Links 1/26/2023

Happy Australia Day!

But: Australia Day: Why young Aussies are shunning their national holiday BBC. I trust Down Under readers will opine.

New bill in Oregon aims to ban ‘unconscionable’ import and sale of kangaroo products being used by Nike and other companies ABC Australia (Anthony L)

Hiss story: The last snake-handling church in West Virginia – in pictures Guardian

Even Reality TV Hosts Are Being Replaced By Robots Vice

Avian flu outbreak at Spanish mink farm sets off global alarm bells EL PAÍS English Edition (Dr. Kevin)

The Vast Humanity of Anton Chekhov New Republic (Anthony L)




China’s Tourist Sites Swarmed During Holiday Despite Covid Risks Bloomberg



Britain’s protected natural areas are failing to stop biodiversity loss Grist

Has a Chinese-Swiss team cracked the code for making solar energy cheaper? South China Morning Post

Extending Capital to Nature, Reducing Nature to Capital Peter Dorman, Econospeak. From last week, still germane.


A McCarthy Taiwan Visit Would Be Another Provocative Blunder Daniel Larison. Sadly stating the obvious is na gonna stop this freight train.

Chinese mainland is the ultimate playwright of Taiwan Straits’ drama series Global Times

Russia, China bring North Korea in from the cold Asia Times (Kevin W)

Bank of Japan continues to show who has the power Bill Mitchell

Old Blighty

Government reviewing its sanctions rules after letting Putin ally sue critic openDemocracy. Hoo boy.

From Roman pots to glass eyes, the shore of the river Thames teems with surprises aeon

Post-Brexit farm subsidies in England revealed Guardian (Kevin W)

France to withdraw its troops from Burkina Faso within a month Anadolu Agency

New Not-So-Cold War

Later tweets showing more strikes:

Live news: Explosions rock Kyiv as Russian missiles strike Ukraine Financial Times

* * *

The Global Zeitenwende : How to Avoid a New Cold War in a Multipolar Era Olaf Scholz, Foreign Affairs

* * *

Ukraine Russia War Latest w. Col. Doug Macgregor YouTube. guurst warns it starts to ramble after 30:00.

NATO crossing more red lines: From proxy war to a direct NATO-Russia war? Macgregor and Glenn Diesen

SCOTT RITTER: The Nightmare of NATO Equipment Being Sent to Ukraine Consortium News

West discussing handover of fighter jets to Kiev — Politico TASS (guurst). “Besides, sending aircraft would be a serious logistical undertaking for Ukraine’s allies, the newspaper notes.”

Germany and NATO allies to send ‘scores of battle tanks’ to Ukraine Christian Science Monitor. Recall “Up to 50 M! Abrams” per the New York Times.

* * *

Türkiye to be out of NATO in months – politician RT

Ankara irked by Athens’ arms programs ekathimerini

‘Kremlin would love it’: Finland wants to join NATO with Sweden but could go solo Euronews. From earlier in the week, still germane. Kevin W: “Finland cutting Sweden loose after that idiotic Koran burning demonstration.”

The War in Ukraine Proves Polish NATO-Skeptics Were Right by Mike Krupa Larry Johnson (Chuck L)

* * *

EU gas price cap threatens market stability – regulators RT

Imperial Collapse Watch

They Say They Want Rearmament …. Aurelian

Assassinated Are the Peacemakers? Project Syndicate


Biden DOJ’s Excellent Pick to Head USTP Credit Slips

US Muslim rights group calls on Biden to suspend use of ‘terror’ watchlist Middle East Eye

Sources: US Weighs Cancellation of Next SPR Sale EnergyIntel (Kevin W)

How Bill Clinton created post-truth America Unherd

Pepper spray for the school run? The weaponised SUV set to terrify America’s streets Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

Hochul public safety policies begin to line up with view of prosecutors Syracuse. bob:

Where is the need for it talked about at all other than the political election circus stuff? After they beat her, and there is no possible way for her to gain anything from it, she does it because they were mean to her before the election? If you’re going to be a wimp, do it before the election when it might have gotten you *something*. Loser stink

The Bezzle

Arizona Senator Introduces Bill To Make Bitcoin Legal Tender In the State Bitcoin Magazine

FBI Probes Snapchat’s Role In Fentanyl Poisoning Deaths Los Angeles Times

Senators eye Social Security reforms as some in House GOP consider cuts The Hill

Index of leading indicators says recession almost certain; so what of the coincident indicators? Angry Bear

Class Warfare

‘Robots Are Treated Better’: Amazon Warehouse Workers Stage First-Ever Strike In the UK CNBC

McDonald’s, In-N-Out, and Chipotle are spending millions to block raises for their workers CNN (Kevin W)

Google let go of 31 massage therapists at its California offices amid mass layoffs Business Insider

Google institutional investor calls for wider cuts: 30k jobs The Register

SAP to cut nearly 3,000 Jobs, weighs Qualtrics stake sale MarketWatch

IBM Cuts 3,900 Jobs Reuters

Pay Algorithms Make Working in the Gig Economy Feel Like ‘Gambling,’ Study Says Vice

Massachusetts Bills Would Set a Minimum Wage For Rideshare Drivers Engadget

Eliminating Healthcare Debt: A Liberatory Approach Not for Profit News

Antidote du jour. Ann M:

From my mother in law’s house in Rehoboth MA. The opening of the feeder is facing the window, so no idea how he got in. Can only assume that he left once all the bird food was gone.

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “Australia Day: Why young Aussies are shunning their national holiday” article at-

    And the answer is that they are not. Young people are either heading off to the beach or having a BBQ. Right now I hear fireworks going off nearby. Australia day falls on January 26th as that is when the First Fleet landed at Sydney Cove. But the past few years you have had a few do-gooders trying to relabel today as Invasion Day and I actually heard the news tonight call it such. Many of them want Australia Day moved to another date so that eventually it can get cancelled altogether. Yeah, nah! People like that always have their own agenda and in the end it is never about social justice.

    1. Vandemonian

      Spot on there, Rev. We’re staying in rented accommodation (separate 1830s cottages) by the sea. The two of us, our four kids, their spouses, and seven grandkids 13 down to 2 (and a couple of friends). We celebrated Australia Day with a self-catered sit down BBQ lunch for 19. That sort of thing is pretty standard for us, and for most of the people we know.

      Sure the bigger towns have formal events with speeches and half baked marches, but nobody much goes (or ever has) and nobody really cares except the third rank minor politico types who get to use the microphone (and of late the ‘protestors’ who act out for the media).

  2. griffen

    Somebody help that squirrel, for it is trapped in a glass cage of emotion !! In the event there might be a Ron Burgundy fan or two.

    And to add in more animal kingdom comments, the snake handling church goers. Best of luck with that. Do what you gonna do but I’ll stand way, way over here…

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      long, long ago, i briefly ran around with a punk rock chick in east texas(first person i knew who had a nose ring and blue hair) who took me to meet her dad…at his church next to their house.
      she needed to get a jacket or something and left me in the church with him…where he was tending to the numerous glass cases of air conditioned rattlesnakes.
      nice enough man…and obviously more tolerant than i would have expected, given his daughter,lol…but dern tootin, i wanted to leave immediately.
      this was circa 1989 or so.

        1. digi_owl

          Snakes and big dogs have become the “pet” of choice by addicts around here, as they are unlikely to get any sort of gun permit by the local law.

    2. Wukchumni

      A seen rattler around these parts is a dead one…

      There must be some reason the evangs are so chummy with them?

      Book tip:

      The Mormon Murders

      A member of the faith unearths amazing historical documents and the LDS is an eager buyer, and then he comes up with the ‘white salamander letter’ which has Joseph Smith being led to the golden plates by a cold-blooded creature, and it becomes a bidding war between Mormons & Jack-Mormons, with the former wanting to buy it & bury it, and the latter wanting to publicize it.

      You don’t want a serpent leading you to the dogma goods, bad ju-ju.

      One little problem though, Mark Hoffman is an expert forger and everything he ‘found’ he in fact made.

