Links 6/19/2024

We’ve Hit Peak Denial. Here’s Why We Can’t Turn Away From Reality Scientific American

The Worm Charmers Oxford American


Big Oil’s Plan To Criminalize Pipeline Protests Exposed by CMD

River defender group says it will sue over Thornton pipeline being built through Larimer County Colorado Sun

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More than 550 hajj pilgrims die in Mecca as temperatures exceed 50C Guardian

Havin’ a heat wave:

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You Have Every Reason to Avoid Breathing Wildfire Smoke The Atlantic

Why Americans are not buying more EVs FT


Avian flu spread in cows not being tracked, posing greater risk of human transmission Politico

The impacts of long COVID across OECD countries OECD. Commentary:

SARS Cov-2, The World’s Gentlest Bioweapon Anthony J. Leonardi, Easy Chair


Chinese copper glut grows in sign of sluggish economy FT

China’s real estate woes persist Splash 247

Xi calls for all-out flood rescue effort as storms pound southern China Channel News Asia

China fears spark Indian race for cobalt in contested ocean waters Al Jazeera

Why a drone war in Asia would look different from the one in Ukraine The Economist


Israeli military approves plan for ‘offensive’ in Lebanon FT

In open threat, Hezbollah publishes drone footage of sites in northern Israel Times of Israel. The footage (“Episode 1”):


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Gaza: ‘At least 7 killed’ as Israel bombs tents near Rafah The New Arab. Commentary:

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Threatening Jews is now acceptable — so long as you call them Zionists Forward

We’ve Seen This “Antisemitism Crisis On The Left” Script Before Caitlin Johnstone

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Gaza pier to be operational ‘again this week’: Pentagon Anadolu Agency

Muslims: A Global Perspective The Globalist

Dear Old Blighty

Labour suspends candidate over ‘pro-Russian’ post BBC

European Disunion

EU attempt to sneak through new encryption-eroding law slammed by Signal, politicians The Register. Commentary:

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine’s international bond rework derailed as deadline nears Reuters

Ukrainian Parliament allows financing of defence forces units from local budgets Ukrainska Pravda

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Russia’s post-war dilemmas in Ukraine Indian Punchline

Joe Biden’s Ukraine Policy is Marching Toward Catastrophe The National Interest

As Putin floats peace terms, US-Ukraine call for prolonged war Aaron Maté

As Zelenskyy rallies more soldiers, some Ukrainians now think talks, not troops, will end the war CBC

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WION on the Ukrainian Peace Summit: Conclusions Gilbert Doctorow, Armageddon Newsletter

Fire at drone-hit Russian oil depot rages for second day, emergency services say Reuters

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Northrop planning to build munitions inside Ukraine Breaking Defense

Final blow to Chinese ‘neutrality’ on Ukraine war Politico

South of the Border

Venezuela’s Citgo faces imminent ownership transfer amid US court auction BNE Intellinews

Biden Adminstration

Judges Unmoved in Biden Genocide Complicity Case Consortium News

Digital Watch

The Other Big Problem With AI Search What if plagiarism is the whole product? New York Magazine

McDonald’s scraps AI pilot after order mix-ups go viral Al Jazeera


Boeing CEO grilled over safety concerns in US Senate hearing France24. Commentary:

NASA and Boeing will discuss Starliner’s delayed ISS departure today, and you can listen live


On this day in history, June 19, 1865, the end of slavery is proclaimed in Texas FOX

Labor Day is much worse than Juneteenth Washington Examiner


A UCLA doctor is on a quest to free modern medicine from a Nazi-tainted anatomy book LA Times

Sports Desk

Tributes paid to ‘true giant’ of baseball, Willie Mays BBC

How Team USA became the unexpected darlings of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 Al Jazeera

Minnow or never: How Karl Marx can solve world cricket’s income inequality Business Standard

Supply Chain

Increasing US focus on intersection of merchant shipping and national security Seatrade Maritime

Zeitgeist Watch

New road rage law to enact tougher penalties after recent fatal incidents in Utah KUTV

Imperial Collapse Watch

It’s Time to Learn How to Blow Things Up Again Foreign Policy

Class Warfare

Amazon Workers Affiliate with the Teamsters, Next Up Electing Top Officers Labor News

Toby Shone and the spectre of ‘anarchist terror’ The Anarchist Library

How couples meet and assortative mating in Canada (press release) Journal of Marriage and Family

‘Manufacturing Obituaries’: Media Falsely Reports Noam Chomsky’s Death Common Dreams. Commmentary:

Antidote du jour (Toby Hudson):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. The Rev Kev

    ” ‘Manufacturing Obituaries’: Media Falsely Reports Noam Chomsky’s Death”

    Noam Chomsky missed a great opportunity to do a Mark Twain and come out with a statement saying-

    ‘The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.’

    1. griffen

      A close friend from the late 80’s and our high school years, emailed about this time last year with such an inquiry directed at me. Apparently someone adjacent to our time in same high school had the notion in their head, my time on earth ended. Busy bodies doing some work behind the scenes I guess. \sarc

      I’m sure of one thing , that I’m not alone! I was able to reply to the email, that I can fortunately report I’m very still alive and kicking. Activities on the FB are not a sign of living but that’s just my take.

      I updated my status on FB anyway….hope others got a good chuckle.

    2. Joker

      He will also miss a great opportunity to do an Alfred Nobel, and establish a prize that would make him turn in his grave after he dies for real.

      1. Bugs

        Sadly, I don’t think Prof Chomsky has the fortune required to fund such a prize in perpetuity. But who knows!

  2. Nina

    On Denial… I recently picked “Drawing on the right side of the brain“. The entire book is about learning to „see“ again. We have become so obsessed with the verbal world that we have stopped looking at reality and we just use our mental models. It didn‘t click right away. I went to a drawing class. I was tasked to draw an apple that was placed in the table in front of me. Guess what I did? I drew what I think an apple looks like, not the apple in front of me. We have stopped looking. Denial becomes easy…

    1. furnace

      If I may suggest, Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson is also a great book. Learning to see really makes a difference!

    2. Anonymous 2

      Iain McGilchrist is fascinating on left-side/right-side brain roles. He would agree strongly with the proposition that modern society is too far orientated into the left-side (where the words are) and badly needs to restore the role of the right-side (which is the side which best addresses reality).

      If you have not read The Master and His Emissary, I think you would find it very interesting. It gets to be easier reading after the first hundred pages or so which is necessary ‘anatomical’ information about the brain to grasp what he is arguing. But it is very worth persevering with.

      Did we all start down a slippery slope when we invented the printing press?

      1. Nina

        Thank you. Will read and will persevere and get pass the first 100 pages. : )

        Regarding slippery slope… not sure on the starting point, but with AI, it seems we are getting farther away from reality…

      2. Lost in OR

        Understand that this book is not a casual read. I have it sitting on my stack waiting for the appropriate resources.

        Something I’m paying more attention to and trying to understand is how reality is shaped by emotion. Like TDS or the whole Covid debacle. Rational discussion is impossible when a persons reality is/was shaped as an emotional response. And lacking a deeper understanding of any/all the issues confronting us, an emotional response is all that’s left.

        1. Laura in So Cal

          This is why I consume most of my news in a written format. TV or video tends to light up my emotional responses causing a lot of stress. Reading the news prompts reflection and dampens my immediate emotional response. I still get mad, sad, afraid, but the emotions are not knee jerk and are tempered by analysis and thought.

          1. JBird4049

            >>I still get mad, sad, afraid, but the emotions are not knee jerk and are tempered by analysis and thought.

            The problem is that too many people people are too uninformed, too afraid, or too arrogant to do the often very difficult and painful work of having their thinking influence how their emotions inform, not dictate, their reasoning. Once you see something, it is almost always the proverbial tip of the iceberg. You are still wondering at just how large and deep it and its influence is.

            It is even worse than it looks because modern Bernaysian propaganda is very good at creating patterns of thought and emotions, it is very good at hidden emotional landmines that destroys efforts to change those patterns or even just to see them.

