Links 1/22/2023

NRC Certifies First U.S. Small Modular Reactor Design US Department of Energy

Mass. health department warns of drug-resistant gonorrhea strain


The ‘greatest tragedy’ would be if central banks don’t finish the job on inflation, Larry Summers says CNBC (Kevin W)


Federal Reserve Board provides additional details on how its pilot climate scenario analysis exercise will be conducted and the information on risk management practices that will be gathered over the course of the exercise Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

The impact of climate change on the pharma supply chain Pharmaceutical Technology. Doesn’t mention that maybe outsourcing US drug manufacturing to China was a mistake.


California’s next flood could destroy one of its most diverse cities. Will lawmakers try to save it? Grist


WaPo Feeds Denial With False Claims About Overcounting Covid Deaths FAIR

Two-Years Follow-Up of Symptoms and Return to Work in Complex Post-COVID-19 Patients Journal of Clinical Medicine. From the abstract: “Despite exercise, respiratory, olfactory rehabilitations, cognition/speech therapy and/or psychological support, the more frequent self-reported symptoms (fatigue, neurocognitive disorders, muscles and joint pain) did not resolve.”


Documentary on 2002 Gujarat riots: Govt orders YouTube, Twitter to block BBC film on Modi, Opposition says censorship Indian Express

Pakistan to pay in ‘currency of friendly countries’ for Russian energy: Moscow Anadolu Agency

Whose game is Pakistan’s Khar playing? Indian Punchline


Drone attack hits Tanf US base in Syria Al-Monitor

Old Blighty


UK nurses speak from picket lines WSWS


Sajid Javid calls for patients to pay for GP and A&E visits Guardian. Lambert: “Free at the point of care is foundational for NHS.”


Peter Thiel Says British Affection for NHS Is Stockholm Syndrome Bloomberg. “He also said that the crisis-stricken health service, currently grappling with strikes and long wait times for emergency care, was making people sick and needs ‘market mechanisms’ to fix it. Such mechanisms include privatizing parts of it…”

Buckingham Palace Sets 3-Day Coronation Weekend for King Charles III New York Times


Yellen Says China May Be Prepared to Join Zambia Debt Deal Bloomberg

Zambia’s New IMF Deal Shifts China to the Backseat The Diplomat

European Disunion

Serbia ‘not enthusiastic’ about EU membership anymore, says president Politico

Media: Vučić will be given an ultimatum B92

Tens of thousands take to Madrid streets in anti-government protest Anadolu Agency

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine – Russian Army Activates Southern Front Moon of Alabama

Withdraw from Artyomovsk! Gilbert Doctorow

“Better an unsatisfactory peace than a debacle” – Alexander Mercouris Empire, Communication and NATO Wars

U.S. officials advise Ukraine to wait on offensive, official says Reuters


Ukraine Defense Minister Tells VOA: Troops Will Train on German Tanks in Poland VOA

The Forward Observations Group: Ex-US Soldier Turned Influencer Criticized for Ukraine War Trip With Neo-Nazi Vice



Time to join NATO? Moldova eyes joining ‘a larger alliance’ Politico

Dmitry Rogozin’s Blood-Soaked Message to Macron The Real Politick with Mark Sleboda

Russia’s RT France to close after French accounts frozen over Ukraine invasion SCMP

US senators, visiting Kyiv, blast delays in supplying tanks to Ukraine Reuters

Russian-US relations at all-time low, no hope for improvement — Kremlin spokesman TASS

Turkish anger after Quran burning, Kurd protests in Sweden Al Jazeera

South of the Border

Glencore copper mine in Peru suspends operations after another attack Reuters

Peru’s natural resources: CIA-linked US ambassador meets with mining and energy ministers to talk ‘investments’ Geopolitical Economy

Biden Administration

Ron Klain Expected to Step Down as Biden’s White House Chief of Staff New York Times

Americans On Biden’s Handling Of Classified Documents: Inappropriate & Serious, But Shouldn’t Face Charges, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Biden Handling Of The Mexican Border Hits Record Low While Majority Back His New Immigration Plan Quinnipiac.

On Ukraine: “33 percent of Americans think the United States is doing too much to help Ukraine, 21 percent think the U.S. is doing too little, and 38 percent think the U.S. is doing about the right amount to help Ukraine.”

Compared to February 28, 2022: “7 percent of Americans thought the U.S. was doing too much to help Ukraine, 45 percent thought the U.S. was doing too little, and 37 percent thought the U.S. was doing about the right amount to help Ukraine.”

The Debt Ceiling Limit is Destructive, Duplicative, and Dumb Stephanie Kelton, The Lens


DOJ search of Biden’s Delaware home results in 6 more documents Politico

If Biden isn’t on the ticket, Harris’s pick for vice president will be key to 2024 The Hill

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Rentokil pilots facial recognition system as way to exterminate rats Guardian (Brian C) Ironing out the kinks before deploying on humans?

Democrats en déshabillé

Airline CEO Admits Ticket Scam Permitted By Buttigieg The Lever 


West Virginia announces $83 million opioid settlement with Walgreens AP. Includes no admission of wrongdoing or liability by the company.

Walgreens posts $3.7B loss in Q1 on opioid settlement but boosts sales outlook in 2023 Fierce Healthcare

Pharmacists can start patients on road to recovery from opioid use disorder, study shows News from Brown

The addiction crisis is causing a spike in endocarditis cases. Hospitals are struggling to respond STAT

Why Some Surgeons Are Prescribing Opioids to Patients’ Spouses Harvard Medical School

Recreational cannabis and opioid distribution Health Economics. From the abstract: “We find that RCLs lead to a reduction in codeine dispensed at retail pharmacies.”

Police State Watch

Guillotine Watch

FTC: Shkreli may have violated lifetime pharma ban, should be held in contempt arstechnica

Class Warfare

Storm flooding compounds misery for California farms and workers LA Times. “Farmworkers are especially vulnerable to extreme climate events because they are low-income; most are immigrants without legal status, which makes them ineligible for unemployment benefits and health insurance…”

The Bezzle

Exclusive: SWIFT payments network access cut to crypto exchanges Asia Markets

How Sam Bankman-Fried’s ties with the Clintons helped him dupe investors NY Post (Kevin W)

All you need to know about the Year of the Rabbit SCMP. The rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity.

Antidote du jour (courtesy of rlgroves):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Lemmy Caution

    > DOJ search of Biden’s Delaware home results in 6 more documents

    Don’t fall for the sanitized version of this latest report which uses some variation of the phrase “6 more documents were found”.

    The second paragraph of the Politico article itself says:

    The items recovered include six batches of records that contained an unspecified number of documents with classified markings.

    Taken together, the two phrases “six batches of records” and “unspecified number” could mean dozens, hundreds or thousands of additional classified documents were found.

    1. chris

      Hard to square all these findings and other dereliction of duty by people with clearances against the penalties people like Reality Winner have suffered. Clinton, Biden, Trump, and others should be in jail. Also interesting is that when Jared Kushner shared classified intel with Saudi interests, and that intel resulted in people being attacked and incarcerated by the Saudi regime, nothing happened to him. Glad to know that the law only effects people who cause problems for the elite.

    2. Bjarne

      This is so clearly an attempt to stop Biden from running in ’24. The Dems have decided he won’t do, and also want to redirect away from the obvious deep corruption of the Biden family (and more importantly many other powerful Dems) evidenced by the Hunter laptop. If Biden doesn’t run again they hope they can safely ignore the laptop story going forward and also attempt to dump all their failures (including the upcoming Ukraine defeat) on Biden. Good luck with that you corrupt pieces of __.

      Its also a way to underline the “severity” of Trump’s classified doc “issue”. All presidents take classified docs when they leave office as we know everything is “classified” these days. Its a non-crime crime and ubiquitous so they can wield it at anyone they choose at any time. The best kind of coverup/fake accountability scheme, beloved by the security services and their ilk. Conspiracy theory? We’re awash in conspiracies these days. Anyone who can’t see it doesn’t want to.

      1. TomDority

        Not many Dems or Repubs qualify for any office – this Kabuki theater demonstrating the corruption and qualifications in not being able to hurdle the Constitutional low bar of “high crimes and misdemeanors” -(crimes and misdemeanors done by folks in high office which includes local and state officials on up) Just shows how these high office holders are absolutely terrified of clearly being over that line and don’t want it to come back at them. These so called public minded people who have sown fear into their constituents for personal gain are liking to say about intrusive policing and patriot act BS…. if you got nothing to hide you got nothing to fear.
        Just feeling had by these con men cowards of both parties – it’s a shame because some good people concerned with the public good do get in…… I do not include the leading members of either party as concerned with the public good.

      2. chris

        That’s a good point. Perhaps the elites are looking at this as a “two birds with one stone” opportunity. If they treat Biden’s issues seriously, they look consistent on Trump, and potentially knock both out of future office campaigns. I don’t think you have to have a well fit tin foil hat to believe there are powers in motion in DC who would welcome such an opportunity.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Will that prosecution bent include all the DoD and Alphabet Agency types and the rest of official Washington that trade on the stuff they mishandle and learn from classified ultra top secret documents?

          I think not.

          We mopes are supposed to just lie down quietly and be bulldozed by the PTB. The machinery of human “society” keeps getting wound up tighter and tighter. Eventually something breaks, at which point “Katie bar the door!”

      3. digi_owl

        I am convinced that some faction of the Dems hoped, prayed, and how push for him resigning before the full term is up to allow Harris to take over. That is why they pushed for her as VP, as they could then get the female president they were so “rudely” denied when Hillary lost.

        Because a female US president is the one thing that crop up again and again and again in mainstream scifi. Almost like some witchcraft mantra.

        1. Hepativore

          As Harris could not even win her own state in 2020, I suppose that is one way to get her in through the back door, because if the DNC appoints Harris as the 2024 chosen candidate, you might as well not even bother with the presidential race and just preemptively call it for Trump or Desantis.

  2. MaryLand

    I was reading an article on substack that I found via a link from Naked Capitalism. I was surprised to see my email address automatically added to their subscribe box. I deleted it, refreshed the page, and my address was again in the box. I didn’t realize that any website I go to will have my email address automatically. Has this happened to anyone else?

    1. NN Cassandra

      Most probably this is your browser doing it, prefilling form values in the same way it prefills logins/passwords.

      1. MaryLand

        Ok, I’m using Brave. I did recently reinstall it because of problems. I’ll see if I can turn this feature off. Thanks!

        1. Old Jake

          I run Firefox. For one thing it offers a lot of control. For another, it offers an email forwarding service, giving you a mozmail address which is forwarded to your main mailbox (or any mailbox I suppose). I do pay them $1.00/month for unlimited throwaway mail addresses to counter the tendency by web entities to collect and spam my address.

    2. IMOR

      If you’re using gmail or are running Windows Mail, Win10, or Win11- check settings or search online for how to turn off this annoying piece of autofill.
      Potentially a browser setting if you recently updated your browser, but more likely one of the other two in my experience.

    3. ChiGal

      if you subscribe, even for free, to any substack (and have therefore given them your email), if you go to another substack, your email shows up in the box.

  3. Terry Flynn

    Regarding paying to see a GP. I have lived in three countries across 2 continents and think the Aussie system of paying beats the UK NHS. In Australia there is a fixed amount ($30 when I lived there) that you “pay” to see the GP. Except (unless you are registered with a posh GP) you DON’T pay this in reality.

    You get $30 debited from your bank account at time of your appointment. But provided you attended, a simultaneous credit of 30 bucks is made. If you were a DNA for no reason you’re out of pocket. If you had a problem that was serious enough that you turned up to see the GP you pay nothing (net). If you’re old and your carer never turned up then there are easy ways so you don’t get charged for something beyond your control. If you want nice magazines etc go live somewhere posh where the GP costs 60 bucks so your rebate doesn’t cover that ridiculousness.

    GP appts were NEVER difficult to get in Sydney. And the very simple banking system (think national savings girobank in UK) meant practically all Aussies have some sort of bank account.

