Links 5/22/2024

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4 more cats die of H5N1 bird flu in the U.S. BNO :-(

Americans are drinking half the coffee they did in the 40s Guardian. Kevin W: “There is literally no resemblance between 1940s coffee and modern coffee.” Moi: During my time in Sydney (2002-2004), Starbucks was opening up its first outlets in Australia because of course everyone wants its coffee. In fact, Australians grew up drinking good Italian coffee and correctly regarded Starbucks coffee as bitter coffee-flavored dishwater. The US headquarters were stunned to find Australians rejecting its coffee as inferior. I happened to go by one store as part of my rounds, and often saw a barista offering samples, not of coffee but of the sweet iced drinks with lots of whipped cream.

Singapore Airlines passengers did SOMERSAULTS, left the cabin covered in ‘pools of blood’ and BLACKED OUT as they were thrown around by extreme turbulence: Survivors describe horrific ordeal and injuries suffered on fatal flight Daily Mail. Pix are DM’s speciality and these really are bad. But so many people not buckled in! I can understand those who were so unfortunate as to be up and about getting hurt. But this is a reminder: when seated, seat belt on!

Chess Brat New York Magazine (Anthony L). I don’t understand the underlying story. How could one cheat in elite chess absent computer assistance, which given the physical setup seems like a very strained idea?

New Discovery Hints at What General Anesthesia Actually Does to The Brain ScienceAlert (Chuck L)

Scientists Develop New Technique To Thaw Frozen Brain Tissue Without Harm MedicalXpress


Brain abnormalities in survivors of COVID-19 after 2-year recovery: a functional MRI study PubMed. Peer reviewed, from a Lancet specialist pub.


California Exceeds 100% of Energy Demand With Renewables Over a Record 45 Days Elektrek

Why the world’s oceans are changing colour.BBC

Migratory fish populations have crashed by more than 80% since 1970, new findings show Guardian

A Vast, Untapped Source of Lithium Has Just Been Found in The US ScienceAlert (Chuck L)

Heatwave grips North India: Delhi’s Najafgarh hits record high of 47.4°C [117.3F], schools declare holidays Live Mint

Countries in the Gulf will be required to invest billions of dollars in flood-proofing infrastructure as the region grapples with the “new normal” of extreme weather, a report has found The National News

Freak storm leaves Polish city blanketed in hail Guardian


The world’s largest chipmaker could flip a kill switch and remotely disable its machines in the event of an invasion PC Gamer (Kevin W)

Janet Yellen urges EU to join US in curbs on cheap Chinese exports Guardian (Kevin W). Note we linked yesterday to at story on Ursuala von der Leyen resisting this US initiative. When you’ve lost von der Leyen…..

China takes measures against 12 U.S. military-linked firms Reuters

BMW and Jaguar used banned China parts – US probe BBC

Macron heads to riot-hit New Caledonia as Australia, NZ evacuate tourists Sydney Morning Herald (Kevin W)

European Disunion

Germany: Far-right AfD bans top EU candidate from campaigning DW


Israel calls on ‘civilised nations’ to boycott ICC arrest warrants against its leaders Guardian (Kevin W). For Israel to position itself as civilized is an insult to intelligence.

Netanyahu’s response to the ICC invokes another genocidal biblical reference Mondoweiss (guurst)

Biden administration signals it will support push to sanction ICC Financial Times

France backs ICC after prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Netanyahu Reuters

Erm re the tweet below, I don’t see how Sinwar can surrender to ICC detention, which is a logical component of accepting the role of UN legal authorities. You can guarantee Mossad or the CIA would kill him there. So the “legal” part is questionable, since the practical cost of Hamas arguing for its right to oppose occupiers is awfully high:

‘Four blind mice’: Biden, Blinken, McGurk & Sullivan Responsible Statecraft

Norway to recognise Palestinian state, Spain and Ireland expected to follow BBC

Gaza Protests

Homeland Security Doesn’t Want You to Know Who Its New University Intelligence Advisors Are Ken Klipperstein

New Not-So-Cold War

A Kharkiv Encirclement As Dreamed Up By ‘Sources’ Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

US military aid to Ukraine is ‘grift’ – Blackwater founder to Tucker Carlson RT

Zelensky ‘yelling at generals’ – The Economist RT. Alexander Mercouris also discussed Lavrov (!) describing Zelensky’s outburst. Oh, and he gave Conor’s post on press/official demonization in the Fico shooting and ours on falling real wages a shout out.

U.S. Funds Ukraine Groups Censoring Critics, Smearing Pro-Peace Voices Lee Fang (Kevin W)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

JPMorgan, Mastercard Embrace Biometric Payment Options CNBC

Microsoft’s new AI-enabled laptops will have a ‘photographic memory’ of your virtual activity Fortune (Bill B)


Assange Wins Delay, but ‘Punishment by Process’ Continues American Conservative

Imperial Collapse Watch

Lockheed Martin Running Out of Space to Store F-35s Rejected By Pentagon Military Watch

Judge dismisses felony convictions of 5 retired military officers in US Navy bribery case Associated Press


More detail on the observations above: “Are You Staring Me Down?”: Judge Merchan Becomes an Oddity in his Own Courtroom Jonathan Turley

Additional classified records found in Trump’s bedroom after Mar-a-Lago search The Hill


U.S. Department of Energy to Release 1 Million Barrels of Gasoline from Reserves OilPrice (Kevin W). Putting this here because this is clearly a re-election gimmick. Biden already tapped the reserves to try to lower gas prices, which is not its proper use. The reserves are low and the DoE should be replenishing, not draining them.


Biden and Democrats raised $51 million in April, far less than Trump and the GOP’s $76 million Associated Press


The shadow war on the administrative state Politico

Supreme Court denies challenge to Mountain Valley pipeline E&E News

Fed officials seem like they have ‘no idea’ what is going on with U.S. inflation, strategist says CNBC

The Bezzle

Show HN: Pls Fix – Hire big tech employees to appeal account suspensions Hacker News. Paul R: “OMG. Baksheesh as a service.”

Guillotine Watch

Is hydrogen the eco future of superyachting? Financial Times

Class Warfare

Imagine if the government offered dental care. New federal rule could make that a reality. USA Today (ma)

Corporations are buying local vet clinics — raising questions about price, choice and quality of care CBC. Paul R: “Pirate equity is not mentioned, but a similar phenomenon in the US is.”

Antidote du jour (via:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from The Circle Game  by Joni Mitchell)

    Two thousand years the Jewish folk did wander
    Fitting in as they could where they are
    In ’48 they came here to kill and conquer
    Killing Arabs hasn’t got them all that far

    In Gaza you knock buildings down
    You’re forever fighting for the same ground
    While Hamas picks you off ten at a time
    Where is the innocence that you forsook
    When you began this game?
    You keep firing everywhere with nowhere to aim

    Genocide has excuses and has reasons
    Rationales when you blow past harsh extremes
    Wealth comes from the properties you’re seizing
    It’s your virtue not to listen to our screams

    In Gaza you knock buildings down
    You’re forever fighting for the same ground
    While Hamas picks you off ten at a time
    Where is the innocence that you forsook
    When you began this game?
    You keep firing everywhere with nowhere to aim

    Eating grass lets the Gazans survive somehow
    You chase them off chase them out and chase them down
    No food or fuel’s delivered by the trucks now
    All the taps are closed the drinking water’s brown

    In Gaza you knock buildings down
    You’re forever fighting for the same ground
    While Hamas picks you off ten at a time
    Where is the innocence that you forsook
    When you began this game?
    You keep firing everywhere with nowhere to aim

    You can kill for years with the bombs your host keeps sending
    While your Hasbara spouts vicious points of view
    Till you grasp at last that this spiral’s neverending
    And that this world won’t forgive these things you do

    In Gaza you knock buildings down
    You’re forever fighting for the same ground
    While Hamas picks you off ten at a time
    Where is the innocence that you forsook
    When you began this game?
    You keep firing everywhere with nowhere to aim

    You keep firing everywhere with nowhere to aim

    1. Martin Oline

      Good work here. Maybe you should put together a book and title it A Songbook of the Plague Years?

