Links 12/26/2022

Brain stimulation might be more invasive than we think MIT Technology Review

Huge 2,000-year-old Mayan civilization discovered in northern Guatemala

West opposes rest of world in UN votes for fairer economic system, equality, sustainable development Multipolarista

Can assisted migration save the Rio Grande’s cutthroat? High Country News

Cities Are for People Who Want to Be There Slate

US winter storm: Stranded Native Americans burn clothes for warmth BBC

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate MIT Technology Review



To ease looming West Texas water shortage, oil companies have begun recycling fracking wastewater The Texas Tribune

Will Permian Basin Quakes Lead To Higher Natural Gas Prices? The Deep Dive


Floods submerge 60% of South Sudan’s land – MSF Eye Radio

Boil water order issued in Mississippi capital amid freeze AP


China’s Zhejiang has 1 mln daily COVID cases, expected to double Reuters

Elderly leave cities as COVID infections surge in China Al Jazeera

Omicron subvariant XBB jumps to 18% of U.S. COVID cases, CDC says Reuters

What toxic gas and cat urine mean for Covid insurance payouts FT


India and China’s Latest Border Clash Is Not a One-Off Foreign Policy

‘A threat to unity’: anger over push to make Hindi national language of India The Guardian

India to start receiving third S-400 air defence missile squadron from Jan-Feb next year from Russia Ani


Burkina Faso denies paying Russia’s Wagner group with mine rights Al Jazeera

In biased Somalia report, Washington Post serves military’s interests only Responsible Statecraft

Africa Could Make €1 Trillion of Green Hydrogen a Year, EIB Says Bloomberg

Niger Delta decries slow cleanups, decades after oil spills Al Jazeera


Turkey in talks with Russia to use Syrian airspace for anti-YPG ops Almayadeen

Prominent activist detained following U.S. sanctions on Azerbaijani official Eurasianet

Israel: Far-right coalition raises spectre that doctors could refuse treatment on religious grounds Middle East Eye


China-US relations: PLA holds drills around Taiwan after Biden signs security bill SCMP

China’s foreign minister signals deeper ties with Russia AP

New Not-So-Cold War

US intelligence services, pharmaceutical companies involved in military bio studies in Ukraine: Russian Defense Ministry China Daily

Putin sets out key political goal RT



Germany could become ‘bankrupt state’ due to energy spending: Berlin Al Mayadeen

Majority of Germans against sending tanks to Ukraine – poll RT

Made in Europe? The EU’s response to the US Inflation Reduction Act Ansa

Prosecution in Saab case threatens to undermine the principle of diplomatic immunity The Grayzone

European Disunion

Biden Administration

Only about a third of the FY2023 spending bill is for programs unrelated to military and law enforcement Speaking Security


Don’t be fooled, Trump ‘strong as ever,’ say top pollsters Washington Examiner

Imperial Collapse Watch

Eleven F-35 fighters grounded after US crash Jerusalem Post

Realignment and Legitimacy

House Republicans warming to Church-style committee to probe FBI from top to bottom Just The News

GOP Clown Car

Democrats en déshabillé

The Democrats’ Nonwhite Working Class Problem The Liberal Patriot

Police State Watch

Supply Chain/Inflation

Here’s why food prices remain stubbornly high even as inflation cools Kansas Reflector

Our No Longer Free Press

What the fediverse (does/n’t) solve Pluralistic

Stop Talking to Each Other and Start Buying Things: Three Decades of Survival in the Desert of Social Media Welcome to Garbagetown


Guillotine Watch

For the rich and famous, private jets are no longer private enough LA Times

Elites Are Clueless, and so on In These Times

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus, courtesy of Cathy T:

Bonus antidote II, courtesy of Martha:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    ‘Instant regret!’

    Gawd, that was hilarious that. Went outside in a trot and came back in again in a full charge.

    1. Lexx

      Our schnauzer didn’t get that far. With the door open, the cold poured in on his sensitive nose and his back legs went into overdrive yanking his ass away from the portal before Husband could offer him some ‘encouragement to go pee!’ Nopenopenopenopenope!

    2. timbers

      No such luck for Labrador Retriever owners. I’m sure many Lab owners will tell you that not only will most Labs not flinch at going outside in pouring rain or snow, but relish it and expect you to come with them. My lab won’t do his business in my enclosed backyard, so that’s my fate. He did early on as a puppy. But once he realized he gets a park walk in the morning before work and one when I get home (and more than that on days off) he has never done his biz in the backyard that I know of.

      1. petal

        My late yellow lab loved to be out in the worst kinds of weather. He’d be so happy and wanted to stay out all day if allowed. Nothing fazed him and the worse it was, the more he enjoyed it.

        1. marku52

          Our Finnish Spitz would go out, lay on a pile of snow, and go to sleep. lot of fur on that critter. I could brush him for 20 minutes and have enough fur to make another entire dog.

      2. Duke of Prunes

        Luckily, my rescue mix relinquished his walk requirement these last few days of sub 0 wind chills. Normally, he will not do his business in the yard and demands a walk. During our frigid blast, he was smart enough to run outside, do his business and come back in right away. Whew!

        Unlike a terrier I used to own who would stay outside until his feet hurt too much to walk (we would encourage him to come in before this, but he was cut from a very stubborn cloth), and I’d have to rescue him from the snow.

    3. Buzz Meeks

      Dashiell, my two and a half year old chow chow loves this Buffalo weather. Have had a hard time getting him back in as he wants to stay out and play or just lay in the snow.

    1. zagonostra

      Thanks for the reference, very apropos.

      This from the article:

      To go ahead with implementation at this stage is a very bad idea,” he added, comparing it to Chinese scientist He Jiankui’s decision to use CRISPR to edit the DNA of embryos while the scientific community was still debating the safety and ethics of such a step.

