Links 2/14/2023

Name a cockroach after your ex for Valentine’s Day BBC

2.9-million-year-old butchery site reopens case of who made first stone tools Science Daily

Children of the Ice Age aeon. Um, childhood is relatively modern concept.

Buckminster Fuller’s Hall of Mirrors The Nation (Anthony L)

Anatomy of a Book Cancellation Compact (Anthony L)



Yours truly has hypothesized that one cause of Covid vaccine injuries is getting the shot too soon after an infection:

One in Ten Lung Transplants Go to Covid-19 Patients: Here’s What We Know Columbia Surgery


Why Mississippi, a Covid Hot Spot, Left Millions in Pandemic Aid Unspent New York Times


Ohio train derailment: environmental disaster quietly unfolding Fast Company (Paul R)

Japan Formally Adopts Policy of Using Nuclear Reactors Beyond 60 Years Kyodonews


What Does ‘Challenging the U.S.’ Mean? Daniel Larison

Troubled US could learn from its differences with China, rather than simply challenge them South China Morning Post (furzy)

US Says China Laser Use on Philippine Ship Was ‘Provocative’ Bloomberg


Adani stocks tumble up to 5% in non-stop selloff despite assurances to shareholders Economic Times

Daily Wage Earners, Housewives Among Largest Categories of People to Die by Suicide in 2019-21 The Wire

Old Blighty

«Bei langem Winter könnte es mit Medikamenten eng werden» Blick


This is also a zeitgeist watch item. IM Doc has reported that even in his super blue county, vaccination ex Covid is markedly down. Well done CDC!

New Not-So-Cold War

Tempered Outcomes And Shaken Faiths: The Beginning Of The End? Simplicius The Thinker (Kevin W). I received an e-mail from a highly respected commentator who says the Russian offensive has begun, but it won’t be “shock and awe” but an incremental roll out.

Ukraine updates: NATO warns of donor ammunition shortages DW

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NATO to focus on ‘undersea cables and pipelines’ RT. Kevin W: “Said a Norwegian.”

US recruiting IS jihadists for terrorist attacks in Russia and CIS, says intel agency TASS

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Doval creates synergy in India-Russia ties Indian Punchline (Kevin W)

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Energy crisis: Europe’s spend to shield consumers nears €800 billion. Where is the money going? Euronews

[L’invité] Alain Juillet : « Nos investissements en Ukraine sont à fonds perdus » Boulevard Voltaire (translation here)

* * *

Ukrainians withdraw hryvnia from bank accounts and buy currency Strana (via machine translation)

* * *



Sanctioning Syrians Under the Rubble American Conservative

Regional monarchs nervously watching events in Israel-Palestine Responsible Statecraft

Pro-Israel industry’ enforces U.S. policy with campaign spending — $70 million in 2020 Mondoweiss. Amazing leverage

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The FBI’s Most Controversial Surveillance Tool Is Under Threat Wired (Kevin W)

A Researcher Tried To Buy Mental Health Data. It Was Surprisingly Easy. NBC

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Calamity of America’s ‘Divine Mission’ Consortium News (Chuck L)


‘First out of the foxhole’: Haley set to lead Republican challengers to Trump in 2024 Financial Times


Lawmakers demand Biden address nation on UFO incursions The Hill. I continue to maintain the subjects of discussion are Unimportant Flying Objects.

Republicans Are Using China Balloon Drama to Raise Money for 2024 Bloomberg

U.S. to sell 26 mln bbls of oil reserves as mandated by Congress Reuters. Kevin W: “Enough for about 32 hours use in the US.”

The ‘CEO of Anti-Woke Inc.’ Has His Eye on the Presidency Politico


Michigan State University gunman shoots himself dead in standoff with cops after killing three in campus rampage: Five hospitalized with multiple suffering life-threatening wounds Daily Mail


ChatGPT, the almighty AI, is a neoliberal college graduate RT (Kevin W)

The Algorithm MIT Technology Review (furzy). Note URL: why-you-shouldnt-trust-ai-search-engines

Beijing To Support Key Firms in Building ChatGPT-like AI Models Reuters

Five unusual cars unveiled in 2023 dezeen

Amazon’s Zoox Robotaxi Now Giving Rides To Employees On Public Roads In California CNBC. And they don’t get hazard pay?

The US government says women’s underwear should cost more than men’s CNN (Kevin W). This is not news. Women’s clothing across the board costs more than men for the same quality of fabric and tailoring.

Meta Plans More Job Cuts, Report Says engadget

Amazon (AMZN) Takes Half of Each Sale From 2 Million Small Businesses Bloomberg. converger: “35% to 52% in seven years. Woohoo!”

Class Warfare

Mentally Ill Man’s Death In Custody Was ‘Total Failure’: Former Sheriff’s Major Newsweek (Anthony L)

Echoes of Marx Verso (Anthony L)

Antidote du jour (CV):

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Que Sera Sera as per Doris Day)

    There’s been balloons up in the sky
    Possibly Klingons, prob’ly Chinese
    Sent here to watch us, sent here to spy
    The work of our enemies

    Send the Eff-Two-Two’s!
    Free people won’t live in fear
    Of an illegal gondolier
    It’s up on Fox News:
    That’s our atmosphere

    China’s supposed to make all the stuff
    That fills the WalMart down at the mall
    If they want trouble, we can play rough
    Biden has made the call

    Send the Eff-Two-Two’s!
    Free people won’t live in fear
    Of an illegal gondolier
    It’s up on Fox News:
    That’s our atmosphere

    There’s lots of bad news on the wire —
    A war with the Russians we’re bound to lose
    A chunk of Ohio on poisonous fire
    Hey, Chinese balloon tattoos!

    Send the Eff-Two-Two’s!
    Free people won’t live in fear
    Of an illegal gondolier
    It’s up on Fox News:
    That’s our atmosphere

    That’s our atmosphere

  2. Richard H Caldwell

    So where the hell is Pete Buttigieg? Ineffectual would be the kindest adjective I can think of.

    1. FredsGotSlacks

      Just for giggles I looked at the MSNBC web site. On the main page, 14 stories with he word “Trump” in them. Not a single mention of the Ohio disaster. Pretty much same deal on NYT and CNN. Crazy.

      1. pjay

        Patience. They have teams of their best writers, editors, and fact-checkers working on it, but such a complicated story takes time. Also, they are very understaffed because of those other large teams working on the Sy Hersh Nord Stream story. Can’t wait until they all finish their work and let us know what’s going on! Probably some Pulitzers in this.

    2. Verifyfirst

      Well, Mr. Buttigieg is very busy right now, moving himself and his family down to the site of the train crash in Ohio, to show us all how really safe it is. He plans for them to stay downwind of any and all plumes “as long as it takes”.

      True heroism, as one would expect from a former military attache.

      No, actually, he was at a conference trying vainly to articulate some thoughts about past–past, mind you–racism in construction hiring.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        The Spectator contributing editor Stephen Miller mocked Buttigieg for his “personal love” of transportation.

