Links 1/15/2023

See the Largest Flower Ever Found Encased in Amber Scientific American

Skeleton of man who dreaded becoming a museum exhibit will finally be removed from display CNN

Maine gets 1st Mega Millions jackpot with $1.35B grand prize AP


Newsom proposes cuts to climate change programs amid cloudy economic outlook LA Times. Attaboy. That’s the kind of liberal we like.

Mass Climate Migration Is Coming Wired


Upstream dams are drowning Cambodia’s protected flooded forest The Third Pole


Kraken, Elon Musk and dead Canadian doctors: Disinformation surges 3 years into the pandemic Global News

We Convinced Our School to Bring Back Masks OK Doomer (MN).


China reports 60,000 COVID-related deaths, says peak passed AP. If deaths in China are small, then the press should be asking why our own death count was so much larger. If deaths in China are large, then the press should self-reflect on its own responsibility for them by pressing for an end to China’s NPIs. Neither alternative is palatable, and so the press will temporize with demands for data. As if the United States had any standing on data.

Covid “Hammering” Rural Areas in China, While Wheat, Soybean, Rice Variables in Focus Farm Policy News

The Koreas

International Press Shines in Itaewon Disaster Coverage The Blue Roof

European Disunion

Nicola Gratteri: The man on the kill list of Italy’s most powerful mafia BBC

TikTok slapped with a €5 million fine by French regulators over its handling of users’ cookies EuroNews

Dear Old Blighty

Ex-Corbyn staff court case could dent Labour election fund BBC. That’s a damn shame. Can’t the spooks give Labour a backhander out of the reptile fund?

Latin America

Peru declares state of emergency amid protests in Lima Al Mayadeen

Washington, Guaidó and the Billion-Dollar Circus Venezuelanalysis

Why the CIA attempted a ‘Maidan uprising’ in Brazil Pepe Escobar, The Cradle. Single-sourced. It is, however, impossible for me to believe that the US didn’t greenlight Bolsonaro (especially after Lava Jato). Escobar also mentions this interesting source–

Tesla’s External Auditors, PwC, May Be Investigated in Brazil Due to Accounting Scandal AutoEvolution

New Not-So-Cold War

Military briefing: Soledar victory could cost Russia dear FT. Plot twist!

Russian missiles strike vital infrastructure in Kyiv and Kharkiv Reuters

* * *

Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief is an Open Banderite Fascist Mark Sleboda, The Real Politik

NAFO Just Discredited Itself After A Top Fella Threatened To Shoot A Pro-Kiev German Journalist Andrew Korybko’s Newsletter. Korybko.

* * *

Whisper it, but Europe is winning the energy war with Putin Politico. Big if true. Plus, erasing the massive transfer of power and money to the imperial hegemon. Client states don’t win wars, energy wars or not.

Kazakhstan to deliver 300,000 tons of oil to Germany through Russia Andalou Agency

Russia Using Chinese Supertankers to Ship Oil to Asia gCaptain

Russian fertiliser export revenue surged 70% in 2022 as prices jumped FT

* * *

The Long War in Ukraine Foreign Affairs

Ankara says time running out to ratify Sweden, Finland NATO bids Al Jazeera

How Ukraine became a laboratory for western weapons and battlefield innovation CNN. Conditions are different in Asia, so we’ll need a lab there, too.

War and Commodity Encumbrance (PDF) Zoltan Pozsar, Credit Suisse. G7 v. BRICS. Worth a download, although evaluating the thesis is above my paygrade.

The C-17A Has Been Cleared To Transport B61-12 Nuclear Bomb To Europe Federation of American Scientists

Biden Administration

‘Playing chicken’: Republicans draw battle lines over US debt ceiling FT. Which Democrats never abolished, showing they want whatever horrid “Grand Bargain”-style “compromise” emerges from the sausage-making….

Yellen warns of ‘irreparable harm’ if debt ceiling not raised in letter to Congress Yahoo

This Is How the Trillion Dollar Coin Could End Debt Ceiling Fights for Good (podcast) Odd Lots

* * *

Key Covid-19 Official David Kessler to Depart Biden Administration WSJ. Hmm.

FAA says computer failure that grounded thousands of flights was caused by 2 contractors who introduced data errors into NOTAM system Fortune


DOJ Held Biden Document News Until After Midterms The Spectator. Well, obviously. This is a 2024 scandal, not a 2022 scandal. Which does make one wonder which hand wields the dagger–

Kamala Harris Assures Public No One Has Given Her Single Classified Document The Onion

* **

4 more Fairfax County schools failed to tell students about national merit awards ABC. Nationalizing “our schools” as an issue is just waiting for Youngkin (who has the advantage over short-bodied DeSantis that he doesn’t look like a vicious small-town auto dealer).

Police State Watch

Former Louisiana police chief faces 2nd degree murder charge KHQA and Video shows NYPD van hitting and killing pedestrian on busy Brooklyn street Gothamist and Head of New York’s Irish American police group suspended after failed drugs test Sunday World. Meanwhile:

* * *

A Chicago Attorney Is Getting Justice For Hundreds Of Wrongfully Convicted People All At Once Buzzfeed

Oakland’s “Riders” Scandal and the Fraught Road to Police Reform Bolts

How Police Actually Cracked the Idaho Killings Case Slate. Forensic geneaology. “Forensic genealogy leaders at the FBI and beyond have directed police departments to omit all references to the technique, numerous people involved in these investigations told me.” That’s a confidence builder!

Democrats en Déshabillé

The wonderful world of NGOs (unions are quite different). A thread:

Our Famously Free Press

NYT Moves to ‘Stack the Deck of Justice’ Against Its Subscribers FAIR

The Intelligence Community

The New “Church” Committee and the Torturous History of Gov. Ron DeSantis (podcast interview) John Kiriakou, Jesse Ventura’s Die First Then Quit. Interesting to see Kiriakou in this venue.


BookTok London Review of Books. I support the tropes!

Class Warfare

The Deep State Awards Matt Stoller, BIG. Despite the horrid meme in the title, this is a very acute analysis of how business is done in Washington. Well worth a careful read, especially in conjunction with this by Thomas Frank. (I do think Stoller misses the subtle point that one of the purposes of such ceremonies is to signal that the awards-givers have the power to give awards; they control the, as it were, process of consecration in their field. This dynamic precedes and is a necessity for the influence-peddling that Stoller describes in such rich detail.)

“We” Eschaton. Somebody else noticed! A sign, I would say, that the PMC is circling the wagons; intensifying their class solidarity and consequent embubblement, instead of interrogating them.

Sectional Industrialization (interview) Richard Bensel, Phenomenal World. Should tie in with Ferguson et al.’s industrial model.

Human consciousness: a tragic misstep Institute of Art and Ideas

Can gratitude save humanity? Unherd

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Ignacio

    RE: Whisper it, but Europe is winning the energy war with Putin Politico.
    This is one of the most idiotic articles I ever read in Politico. Filled with contradictions separated frog-jump style by paragraphs so as trying to make them not so obvious to support a narrative that doesn’t hold. Politico is in tatters. I couldn’t reach the end. Trying to do a boost of morale to the continent thas has been gamed and fooled by the play between the military superpowers.

    1. chris

      Yeah, when it got to the estimate that industrial output in the EU had reduced by 13% but that was not a problem and that a big reason they were doing so well was a mild winter I couldn’t take anything else seriously. Praying for rain isn’t a strategy for ending drought. Petitioning the lord for a mild February won’t help when you can’t replace more than 75% of gas inputs even at multiples of the prior prices.

      1. dftbs

        “Praying for rain isn’t a strategy for ending drought.” Perfectly put chris. The propaganda pieces are really unhinged this morning. Has a real last days of Berlin feel.

        1. anahuna

          For another example of propaganda –as if we could ever run out of them– here’s this from the Guardian review of a new book in praise of Biden:

          “One of the largest sections of Whipple’s book describes Biden’s prescience about Vladimir Putin’s plan to invade Ukraine, and the extraordinary efforts the Biden administration has made to unite Nato and send weapons to Kyiv.

          Even Panetta was impressed.

          “This war in Ukraine has really strengthened Joe Biden’s image as a world leader,” he said. “His confrontation with Putin is going to determine what the hell his legacy is going to be as president. I think it’s that big a deal.””

          1. digi_owl

            Now you got me wondering who is buying, never mind reading, all these politically themed books that seems to be floating around.

            1. chuck roast

              My wife is probably buying them. She taught me a lesson about that. Being your standard knucklehead, I have always bought books with the intention of actually reading them. Maintaining that illusion, I built a bookshelf for my wife that encompassed an entire room. She had no intention of ever reading any of the books on these shelves. She simply bought them to support the various authors because their world-views coincided with her own.

            2. Mildred Montana

              Books by or about politicians still alive are almost always worthless. Play the percentages, avoid them out-of-hand, and save your precious reading time for something better. These tomes (for some reason they often come super-sized) are either hagiographies or, less commonly, hit pieces. In either case, the chances of any unadulterated truth in them are close to zero.