            All this and the reality that I am not so good at disarming the landmines, forget about seeing, tearing up, and rebuilding those inserted mental and emotional constructs hopefully makes me more accepting of other people even after I see them not even trying. I have been aware of this in some way for decades, and if I still struggle very hard to partially succeed, what gives me the right to point to others and call them tools even if they are? Only my loathing of being used keeps me working on myself. Informed,directed rage can be a very good tool.

        2. Rick

          It’s a light read compared to his recent book(s) on the topic: The Matter With Things (two volumes, 1500 pages). I find his work fascinating but would be great if a more accessible account were available.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          And…when we read, we do not verify if the source is trusted.

          When you fool the eye it’s called trompe d’oeil. When you fool the ear, it’s called sound effects. When you fool the brain, well that’s just politics. And none of this works unless you suspend your disbelief and buy into what you think you’re seeing/hearing/figuring out.

          1. Adam Eran

            Recommended: “Light and Magic” – a documentary about how George Lucas used CGI to fool us all.

            I’ve started to watch the credits at the end of movies just to remind myself how many people worked to fool me into believing it was reality. And if you think fewer people are managing the current “movie” we call “politics”…well, you’re mistaken.

            1. Retired Carpenter

              “Born before heaven and earth—silent and void—
              it stands alone and does not change.
              Pervading all things, it does not grow weary.”
              “Gaze on it.
              There is nothing to see, it is called the invisible.
              Listen to it, there is nothing to hear,
              it is called the inaudible.
              Grasp it, you cannot hold it.
              It is called the ungraspable.
              It is called the form of the formless,
              the image of the imageless.”

              Lao Tzu
              Tao Te Ching, Chapter 25
              4th Century BCE

            2. Mark Gisleson

              I choose to suspend my disbelief when watching a Star Wars movie (otherwise I’d never make it to the end). I agree that it does take an army of people to get someone elected. That used to mean lots of volunteers but now it means hiring ridiculous numbers of consultants mostly charged with digging the party out of holes other consultants left them in.

              actual rant begins here/

              Actual winning campaigns are fairly lean. Winning by proactive efforts traditionally means recruiting and using an army of volunteers. The math on this is irresistable: they’re not paid, they don’t get expenses, they go where you tell them on their own dime and they talk you up to all their friends and relatives. They share their winning tricks and strategies. Volunteers are enthusiastic.

              Consultants get big bucks, expense everything and engage in creative billing, and will trash you to their friends and relatives while lying/smiling on camera about how great the campaign’s going. They keep their tools and sources secret. Consultants are very cynical.

              Volunteer campaigns are very upbeat places to visit. Consultant driven campaigns are secretive and behind closed doors extraordinarily vicious.

              Very seriously, you don’t need that many staff and the fact that Democrats are ridiculously overstaffed while massively underperforming is easy to fix. Not to be like the ghouls who volunteer to “pull the lever” when a criminal is executed, but I would love to be in the room when these consultants get their contracts canceled. The degree to which the Democrats are engaged in massive political malpractice is stunning. Almost as if they were being set up to fail.

              A thought that keeps nagging at me is, what if the Democrats talking about the election getting canceled is just the Limited Hangout and the truth is that the Blob is getting set to overtly take charge. Not sure what they’ll call themselves but in retrospect I’m sure we’ll all agree that Blob was a better name.

              /end rant

    3. ChrisFromGA

      I found that article a bit politicized … perhaps I am seeing what I think I see but mentioning “Brexit” as a disaster on par with a global pandemic that killed millions just seemed a bit rich.

      You can hate Brexit with the intensity of a thousand suns, but it was a political choice made democratically by the U.K. The Great Recession was caused by human stupidity and a lack of common sense, along with allowing criminal fraud to go largely unpunished. In fact, reading through that list of afflictions, they all have something in common: mankind’s evil acts, or failures to act leading to evil (global warming, pandemic stupidities like banning Ivermectin and other off-the-shelf treatments for COVID.)

      1. pjay

        I now have an unavoidable knee-jerk reaction to any such articles on political psychology in sources such as Scientific American. I look at their examples to see who the “deluded ones” are, and they are inevitably of the “deplorable” variety. In this case my response is: some good points on COVID. Now do Russiagate, Ukraine, etc.

        Interestingly, the article does mention “starvation in Gaza” in its introduction, which shows that the Palestinian plight is one issue that is acceptable to educated liberals. Makes no difference though. We haven’t done anything about that either.

        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          The longer it festers, the more pressure there will be to “do something”.

          Then to “do something real”.

          Then to “do something real” that actually works.

          1. JBird4049

            >>Then to “do something real” that actually works.

            The question is since they have spent so effort at creating and imposing reality on others and ultimately on themselves are they able to see and then do that something real? I do not mean something successful, just something. I think not. If I am wrong, I still think that only when there are just embers left is when they will be able to do so.

    4. wol

      A tragedy for those who feel. From notable quotes compiled by a “neurodivergent” who learned to process information with their right brain:

      It is that which you see before you– begin to reason about it and you at once fall into error.
      – Huang Po, 9th Century CE

      Art and education are terrible bedfellows. They don’t even like each other. Their congress makes for bad sex in the head.
      -Peter Schjeldahl

    5. PhantomEWO

      On denial: I’ve come to understand that the oil companies will not and cannot be defeated. Despite nature daily demonstrating to us the inevitability of physics; we humans mainly put our heads down, will not look up, and desperately hope that our normalcy bias is not wrong. For those who believe that humanity has a higher purpose or calling, ponder deeply our inability to save ourselves. Even a Slight Sliver of Soul would suffice to fend off the inhuman corporate structures that cannot feel or see the world around them, but we are afraid to summon it. We shackle ourselves to our irrational practicalities and forget that there is no economy on a burnt landscape.

      1. c_heale

        They will be defeated by Mother Nature. Our civilisation will be gone along with them.

        We have to choose whether to save ourselves or not.

  3. zagonostra

    >We’ve Hit Peak Denial. Here’s Why We Can’t Turn Away From Reality – Scientific America

    So what can we do about our “Ignore more, care less, everything is fine!” era? We need to stop enabling it. This starts by being more attuned to our “everyday ignoring” and “everyday bystanding”—like that pinch we feel when we know we should click through a concerning headline, but instead scroll past it.

    Right. How delusional. Unless there is COLLECTIVE action, individual ‘clicking through concerning headlines” yields nothing. Most who take the effort are comfortably ensconced in their personal solo buffeted from one MSM lie to another. When with others, friends or family, nothing is avoided more than “concerning headlines.” The concluding sentences of what “we need to do” are bromides. To quote Leonard Cohen: And everybody knows that the Plague is coming Everybody knows that it’s moving fast

    Unfortunately and sadly, real, fundamental, and radical, change, that everyone recognizes has to happen if this end-stage empire doesn’t destroy the whole planet first, will come only when enough politically powerful people are made uncomfortable and they are forced by mass unrest to course correct. And, I’m not so sure mass unrest will do it, they may just be content to set one group against another and reduce the population.

    1. Rod

      Sometimes the hardest part is starting
      Maybe we do need more bombmakers…
      For three months starting on June 10th, they plan on shutting down the headquarter of Citibank, a financial institution that helps fund fossil fuel exploration

  4. JohnA

    Re It’s Time to Learn How to Blow Things Up Again
    A shortage of explosives experts is threatening Europe’s security.

    It is not a lack of explosive experts that threatens Europe’s security, it is European politicians that have egged on Zelensky and put US MIC profits above European interests. No Nato expansion and sabre rattling, no war in Ukraine or Europe. It is as simple as that. It will take years to train more explosives engineers, and Ukraine will long be a failed state before any of them graduate and develop enough experience to resurrect western bombmaking. Plus the entire neoliberal privatise and outsource rentier capitalism leaves little encouragement to the younger generations to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the elite that have grabbed all the wealth at their expense. It is remarkable how writers of articles like this one are unable to join the dots. But then again as Chomsky noted, if they did, they would not get such writing gigs.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That article had the following section-

      ‘This alarming state of affairs has prompted the Czech Republic to scour the world for existing ammo among non-Western countries that use the same Soviet-model equipment as Ukraine. The goal is to secure 800,000 such artillery shells. That wouldn’t help the West’s ammo production, though, and Ukraine would of course need more rounds even after receiving the 800,000 shells (if they can be procured).’

