Links 11/12/2022

Slaves to the rhythm: rats can’t resist a good beat, researchers say Guardian (David L)

Debris From Destroyed Space Shuttle Challenger Found On Ocean Floor 36 Years On CBC

Inside a radical new project to democratize AI MIT Technology Review (David L)

Measles outbreak erupts among unvaccinated children in Ohio daycare ars technica (resilc)

Donuts, chips and pizza should be redefined as DRUGS, scientist say Daily Mail Online (resilc)

A Peek Behind the Curtain: Life Expectancy Peter Zeihan. Resilc: “How can USA USA progress when we have two warring cults in a never ending war and never ending election mode?”



COVID-19 reinfections substantially increase risk of death and Long COVID WSWS

COVID-19 reinfections may be riskier than they seem Popular Science


People’s CDC COVID-19 Weather Report People’s CDC (dk)


Exclusive: U.S. blocks more than 1,000 solar shipments over Chinese slave labor concerns Reuters. Resilc: “You mean like the ones USAID just gave Lebanon?”

HK stocks surge as Beijing eases Covid rules Asia Times (Kevin W)

The kind of thing a financialized society will never do:

Old Blighty

U.K. Economy Shrinks as Threat of Recession Nears New York Times

European Disunion

Ocean Viking: Meloni slams ‘aggressive’ France as migrant rescue ship row escalates Access to the comments EuroNews (Kevin W)

KFC apologises after German Kristallnacht promotion BBC. Resilc: “Why I turned off the Twitter ap connected to the E-bidet Alexa ordered me.”

New Not-So-Cold War

World leaders to forgo G20 ‘family photo’ over Russia’s presence Guardian (Kevin W)

US worried about EU commitment to punishing Russia RT. As the Washington Post indicated, this was the reason Zelensky was told to engage in peace posturing, which he isn’t even trying to fake. And if you read the NYT story that has everyone so excited, Mark Milley’s argument apparently is that Ukraine should “cement gains”. Admittedly before winter, but that means the Pentagon is warning odds favor Ukraine taking losses from here. This leak may just be the Pentagon throwing down a “We told you so” marker.

Consistent with my priors: Russia Completes Kherson Pullout in Good Order, Captures Pavlovka, Doubts US Diplomatic Moves Alexander Mercouris. I listened to this after I wrote the above. At around 19:45, he mentions a statement from Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov that Russians have “no information” about diplomatic initiatives.

The Present and Future of Europe’s Energy Supply Der Spiegel (resilc)

US sets conditions for India to keep buying Russian oil RT. Kevin W: “That’s mighty white of them. /sarc”

Versus: EXCLUSIVE India can buy as much Russian oil as it wants, outside price cap, Yellen says Reuters. Note RT parsed this story rather differently than the headline message.

German parliament approves nuclear plants life extension DW

Greece threatens to block gas price correction mechanism ekathimerini

From Rybar, believed to be one of the more accurate Telegram accounts; you can scroll down from this link to read other posts:

🔻The Russian Ministry of Defense officially announced the completion of the withdrawal of the group of troops of the Russian Armed Forces from the right bank of the Dnieper: the last equipment and personnel completed the transfer at 5 am. According to military correspondent Alexander Sladkov, over 20 thousand personnel and 3.5 thousand pieces of equipment were withdrawn.

▪️The Russian Defense Ministry says that not a single piece of military equipment and weapons was left on the right bank of the Dnieper. Apparently, reports from the field were submitted this way, because there are enough personnel with captured equipment. Another question is that this equipment could be out of order for a long time, and its evacuation seemed inappropriate…

▪️Russian artillery and air strikes, the use of mines and explosive barriers stopped Ukrainian units 30-40 km from the area of ​​crossings across the Dnieper. We plotted this radius on the map and noted which settlements are already under the control of Ukrainian troops.

▪️Throughout the withdrawal operation, a wide network of informers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Security Service of Ukraine, in a hurry to get “pardon”, transmitted data on the routes of transfer and the location of Russian military personnel…

In the Kherson region , Russian troops completed the withdrawal of troops to the left bank of the Dnieper. After crossing the last units of the Russian Armed Forces, they blew up the Antonovsky bridge in Kherson and the bridge of the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station near Novaya Kakhovka.

Rather than be tortured?


S Korea ‘all in’ on US economic security alliance Asia Times

LEAKED DOCUMENT REVEALS WHY INTERPOL OVERTURNED U.S. “RED NOTICE” AGAINST PUTIN ASSOCIATE YEVGENY PRIGOZHIN Intercept (resilc). Interpol looks to be better at investigating than the Intercept. The first para of this story attributes a statement to Prigozhin that was first started on a fake Twitter account and then Prigozhin amped it up to what was obvious trolling…except the West, including the White House, treated it as bona fide (see Moon of Alabama for details). Similarly, he US charged the alleged Russian meddlers assuming no one would show up to defend the cases; they dropped them when someone did.

‘Unconventional’ delivery of US airpower in Arctic tailored to serve notice to Russia Stars and Stripes (guurst)


US and Mikati ‘fooled’ Lebanon into thinking Iranian fuel deliveries would be permitted: Report The Cradle (guurst)

Israel’s Far Right in New Government Eyes Security Ministries; Who will Stop them from Just Shooting Down Palestinians? Juan Cole

Tariq Ali, Assassination Time Again New Left Review (Anthony L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Bunker: The Trillion-Dollar Pentagon Pogo (resilc)

The battle for who owns ‘conservative statecraft’ Responsible Statecraft (resilc)


Biden Says Agenda Backed by Midterm Voters Is Reducing Inflation Bloomberg. Resilc: “Reality denier.”


Trump v. Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack United States Court, Southern District of Florida (Kevin W). Fighting the subpoena to testify next week.

Jan. 6 committee staffers told preliminary plan for final report would focus largely on Trump, not on law enforcement failures, sources say NBC (resilc)

Trump’s wild claim about using the FBI to stop 2018 vote-counting, explained Washington Post

User Clip: Trump Promotes Quick Trials and Death Penalty for Drug Dealers C-SPAN

Satmar Rebbe: Trumpism has infiltrated Judaism, twisted many minds Jerusalem Post (resilc)

Noose found at Obama Presidential Center halts construction Chicago Tribune (resilc)


Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak ousted in Nevada The Hill

GOP Clown Car

Can DeSantis Unseat Trump? Atlantic

Marjorie Taylor Greene posts a video saying, “Joe Biden, you’re not a president, you’re a piece of shit” Boing Boing (resilc)

Our No Longer Free Press

The West renounces freedom of expression Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Net (Chuck L)

The Age of Social Media Is Ending Atlantic. Resilc: “Then why does everyone have their heads in their phonezzzzzzzz?”

Musk tells Twitter employees “bankruptcy isn’t out of the question” as it descends into chaos Boing Boing. Note Musk told employees about the daily rate of losses before he took over….

Hey Hollywood, Elon Musk is Turning Your Tesla into a Maga Hat on Wheels The Wrap (resilc)

From Tom H: “Thread of spoof brand accounts, e.g., “Teslas sent to Ukraine because most advanced explosive devices”.

Kyrie Irving Is Not Antisemitic, Says NBA Commissioner Adam Silver New York Times. Resilc: “Contract too large to be antisemitic. Besides, an Alibaba owner and we need the Chicom market.”

Tesla vehicles will soon have Zoom video conferencing TechCrunch. Kevin W: “I don’t think that killing your customers is an effective long term strategy here.”

U.S. year-round sales of an ethanol-gas blend wins oil group’s support Reuters (resilc)

The Bezzle

FTX says it is probing ‘abnormal transactions’ after potential hack Financial Times. Including this?

Bankrupt FTX Hit by Mysterious Outflow of About $662 Million Bloomberg. Note bigger # than reported at FT.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s $32bn FTX crypto empire files for bankruptcy Financial Times. From comments:

The egregious part of this story is that FTX’ meltdown appears entirely attributable to two things that any remotely competent executive would know are wrong: (1) as an exchange, lending customer assets to, of all things, an affiliated entity; and (2) as a leveraged hedge fund-market maker, investing heavily in a thinly-traded coin issued by an affiliated entity. Avoid those obvious missteps, and FTX probably could have had its $32bn slice of cake and eaten it too.