              I note, as one example of this phenomenon, that after Kennedy was assassinated several writers felt safe enough to begin throwing stones at Camelot, and a great deal of what they wrote turned out to be true. The nicely-crafted myths of court historian Arthur Schlesinger became subject to some well-deserved revisionism and we finally learned about some of the serious flaws in JFK’s character.

              1. Don

                The super-sized format allows them to be displayed cover-forward as posters. In this particular case, you can judge a book by its cover.

          2. magpie

            I was wondering about this exact question earlier today. “Who on Earth read Bush Junior’s memoir?” If you did, what would you get from it?

            I can’t imagine the tedium. I’d rather read The World Is Flat. And I don’t want to do that.

        2. Wukchumni

          All over Godzone are signs that proclaim ‘Pray For Rain’…

          Methinks they overprayed their hand

        1. chris

          OK tevhatch, I went to this November 11 water cooler. I also checked the 2021 November 11 water cooler. I’m not seeing anything in comments or articles related to radon. When I use a find on page search, I also do not see anything related to radon.

          Yves and others have asked us repeatedly to not answer questions with, “do ypur own work”. Even so, I did some searches for radon in natural gas.

          Most, if not all, come back to something like this:

          Radon in Homes that Use Natural Gas

          Homes that use natural gas for heating and cooking can experience an incremental increase of indoor radon over the concentrations established from the migration of radon into the home from the surrounding rocks and soil. Numerous studies have attempted to quantify indoor radon from the use of natural gas, but as can be expected, such concentrations are dependent on several factors, including:

          the amount of radon in the recovered natural gas,
          the time elapsed between gas recovery and use (allowing for radioactive decay), and household ventilation.

          So, maybe an incremental increase that is difficult to define because of a number of factors. There’s been some award winning journalism on the topic in places like Pennsylvania. Here’s one example. I’ll save you reading this article in case you haven’t already, the punch line is:

          “Casman says unless someone used an unvented stove to heat their home, and they didn’t leave the house for 70 years, they won’t really have an elevated risk of lung cancer from Marcellus Shale gas.”

          Which makes sense because…

          “As for Elizabeth Casman—the Carnegie Mellon professor who stopped cooking on her gas stove—she, like any good researcher, collected her own data. With an agreement from energy companies, she and her team took samples from some natural gas pipelines. And Casman says she was relieved by the findings.

          “We took all the worst cases, and still it came out to a non-scary risk level,” Casman says. “And that’s when I calmed down about cooking.”

          Here’s the link to her findings.

          There’s no standard or reference to rely on from ASME in this case. There’s nothing in ASTM either. The AGA has nothing on it in the public resource library or published studies. Most radon professionals who I know, mimic the recommendations from various radon mitigation experts and professional organizations: get a test and assess what the background level at a specific location is. The EPA also doesn’t list anything in their standard practices library for assessing, measuring, or mitigating radon in natural gas.

          Radon is not a component specified by any company producing natural gas. Transmission grade natural gas is not supposed to have radon gas in it. And with all the opportunities for a gas such as radon to leak out of the process far upstream of the consumer, it makes sense that unless you’re getting a lot from some other source, it’s not in natural gas. And guess what? The penetration into a house for utilities could also be a reason for radon entering a living space, but if the gas comes in because there’s a hole in your foundation, that doesn’t mean it came from inside the natural gas line.

          Now our hosts want us to be polite and not use ad hominem responses. They also don’t accept arguments from authority or experts attempting to throw their weight around unless you are a pre-quakified expert by Lambert or Yves. Which I am not. So I will save you any attempts to list aspects of my CV that is relevant to this discussion.

          What I will say is that based on research, study, a review of the relevant literature from government and other sources, and recent journalism on the topic… radon in natural gas is not a concern even when it is measurable above a background level. There’s also little to no evidence of it being in natural gas outside of sources where it is obtained mainly from fracking, and even then, peer reviewed studies have said it isn’t really a thing.

          So I’d appreciate you either sharing information about why the EPA, ASME, ASTM, AGA, and researchers in the field of indoor air quality are all wrong, or please stop asserting radon exists in natural gas. People come to this site for help and information. I try to make sure what I post in comments is reliable. I’d hope you do the same.

          1. tevhatch

            Chris: Water cooler: 13-Nov Water Cooler: Quote: “You keep mentioning radon in natural gas. The only market I’m aware of where that has been alleged to be a problem is Pennsylvania, and there specifically because of the high volume of shale gas from fracking in their supply. But because Pennsylvania in general has such high levels of radon it’s actually hard to say how much is in the natural gas as compared to just being in the ambient background.

            tevhatch: 11-Nov Water Cooler: Maybe the quality of the gas is getting worse. One thing present in natural gas is radon gas, perhaps frack gas has more of it? However I suspect it has more to do with an “easy” (in their minds) target for enforcing electrification and the green agenda, plus distraction by outrage from other issues.

            Thank you for finding that fracked gas may well be a cause, I was just making a guess. As to why industries who make their money out of gas will want to not discuss an issue like radon gas in their product, I think this is one of the things this website would understand, something about paychecks and inability to see

            1. chris

              You’re going to refer to a nearly uncited paper from a nothing institution in Ukraine which asserts a “significant difference” that is less than the background level of radiation you get from living in Denver or regularly flying on a plane, as evidence that radon in natural gas in the US is a concern? And you’re following that assertion with a claim that the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency are bought and paid for by the natural gas industry? And on top of that, you’re going to claim that the quality of what reaches the consumer in the US, which is what we have to be talking about, is somehow becoming measurably worse and contains radon despite well established researchers admitting that they actually can’t prove it?

              Those are bold claims. But thanks for explaining that you have no idea what you’re talking about and can be ignored. No need to waste any more time. Have a good day.

    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      Ignacio: Well, I wasn’t much interested, but I sez to myself, if Ignacio can’t stand it, I have to find out just what is so bad.

      First, that “mild winter.” Sheesh. Is the author an idiot? It’s a devastating effect of climate change. Here in the Undisclosed Region, one writer recently noted that we are missing the equivalent of a month of snow. Given that Chocolate City is ringed by a large expanse of the Alps, that is much much missing water.

      Second, there’s the further subordination, “At great expense, European countries hoovered up global supplies of LNG in mid to late 2022, increasing imports from 83 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2021 to 141 bcm in 2022, according to the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.”

      LNG from the US of A. That’ll save us.

      And then in the middle of the article, there’s this driveby: “Industrial output has held up reasonably well but energy-intensive sectors are taking a particularly hard hit, with production down by almost 13 percent year-on-year in November, according to ING.”

      Funny, I have already noted that bakeries in my quartiere are high-energy sectors, and they are also family-owned businesses. Other energy-intensive sectors would include tile makers, potteries, and (think about it) many farms–your local butter maker, your local cheese maker, your local beekeeper.

      What could possibly go wrong?

      Saluti dall’Italia, Ignazio.

      1. Ignacio

        Saluti DJG! They start the article with a picture of The Evil (Putin of course) who has been meddling and gaming the Free West and the NG that Russia had been selling to the EU and allows many to be warm now. But, fortunately we have the “friendly” though wildly expensive LNG: freedom molecules as Trump said once. We must be supposed to believe that it was the Russians who blocked the repair of NS1 turbines or sabotaged NS2 as parts of Putin’s plots. Finally there is the unquestionable fact that this winter so far has been very mild, at least for what I can tell in Madrid reducing demand of NG for heating uses. So mild that this is the first year I can remember not seeing any single spot of snow in the Sierra north to Madrid, we are still low in reservoir levels and there is no building of snow reserves for next spring. If we have a repeat the weather from last year water scarcity will be assured, so this “good news” that Politico is reporting might be the disaster of the very near future. I dislike all this stuff being treated so lightly, so stupidly and framed the way they are reported.

        1. JohnnyGL

          No snow to speak of here in the northeastern US, either. Maybe some in mountains of NH and VT.

          We did have a cold spell, but not anything unseasonable. Very mild, indeed.

          Jury is still out on how the EU is coping with the sanctions. It’s not clear they’ve got a sensible plan beyond 1yr out. Massive LNG imports are not a sensible plan.

          The euro has rebounded a bit in recent months as markets have enjoyed a relief rally, but it may start to decline again.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Agreed. If Europe is getting through this winter, it is only because the EU pumped as much energy from Russia as they could and filled up their reserves. But as the boys at the Duran have pointed out, they will not be able to do the same this year due to their own sanctions so next winter they will go into it already running on empty.

      1. marcel

        They also stole all the GNL they could put their hands on from Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries. They will remember.

        1. digi_owl

          Maybe time to finally get that Iran pipe done. In particular as it seems that even China is getting interested in pitching in.

          Would be funny if this whole Ukraine thing finally got China et al to settle their Kashmir border disputes.

    4. Steve H.

      >> Industrial output has held up reasonably well but energy-intensive sectors are taking a particularly hard hit, with production down by almost 13 percent year-on-year in November, according to ING.

      > War and Commodity Encumbrance (PDF) Zoltan Pozsar, Credit Suisse. G7 v. BRICS. Worth a download, although evaluating the thesis is above my paygrade.

