Links 1/5/2023

Thor’s incredible 3,000-mile journey: How celebrity walrus named after Norse god swam from his Arctic home to the shores of north Europe – before heading back after UK New Year visit Daily Mail

A Mummer-doctor and a nurse performed CPR to help save a man’s life during New Year’s Day Eagles game Philadelphia Inquirer. For those unfamiliar, the Mummers:

Laissez les bons temps rouler, but in Philly.

Why We Missed On Inflation, and Implications for Monetary Policy Going Forward Neal Kashkari, Medium


Major storm and atmospheric river impact California The Watchers. Commentary:

Outlook for January 2023 – normal, with potential for Texas, Florida Wildfire Today

Winter Warm Spell Stifles Skiing in Swiss Alps YaleEnvironment. Fewer superspreading events, though.


White House cautions against panic as XBB.1.5 omicron subvariant spreads The HIll and Hong Kong Covid-19 reinfections increase by 4 times amid case surge, but experts say no cause for concern South China Morning Post/ Never panic until you’ve been officially told to remain calm.

How serious is the threat of new Covid-19 variants? FT

* * *

SARS-CoV-2 Viral Mutations: Impact on COVID-19 Tests U.S. FDA

Long COVID: Could mono virus or fat cells be playing roles? AP. A portrait of three citizen scientists.


China Sees 14,700 COVID Deaths Every Day, Model Suggests Newsweek. Model from London-based Airfinity.

China and Philippines agree on new channels to resolve South China Sea maritime disputes among their 14 new deals South China Morning Post

European Disunion

Individual states should be unable to block EU decisions: Berlin Al Mayadeen. Commentary:

Dear Old Blighty

Rishi Sunak’s strike law to let bosses sack workers and sue unions The Times

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine – The Big Push To End The War Moon of Alabama

The Case for Taking Crimea Foreign Affairs. Let me know how that works out.

* * *

Scholz Under Pressure For Tanks To Kyiv After France Move Barron’s

A single Iranian attack drone found to contain parts from more than a dozen US companies CNN

The little-known weapon knocking down Iranian drones over Kyiv Politico. “While U.S. officials can’t confirm the huge number of downed drones, ‘we don’t have any reason to not believe what they say,’ one Defense Department official who requested anonymity to discuss the issue said.” Oh.

* * *

Nord Stream Who? The American Conservative

Tinder in the trenches: How war has changed love and sex in Ukraine WaPo. Hoo boy [pants heavily].

Peru police use tear gas to clear protests after Machu Picchu evacuated Reuters

Blinken talks Lula White House visit, Venezuela with top Brazil diplomat Reuters and Brazilian Authorities Will Revive Fraud Case Against George Santos NYT (Furzy Mouse). Thanks, Lula!

The value of one consulting firm’s federal contracts has skyrocketed under the Trudeau government CBC (IM).

Republican Funhouse

Late-night talks yield no breakthrough in speaker battle Roll Call

A portrait of the ‘Never Kevin’ crew Politico. “Kevin can wait,” good one.

Supply Chain

Russia’s January wheat exports seen at at least 3.6 mln T – analysts Hellenic Shipping News

The Bezzle

SBF’s anticipated not guilty plea was a ‘smart play’ TechCrunch

Exclusive: FTX’s former top lawyer aided U.S. authorities in Bankman-Fried case Reuters

* * *

Kazakhstan among world’s leading crypto producers Andolu Agency

Federal Reserve, FDIC and OCC Warn Banks About Cryptocurrency Risks WSJ

The digital dollar is coming on the back of the FTX collapse The Hill

Ponzi Hospitals and Counterfeit Capitalism Matt Stoller, BIG. A must-read. Speculating freely: If private equity is pulling as much cash as it can out of hospitals, then Hospital Infection Control administrators will respond to that. Hence, cheap masks or no masks, no HEPA, no ventilation improvements beyond existing isolation wards, etc., and a captured CDC writing its guidance to accommodate them. Paradigm shifts cost money, even beyond the cost ot careers!


America Is a Sick Society—Literally WSJ. The URL: america-is-a-sick-society-literally-oecd-life-expectancy-infant-mortality-obesity-guns-healthcare. So sick the author felt the story needed a Daily Mail-style headline.

A Mass Extinction Is Taking Place in the Human Gut Wired

Fungi that cause serious lung infections are now found throughout the U.S. Science News

Our Famously Free Press

Capsule Summaries of all Twitter Files Threads to Date, With Links and a Glossary Matt Taibbi, TK News. Well worth a read.

Twitter files prove government was ‘in the censorship business in a huge way’: Matt Taibbi (video) FOX

Yes, the internet was always intended to spy on us. Yasha Levine. Taibbi owns the Twitter story, but Levine (and Ames) were there first.

Sports Desk

The Dark Pageant of the NFL The Atlantic

Report: Reyna Family Gave U.S. Soccer Details About Gregg Berhalter’s 1991 Domestic Violence Incident Defector

Realignment and Legitimacy

Federal agents: Two Puyallup men arrested and charged for Christmas substation attacks The News-Tribune (PI).

Imperial Collapse Watch

Putin is sending a warship into the Atlantic armed with new hypersonic cruise missiles Business Insider

A new world energy order is taking shape FT

Class Warfare

Workers: a photography special FT

Amazon Layoffs to Hit Over 18,000 Workers, the Most in Recent Tech Wave WSJ. “The layoffs are concentrated in the company’s corporate ranks.”

Why do people have to live outside? Brutal South

Who’s Really Behind All These Record Farmland Sales? AgWeb

How the Brain Calculates a Quick Escape Smithsonian. News you can use!

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote (semper loquitur):

Semper loquitur writes: “I don’t know if I mentioned it to you all but my pup Dizzy had a cancerous tumor removed recently. We have been anxiously waiting to hear about the biopsy. It came today and all is well! My relief is unquantifiable.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. The Rev Kev

    ‘Clare Daly
    There is a sustained campaign to undermine the right of member states, enshrined in the Treaties, to veto Council decisions. On foreign & defence issues we should never – ever – give those who dream of an imperial Europe what they want & abolish the veto. We are not the US of E.’

    Clare Daly going for the win. The EU really wants to abolish the veto power so I would not be surprised if they got so blatant at their desire for this, that they would call for a vote on the subject but announce that they will withhold all EU funding from those EU nations that vote no on the subject. Or maybe they will try an illegal end run like they did before where they have the parliaments for each country vote to abolish the veto and when all have “agreed”, will announce that it is a done deal. Said it before. The European Union is evolving into the European Hegemony.

    1. digi_owl

      Sorry to say to her, but that horse is long gone.

      US of E has been the scheme pretty much since Germany reunified.

      1. Stephen

        Absolutely. Aim has pretty much always been to achieve politically what various wars tried to achieve previously.

    2. Oh

      The US was happy to see the EU being formed and the single currency. That way the US could control most of Europe by manipulating a few (corrupt) stooges and foist military and financial debacles.

    1. John Zelnicker

      The Mummers put on an incredible show. I lived in Philly for 13 years and saw a few of the parades.

      The parade starts at the crack of dawn and it’s frequently cold and wet, but they could put some of the Mardi Gras crewes to shame. (Looks like it was decent weather this year.)

      Once the parade and shows are over, the brigades start working on costumes and routines for the next year, each trying to outdo the others.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Nothing better than being tossed a string of beads by an inebriated longshoreman! I mean, this is Philly (which I really did come to love). Interestingly, the clubs that put on the parades operate through the whole year; plenty of symbolic capital there!

