fiorillo

          “… the guy is a grub-“

          Oh come on, have a little respect for the programmers and engineers over there! They’ve come a really long way in making “him” a three dimensional, kinetic, almost-human facsimile.

          I’m all in on gambling the future of humanity on these people and the systems they engineer!

          Let me see you smile!

  14. The Rev Kev

    Re that magnificent Lion in today’s Antidote du jour. It reminds me of that bible quote-

    ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for I am the meanest sob in the whole goddamn valley.’

    Obviously the text from the original Hebrewic Psalms was accidentally mangled in translation.

  15. Wukchumni

    We were a Private Equity party
    Everybody fell in deep
    So we reached in and bought it
    It was Red Lobster
    Red Lobster
    Red Lobster

    We were at the beach in the Hamptons
    Everybody had matching Pateks & Birkins
    Dining on frankly gourmet franks & gherkins
    And there we saw something not in the red
    It wasn’t in the red
    It was Red Lobster
    Red Lobster
    Red Lobster
    Red Lobster
    Red Lobster

    Motion in the ocean
    Their jumbo shrimp deal left them broke
    Lots of trouble
    Lots of people eating double
    They were in a jam
    Should have offered all you can eat clams
    Red, red
    Red Lobster

    Down, down

    Lobster rocked
    Lobster rocked

    Let’s hock!

    Boys like the Sopranos
    Slinging a suction hose
    Everybody’s hockin’
    Everybody’s walkin’

    Twistin’ ’round the F.I.R.E
    Havin’ fun
    Makin’ profits
    Baskin’ in the sum

    Red Lobster
    Red Lobster
    Red Lobster
    Red Lobster

    Rock Lobster by the B-52’s

  16. Captain Obvious

    US Navy warships in the Red Sea are fighting off missiles new to combat that are ‘way faster’ than anything else, destroyer captain says Business Insider

    Yea, right. These guys can shoot Iranian ballistic missile routinely, but they somehow struck Israel without much problems. It’s like with Scuds and Patriots back in the day. At first all were shot, but as time go by, the interception rate keeps decreasing mysteriously.

    1. Neutrino

      Budget season is looming.
      Wish lists are being assembled.
      Appropriations Committee recipients are being contacted.

      You, the citizen, on the other hand, have no agency.

  17. Wukchumni

    Farmers Are Breeding Hybrid Dairy Cattle to Sell for Meat Bloomberg (ma).

    ‘What is the Bessiemer Process, Alex.’

    1. Revenant

      The article was paywalled so i could only see the initial paras but, to UK eyes, it seems like a slow news day.

      A lot of dairy herds put the cows to a beef bull (Friesian Angus and Friesian Hereford crosses) and sell the resulting calves for beef (usually reared as store cattle on pasture farms). This is partly because there is a premium on the meat because beef breeds give a carcass with better “conformation” to the industry standard (set by Big Beef and the EU and running counter to the interests of small farmer and native breeds: meeting the demands for arbitrary levels of fat and size ruined many native British breeds such as the Red Devon). However it is also because dairy bulls are *mean*. Much safer to keep a beef bull around. (My pet theory for the meanness is lack of selection pressure, the dairy bull has no competitors, has a harem of hundreds of cows and very few of his progeny will ever reproduce or even live on the farm past a few months so there is minimal intergenerational selection for handling qualities in male dairy cattle, just breeding prowess).

      The article just appears to.say more are doing this, probably for covering costs…m

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Three reported killed as DR Congo military averts ‘attempted coup’”

    This was really amateur hour and these guys were just a bunch of clowns with guns. Didn’t help that US citizens were involved with one captured. If Israel’s Mossad was involved, they should hang their heads in shame-

    Haven’t seen anything this stupid since that bunch of idiots tried to invade Venezuela back in 2020 and never even got off the beach-

    1. Anon

      Observed an image of one of the Americans’ passports (if eyes are to be believed these days)… allegedly a Maryland resident by the name of Benjamin Reuben. Make of the last name what you will, but Israel has no diamond mines, yet the trade is 20% of their economy…

      Mossad, a mining magnate and a mystery in Congo – The Economist, circa 2022

    2. yep

      LOL. I also instantly thought of the Venezuelan Bay-of-Pigs-Invasion-wannabe. CIA is getting more comical with every iteration of the same script. The only way to top this is to send Sarah Ashton Cyrilo next time, with the wig.