      The walls are closing in, so he plants a number of bombs in SLC, killing and maiming a number of people including himself when a device goes off prematurely in his car,

      For an outsider, you get a feel for how the hierarchy of the LDS was @ that point in time in 1985.

      1. LifelongLib

        In fairness to the Mormons, many religions have tried to control the narratives about their histories. The absence of texts from early or “heretical” versions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam is worse than would be expected from the vagaries of time. Often scholars are stuck trying to reconstruct these histories from fragments or quotes of dubious accuracy in “orthodox” sources.

        1. Wukchumni

          Oh, the LDS church was a very interested buyer when Hoffman came up with scads of documents that filled in historical gaps and came with a good outcome as far as the church was concerned, but the white salamander letter was a different kettle of risk, as it questioned their very being.

    3. Craig H.

      Hiss story: The last snake-handling church in West Virginia – in pictures

      There is no way this is the last snake church in WV. Your thriving snake handlers use heavily tranquilized vipers. There is a great youtube (or at least was–I haven’t seen it in ages) where this preacher gets bit in the face by a copperhead mid sermon. He kept preaching for a couple of minutes after he was bit and before he collapsed from the venom circulating.

      He survived that episode but I read a couple years later he died from a different snake bite.

  3. zagonostra

    >Eliminating Healthcare Debt: A Liberatory Approach Not for Profit News

    Large portions of medical debt are being carried on credit cards (17 percent) or are being paid off directly to a doctor, medical provider, or hospital over time through a payment plan (21 percent).25 When people fail to make payments, the medical debts can be turned over to debt collection agencies…

    This punishing culture of debt collection further disenfranchises individuals and families already burdened by multiple inequities, and further erodes their ability to function in the societal system as it is set up.

    With the Biden Administration getting ready to formally declare an end to the “Public Health Emergency” it is estimated that about 15 Million will be kicked off of Medicaid. I like the phrase “fabulously corrupt” that was used by Yves in the “Blinken Concedes” link to describe Ukraine. I think the healthcare “system” in the U.S. can aptly be described as “fabulously immoral,” although “perniciously” will also do.

    A country that treats it’s most vulnerable, weak and poor, by saddling it with debt when they are one car repair away from catastrophe is one that does not deserve it’s citizen’s consent to rule.

    It reminds my of the following line I just read:

    …the elite live in a world about which the masses are totally ignorant. Rules are different, problems are different, but these elite worlds exists to justify, cover and ritualize power. This is a power that has no moral legitimacy, but exists due to the changing nature of power itself.

  4. DJG, Reality Czar

    Having listened to the ravings of bottom-feeder Foreign Minister Baerbock and the lunacy of Foreign Minister Reinsalu (a commenter to that tweet points out that the Estonian navy has a total of twelve craft, including two (!) patrol vessels), I will rely on this work to give some sense of balance:

    The Anactoria Poem

    Some say thronging cavalry, some say foot soldiers,
    others call a fleet the most beautiful of
    sights the dark earth offers, but I say it’s what-
    ever you love best.

    And it’s easy to make this understood by
    everyone, for she who surpassed all human
    kind in beauty, Helen, abandoning her
    husband—that best of

    men—went sailing off to the shores of Troy and
    never spent a thought on her child or loving
    parents: when the goddess seduced her wits and
    left her to wander,

    she forgot them all, she could not remember
    anything but longing, and lightly straying
    aside, lost her way. But that reminds me
    now: Anactória,

    she’s not here, and I’d rather see her lovely
    step, her sparkling glance and her face than gaze on
    all the troops in Lydia in their chariots and
    glittering armor.

    From The Poetry of Sappho (Oxford University Press 2007), translated by Jim Powell

    Of course, Sappho is a Dead White Man, unworthy of the attentions of a careerist like Baerbock, and one wouldn’t want to engage in “blame games.”

    Except that I do. I’m kind-a pissed off about this casual unleashing of the Pale Rider on the Pale Horse.

    1. Retired Carpenter

      Sappho of Lesbos, being a “Dead White Woman”, is not in the ninth circle with the rest of “Dead White Men”. It is possible that, despite her gender, “La Trampolinista” will be consigned to the lowest level when she makes her entrance.
      Retired Carpenter

    2. Kouros

      Annalena is competing with Goebbels’ wife, the one that baptized her kids with names all starting with the letter “H”, and then dutifully poisoned them to death in the end, because it was not worth living in a world without H…

      These German lassies can get quite fanatical, eh?

      1. pjay

        Funny you should make this comparison. I don’t like throwing the H-word around, since it is done so indiscriminately today. But when I watched this clip, I had a flashback to my childhood, when they used to show those old newsreel clips of Hitler ranting in the 1930s. My reaction back then was the reaction intended – disgust and horror at the evil carnage I knew was coming from such rhetoric. I say with all sincerity that I had exactly the same reaction watching Baerbook’s rant – thought this was probably not intended.

  5. The Rev Kev

    The Snow Leopard cub in today’s Antidote du jour bonus from guurst looks like it is wrestling with some sort of black toy in its mouth.

  6. Henry Moon Pie

    Clinton the liar–

    This Unherd piece is OK as a reminder, but it does not compare with Bob Herbert’s famous NYT op-ed, “Cut Him Loose.”


    The Clintons may or may not be led away in handcuffs someday. But whatever happens with the criminal investigations, it’s time for the Democratic Party to wise up. Ostracism would be a good first step. Bill Clinton should be cut completely loose. Cold turkey. No more talk about his political genius, his fund-raising prowess, his ability to captivate audiences. He was president for eight years and the bottom line politically is this: For the first time in nearly half a century, the Republican Party controls the presidency and both houses of Congress.

    Bill Clinton has been a disaster for the Democratic Party. Send him packing.

    There’s not much the Democrats can do about Mrs. Clinton. She’s got a Senate seat for six years. But there is no need for the party to look to her for leadership. The Democrats need to regroup, re-establish their strong links to middle-class and working-class Americans, and move on.

    Dems should have listened to Herbert. And Obama, the billionaires’ errand boy, is no better.

    1. Carolinian

      Thanks. File under “famous last words”? Instead of the Clintons it was the people who think like Bob Herbert who were sent packing. Of course the Dems’ real existential crisis goes back earlier, even as far as post WW2 as the New Deal party became part of the bipartisan National Security party. The Clintons with their cynical triangulation were just the final step.

      1. pjay

        Yes. Lying has been a bipartisan attribute for a long time, long before Clinton came on the scene. And as Herbert’s comments suggest, his sins were far greater than his many sexual dalliances. NAFTA; finishing off the neoliberal economic deregulation begun under Reagan (or arguably Carter); Dismantling welfare; deregulating big media; destroying the possibility of real health care reform; overseeing the destruction of Yugoslavia and the near destruction of Russia as a prelude to our current foreign policy crises; the Crime bill… one could go on and on, back to Clinton’s days as governor of Arkansas (not just Whitewater and “bimbo erruptions;” anyone remember Mena?).

        That said, I do agree with the Unherd article that Clinton has a special talent in his ability to feign empathy or gain sympathy while lying through his teeth. In the movie version of Primary Colors, John Travolta captured this ability very well. No wonder he was groomed for success by the powers that be from an early age.

        1. cnchal

          > No wonder he was groomed for success by the powers that be from an early age.

          Psychopaths over narcissists.

          There are famous images of Bill signing the Gramm Leach Bliley act repealing Glass Steagal where he looks up at the psychos around him with a big grin, just like a dawg looking for praise because he shit in the right spot.

          1. pjay

            Thanks for the image – I remember it well. A picture worth a thousand words.

            The only tiny satisfaction I get is that the notorious Clinton gang was not able to carry out Clinton Grift 2.0. They were all set up for it. But Hillary couldn’t pull off Bill’s good ‘ol boy fake populism if her life depended on it, so she had to rely on fake woke feminist progressivism instead. That she lost to another fake populist seems fitting somehow.

          2. The Rev Kev

            He caused so much damage to America that it is probably beyond calculation. At the time of that signing Clinton said, ‘This is a day we can celebrate as an American day’ and that ‘the Glass-Steagall law is no longer appropriate for the economy in which we live’ and ‘today what we are doing is modernizing the financial services industry, tearing down these antiquated laws and granting banks significant new authority’ and ‘This is a very good day for the United States.'”

