Links 1/18/2023

World’s oldest person passes away at 118 DW

U.K. woman’s dying wish: a funeral dance to ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ Washington Post (Chuck L)

Confirmation: Drumming and music as a change agent in American culture Vinnie Sperrazza (Randy K). Sent in response to Lambert’s Charlie Watts post

What’s behind Canada’s drastic new alcohol guidance BBC

Jotting and plotting: Real gardeners need to keep a journal The Critic (Anthony L)

Herbert Read: The Art of Everyday Life Jacobin (Anthony L)




Atmospheric Dust May Have Hidden True Extent of Global Heating Guardian

British Battery Start-Up Files For Bankruptcy New York Times

Eating One US Fish Is Equivalent To Drinking a Month’s Worth of Contaminated Water, Study Finds CBS. Eeew!

‘Extinction crisis’ of sharks and rays to have devastating effect on other species, study finds Guardian (Kevin W)


Untimely death for US-China climate cooperation Asia Times (Kevin W)

What it would take for Apple to disentangle itself from China Financial Times

China’s abandonment of Zero-COVID and imperialist hypocrisy WSWS

Targeting Myanmar’s factories of death Asia Times (Kevin W)

European Disunion

EU bonds will not become a ‘safe asset’ – Germany and Co won’t let that happen Bill Mitchell

Europe’s gas emergency: A continent hostage to seller prices The Cradle (guurst). A departure from high fives due to recent gas price falls.

Old Blighty

Don’t tell me that David Carrick’s crimes were ‘unbelievable’. The problem is victims aren’t believed Guardian (Kevin W)

Westminster is very unwise to challenge Scotland’s capacity to decide Richard Murphy

Britain’s excess death rate is at a disastrous high – and the causes go far beyond Covid Guardian

The Failure of Maneuver: The Great War Big Serge

New Not-So-Cold War

Russia moves to end European treaties RT (Kevin W)

More Tanks & Ukrainians training in US – Col Doug Macgregor Judge Napolitano, YouTube. Late addition to Links. At the top, Macgregor unpacks his recent estimate of 150,000 Ukraine soldiers killed in war: 122,000 verified from open sources, and 35,000 missing in action and presumed dead.

Ukraine SitRep – Media Ignorance, Counter-Artillery War, Three Lost Armies Moon of Alabama. Nice shout out, plus telling estimates of Ukraine troop commitment to trying to hold Bakhmut, losses of materiel..and description of Penicillin.

West adapts aid to Kiev, expects it to ‘succeed on the battlefield’ — Blinken: The US top diplomat stressed that the Western military aid to Kiev started “months before the Russian aggression” TASS (guurst)

Cannot Defeat Living… Andrei Martyanov. Guurst: “French twerps.”

Ukraine’s interior ministry leadership killed in helicopter crash BBC

Ukrainian adviser quits after claims over Russian missile that killed dozens Guardian (Kevin W)

Turkey calls Swedish prosecutor’s inaction over Erdogan effigy ‘absurd’ ekathimerini


China urges U.S. to stop plundering Syrian oil resources: FM Xinhua

Syria’s power dynamic is shifting Indian Punchline (Kevin W)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The FBI Identified a Tor User Bruce Schneier


What the Jan. 6 probe found out about social media, but didn’t report Washington Post (furzy)


White House struggles with messaging strategy over Biden documents The Hill

White House counsel’s office says there are no visitors logs at Biden’s Wilmington home CNN. Kevin W: “What about the logs of the Secret Service protection detail?”

Biden, House GOP refuse to budge as key debt ceiling deadline looms Politico


In her will, Ivana Trump left her former nanny a $1 million condo — and her Yorkshire terrier, Tiger Trump — and nothing to ex-husband Donald Trump Business Insider

REPLY IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION Huddleston v. FBI, Eastern Court of Texas (Chuck L). You don’t have to read far to find:

After years of denials, the FBI has finally admitted that Seth Rich is directly linked to the “hack” of the Democratic National Committee email servers in 2016.

GOP Clown Car

Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar land Oversight committee assignments after removal by Democrats The Hill

Disgraced GOP congressman George Santos is accused of using his animal nonprofit to steal $3,000 raised for homeless disabled vet’s cancer-stricken dog, which then died in agony Daily Mail

Man Going by ‘Manic’ Arrested in Bungled Neo-Nazi Bank Robbery Plot Vice

Woke Watch

How DEI Is Supplanting Truth as the Mission of American Universities: An obsession with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion threatens students, professors, and the very credibility of higher education in the U.S. John Sailer, Free Press (EM)

Trans conversion therapy ban ‘could turn parents into criminals’ Telegraph

Our No Longer Free Press

India Proposes Social Media Firms Rely On Fact Checking By Government Agencies Tech Crunch

Our Migration to Rumble and Locals Glenn Greenwald. Linked to by Lambert yesterday with effectively no comment. I assume I am in a microscopically small minority, but I hate that so many places want to get my e-mail address as a condition of seeing their content (I have become a huge fan of Walled gardens, even with what look like low walls, are bad! And I don’t like that I became a supporter at one place and now have to give my e-mail address to a second place.

Why China’s potential economic rebound could boost the US The Hill

Microsoft To Cut Thousands of Jobs Across Divisions Reuters

The Bezzle

SEC Comes for Gemini Too Late Matt Levine

Three Arrows Capital Co-Founders Pitch To Raise $25 Million For New ‘GTX’ Exchange The Block

New York Faces a New Legal Fight Over a Proposed Crypto-Mining Power Plant The Verge

Former President of FTX US breaks silence, says SBF was insecure, volatile and spiteful, threatened to “destroy my professional reputation” Kitco

Guillotine Watch

Why Mark Zuckerberg Should Face the Threat of Jail Bloomberg (furzy)

Class Warfare

Sen. Bernie Sanders Delivers Remarks on the Working Class C-SPAN

Debt-Ridden 4th-Grader Shouldn’t Have Recklessly Invested In Lunch The Onion

Capitalism’s court jester: Slavoj Žižek Counterpunch (silversurfer7). From early Jan, still germane.

Antidote du jour. Chet G:

I had intended to send more photos, but my household is still unsettled.

However, yesterday I was at a good release of a juvenile bald eagle (via Centre Wildlife Care) and had some interesting photos. Attached are the first two that I’ve processed.

The first is from the exercise cage (in which any eagle is kept a few weeks in order to gain wing strength before a release). I named the eagle (a female) Athena, since she was both determined and focused.

The second photo is at the release site. Some eagles hesitate before leaving a crate. Athena was rocking her crate back and forth in her eagerness to leave. The moment the door was opened, she was out in a flash. The photo is of her zooming past me.

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. LawnDart

    Re; Ukraine’s interior ministry leadership killed in helicopter crash

    Sad, but you know that the first question on our minds is “who’d he piss-off?”

    1. The Rev Kev

      Either Yves or Lambert came up with the saying about the inadvisability of people with political enemies flying in small planes. I think that we are going to have to amend that saying to include helicopters as well.

      1. Not Again

        Looks like a changing of the guard is taking place. Americans find it easier to pay off their adversaries to disappear. Ukraine apparently has a different retirement plan.

        Ukrainian adviser quits after claims over Russian missile that killed dozens

      2. Carolinian

        Alex Cockburn–anyone rich enough to own a helicopter should be too smart to fly in one. The popular Robinson copters are said to be particularly dangerous. As for the rumored advent of air taxis, Darwin award for their wealthy adopters?

    2. Skip Intro

      According to JokerDNR Telegram channel:

      I will answer you all, my faithful followers, what happened today in Brovary. The Minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine has long known that the leadership of the Ministry of Defense is selling Western weapons that come to Ukraine in the form of assistance in favor of third countries, and this process is directly supervised by the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate Budanov. By the way, this information has already surfaced somewhere. The leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs wanted their share and began to collect data through their structural units, which are associated with intelligence and outdoors. As a result of this, they managed to obtain evidence and blackmail began. The military commanders promised a share to the police leadership and the first tranche was paid. But it was pointless and unprofitable to pay further. Plus, the audacity of the Minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who climbed into the wrong garden, strained the military elite. And today the day has come when the guys from the GUR were able to demonstrate their skills. But that’s not all. The sanction for this was personally given by Yermak, who is also in the subject in secret from the supreme narcissistic clown Zelebobik.

      Reports say the chopper was on fire before it crashed into a kindergarten yard, suggesting a manpad or AD hit.

      1. JBird4049

        Somehow, this reminds of me of how units in the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) sometimes would have to pay blackmail get their artillery support.

        The United States sure knows how to pick them.

      2. Maxwell Johnston

        I’m ready to believe this version of events. At the very least, it was either a tragic accident (which I doubt) or an inside job by UKR against The Man Who Knew Too Much (took place way too far inside UKR to be a RU operation). FWIW, both the interior minister (Monastyrsky) and his deputy (Yenin) had what I would describe as intelligent faces. They look OK to me, and I believe that by that age you pretty much have the face that you deserve.