  19. Wukchumni

    ‘Copper is the new oil,’ and prices could soar 50% as AI, green energy, and military spending boost demand, top commodities analyst says Fortune

    Nickels are really a misnomer as they are 75% copper and currently cost double the face value to mint, but similar to everything else wrong financially in our country that has lost its mind, we soldier on making reverse seigniorage on small change that most of our peer countries have long since gotten rid of…

    1. Lefty Godot

      Pennies should just be abolished. They only exist to be useless and annoying. “A penny saved is a…” waste of the amount of time spent dealing with it nowadays. Almost any increment of your time is worth more than a cent.

      1. Wukchumni

        Gresham’s Law hit Cents over 4 decades ago and they are mostly made out of zinc, not copper.

        The zinc lobby is why they are still around, plaguing us.

    2. Michael Fiorillo

      Hate to sound like a gold or silver bug, and I know the dollar is still the reserve currency, but holding a nickel in my hand recently transported me back to the Philippines or some such other place with a weak currency that even feels substandard.

      They should stop minting pennies and nickels, if only out of self-respect and appearances sake.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        If they stop minting them, it will make them more valuable once they try to foist the CBDC on us. We’re going to need something as black market currency then, and they are more durable than sea shells ;)

      2. Wukchumni

        I was in Yugoslavia in the early 1980’s and they had 1 Dinar coins and it was something like 500 to a $, and no way-now how could they mint them not losing money on the deal, and we all know what happened to the country about a decade later…

  20. Balan ARoxdale

    How Extremist Settlers Took Over Israel New York Times (Dr. Kevin)

    NYT 2054: How Extremist Settlers Took over the New York Times

    1. yep

      Speaking of taking over New York, there is one north of Avdeevka and Russians will probably take it this year.

  21. RookieEMT

    “Nobody can remove AI overviews for Google Search results pages because they are now a built-in feature.”

    Time to try avoiding Google again… too bad duckduckgo shot down it’s own principles.

      1. The Rev Kev

        It decided to go into the censorship business and down rank search results that it did not like because, you know, Russian disinformation and all. They decided that they had the right to have a say in what you see on the net.

      2. Terry Flynn

        I wondered that. I knew it uses google but its selling point was stripping out all the tracking stuff.

        I don’t know if RookieEMT is referring to its reliance on google per se or if it has done something more nefarious recently.

        1. RookieEMT

          Naw, just DuckDuckgo’s censorship business started two or so years ago.

          And now Google shoves in AI assistance into their search results which is very, very annoying.

      3. Lefty Godot

        I thought DDG just used Microsoft’s Bing for all its data and put a minimalistic wrapper around that.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Yandex seems to be building its database well beyond just copying Google. Yandex will share with me links to sites that can teach me how to hack my aged computer OS to keep it compatible with whatever the new thing is. Same search in google gets me old stories about hacking turn of the century Macs to run my 2012 OS. Not helpful.

      And Yandex is trainable. If you do online research, Yandex remembers which sites you like best. Google remembers which sites are paying to be in your results.

      Yandex is like early Google (wonderful).

      1. juno mas

        I’m in the USA and tried using Yandex from it homepage and it appears to be blocked by DDGo on my Firefox browser. All things Russian?

        1. Jason Boxman

          Maybe you have the DDG privacy badger extension? Or you searched for it on DDG directly? Otherwise, it shouldn’t be able to stop you from going to any web address in your browser URL bar.

  22. Wukchumni

    Satellites Reveal ‘Surprising’ Antarctic Ice Loss, Sea Level Rise Newsweek

    Were the Thwaites Glacier to take us out, it’d be a calamity in that with the myriad of horrible things we’ve accomplished for the sake of Capitalism, would be whisked away and forgotten in the wake of time and tide encroaching quickly.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Why Will Bombing Iranian Proxies Work This Time?”