            Columbia Journalism Review, Bill Clinton on Deregulation


    2. spud

      good articles. like a broken record, there can be no recovery for the american people, nor the worlds, till bill clinton and his polices have been exposed. and reversed.

      bill clinton really set the bar high for evading his follies, he set a precedent so high, obama could let millions of homes to be stolen, and outright theft is now the business plan of american businesses.

      time to set a new precedent, that the elites are made to pay for their follies.

  7. Steve H.

    > They Say They Want Rearmament …. Aurelian
    >> But in the best of cases, with no enemy on the frontiers, with weak economies and massive social problems, is the kind of programme I have sketched out above, and which would be a minimum for “rearmament”, even remotely feasible?

    > To address these problems, the EU must change its internal bureaucratic procedures, which will require courageous political decisions; EU member states, including Germany, will have to alter their national policies and regulations on exporting jointly manufactured military systems.

    > During the phase of preparation for the Second World War, even medium-sized countries had their own armaments industries. It was therefore possible to directly invest in one’s own industry, and define exactly what was needed.

    > As the famous American strategic thinker, John Boyd opined repeatedly, “The strategy is simple… It is: Don’t interrupt the money flow, add to it.

    Janet and I were talking about all this, in the context of dogmatic doxastic voluntarists, and Lambert’s thoughts on billionaire agency. Janet said, “It’s the Knicks.” That landed with a thud.

    The Knicks play in the historically prime venue, Madison Square Garden. They have a multi-generational fan base in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the universe. And they have sucked for decades.

    But they still make more money for their owner than any other franchise. Why? The owner has exclusive cable rights in the city. He likes the glory, but he likes the money more. He doesn’t care about the product, so no player that wants to win tries to get to NYC. The owner, however, is Winning the billionaire game, of making more money than the other owners.

    Martyanov writes about the delusions of money-based assessments of military capacity, and finance capitalism has gutted the notion of concrete material production. We also know there are those in the Pentagon who are ‘fighting for’ actual military capability. But they ain’t the ones in charge.

    It’s the Knicks.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That bit where Scholz says ‘To address these problems, the EU must change its internal bureaucratic procedures, which will require courageous political decisions; EU member states, including Germany, will have to alter their national policies and regulations on exporting jointly manufactured military systems.’

      What that means is that in future, no EU country will be allowed to buy their own military gear but this will be done in Brussels by people like Ursula von der Leyen instead. And if you want to know how that will work out, just think back on her secret negotiations on vaccines that cost the EU much more than was the going price. And instead of having about 30 governments asking for their own kickbacks to buy military gear for their country, all those kickbacks will only be going to Brussels.

    2. russell1200

      One item that should have been emphasized. In almost every war that lasts more than a months (or days with current European stockpiles), the participants start running out of ammo and their are unintended lulls in the fighting.

      The biggest bang for the buck is simply to add more ammunition for the weapon systems that you already have: a lot more.

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        This is one of the main reasons that UKR is begging for more tanks: partly because many of their Soviet-era tanks have been knocked out of action, but mainly because they’re simply running out of tank ammo for their existing fleet. Both the T-64 and T-72 use 125mm ammo, which is a non-NATO caliber. And I don’t think the main supplier of this ammo will be very keen on selling it to UKR at this point. Assuming the to-be-supplied NATO tanks ever actually make it to the front lines, keeping them supplied with ammo will be quite the logistical undertaking (not to mention maintenance and repairs). Logistics will nail you, every time.

        Great article by Aurelien, as usual. A welcome dose of reality and critical thinking.

  8. hunkerdown

    Taxpayers contributed to every aspect of COVID vaccine development. Now, Big Pharma wants to quadruple the price—after already making tens of billions in profit.

    True enough, and in an example of tendentious left capitalism, she continues, not with a demand for clawbacks, but for LARP:

    A lack of competition in the industry enables these companies to cheat taxpayers and patients.

    Can it, left cap. Your unwillingness to destroy property claims has always been the problem. Even in the Middle Ages they knew how to condemn eyesores. Learn to condemn lifesores.

    1. flora

      But, but…the revolving door. Think of the career opportunities for ex-Congress men and women! Won’t somebody think of the donations to the current Congress men and women?! “Play your cards right, shweetheart, and you can go places.” / ;)

          1. Mildred Montana

            Gore Vidal was amused that congresspeople could be “rented” so cheaply. But I think he missed an important distinction. Some go for escort rates, while others are K-street-walkers.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Agreed. At this point, all this big pharma, “anti-competitive” monopoly “vaccine” bullshit is just phonin’ it in.

      How about “rising” to tell the american people that, when the government (the people) “invest” in the development of a new drug or technology, they could and should take a permanent piece of the action and a say in the private company’s governance–CEO compensation, dividend payments or stock buybacks for instance–as happens in other countries. We got your “public-private partnership” right here.

      From drug companies to car companies to search engines to banks to chip factories, the american people probably should “own” half of the corps that make up this great “free market” economy. But then what would shitlibs like porter “rise” to rail against?

      1. John

        If the market is so free, why does it require and demand endless subsidies, tax breaks, sweetheart deals, defense industry contracting boondoggles etc. etc. ad nauseam ad infinitum

      2. The Rev Kev

        How about if the US government put a patent on all their medical and drug research so if Big Pharma wants it, they have to pay for it. What are they going to do? Fund their own research?

        1. TomDority

          There used to be a law regarding amount of profit that pharma could make when public funded research was used in developement — cant find that but I am sure it was proposed by some still in the corridors

  9. Lexx

    ‘How Clinton Created Post Truth America’

    But before Clinton there was another incident involving the likely next president, Gary Hart. There was a man (not a stupid man) telling the truth and no one believed him, or chose not to, and that got us Bush Senior. Let’s not forget just how long ‘the truth’ has been manipulated for political gain (always), or how long we’ve gone to the polls to vote for Bad and Worse.

    From The Atlantic archives:

    1. Carolinian

      Worth noting the key role the press played in the Gary Hart story. After Watergate big media decided they had a role to play in vetting candidates–that they were now “players.” Perhaps the real legacy of Watergate was not more honest politicians but more impeachments.

      1. Lexx

        Enter Rupert Murdoch who knew that a plausible lie was cheaper and more profitable to produce, and had been practicing on Australian politicians for years.

        ‘In 1981, Murdoch bought The Times, his first British broadsheet, and, in 1985, became a naturalized US citizen, giving up his Australian citizenship, to satisfy the legal requirement for US television network ownership… Many of Murdoch’s papers and television channels have been accused of biased and misleading coverage to support his business interests[11][12][13] and political allies,[14][15][16] and some have credited his influence with major political developments in the UK, US, and Australia.[14][17][18]’ – Wiki

      2. digi_owl

        Another element of Watergate is that it made journalism “cool” for bored rich kids, as someone pointed out to me here recently.

        So rather than having some laborer’s kid climbing the ranks from errand boy to journalist, now you have newly minted journalism grads from some expensive university writing complete fiction on the front pages.

  10. Wukchumni

    We became cognizant of Covid around these parts about this time 3 years ago, and during the first year we had weekly family Zoom jams that were kind of fun in retrospect (they went to monthly sessions for exactly 1 month and then we quit-never to hold one again) as they were far flung including Canadian relatives.

    One question I would ask every week of the 7 to 12 assembled was ‘who do you know that has Covid?’ and aside from my brother-in-law’s sister testing positive, invariably nobody knew anybody, thats how it went in Act 1.

    Act 2 was triumphal, we assembled after getting tiplomatic immunity @ an eatery for the first time in far too long, its over-rejoice!

    Act 3 was where damn near everybody I know has gotten Covid including yours truly. Up until recently i’d only heard of cases of Long Covid in the community 2nd hand, one fellow has been on oxygen for almost a couple years and another who was quite the wanderer, no longer can ply her traits on the trail thanks to diminished ability to breathe, she can barely mope around the house apparently.