      The whole thing has become a fiasco for the Czech Republic. They weren’t even able to find half that number on the black market – through some dubious sellers- and of the ones that they have received, about half of them are duds. But they not only paid top dollar (Euro?) for what they did get, they paid multiples of what the price was pre-war days. I guess that they did not have the explosives experts who could have rejected the obvious duds.

      1. Wukchumni

        Who would have thought modern warfare depends on WW1 staples, in a massive shell game of Wampum War, combined with a whiff of Kafka, that is if he wrote about would-be war profiteers aims gone awry.

    2. ilsm

      GAO 24-106831, the [22nd] Weapon Systems Annual Assessment for 2024. Out Jun 17th.

      It covers a strong sampling of the $2 trillion in US’ major defense acquisition programs (MDAP).

      It is still taking too long and even sugar coated the delays are not yielding expected performance and quality systems.

      Although costs declined sightly the main reason is reduced quantities. While we are seeing quantity has quality!

      US is short of successful system engineers and program managers, even though it has been spending like Reagan since the GWOT!

      It is as friendly a report to pentagon waste as I have seen.

      1. Procopius

        Somewhere I saw a comment that, since the end of World War II, the military brass have seen nuclear weapons as a guarantee that World War III will never happen, so they don’t need weapons that would actually work in a world war. This began the search for high tech, state-of-the-art, expensive “weapons” (e.g., the F-35) and opened the revolving door.The end result has been a “doom loop” with an ever decreasing number of weapon systems (I am so old I remember when the Navy wanted 600 ships, instead of the current goal of 300). The only good that comes from this is that many flag officers have become well-to-do in their retirement. I believe that, if we go to war with Russia or China, we will lose. Unfortunately, I think that will lead to a coup d’etat, which will lead to a fascist form of government. It probably doesn’t matter, because in a couple of hundred years the surface of the Earth will be uninhabitable.

    3. Polar Socialist

      I’ve come to the conclusion that some European leaders just can’t help it. Ever since the Mongol invasion in the 13th century, on every century there has been an European leader hellbent on conquering Russia.

      You’d think that after 800 years others besides Montgomery would have gotten the message already. Russia we still have with us, but those invaders have mostly gone the way of the dodo. So it must be something in the water or air…

      1. The Rev Kev

        Didn’t help that during the Swiss peace conference, that some leaders were talking about ‘decolonizing’ Russia and turning it into about 200 countries. That place is the ultimate jackpot if it can be conquered as it’s resources must be worth hundreds of trillions of dollars. It draws them like a massive honey pot.

            1. Sean Gorman

              Perhaps too terse. With the fascinating spectacle of a committee of spies declaring the danger of ‘foreign interference ‘, parliamentarians keep whacking their little heads on a giant American iceberg hanging over us, and searching for ‘foreign ‘ crumbs between their toes.

              1. Kouros

                You forget the “Friends of Israel” clique…
                And the firends of Ukraine as well…

        1. hk

          The British were talking about “decolonizing” China during the Opium Wars, or rather, they would have used the term if it existed back then. (Then they saw the Taiping Kingdom and decided that they liked the Manchus more). Ditto with India in 1857–they decided that they liked minorities (the “Martial Races”) more than the Hindus that they drew on for soldiers before the rebellion.

          1. CA

            “The British were talking about “decolonizing” China during the Opium Wars…”

            The United States and Britain still have the sense that not only can China be contained but decolonized. I do not understand this fantasy but it is continually being reinforced. After all, Nancy Pelosi just travelled to India to meet with the Dalai Lama to somehow support splitting Tibet and surrounding provinces from China. The British continually interfere with the returning of the Hong Kong colony to China. US policy gradually became destabilizing Hong Kong after the return of the colony was met with some social-political resentment that could be further encouraged.

        2. CA

          Didn’t help that during the Swiss peace conference, that some leaders were talking about ‘decolonizing’ Russia and turning it into about 200 countries.

          [ A critical understanding of the Ukraine crisis is that Russia was confronting a gathering existential assault with the expansion of NATO in the 1990s and onward. ]

    4. SocalJimObjects

      The “explosive” experts all moved to the ECB, or the BoE, and dare I say it, they’ve succeeded beyond all imagination. Also I would be remiss if I did not mention all those derivatives (“weapons of mass destruction” per Uncle Warren) experts over at the city of London and Paris. When the time comes later, things will really blow up in a BIG way.

  5. Steve H.

    > The Worm Charmers
    >> worm grunting

    We have been feeding two catbirds in the bamboo/multiflora patch with rehydrated mealyworms, which are not actually worms but grubs, which is of the same etymological root as ‘eat some grub’ which makes sense, tho ‘giving the catbirds some grub’ got old and now we ‘give them a meal’, which is finer to my sensibilities. Now we also have five catbirds, a successful full clutch on the all chipmunks and no cattle ranch.

    We call this ‘taking the win’.

    Another win: being old and rode hard and put away wet, we get a weekly massage from one who comes to our place. All wear N-95’s unless on the table, windows open and a fan controls airflow, with the exit right by the chairs we sit at to talk. Janet and I had our second go-round with Covid a couple of weeks ago, and my peak infectivity was probably during the session. Janet got it too, but Not Not Not did Kara, tho she spent nearly three hours with us.

    That’s a win.

  6. Hughes

    What a horrible rag “Scientific” American has become. I guess we’re supposed to be constantly running around full of anxiety and fear or sitting alone quietly in a room somewhere. What a steaming pile of garbage that captured, once respectable magazine is.

    1. t

      The length of articles is a tip-off. So sad. It’s been many years since I found something in Scientific American or Popular Mechanics that was over my head and took real work to read. USA Today-level reporting and writing

    2. IM Doc

      Back in the 70s and 80s – Scientific American published almost monthly, comprehensive meaty review articles on every subject in science. These were written by world experts, and were written to an educated lay audience. However, even so, these articles in biology were used extensively by professors of pre-medicine. I remember well reading through articles about every organelle in the cell, Golgi bodies, Mitochondria, ribosomes etc. And then a few pages later, there was a review article about black holes or dark matter or somesuch. Just an incredible publication. I felt sick the day about 5 years ago that I cancelled my subscription. Around 2010, the entire publication went woke and science was no longer the goal. I recently picked up an issue at a friend’s house and could not believe the decline in just the years that I had been reading regularly. I view it as a microcosm of the American condition generally. So very sad.

      1. scott s.

        With you 100% on that. Started reading SA in high school in the 60s and was a long term subscriber. I really enjoyed their history of technology articles. I saw them first getting political when they started running articles about nuclear weapons, but that could just be ignored. Around the time climate change became a thing, they lost me.

        Like wise with National Geographic.

      2. flora

        Thanks. Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, et al. When did US general science and tech publications become either so dumbed down, lowest common denominator to their imagined (instead of real) audience or a correct-think simplistic magazine to their imagined (instead of real) audience? Byte magazine for the IT world went the same way until its demise in 1998. / sheesh

        1. rowlf

          If I remember correctly Byte magazine used to dog Microsoft for crappy programming and security.

  7. Samuel Conner

    I suppose that deficit hawks can take comfort in the thought that it won’t be necessary to fund avian influenza Gain-of-Function research after the US dairy industry does the work. They do say that the private sector gets the job done better than government can, every time. /s

  8. timbers

    New road rage law to enact tougher penalties after recent fatal incidents in Utah

    “It’s a problem that’s getting worse and worse.”

    Yes it’s been worse for quite a while. I drive a smaller car, Toyota Prius. I drive smoothly and anticipate turns and stops. When I drive to/from work I allow for plenty of time to arrive on time. I turn on Duran or Judge Napolitano or The Critical Hour at Sputnik (Wilmer Lion and Garland Nixon) and chill in Traffic, though most would not chill listening to such outlets.