    ‘There are plenty of Houthis to kill, and nearly immeasurable sites of relatively cheap drone launchers to blow up. The U.S. has had a lot of practice and is good at it to the point it is almost bullying. Iran is certainly willing to fight to the last non-Iranian militiaman.’

    And there is the problem right there. The author never considers that groups in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, etc. have their own agency and their own motives and are not controlled by Iran. They are more fellow travelers. As for Yemen, not many Yemenis have actually been killed. A coupla weeks ago it was only about thirty or so. And as for those drone launchers, the Yemenis have been setting up old trucks with tubes to make them look like launchers. The US will launch highly expensive missiles at them and will claim a kill. The Yemenis have lost an old truck but have used up more US missiles from an ever decreasing stock.

  24. jm

    How to be a good follower Economist

    Article is behind a paywall so I wasn’t able to read it. But the fact that it exists suggests business leaders think there is a problem with employees. Given that the actual purpose of the public school system is creating compliant workers, maybe decades of under investment in this system wasn’t such a good idea.

    1. MaryLand

      That’s been the purpose of the school system for many years, especially for students who were not on the college track. My high school principal told us that employers came to the school looking for people to hire. They mostly looked for students with perfect attendance records because they didn’t want to pay for sick days. That’s how she encouraged us to come to school every day no matter if we were sick.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        I made resume clients dig through all the old plaques and certificates and nothing made me happier than awards for perfect attendance. Employers love workers who show up.

        Here’s a working link to the Economist story. The word “follower” has no relevance I can see. Troops don’t follow a general, they follow their sergeant.

        Subordination is not a BDSM thing. Good political campaigns, the military, well run orgs of all kinds need employees to do as they are told.

        Subordination is not about being submissive. Subordinates are expected to speak up when bad ideas are introduced. Corporate leadership tends to mistake subordinates for slaves but on a well-run plantation, even slaves got to speak up when big mistakes were being made (just as wise officers always consult their noncoms, contractors ask skilled employees their opinions about prospective jobs).

        That there is an order to things speaks to the need to speak up when bad orders are given. There is a natural flow to work. Injecting too much management creates an unnatural work flow and that, sadly, is what most of us have experienced.

  25. Lunker Walleye

    Speaking of Giant Hail: Prediction here is for half dollar size hail and seventy mile per hour winds. Keeping fingers crossed that car, new impatiens plants and roof aren’t ruined it if it actually comes through our area.

  26. Terry Flynn

    Yoga dog is cool but I’ll be really impressed when someone films a cat doing that.

    Then that reminds me of one the latest parodies by owlkitty – The Mandalorian. The best comment was “proof that if cats could use the force….. They wouldn’t”

  27. Wukchumni

    There was an old woman who lived in a Subaru
    She had so many debts, she didn’t know what to do.
    She gave up housing hope without any bread;
    And slept less than soundly when she went to bed.

    1. LawnDart

      Yeah, frequently overlooked in this car/van-life thing is that your food-costs go up, exponentially: no refrigeration, limited cooking, no baking… and add long-term costs to your health from eating a lot of prepared and processed crap.

      1. Wukchumni

        TV show proposal:

        Julia sans Child whips up delicious meals in her 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis…

  28. Democracy Working Someday

    Alarmed Democrats flee Biden’s ailing brand in battleground states

    Quotes two anonymous sitting Democratic Senators saying Biden’s age is a liability, along with inflation. Somewhat distressingly every example given in this article of campaigning Democrats distancing themselves from Biden’s policies involves them hitting him from the right on climate, border security, and Israel. I do think Biden was a dreadful candidate, but the bulk of this article makes it seem like the problem is he’s not sufficiently indistinguishable from a Republican.

    This long-time Green will happily continue collecting ballot access signatures in MD to provide voters with an alternative in November.
    I haven’t voted for a Democrat for President since 1992 and it’s been remarkably liberating!