      >> Commodity encumbrance has had its first major casualty in Europe already: BASF’s decision to permanently downsize its operations at its main plant in Ludwigshafen and instead shift its chemical operations to China was motivated by the fact that China is securing energy at discounts, not markups like Europe.

      Puts the lie in Politico. It’s not just an energy war, it’s a currency war:

      >> Russia, Iran, and Venezuela account for about 40 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, and each of them are currently selling oil to China for renminbi at a steep discount.

      I’d say that ‘discount’ means ‘cheaper than dollars’, which is really an indication of the substrate devaluation of the dollar already occurring.

      A tangent: four years ago Janet and I worked up a 1000-day plan for her retirement. Covid hit and we rejiggered a bit. Well, 1000 days of Covid hit last month, and we looked to the next thousand days. Had to recalibrate to 100 days. This was estimating the rate of infuckitudes is increasing, and we may have as much change in the next year as the last three. Possible decomposition points include Thwaites and B22A, or RUS/UKR. If RUS presses its concrete material advantage, NATO could be functionally done by the third quarter of 2023. Likelihood unknown, consequences too complex to really predict, but worth some small consideration.

      1. Eclair

        Steve H, yeah, Zoltan Pozsar’s long read article put a lot of things in perspective for me. Like when you have all those little puzzle pieces scattered about on the table, and then a bunch of them come together and ….. there is the whole village!

        I figure Pozsar, writing for Credit Suisse, is interested in opportunities for making money and not particularly ideological, so his observations reflect a more accurate representation of reality. But what do I know.

        And China, buying petroleum at discounted rates, paid for with renminbi, from sanctioned OPEC countries, then reselling ‘product’ at a nice markup. And German BASF, screwed by the US’s drive-up of energy prices in Germany, closing their local plants (check with Flint, Michigan on how that works out for the locals) and moving them to China. Where they can take advantage of discounted oil and gas prices.

        Examples of ‘new paradigms’ abound. And my favorite phrase of the week: commodity rehypothecation. And much much more.

    5. Stephen

      Agree. Dieter Helm used to be one of my tutors, a long time ago. His comments seem measured and sensible but the article itself is classic propaganda.

      I love the part about Putin’s threatened big freeze. I do not recall him ever threatening that. In fact, did Russia not offer to repair NS2? For example.

      The comments about industrial production and the price of gas are awe inspiring. So they are basically saying that everything might have collapsed, it did not but still really bad so that is a victory.

      The Eurobarometer quoted results on support are also highly spun. I clicked through to the raw data, which is not super easy for good reasons. Anyway, it shows that 33% “strongly approve” of EU actions on Ukraine and 41% “somewhat approve”. Not quite such ringing endorsement as quoted and is amenable to multiple interpretations. The question actually is quite benign but still relatively leading: “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the European Union’s support for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”. There are a couple of different questions too and it seems that they have been interpreted the same way too. I suspect that follow up questions phrased much more specifically, and then with discussion of trade offs would start to unravel that “support”. Still, it provides a nice headline for the EU. Which is what surveys are always designed to do. Give the person who is paying the answer they want.

      Question 13 onwards.

    6. lyman alpha blob

      I couldn’t get past “Putin’s strategy” –

      “Putin’s strategy — to make life miserable for the European public by shutting off their gas, forcing them to drop their support for Ukraine — looked a potent one.”

      – and while I did not read the whole thing, I’m betting there was no mention of the Nord Stream pipelines going kablooie or why the West seems so unconcerned about a clearly terrorist attack against NATO. This Mainer is feeling lucky this morning – for those who made it through the whole thing, what do I win? ;)

      1. Carolinian

        Gilbert Doctorow, who seems genuinely plugged into Russian media discussions, says even now nobody knows what Putin’s plan really is.

        Therefore pundits have to don the swami outfit and hold envelope to head like Johnny Carson’s Carnac the Magnificent. Mind reading is a fun game and anybody can play.

      2. petal

        While waiting for my take-away at the diner this morning, I read an article in The Globe about how Germany finally finished clearing out a village so it can be destroyed for open pit coal mining. Winning! (apologies if I am behind on the news-was a busy week)

    7. flora

      Articles like this from the MSM Hall of Mirrors are not meant to either inform or to fool; they’re meant to confuse. That’s what a Hall of Mirrors is for. / ;)

  2. timbers

    Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief is an Open Banderite Fascist Mark Sleboda, The Real Politik

    “Since the openly West-backed Maidan Putsch in 2014, January 1st has been proclaimed a national holiday in Ukraine, celebrating the birthday of the genocidal WW2-era West Ukrainian fascist and anti-semite ideologue, terrorist insurgent leader, Nazi collaborator, and Holocaust perpetrator, Stepan Bandera.”

    Paging the online Safety Team. Online Safety Team please pick up before a PMC type correctly and nastily tells the poster of this propaganda to stop watching FOX News.

    Every online “safety team” would remove such unapproved disinformation.

  3. chris

    File this story under, “America is already great!”

    David Brooks has penned this offering to the regime in the Atlantic. The title and the URL really do give it all away.

    I’m not sure how anyone but Brooks could claim that innovation and productivity rising is a net benefit to citizens in the US when the chief industries that have been innovating are those seeking to steal money from citizens. A year ago during the super bowl we were told FTX was important innovation. We’re told new ways to surveil citizens is important innovation. We’re told algorithms that seamlessly collude in fixing rental prices and fees is innovation. And why should your average citizen care about increases in productivity? They never see the benefits from it. Corporations like McDonald’s have made it clear that they’ll force productivity increases on staff until they can replace them with automation. That will happen more quickly if corporations are expected to pay citizens better wages due to rising productivity.

    But Brooks has always been a magical kind of thinker when he writes. So why not try the contrarian thing when eggs cost $7-$12 a dozen and we can’t keep aircraft or trains on schedule reliably? Surely the best days for the US are ahead of “us”…

    The sad thing is I do believe the US can do better. I do believe we can achieve a fairer, safer, and more productive society that benefits lots more people in our country and the world. I just can’t see us ever getting there as long as people like Brooks are standing in the way.

    1. hunkerdown

      We’re supposed to vicariously value the success of our betters, and consider ourselves vicariously paid for their “service” of Leadership by being allowed to witness the products of our labor.

      “Net good” is another obvious scam that sets a price on transgression and establishes it as a positional good.

      Also, forget the idea of “moral improvement”. Much like the above, it’s a scam to mystify the realities of capitalist class relations as a set of appetites that can be bent by emotion, same as every other cosmology of predatory anthropocentrism. In fact, we are only bending ourselves to accommodate relations that shouldn’t even exist.

        1. hunkerdown

          Heh, any structuralism will do to make moral beans for the compulsive counters, from the general will to an aposematic PMC’s personal style of office.

    2. chuck roast

      Geez…Brooks still writes for the “A”. Gotta love the new logo. Brooks first piece appeared in the “Atlantic” around 25 years ago. I soon cancelled my subscription, and Zuckerman sold it a short while later. Gotta lot of pages now though…the advertisers love it too.

    3. Mikel

      “when the chief industries that have been innovating are those seeking to steal money from citizens..”

      There has been all kinds of re-invention of the middle man taking a skim off a transaction. By saying it’s an algorithm or computer program doing all the “thinking,” it’s hoped hoped that will remove accountability and responsibility. However, always remember: the skim is winding up in the actual accounts of a person located somewhere. Or in short: follow the money.

      And the USA enjoys hyping the greatness of its GDP. The hyper-financialized mess that is supposed to be cheered on which includes (now more than ever) all that debt being paid back to banks.

    4. Jeff W

      As just one of example of David Brooks’s use—or, perhaps, misuse—of statistics in the piece, there’s this:

      “In 1993, 28 percent of American children lived in poverty. By 2019, that number was down to 11 percent.”

      In a post from four months ago (and, therefore, unrelated to Brooks’s piece), Matt Bruenig looked at those exact same statistics, called the methodology used an “unusual way” to measure child poverty (and a bit later in the post “dishonest”) and said that the “more typical way of measuring poverty” would show that “ the child poverty rate declined from around 25 percent in 1993 to around 21 percent in 2019.”

      Bruenig also noted “By comparison, in 2018, using the exact same measure, Finland’s child poverty rate was 3.5 percent and Denmark’s was 4.9 percent.”

      1. Joe Well

        Amen. Also, to state the obvious, the average number of children per parent went down, too, so even with less money it had to stretch less per child.

        Insane to imagine that the bottom half of Americans could see real wealth decline massively and children would somehow not be affected.

  4. LawnDart

    Re; I’m throwing this out there for fun– it’s just too good to miss:

    In a first, Iran to establish military presence in Panama Canal

    For the first time, Iran’s navy will station vessels in the Panama Canal, a vital economic artery in America’s backyard that has never seen an Iranian military presence…

    I guess the Monroe Doctrine isn’t what it used to be. I’d also note that Iran is massively increasing it’s weapons purchases from Russia– air-defense through SU-35s– and probably considers that nuke agreement a dead letter.