    Drivers behind me demand I speed as fast as possible to each rear end car bumper or red light, and use lots of breaking just before reaching that red light. If I don’t, they do blinking lights, tail gating, honking, aggressively zoom pass me and in front, usually apply lots of breaks upon reaching next rear bumper or red ight. They are almost all single drivers in trucks or Super Sized vehicles with Super Bright lights, far beyond a sane, rationally sized transportation vehicle.

    One time I was driving home on Rt 228 thru posh Hingham from Wampatuck State Park with my Labrador Retriever in the front passenger seat. Traffic was thick on both sides so there was no place to go but forward towards the rear end bumper in front of your. Some dude in a jeep started honking at me for not being close enough to the bumper in front of me. It so happened a cop was directly in back of him, so he got pulled over and he disappeared from my rear view mirror.

    What happened to laws limiting vehicle size and gas milage mandates?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Those Super Sized vehicles can be problematical to get into for their drivers-

      I can imagine your frustration with people wanting you to ride the bumper of the car in front of you. In the State that I live in here in Oz, we have a 2-second rule thus ‘A car should drive at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front in ideal conditions. A heavy vehicle should drive at least four seconds behind the vehicle in front. A vehicle towing a trailer or caravan should allow two seconds, plus one second for each 3m of trailer.’ Of course if the car in front of you brakes and you slam into it because you did not have enough separation, guess who gets the fine here.

      1. Benny Profane

        I’m pretty sure that most insurance companies consider the rear car in a rear end collision at fault automatically.

        1. mrsyk

          This is what I was taught, admittedly many years ago.
          Observationally, driving seems riskier these days, one reason being there seems to be many more cars on the road.

          1. albrt

            I heard a presentation from a local police chief recently, and somebody asked him about this. He said it is always the rear car’s fault because the law in that state says you must maintain an assured clear distance from the car in front of you. If you hit them, then you failed to maintain an assured clear distance and that is what you’re cited for.

            But they don’t actually ticket anybody for this unless there’s an accident.

            1. mrsyk

              VT state troopers will pull you over for tailgating. This from a trooper friend of friend.

      2. JBird4049

        Even back in the 1990s it was hard to maintain a four second distance as people constantly would drive around me to go really close to the next car. Over and over again.

        Then there are the people who go really close then use and keep on their high beams at night which means that I cannot see anything meaning I cannot change lanes because I have no clue to where anything is. This nothing new, and I am often not a very safe driver, I just refuse to be suicidal, which bothers some.

        It is scary to be speeding on the highway and realizing that the gimongous thing behind me is so close that I cannot even see the license plate.

    2. Benny Profane

      “What happened to laws limiting vehicle size and gas milage mandates?”

      Don’t remember any vehicle size mandates. Check out a 60s to 70s Cadillac or similar car, and those things were huge. Five body trunks. Gas mileage? They got around that by selling trucks to the average cube schmoe.
      I want to know what happened to noise mandates. It’s absurd how loud some cars are off the dealer’s floor, and, with a few quick mods, they can wake the dead. Not being enforced, if they’re still on the books.

      1. mrsyk

        It’s absurd how loud some cars are off the dealer’s floor, Indeed, and let us not forget motorcycles. Testosterone got a funny way of driving culture in the us.

        1. Kilgore Trout

          Motorcycle Week just ended here in NH. Often during this annual event I think about 2 bumperstickers I’d like to see or make: “Muffle Motorcycles” and “Loud pipes = Little D**ks”.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      The super sized vehicles were encouraged by the brain dead efforts of The Great One with his mileage standards revisions. Team Blue types who otherwise would speak out won’t impugn the memory of Obama because Drumpf.

    4. inchbyinch

      Consider yourself lucky that John Fetterman wasn’t behind you, or you might have wound up on the roof of his SUV.

    5. Alice X

      ~What happened to laws limiting vehicle size and gas milage mandates?

      The mileage mandates, which themselves were, in effect, size limiting, were relaxed. The growth in size in the 90s led me to abandon, in ’98, my Honda CRX which got 59 mpg consistently but would fit neatly under one of those SUV behemoths.

    6. Kilgore Trout

      Having come of age on the South Shore in the 60’s and 70’s, and then left for NH in ’91, it always astonishes me when I return at how much worse traffic is in southeastern Mass, even on the once rural back roads of the area. Couple the increased volume of traffic over the decades with the aftereffects of pandemic and overall decline in quality of life even in (still) relatively affluent areas like Hingham, and one inevitable result is widespread common (dis)-courtesy as SOP.

  9. Wukchumni

    Gooooooooood Mooooooorning Fiatnam!

    Every grunt in the platoon knew the playbook for operation Upload Moderation, backwards, sideways, right there from the privacy of your screen, you screen, we screen, we all screen for things seen!

    Up in the morning at the break of day

    Work so hard, watch what you say

    Run through the internet jungle where the sun don’t shine

    And all I do is double surveillance time

    Sound Off 1,2…3,4

  10. ChrisFromGA

    I’m thinking the Hezbollah drone video and the new war talk from Bibi and Ben-Gvir (Beavis and Butt-head?) threatening to launch a new front against Lebanon are linked.

    Those two probably blew a head gasket when they heard about that video. Nice little port you have there, Bibi, it would be a shame if something were to happen to it.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that you are right in thinking that there is a linkage. That this is Hezbollah short-circuiting all the Israeli macho talk about invading Lebanon and setting up settlements there. I notice that the drone took care to show views of Israeli suburbs and shopping centers and I think that was for a reason. As seen again and again, Israel’s inclination is to bomb civilians and to destroy residential suburbs. So here I think that this is Hezbollah telling Israel that two can play that game. Another thing. Imagine that you work in one of the buildings or one of the factories that that drone ID’d. And that one day Israel invades Lebanon. So do you go to work there or call in sick as the weather report says sunny with a chance of missiles?

      1. Benny Profane

        I was thinking the same thing about the Northrup munitions facility in Ukraine. Who’s going to start it up? There at least has to be a management staff from Northrup. Do they just order existing managers to go over there, to a war zone? Do they get a really hefty bonus for working in a big old missile target? Or is this a lot of BS that hides the fact that all of it is money laundering.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I’m going with Door Number Three. That it is a lot of BS that hides the fact that all of it is money laundering. Can’t run a munitions facility if you have no power.

          1. mrsyk

            Me too. Just think of all that “start-up” cash with nowhere to go. There are standard of livings to maintain after all.

        2. ilsm

          The MIC careerists will be highly paid to go to work and live on a target. They will be hinted to have a few points toward high reward in the MIC scamming!

          And like tradition they will have a huge (in 1991 it was said to be $1million to go to Kuwait for the storm) life insurance policy without a “war clause” which might stop payment.

          So, Ukraine will be served by the same talents pillaging the pentagon budget!

  11. Steve H.

    > Havin’ a heat wave:

    I’m heat-adapted enough to work outside in this weather, but I’ve been restricting outdoor time based on the UltraViolet Index. Wiki:

    >> An index of 0 corresponds to zero UV radiation, as is essentially the case at night. An index of 10 corresponds roughly to midday summer sunlight in the tropics with a clear sky when the UV index was originally designed; now summertime index values in the tens are common for tropical latitudes, mountainous altitudes, areas with ice/water reflectivity and areas with above-average ozone layer depletion.

    We’re now getting 10’s in Indiana, and I saw a 12 around Naples FL where we used to live. In the 30-ish years since the index was developed, there’s been an acute rise in how fast you burn. Forest-dwellers such as ourselves cannot rely on past experience to avoid the lobster look.

    UV Index Forecast.

    1. Wukchumni

      Although nowhere near a wildfire, our air is a bit smoky from conflagrations afar, and combined with a heat wave peaking @ 106, it ought to be rather pleasant days spent in the great indoors with conditioned air, when Hades cometh.

      I try to never walk much when there’s wildfire smoke around, its no good for your health and a lot of times beautiful vistas and views are neutered by haze or worse, why bother?