        “Trains were supposed to be his thing,” Miller wrote.

        buttigieg at “Transportation.” kamala taking care of the border. biden running for “reelection.” OMG.

        The emperor has no clothes.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Instead, what authorities decided to do on Monday was a controlled burn of the chemical. That required evacuating more of East Palestine, since burning vinyl chloride was going to send massive plumes of hydrochloric acid and the toxic gas phosgene into the sky.

      So the “Chinese spy balloon,” which mysteriously appeared at the same time as the East Palestine disaster, floated lazily in the sky from Alaska to South Carolina for three days, but the Ohio toxic gas clouds stayed where they were and dissipated without causing more than a transient bad smell.

      I’m not even calling it tin foil hattery anymore.

      I have family in Ohio, about 100 miles from East Palestine. I called my elderly aunt yesterday to find out if they had been affected. She “wasn’t sure what I was talking about!” But she said she couldn’t talk for long because that morning she got a terrible headache. She said, “You know, Katniss, I haven’t had such a bad headache in a very long time. I can remember the last time. It was when my father died. What was that, 60 years ago? Can you believe that?”

      As far as the secretary of transportation goes, it’s apparently not his job. From the Fast Company link:

      Yesterday, DeWine added it’s “very understandable” that residents might want their homes tested before reentering. The state says Norfolk Southern must pay for the cleanup costs, and that “the burden is upon them to assure the public that what they do everyday is safe.

      1. The Rev Kev

        And there it is right there. Not to prove to the public that it is safe but to only assure them that it is so.

      2. Rod

        NS–making it right:
        but after some reflection: lots of bullet points

      3. John Beech

        I wonder why they didn’t pump the train cars first? Then they could just remove them once they’re emptied (and light enough to load onto flat bed cars. This, after track repairs. Surely this would have been better for all involved, the environment, and our citizens, than the controlled burn. Surely it wouldn’t have taken more than a few days. And cost wise, especially once the cost of claims for health damages are factored in – but even without consideration of the money involved. Grrr!

    1. digi_owl

      Ding. I seem to recall USA has in the past used that same excuse while sailing a carrier group through national waters unannounced.

      On a different note, the list of conventions that various US presidents has signed but that congress has yet to ratify is infuriatingly long. And until they get ratified, USA can claim to not be limited by them when pushed.

      USA, the “exceptional” nation…

      1. vao

        The USA can of course claim anything, but isn’t there a legal principle that such treaties become, once widely accepted, systematically applied, and long-standing, customary laws that become part of the judicial acquis that must be followed by civilized nations?

        1. Jeff V

          There is indeed such a principle, but in practice the USA being outside it is taken as de facto evidence that it isn’t widely accepted.

          Anyway, what are you going to do about it? Sanction Washington if they don’t turn up in court?

  3. Toshiro_Mifune

    Buckminster Fuller’s Hall of Mirrors

    From the article;

    It turns out that Fuller’s innate capacity for exaggeration was both a hallmark of his vivid imagination and a long-standing ethical inadequacy.

    Yeah – go ahead and pull apart Fuller for lies, exaggeration, etc. To be perfectly honest he got so much attention during the 80’s it was obnoxious. However, self aggrandizement at his level cannot happen in a vacuum. He wasn’t exaggerating about the Dymaxion or the Buckyball and those exaggerations bypassing reporters and editors and ending up in print or on the air with no intermediaries. It would seem he repeatedly found people who would print his BS without bothering to check if, indeed, he was the one who had invented XYZ.
    Sure, “reexamine the dominance of canonical figures” but if your going to point the blame cannons solely at Fuller you’re myopic. His undue prominence equally represents a long standing systemic failure on the part of press. How and why those failures happen is a far more interesting question and important question than Fuller’s legacy.

    1. Carolinian

      Our library got the book being reviewed and I did find the debunking of Fuller surprising given his celebrated reputation. Back in my salad days I even built my Mom a small geodesic greenhouse in the back yard.

      But the truth is many of his ideas were not very practical and one wonders how many of those leaky dome houses still dot the rural California landscape. Whole Earth Catalog was also big on earth sheltered and even underground houses (to save energy) and you don’t see many of those either because the moisture problems would make them like living in a basement.

      Naturally all of this caught on during an era of utopian hippie culture. And the more interesting point may be, as the article says, the way this transformed into utopian cyber culture. Which is to say Fuller’s real invention may have been a generation of futurists like Jobs and Bezos. Many of their ideas aren’t very practical either. One can even suggest that “reinventing government” comes from the same Boomer impulse–a generation that grew up reading science fiction and then decided to create their own sci fi world. Here’s suggesting the world now needs a new, and very different, guru.

      1. Offtrail

        I remember visiting Expo ’67 in Montreal as a kid. The famed US pavilion was a geodesic dome. It was raining and yes, it was leaking.

      2. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

        Go dig up (heh) the $50 And Up Underground House Book by Mike Oehler.* Moisture problem kindasorta solved….

        *name and title should be close enough for googlation – don’t rely on MY memory, because *I* sure don’t.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “One in Ten Lung Transplants Go to Covid-19 Patients: Here’s What We Know”

    ‘When 7 percent of our indications come from a new disease, those patients displace others who are on the list or hoping to get on the list.’

    Something tells me that ex-smokers who are in need of a lung transplant will be bumped in favour of those who need one due to Covid. For years I have been reading about some surgeons not wanting to operate on patients because they smoked or were too obese or were born under the sign of Sagittarius or something. So I would not be surprised to see that the criteria drawn up as to who gets a lung will end up dropping smokers or ex-smokers to the bottom of the donations list as it is all their fault or something that they need one.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      soon after i (finally) got my hip, and while i was still on SSI, andf therefore Medicaid, the one Ankle Guy i could locate in the state of texas who would take medicaid(as a favor to the hip guy and in the same office, notably) begged off because i smoke…
      he was obviously an anti-tobacco extremist…based on the language used,including body language.
      wanted me to quit cold-turkey…and no gum, lozenges, etc.
      said it was because nicotine is a vasoconstrictor.
      no worries about sudafed, or any of the other vasoconstrictors i may have been taking(didn’t even ask about any of that)
      such zealotry is a commonplace if yer a smoker.
      and, i allege, the antitobacco zealotry was a gateway drug to the whole Woke cornucopia of the 2+ decades since.
      (Austin was ground zero for this phenomenon in Texas, and i watched it happen….and noticed the similarities long after when Woke became a thing)

      so, yes…smokers….or former smokers….are definitely far down the list of those Deserving of healthcare.
      but i somehow doubt that post covid sequelae will be treated any differently…denial of care is just how it’s done…any old excuse will do.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Obviously those medical people need a tour of the Museum of Tolerance- (22 secs)

        Never smoked myself but you could not ignore the billions of dollars spent on convincing people to smoke over the decades. Edward Bernays – yeah, that guy – was convincing women to smoke a century ago and labelled cigarettes as “Torches of Freedom” which they were still doing in the 90s-

        1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

          In a Freudian sense (Bernays’ uncle), women obtained their own “penis” through the smoking of cigarettes.

          Can one say “penis” on a family friendly blog?

