Links 3/1/2023

China’s Zhurong rover reveals complex layers beneath the surface of Mars

12 exotic bacteria found to passively collect rare earth elements from wastewater (press release) NewsWise


Semiconductor industry: To Hell with the environment, start building fabs already The Register

Green colonialism is flooding the Pacific Northwest High Country News

New results provide close-up view of melting underneath Thwaites Glacier Thwaites Glacier and Antarctica’s ‘Doomsday’ glacier is ‘in trouble’ Sky News

How did the forest develop at the Hailuogou glacier area? Soils Matter, Get the Scoop. Of interest beyond the one glacier.


81% of toilet samples from US-bound planes had Omicron RNA Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. “Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for superspreading planes” [whistles].

Whole campus wastewater surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 for COVID-19 outbreak management Water Science and Technology. From the Abstract: “Results were used to create a ‘traffic-light’ scheme allowing the Technion’s COVID-19 task force to track COVID-19 spatiotemporal spread on the campus, and consequently, contain it before high morbidity levels develop.”

Assessing the impact of one million COVID-19 deaths in America: economic and life expectancy losses Nature. From the Discussion: “These findings highlight life expectancy reductions of a magnitude unprecedented since the 1918 influenza pandemic. The million COVID-19 deaths between February 2020 and May 2022 have resulted in a drop in life expectancy at birth by 3.08 years; at age 35, by 3.02 years; and at age 65, by 2.07 years. These losses have effectively reversed all gains made in the last 40 years. Reductions for Hispanic populations are twice as large as the reductions for the non-Hispanic White population. Reductions for the Black population are twice as large as the reductions for the Asian population, who had the lowest reductions.”

Past SARS-CoV-2 infection protection against re-infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis The Lancet. From the Abstract: “Protection from past infection against re-infection from pre-omicron variants was very high and remained high even after 40 weeks. Protection was substantially lower for the omicron BA.1 variant and declined more rapidly over time than protection against previous variants. Protection from severe disease was high for all variants.”


China’s factory output smashes forecasts with decade-high growth Al Jazeera

Apple Suppliers Are Racing to Exit China, AirPods Maker Says Bloomberg

All eyes on how Chinese leadership will address citizens’ concerns in upcoming annual meetings Channel News Asia

China raises status of international law studies in push for home-grown global expertise South China Morning Post. So China won’t be building truly global institutions like ISDS or the World Bank anytime soon?


Modi govt allowed Adani coal deals it knew were ‘inappropriate’ Al Jazeera

Adani group to repay $790 million share-backed loans, says report Business Standard

European Disunion

The region that’s experimenting with government by lottery The New European

Dear Old Blighty

Inside the secret talks that broke Brexit deadlock on Northern Ireland FT

New Not-So-Cold War

Situation in Bakhmut is “much worse than officially reported,” Ukrainian soldiers say CNN

Drone crashes in failed attack southeast of Moscow, regional governor says Reuters and New Type Of Kamikaze Drone Appears In Russian City Near Ukraine Border The Drive

* * *

European antiwar protests gain strength as NATO’s Ukraine proxy war escalates The Gray Zone. Shot:


Certainly German public opinion is not unified.

Kiev forces have big Nazi problem: former US soldier to RT Al Mayadeen

* * *

Ukraine requested 128 F-16s from United States New Voice of Ukraine. That’s a lot.

Zelensky Requests U.S. Tank Autographed By Shaquille O’Neal The Onion

* * *

The Conversation About Ukraine Is Cracking Apart Stephen Walt, Foreign Policy. The deck: “What government officials are saying in public, and private, is fascinating—and full of contradictions.” But not always:

Maybe in ten years or so she can be at the front!

Does Russia risk disintegration? Experts’ Perspectives Russia.Post

Geostrategic competition and US, Chinese, and Russian overseas basing Brookings Institution

China’s Plan for Ukraine Is No Plan at All The Diplomat

* * *

Briefing by the Chief of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Protection Troops of Russian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov on the West preparations for large-scale provocations involving toxic chemicals in Ukraine Video (C).

Soils of War: the Toxic Legacy for Ukraine’s Breadbasket Reuters

* * *

‘Shameful Day For Chess’ Says European Chess Union As Russia Formally Joins Asia Chess

Biden Administration

Biden to tap Julie Su as next Labor secretary Politico

White House: No more TikTok on gov’t devices within 30 days AP

FISA failures: Biden DOJ’s push to renew powers puts spotlight on controversial actions Washington Examiner. FISA.