    1. Questa Nota

      Around the Horn, also in danger with that recent announcement of another Iran incursion into the far southern reaches of the Hemisphere. A pincer movement of sorts.

      Sail south past the Roaring 40s and the Furious 50s to the Screaming 60s.

      Life was simpler when Chile was just a dagger pointed at the heart of Antarctica.

    2. JP

      Apparently Iran is much involved with Venezuela. Even building drone factories there. Not too far from Panama.

      1. hunkerdown

        “Don’t you know she’s coming home to me? You’ll lose her in the turn.” -David Lee Roth

  5. DJG, Reality Czar

    “We” Eschaton. Somebody else noticed!

    Ahhh, the pronoun wars. I hadn’t noticed the use of the “we” as much as Duncan Black has. But he hangs around with economists…

    During skirmishes in the pronoun wars, I point out that the most important pronoun is “you.” It’s all about one’s relationship to other persons.

    (Of course, it’s all abut the benjamins, but let’s not go all dark this morning.)

    There was a spate a few years back of people writing “I and my team.” “I and my law firm.” “I and my minions,” aaargh–when I was growing up, we were taught never to place the “I” first in a group like this.

    I propose that we (that is the commentariat, if I may) dub these pronouns bumptious I, bumptious we, and, of course, bumptious they.

    1. Robert Gray

      > There was a spate a few years back of people writing “I and my team.” “I and my law firm.”
      > “I and my minions,” aaargh–when I was growing up, we were taught never to place
      > the “I” first in a group like this.

      I was taught as you were, oh Czar. But at least ‘I and my team’ is better than ‘me and my team’ (as a subject)! Hey — ‘me and my law firm’ would be a show-stopper!

      By the same token, I always have to wonder at the education of someone who says, or writes, ‘The prize was given to my team and I’.

    2. Questa Nota

      Newsweek, remember them? Are they even still around? ;p

      They introduced that Conventional Wisdom panel way last Millennium. The feature helped mere plebes, unwashed, proto-Deplorables, flyover denizens, rubes and even other humans leafing through old issues in dentist office waiting rooms understand what was going on. Of course, that was influenced by what they said was already happening. Filtering perceptions, so people don’t have to think so hard, especially for themselves. Gee, thanks.

    3. David

      Always be wary of people who start sentences with “we”, especially if it is then followed by “should.” Saying “we” is a form of linguistic aggression, or seeking to force on people beliefs and opinions they don’t necessarily share. The difference between “I think it’s a good idea to send weapons to Ukraine” and “we should send weapons to Ukraine” is actually quite fundamental. Under some circumstances, “we” can even mean “you.” Thirty years ago, at the time of the fighting in Bosnia, I was always running into people saying that “we” should send arms and troops to support the Muslims. I used to asked them what precise actions they were taking themselves, which usually ended the conversation, sometimes with accompanying threats of violence.

      1. LawnDart

        I spent Winter of ’92-’93 doing air-land missions and and airdrops over there, thinking “we” were finally doing the right thing for the right reasons… …to me it seemed like a noble cause, and I didn’t mind putting life-and-limb at risk to help people trapped by the BS. I was proud of what “we” were doing, proud to be a part of it; a sense of atonement, a chance for redemption and to wash away previous sins..

        But, as we say, reality always seems to find a way of making itself known, although I should change “always” to “often,” as there are many who go to extremes to maintain their delusions.

        After narrowly escaping court-martial, I was send home, left the military, and began angry, hateful years– hard-drinking, hard-f**king, a hundred or more bar-fights, finding a sense of inner-peace only at the edge of death, usually near the red-line and 100+ mph per on the bike. A couple of good women and a professor from Moscow U helped lead me out of this place, though that took a few years.

        That never changed the fact that I now saw “we” as moral cowards and liars, ignorant of the world and uncaring of others; arrogant, selfish and vain. Fool that I am, I again and again touched the hot stove, put my hand in the flame, as though trying to prove myself wrong, but reality has yet to fail to remind me.

        There’s little of this “we” in the West, certainly not as proclaimed by our betters– it’s there, but usually co-opted or crushed when it emerges amongst more than a few scattered tribes. I find this “we” most often in some workers and some poor: the “we” of the elite and their aspirants seems fragile at the individual level and highly conditional– “we” can easily find ourselves alone.

        30-years since that war… …holy-s**t…

  6. Bosko

    The cope in that Politico article is extremely pungent. I submit as evidence the quote, “Germany’s far right has spear-headed protests against sanctions,” as if a) the protests were mere whining about high prices, and b) even these protests were astro-turfed by the dreaded “far right.” Even if this were truly a war of Right vs. Wrong, Freedom vs. Totalitarianism, etc., I really doubt that an oil-rich country is going to face economic collapse any time soon.

  7. griffen

    I am assured by the latest news from the Onion. After coffee, I have to laugh each morning and therefore I sincerely hope that it’s true even though it’s high level satire. Wait, I thought Kamala Harris was placed in charge of the border situation? What exactly is she doing lately…

  8. griffen

    US Secretary of Treasury Yellen, laying the groundwork for negotiations over the debt ceiling and the machinations that can be taken to delay the seemingly inevitable. When I think of our Congresscritters at the negotiations to raise and / or likely avoid any debt ceiling shenanigans, I am left with the impression of authentic gibberish below from a particular film. And to add, these are supposedly the “best” and the “brightest” walking the halls of the US Congress. Harrumph indeed.

    NSFW, maybe or maybe not \sarc

      1. ambrit

        Ayargh! America has already had it’s melanoderm President show up to “save the day.” Unfortunately for us, he turned out to be working for the bad guys!

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Military briefing: Soledar victory could cost Russia dear’

    I can only assume that those two FT reporters are getting all their information from the Ukrainians. Truth be told, Soledar has been a bloodbath for the Ukrainians and they have lost 14 to 17 battalions of soldiers trying to defend that town. And when they lost it, they tried three separate attacks to get back into that town, all of which failed. Here I am reminded of what General Patton said upon learning that the Germans had advanced through the Ardennes. He said that this time the Germans had stuck their heads into a meat grinder – and he had hold of the handle. The Ukrainian situation around Soledar and Bakhmut is proving so disastrous that the Ukrainians have been burning up their reserves in this region trying to save these towns and as far as manpower is concerned, are now starting to run on empty. When the Ukrainian position eventually collapses in the Donbass, I have no idea how FT will try to spin it.

    1. timbers

      I agree with your overall analysis, but I like to err on the side of caution. Such as: saying Ukraine is running out of arms and soldiers has been said almost as long as Russia is running out of missiles. A lot of the soldiers are Polish and other NATO nations and mercenaries. At some point the West is actually going to be able to produce and inject fresh arms supplies that would be more helpful than what they supply now. And mercenaries…in theory that supply could be limitless.

      Better to do now while you have a clear upper hand, than what you could probably but now for sure do later. One needs only to look at a map and note supply lines discussed many time on Military Summary to see what can be done to bring this to a quicker conclusion.

      1. tevhatch

        At some point the West is actually going to be able to produce and inject fresh arms supplies that would be more helpful than what they supply now. And mercenaries…in theory that supply could be limitless.

        Well, it’s probably better to grind up those limitless supplies near Russia’s border than to fight them over near the Polish border, no?
        Frankly, without access to large amounts of heavy oil, a wound self-inflicted, I don’t think the USA will do much, even if it can starve off a domestic economic collapse.

      2. Samuel Conner

        > And mercenaries…in theory that supply could be limitless.

        If the information about Russian methods is accurate, that they don’t expose their own infantry to the hazards of advance in the face of enemy fire until the target positions have been thoroughly smashed with 152mm and heavier artillery bombardment, I think that the number of Western private military contractors willing to be paid to serve Ukraine under such conditions — and also under increasing threat of air attack as the U air defenses continue to be degraded — might be somewhat limited.

        1. Stephen

          History Legend has a good video up on Soledar. I think he is genuinely objective and the analysis is typically informative.

          Comments that the Russians left a corridor open for Ukrainian troops to retreat, albeit they seem to have interdicted it. Sounded similar to tactics in Syria and avoids a fight to the death.

          Also possible that they are fine with a number of ragged and disoriented troops making it out of these battles. Helps to spread the message of how bad things are across the ranks and cool the ardour of those who might want to volunteer.

          1. Raymond Sim

            … avoids a fight to the death.

            Eventually the infantry will move to contact. The chaotic nature of the fighting at that point is often remarked, but I don’t often see people reflecting on how disconcerting this might be to a planner ahead of time. ‘Building’ a clear escape route for the enemy increases the predictability of events.

      3. David

        Limitless mercenaries, I’m not sure. Gone are the days of large national service armies in Europe, so the pool you’re drawing from is dramatically smaller. Moreover, classic mercenary forces — formed units of westerners under western command– have been pretty much unknown since the 1970s. The last time that was tried was the recruitment of mercenaries for the FNLA in Angola in 1975, who were cut to pieces by the Cubans. Most “mercenaries” today work as static guards, VIP protection and things like that. These are moderate-risk, high paid jobs, done by former professionals (I’ve met a number of them) whose main job, as they will tell you, is to keep you (and them) out of trouble. A number of others work as instructors and trainers, usually well away from the fighting.

