Links 2/15/2023

An Icelandic Town Goes All Out to Save Baby Puffins Smithsonian

The Psychology of Market Tops & Market Bottoms A Wealth of Common Sense

Top US bank executives more upbeat about ‘soft landing’ for economy FT

How steep is your curve? FT


Lake Superior has just 6 percent ice cover this week, near record low Minnesota Public Radio (ctlieee).

Moisture-driven divergence in mineral-associated soil carbon persistence PNAS. “Data suggest a tipping point in the cycling of mineral-associated C at a climate threshold where precipitation equals evaporation.” Human-readable press release.

* * *

East Palestine: The Place You Don’t Want to Be! The Brockovich Report. Commentary:

Ohio derailment aftermath: How worried should people be? AP:

Investigators examined the rail car that initiated the derailment and have surveillance video from a home showing “what appears to be a wheel bearing in the final stage of overheat failure moments before the derailment,” the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday. Its preliminary report is expected in two weeks

Hot box, not brakes.

Here’s What Happens When Two Crew Members Are Operating 141 Freight Cars The New Republic

The Ohio train derailment underscores the dangers of the plastics boom Grist


The Salinas River and the foretold flood High Country News


Multi-organ impairment and long COVID: a 1-year prospective, longitudinal cohort study Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. n = 536. From the Conclusion: “Organ impairment persisted in 59% of 331 individuals followed up at 1 year post COVID-19, with implications for symptoms, quality of life and longer-term health, signalling the need for prevention and integrated care of long COVID.”

* * *

Long-term effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against infections, hospitalisations, and mortality in adults: findings from a rapid living systematic evidence synthesis and meta-analysis up to December, 2022 The Lancet. The Interpretation: “Our analyses indicate that vaccine effectiveness generally decreases over time against SARS-CoV-2 infections, hospitalisations, and mortality. The baseline vaccine effectiveness levels for the omicron variant were notably lower than for other variants. Therefore, other preventive measures (eg, face-mask wearing and physical distancing) might be necessary to manage the pandemic in the long term.”

Association of COVID-19 Vaccination With Risk for Incident Diabetes After COVID-19 Infection JAMA. n = 23,709. From the Discussion: “In this cohort study, COVID-19 infection was associated with increased risk of diabetes, consistent findings of a meta-analysis.1 Our results suggest that this risk persisted as the Omicron variant became predominant, and the association remained even after accounting for temporal confounders. Diabetes risk after COVID-19 infection was higher in unvaccinated than vaccinated patients, suggesting a benefit of vaccination. Mechanisms contributing to postinfection diabetes risk remain unclear, although persistent inflammation contributing to insulin resistance is a proposed pathway.”

* * *

Paxlovid may help prevent hospitalization, death in COVID outpatients Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

WHO abandons plans for crucial second phase of COVID-origins investigation Nature. “Quietly shelved.”


China’s Top Airship Scientist Promoted Program to Watch the World From Above NYT

China seen as most influential power in Southeast Asia: ASEAN Studies Centre Channel News Asia

Did Japan Nearly Have its Own Prohibition Era? Unseen Japan

The Koreas

New Arsenal of Democracy: South Korean Arms Sale to Poland The Blue Roof


The Indian doctor fighting to protect people against harm and ‘entrenched beliefs’ of black magic South China Morning Post


Syrians left to fend for themselves as earthquake relief fails to materialise FT

Dear Old Blighty

The Tories may be headed for an epochal battering FT

South of the Border

‘We are for peace’: Latin America rejects pleas to send Ukraine weapons FT

Uvalde’s Locks Were Its First Line of Defense. They Failed. Texas Monthly

New Not-So-Cold War

Blinken has a lot on his plate including tensions with China and the war in Ukraine NPR. Blinken:

“If we ratify the seizure of land by another country and say ‘that’s okay, you can go in and take it by force and keep it,’ that will open a Pandora’s box around the world for would be aggressors that will say, ‘Well, we’ll do the same thing and get away with it,'” Blinken said.

Domino theory.

Russia says Kiev is readying ‘great event’ to accuse Russia of violating nuclear safety TASS

* * *

Ukraine steps up efforts to get civilians out of Bakhmut, in a further sign of a potential retreat. NYT

Ukraine not to surrender Bakhmut, Russians paratroopers badly hit – Lt. of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Ukrainska Pravda. From the deputy commander of Svoboda battalion, i.e. “far right,” as the euphemism goes.

Ukraine’s ammunition demands are ‘many times higher’ than supply, NATO chief says FOX. So then what?

* * *

How Countries Have Kept Up Domestic Support for the War in Ukraine Council on Foreign Relations

Symposium: Lessons from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine Defense Priorities

Biden Administration

Obama’s turncoat antitrust enforcer is angry about the Google breakup Cory Doctorow (Stephen V).

Those Balloons, or Whatever the Heck They Are

US says no ‘indication’ flying objects shot down were part of Chinese spy program Andalou Agency. Not the first one, the next three. Commentary:

Administration scrambles to quell Congress’s frustration over balloon, UFOs The Hill. Commentary:

Report: All female-crewed Chinese spy balloon performed Super Bowl flyover Duffel Blog

The Bezzle

Microsoft’s AI Bing also factually wrong, fabricated text during launch demo The Register

8 Signs That the AI ‘Revolution’ Is Spinning Out of Control Gizmodo

Thoughts on the crypto ecosystem Bank of International Settlements


Does 13th Amendment protect a right to abortion? Federal judge orders briefing on the scope of Dobbs ABA Journal

Health Care

Patients still have no protection against surprise ambulance bills. And there’s no solution in sight STAT

Sports Desk

How Mahomes’ Chiefs beat Hurts’ Eagles in Super Bowl 2023 ESPN

The Plot Against Women’s Football Tribune

Valentine’s Day Post-Game Festivities

Woman Accused Of Dismembering Lover Attacks Her Attorney In Open Court HuffPo


Interest rates and inflation:

Imperial Collapse Watch

Trump’s last Defense secretary takes on the ‘American war machine’ The Hill

Class Warfare

How Do Noncompetes Affect Jobs and Pay? Ask a Hair Stylist WSJ

The electricity bill left Carmen, 51, homeless (Google Translate) Aftonbladet 200 (MT). MT comments: “Progress report from the Swedish neoliberal society.”

‘News from Nowhere’ – Building Communal Life in Venezuela Grassroots Economic Organizing

Leonardo da Vinci’s forgotten experiments explored gravity as a form of acceleration (ctlieee).

Antidote du jour (via):

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. timbers

    New Not-So-Cold War

    Some followers of Dima at Summary Military Channel are migrating or including this site, though updates are not daily. A point made in this video is that due to Ukraine’s heavily built-up fortifications in Donbass (the video does an excellent job of showing just how very extensive these fortifications are) and her mostly intact supply routes, it could take Russia many months even years to liberate all of Donbass/the 4 Oblasts now officially part of Russia, even after Bakhmut falls. And by then, the West could have re-industrialized and be able to provide fresh arms. On the other hand, attrition in arms and soldiers continues to work in Russia’s favor and that along with a loss in Bakhmut plus at present dwindling supplies, could induce a cascading folding in moral in the AUF. Also, am puzzled a decision was made to stop recruiting for the Wagner group. This reminds me of the decision to keep fighting but letting 6 months contracts thin the RUF earlier last year. Finally, I do think Russia needs to address to supply routes, once and for all.

    1. JM

      Oh yes, Defense Politics Asia. (side note, it would be really nice if some indication was given to all of these blind youtube links, not @ you specifically but in general) At the start of the SMO I watched them regularly, but when I took a step back they were cut from my list.

      The idea that the West can re-industialize in a timeframe that is relevant to Ukraine seems laughable to me. I have yet to hear from anywhere that there are factories just sitting around waiting to have the lights turned on that can pump out military equipment. That assessment makes me wonder about their views more generally.

      1. Ignacio

        Yesterday at The Duran there was a nice discussion citing a paper written by an English military person on why The West cannot keep with the necessities of ammunition in the kind of war as it is going in Ukraine. In short: 1) you cannot build large stocks as explosives have expiration dates, and 2) you cannot keep large production capacities idle in Western countries because markets. This probably explains the puzzlement of Western authorities believing all the time that Russia must be running out of ammunition given their consumption level if we don’t understand they have different industrial organization. According to our models Russia must necessarily be “in tatters” regarding ammunition and missiles. Simply because the West is readily “in tatters” regarding ammunition, the Russians must also be.

        1. Scylla

          I found it very amusing, given his priors, that Alexander really danced around avoiding the use of the word “capitalism” in describing the West’s inability to produce weapons. I like both Alex and Alexander, but their own politics (they seem to be rather right-libertarian) appear to prevent them from pointing out some things that are blatantly obvious, from time to time.

          1. jobs

            As much as I otherwise like listening to them, they also seem to have a hard-on for Trump. Thankfully it’s not subtle, so easily picked up on.

    2. marku52

      A valid question is “fill those trenches with what soldiers?” I think they are running out of 16 and 60 YOs…

  2. digi_owl

    I guess Blinkered et al wants to perform an eternal puppet show, where they fight behind the scenery over who get to ram their fist up the puppet’s backside this time.