    1. Terry Flynn

      Secondary care worked like this too. SOME people (let’s say those who saw a specialist twice a week costing $330 per session which they put on a credit card attached to an airline thus giving airmiles) reportedly had the $300 Medicare rebate put onto their bank account.

      Hey presto – $330×2=$660 worth of airmiles clocked up per week! Just need to ensure direct debit to pay credit card in full monthly.

      I’d never endorse this legal loophole.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Last year I broke my ankle pretty bad and had two operations and several hospital visits afterwards to make sure that it was healing OK. Have yet to see a bill in the mail. This is how a good medical healthcare system is supposed to work in a developed country and never let somebody tell you that it can’t be done.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Gentlemen.

        No one, even in the medical professions and unions, dares mention that Javid was employed by and still owns shares in C3 AI, a healthcare tech firm, and is employed by JP Morgan and heads their health insurance and investment arm, Morgan Health.

        The Grauniad won’t as Starmer and his health spokesman, Wes Streeting, are advised and funded by United Health.

        The British left fears the right and won’t resort to Karl Rove and Lee Atwater tactics.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Just when I think things can’t get worse! Thank you for the info. It is consistent with things going on at the local level here. The now officially selected Labour candidate to try to win back the (red wall) seat lost in 2019 is like me. Which is NOT the way to regain Gedling.

          Previous Labour MP was a former headteacher (so not stupid) but had gift of appearing “at any level” – appealed to everyone. BNP melted away and although some just went to whatever outfit Farage was wearing at that point, the MP outwitted them easily.

          The Labour Candidate? He’s great as a local Councillor…… And I’m sure he gets on very very very well with Starmer…. But the left wing social conservatives round here? Gay “Metro type” Labour candidate? Hmmmm…..

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Terry.

            US investment and healthcare firms are buying UK GP practices, care providers and fostering agencies, and jacking up prices.

            For example, a medical for a foster care or adoption applicant that would have cost £50 pre-pandemic now costs £4-500 from a US GP practice.

            Foster care intermediaries can get up to £3000 monthly per person, depending on the nature of the person’s mental and / or physical ability, but the actual carer will only get a tenth of that.

            Starmer is marginalising the left, vide the selection of Charlie Falconer’s son for Lincoln, next to your Nottinghamshire.

            1. Terry Flynn

              Thanks Colonel. A bunch of things suddenly make sense. My general practice made a BIG song and dance 3 years ago that my mental health, cardiac evaluation and general health annual checkups would henceforth be combined to make it easier for me (particularly since I would no longer lose 3 shifts doing vital work at the hospital Trust).

              Now they’re back to 3…..and the checks seem curiously “out of synch” with each other…… And rumours abound concerning why the senior partner retired early. If I ever access my own medical record I’d be in BIG trouble but I don’t need to……. It’s family blogging obvious from my interactions with medics that the top line reads “was whistle blower – tell him nothing and get him outta there ASAP”.

              The ONE good point about the QMC hospital was a German ED nurse who insisted on reporting gross professional misconduct by a GP that treated me…… I was gonna let it lie (being a whistle blower ruins your mental health and I’d advise nobody to ever do it). It got escalated to the GMC. Aforementioned senior partner told me privately just before she got out that “we were forced to let that GP go”. I have several Cambridge friends who are partners in GP partnerships. They’ve told me what goes on and the pressure to sell out to conglomerates.

              1. Colonel Smithers

                Thank you, Terry.

                Mum retires from the National Audit Office this spring. She is disgusted by the venality. She stayed on well beyond retirement age.

                In many cases, local politicians and authority executives, not always Tory, have instructed local government staff to pay the private sector providers whatever they ask for and without delay and not to query fees or why less expensive alternatives are not contracted.

      2. Glen

        Several years ago our cats dragged a bat that had gotten into the house right through the bed where my wife and I were sleeping. It was a hot night so we were both sleeping on top of the covers. On the advice of the county nurse, we ended up getting rabies shots. The shots cost $22K EACH or $44K total. We were both working and insured. Our insurance companies ended up arguing over who owned what, and we thus ended up with a $5K bill when we both had full coverage and should have paid nothing.

        Since then, health care coverage in America, and especially where I live has only gotten worse, much worse. A giant corporation has bought out ALL of the health care providers in our county, consolidated it all into one giant dysfunctional hospital. The head RN at the ER ward actually called 911 to get help one night:

        Silverdale hospital where nurse called 911 for help amid staffing issues could be denied accreditation

        And, yeah, they failed to get accredited.

        My wife is a semi-retired RN (still fully licensed with the state) who had made one visit to the ER (it is now the only ER in the whole county) with a health emergency. After that one visit, she has made it clear that she is NEVER to be taken there again under any circumstances because in her opinion it’s an completely understaffed death trap. I have to admit that it is the only hospital I have been to where I only interacted with armed security guards who were manning the desk where you get admitted.

        1. Wukchumni

          My 2 sisters and I were walking what turned out to be ‘typhoid mom’ around the Del Coronado hotel grounds a few days before xmas, and the next day dear old mom tests positive for Covid, yikes!

          They both test positive for Covid, but I don’t although I suspect that I do indeed have it a second time, and fast forward to the slopes of Utah.

          One day I feel a tightening of my left chest and i’m out of breath at the top where the chair lets us off, that is so not me, what’s wrong with me?

          I had my first cold or flu in 3 years just after xmas, and i’m still the king the mucus, could that be the culprit?

          One of the dartful codgers convinces me I need to see if I have pneumonia and I take a day off and go to a health clinic where they take vitals, do an EKG and do chest x-rays, and it appears i’m perfectly healthy, but could it be a blood clot, so I decamp over to the Park City hospital where they draw blood and again, i’m a-ok, but what is wrong with me?

          For both of those places, I give them my Blue Cross medical insurance card and it seems to suffice, although I know the bills will show up sometime soon, probably 3 or 4 totaling $400-800 for frankly pretty routine stuff.

          This led me off into Long Covid land, where the tightening of your chest and lack of breath is a common LC feature, yikes…

          1. ChiGal

            another one bites the dust…very sorry to hear it—and from the maternal unit no less!

            I wonder how many here think post-Covid there has been a permanent change in their baseline health.

            I also wonder how many here have still never had it.

            1. Wukchumni

              It turned out that 36 out of 64 people including staff and residents, caught Covid at my mom’s assisted living place circa December 20-21.

              Nobody died and nothing too much as far as lingering effects, she related.

            2. agent ranger smith

              The two times I have been tested I have tested negative. And I don’t ‘feel’ as if I ever got covid as of yet.

          2. Lexx

            Picked up something myself just before New Years. Pain in my chest that went away when I laid down for a while. That night the coughing began and accelerated into medium mucous, hung on for three weeks. What remains now is a dry bronchial cough, like when you’ve been eating peanuts or tortilla chips and an irritating piece seems to lodge halfway and will not be washed away.

            That it could have been Covid never occurred to me. Didn’t seem viral at all. What annoyed me was that I only went into a business once without a mask to pick up a platter of sushi. Commented to husband while we waited that both of the men behind the bar preparing our food seemed to have colds… what had we been thinking going anywhere without masks over the holidays!… husband was fine though. I’d like to say something snarky about how when ‘in sickness and in health’ come round again, I’d like the healthy role, but when you’ve been lovin’ someone so long, helplessly bearing witness is almost as bad.

      3. Terry Flynn

        Am guessing your providers “bulk bill” – this “consolidated” system is another good thing Aus does that simplifies things for patients.

        1. The Rev Kev

          It was a stupid accident. Was walking on some sloping ground covered in leaves after a rainstorm. Next thing I know I’m doing a twist and a fall and hear a sound like a pistol shot. Still, the wife had to serve me food and the like and had to take over my chores for a coupla months so it was not a complete loss. :)

      4. Daniil Adamov

        Broke my hip last year after slipping on late February ice. A stay in hospital, an operation, a stay in a rehabilitation center and visits to a traumatologist cost me nothing either. I’m not sure if Russia is considered a “developed” country, but somehow it works here as well…

        1. Terry Flynn

          Good that you and Rev Kev did well. Something I don’t understand (despite being a health economist) is how we (often through trial and error) have come to know that “pricing things” is helpful and perhaps necessary to direct resources to where they are needed most but absolutely is not something that we should be bombarding the patient with BUT using very selectively…..

          Only give patients financial outlays at point of entry and ensure that these are not excessive and furthermore fully reimbursed (preferably simultaneously) if they are worried enough to turn up at a clinician’s premises…… It’s really not difficult….. Aus won’t penalise you if you’ve worried about something non-significant….. We know how to do this FFS.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I really hope that the British people fight tooth and claw to keep the NHS intact. If it goes you will never get it back. The only reason to privatize it is to make some wealthy people even more wealthy but it will mean a horrible body count each and every year. Doesn’t help when both the main political parties are all for this project.

            1. Terry Flynn

              An irony here Rev Kev: you (we? I got aussie citizenship in 2014) worry a lot about our carbon footprint, media stuff etc when we actually have a public system which is probably the best health system in the world……

              We looked at the NHS and asked ourselves “what works and what doesn’t?” and proceeded to construct a public system that we really should be boasting about. This is NHS+ and we should tell the Brits “hey family bloggers! This is what you should aim for and instead you’re regarding the family jewels as xmas cracker fodder”

              My “Aussie” side really ties me up in knots sometimes. Brits don’t realise what they’re losing and Aussies don’t boast about what they have.

            2. TimH

              The UK is steadily selling off anything, reducing benefits, killing tax exemptions. First mortgage relief was tapered off, now it’s capital gains tax allowance (the CG claimable before taxation) and tax-free dividend allowance.

              The retirement age will go up again, for sure, and at some point I expect that the pension itself, a mandatory savings plan, will move from benefit to welfare, and be means tested.

      5. jefemt

        Personally, in terms of transparency and as a taxpayer, I would LOVE to see the bill, the details.
        No free lunch, but knowing the numbers, super critical if we are going to have open honest discourse about how the Utilities work, what they cost, what they need.

        Yes, health care should be a Utility. I suspect you would agree. Non-disclosure starts the slippery slope to privatization?

        1. Terry Flynn

          knowing the numbers, super critical if we are going to have open honest discourse about how the Utilities work, what they cost, what they need.

          I agree mostly with where you’re coming from but at present this would reinforce something that is deeply troubling and NC would be all over it. The topic is “how much does an audio typist cost and surely we can improve value for money by getting docs to use voice recognition software to generate the patient letters detailing a consultation”?

          A frankly laughable demo of the software (Dragon) was done and live streamed to all staff at the trust who wanted to see the future. I knew it couldn’t be “truly” live – the Dragon guy had a heavy NZ accent and even with AI algorithms they DON’T learn the “vowel shifting” instantly.

          A bunch of admin staff seemed really impressed (not realising they were turkeys voting for Christmas). I was unimpressed. First of all I dictated half my whole PhD (2001) using voice recognition software due to RSI (and there was lots of stats in it). I had spent many days “training it” first. Doctors won’t do that. But hey Dragon have their solution! No training required because the algorithm uses the cloud and AI to interpret accents and other stuff.

          So lemme get this straight. Patient sensitive data is going to the cloud to aid in recognition? Are you scared? Because I sure am. The NHS “spine” (main patient database) has been hacked at least once that we know of. The Trust was hacked a couple of months ago. It never made national news but I know a major IT breach when I see one.

          Why not (if you must cut costs) get some of the more skilled audio typists to do what interpreters do? Listen to the consultant recording in one ear and dictate directly into a NON-INTERNET-CONNECTED PC with basic Dragon installed? Dragon will have to be trained but these days 4 hours is enough (I’ve done it). Will they do this. Nooooooooooo. Because our patient data is less important than balance sheet numbers they can bamboozle the public with.

          TL;DR – UK citizens prepare for your entire medical history to go public. It’s a case of when not if. And us East Midlanders have the “glory” of being first in the queue. Will channel 4 make a show about that I wonder?

          1. GC54

            I concur re Dragon .. i was in a non-med but STEM field and once trained in the field’s specialized vocabulary (~100 words and acronyms) the software works very well if you focus even if you speak quickly. With diverse “inputers” , forget it. As far as i could tell the Ai merely tried to ID the speaker then must contend with lousy microphone placement etc. Casual speaking did not work well, as poor as auto youtube captioning, as one might expect.