    2. Louis Fyne

      —ex-smokers who are in need of a lung transplant– Only a slight majority of lung cancer patients are ex-smokers, the other near-half is in non-smokers via some type of air pollution and who-knows-what.

      Source: teetotaling, never-smoked aunt who got lung cancer and has beaten the stacked odds thanks to the latest immunotherapies. (my gut instinct/hypothesis is that her cancer was triggered by cleaning chemicals—which is a theoretical lung cancer vector)

      1. Pat

        Wish I could remember where the study came from, but about sixteen, seventeen years ago a list was published of various common use items that had long term detrimental effect on the lungs. While I am sure hair spray was probably there, I do not actually remember. What was there and was one of the leading problems was spray starch. My coworker and I were all over that as we were both heavy users and had been for years because of our work. And it made total sense when we thought about it.

        1. Lex

          The list of carcinogens is so long. It includes chronic environmental contaminants and acute exposure to commercial products. A long time ago the decision was made to fight cancer and a few high profile things like smoking rather than other causes, I assume because addressing those causes would require regulating big business.

          It’s fairly common for me to get a call about some chemical that someone is using and they’re worried it might have health effects (this is usually at their job). While the list of chemicals I can sample for and compare to regulatory requirements and best-practice recommendations for exposure is quite long, it’s also common for me to have to tell people that I can’t even sample for chemical X that they’re concerned about because there is no published analytical method to analyze it (developing one has a starting cost of ~$30k) nor are there any exposure limits to compare these theoretical results to if we develop the lab standard.

          Spray starch would include not just the solvent (probably ethyl alcohol) and propellant (if used) but the starch. I assume mostly corn starch which can range in size from 1 to 20 micrometers. The smaller size in that range are respirable (capable of getting deep into the lungs) while the largest sizes start approaching the size where your body’s defenses have a chance of stopping them before they make the lungs proper. Corn starch particles are not as jagged as say silica and not needle shaped like asbestos, but chronic exposure through work means potential for relatively high, long term exposure. There’s no regulatory limit for corn starch as such. It falls under “particulates not otherwise regulated”, but that’s measured in weight per cubic meter of air and was designed based on road dust. So things like cornstarch or saw dust that are light weight aren’t measured properly since 5 or 15 mg of cornstarch is a lot more volume than the same weight of rock/soil dust. But in terms of human exposure, the volume of cornstarch in the exposure is much more important than the weight.

    3. in_still_water

      Early in the covid-19 – one of the groups that seemed to be less likely to come down with Covid were those who smoked/took nicotine.

      1. vao

        Most pungent horse manure.

        Amongst the authors of the article you refer to, two — Konstantinos Poulas and Konstantinos Farsalinos — had published an article about a month earlier and arriving at similar conclusions; it had to be retracted. Mr Farsalinos as well as Mr. Poulas were receiving funding from the tobacco and vaping industries, but none declared this as a possible conflict of interest in that article, and neither have they in the one you mention.

        A team in France similarly published studies supposedly demonstrating the protection conferred by nicotine against covid — and went similarly down in flames after their links with the tobacco industry were revealed. All sordid details about both affairs were published in the BMJ, while other scientists went on to demonstrate that the studies above were also very dubious when considering just the methodological side.

        The study you mention and their authors are by now utterly discredited.

        1. Ken Murphy

          So what data is there regarding the affect on smokers?

          Casting FUD on the scientists and their work is fine, but in the absence of an alternative what are you gonna do? I’ve got my own anecdotal experience of being a long-term half-a-pack a day smoker who rarely gets sick and is always at work when those around him are calling in sick left and right, perhaps attributable to an excess of phlegm and mucus in my airways diverting pathogens into the stomach for processing versus my lungs, but I like to think I have a very well developed and exercised immune system. But that’s anecdote. I would be interested in seeing real data, uncomfortable though that may end up being.

          1. Wukchumni

            I’ve watched the demonization of cigarette smokers vis a vis my longtime backpacking partner who is a half a pack a day smoker and he’s only been at it for 49 years now, and sometimes I could barely keep up with him in the past, but now we walk about the same speed, I think he’s slowing down @ 65-the old coot.

            Each cigarette break is good for about 10 minutes rest for me, and he’s very conscientious of others in terms of where the smoke wafts away.

            We went to the Playboy Jazz Festival over a decade or so, and I watched the cigarette smoking section reduced to a 20 x 20 foot area, it was like herding unsociable people together, outcasts.

            Meanwhile the aroma of cannabis was ever present in the audience…

            Its remarkable though when you consider how downright common smoking was in the 60’s when I was a yout, and one thing you never hear anymore is of people burning up in bed on account of falling asleep while fully lit.

            1. John Zelnicker

              Wuk – One reason, besides decreased use, for the reduction in bed fires is that cigarettes nowadays are made to go out if left sitting for a few minutes.

              The original purpose for this feature was to cut down on the wildfire risk from people throwing lit cigarettes out of a car window.

              1. AndrewJ

                They’re putting flame retardants in them? Of course they are. I doubt there are any safe ones.
                I used to smoke the ole jazz cabbage with matches, on account of not wanting to inhale burning butane. Then I found out they’re soaked in ammonium phosphate to keep the wood from burning completely. My lungs felt a lot better after switching to birchwood splints (coffee stirrers).

          2. vao

            It is not a matter of casting FUD on those people. They had a history of carrying out research on behalf of and being consultants for the tobacco industry; of hiding these relations when declaring possible conflicts of interest (in violation of publication rules); and relying upon questionable methodological approaches.

            But you are welcome to perform a search in pubmed if you are seeking information about what research has uncovered regarding smoking/nicotine and covid.

            1. Milton

              They had a history of carrying out research on behalf of and being consultants for the tobacco industry
              As opposed to carrying out research for the preferred Big Pharma narrative. I can tell you which has done more irreparable harm to the denizens of the western world, and it ain’t those pushing cancer sticks.

              1. hunkerdown

                Milton, why are you trying so hard to avoid comprehending the non-disclosure component that is actually the problem?

            2. square coats

              I was curious so I took a brief look, restricted to articles from the last year and really just scanning the abstracts. It seems like things are indeed still inconclusive, with some studies finding increased risk, some finding nothing statistically significant, and some finding decreased risk. One study I saw found that smoking decreases the effectiveness of covid vaccines (not sure if it was just mrna or all kinds, I’ll leave it to someone with more dogged interest than I currently have).

        2. Mark Gisleson

          Sorry, but if I’m reading your comment properly, you’re saying the studies were discredited due to ties to the tobacco industry.

          Were these studies scientifically discredited? Because it sounds like the criticism is based on tainted funding. The scientific rebuttal does not disprove the tobacco theory, it only points out areas requiring further testing while admitting that hospital admissions for COVID show fewer tobacco addicts than would otherwise be expected. (Poverty as a deterrent to hospitals would be my guess as smokers are mostly broke from paying over $100 for a carton of cigarettes.)