    1. Not Again

      “If we ratify the seizure of land by another country and say ‘that’s okay, you can go in and take it by force and keep it,’ that will open a Pandora’s box around the world for would be aggressors that will say, ‘Well, we’ll do the same thing and get away with it,’” Blinken said.


      1. Jeff V

        Does the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo count? It will be tricky to reverse it after 170-odd years, but there’s an important principle at stake here!

        1. John

          Convenient memory lapses or yet another instance of the we-make-the-rules-and-you-follow-them international order?

        2. Betty

          ¡Coño! Wonder what the value of the gold the U.S. paid Mexico would be if adjusted for today’s prices per ounce, plus the compounding interest over 170 years?

          What if the U.S. handed New Mexico, the poorest U.S. state, back to Mexico and said “you can have it back, or, we’ll trade New Mexico for Baja California” which makes geographical sense since it’s isolated from mainland Mexico.

          Wonder what the Mescalero indians would think of having no more payments and priviliges from the U.S. and their reservation became subject to Mexican law?

          1. John Beech

            It’s my opinion Russia would have been a country mile ahead if they had made Ukraine a fair offer for the Crimea, or simply asked to lease space for a naval base the same as we did Subic in the Phils. Complete with a SOFA and everything.

            1. digi_owl

              I think they already were paying a lease on the naval base.

              Same thing with some military bases in Georgia that are now inside certain breakaway areas on the border.

            2. Daniil Adamov

              I don’t think any country could sell a large populated area these days. Even if it were an ideal solution to many problems, it is just too damaging politically to any nation pretending to be a democracy, which most do.

            3. Pat

              John only part of the reason that Vicky and Pals were so keen on getting rid of Ukraine’s elected leader was that he wised up and realized that joining the EU would be a disaster for his country and probably NATO too. The big reason was he signed a long term lease extension with Russia for the bases in the Crimea.
              IOW they did do that, but that wasn’t what the US wanted. They wanted them kicked out of the Crimea.

              Once the Ukraine “elected” A Nuland approved government there Was nothing Russia could have done to avoid the rock/hard place choice. And by allowing the uS scorpion on their back the corrupt Ukraine leadership guaranteed this destruction of citizens, resources and land.

      2. agent ranger smith

        One notes that people who at this very moment regard the Israeli “annexation” of East Jerusalem, Golan Heights, etc. as Illegal also regard the Russian “annexation” of parts of Ukraine as being right and proper. Is invading and occupying Ukraine long enough to decontaminate it and leave behind a free-fire-zone level wasteland in which the installation of anti-Russia forces and weapons can be spotted and neutralized really the same thing as permanent conquest to annex conquered land?

        Consistency itself should be consistent in order to be worthy of being taken seriously.

        1. Offtrail

          Not sure why you put “annexation” in quotes in regards to Israel’s conquests. Israel passed a law in 1981 announcing that the Golan would be treated as Israeli territory. This was internationally recognized as illegal annexation and was unanimously condemned by the UN Security Council, including the US.

          In contrast to the Donbas, the Golan was never part of Israel and was never inhabited by Israelis.

          In short, those cases are not the same.

          1. agent ranger smith

            Any countryGov joining the UN system is understood to have accepted that all national borders are regarded as frozen at the time of their joining of the UN . . . . certainly any border revisions dreamed of on the basis of ethnic irredentism.

            So they are exactly the same, since both took place since the CountryGovs involved joined the UN system.

            I used the “quotes” around “annex” to indicate that the “annexation” was no annexation in either case, being equally illegal in both cases. But many people support Russia as against NATOkraine enough that they will overlook the exactly equal and equivalent illegality of border-change territorial annexation in the Russia over Donbas case.

            The UN Security Council will never vote to call it that because Russia will veto any such Resolution. That won’t retro-legalize the illegal annexation of Donbas.

            I believe the KenyaGov representative to the UN said something about how the newly decolonized African countries and etc. all thought peace would be better maintained through the studied non-revision of borders. But of course the KenyaGov would have the moral standing where the USGov would not. Even though the moral standing of the pointer-outer has nothing to do with the issue itself.

            1. Yves Smith

              Please stop misinforming readers. It’s called Making Shit Up and a violation of house rules.

              The procedure that Russia used with Crimea and the “liberated” oblasts was identical to the one the US used in Kosovo.

              1. Daniil Adamov

                And was that legitimate?

                Though I suppose we have to have some procedure for revising borders. Insisting on unchangeable borders is ahistoric nonsense.

                1. Polar Socialist

                  In the international law it’s called the right of people to self-determination, and it’s one of the cardinal principles of international law.

                  And that’s about the extent that people can agree. Since it allows both for Catalans to drive for independence and for the rest of Spain to prevent said independence, there’s a school of thought that only people who can defend their right to self-determination (with arms) can self-determine their political status.

                  And even that school can’t agree if the people are allowed to receive outside help while self-determining or not.

                  The status of Åland islands is probably the only known example where an international organization has been able to settle the political status of a region. That and redrawing the borders in Europe after WW1 and the collapse of two empires.
                  With the distinction that the first one still stands, while the latter was not as stable as it could have been.

                  1. Daniil Adamov

                    That’s very much the problem with self-determination. It’s philosophically sound but politically unworkable – in nearly any conceivable situation it is impossible to satisfy the right to self-determination of some people in a territory without violating the same right of others in that territory. Deciding things by a referendum, even if it were the most unobjectionably conducted referendum in the world, would simply legitimise the violation of the rights of the minority. Any attempts to divide territories merely add gerrymandering into the mix without solving the core problem. So I am not sure that one can produce any kind of fair and workable law on the basis of that principle.

                    (And of course “defending their right to self-determination with arms” just restores the right of conquest. Perhaps one might as well, but that is not how “international law” is advertised.)

  3. JohnA

    Re Progress report from Swedish neoliberal society

    Sweden has effectively been the subject of a one-sided class war where the old social democratic class consciousness has disappeared in a political landscape where pretty much all parties across the political spectrum serve the same interests. What was once a remarkably equal and democratic system has been totally dismantled in favour of an elite ruling class. Sicne the 1970s, the Social Democrats have been as eager to privatise welfare and deregulate capital, outsouring and reduce taxes. Today Sweden has the largest concentration of private fortunes in western Europe and comparable to the USA. The picture outsiders have of Sweden as a democratic and equal society is long outdated. Socialist the country most certainly isn’t (and to be fair, never truly was).

        1. digi_owl

          Oh, it has been published, in the Norwegian press, for ages.

          And yeah, from the 90s onwards the Norwegian military was retooled to become effectively a mercenary unit for USA via NATO. Everything up north was basically decommissioned as the Russian bear had become a drunk circus side show.

          Instead all money was funneled into Telemark Battalion, the one standing professional battalion meant for NATO missions.

          And government after government knew of the problems even as they observed the sobered up bear rising again. And instead they have loopholed their way around a policy that held even during the Cuban crisis that forbade foreign troops on Norwegian soil during peace time.

          So now we have UMCS “on temporary rotation” in at least two locations in Norway, with the latest being them getting the same protections from Norwegian law as they already have in places like Japan and South Korea.

          And yet people laugh about Stoltenberg having been a CIA asset, because he supposedly partook in anti-NATO protests when younger.

          1. John

            Isn’t all of NATO a collection of, apparently, ramshackle mercenary units for the USA? And in the end, what difference does it make? Ukraine is showing in primary colors that NATO is utterly helpless without the USA and merely helpless with it. Forget the super duper high tech cosmically complicated and fragile not to mention astronomically expensive wonder weapons that would change the course of the war if only they had been manufactured or actually exist in such small quantities in their hermetically sealed warehouses lest dust fall upon them, but we need them for some just-in-time dust up that maybe possibly will appear tomorrow and we have to be ready for the Chinese.

            Russia defeated Ukraine bay last April. Since then it has been NATO stockpiles of whatever and Ukrainian blood, that has kept this atrocity going. For the last nine months it has been more western war crime than war.

          1. Revenant

            Is this sarcasm? It is the Ukraine because it is a stable geography but not a stable polity.

            The Gold Coast, the Oman, the Congo, the Lebanon etc.

            1. Daniil Adamov

              I don’t think “the” necessarily has the connotations people like to assign to it on both sides of this interminable debate.

              Personally I prefer “the Philippines” as a counterpoint, in any case. One can have a country with a “the” – stability is not the issue.

              1. Jeff W

                The definite article is systematically used in English with geographic names that are homophonous with plural forms and end in s, e.g., the Netherlands, the Bahamas, the Philippines.

                Names in that category are not a counterpoint to names that are not in that category (e.g., Ukraine).

                1. Revenant

                  That was a wonderful article. I really enjoyed it, thank you for linking it. But I confess my enjoyment was partly because the paper bears out my contention: that certain countries take an article where the polity is less certain / more contested than the geography.