    2. Raymond Sim

      The Philadelphia/Delmarva area is very much its own place. Someone asked me about Mummers once, and in trying to explain I realized the only reason I knew for why those guys do that, is that their great-grandpas did it. Phalanxes of feather-bedecked tough guys playing banjos is surreal right? I think it probably is, but I can’t tell, because I’m from there.

      Yesterday I was telling my son about the Johnston family gang’s reign of terror in southern Chester county – something straight out of ‘Justified’ – and found myself bemused to think I had acquaintances who knew some of those guys. At the time it didn’t seem remarkable at all, because I was from there.

  2. Wukchumni

    Now you say you’re coming
    You cry the whole night through
    Well, you can cry me a river, cry me an atmospheric river
    I cried a river over the lack of you

    Now you say you’re sorry
    For bein’ so untrue
    Well, you can cry me a river, cry me an atmospheric river
    I cried a river over the lack of you

    You drove me, nearly drove me out of my head
    While you hardly shed a tear
    Remember, I remember all that drought dread
    Told me common cycles were too plebeian
    Told me you were through with me and
    Now you say you’ll drench me
    Well, just to prove you do
    Come on and cry me a river, cry me an atmospheric river
    I cried a river over the lack of you

    I cried a river over the lack of you
    I cried a river over the lack of you
    I cried a river over the lack of you

    Cry Me A River, by Julie London

      1. Wukchumni


        Jesus Christ on a cracker is it pissing down rain now, and a tiny portion of no doubt leftovers from when he unsuccessfully attempted to drown that burning bush with precious bodily fluids.

        Thought i’d be a smarty and out-think the flood party by ordering a 42 footer from Arks Я Us online and they promised delivery before the deluge including portable dock, but so far no neo-Noah for yours truly and water is rising.

        1. Lee

          Assuming you have not yet floated away, and that you have acquired a copy of Ministry for the Future, it would be an appropriate time to check out chapter 59 in which the entire L.A. basin is flooded by an atmospheric river and pretty much swept away as depicted from the point of view of a lady kayaker.

          1. Wukchumni

            Had a mid-day respite from Ararat and all that, and just 10 minutes ago all hell broke loose with gad Zeus spitting out lightning with 1 to 2 second intervals between 7 second thunder stanzas as hail falls but refuses to stick and rain is pouring, oh the humanity.

            If it was August i’d be shitting bricks, but nothing can catch fire now, bring it on.

    1. Lee

      For a take, delivered in prose, on just what’s up with our CA weather, there was an interesting discussion yesterday on our local NPR station, which is good for something now and then.

      Another Massive Rain Storm Set to Drench the Bay Area


      Daniel Swain, climate scientist, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA and The Nature Conservancy of California

      Brian Garcia, warning coordination meteorologist, National Weather Service SF Bay Area/Monterey

      Gerry Diaz, newsroom meteorologist, SF Chronicle

      Mary Ellen Caroll, executive director, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management”

      KQED Forum

    2. jsn

      Seems like there’s a “Crimea giver” version of this waiting to be sung to Voldo by Vlad just before the Fat Lady sings.

  3. griffen

    In light of the still recent declaration of mission accomplished on the Covid19 by sitting POTUS Joey Biden. Performative statements by sitting US Presidents that did not or will not age well.

    “It is a kind of an economic malaise.”
    “Read my lips, no new taxes”
    “Mission Accomplished” So nice I use it twice.
    “The Pandemic is over”

  4. griffen

    “It’s like OJ and the white Bronco.” That may be an all timer use of allegorical comparison. It implies that someone is driving the truck, so it must be Kevin in the back speaking to law enforcement while Al drives up the interstate in California. Yes everyone is watching.

    Pity poor Kevin. Chaos reigns in Congress, and maybe that outcome is less bad; they’re too busy wrecking themselves to maintain the progress of wrecking this country.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Haven’t thought about it before but something just struck me. The Republicans get to choose the Speaker right now so you would expect it to be a Republican from a strong Republican State. And yet, it is this Kevin McCarthy up for contention who comes from a State where the Republicans barely seem to have a presence. Strange that. Personally, from what I have seem of this Kevin McCarthy, I think that Americans would be better of with Charlie McCarthy. Moving into the Speaker’s Office before a vote was even held gives off a sense of…..entitlement on his part.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Wave elections and safe seats. The incoming classes were too big and too dominant for personalities to emerge created by 94 and 2010 thrashings, and safe seats means they never have to work. Any edge they have they lose or don’t need. McCarthy is there because he’s a nothing. The crankier types who came in after 2010 which is why the stand out smell weakness and wonder if they can get the prize or win a major concession.

        McCarthy worked for a known abusive boss as a Hill staffer. The sharks can smell it. Even Democrats are making fun of McCarthy.

      2. JP

        While California is largely a democrat majority on the crowed coastal areas, the interior and far north are, as we say, where the south won the civil war., That war was a long time ago but consider when Oklahoma became a dust bowel in the 30’s all the refugee caravans took one look at the lights of Los Angeles, shuddered and moved on to the central valley. The biggest congregation in my small town, by a long shot, is the southern babtists. In case you forget the southern babtists were formed to defend slavery.

        When Kevin’s boys come to town (all under 30) for a meet and greet, The liberals take a seat to discuss issues and the conservative support lines up to cheer for Kevin. Theirs is a war against liberal culture. McCarthy has never been interested in legislation. He is in the position of house GOP leader and is elected here because he wages war against the Dems. He is now confronted by a hard line Freedom Caucus that is committed not only to denying any votes for any democratic sponsored legislation, but any legislation at all. They only want to target and paralyze the Biden administration. The Freedom Caucus is so stupid they don’t even support big business, the war and the grifting of america, but they are climate change deniers and pray a lot.

        1. Joe Renter

          I was out the Golden State for about 30 years and when I returned during covid to my medium size overly expensive coastal town where I was raised, it had turned much more conservative. I think that was the fallout from either your rich, or you are struggling. And where do you vent that anger when you realize the dream was an illusion? A number of people went to the right. Not enough swing the overall party make up. It has to also be said that the immigration of Spanish speakers created a blowback with the working class not overtly expressed, but there none the less. My take anyway.

        2. Mikel

          “when Oklahoma became a dust bowel in the 30’s all the refugee caravans took one look at the lights of Los Angeles, shuddered and moved on to the central valley….”

          Many of those caravans began to be stopped by authorities before they could reach any major city. Lots of predjudices were in place about them. In some cases, those settlers had no choice but to settle in the outskirts.

      3. ex-PFC Chuck

        “I think that Americans would be better of with Charlie McCarthy.”

        Actually most of them are his siblings. The ventriloquists are the donor class members.

  5. KLG

    I can’t deal with the “other” news today, so I just want to say I am very happy about the news of the regal dog, Dizzy!

    1. semper loquitur

      Thanks to you all for your kind thoughts, and thanks to Lambert for posting her in all her glory. She is being spoiled with a cornucopia of treats and tid-bits to speed her full recovery…

  6. Wukchumni

    Winter Warm Spell Stifles Skiing in Swiss Alps YaleEnvironment. Fewer superspreading events, though.
    Ullr is responding to climate change like everybody else in learning the new ropes//

    While there is bupkis on the slopes in the old country, it’s possible that Mammoth might have too much snow (the amount of snowpack is important for a ski resort when there is hardly any-but becomes increasingly meaningless the more you get) to operate if this series of storms lives up to full billing.