            1. Terry Flynn

              Late reply re Dragon voice rec. Yes I think we’re totally on same page – VR software can be AMAZING even with tech speak IF it is trained and deals with ONE PERSON. Thus why I propose a “few” audio typists who can listen to bad doc dictation and simultaneously dictate well.

              Sending docs to the cloud for it to be hacked? Oooooohhhhh

    3. digi_owl

      In Norway there is a token fee, but if you have any kind of issue that require frequent visits the fee is waved after a certain point. I think it exist mostly to try to discourage frivolous visits etc filling up their schedules.

    4. Arvid Martensen

      I don’t know where/when you saw a doctor but I know of nowhere where it works this way in Australia.
      This is how it works
      1. Doctors are hard to see in some regions, weeks of waiting time. Small country towns are losing their doctors because the government copayment has been capped for so long that doctors are no longer solvent.
      2. If you are in a city it’s easier. Most doctors keep some appointments free each day for emergencies etc.
      3, Some doctors ‘bulk bill’ which are free appointments for those who are on public pensions or students, but these doctors are dwindling in number so you normally have to pay to see a doctor.
      4. The nett amount you pay these days is approaching $50 for a normal appointment. Long appointments cost much more. You pay the full amount after seeing the doctor ($90) then the government copayment is immediately put back into your account, so nett payment of around $50.
      5. Pathology costs less for those on a pension etc, but it aint free and it aint cheap.
      6. If you want free care, go to Hospital Emergency and they will do everything cost free. But this can tqke upwards of 12 hours of waiting time these days, and you might get a free serving of Covid.
      7. Specialists are very expensive, and almost no specialists charge the government regulated fee. If the government regulated and reimbursable fee is $150, you can be sure that your specialist charges upwards of $250 and more. So it costs you about $100 nett or more every time.

      Dental is for the well-to-do. No government copayments here. I know of poorer people with bad teeth who just cannot afford to see a dentist. When she had to have her wisdom teeth removed ($3000), my teen daughter insightfully asked me “what do poor people do?”

      I banked in Asia back in the day, and also in Australia and the bank accounts weren’t any different or simpler. You need to open an account, you need ID, they give you an access card (these days on phones). Then you use the account.
      If you give the government your bank account details, then the government copayment will automatically go back into your account..

      1. Terry Flynn

        I saw drs in 3 socio economically different areas in Sydney.

        You haven’t mentioned a time period. I did. If things are worse from my time period then fine but you really should define when you’re talking about.

        Re dental – i never claimed dental was brilliant. 6 years in Aus and never went to a dentist (cos that IS their weakness) …. Just was careful…. First (nice cheap) dentist I saw in 2015 on return to UK said “deterioration in your teeth is more typical of 6 months here and you avoided dentists for 6 years in Australia? Wow”. I also got a visual autoimmune condition diagnosed in Sydney….. One which was (in hindsight) obvious given uk opthalmology “experts”….. You see how anecdotes can work? For 2009-2015 look up uk vs Aus in official comparisons (UN/WHO comparisons). No country is ideal but except for a few areas like dental Aus was great……. THEN. We had Scotty from Marketing a lot since…..

  4. The Rev Kev

    “US senators, visiting Kyiv, blast delays in supplying tanks to Ukraine”

    Saw a video of Graham talking here saying that if Putin wins, then there goes Taiwan- (36 secs)

    So here is the thing. Graham is raging that Germany will not send it tanks and appears to be annoyed that the German government is not obeying. Well these three senators could always get on a plane back to DC and have tanks supplied to Ukraine. Using their positions in the US government, they could get the Pentagon to supply some of the 10,000 M1 Abrams manufactured to the Ukrainians. Problem solved!

    1. Pat

      As an American I would be far happier if those Senators went back to DC and required the US Government to purchase everything they use from American small businesses manufacturing those goods in the US with union labor. Along with fully funding the US Post Office including personal subsidies (so that stamp and package prices would back to 2000 level for individuals and small businesses, but full cost plus 20% charges for all shipping companies using them for last leg, and cost shipping charges for any large businesses), Postal Banks established and fully backed, generic drug factories operated by the government; Medicare/Medicaid/VA funded and allowed to negotiate drug rates AND prosecute executives of MA insurance companies and hospitals who rip the system off including jail times; massive funding of public libraries including a fleet of book mobiles for underserved, rural and disabled communities; full funding of IRS which requires at least 75% of audits be for those in the 1% of income levels and laws requiring assistance be given from top accounting agencies and tax law forms for them and any prosecutions for minimal compensation but a percentage of any recovered tax monies; a national right to repair law that includes but is not limited to full repair manuals for any machinery or appliance sold in America and parts available for sale; required warranties for any appliances and machines sold in America no less than two years for small appliances, no less than five years for larger appliances such as refrigerators and washer/dryers and vehicles and computers/cell phones, with ten years for pumps, furnaces, farm equipment; …

      IOW it might be nice if they were working for Americans and making life better for them, bu then they aren’t really advocating for Ukrainians either.

    2. Stephen

      They could also join the Ukrainian military and offer even more practical, personal support.

      In a sane world, stoking up a war in which other people die would be seen as evil.

      And would get them kicked out of Congress.

      1. Pat

        This is a better idea. Only I would expand it to include every elected official that has funded this and every Senate confirmed official that has supported this intervention without the people’s consent, as in an actual vote.
        Immediate conscription into the Ukrainian military might have made more than a couple of them spend more than 10 seconds on this before jumping aboard.

    3. Ignacio

      This is getting beyond bizarre. And the spectacle of all these democratic leaders telling Germans WHAT THEY HAVE TO DO AS A SOVEREIGN (ahem), STATE is enlightening, or at least it should be for those that still have their eyes wide shut. US officials saying (not verbatin I am talking about some Spanish translated version of a CNN release) that Germans asking for Abrams to be deployed with the Leopards is “a silly thing” and all that tearing up their heads around the German negative is ashtonishing. Note that the German CDU is trying to play safe (which is easy when they only want to undermine the current government) and saying that Scholtz is being mean or something like that. The optics of all those brave Ukraine defenders forcefully twisting the arms of one of their most important allies are not precisely uplifting and they might be provoking a major fault in the collective West. Unacceptable, frustrating, disappointing you name it but here I believe the media will find a rock not so easy to break. There are possibly very important reasons why Germany will possibly resist all the pressure. Reasons behind the posturing, hidden faults among the allies. For instance remember that very recently Poland pledged to buy some hundreds of Abrams. Remember too that German industry has this little problem with energy supply for the industries, including those that make tanks.

        1. Ignacio

          Not the least there is a very important reason: the Germans (they may have read Aurelien) don’t see clear objectives to pursue with the Leopards.

          1. jan

            The interview with German general (retired) Kujat is pretty interesting. They talked about it on the Duran. For example (Google translation)
            “Although the risk of a confrontation between Russia and NATO is obvious to everyone as a result of the Ukraine war, the Bundeswehr continues to be disarmed, even cannibalized, in order to free up weapons and military hardware for Ukraine. Some politicians even justify this with the nonsensical argument that our freedom is being defended in Ukraine.”


      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘very recently Poland pledged to buy some hundreds of Abrams’

        Good luck with that. Yesterday I was listening to a video of Scott Ritter talking to an American guy who had been a US tank officer but who moved to Russia. That guy was saying that for every hour you run an Abrams, two hours are spent on servicing the damn thing. And you need a major contingent of basically aircraft mechanics to service them as they use a jet engine. And Ritter was saying that you had to refuel them every 7 or 8 hours. And Oz uses them as well (eye roll)- (45:55 mins)

    4. digi_owl

      The ongoing issue is that no NATO nation seems to have the assembly lines set up to produce new tanks, and has not had so for decades. I seem to recall seeing some Discovery channel show or similar from a place that refurbished Abrams. This by stripping them down to the chassis, sanding off all the paint, and rebuilding them. And that was broadcast some years after the Iraq invasion.

      Checking wikipedia, it seems like all the upcoming tank plans for NATO involve reusing existing chassis and replacing the turrets. Mostly in order to reduce the crew needed by one or two people by having all the weapons being remotely operated and self loading.

      All in all, NATO got complacent after the wall came down and they only fought against inferior opponents on Balkan and in the Middle East. End result is that most of the industrial capacity for heavier equipment seems to have been scrapped.

      The only nation in the western sphere capable of delivering brand new tanks right now seems to be South Korea of all places.

    5. Karl

      Since we’re naming names, in addition to Graham there’s Richard Blumenthal-D and Sheldon Whitehouse-D. These are the guys pushing to bring home the bacon to their MIC constituents. It looks like they couldn’t get another R to even it out.

      Interesting that we can’t give them Abrams tanks because, well, they just don’t work too well. We, taxpayers, bought all these expensive monsters and this is the best the USA can do?

      Maybe we really are a peaceful nation. We have this expensive military stuff but it really doesn’t work too well. It’s just for show.

  5. OIFVet

    What exactly is Chrystia Freeland’s added value to humanity as a whole, and why should she be allowed to continue to produce CO2 spouting such sociopathic claptrap?

    1. The Rev Kev

      The good news for Canadians is that almost certainly she will be the new NATO General Secretary this year after Jens Stoltenberg stands down. This not only means that she will move away from Canadian politics but that it is much less likely now that Canadians will have to learn to live with a Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.

      1. Quentin

        Sure, it’s horrid news for the rest of the world. The lady of sparkling Ukrainian heritage will be in charge of the military confrontation with Russia. You must be kidding RefKev. You think it will be good for Australia too?

        1. OIFVet

          Nice dream but no dice. Freeland as NATO chief is even worse than Stoltenberg as NATO chief. The latter is just a spineless and supine Dane, the former is a granddaughter of an Ukrainian Natsee collaborator. Revenge fantasies factor is high there and it portends nothing good for anybody us.

          1. wendigo

            Apparently she is the chosen one to subjugate Russia.

            As she said at the Brookings Institute , “and a democracy can only be defined by people themselves, if they are prepared to die for their democracy” as a reply to a question about shifting aid from Africa to Ukraine.

            Her grandfather would be proud to see her turn rhetoric into action.

            1. OIFVet

              What democracy? No one asked me, then or now, whether I want to poke the bear and risk WW3. Yet if WW3 does happen it is virtual certainty it will go nuclear and I will be evaporated. Can she then say from some deep bunker somewhere that I died for democracy?

              Truly, the last 30-some years have seen so much nonsense done in the name of democracy (and freedom) that I wish I had never heard of either of them.

              1. Polar Socialist

                As long as the WW3 remains limited to Europe, there a good chance the US propensity to forsake her allies/vassals when they no longer serve a purpose will get priority over USA itself burning in the nuclear holocaust.

                If the big one started in Europe, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see US troops to withdraw behind Elbe to “secure the logistics” for Poland while the latter “weakens Russia”.

                Anyway. I don’t think Russia has any plans to start a kinetic war west of Polish-Belarus border, so the point is kinda moot.

                1. hk

                  If there is a WW3, I’d expect Russia to glass North America before Europe. They might actually take over or reconcile with Europe. They have no use for most of North America. So I figure that Europeans have better chance than we (not by much, I know) to survive WW3.

          2. berit

            Jens Stoltenberg, a spineless and supine Dane?
            I regret to tell you that the spineless and supine Dane was an equally soulless NATO-chief named Fogh Rasmussen, predecessor to the current spineless and supine Norwegian NATO chief, who willingly poses for selfies with next crop of admiring, pining-to-be powerful politicians, spineless and supine, famous and rich when they grow up, millions of dollars for spineless and supine NATO chiefs) oblivious to the withering away of social democratic values, solidarity, peace, justice, good society at home and abroad – also those suffering today in Ukraine and Russia and millions of poor in USA, UK …
            Young Jens Stoltenberg was anti-NATO. Neccessary to be elected leader of the labour party youth organization, first rung on the ladder to top positions, another “Tony Blair” soon a mere shadow of a man. They deserve a place in Dante’s hell, on the lowest circle in Purgatory reserved faithless priests, war criminals and profiteers, the Zelenskies, Bushes, Clintons, Nulands and Freelands, Cheyneys,Rumsfeld, rasmussen, nazis, stalins, stoltenbergs … Sicknesses of despair sharply on the rise, sadly.