        1. Revenant

          Diplodocus – IDF is going the way of the dinosaurs

          Croak us / cloak us

          Rokos’d (basilisk, try to work Gorgon Stare in)

          Low cussed

    1. Balan Aroxdale

      I’ve also stopped reading it. I suspect quite a few people have, and stories like these are a response to declining readership/subscriptions. Anecdotally a lot more people are getting news from twitter and tiktok and independent sites.

      Ungar-Sargon’s book “Bad News” noted that the NYT’s business model involves having a small number of higher income/higher education readers, making it more attractive to advertisers. Alas for the NYT this group is more likely to smell the bullshit and stop paying for it as well. I suspect Gaza coverage to date has made a big cliff appear these numbers to advertisers, leading to a scramble to win back credibility. Fool me once…

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Not if it’s what they want to hear. Biden did better with NYT subscribers than Sanders. Hillary cleaned up with the demo.

        The pier was a sick joke, but it was being peddled for the NYT types who believe nonsense as long as it comes from that liner.

    2. Alice X

      I linked and commented on the piece several days ago. Another commenter a day later. The piece has useful information but also serious omissions, like an overview of the 100+ years of terrorism against Palestinians. It doesn’t mention the original Nakba, or that it never actually ended. It is something as is, just not what it could have been. A few bad apples? No, an orchard planted in someone else’s garden.

      1. Es s Ce Tera

        I wondered! Sorry to duplicate your post, Alice X.

        And I agree any piece about Jewish Terrorism should at least mention Lehi (Stern Gang) and Irgun, their roles before, during and after the creation of Israel, to not go back this far can only be deliberate omission. Likewise, to not mention Irgun became the modern day Likud, Netanyahu’s party, currently in power, would be another omission.

        1. Vandemonian

          The bombing of the King David Hotel is also worth a mention. Pure terrorism (although it wasn’t called that back in the day).

          1. Revenant

            My father was thunderously cross about the bombing of the King David hotel. Menachem Begin became Israel’s president on the back of it.

            I went to visit the KDH when I went to Israel on a school trip, just to see what he was on about. Nice colonial-style building. No mention of the atrocity on any plaque….

    3. Jason Boxman

      I’d read it to keep up with the propaganda, and there is occasional useful reporting, such as on the massive water shortages in fly-over and the southwest, which is alarming enough that they did a multi-part series on it. But I certainly wouldn’t pay for a subscription to a paper that’s engaged in so much harm, from Iraq War propaganda, to Russiagate, and beyond.

      Now that they block you if you disable JavaScript, that last hack to read for free, I just scan the day’s propaganda headlines; if I’m not lazy, I might something or other.

  2. The Rev Kev

    ‘Department of State
    When we hold the @NATO
    Washington Summit in July, we’ll take tangible steps to increase NATO’s role in building a capable Ukrainian force, supporting its ongoing reforms, better integrating Ukraine into the Alliance.’

    So says Antony Blinken. This was also the guy who was indicating to Lavrov a coupla years ago that the US was going to be stationing nuclear-tipped missiles in the Ukraine and the only thing up for discussion was the actual number and there was nothing that Russia could do about it. And here Blinken is telling Russia that unless they destroy the Ukraine, that they will be continuing the war down the track using the Ukrainians as a proxy army.

      1. The Rev Kev

        No, he is just a sociopath with a lefty guitar. You look at the guy and he looks kinda bland but in private he worked well with people like Victoria Nuland.

        1. Wukchumni

          My French ex-pat hiking friends tell me that Antony speaks perfect French, and Americans are typically wowed by somebody that can converse in another language, which might explain why such polyglots as him and Mayo Pete got as far as they did…

          1. The Rev Kev

            Blinken’s Wikipedia entry says that he lived in Paris with his mother and step-father from 1971 to 1980 and attended École Jeannine Manuel which is a private school so no surprise he picked up French-


            But for speaking multiple languages, I was once humiliated to meet a bunch of very young Dutch school kids who could converse in Dutch, English, French and German. Gawd!

            1. Wukchumni

              My dad could converse in Czech, German, French and English, but was not offered a cabinet position here in the states.

              p.s. If you go on Wheel of Fortune in the Czech Republic, do NOT buy a vowel!

              1. britzklieg

                “p.s. If you go on Wheel of Fortune in the Czech Republic, do NOT buy a vowel”


                  1. ambrit

                    Is that Blinken yelling in Czech: “Kirk! I’ll get you Kirk!” while an Imperial cruiser burns around him?

                  2. Jabura Basaidai

                    had a girlfriend for a number of years from Bratislava who would probably say the Czechs speak Slovak – her and her family fled when it was considered one country – she did point out that the Czechs were different from the Slovaks – her Mom fluent in Russian, English and Slovak –

              2. Airgap

                My dad always bragged that he was bilingual, “I’m fluent in English and

            2. Yves Smith Post author

              People who live in Scandinavian countries are typically very accomplished. They speak their own language, usually at least one of their northern neighbors, and then often German and English. French and English are very similar, so speaking both is good but not a monster accomplishment, ditto German and Dutch..

              BTW Maria Zakarovha speaks English, Russian and Chinese!

              1. elissa3

                A long-time-ago romantic interest from the Netherlands spoke ninelanguages fluently and, according to others, without accent! While exceptional, three or four is not so much for Dutch and Scandinavians.

                For parents with young children, with an interest beyond the USA, I recommend the four essential languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Russian. French, not so much. (BTW, Kerry and Romney also speak fluent French).

                When questioned about “Why Russian?”, I maintain that it will always be an important nation because: 1) land mass; 2) significant population of which high percentage well-educated; 3) huge natural resources; 4) nukes (protective asset); 5) a sense of self moulded by a difficult history. If one doesn’t opt for an international career, OK, but Russia will always be there. . .

                1. ambrit

                  A High School friend once remarked that he was learning Russian so as to be ready for “The Occupation.” Who would be the occupiers and who the occupied is irrelevant.
                  I could see the outlines of the Neo-con agenda even that far back.

                  1. Wukchumni

                    I’d be cool with lunch special #6 w/ fried rice, if the Chinese were to be our overlords.

                    …you can’t help but notice there aren’t really many Russian restaurants in the USA

              2. Irrational

                French and English may be similar vocabulary-wise, but not grammar-wise.
                English and Danish quite similar grammar-wise. German nice and orderly like Latin, but simpler, French manages to add complexity to Latin. As far as I can tell Spanish and Italian grammar is more true to Latin and therefore simpler than French, but I don’t really speak either so happy to stand corrected!

                1. Revenant

                  Yes French and English not similar! Abstract vocab in English is Latinate and so PMC bafflegab is straightforward if you have the grammar off pat. Practical conversation much harder, less vocab overlap and irregularity and phoneme shifts on both sides

                  German is also surprisingly distant. Dutch / low German much closer.

                  Spanish and Italian closer to Latin, especially Spanish, and very regular. Probably the easiest global language for an English speaker to acquire full fluency.

                  Chinese pretty forgiving for practical communication but reading and writing are tough and I suspect accentless spoken Chinese also tough.

                  I enjoyed studying Russian the most. Largely alien but with beautiful, intricate grammar and lots of loan words from every Western European language

              3. Emma

                Their 8,000 word statement includes language education in each other’s language. And I assume English language education will continue for both. So a good chunk of the currently under 10 populationwill probably be trilingual soon!