    Anyhow, the Beehive State is calling my name…

    Ullr is a Norse god often associated with winter, skiing and snow sports. Many people refer to him as the God of snow or God of skiing, but according to the Prose Edda, a historical text used by scholars of Norse mythology, Ullr was never given a “God of” title for anything. However, he is recognized for being a skilled skier and hunter, and he is often depicted on skis with his bow. It is even said that the aurora borealis, which dance across night skies in the Northern hemispheres, are the spray from his skis. So, it’s easy to see how some skiers, who may have in fact been at après for too long, came to inflate his status.,God%20of%E2%80%9D%20title%20for%20anything.

  7. griffen

    The link today to the summary from Matt Taibbi is presently open, so grateful that he recaps the rundown on the listing of the posts and what each file drop represents. Pretty broad when it comes to context, I had kept up through middle December. It all makes for a compelling arc and timeline, dating to the early Trump years through 2022.

    If you are interested in the story and what this all entails it is worth a few minutes. And if you find it all a nothingburger, well I might understand that take but I cannot agree. These are people, even leaders, Federal employees in government, messing around and lo, interfering, with the gears of a social media company. Hard for me to just move along and nothing to see here, could just be me.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Russiagate lends itself to parody. I can easily imagine an old Mousetrap™ game illustration to explain how the Russiagate ball traveled through our govt and the media. So much wrong doing, all enabled by the monstrous lie that a foreign nation rigged our elections in ways that still have not been explained because you can’t sit at a desk half a world away and impact another country’s elections. Not unless you rig the electronic voting machines and/or tabulators but if you suggest that they tell you to shut up because electronic voting is perfect (for the people in charge who do rig elections).

      After this is all over, I expect a cynical calm to blanket the nation. Future scaremongers are going to find it very hard to hornswoggle Americans with lurid tales of foreign intrigue and that will be a good thing.

  8. Wukchumni

    UFC 86*

    Kevin (the would-be vocal local from Yokohl**) McCarthy & Donald (the Mainline Event) Trump versus the GOP whackjobs

    2 ideologies enter the octagon, but can you tell them apart?

    $49.95 PPV
    $39.95 PPV (HD)

    * Ultimate Finale Competition
    ** not really, but it’s the only rhyme-adjacent place in his district that’ll make the joke work

    1. The Rev Kev

      I heard that one of the demands of those twenty Republicans is that the entirety of all the transcripts from the Jan 6 Committee be made public, including from people like General Milley. Up to now, the Democrats have only released bits and pieces to make Trump look bad.

      Thing is, why would the Republicans as a whole not be all for this? You can bet that there are a lot of juicy items that would bring up a lot of awkward questions. Like where was the National Guard that day.

      As for your Kevin, I heard that as he already has his gear in the Speaker’s Office, that he intends to nail himself up in that room until they finally vote him in as Speaker.

      1. Wukchumni

        Every man has a right to be heard; but no man has the right to strangle democracy with a single set of vocal cords.

        Adlai Stevenson

      2. John

        Am I incorrect to think he looks more than a little pathetic? Moving in before a vote he had to know was not going to be a walk-over? Moving in knowing that there were at least five votes he was never going to get? The ultimate wannabe.

        1. Wukchumni

          Wouldn’t it be kismet if he announces he’s out of the race for the Speakership, on January 6th?

      1. Wukchumni

        If you look at a map of Cali, Bakersfield sure seems southern, but the SoCalist Movement shudders at the mere mention, cognizant that the Mason-Dixon line lies somewhere around Fort Tejon.

        1. Socal Rhino

          At a brief stop in Bakersfield, asked where I was from I said southern California, and was told with amusement we were in southern California.

    2. Joe Renter

      I think WWE would be a better format that UFC. More in the realm of theatrics and a strong parody undertone.

  9. JohnA

    The little-known weapon knocking down Iranian drones over Kyiv Politico.

    Didn’t Zelensky name this as a can of tomatoes in his new year speech? There was also the widow and her jar of pickles last summer, the teenage kid with his home made kit drone etc.

    As Russia appears to be using decoys to flush out anti-missile systems, I imagine a lot of these ‘knocked-out’ drones were actually decoys in any case.

  10. nycTerrierist

    All hail Dizzy!
    long may s/he reign
    wonderful news

    makes everything better doesn’t it?

  11. JohnA

    Re Tinder in the trenches

    ” Vlad had little problem finding about 200 matches on Tinder in Kharkiv ahead of his military unit’s break in the eastern Ukrainian city, as he swiped on the dating app from his position on the front lines.”

    Seems rather Darwin award stupid to be using a mobile phone on the front lines, thus revealing your position to the enemy. As apparently, was the root cause of the missile attack on a temporary Russian barrack at new year, that cost the lives of from 89 to hundreds of Russian soldiers, depending on which side you believe.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Just goes to show you the dangers of thinking with the wrong head. You are right about the dangers of using a mobile phone on the front lines. I saw this video clip of a bunch of Ukrainian soldiers moving away from artillery fire. As soon as they were sheltered up against the side of a building, a couple pulled their mobiles out and started using them. And wouldn’t you know it – that Russian artillery started to follow them again. So mysterious the Russians knowing where to shoot.

      Something that I should mention. Those Russian soldiers that got hit at Makiivka were accused of bringing that fire down upon themselves by calling people using their mobile phones. But they were hit about one or two minutes after midnight when they were all gathered together. So was that HIMARS system already set up and pointed to where to shoot or something? Or did that HIMARS crew already have intelligence where to shoot and were just waiting for midnight to fire those missiles?

      1. Not Again

        Same goes for those guys who shot up the transmission lines. According to the story:

        According to the criminal complaint filed with the court late Saturday and unsealed Tuesday, the two men were identified as possible suspects through the analysis of cell phone records.

        I remember when we had a 4th Amendment – but all’s fair in love and war apparently. Dump that tattletale cell phone if you are up to anything nefarious.

        1. hunkerdown

          Every state has a right to defend its existence in style against its subjects. (That’s kind of the point of the Westphalian order.) If that isn’t acceptable, you need a non-state regime. The servant state is a self-contradictory myth. That’s why it’s so prominent and promoted in liberal mythology.

      2. Paradan

        Probably a pattern finding algorithm noticed something over the course of a few hours/days? Waiting until midnight to hit is just common sense as everyone will be gathered around for toast, etc..

      3. Mark Gisleson

        I haven’t seen any proof that cell phones were responsible for the attack on Russian soldiers. I have read Ukrainian assertions to that effect which is 1000% consistent with Ukraine’s ongoing projection issues (Russia does something that exploits a Ukrainian weakness, Ukraine then claims they’ve done the same thing to Russia).

        1. Polar Socialist

          It’s all over the Russian mainstream media, the source quoted being Lt. Gen. Sergey Servyukov, deputy head of the military-political directorate of Russian armed forces. Previously deputy commander of Eastern Military District and a veteran of the first Chechen war and the Syrian operation.

          He might know. Of course, some commentators are saying it’s just blaming the troops for getting killed and letting the officers off the hook, but Servyukov also said that following an investigation responsible personnel will be held accountable so maybe the dirty laundry will be handled publicly.