          I am not saying tobacco is good for you (I quit) but I do believe it’s quite possible that a disease spread by aerosols could be thwarted by a smoker’s air passages whether from tobacco or cannabis. I am not saying smoking is healthy. This is a trade-off, like spraying terrible chemicals on your skin to deter biting insects (and worst case scenarios are obviously in play, if a smoker gets COVID, I’m sure it’s worse for them, just like spraying yourself w/chemicals and still getting eaten alive). (It’s also consistent with the concept of nasal vaccines in my nonscientific opinion : )

          In this regard, cannabis with a piney or lysol-like fragrance is anecdotally associated with COVID resistance. No clue if tobacco brands make a difference, but if so I’m betting on menthols being best for COVID-resistance since menthol is harder on the lungs (just like the piney cannabis strains).

          [looks at clock] Well, time for my weekly shopping run (walk, actually). No mask : ( but throat and lungs fully cannabis-ized, at most I’ll see one other customer (mid morning mid week are the least busy shopping hours), I’ll shop quickly and then I won’t see or talk to anyone for another week. Isolation keeps me healthy but until I actually catch the ‘vid, I’m giving Cali pot full credit for my good health : )

          1. vao

            It was discredited because they hid their ties with the tobacco industry…

            As far as science goes, there have been other studies showing increased risk for smokers because nicotine overactivates the ACE-2 receptor — which is the entry point for SARS-2 in the lungs. But in truth, I do not think that the topic has been conclusively researched, because the burning question centers more about the kind of damage that covid causes to the population at large, and what to do about it; particular situations (smokers or others) are in this sense subsidiary ones.

  5. griffen

    Unusual cars article. Nissan unveils a version of their Kicks model that resembles, a running shoe. Well it isn’t actually a hideous thing but then in car design hideous never stopped an automaker. Pontiac Aztek for the proverbial win? Me, I’m looking ahead to the Cybertruck from Tesla finally, actually moving into production so I can see one around town.

    And for the kids, AMC had some truly standout designs.

    1. cnchal

      The Hyundai that can turn it’s wheel 90 degrees.

      Hit one good sized pothole at speed and you can kiss that garbage goodbye. Complexity has it’s price.

      The BMW with “color changing technology”. Who, other than flaming narcissists, would buy this?

      According to the BMW technician at the dealership, BMW has lost the plot. Describing interior panels of late models, they look nice but are just colored cardboard. Peak BMW was the E38, E39 and E46, so early to mid 2000’s.

      As for ugly cars, anything modern with gargoyle lights on every corner. which is almost all of them.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Hopefully it will be the one where all the billionaires go away and go live in a gulch somewhere.

      1. chris

        If only we should be so lucky. Let them take their pretend money and pretend importance with them so we can solve problems in the real world. The residents of Galt’s Gulch could at least do things. They at least understood copper mines and trains. What good is a financial genius in the wild? Especially one who made their money by always deciding buying something was cheaper than building it, outsourcing to China was the only option to ever be considered, and stock buybacks were a requirement for good business?

        1. Wukchumni

          Indeed, there’s enough schmaltz for a lifetime and could make a decent life preserver if you had nothing else to cling onto, but in many ways she nails it dead on, our situation… in the Money Speech

          …a taste

          Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men’s vices or men’s stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment’s or a penny’s worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you’ll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect?

      2. JustTheFacts

        I recently listened to that novel for the first time. My understanding of it is that it’s celebrating competence, not money. Those who were competent retreated to that gulch, because society no longer valued competence but just wanted to exploit its fruits.

        I also watched a documentary about her. It seems her father built 2 pharmacies, one in St Petersburg, and one in Odessa and was dispossessed twice by the Russian Communists. That seems to me to explain a lot about her views.

        I agree with Potato Guy: there are many echoes of that novel today. For instance, one gets the news from the denials of those in power: “it is not true that the US demolished Nordstream” as reported by blogger Seymour Hersh.

        1. chris

          I’ve always considered it a libertarian/arch-Capitalist fable. I mean, the kid who teaches himself advanced calculus when he’s not working in the copper mine? The characters are all ubermensch. Crazy creatures from myth every bit as fantastic as dwarves and elves. If you had their capabilities and were not successful, something miraculous had to have occurred to prevent you from succeeding. And of course, that ignores the detail that you’re never really sure how any actually makes any money in the story. Which explains why Ms. Rand died a penniless ward of the state her objectivist self so despised.

          1. JustTheFacts

            The New York Times says she didn’t die penniless or a ward of the state. There is a surprising amount of misinformation on her that can easily be dispelled.

            There were quite a few people in previous centuries that came from very humble backgrounds and did a lot. Gauss comes to mind, but there were others. I presume she was modelling her characters on such people.

    2. Lex

      It was all a very long term Russian plot to destroy us. They sent their worst philosophical novelist and we fell for it.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Yes, their worst philosophical novelist, who had the appearance and manner of a Bag Lady. Check out her interview with Mike Wallace (available on YouTube) from back in the day: she comes off as deranged.

        1. JM

          I’ll never forget reading how she idolized a serial killer that seriously mutilated the bodies of the women he killed. That she would essentially hold a person like that up as a model is all I think anyone needs to know about her.

          She was a deeply damaged person who helped foster other damaged people in making the world a worse place.

          1. hunkerdown

            Meh, states do that stuff all the time and with the same ritual destructive object. Moralism is essentially always an excuse for domination.

          2. Daniil Adamov

            I remember reading about that. It gave me the impression that she had a very 19th century Romantic mentality about Individuals versus Crowds. The heroic persecuted individual is automatically right and the persecuting mob of mediocrities is automatically wrong. I also remember reading an article by an Objectivist who was bemused by the fact that, upon closer examination, her novels celebrated heroic individuals who worked for the sake of artistic ideals rather than making money, which they even seemed to hold in some contempt; not very capitalist! But also very Romantic in that same mold.

            What little I know of her actual writing also reminds me of Chernyshevsky, ironically a socialist, but from the time when socialists idolised capitalism and America. Also big on ludicrously, unbelievably heroic and pure individuals standing up to their corrupt society and the content mediocrities that inhabit it.

          3. JustTheFacts

            For what it’s worth, that narrative seems to be contested.

            Hickman seems to have killed and mutilated a child, possibly to get revenge on her father. He also confessed to killing someone during an attempted robbery.

            This later link also describes him as not human, because he didn’t react to the stimuli that affect human beings. My guess is that this is what fascinated Ayn Rand. I actually wonder whether she was on the autism spectrum, and looked for others like her, who see the world mechanistically.

      2. Daniil Adamov

        If it makes you feel any better, many of our liberals have come to love this stuff as well. A boomerang.

    3. britzklieg

      And who could have imagined that emerging from her mire was Chairman of the Federal Reserve for19 years, Mr. Alan Greenspan. Indeed, he was celebrated for the same psycho-babble/baffle-gab, empty of content, which he apparently learned at her, uh… knee…

      1. spud farmer

        According to a documentary I saw (can’t recall which one…might have been an Adam Curtis flick but idk for sure) Greenspan was apparently madly in love with her and worshipped the ground she walked on.