                1. CA


                  Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

                  Wow, China and Russia issued an extraordinary joint statement yesterday, with almost 8,000 words when translated into English, and in many ways more important than the famous “no limits” partnership statement in February 2022.

                  Here are the points that stood out for me.

                  BUILDING A NEW WORLD ORDER

                  The statement says that it is an “objective factor” that “the status and strength of emerging major countries and regions in the ‘Global South’ are continuously increasing”, and that “the trend of world multipolarity is accelerating”. This in turn “accelerates the redistribution of development potential, resources, and opportunities in a direction favorable to emerging markets and developing countries, promoting the democratization of international relations and international fairness and justice”.

                  They point out that “countries that adhere to hegemonism and power politics are contrary to this trend, attempting to replace and subvert the international order based on international law with a so-called ‘rules-based order’ “.

                  Security-wise, the statement says that “both sides believe that the fate of the peoples of all countries is interconnected, and no country should seek its own security at the expense of others’ security. Both sides express concern about the current international and regional security challenges and point out that in the current geopolitical context, it is necessary to explore the establishment of a sustainable security system in the Eurasian space based on the principle of equal and indivisible security.” …

            3. Colonel Smithers

              Thank you, both.

              Not just Americans. British centrists had an orgasm, comparing Blinken to his Republican predecessors. I did not realise that speaking French was such a big deal. The French government reckons 200 – 300 million people do.

              Blinken lived on Avenue Foch, not far from the Arc.

              1. Adam1

                Speaking French isn’t a big deal. Being a white male American who can speak anything other than American English (and doing that well is its own subcategory), WELL that is bordering on museum level novelty (yes, some intended sarcasm).

                Now there are lots of American’s who are bilingual and polyglots, but almost always they come from questionable, undignified backgrounds (again, sarcasm although definitely intended full extent this time).

            4. vao

              The significant detail is the accent: Blinken speaks French without any noticeable accent (in contrast to, say, John Kerry). This indicates that he was totally immersed at a young age in a French-speaking community.

              Often, English-speaking people fluent in another language are betrayed by their heavy accent. For instance, Timothy Garton-Ash is genuinely fluent in German — but his accent is unmistakeably Anglo-Saxon.

              The only other celebrity from the USA I know of who speaks fluent French without an accent is Angela Davis. Actually, she has a slight accent, but it is not at all an Anglo-Saxon one — it sounds a bit like a Brazilian one.

              1. Hastalavictoria

                A bit late to this one but I recall the multi- lingual polymath Anthony Burgess – Clockwork Orange etc writing that the greatest linguist he ever met was a water boatman in Bombay who spoke 22 languages.
                He needed it for his work.

                1. Wukchumni

                  A rival American numismatist who I crossed paths with quite a bit in Europe was an amazing polyglot who spoke all the European languages, and at a coin show in say Munich, I could speak the lingua franca of my desired objects by pidgin German, he could converse with a münzhändler in his language (the coin biz was about 99.44% male) whereas I was content to merely strangle the language using only my vocal chords… huge advantage to him.

                  He probably was fluent in 40 tongues, amazing.

                  1. Revenant

                    Queens’ College had a philologist Fellow who spome dozens of languages, not all of them dead. He said that acquiring a new one had become a day’s study with the grammar. In his final years, his greatest unhappiness is that with failing eyesight he could no longer find anyone to read to him in decent Aramaic!

              2. Kouros

                Judie Foster also speaks very well French. She even had a supporting role in a quite nice French movie: A very long engagement…

              3. ChrisPacific

                Some languages are easier to speak accent-free than others. My old German teacher spoke it without an accent even though he was a native English speaker. An American friend of mine who had lived in Paris for a while supposedly had German-accented French. I think she had become aware of her American accent, figured out how to adjust for it, and overshot a little, which apparently pushed her into German territory.

                English is one of the most difficult. I think Mandarin may be another.

          2. JohnA

            Mayo Pete definitely cannot speak Norwegian as he allegedly claimed. I saw him interviewed briefly by a Norwegian journo. Embarrassing to say the least. Especially as if you reply to any such question with ‘akkurat’ or ‘nettop’ you are halfway to appearing to be Norwegian!

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              His navy reserve job always seemed like a tell. He drove officers around on base.

              1. Colonel Smithers

                Thank you.

                My former RAF officer father was stunned to learn that a junior officer had such duties and thinks this was part of a programme (to pretend) to give service experience to well connected types on the make.

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  Dad was a national guard artillery officer from Massachusetts*. He figures Pete had to be grossly incompetent. They don’t keep reservists to drive.

                  *Dad’s company was basically MIT students and alums. As a Boston College grad, he was clearly the dumbest person there.

              2. Procopius

                I’ve always wondered about that. Normally, a driver is a SP4 or SP5. I admit I’ve been retired for a long time, but seeing a reserve officer used as a driver is very strange indeed.

          3. inchbyinch

            Because they can tell lies in several languages? They have great depth, they’re multi-liared. And oh, they’re both floundering in regions that have to do with Palestine.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Looking at Future History, echoes sound regarding the Ukraine situation and the snippet on US Big Plans for Palau. Which is a former US “protectorate,” now after a 1997 referendum described as “a presidential republic in free association [heh] with the United States, which provides defense, funding, and access to social services.”

      Blinken and Nuland and the rest were by YHWH gonna place nuclear-warhead first strike missile in Ukraine, minutes from Russia’s seats of government. Russia is not having that, of course, and we’ll over half a million soldier and civilian Ukies and who knows how many “not NATO” mercenaries, and tens of thousands of Russian Federation soldiers, are dead and national economies of the Sainted West are dead or bleeding out.

      Now the Empire, on the way to complete ruin in pursuit of war with China, wants “freely associated” Palau to host war fighting radar and shiploads of other materiel. Wonder how that deal was worked out — maybe it took not too much more than a rough nudge and a bag of cookies.

      Palau was the scene of one of the most costly and insane battles of WE II. Turns out by simple inspection that “taking” Palau was unnecesssary.

      So as with Ukraine, Palau and all the other “lily pads” and “bases” at the end of vastly expensive and vulnerable logistics chains, will likely turn out to be a net gain for the “I” part of the MICIMAT, and another huge, embarrassing, and costly loss to the “real economy” that undergirds the notional value of those MMT dollars, when the now seemingly inevitable land, air, sea, cyber and space war with the Peoples Republic of China.

      But all the paperwork will be in order, which was the excuse given by the head of Washington state’s floating concrete bridge over Lake Washington.

      Amazing, all the ways humans can fail. And evade all consequences.

    2. TomW

      Not so fast… It depends.
      IMO, a smallish rump Ukraine will (or would) be partially carved up by Poland and Romania with a small chunk still called Ukraine. That would make chunks of what used to be Ukraine NATO countries. And then? Pretty much nothing.

      It cuts both ways… Russia can’t spar with NATO, but NATO can’t casually spar either. The US/NATO can militarize the new border all they want, but to what end?

      We don’t know exactly how this will end up. But the big picture is that a pre 2014 Ukraine (United, but internally divided) will resolve into two or more smaller, more homogenous chunks, which will become a new East West border. Essentially, everything gets worse, nothing much changes, and we move on to the next adventure.

      Pre 2014 Ukraine will look utopian in the rear view mirror. However it is resolved, exactly, will please no one. Ukrainians who wanted to live in the EU pre 2014 got a version of that dream, but as refugees. Just another reason I personally hate war, that they tend to be un-winnable, using any normal definition of winning.

  3. digi_owl

    “Scientists Develop New Technique To Thaw Frozen Brain Tissue Without Harm MedicalXpress”

    I suspect the thing everyone wonders is how soon this can be applied to whole organs, if it can at all. Because if it can, then it could make the storing and transport of transplants far far easier.

