Bad Crow Review: Gross Excess
It is in fact a fucking duck
Links are at the end.
I feel bad on days when I don’t send out a newsletter, which happened yesterday, so I’m here to apologize (to myself, because nobody else seems bothered by it, but if you are then to you as well) for that.
Billionaires like Elon Musk want to save civilization by having tons of genetically superior kids.
Billionaires and millionaires want to spread their seed far and wide to create generations of super-smart children to save the world.Some of them, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, have also invested billions in anti-aging startups.
Of course rich techies aren’t the only people wanting to save the world by populating it with their spawn and achieving a semblance of immortality: some Christian sects are big on following the Biblical admonition to “be fruitful and multiply.”
"They speak about, 'If everyone starts having eight children or 12 children, imagine in three generations what we'll be able to do,' " Joyce says. " 'We'll be able to take over both halls of Congress, we'll be able to reclaim sinful cities like San Francisco for the faithful, and we'll be able to wage very effective massive boycotts against companies that are going against God's will.' "
That NPR story on the “Quiverfull” movement is a bit dated, but the gospel has only been disseminated more widely since then.
So what does this mean for you? Probably nothing, but it does suggest that Armageddon may prove to be the climactic battle between hordes of religious cultists and hordes of techie cultists.
Europe accuses US of profiting from war
We would never!
The explosive comments — backed in public and private by officials, diplomats and ministers elsewhere — follow mounting anger in Europe over American subsidies that threaten to wreck European industry. The Kremlin is likely to welcome the poisoning of the atmosphere among Western allies.
“We are really at a historic juncture,” the senior EU official said, arguing that the double hit of trade disruption from U.S. subsidies and high energy prices risks turning public opinion against both the war effort and the transatlantic alliance. “America needs to realize that public opinion is shifting in many EU countries.”
Another top official, the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell, called on Washington to respond to European concerns. “Americans — our friends — take decisions which have an economic impact on us,” he said in an interview with POLITICO.
The EU officials say U.S. weapons makers and oil and gas companies are reaping huge profits in connection with the Ukraine war, which is indisputable. Losing their Russian market initially made the war a consolation prize for the war industries, but the longer it lasts the better they fare from it; shipping new weapons, grabbing market share from ailing Russian arms sales, and repairing damaged equipment are all helping to ameliorate the initial earnings deficit.
The Biden administration naturally scoffs.
The U.S. rejected Europe's complaints. “The rise in gas prices in Europe is caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Putin's energy war against Europe, period," a spokesperson for Biden's National Security Council said. Exports of liquefied natural gas from the U.S. to Europe "increased dramatically and enabled Europe to diversify away from Russia," the NSC spokesperson said.
The biggest point of tension in recent weeks has been Biden’s green subsidies and taxes that Brussels says unfairly tilt trade away from the EU and threaten to destroy European industries. Despite formal objections from Europe, Washington has so far shown no sign of backing down.
At the same time, the disruption caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is tipping European economies into recession, with inflation rocketing and a devastating squeeze on energy supplies threatening blackouts and rationing this winter.
As they attempt to reduce their reliance on Russian energy, EU countries are turning to gas from the U.S. instead — but the price Europeans pay is almost four times as high as the same fuel costs in America. Then there’s the likely surge in orders for American-made military kit as European armies run short after sending weapons to Ukraine.
And of course an additional benefit U.S. war industries enjoy from the war is the opportunity to battle-test existing and new equipment, as suggested by Ukraine’s deputy minister of war in an address to U.S. merchants of death.
“If you have some ideas, or some pilot projects to be tested before mass manufacturing, you can send it to us and we will explain how to do it,” Havrylov said. “And in the end you will get the stamp, proved by the war in Ukraine. You will sell it easy.”
The deputy minister referenced unnamed startup companies already doing this, bringing not-yet-fielded products to Ukrainian procurement officials, especially anti-drone, anti-jamming technology.
“And they come back with a product that is competitive in the market now because it was tested in a combat zone,” he said.
Can’t say fairer than that.
Biden calls on Capitol Hill to ‘immediately’ pass legislation to avert rail shutdown
The pro-labor Democratic party is looking for 10 Senate Republicans to help them fuck rail workers by forcing a bad settlementon the four unions which have rejected the tentative agreement arrived at in September, thereby setting a new strike deadline which in theory should send the parties back to negotiations.
Biden, who has long claimed the mantle of a pro-labor warrior, said he hates to override the rail workers who voted against the settlement, but money talks and sometimes you just have to bow to it even while acknowledging other options.
The only question is how quickly the bill can come to the floor since any senator can object, dragging out the process and delaying a quick vote. Sources are watching Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders closely to see if he upends an effort to get a quick vote. A Sanders spokesman declined to comment.
Congress can impose a contract on both parties or extend a negotiation “cooling-off period” to keep the railroads running and avert disruptions to interstate commerce under the Railway Labor Act of 1926. The main crux of the dispute between the railroads and their workers revolves around time off rules.
Calling himself a “proud pro-labor President,” Biden said in his Monday statement, “I am reluctant to override the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement. But in this case – where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of other working people and families – I believe Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.”
The opportunity exists for genuinely pro-labor Democrats to force an improved agreement on the rail companies, which have seen record profits this year, but one hesitates to predict that they’ll take it.
How a Great Country Falls Apart
The subject of this maybe paywalled Foreign Affairs article is the latter days of the Soviet Union, and the protagonist of it is Andrei Amalrik, a Russian writer who predicted with uncanny accuracy, from a vantage point in the late 1960s, the Soviet decline and eventual dissolution.
The author, Charles King, is a professor of International Affairs at the government functionary factory and sometime NCAA basketball power, Georgetown University. He takes what Amalrik, who died in 1980, so presciently wrote about the Soviets, and applies it to great powers generally. The lesson, he says, is that such powers inevitably reach a point of self-delusion so great that they effectively can’t function anymore.
Not to worry, though; we’ll probably rumble on for some while in our traditional post-WWII fog.
Saxophonist Barney Wilen, “Night in Tunisia;” Bryan Ferry & His Orchestra with the kinda Brechtian “Bitter-Sweet.”
That, comrades, is all we got. Be well, take care.