Saturday, July 29, 2023

29: Italy

Elon Musk’s Quixotic Quest to Turn X Into an ‘Everything App’ Mr. Musk, the owner of Twitter, is the latest Silicon Valley mogul to pursue an all-in-one app, the kind that has thrived in Asia but not elsewhere. ........ Mr. Zuckerberg tried it. So did Dara Khosrowshahi, the chief executive of Uber. Evan Spiegel, the head of Snap, said he wanted to go for it, too. ......... China’s WeChat, Japan’s Line and South Korea’s KakaoTalk. ........ Weeks before closing his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in October, he tweeted that his purchase would be “an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.” ......... In November, Twitter filed paperwork with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to become a payments processor, and employees have been building a payments service. ........ In Japan, people use Line, the country’s dominant messaging platform, to store vaccination cards and shop for clothes. In South Korea, people turn to KakaoTalk, which started as a messaging service, to send money and request taxi rides. ......... None have been as successful as Tencent’s WeChat, a messaging, social media and payments app used by more than one billion people, mostly in China. WeChat dominates the mobile internet and is a one-stop shop to read news, talk with friends, order pizza or pay the landlord. ..........

“WeChat is effectively the operating system of daily life in China.”

......... In 2019, following Uber’s initial public offering, Mr. Khosrowshahi echoed the super app mantra. He said he saw his ride-hailing app as the “Amazon of transportation” and wanted it to be the “operating system for your everyday life in a city.” .......... Mr. Musk responded that the questioner didn’t know what he was talking about, before asking for the next question, the two attendees said. ......... “If done right,” he said in a recent podcast interview, X could become “half of the global financial system.” .......... “X is the future state of unlimited interactivity — centered in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking — creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities," she tweeted on Sunday. “Powered by A.I., X will connect us all in ways we’re just beginning to imagine.”

The Whales Gathered in a Heart Shape. Experts Feared What Would Come Next. A pod of nearly 100 pilot whales displayed unusual behavior before beaching themselves in Australia. More than 50 died, and the rest were later euthanized. ......... On Tuesday afternoon, researchers’ fears were confirmed. The pod of almost 100 long-finned pilot whales rushed to the shore, stranding themselves on Cheynes Beach near Albany, in southern Western Australia. ......... By Wednesday, 52 of the whales had died ........ However, that afternoon, the whales re-stranded themselves further along the beach ....... Another reason could be that they were disoriented by a loud offshore underwater noise ......... The country’s deadliest such event occurred in 2020, when 470 whales were beached on a coastline in Tasmania, with most of them dying. Two years to the day, another 230 washed up along roughly the same stretch of coast. .

Biden Orders U.S. to Share Evidence of Russian War Crimes With Hague Court The step signals a major shift in American policy and ends months of resistance by Pentagon officials who feared setting a precedent that could pave the way for the court to prosecute U.S. troops....... Before the International Criminal Court was created, the United Nations Security Council relied on ad hoc tribunals to address atrocities in places like the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Many democracies welcomed the idea of creating a standing body at The Hague and signed the 1998 treaty, known as the Rome Statute, including close American allies like Britain. ........ tensions again flared after top prosecutors for the court in 2017 tried to investigate the torture of detainees during the Bush administration as part of an inquiry into the war in Afghanistan. The Trump administration imposed sanctions on the court’s personnel, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced it as corrupt. .