    I’m worried about me as i’ve had tightening of my left chest and labored breathing after probably getting Covid a 2nd time. The first episode a year ago was asymptomatic and aside from losing taste for a month, that was it.

    This is more sinister, my plot.

    1. Steve H.

      Wuk, Janet and I consider Covid to be a chronic condition, based on reservoirs. We continue with K2-D3-Mg, and we’ve had a good news report from a friend we gave some Nitric Oxide (Enovid) to, when his roommates were laid out with ‘some bug’, he got it and only had minor symptoms.

      We also take Nattokinase, tho Janet bruises at higher doses. I’m basing my intake off of:

      Nattokinase: An Oral Antithrombotic Agent for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

      Best of luck.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Thanks for the link. Natto soybeans are very tasty over rice. To me, they are like adding cheese to add flavor to white rice. The linked article tells how to make them.

        1. Oh

          I know an acquaintance who took Natto for a breathing ailment and found that it cured him. Conventional treatment did not work prior to that.

    2. Nikkikat

      So sorry to hear this news Wukchumni, I have two relatives in another state with long Covid. Going on three years. He was essential worker in a hospital. Got Covid and took it home to wife. This was in the days before we really could get a decent mask. Both very Sick over 2 weeks as this was probably Delta.
      Both have become so debilitated that they are hardly recognizable. On top of that they were given Covid shots 3 times.
      All MRNA. Another relative did not mask or really take any precautions. He was a right winger and very religious. He made it about a year and a half before catching Covid, he passed away
      About a week after entering hospital. I am thankful for NC everyday. The knowledge I have acquired here has kept me alive, has made me INSIST on certain protocols with regard to protecting myself as best I can. I took one Johnson and Johnson shot back at the beginning when first available I had no side effects what so ever. After all I learned here with regard to MRNA vaccines, I have not taken another shot. I will continue to hope for something to come along to protect us. In the mean time I will try to protect myself. I go very few places and wear an N95. I recently had to go to an emergency room for another issue. The rant I threw at them for their not wearing mask and not even bothering to give me a Covid test had people scurrying around. Pretty soon no one came near me without a mask. I tested negative for Covid both there and at home in subsequent days. I will advocate for myself. No one else is going to do it.

    3. Carla

      Concerned for you, Wuk. Please keep us regularly updated.

      Steve H. — thanks for info about Nattokinase. I see it’s available in FU’s or mg, so it’s a little confusing. Do you mind sharing what the recommended dose is, and in what type of measurement?

      Nikkikat — Self-advocacy: the only way. You go, girl!

      1. Steve H.

        100 mg = 2000 FU is the ‘serving size’ on the bottle in front of me. Take it on an empty stomach or you’re fooling yourself.

        I take… higher doses. Prophylactic v cardiovascular consequences of a good life.

      2. Wukchumni

        Thanks everybody~

        The tightening of the chest & labored breathing is a pretty common LC symptom and sometimes it goes away, that’s what i’m hoping for.

        It seemed to be set off by being at high altitude and i’m going back into that particular belly of the beast in 10 days with the dartful codgers in Mammoth, we’ll see how I do.

        1. tegnost

          I had that and it went away after a month or so, basically weeks 3 to 7+, and now I don’t have that issue anymore…
          Take care, it was a rough month…
          Salt was a problem for me when it usually is not.

    4. kareninca

      I go to reddit covid/positive most days and loads of people there say that it is crucial not to overdo after getting covid. That you have to rest, rest, rest, and that going back to exertion too soon can be disastrous. They also recommend reddit covid/longhaulers for advice and tips.

      I take natto serra rather than nattokinase, since I want it for cardiac calcification, too (not medical advice).

      I hope you improve soon. That is scary.

  11. Henry Moon Pie

    Reducing Nature to capital–

    Econospeak does a good job of showing how the entire attempt to incorporate Nature into capitalist analysis is strained at best. No, Nature is not fungible. Nor is life and living things for that matter.

    It’s “economic analysis” that has misled us into painting ourselves into this corner. Rather than viewing the universe solely in terms of a human invention, money, we’d better start understanding our place as living beings on the planet that created us through the processes of evolution.

    1. digi_owl

      It has been interesting to follow Steve Keen on this, as he moved from trying to model banking in terms of money creation and flow, to more recently resurrecting the French Physiocrats (who considered farming to be the source of all wealth, before Adam Smith entered the scene and got endlessly misquoted) by showing how everything comes back to the energy the sun deposits on the plant.

  12. LaRuse

    RE: The weaponized Revnazi SUV
    It’s a shame that the US doesn’t have a person in charge of a regulatory agency that oversees safety concerns related to transportation and vehicles of all kinds that travel in the US … /sarc
    It would not suprise me at all to see half of Congress driving one of those things within a year.

  13. Louis Fyne

    —-They Say They Want Rearmament …. Aurelian—

    To rhetorically add to Aurelian’s piece—“you and what army?”

    The notion of patriotism is so dead in Western Europe that I doubt, for example, Germany or France can find enough able bodies to field a military that even recovers 1/2 of the capabilities lost between 1991 and 2021.
    The US military still is offering $50,000 enlistment bonuses for many specialties, yet fails to hit its own recruiting goals.

    Is Germany going to go full end-state Roman Empire and offer non-Germans citizenship to enlist in their regular army? (it works for the French Foreign Legion only because the legion is so small, <10,000 soldiers).

    Mass conscription won't work because modern weapons platform needs months of training to become proficient—by the time training a conscript is done, they are nearly ready to leave the service.

    1. zagonostra

      Well maybe at $2K a day to “fight Putin” they’ll be able to rustle up some recruits, just hope they make out their will before signing up…patriotism? sure won’t cut it now-a-days since, I hope, most agree with Bob Dylan that “that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and then they make you king.”

  14. Ignacio

    On Volks tweet: on rights to inspect in the contiguous zone. No, you only have police rights to inspect on the contiguous zone ships/boats that have been in your sovereign territory and waters and done something there. So ships that go through the contiguous zone without passing your territorial waters are not under your jurisdiction by any chance and can navigate freely. I wouldn’t be surprised if Estonians don’t know or are unable plus blinded by russophobia to interpret the Law of Sea.

      1. Ignacio

        Even more, there are also free navigation (not fishing or other activities) rights through the territorial waters except in justified situations. Let’s say for instance, when Estonia dares to declare war against Russia though I wouldn’t consider it very wise.

        1. Polar Socialist

          That actually was a nice point of international law when the UK Royal Navy vessel passed Crimean waters and was chased away by Russians some years ago: the British could only have right of passage if they consider Crimea is not contested region. Because if it is, it’s a conflict zone and the rules change and they have no business there.

        2. The Rev Kev

          The whole thing is getting major stupid. You have Poland and the Baltic States being determined to drag the rest of Europe into a fighting war with Russia and Poland is getting ready to bankrupt itself building a massive army in the next few years. But I find it hard to understand putting your children’s welfare at risk in order to right the wrongs done against your parents and grandparents decades ago. What exactly is the upside that they see in all this? Just revenge? A chance to be in on the division of Russia’s spoils?

          1. Ignacio

            As a matter of fact these bloody idiots behave very much like the little children when they explore their behavioural limits with their parents.

            1. digi_owl

              The older i get, the more international politics reminds me of a schoolyards, complete with pretty girl/boy cliques etc.

          2. digi_owl

            Revenge for (certain segment of) the hoi poloi. Big fat checks and org position for the leadership, courtesy of USA.

            Also, Poland is effectively the work house of the EU. So they may well be betting that any debt will be backstopped by Brussels.

    1. Polar Socialist

      I’m sure US Navy will be there to ensure the Freedom of Navigation for Russian ships. That’s what they do, right? Should the Estonians prevent Innocent Passage…well, we have rules in this world – some would say it’s even based on them!

      Seriously though, one begins to wonder how crazy the loonies can go before the-not-so-loony in NATO* start finally getting cold feet?

      * because EU doesn’t matter anymore, being a subsidiary of NATO.

    2. Alan Roxdale

      Estonian navy story might be bullshit.