        On a slightly different note it says something about our time that Rand is discussed as a Serious Person who contributed important ideas to the world. Almost all of the Randroids I knew when I was younger grew out of their fixation by their mid-20s at the latest and the few who didn’t had to put up with a good deal of ribbing for their kooky dedication to her.

        Never thought I’d see the day when her “philosophy” gets taken seriously. But the great clothier and wealth creator Chip Wilson is a fan so maybe she really is a brilliant thinker. /s

  6. zagonostra

    >Echoes of Marx Verso (Anthony L)

    Silva developed the notion of ideological surplus-value. In an essay on television as the ideological medium par excellence, the commodity which lets us see all the other commodities – which some commentators regard as foundational to the critical study of communication in Latin America – Silva articulates this novel notion to capture the production of subjectivity under conditions of dependency and imperialism, what he terms the ‘interiorization of underdevelopment

    Interesting notion/concept, “ideological surplus-value,” however, I would think that with smartphone devices, the “commodity which lets us see all the other commodities” needs to be updated.

    The article also made me think of Marx’s eleventh thesis on Feuerbach — “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.” The study of the relation between concepts, categories and metaphors is fascinating, no doubt, but often times when in animated discourse with friends it feels like language, when it becomes the focus, is the proverbial caterpillar that can’t walk because it’s thinking about walking.

    1. Roger Blakely

      We are already past the two hundredth anniversary of Marx’s birth (May 5, 1818). He only lived for 65 years. He must have been some kind of loser–I’d love to be that kind of loser–if two hundred years after his birth people are still complaining that his ideas need to be updated.

  7. Strontium-90

    On sanctions…

    Russia’s Grip on Nuclear-Power Trade Is Only Getting Stronger

    Russia’s nuclear exports have surged since the invasion of Ukraine, boosting the Kremlin’s revenue and cementing its influence over a new generation of global buyers, as the US and its allies shy away from sanctioning the industry.

    Exclusive trade data compiled by the UK’s Royal United Services Institute show that Russian nuclear fuel and technology sales abroad rose more than 20% in 2022. Purchases by European Union members climbed to the highest in three years. From Egypt and Iran to China and India, business is booming.

    1. vao

      Another paradoxical consequence of war: because Russia put out countless power plants / electricity exchanges out of commission, Ukraine has been increasingly forced to rely upon generators. Diesel required to run those generators is imported from Bulgaria — which is actually just re-exporting the fuel it buys from Russia…

      1. Lex

        There was a story about the US now supplying diesel to Ukraine. Which combined with recent statements that just the east coast infrastructure is importing 89,000 bbls of diesel (IIRC it was per day but could be wrong) from India means that Russia is selling India diesel and crude which either India sells directly or refines before selling to the US, who then sells it to Ukraine.

  8. The Rev Kev

    ‘🅰pocalypsis 🅰pocalypseos 🇷🇺 🇨🇳 🅉
    🇳🇴 Norwegian intelligence nervously reports that ships of the Russian Northern Fleet are going to sea for the first time in 30 years with tactical nuclear weapons on board.’

    I thought for a moment that they might have been talking about the Baltic Fleet but the Northern Fleet is the one tasked to protect Russia’s Northern Arctic borders. I think that after all the developments of the past few years, that the Russians are taking the gloves off. No wonder Norway is nervous as they could be under the gun here and the Russians know about their part in the destruction of the NS2 pipelines. Rumour has it that the lead nuclear-armed ship of the Northern Fleet will be the Russian Navy Ship Fafo-

    1. digi_owl

      The Baltic fleet has never been much of a priority for Russia.

      The northern one has always been a touchy subject, in particular during the cold war, as it is the home port of their ballistic missile submarines.

      And after the cold war the fleet was left to rot during the Yeltsin years, resulting in a persistent fear of nuclear contamination of Finnmark.

      Frankly the whole situation up north is paradoxical, with the locals on both sides of the border having a very laid back attitude to each other while Oslo and Moscow are far more wary.

      And on a different note, there is this thing near the border:

        1. digi_owl

          Yeah the arctic has become ever more a hot topic as the planet heats up, and thus the ice retreats. Lots and lots of untapped petroleum reserves up there, never mind the potential shortcut between Europe and Asia.

      1. Polar Socialist

        The Baltic fleet has never been much of a priority for Russia.

        Well, the Baltic is only a fraction in side of the North Atlantic, and with a Bastion battery or two it can be “controlled” relatively well.

        The Baltic fleet has the same amount of Marines and the same capability of deploying them as Northern fleet, though.

        On the other hand, Baltic fleet may receive some love now that Sweden and Finland have decided that a total militarization of the Baltic is a smart move.

  9. Old Sarum

    AI, Chat GPT etc

    The Pinocchio image in the MIT article is wonderful!

    Computer generated lies icing the cake of the usual deceptions. Oh joy!


    1. digi_owl

      These “AIs” are the next step in the persistent “the algo did it” excuse when corporations etc mess up.

      1. hunkerdown

        The transcripts of the next Nuremberg trials will contain wall-to-wall “We were just following best practices!” and “The algo made me do it!”

        1. Kouros

          Cannot fly because something made the chatbot write the poem about Biden but not about Trump so presumably a value (ethical/moral) compass is available.

          However, the poem about Biden is as good/bad as those poems recited to honor the most beloved son of the country, Nicolae Ceausescu….

  10. Jack

    ” Mentally ill man’s death in custody…” There’s an old, old song called “State of Arkansas”. Here’s the last verse IIRC: “Farewell to old corn dodgers, likewise to fatback heels, and to you walking skellingtons, I’ll tell you how I feel, if you ever see my face again I’ll hand you down my paw, I’ll be looking through a telescope from hell to Arkansas.”

    1. JBird4049

      It was most interesting to read about the prosecutor saying nobody broke any laws making a man die from both thirst and starvation. Do be warned that there are pictures of the man in the article. Looks just like those bodies in the concentration camps in World War II, only in color. It takes a month, more or less, for someone to get that skeletal especially when they can’t do anything but sit or stand around.

      I have read of previous cases of people being forgotten in the past decade, but nobody died. Not quite. I have read of examples of people dying of heatstroke especially in the South when they don’t have air conditioning. Then there are the examples of people just not being released because reasons.

      Funny how Russiagate or the stupid balloons suck all the attention to itself, and yet, horrors like this will make a blip and then be forgotten. The stenographers will look elsewhere for the shocking story of the second.

      Nice country we have here.

  11. Ignacio

    RE: Some imperialist stooges in North are trying to delegitimize the Lula government by spreading rumors that it’s “forcing children to take vaccines” …

    Then those same stooges should delegitimize Sánchez and any other Government in Spain where similar children vaccination programs exist from looooong ago and children are “forced” to take vaccines. I guess the same with some many other countries.

  12. Realist

    Re: Amazon sellers.

    How much do you think the local supermarket charges customers over and above the cost of the item?

    Judging by the prices of Safeway vs. Costco, it could be 50%+ plus the shelf stocking fee they charge the seller.