      1. flora

        What if cloud seeding not only blocks some sunlight from reaching the ground but also blocks some of the daily heat build up from radiating out, creating a slow build up in generally trapped heat? I’ve never seen this question addressed. The atmosphere is a two-way street, as they say.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Geoengineering has already been part of the human project for a couple of centuries. We’ve been messing with the carbon cycle since the steam engine and the nitrogen cycle for the past 100 years. The long-term disastrous results are becoming more and more obvious to the point that the response of the billionaires and ecomodernists is to double down with hare-brained (sorry, Bugs) schemes likely to expose even more fully just how limited our understanding of planetary systems is.

  4. Henry Moon Pie

    Changing ocean colors, nitrogen and “the greatest single experiment in global geoengineering ever made”–

    The article about changing ocean colors explains that this phenomenon is the result of an increase in ocean temperatures produced by global warming:

    It found that chlorophyll – a photosythetic pigment found in phytoplankton and plants that gives them their green hue – were 200-500% higher than average in the Norwegian sea and Altantic Ocean north of the UK in April 2023, while they were 60-80% lower in the ocean west of the Iberian Peninsula. The Mediterranean Sea saw chorophyll levels 50-100% higher than average in June 2023. In both cases the average was taken from measurements between 1998-2020.

    The article’s attribution of this increased chlorophyll to anthropocentric climate change is undoubtedly at least partly correct, but there is another likely contributor: nitrate pollution resulting from chemicalized farming employing application of chemicals produced by the Haber-Bosch method:

    When marine algae are overfed with excess nutrients, their reproduction rates can increase significantly. Fertilizer containing these nutrients can find its way into lakes and oceans through runoff from agricultural farms, golf courses, and suburban lawns. Other nutrients get added from the atmosphere, soil erosion, upwelling, aquaculture facilities, and sewage plants. Try this simple experiment at home to see for yourself how the nutrients in fertilizers can trigger algal blooms.

    Gunnar Rundgren has begun a five-part series on the nitrogen cycle, our unbalancing of it through application of chemical fertilizers and the resulting effects on ecosystems and human health. He cites a
    European study that calls our use of nitrogen in agriculture “the greatest single experiment in global geoengineering ever made,” quite a statement considering the geoengineering we’ve been doing with our CO2 pollution we’ve been producing since the advent of the Industrial Age:

    The level of reactive nitrogen in the biosphere has been described as perhaps “the greatest single experiment in global geoengineering ever made” by the European Science Foundation (2013). When reactive nitrogen spread across biomes it changes them in a fundamental way, perhaps even more than climate changes does. The researchers behind the planetary boundaries framework estimate that the “safe” annual addition of reactive nitrogen to the biosphere is half of the current use of synthetic N-fertilizers (Richardson et al 2023). In addition to global warming, reactive nitrogen in its various forms contributes to environmental impacts, such as eutrophication, acidification, biodiversity loss, toxic air and groundwater pollution, stratospheric ozone depletion.

    Concern about this nitrogen pollution is what lies behind efforts in countries like the Netherlands to rein in nitrogen production by the nation’s heavily chemical dependent agriculture industry. These are not abstract concerns or worries about negative impacts on snail darters. Human health is impacted both by nitrous oxide in the air and nitrates in the water. The Netherlands, a small country with a highly concentrate agricultural industry, has a serious problem that had been neglected for decades. Action had to be taken.

    1. griffen

      Algae blooms over the past 20 plus years had become a polluted downstream nightmare for a few locales in eastern NC, particularly New Bern where the Neuse River empties. The pollution is run off starting north of the Raleigh area then picks agricultural run off from large scale hog farms and probably poultry as well. Hurricanes have exacerbated these results in prior years.

      Hog farmers may likely enjoy the smell of their swine empires but it carries a price. Hard to escape that aroma in the spring and summer months.

      1. earthling

        If only there were, oh, call them environmental protection agencies; a national one and one in each state, that would set limits on how much of this stuff could empty into streams.

        1. griffen

          Recently watched the well done Dark Waters, featuring Mark Ruffalo as the lawyer and Anne Hathaway played his wife. Talk about lawyer up against it, in ways that might make you seriously question whose side the federal and state governments are on after all.

          Citizens or the giant polluting corporation…not just pollution but serious chemical run off that seeps into water supplies.

        2. Jhallc

          EPA and the state equivalents do much better with point source pollution ( i.e a pipe discharge) than non point source runoff (fertilizer runoff, hog waste etc. ). Very difficult to regulate and enforce against. Not saying it couldn’t be done better mind you.

  5. The Rev Kev

    ‘Politbüro 🇦🇹, Generalsekretariat #Favoriten 📯
    An educated guess: Neither Ireland nor Norway will miss Israel’s ambassadors very much. So you can keep them.’

    Well if either of those ambassadors are anything like Israel’s Ambassador to the UN – Gilad Erdan – then that would certainly count as a win. I hope that some people in Israel realize that long term that this only serves to make that country more and more isolated on the international stage and that is not good for them. I notice that they did not close their Embassies in Norway or Ireland. They were probable worried that if they did that, then they would get turned into Embassies for the Palestinian state.

  6. Matthew

    Apparently one was accused of having a vibrating remote controlled butt plug a compatriot would activate to give predetermined signals from advice given by a computer!

    “I don’t understand the underlying story. How could one cheat in elite chess absent computer assistance, which given the physical setup seems like a very strained idea?”

    1. integer

      Funnily enough, that is the same method that AIPAC uses to give orders to members of congress.

  7. Wukchumni

    Moi: During my time in Sydney (2002-2004), Starbucks was opening up its first outlets in Australia because of course everyone wants its coffee. In fact, Australians grew up drinking good Italian coffee and correctly regarded Starbucks coffee as bitter coffee-flavored dishwater.

    I visited the Lucky Country in 1981, the first of maybe 6 trips there in search of old round metal discs, and I had no idea that so many Italians had emigrated there after WW2, giving it a feel of say an Italian-American community in the 1930’s in the USA.

    Melbourne in particular was quite endowed with them, and I remember having my first cappuccino-served in a foam cup.

    Such things didn’t exist in sunny California!

    1. The Rev Kev

      There was a huge wave of Greek and Italian emigrants to Oz after WW2 and with the Greeks alone, Melbourne was the third largest Greek city in the world at one time in terms of the number of Greeks living there. Lots of guys in my high school had Greek surnames and that was in Sydney. But the Italians and the Greeks completely changed how Aussies ate and drank and added a richness to the local scene. For the Italians alone-

      ‘Between 1945 and 1951 more than 35,000 Italians migrated to Australia and between 1951 and 1972 an estimated 338,624 Italians migrated to Australia. The 1950s was the peak decade of Italian migration to Australia with as many as 193,791 Italians settling in Australia.’

    2. digi_owl

      The more i contemplate it the more i am reminded of that Monty Python classic about beer. In particular given the definition of an Americano. Seems there is nothing Americans like more than flavored water…

    3. Lee

      I had my first cup of good coffee at the age of 20 in Berkeley, CA in the late sixties at Caffe Mediterraneum, where some wrote poetry and others plotted ways to smash the state, or in some instances both. Another source of fine, knock your socks off strong coffee was Peet’s, then a single shop in North Berkeley, and now a chain of some 200 stores. Even so, their deep dark brew is still considerably better than Starbucks.

      1. The Rev Kev

        American coffee – as in a “cup of Joe” – used to be pretty good and strong. But then several decades ago the coffee companies got together and decided to very slowly adulterate the coffee that people bought in supermarkets to increase their profits. Over the following months this happened and as it was so gradual, people did not notice the difference. Perhaps people returning from long trips overseas but most people not. And now I believe that some of the most expensive brands of coffee on the market today would be on par with the coffee that Americans drank every day up to the post-war period.