House panel lays out ‘existential struggle’ with China in primetime debut The Hill

US lawmaker introduces bill aimed at limiting Fed’s authority on digital dollar Coin Telegraph

The Supremes

Biden’s student-loan forgiveness plan gets cold reception from conservative justices SCOTUSblog

U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear oil firms’ appeal of coastal lawsuit ruling NOLA

Our Famously Free Press

A new economic engine for culture On Substack

Rail Lobbyists Pay Politico To Tout Train Safety Lever News


Future Fords Could Repossess Themselves and Drive Away if You Miss Payments The Drive (LawnDart).

Roald Dahl ebooks ‘force censored versions on readers’ despite backlash The Times

* * *

Twitter’s decentralized alternative Bluesky arrives as an invite-only iOS app The Verge

Replika users fell in love with their AI chatbot companions. Then they lost them ABC Australia

Supply Chain

The rise of crude tanker ‘cannibals’ in wake of Russia-Ukraine war Freight Waves

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

JPMorgan resists attempts to depose Jamie Dimon in Epstein lawsuits FT

Zeitgeist Watch

Predictors of enhancing human physical attractiveness: Data from 93 countries Evolution and Human Behavior:

Survey data from 93,158 human participants across 93 countries provide evidence that behaviors such as applying makeup or using other cosmetics, hair grooming, clothing style, caring for body hygiene, and exercising or following a specific diet for the specific purpose of improving ones physical attractiveness, are universal. Indeed, 99% of participants reported spending >10 min a day performing beauty-enhancing behaviors. The results largely support evolutionary hypotheses: more time was spent enhancing beauty by women (almost 4 h a day, on average) than by men (3.6 h a day), by the youngest participants (and contrary to predictions, also the oldest), by those with a relatively more severe history of infectious diseases, and by participants currently dating compared to those in established relationships. The strongest predictor of attractiveness-enhancing behaviors was social media usage.

I’m a guy, 3.6 hours? I’m really bringing down the curve!

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Build-Nothing Country Noahpinion (Re Silc). On regulations, specifically permitting:

What matters is not how big America’s spreadsheet numbers are, but how much physical stuff we get. And yet as a society we’ve decided to award people with stasis instead of stuff. In many dysfunctional societies, the government’s guarantee of economic inclusion comes in the form of a specific physical good — usually, cheap fuel. In the United States, the in-kind subsidy we provide our people is the option to keep their world from changing.

Spiraling housing costs in any city with real economic opportunity, a floundering energy transition, and the inexorable migration of manufacturing to more development-friendly countries have become so severe that we must dispense with our collective illusion that America will always look like it looked in 1975. Slashing the thicket of red tape that prevent development, and subordinating local interests to the needs of the nation itself, are no longer idle dreams — they are immediate necessities.

I know plenty of people who would scream with joy if their lives were like they were in 1975, and would scoff at the notion that their world had not changed (for the worse, I might add). I sympathize with the writer’s position — how we build subways really is ridiculous — but the picture is bigger.

Class Warfare

Responding to Attacks on Payday’s Investigations into Sexual Misconduct in the Labor Movement Payday Report

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. griffen

    Let’s give Ukraine all that they need. Let’s also cut food stamps for the hungry and needy in the US, American citizens can pray for manna from heaven if the food bank should run out.

    No Defense Contractor Left Behind. What a country.

    1. timbers

      You forgot Congress also needs to bail out railroads. The latest spat of toxic chemical spills is a sign they are struggling. Perhaps a bailout for Norfolk Southern can be included in the next bill to fund Ukraine pensions and welfare programs. And let’s add immunity for Norfolk Southern chemical spill as well.

      1. jefemt

        Warren and BN need a bailout. Bill Gates divested from his Candian Pacific holdings. He’s gone nuclear!

      2. Barnabas

        Such a cynic~ The word of the hour among the globalists is

        MUFUUKR! Must Fund Ukraine!

        Besides LNG and enhanced grain sales, (Americans must pay the increased prices for as long as it takes to free Ukraine), plus weapons mega profits, and providing a hopeful future feeding opportunity on the Russian people and economy by the Wall Street parasites, the contamination of Ukraine’s soils means that Bill Gates’ buying American farmland is yet another win-win.

    2. pjay

      Could we give Timothy Snyder a weapon and send him over as well? It would make his daughter proud, I’d be happier, and we’d all be a little smarter for it.

      1. hk

        While we are at it, we can raise SS Yale Volunteer Division with his likes and send it to Ukraine.

        1. hunkerdown

          Let’s just send every single faculty, administrator, and student at Yale over there with their daddy’s credit cards and wish them good luck. Same for every think tank and other elite institution in this country. Let the war-horny be forced to play their own games on their own time with their own skin. If they have a problem with that, they shouldn’t have associated themselves with the ideological means of war production.