    1. Lefty Godot

      It’s standard treatment of the Democrats in the media to say they need to move further to the right to appeal to voters, which would make one think there is something “left” in their program now. Trump keeps calling them radical left socialists, for example, but he also doesn’t explain what is “leftist” in their actual practices. I guess it’s all fake culture war, DEI, trans rights, gun control, and other stuff that has nothing to do with real leftism that is what they are getting tagged with as leftist positions. We desperately need a real leftist party that shows how phony all these elite pseudo-leftist fashion issues are.

  29. The Rev Kev

    ‘Department of State
    Congress has given us the power to seize Russian assets in the U.S., and we intend to use it.
    We are working with @G7 partners to see that Russia’s immobilized sovereign assets are used to remedy the damage Putin continues to cause in Ukraine. – @SecBlinken’

    Should it be mentioned that the bulk majority of the damage caused by this war are in the new Russian Oblasts? All those cities, towns and villages plus the supporting infrastructure will have to be rebuilt from the ground up. After the war is over it will probably take Russia a generation to do all this new construction while they decontaminate all that territory of any unexploded ordnance. I suppose they can finance all this work by seizing US assets in Russia if Washington is going to do the same.

    1. JBird4049

      A generation to clean up all the unexploded explosives? Try over a century.

      IIRC, American farmers around Petersburg were running into unexploded mortar shells from its siege into the 1950s at least.

      The French for the foreseeable future will be cleaning up unexploded shells as well as have uninhabitable areas from the First World War.

      Much of Europe, but especially any cities that were bombed, still has the occasional shell or bomb from the Second World War.

      Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos all have serious issues as well with a steady trickle of the dead and dying every year since the Americans left five decades ago.

      Then there are all the minefields, many forgotten or poorly mapped from most of the major wars of the past 120 years…

      It’s trite, but very true that wars do not end when they end with them still happening for generations after the actual combat ended. And we will all be dead before the battlefields of the Russo-Ukrainian will be “clean.” Too often a certain amount of an area will be cleaned enough for nothing obviously or immediately dangerous to seen, but overtime, sometimes decades, like a rock a shell will rise to the surface or the object that it is buried in like a building or a tree(!) gets disturbed.

      People come to accept a certain level of risk. It is not because they do not care or are not cautious, but farmland is farmland or cities are cities and unless people are willing to abandon quite a bit… and places like Cambodia and Laos are simply too poor to abandon anything not completely uninhabitable.

  30. .Tom

    > Julian Assange has won the right to a full appeal

    Sounds positive. Is it? If he’s going to be in solitary in Belmarsh for the next N years as the appeal is processed then maybe not. Idk.

  31. ambrit

    How to Be a Good Follower.
    ““Follower” has religious overtones. “Team member” is hackneyed. How about “subordinate”? It describes the power relationship…”
    My vote is for “vassal.” It accurately describes the ‘new and improved’ social relation.

    1. jm

      I don’t know. Historically, vassalage conferred a certain level of social standing along with the corresponding rights and benefits. The way things are going I think “peasant” might be more apt, who will have the sole right of not being killed or starved provided they perform as expected.

      1. ambrit

        Point taken. So, here we have a similar distribution of “rights” and “responsibilities” as happens today. Olden times had Lords, Vassals, and Peasants. Modern times have Oligarchs, PMC Enablers, and the ‘Deplorables.’
        Terran human nature hasn’t changed in the last few thousands of years.
        Will the Twentieth Century be viewed by later cultures as an aberration?

  32. Tom Stone

    I saw my second Biden/Harris bumper sticker yesterday, no lawn signs yet.
    This is in Sonoma County which is a blue stronghold.
    Silence can be profound.

  33. Wukchumni

    Had a chat with my far right neighbors (Fox TV news is on at all times) and I asked how much they were paying for home insurance and she mentioned they’d been cancelled and California Fair Plan was way too high (‘because of Biden & Newsom’ she assured me) that they were going without it, and how easy…

    You don’t have any decision to make, really, They merely jettison you after a couple decades of paying for it, with nary a claim.