        1. Pat

          I don’t think you should underestimate the changes in popular brewing processes. For most of those earlier years you were talking a percolator, something that will by its nature produce a stronger brew than pour over. It was also easier to burn coffee. Without pressure, such as in the moka pots, water once through the grinds doesn’t release as much of the flavor.
          IOW don’t just blame Folgers go for Mr. Coffee as well. ;)

          Full disclosure without lots of milk products I don’t drink coffee, but spent a fair amount of time in the seventies working in a high end coffee place. (Cappuccino or extra light iced, but usually give me tea…) Grind, brewing processes and yes coffee origins were constantly subjects of discussion.

          1. Wukchumni

            In my first visits to NZ in the 1980’s right at about the age you start to appreciate coffee @ 19 to 25 years old, really all you could get practically was Greggs instant coffee, it was a java wasteland and all about tea.

            Fast forward to now, and seemingly every eatery in En Zed can serve you a flat white, cappuccino or other hot drinks, what a turnaround!

            1. Pat

              Gotta say high end has hit tea as well. Tea used to be a bargain at Starbucks, versus say Dunkin (better tea, larger cups for cheaper) but that ended a couple of years ago. As for brewing your own, It is no longer stepping up to Bigelow from Lipton. But there are some really good companies exploring and even producing tea. It just isn’t cheap, even by the pot.

    1. The Rev Kev

      For your second link-

      ‘The destruction comes at the request of the Green Party, citing the need for more “green” energy as a reason.’

      Do the German Greens get kick-backs for the number of trees that they destroy? They really have gone to the dark side in pursuit of power.

      1. flora

        The German Green Party currently pushing moar war in Ukr. How much CO2 does war fighting emit? (A lot is my guess.)

  8. griffen

    Strategic Reserve release of 1 million barrels…cynically how does that really move the needle? Oh and as for the low recent levels of the SPR, going back roughly a year ago best that I recall one would see Amos Hochstein on CNBC parroting the line, that the administration would replace the reserves which they never did. He was a senior advisor in the Energy dept.

    Thanks Sec. Granholm! Keep on fighting…\sarc

    1. Screwball

      That would be the same Grandholm that didn’t know how many barrels of oil the United States used per day when asked in an interview a few years ago. She said she didn’t have the number with her at the time. Amateur Robin Hood traders would know, but not or DOE secretary.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        This is the spaghetti at the wall period. Many people who don’t normally see each other will discuss items like car insurance and so forth.

        Biden spent the last year doing nothing but foreign policy. His administration is too backwards they don’t even have phony promises. The expectation was Drumpf would let them coast.

        The reason Granholm doesn’t know is the million figure is just there to sound huge to people who don’t deal with numbers that large.

        Remember Susan Rice is Biden’s domestic policy guru, a lifelong foreign policy dweeb and a terrible one at that.

      2. Alice X

        Just off the top of my head, somewhere around 20 million barrels a day, out of 100 million barrels a day worldwide. I’ll just leave it at that and go look up the numbers now.

    2. ilsm

      No petrol reserve is consistent with green agenda, which cares nothing about effects to the economy.

    3. John Steinbach

      1 million barrels is about 42 million gallons. The US uses about 376 million gallons of gasoline each day. The release is enough for less than 9 hours of driving- literally a drop in a bucket. Pure political theater.

      1. Wukchumni

        Yes, its tantamount to Fat Bastard in Austin Powers demanding a million, oblivious to its current worth.

  9. zagonostra

    >Imagine if the government offered dental care. New federal rule could make that a reality.

    In another attempt to bolster dental coverage, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Friday introduced the Comprehensive Dental Care Reform Act of 2024, a bill that would expand dental coverage through Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans

    Right on cue, right before an election. Fooled me twice BS, not a third, I’ll be voting third party.

    I’d be happy if the government just cared, period, for the non-donors that is. They do care about providing health benefits to people signing up for the IDF to kill women and children in Palestine. But for the 40M in this country, well they can just fend for themselves, the Market will magically take care of the problem, like it takes care of a everything else, you know the crumbling infrastructure, inadequate retirement plans, if you’re lucky to have one, etc…

    1. Jason Boxman

      Under Biden’s rule, states have until 2025 to decide whether to mandate that insurers cover dental benefits for adults. The dental benefits would not take effect until 2027. No states have publicly signaled yet that they intend to require ACA dental benefits in 2027, however, advocates say the new rule could represent a significant expansion of dental insurance, which gets less scrutiny than medical insurance for hospital, doctor and pharmacy bills.

      Imagine how many people will be dead from preventable infections from cavities and tooth decay, with a multi-year delay. Congrats, Biden administration, for basically accomplishing nothing, yet again. This is more useless than letting Medicare negotiate pricing for 5-whatever drugs, that took 2 years to go into effect!

  10. Joker

    Lockheed Martin Running Out of Space to Store F-35s Rejected By Pentagon Military Watch

    Homeless fighter jets. Send them all to jail.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Heh! Heh! Heh! Maybe they can make their own boneyard with them and use them for spare parts to keep those in the services still flying.

    2. ilsm

      This is incredible, the reason USAF is not signing DD 250’s is these recently manufactured F-35 do not have a specified IT upgrade, which is very late bc it has not passed tests.

      Passing tests and not having to upgrade after delivery is a new twist!

      I wonder if these unsigned DD 1250’s will affect the GDP print?

    3. Trees&Trunks

      I guess they will force this scrap metal onto the hapless Europeans and Baltic states.

  11. DavidZ

    Putting this here because this is clearly a re-election gimmick. Biden already tapped the reserves to try to lower gas prices, which is not its proper use. The reserves are low and the DoE should be replenishing, not draining them.

    Election gimmick – yes.
    The oil is the people’s oil – so if it’s used to provide them relief from high inflationary oil prices, why not?
    Plus the DoE – from a podcast I heard MacroVoices I think with some oil guy from the middle east – said that oil fields in the USA have to give the US govt royalties for the use – the DoE can easily say – give us oil not cash; so it’s easy to refill the oil.

    According to Wiki – Congress has mandated sales of oil to fund the deficit! So there’s that. People’s will and all.

    1. Hickory

      Because the purpose of the reserve is to protect the country from catastrophic supply disruptions, not for politicians to selfishly re-elect themselves. The president is undermining US national security to aid his reelection prospects. If this culture had actual rather than pretend accountability, it would treat him as the traitor rather than Assange.

      1. Expat2uruguay

        Okay, I think there’s confusion here between the gas reserves and strategic oil reserves. The gas reserves were established to help out in local crises, like a hurricane. And as pointed out above, this is a very small release, and it’ll probably be repeated up until the election.
        As to the SPP, which are the strategic oil reserves, those are currently at one half of 2010 levels. Another commenter somewhere here asked if the 180 million barrels that Biden released at the start of the Russian special military operation in 2022 have been restored. Well, they’re working on that, by adding 3 million barrels a month, and they’re only doing that because prices are low right now. So I guess we’re assuming 5 years of continued low price oil so that we can replace what Biden took out in 2022.

        By tapping strategic oil reserves, and to some extent by tapping gas reserves, the current administration not only benefits today, but since it looks like the opposing party is going to be the next administration, they pass a poison pill forward.

        1. TomW

          They are specifically tapping the Northeast gasoline reserve. To release in the US Northeast, PADD 1, to lower prices.
          I dunno…the Biden gang seem bad at price manipulation. But this seems targeted … so sure. If it is a global market … they are over their head. But the NE US sure.
          There is no excess capacity in the US NE.