Does Bankman-Fried Deserve A Bail Out? Heisnberg Report (resilc). Delicious:

All I’m suggesting is that if, instead of possibly mishandling enormous sums at a crypto exchange and trading house, Bankman-Fried allegedly ran a drug exchange and trading house, and if, instead of being Sam Bankman-Fried, born on Stanford’s campus (literally) to a pair of highly accomplished law school professors, he were a hypothetical Terrell “Big Dolla” Williams, born in a Chicago housing project to a poor single mother, or Williams’s hypothetical boss, Diego “El Jefe” González, born to nobody knows who in Sinaloa, and currently living in the Chicago suburbs in a $4 million home purchased by his wife, would he still have an active Twitter account? (Maybe, under Elon Musk, but that’s a separate discussion.) Would his organizations still be functioning at all? Would he be in discussions with an investor group to inject $9 billion into his crumbling empire? Would Bloomberg and Reuters still be reaching out for quotes? If not, why not? After all, the scenario I’ve just posited assumes that no guilt has been established for Bankman-Fried, Big Dolla or El Jefe. They’re all innocent until proven otherwise. Or at least that’s the way the legal system is supposed to work….

Finally, let me pose an even more uncomfortable question to readers: Who’s smarter, more capable and deserving our collective adoration: The Stanford-born, all-lanes-open whiz kid who made $16 billion by way of legal goods and services which some believe should be illegal, or the child born to nothing, with nothing and with no lanes open, who made $16 million trading illicit goods and services which many people believe should be legal?

Stupid move. Argentina has an extradition treaty with the US:

The Swiss National Bank Began Unloading its Biggest US Stock Holdings, incl. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Meta Wolf Richter. It’s nuts for a central bank to buy stock, worst of all foreign stocks, with the exception of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, now the Saudi Central Bank, which also acts as a sovereign wealth fund and winds up holding lots of foreign currency positions due to the Kingdom being a big exporter.

Class Warfare

Employed and Experiencing Homelessness: What the Numbers Show National Alliance to End Homelessness

Antidote du jour:

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. timbers

    New Not-So-Cold War

    Brian Berletic at New Atlas has a quick 22 min video explaining why he thinks Kherson withdrawal is consistent with Russian strategy of War of Attrition, similar to your own reasoning yesterday. He explains why a war of attrition is the same as demilitarization. He also gives analysis of what a joke the most recent $400 million Biden military aid package to Ukraine is. Also….Dima has been going on and on about about a deal btwn West/Russia, and keeps explaining events on the ground in that context. After 3 days, is seems to becoming clear his on some sort of tangent without any evidence to back this. But admit I gave his view serious consideration on day 1 but now it’s getting thin.

    1. Álex Morfesis

      That war of attrition thingee didn’t really work out for them rooskees when they claimed a “strategic retreat” from Kherson during WW2…despite the amusing comedy schtick of how the great patriotic war and all that led to a great victory against the German high command, the reality is by June 1943 the Soviet Union was weeks away from defeat when a certain olde friend of “frank the president” was able to convince him he should be allowed to take his pearl handled gun to Sicily instead of playing hop scotch the way Winston wanted to…July 9, 1943…lest we forget why Germany lost the war…

        1. Polar Socialist

          Nah, he’s right. Red Army had only depleted Army Group North (that did basically nothing for the rest of the WW2), crushed Army Group South and was in the process to destroy Army Group Center – together only 80% of the Wehrmacht – while Patton had to face a German might that was almost 70% of the size of the losses 6th Army suffered at Stalingrad.

          Oh, and I’m being sarcastic. Really sarcastic.

          1. Alex Morfesis

            Yup because kursk…jul 5th 1943 and those vermacht troops on their way from France to help finish off the rooskees but that dude with the pearl handled gun showed up near those old temples in magna grecia and forced German troops south to defend italy…details details…July 12th kursk gets kaputed by Berlin and the rest is the invention of the great patriotic war because August 23rd 1939 never happened…simply fake news…

            1. rkka

              Spare me…

              By 31 December 1941, the Red Army had bled the Wehrmacht so white, that only AG South could be restored to a state fit for offensive operations for the Summer of ’42. When Halder was planning for the ’42 summer offensive, the German infantry branch was still short its table of Organization by 625k riflemen. That’s half. Pray tell, how much Lend-Lease had arrived by then?

              And what remained got bled white then enveloped at Stalingrad.

              So for ’43, the Germans were capable only of pursuing operational goals, pinching off a salient, not strategic goals, because of the irreplaceable infantry losses they had sustained in ’41 & ’42.

              And I note you pass over the fact that Model hit the wall Rokossovsky built before Husky started, so it was all up to AG South, and even if Hermy Hoth had broken through at Prokhorovka, II SS Panzer had taken heavy infantry losses, and was on its last legs.

              So it ‘twern’t cuz of the dude with the pearl-handled revolvers that the Kursk op failed.

              1. Tom Stone

                They were Ivory, not Mother of Pearl, mother of pearl grips are for pimps.
                And Patton wasn’t the best Tank commander on the Western Front, that would be John Woods.
                I don’t understand the desire to denigrate Russia and its culture, there are certainly valid criticisms of both, just as there are for Western European cultures and Countries. so why make stuff up?

                1. The Rev Kev

                  You’re right about those handles being ivory. One time Patton was asked about that and he replied something along the lines that only a pimp in a New Orleans whorehouse would have mother of pearl handles on a revolver.

      1. Greg

        So just to be clear, your history channel version here is that Germany lost the war because Patton is so great?

        1. Alex Morfesis

          Nah…the himmler channel always implies somehow magically out gunned and outnumbered germany would have won the war just if everyone would do a French kiss and give up within 6 weeks at the first sign of actual gun fire…and it was the original black panthers, the 761st tank battalion, who won the war since they were originally grotesquely underestimated by the German high command…because what would a bunch of black dudes know to do with tanks…so yeah…I know it is not popular amongst the stalinistanis here but Russia has not won a battle it could sustain on its own in over 100 years…we need an enemy and so we have invented one on a regular basis…can’t sell war without an imposing dangerous enemy….

          1. rkka

            “Russia has not won a battle it could sustain on its own in over 100 years…”

            So who kicked Kleist & his Panzer Group out of Rostov in December ’41? Before then, nobody did anything but retreat from a Panzer Group.

          2. The Rev Kev

            You do know that about 80% of German soldiers killed in WW2 were killed by Russian soldiers, don’t you? When the Allies landed in France in ’44, they were facing a much depleted force.

            1. Alex Morfesis

              Rzhev meat grinder (operation mars) was relieved by the ivory handled dude when he showed up in casablanca as he was told…”play ball”…the German high command was afraid of the Americans and no one else…berlin sent their best to try to slow down the possibility of American success…although it is difficult to argue of the losses handed to the Germans by the followers of order # 227 , one should not discount the majority of those kills were AFTER Normandy when it was simply crabs in a barrel and former sittler youth all dressed up playing soldiers…

              1. The Rev Kev

                ‘one should not discount the majority of those kills were AFTER Normandy when it was simply crabs in a barrel and former sittler youth all dressed up playing soldiers…’

                Did you mean on the eastern front or the western front – or both. But the fact of the matter is that the most experienced and battle-hardened German troops were long gone. I sometimes wonder how many of the 1939 Wehrmacht troops were still alive when the war finished in 1945.

                1. rkka

                  The 22 June ‘41 Wehrmacht infantry branch was about 2/3s gone by 31 December ‘41. Chief of the German General Staff noted in the Spring of ‘42, the divisions of AG South we’re in pretty good shape, with an average effective infantry strength of 5-6 battalions, out of 10, each. By contrast, the infantry divisions of AG Center had an effective infantry strength of 1.5 battalions each.

                  So AG South was rebuilt for the ‘42 offensive. 6th Army, the main effort, got bled white by the likes of Chuikov, before it got surrounded.

                  So as a SWAG, I’d say that maybe 20% (at the high end) of the ‘43 German infantry branch were survivors of the force that launched Barbarossa.

    2. LifelongLib

      I admit to ignorance/confusion. Some reports say the Russians are withdrawing to the east bank of the Dnieper, which makes sense, but other reports say they’re withdrawing to the “left bank”. The east side looks like the right bank on the map. So either I don’t know directions or I don’t know left from right…

      1. Mel

        The river’s left side, supposing it’s facing in the direction it’s flowing. For the Dnieper, the flow is south-ish.

        1. LifelongLib

          Thanks, that clarifies it. I could only come up with vague memories of Huckleberry Finn and French intellectuals…

          1. Polar Socialist

            Yes. The rivers in that part of the globe meander so much compass directions don’t make much sense, since the same bank can be now southern and ten miles later northern. So they use terms left and right, relative to the direction of the flow.