The Life and Death of American Cities Though he believed in private enterprise, he knew that private enterprise depended on public works. ....... in a systemic crisis, such as the changes to urban commuting patterns brought on by Covid, dispersed global investors will not save cities......... “I take the subway at least twice a day,” Mr. Ravitch told reporters upon his 1979 appointment to the M.T.A. He saw for himself the conditions that were causing New Yorkers to leave. ......... Uber flooded Manhattan’s streets with tens of thousands of new cars with one passenger each, bringing gridlock to the worst levels on record. Uber also destroyed the city’s decades-old taxi regulation system, which had been created to control the number of vehicles on dense urban streets, forcing New York City to spend the past half-decade painstakingly rebuilding it. ......... Consider Airbnb, another placeless global tech firm whose executives glibly promised over the past decade to help New Yorkers lower housing costs by enabling them to rent out their spare rooms to earn extra money. The broader reality is that Airbnb has helped increase housing costs by enabling the illegal conversion of tens of thousands of condos and rental apartments into long-term, unregulated hotel suites. ......... From transit to policing, much of day-to-day American life happens at the state and local levels. But today’s aspiring political stars of both parties see New York City and San Francisco just as places to raise and give national money. ........... As all politics becomes nationalized, the political compromises that Mr. Ravitch excelled at become harder. Mr. Ravitch was a Democrat, but he worked with Republicans, including the New York senator Al D’Amato and President Ronald Reagan, because he needed them to help the M.T.A. ......... Mr. Ravitch wasn’t interested in the thrill of going on national TV to slam the Reagan administration for not caring about cities. Instead, he worked quietly with Mr. D’Amato to convince Mr. Reagan to devote a portion of the gas tax — which Mr. Reagan increased — to transit.

The Conditions Are Ripe for a Third Party in 2024. Is No Labels It?

Nobody Ever Read American Literature Like This Guy Did Inflamed, impertinent and deeply insightful, D.H. Lawrence’s “Studies in Classic American Literature” remains startlingly relevant 100 years after it was originally published. ........ With its one-sentence paragraphs (“Flop goes spiritual love.”), jabbing exclamations (“Freedom!”), semi-rhetorical questions (“But what of Walt Whitman?”) and heavy use of italics and all-caps, the book can read like a scroll of social-media rants. ....... Lawrence harangues his subjects in the second person (“Nathaniel!”), and subjects them to parodic paraphrase and withering, ad hominem judgment. “I do not like him,” he says of Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin! ............. Lawrence’s bristling, inflamed, impertinent language provides a reminder that criticism is not just the work of the brain, but of the gut and the spleen as well. .......... breathtaking conceptual leaps from history to myth and back again ......... “Damn all ideas and all ideals,” he rails, seeing such abstraction as an impediment to authentic human connection: “If only people would meet in their very selves.” But this idea of authenticity is bound up with a mystical ideology of race, sex, blood and destiny that is apt to trouble 21st-century sensibilities. ........... His critique of America, where he had traveled in the early 1920s, living for a time in Taos, N.M., was a broadside against the nation’s progressive traditions. ........ “The artist,” he writes in one of the most frequently quoted passages, “usually sets out — or used to — to point a moral and adorn a tale. The tale, however, points the other way, as a rule. Two blankly opposing morals, the artist’s and the tale’s. Never trust the artist. Trust the tale.” ......... The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer. It has never yet melted. ................. What Lawrence saw in his eccentric, passionate reading of that literature was division, polarization and contradiction. Not so much among factions, parties, regions or races — ordinary politics doesn’t really enter his field of vision — as within individual hearts and the collective soul. Every American is “a torn divided monster,” he writes at one point. ....... And elsewhere, a century ago that might as well have been last week: “America has never been easy, and is not easy today.”

The English Countryside Is a Place of Profound Inequality The house was old and four miles from any kind of shop. But to me, it was idyllic. It had an open coal fire, a huge walk-in pantry and bay windows. A story — probably apocryphal — had it that there had been an upstairs but the landowner didn’t like the way it ruined his view, so he just sliced it off, like a layer of Victoria sponge cake.......... for the landless who work and belong to the British countryside but do not own a piece of it, it’s a place of profound inequality. Damp, cold and underresourced but beautiful. ............. Rural Britain, long a scenic playground for the rich, is in danger of becoming only that, for tourists, second-homers and wealthy retirees.......... Many of the village homes are vacation rentals or second homes, empty for most of the year, pushing the prices higher for the few homes that do go up for sale. There were always bus trippers, but the streams of tourists at this time of year, its busiest, make it feel a bit like a rural Disneyland. .......... In the early 2000s, when a lot of the big landowners were starting to realize how profitable renting property to these visitors could be, Graythwaite Estate decided not to employ a forester anymore. Dad became self-employed, and we started paying market rent. The farm and other houses on the estate started to become vacation cottages; some became beautiful wedding venues. Eventually, Mum and Dad moved to a terraced house in a nearby town. It had a yard, not a garden, but it was theirs. ........... In some of the villages around where I grew up, as many as 80 percent of the houses are second homes ............ a schoolteacher told The Guardian that her family was evicted by a landlady who admitted that she could make four times as much by renting their home to tourists ........ These visitors spend money in the local shops, but they don’t put children in the school. They don’t become part of the church congregation. A way of life slowly suffocates. .............. In my dreams, though, I am often in the garden of the old house, in the shade of the big trees. Comfy as a dandelion in the dirt.