        I have no fear of flying airplanes, but I hate choppers. Flew on quite a few of them (Hueys and Blackhawks) during my army days, and they scared me. An old friend of mine is a pilot (both airplanes and choppers) and explained to me once the difference between landing a troubled airplane vs a troubled chopper. When flying even a basic single engine Piper Cub, if you’re alert and not flying over an ocean or a mountain range, you have a decent chance of landing safely somewhere. But in a chopper, the best you can hope for is engine failure; but even then you must be a very cool customer to execute the autorotation correctly. And if it’s anything other than engine failure (e.g., snapped rotor blade), you might have sufficient time to blurt out a quick Hail Mary before you hit the bottom. Lots of famous rich people have met their maker via chopper crash; I suppose it beats dying slowly of cancer, but still…..

        1. digi_owl

          Just caught a glimpse of the wreck on the TV news as i walked by (do not watch, but others in the household do) and it really looked far too chewed up to be a “controlled” crash.

          As long as a helicopter do not run head first into something, and have enough altitude for the pilot to react, said pilot can uncouple the rotor form the engine and have some control of the descent. This is referred to as auto-rotation.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Wash your mouth out. Interior Minister was head of the Azovs and the Interior Ministry since the Maidan coup has been full of Banderites and has been the designer/enforcer of anti-ethnic Russian policies.

          1. Maxwell Johnston

            I’m not aware that Monastyrsky had any links with the Azov crowd. His CV shows that he had a civilian legal career and only entered politics in 2019 (together with Zelensky), and became Minister of Internal Affairs in summer 2021 (replacing the long-serving and very shady Arsen Avakov). Call me naive, but it looks like Zelensky inserted a loyal outsider into a deeply corrupt ministry with the mission of cleaning it up or at least getting it under control. Yenin’s CV shows a more traditional government background, but also says that he spoke three foreign languages fluently (not including Russian, which I’m sure he spoke as well). That’s not to say they were boy scouts, but these were not stupid men. And now they’re dead, which makes me wonder cui bono.

        3. Robert Gray

          > [I]nterior minister (Monastyrsky) and his deputy (Yenin) had … intelligent faces. They look OK
          > to me, and I believe that by that age you pretty much have the face that you deserve
          [emphasis added].

          First of all, let’s note that you use George Orwell’s line without attribution. Worse, you get it significantly wrong. Orwell put the determining age at 50. These men were both only in their early 40s. You are short-changing them out of nearly 20% of their face-chiseling life experience, specifically what is probably the most determining of Orwell’s cumulative five decades. I for one have to wonder what kind of Dorian Gray* nightmare these Azov guys saw if/when they ever dared to examine their conscience.

          (* unlike G.O.’s quip, I think we can agree that this is obvious, no?)

  2. Carla

    Re: Eating One US fish — Rather concerning that the research was done from 2013 and 2015, and the levels of PFAS contaminating US freshwater fish are being reported in 2023, seems to me.

    1. Louis Fyne

      In my opinion, any mother thinking of breastfeeding her kid(s) should get a blood test done first for PFAS, phalates, and other contaminants. Though I doubt many (most?) insurance plans will pay for it.

      Just seeing kids and their parents over the years…My hypothesis is that the conventional wisdom of “breastfeeding is best” is wrong—-enough moms have enough contaminants that tainted breast milk is a public health issue

      1. Carla

        Everyone should see the 2019 film “Dark Waters.” It was the last movie we saw in a theatre, back in Feb. 2020. It was only in town for a couple of weeks before DuPont squelched it. Just searched and Duck Duck Go showed it as being available on Netflix, but when I clicked on the link, the page I got noted: “Oh no! This title currently isn’t available to watch in your country.” What a surprise…

        Anyhow, if you can rent, stream it or buy it, it’s a vital piece of film-making and not too badly Hollywood-ized from the NYT magazine article that “inspired” it, which I had also read when it came out:

          1. ChiGal

            the documentary Seaspiracy which is on Netflix is also a must-see. very powerful expose of the fishing industry. This is from Wikipedia:

            The film explores environmental issues affecting oceans, including plastic pollution, ghost nets and overfishing,[2] and argues that commercial fisheries are the main driver of marine ecosystem destruction.[3] The film rejects the concept of sustainable fishing and criticises several marine conservation organisations, including the Earth Island Institute and its dolphin safe label[4] and the sustainable seafood certifications of the Marine Stewardship Council.[5] It also criticises efforts by organisations to reduce household plastic, contrasting their impact with that of ghost nets.[6] It accuses these initiatives of being a cover-up for the environmental impact of fishing and corruption in the fishing industry.[7][8] Seaspiracy concludes by supporting marine reserves and for ending fish consumption.[9]

        1. Michael

          and read the book Four Fish from 2011

          “”Acclaimed author of American Catch and The Omega Princple and life-long fisherman, Paul Greenberg takes us on a journey, examining the four fish that dominate our menus: salmon, sea bass, cod, and tuna.

          Investigating the forces that get fish to our dinner tables, Greenberg reveals our damaged relationship with the ocean and its inhabitants. Just three decades ago, nearly everything we ate from the sea was wild. Today, rampant overfishing and an unprecedented biotech revolution have brought us to a point where wild and farmed fish occupy equal parts of a complex marketplace.””

        2. Bob

          Cleaning things up is possible. At one point the Hudson River was polluted beyond belief. There was Sturgeon shellfish and even whales with be found in the upper part of the Hudson River. Then with population growth and manufacturing the river was destroyed. The color of the river depended on what color automobiles were being painted that day. Waste water was directly pumped into the water. After multiple years of multiple tries the river gradually began to change and improve in quality. Some with the sea life is coming back. Things are possible just takes a lot of work.

          1. Carla

            Bob, if you’ve got a solution to PFAS contamination, please share with Erin Brocovitch and any other environmental activists or scientists you can find.

          2. Andrew

            Pete Seeger, that dirty- commie- hippie- freak, put a lot of effort into cleaning up the Hudson river with The River Keepers organization. One of the most inspiring environmental success stories I know of. I think statues and memorials should be erected for the guy, although I think he would disagree; A truly great and humble man .

            1. Luckless Pedestrian

              I grew up, as if, in Poughkeepsie. I recall a grade school trip out onto the river featuring Seeger and the sloop Clearwater, IIRC. I remember it being a lot of fun.

            1. britzklieg


              “Stream thousands of films for free, thanks to the generous support of your public library or university.”

    2. Sibiryak

      The total PFAS level in the freshwater fish was 278 times higher than what has been found in commercially sold fish , the study said.

      What accounts for that fact?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Freshwater fish, which generally = river caught, in the US really is risky. Lotta mercury.

        Commercial fish is ocean fish and maybe Great Lakes (like walleye, which is a great fish).

        Although 70% of tilapia is from China and supposedly from pretty polluted waters too. And I would not trust claims of tilapia being from somewhere else.

        1. Questa Nota

          Fish Farm – a phrase that didn’t make sense upon first hearing, and has since rotted.

          Tilapia isn’t on my shopping list but does make me ponder reliability scores for provisioners. That favorite grocer seems reliable, as one link in the supply chain, advertising sales of wild-caught salmon and other fish.

          In elementary school, the cafeteria had fish sticks on the menu each Friday. Who knows what goes into those! Kinda like sausage, you don’t want to see the, er, manufacturing process.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            Pollock, a cheaper cousin of cod and used for those cross “crab sticks,” was used for a long time. I don’t know if it still is.

          2. griffen

            Former manager in a bank had a saying about these topics, called it crab with a “K”. We would look this up on the interwebs to see what exactly went into most processed seafood “products” like the ubiquitous fish sticks.

        2. Alice X

          I’m just downriver from you. As I am sure you are aware, there has been a PFAS alert for the Huron River for some time. Despite warnings I still see people fishing the river.

          And what will happen when the dioxane plume hits the river?

        3. IM Doc

          Two years ago, we installed large ground level water systems in one of our greenhouses. There is now a large enough tank that is about 5 feet deep. It very much acts as a heat sink in the greenhouse trapping heat during the day and releasing it at night. Thankfully, I have only taken an inadvertent bath four times. We have about 20-30 tilapia at any one time in the tank. They multiply like rats so keeping them thinned down has been a constant issue. We have plenty of fish for the neighbors for sure. All excess fish carcasses and guts are whacked down into mush and buried around the orchard trees and roses and perennial big flowers like peonies. An analog to fish oil you get in the nursery but completely free as compared to the ridiculous prices they charge for that stuff in the nursery these days. If I had to buy the amount of stuff that we use from the nursery, I would be bankrupt. The tilapia make ok meat and when killed and eaten fresh taste infinitely better than the store version.

          My wife refuses to kill and prepare them but she has all kinds of awesome recipes with the meat. It is not the best fish in the world to eat but it works well enough and I am fairly sure when grown this way does not have a lot of poisoning issues. It adds another hour or two to my work every week but oh well – I work all the time in the gardens and greenhouses and orchards all the time anyway – what is another hour or two? It is worth it for another source of protein that seems to be ever-producing and very inexpensive and safe and clean.

      2. BeliTsar

        Used to eat catfish, from something called Chartiers Creek, in McKees Rocks, PA. French, British, Mingo & Shawnee commanders & folks like Boone & Girty all swore this was the prettiest place they’d seen (in the 1750s). Years passed & my girlfriend ran out to drag me to watch 60 Minutes. Folks around Perry Como & Bobby Vinton’s hometown were dying from radium watch-dial painters use of night-soil to fertilize gardens. PCB, PCC, bituminous mine tailing, strontium, mystery waste from Shippingport, beryllium, arsenic & BFI recontouring strip mines for SUPER RICH folks’ Western Pennsylvania Conservancy reclamation. The runway foam/ global developmental delay story & BP destroying the Gulf, came later later.