      Coincidently, friends and I were in Drift Wood, PA on the Winter Solstice, population 36. We counted the number of planes flying right above us with “contrails.” We counted at least 15, until the sky was such a pasty silver/gray until we could not see anymore in the diming light. They were flying in tandem, and spaced a couple of minutes apart.

      It’s interesting how people don’t notice the lattice like patterns of jets flying overhead as their “contrails” spread, defuse and dim the sky. Modern humans are too busy looking at the pixilated light emanating from of their slabs of glass and metal to look up at the sky and stars and wonder at the majesty of God’s creation. Soon I fear that miraculous sight/light will be forever lost to my children.

      1. Scylla

        Did you see any Elk while you were in Driftwood? I live nearby and drive through Driftwood fairly regularly. The Driftwood area has pretty rugged terrain, even for Appalachia. Did you know Tom Mix was born there? It’s also where the monument for the Bucktail regiment is. I had a grandfather that was one of the Bucktails. Go for a hike in the Driftwood area, and you get tired, real quick. Hope you enjoyed your visit!

        1. Zagonostra

          Yes I did see some Elk. I didn’t know Tom Mix but I’ll just looked him up. It truly is “God’s Country” up that way…the Sinnemahoning River (don’t know why it’s called a creek) cutting through the mountain range was spectacular to behold.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Too small a task for Harvard. They’re going to engineer the sun. Hubris institutionalized.

      These jokers and the “carbon recapture” salesmen at the oil companies need to be hauled in front of some kind of body for public hearings. They’re taking the whole “double down” approach to the next level.

  2. DJG, Reality Czar

    The New Left Review should know better than publishing graduate-school maundering.

    I read “Ukrainian Voices?”–you can skip it.

    The use, twice, of the word “gaze” is a tell.

    Ishchenko may want to adjust decolonialization, but he doesn’t have the apparatus to do so.

    1. Basil Pesto

      The use, twice, of the word “gaze” is a tell.

      of what, exactly? (please don’t say PMC). It’s a lame cliché, but readily interchangeable with the word “perspective” in his usage, and not worth overly reading into. That and other clichés aside I found the piece quite reasonable and worthwhile.

  3. paul

    A merry boxing day to all.
    The geoengineering renegades are quite something to behold.
    Is hot air now the new nft?

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Majority of Germans oppose sending tanks to Ukraine – poll”

    Even if the German government was bothered with polls, they will not send any Leopard 2 battle tanks to the Ukraine for the same reason that the US won’t send their M1 Abrams battle tanks. Those main battle tanks are an order of magnitude in being more difficult to maintain and use which the Ukrainians are not set up to incorporate. Brian Berletic covered this extensively in a video he put out two months ago and nothing has changed since- (21:36 mins)

    If they were sent, probably it would have to be NATO crews manning them as it would take several months to train up the Ukrainians in their use and even then, the repair and maintenance shops would have to be set up in Poland. Their numbers would be few so would not change matters at all but likely they would become priority targets for the Russians for either destruction or capture.

  5. DJG, Reality Czar

    Molly Jong-Fast, thinking she’s pulled a fast one:

    What revelations do we see?

    Some Biden inanities drawn up by a committee of the spiritual-but-not-religious, that ole time American religion so much appreciated for its fecklessness. American like this.

    Some Trump braying–it’s classic U.S. smart-mouthing and screaming by the spiritual-but-not-religious Donald. Americans like this.

    I do not detect a difference. Inanity and screaming are both dead ends.

    Happy Second Yule to all of youse.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Israel: Far-right coalition raises spectre that doctors could refuse treatment on religious grounds”

    This kinda reminds me of the stories of surgeons that want to refuse to operate on people because they are smokers or are obese but here is the thing. If this ever became the law of the land, what about all the tourists that visit Israel every year? There was a record 4.55 million tourist arrivals in Israel 2019 so what happens if any of them got injured and were not the right religion? Would they have to go whistle or ask to be transported to Gaza or the West bank for medical treatment instead.

    1. paul

      If you are not chosen, what on earth could justify medical intervention?
      Hippocrates was just a foreign crank.

      1. begob

        Isn’t it a corollary of being of the Chosen that you should refuse medical treatment, on the ground that the treatment defies God’s providence? I think it’s a corollary. Either that or one of the unthinkthroughables with which the faithful hoist themselves. Better to pitch in with your fellow humans and hope for the best.

    2. Chris Smith

      On the one hand, doctors, nurses, etc. should help all comers, fullstop. On the other hand, I really don’t want treatment (meds, surgery, etc.) from a doctor who is being forced to treat me, and would refuse but for the law.

  7. Pat

    I am going to be contrary here, but I think the GOP clown car are slowly but surely winning the publicity war regarding immigration enforcement. The stunts are cruel, but an effective drip drip drip destruction of the illusion that this isn’t a real issue and that the Federal government has a plan and effective procedures. Targeting Harris which helps remind people that she was made the point person for the Biden administration on immigration is not just good political posturing, it very pointedly shows how much of the federal policy is about photo ops.

    They have even proven to be a boost for homeless advocates here in NYC, there has been far more coverage of both the lack of facilities AND even more importantly actual coverage of the violence in the shelters themselves which make it clear that homeless that avoid them aren’t all crazy. Adams being the benevolent ruler and spending millions on immigrant shelters that are big photo ops has sort of backfired. (His budget cutting library funding among other city services in the middle of this also didn’t play well. Especially as libraries have been mainstays of the city’s climate survival centers for poorer NYers, both for air conditioning and for heat.)

    This issue will be much larger nationally in the next election.