      The embassy closure story between Estonia/Russia might have been bullshit too
      Appearing on ETV politics show “Esimene stuudio” Tuesday evening and in the wake of Russia’s announcement earlier this week that it would be expelling Estonia’s ambassador, Reinsalu said: “Our embassy [in Moscow] will remain in place. We have not set as an intention closing down the Russian embassy on the territory of the Republic of Estonia, while Russia has not announced such an intention either.”

      That said I think the Ambassadors are gone? Hard to now what to believe anymore really.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Arizona Senator Introduces Bill To Make Bitcoin Legal Tender In The State”

    I see that there are two Federal Correctional Institutes in Arizona – one in Tuscon and the other in Phoenix. Maybe when Samuel Benjamin Bankman-Fried’s trial is over, Arizona could have him transferred to one of these two Federal places. That way, Arizona would have their own cryptocurrency expert on tap and as prisoners in Arizona get paid only $0.15 to $0.50 per hour, he would be as good as free.

  16. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Citizen’s Free Press “Very bottom…” video

    Looks like a human ant hill.

    I’m sure the EV cheerleaders are aware, and have taken the high road of “Sorry, not sorry. We’ve given them ‘jobs.’ “

    1. flora

      I was thinking it look like one of Cecil B. DeMille’s epic scenes in his old movie “The Ten Commandments”.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I recalled the scene of the mining operations in the first “Stargate” movie or the scenes of the Brazilian gold mine in Powaqqatsi.

  17. Mikel

    For fuck sake Covid was the 3rd leading cause of death in kids age 5-14!

    — Chris Turnbull (@EnemyInAState)

    A quick look at all of the charts in the link show that statement only applies to the month of Jan. 22.

    Also, the charts only cover Jan thru Sept.
    So there are caveats to take worth these rankings. Jan starts with 1 for each cause of death ranked.
    Doesn’t take long for murder and suicide to start climbing to their sad, higher rankings for cause of death in young people.

  18. Amfortas the hippie

    herr olaf’s thing in FA is really something.
    his entire synopsis/recounting of history…at least since putin’s 07 munich speech…is pretty much the opposite to how i remember it.
    is there some super chat ai that makes everything said bizzarroworld?
    the consistency of the bullshit spread across the western mediated world is remarkable.
    and, as the child of a covert narcissist, i know a thing or two about gaslighting…we’re up to our necks in it.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      I can remember when Daily Kos used to marvel at how the Republicans always had a “Message of the Day” that would go out from Limbaugh to Fox to Republican politicians. Then DK went and joined to first emulate, then top that Central Committee-style messaging.

      Maybe it’s divinely inspired. It always seems to come from above.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “They Say They Want Rearmament ….”

    Very much worth the read and he makes some excellent points. Manufacturing could be a nightmare here. So imagine this scenario. A General rings up a corporation to order more weapons made as they made them before. So this is how the conversation might go-

    Exec: ‘General Blowhard? You rang yesterday about ordering more of those weapons that we use to make with a $5 billion contract?’

    General: ‘Uhuh.’

    Exec: ‘Well you know that we have not made those weapons for ten years, right? In fact, I was a new exec back then as that Division closed down.’

    General: ‘Uhuh.’

    Exec: ‘I checked and we no longer have the tools or dies anymore and it was all sold off for scrap. I checked on our suppliers from back then and half no longer exist while the other half have moved offshore to China.’

    General: ‘Uhuh.’

    Exec: ‘As for the workforce back then, the older ones retired or are no longer alive while we fired the younger ones who have now been working in different industries the past decade.’

    General: ‘Uhuh.’

    Exec: ‘We don’t even have the buildings or manufacturing facilities anymore and those that are not derelict have been torn down for new buildings. Frankly, I don’t think that it is possible to make those weapons anymore.

    General: ‘What if we made it a $10 billion contract with no penalties for non-performance.’

    Exec: ‘…….OK, General. We’ll see what we can do.’

  20. Mikel

    “Assassinated Are the Peacemakers?” Project

    With all the speculation about World War I Part 3, I’ve always found it interesting that the assisinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria is portaryed in history books as one who would have been against starting what began in 1914.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Avian flu might be an improvement over the Corona flues for accomplishing a thinning of the herd. I suppose some of the good people of the WEF might be hopeful.

      1. Mikel

        Considering the reports of Covid weakening the immune system, it has the potential to be an epic tragedy.

        When Covid first started, I was reading about various flu strains and past pandemics.
        I kept H5N1 in mind as something keep an eye on.

        1. Wukchumni

          I read this article about H5N1 in the New Yorker in 2005, and it was downright frightening.

          Avian influenza is nothing new in Thailand, or anywhere else where poultry are raised. Veterinarians often refer to it as the fowl plague, because in one form or another the disease has killed millions of chickens, turkeys, and other birds over the years. In 1983, the virus raced so rapidly through the Pennsylvania poultry population that health officials there were forced to slaughter nearly every chicken in the state. Until recently, however, humans rarely became infected with this type of virus. It had happened fewer than a dozen times since 1959, and in each case the illness was mild. But the strain that killed the girl from Kamphaeng Phet is different; in the past two years, it has caused the deaths of hundreds of millions of animals in nearly a dozen Asian countries. No such virus has ever spread so quickly over such a wide geographical area. Most viruses stick to a single species. This one has already affected a more diverse group than any other type of flu, and it has killed many animals previously thought to be resistant: blue pheasants, black swans, turtledoves, clouded leopards, mice, pigs, domestic cats, and tigers. Early in February, nearly five hundred open-billed storks were found dead in Thailand’s largest freshwater swamp, the Boraphet Reservoir. And the disease is no longer limited to Asia. In October, customs officers at the Brussels airport seized two infected eagles that had been smuggled from Thailand and destroyed them, along with the other animals held in quarantine at the airport.

          This virus also kills people—so far, forty-two have died, including thirteen Vietnamese since Christmas. Those deaths represent more than three-quarters of all known avian-flu infections—an ominous mortality rate. Strains of influenza are named for two proteins on their surface that latch onto respiratory cells and permit the virus to invade them, and, if this strain, known as H5N1, becomes capable of spreading efficiently among humans, it will kill millions. Public-health officials in Asia, still reeling from the crisis created in 2003 by sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome), have struggled to contain the burgeoning epidemic. Yet the task is immense. sars was caused by a virus that turned out to be less deadly, less contagious, and far less aggressive than the flu. The threat was never as great. There are six billion chickens in Southeast Asia, and millions of households depend upon them, for income as well as for food; preventing this flu virus from spreading has become all but impossible. By early February, during Tet, Vietnam’s biggest holiday, officials began posting livestock inspectors on major highways. Last week, officials banned poultry-raising in Ho Chi Minh City.

      2. ArvidMartensen

        Having just read Prof Raina McIntyre’s new book on pandemics and biosecurity, I can only wonder where all these new deadly viruses are coming from in such quick succession. In the last 3 years
        Novel SARS-CoV-2, Novel Monkeypox, Novel? H5N1 Avian Influenza.
        Here’s a possible pathway:

        And on a lighter note /s just like this dude says

      1. Mikel

        “…While we’ve seen a number of different influenza A viruses infect seals in the past – including H3N8, H10N8, H7N7, etc. – HPAI H5N1 is the most obvious suspect right now. Hopefully we’ll get confirmation in the days ahead…”

  21. The Rev Kev

    “West discussing handover of fighter jets to Kiev — Politico ”

    It had just been announced that the Ukraine was going to get a brigade or two’s worth of tanks along with artillery and other gear – and just in time for Zelensky’s birthday – but straight away the Ukraine demanded more and wanted jet fighters, long-range missiles and maybe submarines. But I can see why they want jets. What chance do tanks have on a battlefield without air cover? Russian ATGM crews have already promised to burn those tanks on social media. Countries like the Netherlands have offered their F-16s but what about pilots? How long will the transition period be for Ukrainians pilots to learn a totally new sort of airplane? Many months at least. So maybe western pilots will be used. Flying from one end of the country to the war zone in the east in face of Russian air defenses, missiles and fighters sounds shall we say, ahem, somewhat problematical?