            1. digi_owl

              I suspect young Stoltenberg’s leftist views has been oversold.

              It was his year older sister that pulled him along to communist youth gatherings. He himself followed daddy Thorvald’s footsteps and joined AP after a stint as a journalist.

              And in AP he was closely associated with Brundtland, who championed a right leaning policy vis a vis Førde (who was poised to lead AP until he got disgraced when Treholt was caught spying for the Soviets).

              1. berit

                Treholt was accused of spying for the Soviets, sentenced to the maximum punishment of 20 years in prison without any hard proof of “military secrets detrimental to state security” given away, according to the law applied. He served 8 years, punished for the stupidity and hubris of feeling safe in the bosom of Ap, where leftists for years were illegally spied upon by party aparatchicks guided from top party bosses – probably in service of US-NATO-CIA, I think.
                His old father, a much respected man and former Labour-AGminister, visited his son in prison, not succumbing to the over the top spy-theater of danger, police with weapons all around the court building in Oslo, police vans, motors running at every corner around the block. I happened to pass by, going to a meeting at Folkets Hus close by.
                Most unusual and scary, as the scenography was meant to be, naive, youthfull trust vanishing. Former Labour PM Nordli called young women in the party fifth columnists when we in the 1980s opposed US-NATO plans for atomic weapons in Europe. Now all and every objector to this irresponsible, dangerously escalating war, long planned and goaded by US-NATO-MIC, are mislabelled putinists insead of peacenicks – which most commoners are at heart and so we should be! Western civilizition would be a good idea, according to Ghandi.

            2. berit

              It was necessary THEN, when Jens Stoltenberg was young and promising, to be anti-NATO to be elected leader of AUF, the social democratic youth organization.
              Today, after february 24th 2021, this changed very fast. All – young and old in every political party save one (two?) are inside the pro-NATO, stricktly anti-Russia camp, as though Russia ever threatened Norway. On the contrary. But this neighbourly relationship is now frossen. Even the small left anti-NATO socialist party named Rødt, ie red, seems to be turning. If Rødt caves in, there is only the even smaller Communist party, which may get some new members, I think.
              But people are being ostracized for deviating from dogmatic, primitive, even hatefull Anti-Russian propaganda. Some cracks are appearing as costs of living are rising very steeply, but it’s heavy lifting to go against this massive majority. Suddenly one has to point out that freedom of expression is fundamental to democracy, guaranteed by the Norwegian Constitution and international human rights.

              1. digi_owl

                The youth wings of the Norwegian political parties have always been flaky.

                Things like right wing teens with a private school education making outrageous claims about how the Norwegian public school system “works”.

    2. griffen

      Make room on the podium, we’re gonna include Larry Summers too. Evil sounding and even worse, in positions of authority for what it’s worth.

      The beatings will continue until morale improves. Don’t like your portions, ye proles feel welcome to send your complaints to our convenient suggestions (and also trash ) bins.

    3. Clint Olsen Wright

      Sadly, Canada has become a neoliberal, satellite vassal of the U.S. What distinguished Canadians from Americans is evaporating. The alternative to Trudeau/Freeland are the Conservatives, fondly termed the “Tories”. The health care system is near collapse, yet C$100+ billion is being spent on offensive weapons including the F-35 flying turkey. Oh and the Ukrainian flag, decals and lapel pens are everywhere. People don’t seem to say “eh” anymore. “Sorry”.

      1. Wukchumni

        yet C$100+ billion is being spent on offensive weapons including the F-35 flying turkey.

        I take great umbrage over turkeys being compared to F-35’s and frankly suspect fowl play.

        Ben Franklin was of the opinion that it should be our national bird and if we had heeded his hopes, then we’d all be eating Butterbald Eagles® now (please pass the white meat…) for Thanksgiving Dinner, stuffed with kale dressing.

        But back to the Edsel of the air, not once have any fallen over my 6 here emanating out of NAS Lemoore, and that’s 100’s if not a thousand sorties, so it can still get it up, in fact the other day a couple were getting frisky up there and I turned up the Barry White to 11 on my outdoor speakers, and I got a couple of dipped wings on high for the effort.

      2. digi_owl

        Too bad the Shadowrun timeline never happened, otherwise we may well be seeing the United Canadian American States right now. That said, it would also involve Native Americans taking over most of of the western portion of both nations.

        1. chris

          And dragons coming out of several mountains/volcanos, and a virus that starts mutating significant numbers of people in elves, orcs, trolls, and dwarves. Right now I’d take my chances with that future chummer :)

      3. jrkrideau

        The health care system is near collapse

        Well, technically we have ~13 healthcare systems and while all are badly over-stressed the worst seem to be run by the various “Conservative” government. The Federal Gov’t constitutionally cannot do a lot on the operations side.

        On the other hand the Federal Government is responsible for the insanity of buying F-35’s. Bribery & blackmail?

    4. danpaco

      My Chrystia, (shout out to Wuk), is a compete neoliberal ideologue and most of my friends that I mention this to have no idea what I’m talking about. I’ve been asking for her to recuse herself from any decisions regarding Canada/Ukraine, obviously its falling on deaf ears.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’ll trade you My Kevin for Your Chrystia straight up.

        The evang community in the Central Valley Bible Belt would go hog wild thinking the second coming was here because her name sounds awfully close-don’t you think, and My Kevin would predictably get nothing done in regards to the Ukraine, a win-win.

      2. Kouros

        There is a nice picture of her, on the side, as the main organizer of the fabled Lima Group, designed to align all Americas for the purpose of regime change in Venezuela. She carried water for the US Empire big time. Sending weapons to Ukraine, buying weapons from the US on my tax money to send it to her ultranationalists in Ukraine, all the while waving the black and red (soil and blood) flag of Ukraine patriots. Quite a few of them ended up chocking in their own blood with all their head orifices filled with their beloved soil. Something that Chrystia likely deserves.

    5. Sub-Boreal

      On watching that clip, my astute brother observed:

      What is it with her hand gestures? It’s as if she and DBH [Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s Public Health Office and masking foe-in-chief ] went to the same public speaking coach?

  6. Juneau

    re: articles on treatment for opioid dependence (a topic I am familiar with): The main therapy in question in these articles is buprenorphine, one of the safer yet most strictly regulated opiates on the market. It is a substitute opiate with much less less overdose risk. Both bupe and methadone can reduce all cause mortality in this population by over 50 percent (less OD, HIV, hepatitis, etc…). Less endocarditis would be my guess as well. If pharmacists can help out that would be good, as there haven’t been enough licensed providers to meet the need.

    To its credit, DEA has announced it will remove the requirement for physicians to have a special license to prescribe bupe, so this can be applied by anyone with a DEA license in any setting (including hospitalized patients with endocarditis). I just wish this had been done 23 years ago when oxy hit the market…

    1. Terry Flynn

      I have no experience in this field but know an adult with ADHD and is treated with an amphetamine “along with the drug addicts” because its a controlled drug.

      The stigma of being in a line at certain time on certain day which everyone knows is for and might actually be recognised (and for the “wrong” reason) must be horrid. This is just disgusting.

    2. John Zelnicker

      Juneau – The form of Buprenorphine used for opiate disorder treatment is a combination with Naloxone and it’s now a Schedule III drug, so not as strictly regulated as it used to be.

      It also does not require the special DEA license, only the standard version. I think the DEA announcement applies to prescribing Buprenorphine by itself.

  7. KD

    The Debt Ceiling Limit is Destructive, Duplicative, and Dumb

    Hell no, you can’t do a coin trick without the element of misdirection.

    1. John

      The debt ceiling is only useful as a political lever to whichever party wishes to use it. It bears a striking resemblance to the filibuster in that regard. It is a marvelous tool for pointless speeches and even pointless comments like this one.

  8. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from The Times They Are A Changin’ by Bob Dylan)

    For fifty-two years now the Davos crowd meets
    The brightest and best, the financial elites
    And they wander around these quaint Swiss village streets
    With lots of smiling and waving
    They’re the masters of men and the best of tax cheats
    In this world they are the owners

    The Davos crowd gathers here time and again
    Every year richer, the wisest of men,
    They make pompous pronouncements and then say Amen
    Though you may find fault with their framing
    But you won’t be invited onto CNN
    In this world they are the owners

    They bring cocaine and pills and well-aged alcohol
    Their orgies and parties are just off the wall
    Two grand for a consort? They don’t blink at all
    Because human beings are playthings
    They can go Medieval or Neanderthal
    In this world they are the owners

    Someday we’ll own nothing but rich people will
    And each time we breathe they will ring up the till
    Subscriptions and taxes will bleed us until
    The streets are full of folks ragin’
    But none shall be heard till they settle their bill
    In this world they are the owners

    You can get with the program or be an outcast
    Our world is changing so hard and so fast
    The end of all history’s coming at last
    But it’s all in their imagination
    They want us to worship the loot they’ve amassed
    In this world they are the owners

  9. The Rev Kev

    ‘On Ukraine: “33 percent of Americans think the United States is doing too much to help Ukraine, 21 percent think the U.S. is doing too little, and 38 percent think the U.S. is doing about the right amount to help Ukraine.” ‘

    Meanwhile, the remaining 8% were the only ones who could actually locate the Ukraine on a map of the world.

    1. Mildred Montana

      As if it couldn’t possibly get worse, it does. Forget Americans’ ignorance of the world, what of the USA itself?

      I remember reading many years ago that 40% of Americans were unable to locate their own state on a map of the USA. Although I am unable to find the specific poll result, the link below jibes with that figure and is confirmation of the abysmal geographic illiteracy of young Americans (aged 18-24).

      Two “low-lights” from the link: Only 50% could identify the state of New York, only 43% could identify Ohio.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Boredpanda did a funny one recently. They “filled in” the Bay of Biscay with land and asked people to name it. Unsurprisingly US young people didnt even clock that it wasn’t real, let alone get as far as naming it.

        My fave personal example comes from clothes shopping in Sydney (in the days when I colour co-ordinated etc and wasn’t a wheezing long-covid ridden blob). Female teenage shop assistant was following the US-imported sales routine and asked how she could help me about 1 millisecond after I entered. She did “the spiel” which at least had the benefit of getting the assistant to think independently and remark upon something interesting about the customer. She latched onto my red watch (USD10 analogue with small digital counter for 2nd time zone, bought in Singapore).

        When I asked her about her interest she said “I couldn’t use it cause I can’t tell time on them old things”. I clarified – “You can’t read an analogue clock?”. I walked straight out. But it did cause me to construct a long running joke I used which (distressingly) works (as in IT IS NOT CHALLENGED or generate a “WTF?”) with over 60% Aus and over 40% of UK teenage assistants…… When they do their spiel and ask what I’ve been doing today i say “researching how to chop my grandma up in best way to fit into trunk/boot of my car”. (Usual response is “that’s nice”). I now think UK & Aus deserve nuclear annihilation.

        1. digi_owl

          While i can read a analog watch, i have always found far more taxing than a digital one. But then i also live in a nation that has adopted what American like to refer to as “military time”…

        2. marym

          Teen-age workers making an effort to go a good job should treated with respect, particularly if they answered a question honestly or didn’t rise to the bait of a provocative statement.

          Also, if it’s detrimental for kids to grow up without learning to read cursive or maps or analog clocks, that’s on the adults who decide what the kids will be taught.

      2. Late Introvert

        I met a young lady from Detroit who insisted to me that North Carolina was not in the South, because it had North right there in the name.