            1. hk

              It still gets confusing since, I think, Russians (usually) use left and right looking from the source to the mouth, which in this case, from the North. So, I think, right bank is the West (mostly) and the left bank the east, whereas people looking at maps take West to the left.

              1. The Rev Kev

                When you look at a map of the area, it is far easier to talk about the Ukrainians taking back the land to north of the Dnipero River while the Russians keep the region south of the river.

    3. nothing but the truth

      if can’t hold kherson when they had a bridge, what makes you think they can get it without it?

      I think the Kremlin is living in la la land that it can get a negotiation and all will be like brothers again. The game is far more serious now, and either you are the hunter or you are the hunted. It’s that simple.

      NATO is not in the habit of negotiating. If it does not win, it loses.

      Whoever loses, it is game over for them this time. And Russia does not seem to have appetite for a real war. The kind of war that has real consequences.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Do not Make Shit Up and misinform readers. Widely reported that Russians were using pontoon bridges and ferries on the west bank of the Kherson, that’s why they were having big time supply issues. Antonovsky bridge rendered useless a while back (will have to check when but some months) due to long onramp over earthworks being blown. The Rybar report suggests they took out the main structure on their way out.

        And did you manage to miss that Surovikin explicitly said Russia would grind down Ukraine? Aside from clearing Donbass because an initial SMO aim and Ukraine is still shelling civilians, Russsia would otherwise be perfectly happy to let Ukraine keep throwing troops at them and erode their manpower and materiel that way.

        Russia is not fighting this war to satisfy you or your ideas of timing.

        Oh, and that Russia has mobilized +300,000, and is in no panic to get them deployed, hence the time being take to retrain the bulk of the forces?

  2. digi_owl

    Those Chinese integrated communities sounds a bit like the superblocks of Barcelona.

    > ‘Unconventional’ delivery of US airpower in Arctic tailored to serve notice to Russia Stars and Stripes (guurst)

    Why the F did they do that near Andøya?! The place that nearly triggered nuclear war thanks to Russian chain of command misplacing a launch warning for a weather rocket. And that has been gearing up to launch smaller satellites via larger rockets. It is almost as if USA is going all out to confuse Russia into shooting first by accident!

        1. semper loquitur

          Let’s hope there is a UFO around. We need clearer, more mature minds to get their pseudopods involved in this mess.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That Colonel really said it all – ‘We are intentionally trying to be provocative without being escalatory.’

      Yeah, let’s keep poking the bear, especially with cruise missile delivery systems that may or may not have nuclear payloads. After all, what could possible go wrong? It’s like that time that Robert McNamara tried to push JFK to invade Cuba during the missile crisis. And then about thirty years later was at a table with the Russian commander in Cuba at the time – and went white when he was told that the Russians had not only strategic nuclear missiles but tactical nukes as well which the Russian commander was authorized to use in case of an invasion.

      1. Greg

        The great thing about this latest boondoggle is that it now guarantees the NATO fleet of hercs will be dropped from the sky in the opening hours of any real combat. That’ll work really well with those long US supply lines.

  3. hunkerdown


    > due to the Kingdom’s position of being a big exorter

    Exporter? Exhorter? Extorter? All of the above?

        1. hunkerdown

          The flex thwarter didn’t seem too amused by that OPEC+ “pls wait for election ;_;” diplomatic message. That’s a bit iffy.

  4. begob

    DuckDuckGo did a bit of TV advertising in the UK during the summer. Why? Dunno, but they were offering some subscription service. Also caught a Mercedes TV ad a few days ago, which is a first in my experience.

    1. The Rev Kev

      After reading your comment, I had to go and check that in fact that I had deleted DuckDuckGo from my links and I had. What’s the bet that when the story comes out, that just like at Facebook and Twitter, that you have ex-spooks and the like take up senior management positions, particularly with security.

      1. Carolinian

        So no spooks at Google? Or it’s all spooks? I think we the public have to take what these companies have to offer and use appropriate caution. And what they have to offer is valuable–even Google or especially Google.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Interesting that Google is presumed to have “something to offer” beyond stacked and frayed search results, disappeared “motto” of “Don’t Be Evil,”, endless data gathering on users. And of course “very close relationships” with the Panopticon and BigCorps, NOT in anything like the “public interest.”

          And now DDG is self-trashing any residual reputation for trustworthiness.

          Will try Yandex starting today.

            1. Louis Fyne

              Brave search is only good for casual searches. (but obviously beggers can’t be choosers)

              and essentially the world only has 2 search engines: google (or a repackager of google, see duckduckgo) or bing-Microsoft (or a repackager).

              and the various major non-US search engines have shockingly bad English versions as I would assume a good crawler/search algo would work well regardleß of language

              1. hunkerdown

                The “algo” typically includes a language model. Web search services are usually equipped with a language model (or 20) to coalesce synonyms, misspellings like “centre” ;), voices, tenses, etc. into concepts for indexing and querying. “Grep the web” searches based on exact string matches are less likely to return the most useful responses to natural language queries, but very good when you know exactly what you wrote.

                1. JBird4049

                  >>>but very good when you know exactly what you wrote.

                  And that is the problem. I often have an idea of what I want, but don’t know the exact term or words to use. I miss the “Don’t be evil” google when it was an excellent engine and I could use boolean search terms that gave me precisely what I wanted.

            2. Lost in OR

              I have Brave on my Mac as well as a PC. With Safari I couldn’t get the screen to stop bouncing around with all the ads loading and shuffling. And utube was infuriating with all the damn ads. Chrome or google or whatever MS is peddling was never an option for the PC.

              I don’t do many deep dives on my searches. So Brave does ok. But for viewing NC or utube or ANY website ad-free, Brave rocks. It has become my default.

              I’m a rube when it comes to security. I can only hope that Brave blocks what they say it blocks. But like the Jackpot in general, when the internet becomes a walk on “The Road”, I’ve been waiting.

          1. hunkerdown

            To be fair, Google is still pretty good at finding research and literature in fields that aren’t of immediate political controversy.

            (Brave, the browser designed by JavaScript inventor Brendan Eich, is at

          2. LawnDart

            Yandex works well and is pretty good with translations. I still am experimenting with advanced search features but overall have been quite happy with it.

            1. square coats

              This is my experience as well, at least that it can easily be used completely in english. Though I think Russians With Attitude has mentioned a couple times that it’s not at all as good for english language searches as for russian language searches, since we have such a sorry dearth of proper english language search engines I would say it’s at least on par with other ones.

              It also has quite impressive reverse image search capability, not always, but often enough.

              1. square coats

                As an aside anecdote (which might be of interest to Lambert), for some reason when I’m using the free proton VPN service via its app on my phone, it doesn’t fool yandex even though it fools google. I have no idea why.

      2. Mikel

        They aren’t purging independent media.

        If you want to see the news from an independent site, you can still go to that site.
        As for the “ranking” stuff?
        I was always big on very specific searches to the point of even typing in the name of various news sites with the subject, doing more than one search, etc.
        I just want to see how worse they get on advertiser and other tracking. That was one of my main reasons for using DDG.

        1. Nyatasha Nyanners

          >If you want to see the news from an independent site, you can still go to that site.

          “If you want free speech you can still go into the middle of the desert and say whatever you want.”

          1. Mikel

            Basically, I was saying if, for example, you type Nakedcapitalism in DDG…it is still there.
            “Purge” being used makes it sound like a person would just get some kind of error message.

      1. ArchieShemp

        And a closer look raises the further stench of that Tweeter’s followers, most of whom seem obsessed by what the name of DD Go indicates — that he’s Jewish.

      2. hunkerdown

        Ad Fontes Media is a Democrat disinformation firm run by some “anti-racist” grifter Heather Otero. Its judgment is transparently false, irreparably corrupt, and inherently invalid.

        1. ArchieShemp

          Okaaay, so which fact-checking site that’s investigated News Punch and gathered that it’s a fake news swamp do you trust? I see at least a dozen out there.

          BTW, I also see that the name’s Vanessa, not Heather.

      3. lyman alpha blob

        Buddy of mine sent me the following “debunking” of the claim against DDG –

        Older link, since this story keeps cropping up. “Purge” is certainly hyperbole – I’m sure if you typed in the name of a controversial (to the US propagandists at least) site like “The Gray Zone” in DDG it would give you the link to the site. But the CEO himself admits to tweaking search results on sensitive issues. From the article –

        “The rumor started after Weinberg had announced on Twitter that DuckDuckGo was going to down-rank some sites associated with Russian disinformation. Those tweets were included in the NewsPunch article, along with a quote in the headline that Weinberg noted he did not say.