    1. Polar Socialist

      In Russian terms the number of tanks promised is enough for a regiment (about three battalions). I assume that this disparity in unit size is somewhat reflecting on the predicted burn trough rate of the tanks in an actual war against a peer in a place like Ukraine.

      Regarding the F-16 transition, there must still be some Ukrainian pilots left experienced enough for that, if they still talk about it. The unfortunate situation over the front is that any Ukrainian plane has to fly so low and fast that when it eventually gets hit, the pilot very rarely has time to bail out.

    2. digi_owl

      The tanks will never happen, much like the Polish MiGs never happened, because nobody wants to be the nation to have their soldiers die the second they make the border crossing and are lit up by Russian targeting sensors.

      It is like a bar brawl where a group out of town idiots have picked a fight with the biggest dude there, and now try to get someone else to throw the actual punch.

  22. Wukchumni

    Hell isn’t expected to freeze over, but there’s a real chance of snow falling in LA next Tuesday fairly widespread.

    LA drivers struggle when it rains, imagine snow?

    1. Mikel

      I’m already anxious enough about having to go to the DMV on Tues.
      I have to get a pic taken.
      But maybe the weather will keep more people away.

    2. Raymond Sim

      It rains plenty up here in the Sacramento Valley, but I’m not sure the phenomenon of hydroplaning is generally understood. Actually I’m not sure the fact that one cannot see in fog is generally understood.

      When black ice happens the news treats it like black magic.

    3. skippy

      The thing about L.A. drivers in the rain is you’ve got about 9 months of dry weather which allows huge build up of oil, coolant, and other stuff on the roads. So once the wet season hits all this stuff starts floating on the water above the road be – it concrete or bitumen. Habits of braking during the dry season compounded with the the race track mentality of many L.A. drivers means they brake way too late in the wet, times oil slick conditions of the road disks and drums are coated in lubricate from the road, too boot, and no one pumps the break peddle gently before putting any sort of force on it to squeegee the water and lubricant off it. Basically the brakes are hydroplaning between the pads and the metal surface. Then you get into the type of tires that they are using for long wear or performance that have bad wet traction qualities.

      ABS/ETC and a lot of other tech will not and can not save the day, whoosh right across an intersection.

      Oh and as you brought up snow I had the experience of observing the Calif refugees that flooded Colorado in the early 90s fall out from M&A restructuring/consolidation and all the Cali license plates off the side of the road between Denver and Boulder CO at the first whiff of a snow flake.

      The day they get some frozen rain would be epic ….

  23. Daryl

    > A McCarthy Taiwan Visit Would Be Another Provocative Blunder Daniel Larison. Sadly stating the obvious is na gonna stop this freight train.

    Couldn’t the executive stop this if they wanted to? But I guess allowing McCarthy to get a pyrrhic “win” like this is worth it to continue seeing if they can finally kick WW3 into full gear.

    1. John

      Nancy went to Taiwan. Kevin will go to Taiwan. Kevin will show he big brass ones. Kevin has no idea what he is doing. Kevin chased the car for 15-years. He caught it. Now what?

    2. jefemt

      Might be, in a recession, we look to the tried tired and true War Solution as an end-all. End-all indeed.

  24. in_still_water

    One 2024 presidential contender is calling for an end to the war in Ukraine along with an end to corruption in DC. Whatever happened to the ‘progressive’ anti-war wing of the democratic party?

  25. Mikel

    “Google let go of 31 massage therapists at its California offices amid mass layoffs” Business Insider

    This is filed under “class warfare.”
    Is the reason for this because of the layoffs or the fact that the offices had the privilege of that many massage therapists?

    1. digi_owl

      Surprised they were actual employees and not sub-contractors like their sandwich “chefs” etc.

    2. skippy

      Wellie there goes all the happy endings … smirk … screwing others is a terrible burden and requires relief …

  26. spud

    someone should tell katie porter why big pharma can do what they want. she should get educated and make a public statement about the politicians and their polices that created this mess.

    high drug prices and shortages can be well linked to the polices of bill clinton.

  27. linda amick

    The Covid article authors relating serious long term effects, NEVER reveal the vaccination status of the people experiencing these horrors. They assume every ailment is from the virus itself.
    These articles are purposefully disingenuous.

    1. Dean

      There are studies on the effect of vaccination on long covid.

      “Impact of COVID-19 vaccination on the risk of developing long-COVID and on existing long-COVID symptoms: A systematic review” is a meta analysis that included 11 published studies and 6 preprints. This was part of the Lancet series (,risk%20of%20developing%20long%2DCOVID.)

      Implications of all the available evidence
      Current results support that COVID-19 vaccines can be used as preventive strategy for decreasing the risk of long-COVID, but data about its effects on people with current long-COVID needs further research. Questions about the impact on hospitalised/non-hospitalised, males/females and the impact of vaccine boosters is clearly needed.

  28. Bart Hansen

    That clip of Baerbock in English was too soft for declaring war on Russia. As they say, it would have sounded better in the original German.

    1. britzklieg

      I couldn’t tell if her phlegmatic delivery was arrogance or a freudian display of cognitive dissonance.

      …or is she really that stupid?

      1. Ignacio

        Bet for both factors acting synergistically. As Col. Smithers says these people are globalists without ties or roots in the ground (cognitive dissonance) and the stupidity comes with the position (the keep it simple stupid that goes in high places).

      2. The Rev Kev

        The tell was the look on her when she said that and then turned away. If Scholz does not tear her a new one for making such inflammatory declarations in public, then he is done and it is Baerbock that will be making German foreign policy from now on.

    2. The Rev Kev

      France must have hit the panic button over that little lump of truth that was delivered. The French Foreign Ministry said in response ‘We are not at war with Russia and none of our partners are. The delivery of military equipment… does not constitute co-belligerence.’

      There must be lots of cursing in other EU capitals at the moment about Baerbock’s big mouth.

  29. Mark Gisleson

    I thought I had a Billmon sighting just now in my RSS feeds but tragically it was not to be.

    Someone at Daily Kos flipped a switch and the old Billmon RSS feed is now the Daily Kos feed resulting in my getting mooned by a pro-Adam Schiff piece followed by other equally horrible takes on the world around us.

    A cruel reminder both of what blogging used to be but no longer is (with Naked Capitalism the exception that proves the rule : )

  30. Wukchumni

    Goooooooooood Moooooooorning Fiatnam!

    We had kept sensitive federal documents in our wallets in case we came across an incursion in the War On Cash, and the platoon’s dough was no good @ Superfine Pizza, thus the order of 2x lg pepperoni, 1x sm anchovy & 4x lg supremes was turned down cold, in fact they never even heated the oven for us.

    We could’ve gone somewhere else that appreciated our kind, but frankly what fun would we get out of it, compared to what went down in the pizzeria, where we got hold of their dough and co-mingled funds (only singles, we’re on a budget), that’ll teach them to be more accepting, and although the lucre would surely burn up in the oven when making pies, it’s the gesture that counts.

    It didn’t have to happen this way, they could’ve taken our dead presidents (for the record, only 72% of those depicted on FRN’s are actually D.P.’s) and we’d take the pizzas, but no.

  31. fresno dan

    In October of 2020 McGonigal participated in an Atlantic Council online seminar on the threat posed by Russia’s domestic intelligence service, entitled “How did Russia’s security services capture the Kremlin?” McGonigal stated that what had happened in Russia “would be akin to having in the United states the FBI as a rogue element operating at the behest of the highest bidder, engaged in criminal activities.” It is an analogy that now seems to cut too close to the bone.
    So far, the FBI has exhibited little sense of shame over its many missteps and sketchy actions characterizing its Trump-Russia investigation.
    Disgraced former FBI agent Andrew McCabe was discussing government ethics on CNN this very week. Mike Pence, Joe Biden, and Trump had committed “serious violations of pretty clear rules” with their handling of presidential papers, McCabe told Anderson Cooper. No mention was made of McCabe’s own firing for lying to an Inspector General investigating the politicization of “Crossfire Hurricane,” a probe led by McCabe.
    Then there’s the curious case of Kevin Clinesmith, the FBI lawyer who undermined the credibility of the nation’s highly sensitive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court – those were the words of the federal judge who accepted his guilty plea. In his zeal to get Trump, Clinesmith misrepresented facts to a FISA court to the point of doctoring emails so he could obtain a warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
    Although prosecutors recommended a seven-month prison stint, Clinesmith was sentenced to community service, and later reinstated to the D.C. bar.
    Jim Comey, the official all these men reported to, told Trump before his own firing, “I don’t do sneaky things, I don’t leak, I don’t do weasel moves.” At the time, it was learned later, Comey was leaking secret FBI memos about Trump to a friend in hopes of placing stories in the New York Times that would generate the appointment of a special prosecutor.