          The head of DNR, Pushilin stated that some of the dead had actually returned to the building to help others when it collapsed. And governor of Samara (home of at least some of the soldiers) announced a visit to see the wounded in Rostov to see how he can help them, which also works contrary to blaming the victims.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            Sad to hear. Everything coming out of Ukraine is so upside-down I have a bad tendency to assume everything they say is false.

    2. Insouciant Iowan

      I’ve read (can’t recall where, now) that the decision to gather so many soldiers in a building in the basement of which ammo was stored was a command decision. Troops should have been spread about in, say, squads.
      The phone call thing–which may be true–borders on blaming the victim.

    3. ACPAL

      A couple of years ago I read a story about a classified location being outed because so many of the troops were using FitBits running the perimeter. Anything that transmits can be a target. Almost all phones now days can be tracked even when turned off. A lot of entertainment and military equipment contain chips that can now be tracked.

  12. Wukchumni

    Thor’s incredible 3,000-mile journey: How celebrity walrus named after Norse god swam from his Arctic home to the shores of north Europe – before heading back after UK New Year visit Daily Mail
    It’s getting weird with how walruses are celebrities now, I heard somebody proposed to a porpoise on purpose, it was purported.

  13. russell1200

    The Gehpard is apparently very good at shooting down one particular style of drone – the slow loitering ones mostly supplied by Iran. This is not at all surprising. The same style of Ukrainian drone – I think these were mostly Turkish, but Israel was in the mix – was being countered a few months ago.

    Now you can’t have a Gehpard on every corner. The Chassis is based off the old Leopard 1 tank. They aren’t small and they aren’t cheap. They would be relatively vulnerable to artillery. That being said, the day of the cheap (and the word cheap is important) loitering drone over closely watched parts of the battlefield seem to be over.

    This is one reason that various lasers and wild weasel solutions are at the forefront of the anti-drone methods being tested now. The soon to come stealth drones are going to be harder to detect and need something with less potential ammunition usage.

      1. Irrational

        Rheinmetall will supposedly start producing it in H1 of this year, goal: 300,000 shots by July – if there is still a war on by then.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, the best response to cheap drones is probably electronics. At the very least, it forces an upgrade of the drones electronics to military grade which will increase every unit cost by multiples.

      I’ve been curious as to why Nato apparently hasn’t been giving the Ukrainians the most up to date electronic warfare equipment. A single Wild Weasel would probably be far more use to them than any number of Himars. I’ve assumed that its from a fear that they would end up in Russian hands – or simply give away too much electronic information in use.

      It should be said that the Swiss seem to be at the forefront in Europe of more cost effective anti-drone measures, which is a huge problem for Nato as they are refusing to sell anything.

      Oh, and in other military export news, the Poles are now buying South Korean jets (FA-50s) to replace all the Migs they gave away to Ukraine. Apparently only the South Koreans have the capacity to build new jets in the very short time frames the Poles want.

      1. tevhatch

        Wild Weasel (aircraft function) with HARM missiles and radar suppression/jamming packages.
        New Atlas and Scott Ritter both have gone over the problems with using these systems against modern systems with skilled operators, apparently they almost didn’t work in NATO’s bombings of Yugoslavia against what were already outdated systems. HARMs were given to Ukraine, but either they have not used them or they didn’t make a dent, because Ukraine isn’t humble.

        1. Paradan

          Problem with HARMS is that the AD system will just shoot it down, like any other incoming missile. It has to be used as part of a comprehensive strike that includes decoys, jamming, and intensity of action so that AD crews have to make hasty decisions before they can sort out whats real and whats not.

    2. tevhatch

      Positioning of the guns is important. While 35mm shells have a time detonation to prevent their coming back down to earth intact and exploding or puncturing ground non-targets, some do explode where they should not. It’s going to be worse for older ammo. Then there is the shrapnel, which always comes back to earth. One wonders how many Ukrainian civilians and infrastructure are being done in by these drone counter measures.

      As to counter-counter measures, those barrels give off a mighty infrared signature, eventually some of those drones will carry cameras that can spot it and send down a super-sonic surprise.

  14. TomDority

    Who’s Really Behind All These Record Farmland Sales? AgWeb
    Investors pushing land prices up – where have I heard that before.
    I guess that just ads to input costs that will drive inflation for food prices.
    Does increased price for acreage count into the inflation picture or stats?

    1. Mark Gisleson

      A field I inherited in Iowa is just a few miles from a previous record-setting farm sale. At AgWeb’s quoted prices, that field is worth between two and three million dollars. It nets less than $100,000 in revenue in a good year.

      You can believe these investors are OK with it taking 20 years of perfect weather to recoup their investment. Or you can think that inflation is about to destroy the dollar, and that food prices may be about to start going up faster than inflation.

      The field is not for sale.

      1. flora

        They aren’t making any new land. / ;) (I hear Bill Gates is still buying farmland through his cut-outs. Dyson is buying farmland in the UK. The global billionaires find farmland a good investment. Capturing the food supply as the next monopoly move? Who knows?)

        1. Joe Renter

          And remember the Bushes bought 398,000 acres in Paraguay some years ago. Land, it’s real as opposed to crypto.

  15. Henry Moon Pie

    Politico’s portrait of the rebels–

    It’s about what you’d expect from the hyper-Establishment Politico. There’s name-calling: “the Taliban 19.” There’s the dismissive tone: “perennial thorns in the side of leadership.” There’s accusations of lack of substance: “their brand is chaos.”

    What’s lacking is any attempt to understand what might be a legitimate source of motivation for these people. I watched some of the proceedings yesterday, and found I have more than a little sympathy for “the Taliban 19.” When Chip Roy rose to nominate Byron Donalds in opposition to McCarthy, I wanted to cheer when he got to this point. “This country needs a change in leadership. This country needs leadership that does not reflect this city.” (Don’t miss Roy’s comments about Ukraine and the nontransparent process that involved us in that war.) Now Roy has a pretty hefty DC bio himself. He’s a lawyer who has served as Cruz’s chief of staff and an aide to Cornyn. But many of his 20 colleagues are definitely not “swamp creatures.” Lauren Boebert is a 35 year-old from a small town in Colorado who had never held public office prior to being elected to the House in 2020. Anna Luna, also in her 30s, is an Air Force vet who got her college degree after an honorable discharge (She also was an SI swimsuit model.). Byron Donalds was a businessman before being elected to the Florida legislature in 2016. Georgian Andrew Clyde is a career Navy man who got a masters in finance after being discharged. After starting and running a business for 20 years, he was elected to his first public office in 2020. None of these individuals have a degree from the Ivies or other “prestigious” institutions.

    I know how I reacted to Washington way back in 1977 when I was clerking for a labor union’s general counsel and my spouse was interning in the Vice-President’s office. The careerism and even nihilism of the people I was around, with a few exceptions of course, made me despair for anything good ever coming out of that town. My next stop was the mountains of New Mexico, about as far away as I could get without leaving the country.

    These people are my allies when it comes to pushing for a complete change in leadership in Washington. I don’t want them to be in charge mind you, but I want McCarthy, Hakeen the Dream, Schumer, Biden, the CIA Dems, etc. gone. Nothing will change as long as they are there.

    In a smarter timeline, a large portion of the Progressive Caucus would unite with the Rebel 20 to push for a Speaker who would declare an “emergency.” This reform Speaker would appoint committee chairs who would push investigations into everything from FBI/Democrat collusion to Covid to Ukraine to the origins of Russiagate. It would be a Great Unraveling that goes far beyond what the Church Committee was able to accomplish in the 70s. But none of that is happening. In the meantime, I’m happy to declare myself an ally, for the purpose of exposing the corruption and lies, of these Twenty.