        On March 9 he wrote, “Like so many others I am sickened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the gigantic humanitarian crisis it continues to create. #StandWithUkraine️ At DuckDuckGo, we’ve been rolling out search updates that down-rank sites associated with Russian disinformation.” ”

        So while you might find the Gray Zone if you type the name of the site, if you do a search looking for news on the Ukraine war, you are probably going to get something from CNN or NPR or BBC way before anything from the Gray Zone shows up in search results.

      1. ambrit

        Yeah, but which judges? Today’s Democrat judges aren’t anything like our Grandfolk’s Democrat judges. Also, how many “Democrat” affiliated Senators are DINOs?
        Unless politics is a bit more “confrontational” up there in the “City of the Broad Shoulders” than down here in the North American Deep South, I’m not too sanguine about our chances for ‘real’ “progress.”
        Stay safe. Stay warm.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Measles outbreak erupts among unvaccinated children in Ohio daycare”

    We really are going backwards, aren’t we? Maybe over time people could have been convinced to get their kids vaccinated against measles but that timeline is no longer possible. What happened? The pandemic of course. No, change that. All the dodginess connected with the vaccines that have been pushed the past coupla years whose promised benefits have proven to be so much snake oil. And now? Because of the criminal behavior that the political and medical establishments indulged in, most people will be extremely wary of any vaccines at all and so a whole generation will be brought up thinking this this. But at least the economy is doing OK. Sort off.

    1. digi_owl

      What happened was that “we” are a couple generations removed from when people were still dying routinely from the likes of polio.

      Additionally, households now need both parents working full time in order to stay afloat. That means there is nobody around to provide full time care to a sick child. Enter daycare, thanks to grandparents and like being nowhere close (and likely need to be at work as well).

      1. JBird4049

        Yes, knowing people crippled by polio and having a couple of diseases before there were widespread vaccines does make vaccines attractive, which are reasons that they successfully hyped the Covid vaccines.

        1. ambrit

          And in doing so corrupted the public’s perception of the efficacy of all vaccines.
          The people behind this ‘Vaxx Only’ campaign should be shot. At the very least, the responsibility for the deaths of over a million Americans rises to the level of depraved indifference.
          The “Science” was there and was perverted for political ends.

    2. Joe Renter

      I recently took my aging mother to get a flu shot. I passed on that one, and I have been getting one every year for some time. So yes, my faith has dropped on vaccines. Wish that was not the case. Cuz of markets, once again.

    1. polar donkey

      SBF is a walking m&m with a crunchy shell of virtue signaling and chocolatey center of moral turpitude.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      We deleted the “fact check” on DDG because

      1. No one in the VERY many comments on the tweet confirmed it (when a tweet is factually iffy, there’s usually a debate, often with links to support the contrary position)

      2. A quick search showed much tearing of hair months ago about DDG’s policy change, including multiple Reddit threads complaining about new censorship

      3. The comment looked non-organic, newbie commentor as first up comment and on a friggin’ Sat AM on a holiday weekend. We’ve seen this sort of thing on politically hot topics, like the union fight in Wisconsin years back. Newbie comments normally have to be flagged through so it even appearing was a mod mishap

      4. Never heard of the fact checking site, plus fact checking sites are too often orthodox enforcers rather than fair brokers.

      1. Bsn

        Regardless of DDG’s recent policy change (or not) they announced near the beginning of Ukraine war that they would suppress Russian “disinformation” yet allow US?UK/Ukrainian propaganda. After that, I went to Brave.
        Here: DuckDuckGo ends neutrality, will down-rank sites “associated with Russian disinformation”. Link:

        From the article: “Like so many others I am sickened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the gigantic humanitarian crisis it continues to create,” DuckDuckGo CEO and founder Gabriel Weinberg tweeted. “At DuckDuckGo, we’ve been rolling out search updates that down-rank sites associated with Russian disinformation.”

  6. Carolinian

    Re Tesla and Trump and Israel and Trump–so from now on if Israel does anything bad it’s because Trump made them do it? And those Hollywood types were driving Teslas because they were the anti-Trump and now Musk buying and uncensoring Twitter makes him MAGA and their inanimate chunks of metal and plastic uncool?

    Touring the fever brain of the elites always has anthropological interest but gah.

  7. indices

    Ethanol is to gasoline as high-fructose corn syrup is to your food. Nothing fscks up a small engine better…

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I am embarrassed to say I have taken to buying pure gas due to the increase in ethanol % even before this. Ethanol is also bad for old cars and we probably should have been using pure gas all along given 2003 Buick. I drive so little I fill up the tank only about once every 10-12 weeks. Even so, the increase in mileage with the pure gas seems much greater than the expected 3-4%. Seems more like close to 10%. And of course, now the lawn mower gets it too.

      1. petal

        Just last week my mechanic commented to me how the ethanol gas is doing a lot of damage to cars. He had nothing good to say about the stuff.

        1. Samuel Conner

          Mostly in jest, the thought occurs that perhaps it’s a form of nudging in the direction of EVs.

          And the ethanol subsidies could be continued to the ag businesses in flyover, provided that ethanol fuel cells can be made to work.

          1. hunkerdown

            Part of it is that PMCs enjoy performatively destroying the means of working class empowerment. Recall Obama’s Cash 4 Clunkers for example.

      2. jackiebass63

        I have always used non alcohol gas in all of my gas powered products including my car. I do this because even before there was alcohol in gas my small engine guy always tested the gas for alcohol because it harmed the engines.Even back then he sometimes found alcohol in the gas.I suspect alcohol was added long before people were told about it. It is a little more expensive but when you factor in repairs caused by the alcohol it ends up being cheaper.Around here only a few gas stations sell it.If more people bought it then it would probably become more available.

        1. indices

          Years ago, living in Vermont, we would add a small bottle of dry-gas to the gas tank in winter to prevent fuel line freezing from any water in the gas, and that was alcohol.

          There is an (expensive) alternative to ethanol/gasoline readily available at places like Home Depot if you need small amounts for small engines: TruFuel. Comes in nice metal screw-top bottles.

          1. endeavor

            Here in the Upper Midwest, many Shell Oil stations have at the pump what is called ‘recreation’ gas. It is leaded. Can be used with a gas/oil mix like a chainsaw or in your older car or truck. Smooths the power tools operation.

        2. JP

          My understanding is ethanol was originally added to gasoline to up the octane after lead was outlawed. Higher octane means a slower burn so the engine can have a higher compression without pre-igniting (knock). But if you are from a corn state you know that your electeds have always pounded the table for ethanol subsidies. Most car engines are currently engineered to burn lower octane fuel but not aircraft which needs the highest power to weight ratio.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      It would be nice if there were some way to get the ethanol in gas on-the-side just like you can ask some restaurants to bring the salad with the dressing on-the-side in a little paper cup. To help — I could easily bring a glass 1 gallon jug when I stop for gas.

  8. Tom Stone

    So I’m reading about the catastrophic ER situation in Ontario which is partially due to understaffing, especially in Nursing positions.
    Then the article mentions Bill 124 which restricts the amount that a Nurse’s wages can increase to 1% annually.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I understand that the Canadian inflation rate is running at 7% at the moment though I would expect that to rise in the coming months. Assuming that it stays at 7% and the Canadian nurses get an annual pay increase of 1%, then would that not mean that the nurses would in fact be getting a 6% pay cut each and every year? Time for a general nurses strike methinks.

    2. FreeMarketApologist

      I’d be curious about some of the underlying data — not everybody who shows up at an ER needs a bed and a doctor immediately, but there’s not much info about the nature of the problems showing up at the door, other than the stats about those arriving by ambulance. And the “wait times up to…” construction will generate an attention getting headline, but not tell you much about overall performance.

      On the brighter side, at least masking is part of their winter heatlh advice: “Ontarians are being advised to keep up with vaccinations and wear masks indoors…”

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I do not have much ER experience but the flip side it was in a lot of different ERs (3 different hospital systems in Birmingham for my mother, and for me, Birmingham, NYC, LA, SF, and Oz. Mine included two false alarms, one in NYC and one in Oz where I walked out after a EKG and conversation w/ tech about the results in one case and a conversation with MD who came by to check on me in another) but every time save one (UAB has an ER devoted to eyes), once we got past the waiting room bit, they put us in a bed (sometimes gurneys in a corridor before an exam room freed up). So I think ERs are big on beds.