      3. zagonostra

        I was visiting family camping on Martha’s Vineyard two summers ago with my sister. While walking downtown and looking for lunch I saw one of those “A” shaped chalkboard advertised Mahi Mahi for a really good price. We went inside and I told the waitress that I would have the fish special. When it came and I tasted it I knew right away it was Tilapia. When the waitress came back I asked her if she was sure it was Mahi, she adamantly said it was. I told her I grew in FL and knew what Mahi Mahi tasted like and she just stared at me stupidly.

        On the way out I took my shirt sleeve and erased the chalk advertisement much to my sister’s dismay. My kids are always embarrassed and hate when I tell staff, politely, that their eggs benedict is not runny or that their fish is not as advertised.

    3. Craig H.

      I gradually quit eating fish after accumulated bad news but I like eating it very much and would be very interested in a reliable Consumer Reports type service on fish safety. Does anybody have recommendations for finding such data?

      1. Louis Fyne

        No. You just have to trust the supplier/retailer. And I’m skeptical that retailers-suppliers test for anything beyond the bare minimum.

        *Generally* (a) wild from the ocean is best and (b) fish that are lower on the food chain. (and obviously this ignores the ecological aspect)

        One is probably better off getting your own blood tests done and if something is amiss, modifying your diet accordingly.

    4. Louis Fyne

      This is one of the most infuriating things about today’s Democrats—even with total control of the federal government, they couldn’t even do a basic thing like overhaul food safety-monitoring standards.

      I get it Orange Man bad. Now fix my food chain.

      1. flora

        an aside:

        Ah, FDA and food safety (part of their expressed mission).

        Did you know, for example, the FDA requires notice of amount of salt and fat in packaged foods and requires those amounts %’s to within a certain range to receive the “FDA Health” stamp of approval? Sounds good, right. The one thing the FDA doesn’t account for in the “healthy range” is sugar. How many “healthy” foods with low fat content had the fat content replaced with sugar for flavor? The label might say 50% sugar, for instance, but that won’t be factored into the FDA “healthy food” stamp calculation.

        And then there’s the Food Pyramid for healthy eating. The base of the pyramid and most of one’s calories should come from bread, rice, pasta, noodles, and starchy veg like potatoes. (Any wonder why people are so much “fluffier” now than 30-40 years ago?) The FDA is as captured by big food and big sugar as by big pharma. / end rant

        latest update, they’re thinking about adding sugar as part of the calculation. :

        1. Carla

          The U.S. federal requirement to state the national origin of food products (fresh produce, meats and packaged foods) was removed some time ago. I really miss that!

      2. Jason Boxman

        Heh. ProPublica did a story recently about how thoroughly broken FDA Food is. They straight up ignore Congressional requests and statute and seem to refuse to actually do anything. I don’t know why leadership isn’t in jail.


        A POLITICO investigation based on more than 50 interviews finds the FDA is failing to meet American consumers’ expectations on food safety and nutrition.

      3. Carla

        @Louis Fyne — Dems and Repubs all work for the same people: the people with the money. The fix is in, and they ain’t gonna fix anything WE want fixed.

  3. Louis Fyne

    Maybe UK readers can chime in—-but the difference between the UK and Scottish positions is relatively minor

    —Westminster is very unwise to challenge Scotland’s capacity to decide—

    Scotland: Transgender kids should be able to change biological sex at age 16 and 17.
    Westminster: Transgender kids have to wait until age 18 per UK law.
    Scotland: This is the hill democracy dies on!

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’m pretty sure that Westminster would argue that Scotland lost their capacity to decide when they voted to Remain in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

    2. Vandemonian

      The real problem with the new Scottish legislation is that it allows a man to acquire a gender recognition certificate certifying that he is a woman simply on his own say so. This raises the possibility of a convicted rapist who is a biological male changing his sex to female in order to be housed in a women’s prison.

      Although Westminster shouldn’t be too concerned about a vigorous response from ScotGov. Here’s a summary of their progress towards independence:

      1. Gawr Gura

        Oh my God, can you imagine how terrible things would be if prison inmates started abusing other inmates? Then the regular guards would have nothing at all to do. I’m glad things aren’t like that now.

        1. semper loquitur

          Interesting reasoning, are you implying that because a problem already exists creating conditions for those problems to become more extensive is the proper course?

        2. hunkerdown

          PMCs love to develop means of torturing people more effectively, and even better if they can convince the inmates of capitalist society to do it to themselves.

      2. anna

        I wish Yves or some other writer here would publish more clearly their rough stance on this trans stuff here, whether I agree with them or not (maybe they have, I’ve only been reading NC for maybe 8 years or so).

        I think thinking and writing seriously on the topic might improve the tenor of the discussion here. As it stands, it seems like these occasional links are just little orts of chum tossed to the comments section. People who fancy themselves to have thought about the topic recite the most superficial understandings of the issue.

        I got frustrated by it the other day because I usually find what I deem to be independent thought down here in the comments, but the trans-related discussion is a weird deviation from that. It feels like I’m on some other, dumber website when that topic arises. I suspect it’s because of the demographics of this site. But whatever reason, I would love to hear Yves’s or Lambert’s or Nick’s considered take on this stuff

        1. Wukchumni

          I have no qualms with trans issues, only that the Donkey Show uses latter-day berdaches in a manner that disgusts me.

          Elizabeth Warren stated that she’d only consider somebody trans for a cabinet position if elected President, WTF?

          1. anna

            yeah, totally. I entirely agree, but I think that should clearly be a WFT Elizabeth Warren thing, not a WTF trans people thing that it so reliably turns into

            1. Wukchumni

              The Donkey Show segued from losing Roe vs Wade to trans issues as if it was the only thing that mattered, and it may matter to you, but not to 99.9% of the citizenry.

              1. JBird4049

                I think that these issues mean something to more than 0.01%. However, economic issues mean much, much more to many, many more than the 0.01%, but they ain’t ever, at all, in any real way, help with those economic issues; the worse things get economically, the more those issues like abortion, trans rights, and guns become important to the Donkettes.

                To restate this, the more people I see living on the streets, the more the Donkeys (and the Elephants, too) are serious about all rights other than economic.

        2. semper loquitur

          Perhaps you should try to refute some of the claims being made. As a long-time reader, and one who is generally approving if I read your comment correctly, you are well aware that critical discussion is one of the goals of the site. Make an argument.

          1. anna

            I agree that it’s a goal of this site, but the trans discussion is such an outlier in my estimation, full of people with no immediate experience and knowledge of trans people repeating media-driven narratives, attacking effigies, and mocking weirdos. It’s as if the site had a collection of people citing the most vile stereotypes of black people and repeating worries about the ‘knock out game’ or something every time the topic of black people arose.

            My argument, such as it is coming from a regular boring person with no background in rhetoric, is that in the last decade or so (suspiciously directly after the legalization of gay marriage in the US) media sensationalism of trans people (both critical and praising) has skyrocketed. Savvy media consumers should be skeptical of this trend. Trans people have been in locker rooms and bathrooms and playing sports for decades before we became a culture war topic to be argued over.

            There are millions of trans people in US and we go about our lives unremarked upon and under the radar until someone wants to play thought experiment and spin out scary hypotheticals and one-off scenarios. The worries are unfounded and exaggerated. Me and my contemporaries date and compete with and defecate with the general population already and all the time. Being made out to be novel and special threats is ignorant just as much as being made out to be novel and special angels (like the Elizabeth Warren example)

            In short: we’re not like we’re portrayed through our ubiquitous and infernal corporate screens.

            I typed this out quickly, there’s more to say, but it seems futile in the face of ‘but what if a deluded man with a p*nis pretended to be a woman to gain access to the women’s restroom?!?’. If that’s the level of conversation, which it largely is here, talking in terms of ‘arguments’ is playing the wrong game.

            1. flora

              I agree with almost everything you write. Almost. I agree that probably most trans-women are just living their lives, even boring lives, not want to bother or hurt anyone. Most. You use the word “we” as if it encompassed the entire self-proclaimed trans-woman universe instead of the set of trans-women who are like you. That’s fine.

              My current objection is the apparent rising number of scammers and the lowering or even elimination of guidelines and guardrails about the legal standards to make the legal claim.

              2 years living “as”+ other various medical adjustments to qualify to make a legal claim gives a certain level dedication to both protecting “real” (forgive the term) trans-woman AND women who rightfully worry about male opportunists declaring themselves for a month or two + no medical interventions just to gain access to womens sports and scholarships/sponsors, or to womens private spaces for their own gratifications they wouldn’t qualify for under more rigorous guidelines designed to weed out the bad actors. Eliminating or reducing legal guidelines to the point of as-good-as eliminated sound’s like (again, forgive the term) eliminating the serious based on experiences of women since the beginning of time, and also open season on womens and girls private spaces, even on regular trans-womens spaces. / My 2 cents.