        The assumption that, from the relatively small number of former experienced western professional soldier from combat arms, with the right training on the right equipment, speaking the language of command, and able to work together with other arms, but ready to deploy into a chaotic situation where death is a highly probable outcome … I don’t think that’s ever happened before, no matter how much money you might pay.

      4. LifelongLib

        Russia has 3x the population and 10x the GDP of Ukraine. In a war of attrition that means Ukraine runs out of soldiers and equipment before Russia does. And this is a national-scale war that can only be fought with national armies. No mercenary outfit can come close to fielding what is required.

    2. LawnDart

      Ukraine: Possible Bakhmut retreat to pre-empt Russian reprisal

      A Ukrainian commander, who chose to remain anonymous, commented on the possibility of withdrawal and told The Washington Post that “we have lost many friends in the defense of this city, so we do not want to surrender it now. But maybe a temporary withdrawal would save some of our people,” adding that his unit suffered “great losses.”
      The Washington Post also revealed that several military analysts have agreed that on the grand scale of things, a withdrawal from Bakhmut would result in a great defeat from the political perspective, despite the fact that the city has little strategic importance.

      Ukrainian commander: my men want to die and are willing to die for nothing!

  10. tevhatch

    Deep State Award (I do think Stoller misses the subtle point that one of the purposes of such ceremonies is to signal that the awards-givers have the power to give awards; they control the, as it were, process of consecration in their field. This dynamic precedes and is a necessity for the influence-peddling that Stoller describes in such rich detail.)

    I’d say reward and punishment both, even if the punishment is “unofficial”. In my experience, the unofficial punishment is often worse and more threatening because there are no mechanism for appeal, relief, compensation for wrongful application and it can be applied more capriciously. It is why I quit medical school at the University of South Alabama in my 1st year, after earning the ire of one of the teaching staff for raising a question, not even a complaint, about their violation of the Hippocratic Oath and conflict of interest (and soon there after quit myself of the USA and went back home).

    1. John Zelnicker

      tevhatch – I live just a mile up the road from the university.

      I’m sorry you had such a bad experience there, but I’m not entirely surprised. There have been a few controversies related to the medical school.

      I’d love to hear more about your experience in Mobile. If you’re interested in sharing, contact me at zelnickertaxservice [at] comcast [dot] net.

      Stay safe.

      1. tevhatch

        Hi John:

        What to say about Mobile or the School, it was a mix of good and bad people, but my biggest heartache was learning the hard way that the business of America is business, and all that stuff in the American Constitution is just window dressing for what is a butchers shop, mostly serving exotic meats.

        1. TimH

          The American Constitution at least slows down the destruction of civil liberties, such as happening in Britain real-time. It started with ASBOs in 1998.

        2. John Zelnicker

          I’m sorry for your heartache. It’s only in the past 40 or so years that the business of business has become the driving force in the US.

          There used to be a much greater sense of community and the loss of that is one of the biggest causes of our myriad problems today. So sad.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “DOJ Held Biden Document News Until After Midterms”

    Maybe another reason is that Biden had no clue how many unsecured documents there were out there so the DOJ had to feel their way around this whole situation waiting for multiple shoes to drop. Just today I read that a third set of documents have been discovered at his home. These must have been from his time as VP when he took all sorts of documents with him. But after all his criticisms of Trump over the documents found at his own home, Biden has kinda boxed himself in with some ‘splainin’ to do-

    1. Questa Nota

      Can’t wait for the Feds to dust those docs for prints and find that Hunter’s coke ended up all over them. Heckuva a way to shift the blame, almost inspired.

      1. ambrit

        Mr. Cynic tells me that the DoJ will ‘suddenly’ find the fingerprints of Vlad Vladimirovitch all over some of those documents from the Trump raid so as to deflect blame.
        “Members of the House Select sub-committee. I proudly take note of the fact that none of the Biden garage sale documents have the spoor of that arch villain, Putin on them.” [Chamber erupts in boos and hisses.] “Calm down now my fellow American Patriots. We all know that our President Emeritus, Joseph Robinette Biden,” [spontaneous cheers,] “now, now, Madame President joins us in our accolades, our President Emeritus is a Patriot and only allowed access to his document trove to fine, upstanding members of America’s Best and Brightest.”
        Etc. etc.

      2. Jason Boxman

        Oops, I misread that as some other part of Hunter, rather than cocaine. But either might apply! Anything to distract from the facts at hand!

    2. griffen

      I am of the increasing opinion, based on evidence available for most to observe and sort through, that we are ruled by a class of people who are accustomed to having privilege. Other than that, they are collectively morons and fools except for a few, precious few, who can walk and chew gum. Back to topic, well they are broadly careless, callous and the details are for their staff and the little people.

      How else do we arrive at a place, by example, where for this week in America the debt ceiling is going to be the evil bogeyman, and Republicans will accuse Democrats of “reckless spending” while ignorant of the deficit spending under solidly Republican administrations.

      Biden. Clinton. Trump. What’s distinct about each family or clan, other than being mostly in it for themselves and advancing their sponsoring boosters agenda. Rules for thee, but not for me. At least in America we get US professional football playoffs, so the old pigskin serves some of us well for the bread and circus.

    3. herman_sampson

      I know! I know! Trump planted some of his “trading card collection” at Branden’s house and stink tank! That will clear ole Joe (who still owes me $600).

      1. Wukchumni

        I feel the ‘Village People’ Trump action figure trading card will turn out to be the most valuable one

        1. griffen

          “It’s fun to play golf at Mar A Lago…it’s fun to play at golf at Mar A Lago…You can get a few beers, and have a good time…it’s so fun to stay at Mar A Lago”

    4. ACPAL

      Most material is classified because a) it’s embarrassing to someone, b) it’s covering up something illegal, c) it’s hiding the budget from the public, or d) it’s because someone thinks everything, including stores of toilet paper, should be classified top secret. The stuff at Trump’s is probably dirt on Biden and other democrats while the stuff at Biden’s is probably dirt on Trump and other republicans. I doubt any of it actually meets the definition of potentially harmful to the security of the nation. I am sure that the world leaders are laughing their asses off over this “theater of the absurd,” I know I am.

  12. Lexx

    How Police Actually Cracked The Idaho Killings Case’

    ‘Several genealogists I talked to made the case that people would rather not know they are related to suspected killers and rapists.’

    Because they believe murder and rape are genetic? Or because other people outside the tribe will respond to the information as though that must be true and mete out social consequences? Social stigma.

    I think most of those looking at their family trees just want to know if they’re related to royalty or the infamous and powerful*, only to find they come from a long line of farmers and day laborers or worse. Their relatives were once prosperous but fell on hard times. Somewhere in there is the whole notion of what is means to be ‘self-made’, and what the tribe can take credit for and what it rejects. ‘He’s always been the black sheep in the family.’ Every family has a few.

    1. wol

      ‘Somewhere in there is the whole notion of what is means to be ‘self-made’, and what the tribe can take credit for and what it rejects.’

      Living in an affluent liberal college town, I’ve learned that my grandfather’s progression from dirt-floor Appalachia to Columbia PhD is best kept to myself, as I carry the white trash gene. It’s better to have been a domestic in Darien.

      1. Lexx

        My family also came out of Appalachia. A German immigrant twice her age came along and lifted my great-grandmother out of poverty by marrying her. He had perpetually employable journeyman skills, even through the Great Depression. They had five daughters, one of them was my grandmother (dad’s ma).

        There’s a social stink that seems to linger on folks for generations who come out of that kind of poverty; what my grandmother would have called po’ po’ – the poorest of the poor – and by their low social status assumed to be reprobates one and all. In their minds the only thing worse than being the working poor would be being not-white and on welfare… gasp! They might be cold and hungry all their shortened lives, but they had their pride.

        Pride, whatever its source may be, deserved or not, is the alter on which every familial tie may be sacrificed. The divisiveness running so deeply through families (and those “like family”) these days is mostly economic. Who made it, who didn’t, and what were their “credentials” anyways? The market dictates our relationships to us.

    2. fresno dan

      So “touch” DNA is being used.
      DNA was supposed to be the gold standard of criminal evidence. And it can be, but only under very specific circumstances rarely found in the messy world of crime scenes. DNA evidence is easily contaminated by the people handling the evidence, not to mention anyone else who’s been at the crime scene. This has resulted in law enforcement agencies spending years chasing phantom criminals, only to find out the DNA investigators kept finding at crime scenes came from other officers, first responders, or even the person packing their DNA kits back at the manufacturer.
      But the myth that DNA evidence is nigh-infallible persists. Some of this is due to the inscrutable nature of the processes that turn stray cells into evidence. Some of this is due to forensic experts overstating the certainty of their findings.