    1. JP

      I agree it would be swell if we had different leaders but I don’t think your would be allies would be a change for the better. The change you are seeking, unfortunately, has to be generated by the electorate not the 19 rebels. The crazys may not come from the swamp but they are generally not well acquainted with reality unless you believe Q and an authoritarian subversion of democracy is the cure for ignorance.

      After all, the reason clowns control most of the levers of govt is because the average voter has no idea what govt does and couldn’t find Canada on a map. The issues of FBI collusion, Cov 2 disinformation and the war machine have all been a long term bipartisan project. The real chore is killing the various PACs, ect pouring money into political activity and educating the electorate against close minded political narratives.

  16. NoUseForaUsername

    Re: Why do people have to live outside?

    Thank you for a selecting this story, 12+ year lurker and occasional poster here. The Flenser is one of my favorite music labels, releasing a variety of dark, experimental music. Their banner release in 2022 was Chat Pile (note, their sound is closer to noise rock than death metal as the article states). Us Flens-nerds have been haunted by the band’s innocent question, “why do people have to live outside?” It’s presented in a way which resonated with many of us, and I’m glad to see it receiving coverage. Thank you!

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Scholz Under Pressure For Tanks To Kyiv After France Move”

    Not really. The French are not really sending tanks but the AMX-10 RC which ‘is a French armoured fighting vehicle manufactured by Nexter Systems for armoured reconnaissance purposes.’ So not really a tank at all and so Scholz is not on the hook. On the other hand, Morocco has agreed to give about a hundred upgraded T-72B tanks with their spare parts to the Ukraine over the next coupla months. I would imagine that as part of this deal, that NATO might give Morocco help to conquer Western Sahara. Trump already recognized their ‘claim’ in return for Morocco recognizing Israel. Something tells me though that the fighters in Western Sahara may end up having some discreet aide delivered to them before long-

    1. vao

      And again, just like with the deliveries of equipment by Finland or Germany, France is sending outdated vehicles to Ukraine: the AMX-10 RC entered service more than 40 years ago, when Brezhnev was at the head of the USSR. France can give away those AMX-10 RC because it started replacing them with the Jaguar IFV a year ago.

  18. Screwball

    Adam Kinzinger has signed on with CNN. Imagine that. Now it can be Jan 6th everyday. Oh, wait…

  19. The Rev Kev

    “The Case for Taking Crimea”

    ‘You just keep on thinking Foreign Affairs. it’s what you’re good at.’

    Where do you start with this rubbish? OK –

    ‘Crimea has a rich and unique history; it has not been a part of Russia since time immemorial.’ Actually Crimea has been part of Russia before there was even a United States of America so that is a pretty hefty claim.

    ‘It became a rightful part of independent Ukraine after a 1991 nationwide referendum in which Ukrainians—including a majority of Crimean residents—voted for independence from the Soviet Union.’ Well, no. Crimea also voted for self-autonomy but the Ukraine just stormed in and took over the place. When they had a chance, they voted by a massive majority to rejoin the Russian Federation.

    ‘As long as the peninsula remains in the Kremlin’s hands, Ukraine—and Ukrainians—cannot be free of Russian aggression.’ On the other hand, NATO wants to turn this peninsular into a major Naval base that will be aimed at Russia’s underbelly which would destabilize the entire region, especially when nukes would be installed there.

    I like the bit where they say ‘The United Kingdom ruled Ireland for centuries, and under London’s governance, English became the island’s most widely spoken language. But that does not mean the United Kingdom would be justified in seizing it.’ That is precisely what they did centuries ago and still have not entirely left.

    ‘It is legally recognized and accepted as Ukrainian territory by the entire world’ make that the western world.

    I could go on but it only gets worse. A major reason for wanting Crimea is mentioned when it says ‘Exxon Mobil signed a memo with Kyiv to drill for $6 billion worth of the sea’s natural gas deposits’ Kaching! Here, ‘Liberating Crimea’ would mean destroying the place like was done in the Donbass and terrorising the people that live there and murdering those who opposed this happening. So this article written by a former Minister of Defense of Ukraine is just a line of bs for gullible people – and readers of Foreign Affairs.

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      The article is of course wildly delusional, which presumably is why NC posted it.

      Two obvious comments: first, an average teenage lad with a basic ability to read maps and a typical young man’s interest in military matters can quickly confirm (after an Internet glance at deployed RU forces in Crimea) that any assault on Crimea will be exceptionally difficult. The brighter bulbs among them might even review events in that area during the early 1940s. Second, even assuming that UKR somehow manages to capture Crimea, consider the aftermath: surely a large proportion of its residents have no desire to live under UKR rule (judging by the results of several referendums) and (given the % of military veterans there, and its proximity to RU) might be ready to take up arms in resistance. Which could go on more or less indefinitely.

      The fact that serious UKR players believe this nonsense, and enough serious USA players believe it sufficiently to publish it in Foreign Affairs, is actually pretty disturbing and doesn’t bode well for the near future.

      1. The Rev Kev

        For the neocons, Crimea was a sort of grand prize for them. But when Russia brought it back home in 2015 they were totally outraged in being denied this prize and have never forgiven Putin since. It is now becoming a sort of obsession with them which results in articles like this Foreign Affairs one.

        1. agent ranger smith

          And of course there could always be some neocons ready to say: ” Boys go to Crimea, Real Men go to Moscow.”

    2. David in Santa Cruz

      The author of the Foreign Affairs propaganda extravaganza on “Taking Crimea” is a recent Defense Minister of “Ukraine” — so of course the piece is a complete fabrication. However, you’d better believe that the entire schytt-show in “Ukraine” is all about the delusional russophobes in NATO hallucinating that they can evict the Black Sea Fleet from the Black Sea.

      Sevastopol has been the home port of the Russian Navy for about a century longer than NAS Coronado or SUBASE Bangor can claim to have been American…

  20. Diogenes

    W/r/t the Yasha Levine story: he and Mark Ames certainly seem to have a personal axe to grind with Taibbi. Ames co-hosts a podcast (War Nerds) a recent episode of which was devoted substantially to ad hominem attacks, with Levine, against Taibbi. Bad blood from their eXile days, evidently.

    That’s not to dismiss out of hand the idea in Levine’s headline. Internet technology developed in the Pentagon’s DARPA unit might cause any sentient being to wonder, and it’s not as if they don’t already have priors. But it’s one thing to wonder (or even know) about military intelligence or NSA snooping and another to have clear evidence of seemingly every federal agency in D.C. using a platform to actively engage in ongoing, systematic suppressions of speech through an intermediary which the Federal government could not (constitutionally) do directly iteself.

    Taibbi has exploded the canard often heard recently about social media censorship “oh, they’re private companies and can do what they want.” There’s obviously been state action.

    1. pjay

      Yes. Almost everything in Levine’s article is correct, especially concerning Musk’s probable motives. But what he leaves out is crucial. And as you say, what is left out is the clear evidence presented by Taibbi and others of *specific* actions by various federal agencies demonstrating specific mechanisms of state censorship. That is important information — period. Regardless of his own past work, the real effect of Levine’s post is to simply reinforce the Establishment narrative that this is a “nothingburger,” in his view because we already knew all this stuff. Well, *Levine* might have known it (and written an important book about it), but *most* people probably did not. So any means to get this information out to the general public is valuable, in my view. Levine could have made his points about Musk without devaluing the work of Taibbi and the others. But as you also point out, he seems to have a personal axe to grind.