              You asked me yesterday if I know any trans-women, and the answer is yes, I know two. They’re both fine. One is another computer tech person and we have great talks about tech stuff. One is a fashion plate who’s always suggesting I dress better. I can do without the fashion criticism. I’m a techie. / ;)

              1. anna

                I also find your thoughts here sensible and compelling. I disagree with some of them, but so much the better.

              2. Procopius

                I’ve never understood the fear of people with dangly parts wanting to go into women’s restrooms. I admit I haven’t been in one since I was five years old (80 years ago), but my memory is that the commodes are enclosed in stalls with doors on them. Doors with locks. On the other hand, here in Thailand, men’s rooms are usually stocked with women cleaners, while the urinals are out in the open. Nobody worries about the women seeing something naughty, but I’ve seen a lot of trans women (they’re a separate sex here) who may not have had the operation yet but I would be uncomfortable if they were using a urinal near mine.

            2. Danco

              As a fellow long time NCer, I’m a tad bemused by the what if-fery on display at times here, seems decidedly unevolved compared to the majority of the rest of the commentary. Definitely more than meets the eye driving the whole affair, perhaps it’s just good old divide and rule shenanigans from our lords and masters – The seas are dying and the Arctic is on fire – quick look over there at that person different to you, it’s important you have an opinion on them.

            3. cfraenkel

              Your very first sentence is an example of why some of us find this whole argument contrived and unhelpful: “full of people with no immediate experience” says (to me) ‘unless you are trans, shut up’. That is how you’re coming across, and not a particularly welcoming opening to civil discussion. (Ending with insults doesn’t help either)

              1. anna

                by immediate experience, I mean knowing trans people interpersonally as friends, relatives, acquaintances, coworkers, etc, not being them. Sorry for the ambiguity. I too really don’t like the ‘unless you are trans shut up’ stuff and definitely don’t hold those views myself

                1. Anonymous

                  I think you are making unwarranted assumptions about the experiences of the NC commentariat. Are you seriously suggesting that we should detail our trans connections in order to prove standing to comment on the subject?

                  I personally have trans family, friends, and associates but it is NOT something I would bring up in discussion without their explicit permission and encouragement. I am submitting this comment anonymously because I do not wish any inadvertent doxxing. Birth information is theirs to choose to share, not mine.

            4. semper loquitur

              How would you know who knows who? There is a diversity of voices here. I caution against assuming too much. NC cuts across a lot of boundaries. As for mocking weirdos, well, as weirdo myself I can assure you I have found NC to be welcoming.

              The primary concerns I’ve seen expressed here about the trans-identified is not their existence but rather the encroachment of the trans-identified male into biological women’s spaces. Women’s bathrooms, women’s sports, and women’s rape crisis centers exist for reasons: women are physically weaker then men and many men sexually predate upon women. Women are, by sheer necessity, cautious around men. Here are some numbers:


              From the looks of it, men should be careful around men for that matter.

              Men are, I’m sad to say, a stressor for many women simply because they exist. Having women-only spaces is an imperfect and hard fought for attempt to address that danger and that discomfort. So discussing concerns about would-be rapists masquerading as trans-women to gain access to women’s safe spaces is dead on target. Or being imprisoned with them. Or having them show up at an all women rape-victim’s Meetup looking for vulnerable marks.

              And another thing. Since you are asking us to look “outside the box” in determining our positions on the issue, have you yourself gone through the trouble of talking to biological women about their concerns when you arrive at the position that such concerns are unwarranted? Beyond the echo chamber of social media?

              As for comparing criticism of the trans-identified with racist claims against blacks, that’s a hollow claim. Here are some statistics from Gallup:

              “Each year since 2017, 15% of U.S. adults have indicated they were victimized by crime in the past year. A subset of that, between 1% and 3%, have reported being the victim of a violent crime.”

              So around 1 in 6 adults were the victim of crime, and a fraction of that was violent. A further fraction would be black on white crime. Compare that to the number of women who have almost or actually been raped by a man from above, 1 in 5. So people worrying about women being assaulted by men have far, far and away more ground to stand on than someone worrying about being attacked by a black kid.

              It’s true that trans-identified men face dangers and stressors as well. That’s a problem that must be addressed. Not at the expense of women however. The solution, in my view, are more bathrooms, separate prison wings, and more sports leagues.

              But I think there is a deeper reason many trans-identified men covet women’s spaces. It’s not just all Lia Thomas narcissist types tired of losing to their peers. A separate space for women reminds them that they are, in fact, not women. It’s a kind of colonization to affirm their own beliefs.

              As for the trans-identified being used as pawns in a larger game, there I agree totally. There are powerful and wealthy interests involved in the promotion of trans “therapies” for children. Big Pharma, medical and counseling organizations, and a handful of billionaires spend big bucks to disseminate their agenda into academia, the media, classrooms, and the corporate world. They fund “activists” to essentially shout down and smear opposing points of view. I’d love for someone to do an investigation of their influence on social media users, I suspect there are professional “firestarters” who whip those groups into frenzies and goad them into paranoid states.

              The goal? Money, of course. For a handful of powerful men, it’s also about exerting their delusions upon others. But I have a gut feeling it’s also an enormous social experiment. It’s an assault on consensus reality.

        3. lambert strether

          > I wish Yves or some other writer here

          Assignments, however adroitly made, are against site policies (top menu. Read them).

          1. flora

            Thank you, Lambert.
            This is a current and imo important topic.
            The question “what is a woman” comes into play here. That is the wrong question, imo. (yes, this is still on topic.) The question “what is a trans-woman” is the important question. Is it only an immediate self-declaration, something more than simple declaration, how much more, for how long, and why? etc. This is not an assignment to anyone. It’s only a question. / ;)

            1. flora

              shorter: the law is important here. the law rests on definitions – which can change and be added to over time.

              1. flora

                And going on too long: When the US Constitution was written I, a woman, and all non-white people were not included in “we the people” as political actors. Now, we are included. But not because we’ve all been re-defined as free white men of property and wealth. (This is the genius of the US Constitution’s general enlightenment philosophy working over time and social changes.) / ;) OK, I’ll stop now.

        4. Yves Smith Post author

          This is an assignment and a violation of our house Policies.

          This is a finance and economics website. The commentariat choses to discuss this topic and we try to have as light handed a moderation policy as possible. I put up a link that discussed the UK v. Scotland row solely as a UK constitutional issue and its potential to give a new jolt of life to the lately pretty dead Scotland independence movement.

          I am shutting down this topic entirely. Your demands and your attacks on the bona fides of commenters who are vastly better established are negative value added. And we have too many discussions like this one.

    3. Dandelion

      No, under the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, a person can receive a Gender Recognition Certificate only after 2 years living in the required gender and with two doctors providing medical approval. The new Scots law dispenses with any official approval and shortens the span of living in required gender to three months. It is Self-I.d.

      Lady Haldane, in a court case where women sued the Scots government over their changing the definition of “women” to include males who self-identify as women, ruled that receipt of a Gender Recognition Certificate changed legal sex for all intents and purposes.

      The dispute is over this legal change of sex interacts with the 2010 Equality Act, which defines “women” as female and in its protections of sex as a legal class provides for certain exceptions wherein female-only space, female-only sports, and female-only jobs are allowed (for instance, in the provision of rape counseling to women.) However, the law also provides that holders of a Gender Recognition Certificate may, in some circumstances but not all, be allowed into those female-only spaces and female-only jobs. For instance, under the Equality Act, holders of a Gender Recognition Certificate, if male, are automatically placed in female prisons. (If female are still nonetheless placed in female prisons.)

      The 2004 act and the 2010 act are inextricably entwined, as the 2010 act provides legal protection on both the basis of sex and on the basis of gender reassignment. But the 2010 Act, under devolution, is “reserved law,” meaning the Scots government doesn’t have the power to alter it. Westminster claims that because the two laws are entwined, the Scots own version of the 2004 Act alters the 2010 Act.

      The real problem lies in the ambiguity of both the 2004 and 2010 laws, now that vocabulary has altered and now that, rather than the roughly 5000 transsexuals the 2004 law was intended to cover, per the Hansard documentation of debate around the law, the population now includes a much greater population of transgender individuals, with no real definition of what transition exactly means or even what gender identity is.

      Feminist groups state that allowing any male to declare himself a woman by living as a woman for 3 months (the law includes no definition as to what “living as a woman” means) and then paying five pounds vitiates women’s rights under the Equality Act.

      Scots government argues that the law is only bureaucratic procedure allowing a transitioner to acquire documentation in their new name and sex.

      The Lady Haldane decision threw a spanner in the works, in that it clearly states that a GRC affects the provisions of the Equality Act and came only weeks before Holyrood voted.

      There are many suspicions that Sturgeon knew passage of this law would provoke conflict with Westminster and whipped for it on that basis, in order to increase Scots determination for independence.

    4. c_heale

      The actual problem Richard highlights has little to do with the effects of the legislation.

      The issue is Scotland and England have separate legal systems. England’s overruling of a specific law is a power grab by England. One which is likely to further alienate Scottish people from the UK.

  4. timbers

    “After years of denials, the FBI has finally admitted that Seth Rich is directly linked to the “hack” of the Democratic National Committee email servers in 2016.” This will be added to list that US media will ignore, like Russia winning in Ukraine. Anyways my former Blue friends told me is was propaganda in part because they found a FOX News report about it 6 years ago.