      I have been trying to find some evidence that Brian Kohberger’s father was in the marines. I mean, if the knife sheath says US Marines, and it has Brian Kohberger’s dad’s dna on it, one would expect the dad was in the marines. Of course, it is possible Kohberger’s dad bought a Marine knife and sheath at an army surplus store. It seems an obvious thing to help validate the dna familial result, but I have been unable to find any articles on the subject – of course, Google isn’t nearly as good as it used to be…

      Now, Brian Kohberger may be guilty. And it may be that the authorities wanted some dna “evidence” because everybody expects some dna evidence now a days…

      1. griffen

        The entirety of the article reads like a subplot to the work of fiction, Minority Report. If the three precogs are in agreement, who are we to suppress this information. \sarc

        Back on topic, I dunno. In the hands of the right people, the evidence can be highly useful as in, freeing those poor saps who were wrongly imprisoned on suspect techniques or less than honorable techniques from enforcement officials. Although if we are generally reading about these techniques today, it suggests the practice has been in use for some time. Final opinion that I have, one more reason to not sign up for any of these DNA sampling platforms.

        1. TimH

          Final opinion that I have, one more reason to not sign up for any of these DNA sampling platforms.

          Yes. My instant reaction to the method obscurity is because etc are open kimono to law enforcement, under NDA.

          1. juno mas

            Um, I’m not interested in my geneology at all. Other than I know my grandfather/grandmother were well-to-do (first hand knowledge). But my sister is into that stuff and has submitted DNA to at least one of those private “family tree” companies. That means I need to stay free of serious investigation, too!

        2. Lexx

          Funny. :-)

          We’re the country with the highest incarceration rate per capita on the planet? A chill had to have gone through the entirety of the country’s law enforcement ranks to read an article like the one above on ‘mass exoneration’. How many innocent people (mostly minorities) are doing time? What happens to our perceptions of law enforcement when they’re released and their records wiped clean? Every department knows they have some bad apples being protected by their fellow officers, unions, and/or commanding officers. It’s guilt by association and so there’s silence.

          Either the U.S. has the best cops, the best techniques for gathering evidence, the best district attorneys, the best court systems compared to every other country, or there’s something funny about having so many people here behind bars, and it’s not because we have the stupidest criminals. (To stupid is human and can be found everywhere). Josh Tepfer is lucky to be working in Chicago with a State’s Attorney like Kim Foxx. I hope every other State’s Attorney is watching and reconsidering their options.

          Of course I also suspect there’s some ambition at work and wonder if Foxx plans to run for higher office. Not surprised to see her compared to Krasner; it was the first name to pop into my head too.

          1. fresno dan

            It is amazing how many innocent people the Innocences project has found. I remember when I was a kid I was taught that it was better that 10 guilty people go free than one innocent person go to jail. As well as supposedly with all the constitutional protections is was neer impossible to convict a guilty person – which I guess is why they convicted so many innocent ones….
            I never blame the scientific techniques – its the people welding them.
            Like this article
            Oakland’s “Riders” Scandal and the Fraught Road to Police Reform Bolts
            I believe in law and order – the problem is that so many police and prosecutors do not (at least when it comes to police and prosecutors who have broken the law)

    3. Martin Oline

      I have done genealogy research for several decades. My father did it before me, so it is partially his lead I follow, but I’m doing doing the maternal line instead. I find it is a great method for learning about American history, colonial law, religious and cultural practices, and the reasons for migration (push or pull). I suppose my love of mysteries may be the main reason but there is much to learn about history. With two parents in every generation, if you go back twelve there are a potential 4,096 ancestors. That is plenty to do without going to Europe (across the pond). The rules of primogeniture tells me that any coat of arms shown by Americans are entirely invalid.
      I have had DNA tests done for two lines that dead end and it helps confirm relationships but doesn’t show who was the link. I’ve recently been enjoying the excellent mysteries of Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling’s pen name) but she drives me nuts (a short trip) with her belief that being in a room leaves DNA traces behind. This article and more so the responses here shows that common fallacy. Genealogists confuse the dead and annoy the living. If I have annoyed anyone here my job is done.

      1. eg

        We know the 6 generations over here, and that #1 came from Kerry but a fire destroyed parish records for anything further back — probably just as well given that whoever they were they’d run out of places to run from once they’d ended up there, and couldn’t have been anybody of consequence to have ended up there in the first place …

  13. The Rev Kev

    “The C-17A Has Been Cleared To Transport B61-12 Nuclear Bomb To Europe”

    Not good news if you are the flight crew of a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. In case of serious trouble, instead of being just a regular target of enemy planes and missiles, they will now be upgraded to priority targets in case they are carrying nukes.

    1. Raymond Sim

      Ah well, if you’re C-17 aircrew you probably sleep most nights in or near the bullseye for two or three, or ten big honking airbursts anyway.

      You and a whole lot of the rest of us. (I live between Beale and Travis myself.)

    2. Terry Flynn

      Not exactly. Whilst any aeroplane carrying nukes will be something of a target (to create dirty bomb stuff over wide area), neither side will be afraid of a nuclear BOOM. The planes carrying the bombs dropped on Japan foresaw the problem. They had an engineer “do the final bomb construction” shortly before dropping it in one case and IIRC the bomb itself didn’t reach critical mass until release with an automated procedure on the other.

      TL;DR You’re not wrong that planes carrying nukes would be targets but the effects are very unpredictable, NOT nuclear bombs, and could therefore strongly discourage the enemy from attacking them for fear of blowback.

    3. Glen

      B61 nuclear bomb

      It looks like the Mod 12 variant only went into production a couple of years ago. Maybe the “enhanced” accuracy is to just add a JDAM to it.

      I don’t think targeting these while being transported is a deal, but you better believe all those storage sites in Europe are going to be turned to glass if the smouldering WW3 in Ukraine goes red hot.

  14. griffen

    While I carry no water for either Tesla or their external auditing firm, PwC, that headline in the above article about Brazil accounting practices is tendentious or leading, at best. Strictly my observation.
    Heck, one can conjure a litany of major US firms, with multi national business units, going under scrutiny because PwC is their external auditor du jour; see link below as well.

    Added comment, nothing in the article (after a rereading of the article, which is pretty brief) hearkens to Tesla and their business practices in the South American country. Really bad example of supposed journalism that is. News alert, external auditors can and do miss red flags.

  15. Lex

    Fascinating to watch the western press claim that Soledar and Bakhmut are operationally inconsequential. Especially since a week ago they called them key areas and Ukraine has been pouring reinforcements into them to be held at all costs (which appear to be great even in the lowest estimates). Ukraine is going to need to make a decision on Bakhmut yesterday. The direct northern route to Siversk is essentially cut. Russian advances in Krasna Gora and Paraskoviivka seriously threaten to fully sever two of three routes out of Bakhmut. And now there are reports of fighting in Klishchiivka, which would threaten the last major route to Bakhmut.

    Reports of troop strength in Bakhmut are all over the place, but it seems like 30k is the low number and that’s far to high for being surrounded and/or destroyed to be acceptable losses, practically and in the information war.

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      The MSM tries its best to adhere to the narrative, but it’s not always easy to keep up with events. During UKR’s big push into Kharkov region in September, the city of Izyum was invariably described as “the strategic city of Izyum”, much as Iraq’s republican guard during the first Gulf War was always labeled on CNN as “the ELITE republican guard”. A quick glance on Wikipedia shows that Izyum’s population is 46653, whereas Bakhmut’s is 71094. But even here, one must be careful: a closer glance shows that Izyum’s population is based on 2020 data, whereas Bakhmut’s shows presently at 2000-5000 whereas it was 71094 pre-war. So I guess even Wikipedia’s editors are working overtime to re-write the facts to fit the narrative.

      Amusing side note: in Russian, “izyum” (изюм) means “raisin”. So the western MSM chatter in September about the fall of the strategic city of Izyum sounded completely absurd to RU listeners. Today Raisin, tomorrow the world! Why on earth the town has this name is beyond me. Then again, New Mexico has its Truth or Consequences. And Pennsylvania has its Intercourse.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Izyum (as raisin) comes from Turkic “üzüm”, and apparently raisins were grown in the vicinity of Izyum in the 17th century.

        The name is older than that, though, and can also be from Turkic for river, “üzön” (or lowlands, “öizöm”, depending on the dialect you choose).

        Anyway, in 1637 Russian tsar Michael (first ruler of the house Romanov) ordered a city to be build on the land conquered from the Tatars.

  16. jefemt

    Can Gratitude Save Humanity? A couple interesting ideas, but I have to say I was a bit amazed in the last couple paragraphs… in 2023… a deep think hit the objectification shallows…

    “So there’s one datapoint, surfing. Another would be, quite simply, the existence of women’s breasts. Now we have two datapoints, each of which by itself offers full and sufficient proof that there is a God, and that he loves us very much.”


    1. Raymond Sim

      I will always stan womens’ breasts. The fact that this God fellow doesn’t have them shows me he’s a phoney.

      1. ambrit

        Hmmm…. Sloppy copy editing by the source. Adding surfing and women’s breasts would come to three data points. Plus a nasty sunburn if one was not careful.