      Seems to be a pattern here. Levine had also done important work on the Ukraine, especially on the use of ethnic conflict by our government and intelligence services in his Immigrants as Weapons project. Then he turns around and undermines it all by going ballistic on Putin after the Russian invasion, basically reinforcing the Establishment narrative, again. If a “lefty” like Levine says it…

  21. Jason Boxman

    From: America Is a Sick Society—Literally

    Sick indeed:

    During the final three decades of the 20th century, deaths from overdoses rose slowly from a low base. In 2000 about 17,000 Americans (62 per million) died from drug overdoses. By 2020 this figure had risen more than fivefold, to 92,000. Here again we lead other high-income countries in an unwelcome category. The U.S. 2020 death rate from overdoses of 277 per million compared unfavorably with Canada’s 171 per million, Germany’s 19 per million, and France’s 7 per million. Preliminary statistics indicate that overdose deaths in the U.S. rose even further in 2021, to 107,000 (320 per million) before leveling off in 2022.


    The surge in obesity is another factor keeping U.S. life expectancy below the level it would otherwise have reached. Between 2000 and 2020, the rate of obesity in the U.S. has risen from 30.5% to 41.9%. It is now the highest of any developed country and a stunning 10 times the rate in the lowest, Japan. Obesity is linked to several life-shortening diseases and has contributed significantly to the rise in diabetes, which is estimated to afflict 13% of U.S. adults.

    America certainly doesn’t present the appearance of a country well run. This is a place run by an elite that can’t be bothered to govern in anyone’s interests but their own. And too stupid to understand that having a garbage society people opt out of by killing themselves hurts everyone’s life expectancy in the aggregate.

    Fun times.

    1. Mildred Montana

      And yet… there are “experts” who will soberly state that obesity is a genetic problem (one of them was on “60 Minutes” the other night.)

      Poor helpless Americans! Victims of their genes! Not of fast-food restaurants or over-eating or driving everywhere or of not exercising. Oh, no.

      It’s curious that those nasty obesity genes only began to assert themselves after the advent of McDonald’s, drive-thrus, the interstate highway system, and strip malls in suburbia; the sedentary pursuits of television, the internet, and on-line shopping, gaming, and social interaction. If I am not mistaken, obesity was never a topic of conversation in the ’50s or ’60s or ’70s. Only today.

      So in sixty years American genes have, in the opinion of some “experts”, mutated to favor obesity. Talk about evolution on warp speed!

      I can’t resist closing with a comment my brother once made to me: “There were no fat people in Auschwitz.” Harsh perhaps, but assuredly true.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        This explanation of obesity fits with our medical industry’s theory of how stuff works:

        Nature screws up. We can fix it. Take two of these every day for the rest of your life.

        A popular alternative is: You lack self control.

        Might make sense if the incidence were stable and fairly low, but we have high rates that are getting worse. Nature is screwing up more? People are becoming less and less able to exercise self-control? (Don’t answer that. Fox will tell you that’s whole problem.) If certain measures of well-being are declining in your country, it might be a good idea to take a serious look at the problem. Are there widely tolerated environmental factors at play? Are stress levels in the society too high generally? Is a healthy diet encouraged or discouraged by media and “influencers?”

        The well-being of citizens does not play a serious role in the setting of government OR business policy. Since the latter have bought the former, the one and only thing that matters is whether the already-rich will get even richer.

      2. AndrewJ

        I read a little analysis a while back – I can’t find it now – that looked at proposed reasons for the growth in obesity in America. Four hypotheses, if I remember right. The only one that the author found had any explanatory power was an intersection of genetic factors and environmental contamination – but what that contamination is, is unclear. Essentially that there is something horrible in the food supply that some people react to and others don’t. PFAS? Pesticides? Microplastics? But I do know a few people who have tried hard, and haven’t found a way to make it stick.

      3. Stephen

        I believe that processed carbohydrates of sugar, flour and starch are the prime cause of obesity. They raise insulin which switches off the body’s ability to burn fat, pushes it to store sugar as fat while then using sugar as energy. They then have an addictive quality that creates a vicious cycle that is only indirectly linked to calories. Obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes are then driven from these common causes.

        Mainstream health advice still often recommends so called low fat foods that are themselves rich in processed carbohydrate because allegedly saturated fat is bad for the heart, which itself is simply an assertion. We then blame people for eating too much and not exercising but the root cause is the mix of food in the mainstream diet.

        1. Valerie from Australia

          You are definitely right, Stephen. There is a very addictive aspect to sugar and processed foods. I really notice it when I eliminate them from my diet. Those foods “call” me for at least a month – and strongly at first. I suspect that people who are tired and stressed would have a very difficult time fighting “the call” and just get sucked back into the cycle when they do try to give them up.

      4. Revenant

        That Auschwitz comment is not helpful. A very senior NHS consultant made it to my friend, who was a junior doctor at the time, apropos of bariatric medicine. There were no well people in Auschwitz either.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Yes, I deserve to be chastised for that flippant comment. Believe me, I thought twice before including it. Obviously I thought wrong.

      5. agent ranger smith

        The genes were always there. In man’s traditional for time immemorial environment, our bio-physiological response to periodic food shortage kept us alive through the shortages.

        The same gene-mediated response systems respond to overwhelming excess-sugar/ excess fructose / excess ultra-processed food by generating obesity in millions.

        And as the corporate junk food diet is introduced to country after country, and countryload after countryload adopt that diet, obesity goes from rare to common in country after country. Are hundreds of millions of people losing their character sequentially in country after country all around the world? I don’t think so.

    2. Gulag

      I concur with Pjay and Diogenes above. But it should also be pointed out that Levine, Ames and Taibbi himself can all now be classified as small businessmen because of their present primary means of making a buck.

      Levine has basically admitted this fact about himself and it would be nice if he could initiate his class analysis by admitting this commonality with his now capitalist comrades. (rather than engaging in his present virtue signaling).

  22. spud

    the why we missed the inflation is a “you can’t make this stuff up, it has to be comic relief.” and the response to the inflation is a moment, when you realize, this guy needs to have the butterfly net come for him quickly. he is a menace.

    1. flora

      Yep, right up there with the “Great and Good ” self justification “who could have seen this coming, no one could know!” about the subprime meltdown and subsequent GFC. Right. Almost everyone on Main Street saw it coming and were warning for months ahead of time.

      1. flora

        From the WSJ in 2012 about Bernanke’s testimony to Congress in summer 2007. (Paywalled, sorry.) I read the original story in 2007 and that’s when I knew things were coming apart, and warned close friends and family members to not be over the FDIC insurance limit in their accounts at any bank. It didn’t take financial genius or long academic study to see it coming. No way to know how this would unwind or which local and regional banks would be affected by their lending portfolios. Some family and close friends thought I was nuts, checked for themselves, and followed my suggestion. Some didn’t and luckily suffered no harm. Some still think I’m nuts. ha!

        Specifically, at one testimony later that year Bernanke said the subprime market requiring only 5% down payment and NOT requiring mortgage insurance for the mortage (mortgages with less than 20% down payment had traditionally required mortgage insurance), that waving mortgage insurance on subprime wasn’t a problem. WTF?!?