  10. fresno dan

    Withdraw from Artyomovsk! Gilbert Doctorow
    If the slaughter of Ukrainians continues at its present rate, if the United States and its allies cannot ramp up munitions production, if the destruction of the Ukrainian energy infrastructure continues, if the logistics for conveying Western military supplies to the front are further impaired, then the Russians will find themselves against a disarmed Ukrainian army some time in the early spring, and they may get the capitulation they seek without shock and awe heroics.
    That is not to say that we can sleep calmly in the belief that the end of the war is nigh. There are risks arising as the inevitability of a Russian victory sinks into thick skulls at the Pentagon. The latest risks come from those saying publicly in Washington that the Ukrainians must be given longer range missiles so that they can strike directly at Russian military installations in Crimea if not in Central Russia. Such extravagant plans for the conquest of Russia can lead only to a nuclear response from Moscow and…the end of civilization as we know it.
    Perhaps there has not been a relatively rapid and decisive victory by Russia because Russia wants to preclude neocons from escalating the war. Americans have short attention spans, and soon enough Trump getting or not getting nominated will mean zero coverage of anything else.

    1. OIFVet

      I beg to disagree. I believe it is precisely the Westerners’ (not just Americans’) short attention span that enables the escalation by the US and NATO. It’s just that maybe it suits the Russians just fine to disarm NATO by destroying its weaponry on UA soil in a battle whose terms are very much dictated by and suited to Russian strength. I do believe that Russia’s initial intention was to force UA to the negotiating table and only BoJo’s trip to Kiev scuttled the deal they had reached in Istanbul.

      Speaking of BoJo, he is in Kiev again.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I saw a video a day or two ago where he was given the keys to the City of Kiev. He really is their favourite son there. But as for Artyomovsk (Bakhmut), the Ukrainians are in a bind. Several weeks ago there was talk of how they were going to attack Zaporizhia, retake Mariupol and split the Russians in half. Well the forces there were transferred to Bakhmut to plug the extreme losses. Now the Russians have applied pressure along the Zaporizhia front and taken both territory and settlements as this region is denuded of Ukrainian troops. So what do the Ukrainians do now? They could take troops from Bakhmut to reinforce Zaporizhia but to do so means that that city would fall which Zelensky does not want under any circumstances. They could leave those troops in Bakhmut but that would mean that the Russian may take more territory along the Zaporizhia front which would threaten supply lines. They do not have troops enough now to reinforce both regions so what to do. Zaporizhia could have been a faint but the fact of the matter is that the Ukrainians will have to try to match the Russians somewhere and now must decide where.

        1. OIFVet

          The Ukies will counterattack in the Moscow direction and only stop at the Red Square. Or so they dream.

          Theirs and the Western media misinfo increasingly reminds me of how the Mustached One would order no longer existing divisions to go on glorious offensives as the noose around Berlin tightened.

          BTW, there are now reports of Russian artillery striking targets in Sumy. If true, it may well be another devious Russian maskirovka to draw scarce resources away from wherever it is planning to concentrate its operations. Or it could be opening another front and Zaporizhia becomes a feint. Or it could be Russia exploring weaknesses to exploit. Or it could be toying with NATO to urge it to speed up delivery of more materiel to the recycling grounds of Donbass.

          The point is, no one knows but the Russians and the Russians have both the resources and the options to use them and adjust their actions depending on which branches of their decision tree pan out. Ukraine can only react and rob Peter to pay Paul in the process. The whole happy talk of conserving resources for a spring offensive by withdrawing from Bakhmut is so much wishful thinking. It seems to me the Russians have the initiative and are about to make their moves.

          Whatever it is, don’t expect the West to claim anything but victory. “Russia failed in its objective to capture Lvov, therefore it lost.” Or, “Russia failed to capture Warsaw.” Or Riga, Berlin, Paris, Davos, whatever. We are in the next forever war and the only ones who don’t seem to know it yet are the Western populations.

          1. John

            I believe that the Russian leadership fully understands the we-dare-you-to use-a-nuke childishness that emanates from the DC Bubble and Echo Chamber and rest secure in the knowledge that it possesses ample means without resort to civilizational suicide.

            1. MRLost

              Ummm … remember the Nord Stream pipelines? Somebody destroyed those and then blamed … Russia. Pretty much everyone else decided to go along with the gag. So why wouldn’t somebody set off a nuclear device inside Russia and then blame … Russia? You know, a drunk sergeant was bringing one up from the basement, tripped, dropped it and … BANG. Dumb ruskies. Just like them to, you know, blow up their own city / military base / etc.
              Why doesn’t anyone think a nuclear weapon would make a good false flag? Not many eye witnesses. Much outrage. By the time the plutonium debris has been sourced, it’ll be baseball season and no one will remember or care. What’s not to like? /sarc

              1. cfraenkel

                The basic problem with that scenario is it certainly wouldn’t fool the Russians, and they have an inconvenient number of warheads to return the favor with…

                One of the most alarming facets of this conflict has been how lightly the idea of nuclear escalation is being taken.

                1. digi_owl

                  Heck, lets not forget that Russia tried to play nice with Ukrainian civilians until the bridge bomb. Only after that did we see the mass missile barrages going after electrical substation etc.

        2. Skip Intro

          Time is on Ukraine’s side, that is indisputable, same with Newsweak.

          The time to pull troops out of Artemovsk was probably before the last road out came under fire control.

    2. RobertC

      I enjoyed and learned from Dr Doctorow’s recent essays so I purchased Does Russia have a Future? Collected (Nonconformist) Essays on Russian, American and European Relations, 2013-15

      As with his recent essays, the collected essays are a pleasure to read. Not only is Dr Doctorow an accomplished scholar and essayist but he combines an ability to make you feel present at each moment in history with an understanding of how the moment was reached.

      Highly recommended.

  11. noonespecial

    Re Cop City

    The following article may have been seen here at NC before; however, sharing link from Bitter Southerner because it includes details and background on the persons who protest the development of the training facility and some historical context.

    One quote on history: “For many years, the prison farm had operated as the city’s unofficial drunk tank. Despite the fact most inmates were serving sentences for minor infractions, life there could be punishing and brutal…Before it was a prison farm, it was a slave plantation and before that, it was home to the Muscogee tribe, who were violently expelled in the 1820s and 1830s.”

    Seems like Cop city honors the tradition of the state’s penchant for violence.

    1. JBird4049

      Funny, no footage of the cop shooting in Cop City because the Georgia State Patrol does not require body cameras, but tons of the “violent protestors” protesting the shooting. I have not been following the protests at Cop City, but I understand that the police have been more violent than normal and normally, they are very violent.

    2. Wukchumni

      The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) is also in Georgia in Brunswick.

      A buddy in law enforcement in Sequoia NP went there about a decade ago, and he felt the amount of crime going down in the general vicinity of the area was easily 3x as much as back in Godzone. He was shocked.

      Law enforcement swings hard right for the most part and he related that all the tv screens in the chow hall were on Fox News 24/7.

    3. Carolinian

      This has been a controversy for years and a somewhat manufactured one in that an available plot of land was ceded to the Police rather than an alternate group that wanted the very new growth woods to be a self named “Atlanta Forest.” Which is not to say the Atlanta Police don’t deserve lots of protests. Late night on Peachtree Street I once witnessed a gang of cops pull a driver out the window and beat the crap out of him.

      But the story I read said that all of those arrested were from out of state and so the particular dispute seems not to be about local stakeholders.

  12. Wukchumni

    California’s next flood could destroy one of its most diverse cities. Will lawmakers try to save it? Grist
    Stockton is to me, the most dangerous (violent crimes occur there @ 3x the state average) big city in Cali. Oakland rivals it but is close to nicer cities softening it’s considerable edge, while there is no there, there, next to Stockton. It isn’t good to always dwell on the negative, so i’ll close in saying, it’s Galt-adjacent.

    I’ve been noticing oh so much slippage in the state and posted a video yesterday of cliffs coming undone above occasional naked bodies below on Black’s Beach, and there has been so much downheaval in the Golden state, perhaps perpetuated by the loss of moisture in the soil over 3 years of punishing paucity, i’d postulate.

    There is a veritable shitlode of snow above me in the High Sierra and during the last fortnight i’ve been bombarded with e-mails from Mammoth, continual ‘Dump Alerts’ of many feet of snow, and similar to the sign @ McDonalds that proclaims ‘Billions Served’, said e-mails mean nothing when in great excess. You only need a few feet of snow on the ground to ski, not 20.

    It generally doesn’t get that cold in the state, my Buffalonian born better half and I were camping in the back of beyond on a near freezing night when she asked what’s the coldest i’ve ever been in Cali?

    I thought maybe 15 degrees, and oh how she howled!

    Where the snow is on high in my neck of woods will hit -10 tonight, which should turn it into Sierra Cement with a nice ice base, solidifying our summer source, which is good.

    What would be bad is a rain on snow pineapple express storm, we had one 5 years ago that was rain up to 10k, which caused 3 avalanches in Mineral King Valley from the rapid meltoff.

    This winter has the feel of the winter of record around these parts: 1969.

    A big wallop as we’ve just experienced, followed by a lull and then another atmospheric river and a lull and then another AR, and just when you’ve had enough, spring comes along and gravity brings the largess down to the fruited plain.

    This would be a disaster for the local economy, AirBnB in particular, as the Generals Highway would need so much work that they’d close this side of Sequoia NP for the summer in fixing the road, and the only access would be by going on Hwy 180 up to Grant Grove and then driving 30 miles to the Giant Forest where the Sherman tree is. Nobody would stay here, it’d be kind of similar to the flooding in Yellowstone NP earlier in the year that wiped out business for an entrance town on one side of the NP.

    It’d be somewhat of a clean kill, as would be Hilton barons who eschewed long term rentals at a lot less money, would suddenly be courting them, those who didn’t put their garage mahals up for sale only to find out that the only buyers the past 5 years have been speculators like them.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>Stockton is to me, the most dangerous (violent crimes occur there @ 3x the state average) big city in Cali. Oakland rivals it but is close to nicer cities softening it’s considerable edge, while there is no there, there, next to Stockton. It isn’t good to always dwell on the negative, so i’ll close in saying, it’s Galt-adjacent.

      The worst of any flooding will take place in the state’s Red areas full of the Disposables while the Blue coastal cities (and Sacramento, the state capital) all have better protections, even if they are still inadequate, despite not being as naturally vulnerable. California is like most of the United States that way.

      1. Carolinian

        Until the earthquake? Supposedly you are due.

        Years ago I read about those L.A. mansions teetering on the edge of soil liquefaction. So life on the edge there not really something new?

        1. JBird4049

          We are overdue for another quake the size of the 1906, but California has always had extremes of water, drought, fire, plus the occasional earthquake. This is not new. However, the state had a few decades of infrastructure building especially with water control and use back in the middle of the last century, which the politicians have been living off of ever since. Having a functional state means having serious water projects both for flood control and supplying water, which has been true ever since there has been a state. So, a hundred and seventy years.

          It costs serious money, meaning taxes, to do the very large projects plus the decades of deferred maintenance. Like with the local schools, it is the locals who pay for much of it especially for flood control. Stockton has always been a poor city and it is the poorer sections, what can be labeled as the ghetto, that is the most threatened in Stockton. The most vulnerable people who have no political influence in a vulnerable city that itself only has a little political pull.

          With its luck, I would not be shocked if a major quake hit it (and its cruddy levees) at the same time the river threatens it. Since it is the wealthier part of the city that has halfway decent levees, one could expect an inland version of Katrina.

        2. Wukchumni

          On that video I posted of the cliff giving way, some of the most exclusive homes in La Jolla worth tens of millions, aren’t far from being in the drink soon, and no shaking needed yet.

          If there is a conventional wisdom about earthquakes in Cali, some follow the dictum of ‘earthquake weather’ extraordinary cloudy skies sure to bring it on dude.

          The thing is, after the Big One comes calling, it isn’t as if anybody is going to refer to it as a Black Swan, the damned thing is way overdue.

          In theory, here we are outside of the quake zone, but I most certainly felt the 7.9 in Trona-adjacent when in my cabin in Mineral King 3 or 4 years ago.

          1. B24S

            My wife and I thank you and your friend for that entertainment. She once lived in Pacifica, and had friends in the oceanfront apartments that aren’t there anymore. We were aghast at all the gawking from the base of Mt. Impending Doom.