    1. Nikkikat

      I am sickened by people like Abbott using these migrants this way to score his cheap political points. These poor people are being used in the most egregious way. The democrats are every bit as horrible. Taking human beings and dropping them of in freezing temperatures makes me sick and angry. These migrants are here because both parties have done nothing but foment violence and political coups. Kamala is a joke but she couldn’t give a damn about these people and this doesn’t hurt her at all. Biden is also very culpable in the mess. The Obama administration was as awful as it gets in the treatment of poor people fleeing sanctions, gangs and US government supported death squads.

      1. Not Again

        Perhaps you can explain to me the difference between being let loose in El Paso and being let loose in Washington, DC. That’s the real difference between the Biden and Abbott actions.

          1. Mildred Montana

            I suppose that being shipped north can be construed as a “win” for the migrants. The deeper they get into the US the harder it will be to deport them. No?

              1. Mildred Montana

                Gee, I don’t know. I thought that was what INS and ICE did.

                All I know is that, as a Canadian, if I were to enter the US legally and then overstay my “welcome”, I would be a marked person. Consequences would be worse if I entered illegally.

                P.S. I searched for relevant links but Google search seems to want to redirect me to Canadian immigration policy only. So just anecdotally, there was a story in the news a year or two ago about a Canadian walker who crossed the US/Canadian border by accident and was detained for several days.

                1. Scylla

                  Based on my own observations, I think that that the powers that be indeed do not want these people, as a total group, to be deported. However it is important to constantly deport small, relatively insignificant numbers of them in order to keep the rest of them fearful and obedient. This prevents them from organizing and demanding better conditions, and makes them easy targets for exploitation as a source of cheap labor and wiling to work in deplorable conditions.

        1. Carolinian

          They weren’t “let loose.” An NGO had been contacted and was waiting for them and took them to a nearby church. I can’t claim to be following this very closely but apparently city’s like NYC have declared themselves “sanctuary cities” and this bit of political kabuki is being answered by counter kabuki from their ideological opponents.

          And the opponents have a point insofar as making towns and cities in Texas the release point but objecting to the same if in the Northeast. At some point our government and media are going to have to do more than just issue propaganda, domestically and in regard to FP. The elites seem to think everything is about (their slipping) control rather than solutions.

        2. Katniss Everdeen


          When endless battalions of unidentified “asylum seekers” stream unconstrained across the “border” and are disbursed to communities across the country, in the dead of night, by an administration seemingly oblivious to the consequences of such recklessness, “cheap political points” are nothing more than biden business as usual.

      2. Pat

        You may have understood that the United States was instrumental in creating many of the conditions that have led people to immigrate illegally for decades. You even understand that Obama was as good on immigration issues as he was on the financial crash. The problem is that for people who didn’t have to think about it both those items were no big deal ( financial crash handling would be three, but this isn’t about that). These political stunts, despicable as you find them, are actually getting through to people who never really gave these issues a thought because it was all about racism. It may be the realization for deep blue northeners that the border state governors are going to make sure it is in their backyard, or just the intrinsic unfairness of government services being more easily available to immigrants, some illegal, than to Americans, but the bubble is finally bursting that this isn’t just about racism but is a real issue. So while it may despicable it is effective in getting people who didn’t understand to finally realize that the whole situation is despicable NOT just the stunts.

        Whether our government incompetents can come up with some possibly effective response or not is yet to be seen, but the more this goes on the more “nothing will essentially change” but we will say we will fight for responsible immigration policies is probably not going to cut it any longer.

      3. earthling

        When the politburo in DC continues to ignore realities on the border, instead instituting policies that THEY don’t have to live with, it’s fair play to bring the problem to their doorstep, even if it’s done by clown car drivers.

        Perhaps shame and personal embarrassment will get the politburo’s attention. If not, the red hats at least can claim they are ‘fighting for’ their base; just like the blue hats claim they are ‘fighting for’ immigrants and working people.

        1. Mildred Montana

          >”…it’s fair play to bring the problem to their doorstep…”

          Yes. Going back to the ’30s, the federal government didn’t get serious about the Dust Bowl of the high plains states until the results of it were—literally— blowing onto the steps of the Capitol.

          1. Wukchumni

            In the fabulous book of personal memories of the Great Depression, author Barry Broadfoot found some amazing tales to tell in the early 1970’s when he crisscrossed Canada with his tape recorder.

            One of the vignettes was a fellow who was an able bodied seaman and he noticed the dust bowl overhead in Liverpool in the UK!

            Ten Lost Years, 1929-39: Memories of Canadians Who Survived The Great Depression

      4. anon in so cal

        There are over 500,000 homeless in the US currently.

        To some extent, people the world over are being encouraged to enter the US. Newsom promised free medical care for illegal immigrants. Do all Americans enjoy free health care?

        Some accounts say over 1.3 million undocumented immigrants entered the US 2021-2022. Who is going to supply housing, education, medical care, etc.? Martha’s Vineyard was quick to say there isn’t any housing, so please leave. Some accounts also note that a significant percentage of immigrants are adult males. What happens to working class wages?

        1. marym

          > Some accounts say…

          Do you have links? The CBP charts a few years ago seemed clearer than they are now (thanks Brandon).

          Is that 1M+ number that floats around different from the 1M+ number that CBP reports as number of “encounters” (of which some are repeaters, and most are not being allowed to enter)? If it’s a different number, then it’s an estimate of people entering without being noticed by CBP. What is the methodology of that estimate?

          Here’s a Kaiser Family Foundation report on FY 2021: It’s taking a position on immigration – agree or disagree – but they seem able to interpret the CBP numbers for Title 42 expulsions: “There were over 1.7 million encounters at the Southwest land border in fiscal year (FY) 2021, of which over 60%, or roughly 1 million, were expelled under Title 42 authority…” A sub-set of Title 8 encounters would also be denied entry, but I’m not sure how to separate those out.