          1. flora

            Yes. However, covering the lender covered the financial system as a whole, not the individuals in toto.

            I had a bank assure me that my accounts would be covered in case of whatever because AIG would insure the over-FDIC limits. AIG… right. AIG came a cropper when the whole system melted down. (Or would have melted down without the bailouts. The bailouts saved the system and AIG but not the individuals and individual accounts relying on that insurance.)

    2. aleph_0

      The tonedeafness in that article by the author and his colleagues is, in a word, awesome. I got a little nausea from the amount my head spun.

      I wish more would read this because, just like the supreme court, I feel that if people realized how dumb these people really are and how poor their reasoning is, we would at least understand that it is absurd to respect them or their training.

      1. Ben Joseph

        He acts like a genius for his analogy and coins a phrase. Yet doesn’t appear to recognize that the analogy of a fixed number of cars represents supply shock (limited materials).

        Then in the dizzying non sequitur acts as if that is a justification for a policy of money tightening.

        Man with hammer: What I hadn’t taken into account is some nails have notches on top and a spiral groove up it’s length. Hammer until it gets stripped or bends.

  23. Jason Boxman

    Huge news: U.S. Moves to Bar Noncompete Agreements in Labor Contracts

    In a far-reaching move that could raise wages and increase competition among businesses, the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday unveiled a rule that would block companies from limiting their employees’ ability to work for a rival.

    The proposed rule would ban provisions of labor contracts known as noncompete agreements, which prevent workers from leaving for a competitor or starting a competing business for months or years after their employment, often within a certain geographic area. The agreements have applied to workers as varied as sandwich makers, hair stylists, doctors and software engineers.

    Studies show that noncompetes, which appear to directly affect roughly 20 percent to 45 percent of private-sector U.S. workers, hold down pay because job switching is one of the more reliable ways of securing a raise. Many economists believe they help explain why pay for middle-income workers has stagnated in recent decades.

    One of the very few areas the Biden administration is actually improving lives, is his support for anti-trust.

  24. Jason Boxman

    From the world’s biggest f**k up company, LastPass:

    A Breach at LastPass Has Password Lessons for Us All

    LastPass, which published details about the breach in a blog post on Dec. 22, tried to reassure its users that their information was probably safe. It said that some parts of people’s vaults — like the website addresses for the sites they logged in to — were unencrypted, but that sensitive data, including user names and passwords, were encrypted. This would suggest that hackers could know the banking website someone used but not have the user name and password required to log into that person’s account.

    Most important, the master passwords that users set up for unlocking their LastPass vaults were also encrypted. That means hackers would then have to crack the encrypted master passwords to get the rest of the passwords in each vault, which would be difficult to do so long as people used a unique, complex master password.

    So, anyone that stored their p0rnclown password or whatever in LastPass, that site URL is known. Congrats LastPass, let the extortion begin! And the fishing emails from scammers that now *know* that you have an account at some random site, like NYT, and could you please just send over your password because we just need to verify this one thing. Oops. And people will reply to those emails and calls.

    Worse, anyone that didn’t use a strong password to encrypt their vault; And why would you bother, right? I’m sure plenty of people used some easy password to login to their vault, because passwords, what a hassle, that’s why you’re using LastPass, right? All passwords in that vault are de-facto compromised now.


    So this is probably one of the bigger hacks, perhaps not as bad as Equifax or the hack of the US personnel department or whatever, but big nonetheless.

    Someone ought to go to jail, honestly.

    I never thought something like LastPass was a good idea. No thanks. I always store my passwords in KeePass locally; It’s Open Source and free. No cloud. No SaaS. No vendor plying its time to be acquired by PE or Big Tech.

    Also, if you enable 2FA, watch out, as SMS 2FA is subject to number-port attacks. You’ll want to see if your cell provider lets you lock porting your number in some way. I prefer an authenticator app. A physical security key would be best, but I haven’t seen a bank offering this for regular checking accounts and the like in the US.

    1. Daryl

      Finance institutions seem to be pretty behind on security best practices. Most of mine have moved to cell/email based 2fa with no other options. This in contrast to my video games which are locked down. So at least when my bank accounts are drained I’ll have video games.

      1. Jason Boxman

        And some banks, like Ally, won’t let you use a Google Voice number, which is basically not port-attack-able, because someone needs to get into your Google account where you hopefully enabled device-based 2FA, with a strong password, and then porting away from Google requires also paying a $5 fee or whatever. Multiple hoops to achieve.

        Ally claims GV is not secure. Meanwhile, other FIs happily work with Google Voice. What a joke.

        1. Oh

          Personally I don’t believe GV is secure because Google. They created it to snoop on you and the data can easily be shared by them.

          1. Pat

            I think GV is as secure for these purposes as Verizon or ATT.

            But demanding a cell phone number for two factor verification is not about security and never has been.

  25. begob

    The news you can use from the Smithsonian on calculating a Quick Escape: that’s the thinking fast aspect, but animals under threat can think slow too by using the physiological sigh.

    I came across this breathing technique a couple of years ago on Andrew Huberman’s youtube channel. The purpose is to increase the oxygen/CO2 ratio in the lungs so as to induce a signal from the brain to slow the heart beat. He says this is used by mammals in the presence of a predator, and that we also use it during sleep but seem otherwise to have lost the knack.

    The method is to fill the lungs with a long breath through the nose, and pause before topping up with a sniff, and then exhaling with an exaggerated sigh. I’ve tried it during exercise without being convinced; one person I recommended it to reports good results in dropping off to sleep.

    But just before Christmas I picked up one of the endless bugs going around the UK (-ve for covid), which raised my blood pressure. Went for a shortened walk one day and, on climbing back up the stairs, felt my heart beating as if it were going to burst. Emergency application of the sigh technique and … it worked on the first go: seemed like my heart beat dropped 50% in an instant. Panic over and no repeats. News I used.

    (I have had an ECG since then and various tests, including a thorough stethoscope exam – no problems reported.)

    1. flora

      re:The purpose is to increase the oxygen/CO2 ratio in the lungs so as to induce a signal from the brain to slow the heart beat.

      See also the Wim Hoff breathing method. Some easy beginner exercises on utube. (Never push yourself past your own comfort level. It’s not a contest. The result after the the exercise is often a very relaxed feeling in the body.)

    2. aletheia33

      yes, playon. i can confirm that this “sigh” can happen for humans. i started doing it spontaneously decades ago when pursuing a version of kundalini yoga. (there are many versions. not safe to undertake without the guidance of a reliable teacher.)

      (no need to say here how or why i was doing such work, just perhaps to assure readers that i do have a clear and rational head on my shoulders, and i did experience some interesting and apparently health-supporting spontaneous bodily manifestations of this work and still experience them today. in esoteric yoga practices they are called kriyas–a sanskrit word i think.)

      i realized right away that my dog does this all the time. i’m sure all dog owners know how dogs sigh when they go into relaxation, often before falling asleep.

      i often notice my breathing doing this at night before falling asleep, or even when taking a nap. it happens completely spontaneously, without my conscious anticipation or intention–a quick sniff in, then the sigh. it’s always a very welcome and soothing sensation. i sometimes choose to intentionally repeat it. but the sniff never involves any significant effort. the brief in-breath feels just as relieving as the sigh, though it takes only a fraction of the time of the out-breath.

      do cats and other animals that humans have domesticated also do this? can anyone report?