    The indictment of Charles McGonigal, if proven, deals with behavior that goes far beyond such “weasel moves.” It’s more than just a run-of-the-mill felony, too. It’s the exact behavior the FBI hierarchy twisted itself into knots trying to pin on Donald Trump: collusion with Russia. Actions that the special prosecutor whom Comey helped create, by the way, did not find.
    Its as if the FBI is attempting to find out how much irony can the FBI produce before the universe just implodes???
    Is there some kind of irony quantum physics that every charge +/- made against Trump has to turn out to have been done by FBI people???

    1. Mark Gisleson

      But again, why is McGonigal’s lawyer John Durham’s former righthand man?

      There’s a lot more going on here than is obvious, imo. The Durham connection strongly suggests McGonigle was flipped and that [whoever is in charge] is trying to discredit McGonigle before the public sees other testimony he has given appear in the Durham Report.

      Or something. Honestly fascinated by how this is rolling out and growing more and more convinced that [whoever is in charge] was planning on riding out the Durham Report, our humiliation in Ukraine, etc. but that Musk blew everything up when he gave Taibbi & Co. access.

      Humpty Dumpty is going to fall off the wall and while the neoliberals will bring in Kintsugi masters to repair Humpty and make him even more precious, their moment will be gone and the national sense of disillusionment will be profound and lasting.

      1. fresno dan

        Thanks for that – I did not know about McGonigal’s lawyer and it is verrrrry interesting.
        Someone posted weeks or a couple of months ago all the connections between Washington folk. And one gets the impression that repub/dem designations have little to do with what is really going on.
        I always thought there was a strange lack of passion from the repubs with regard to investigating Russiagate. I don’t know if the repubs are afraid because of the Schumer quote “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” OR they really don’t want Trump upsetting the applecart…

    1. Laura in So Cal

      Nooooo!!! I’d vote for ANYONE else. I hope the rumor that Katie Porter will run is true.

      1. Adam Eran

        Elizabeth Warren’s student Katie Porter has already declared. Barbara Lee is also mulling a run

  32. Jason Boxman

    No one even tries to hide the lying anymore, from Senators eye Social Security reforms as some in House GOP consider cuts (with an assist from The Hill, of course.)

    There are divisions over whether those reforms should include entitlement programs, which eat up large chunks of federal spending — federal data showed Social Security alone accounted for about 20 percent of government spending in fiscal 2022, while Medicare made up 12 percent.

    No. That’s a straight up lie. Social Security isn’t “funded” from general revenue. This is an intentional slight of hand to conflate all government cash infusions into the economy. What’s more none of this “eats up” anything. As the currency issuer, the United States doesn’t need to get dollars from anyone. It’s a currency issuer. Whether our senior citizens live in poverty or not is a policy choice. Period. It’s resource constrained, not constrained by available currency.

    1. fresno dan

      always, always, ALWAYS money for war, never ever money for healthcare and the homeless
      As that great liberal once said:
      Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.
      Dick Cheney

    2. digi_owl

      It is a holdover from when all money was measured in pieces of gold and silver.

      Look into the creation of the Bank of “England”. It was basically a private issuer of notes to allow the government to continue its wars with most of the known world. Because said government had ran out of metal coins and wanted to borrow from the rich. BTW, i think the now British government is still paying down them loans to to this day.

  33. lyman alpha blob

    RE: McDonald’s, In-N-Out, and Chipotle are spending millions to block raises for their workers

    From the article –

    “On Wednesday, McDonald’s US President Joe Erlinger blasted the law as one driven by struggling unions that would lead to “an unelected council of political insiders, not local business owners and their teams,” making key business decisions.”

    Well the law was passed by elected officials. Union leaders are also elected. And how would Erlinger describe McDonald’s (which heavily lobbies those elected politicians) and the other “local” business owners who he would like to see calling the shots, if not as a group of unelected political insiders?!?!?

    Better gaslighters, please.

  34. spud

    stunning, how is the most progressive president since FDR going to get out of this, and hand wall street the victory they have sought for decades?

    West Virginia Democratic senator Joe Manchin this weekend endorsed bolstering Social Security by ending a payroll tax exemption for the rich.

    ” Biden’s senior adviser remains Bruce Reed, who was the executive director of the Obama-Biden administration’s commission that proposed Social Security cuts. And a new White House personnel move could be a bad omen.

    This weekend, Biden named longtime corporate consultant Jeff Zients as his new White House chief of staff. As an Obama administration budget official in 2013, Zients defended the White House’s so-called chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) plan that would have resulted in a cut to Social Security benefits.”

  35. Paua Fritter

    Re: Australia Day, it’s true that there’s been a gradual trend towards a more honest appreciation of the historical event which the day commemorates (the usurpation of indigenous sovereignty by British colonialism). And it’s true that in general it’s younger people who are more sympathetic to a post-colonial view of the country’s colonial history. This article published by the national broadcaster SBS gives a good account, I think, of the history of how it has been celebrated:

    Many Australians want to celebrate Australia’s nationhood on a different date (celebrating e.g. the day on which the several colonies were federated into the Commonwealth of Australia), and many Australians already observe the 26th as “Invasion Day”.

    On the other hand, many people will say that modern Australia Day is all about celebrating the wonderful country that Australia has become, citing equality, freedom, democracy, and human rights as things we should be proud of. The irony there is that the 26th commemorates precisely that day in 1788 on which the British Empire established a military dictatorship to rule over a prison colony of slave labourers, officially stole sovereignty from the indigenous population, and inaugurated the process that would see them terrorised and ethnically cleansed from their traditional lands.

    Well, I say it “commemorates” that historical day, but it also does the opposite: it “obfuscates” that day, or draws veil of oblivion over it; a veil in the form of an Aussie flag and the smoke from a million barbecues. Who can question the foundations of this country when that means questioning a day at the beach? This historical obfuscation is why Australian conservatives cling to the 26th and use it as a stick to beat the “woke” youngsters who want to repudiate it.

    1. Wukchumni

      One thing that was surprising to a young adult in the early 1980’s was the vast difference between New Zealand’s Maori population and Australia’s Aboriginals, it was as if the latter didn’t exist, compared to how common it was to see Maori in the North Island in particular in NZ

      I remember going to Redfern rail station in Sydney to glimpse some, it wasn’t as if I remember seeing Aboriginals anywhere else in the Big Smoke.

      My last trip to Aussie was in the late 80’s and heaps has changed since then, i’d suppose,

  36. The Rev Kev

    ‘Many Australians want to celebrate Australia’s nationhood on a different date (celebrating e.g. the day on which the several colonies were federated into the Commonwealth of Australia), and many Australians already observe the 26th as “Invasion Day”. ‘

    How many is ‘many’ out of a population of 25 million people? Not that many from what I see. If the date was going to be changed to the day on which the several colonies were federated into the Commonwealth of Australia that would be no good either. The date for that is January 1st 1901 which is already a holiday – New Year’s Day. Even if a different day was chosen, it would not take long for people to say that that date was problematical as well. Some of those protestors say that there should be no Australia Day which would please the government and corporations as that would mean one less public holiday and one more working day.

    But I do agree that Australian history does need a major overhaul. I happen to have had two ancestors on that First Fleet and in researching them after they got married in Sydney Cove and their subsequent career has led me to whole chapters of to me unknown history such as the Battle of Parramatta. But an honest re-evaluation of the historical record is needed and not one to push forward some sort of agenda such as like that 1619 Project in the US.