    1. ambrit

      Time to crowdsource “Instant Karma Kommando Teams” to bestow “Kinetic Darwin Awards” on Oligarchs and their enablers?

      1. Wukchumni

        Comeuppance see me sometime, big boy.

        I’d mentioned ‘Mutual of Tijuana’ to them as a possible carrier, and she almost believed me.

    2. Late Introvert

      My local CU forced us to buy flood insurance after they moved our house into the flood plain after 2008. The premium was going up hundreds per year until recently when Congress actually fixed something. We were paying the same rates that Florida seaside mansion owners were, on a 950 square foot place near a creek.

  34. Susan the other

    Thank you for LARB’s “Why ‘hallucination’?” Whoever Joshua Pearson is, more please! A long discussion on AI’s undesirable output as inherent misapprehension of meaning. The flexibility of semantics, then. It’s a good thing that our DNA does not use either composite images or composite words to govern our systems. DNA uses the language of microscopic geometries. Maybe AI should strive for such precision. When the author concludes that imagery would be more precise than words I can only wonder how on earth semantics is eliminated from an image and directly communicated? Clearly the word with the least semantically baggage is “no.” But AI would have to have mushroom clouds instead of logic trees to decipher every yes-no branch. No? Our verbal language comes down to us in abbreviated and idiomatic versions of much larger metaphors which always contain the logic required for creating meaning. AI could probably create a new language for its own purposes using the logic of semantics, reduced to usable idioms, instead of pixels of visual syntax which contain descriptions but no particular logic. Which is probably why AI avoids the word “no” like poison because there is an entire universe of options when logic only goes in one direction. Too circular, so no wonder AI loses the plot.

  35. steppenwolf fetchit

    I wonder if Reps Reschenthaler and Miller are Armageddon Rapture Christians or at least adjacent to same. Why would I wonder about that? Because a plan designed to entice more Diasporamerican Jews to move to Israel could be considered to bring the Day of Armageddon Rapture closer?

  36. Willow

    Russian sanctions blowback – pushing the Global South closer to Russia. (Subianto flexing his wings prior to becoming president?)

    “Ultimately Indonesia’s efforts to “sanctions proof” its economy and to “embargo proof” its air force go hand in hand.. the threat of sanctioning Indonesia over its Su-35 acquisition had alienated the country from Washington fit into a much broader trend, as Western analysts widely warned that a vast array of secondary sanctions on Russian trading partners were alienating much of the non-Western world.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      The fear for Indonesia is that if they go with western fighters, that down the track the west can threaten them by saying that they will refuse to service those fighters meaning that those fighters will drop out of service, one after another. Blackmail leverage. The same happened to Iraq a few years ago with their American tanks that they purchased. The servicing company pulled out on Washington’s orders and those tanks, one after another, dropped out of service. Iraq then went on to buy Russian tanks.

      1. Willow

        As has happened with Turkiye’s F-16 upgrades..

        Indonesia (with Malaysia) moving into Russia camp puts Australia in a pickle. Australian policy geniuses blinded by the China light and forgetting about what’s next door and all those choke points for international trade.

      2. CA

        “The fear for Indonesia is that if they go with western fighters…”

        What has happened, is that from the Obama to the Biden administrations, the US has recreated the Cold War. The overt hostilities created these years has been confusing and startling to me, but I can come to no other conclusion. An Indonesia simply cannot be trusting and reliant on the US now. Similarly, for an Ethiopia among a number of global south countries.

    2. SocalJimObjects

      Well, when it comes to Prabowo Subianto, one has to take care not to discount his personal animosity towards the West and especially the United States. He was once banned from traveling to the US after a spate of accusations regarding human rights violations, which IMHO have some groundings in reality. It’s not a stretch to believe that he had used his position as Commander of Indonesia’s Special Forces to “deal” with some demonstrators opposed to the rule of his then father in law and President, Soeharto. Up to the election in 2019, he had always been known as someone quick to take offense, but since serving as Jokowi’s Defense Minister, he seems to have mellowed some and nowadays comes across as someone more considered and mature. It is however the opinion of the majority of Jakarta’s elites that the old Prabowo is “still in there somewhere”.