  12. pjay

    – ‘Labor Day is much worse than Juneteenth’ – Washington Examiner

    Reading this gave me a real feeling of nostalgia, as it reminded me of those earnest Young Republicans of the 1980s. Here’s part of the author’s resume:

    Still too many commie vibes in our Labor Day celebrations? As always, we see what we want to see. So cute. A budding Bill Kristol.

  13. Wukchumni

    It’s the little dear leader from Pyongyang

    The little dear leader from Pyongyang
    (Go Kim Jong, go Kim Jong, go Kim Jong, go)
    Has a pretty little flowerbed of wide range ICBM’s
    (Go Kim Jong, go Kim Jong, go Kim Jong, go)
    But parked in a bomb-proof underground garage
    There’s a brand new shiny red super stock of
    Russian high tech weaponry, an armaments bazaar

    And everybody’s sayin’ that there’s nobody meaner than
    The little dear leader from Pyongyang
    His missiles go real fast and they go real far
    He’s the terror of the Korean peninsula
    It’s the little dear leader from Pyongyang

    If you see Norks on the DMZ strip, don’t try to engage them
    (Go Lil’ Kim, go Lil’ Kim, go Lil’ Kim, go)
    You might start a battle, but in no mans land pay dirt
    (Go Lil’ Kim, go Lil’ Kim, go Lil’ Kim, go)
    Well, he’s gonna get a war now, sooner or later
    ‘Cause he can’t keep his foot off the accelerator

    And everybody’s sayin’ that there’s nobody meaner than
    The little dear leader from Pyongyang
    His missiles go real fast and they go real far
    He’s the terror of the Korean peninsula
    It’s the little dear leader from Pyongyang

    You can watch his missiles all the time, just hitting the sea of Japan, devine
    (Go Kim Jong, go Kim Jong, go Kim Jong, go)
    With his new schtick and Kinzhal rocket now?
    (Go Kim Jong, go Kim Jong, go Kim Jong, go)
    The Golden billion come to avoid him from miles around
    But he wont give ’em an inch, then he’ll shut ’em down

    And everybody’s sayin’ that there’s nobody meaner than
    The little dear leader from Pyongyang
    His missiles go real fast and they go real far
    He’s the terror of the Korean peninsula
    It’s the little dear leader from Pyongyang

    Go Lil’ Kim go, Go Lil’ Kim go, Go Lil’ Kim go
    Go Lil’ Kim go, Go Lil’ Kim go, Go Lil’ Kim go
    Go Lil’ Kim go, Go Lil’ Kim go, Go Lil’ Kim go
    Go Lil’ Kim go, Go Lil’ Kim go, Go Lil’ Kim go

    Little Old Lady Lady From Pasadena, by Jan & Dean

    1. ilsm

      I do not know, but I suspect the US has tac nukes spread around the area below 38 degree N lat.

      They may be shared with the RoK like US shares tac nukes in the EU.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        I’m going from memory but the issue there is that the North Koreans have dug in artillery spread out all across mountainous regions. Even if DC nukes Pyongyang, those soldiers have orders to unleash the mother of all artillery barrages on Seoul. In about 60 minutes, South Korea’s economy gets turned into ash, and the empire loses an obsequious, bootlicking client state.

        Then of course there is the possibility that a spare Zircon or hypersonic missile armed with a nuke “falls off the truck” somewhere along the Russia/North Korea border near Vladivostok, and whaddayaknow? It turns up in North Korea.

  14. Carolinian

    New Turley talks about the latest fad in thought crimes: “microagressions.”

    That ambiguity creates a threat to free speech through a chilling effect on speakers who are unsure of what will be considered microaggressive. Terms ranging from “melting pot” to phrases like “pulling oneself up by your own bootstraps” have been declared racist. Some of those have been identified by Columbia professor Derald Wing Sue, cited by Oregon’s state government as a “microaggressions expert.”

    Professor Sue considers statements like “Everyone can succeed if they just work hard enough!” as an example of a microaggression. Sue’s work on “microassaults,” “microinsults,” and “microinvalidations” are being effectively adopted by the [Oregon Medical] Board.

    One could laugh at this but unfortunately the people promoting it are serious and indeed likely have no sense of humor since a visit to any comedy club is non stop “microagression.”

    But to take them on their own terms then here’s proposing that the very concept of microagression is itself a microagression because it is accusing the person saying, for example, “melting pot” of being a bigot. Like so much coming out of our PMC class what it boils down to is “it’s ok when we do it.” They use feelings (there’s a song–Carol Burnett used to sing it sarcastically) as an excuse for authoritarianism.

    And what that boils down to is that people such as Columbia professor Derald Wing Sue need to find a real job. People who live in ivory towers shouldn’t throw stones.

      1. Carolinian

        Sorry. Late in the historical sense then.

        Of course psychologically speaking this passive/aggressive world view is as old as the hills. As Mel Brooks summed it up (re the nature of comedy): “If you fall in an open manhole–hilarious. If I get a paper cut on my little finger–a tragedy!”

        Those who dish it out should be able to take it.

    1. Skip Intro

      By focussing on microagressions, the PMC can distract from ongoing macroagressions and set up another set of socio-linguistic fiefs they will be paid to gatekeep.

      1. Carolinian

        Right. To test their consistency re aggression how are they on Gaza?

        I’d even go so far as to say that microaggression is a way of sublimating and therefore calming actual aggression and therefore may even be healthy. It’s the insistence of the scolds on a world full of good versus evil people as opposed to behavior that requires thought policing.

      2. steppenwolf fetchit

        Student protestors of all kinds focus on accusing people of microaggressions. Is that because the student protestors of all kinds are junior PMCs in training? And the weaponization of targetted accusations of “microaggression” against various targets is part of the training?

        Potential targets of weaponized accusations of “microaggression” should begin training and mastering the language of woekness to use it against the woekies. Learn to use the Vampire’s tools to tear down the Vampire’s castle.

    2. cousinAdam

      “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t take baths in the daytime” (from Tha Return uv Snowshoe Al – publ. late 1930s-early 40s? Mom slipped it into my bookshelf when I was still a “tweenie”)

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine’s international bond rework derailed as deadline nears”

    I heard on The Duran that talks blew up when the Ukrainians demanded that bond-holders take a 40% on the money that they invested. But not to worry. I’m sure that the Ukrainians are good for the $50 billion that they are being given now. You can trust them for that money. I think that a point will be reached where the Ukrainians will demand a constant stream of money and if they do not get it, then they will go into default so that nobody gets their money back.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      It’s all a charade. Remember, $20B is couch-change compared to the money already sent to Ukraine. At this stage of the game, the country is a ward of the EU and the US. It has no electricity, no ability to export grain except via land routes, and most of the industry not in Russian territories is smashed to smithereens.

      Ukraine’s prospects for generating GDP to service that odious debt are about as good as my prospects for getting a date with Taylor Swift.

      Creditors probably know this and are angling for a direct hit on the main vein straight from the street dealer known as the Federal Reserve. They could buy up all those defaulted Ukrainian bonds and not even let out a Homer Simpson belch.

  16. Jeff V

    Labour suspends candidate over “Pro Russian” post.

    “We’re not going to stand by people who are sharing pro-Russian sentiment – that is not Labour values and that’s why he was quickly suspended from the Labour Party.”

    Scary stuff. And all over a sharing an article that disputed the official narrative on the Skripal affair – it wasn’t even an off-message comment on the war in Ukraine.

    Of course, the irony is that, with the UK election system, he still gets “Labour party candidate” next to his name on the ballot paper (it’s too late to change it) yet it doesn’t matter since Labour has no chance of winning that seat anyway.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Better ban them than have people start noticing the elephant in the room regarding the Skripals.

      There just happens to be a secret military chemical weapons lab right near where the Skripals fell ill. But The Russians did it!, with Boris and Natasha traveling in to dose them with the mostly deadly dastardly poison evah that somehow managed not to kill them.