    1. Paua Fritter

      The SBS article I cited mentioned research which found that about half of people thought the date should change. I don’t know how many people observe the 26th as “Invasion Day”; I’m sure it’s much less than half, but I’m also sure it’s not just a fringe view. I know plenty of people who call it that.

      We could easily declare the 1st of January “Federation Day” and make it a national public holiday, and move the existing day off to the 2nd of January, like in New Zealand where the 2nd of January is a public holiday officially called “Day after New Years Day”. But basically any day which doesn’t celebrate the colonial dispossession of the indigenous people would be less of an affront to those indigenous people, who remain largely dispossessed and politically marginalised.

      Personally, though, I quite like the festering boil that is Australia Day since its amnesiac effects are now in steep decline, and increasingly it’s serving to really memorialise the actual history of this country.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Research shows half of people agreeing? Let me show you how such research is done. You ask a question such as ‘Do you believe that worker’s are overpaid?’ You ask that question of a hundred people in the Sydney CBD and then you ask that question again of a hundred people in Mount Druitt. You then select which batch of answers suits your agenda and publish it as ‘proof’.

        Every country typically has a holiday to celebrate itself with and it is usually tied with a historic event. The American equivalent would be the 4th July. Nobody here is going to buy a “Day after New Years Day” as the whole thing is just so pretentious. And the date would mean nothing. So how about the date of captain Cook’s landing at Botany Bay on 29th April 1770. I could buy into that.

        1. Wukchumni

          December 3 1642 works better… spring is in bloom, tulip bubbles happened 5 years earlier back in the old country, and the Dutch flag was planted.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Shhh! Don’t mention that. Otherwise the Dutch will take us to the Hague and demand that they be given possession of the continent on the legal grounds of ‘finders, keepers.’

            1. skippy

              Then one has to contend with the prospect of the Chinese proceeding all others …

              Dutton would implode …

        2. Paua Fritter

          No, let me dismiss your parody of opinion polling methodology, and show you how the research I mentioned actually was done:

          The reason I mentioned New Zealand’s “Day after New Years Day” holiday, is precisely because it commemorates nothing and is just a day off. It’s the exact opposite of “pretentious”. Did people in NZ “buy into” having the 2nd of January off work? You bet they did!

          So we could rename New Years Day to Federation Day, and move the day off from the 26th to the 2nd, and we would have the same number of days off, and we’d be straightforwardly celebrating the foundation of the actual state of Australia, and not the evil day of the 26th which indigenous Australians rightly regard as the official inauguration of their erasure.

          As for James Cook, I could hardly care less about him. I mean, why Cook rather than Tasman, for instance? Why not a day that celebrates something that Australians themselves have done? Something truly national?

          1. The Rev Kev

            The Australia Institute? Seriously? The one based in Canberra and whose motto is ‘We Change Minds’? I refuse to have anything to do with a mob who has as a Patron Laureate Professor Peter Doherty – the one that helped implement Australia’s ‘Let Er’ Rip’ program on how to deal with the present Pandemic. About 18,000 people have paid the price for that exercise in PR. It’s a think tank for policy wonks that want to bypass public opinion.

            And I refuse to have made-up holidays that try to whitewash our history and in fact disassociate people with their history. Trying to pretend that we can just make up our interpretation of our history instead of examining it warts and all is not a good place to be in. P.S. That was not parody in my previous comment but a description of how things are done.

            1. witters

              Well Kev, I’m ag’in you on this. Seems to me having to have a day to say you are in the country you are in is – well – pathetic.

            2. Paua Fritter

              What’s the basis of your assertion that the Australia Institute or Peter Doherty personally (it’s not clear which of these two you were blaming) were responsible for Australia’s “let ‘er rip” policy?

              1. The Rev Kev

                Sorry I missed your question here. When Scotty from Marketing went for some sort of dodgy justification for opening up our borders, he went to the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and Doherty was just the man for the job. This was a man who wanted to open the country up but who in a tweet complained how unmasked ordinary workers in a supermarket might be putting his life at risk. The Australia Institute is just another PMC Canberra think tank and if Doherty is one of their two patrons, that is enough for me to condemn them.

                1. Paua Fritter

                  I think you’re drawing a long bow, here.

                  Doherty is a patron of the Peter Doherty Institute, which is named in his honour, but he doesn’t run it. He wrote a weekly blog for it about infection and immunology (the field that he won his Nobel in).

                  The Doherty Institute produced epidemiological modelling for the government about how the Delta epidemic might play out in Australia under certain policy scenarios. But NB the Doherty Insitute is not a policy institute, and Doherty himself is not an epidemiologist, so his fingerprints aren’t on it.

                  That modelling was constrained by an explicitly stated assumption of the circulation of the Delta variant, which was later invalidated by the arrival of the Omicron variant, but it was the government which chose to ignore that and stick with the policy settings which they’d by then already forced through National Cabinet based on Delta.

                  So in short it makes little sense to dispute the veracity of opinion polling done by the Australia Institute on the basis that it shares a patron with another institute which later produced an unrelated report which the government later misused.

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    I was following the story at the time and Doherty was definitely the point man for the Scotty government and their demand that the country open up its borders. He was the public face of all those models. You know – the ones that were secret. Maybe because Brendan Murphy was convincing nobody and Doherty had all those gongs he picked up for himself back in the 90s.

                    And at the time it was obvious that this virus was constantly mutating so the government ignoring that factor just shows their determination to open up the country on behalf of ‘the economy’. There was constant comments here on NC how this virus was constantly changing so sure as hell the medicos that were advising the government knew too. But I look with deep suspicion upon any organization that makes a person like Doherty a patron, especially a think tank full of policy wonks.

            3. Paua Fritter

              Mate, the 26th of January “Australia Day” holiday is precisely a made-up holiday that tries to whitewash our history. That’s precisely why conservatives cling to it. It’s a symbol of all that they value (“western civilization” arriving in “terra nullius”), and casts a warm patriotic glow over what was actually the start of a shameful new episode in British imperialism.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Well if the First Fleet had been sunk in a storm and La Perouse had made it back home, we could have had instead the start of a shameful new episode in French imperialism. :)

                And I sometimes wonder what would have happened if the Dutch had set up a colony on the west coast a century earlier. History is full of strange twists and turns.

                1. skippy

                  Lmmao after the White only policy was abandon and mediterraneans were allowed, too fill the low wage preference, with a side of home RE building loans does it matter if it was English or French at the end of the day … but hay the French can at least cook …

                    1. skippy

                      You are aware the inclusion of these ethnic people were the forefront of the original labour movement in this nation … right … yet ask the Fitzroy Italians how WWII and property rights rolled ….

                      So yeah Cook is in the minds of some people when theft is involved aka hard to celebrate an inclusive socioeconomic holiday soaked in not just servitude but the attempt to erase a culture spanning tens of thousand of years so some inverters back in the holy land could make packet,

                    2. skippy

                      Something to consider when commenting on NC due to its rules … and legacy … without any notions of following of others or any notion of social dynamics when considering big topics – plants aside.

                      This is not instwanck or tick tock and the condition of history to boot, so much being reveled of late contra the calssica proposition … sorta like some monetary baggage some seem to tote …

                2. hk

                  Somewhat getting off the topic, but your mention of La Perouse and musing about alternative history just made me wonder what might have happened if Napoleon joined La Perouse’s expedition (he applied, made the first cut, but didn’t make the final cut…)

  37. skippy

    Amends in advance, but I am a bit flummoxed about the lack of commentary wrt Adani consortium dramas by those on the nose. Were talking about one of the richest people on the orb, true oligarch with influence in both developed and emerging economies. Otherwise talkative and informed people won’t touch it with someone else pole.

    Its just a wee bit glaring considering Richard Smiths works on this blog, back in the day, dove tails so well with this unpacking, and heap of stuff that proceeded the GCF here at NC e.g. this is bone marrow level stuff.

    Huge deal here in Queensland for years due to a coal mine and none of the Oz contingent will engage it, nor a few tax haven locals abroad.

    Guess the next state after disheveled is bewildered ….

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