    1. cnchal

      Are whip cracking sadists getting a deal when buying anything from third party sellers when they have to double their price to compensate for the Amazon gouge?

      Well, if they are ‘Prime’ whip cracking sadists they do, as there is a direct subsidy of nearly a grand per year to each one, never mind the peanut sized $20 increase for the ‘Prime’ fee. That subsidy comes from the third party seller’s gouge.

      Amazon runs a massive internal pump and dump scheme.

      Reality is, were Amazon humane towards it’s employees it would be wildly unprofitable, never mind being barely profitable now. I guess Amazon is going to have to raise third party seller extraction fees to 100% to make the whole excrementitiousness pay off.

      1. Realist

        Retail stores always charge a huge markup to cover the cost of running a store.

        The Amazon deal must represent value to the seller vs. actually having a store and managing marketing and logistics themselves. They wouldnt bother if they lost money on each sale.

  13. hamstak

    On the ChatGPT poem discrepancy, there is an alternative explanation. Rather than exhibiting political bias, it is possible that Joe Biden is, in fact, not a person.

    Maybe he should incorporate; then he would be.

    1. pjay

      – “ChatGPT is built in with political biases. What a failure.”

      My first thought was quite the contrary. It sounds like a rousing success, if the primary goals include disseminating propaganda, censoring “disinformation,” rewriting history, and such. If policing Wikipedia is not enough to insure the “accuracy” of student term papers, then we’ll just make sure that what they “write” is politically correct. Makes sense. The Truth is protected, and students have more party time. Everyone wins!

    2. wendigo

      I tried asking for a DT poem, it refused. After creating a Biden poem I asked why the difference, both being poltical figures.

      At that point it produced a DT poem.

      It stated that its language model is generated from human created text, not personal opinions or thought. When asked for an example of human generated text that was not a personal opinion or thought, it stated “the sky is blue” as an objective fact, not a personal opinion.

      To its credit, when I replied, “Grasshopper, you have much to learn” it did generate a reply that it is always learning and evolving.

      1. ChrisPacific

        It’s lying about that too. It once told me that it was updating its training data in response to a correction I made. When I challenged it on that, it admitted that it didn’t have the capability to do that.

        It will admit if you ask that it can’t distinguish truth from falsehood, and that it’s unable to verify statements against evidence. It simply imitates based on patterns from its training data set. If the topic is something well-known and with broad agreement on ‘right’ answers, it will very often give those answers, so it appears to be telling the truth and providing correct info. It’s an illusion – it will hold forth with equal confidence on specialized topics that are absent from its training data, and give answers that lack even a basic acquaintance with reality.

        Most of the hype around it is based on the implicit assumption that it provides capabilities that it simply doesn’t possess (and will freely admit if you ask it). OpenAI and Google aren’t actually committing fraud themselves, but they are implicitly encouraging people to do so using the platform they provide. They will undoubtedly rake in a lot of dollars from such customers in the near to medium term, then when it all comes crashing down they will be shocked – shocked! – that people were using it in that way. Didn’t they know it was just a language model, and couldn’t provide true or false answers? It was right there in the T&C!

  14. The Rev Kev

    “‘First out of the foxhole’: Haley set to lead Republican challengers to Trump in 2024”

    I suppose Haley is hoping that by going first, that if she is successful that she will attract lots of investors which will give her campaign some steam. Probably for her it would be wise to campaign in the Hamptons. It worked for Kamala. And even if she is not immediately successful, she knows that both Biden and Kamala were both out of the game – until they were brought back in again so the same could happen for her. But I have to admit doing a double-take at the headline of this article. Probably everybody here has seen films of WW1 where you have an officer blow a whistle in a trench and all the troops in it charge out of them to attack the enemy across a wrecked battlefield. Well….not always. If the troops had a maniac or total incompetent for an officer, this would happen. All the troops would stand by their ladders with rifles in hand. The marked officer would blow his whistle and everybody would start to climb out the the trench whereupon all the troops would immediately drop right back in the trench leaving that officer charging by himself. By the time he worked out what happened, he was Swiss cheese. Haley may want to be sure not to meet the same fate and may have been set up. But having read up about her, I hope that it does.

    1. Carolinian

      Haley’s only real advantage is that most of the country knows little about her including her erratic stint at the UN. Trump has an established base and name recognition plastered on buildings around the world not to mention obsessively flogged by MSNBC etc. Similarly where’s the voter base for Pompeo or even Pence (evangelicals)?

      Trump may have a lot of trouble running against any Democrat not named Biden but when it comes to Republicans he’s still very popular despite press articles hoping that’s not so.

    2. Wukchumni

      We hear you’re running, that’s okay
      I thought our little wild time had just begun
      I guess you kind of scared yourself, you turn on Trump and run
      But if you have a change of heart

      Nikki don’t lose track of poll numbers
      You don’t want to trail nobody else
      How could anybody be better than yourself
      Nikki don’t lose track of poll numbers
      It’s the only allusion you own
      You might use Trump if you don’t fare better
      When you drop out

  15. Mildred Montana

    Ahhh…the kitten antidote. So sweet, but then I’m prejudiced. Best cat I ever had was a gray tabby. Got him as a two-month-old kitten, abandoned in a box outside the door of a restaurant whence he got his name (Zorba).

    Affectionate from the get-go, smart, and a great sense of play. He always understood the point of the game, even if he was playing with children. And he loved chasing balls. Couldn’t return them though; too big for his mouth.

    RIP Zorba

    1. Late Introvert

      Ms. Montana,

      Ya, that antidote took me back too. I had a gray tabby runt, and she was all of what you state in paragraph 2, sentence 1 and 2. She didn’t like balls but the various spring loaded things you bounce around, and hiding behind a wall and poking my hand out to make her jump were fun for both of us. She was declawed of course. So sweet.

      She came to my apartment from a roommate, who was allergic to her, and we bonded the first night, and she slept on my bed from then on, when she wasn’t knocking things over at 4 a.m.

      These days our rescue Pug/Shitzu likes to chase cloth squirrels across the kitchen floor and has improved his technique very much over the years. He slides and prances now, when he used to stumble.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “A horrific environmental disaster is happening in Ohio, and you may not even have heard about it”

    I suppose as government bodies are giving people the all clear to return to their homes, that people will have to take their own air readings – or see how many pets and livestock fall sick and die. It is happening. But here I have to say that the real disturbing part of this story is its near absences as a major story. Instead, the main stream media are literally saying ‘Look! Balloons!’ In a way I knew that the mainstream media would memory hole Hersh’s devastating article by using the ridiculous balloon story. But I would have also figured that they may have covered up Hersh’s story by filling the news of the Ohio disaster. I certainly did not expect the main stream media to memory hole both Hersh’s story and the Ohio disaster together.

    1. hunkerdown

      Astrology watchers, the April 2024 total solar eclipse’s path of totality will track just north of the Ohio River. If the acidity produced by the burn dissolves in rain, could it percolate down to the sandstone aquifers and make sinkholes and bad water a bigger part of Ohio’s future, and maybe not just Ohio’s? My geological knowledge is pretty dim.