      2. DavidZ

        “national security”

        Does that mean all the rich CEOs who outsourced american jobs, production, pharmaceuticals etc are also traitors (bcoz medicines should be a national security issue, no? how about work for regular americans? how about food and homes?)

        Traitor is a little strong me thinks;
        Plus as I pointed out, Congress (the people’s voice mandated sales of oil reserves – so how is a president who follows the wishes of the “people” a traitor?) yeah, I’m being a bit hyperbolic or playing devil’s advocate.

        I think it’s a storm in a tea cup this whole obsession with the oil reserves.

        I bet if the oil reserves were used to enrich the richest americans, we would not hear a peep; just because it’s being used to reduce prices for the hoi polloi – anything that benefits the bottom 75% of Americans – just can’t be allowed, because then tomorrow they may just say – “May I have some more, Sir” and that can’t be allowed.

        1. eg

          “Does that mean all the rich CEOs who outsourced american jobs, production, pharmaceuticals etc are also traitors (bcoz medicines should be a national security issue, no? how about work for regular americans? how about food and homes?)”

          Frankly, yes. But I won’t be holding my breath waiting for the richly deserved prosecutions …

      3. griffen

        This recent headline helps to shed further light on the topic of the SPR and plans or current intent to replace what had previously been released during 2022.

        The Biden administration does not have a rational energy policy, let alone a consistent approach. As it stands okay sure todays article on a release from a regional gas reserve storage site(s) seems poised to help American families. How much that can help is certainly a separate discussion.

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘Popular Science
    Many of the people were misled by federal agents into believing they were taking COVID-19 tests, a new study finds.’

    And that is why during the next Pandemic people will not trust any such tests and refuse to take them. Remember how they managed to confirm the identity of Osama bin laden before they killed him? The CIA organized a fake vaccination drive in the area so that they could test his kids for their DNA. Only trouble was that as trust was broken, people started to refuse the polio vaccine in this region and health workers were targeted. So the feds used this same idea back home with the same result.

    1. digi_owl

      I seem to recall Doctors Without Borders had to loudly pull out of Afghanistan because of that.

      US spooks really do live up to that James Bond stereotype of loud Hawaiian shirts and Texas drawl when “undercover”.

  13. Hickory

    How is Israel’s behavior not civilized?
    If a jeopardy clue were “cultures that massacre and enslave people while pretending to uphold moral standards” the answer would be civilizations.

    The uncivilized – that is, the cultures where no one rules over anyone else – don’t do this. Israel’s comment is just normal propaganda that all civilized cultures engage in.

  14. Enter Laughing

    Gaza pier debacle spirals toward complete failure:

    Pentagon Says None of Food Aid Moved Through Gaza Pier Has Made It to Palestinians


    UNRWA says food distribution in Rafah suspended, citing insecurity

    There’s almost to distribute anyway, so it hardly matters at this point…

    UNRWA reports border crossings have dwindled to 112 trucks over the last 2 ½ weeks. At the pre-war rate of 500 aid trucks entering Gaza daily, that number should be more like 8,000-9,000 trucks in a same period.

    I though the IDF was in charge of proving security for the relief effort. Anyone hear a peep from Biden or anyone in his administration on this misbegotten project?

    1. Procopius

      I think the State Department issued a certification that there is no evidence the Israelis are hindering aid distribution or are not taking all precautions against civilian casualties.

  15. ChrisFromGA

    Years after the CARES act was recklessly passed with no attempt at fiscal sanity, the fallout continues:

    PPP fraud. It is ongoing and for every outfit that got caught, I suspect 10 got away with it. The costs of this criminal fraud are spread across society, as inflation in goods (crooks no doubt bought jet skis, luxury cars, and other items with their ill-gotten gains.)

    Note – I don’t see anything about criminal prosecution of Kabbage executives in that press release.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Flora.

        New Labour = Blair and Brown Labour.

        New New Labour = Labour led by Starmer, Blair’s sock puppet.

    1. Mikel

      ELECTION LOOMING General Election ‘will be held on July 4’ with Rishi Sunak set to make bombshell announcement TONIGHT
      Millions of voters across the UK will cast their vote on Thursday July 4

        1. Terry Flynn

          I immediately went to this bit from Blazing Saddles. For the non-skin colour value before anyone complains. Most people can guess the clip but language alert for anybody who doesn’t.

        2. Terry Flynn

          Bookmakers have 11/2 on the Liberal Democrats becoming His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition! That’s shows much less belief in the Tories staging any recovery than I can recall in projections.

          I beat the bookies in 2017 but they usually call things in the right ballpark IMO – it’s just the “margins” of closer fights that they have got wrong.

      1. Lefty Godot

        Unexpectedly early. Why? So the ugly bulk of the televised genocide happens on Starmer’s watch? So Ukraine collapses on Starmer’s watch? What else could be making the Tories look for an early exit like this?

        1. Revenant

          Inflation has fallen off a cliff but the economy is just behind it. July is the Will. E. Coyote moment when the economy hangs in mid-air as everybody goes on holiday for the summer. Mr Market cones back to work in September when UK GDP will puke and Occtover onwards is full of US election and associated geopolitical craziness to boot.

          Also, more darkly, there are rumours that media companies have been instructed to update royal obituaries (thanks, Popbitch!). Charles is looking perky after his proctological adventures but the Princess of Wales has still not been seen in public since December and her return to work “after Easter” was just postponed sine die. If she has only weeks left,July may be the only window that would not be materially affected by State Mourning.

  16. The Rev Kev

    ‘Extreme Temperatures Around The World
    Exceptional heat in CHINA
    44.6C today in the northern Xinjiang Province.
    It has never been that hot in China this time of the year and it’s just 0.1C from the highest spring temperature in Chinese history.’

    Just to be narky about it, I don’t see the Chinese passing laws intended to prohibit local workplace standards requiring drinking water, cooling measures, recovery periods, posting or distributing materials informing workers how to protect themselves, and requiring first aid or emergency responses. The Chinese would regard that as barbaric that. Fortunately Ron DeSantis does not have jurisdiction in China. /sarc

    1. britzklieg

      I’ve always fared well enough in hot weather (100% southern Greek (Sparta), grew up/now living again in Florida) and whereas my tolerance has decreased notably with age and becoming accustomed to the now ubiquitous AC (our home was not AC’ed until my last year in high school – 1974), the other day it was 95 degrees… in the middle of May… not typical and almost unbearable. Yikes.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        A strong fan makes a HUGE difference. I find I can tolerate 92 degrees with the fan right next to me. It’s now 89.4 degrees and with the same fan it feels pretty comfy.

        1. nycTerrierist

          Drinking ice water helps too!
          also the occasional ice pack – and I can without AC until its well into the ’90s

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The Fahrenheit scale was designed around human tolerances. A healthy person can still engage in “reasonable” exertion in 90 F degree heat or 5 degree cold with appropriate precautions.

        2. Alice X

          I recall a discussion some years back that above something like 95°F a fan provides no relief, relating to the wet bulb temperature. I am loathe to turn on (and thus pay for) the A/C, so I use an exhaust fan to cool down the house overnight and then close it up. The problem in recent years is that the overnight lows have ranged upwards. Last night the low was 72°F (near Detroit), when it historically would have been in the low 60s. That is just one night but it has been a trend.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Depends on humidity re your wet bulb point. but usually correct.

            BTW the Thais have a totally different relationship to temps than we do. I regularly see them in long sleeves and pants at over 90 degrees. They often wear thin fleeces or a second layer at 85 degrees!

            1. Revenant

              My friends Malaysian girlfriend told him he was using a window and fan all wrong in a London heatwave. Open the top half of the sash window and set the fan to blow the hot air out. Cooler air will come in the bottom half of the sash automatically. Very much Luke Alice X’s exhaust fan.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                There is no cooler air to come in here. Typical lows at night are 80-82 degrees. You want the fan right on you to evaporate sweat. Different use case. Ceiling fans make a huge difference at night.