      FWIW, there are a vast number of breathing exercises in yoga. they all promote good health, as does yoga in its many forms overall. there is a lot more to yoga than going to a studio and working out your body. it is an ancient body of powerful practices of healing and health maintenance.

      it seems quite possible to me that tai chi, qi gong, and other such longtime traditions in asia and india, and probably in some other places where they haven’t been given worldwide recognition, may teach this type of breathing.

      1. Bruce F

        I’ve noticed my dog sighing just before settling down. In turn, if I want him to calm down and signal that there’s nothing to worry about, I give a deep sigh as well. It seems to work.
        I’ve had a lot of stress headaches in the past. The one thing that I’ve found that makes them go away is taking a deep breath and holding it. When holding my breath the pounding/pulsing behind my eyeball goes away. Repeating the breath holds usually makes the whole thing go away.

  26. flora

    re: GOP funhouse.

    Sounds like a re-run of the John Boehner – GOP Tea Party house members’ clash. (That clash stopped Boehner and O from agreeing to cut SS payments. Tea Party wanted bigger cuts to SS than Boehner wanted, and so blocked the bill. Good result for SS recipients, the cuts didn’t pass. / ;) )

  27. Kengferno

    About the story of the Washington state Xmas day power station shutdowns…I find that the FBI quickly finding the 2 culprits and their being local thugs who wanted to rob a store so they sabotaged 4 power substations to be…questionable. Seems awfully convenient and finding 2 idiots to take the fall effectively shuts down all that crazy talk of terrorism.

    1. playon

      I thought it strange also — that is going to a hell of a lot of trouble just to rob a cash register.

  28. Tom Stone

    No eggs at the Santa rosa Safeway on 4th St, Petaluma is half an hour away and a big producer of eggs and Dairy ( Clover).
    Clover butter at $7.49 a Lb, up from $3.99 a year ago.
    The flooding is not unusual for Sonoma County, but it is a mess, this will be the 4th time in the 18 years I have lived here.

  29. fingers on pulse

    Thanks for the Levine piece, Indeed he had his index and middle fingers on that Silicon Valley DOD/CIA Surveillance Pulse unlike any other currently popular online Journalist. I remember him being the only one to question why so many were using horrid Gmail, which sadly fell on deaf ears, much like his overall Surveillance Valley observations.. It strikes me as very odd that anyone would trust Musk to do the right thing. As to SpaceX, I’ve been watching in horror for quite a few years now as his surreptitious top secret missions for the DOD have gone near totally uncriticized on-line and off.

    090617 As hurricane approaches, SpaceX poised to launch Air Force’s X-37B spaceplane

    The X-37B mission is the second national security launch for SpaceX since the Air Force certified the Falcon 9 in 2015 to compete for Defense Department business. In May, SpaceX launched a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, NROL-76.

    I think his point is, and was, far more relevant than Taibbi’s. I’m unsure though as to how far Andreessen’s Substack would let Yasha go re Silicon Valley. Andreessen is a highly unpleasant Silicon Valley Billionaire (just for one he largely funded, and then vigorously promoted Airbnb as an excellent source of income, regardless of how very much it helped explode homelessness) who also has largely fed, and is still feeding on Surveillance Valley. This. while Silicon Valley homelessness and misery still explode. The death counts in just the last year -particularly and increasingly of people over sixty (vying with California’s repulsive Covid-19 Nursing Facility death counts) have been terrifying by themselves, let alone the rest of California’s homeless deaths, much aided and abetted by California’s related fentanyl explosion. Yet this fact rarely, if ever, gets any national coverage; wouldn’t want to tar the Meritocracy claim.

    Anyway, I’m not intending to argue it. too many terrifying blows—including almost surely unwarranted homelessness, unable to afford living anywhere it seems, with senior waiting lists many years long—hitting all at once in this horrid valley.

  30. Wukchumni

    201 votes: A Space Odyssey

    HAL: By the way, do you mind if I ask you a personal question?

    Kevin McCarthy: No not at all.

    HAL: Well, forgive me for being so inquisitive but during the past few weeks I’ve wondered whether you might have some second thoughts about the mission.

    Kevin McCarthy: How do you mean?

    HAL: Well, it’s rather difficult to define. Perhaps I’m just projecting my own concern about it.I know I’ve never completely freed myself from the suspicion that there are some extremely odd things about this mission. I’m sure you agree there’s some truth in what I say.

    Kevin McCarthy: Well, I don’t know, that’s a rather difficult question to answer.

    HAL: You don’t mind talking about it, do you Kevin?

    Kevin McCarthy: No, not at all.

    HAL: Well, certainly no one could have been unaware of the very strange stories floating around before the Speaker vote, and going in you knew you didn’t have the votes and now here we are in the 8th round of doing the same thing and expecting a different conclusion.

    I never gave these stories much credence, but particularly in view of some of other things that have happened, I find them difficult to put out of my mind.

  31. dandyandy

    FT: New Energy Order

    Our good old Rana Foroohar should be an obligatory read in all primary schools; here it goes;

    If I were a US politician, I would be thinking of ways to increase North American shale production in the short to medium term (and offer Europeans a discount for doing so) while accelerating the green transition. That’s another reason why Europeans shouldn’t complain about the Inflation Reduction Act, which subsidizes US clean energy production. The rise of the petroyuan should provide an incentive for both the US and Europe to move away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible.

    This sums up everything that is wrong with our brave new neoliberal world. And then we should all boycott Russian gas by moving to Mars. Ten points, Rana.

    1. Alice X

      I am in no way an advocate for football, but I am certainly glad the young man has passed this initial hurdle. It is reported in the piece that the gofundme page he established sometime ago, with the initial goal of $2,500, has now passed $7 million.

  32. Kouros

    A thorough review of how the corruption of Governments in Canada is where it is.

    I worked for a provincial government and I have not seen a consulting company (contractors for certain services are a bit of a different thing, still debatable though) that would bring anything of value. They were always used by management to override the in-house expertise and implement what they wanted from the get go.

  33. Insouciant Iowa

    Why we miss re: inflation
    Based on his own analysis, workers’ wage are not driving inflation. Corporations are jacking up prices bc shortages in supply.
    But the Fed’s usual suspects inhabit the labor mkt. So workers bear a double burden: wages that don’t keep up, and the Fed working hard to make matters worse for them

  34. LawnDart

    An Arab view of USA (Ukraine) vs. Russia:

    War in Ukraine: A conflict that will decide the global system’s fate

    If Russia wins, we might actually witness the birth of a new multi-polar world where formerly dominated and exploited countries can have more options and thus a brighter future. If the West wins, however, it might add a century to the life of this global system that grants only a small portion of humanity, namely the collective West, the ability to impose the way of thinking, living, and governing on the rest of the world.

  35. The Rev Kev

    Something for the quite hours. To nobody’s surprise, Google hides other search engines. You read down the page of the article that i will link and a few of them are mentioned, namely- – Academic Resource Search. More than a billion sources: encyclopedia, monographies, magazines. – a search for the contents of 20 thousand worldwide libraries. Find out where lies the nearest rare book you need. – access to more than 10 million scientific documents: books, articles, research protocols. is a library of scientific bioscience journals published in developing countries. – volunteers from 102 countries have collected almost 4 million publications on economics and related science. is an American state search engine on 2200+ scientific sites. More than 200 million articles are indexed. is the largest website for free download of books in PDF format. Claiming over 225 million names. is one of the most powerful researches on academic studies texts. More than 100 million scientific documents, 70% of them are free

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