          1. anon in so cal

            “…more than one million undocumented immigrants who have been allowed into the country under…Biden”

            So, more than one million have been admitted. That figure does not include “encounters,” which is a much higher number.


            (“that estimate does not include the number of illegal immigrants who have not been formally released and have instead evaded Border Patrol, known as “gotaways.”)

            1. marym

              Paywall, but I found other versions of the same post. Thank you, that clarifies some of the numbers that have been reported. There doesn’t seem to be a single source where all of the numbers are tracked.

        2. Victor Moses

          I never understand the presentation of homeless people and other ailments of the USA as a talking point for migrants coming across the southern border. If all migration ceased – would the US really get rid of homelessness? Of course not.

          The US needs to have an orderly and straightforward procedure for migration from Latin America. Quite frankly – the numbers are not that large as a proportion of the population amounting to one half of one percent. Canada routinely brings 1 percent of the population per year as new immigrants not counting temporary foreign workers etc. I understand that migrants coming through the southern border do not comprise all immigration to the United States but you cannot assert the Monroe Doctrine, meddle in these countries, sanction them and then deny a dignified life to citizens that flee. It’s time the US had an orderly system based in Latin American countries that provided a clear path to quick determination of asylum.

    2. timbers

      Colonel Douglas Macgregor occasionally mentions during his interviews on the Ukraine war, that the US could be spending all this money on for example securing our own borders.

      Of course, it’s possible we don’t need to secure borders so much as to simply apply/enforce rules that only US citizens can work in the United States. My guess is that would stop most immigration.

      Of course ending our regime changes and interference in Latin American nations and other nations would probably help even more. Yet when I mention that to co workers it does not resonate. I think our truly awful foreign policies are invisible to most Americans, as if they know there is no chance in hades they could ever change that part of our government and it doesn’t have much impact on their lives anyways.

      1. Realist

        Then they’d have to employ lazy, overpriced, untrustworthy Americans as their servants.

        That would mean a whole swathe of bipartisan stuck-ups could no longer afford to staff their homes with cheap nannies, housekeepers and groundskeepers. Won’t somebody think of the children?

        1. ambrit

          Yep, the rationalization of “elites” everywhere and everywhen.
          The writer Agatha Christie was interviewed late in her life. One of the questions was about what she thought of “modern times.” Part of her reply was that, back in the “old days,” she had never imagined that anyone could have an automobile. Another surprise to her was that servants were no longer plentiful and cheap.

      2. Pookah Harvey

        One thing that Macgregor and the “build the wall” crowd need to take into account is that a large percentage of illegal immigrants are crossing the border legally and then over stay their visas (numbers vary between 40% to 66%). So perfect border security will only solve half of the problem. I agree that a better solution is to “apply/enforce rules that only US citizens can work in the United States” is a better solution.

        There is only one problem, the powers that be don’t want it. The federal E-Verify program that allows employers to verify that employees are legal has been available for a quarter of a century. Only 9 states have made it mandatory for all employers but even when use is required by law, many employers are still not using it.
        For example, in Arizona, where use of E-Verify is mandatory under state law for all employers, only half actually use the system. In 2015 Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill that requires state agencies and institutions of higher education to use E-Verify. Numerous other bills requiring E-Verify for private employers have been considered but none of those bills have been enacted by the Texas State Legislature. A 2018 headline from a Texas local paper makes the point “Most Texas employers are skipping E-Verify when hiring”. So just how serious is Abbott?

      3. juno mas

        Yes, NAFTA and our insatiable quest for drugs has made Mexico fit for only drug lords, so honest work migrates North and fills the fields of the Central Valley with the people who grow/process OUR food.

    3. Lex

      Terrible stunts. But of course the Dems flub the response. Harris could have won multiple media cycles by simply letting those people into her home for warmth, making some tea, ordering some pizzas, whatever. They could still be moved later.

      1. Not Again

        Really. Can she do the same in West Virginia or is this bounty only available to whomever claims to be a political refugee?

    4. Chris Smith

      I do not like what Abbot and Desantis have done by sending immigrants to other states. But what really annoys me is the so-called sanctuary states that proceed to grumble, complain, and call out the military when the immigrants are sent their way. The response by NYC, DC, and Massachusetts show me al I need to see that their “sanctuary” talk was cheap virtue signaling. At least Abbot and Co. tell me who they are up front. The “sanctuary” crowd wants credit for being pro-immigrant and but please don’t actually send any their way.

      1. Victor Moses

        It’s a matter of the numbers and the lack of consultation and preparation. If I was agreeable to hosting poor people in my mansion and suddenly a thousand turned up – it doesn’t negate my good will or my good intentions; it’s just that numbers become overwhelming. When people act like grownups who understand they are both fellow human beings and citizens – then you xan coordinate to help address this problem.

    5. Amateur Socialist

      Realpolitik Texas style: Abbott beat O’Rourke by 11 points about 8 weeks ago. It was never a close race. If Abbott paid a political price for this cruel stunt it’s hard to tell by his popularity in the state.

      It’s no accident DeSantis wants in on the con. It’s a winner with (some) voters.

  8. Lexx

    ‘Elites are clueless, and so on’

    Elites don’t go to school for the same reasons as the lower class scholarship kids. The first item on their agendas is not getting an education. If you’re a legacy student at a Top 10 school and failure is unlikely, what are the other items on your ‘to do’ list for four years?

    Did Vonnegut have a problem with his own privileged background, and it’s loss?

    1. hunkerdown

      Education is not a word for “having internalized middle-class culture and relations”, no matter how many people use the term that way. It’s just a word for the indoctrination we have convinced ourselves we should like.