    1. Stephen V

      Another angle here:
      The FBI had yet another technique, heretofore undisclosed, for hiding records from FOIA requesters.

      The second revelation is particularly noteworthy. The existence of a forensic report on the contents of Seth Rich’s work laptop has been something of a “holy grail” among those who question the official narrative about Seth Rich and his possible involvement in leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks. Renowned journalist Sy Hirsh first disclosed his knowledge of the report in early 2017, see Rusty Weiss, “Journalist Seymour Hersh Claims Seth Rich Was Wikileaks Source,” August 2, 2017.
      Another spook specialty! Buried laptops.

      1. Questa Nota

        When laptops aren’t being buried, other evidence is sequestered due to the evergreen Ongoing Investigation excuse Family-blogging Family-blogger rationale. Then people are told that said evidence will not be available in several decades.

        Such blatant lies are signals to the lapdog reporters stenographers erstwhile dogged reporters to cease and desist. Nothing to see here, move along, pay no attention to that sociopath behind that burning curtain.

        Hersh and others are marginalized and their output restricted to, gasp, foreign outlets when available at all. You are free to have a free press, if you can find it, like you can have a republic if you can keep it. Being informed takes on an aerobic aspect.

    2. Skip Intro

      The final nail in Russiagate is hammered home. This is a big year so far:

      1) The Trump surveillance was based on lies
      2) There were no russian bots
      3) The Clinton emails were leaked by an American, not hacked by a Russian.

      1. digi_owl

        And it will not matter, as all eyes are on Ukraine and Taiwan.

        Likely the remains of Hoffa clutching a taped confession of the JFK shooters could be unearthed and nobody would notice.

      2. jrkrideau

        How many people in the USA have heard the news? I, still, often see remarks that indicate that it is still an article of faith with many in the USA.

    3. pjay

      Yes, it’s an old and very familiar story.

      First, despite the suspicious circumstances, inconsistencies, and unanswered questions, the official narrative is asserted as Fact, case closed. Anyone who questions it is a Q-Anon level *conspiracy theorist* who is doing to Seth Rich’s parents what Alex Jones did to the parents of Sandy Hook victims. So shut up you despicable Russian trolls!

      Nevertheless, hints at a deeper story continue to “leak” out from various sources – like Hersch, William Binney and the VIPS analysts, even Assange himself. These continue to be ignored, marginalized, “conspiracy theoried,” etc.

      Gradually, bits and pieces of evidence see the light of day for various reasons; an FBI agent with a conscience, an intrepid investigative reporter with a FOIA request and infinite patience, etc. Perhaps much of the story is eventually uncovered. But by the time this happens it will make no difference. It will be memory-holed by mainstream media and academia regardless. Maybe it will be discussed in one of those alternative “hidden history” works in a decade or so, where future “conspiracy theorists” can learn about our interesting times.

      A very familiar story.

      1. Skip Intro

        Matt Taibbi recently called it “The Great Nevermind” — The process of huge scandals just getting vanished, From Nordstream, to Hunter’s laptop, to Russiagate, and so many more.

  5. Wukchumni

    Après moi, le déluge…

    The South Fork of the Kaweah River in Sequoia NP had both the 2020 Castle Fire & 2021 KNP Fire extensively burn both sides of the canyon for close to a mile in altitude on high, incinerating large parts of the 3 Sequoia groves there.

    Ladybug campground was utterly wrecked by a flood of boulders, trees and debris flows from a series of atmospheric river storms the past few weeks.

    A few miles walk above the campground, is the wintering over spot for ladybugs, there have been times i’ve had to turn around as each step forward i’d stomp on a hundred of them among the hundred thousand so assembled.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Nice region that you live in – when it’s not trying to kill you like with those boulders you showed us on your roads. That campground is a mess and maybe it should be abandoned and moved elsewhere. Trying to rebuild it would cost a fortune. Don’t blame you for not wanting to crush so many ladybugs underfoot. Don’t think that I could do it myself.

      1. Wukchumni

        The campground will get fixed probably as its the trailhead for a couple of trails that frankly few use, thankfully .

        When I’m in the Garfield Grove it might as well be mine as the only other people around are my buddies hiking with me.

    2. JP

      The ladybug swarms are amazing. I have found them from 3200 to 5000 ft elevation on the Tule. My neighbors who live right on the river were not here for the 1997 high water. They were pretty nervous even though the river didn’t threaten their houses. The power of the river is awe inspiring when you are that close. Like laying down between the tracks when the train thunders by.

      In 97 we awakened in the middle of the night due to the thumping shaking the house. We grabbed a flashlight and went to the bridge to check out the river. The water was very close to the underside of the bridge and I estimated the velocity at 30+ mph. We realized the thumping was the torrent rolling the big boulders. My wife pointed out that the bridge was shaking and maybe we should go back to bed. Last weeks water was not that high

      1. Wukchumni

        This series of storms was powerful, but nothing close to the flood of record in 1955 which had flows of 100,000 cfs versus 23,000 cfs this go round

        That said, there wasn’t extensive burn scars, advantage present day storm.

        There is so many ladybugs getting it on that one time I hiked in a boom box and played Barry White for the assembled masses

        1. JP

          There seem to be good records and photos of the 55 flood for the Kaweah. Probably no one living in Porterville could read or write back then. Just kidding, but everyone I knew that would remember is dead. I do remember going to a restaurant in Success valley with my parents and their friends. Old Darwin took me to the window looking over the river and said take a good look, by this time next year it will be under water. The dam was completed in 58 so it was probably 56 or 57.

          The 50’s and 60’s had some pretty wet years. That was when my friend Stan Barns was Boswell’s water engineer. There is a good map of the Tulare Co drainages in this report
          Nobody understood this map as well as Stan.

          The thing to remember is that the central valley was covered by a huge lake. At one time a boat could make its way from the San Francisco bay all the way to Bakersfield. That lake is gone. There is nothing left of it.

            1. Wukchumni

              A most excellent story of how 1 man gained control of all of the rivers flowing from the western slope in the southern Sierra, and the 1969 (the winter of record in our neck of the woods) flooding, stopped by Boswell and another Ag majordomo buying up junk cars to build an ad hoc dam!

      2. Raymond Sim

        I’ve encountered aggregations of maybe a few thousand ladybugs along Putah Creek and Tule Canal. My dogs would find them and signal me over to admire them. Central Valley riparian jungle habitat never struck me as a great place for overwintering, but what do I know?

        1. Wukchumni

          I’ve never seen the vast quantities or anything close to it, north of Ladybug Camp, wonder why?

  6. zagonostra

    >Sen. Bernie Sanders Delivers Remarks on the Working Class – C-SPAN

    I could not get past the first 5 minutes. Multiple online searches for written transcript yielded nothing.

    Bernie Sanders is someone I supported. I donated to his presidential bids and went to his rallies, and tried to rally support for his campaigns, now he grates my nerves every time I listen to him. I know this is not a rational response, but it’s like a relationship that was once filled with promise and you were thrilled to hear his/her voice is now a shrill screech that you just want to say “go away, I no longer want anything to do with you…”

      1. Karl

        Look at all those young faces in the crowd applauding, like this message is a revelation, a new generation seduced by the angry prophet. “Five things we don’t discuss enough in Congress….” then reprises his big hits about the decline of the middle class, inequality, the power of the oligarchs…. Still relevant, but it’s all blah, blah, blah…. (as Greta would say).

        1. Avalon Sparks

          He’s still waking people up, especially young people who have no idea how much better it was 30-40 years ago for most people. I think that’s about all he has the power, political or otherwise, to do. I will always support and respect Bernie Sanders, as he truly is one of the only representatives with a moral compass. We need 500 more like him.

    1. nippersdad

      You are not alone. If he ever wants my attention again refunds will be involved as the price of admission. On the porch. For maybe twenty minutes..

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      You are not alone. I feel exactly the same way. His support of the war machine only makes things worse.

    3. pjay

      Please add me to this list. Perhaps some Sandernista who reads NC can pass the word up the ladder that, at least for some of us, Bernie has undermined a lifetime of good work by his support for the War Machine – and by this I include Russiagate and Putin derangement as well as their culmination in the Ukraine debacle.

      1. Cassandra

        I agree, and would add his deafening silence re Julian Assange to your list. Such a shame that he did not retire after his heart attack; it would have been a perfect excuse to withdraw while he still retained a few shreds of his reputation.

    4. ChiGal

      that is how I feel about Obama, can’t bear to hear those sonorous cadences that once gave me hope.

      Bernie not so much.

    5. semper loquitur

      I cannot bear the sight of him. I fell for his spiel in 2016 and was angered by his defenestration by Hillary and her mob. Then I watched him do exactly nothing with all that but capitulate. Even if he is cut off from real power, he has the platform to broadcast the crimes of power. He is, as Dore has pointed out, afraid of being “Nadered” although he has nothing to lose by being so. He is a sheepdog, a distraction. He is grotesque.

    6. mrsyk

      “I know this is not a rational response, but it’s like a relationship that was once filled with promise and you were thrilled to hear his/her voice is now a shrill screech that you just want to say “go away, I no longer want anything to do with you…”
      I will always love Bernie, but I too feel the same.

    7. Jason Boxman

      He’s been dead to me since he endorsed Biden. And I can’t get my memory of his emphatically saying “Trump is the most dangerous president in history” or whatever out of my mind in his Brooklyn accent whenever I see his name, ugh.