                  To quote from the article:
                  “Viewed historically, country names that are commonly used with a definite article are likely to develop toward higher rates of article dropping. This is due to the fact that nation building is a relatively recent phenomenon that, in general, took place after the evolution of the geographical names on which country names are often based. The gradual dropping of the article can be explained as a process of increasing human association of a geographical entity through nation building and political institutionalization. In other words, names that originally identified geographical entities with a limited sense of humanization (such as rivers, regions, mountain ranges, etc.) gradually drift formally toward Categories 1 or 2. For example, the name Lebanon originally stood for a mountain range, Congo for a river, Ukraine for a region. This extension of geographical names to country names is a common pattern (see Back Citation1996, 1350–1351).1” personally I think the Ukraine is not yet born….

                  Also, the article is a descriptive approach to American English usage and the search on the US text corpus demonstrates frank oddities, like a small but certain number of references to “The Britain”! The authors adjust for some of these, removing instances of articles demanded by post positional modification ” the Iraq of his dreams”, but I still don’t understand how anybody, even a rebellious colonial, can have syntax so mangled to say the Britain. :-)

                  There are other weird usages reported, from a British perspective, such as allegedly “the Cape Verde” and “the Uruguay”. Capes only take an article where there is a compound phrase, e.g. Cape of Good Hope, rather than Cape Hope or Cape Wrath.

                  The article is also weirdly unhistorically minded but I suspect that is a deformation professionelle of a statistical approach to linguistics. Apart from a nod to the process by which some countries seem to emerge from geography, the article seems ignorant of historical usage, e.g. the Argentine for Argentina, or the Sudan, which was historically was a southern region administered from Lower Egypt by rulers from the Pharaohs to the British, of the Yemen, which covers both historical North and South Yemen.

                  A miniature instance of this tension is the Scilly Isles, which islanders refer to as simply Scilly, presumably because tourists see geography but they see community.

      1. cosmiccretin

        Finland likewise.

        The “Nordic model” (which rather than outright socialist was a highly-developed *mixed economy”, dirigiste although at the same time democratic – and broadly popular) much-vaunted up until that time and emulated across Scandinavia, died with the murder of Socialdemocrat then-prime-minister Olof Palme. The similarly prototypical role-model Dag Hammarsköld had earlier suffered (in all probability, although unproven) a similar fate.

        Entry into the EU completed its dismantlement, and NATO membership (actual or incipient) administered the coup de grace.

        (in my humble opinion).

  4. DJG, Reality Czar

    Smithsonian: Tradition of rescuing pufflings (not “baby puffins”) in Icelandic island town.

    Great photos. Intriguing quotes from the Icelanders. Even the map is well executed.

    Consider it as your long-read anecdote today. Puffins are one of the charismatic species–and I didn’t know that they may live to be 36 years old. I can image something about the wisdom of an old puffin.

    And having read the “inconvenient apocalypse” post this morning: What about stewardship? What about rescue so that we all won’t have to suffer?

  5. SocalJimObjects

    Cross Straits AI war.

    “The Taiwan government said this week that it would launch its own AI-powered chatbot as an alternative to counter China’s ChatYuan, which pushes Beijing’s state-approved narrative.”

    One upside I can see from this is that rather than a real shooting war, perhaps both sides should just let loose their AIs to see who will gain the upper hand as in whose BS will cause the other side to crash first.

    Also from the article: ” He pointed out that Microsoft ChatGPT was built with 10,000 GPUs, but the likely developer, the National Center for High-Performance Computing (NARLabs) only has around a fifth of those.”

    What’s the problem here? Hsinchu, the HQ of TSMC is only 1 hour away from Taipei by car.

    1. digi_owl

      It will not be a rather than, more a prelude. Once one side has the decided upper hand, the other(s) will come shooting.

    2. hunkerdown

      It takes several months to turn a blank wafer into finished dice due to the several dozen steps required, some of which take hours each.

  6. flora

    Ohio train derailment.
    So glad the RR workers strike ended with the RR companies agreeing to increase staff hiring to safe level and improve RR maintenance.

    Oh wait… B crushed the strike, told workers to get back to work. No hiring increases. No sick leave or safer worker schedules. No wonder Buttigeig is nowhere near the Ohio disaster, no questions, nothing. What could he say? The MSM plays along.

    1. The Rev Kev

      At least the Squad and all the other Progressives were firmly behind those railway workers in their fight for a fair deal. I mean, it is not like they back-stabbed them and voted to crush that strike instead. Didn’t they?

      1. flora

        How much of the chemical plume from the massive burn-off will float through DC and NYC ? Dioxins, anyone?

          1. Rob

            Looks like Penn. Central and Up state NY, New Hamp and Vermont are going to be the unlucky recipients. Too bad Would love to see the entirety of the Transportation Dept, EPA bureacrats out there picking up the toxic debris, along with all the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of congress, without PPE.

            1. Jhallc

              There are a lot of good knowledgeable Ohio/ EPA responders trying to do what they can to clean up this mess. Are there just as many useless administrators and bean counters back at the office? Sure there are.
              First job was to mitigate the release of any leaking hazardous material via runoff into surrounding surface water and subsurface and air. Given the likely frozen ground conditions, uncontrolled runoff of Vinyl Chloride into nearby streams, catch basins, etc would have been catastrophic. The impact on animals and drinking water would have been huge and the cleanup almost impossible. Trying to safely remove the liquids from the tanks would have been the best option. Given the situation I’m guessing that was not possible and a decision to incinerate the VC was made. Burning VC does not to my knowledge result in the formations of dioxins that you get from incomplete burning of poly chlorinated compounds (plastics). It essentially forms an acid and water. While not ideal, it’s better that a release of pure VC product into the environment.

              1. scott s.

                Vinyl Chloride Monomer has a boiling point of 7 degrees F, so I don’t think liquid VCM runoff is an issue. At 25 deg C the vapor pressure is about 60 psi so the RR tank car is sealed and under some pressure depending on ambient pressure. The concern seems to be flammability of gaseous VCM, with an explosive range of about 3-30% in air. Under heat it decomposes into phosgene and hydrocloric acid. I suppose there is some water solubility but I would think the primary hazard is 1 explosion and 2 inhalation of combustion products. Of course there were other chemicals in the train as well, I haven’t seen much discussion of hazard.

                1. Sushi

                  Phosgene has a threshold limit value of 0.1 ppm. Multiple reports of dead domestic pets, chickens, and wildlife all suggest phosgene poisioning as do the various reports from humans in the vicinity who report problems with eyes and mucus membranes.

                  This is a train wreck of an environmental catastrophe on a par with the methane release from the US destruction of the Baltic NG pipelines.

                  Strange there is minimal MSM reporting on the environmental aspect of these events.

            2. agent ranger smith

              Vermont, eh?

              Well, if all politics is local, as Tip O’Neil once said; then this problem becomes “local” for Senator Sanders. Will he treat it that way in the Senate for his Vermonters?

              For his last act in politics, he could still become Senator Rail Safety the way Senator D’Amato of New York became Senator Pothole, and in that same spirit.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          NEW TOXINS IDENTIFIED—“We basically nuked a town with chemicals so we could get a railroad open…”

          There is nothing “new” about these toxins.

          Dioxins and their first cousins furans are compounds created when chlorinated chemicals burn, explode or degrade. They are never made as a product; they are a contaminant and degradation product. They are directly related to PCBs, which are considered dioxin-like compounds.

          Dioxins were the extremely toxic component in the Vietnam War-era defoliant Agent Orange. The were at the Love Canal in Niagara Falls; they were the toxin involved in the evacuation and dissolution of Times Beach, Missouri. They are the cause of toxic shock syndrome from bleached paper tampons.

          Dioxins will sicken people or kill animals immediately,

          But then there is another level of the problem. Dioxins are 1) hormonally toxic and 2) they are extremely persistent and they then build up in the food chain, generally in lipids. They are bioactive. All this BS projected onto viruses is absolutely true for dioxins, though the contagion factor is different (running through families for instance, passed through mother’s milk, affecting whole communities through a toxic release, etc.).

          Dioxins are connected to every other toxins issue that ever lived, from DDT to PCBs to Roundup…they are orders of magnitude above in their effects…

          I wish I thought asking all the fanatic “green revolutionaries” whether they think the idea of effectively nuking an american community with Agent Orange to grease the wheels of commerce was a valid question. Lookin’ at you, al gore.

          I think we all know it’s not.

          1. John

            Perhaps, but not likely, track maintenance will be put ahead of share buy backs, C-suite bonuses, and dividends for the institutional investors who own the stock. After all, no one lives in East Palestine, Ohio. Turning a small town into a toxic waste dump concerns no one who matters. Isn’t that the way it goes?

          2. Screwball

            Toxin’s smoxins! I’m about 3 hours from there so I’m a bit worried about wind currents. Thanks for the links here on that.

            I have been watching the coverage, which has been dismal to say the least. Best I could tell CNN had zero coverage the last few days, but an article did show up today. Rather amazing IMO;

            NTSB says videos of Ohio train derailment include one showing wheel bearing in ‘final stage of overheat failure’


            In an update Tuesday, investigators said no vinyl chloride has been detected in any of the down-gradient waterways near the train derailment, and environmental teams are aerating waterways near the site.

            While there are some waterways that remain contaminated, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is confident that the contaminants are contained, said Tiffany Kavalec, chief of the division of surface water at the agency.

            What Kavalec described as “fire combustion chemicals” did flow to the Ohio River, “but the Ohio River is very large, and it’s a water body that’s able to dilute the pollutants pretty quickly,” she said.