      Harassing homeless people by burning £50 notes in front of them IS the education in how to enforce stupid games and ideals ruthlessly.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Huge 2,000-year-old Mayan civilization discovered in northern Guatemala”

    Gotta love that LIDAR. Flies over northern Guatemala and then shows that there was a 2,000-year-old Mayan civilization underneath all that jungle. Saw one doco on this were they went to find a pyramid on the ground which showed up on LIDAR. They were right next to it but couldn’t see it until they used GPS to confirm their position and then when they looked hard, they made it out. Personally I love how archaeology like this allows them to toss whole history textbooks into the nearest garbage bin and to properly write the history of regions like this.

    1. Objective Ace

      I think the documentary you are referring to is the Lost City of Z. I second it — worth watching. It was available on discovery+ a month ago. (note that there’s a drama with the same name)

    2. Luckless Pedestrian

      Following a link here on NC I read a post from 2014 where Lambert talks about the book 1491 (in the context of soil and gardening in the post).
      I tracked down a copy and am just finishing it. The premise of the book – that the “new world” was far more populous and complex than previously thought – continues to be the reinforced by these sort of discoveries. The book is worth reading.

      1. Wukchumni

        Don’t miss out on 1493, the followup if you will to 1491, both by Charles Mann… exceptional!


        What will we leave behind that somebody finds in 4022?

        1. ambrit

          The film “AI” takes a stab at the idea. Based upon a story by Brian Aldiss; “Supertoys Last All Summer Long.”

        2. Martin Oline

          Thank you for the book recommendation. I did not know there was a sequel. It is at my library.
          A set of books worth the read is Eduardo Galeano’s Memory of Fire trilogy. The books are arranged chronologically and the first is the best. It has the creation myths of both the native peoples and the later African slaves who were imported after the Spanish and Portuguese killed all the natives with disease and by working them to death. The books steadily descend into the hell that was South America. It made me realize how fortunate the early colonialists of North America were in that no mineral resources were discovered on the eastern seaboard. The American Revolution would have had a quite different outcome if there were easy fortunes to be made here.

  10. veto

    “Brain stimulation might be more invasive than we think”, MIT Technology Review. This is a hit piece against TMS treatment (Magnetic brain stimulation), surely curated by Big Pharma.

    1. fjallstrom

      My main objection to the article is that “invasive” has a useful definition.

      If you want to come up with a different aspect of possible consequences and put them on a scale, invent a new word. It’s not that hard.

      And to make it worse, the consequences the article talks about seems to be to a large degree overlapping the sought after effects.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Saw that and even sent in a link for it. Somebody’s idea of a funny joke to cut people’s power on Christmas in a once in a generation big freeze. I hope that this idea does not become a trend.

    2. Wukchumni

      Security appeared to be a chain link fence that any old bolt cutter could cut through in a jiffy.

      Seeing as these attacks never happened except for that isolated case in NoCal a few years back, this is a worrying trend.

  11. Screwball

    More Twitter files dumping as I type this. Under a guy named David Zweig. This segment is on covid.

      1. Screwball

        This was followed by a Musk tweet that said;

        Much more to The Twitter Files: Covid Editon than this introductory thread.

        Follow-up piece to come next week, featuring leading doctors & researchers from Harvard, Stanford & other institutions.

        1. flora

          I can imagine how this would have a stultifying effect on websites and blogs that use twtr and fb as a way to draw in readers to their new content. Step outside the ever changing twtr red lines, even in a comments section, and get slapped with a warning or a shadow ban. That would be bad for business. So almost everyone falls in line to some degree. It’s insidious. If your platform depends on someone else’s platform for your free (with govt-agency strings attached) advertising….

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Prosecution in Saab case threatens to undermine the principle of diplomatic immunity”

    This is real banana republic stuff this which is why there is so little trust in US institutions these days. General Soleimani was also on a diplomatic mission when Trump had him murdered and they knew he was on one as the US was the one that helped set up that diplomatic mission. But US justice is just a bad joke these days and for that you only have to ask people like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Maria Butina, Chelsea Manning, John Kiriakou, Thomas Drake and Steven Donziger. And you don’t have to be in Guantanamo Bay detention camp to be in a prison where they practice daily torture on inmates. To these insiders it must make them feel good how they think that they can ignore the law or make up ones when they can’t. Or here get a friendly judge and have a word to him but in the end this stuff always has major blowback. Always-

    1. LaRuse

      Eggs at my Kroger (store brand) were $5.49 per 18 count today. The suggestions that we should all simply buy store brands or make more frequent trips to buy food is simply insulting.

      1. JBird4049

        You found eggs? At my Trader Joes, they tend not to have any. Maybe one in three trips, there will be some.

    1. Wukchumni

      The footage i’ve seen is from looted Dollar Stores, who trudges out in the snow and cold to make off with items worth bupkis?

      1. caucus99percenter

        I guess for some people, it’s the principle of the thing — “get something for nothing, get back at ‘The Man’…”

  13. zagonostra

    Congress members “taking the knee” while wearing traditional kente garb and Zelensky giving an address to Congress while wearing a sweat shirt (curious what that single insignia represented) and cargo pants with Democrats and some of the 86 Republicans giving him standing ovations are two images that will forever stay with me.

    Our current political leaders don’t have a scintilla of knowledge or scruples about what they are doing in Ukraine. Or, if they do, then some nefarious daemon has infected them and taken over the Capitol.

  14. Wukchumni

    Gooooooooood Mooooooooorning Fiatnam!

    The platoon was attempting to cross an atmospheric river on a raft and with it extending from the Philippines to Petaluma and parts east, it wasn’t going to be an easy crossing, especially when using the stocks of our assault rifles to paddle.