      1. The Rev Kev

        And by coincidence, it was the chief nurse of the British Army that discovered them sick where they were. How lucky is that? What are the odds?

        1. Polar Socialist

          Well, the stuff is supposed to kill you within a few minutes, and there they were, feeding ducks next to that chief nurse, hours after being poisoned. How lucky is that? What are the odds?

          As somebody noted years ago, novichok is a neurotoxin that doesn’t kill the victims, but removes them from the publicity. Unless you’re a Russian opposition “leader”, then the publicity sort of focuses on you.

          1. begob

            Novichok A230 provides the invisibility cloak option. If you’re seeking political office, rather than a retirement nest egg, I suggest you go for A232, with its blinding spotlight effect. For journalists looking to sex up gangland assassinations, A234 is the old reliable.

      2. mrsyk

        One point and one opinion to add here. The tweets(?) causing Mr Brown’s banishment were from 2018. IMO, Mr Brown’s biggest sin is shining any kind of light on Labour’s continuing use of charges of anti-s’ism to purge the party of all not adhering to the neoliberal playbook.

    2. mrsyk

      Now that headline is making more sense. If I’m reading the article correctly, candidate Andy Brown’s nefarious posts to social media were from back in 2018. “Pro-Russia” is doing a lot of work here. I’d wager Mr Brown’s questioning the obviously fictional narrative concerning the Skripal affair, and of more concern to the PTB, questioning the anti-Semitic allegations (against Corbyn I’m assuming). I will note here that “anti-semitism” has been a most useful tool for ridding the political sphere of anybody wanting to “go against the grain” as it might be. Haven’t found a link to the original tweets yet. Here is an article from the Press and Journal which seems to have done the original reporting and has more detail.

  17. ChrisFromGA

    Put up another sunk ship for the Houthis on the scoreboard:

    “Military authorities report maritime debris and oil sighted in the last reported location,” the UKMTO said. “The vessel is believed to have sunk.”

    The Houthis, quoting foreign reports in media outlets they control, acknowledged the sinking. The U.S. military did not acknowledge the sinking, nor did it respond to requests for comment.

    (This was the Greek-owned ship that got hit last week.)

    Quite the graveyard of ships is developing in the Red Sea. How long until ships traversing that area become “uninsurable” like Florida homes in the paths of hurricanes? Another bailout needed … paging Jerome Powell.

    1. Wukchumni

      I saw him play when I was a little kid @ Dodger stadium, and he was late in his Giants career, with Hank Aaron and him being the baseball card you hoped to get in that pack of cards you bought for a Dime that had a dozen cards and the worst piece of bubble gum imaginable.

      Never got either of them, with my own personal nemesis being Dick Dietz, who seemed to be in every single pack I opened.

      ‘The Catch’ never gets old, almost poetry in motion in how he brings it in, and then wheels around to thrown it to the infielder.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        The “Worst piece of bubble gum imaginable” is still better to a kid than a plate full of vegetables. And some adults, too.

        1. Wukchumni

          If by chance circa 1967 some cow’s grey matter was under celo wrap and on top of styrofoam in the fridge when you opened the door, it meant that mom was going to bread that brain and bake it for dinner soon, so yes, load me up with the worst bubblegum imaginable instead.

        1. Rory

          Klammer’s 1976 Olympic downhill and Secretariat’s 1973 Belmont Stakes are two of the most memorable sporting events I have ever seen on TV (as well as Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series home run off Dennis Eckersley). Awesome athletic prowess.

          1. Screwball

            Yes, thanks for that. I forgot about Klammer. As a team sport, the 1980 USA hockey team beating the Russians known as “Miracle on Ice.”

            Youtube – Miracle on Ice

            I was working in a bowling alley at the time. When I posted the final score on all the screens the place went crazy. Everybody knew what was going on and was really into it at the time. Great memories.

            We knew people who where there. They were in a motorhome parked close to the hockey rink. Couldn’t get tickets but were outside. They said the place was crazy. I imagine it was.

          2. Wukchumni

            (as well as Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series home run off Dennis Eckersley). Awesome athletic prowess.
            Didn’t go to the 1st 1988 World Series game, but me and a buddy had $50 Uecker seats way down the right field line for the 2nd game, and I have never seen grown men in such desperate need to buy my ticket from me as we approached the entrance, for everybody was keenly aware of what happened the night before, and wanted to catch a once in a lifetime opportunity again.

            Nobody remembers a 6-0 shutout where the Dodgers won, but that’s what went down in the only World Series game I ever went to.

        2. Neutrino

          Love that Klammer video, and miss Beattie narrating back when ABC used to do sports well.

      2. griffen

        Not in the same category as Willie and the catch, but a Clemson center fielder had an incomparable over the shoulder catch in a crucial inning of a super regional game vs Florida. Alas for those Tigers they still lost, and UF plays on in today’s CWS games in Omaha. Willie Mays was a one of a kind when it came to playing the big leagues and the career stats are off the charts.

        Be it a Williams, a Mays, a Mantle or my personal favorite Henry Aaron, they just don’t make em like that anymore or that’s just my two cents. Kinda interesting that Ted Williams lost years due to service rendered as a pilot in both WWII and in Korea. It happened to Mays also,and a long list of professional athletes at that time. Different era.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Williams would likely have broken Ruth’s HR record were it not for the military service. He missed nearly five full years in the prime of his career when he was hitting 35-40 or so HRs per year, and still finished with 521.

          For my money, John Updike’s piece on Williams’ last game is the epitome of sports writing.

          Gods do not answer letters.

      3. cousinAdam

        My Mom was nine months pregnant with me when she and Pop went to see Willie and the Giants over Memorial Day weekend ‘55 at the Polo Grounds. They lived within walking distance in East Harlem (also were big jazz fanatics). Apparently I started kicking up a ruckus mid-game and they started prepping for a hasty exit- thankfully by ‘seventh inning stretch’ I chilled out and was born the following week. One of my proudest possessions was a toddler-sized NY Giants t-shirt- wore it to tatters- and was crushed to not find it in her mementos chest after she had passed on. Now that I’m living in the SF Bay Area my fondness for the team is beyond instinctual. RIP Willie – one of the greatest of the Greats!

        1. Wukchumni

          About 25 years ago a friend gives me a couple of NY Giants tickets to sell on eBay for her, and baseball tix back then had byzantine wording on them, but it dawned on me that these were tickets for the last game @ Polo Fields, mint unused!

          I asked her what the story was, and her mother-in-law and father-in-law were both really hung over from the night before, so they didn’t make the game~

          I sold them for $600 a piece~

      4. GF

        I saw Willie play in spring training in Phoenix in the early 60’s. He didn’t get a hit but the other Willie (McCovey), a rookie I believe, got a homer. Was able to get the three NY outfielder card in the gum pack (Willie , Mickey and the Duke)

      5. juno mas

        I was lucky enough to see Willie Mays play in his prime as a SF Giant at Candlestick Park. My grandparents had season tickets for years and I would attend games on non-school days. Fortunately MLB is played in the summer and day games were especially thrilling. Mays was by far the best all-round player in the game. The battles between the Giants and the Dodgers were epic. Still are! Thanks for the signature baseball Willie. May you continue to shine brightly in the night sky.

    2. Screwball

      I grew up a Tiger fan and remember them winning the World Series in 1968 as a little kid. Of course one of my favorite Tiger’s was Al Kaline, who became an announcer after he retired. He said Willie Mays was the best ever. I won’t argue with him.

    3. B24S

      Willie said he knew he’d catch the ball, but it was the throw that made the play.

      Never saw Mays play. Born in Manhattan in ’53, lived in the woods in Rockland for a few years, Italy for one, and then Manhattan again in ’56, until I finally left in ’74. I was never, ever, taken to a game of any sort by my father, or anyone else. Baseball wasn’t on our TV or radio.

      Now we live north of SF. Wasn’t until our kids started in T-ball that I learned to enjoy the game, or even the rules. My wife said one thing that attracted her to me was my lack of interest in “normal” sports. Now we watch baseball, as well as F1. She’s always saying the players look like kids (lots of people do at this point). She enjoys it most when it’s obvious that they’re PLAYING the game, being excited kids, as it were..