                1. Revenant

                  Sorry, I wasn’t clear. The air inside is hotter (because of 100W lightbulb humans, cookimg etc plus solar gain, thermal mass of buildings) than the outside air, especially at night. So you want to expel the air. This is more important than bring external air in, which happens anyway, so you should focus the fan on expulsion.

                  1. Yves Smith Post author

                    I regularly open the sliding doors to the terrace here to check outdoor temps. The outside air is just about never colder. We only have a 10 degree F difference between daytime and night-time temps. Only very very rarely would airing the place out lower the interior temp. I use very few lights and only make coffee, briefly steam veggies, and use a microwave. No meaningful heat generation from cooking. The terraces reduce the thermal gain since the sun mainly falls on them. The rooms where that is not true have curtains pulled during the day.

        3. Expat2uruguay

          @yves I remember there was a post here on naked capitalism a few years back about how to keep cool in the hot weather.
          My trick is to put a wet cooling towel around my neck, but it only works if the humidity is not too high. Or if I was working outside, I would just make my t-shirt wet. It worked great in California but not so good here in Uruguay.

          1. Wukchumni

            A cool trick is to go to altitude to beat the heat…

            In the summer every 1,000 feet you gain is almost 4 degrees cooler.

            An easier option for those without a half pint Himalaya in their backyard, would be to get down. get funky in a cave, most of which are around 40-55 degrees all the time.

            You could construct a cave, think of a 1950’s fallout shelter, but not if the Russkies push the button down, but for heat relief.

            1. Alice X

              My basement is 10°F colder than the first floor. It works out fine in the summer but not so much in the winter.

      2. Wukchumni

        Burning Man is a testing ground for 100 to 110 degree heat during the day, and the key to being happy is shade structures in your camp.

    2. Wukchumni

      Growing up in the 60’s water fountains were everywhere, some with chilled water (Haws brand was my favorite) and now 99% of them are gone.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Come to think of it, I remember public water fountains too when I was a kid. And now I can’t recall the last time that I ever saw one.

        1. JBird4049

          There is the issue of paying for the maintenance and of the wrong kind of people being around. Not having public fountains, which were originally installed as a health measure, means fewer taxes and another bit anti public architecture or landscape. Think of the benches either removed, truncated, or redesigned to be uncomfortable.

          If public health and comfort was still important, there would be water fountains, toilets, benches perhaps with shade everywhere. But it is not. Even bus stops are increasing uncomfortable.

          1. Wukchumni

            Oddly enough today, the local pot shoppe in Farmersville named ‘Token Farms’ had a water fountain in it with ice cold goodness~

    3. icancho

      47.0°C at Jalu in LIBYA.

      Hold my beer: 49.6 °C (121.3 °F) in Lytton, British Columbia, June 29, 2021

  17. Balan Aroxdale

    Biden administration signals it will support push to sanction ICC Financial Times

    France backs ICC after prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Netanyahu Reuters

    I now think the Biden administration will likely go down as the worst ever in American history.
    The damage that the administration has done to US post-war hegemony in 4 short years is nothing short of staggering. The dollars reserve currency status shattered by asset seizures, US military supremacy lost in Ukraine, America’s diplomatic standing internationally in the gutter over Israel, the entire gamut of international institutions built around American leadership one by one being disowned by the same.

    And now, even the European satraps are breaking ranks! Is there no end to this!?

    Washington is imploding everything it inherited with no end in sight. Even Buchanan only had causing a civil war to his name. I can’t even say if that won’t be tacked onto the present cavalcade of calamities. It’s not even that the political class is fighting about this, most of them seem to agree with the collective national self-detonation! It must be something instinctual, like an ant colony migration. What a farce.

  18. MicaT

    Sodium based batteries look to be taking over from lithium in the near future for all sorts of reasons. Cost, efficiency, safety, environmental components etc.

    And the article listed about getting lithium from fracking waste is just a concept and not happening anytime soon.

  19. The Rev Kev

    ‘Michael Tracey
    The hubris in Congress toward nuclear escalation is jaw-dropping. Bipartisan coalition demands Biden authorize Ukraine to strike inside Russia with US intel/weapons. Think of how psychotic this would’ve sounded two years ago. (Biden has eventually acceded to all these demands)’

    Don’t recognize any of the names but that is OK as they would not recognize mine either. Thing is, these are the sort of people that would have no problem signing a letter demanding that Biden put a coupla brigades of US soldiers in the Ukraine itself. And I have no confidence that Biden might not green-light that idea to show the Russians that the US is a serious nation or something. He is after all really emotionally involved in fighting Putin and saving the Ukraine so buckles to all demands sooner or later.

    1. herman_sampson

      The last one on the list, the honorable Andre Carson, is rep for most of Indianapolis, usually toeing the D party line. A follower Like anybody in congress, shouldn`t get another vote again for supporting genocide.

  20. britzklieg

    Wow…RT article about Blackwater’s Eric Prince on Ukraine. When you’ve lost him…

    suspect he will now become the persona non grata to the MSM which he’s previously been to the few remaining voices who, in the past, have rightly criticized his profit-driven mercenary interventionism/war piggery. And that he was talking to Tucker Carlson makes the point with a bullet.

    Then again, he probably believes his “troops” could make a difference. Didn’t Obama campaign on support for mercenary forces like his?

    1. Es s Ce Tera

      I haven’t watched it yet but did load it up for watching later, and the first thing I noticed behind Tucker is a blurred possible orthodox icon on what I assume is Prince’s bookshelf. He converted to Catholicism from some form of evangelism, which I think is not insignificant. My suspicion is I don’t think he’ll fight other Christians, especially of the Catholic or Orthodox persuasion, he likely views them as the same side. Crusaders don’t fight crusaders.

      1. anahuna

        Ahem! The Sack of Constantinople, 1204, during the Fourth Crusade.

        Multiple sources, including this one, examining the contemporary writings of the Byzantines and the Crusaders:

        Spring 2022 Issue
        Barbarians and Heretics: Anti-Byzantine and Anti-Western Sentiments in Crusade-Era Chronicles, 1096–1204
        —Ryan Saputo (Mentor: David S. Bachrach)

        Ryan Saputo
        The author, Ryan Saputo

        The role that anti-Byzantine and anti-Western stereotypes played in Byzantine-Crusader interactions is an often-overlooked area of study. Too often scholars have blamed the events of the Fourth Crusade on actors such as the Venetians or the papacy instead of examining the deep-rooted, hateful sentiments between Byzantines and Western Europeans. I focused specifically on evidence of stereotypes held by both Byzantines and Western Crusaders in literary primary sources for my research.”

        In short, the Roman Catholic crusaders and the Greek Orthodox Byzantines mostly despised each other. In 1204 the Crusaders enthusiastically looted the city and murdered anyone who stood in their way.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Yeah that one was a head scratcher – I didn’t think Prince had ever seen a war he didn’t want to jump into. Not personally of course – he’s too valuable to risk his own life I’m sure.

      But as you alluded to, he might have a different opinion were he the direct recipient of such Pentagon largesse.

      1. Mikel

        They would be on the front lines in a war against men with comparable weapons and against a country that is not a backwater in development. The attrition could be the end of his organization.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Good point – they are used to going in against people who aren’t very well armed. Those burned mercs hanging from an Iraqi bridge 20 years or so ago did come as quite the surprise to them.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “China takes measures against 12 U.S. military-linked firms”

    This would be a shot across the bow. The Pentagon knows exactly what would happen with their war machine if the Chinese halted all shipments of parts and materials.