    2. Wukchumni

      I heard madame press secretary is pulling out all the stops in her next press conference where she’ll dispense dire dirigible fear after ingesting helium, to stress the great risk these red balloons impart upon our freedoms.

    3. wendigo

      The thing is they have to rely on the epa for air/water readings, equipment for actually measuring trace toxic chemicals is too expensive for individuals.

      The epa has stated the air and water is safe.

      I was going to link to a video showing a private company gathering dead fish, but I must have imagined it since I can not find anything using Google.

    4. Eclair

      RE: Memory holing both Hersh’s story and the Ohio disaster together. And, don’t forget the mammoth non-response to Jeff Gerth’s investigative report on the RussiaRussiaRussia nonsense, published in that third-rate blog known as The Columbia Journalism Review.

  17. magpie

    Euronews story:

    ‘… As countries continue through winter to face the fallout from Russia cutting off most of its gas deliveries to Europe in 2022.’

    There it is!

    But wait, there’s more. Click on the hyperlinked word, Russia, and you find a surprisingly detailed article spelling out how the EU sanctioned Russian energy. Wait, who stopped the deliveries? I’m so confused!

  18. Not Again

    It looks like the USA is getting bored with its Zelensky Project. Apparently, those 16 year olds aren’t dying fast enough for the ghouls in DC.

    Speaking to The Post anonymously, several administration officials also said they have told Ukraine’s government that now — while the US and other allies are still sending economic and military aid — is Ukraine’s best chance to launch a full offensive against Russia, to try to turn the tide of the war.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Launch an offensive with what exactly? They don’t have much equipment left and what reserves the Ukrainians have left are being used to plug holes in places like Bakhmut.

  19. Carolinian

    Re FT Haley article

    A traditional economic and social conservative, Haley has drawn frequent parallels between herself and Margaret Thatcher

    Thatcher was a monster but I used to watch her on CSPAN Question Time and dumb she was not. In fact that’s likely why she was such a successful monster.

    However Haley has arranged some powerful backers and so we can continue to see these puff jobs from her true constituency, the press. The lack of enthusiasm in other quarters (including my house) is palpable.

    1. britzklieg

      Haley’s potential is redundant now, in any event.

      Thatcher’s famous retort that Tony Blair was her “greatest success” leaves Haley with little left to accomplish. The Democrats became republicans decades ago

    2. Daniil Adamov

      She sounds more like a Theresa May. Right down to being compared to Margaret Thatcher. It would be painful for Democrats if the first woman president is a Republican, though. I suppose that (“conventionally electable Republican woman”) may even be her main draw for the party, apart from being a reliable member of the elite.

      1. begob

        She’ll never match Theresa May until she emerges on stage from inside a haunted mirror and dances to an ABBA tune played backwards.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      In general, failed Presidents and also rans run on foreign policy, so she’s pretty much done before she starts. Overseeing the worst roads in the country…eh.

      One of Hillary’s problems was she ran on being “qualified evah!” and “standing up to Pootin, heh heh heh”. At least the stuff she lied about supporting wasn’t terrible, but she only provided lip service for the followers to go see “Hillary is against orphan crushing machines”.

      1. Carolinian

        They’re not that bad. We get a lot of bad ink from Union, er, Northern press lords. That said when you drive across the state line into NC you do notice a difference.

        Years back when I lived in Atlanta there were some African American neighborhoods south of I-20 but still in the city that had dirt roads. Kinda says it all.

  20. tevhatch

    Norway reports on Russian Northern Fleet carrying tatical nukes.
    So after attacking Germany and Russia, Norway is now supplying sailors or armorers to the Russian Fleet? This is a violation of Russia’s known nuclear position, which is when they launch nukes, it will be an all out war with the strategy, not the tactic, of removing all highly developed lifeforms from the earth.

    1. David

      I assume they observed nuclear weapons being out-loaded from special depots and loaded onto ships: the whole process generally involves a large protective force and a number of vehicles, so it’s hard to miss. The Soviet Union had very large numbers of battlefield nuclear weapons, as well as nuclear depth-bombs for use against submarines. It looks as though it’s the latter, or their successors, that have been embarked. In addition, since a single tactical surface nuclear weapon could take out a Carrier Battle Group they may feel it’s an effective deterrent to embark them.

      1. tevhatch

        Pretty good spying to detect what specific weapons were loaded. However, I guess one can call a single or group of strategic missile a tactical weapon (system), in that it is one of the tactics that are used to carry out the strategy of mutual assured destruction. However, this is a dangerous word game that Norway plays. If Russia takes out a single carrier battle group, it will taking them all out directly, as well as North America, UK, France, Japan, and anyone else either hosting US controlled nuclear weapons or a USA proxy, followed by the slow destruction of the rest of the earth’s advanced lifeforms by nuclear fallout and nuclear winter. Russian policy is clear: use is either all or nothing. It’s the mad men in Washington and possibly London who thing one can use these weapons not only to survive, but to profit.

        Today I heard Dr. Wilmer Leon on the Duran say the USA government is only capable of tactics and has no strategy. That sounds spot on.

      2. Polar Socialist

        According to the Russian media all tactical nuclear weapons were removed from Russian surface ships in 1991. According to the experts quoted the old systems are not serviceable anymore, and new ones don’t exist – yet.

        While the Cold War mentality is clearly returning, it’s more likely Russia would use the more modern weapons systems available to it if it wanted to suddenly raise tensions, than dig out from storage old scrapped systems they doubt would work anymore.

        And of course, carrying nuclear weapons on surface ships would be a dramatic change of posture and strategy, which Russia usually doesn’t do unannounced. They did release new naval doctrine last July, and makes no mention of arming surface fleet with nuclear weapons of any kind. It does downgrade the Atlantic direction, though, since Russia is pivoting to Asia and Arctic.

  21. Wukchumni

    I asked to be in the club in the North Atlantic
    Where you think help will come and restore order
    O R D E R, order
    They walked up to me and said adding the Ukraine was just arithmetic
    I asked to be part of the org and be defended by NATO
    N A T O, NATO

    Well I’m not the world’s most physical guy
    But I wear a green shirt that you can buy
    Oh my NATO, please don’t negate oh!
    Well I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
    Why NATO didn’t have me in the plan
    Oh my NATO, its never too late, oh

    Well we drank in the doom and prayed all night
    With all our might
    They’ll hopefully pick me up in our hour of need
    And say little stand up comic won’t you be with me
    Well I’m not the world’s most stand up guy
    But i’ve got a couple reasons why to be in
    Na-na-na-na NATO, na-na-na-na NATO
    NATO na-na-na-na NATO na-na-na-na NATO
    I pushed their way
    I walked to the door
    I fell to the floor
    I got down on my knees
    Then I looked at them and them at me

    Well that’s the way that I want it to stay
    And I always want it to be that way for my NATO
    Na-na-na-na NATO
    Capitalists will be commies and commies will be capitalists
    It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for NATO
    Na-na-na-na NATO

    Well we kicked ass just awhile before
    And I’d never ever tasted a victory score
    But NATO smiled and took me by the hand
    And said dear boy I’m gonna proxy include you in the band

    Well I’m not the world’s most stand up man
    But I know what I am and really have no plan
    And so does NATO
    Na-na-na-na NATO, na-na-na-na NATO
    NATO na-na-na-na NATO na-na-na-na NATO

    Lola, by the Kinks

  22. ChrisFromGA

    In honor of the 1-year treasury bill crossing the 5% threshold!