            When we bought in the North Bay, back in ’90, we paid attention to the hillsides, floodplains, and open spaces. A few years ago I had to finally insure a (now) rather valuable vehicle we’ve had for 30 years. I called three major companies. The first looked at the hazard map on their computer, and said I was golden, no slide/fire/flood impacts, even only minor earthquake exposure, so only $7K/yr. The second one said “no way, our map shows you are about to be swept away/burned out, etc”. The last one said “sure, but it’ll cost you 10”. Made me feel like I was walking down B’way in NYC at midnight.

            Anyway, that clip is being passed on to those in the family more likely to pass through the debris zone.

          2. The Rev Kev

            That Torrey Pines landslide video. Was that caused by the ground being recently saturated by all rains? Watching that video, I was wondering if that huge jagged rock was going to come down too and if the guy filming this was fa enough away.

            1. Wukchumni

              They certainly got a nice bit of rain in San Diego recently, and those cliffs were made of sandstone, but that’s all I know in regards to their downfall.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Media: Vučić will be given an ultimatum”

    ‘We are the EU. Existence, as you know it, is over. Lower your borders and surrender your weaponry to NATO. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.’

  14. Wukchumni

    If I was 20 to 30 again, i’d relish the opportunity to work on trail crew in Sequoia NP… and if your son or daughter is about that age-something to consider.

    It really is one of the premier trail crews in the NP’s and in many ways a 19th century occupation, where you camp in the far wilderness and are supplied by mule train. The possibilities to explore are boundless and nowhere to spend money on, so you save it. Imagine living on the very canvas Ansel Adams composed his pictures on?

    There’s nothing like the peace and solitude offered by a California hiking trail. Sometimes demanding but always worth it, these stretches of dirt, soil and rock stand as a testament to the state’s everlasting beauty.

    But have you ever stopped to wonder how they stay so immaculate? It’s not by accident. It happens by design, literally.

    That’s where Tony Fiorino comes in.

    The 45-year-old Thousand Oaks, California, native is the trail supervisor at Sequoia National Park, a gorgeous collection of natural beauty and the world’s most massive trees found in the Sierra Nevada roughly 250 miles west of San Francisco. The park, along with the adjacent Kings Canyon National Park, is truly breathtaking, in part because of Fiorino’s ongoing work.

    Fiorino first joined Sequoia’s trail crew in 1996 and hasn’t looked back. “It was sort of a love-at-first-sight kind of thing,” he told SFGATE by phone. “I just knew it was something special and different.”

    You can also add challenging and physical to the list. Job duties include lots of hiking (of course), clearing trails with chainsaws, building trails, maintaining trail structure, assisting with blasting or rigging “and working and living on remote project sites supported by helicopters and mule trains.”

    As you might imagine, this isn’t your typical 9-to-5 job. The diverse group of 20- and 30-somethings works four straight 10-hour days a week before getting a break. Three-day weekends are the norm, but what isn’t standard is that you can’t leave. Groups are embedded deep in remote parts of the Sierra, and trail crews spend weeks on end with one another — and no one else — in some of the Sierra’s most rugged and awe-inspiring territory.

    1. juno mas

      Yes, Sequoia/Kings NP is a stunningly beautiful portion of the Great Granite Pluton (Sierra Nevada). Ahh, to be a 20 or 30 something again. To be on a trail crew takes substantial physical stamina, but psychic benefits are even greater. Long live the backcountry!

  15. Lexx

    ‘Americans On Biden’s Handling Of Classified Documents’

    I have a few question…

    While the responsibility may be laid at the feet of a president leaving office for every item he takes with him… is he the person who packs up his office? Nevermind whether or not Hunter knew they were there, did his dad? Did he ever go through the boxes again once home to see what the contents were?

    Likewise, Trump? Anyone go rifling through the contents of what the Clintons walked away with, the Bushes, or Obamas? Would the FBI have found classified documents among the possessions of every president, vice president, and secretary of state after leaving office?

    1. griffen

      And the slow drip of more details continues. Let’s wait and see the word-smithing that goes with this newer revelation, by generally speaking both Repubs and Dems. It is becoming pretty clear to most people, I should caveat most, that use a functional brain that each side of the aisle is guilty of bull$hittery on epic levels. A general pox on the lot of them.

      Trump is evil and mendacious with his lies about those documents. Biden is sloppy and unorganized, but we can forgive these sins and see past them. \SARC

      1. notabanker

        You see, the real issue here is that the Trump documents contains all kinds of lurid secrets, some of them, gasp, (shh nuclear), which can fall into nefarious hands and well, you know. The Biden docs are just your everyday run of the mill classified documents. Sure, maybe some money laundering from foreign state officials and oligarchs, but that is just part of the personal fund raising requirement to be a Democrat. So there really is nothing to see here.

      2. Lexx

        At some point my dentist and dental hygienist decided that my continued presence there (or any other patient) had nothing to do with my trust in them; I showed up for my appointment and they did not.

        This has that same feel, that both parties have completely abandoned any interest in whether or not the public finds them trustworthy. That it has nothing to do with gaining and maintaining power, so why not put on a show? Be as bad as you wanna be! There’s no crime, large or small, they won’t commit to maintain power. Our lawyer legislators are outlaws and Washington is their hideout at the end of a box canyon.

        Next month I have an appointment with a new dentist just up the street from the old. I’ll be interviewing him to see if he thinks my trusting him matters at all to his bottom line. Maybe it doesn’t and that’s useful to me.

        1. semper loquitur

          A co-worker’s therapist of ten years ghosted her about two months ago. Left her in the lurch re: meds. Now she has an e-therapist…

          No one cares anymore and it shows. I know the ancient Greeks had a name for when societies forget knowledge. Did they have a name for societal ennui?

    2. cnchal

      The question that has never been asked.

      I know, every document a spook generates is automatically stamped secret, especially if its communication to another spook about how his dog barfed on the carpet that morning, but still, even if the top secret documents had moar value as a fire starter than containing any actual secrets, its rather curious that no one asks, who else, other that Joe, saw them at his “”think tank”” and did they have the security clearance to see them?

    3. curlydan

      Good question. I’d like to think that on the day before leaving the White House or VP’s house, they were both dressed in jeans and grubby t-shirts, flanked with used boxes from the local liquor store and struggling with packing tape that just won’t tear easily. Maybe asking their spouses, “Will I ever use this document again?” or “Can I re-gift this piece of crap the Kuwaiti ambassador gave me?”

      The different reactions between Trump’s and Biden’s document findings are just such a perfect way to view people’s biased and partisan thought processes–no thinking required, just support your favorite color. As Seinfeld once said about sports, “You’re basically just rooting for laundry.”

      1. John Wright

        Add in responses to Hillary Clinton’s email server to observe different people’s “nothing to see there” beliefs.

        Clinton was allowed to have a team of lawyers delete many of the e-mails as “personal” before handing paper copies of the remaining ones to the government.

        And she didn’t make an inexpensive backup (a memory stick would have held them) snapshot of the emails before the editing process occurred, preventing people from judging the true operation of the editing process if there were subsequent questions (which there were)..

    4. JP

      Not to be a broken record but the casual retention of documents was not a big thing until Trump made a big deal out of Hillary’s disregard for the letter of the law. And what does classified mean really in most cases? Might embarrass someone, provide kompromat, display slimy politics or oh! compromise national security secrets that the enemy already knows about but must be kept secret from the citizens.

      1. Eclair

        And what does classified mean….? I have always thought, JP, that it is a carryover from the pre-adolescent social scene, where the ‘secret’ club house, the ‘secret’ password, were a means to exclude the grubby uncool kids. And give the cool guys a club to wield over those unfortunates.

    5. flora

      As somebody else smarter than me suggested, it seems the FBI and B’s lawyers (his personal lawyers?!) started finding classified files shortly after B began making firm statements that he is running again in 2024. The Dem estab does not want him to run again. Too frail, too unguarded in his talk, becoming unreliable, openly mocked by the Saudis. So the Dem estab is finding ways to edge him out and not run again. “Throwing him under the bus” in harsher terms on reliable Dem outlets like CNN. Of course, that means they have to let him go gentle into that good retirement, he’s being “sloppy” with record keeping, nothing criminal, unlike T who was nefarious all the way they say. Makes as much sense to me as anything else I’ve read. / ;)

      1. flora

        Interesting that both T and apparently B are the two major potential candidates the Dem estab and the FBI do not want running for pres in 2024. A records keeping scandal around classified documents in both cases. What a co-inky-dink. / ;)

    6. Katniss Everdeen

      If I recall correctly, the whole Trump “classified” issue was kicked off when the head of the national archives “noticed,” somehow, that Trump had not “returned” documents that rightfully “belonged” to them.

      Now “we” are supposed to believe that this document eagle eye never “noticed” that dementia joe did the same thing 6 years ago, and maybe even further back than that.

      Let’s just face it. The permanent washington bureaucracy and those private corporations known as the RNC and DNC have decided that Sylvester Stallone said it best at the end of his first (and finest) “Rocky” movie: “Ain’t gonna be no rematch.”

      1. JBird4049

        The question still remains of just who will be running for the presidency: will it Harris, she of the hyena laugh and zero social responsibility; Biden, he of diminished thinking and with the amuck staff of zero competency; Orange Man Bad, he who is pathologically hated by the Professional Managerial Class and beloved by the Disposables, but is a wild card; Sanders, who is probably the best of the bad choices, but like Trump, has the PMC ready to shiv in the back; or God help, one of Trump’s mini-me’s in the Republican Party like Ron DeSantis or some obscure Bidenite Clone in the Republican Democratic Party preferably more tanned? And no, Clinton has the ego, but is well done. Just put the fork in her candidacy. I can see the Evangelicals sneaking in Mike Pence, maybe, but he is problematic.


          1. JBird4049

            Glenn Youngkin? He completely slipped my mind, but if the Democrats continue to be as feckless as they have been, I can see him making a successful run.

            Thanks for pointing him out.

          2. Lexx

            Teeny tiny pocket-sized whiter-shade-of-pale wife with Mennonite fashion sensibilities and four toothy preppy clones… oh, the Church Goers will just eat that family image up, nomnomnom. So tired of East coast candidates.

  16. The Rev Kev

    ‘”This school has asbestos. Can you mitigate it?”
    “No, it wouldn’t be equitable if we couldn’t do asbestos mitigation for every school.”
    “But not every school has exposed asbestos. Can you just do the ones that do?”
    “No, if we can’t do every school, it’s not equitable” ‘

    It’s always the same story. A long time ago in the State of Victoria in Oz, it was found that a lot of schools had asbestos which would cost a mint to remove so the Parliamentarians were humming and hawing over what to do. It was then discovered that the ceiling of Victoria’s Parliament building also had asbestos in it. Immediately the Victorian Parliament was evacuated and a full asbestos removal team went in straight away – no expense spared – to remove all traces of asbestos in that building before the Parliamentarians would sit in that building again.

  17. Terry Flynn

    Wish the 2 years long covid stuff was better known. I and my mum have suffered more or less that long. Indeed the symptoms mentioned haven’t resolved……. And a bunch of autoimmune ones have flared up – new ones but particularly old ones that had seemed to “ebb away” decades ago.

    My dermatologist went from ‘totally dismissive’ to wanting exact dates for everything…… Maybe my cardiologist will do the same…. You’d think so given that my heart condition dates from birth and NC reported the key paper on cardiac stuff!

  18. Not Again

    The U.S. wants to take Russian military equipment from Russia’s Latin American allies and “donate it to Ukraine

    So now we know what it would be like if Elizabeth Holmes had joined the Army instead of Theranos. I guess the general will be at Davos next year. Being a sociopath has nothing to do with gender.

    1. semper loquitur

      Why in the world would anyone take US junk over Russian equipment? Without a gun pointed at their head, that is. I’d rather an older system than a brand-new one that doesn’t work. Or that requires constant maintenance and system updates due to planned obsolescence…

    2. Wukchumni

      I just wanted to state for the record, that although Elizabeth Holmes and yours truly were both contemplating a trip to Mexico at the same time, there is nothing to it, coincidences happen.

    3. c_heale

      Well that is interesting. If they do that, Latin America, may well not be America’s back yard anymore.