        And you don’t want to be waiting for hours and hours when in God awful pain (cornea scratch) or you seem to be going blind in one eye (effect of cornea inflammation which no one had warned me about), let alone a stroke. If your stroke is due to clots, you need to be given a clot buster in 4 hours, otherwise damage is permanent. My mother was in the 3% minority of stroke victims suffering only minor damage due to taking 2 aspirin ASAP when she realized she had a stroke.

        The problem with ERs and strokes, aside from usual delays, is that they are very reluctant to give the heavy duty clot roto-rooter (tPa: w/o imaging to make sure it isn’t a hemorrhagic stroke (tPa w/ that will kill you). A lot of ERs don’t have the imaging (they would have to ambulance the patient to another facility) and even if they did, odds of getting the imaging in time are pretty much zilch.

        Only 1/6 of strokes are hemorrhagic strokes. This NYT story describes long form how an ER doctor insisted on getting tPa, knowing the risk of death, because she did not want to live with the stroke debilitation: It’s such a gripping read that I remember it well a full 15 years later.

        I really should get a wrist band ordering the administration of tPa in the event of a stroke. But I have good blood pressure readings and take a ton of dietary supplements that are net anti-coagulant, so I’m not at much risk.

        1. Jason Boxman

          I read that same story and I’ve never forgotten it either. I wondered about a wrist band or something too. Scary stuff. And scary it’s so difficult to get treatment, in time.

      2. jackiebass63

        Where I live if you have to see a doctor that day you have no choice but to go to the emergency room. It is impossible to get a same day visit to your doctor.At the least you may have to wait a week or more.A negative of corporate run health care.

        1. marieann

          I guess I am lucky in that I can usually get a same day doctor appointment, or at least within a few days.
          Windsor/Essex is severely underserviced in family doctors, so many people have to use the ER for their medical care.
          Having access to a family doctor is necessary for a health care system to function properly.

        2. square coats

          About 8/9 years ago I was living in one of Minnesota’s Twin Cities and one saturday morning my partner at the time had felt severely ill for about 24 hrs, though not an emergency, so we went to one of those rapid care locations. We ended up having to wait for maybe 4 hours or so before he could be seen. We observed that almost everyone who was seen before him had been sent there by their employer to get an on-the-spot drug test.

      3. edwin

        My brother just was released from er. (Windsor) Went in about 48 hrs ago with pancreatitis. ER was slammed. Ambulances were unable to unload patients. He thinks that it may have been a code black – a somewhat common problem in Windsor. He was admitted, but there were no beds. Eventually they re-purposed the fracture clinic and he was moved.

        His case was exceptionally mild. The hospital wanted to do a MRI to verify everything. They released him without the MRI. He may get an appointment for one later.

        I am going in for minor surgery a couple of days from now in a rural part of southern Ontario. I would expect that if surgeries are cancelled, I would be very close to number 1 on the list to cancel. No time pressure at all for me. Things here seem to still be functioning as normal.

    3. eg

      Oh yeah, Ontario has been grinding its public service unions into a fine powder since 2012 with four years of wage freezes followed by sub-2% increases ever since, culminating with the “genius” of Bill 124 in 2018

      Ford overplayed his hand recently, though, trying to jam the lowest paid education workers (secretaries, custodians, etc) with legislation denying them the right to strike while preemptively also denying them any avenues to challenge the legislation in the courts. This raised the ire of the entire labour sector across the nation, both public AND private, in an unprecedented show of solidarity, including threats of a general strike.

      Ford backed down.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “People’s CDC COVID-19 Weather Report”

    I reckon I could do a COVID-19 Weather Report too-

    ‘And pestilence shall sweep the land and the ambulances shall be stacked up outside the hospitals. Fear and misery will take holds of the people and the leaders will be shown to be the charlatans they always were. No man or woman shall have cause to fully trust their doctors and infamous shall be the snake oils conjured up overnight to be the solutions to all the ills of the land. A generation shall rise that will be cut short in years and the elders will be remembered at family gettogethers by their absence though none shall seek the comfort of a mask. Loud will be the demands of Moloch to gather together in large numbers for work, play or sports though if some shall fall sick, then the blame shall layeth upon their brows. A general wailing for salvation shall arise over the land…

    The rest of the day should be fine and mild with a chance of an afternoon breeze.’

    1. Roger Blakely

      BQ.1 is not yet resulting in an explosion of infections. However, in Los Angeles County infections increased by 24% this week over last week. Two weeks ago we were at 68 new infections per 100,000 residents, and this week we are at 85 new infections per 100,000 residents. The director of Los Angeles County Public Health has started mentioning that we will go back to indoor masking when the level of new infections reaches 100 per 100,000, which will probably happen in December.

      It’s not the end of the world. But let us look back at where we thought that we would be by now. BA.5 generated a huge surge through the summer. BA.5 was so dominant and spread so widely that it created a sort of pax BA.5 into the fall. Everybody got BA.5. Back in 2020 we thought that we would get to herd immunity through vaccination and previous infection. The pandemic should have been over by now. Instead, BQ.1, which is the more-immune-evasive offspring of BA.5, is giving us a run for our money. Dr. Daniel Griffin reports that BQ.1 has rendered useless almost all of our antibody treatments.

      BQ.1 is such a bad boy that it knocked me down, and I wear a respirator at all times. BQ.1 still landed on my eyeballs and washed down into my eyelids.

      The pandemic is not over for me. I don’t do anything social. I don’t go to restaurants or to in-person church. I wear my respirator in all public indoor environments like the grocery store.

      1. Jay Ess

        I had to fly for work a couple months ago. I wore an N95, but also, once I got seated, I closed my eyes for the duration of the flights. No idea if it made a difference, but I didn’t get covid.

        I wish airlines had a masking section of the plane so that people who continue to take covid seriously can share an area. Like choosing a smoking vs. non-smoking section, and neither airlines nor passengers lose anything by choosing to participate.

  10. Wukchumni

    Finally, let me pose an even more uncomfortable question to readers: Who’s smarter, more capable and deserving our collective adoration: The Stanford-born, all-lanes-open whiz kid who made $16 billion by way of legal goods and services which some believe should be illegal, or the child born to nothing, with nothing and with no lanes open, who made $16 million trading illicit goods and services which many people believe should be legal?

    I think it’s unfair to compare SB-F to Snoop Dog, to be blunt.

    1. Mikel

      Snoop’s big entrance into the ganja biz was after legalization.
      Shady connections? Some there. Most of his money was made spinning off earnings from music, touring. Music which hasn’t been made illegal…yet.

    2. ambrit

      Wuk, “ be blunt.” ???? I didn’t suspect that you were a Phillies Phan.
      In all fairness to SB-F, you have to be “smoking something strong” to go for either ‘product.’

  11. The Rev Kev

    “User Clip: Trump Promotes Quick Trials and Death Penalty for Drug Dealers”

    If that includes the Sackler family and all those that pushed Opioids, then I might give Trump a pass on his imitation Rodrigo Duterte policy.

    But his time has come and gone. He should get busy on his next bankruptcy.

    1. ambrit

      He is. He is preparing America Inc. to go into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. [The real fight is going to be over who gets to be the “Trustee.”]

  12. Holly

    “The White House has blamed the rise in prices over the past year on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and supply chain snarls..”

    Did Putin sanction his own oil, gas, fertilizer, grain, metals and other exports to the U.S. in March, or was it Biden?

    Who was in charge of the CDC that ordered shutdowns of the economy? Don’t tell me that Putin somehow arranged that…

    1. John

      Yeah … if Putin did not exist, Dc would have to invent him. But then, there is always an enemy of the week, or month, or year. Gotta have one.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        If Putin didn’t exist, we’d be hearing about “the recession/inflation Trump saddled us with…” (though I think Putin was always plan A, as far back as Hillary’s campaign.)

        1. ambrit

          So, if Putin is “Fearless Leader,” and thus Trump is “Boris Badenov,” then that would make Biden, *gasp!* “Bullwinkle J Moose” and Dr. Jill *groan* “Rocket J Squirrel”!!!
          No wonder America is in such bad shape. It is being run by literal cartoon characters!

    2. Oh

      The fools in this country (the Russia, Russia, Russia kind) who voted for Biden and the Republican warmongers will believe him.