            The chemicals are a “contaminant plume” that the Ohio EPA and other agencies have been tracking in real time. It’s believed to be moving about a mile an hour, Kavalec said.

            The “tracking allows for potential closing of drinking water intakes to allow the majority of the chemicals to pass. This strategy, along with drinking water treatment…are both effective at addressing these contaminants and helps ensure the safety of the drinking water supplies,” Kavalec said, adding that they’re pretty confident that the “low levels” of contaminants that remain are not getting passed onto customers.

            Still, authorities are strongly recommending that people in the area use bottled water for drinking, especially if their water is from a private source, such as a well.

            About 3,500 fish across 12 different species have died in Ohio’s waterways following the spill, Mary Mertz, the director of Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources, said.

            None of the 12 species affected are endangered or threatened, but it’s “still a loss of life, all the same,” she said.

            The estimation of the dead fish came after initial testing and sampling by the state agency, Mertz said. There does not appear to have been an increase in the number of fish killed since the first couple of days following the derailment.

            When asked about anecdotal reports of people getting headaches and sore throats, and of animals, such as cats and chickens, dying near the train derailment, Ohio Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said that air quality does not appear to be the source.

            “Anecdotes are challenging because they’re anecdotes,” Vanderhoff said. “Everything that we’ve gathered thus far is really pointing toward very low measurements, if at all.”

            Bold mine. Back in the 80s a pipeline near where I lived burst and toluene was released in a creek. We were evacuated since were were within a 10 mile radius if I remember right. That spill was nothing compared to this. We could smell chemical for months.

            They are obviously trying to downplay this mess, IMO. We are over 10 days since this happened and they are going to have a town hall meeting today – how many days later? That should be a doozy. This town in inhabitable IMO. What a mess.

            A complete failure of Norfolk Southern, or governments, and also our news. If this happened in Marth’s Vineyard, it would be breaking news on every channel, panel discussions 24/7 on CNN blaming someone. Imagine if Trump were still in office? The outrage machine would be pegged.

            But 5000 people in Nowhere, Ohio – the deplorables who probably voted for Trump – are only worthy of a mid-page article on CNN telling them there is nothing to see here, move along.

            Incredible. This is a mess, and one of the biggest environmental catastrophe’s in my lifetime.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              Comparisons to the air at ground zero after 9/11 are being made. The mighty EPA said the air was safe for human consumption there too.

              Maybe pfizer’s got something up its sleeve for “protection.” It’s only 2 years until the next presidential “election.” I’m sure they could keep some sort of pharmaceutical fiction going until then. They’ve done it before.

              I don’t think the democrat road to the white house goes through Ohio anywayzzzz.

        2. John Beech

          For your viewing pleasure: Windy which shows you winds across the nation. You may set your own locale and make it more personally useful.

          This link is for East Palestine, PA which is, unfortunately, not reporting at this moment in time (for whatever reason).

          No matter as surrounding reports are plenty to fill in the picture of events in the nearby atmosphere.

    2. Not Again

      Mayo Pete has proven to be a disaster doing a job that Ray LaHood did part time. Yet in the Democratic Party he is considered presidential timber. Says all you need to know about the Democrats.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Apparently MP thinks his current chances of a presidency are about those of…well, a balloon floating over North America. What an opportunity for some hot-air time on MSM but no…no signs of him inflating himself for a presidential test-flight.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Maybe the problem is that when the White House heard about the disaster in East Palestine, that they only heard the Palestine part and figured that they could totally ignore what was happening there as usual.

    4. Nikkikat

      Governor of Ohio claimed RR regulations were almost non existent. That something had to be done about it. He claimed shock at how little regulation there is of railroads. I imagine Pete was out on maternity leave again or maybe another vacation. No matter what comes up on his watch, planes running into each other, horrific train crashes. He will eventually get around to some word salad response. Wondering if he shows up to work at all.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The daily schedule of a McKinsey Associates went around a couple of years ago, and it’s just networking events with a call to advise advise client to cut costs through layoffs.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Must really suck to be mayo pete right now.

        I’d imagine it seemed like a no-brainer–give the dementia patient a couple of years of being “president,” while padding your resume with a cushy, “low-key” cabinet position playing with trains and airplanes, and letting the idpol zealots hammer the public into slobbering after the first gay prez.

        The best laid plans…

        1. marku52

          There has been a whole fleet of aviation near catastrophes lately.

          A Fedex freighter 777 almost landed on top of a SW passenger jet in Austin.
          Two taxiing planes collided at JFK
          A bus and a jet being towed collided at LAX
          A 767 taking off from Maui climbed to 2000 feet, then fell to only hundreds of feet above the water before pulling back up again. Juan Browne at Blancolirio Utoob suspected that the pilots had not entered a final altitude to the autopilot. At 2000 feet, they enabled the autopilot, which immediately headed to final altitude zero.

          And oh yeah. ATC Maui didn’t’ notice this, which occurred right at take off. Very reassuring.

          A lot a brain fade about. Is this folks suffering some long covid being forced back to work?

      1. nippersmom

        They’ve had two years to reinstate safety rules and haven’t done a damn thing. Blaming Trump at this point is a cop out.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Beg to differ. The damn thing they did was quash the recent railroad strike, one aspect of which was to call attention to unsafe operating conditions created by profit-maximizing “precision scheduled railroading.”

          You’d really think that the terrible Trump train brake sellout would have at least come up.

          1. Otis B Driftwood

            I am not defending the failure of Biden. Hardly. Just meant to point out that this is a feature of our uniparty neoliberal government. This horrible disaster would have happened no matter who is in power. The previous admin removed regulations that the current one has not restored and strengthened. They both suck.

        1. Otis B Driftwood

          This is nutz. I was not making excuses for Biden. Orange man WAS bad for weakening already tepid regulatory authorities. Biden is just as bad for not reversing that damage and improving them.

      2. ForFawkesSakes

        The politics subreddit feels exceedingly out of place on NC. That is the echo chamber of whataboutism.

    5. Duke of Prunes

      At least the local news offered some good advice about getting a checkup now so you at least have documentation of your health before the accident to help with lawsuits down the line. I don’t know how the PTB let that one slip out. Those pesky local reporters sometimes let the truth slip out.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “‘We are for peace’: Latin America rejects pleas to send weapons to Ukraine”

    The west is really getting desperate to find weapons and ammo to send to the Ukraine and is scouring the entire planet to find any. How desperate are they? The US is looking for legal loopholes so that the weapons seized by the UN going from Iran to Yemen can be given to the Ukraine. ‘The seized weapons consignment amounts to 5,000 rifles, 1.6 million rounds of ammunition for them, a score of anti-tank rockets and some 7,000 proximity fuses’ so it would only be a small package but how bad off do you have to be to go chasing over minor shipments like this?

    1. JohnA

      Maybe they could fish up the alleged 2 unexploded charges attached to the Nord stream pipes and send them. Pretty short distance to be fair.

    2. Stephen

      The ever more bellicose rhetoric from the west is clearly becoming more and more disjointed from the reality and the tangible steps taken.

      I guess it should be no surprise. You only boast of victory and talk about Spring Offensives if you can do nothing else.

      Sides that are really winning are far more focused on reality than boasting about it.

      1. communistmole

        In an article for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Jürgen Habermas, whom some consider to be the most important philosopher alive, spoke out in favor of negotiations and a compromise peace that would let both sides save face.
        His warning: “From the perspective of victory at any price, the increase in the quality of our weapons supplies has developed a momentum of its own that could push us more or less unnoticed over the threshold to a third world war. (Aus der Perspektive eines Sieges um jeden Preis hat die Qualitätssteigerung unserer Waffenlieferungen eine Eigendynamik entwickelt, die uns mehr oder weniger unbemerkt über die Schwelle zu einem dritten Weltkrieg hinaustreiben könnte).”
        On Twitter, the usual suspects are already noting his intellectual and moral bankruptcy….

        p.s. The ‘Manifest für Frieden’ by Wagenknecht/Schwarzer has meanwhile been signed by more than 450,000 people.

        1. Bugs

          Thanks for this. At least the old man has spoken up. I lost some respect for Habermas with his nearly unquestioning support for the EU project over the past 20 years. His early work was groundbreaking and those exchanges with Rawls make me nostalgic for the future we imagined.

          I signed the petition, for what it’s worth.

  8. Henry Moon Pie


    I’ve refrained from commenting on this matter because I first wanted to research when the ’85 Bears gave up 38 points.

    I’ve been a Chiefs fan since 1963 when Lamar Hunt moved the Dallas Texans to KC, and they became the Chiefs. In 1967, I had my buddies over for Cokes and chips to watch the very first Super Bowl when the Packers and a hungover Max McGee beat the Chiefs, and Lombardi announced that the Chiefs and the AFL were not NFL caliber. In 1969, the last champions of the AFL and the first majority black team in pro football, were 13.5 point underdogs to the NFL Minnesota Vikings. Pat Summerall and Frank Gifford wondered before the game if the Chiefs could possibly score against the vaunted Purple People Eaters. The Chiefs’ defense had two future Hall of Famers–at each level of the defense, line, backers and DBs for a total of six–and they destroyed the Viking offense. The Chiefs offense kept matriculating the ball down the field sufficiently until HBCU grad Otis Taylor, took a little Dawson sideline throw and took it to the house.