What’s Happening in Italy Is Scary, and It’s Spreading her often extreme rhetoric ........ But the comforting tale of a populist firebrand turned pragmatist overlooks something important: what’s been happening in Italy. Ms. Meloni’s administration has spent its first months accusing minorities of undermining the triad of God, nation and family, with dire practical consequences for migrants, nongovernmental organizations and same-sex parents. Efforts to weaken anti-torture legislation, stack the public broadcaster with loyalists and rewrite Italy’s postwar constitution to increase executive power are similarly troubling. Ms. Meloni’s government isn’t just nativist but has a harsh authoritarian streak, too. ......... Allies of Ms. Meloni are already in power in Poland, also newly legitimized by their support for Ukraine. .......... Taking aim at one of the government’s main targets, L.G.B.T.Q. parents, party leaders have called surrogate parenting a “crime worse than pedophilia,” claiming that gay people are “passing off” foreign kids as their own. ........ her call for “births, not migrants” ......... aggressive opposition to migration has been the centerpiece of her administratio ........... A law passed in April forces asylum seekers to live in state-run migrant centers while their claims are considered — a process that can last up to two years — all without legal advice or Italian-language classes. .............. As prime minister, Ms. Meloni has referred to Italy’s postwar antifascist culture as a repressive ideology ....... The Brothers of Italy aims to create a directly elected head of government and a strong executive freer of constraint. ........... For all its Mussolinian roots, this government is no return to the past. Instead, in galvanizing the political right behind a resentful identity politics, it risks becoming something else entirely: Europe’s future. .......... The more disturbing truth is that they are no longer parties of protest, but increasingly welcome in the mainstream. For proof, just look to Washington on Thursday.

The Future Is Italy, and It’s Bleak . describes itself as “post-fascist” ........ Early elections, due in the fall, could open the way for the Brothers of Italy to become the first far-right party to lead a major eurozone economy. For Europe and the country, it would be a truly seismic event. ....... It would also mark a remarkable rise for a party that in 2018 secured just 4 percent of the vote. At its heart is Ms. Meloni, who skillfully blends fears of civilizational decline with folksy anecdotes about her relationships with her family, God and Italy itself. ........ Ms. Meloni presents herself as an unusually down-to-earth politician. ........... But the Brothers of Italy doesn’t just owe its success to toning down its message. It’s also the beneficiary of a much wider breakdown of the barriers between the traditional center-right and the insurgent far right, playing out across Western Europe and America. .........

Heavily indebted, socially polarized and politically unstable, Italy is just the country where the process is most advanced.

......... It was, of course, the first country to be taken over by fascists, falling to Mussolini 100 years ago. ........ Central to that rise, for all the party’s focus on tax cuts and pro-business talk, is Italy’s endemic economic malaise........ And not just in Italy. For example, the Vox party in Spain, a far-right force steeped in apologia for the Franco regime that has risen to 20 percent in the polls, regards Ms. Meloni as an inspiration. Appearing at a Vox campaign event in June she neatly encapsulated the contours of their shared politics, thundering in Spanish, “Yes to secure borders! No to mass immigration!” The speech — which reached its crescendo with Ms. Meloni shouting, “Yes to our civilization! And no to those who want to destroy it!” — could well have been given by Marine Le Pen, whose National Rally is now the chief force on the French right.