  19. 'The Rev Kev

    ‘Kawsachun News
    The U.S. wants to take Russian military equipment from Russia’s Latin American allies and “donate it to Ukraine”.’

    People here might remember Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson from that video where she was almost drooling while listing South America’s resources-

    So if a South American country gives up their Russian equipment – for free – everything will be sweet for them no matter how rusty or broken down that gear is. They then get a chance to buy US military gear but considering the fact that US stockpiles have been depleted, may have to wait years for it to be delivered. But Iraq might give them a warning about going ahead with this deal. They spent big money buying US tanks years ago and they were serviced by some corporation. Then the US had a hissy fit because they saw some unauthorized people using US military gear, blamed Iraq for it, and pulled out those contractors. Pretty soon their tank force was out of action so then the Iraqis had to buy Russian tanks like they used before the invasion.

    1. Wukchumni

      I wonder what the Monroe Doctrine says about requesting Latin American countries to hand over weapons that certainly couldn’t have come from somewhere else, it being our rather exclusive bailiwick if you will?

      The USA issued a slew of commemorative coins in the 20th century and the one that always showed up in LA was the 1923 Monroe Doctrine Centennial half $ as it has the most tenuous connection with California at the time, for it was wholly owned by Mexico.

      Every little old lady (hopefully she was laboring over the contents of her portable receptacle showing signs of ‘purse droop’ as you buzzed her into your coin store, what else could be in there?) had 1 or 2 of them and they weren’t worth much in the 70’s, like $5 to 10, as most had been spent repeatedly for 50 Cents during the Great Depression and were in good shape, but worn somewhat.

      I always liked the reverse design, which incorporated a couple of hawties contorting themselves into North & South America, funny that.

  20. Stephen

    The U.S. wants to take Russian military equipment from Russia’s Latin American allies and “donate it to Ukraine”……..tweet

    Is it just me or does this General who heads Southern Command talk as though she owns Latin America?

    I originally thought Southern Command might mean Texas and Alabama. Silly me.

    1. Janie

      Sorta like the title of an editorial in the Washington Post today. “Germany is refusing to send tanks to Ukraine. Biden cannot let that stand.”

  21. chris

    This article in the Guardian this morning goes well with the discussion on here about Ukraine lately.

    It won’t surprise anyone here to note that the author is Ukrainian born, has research topics that support the current lack of diplomacy from the US, and follows up her thoughts with these gems:

    With an aggressor impervious to international or domestic pressure, tenuous peace, backed by a state-of-the-art anti-missile defence system and a world-class military on standby, may just be the best outcome Ukraine can hope to achieve.

    Ukraine knows this, even though its western supporters are still hoping for a good-faith negotiated settlement. [emphasis added] What Ukraine needs is to prepare for the long haul, strengthen its relationships with additional potential allies, and further develop its own defence industry. The only way Ukraine can achieve lasting peace is by stockpiling the biggest guns it can find.

    Read the article if you have the stomach for it. The lack of self reflection is amazing. Everything the author writes could apply to Russia’s position against the “West”. I loved the part about anyone on our side hoping for a good faith negotiated settlement. So, the deal with Merkel and Hollande is what… forgotten? Ignored? Ok? I’m not sure what the author thinks of that duplicity. But regardless of what she thinks there is no intellectually honest position that anyone can claim as supported by the facts which includes the “West” wanting a good faith negotiated settlement.

    Would be nice to have some governments that actually represent citizens who live in the “West”. Kinda tired of my vote not counting because the Davos slime and Congresscritters live in a different world. I think articles like the above support Yves thesis that the future for Ukraine is a hollowed out wasteland no one can live in. Unless it is obvious that there is no option and no further threat Russia has to destroy all opposition and future terrorist support.

    1. Stephen

      I wonder who funds her “job” researching “violent and repressive” regimes.

      I also wonder if she wrote articles criticising treatment of the Canadian Truckers. That might provide a clue on who is funding her mortgage.

  22. Joe Well

    >>Military invasion of San Marcos University in Lima Peru

    This is the oldest university in the Americas, still the most prestigious public university in Peru and until the 1980s the most prestigious university of any kind, before it became a victim of Shining Path and Tupacamarista terrorists and also government terrorism.

    A huge leap backward for the military to invade, it harks back to the terrorism era that ended in the 1990s.

      1. Screwball

        Thanks for this flora. Related; what’s up with the rest of the Twitter Files from Taibbi and the rest? Haven’t posted anything in about a week. We are promised the Fauci files, but nothing. Are people getting cold feet, or is something else going on?

  23. Joe Well

    >>Rentokil pilots facial recognition system as way to exterminate rats

    The news just keeps getting worse for Buttigieg. /s

    1. flora

      fresno dan, thanks for the chart.

      Starting around 1975 from the chart. What happened around that time? The Powell Memo? Carter starting the deregulation process? Volcker’s crush labor program by raising interest rates to the moon and leaving them there too long? The start of outsourcing manufacturing to cheaper labor countries? (OPEC and the oil price shock should not have in itself caused the wage gap widening.)

      1. flora

        longer: starting around 1980 the economy shifted from a manufacturing economy – where workers were important to production and profits and longterm stability and growth of a company – to a financialized economy where the CEO who managed the financials and the shareholders were the only thing that counts; shareholders cared only about stock prices and CEO were paid in part with stock options so plumping the stock price by any means available was all that mattered. The arrival of the neolib Reaganites and Milton Friedman’s economic philosophy swung changes in tax law that encouraged financialization of the economy. Clinton and the New Dems believe in that economic model, too. It’s a 45-50 year history of increasing ruin on Main Street.

        1. fresno dan

          Just eyeballing the chart with regard to the ratio, Reagan/Bush was a piker compared to Clinton with regard to supporting inequality.
          One could also say Obama helped CEO’s more than Bush II, although one could make the case that Bush II’s inadverdent paltry helping of equality was due to Bush II’s total economic mismanagement.

  24. Wukchumni

    Gooooooood Moooooooorning Fiatnam!

    The platoon was quartered in Pasadena and after a diet of pretty much MRE’s on a LRRP, an excursion to Tender Greens salad bar it was agreed would alleviate onset scurvy, so was the thought.

    Little did we know that another incursion in the War On Cash was soon to be upon us, in that what sounded like a restaurant the Federal Reserve might give discounts to, having an appropriate name when considering the exchange of white, green and black pieces of paper printed on both sides, but no dice.

    Our cash was of no value to them in their fiscriminatory fashion, only electronic money, well I zing the money electric was all I had to do and before you know it, a vegetable oriented food fight had broken out with an employee cleverly dressed up as somebody’s mom getting it in the keister with a kohlrabi, arugula up side the head and radishes wrought forth using an atlatl to pepper the room, luckily the blood marks where they hit blended in with the color nicely, you’d hardly know any carnage had occurred.

    It didn’t have to go down this way, it could have been an orderly repast with no root based food being wasted, but no, they declared war on us @ pearl onion harbor.

  25. Glenn

    “Kyiv”, gee, “Latinix” eliminated the difference between Hispanic men and women, so this semantic shift should work wonders on the war front?

    “Certified small modular reactors” Who provides the liability insurance?

  26. Jason Boxman

    From Mass. health department warns of drug-resistant gonorrhea strain

    The CDC is always on point!

    In Massachusetts, lab-confirmed cases of gonorrhea have increased 312% from a low point of 1,976 cases in 2009 to 8,133 in 2021, the DPH said. Nationally, confirmed cases have risen by 131% between 2009 and 2021, with 696,764 cases reported in the U.S. in 2021, according to preliminary data released by the CDC.

    It’s also worth noting that, given the arrival of not just one, but two COVID shots after rapid development, perhaps government funding of new classes of antibiotics might be something worth considering, given that we have a template for this and it works? Naw.

  27. Jason Boxman

    Our liberal Democrat warmongers.

    Graham and Blumenthal both urged the Biden administration to supply Kyiv with tanks, artillery, and ATACMS missile systems, while Blumenthal also said planes should be supplied.

    “We should not send American troops to Ukraine, but we should provide Ukraine with whatever we would give our troops if they were fighting on the ground,” Blumenthal said.

    Whatever we can do it ignite a direct confrontation with the bear! Liberal Democrats, tryin’ to end the f**king world since 2022!

    1. Dagmar

      Wonder how the U.S. would react to Russia sending military hardware and missiles that could reach the U.S. to the Mexican cartels? Which thanks to Attorney General Eric Holder’s Fast and Furious campaign, were provided with automatic weapons. Contempt of Congress, but no charges filed.

      Russia could claim that they are “merely supporting freedom for the Mexican people.”

      1. jrkrideau

        …sending military hardware and missiles that could reach the U.S. to the Mexican cartels?

        Not to worry, Ukrainian entrepreneurs are loading the ships as I type. Of course, the cartels could just sell them back to the US Gov’t which can ship them to Ukraine which can….

  28. Wukchumni

    Exclusive: SWIFT payments network access cut to crypto exchanges Asia Markets
    Wouldn’t this news usher in the end of cryptocurrency, or at least give it a big shove off the end of a plank into an airy abyss?

    BTW, Bitcoin is nearly $23k, WTF?

  29. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: If Biden isn’t on the ticket, Harris’s pick for vice president will be key to 2024 The Hill

    For anyone who hasn’t already wasted their time on this “opinion” article—don’t. I will summarize:

    harris is such a shitty vp that if she wants to be “elected” president, she’d better pick a vp who’s demonstrably more competent than she, or people might not elevate her to the position of most powerful person in the world. No names were mentioned, which seems strange since the bar she has set is so very low even mayo pete would qualify.

    It’s been said here before but bears repeating–we are not a serious country.

    1. Mildred Montana

      >RE: If Biden isn’t on the ticket, Harris’s pick for vice president will be key to 2024 The Hill

      Those are quite the assumptions, that Biden won’t run and that Harris will—and be nominated. But then The Hill’s gotta come up with content somehow.

      I “opine” (a la The Hill) that Harris, if Biden doesn’t run and she declares herself, will be quickly eliminated in the 2024 Democratic primaries once the greater American public gets an earful of her nasal, grating, shrill, straining voice. When it comes to oration, she can’t hack it She’s no Obama or Roosevelt or Churchill or even a Biden or a Trump. She’s a…well, a Harris.

      Sorry Kamala, but the realistic person fits her aspirations to her abilities. In politics, your twangy voice is a terrible handicap, and you should realize that it will be a disqualifier for you down the road. I point out that you were selected for VP, not elected. Quietly fulfill your remaining VP “duties”, such as they are, decline to seek the Presidential nomination in 2024, and go back to California, having achieved your level of incompetence.

      1. Wukchumni

        When Kamala related that she did dope, who was to think it could be anything other than marijuana?

      2. ChrisPacific

        It depends a bit on how hard the Democrats decide to put their thumb on the scales in the primary. (As their representatives have pointed out in the past, they don’t even have to hold a primary at all). Another Super Tuesday coup from Biden/Obama like the one that sunk Bernie might do the trick.

        On the other hand, Biden was a stronger candidate than Harris – he was still scoring well in preferred President polls, even while he was falling far behind the others in the primary. I can’t think of a single poll where Harris has even made it to double digits. The Democrats have made it very clear in the past that they’d rather lose with an establishment candidate than win with a progressive one, but they can’t throw in the towel too obviously if they are to keep up the pretense. Harris may not be good enough to meet even that bar.

      3. Old Jake

        Biden still has to live for another year to start a meaningful campaign. How is his health, anyway? Do we have reports even as authoritative as were Trump’s?

    2. Absolutist

      Harris, the Kamaleon, is whatever you want her to be. As long as you are profiting from the current looting of America or subscribe to IDPolitics which parse the country into hundreds of subgroups that are of no danger to the globalists and protect them through distraction.

      These reminds me of the man brought back to life in The Monkey’s Paw.

      How a male who couldn’t even fill potholes in shitty little backwater city, has been plopped into a position of power and helped destroy the world’s greatest transportation system through his incompetence is even considered for anything other than running an antique store, bespeaks our imminent doom, unless resistance forms.