    That experience kept me a fan through 50 years of frustration and disappointment. The Chiefs managed one divisional playoff win during that time, and that happened only when they acquired Joe Montana after Steve Young took over at San Fran. Hall of Fame field goal kickers went haywire. Cast-off QBs weren’t up to the task. Refs picked on the Chiefs. Fifty years. Things finally reached a low point under GM Scott Pioli when the coaching staff was bugging each others’ offices. By 2012, the Chiefs had the worst record in football. A young player shot his girlfriend, then came out to the Arrowhead complex where he called out Pioli and acting coach Crennel and blew his brains out in front of them.

    Reid arrived the next year and quickly turned things around. But the playoff curse was still operative until the arrival of Mahomes. Since Mahomes has started, the Chiefs have won 5 division championships, five divisional playoff games and hosted the AFC championship five years in a row. The only times they have failed to reach the Super Bowl during that time were overtime losses to Brady and Burrow. The only Super Bowl they have lost in that stretch was to Brady when the Chiefs’ offensive line was completely swamped with injuries. Those numbers are why people are comparing the Chiefs to the 70s Dolphins and Steelers and the 90s Cowboys. Meanwhile, the Chiefs appear focused on winning more.

    I know how inconsistent my fandom is with my more serious beliefs, but for a fan of underdogs in general, to see the Chiefs from cowtown KC become the dominant team in the NFL is no time to quit watching football.

    Thus endeth my apologia.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I absolutely agree with you. “Redskins” is offensive on its face. The Indians drew attention to the name through the truly awful Joe Wahoo figure. The chop is doing neither team any favors, and as you pointed out yesterday, the Chiefs adopted it from the Braves. It’s especially ironic considering that that Braves team stole the K. C. Royals GM, John Schuerholz. Schuerholz had built the great Royals pitching staff that beat the Cardinals in ’85.

        The Chiefs and the Hunts would be smart to fund a great museum about the history of Native Americans in the Kansas City area. Fund an archaeological research institute while you’re at it.

        And get rid of the chop.

        The Chiefs, being such a small market, have escaped much attention, but not with this team and this quarterback. It’s time to clean up the act.

        It would take some “education.” A lot of Indians fans resisted getting rid of Joe Wahoo. The club listened to them, and eventually had to change the entire name. It’s too bad in a way. There have been some great Indians players and teams. Some great history too. The Indians were the first AL team to have a black player, the great Larry Doby who played a phenomenal World Series in a losing cause. That’s attenuated in a way because the team didn’t respond to very legitimate concerns for a long time.

        1. Carolinian

          I’m not sure we do agree. While I agree that Redskins–once an epithet–has a taint of racism I’d contend that Braves and Chiefs are harmless nicknames and those who don’t make the distinction are more more virtue signaling than offended. After all the clubs aren’t trying to insult their players by invoking native bravery and skill. And the same goes for the chop which I used to do myself on infrequent forays to Braves games. People are just trying to have fun here. It isn’t political and no need to make it so. IMO.

          1. Mildred Montana

            I used to wear an Indians tee-shirt in the ’80s. Looking back now, I am embarrassed that I sported Chief Wahoo on my chest–in public! Somehow, in later years, I managed to grow some sensitivity.

            Same goes for “Chiefs” and “Braves”. Time to abandon these vestiges of colonialism. They disturb me and I am by no means “woke”. Far better to start naming sports-teams after extinct or endangered species. A new kind of woke.

            1. Carolinian

              What did they rename the Cleveland Indians again? Not being a big follower of baseball I can’t even remember (ok it’s the anodyne “Guardians”).

              Which is to say surely baseball, more than almost any other sport, is about tradition. If we want to get offended perhaps it should be about how a sport that was once a principle form of working class entertainment has been turned over to season ticket holders and luxury boxes and gold plated ball parks and pay TV. I’d say that has been the true “cultural appropriation.”

              I do have a soft spot for the Braves though and say that their storied name should stay.

              1. Henry Moon Pie

                Guardians isn’t completely generic. The bridge over the Cuyahoga River right next to the stadium sports stone Roman (?) guardians at each end.

                And I do agree that it’s hard to make the case that there’s something intrinsically wrong with Braves or Chiefs. Perhaps Mildred’s point about colonialism does provide an important distinction from Vikings (why are there no Huns?). But combining a name like that with practices like the chop or logos like Chief Wahoo change the context, don’t they? I just watched about 500,000 mostly white fans combine with a team of mostly black athletes to go one for five minutes trying to sound like movie Indians. It was not a great moment in my estimation.

                There’s a statue that overlooks the scene of today’s victory celebration, old Union Station to where Harry and Bess returned 70 years ago. It’s called “The Scout” and depicts a Sioux scout on horseback surveying the region that was once home to his people. These days, I think the statue’s meaning is quite ambiguous as the Scout looks over a civilization that paid no attention to importance of the buffalo or the hawk. And there’s no question that the Chiefs, for whom a new stadium will apparently be built after hundreds of millions have just been spent “refurbishing” (making suites for rich people) Arrowhead and Royals stadiums. All this while the city’s schools are crumbling. But that’s ‘Murca.

                Meanwhile, an old man overlooks all that and enjoys the long-awaited glory of his childhood underdog team.

          2. Wukchumni

            About 75% of NFL players are African-American including the gridiron team from Humordor, why not the Washington Blackskins?

            1. Revenant

              We have had a similar furore in the UK over the Exeter Chiefs Premiership rugby team (league champions or top three in most recent years). Blatant cultural appropriation, the area has no links with the West (other than being the birthplace of John Graves Simcoe,, founder of Ontario, but that’s just more white privilege!). The name itself has a pedigree, the Chiefs are what the 1st XV is called in a club. But they added a chieftain in a headdress as a logo. :-(

              They have kept the name but ditched the imagery. Cue much antiwoke backlash but i am glad to see the branding go because it was naff and boorish. However, the replacement branding is based on the Iron Age tribe of the Dumnonii – hardly catching or visually inspiring….

    1. Don

      Thanks Henry, I didn’t know the earlier history of the Chiefs, my fandom having migrated there along with the great Andy Reid. It may explain the Chiefs knack for outperforming expectations/covering the spread, that has contributed to my non-taxable income over the past decade. Including this year. I earned a tidy sum on a very high odds bet, on the heels of Mahomes’ high ankle sprain in the Jag’s game, that Kansas City would still win the Super Bowl.

      I see your apologia, and raise you one.

    2. Wukchumni

      If we go more woke on sports team names, I like the KC Chefs for a new name, with a rack of baby-back ribs pictured on their helmets.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        We see [more than] enough of Chef Ramsey during the Super Bowl to make him an honorary “Chef.”

  9. notabanker

    Can’t have workers saving $12B a year working from home. Must get back in the office and spend that money. Nevermind out of control inflation and stagnant wages, that money belongs to the City.

    And while the C-Suite is pushing people back to the office, recruiters salivate over 100% remote jobs as they know they will be overwhelmed with CV’s. Nothing to see with these layoffs over here, get those empty positions filled pronto!

  10. Jon Cloke

    “The Indian doctor fighting to protect people against harm and ‘entrenched beliefs’ of black magic” – according to what I read, there are over 5 million acts of medical malpractice in India a year and 2.4 million die because they can’t afford treatment for curable illnesses.

    Does this doctor not think that the best way to tackle ‘black magic’ would be to make the current allopathic system less corrupt and more affordable?

    1. Oh

      This Indian doctor likes US Kool Aid. He needs to do the job that he’s supposed to do. I wonder if the article was written by the Pharma-Medical-Industrial Complex?

    2. LifelongLib

      In Europe and America up until the early 19th century at least, physicians were mainly for the rich and pretty useless anyway. The less well-off depended on wise women and cunning men of various sorts (or self-help) for their medical treatment, and for the most part weren’t much the worse for it. When physicians in the later 19th century were trying to establish themselves as the go-to guys for health issues, getting rid of the alternatives was a big part of the process. Sounds like India is going through the same thing today.

  11. Jon Cloke

    The Tories may be headed for an epochal battering – since the UK Tories have copied everything the GOP does in the US, how long do you think it will be before the first Tory MP refuses to accept losing in an election because of ‘electoral fraud’?

    The Big Steal isn’t unique to the US, you know…

    1. pjay

      I just know that it will be very gratifying to see Britain ruled again by the Party that represents *all* the people, and not just elites… oh, wait.

      It is stunning how closely the politics of all our diverse Western “democracies” have converged over the last thirty years (see also the discussion of Sweden above). In the US, watching party politics is just entertainment now, like watching professional wrestling. The “electorate” chooses sides and roots/votes for its favorite performer, but otherwise they are just the audience. Nothing fundamentally changes.

      Who knows, maybe a little excitement might stir things up, or at least expose a few more of the charlatans. That is certainly what happened after Trump won here. Unfortunately, nothing fundamentally changed after that either.