        1. Raymond Sim

          What about g*d’s breasts though? No way I’m worshipping anyone without them. I’m cool with bird’s feet or the body of a lion or whatever, but no breasts, no worship. Reverence maybe, but that’s it.

            1. Raymond Sim

              Wow, I was following her progress for a long time, but my attention drifted, and now it’s been out since 2018? Stupid pandemic.

              The opening to Sita Sings the Blues was my then infant granddaughter’s favorite cartoon.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Ankara says time running out to ratify Sweden, Finland NATO bids”

    Sweden has been trying to lay it cute and just rejected four extradition requests from Turkey. But they still need Ankara’s vote to join NATO. And no way will Ankara be satisfied with a promise by Sweden, Finland or even NATO that if they just give their votes, everything will be sorted afterwards to their satisfaction. The trouble is that the Turks have seen what promises are worth from the west and are less than impressed-

    1. tevhatch

      Sweden is already a de jour member of NATO, It’s PMC is already proceeding to sell what little sovereignty it has left in a new direct military treaty with Washington, and selling it cheap. if Russia was to attack Sweden, it would not be isolated to that country so it’s really all about signaling.

      On the other hand, NATO articles 4 & 5 only mean what the agreement incapable USA decides they mean at any moment in time. I don’t even know why the USA bothered to fill the articles with loopholes, maybe back then the blob had some notion of face. The USA ignores what it does not want to see, and that will include what ever terms turn out to be onerous in the new treaty the traitors of Sweden sign for their pieces of silver. Erdogan learned from the best.

  18. Henry Moon Pie


    This essay appears at first to be some attempt at encouraging us to live with gratitude, what seminarians call a “salad sermon” because of all the “Let us” in it. But it’s actually not that at all. Instead it leads to an interesting discussion of transhumanism and its “Rationalist” basis. I know who I think of when I read this paragraph:

    The rationalist by contrast looks at the world and is offended by the waste, the inefficiency, the chaos, the suffering, the grotesque failures of optimisation, and wants to set it right. He has a vision of a better world, and that is where he lives, in devotion to his vision.

    And a money-minded rationalist (is there any other kind?) would be offended by all those birds living for free in the trees.

    The “tragic misstep” piece is good too. The author does rush to attribute our overthinking to something as fundamental as consciousness, but the rest of the world has not been as caught up in cogito-ing as we Westerners. It’s best to know without knowing, Lao-Tzu said.

  19. square coats

    I saw on the twitters that George Galloway will be having Max Blumenthal and Gonzalo Lira on his show today as guests (I’m not sure if that means concurrently or sequentially). I don’t actually know much at all about Galloway but I’m assuming plenty of people here at NC do.

    Here’s Galloway’s tweet announcing the show.

    I remember months ago seeing some internet chatter here and there about how it would be awesome to see The Duran and The Grayzone collaborating. Maybe this will pave the way for that?

    1. Foy

      George Galloway is a legend in my view, he gave one of the all time great speeches to the US Senate back in 2003 over the Iraq War and accusations by US politicians that he had taken money from oil sales (he got smeared because he disagreed with the war).

      He absolutely shredded them, never seen someone tear a Senate hearing apart like this. I watched this again the other day. It’s just as riveting as the day he gave it. No notes, and he never ever takes his eye of the Chairman Norm Coleman, not for a moment, even when Coleman pretends to be distracted because Galloway is taking Coleman’s comments made in public apart. And shreds them during the Q&A as well.

      I’ve noticed that one of Galloway’s speech tricks is that he pauses in the middle of sentences, not at the full stop. He often speaks the first words of the next sentence without a pause. It really is a great effect. And the Scottish accent helps!

  20. John Beech

    ” . . . short-bodied DeSantis that he doesn’t look like a vicious small-town auto dealer”

    Seriously, appearances are what determine someone’s worth these days? For shame.

    1. Jason Boxman

      But appearance always informs someone’s idea of another’s worth. Perhaps it isn’t polite to say out loud, but it’s true.

  21. Steve H.

    I had a comment go to the ether so I’m a little twixy here, but please search for

    Kim Iverson twitter The vaccine was released as part of “countermeasures.”

    The enormity of this documentation is overwhelming me, and I’d appreciate some critical thinking.

    Note the speaker does not affirm all Iverson is claiming. The speaker has documentation in her substack.

    1. Raymond Sim

      The ‘speaker’ was Sasha Latypova? I looked at her Substack and scanning what I found re the vaccines and the DoD, I saw what appeared to be the usual privatisation of profits and socialization of risk, couched in defense procurement-speak, and including some of the extra Out-of-Jail-Free stuff that the defense industry has come to regard as its due.

      It’s reprehensible, but also I think business as usual in this country, though the methods by which responisbility is evaded seem rather blatant.

      I didn’t see anything that would make me think the vaccines were regarded as a weapon. I personally think the research being done at Wuhan was intended to lead to bioweapons, and that vaccine development was going to be a cover for that (and that the whole thing was likely a boondoggle – boondoggles are also business as usual) but that’s a whole separate mess.

    2. britzklieg

      I saw that Iversen piece and posted a late night link here that didn’t make it thru skynet… didn’t know what to make of it either. It seemed extreme and I did not search for the documentation in her guest’s substack but it definitely had me listening. And I agree that Iversen seemed a bit confused about the info presented. This second half of the show can only be seen on K.I.’s rumble platform. The comment of my post was “make of it what you will.”

      On the other hand, the first part of the show (if I am correct in assuming we are talking about the same one) was an interview with Omali Yeshitela ( Joe Waller) about the recent FBI raid on his home in St. Louis and its on-going persecution of the APSP. I grew up in St. Petersburg and was there when he famously tore down a seriously racist mural which adorned the city government office, when he changed his name and formed his political party. That part of the program I can attest to.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      I saw this on Iverson’s Rumble show the other day, which also covered other topics. She didn’t address the subject of the clickbait-y headline right away so I assumed it wasn’t some new bombshell information. I also searched as you suggested, and the 2:00 clip from that larger program I came up with was basically rehashing things that have been discussed at length at NC regarding the “vaccines” – they aren’t really vaccines in the traditional sense, the public was kept in the dark about decision making, etc.

      I think the “countermeasures” bit is being overplayed. They kind of make it sound like the “vaccine” was a “countermeasure” against some deliberately weaponized and deliberately released disease, but my take was it’s just another word for a “vaccine” that really isn’t one.

      What she’s talking about is important since it isn’t being widely discussed by the mainstream media, but with everybody and their anarchist mother having a political podcast these days, the lede was sensationalized a bit to get more clicks.

      1. Steve H.

        My concern is the assertion that the DOD cut the FDA out of the decision-making process. That seems serious. Bureaucratese twists me up, but that’s what she is saying, and her bona fides say she’s running in her lane.

        1. Steve H.

          Here’s the particular of concern:

          > March 13, 2020: “PanCAP Adapted U.S. Government COVID-19 Response Plan” (PanCAP-A) states that United States policy in response to SARS-CoV-2 is set not by the public health agencies designated in pandemic preparedness protocols (Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act, PPD-44, BIA), but rather by the National Security Council, or NSC. NSC does not have regular attendees from public health agencies and its focus is national security and foreign policy matters.”

          1. flora

            Thanks. Katherine Watt’s substack has a lot of FOIA’d information and history regarding this topic. I won’t link because skynet.

            Catherine Dolan interviews both her and Latypova on the show ‘In Plain Sight.’

      2. lambert strether

        tl;dr: Another prolix and evidence-free video good only as clickbait. I’m so, so shocked. Thank heavens I didn’t invest any time in it.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          To be fair, the Iversen video I was referring to isn’t evidence free – although the headline/title doesn’t refer to it, there is a good discussion of the twitter files in there with plenty of evidence provided. But the Rumble headline is “SHOCKING FOIA DOCUMENTS: COVID Pandemic Was a Secret DoD Operation dating back to Obama Administration” which makes it sound like the rona was inflicted on the world by the DoD, but that was not what the actual discussion between Iversen and her guest was saying, at least not the part I listened to, and they didn’t even get into that subject at all into well into the hour or so long video. Not sure about what Steve H. posted above at 3:07- that may be something.

          I may be an outlier, but sensationalized clickbait headlines make me less likely to read or listen to something. I was listening to Russell Brand much more often a year ago when his video titles referenced the actual subject matter rather than clickbait crap like “They can’t hide THIS anymore”, for example. If you can’t tell me what “THIS” is up front, I’m probably not going to bother.

          Full disclosure though – the reason I listened to some of this particular clickbait-y video is because now that Naomi Klein isn’t making the news as much with her reporting as she used to, Iversen has taken over as my #1 in the dreamy female newsperson department.

    1. fresno dan

      Basically, the Ukrainians are using their troops, equipment, and positions to blast the heck out of Russian artillary shells – there is no way the Russian gunners, artillary pieces, and artillary shells can endure such continually shelling…kinda like I beat this guy’s fists up with my nose and chin. Boy was he sorry.

    2. SocalJimObjects

      I pretty much puked out my lunch after reading that article.