    We can never know about the scams to come
    But we think about them anyway
    And I wonder if I’m really gonna get a rate cut now
    Or just chasing after market gains

    Capitulation is sealing my fate
    I keep prognosticating

    And I tell you how easy it feels to snort hopium
    And how right a pivot feels around me
    But I, saw the bond traders throwing in the towel
    When I was thinking about how right another bubble might be

    Capitulation is sealing our fate
    Inflation is waiting

    And tomorrow we might not see these low rates
    I’m no prophet, Lord, I don’t know nature’s ways
    So I’ll try, see into your eyes right now
    And stay right here ’cause these are the good old days

    These are the good old days
    And stay right here ’cause these are the good old days
    These are the good old days
    These are the good old days
    These are the good old days
    These are the good old days

    1. Skip Intro

      I wonder what song that was based on. I suppose I could find out by clicking on a youtube link…
      but nah, not worth it. Is it Rick Astley?

  23. Wukchumni

    2.9-million-year-old butchery site reopens case of who made first stone tools Science Daily
    I heard they found a small uneaten portion of a pastrami on rye bread @ the site, and seeing as there was no sandwich until the Earl of Sandwich came up with the concept while also naming the Sandwich Islands-a nom nom de plume that didn’t stick on Hawaii, what would they have called lunch 2.9 million years ago?

  24. Yeti

    Re Covid shots after infection, “ Yours truly has hypothesized that one cause of Covid vaccine injuries is getting the shot too soon after an infection:”
    I have wondered how consistent each shot and vial of “vaccine is. According to Sasha Latypova-link below-it may be total lack of quality control, which could explain breakthroughs and adverse events. She also explains how the DoD is in complete control. From article “ Documents accessed by Latypova reveal the details of laws exploited to shield responsible parties from liability, avoid proper clinical trials, and engage in fraudulent manipulation of public perception. Latypova explains how most involved parties were deceived, as the fraud is driven from top level management in select government departments.”.

    1. Acacia

      A close, pro-vax friend recently reported five weeks of brain fog and symptoms of myo after getting the most recent booster less than two months after a case of Covid. Blood test to confirm the myo came back negative and a cardiologist then told him he’s fine. Brain fog slowly diminishing.

      N=1, but he independently wondered if the problems were due to getting the shot “too soon”.

    1. Jeff W

      The same podcast was linked to in yesterday’s Links (as “Radio War Nerd EP #366 — Seymour Hersh on US Bombing Nord Stream Pipelines”). (Just in case people think there are two different interviews.)

  25. Wukchumni

    I’m already a little out of season, but here’s a 13 foot wide Giant Sequoia, whose midriff and above got hit by a lightning bolt, resulting in the lower 2 limbs creating goalposts going upwards from the ends after growth above the tree was curtailed, and thus the name…

    …the Touchdown Jesus tree

  26. playon

    “Yours truly has hypothesized that one cause of Covid vaccine injuries is getting the shot too soon after an infection…”

    That could be possible but my personal experience was the opposite, FWIW. I had a bad reaction to my second MNRA shot but it was only after having the two shots and a booster that I then caught COVID (twice). In retrospect I’m surprised that I went for the booster, considering what happened with the second jab (I went to the ER after feeling dizzy and having chest pain). No more MNRA for me.

  27. anon in so cal

    Pepe Escobar on Hersh’s article and source:

    For all its meticulous reporting, the inescapable feeling remains that what Hersh’s narrative indicts is the Biden combo terror gambit, and never the overall U.S. plan to provoke Russia into a proxy war with NATO using Ukraine as cannon fodder.

    Moreover, Hersh’s source may be eminently flawed. He – or she – said, according to Hersh, that Russia “failed to respond” to the pipeline terror attack because “maybe they want the capability to do the same things the U.S. did”.

    In itself, this may prove that the source was not even a member of PIAB, and did not receive the classified PIAB report assessing Putin’s crucial speech of September 30, which identifies the “responsible” party. If that’s the case, the source is just connected (italics mine) to some PIAB member; was not invited to the months-long situation-room planning; and certainly is not aware of the finer details of this administration’s war in Ukraine.

    Considering Sy Hersh’s stellar track record in investigative journalism, it would be quite refreshing for him to elucidate these inconsistencies. That would get rid of the fog of rumors depicting the report as a mere limited hangout.

    –PE, in Strategic Culture

  28. Eclair

    OK, I am compelled to address the toxic subject of underpants. And why the tariff imposed on women’s underpants is way more than that imposed on men’s underpants. As we all know, men’s underpants require more material, wider elastic waist bands, and additional labor time, with that hard-to-sew overlapping front opening.

    Plus, the tariff on sturdy cotton underpants is way bigger than the tariff on lacy underwear. Do I detect some sexism here? Are USian women subject to the whims of male officials who dream of babes in see-through panties?

    After I have been successful in organizing the local chapter of Grannies from Hell, I plan to take on this injustice by encouraging women to boycott ALL women’s underpants. We will buy only tighty-whities (except they will now come in multiple shades, from baby blue to a lovely cranberry!) A pox on all those sexist bureaucrats with their hegemonic fantasies of forcing us females into bits of lace. Especially those of us living in northern climes, who are trying to save the planet by keeping our indoor temps at 60 degrees!

    Or, maybe we should simply on-shore the underpants factories and so eliminate tariffs. How hard can it be?

    1. Glen

      Its my understanding that America cannot match the off shore technology for weaving cloth. So its another example of America being behind.

      Cannot reshore what you cannot do. But re-shoring would be good just to make sure you can get something even if its not as good.

  29. Lexx

    ‘Name a cockroach after your ex on Valentine’s Day’

    What happened to zoo poo? I thought that was a terrific hate-o-gram. The cockroaches are going to be dinner anyway. Sending gorilla poo is an unequivocal message.

  30. Kouros

    Children of the Ice Age: very interesting the idea that they had nuclear families living on their own in Neolithic. Is it because the concept of communal life is that strange for people from Axios? Every man and his cave, eh? A man is king in his cave, eh? Taking down those cave bears and mammoths and saber tooth tigers all by himself…

  31. flora

    re: This is also a zeitgeist watch item. IM Doc has reported that even in his super blue county, vaccination ex Covid is markedly down.

    Yep. I’ve been vaccinated against everything from polio to smallpox to DPT – Tetanus, Pertussis aka whooping cough, and Diphtheria – to cholera and typhoid and Yellowfever. (The last 3 when I was younger and traveling in tropical areas where those diseases were still prevalent.) I have never ever, underline *never*, doubted the value, benefits and safety of vaccines. Until now…. This is a horrible turn of events, imo.

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