      1. digi_owl

        What happened was that the “boomers” basically gave up on the idea of a material basis for politics. And after the wall came down in particular material issues have become increasingly fringe. After all, if you want to get paid more you can get a better education they claim.

        1. LifelongLib

          Dunno. I’m a “boomer” but IIRC the infamous Powell Memorandum was written in 1971 when I was 15 and U.S. wages peaked in 1975 when I was 19. Whatever processes lead to those things were going long before anybody in my generation was of an age to even know about them, much less influence anything.

          As for education, that’s been the U.S. answer for inequality for a long time too. Don’t make life better for a share cropper, send his kids to school so they can be doctors.

    2. Michaelmas

      Jon Cloke: …long do you think it will be before the first Tory MP refuses to accept losing in an election because of ‘electoral fraud’? The Big Steal isn’t unique to the US, you know

      I don’t know how much coverage it got in the US — or should have gotten, even — but I’m over in London currently and that walking, talking Dunning-Kruger demo, Liz Truss, already got halfway there a couple of weeks ago when she tried to re-surface and re-animate her political career by claiming that —

      Liz Truss blames ‘left-wing economic establishment’ for No10 exit

      It was those commies in the City who conspired to fabricate a coup against her, apparently.

    1. Duke of Prunes

      To be a bit pedantic, aside from the artistic color ice pictures that someone seemed to photobomb into that story, ice was/is harvested from smaller inland lakes, not the Great Lakes. As a lifelong resident of the area, ice on the Great Lakes is always somewhat unpredictable.

  12. chris

    Anyone else in the Commentariat see this “big story” in the Guardian late last night? Apparently the great disinformation machine we’ve been battling is Israeli, not Russian. Not sure what to think about it because even if you have a team of dedicated, skilled actors capable of creating millions of online profiles… the capacity of any single individual and the vagaries of the algorithms are such that the recent conclusions about Russiagate seem to hold. You’re only seeing stuff online that you already want to see. So what is the actual net effect of any of this manipulation?

    The article goes on to suggest that “Team Jorge” and AIMS are doing much more than spamming Facebook with memes but I fail to see the effect of the interventions they’re describing. No one trusts the media these days. So what does it matter if they plant false stories? Everyone knows you can have your accounts hacked. So what does it matter if they post weird comments in chats and threads under your name? The side note about sending sex toys to politicians houses is cute, but what does that do? Who among us hasn’t had a bizarre Amazon delivery experience in the last 3 years?

    The Guardian claims this is a big thing but I think it is just like Cambridge Analytica. Some people have to believe this stuff can move mountains because it’s their job to either do something similar or prevent it from happening. The PMC and others who were psychically wronged by the election of Trump have to believe some great evil caused that deviation to occur. So I expect we’ll keep seeing things like this continue to leak out as people flail around for a single malicious organization at the root of it all. I don’t think all of our wannabe 007’s will be happy until they’ve found their Spector.

    1. hunkerdown

      You fail to see them because you have defined yourself as better than them while you perform the very same virtue signaling operations as they do. It’s typical PMC arrogance. All feelings, no facts.

      One cannot ignore the constitutive effects of the spam in shaping the frame of any given public discourse.

      1. chris

        I’m not sure why the ad hominem was included in that response.

        I assume that most people aren’t swayed by the random ads they see. Just like they’re not swayed by constant phone calls for extending their car warranty or all the junk mail that comes in every day. I know few people of any economic class that buy stuff based on spam they receive via email or social media. Most of the working class people I know and work with are far more skeptical than the PMC folks who have been swallowing Russiagate for the last seven years.

        We have so many cases that show us internet advertising doesn’t work. But we have so many people convinced that it’s capable of swinging elections. I don’t understand why you think spam is moving mountains here.

        1. hunkerdown

          Your model only apprehends simple persuasion, as if “rational” debate described actual processes of social decision-making. Since it is not, that model is inadequate to apprehend psychological operations, which aim to (among other things) manufacture sentiment, neutralize particular speakers and venues, reframe agendas, and rationalize official, corporate, and individual action against targets. It is well known that debate clubs fall to billy clubs, and the #KHive open-source online militia, among others, polices acceptable opinion toward Party policy on several websites using a softer stick.

          As for “advertising doesn’t work”, again the model of competitive suasion ignores how the performance of commercial values such as competition, brand loyalty, and petty judgmentalism transmits those values and thus shapes the audience’s attitude toward the world, further reinforced as those values are re-performed by media and by others so shaped. Importantly, it’s not a conscious process of debate and “decision”, but a process of conditioning and signification.

          As an exercise, you might look over your original post in that light.

    2. digi_owl

      Sadly people trust social media more than MSM these days, hacked accounts or not.

      And it is not like witch hunts and satanic panics have not happened before social media.

      And people still click the “you have won!” phishing emails no matter how many times they are told not to.

      Thing is though that this article seem to have far more evidence and talk about something that goes far beyond burning some dollars on a ad space.

      Meaning it has far more meat on the bone than Russiagate ever had.

      And the perpetrators are from a long time US “ally”, same one where a different company was found selling smartphone spyware to the highest bidder recently.

    3. Daniil Adamov

      So who exactly did they work for? Hard to even begin gauging their effectiveness without knowing that.

    4. Martin Oline

      I saw an echo of the story on RT last night and today while reading One Nation Under Blackmail vol.1, I came across a reference to an Israeli spy software program called PROMIS. I thought at first of Team Jorge but it is different, perhaps a precursor. It is covered extensively in chapter 9 – High Tech Treason, which I have not yet read as I am on chapter 6 – A Private CIA. The book is very detailed with footnotes at the end of every chapter and starts in the early part of the 20th century with a great deal of detail throughout. These books are not an easy weekend read. The author, Whitney Webb, references documentaries Where’s My Roy Cohn and The Mayfair Set, which is a multi part British series done in 1999 dealing with the privatization of English Foreign policy in 1960. Both are on YouTube but the Cohn documentary (from 2019) seems to need Starz to watch but there is a preview and some stand alone material on Cohn. I also have vol.2 of Whitney Webb’s book of the same title but it will take some time to finish them. She started as an investigation of Epstein but had to go back 90 years to document all the ties to organized crime. The end of vol.1 just gets to Robert Maxwell so I am looking forward to vol.2. Apparently PROMIS was primarily a spy software.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine Urges Civilians Out of Bakhmut as Russia Edges Closer to City”

    There are about 5,000 civilians still in Bakhmut? Uh, why? The place has been a battlefield for the past several months now. Could they not have given evacuation orders back then? if they let them stay, I can only assume that the Ukraininan authorities were cynically using them as a civilian shield so that the Russians would not just demolish that city.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        And/or have no desire to leave, especially if old and/or very long-time residents. Of course one could try and drag them out by force.

      1. Janeway

        I think a good many of them are waiting for the Russians to arrive so that they are part of Russia again.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Some don’t have a place to go (Ukraine doesn’t really do this internal refugee thing), some won’t leave their property no matter what, many are waiting for the Russians to come (regardless of all the risks).

      Other downside of moving to western parts of Ukraine, if one happens to be a male between 16 and 65, is that you would be mobilized and sent back anyway.

  14. Rob

    Moisture the key to soils’ ability to sequester carbon, research shows….

    I grew veg part time job with my brother for a road side stand and tried to research and understand soil biology. I had previously understood that soil carbon matter (soc) determine how much water soil can capture, retain, filter and not run off and create erosion. One of the major determinates of SOC is having a living root in your soil as much as possible, since they add sugar, starches and the carbon building blocks to the soil and its biology in a mutually beneficial trading network. (see Gabe Brown or Joe Salatin Utubes, or Dr. Elaine Ingham from past decade)

    From the academic paper… Abstract
    Mineral stabilization of soil organic matter is an important regulator of the global carbon (C) cycle. However, the vulnerability of mineral-stabilized organic matter (OM) to climate change is currently unknown.

    Rob ** But the funding for anything that looks at anything from a climate change perspective to maintain the climate hysteria and allow for continued grifting remains secure. **

    We examined soil profiles from 34 sites across the conterminous USA to investigate how the abundance and persistence of mineral-associated organic C varied with climate at the continental scale. Using a novel combination of radiocarbon and molecular composition measurements, we show that the relationship between the abundance and persistence of mineral-associated organic matter (MAOM) appears to be driven by moisture availability. In wetter climates where precipitation exceeds evapotranspiration, excess moisture leads to deeper and more prolonged periods of wetness, creating conditions which favor greater root abundance and also allow for greater diffusion and interaction of inputs with MAOM. In these humid soils, mineral-associated soil organic C concentration and persistence are strongly linked, whereas this relationship is absent in drier climates.

    ** Holy Crap Batman, if it rains more than it evaporates you have more wetness and root growth in the soil. A 1oo yrs ago, Albrecht in MIssouri and countless others were doing real science trying to understand soil chemistry, biology, and how the interact with the geology and climate of a region. Today this paper feels like it was written by ChatGPT which I believe to be the automation of the low level PMC cohort. **
    Good Day!

  15. JB

    Has anyone noticed that Google has been castrated in the last number of days? Trying to search anything about current events with the Ukraine War (e.g. backstory with expansion of nuclear weapons towards Eastern Europe) is turning up exclusively mainstream news articles, and nothing of use whatsoever.