    That said, the grunts were never in drought about their situation…

      1. Keith Howard

        Doesn’t the map show amounts in inches, not feet, of snow? Maybe it’s precipitation as rain equivalent (moisture content)?

        1. juno mas

          If a storm in the Sierra is cold an inch of precip can equate to 1 foot of snow (at the higher elevations). Atmospheric rivers are generally warmer.

          We’ll see. In any case, this is a good thickening of the season of water-(dis)content.

  15. Chris Cosmos

    The life-expectancy graphs are great, particularly those that compare USA to other countries. As “defense” spending goes up our life expectancy goes down–in a way that’s good karma in another way it’s tragic. I’ve noticed in the MSM over the past decades has gradually refused to comment much on matters like life, health, and war spending. Once, and I’m sure there are people who remember this, Americans were proud of their prosperity and well-being as compared to other countries and if the numbers looked bad that was big news and there was some debate in the media. Also, at one time the wasteful and corrupts habits of the US military could get some coverage.

    War is how the central government in Washington maintains its domestic as well as international power. WWI provided an excuse to enforce (by law) conformity in the media and created the first modern propaganda organization the Committee on Public Information (CPI) which was one of the main inspiration for Goebbels. WWI and the Palmer Raids crippled the socialist movement in the US and the post WWII era just kept it up year after year ending with the murders of the JFK, MLK, RFK assassinations with COINTELPRO as a successful mopping up job. The “left” as it is today is almost exactly the opposite of the left I or anyone else knew. Today the “left” is just a more militant form of right-wingery and, I suggest, a genuine neo-fascist movement known as the “woke left.” Today with two right-wing parties in charge (the Democrats are the most radical) we are moving towards a no-debate national political “dialogue” (there is no dialogue allowed–even in social moments we don’t allow debates because someone might be “upset”).

    This lack of national debate is a direct result of living in a war-based political reality where virtually no genuine public service is available inside the federal government. Everything is, in the face of no real news media (it’s only propaganda now) becoming a racket (since covering real politics is only allowed at the edges). This, in turn, creates a kind of fatalism and increasing depression/anxiety that is not in the spirit of America–we as are dying.

    I believe in rebirth and those who consider themselves as intelligent and caring have a job to do in weathering this time and doing what we can outside official boundaries because the more we go along to get along the worse it will get and more people will opt for drugs of one kind or another to escape the whole sordid mess.

    1. Alice X

      Adam Hochschild has a new book on the WWI era and the Wilsonian repression. This is a NYT review, the reviewer’s only objection is that the author relates the shuttering of left newspapers but doesn’t tell what they were writing. I haven’t read the book yet. There was an NPR interview with Terry Gross on 12/12 (I think). A friend told me as I ordinarily don’t listen to them.

      NYT: When America Was Awash in Patriotic Frenzy and Political Repression

      Adam Hochschild’s new book, “American Midnight,” offers a vivid account of the country during the years 1917-21, when extremism reached levels rarely rivaled in our history.

  16. Mildred Montana

    >For the rich and famous, private jets are no longer private enough LA Times

    Well, private jetster Bernard Arnault of Louis Vuitton fame is the richest person in the world, his net worth clocking in at $181 billion. I did not know that. Who wudda thunk it?

    His secret to staying #1? Every time he sells a handbag he gets even richer, while the rich purchaser becomes a little less rich. ;)

  17. Jeremy Grimm

    I watched the movie “Toys” as part of my Christmas DVD viewing. Strange how GEN Zevo’s vision of a toy military has become a reality in the Ukraine and earlier in the Middle East. It is also eye-opening to watch 1940s, “The Shop Around the Corner” followed by “You’ve Got Mail”. Check out Clara’s digs compared with the Manhattan apartments featured in 1998, “You’ve Got Mail”. I guess today’s movie goer is more interested in dream worlds than the grittier realities of the 1940s. Well-to-do independent but lonely and beautiful heroine meets and tussles with multi-millionaire is pretty standard setup in modern Romance novels. The lightly veiled politics of the 1936 — two years before Anschluss — Hungarian play “Parfumerie” have been long lost from the many dramatizations the play inspired.

    The 1947 movie “Miracle on 34th Street” contains visions of some much that has been lost and changed since those times. The black cook holding the heroine’s household together has been replaced by the Latina in the 1988, “Die Hard” movie. But there are numerous other changes of more substance — like the high status given the U.S. Postal Service opposed to today’s efforts to cripple the USPS and crappify and privatize its functions. In today’s legal world I would expect the legal action against Kris Kringle might be an effort to charge him with aggravated assault although the lack of a witness might create some problems. It would also be more difficult to obtain a decree for involuntary placement in a Psychiatric Hospital in New York unless Kris Kringle were homeless. In today’s world some slick suits would replace Mr. Macy and Mr. Gimbell. I doubt the suits would take so kindly to Kris Kringle’s toy initiative as Mr. Macy and Mr. Gimbell.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      featured in 1998, “You’ve Got Mail”. I guess today’s movie goer

      Who wants to tell him?

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Are you suggesting that going to the movies is dead or dying? I do not believe movie going is quite dead yet — although I have not gone to a movie since 2020.

        How about substitute “today’s watcher of videos and streaming” to replace “moviegoer”?