  13. Pat

    I knew Duck Duck Go was full of it the moment I saw the ad campaign with the creepy guy in the Google branded cat suit hovering over various users shoulders as “Every Breath You Take” played in the background. All with a tag line about keeping your info private. Takes capital to do that…and keep your servers running. The scrappy under duck was no longer so under. It had to be playing by the rules.

  14. Wukchumni


    You really couldn’t call it a Ponzi scheme, it was outright fraud that bears a lot of resemblance to Bruce McNall’s endeavors in the 1980’s and 90’s.

    McNall was a numismatist and you can make a good living pitching old metal, but not the kind of living where you own a movie studio, the LA Kings, the Toronto Argonauts, a stable of top rank thoroughbreds and one of the larger coin businesses in the world.

    Nothing made any sense and how was it possible?

    The way these deals go down, is all of the sudden there’s a collapse and that’s that.

    Major banks had lent McNall a then frightening amount of money on antiquities, sports memorabilia and other collectibles, and late in the game those banks started getting worried about the collateral, and in the case of the ‘sports memorabilia’, the bank wanted to see it.

    This was a problem in need of solving, and here’s what went down…

    ‘Common’ sports cards in the early 90’s were worth a Penny per, that was the standard rate and like Tribbles, every sportscard dealer was swimming in them.

    In the course of a few days, McNall’s minions bought up damn near every last common in SoCal for the princely sum of 2 Cents per, rented a warehouse and piled it high full of bankers boxes full of said cards, which apparently worked, as the appraisers were wowed by quantity-not quality.

    A stamp dealer I know was contacted by the bank that had lent out $20 million or so to McNall on ‘rare stamps’ and wanted an appraisal done, and he dutifully did and came up with $17,500 @ fair market value.

    The thing with these sort of scams, is you really don’t know what makes them tick until the end and then everything is revealed.

    You didn’t hear too much about McNall’s shenanagains because the major banks (you know all the names) that were hoodwinked wanted things to go away quietly, can’t say I blame them.

    1. Wukchumni


      On December 14, 1993, McNall pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiracy and fraud, and admitted to bilking six banks out of $236 million over a ten-year period He was sentenced to 70 months in prison. Immediately after his conviction, it emerged that his free-spending ways had put the Kings in serious financial jeopardy. (Wiki)

      The amount of the FTX fraud could be $30 billion, 125x as big as McNall’s gig, but to be fair in the pre-internet days, a billion was a hardly heard word.

      SB-F was just like McNall with the free-spending ways~

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, W.

        I remember Bruce McNall owning some good horses in France in the 1980s.

        I hope you enjoyed the races at Keeneland last week-end.

        1. Wukchumni

          Your’re welcome Col.

          Summa Stables was the name of his outfit…

          I remember going out to dinner with half a dozen other numismatists circa late 1980’s and we spent all evening speculating on how it was all possible?

        1. anon in so cal

          FTX and Ukraine

          “One month after the war in Ukraine started, DC puppet Zelensky partnered with SBF for crypto donations.”

          “Ukraine Partners With FTX, Everstake to Launch New Crypto Donation Website”

          “The Ukrainian government launched a new crypto donations website on Monday, streamlining its multi-million dollar effort to turn bitcoin into bullets, bandages and other war matériel.

          “Aid for Ukraine,” which has the backing of FTX, staking platform Everstake and Ukraine’s Kuna exchange, will route donated crypto to the National Bank of Ukraine, Everstake’s Head of Growth Vlad Likhuta told CoinDesk. Ukraine’s crypto-savvy Ministry of Digital Transformation is also involved.

          The country’s collective efforts have already raised some $48 million in bitcoin, polkadot, ether, solana, tether and other cryptocurrencies, according to the website. Other estimates place the total closer to $100 million, but totals vary with market swings and exactly which websites are included.

          The website deepens an unprecedented tie-up between public and private sector forces in crypto. Exchange powerhouse FTX is converting donations into fiat for deposit at the National Bank of Ukraine, a press release said. It described this relationship as a “first.”

          Everstake’s involvement allows more cryptocurrencies to be accepted by the website.”


      2. Paul Jurczak

        70 months for $236 million – that’s a pretty good deal. I’m sure it encouraged many imitators. White collar crime is still a solid career choice.

        1. Wukchumni

          It was such an embarrassment for the banks holding the bag that they wanted it put under the rug, perhaps the light sentence was an attempt to mask the severity of the fraud?

          Nick Leeson did a similar stretch in the all-bar hotel for losing Barrings Bank $1.4 billion on dodgy bets around the same time McNall was sentenced.

    2. Mikel

      “Sam Bankman-Fried’s bankrupt digital-asset exchange FTX was hit by a mysterious outflow of about $662 million in tokens in the past 24 hours…”

      “…the general counsel of its US arm, Ryne Miller, described as “abnormalities with wallet movements.”

      If that happened on the streets, “abnormalities with wallet movements”, it would be called pickpocketing.
      Maybe just call it high-tech pickpocketing?

  15. Mikel

    “The Age of Social Media Is Ending Atlantic. Resilc: “Then why does everyone have their heads in their phonezzzzzzzz.”

    They could be reading NC, texting, playing video games, shopping, getting directions, making notes…a host of other things

  16. Tom Stone

    The speculation that high quality UK armed forces will be repositioned from the Kherson front due to Russia’s masterful tactical withdrawal across the Dnieper raises a question in my mind.
    If the trains can’t run and you don’t have enough diesel or enough trucks to put the diesel in that leaves two alternatives.
    On foot, or on ponies.
    Based on the circumstantial evidence there are more ponies per square mile in Ukraine than anywhere else on earth…

    1. Kouros

      The clip I have seen of the liberating Ukrainian Army entering Kherson was with quite a big column coming in on foot, with only light weapons. Not very inspiring.

  17. pjay

    Though it has disappeared from MSM attention, the war on Syria continues:

    “UN Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures and human rights Alena Douhan today urged sanctioning States to lift unilateral sanctions against Syria, warning that they were perpetuating and exacerbating the destruction and trauma suffered by the Syrian people since 2011.

    “I am struck by the pervasiveness of the human rights and humanitarian impact of the unilateral coercive measures imposed on Syria and the total economic and financial isolation of a country whose people are struggling to rebuild a life with dignity, following the decade-long war,” Douhan said.

    “In a statement following her 12-day visit to Syria, the Special Rapporteur presented detailed information about the catastrophic effects of unilateral sanctions across all walks of life in the country.

    “Douhan said 90 per cent of Syria’s population was currently living below the poverty line, with limited access to food, water, electricity, shelter, cooking and heating fuel, transportation and healthcare and warned that the country was facing a massive brain-drain due to growing economic hardship.”

    Syria, Libya, and Ukraine. All wars of “humanitarian intervention” fostered and fanned by the administration of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama and continued through those of Trump and Biden, wars that themselves were a continuation of the project begun by Bush and Cheney.

    If maintaining permanent chaos and human suffering is your goal, you don’t really have to finish one war before moving on to the next. That is our primary advantage.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Syria is also having a serious problem with cholera which hadn’t been seen in that country for some fifteen years. Even Israel is worried about cholera spreading to their country and are taking measures while it has also spread to Lebanon-

      Meanwhile the US is adding more troops to occupied Syria that has the resources – oil & wheat – that would solve a lot of Syria’s problems but that is the point of having those soldiers there. Pretending that they are fighting ISIS by now is just embarrassing.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Noose found at Obama Presidential Center halts construction”

    Obama should thank whoever did this though I would not be surprised that it was one of his minions who did it to get the free publicity and sympathy because he is wrecking a public park with a monument to his ego. It could even go on display after the building is finished and everybody going through the doors would have to pass under it. Just so long as it was not originally meant to open a swing door like the one found at that racetrack. But here is the thing. What are the chances that Climate Activists will show up at that finished building and glue themselves to the doors to protest something or other. Or are some figures and places off-limits?

    1. Wukchumni

      We wont get Presidential flak tower #44 built on time with the workers just hanging around doing nothing

    2. Kouros

      They should have left some of the fabled pitchforks that Obama saved the financial elites from in 2009…

    3. converger

      If you knew the neighborhood where the Obama Library is going in, you wouldn’t be assuming that it’s off-limits. Many locals would cheerfully glue themselves to the library doors, if there was any tactical value to doing it.

      The problem isn’t that Obama is off-limits. It’s that even though is has a lot to answer for when it comes to climate, he’s no longer relevant. Why bother?