    8. John k

      I’m really disappointed, too. Only pol I’ve ever donated to.
      But he’s an old guy that did his best in a very corrupt system and was mugged for his pains.

    9. juno mas

      Well, being disgusted with Bernie IS a rational response. Especially to young voters (essentially, his Base). US politics is hardball. If you’re going to lead your Base onto the field, you need to pitch high and tight and slide with spikes up. It’s more than words. And it’s really not a game, it’s do or die. Existential as the Russians say!

      1. Copeland

        I think it has become more like: If you dare to do (anything good for the 99%), then you die, and Bernie decided not to do, and not to die.

        I wonder how many of us, if we found ourselves in his position, would have done anything differently?

        1. LawnDart

          Umm… there’s quite a few of us on here who’ve put their lives on the line, directly, at immediate risk for others, out of principle or other reasons.

          Even as jaded as we are, some still do so or would again, according to circumstance.

          Sanders betrayed the principles he spoke of, repeatedly, and betrayed the people who live by these– quite literally making a mockery of us.

          So you have to be dead to prove your commitment? How convenient.

          1. Copeland

            Um, dead as in politically or professionally dead, not literally dead…as in careerism is what he’s up to?

            1. Copeland

              Adding, and have you found yourself in Sanders’ sweet, sweet financial position, and chosen to give it all up?

  7. griffen

    Disgraced NY GOP representative Santos, this individual has zero shame. People cheat and fudge their resume, that is nothing new. But this dude has taken to lying as his primary source of commercial or professional “success stories”. The hubris of Santos is just something to behold.

    1. Wukchumni

      A con man saw that he could work his magic by being everything everybody wanted him to be and now he’s on the small business & science committee, the Pachyderms cognizant that if they ousted him it would super-ostracize their slim reedy margin.

        1. nycTerrierist

          ok its a tough field — too many qualify as worst

          Biden, Manchin, Santos

          a bipartisan pox on them all!

      1. Carolinian

        Oh I’d say our honorable Members of Congress do things that are way lower. Doesn’t Santos fit right in? Perhaps like Trump he is being attacked more for being so blatant about it.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Yves used the word “feral” yesterday for the holdouts on the Speaker votes. I believe she’s used it before, but the feral republicans offend the DC denizens who have mastered tricks such as shake and roll over.

        2. mrsyk

          He does indeed seem to be qualified to serve in present day congress. Lying, thieving, plain old making sh#t up, that’s quite an act you’ve got there. What do you call it?

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Yes it does.

        Giuliani’s wife:

        In 1974 she graduated from St. Luke’s School of Nursing, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. As a registered nurse, young Judi spent only a few months at Sacred Heart Hospital, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She would never care for patients after that. She had other plans. At 19 she married Jeffrey Ross, a U.S. Surgical salesman six years her senior.

        In short order both Rosses were working in Charlotte, North Carolina, for U.S. Surgical (now part of Tyco Healthcare), which eventually grew into a billion-dollar enterprise marketing surgical staplers. Judi was excellent at her work, and earned $40,000 a year by the late 70s. But problems arose when animal-rights groups began investigating the way the company sold its products—problems recently pointed out by the New York press. U.S. Surgical used dogs in demonstrations to doctors and hospitals as part of its marketing plan.

        Every salesperson at U.S. Surgical was trained for six weeks with dogs at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, and that was really brutal,” explains a former employee. “They spent days and days with dogs, taking out the spleen or stomach or the lobe of a lung. Then if the dog started moaning or fidgeted, whoever was closest would push more sedative into him from the syringe. It was horrible. Then the dog would be killed with potassium chloride.”

        After training, the salespeople marketed the staplers to doctors, and, once again, in many cases large dogs were used, as they had organs comparable in size to those possessed by humans. “After the stapling, sometimes they’d put a big clamp above and below the staple lines of the dog, and fill [the area] with lots of fluid,” the ex-employee says. “It would fill up like a balloon, and the salesperson would say to the doctor, ‘See—it doesn’t leak!’ That’s how they marketed and sold the product.” (Some years ago, former C.E.O. Leon Hirsch defended the company’s practice of using dogs, claiming that there was no proper substitute.)

        New York Post had the same story with somewhat less lurid detail:

        1. nycTerrierist

          Horrible. Shaken to read about this torture

          (Won’t bother to ask how these crappy humans live with themselves)

          Point taken

    2. semper loquitur

      Here’s Jimmy Dore covering Tulsi Gabbard’s interview, err, BBQ pit grilling, of Santos re: his fabrications:

      The man is at least a sociopath, if not a full-blown psychopath. Whatever the case, he is a pathological liar. I know this much, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of Gabbard’s probing.

      Well, actually, upon reflection….

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        i love Gabbi – stopped what little watching of Colbert after his baiting of her when on his show – sycophant Colbert – jb

        1. Carolinian

          Yes Colbert who once attacked White House Correspondents as “stenographers to power.” Guess he decided if you can’t beat them join them. Or more likely he always was them.

    3. Mildred Montana

      >”People cheat and fudge their resume, that is nothing new.”

      Yeah, but here’s what happens to “people” if they are caught “cheating and fudging”: They’re called into the Human Resources office, asked about the discrepancies and, if unable to provide a satisfactory explanation, summarily dismissed and marched to the door by security. That’s what happens to “people”.

      What happens to politicians like George Santos? Well, apparently the best the duped voters in his district can hope for is to vote him out of office in two years. All the while, he enjoys the salary and perks of being a Congressman, the ill-gotten fruits of his fraudulence.

      The United States is indeed a nation of laws. Unfortunately it has two different codes. One for the likes of George Santos and one for the rest of us.

      1. Carolinian

        I believe he has said he will serve but not run again. Of course he may be lying about that but seems unlikely he would win in any case.

    4. CarlH

      Youtube is filled with videos of Biden lying through his teeth just like Santos, regarding getting arrested attempting to meet Mandela, marching in the Civil Rights Movement, his law school record, and cribbing entire sections of speeches from other politicians without attribute. It makes for really funny, if disturbing, watching. Santos and Biden are mirror images of each other. One is our President but I do not see or hear any outrage directed at him over his lies.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “EU bonds will not become a ‘safe asset’ – Germany and Co won’t let that happen”

    More so than you might think. Right now the EU is trying to twist their laws so that all those seized Russian assets can be actually taken and then given to the Ukraine – minus a few cuts for “fees and services” along the way. Lawyers, financial experts, market people are shouting don’t do it, it is a colossal mistake, it will blow up in your face but people like Ursula von der Leyen are going ahead anyway because they know better. So I ask you – if there were EU bonds, who would risk putting their money into them when the EU are demonstrating that their laws will not respect your money if they take a dislike to you. As it is, when those laws go into effect I would expect a great whoosh of foreign money fleeing the EU.

    1. Sibiryak

      … if there were EU bonds, who would risk putting their money into them when the EU are demonstrating that their laws will not respect your money if they take a dislike to you.


      Anyone confident that there is no reason “the EU” would ever take a dislike to them?

  9. YuShan

    “I assume I am in a microscopically small minority, but I hate that so many places want to get my e-mail address as a condition of seeing their content”

    Does anybody ever use their real email address for registrations then? I mostly use free disposable email addresses (for example and made up date of birth (if required).

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Some ask for verification and I don’t have time to set up new addresses to trash. The entire process is a tax on my time. I’d rather not have them claim me as a free subscriber and use

      1. t

        I don’t do this often, but it’s been years since I could do this without verification. On the plus side, it does seem that stores and restaurants have realized they need to allow “checkout as a guest.” Relentless push to download our app continues…

      2. Vandemonian

        For places that don’t send a confirmatory email, I sometimes try Works about half the time, including for the free community wifi in Paris in 2014.

      3. Keith Newman

        I only do phony email addresses to sign up to introductory offers when I really want a service. I’ve done it with Bloomberg a few times to get access to John Authurs ($2 per month for 3 months then $35, so I cancel after 3). But after a year or so he didn’t have much to say so I stopped. I occasionally do it for others for the same reason.
        Otherwise I don’t give my email to any site that wants it, other than services I do get (eg electricity, gas, banking). Contrary to Yves I do have the time but it’s still a pain and I can’t be bothered.

        1. britzklieg

          I use fake names/e mail when writing to Congress creeps, especially those who only receive messages from constituents. I’ll change a few numbers in their own office address, while using the right city and zip code to get the message through.

          One can be very creative with fake names. My favorite: Iyura Netanyu (say it fast…)

    2. RobertC

      For many sites using that webpage entry format, go to Print Preview and then click Simplify Page.

  10. zagonostra

    >Kissinger changes his position on Ukraine – RT

    I’m puzzled by this.

    “Before this war, I was opposed to the membership of Ukraine in NATO, because I feared it would start exactly the process that we have seen,” Kissinger said. “Now that this process has reached this level, the idea of a neutral Ukraine under these conditions is no longer meaningful.”