  18. Carolinian

    Re Doctorow/Pluralistic/Twitter–Doctorow is a smart guy and many of us responded to his long ago libertarian pitch of decentralization and web freedom. Where he is not so smart is in his embrace of a Manichean view where the “good” and “bad” people are at war with each other and that is at the root of everything bad. Therefore he is tolerant of Twitter V.1 and declares the apocalypse and collapse once “bad” Elon comes on the scene with his crude insensitivity. What he leaves out of his list of social network stations of decline is that power corrupts and that this goes for the “good” power as well as the “bad.” Free speech, even for those Qanon crazies, is important because it ultimately is a check on power and censorship is a problem because it protects power and power is the problem. Maybe Twitter will dissolve into a Mastodon utopia but somehow utopias are always great on paper but never quite come off. If you are going to find a solution you are going to need a more accurate “realist” view. We’ll need to accept, as the Christians say, “all are sinners” and need to spend time in the confession booth.

  19. All Ice

    Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev

    Here is a thought out of left field without any link to support it, other than the picture of Medvedev’s recent meeting with Xi Jinping in Beijing.
    Putin is 71. Medvedev is 57. Once before, in 2008, Putin stepped aside for 4 years, while Medvedev assumed the office of President. Putin has been maintaining a schedule that must be exhausting.

    As head of state, Ji would not meet with a Russian politician who was not on an equal level. The letter from Putin must have placed Medvedev on that level. In other words, I think Putin is preparing to retire or take a leave of absence and is about to appoint Medvedev to the top spot. Perhaps as soon as January.

    1. juno mas

      Alexander Merouris of the Duran suggests that Putin was too busy leading the Russian Military Collegium forum to visit Xi personally. He thinks the letter Medvedev carried was simply to inform Xi of his expansion of Russian military might.

      Seems plausible.

    2. Greg

      That would be very bad news for Ukraine, and world peace. Medvedev has reinvented himself as a hawk among hawks in the last year.

  20. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Cities Are for People Who Want to Be There

    Maybe that one should have been put under guillotine watch. Given that for better or worse (I’d say worse) “a 70-year shift from the American city as a place for production to the city as a place for consumption” has occurred, I don’t think it follows that –

    “…if people are no longer compelled to be here to have access to powerful and remunerative jobs, we have to make them want to be in the city for some other reason.

    And there are plenty of those: If remote work has freed New York City’s workforce to move elsewhere, it has given many more people the chance to arrive. A big city isn’t for everyone, but cities don’t need everyone—just the people who appreciate their blend of amenities, culture, community, freedom, and urbanism that only a great human density can provide. In New York, the report underlines, many neighborhood commercial strips are more crowded and vibrant than they were before the pandemic.”

    So the city is to be for tourists who just want to blow in to see a show and do some shopping? In the city I live in, that has happened already and the downtown is filled up with high end restaurants, artisanal food shops, gift stores, once affordable apartments turned to airbnbs, high end condos popping up where cheap eats used to be, and pretty much anything a rich PMC person from away could possibly want. With all that comes drastically increased homelessness and the disappearance of people who actually work.

    Yes it’s high shopping season, but the one box store I briefly poked my head into was completely ransacked with nobody around to even try to make the shelves look presentable. That is not just a holidat phenomenon either. Post offices are closing early due to lack of help. My company had to hire a temp remotely from 1,000 miles away recently. Working people simply cannot afford to live anywhere near the city, and the pay on offer doesn’t justify the gas and vehicle cost of commuting from an hour away.

    Back in my salad days, I could find an apartment in Seattle right in the city where I could pay the rent with a few days to a week of my restaurant worker pay. Those days are long gone in pretty much any city. And front of the house restaurant workers earn more than your average service industry jobs.

    If the PMCs are going to run cities as their own personal playgrounds from now on, they need to remember that not everyone can work remotely and they’re going to have to pony up substantially more to the working class or (the horror, the horror…) they just might find they have to wipe their own rear ends on their weekends in the city rather than having the help do it for them.

  21. anon in so cal

    Ukraine droned Russia’s Engels air base (where Russia has nuclear-capable bombers) for the second time yesterday.

    This, as more and more corporate media report that the Ukraine army is on the verge of collapse. The latest such report from the Financial Times. Seems to me the US and UK are trying to escalate rather than accept defeat.

  22. spud

    the elites are clueless is correct. the U.K. moron should not get anyone riled up, the worst came into power in 1993, and have told us in no uncertain way what they think of us.

    thanks bill clinton: Throughout the 90’s, Americans were told not to worry, because those gritty industrial jobs would be replaced by clean, well-paid hi-tech employment for everyone willing to learn new skills like computer programming and code-writing

    “Blue-collar workers were being laid off, but economic pundits like Clinton Commerce Secretary (now Berkeley professor) Robert Reich were describing them as obsolete. Instead, the future was going to belong to “knowledge workers” — Reich called them “symbolic analysts” — who dealt in abstract concepts, not in concrete doings.’

    1. Questa Nota

      Does Reich even code? Could he learn in 1,000 years?
      Does he mow his own lawn, clean his own house, wash his own car?
      Or do only the little people do that, shades of the late Leona Helmsley?
      She and Reich might have more in common than he would care to admit.

    2. skippy

      Bill was not a thinker but a salesman … Larry said we had to export the toxic legacy of up lift and it was the developing worlds turn to share that burden … Bill Gates said Digital Capitalism was the next great unexplored continent that the market could expand into and shape like the creator for the benefit of a few … and from that we have Musk, Uber, Bezos, et al …

      Yet after all that it boils down to energy/resources – see Ukraine ….

      1. Don

        Early in the year, I told my bank’s “financial advisor” that I was divesting of anything remotely “information technology” or “digitally-based: — Uber, LightSpeed, Shopify, Door Dash, AB&B, online booking services, whatever — and shifting everything into energy — fossil fuels, hydro electric, solar, you name it. He thought I was crazy: “Energy is too volatile.”