      1. flora

        an aside: Someone remarked (can’t remember who, sorry) that the US is an empire now, though will not admit the fact publicly even to itself due to the US’s origin story. And the US empire, like all empires, like the UK and Spanish empires that preceded it, starts to fail and fall apart when the top richest people in the home country are making more money from and care more about the far flung empire outposts, care more about say Ukr or a S. American country or a SE Asian country than about the home country economy and functioning. The wealth gap widens to extraordinary levels between the top who gain riches from empire and everyone else in the home country who do not. Eventually the disconnect of the empire side of planning (the globalists) from the home country’s core economy and well being collapses the empire. Don’t know if I captured this idea well. It made sense to me. (How much money are we sending Ukr? Why aren’t the airlines and trains and road infrastructure kept up to date in the US?)

          1. c_heale

            Monica Lewinsky got nothing except social disgrace from her abusive relationship with Clinton (a scumbag in every aspect). Kamela Harris appears to have traded sex for political power.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Getting away with lying for so long. He was interviewing people the weekend before the official announcement. Joe had gotten away with lies, but he lied directly this time.

  30. Jason Boxman

    Of note on Walgreens, if you look at the history of positivity for CA, TX, FL, you see a distinct hump pattern between July and December of last year. If you look at NY, PA, even MA, CT, it is more of a brief respite and then an upward trend. The invasion of BQ immediately followed by XBB, perhaps? And does this mean a broad spread later of XBB to the rest of the country?

    Turn in next week, for Biden’s Winter of Death, like 700k or whatever dead so far and counting in two years. It takes a liberal Democrat to normalize eugenics.

  31. LawnDart

    Re; #COVID-19

    You guys will love this:

    Japanese Prime Minister instructed to consider equating COVID-19 with seasonal flu

    Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has instructed the country’s health ministry to consider equating COVID-19 with seasonal flu, TASS reports.

    Japan will consider equating COVID-19 with seasonal flu.

    The fact is that even against the background of easing the requirements for combating the pandemic, citizens of the country still wear masks everywhere.
    Public News Service

    According to the national classification of diseases, the fifth category of diseases also includes seasonal flu.

    I can’t post a link because it’s a dotAreYou and skynet will vaporize it into the ether, but the original (in Cyrillic) is no spaces d z e n dotAreYou.

    Looks like the Japanese are normalization guinea pigs or lab-rats… …and after Fukushima and atomic-bombings, I guess they pretty-much have been whipped into submission by the ruling-class.

    1. Screwball

      Sounds like the perfect swamp creature. Board of FB, ran the vaccine effort under Biden, and the Biden transition before that. Not mentioned in the article, he worked for Bain & Company, who later changed to Bain Capital. I think we might have heard of them.

      Yep, perfect swamp creature. The comments under that article are interesting as well.

    2. Wukchumni

      Ha! It’s the PMC in motion
      Joey turned his tender eyes to Jeffrey
      As deep as any ocean
      As sweet as any harmony

      Mm, but he blind-sided me with Zients
      (he blind-sided me with Zients!)
      And failed upwards in the hierarchy, yeah

      When he was the Corona Coordinator
      (Blind-siding me with Zients, Zients)
      I can smell the Facebook aroma
      (Blind-siding me with Zients, Zients)

      Mm, now but it’s the PMC in motion
      And when Joey turned his eyes to Jeffrey
      As deep as any ocean
      As sweet as any harmony

      He blind-sided me with Zients
      (He blind-sided me with Zients!)
      And failed upwards spectacularly
      When he’s the chief of staff you see
      (Blind-siding me with Zients, Zients)
      I can hear the PMC machinery
      (Blind-siding me with Zients, Zients)

      She Blinded Me With Science, by Thomas Dolby

  32. fresno dan

    Why do super rich people exist in a society?
    Many of us assume it’s because some people make better financial decisions. But what if this isn’t true? What if the economy – our economy – is designed to create a few super rich people?
    That’s what mathematicians argue in something called the Yard-sale model…
    This is the crux of the Yard-sale model. In a free market, one person ends up with all of the wealth – completely by chance.

    This is completely counterintuitive. If everyone wins half their games, everyone should end up approximately where they started, around $1,000.

    But it all starts to make sense when you’re in the position of the poorer player. Your wager changes based on how much you can afford, so…

    When you lose, the maximum amount you can wager goes down. So you can’t win back what you lost in one coin flip.
    When you win, the maximum amount you can wager goes up. So you could potentially lose more than what you won in the first game.
    You get to make coin flips as much as you like and see how the statistics distributes the funds. The rich get richer, which I think is indisputable. But not due to merit, intelligence, or hard work…

    1. Revenant

      Two comments:

      My son (coming to the end of primary school) taught me a card game where each player has a deck of cards and the top three cards from the deck are placed face down and each player reveals one of his choice simultaneously with the other player. The lower card loses and the loser takes the cards revealed; a draw forces another reveal, three draws and the hand is replayed. I said I thought he must have misremembered the rules because I did not see why the game should terminate. The loser has by definition just gained the winner’s higher cards. The loser will accumulate higher cards until he starts winning. In a way, like the 50/50 bargaining model, it should just go on forever.

      I had a long infatuation with the meaning of money and wealth as a Natural Sciences undergraduate and became convinced that their meaning had to be an emergent property of a physical system, related to energy flows. In my defence, I was taking Chemistry A and B which involved a lot of statistical thermodynamics! I never managed to microfound a new school of economics on physics (the Bank of England was curiously unkeen on sponsoring that graduate study proposal) but I still think everybody needs to know about the Boltzmann distribution. With apologies to physicists in the room, an arm-wavey explanation is as follows:
      – any system of particles that are free to move in a given volume of space will have a distribution of particle energies (for example, kinetic energy, i.e. the energy of movement, mass * velocity^2) defined by a “partition function”
      – the partition function is inversely proportional to system temperature
      – the partition function sums to 1
      – for a system of fixed parameters, at low temperature a plot of particle proportion vs energy will look like a slug tethered to the origin that has been poked an has recoiled: it is hunched up at low energy and falling off rapidly with negligible populations of high energy particles
      – at high temperature, the slug stretches out, thin on low energy particles, fat on medium-energy particles and with a small but definite number of very high energy particles.
      – to me, this looks like income distribution in countries with a low and high economic “temperature” respectively. Low energy economies has a large lower-middle and peasant class and the gap between richest and poorest is not that high overall. Juice the economy with energy and watch the simultaneous growth of a dominant middle class and a 0.1% elite – and a much greater disparity between low and high income – as the people are lifted out of subsistence living.
      – intriguingly, the Boltzmann distribution also changes if you change the system parameters. If you have two identical systems at the same temperature etc. and you combine them into one, the distribution will nevertheless change with the “slug” stretching out toward increased energy. You have not raised the temperature, just increased the degrees of freedom over which the particles can move. This is free trade, people! Globalising the economy naturally created a 0.1% without juicing it with additional energy (but extra energy would have magnified the process).
      – to maintain their existence, the 0.1% has to maintain the trajectory of global integration, they cannot exist without it unless they accept falling back to a smaller multiple of the plebs income.

      I am still convinced that a macroeconomic theory microfounded on energy is valuable but when I discovered MMT, it answered a lot of the questions I had had about money which drove me to think about energy in the first place and makes me wary of the “commodity money” aesthetics of my energy intuition.

      1. digi_owl

        Fits with how it struck me the other day that if one were to take a step back, labor migration starts to look like a heat engine (if i understand the concept correctly).

        As for energy as the foundation for economics, take a look at what Steve Keen is up to. Guy has gone all the way back to French physiocrats for inspiration. Who in turn considered farmland the wellspring of all wealth. In modern terms, farms run on fusion energy provided by the sun that is collected by plants through photosynthesis.

  33. Skip Intro

    “Navy Seal Deserter” — At least they didn’t also claim he was a medic. The ‘volunteers’ and ‘mercenaries’ that turn up seem to be fresh from their nation’s armed forces, but have nice deniability in their legends… like a bench warrant. A recent interview by Clayton Morris with a Polish source discussed how many Polish volunteers were returning home for burials, and the anger by anti-war Poles about their being honored as heroes of the nation, when they were just mercenaries.
    It may be that the honors given the volunteers are evidence that they were actually on quasi-deniable official duty.

  34. redleg

    I didn’t see this one in links this weekend.
    Tiktok’s enshittification

    “Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die.”

    This gets lots of coverage here, but the detail of “how” in this article is minute. Just a simple matter of expanding the concept to farming/food, health care, etc.

    1. agent ranger smith

      Of course if the dopamine-reward-feedback-loop engineers have gotten enough Tiktok users cerebro-neurochemically addicted to the Tiktok experience to where they will stay there even after Tiktok reaches its final level of enshitification, then the enshitification engineers have succeeded in creating their ultimate mass-addict-based business model, and they will keep profiting regardless.

      Will the abused advertisers just take their advertising business elsewhere and walk away from that huge addicted userbase? Didn’t William S. Burroughs once write . . . ” Junk is the ideal product. The junkie will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy.”

  35. agent ranger smith

    In line with the World Economic Forum’s hemorrhoid Chrystia Freeland and her WEF-platformed opinion that the middle class needs a pay cut, there is this other article called . . . “Is the Reason Some Wealthy People Oppose Democracy Deeper Than We Think?”

    It is by Thom Hartmann and I found it at Ian Welsh’s blog’s weekly co-print of Tony Wikrent’s ” Weekly Wrap-Up” feature which is run every Sunday.

    In briefest, this article lays out the aristocratic-rule-preservation/restoration aspirations of the owner-class and traces its theoretical spelling out by modern conservatives from Edmund Burke to our own day.
    Knowing the enemy depends on knowing what the enemy thinks and why the enemy thinks it. So . . .
    here is the link.

  36. Wukchumni

    In olden days, a glimpse of celebrity
    Was looked on as something of a rarity
    But now, Klaus knows
    Anything goes @ Davos

    Cryptocurrency touts who once knew better awards
    Now only use four-letter words
    Writing prose

    Anything goes @ Davos
    If driving fast cars you like,
    If private jets you like,
    If old money you like,
    If captains of industry you like,
    If industrialized west you like,
    Or Greta grimacing you like,
    Why, nobody will oppose.
    When ev’ry night the set that’s smart is in-
    Intruding in highfalutin

  37. Kouros

    The Politico Article on Moldova.

    The US really wants to pick a fight with Russia, and possible give a good kick in the teeth, like forcing the Russians out of Transnistria.

    Transnistria is a strip of land, quite narrow, going from north to south on the eastern bank of the River Dniester. It was formed as RSS Moldova in 1924 by the Soviets, in order to maintain their claim to Bessarabia (R. of Moldova), the eastern half of the historical province of Moldova, which became part of Romania in 1859.

    R of Moldova could very easily join NATO and EU. It just needs to re-unite with Romania, which wouldn’t be a unheard of. it happened before in 1917, after 100 years of partition.

    Romanians of both sides of River Prut do not care about Transnistria. However, US/NATO cares, and wants that Russian “gangrene” extirpated. No more Kaliningrads!

    I am very curious how will this play. While now the majority of Romanians in Romania and R. of Moldova want to re-unite, I think there is only a very small minority willing to die for Transnistria and for the US Empire. And Ukrainians are worst than Russians, of course…

    But one can look with the microscope and not find any mention about re-unification as an option for ensuring the security of R of Moldova and renouncing Transnistria …

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘R of Moldova could very easily join NATO and EU’

      Well it can and it can’t. It depends. Technically you are not supposed to have any territorial disputes with neighbours before entering NATO. But they do not worry about following any of their rules lately and may just do it anyway. Moldova joining Romania would be a neat back door way of getting them in but I think that a lot of Moldovans oppose that. And if the Russian Federation advances all the way to Ukraine’s western border, then that joins them up with Transnistria direct. I am sure that the people in this region appreciate being turned into a conflict zone. /sarc

      1. Kouros

        The latest poll I have seen, 75% Romanians will approve of re-Union and over 50% of Moldovans would also approve of the re-Union.

        And you are right, NATO wouldn’t care about niceties. Also, re-unification would not require the approval of Turyie, or Hungary for that matter.

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