  11. The Rev Kev

    “What it would take for Apple to disentangle itself from China”

    There appears to be a lot of pressure to get American corporations like Apple to get out of China but if they did, I can guess what would happen next. So Apple abandons China, lets their leases on all those manufacturing facilities go and fires their workforce so that they can set up shop in places like Vietnam or Thailand or maybe even Tierra del Fuego. The following week a new Chinese corporation is formed in China called Orange. They take up the leases of those manufacturing facilities, rehire that workforce and all the profits go into R & D instead of going to Tim Cook’s piggy bank. Pretty soon a new line of mobiles comes out with better specs and cheaper prices putting Apple under severe financial pressure. So yes, you would be comparing Apples to Oranges.

      1. Late Introvert

        I do tech support for a college town senior center. The amount of iGarbage I have dealt with could fill a book. I am definitely not a fan.

        Every version of the devices is on purpose different. Swipes, buttons, settings, the actual apps themselves. Home button goes away, headphone jack goes away. My latest find was that if you are looking at a modern iPhone when the alarm goes off, it automagically turns the volume of the alarm way down, to like 10% – I had to look it up to realize there was even such a setting, and of course Assle defaults it to on without anyone knowing it.


        Having said that I have used Macs (desktops) ever since the late 80s, starting with the Mac Classic, w/B&W screen ~9 inches. For video and photos and audio, it is the best choice. I’m typing this on a 2014 Mini.

        But the iOS garbage makes me hate Apple.

    1. Karl

      WAPO editorial board says channels Condi Rice and Bob Gates: Ukraine needs help from Germany NOW. Why? ‘Cuz M1 Abrams are “not plausible”…..

      Although U.S. M1 Abrams tanks are not plausible — too heavy, costly to operate and too maintenance-dependent — French Leclercs and Italian Arietes might be. The best and most numerous option are German-made Leopards.

      So, now George Will chimes in: LOTS of Leopard tanks needed NOW!

      Well, Scholz apparently said Ukraine will get them asap–around 2024. Is the ground being laid for Germany to take the fall for the surrender of Ukraine?

      The fact that, one year later, suddenly the panacea for saving Ukraine is lots-more-tanks-right-now is pretty laughable. The subtext is: the war is not going well. It’s now or never for Ukraine. Maybe panic setting in.

    1. indus

      A very good article based on the diplomatic cables leaked via wikileaks. Astonishing number of people had warned that NATO meddling will cause the current crisis.

      Two quotes from the article provided below

      Ukraine’s co-operation with NATO has “deepened over time,” the alliance itself says today. By the war’s outbreak, the country frequently hosted Western troops at a military base, its soldiers received NATO training, it planned two new NATO-linked naval bases, and it received unprecedented sums of US military aid, including offensive arms — a Donald Trump policy his liberal predecessor had explicitly rejected, out of concern for provoking a disastrous response from Moscow. Three months before the invasion, Ukraine and the United States signed an updated Charter on Strategic Partnership “guided” by Bush’s controversial Bucharest declaration, which both deepened security co-operation between the two countries and supported Ukraine’s membership aspirations, viewed as an escalation in Moscow.

      What it does mean is that claims that Russian unhappiness over NATO expansion is irrelevant, a mere “fig leaf” for pure expansionism, or simply Kremlin propaganda are belied by this lengthy historical record. Rather, successive US administrations pushed ahead with the policy despite being warned copiously for years — including by the analysts who advised them, by allies, even by their own officials — that it would feed Russian nationalism, create a more hostile Moscow, foster instability and even civil war in Ukraine, and could eventually lead to Russian military intervention, all of which ended up happening.

    2. pjay

      I saw this the other day. It is very good. For those looking for a thorough, well-documented response to the mindless propaganda about Putin’s “unprovoked” attack on poor little Ukraine, I’d recommend it highly. It’s long, but it provides detailed historical context that refutes much of our current ideological bulls**t.

    1. Adrian D.

      Also Re excess deaths – Germany’s were at least as bad as the UK’s in 2022. Of course the UK has been destroyed by austerity, but there’s more to this one than just the NHS collapsing.

  12. Lexx

    ‘Don’t tell me David Carrick’s crimes were ‘unbelievable’. The problem is victims aren’t believed.’

    No, the victims were believed… eventually…. off-camera. Believing them wasn’t the Mets biggest challenge; it wouldn’t even make the top five and that’s why little to nothing was done to help them.

    I’ll continue to argue here until I’m convinced otherwise, that the police know what’s going on within their ranks. Reading the first two paragraphs she may as well have been criticizing the Catholic church, for the same reasons and with younger victims. The problem is that accepting the truth of what they have allowed into their ranks requires a doody-storm of actions they’d rather avoid. It’s hell on their reputations, on which so many high-ranking careers have been staked, and it’s very expensive. Better to be thought willfully ignorant or even stupid than culpable*. Denial has always been the best defense of politicians. Who better to insist they’re innocent until proven guilty, than someone in a position of public trust? In what crime is there a more difficult burden of proof, given the public’s perceptions of the accused, and the victims? Who would the public prefer to believe?

    Humans have an enormous capacity for denial; the only ones without that privileged are the victims themselves. It’s why many recant. Not because they weren’t raped but because denial is easier. My full ire goes to those women who have falsely accused someone in a position of trust. The assault on the legitimacy of the accusation occurs even before the violence to their bodies. Bleeding, broken, and humiliated, and shade thrown over them in advance of picking up the phone to call for help. Men like David Carrick are counting on it.

    *Willful ignorance and/or stupidity are forgivable. Culpability is a crime… or it should be.

    1. TimH

      The then Met chief, Cressida Dick, stood on the steps of the Old Bailey and declared: “Everyone in policing feels betrayed.”

      The lies she and her team churned out after the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes tell me that coverups are just business as usual.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Atmospheric dust may have hidden true extent of global heating”

    I can well and truly believe this. Back after 9/11, the US gro9unded all airplanes throughout the United States. So what that meant was that there were no longer any contrails criss-crossing the skies. People began to notice that the skies were much clearer but it had another effect. All those contrails acted to reflect heat away from the earth’s surface so when they dissipated, ‘the variations in high and low temperatures increased by 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) each day, said meteorological researchers.’

    1. Objective Ace

      Another example is the 1815 Mount Tambora Volcanic eruption which caused worldwide temperatures to fall by 0.4–0.7°C (or 0.7–1°F) for the following couple years

      1. Paradan

        Take a look at the trend in global temperature for 1941-1949, big dip in ’46, and no I’m not implying it was the nukes, its was them and every-other city that got wiped out. Good fact to know if you ever run into a nuclear winter denier.

  14. The Rev Kev

    Logging off for the night here but thought that I would leave the following. Do Americans realize that the 2024 Presidential elections will be the most important ever? No, seriously. You see, July 4th 2026 is the 250th anniversary of America’s independence – the United States Semiquincentennial – and there is a lot to be said for a country that will be a quarter of a thousand years old. So here is the thing. Who will be the President of the US in 2026? They will be elected in 2024 but can you imagine how it would be if America had to celebrate the United States Semiquincentennial under Madam President Kamala Harris for example?

    1. fresno dan

      if history tells us anything, 2024 will see the worst US presidential nominees EVER.
      Although it is possible (but unlikely) we will not end up with the worst nominee as president, we will end up with the worst president ever…

      1. John k

        Well… imagine a re-run of 2020… if either wins they’ll be older and more senile than before.
        And, Us options for the next war might be worse after Ukraine and China pivot.

  15. Paradan

    In other news..
    /sarc on

    Exciting new start-up says they can fireproof your home with Trout!

    /sarc off

    1. Nikkikat

      Excellent speech. I have been a Lavrov fan for a number of years.
      This is the person I think of when asked who would you love to invite to dinner.

  16. Acacia

    So, the Biden Laptop Report is one heck of a document dump.

    I’ve only skimmed it, but this is one of the most sordid, corrupt things seen in a long time. 644 pages detailing business-related crimes, lurid sex-, drug-, and firearm-related crimes, influence peddling, etc. etc. There are countless felonies in here, with lots of supporting evidence.

    I’ve compressed it from a 961 MB(!) file down to 390.68 MB:

    Is it solid? Decide for yourselves.

  17. JB

    For a while now I’ve noticed that ADHD seems to be a very ‘fashionable’ self-diagnosis lately, to the point that I’ve been getting very suspicious of it – and I’m starting to wonder if it’s the pharma lobby trying to push overdiagnosis of ADHD, in order to get lots of people addicted to Adderall – DopeSick style.

    Is my cynicism on to anything there?

    1. Joe Renter

      You may be on to something there. It’s too easy to use as an excuse. But perhaps there is a connection between pollution and ADHD? My Son was diagnosed with it at age 4 and he has it one of the three variations. It’s no joke and his struggles are real. Two years ago while in a relationship that went south (again) my ex thought I should look into seeing if I have it myself. I did that and yes, which explains a lot of my challenges in life. There are work arounds but it is just that, you have work on the challenges. Being dependent on drugs for correction of the symptoms are another challenge. Life, always something to work through in this realm of imperfection.

    2. Terry Flynn

      Whilst I’m generally sympathetic to your underlying point that big pharma IS medicalising too many conditions, I’ve met adult diagnised ADHD people, seen their behaviour and am convinced it is real (at least in SOME cases).

      The “procrastination” surrounding tasks that don’t “ultra fire up” sufferers, their ultra concentration on tasks that do, etc etc are real. The diagnostic criteria seem to be “built from the ground up” rather than “top down from makets of Adderall etc”.