        Russian leadership, very much including Putin, is, in my view, not only smarter than the West’s, but wiser. I’m not now hearing anyone remotely worth listening describe Russia as a “gas station pretending to be a country” or dismissing her GDP as “smaller than Texas’s”. The U.S. war on Russia has exposed the hollowed-out American economy for what it is.

        We live up the highway and across the border from lyman alpha blob’s Seattle, in a small and unnoticed, semi-wild residential community right on the otherwise industrial bank of the mighty Fraser. Have only been downtown twice in the last 3 years: It is now exclusively the preserve of the wealthy, tourists, and the dangerously unstable and drug-addled component of our homeless population. There are also a lot of empty offices: Prior to remote working, the municipal government was contemplating a toll on those non-downtown-residents/workers who might wish to drive there. Even then, that ship had sailed: I cannot see how much longer liberalism can survive what it has wrought, particularly since it is not yet aware of what that is.

        I used to think that they knew they were lying.

        Happy new year, and thanks, NC.

  23. fresno dan
    The FBI has taken on the character of a Praetorian Guard when the Biden family has found itself in scandals.
    For example, there was Hunter Biden’s handgun, acquired by apparently lying on federal forms. In 2018, the gun allegedly was tossed into a trash bin in Wilmington, Del., by Hallie Biden, the widow of Hunter’s deceased brother and with whom Hunter had a relationship at the time. Secret Service agents reportedly appeared at the gun shop with no apparent reason, and Hunter later said the matter would be handled by the FBI. Nothing was done despite the apparent violation of federal law.

    While the FBI was eager to continue the Russian investigations with no clear evidence of collusion, it showed the opposite inclination when given Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop. The laptop would seem to be a target-rich environment for criminal investigators, with photos and emails detailing an array of potential crimes involving foreign transactions, guns, drugs and prostitutes. However, reports indicate that FBI officials moved to quash or slow any investigation.
    The computer repairman who acquired the laptop, John Paul Mac Isaac, said he struggled to get the FBI to respond and that agents made thinly veiled threats regarding any disclosures of material related to the Biden family; he said one agent told him that “in their experience, nothing ever happens to people that don’t talk about these things.”
    It is not clear what is more chilling — the menacing role played by the FBI in Twitter’s censorship program, or its mendacious response to the disclosure of that role. The FBI has issued a series of “nothing-to-see-here” statements regarding the Twitter Files.
    In its latest statement, the FBI insists it did not command Twitter to take any specific action when flagging accounts to be censored. Of course, it didn’t have to threaten the company — because we now have an effective state media by consent rather than coercion. Moreover, an FBI warning tends to concentrate the minds of most people without the need for a specific threat.

    Responding to the disclosures and criticism, an FBI spokesperson declared: “The men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public. It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency.”
    Arguably, “working every day to protect the American public” need not include censoring the public to protect it from errant or misleading ideas.
    However, it is the attack on its critics that is most striking. While the FBI denounced critics of an earlier era as communists and “fellow travelers,” it now uses the same attack narrative to label its critics as “conspiracy theorists.”
    What I would like to ask, what information that has been released is “misinformation”? (i.e., factually incorrect information)
    I would also like to ask, does the FBI believe that Trump, in ANY way, worked with Putin to advance Russian interests? (except our legal system was incapable of proving it?)
    I would ask, has the Hunter Biden laptop been investigated and determined to be Russian disinformation or NOT? If not, why not?

    1. cnchal

      You are thinking in the box, asking questions. You will not get answers. The FBI does the question asking and their question going forward is why are you not clapping hard enough for the corrupt system they enforce?

      By their actions you could know them. Consider the SCAH (State Crime Against Humanity) above in links. Two thirds of the budget is devoted to military, police, prisons, the Orwellian named ‘Homeland’ security setting off a boom in government goons. Put bluntly a police state is being cemented in place in real time.

      How soon before demanding answers from the unaccountable is criminalized, is my question?

  24. Kouros

    India and China’s Latest Border Clash Is Not a One-Off

    Nobody is talking about the history of the “border”.

    If China wouldn’t have gotten into Tibet, India would have had claimed it. The Brits have created a mess there and now everyone is trying to maximize their position. It’s like Americans, British, Mexicans, and French trying to grab as much of a piece from North America. Who’s right, who’s wrong? Fortunately there’s likely nobody living in those areas to suffer the elephants fighting on the roof of the world.

  25. The Rev Kev

    “Putin sets out key political goal”

    ’Moscow is seeking to bring together the Russian people, as opposed to the West, which has always been trying to dismantle the country, President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday.’

    Most people would read that and would think that he was talking in generalities but he isn’t. I gave a link yesterday to a conference held in Prague a few months ago that had a map design of how the Russian Federation would be broken up into 37 smaller countries-

    It seems to bug a lot of Europeans the size of Russia and over the years I have read twice of European politicians complaining to Russian politicians that their country is too large. But that map of how a post-Russian Federation would look like disturbs me as on the ground it would just be pillaging of resources and constant fighting. The Russian have been there, done that, and got the t-shirt and are not interested in repeating it again just so a bunch of billionaires & corporations can get more wealthier. But could you imagine the uproar if a conference was held by the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, etc. with a map of America being broken up into three dozen smaller countries? It was bad enough when the country was once broken up into two.

    1. Carla

      Things are BAD in Buffalo. They’re getting more snow tonight and tomorrow, up to another foot. Lots of people without heat. It’s terrible. Here in Cleveland, the winds died down to a normal roar yesterday, and we got up to a balmy 20 degrees today, with no more snow to speak of, and none expected. But our neighbors in Buffalo are still suffering, big time.

  26. Jessica

    “Ukrainian Voices” is by Volodymyr Ishchenko, the one Ukrainian voice I have found who lives in the real world, not the propaganda one in which Ukraine is a nation of angels fighting solely for democracy.

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