      ” the capture of which has eluded them for months despite an advantage in firepower and the willingness to sacrifice troops.” Them here refers to the Russians.

      Skala added. “We are not Russians. We are Ukrainians, and human life is the highest value for us.”

  22. Tom Stone

    I see the current War with Russia as a proxy War in more senses than one, Corporate States do not formally have Sovereignty ( Which was what the TPP and ISDS are all about) and thus work through the organs of Nation States such as NATO and the US Military.
    The complete capture of the US Government by corporate interests including the Military ( Syria comes to mind) is particularly frightening since Corporate persons are inherently sociopathic.
    They know no allegiance to anything except profit.
    A Corporate Globalist Vs Nationalist resource war. with the Globalists nearly guaranteeing an end to all life on Earth and the Nationalists…a chance for species survival if not much more.
    This is not a winnable War of choice which was obvious to anyone with a lick of sense who took a few hours to look at things.
    Quite a few Nations have picked fights with Russia over the Centuries with uniform results…
    Wasn’t Afghanistan stupid enough?

    1. Mikel

      And while the battles over the control of resources continue around the world, it still remains to be seen if any country won’t sacrifice people for the sake of business profits.

  23. WillyBgood

    This nugget from Foreign Affairs made my eyes bug out: “The war in Ukraine has been full of surprises. Despite the Biden administration’s public unveiling of intelligence showing Moscow’s preparations for an invasion, many were stunned that Russia used more than 175,000 troops to attack a neighboring country that had done it no harm and had not in any way constituted a threat to its security.” Poor wittle innocent US ally Ukraine, who done no one no harm /s. Geez, I have to use baby talk in my head.

  24. Michael King

    Lambert, more material for your Dr. Bonnie Henry file. Here is the latest toxic fun and games from BC’s public health officer. If you follow the thread you’ll see that this is generating much deserved shock, anger and outrage. She is a grifter as she is monetizing her public position by publishing two lame books about the pandemic. Thank you very much for all your good work!

  25. Jason Boxman

    The agency is attempting to create new protections to prevent such a failure in the future, the person said. Portions of the Notam computer system are as old as 30 years.

    Everyone loves to beat that dog.

    I say, so what! The age of the system doesn’t mean there’s anything in particular wrong with it. Maybe the issue is our software and hardware engineering processes don’t account for that kind of longevity. As long as the compiler or interpreter is ported to newer systems, the code can still run.

    In this case, someone screwed up process. That can happen just as well with something that was written in today’s favorite language, on today’s latest computer. If the process is particularly difficult, maybe the software implementation was particularly bad and thus user error too easy to introduce. But if this has been running for 30 years, and this is the first time I’ve heard of this kind of shutdown, maybe that’s not the case.

    Regardless, software doesn’t just decay. It’s not a physical thing. (I’m ignoring storage medium here, all of which eventually wear and corrupt on some timescale.)

    Given the kind of garbage we get out of government contractors today with regards to software, I worry if this is “modernized”, we’ll end up with even more of a debacle. Creating good software is hard. The fact that this is 30 years old, therefore, might mean it’s well designed. That’s a good thing.

    Hating on the age of software without any other information is just silly, but the Establishment media loves it.

    1. curlydan

      Agree. When I saw the headline, the first problem I suspected was the “contractors”, i.e. not employees. Get some dedicated guys and gals to take care of the software, and it probably won’t go kaput.

  26. Ignacio

    Something for the big if true department: Today Military Summary reported that in the latest missile attack by Russia there was no, or was a muted response from the Ukrainian side. Dima suggests that the Ukrainian defense system (the S300) is done.

    1. Greg

      There was at least one kalibr intercepted in dnipropetrovsk(i think), so rumours of the death of air defence are greatly exaggerated at this stage.

      Given the uninterrupted supply of new systems and components, and the sheer quantity of manpads at the outset, i think some low level of air defence will persist throughout.
      Not sufficient to affect outcomes in any way, however.

  27. Jason Boxman

    ‘Playing chicken’: Republicans draw battle lines over US debt ceiling

    So this makes no sense. They won’t negotiate over it, but they also won’t ensure that they don’t have to negotiate over it.

    After Yellen released her letter on Friday, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, reiterated that the Biden administration did not believe a debt ceiling increase should be tied to any negotiation, since it is done to fulfil past borrowing commitments made by lawmakers and presidents of both parties. “This should be done without conditions,” she said. “There’s going to be no negotiation over it.”

    The Biden administration has also said it does not intend to take executive action — such as minting a trillion-dollar platinum coin, a proposal that has been floated — to avoid a default without congressional intervention.

    Paragraph two does not logically follow paragraph one, unless negotiations are actually your goal. Otherwise you’d threaten paragraph two, or simply do it.

    Methinks Team Democrat would be happy with some kind of negotiation. Like under Obama, there’s no greater opportunity than now to whack social programs.

    1. Wukchumni

      I fell asleep laying on a wall just outside the Forum in Rome about 25 years ago and when I woke a couple of cats were lying next to me

  28. Wukchumni

    My Kevin (since ’07) of course risks expulsion from being vocal as the word of Damocles, er Gaetz, is all it will take for him to spend more time with his family

    I’m setting the over/under line @ 42 days.

  29. Jason Boxman

    The Night Raids

    On a December night in 2018, Mahzala was jolted awake by a shuddering wave of noise that rattled her family’s small mud house. A trio of helicopters, so unfamiliar that she had no word for them, rapidly descended, kicking up clouds of dust that shimmered in their blinding lights. Men wearing desert camouflage and black masks flooded into the house, corralling her two sons and forcing them out the door.

    On the CIA’s Zero Units in Afghanistan.

    1. Robert Gray

      > A trio of helicopters, so unfamiliar that she had no word for them …

      Hard to imagine, this, for the average Westerner — although it’s plausible, I suppose.

      Reminds me of something I heard a good few years ago. I don’t know if it was true then or (if so) whether it remains true today. But … plausible?

      * Most people in the world have never talked on a telephone.
      * Most people in the world have never sat in/on a chair.

      Thinking in terms of that world map that was linked here the other day (‘more people live inside this circle than outside’), maybe it’s not so far-fetched.

  30. Willow

    Odd Lots Trillion Dollar coin is largely a legalistic/regulatory (& autarchic) discussion. Once the government mints one One Trillion Dollar coin, temptation will be to mint a lot more. You then have run-away (global) market expectations that the US gov’t will give into temptation. Once expectations get away, it will be very hard to put things back in the bottle (you’re only a virgin once). I suspect only reason BoJ is able to ‘print money’ via its bond buying program is because a lot of the excess cash ends up in overseas financial markets (carry-trade). For now. It will be much harder for Fed to pull the same or similar tricks given USD is the global reserve currency.

  31. Karl

    How Ukraine became a laboratory for western weapons and battlefield innovation CNN.

    Good point, Lambert: Conditions are different in Asia, so we’ll need a lab there, too.

    Lab in South Vietnam–tropics: check
    Lab in Iraq–desert: check
    Lab in Ukraine–steppe: check
    Lab in Afghanistan–mountains: check

    Pretty soon, we won’t need any more labs. But will we ever win a war?

  32. semper loquitur

    Quillette presents Helen Pluckrose on the Postmodern roots of Critical Social Justice. She draws from her book Cynical Theories. Pluckrose was one of a trio of academics who got spoofed Critical Theory papers published that argued for things like the gender politics of dog parks and their effect on nightclubs, how spicy chicken wings promote toxic masculinity, and, chillingly, why it’s proper to suppress dissenting points of view:

  33. petal

    Sam Bankman-Fried’s father lawyers up as FTX investigation intensifies: He had given ‘legal advice’ to his son twice and received cash payments from disgraced crypto giant

    Snip: “The father of disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has lawyered up as officials look into his ties to the cryptocurrency company.

    Joseph Bankman, a law professor at Stanford University, has reportedly hired Sean Hecker of Kaplan Hecker and Fink LLP to represent him, Reuters has reported.

    Hecker, on the firm’s website, is described as ‘an experienced trial lawyer whose practice focuses on white-collar criminal defense, government and internal investigations, complex civil litigation, and regulatory compliance.’

    Bankman has not been charged with any crimes but current FTX CEO John Ray recently confirmed the company was looking into ‘legal advice’ the father may have given his son, as well as cash payments.”

  34. LawnDart

    I can’t even…

    China actively publishing, sharing accurate COVID-related data with world

    China has conducted multiple technological exchanges with the World Health Organization (WHO), and will continue to support the organization in the global effort to combat COVID-19, the head of China’s National Health Commission (NHC) told the head of the WHO over the phone on Saturday, as China on the same day published its data of in-hospital COVID-19 deaths after optimizing the country’s COVID-19 response last month.

    As data is the pillar of China’s COVID-19 response, there is no reason for the country to hide or deliberately under-report such data, said Chinese epidemiologists. They explained it takes time to generate accurate data, and the government is racing against time in its efforts to provide the public with the accurate data, and this reflects its responsible attitude toward public health.

Comments are closed.