  18. Joker

    Northrop planning to build munitions inside Ukraine Breaking Defense

    Employing exclusively child labour, since all grown-ups will be sent to the trenches.

    1. Carolinian

      Shorter via my dad: “nothing beats experience.”

      Which is what I think he is saying and he does bring in the C word

      “an adolescent political class are obliged to confront problems”

      Here in America the tradition was not for our politicians–or at least many of them–to come out of universities and aristocracy but rather up through a succession of lesser offices or perhaps the benefaction of a political machine. Also war heroes were popular. This didn’t necessarily produce better results and for much of the 19th the country was preoccupied with slavery and its economic as well as power implications. Our upper crust also liked to imitate the British to whom they would marry off their daughters and some might say they are still doing it (the imitating). America’s elites have a bit of an identity crisis which conservative Tom Wolfe lampooned in Radical Chic. Obama hangs out with Bruuuce rather than a special box at the Royal, er, Washington Ballet.

      Maybe our Western societies, ideas and culture have simply run out of steam. Things wear out. Go BRICS? Anyway….the riff you asked for…..

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Gaza pier to be operational ‘again this week’: Pentagon”

    Doesn’t matter. The whole thing is not only a bad joke, but it is also a way to distract from the fact that the Israelis have been blocking trucks coming into Gaza. That pier has been getting 7 trucks going in a day when the idea was to be getting in 150 trucks a day. And that was only on the days that it was working. The weather has been causing chaos and a few days ago I saw a short video of the pier as it rose and fell with the strong waves and it was not possible to stand on it. It resembled nothing less than ‘Galloping Gertie’ aka the Tacoma Bridge during a wind storm- (1:12 mins)

    1. JTMcPhee

      Important actual use, as some observers predicted, was to conceal the attack that was supposed to rescue hostages but was excuse to kill another 250-plus “subhumans” and wound another couple of hundred more. Used “relief aid trucks” to Trojan-Horse the assault troops. Apparently US troops put their “boots on the ground” in company with the IOF thugs.

      Israel ites so proud of the manufactured stories of deceit and trickery by their Pentateuch Heroes.

      There’s the reason that USZION is called “the empire of lies.” Endless flood of corruption and bullshit.

  20. Jabura Basaidai

    “…Starliner’s delayed ISS departure…” – can understand being nervous about getting back in that tin can and returning to earth as ash – just sayin, Boeing doesn’t have the best record for safety – wonder what the odds are that the Starliner stays attached to the ISS for a while and those folks return another way?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Had a bad thought. Suppose that the engineers say that it is far too risky for those astronauts to go back to Earth using the Starliner so they will have to wait to get a lift with SpaceX’s Dragon capsule or maybe a Russian Soyuz after several months. But then the Boeing board meets and decides that if that happened, that it would make their program look bad and endanger future contracts. So then they order those two astronauts to fly Starliner back to Earth right away. It could happen that way.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        definitely truth in your projection – those folks must be going through some examination of their options at this point – thruster problems could mean a deadly, fiery tumble upon return rather than correct positioning – hope they make a decision based on their gut feelings rather than ‘obeying orders’ as you suggest – they may be feeling lucky that they even made it rather than tumbling in a space coffin – would wager they don’t return in the Starliner – wanna bet?

      2. Carolinian

        Well nobody ever said space travel isn’t risky.

        And isn’t the ISS always supposed to have a Soyuz lifeboat attached in case of emergencies? I know this because of a couple of movies–mostly the recent I.S.S. about a war on Earth that spreads to orbit.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Yah, recall the Challenger shuttle disaster, where bosses ignored expert concern that cold temperatures almost ensured failure of O-ring seals between segments of the solid-rocket boosters, hence kaboom. Yah, there’s risk and there’s “risk.”

        2. Captain Obvious

          You know from movies that Sandra Bullock doesn’t wear Maximum Absorbency Garment inside a spacesuit, and that orbital mechanics doesn’t matter.

          June 6, 2024: International Space Station Configuration. Six spaceships are parked at the space station including Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter, the Soyuz MS-25 crew ship, and the Progress 87 and 88 resupply ships.

          1. Carolinian

            Yes I recall Neil Degrasse Tyson raked Gravity over the coals. The more recent low budget I.S.S, film that I mentioned may be more accurate. In any case I thought it was not bad as a movie.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Threatening Jews is now acceptable — so long as you call them Zionists”

    The latest tactic – saying that people opposed to Zionism is actually racism because of the actions of a tiny minority in a country of 335 million people. Anything to distract from what Israel is doing in Gaza. The last line in this article says ‘To be clear, sometimes anti-Zionism is not antisemitic. But sometimes it is’ with the quiet understanding that criticizing Israel always is. But what Zionists are doing is really making all Jews look like participants which is unforgivable. The Zionists are actually using Jewish people as a shield for their actions for their nut-job beliefs. And not all Jews are on board with what they are doing either- (1:53 mins)

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “…a tiny minority in a country of 335 million people…”

      And a group that punches far above its weight in terms of percentage of the american population. Can you imagine how diminished jewish influence would be in this country, if they were held to the dei imperatives of representation in the upper echelons of plantation america in accordance with that percentage as other groups are?

      No less than Glenn Greenwald, Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate–jews all–have routinely scoffed at the idea that jews in america are marginalized “victims,” rightly observing that they are possibly the most privileged group, as judged by their overrepresentation at every level of hierarchy, from elite universities to the “professions” and billionaire class.

      Obviously this “anti-semitism” argument draws from the same playbook that “protected” obama (racism) and hillary clinton (misogyny), and is increasingly the only “defense” of the relentless corruption, cronyism, and brutality now engulfing america still available.

    2. inchbyinch

      But it seems that a clear majority of Israeli Jews are very much on board with the genocide in Palestine, and as the poet says, That has made all the difference.

    3. nippersdad

      That was an amazing piece of concern trollery. My favorite part:

      What all these events made clear: Among those protesting the war, a clear subset is using “Zionist” as a catchall for “Jew.”

      Well duh. Wasn’t that the entire point of conflating the two terms? By insisting upon giving the Holocaust Museum’s definition of anti-semitism the power of law this was what they were seeking. If you can bury the issues in controversy you don’t actually have to explain them.

      I would be interested in knowing if anything in that Nova Festival commemoration she references mentions the Hannibal Directive. That would have been “retraumatizing” indeed; no protesters necessary. That whole thing was just a despicable mess.

  22. zagonostra

    >Chris Hedges: Nero’s Guests

    I haven’t been following Chris Hedges as much as I used to because he seemed always so gloomy, now I think may not be pessemistic enough.

    But who were Nero’s guests? Who wandered through the emperor’s grounds as human beings, as in Rafah, were burned alive? How could these guests see, and no doubt hear, such horrendous suffering and witness such appalling torture and be indifferent, even content?

    There is nothing hidden about this genocide. Over 147 courageous Palestinian journalists have been murdered by the Israelis because they have conveyed the images and stories of this slaughter to the world, martyred for their people, for us.

    We are Nero’s guests.

    1. pjay

      Chris Hedges is an eloquent witness to barbarity. He has a unique ability to trigger emotions, to make the reader feel the victims’ pain through his words. As you imply, sometimes the situation is so despicable that one can’t be too gloomy or pessimistic. I think the current situation in Israel qualifies. Hedges’ talent for expressing universal humanitarian outrage is fitting here.

      But when it comes to analysis or some degree of objectivity, Hedges sometimes falls short. One single sentence in this otherwise commendable essay reminded me of this:

      “Israel will become synonymous with its victims the way Turks are synonymous with the Armenians, Germans are with the Namibians and later the Jews, and Serbs are with the Bosniaks.”