    I even Googled the Nord Stream story, with Seymour Hersh’s name – and 10 pages in, Google doesn’t even show his Substack or the original story.

    Looks like it’s been super-nerfed/locked-down.

      1. Synoia

        Google has lost it;s “Go, from m now on it is to be called “Ogle”, because ogling is its mission for the blob.

        I nave my suspicions that Google is an, and always was, an arm of the Blob, and free from any of the limits which the blob has to observe.

      2. JB

        Yes, I haven’t really tried other search engines much – I think the last time was most of a decade ago – as I’m kind of used to what I could eke out of Google searches.

        I don’t think any have been quite as good as Google was, yet – but then if Google have just destroyed the usefulness of their search engine, might as well…

      3. jrkrideau

        Yandex but the buttons have Russian labels.

        Opera seems to often give rather different results from Google.

        DDG often seems the same as Google.

    1. JBird4049

      Speaking of super-nerfing, how about not just hiding or even de-indexing the information, but flat-out disappearing it?

      I just went to find some information on Vietnam’s Agent Orange‘s dioxin problem and discovered that some information on another site,, had disappeared. Since the Wayback machine shows that it had existed from March 11, 2014 to December 28, 2022. Today, it is not there.

      I also listen to Jennifer Briney’s podcast Congressional Dish. While preparing her latest one on the Congressional follies dealing with Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Commanders, sexual abuse of his staff and the owners’ associations dealing with it or the lack thereof, she or her tiny staff found that some of the videos on the hearings have gone missing. Not just on those hearing, but on other hearings as well.

      She says that she does not really know what is going on and that she has not evidence that she can present. However, she suspects both parties are going through the video files, whenever they are in charge of the House, then pulling out embarrassing files; files that use to be easily gotten on the government website have just gone away, but C-SPAN is keeping its own videos available.

      You can hear her podcast for a tiny bit more, but really it’s OMG, missing videos, here’s what we know, which isn’t much, and here’s what we plan on doing. It is incidental to the rest of the episode.

      On Dioxin, I just happen to remember some stuff, and stumbled on this really quickly. I am merely competent at doing good research; then there is the increasingly obvious the increasing degradation of Google; It makes me wonder just how deliberately clueless or incapable our ostensibly professional news media is being. One would hope that the staff at Pravda and Izvestia would be ashamed, but that would mean being self aware.

      1. JBird4049

        The Snopes’ article does an excellent job of smearing Seymour Hersh using the appearance of being dispassionate. It makes Hersh’s story to be just like what the Snopes’ story actually is/

    1. The Rev Kev

      As Project Ukraine blows up in people’s faces,they are looking to blame others and right now there is some finger-pointing and finger-wagging at Hungary for not toeing the NATO line which you can see in this Guardian article-

      I think that Samantha Power here is a legend in her own mind. The Hungarians aren’t stupid. They know her for the viper that she is.

      1. John

        I think the USA is afflicted with terminal hubris or is it chutzpah? Are hubris and chutzpah the same or different or does one amplify the other? Whatever the case it is about time for the crazed ones to be restrained until they come to their senses.

        Assuming Biden is not all in with the crazies, and that is doubtful, the world would be a better place were he to fire Blinken, Nuland, Sullivan, and Power for openers to a thorough housecleaning to banish the warmongers … okay, you can call them Neocons if that makes you feel better… but I like warmonger and Neo-imperialist better. Credentialed cretins who mistake what takes place on a screen or an official report or raw, if already laundered to their taste, intelligence have no business in positions that get other people killed.

        1. digi_owl

          They are easily confused, much like respect vs fear.

          Or maybe it is one when the antics pays off, and the other when it blows up in their face.

          1. JBird4049

            Hubris is more like arrogant and extremely self important, and chutzpah leans toward asking unreasonably too much.

            I am like a god, you peon. Don’t you dare question me. (Hubris)

            I know I just killed my parents, but could you give me mercy because I am an orphan? (chutzpah)

        2. jrkrideau

          Well if Hersh is correct it was Biden, Blinken, Nuland & Sullivan who dreamed up the Nord Stream attack. “Assuming Biden is not all in with the crazies” isnot a good bet.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        I don’t know why Orban let her into the country. He obviously knows why she’s there. Wouldn’t it be something if he arrested her for subversive, anti-government activity?

        1. hunkerdown

          If you were Orban, wouldn’t you like to know who she’s meeting with, and who they are meeting with in turn? I’m sure his state police would, if nothing else.

      1. pjay

        Thank you for these. They each provide a little more information. In particular, along with the War Nerd interview with Ames, they show how bizarrely wrong Helmer was in his interpretation that Hersh and his source were sympathetic with US/NATO war aims, somehow reading into the text something was not there at all.

          1. pretzelattack

            it has, but I think she recently starting turning left again, who knows why. I think she opposed extraditing Assange for example, after smearing him for a long time. The New York Times switched on this issue too, iirc. maybe it has something to do with opposing factions within the blob, pseudopoding it out.

            1. digi_owl

              The wokes are being discarded by the neocons as a liability as the public blowback is mounting, and they are biting back?

        1. hunkerdown

          If one is accused of producing a limited hangout, it might not be as effective as one might like to take one’s spiel to a radio show accused of being controlled opposition.

          1. pjay

            I disagree. That’s like Mate or Greenwald being criticized for appearing on Tucker Carlson, even if it provides an opportunity to present a censored story to a large audience. In this case, the audience isn’t as large, but it represents those on the “left” who most need to hear such a story. Given the massive censorship, any opportunity to get this out to a larger audience is a positive.

        2. pjay

          I was very interested to see how Democracy Now would cover this. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. They basically let Hersh do his thing – sometimes by his insisting on finishing his points despite their attempts to reign him in. And part of that message was a very *strong* assertion of his views on the larger geopolitical context in which the Nord Stream sabotage is situated, and the possible disastrous consequences for the US. He also made clear his contempt for Putin derangement hysteria.

          There were some unintentionally humorous moments. E.g., Goodman’s long intro noted Hersh’s biggest stories, My Lai up to Abu Graib, but stopped before his crucial work on Syria – on which DN coverage was abysmal. Same with their questions regarding press coverage, which cited examples from Iraq but omitted later examples where Democracy Now was very much part of the disinformation agenda. Of course the role of Russiagate propaganda was not addressed, another miserable DN performance.

          Nevertheless, Hersh was able to get out a very strong statement of his own story, on a platform harder for so-called “progressives” to ignore.

          1. Sibiryak

            Amy Goodman: [Hersh’s piece] looks at one of the great mysteries of the past year: Who was behind the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines…

            Lol. But yes, given DN’s atrocious coverage of the Ukraine war, this interview came as a pleasant surprise.

            Particularly noteworthy– given the US sources Hersh relies on– was this assessment:

            …we’ve got a president, a Democratic president, that has done some good stuff domestically, but I can tell you I’m not understanding the total commitment to Ukraine.

            And I’m not understanding what I read, because, obviously, I have access to a lot of people who see things

            […]… the bottom line is, the stories I’ve been getting about the war, particularly beginning in fall — and that’s what gets interesting — have been pretty dire. The Russians, I don’t think — I think the end is just a question of time. Right now it’s a question of how many more people Zelensky wants to kill of his own people.

            1. pjay

              Yes, that last statement was quite striking. I have a feeling Hersh is headed for Myrotvorets’ Ukraine enemies list – if he isn’t there already.

            2. digi_owl

              Question is, does he consider them “his people”?

              At times it seems like the Banderites are performing ethnic cleansing by placing the “undesirables” at the very front, while their own are hunkered down further back.

              1. The Rev Kev

                And as often as not in Punisher battalions stationed behind the front lines to make sure that no regular army troops retreat or refuse to fight.

                1. digi_owl

                  Complete with face masks befitting their name.

                  As i saw elsewhere recently an “oh so cool” image be posted of an Ukrainian drone pilot. Sporting some FPV googles and a face covering with Marvel’s Punisher skull logo printed on.

                  Up there with Anon adopting the Fawkes mask from V for Vendetta, when Fawkes himself was a catholic trying to blow up the protestant parliament.

        3. Oh

          Curly Dan,
          Thanks for the link. I gave up on Democracy Now quite a long time ago. Maybe now they’ve grown a pair. I wish these interviewers had not interrupted with long questions and had let Sy talk first and had had a Q&A session at the end. It looked like the other interviewer (not Amy) was boosting his own ego. I wanted to hear more from Sy and will look forward to his reporting with more on this subject as well as other matters. God bless him.

  16. dftbs

    Kelton and Mosler’s tweets are quite ahead of the curve, and indicative of what I think is the new world we are entering. Those PhD theses that Mosler refers to weren’t written when the national debt was $31 trillion. In this new world increasing government interest payments on debt do work at a cross-purpose to rate hikes.

    The Fed may actually be more constricted than they believe, they need to be less accommodative to asset prices, but their primary tool is going to work against them. Yet the inverse, lower rates, isn’t necessarily the solution; no ZIRP, rates need to be high enough as to dissuade speculative investments that yield only financial growth. They are already reducing their balance sheet, but actively selling their portfolio may create some incredible (existential?) stress on Treasury market.