29: Ukraine

Interbrand launches 2023 Breakthrough Brands Report revealing the emerging brands disrupting the global market

Friday, July 28, 2023

27: Oppenheimer

Progressives’ embrace of Disney in battle with DeSantis over LGBTQ rights comes with risks
Just about anybody in America can officiate a wedding, thanks to the internet – and one determined preacher
Federal government is challenging Texas’s buoys in the Rio Grande – here’s why these kinds of border blockades wind up complicating immigration enforcement
Israel: unpopular judicial reform involves repeal of law set up under British colonial rule in Palestine – here’s what that tells us
How the Soviets stole nuclear secrets and targeted Oppenheimer, the ‘father of the atomic bomb’ The new world that Oppenheimer helped to create, and the nuclear nightmare he feared, still exists today. ....... The scientists he led at the Los Alamos site were probably the most talented group of minds ever assembled in a single laboratory, including 12 eventual Nobel laureates.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

27: Gemini

27: Palestine

Progressives’ embrace of Disney in battle with DeSantis over LGBTQ rights comes with risks
Just about anybody in America can officiate a wedding, thanks to the internet – and one determined preacher
Federal government is challenging Texas’s buoys in the Rio Grande – here’s why these kinds of border blockades wind up complicating immigration enforcement
Israel: unpopular judicial reform involves repeal of law set up under British colonial rule in Palestine – here’s what that tells us
How the Soviets stole nuclear secrets and targeted Oppenheimer, the ‘father of the atomic bomb’

DOES SAM ALTMAN KNOW WHAT HE’S CREATING? The OpenAI CEO’s ambitious, ingenious, terrifying quest to create a new form of intelligence ...... The powerful AI that his company had released in November had captured the world’s imagination like nothing in tech’s recent history. ......... In small doses, Altman’s large blue eyes emit a beam of earnest intellectual attention, and he seems to understand that, in large doses, their intensity might unsettle. In this case, he was willing to chance it: He wanted me to know that whatever AI’s ultimate risks turn out to be, he has zero regrets about letting ChatGPT loose into the world. To the contrary, he believes it was a great public service. ........ .

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

The Judicial Process In Goshen (NY) Is The Monkey In The Middle Story

Unraveling the Goshen Judicial Process: A Tale of Injustice and Greed


The judicial process in Goshen, New York, may seem like an ordinary affair on the surface, but beneath the facade lies a troubling story that mirrors a classic monkey in the middle scenario. With elements of sexism, racism, and unchecked greed, the system often resembles a Soviet bureaucracy gone haywire, leaving victims trapped in a web of cruelty and injustice. In this blog post, we delve into the grim realities of Goshen's judicial landscape and shed light on the urgent need for reform.

A Monkey in the Middle

Imagine two cats fiercely fighting over a piece of bread, their claws unsheathed and their intentions clear. In this allegory, the bread represents justice, and the cats symbolize opposing parties entangled in legal battles. Amidst the chaos, a monkey appears, seemingly offering assistance to resolve the dispute. However, what initially seems like a benevolent gesture quickly turns sour as the monkey adds more confusion to the situation, prolonging the conflict for its own gain. In Goshen's judicial process, a similar dynamic unfolds, with the pursuit of justice becoming secondary to the interests of those in power.

Institutional Sexism, Racism, and Greed

The dark underbelly of Goshen's judicial process reveals disturbing levels of institutional sexism, racism, and greed. These ingrained biases cast shadows over legal proceedings, impacting the treatment of individuals based on their gender, race, or financial standing. Women, minorities, and the less privileged often find themselves at a disadvantage, struggling to assert their rights against the prevailing prejudices.

The Soviet Bureaucracy Gone Haywire

Goshen's judicial system has been compared to a Soviet bureaucracy gone haywire, with an excessive emphasis on bureaucratic procedures over achieving just outcomes. The focus on following complex and often inefficient processes can hinder the swift delivery of justice, leaving victims entangled in lengthy legal battles.