  19. Dr. John Carpenter

    Maybe it’s just me, but the Twitter situation has surpassed any expectations I had for sheer entertainment by a magnitude I never could have envisioned. As aware as I am of how high Musk is on his own supply, I never imagined the “Blue Check” fiasco in a million years. The guy seems obsessed with people on the Internet thinking he’s funny, well chief, you finally made me laugh with something you did. Lilly’s stock tanked after a faux verified tweet. I’ve heard tell the one you linked for Lockheed Martin brought them down a few pegs also. I’ve seen “Nestle” admitting to stealing water. I’ve seen many “Teslas” “Space X” and “Elon Musks”. I’ve seeen “Metallica” encouraging people to pirate their music. Heck, I’ve even seen “Donald J Trump” back on Twitter and endorsing Biden in 2024!

    I am aware that there are legitimate important communications trying to occur via Twitter and all this chaos could be hampering that. Well, that’s a problem in and of itself, as also has been discussed here. I hope that maybe this causes some people to reavaluate using Twitter in that way. But, the $8 Blue Check thing has got to be the best thing Musk has ever done, at least in the eyes of this anti-capitalist, anarchist-sympathetic, faux doctor.

    1. Wukchumni

      In some ways I long for the days of olde where when somebody sent in a letter to the editor, the powers that be in the newspaper or magazine had the right to disregard it, print it or print an abridged version. There was never an anonymous handle, your name and city were always included.

      If your missive made it into print, friends might mention that they saw it in last week’s LA Times.

      There was never any flame throwers as is common online, it never would’ve been allowed.

      Oh well, you go with the information cesspool you have-not the information cesspool you want.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        You make a good point. It’s also interesting to me how many have transferred that mindset to “the Internet” as if it is a homogeneous source of information. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard “well, I read it on the internet” as a defense of some completely off the wall thing or another. That wouldn’t fly in a graded paper as sourcing, but I guess the way we’ve been trained to rapidly consume tons of small bits of media doesn’t leave much time for doing your own fact checking (which I’d say is also by design judging by all the “official” fact checkers that have popped up since Trump invented lying on the internet.)

        Laughing at the current guano show is all I feel I can do.

        1. Wukchumni

          There are no exact guidelines. There are probably no guidelines at all. The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world.

          Václav Havel

      2. Mildred Montana

        Back in the “days of olde”, for better or worse, we had authority figures who were presumed to be repositories of knowledge and unbiased in their pronouncements. We, for the large part, trusted them as reliable arbiters.

        Today most everyone gets their information from an internet which almost inevitably encourages knee-jerk reactions (saw that tweet, gotta make a comment before it gets buried), silo-ing of opinion, and confirmation bias.

        For instance: I happen to think the earth is flat. So I google “Flat Earth” and, sure enough, there are many who think the same way as I. My belief has been confirmed by perhaps millions. None of them of course are likely to be authorities on the matter but who cares? Researching sources requires work and anyway, why should I bother, the internet has said I’m right.

        To take your “Letter to the Editor” example: Note that the critical factor in this scenario is time. It takes time to compose an intelligent letter that has a chance of being published and then it takes time for the newspaper to vet it after arrival. Assuming this process (and mail) takes a few days, things might have changed. The newspaper therefore might disregard your letter, and that’s lucky for you, because you probably now regret having sent it.

        The instantaneity of communication that the internet today provides can all too often lead to sloppy thinking and impulsive comments.

      1. hunkerdown

        > the stock price drop cost them more than if they actually gave it away for free

        And the spread equals the dollar value of human captivity under the capitalist state.

    2. semper loquitur

      I’ve been trying to avoid becoming a Twit for years. This isn’t helping. It’s for my mental well-being. What kind of doctor are you, anyway? /s

    1. IM Doc

      This really is taking on a life of its own. Is it possible some elites are in panic mode? Or is this just overblown?

      I got an email this AM detailing the fact that Ukraine had placed some/all of its money from the USA in FTX. The email brought up shades of memories of airplanes full of cash and drugs and Mena, Arkansas. But who knows? Unlike the Bill and Hill brigade back then, this email was from a reliably left leaning source.

      Every news development in our world today has to be filtered through a tin foil hat filter. It makes the mind reel.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’ll admit that FTX wasn’t on my bingo card of causes for things to come a cropper, but it had to be something… and probably to Wall*Street’s relief, it gives Dow Jonestown a whipping boy to blame things on as stocks continue their decline. Imagine the downturn being foisted on something entirely a figment of the imagination?

    2. hunkerdown

      Flexian (i.e. real-world) org charts are complex. FTX merely put one to paper, and will be an object lesson for the PMC in why never to put them to paper again.

    3. Lee

      I watched Crypto Decoded on NOVA last night.

      I am none the wiser and no less befuddled by the phenomenon than I was before viewing the putative “decoding”.

      There was one guy featured (minute 26:20) who was raising small dollar investments from persons of modest means to revitalize their depressed urban neighborhood by building low-cost housing that would manage to produce profits using a cryptocurrency, Equity Coin. I checked on the current price to find that it has currently lost two-thirds of its initial value since its inception back in February.

    4. IM Doc

      As my Grandma used to say – LORDIE MERCY

      Can anyone explain how anyone could invest a dime in a company with this person in a leadership position? Her elocution reminds me of what my generation once referred to as a “valley girl”.

      And the scuttlebutt going around ( no idea if this is true ) is she is somehow related or at least very adjacent to Gary Gensler at SEC?

      I have to admit as the day goes on and on – this show is getting much more entertaining. It is breathtaking people are this easily conned. I am not sure I will ever think of Tom Brady in the same way. But it appears that they also had conned the entire WEF……that is assuming the WEF is not in on the con itself in some way.

  20. Wukchumni

    I’ve mentioned previously how i’ve found that young adults are pretty much the players in cryptocurrency, does any of the assembled geezerhood in our midst have a grubstake in mirage money?

    The youngin’s are all gonna get wiped out, and how do they react?

    1. semper loquitur

      “young adults are pretty much the players in cryptocurrency”

      This jives with the ads I see for FTX on my Brave browser. Images of samurai and other fantastical figures in flashy colors, I think there are online “games” that require crypto to play being pitched there. There is a Brave “wallet” that lists a bunch of crypto options too. It’s definitely aimed for a younger audience.

      1. Wukchumni

        When FTX managed to get not 1, but 2 FTX patches on each MLB umpire’s uniform, now that must’ve cost a whole lotta clams…

        And yet it wasn’t their target audience, with the average age of an MLB fan nearing 60, Geritol might be a better vehicle.

        Pro sports have allied themselves with fraudsters and gamblers, this era will have the same taint as an ‘AMF Harley’ on the brand.

        1. ambrit

          “AMF Harley” is bad enough. Try Ford Jaguar.
          Now that Jaguar Land Rover is owned by Tata, that sterling offshoot of the Raj, JLR has announced that all Jaguars will be electric by 2025. (I’ll believe it when I see it.)

              1. Tom Stone

                Whitworth also invented engineering blue and the first military sniper rifle which had hexagonal rifling and (Originally) Hexagonal bullets.
                The company that made them circa 1860 kept the machinery and made a limited run of them in the 1960’s.
                Many of the originals came with telescopic sights.
                In 1861.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I don’t, but a couple members of the geezerhood I know do.

      In-law of mine who does some fairly substantial investing told me he threw $200.00 at bitcoin just to see what would happen, but wasn’t willing to risk any more than that.

      Another buddy got in early and actually mined his own bitcoin at home using pretty minimal processing. I don’t think he bought and dedicated “mining” equipment. Since he started early when bitcoin was still in the hundreds of dollars per “coin”, the main concern was whether the coin worth more than the cost of the extra electricity needed to produce it. He was able to get about 1.5 bitcoin through mining, sold about half when the price was in the mid-thousands, and still has around .8 bitcoin. I suggested he might want to sell the rest when it was around $70k, but he decided to go the hodler route. He made his electrical investment back a while ago so doesn’t really care and will never be out any actual cash. My in-law on the other hand probably lost a Benjamin or so so far.

    3. C.O.

      A common advertisement on transit where I live in BC now, after the ones for services that help people with overwhelming debt and the ones for people who want to speculate in real estate, are fancy ones directed at young men telling them not to let “FOMO” push them into getting into cryptocurrency scams. Another point of anecdata for the hypothesis that cryptocurrencies are mainly a young person thing.