    Unfortunately it seems to me that it’s government action, away from the central bank, which is needed to fight inflation. The government needs to reduce non-productive/inflationary spending and foster productive capacity. The most non-productive/inflationary spending is defense spending. Even if our defense industry wasn’t a large grift, the very nature of war is inflationary and decreases the capacity of society to undertake productive endeavors. Of course since we don’t live in a society, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    1. tiebie66

      On the face of it, it sounds like a vindication of Erdoganomics that higher rates cause inflation, not reduce it.

  17. skk

    Re: Superbowl and the holding call

    A resurrected a 2 year old post came in my Twitter feed yesterday:

    This is his TLDR:

    The NFL is the major US sports league whose game and season outcomes have the most potential to be influenced by individual officiating actions;

    The game actions which result in penalties in the NFL occur often enough that they could be called on nearly every play, creating significant room for ‘legitimate’ calls that would change betting outcomes;

    Media narratives for the NFL increasingly frame the sport as being about betting and gambling outcomes;

    As this has taken place, NFL media narratives are also increasingly framing outcomes as being about officiating actions; and

    We think this shift in common knowledge could change the league’s control over its own narrative.

    1. Late Introvert

      Football is called a game of inches and I think that tells the story. It’s a complete fake job. First and foremost where the official places the ball. Like they have laser vision? LOL. Then when they pull it out of the piles of men all struggling to grab it from each other after the play is over. I could go on but it bores me too much. It’s a joke.

      I can’t believe people actually think the NFL is real in any way, and disappointed at NC readers who do.

  18. antidlc

    RE: “Association of COVID-19 Vaccination With Risk for Incident Diabetes After COVID-19 Infection ”

    looks like this study was referenced on

    Diabetes Risk Jumps After Covid Infection, Study Finds—Vaccination Seems To Offer Some Protection

    A Covid-19 infection increases the risk of developing diabetes, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA Network Open, confirming previous research and underscoring the long-term health risks the virus poses as the world steadily adapts to living with Covid in the long term.

    The finding is consistent with a growing body of research showing that patients who contract Covid are at an increased risk of being diagnosed with a range of metabolic and cardiovascular problems in the months after infection.

    Also on the MSN website:
    New study suggest people previously infected with COVID-19 could have increased risk for diabetes

    An alarming new study out of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center suggests that people who have previously been infected with COVID-19 could stand at increased risk for new-onset diabetes.

    The study’s results, conducted by investigators at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai “have confirmed that people who have had COVID-19 have an increased risk for new-onset diabetes — the most significant contributor to cardiovascular disease.”

    Let’s just let it rip. Yeah, that’s a great idea.

    I’m am livid today. My one last healthcare refuge (my PCP) decided masks were no longer mandatory.

  19. Jason Boxman

    On Blinken’s comment, it sounds hilariously like what the United States did at the end of the 19th century. The spirit of adventurism ran hot, and the United States in rapid succession conquered the Philippines and Cuba from Spain. Teddy Rosevelt, as assistant secretary of the Navy, was particularly hungry for imperialist expansion abroad, but nearly all of Congress was in a war frenzy. Hawaii also saw US annexation at this time, by joint resolution of Congress. The newspapers were in on the game as well.

    The horrors remain, the names of the players simply change, along with the scale of the devastation possible with the latest technological implements, such as the Battleship in that era.

  20. Sub-Boreal

    Fans of soils & forests may be interested in an academic dust-up concerning the work of University of British Columbia forest ecologist Suzanne Simard. (Full disclosure: we have some shared research interests, and both worked in the BC Forest Service at earlier stages in our careers, but have never formally collaborated.)

    After producing a solid body of research work related to silviculture, esp. interactions between crop tree species and other vegetation in managed forests, Simard achieved wider recognition after publishing part of her PhD studies. In a 1997 paper in Nature she demonstrated that seedlings of different tree species (birch & Douglas-fir) could transfer carbon to each other via linkages between root systems enabled by a type of symbiotic fungi called mycorrhizae.

    This began a now decades-long program of research which really blossomed after Simard made the switch to academia. Her group has explored these belowground linkages in a variety of forest settings, and Simard hasn’t been shy about discussing the implications of her findings for practical forest management, such as the impacts of clearcutting and the role of non-crop vegetation in managed forest stands.

    Unusually for an academic ecologist, Simard has received a lot of attention in the popular media, particularly after publication of a personal memoir which is being developed into a movie.

    This area of research is not my specialty – I’m not forest ecologist or soil biologist – so I really don’t have a dog in this fight, but recently it has become apparent that others working in those fields have reservations about some of the extensions / depictions, including popular recastings, of Simard’s findings. Those doubts appear to have crystallized in a new review article, provocatively entitled “Positive citation bias and overinterpreted results lead to misinformation on common mycorrhizal networks in forests”. (Further background in accompanying press release.)

    As a bystander, I’m finding this all quite fascinating – watching some pretty top-flight people working out, in public, their differing interpretations of natural phenomena which have obvious practical implications for how we manage forests.

    1. Ghost in the Machine

      I am not familiar with her work, but if it implies that we should not clear cut and not grow monoculture forests then the first thing I would do is look at the finding sources of those critiquing her work.

  21. Jason Boxman

    From: Trump’s last Defense secretary takes on the ‘American war machine’

    This non-engagement worldview can seem out of step with the current threats posed by Russia’s war in Ukraine and China’s increasing belligerence toward Taiwan.

    So consider this: During the great supply chain panic of 2021-22, we had container ships, hundreds and hundreds, piled up along the cost of CA. Scores of them. As far as the eye could see. Like an invasion force.

    And hacks like Pelosi, the Obama and Biden administrations, seem to think somehow we can engage in a war with China over Taiwan, and the United States as a society won’t collapse entirely in a month when those ships stop coming!

    LOL. Talk about a disconnect from reality.

    1. Screwball

      And the same people with yellow and blue flags in their yards are cheering that on too. I have brought up that exact point. “Do you have any idea what we import from China, and what would happen if that all of sudden stopped?” That was poo-pooed in a hurry; how dare me ask such a question, are you working for the Kremlin?

      Another question I like to ask, especially after the pipeline thing. If one of these countries really wanted to throw a monkey wrench into America, all they would have to do is snip an undersea communication cable. Let’s say it happened to be the fiber optic cable running from London to NY. The fallout would be a little more disruptive than a flash crash.

      We keep F’ing around with the world. Someday we’re going to find out, as the old saying goes.

      1. Jason Boxman

        No, seriously, you were shot down as unpatriotic? These people are insane. But then no surprise, Russiagate is the biggest conspiracy in recent history, and the believers are devout indeed.

        But a functional polity you cannot have in this state of delusion. Fear for “democracy”.

        1. Screwball

          Absolutely I was. Yes, they are insane. I couldn’t agree more. PMC people. The only thing they know is to defend the administration.

          Just the other day I was called a conspiracy theorist because I said the government was telling Twitter what to censor (as shown in the Twitter Files). I was laughed out of the room, made fun of, mocked, and called a Putin puppet. Of course they hate Musk as much as Trump – so anything Twitter is bad.

          I haven’t told them that the entire Russiagate stuff was BS – yet. Yuk, yuk, yuk. :-)

  22. ryan

    re: interest rates and inflation.
    I’m a bit confused about the position of the heterdox economics bunch -edit probably a heterogenous bunch- about the role of interest rates and inflation especially concerning this take from Mosler that is essentially arguing in favor of low rates because it is “progressive” because it -paraphrasing- “gives less money to the rich people.” Don’t the super wealthy have most of their wealth in some sort of asset class? And my understanding, maybe misguided, from Keen, Stoller, even Karsan etc. is that interest rates have a less direct effect on the real economy ie inflation and the primary effect is on asset classes with low rates booning assets as it basically increases the amount of risk/leverage that people can take on assets. Higher rates means less leverage meaning less fuel for the asset bubbles. Am I missing something here? Mosler seems way off with this.

  23. Willow

    Biden going to Poland on 20th Feb to give Poland go ahead to enter conflict? Well know for both WW1 & WW2 things were set up to suck US into both wars. Why Milley has come out so emphatically that Russia has lost the war & “Putin has been defeated ‘strategically, operationally and tactically’ and is now a ‘global pariah'”?

    Trying to sucker others into believing now’s the time to enter war while Russia is supposedly on its last knees?

    1. Wukchumni

      The coalition of billing would be better served to go to Poland on April 20, in keeping with our newfound freedom fighters preferences.

    2. Willow

      Which reinforces the conclusion that the tanks being ‘donated’ were really for Polish (already trained) forces and not for Ukraine.

  24. Wukchumni

    the Guinness Book of World Records recognises a point near Vilnius as the continent’s centre (Wiki)

    53 miles west of Vilnius
    53 miles west of Vilnius
    53 miles west of Vilnius
    53 miles west of Vilnius

    53 miles west of Vilnius
    53 miles west of Vilnius
    53 miles west of Vilnius
    53 miles west of Vilnius

    53 miles west of Vilnius
    53 miles west of Vilnius
    53 miles west of Vilnius
    53 miles west of Vilnius

    West of Vilnius

    53 Miles West of Venus, by the B-52’s

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