A Cruelty Unmasked

As the judicial process becomes mired in bureaucracy and injustice, it borders on cruelty. Victims of various injustices find their pleas for relief often falling on deaf ears, as they navigate a system that appears indifferent to their suffering. The human toll of this cruelty extends far beyond legal outcomes, impacting lives and livelihoods.

The Call for Reform

The troubling state of affairs in Goshen's judicial process calls for urgent reform. A system meant to uphold justice and protect the rights of its citizens must be transparent, impartial, and equitable. Efforts to combat sexism, racism, and greed must be prioritized to ensure fair treatment for all.


The judicial process in Goshen, New York, is not a mere legal affair; it is a complex tale of injustice, greed, and institutional failings. As the bread of justice remains contested in the middle, the need for a swift resolution becomes apparent. By addressing the issues of sexism, racism, and unchecked greed, Goshen can evolve into a beacon of justice, where the pursuit of truth and fairness is paramount. It is time to transform this monkey in the middle story into one of hope and progress, making justice accessible to all who seek it.

Goshen (NY) Puts Third-World Corruption To Shame

The Dark Realities of the Judicial Process in Goshen (NY): Unraveling Corruption and Unethical Practices


Goshen, a picturesque town in New York, has recently come under scrutiny for its deeply troubling judicial process. While the town's serene beauty may deceive visitors, the legal system within Goshen hides a web of corruption and unethical practices that put even some third-world countries to shame. In this blog post, we will shed light on the concerning state of affairs, where greed and injustice prevail over the pursuit of justice.

1. Greed and Unethical Lawyers

The judicial process in Goshen has become a breeding ground for greedy and unethical lawyers. Instead of seeking justice for their clients, these attorneys focus on elongating legal proceedings to maximize their financial gains. The longer the case, the more billable hours they can accumulate, leaving the victims financially drained and justice elusive.

2. Might is Right

In Goshen's legal landscape, it seems that might is right. Expensive and well-connected lawyers hold sway over the proceedings, ensuring favorable outcomes for their clients. Meanwhile, those without significant financial resources are left to fend for themselves against an imbalanced system.

3. The Cocktail Circuit and Cronyism

The rampant influence of the cocktail circuit exacerbates the corruption within Goshen's legal community. A close-knit group of lawyers moves through social circles, leveraging personal connections to manipulate the system in their favor. This camaraderie among attorneys often comes at the expense of justice and fairness.

4. Racism and Bias

Shockingly, racism runs deep in Goshen's legal landscape. The acronym NATO (No Action Talk Only) takes on a darker meaning here, as it symbolizes white individuals banding together to protect their own interests. This deep-rooted bias contributes to unequal treatment in the legal system, further marginalizing certain individuals and communities.

5. Collusion and Plotting

In a shocking revelation, lawyers are found to collude and plot against the very concept of justice. Rather than working towards the truth, they strategize to prolong legal proceedings and keep the courtroom busy. This concerted effort to extend cases unnecessarily denies justice to those in need.

6. Exploitation of Vulnerable Individuals

Lawyers in Goshen are not beyond exploiting vulnerable individuals, especially single mothers, for financial gain. They prey on the weak, using their legal prowess to harass and extort money from those who are already struggling. The crushing burden of high rent is compounded by exorbitant legal fees, pushing the victims further into distress.

7. Misrepresentation of Expertise

To add to the list of concerning practices, lawyers in Goshen routinely misrepresent their areas of expertise. This unethical behavior only serves to erode trust in the legal system, making it difficult for individuals to find reliable representation.


The state of the judicial process in Goshen, NY, is a travesty of justice. Corruption, greed, racism, and unethical practices have cast a dark shadow over the legal system, leaving victims feeling helpless and unheard. As we strive for fairness and equality, it becomes evident that reform is urgently needed in Goshen's legal landscape.

In a world where technology can transform industries, one cannot help but wonder: where is ChatGPT when you need it? Perhaps, in the future, AI-powered tools could play a role in bringing transparency, efficiency, and fairness to legal proceedings. However, for the present, it remains a collective responsibility to address the deep-rooted issues and work towards a more just and equitable judicial process in Goshen.