      1. The Rev Kev

        They invested in FTX? Seriously? That is not prudent investment that of any shape or form and they’ll never see that money ever again. I wonder who else was investing in FTX when they had no business doing so? I know that the Ukrainians were using some of the money that they received in “aid” to put it into FTX.

      2. ambrit

        Whoever made that decision should be sentenced to write 95 million times on an infinite series of blackboards; “I will not invest money in Cryptos.”

  21. Lexx

    ‘Antidote du jour’

    That one was easy. It’s a muskox calf, from the species whose undercoat we call quviut. The yarn is heavenly.

    As a spinner I used to attend some fiber shows every year. There was a couple who raised muskox in maybe Montana (?) and had a painting (?) that took up the back side of their booth, with her standing next to an adult muskox. Granted, she was petite; the bull she was standing next to was frightfully enormous in comparison. It looked like she was beside a mastadon.

    Joel and Nancy Bender maybe. They were the only ones raising muskox in the lower 48.

  22. semper loquitur

    re: blue lava

    Blue is without question the best color. No rational person could disagree with that statement. Other colors are merely useful but blue is sublime.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That day, President Ronald Reagan was going to have a big public speech where he would be talking to the teacher-astronaut aboard live. It might have even been the State of the Union speech. And I think that that was why NASA managers launched Challenger, in spite of the severe cold. They did not want to be in a position where they had to tell Reagan that he couldn’t get his moment to shine.

      1. ambrit

        That and the Morton Thiokol people, who made the booster rockets strapped to the side of the assembly, advised against launch until the weather warmed up.
        Saint Feynman explained the reasons for the murder of the astronauts in his “infamous” Appendix F to the Challenger Report.
        This thread about the ultimate source of the damning evidence is fascinating for what it tells us about how our country, indeed, the world, is run. “Hint: It’s not good.”

        1. digi_owl

          I dunno how much of it was dramatized, but there was some tv program on the accident where the engineer responsible for those o-rings talked about him first wanting to advice NASA to not launch.

          But then some beancounter requested he “put on his business hat”, effectively prioritizing the interests of the company, and that lead him to give NASA the go ahead.

          One of those claims that keep itching at the back of my head.

          1. orlbucfan

            The Challenger disaster happened cos the Raygun Goon Squad wanted that ship launched so Ronbo could do some more PR with the civilian teacher on board. It was January and NASA did not want to launch cos of freezing temps. during the night.

            Needless to say, they were overruled.

      2. digi_owl

        Reminds me that there were speeches prepared for the possibility of the Apollo astronauts getting stranded on the moon…

  23. Wukchumni

    I heard certain American city names are being changed so as to be in solidarity with the brave, resourceful and always smiling Ukrainians.

    Henceforth, you’ll ask for a ‘Dnever Omelet’ when ordering from the breakfast menu.

    1. ambrit

      Since it all seems to be about the ‘optics’ nowadays, we shall henceforth refer to the “City of Big Drinkers” in the lowlands near your ‘Defensible Position’ as “Fresnel, California.” I must admit that it has a certain ‘ring’ to it.
      [The above decision was come to after exhaustive research involving many “focus groups.”]

    1. ambrit

      Once upon a time America was a functioning society. It was imperfect but getting ‘better.’ Then things turned around.

  24. TimH

    The money quote from “A Peek Behind the Curtain: Life Expectancy”:

    Covid sliced away more Americans than every war – declared or otherwise – since 1866, combined.

  25. Wukchumni

    UFC 86

    Sam(the)Bankman-Fried versus Bernie Madoff

    2 shysters go into the ring and only 1 of them emerges because Bernie passed away while doing time, so technically he isn’t there-only in spirit.

    PPV: $49.95
    PPV HD $59.95

    1. ambrit

      If Bernie is only here “in spirit,” shouldn’t that then be, “PPVR 0.004995 Bitcoin”? [There is no PPVR HD because no one can ‘define’ it well enough for the VFCC.]
      (Boy, I seem to be stumbling over trypwirez a lot lately. It must be my anti-magnetic personality.)

  26. Wukchumni

    Hey Julie Green,

    Yeah, uh its me, the big cheese, head honcho, kahuna of all kahunas, the whole enchilada if you will, and like everybody else-my Twitter account got hacked, so disregard false deities.

    It probably isn’t my business but you really overdo the gushing praise, maybe want to tone it down a little.

  27. Tom Stone

    We’ll see how good or bad the logistics systems of the UK forces are over the next week or so, the Russians just showed how good their’s are and they are very good indeed.
    Evacuating @100K civilians plus 30K soldiers with all of their equipment in 3 weeks or so with minimal losses and without your enemies catching on is effing impressive.
    A contested river crossing in the face of a battle hardened and entrenched enemy is not easy to accomplish and would be very costly, sitting in Kherson town means being atritted at the end of a difficult supply line that is being further degraded by the day.
    And withdrawing from the Kherson Front is not politically feasible.
    One way or another I expect there won’t be many effective units left in the Ukraine Armed Forces PDQ and that we’ll see a few heads roll and a few more make to somewhere comfortable with their pockets jingling happily.

    1. rowlf

      About a hundred years ago US Army Colonel George Marshall planned and coordinated similar movements during WW1, the troop shift for the Meuse-Argonne Offensive being one example. After retiring he would comment in interviews how hard it was to make these large movements work. The plans for troop shifts from the WWII European Theatre to the Pacific completely felled apart as events happened.

      With all of the sensors in the modern battle environment what the Russians pulled off is impressive.

  28. ambrit

    Is this FTX Crypto exchange collapse a Black Swan event? I’m seeing reports that this is having significant financial fallout.
    If only.

  29. tegnost

    As a public service announcement… radio theater starts at 8pm pacific
    escape is always first on saturday night, and I’m hoping for a jimmy stewart the 6 shooter, but it could be many other things…
    sunday is suspense and maybe gunsmoke!
    you never know…

    1. ambrit

      I want to hear some episodes of the famous and supposedly lost, but recently re-found program; “I Married A Commie From Outer Space!” (Rumour has it that the Westinghouse Network show was an “adaptation” of Nigel Kneale’s long suppressed production, “Quatermass and the Red Planet.” [The program was quickly suppressed on the suspicion that the ever inventive Kneale had made his “Red Planet” a thinly disguised depiction of a utopian socialist Earth.])
      Next week: ‘Steampunk Tesla!’

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        related, perhaps…and danke to whomever provided the link to vaclav havel the other day:
        “The post-totalitarian system touches people at every step, but it does so with its ideological gloves on. This is why life in the system is so thoroughly permeated with hypocrisy and lies: government by bureaucracy is called popular government; the working class is enslaved in the name of the working class; the complete degradation of the individual is presented as his ultimate liberation; depriving people of information is called making it available; the use of power to manipulate is called the public control of power, and the arbitrary abuse of power is called observing the legal code; the repression of culture is called its development; the expansion of imperial influence is presented as support for the oppressed; the lack of free expression becomes the highest form of freedom; farcical elections become the highest form of democracy; banning independent thought becomes the most scientific of world views; military occupation becomes fraternal assistance. Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics. It pretends not to possess an omnipotent and unprincipled police apparatus. It pretends to respect human rights. It pretends to persecute no one. It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing.”

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          and more…i think perfectly applicable to where we’re at, here:
          “as long as appearance is not confronted with reality, it does not seem to be appearance. As long as living a lie is not confronted with living the truth, the perspective needed to expose its mendacity is lacking. As soon as the alternative appears, however, it threatens the very existence of appearance and living a lie in terms of what they are, both their essence and their all-inclusiveness. And at the same time, it is utterly unimportant how large a space this alternative occupies: its power does not consist in its physical attributes but in the light it casts on those pillars of the system and on its unstable foundations. After all, the greengrocer was a threat to the system not because of any physical or actual power he had, but because his action went beyond itself, because it illuminated its surroundings and, of course, because of the incalculable consequences of that illumination. In the post-totalitarian system, therefore, living within the truth has more than a mere existential dimension (returning humanity to its inherent nature), or a noetic dimension (revealing reality as it is), or a moral dimension (setting an example for others). It also has an unambiguous political dimension. If the main pillar of the system is living a lie, then it is not surprising that the fundamental threat to it is living the truth. This is why it must be suppressed more severely than anything else.”

          its why i dont fly the bloody flag, after all…and withdraw my consent at every opportunity.
          line up this rant…more erudite, etc…alongside the rant i linked from Wulf Zendik the other day.
          peas in a pod.

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