      Finally – bear in mind the only effective treatment for lots of older ADHD sufferers is CBT plus amphetamines – meds that make NO serious cash for big pharma, being long off patent.

  18. Mildred Montana

    >What’s behind Canada’s drastic new alcohol guidance BBC

    Gets me. This story popped up all over MSM yesterday, out of nowhere, and it was top of the news. Where did it come from? I have no idea. The operations, motivations, and machinations of the MSM are at times inscrutable. Even thinking long and hard about it, I still can’t figure them out sometimes. Why this story? Why now?

    Anyway, imo, what a bloody waste of the government’s and the media’s time. They could much more usefully go after the fast-food and junk-food industries. I would speculate that many more millions are sickened and killed by McDonald’s every year, but those morbidities and deaths are conveniently attributed to “natural” causes like heart disease, strokes, and cancer, not to Ronald’s food. But they should be. Therefore, in the interests of honesty and fairness, I recommend warning labels on all Big Macs and Quarter-Pounders.

    But no, for some reason, the government and the media have decided to make alcohol, not junk food, the 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘪𝘳𝘦 𝘥𝘶 𝘫𝘰𝘶𝘳. For me, I’ll ignore them and pick my poison. Give me a glass of wine over fries super-sized anytime.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      Also, I wonder where the harms of alcohol, which I don’t dispute, sit in comparison to the harms of breathing city air pollution 24 x 7, or the harms of off-gassing of furniture and fittings in dwellings, or the harms of stress caused by poverty.

      The media has one job which they mostly do well, crowd control. It’s what isn’t reported which is the most interesting news, those things which can’t be sheeted onto the deplorables as “personal responsibility”. Those things which would require government and business to actually, like, spend money. Like aerosols being the cause of Covid, thereby needing better building ventilation, for example.

      Alcohol is definitely a brick in the ‘you only have yourself to blame’ wall, aka “individual responsibility”. And a top notch red is heaven in a glass.

    2. jrkrideau

      IIRC, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, formerly ARF I believe, does a rant like this every few years. My bet is that there are three reasons: 1. Alcohol “is” bloody destructive[1], 2. Funding time is approaching, 3. There are some rather puritanical people there.

      Probably many of the PTB are frustrated that their earlier warnings have been ignored and are trying to generate more publicity.

      The reports are publicly available I should try to read a bit and see if the media is reporting relative risk. I get the feeling they may be.

      With all that typing, it is time of a drink (tea of course).

      [1] Estimating drug harms: a risky business?

    3. c_heale

      Having known alcoholics or people with alcoholics in their family, I completely disagree with you. Society is far too lenient with alcohol.

  19. CaliDan

    Capitalism’s court jester: Slavoj Žižek Counterpunch

    I’m always interested in reading ‘good’ criticism of Žižek, but this quickly devolves into an ad hominem attack. And as the author relays early on, it seems likely a personal beef (re: publishing a translation of Rancière) and a feeling of betrayal. What’s regrettable is that the author touches upon some interesting topics which really need more elaboration. Rather than spending time to properly critique an idea or concept, he glosses over it in a way that unfairly makes it look bad, then resorts to calling Žižek a name (like the title, for example) and moves on to other decontextualized areas hoping that the mountain of accumulated invective successfully stands in for a lack of evidence and argumentation.

    1. Jeff W

      The piece struck me as a hit job. If there was a way to construe Slavoj Žižek’s words in the worst possible light, Gabriel Rockhill did so. Of course, part of Žižek’s shtick is to make highly provocative statements, using words in idiosyncratic ways, so it’s not hard to make him look ridiculous.

      It’s easy to point to a comment of Žižek’s, as Rockhill does, that Hitler “was not violent enough” but he omits the next qualifying phrase “his violence was not ‘essential’ enough.” As The Guardian points out

      To be fair, this characteristically provocative claim was framed by a wider, deeper reflection on violence, revolution and what Žižek calls “gigantic spectacles of pseudo-revolution” such as Nazism, which, he argued, are staged to disrupt but not threaten the established capitalist order.

      To decontextualize someone’s words even once to give a meaning at variance with what that person intended is, to me, remarkably dishonest. I haven’t bothered to figure out how many more times, if any, Rockhill does it.

      And then there’s the black-and-white, either-for-us-or-against-us thinking. It doesn’t seem implausible that, as Rockhill points out, Yugoslavia had “free medical care and education, a guaranteed right to an income, one-month vacation with pay, a literacy rate of over 90 per cent, and a life expectancy of seventy-two years” and yet, as Žižek states, “life in a Communist state was mostly worse than life in many capitalist states”—both could true. (We have no idea—and Rockhill isn’t telling us—what Žižek means by “mostly worse” and Žižek isn’t even referencing Yugoslavia in that quote.) And it certainly seems possible to support the European Union in some sense, even if it’s, as Rockhill says, “a longstanding capitalist project promoted by the U.S. national security state as a bulwark against communism.” (The Marxian economist Yanis Varoufakis is steadfastly against the dissolution of the European Union even if he views it as “an oligarch’s wet dream.”) Žižek could be saying pretty much what Rockhill is attributing to him but, given Rockhill’s style of argumentation, I don’t trust him enough to bother finding out.

  20. juno mas

    RE: DEI

    This article is incredibly accurate. I’m involved with my local California community college, and the diversity/inclusion parade has grown immensely. Both in programs for students and in new hires.

    Unfortunately, many of the new hires are marginally qualified (despite their Ph. Ed’s) to assist/teach new students.

    While the CCC system (2M students) is struggling to maintain enrollment, these new students (many coming from inadequate high-school educations) are not prepared to do college level work. But DEI programs have branded important remedial courses to get some students up-to-speed, as discrimination; (since lower performing high schools are in poorer communities of color). So remedial courses are now a no-no.

    Of course, this “new direction” is encouraging long-time professors to retire. And so the DEI program gets another opportunity to select a new hire.

  21. Wukchumni

    Gooooooooood Mooooooorning Fiatnam!

    The platoon had been deployed to Las Vegas to investigate unlawful incursions in the ongoing War On Cash, and frankly the grunts were a bit on the hungry side and there it was, the Dragon Tiger Noodle Co., which sounded a little south east Asian frankly.

    We ordered Udon et al and only when we got to the cash register did it hit us, glimpsing a sign that claimed they were debit/credit only and our cash was like so much confetti as far as they were concerned.

    Making a pithy excuse about the entire platoon having to decamp to the parking lot in order to do group exercises, we stealthily set up a mobile trebuchet in the far reaches of asphalt and reached into the APC for $50 bags of Lincolns (27.5 pounds) and let fly with them in the general direction of the noodlery, with glass smashing and one of the quick boil units being put of commission almost immediately, when an ersatz white flag hastily constructed out of napkins appeared out of one of the broken panes, they’d cried uncle.

    One of the bags burst upon contact and as luck would have it, our bill was $45.35 and with tip we left said Lincolns scattered akimbo on the floor as payment.

    Our repast was excellent and if they hadn’t declared war i’d daresay the outcome would’ve been more to their advantage.

  22. scott s.

    Thanks for the “Failure of Maneuver” link. Got down to the point where you had to subscribe to continue. Unfortunately, that was in the discussion of the eastern front which given current events is highly interesting. A pet peeve of mine is that here in US, survey treatments of WWI generally only consider the western front. I’ve gone through wiki, but for things like wars it tends to be a rabbit hole that can get you down in the weeds and hard to synthesize a bigger picture.

    I’ve read van Creveld’s “Supplying War” and “Command in War” which provide somewhat different perspectives on how/why the western front resulted in static trench tactics after initial maneuver.

  23. ArvidMartensen

    If we just accepted that Davos is actually a meeting of the Board of The World Corporation, we would nail it.

    Yes they might disagree on some small things. But in the end, like all corporations, the Board will issue minutes and reports that smooth out any differences of opinion, keeping communications professional and on message to advance the interests and profits of the Corporation.

    And I am sure that is how the participants view the whole exercise.

    They have the Climate Change PR campaign to assess for example, making sure that the PR is doing its job of soothing customer concerns, while not interfering with profit making activities.
    Also the Ukraine PR campaign, ditto.
    And the Taiwan campaign, ditto
    And the Middle East campaign, ditto

    It’s all on the agenda, tightly managed.

    1. LifelongLib

      The Wonder Woman bit brought to mind something I saw in an actual WW1 memoir. The writer, a British Army officer, was readying some equipment for an attack when he was approached by a man in civilian clothes, who asked for directions to the German lines. The officer didn’t have a sidearm and the man had a hand under his coat as though he might have a gun of his own, so the officer pointed out the way. He notes that the artillery bombardment for the attack started a few minutes later so the man was probably killed. Not Wonder Woman but bizarre, and suggests a whole other part of the war that I haven’t read about anywhere else.

  24. Fred1


    Confirmation: Drumming and music as a change agent in American culture

    This reminded me of the Jez Grew in Ishmael Reed’s novel, Mumbo Jumbo.

  25. The Rev Kev

    Something for the end of the day. A lot of people are enamored with the power of AI but there are reasons to give one pause when considering what it can and can’t do. So an AI was trained to identify soldiers and when the DARPA researchers were finished, tested it against eight US Marines. It did not go as expected-

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