      Indonesia does not have any ambition to become some kind of regional hegemon, but Jokowi wanted the country to have control of her own destiny, and spreading the love around instead of relying on one big partner is one pillar of that policy.

    3. CA

      The germane point is that Indonesia was long a colony, as so many global south countries, and the time has come to be free of political interference. American foreign-policy-makers may fail to understand what a free Indonesia is about, but the time has come to work on just such understanding.

  37. Wukchumni

    Thirty eyes for every eye

    IDF let loose with big guns all over the cloistered hood, eh
    (Gaza City, here we come)
    You know it’s not innovative, it’s a Warsaw Ghetto like oldie but a goodie
    (Gaza City, here we come)
    Well, the residents really have no where to go
    Everybody is waiting for Godot

    And we’re goin’ to Gaza City, ’cause it’s thirty to one
    You know we’re goin’ to Gaza City, gonna have to expunge
    You know we’re goin’ to Gaza City, ’cause it’s thirty to one
    You know we’re goin’ to Gaza City, gonna have to expunge, now
    Thirty eyes for every eye

    And if my Merkava breaks down on me somewhere on the invasion route
    (Gaza City, here we come)
    I’ll strap my Uzi to my back and hitch a ride in my Kevlar armored suit
    (Gaza City, here we come)
    And when I get to Gaza City I’ll be shootin’ everything but a squirrel
    And checkin’ out the civilians for a dirt nap curl

    And we’re goin’ to Gaza City, ’cause it’s thirty to one
    You know we’re goin’ to Gaza City, gonna have to expunge
    You know we’re goin’ to Gaza City, ’cause it’s thirty to one
    You know we’re goin’ to Gaza City, gonna have to expunge, now
    Thirty eyes for every
    Thirty eyes for every eye

    They say we’ll roll the streets and get some settlements goin’
    (Gaza City, here we come)
    You know they’re out sufferin’ with indignation growin’
    (Gaza City, here we come)
    Yeah, and there’s two kinds of Semitic guise
    And all you gotta do is use the kill-ratio, 30 eyes for an eye

    And we’re goin’ to Gaza City, ’cause it’s thirty to one
    You know we’re goin’ to Gaza City, gonna have to expunge
    You know we’re goin’ to Gaza City, ’cause it’s thirty to one
    You know we’re goin’ to Gaza City, gonna have to expunge, now
    Thirty eyes for every lost Israeli eye

    Surf City by Jan & Dean

    1. skippy

      Ugh@Catherine Austin Fitts

      Consolidation is a chapter in Bill Blacks book – best way to rob a bank is to own one.

      Yet before all this happened neoclassical economics became dominate, which then filtered through academia, jurist prudence theory, spread far and wide by newly minted economists, MBA’s, and lawyers, et al which transformed how businesses and most people viewed society. Cough … banks are just businesses and corporate democracy is the name of the game where $$$$ get things done.

      All of this sort of thing proceeds money and heads on fire about it ….

        1. skippy

          Laws and politics proceed any currency creation and its administration I.e. the roll back of laws put in place from the FDR era has more to do with reality today than any currency system. The idea fiddling with currency systems will change the effect these past choices have resulted in is so myopic, worse it steals oxygen from the debate and discovery of the things and people that drove this neoliberal agency.

          Same system could be re-tasked to fix things, but no, some want to set artificial scarcity of currency from an A political stance, not then that sets up nicely for some really bad ideological outcomes – see history. Per se I see the currant outcome first and foremost from the social network perspective in the West and not currency. Fiddling around with currency does nothing to change the former.

  38. The Rev Kev

    Bad news in Syria. Asma Assad, he Syrian first lady, has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). ‘AML is a highly lethal type of cancer which affects bone marrow and can progress rapidly. Previous chemotherapy is a risk factor for the disease.’ This was after she had survived a bout with breast cancer a few years ago-

Comments are closed.