      Ah yes, the Serbs. Because Hedges has lived and worked among the Palestinians he has seen their suffering first hand. His humanitarian impulses and talent for the written word allow him to express this suffering well. It was the same with the Bosnian Muslims, and they did suffer. But in that struggle these first hand observations led him to serve as an anti-Serb propagandist. He did, indeed, also condemn NATOs bombing of Serbia, but his tendency to lead with his emotions had him completely accepting the anti-Serb atrocity propaganda of the Bosniaks and their Western backers, and the same in Kosovo. This tendency also led to his glowing review of the “Oscar winning” piece of Ukrainian propaganda ’20 Days in Mariupol’. He related to the depiction of wartime human suffering that pulled at one’s emotions without any acknowledgement that this was the whole point of such a manipulative piece of crap.

      Chris has a real talent, and I respect him as a sincere voice of humanitarian morality. But while he’s better than most, sometimes he gets sucked in as well.

      1. Lazar

        Colour me surprised. Even the “humanitarian guy” knows that Russians (and Serbs) are the real enemies of The Empire. They can’t be allowed to get a respite from the hate.

        This Chris guy sounds like suffering-fetish porn vendor, for those that need that special form of catharsis.

      2. JBird4049

        >>Chris has a real talent, and I respect him as a sincere voice of humanitarian morality. But while he’s better than most, sometimes he gets sucked in as well.

        True, but he also survived the Serbian siege of Sarajevo, which might influence his feelings. The Serbs were maltreated by the Americans and NATO, but that does not eliminate what they did to others.

        People can both be the victimizer and the victim at the same time.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Maybe, then, along with pretty strong support, by the Israelis of all stripes and hair styles, for killing and displacing all those Arabs in their “victimizer” role, the rest of us Goyim should excuse the people of Israel as victims of Netanyahu? That seems to be the current spin model.

          Oh, the humanity…

          1. JBird4049

            There does seem to be far too many Israelis who do not mind the slaughter of the Gazans and the abuses of the West Bank, crimes of which they are complicit especially with using the atrocities done to them as excuses for the current evil actions.

            However, what about we Americans? As one who has opposed the Empire’s actions for forty years and whose family has done so for decades longer with no effect, I also live near many who either paid no mind or supported it. It does not seem to have made any difference aside from the occasional punishments on the opponents of the wars; “the strong do as they will and weak suffer as they must.”

            I condemn the foolish excusers and the enablers of the Israeli atrocities as I do the Israeli government, but one must be careful.

            1. Lazar

              You are part of The Empire, not its opposition (unless “controlled” is added in front of “opposition”).

  23. The Rev Kev

    “WION on the Ukrainian Peace Summit: Conclusions”

    Hard to see who the biggest loser was in this conference – the Ukraine or Switzerland. The later absolutely humiliated themselves and got nothing from hosting that conference. Their 200 year-old reputation for neutrality has been wrecked and now their reputation for being able to host international conferences has been trashed as well. Was it worth it for them? With Zelensky, he had to strip his 10-popint plan down to just three – nuclear safety, safe passage in the Black sea and prisoner swaps to get any sort of agreement. Each of them were actually booby traps. Nuclear safety actually means that the Russians pull their people out of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station so that the Ukrainian Army can rush in to take control. The second about passage in the Black Sea really means making it easier for the Ukraine to attack Crimea like happened during the defunct grain deal. Finally there is the prisoner swap which all should agree on. Except the Russians have 200 Azov guys that they have no intention of returning so it cannot be a full prisoner swap but the Ukraine really wants those Azov guys back.

  24. Carolinian

    This is interesting on the Covid beat. FWIW.

    Quay discussed the forensic evidence in greater detail. He said, “One of the clues is that all of these viruses have what you call a molecular clock. So, they copy themselves with quite high fidelity, but about every two weeks they make a mistake. So if a virus has been circulating for a year, it’s going to have about 26 [mistakes].”

    According to Dr. Quay, “The diversity of SARS-2? Zero.”

  25. Jason Boxman

    From Why Americans are not buying more EVs

    “The idea that we should just open our gates and have a bunch of systematic Chinese economic abuses . . . and that that’s the answer to climate change is incredibly naive and short-sighted,” says Jennifer Harris, a former economic adviser to Biden.

    LOL. Swapping ICE cars for EV cars, world saved! is incredibly naive. Thanks for playing though!

    1. CA

      “The idea that we should just open our gates and have a bunch of systematic Chinese economic abuses . . . and that that’s the answer to climate change is incredibly naive and short-sighted…”

      A stunningly prejudiced comment. “Chinese abuses,” used as an excuse for being self-destructive. How could these people not understand how prejudiced they are?

    2. CA

      “The idea that we should just open our gates and have a bunch of systematic Chinese economic abuses…”

      New York Times description: “Jennifer Harris is the intellectual force driving the administration’s approach to trade and economic policies.” Harris has degrees from Oxford and Yale, but is unable to understand how wrong and prejudiced and offensive her words about China are.

      This is a very important example of how prejudice is fostered and in turn traps us.

  26. Jason Boxman

    From Why I’m Voting for the Enemy

    I won’t rehearse my entire voting history in presidential elections here, but I do want to argue the following points as strongly as possible. First, that it’s necessary to approach the electoral domain instrumentally, not as a moment for moral declaration. Second, that despite Biden’s great limitations (and there’s no question they are great), this is truly an instance in which the pathetic mantra that the Democrats have offered us for three decades—“the other guys are worse”—is true. And they are nightmarishly worse. We could be facing the destruction of whatever democratic institutions exist in American society, along with labor rights, civil rights, environmental protections, popularly accountable government, social wage policies, and public goods and services across the board, not to mention the imposition of a brutishly draconian and punitive regime.

    I can’t even recreate in text what I said emphatically, with the proper infections, about how f**king stupid these people are, aloud to no one in particular.

    I guess the opinion writer missed the national security state’s unprecedented infiltration and surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016, or years and years of lawfare. Talk about an attack on democratic institutions. What the actual f**k?

    These people are truly high on their own supply.

    Oh, duh, I see this is in The Nation. Okay, that explains it, at least. Ground zero of the ill informed and willfully ignorant.

    Nevertheless, as hideous as the Biden administration has been in supporting Israel’s destruction and ethnic cleansing of Gaza, the fact is that a Republican administration would be even worse. We know this because they’ve told us that it would. This is not idle rhetoric; it’s who they are. The terrible reality is that these are our choices for November.

    LOL, and lest us never forget, under Biden and liberal Democrats, we’ve had the largest increase in childhood poverty in history with the willful expiration of the Pandemic benefits, which Democrats claim they’re always fighting for expanding the “safety net” and all that. Just lies.

    And of course, the Biden anti-public-health response that’s killed over half a million Americans, and given tens of millions more, and counting, long-COVID.

    And this is the braintrust of the liberal Democrat Party and the Democrat true-believers.

    We’re hilariously doomed.

    1. Belle

      The Nation was once actually left-wing. They still have a few people who oppose the push for war with Russia.
      Back in ’52 or ’56, they had an issue where someone said why they were voting Democratic, one why they were voting Socialist, maybe one voting Communist… And the editors saying why they were not voting..

    2. Chris Cosmos

      Yes to what you’ve written. But this is typical of what passes for the left. I know people like them and sympathize with them–but the reality is that they’ve lost their intellectual edge through spending too much time in their lower-brain due to the increasing complexity of the world that forces all of us to continually shift our views as new things explode before us.

  27. Bsn

    Regarding the NWS Weather Prediction and global warming in general. I have an idea but am too old to complete it, so have at it someone if you want to make a million dollars. Create a kit that is essentially a “room size” air conditioning unit, say to cool a 120 sq. ft. room. Have it run on solar panels. Essentially when it’s real hot, say above 35 degrees, a person can go to the “cool” room for relief. If it’s above 35 degrees, it’s likely Sunny ergo the panels. Presto changeo. Don’t try to cool the entire house, especially an American sized house, just that room. Have it well insulated of course and perhaps a DIY kit for a clever fix-it person. I’m tellin’ ya, you could make a million dollahs.

    1. GF

      Good Idea. I would install batteries to backup the solar for 4 hours or more after the sun sets. In Phoenix, as an example, it can stay above 40 degrees C all night on occasion.

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