  22. Mikel

    “The world’s largest chipmaker could flip a kill switch and remotely disable its machines in the event of an invasion” PC Gamer

    On another note: The epic junkyard and garage sale that is America should be able to provide appliances and other products that don’t have killer switches.
    Just need a couple of decades of enough things available without surveillance chips.

    1. Willow

      China doesn’t need them and any conflict would most likely contaminate the fabs with dust or misalignment. Article is just cope & misdirection because biggest impact will be West losing its key chip supply.

    2. Emma

      I wonder if China already has the ability to build ASML tooling and is simply stopped by patents. If the world breaks earnestly in two, the non-Western world may decide to break Western patents and renounce Western debts.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Good point. If conflict breaks out, China is likely going to ignore patents in the same way that Russia did two years ago.

      2. Revenant

        No need. China could invoke licence as of right provisions in its patent law, as UK and other western countries have, and build what it wants for a fair compensation. Russian legalism would definitely go this way – then put the funds in a blocked double account!

  23. Mikel

    “Microsoft’s new AI-enabled laptops will have a ‘photographic memory’ of your virtual activity” Fortune

    No, thank you. Corporate mediation for your every click.

    Don’t be a dumbass.

  24. XXYY

    Americans are drinking half the coffee they did in the 40s: Guardian

    One thing that may be a factor is cost per cup. My parents used to just have coffee going in a home percolator, and would sit and drink many cups at breakfast or in the afternoon or whatever. The cost was probably pennies per cup. Restaurants tended to serve bottomless coffee and it was not a major source of revenue for retail outlets.

    Since the 90s we have started to have high-end retail coffee, four or five dollars a cup (or more!), and people tend to get their coffee in drive-thrus and shops that specialize in elaborate coffee concoctions. You normally get one cup, and that’s it. As a result, people are drinking a lot less coffee as well as paying a lot more for it.

    I’m not criticizing the present situation, but it does lead to drinking many fewer gallons of coffee per year, I think.

  25. Tom Stone

    The outrage from Netanyahu and US Congress critters about the ICC arrest warrants are a hoot…
    “That Court is for Darkies and Savages like Putin, NOT civilized mass murderers like us!.”

    On a serious note the complete lack of respect for the Rule of Law by Western “Leaders”, and particularly the Biden administration, is going to have increasingly ugly consequences.
    I don’t see a Civil War as a likelihood, much more likely is societal collapse followed by overt warlordism.
    When you live in a Society whose systems depend on a high level of trust to function and you deliberately destroy that trust you get systemic failure.
    Which is what we are experiencing, slowly and then all at once.

  26. Mo

    Not especially important, but I’m curious how long the US can store gasoline in our reserve. It has a six month storage life in the garage at home.

  27. Sue irving

    I wish I could say that corporate owned vet clinics was somehow a terrible thing compared to privately owned. My husband and I owned and ran a vet clinic for 22years.we found it to be a nightmare most of the time. Although there were good moments. Medicine in any form is exciting and fulfilling.but this is a field of medicine ripe with narcissists who chose this route rather then Human medicine simply because the guard rails are weak in comparison .also most people misjudge how actually more complicated veterinary medicine is.these drs. Are the general practitioner ,the radiographic specialist,the anesthesiologist,the surgeon ,the pharmacist and all in between.and although the very capable were utterly amazing .I would happily have some of these people do major surgery on me, they were the few.the rest were terrified most of the time and that turned them into protectionist jerks who used bad behaviour ,back stabbing and the practice of using big words,medical jargon to confuse the customer.and talk about growing your brand,some of these people were to people about their vet ,how utterly amazing they beleive these drs. Are and you might start to hear echoes of cult culture.this has turned a lot of people into self indulgent jerks .wrapped in their own all amazingness.they afterall saved this desperate animal from who knows what depravity the world holds for them.and if you think the corporate world will try to dig deep in your pocket fear not ,many vets were already doing this.and this is also where it gets confusing.good medicine is expensive,no way around it.these people are well educated and should be well compensated.but there lies the dilemma. A public that wants the best and is willing to go along with the game that somehow this is what actually exists.this is a world of fantasy and if you can go along with that then I guess this works for you .but some of us wish for much better then that ,not only because it would create better medicine for animals but also a much better space for everyone on the may mean good vet medicine only for the wealthy,I don’t know.I no longer have a pet and don’t intend to in the future.I cannot play that game.

  28. Emma

    I wasn’t aware of Cornel West’s marriage to someone not only strongly anti-Iran but exhibit the terrible judgement to tweet about when Iran is in national mourning over death of Raisi. In addition, according to professor Marandi, the butcher accusation obscures both Raisi’s actual actions and who is purportedly a butcher against. He was working as part of a three man appeals board for MEK terrorists fighting openly fighting for Iraq and resulted in thousands of Iranian casualties. MEK was engaging in textbook treason during a time of an existential war, no country is ever forgiving on such crimes.

    West further damn himself through his associations. Unlike Stein, who is capable of a nuanced understanding of Syria and Ukraine, West is just doing the “both side bad” denounciation that sounds radical but ultimately recuperates the empire and fractures left movements.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Cornell West said that he was running for President but has done so little that even Jill Stein wondered aloud just what exactly he was doing. Jimmy Dore had him on his show for a very long interview and West revealed what he was all about causing Dore to be almost heartbroken at the disappointment. At one stage when Dore disagreed with West, West called him a Trump supporter which was just nuts. Just another establishment figure.

      1. CA

        Cornel West, the self-professed pragmatic philosopher, has shown no sign of being pragmatic or a philosopher. A pragmatist should explain the truth of an idea is found in the difference an idea makes in our lives, as the great William James explained. West worked in the William James building for years, but seemingly found no truths to explain.

        I do not understand.

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        Yes, it does look as though GPUS has been fortunate on this point.

        GPUS (no A) is the Green political party in the US. Wikipedia has a halfway decent summary of the split between GPUS and GPUSA here:

        (I just want to make sure people looking for information on the Green platform and Green candidates don’t get frustrated searching under GPUSA.)

      1. Emma

        I listened at 2x. The personal history account is somewhat interesting but its just laundering Frankfurt School ‘Marxism’, sounds super radical but have zero useful input on how to establish an actually anti-imperialist government, whose career is entirely funded by Western institutions and has no connection with Iranians in Iran. It wasn’t a waste of time because sometimes it’s necessary to know how people like him think, but it’s just a garbled mess of contradictory ideas that serve to obscure proper Marxist analysis of the situation in West Asia. It’s just throwing kitchen sink off radical sounding words together and then say it’s all white people racism, without any analysis of the underlying power dynamics.

        Just note the people he names as follow travelers, Zizek, Rushdie. Just putting the Trump phenomenon down to white supremacy. Saying Iran’s consistent support of regional anti-imperialist forces is just to prop itself up domestically. Saying the civil rights movement was infiltrated and looked up to Zionists when Malcolm X and MLK both strongly condemned Israel and even today the strongest anti-Zionists in Congress are black. Saying with no basis that if he was in Tehran he would be in jail ( Iran actually allows in many media outlets that are quite openly seditious. So unless he’s not just talking but acting, he’s not in danger and saying it is is a false trope). Trash.

        The MEK is indubitably a terrorist organization that fought for Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war, conducted terrorist campaigns that killed thousands, and continue to be funded by Western intelligence and Mossad to conduct terrorism against Iran. There are genuinely leftist and reformist elements in Iran, but MEK is to Marxism what ISIS is to Islam.

  29. The Rev Kev

    That image of the pink Flamingo in the Antidote du jour reminded me of a sad story I read yesterday. An Emirates flight flying into Mumbai, India hit a flock of them killing 39 of these birds. Locals are blaming newly installed power cables for the pink Flamingos flying off track-

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