          1. Barbara

            Yesterday, former comedian and new billionaire Vlad Zelensky speculated that America will eventually be required to send Ukraine its sons AND DAUGHTERS to die helping fight the Proxy War. He has been widely quoted as saying, “The US will have to send their sons and daughters exactly the same way as we are sending our sons and daughters to war… because it’s NATO that we’re talking about, and they will be dying.”

            1. chris

              I heard he was quoted saying that. I can’t quite believe he’d be that stupid. If there’s one way to get the Blue Anon crowd to stop supporting external war it’s threatening their kids. Given the recruitment issues we currently have I don’t think we’d be able to staff up for any conflict of that sort without a draft. So…good luck Volodymryr. I’m sure you’ll see US kids fighting in your country soon. Right after those shiny new M1A1’s show up…

      2. jefemt

        It appears her daughter gave all but her life(so far). She is all-in — an early adopter!
        Next up, reading The Philosophers on “Just and Moral” war.

        Which weapon system would Jesus buy and supply to the Ukes? We’re not in Hawaii anymore…

    3. Bosko

      I just read an op-ed in the local podunk daily newspaper that has managed, through its amplifying of AP articles and cartoonishly simplistic representations of world politics, to drum up liberal bloodthirst among local voters. A local anti-war activist was against the Vietnam war, against the Iraq war, but now he realizes that war is good and Putin must be stopped at all costs. I detested Trump and everything about him, but really, in this climate, someone tell me why an antiwar voter would NOT vote Trump?

    4. Adam Eran

      Worse: let’s cut welfare (thanks Clinton & Newt!) making AFDC into TANF, a block grant–so it profits states to deny assistance. Before (AFDC) 76% of those needing assistance got it. After: 26%

      Who needs enemies when you can have D’s?!

      The agenda is positively demonic. It’s “labor discipline” (“You had better take whatever crappy job is on offer or suffer the indignities of poverty, even homelessness or starvation…and if you’re extra ornery, we’ll put you in a cage!”)

  2. vao

    Raise your hand if, upon seeing the antidote, your first thought was: “what a strange exotic flower”.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > antidote

        I apologize profusely. I plead a bad case of Overwhelmed By Cuteness and throw myself on the mercy of the Commentariat. In fact, I thought it was so cute I saved it for several days in order to use it.*

        In mitigation, I didn’t nail ‘im to the perch, but tied ‘im.

        NOTE * To be clear, I never game the antidote. It should always be a real animal. Mistakes were made.

        1. Eclair

          Lambert, the cute antidote worked for me! I experienced at least 15 seconds (maybe 30) of reduced blood pressure, release of endorphins, and that feeling that somewhere in the world something or someone is soooooo adorable and fluffy ….. Maybe it was simply a placebo effect, but it was ‘real.’

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      vao: Yes, a flower.

      Yet the feet are wrong and look as if they are covered with cloth. I also see a string on the branch.

      Are we being hoaxed?

      1. ambrit

        That bottom “branch” is too smooth of a curve to be natural. The eyes are also a bit “googly;” and such wild ‘feathers.’ Wouldn’t a “real” birds feathers be in smooth layers? If it is a real bird, then it has just had a wash and blow dry.
        Count me as skeptical.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Agreed. And the eyes themselves are misaligned when they should be lined up in the same direction. They even look like glass.

          I wonder if an AI would pick up on all this?

          1. Kevin Smith

            Looks like the result when something like GPT was given a command like: “Created the image of a little fluffy white owl crossed with a white feather duster.”

    2. Howard

      Later replies on this thread gave me the vibe of the people going over the typeface and such on Obama’s birth certificate.

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘My then nine-year-old daughter donated her entire life savings to Ukrainian humanitarian causes. That was one year ago. Enough with the incrementalism. Give the Ukrainians all that they need.’

    The dad here is a Yale professor. And yet he let his daughter give her entire life savings to a country that even before the war was acknowledged as the most corrupt country in Europe. When that little girl becomes a teenager in three or four years time, he had better hope that she does not hold that against him or there will be hell to pay. Because it will have been all his fault. And by then all the stories of the wartime corruption and having Zelensky now sitting on his billions in his Miami mansion will be out in the open so dear old dad will not be able to ignore it.

    1. Polar Socialist

      You mean when the daughter finds an non-burned copy of Orwell and tells daddy how she finds the forever war with Russia so similar with the war with Eastasia in the book, and daddy has to tell her to keep her voice down for heavens sake

      1. The Rev Kev

        You think that when she is a teenager in about three years time, that daddy can get her to donate her rebuilt life savings to the people of Taiwan?

    2. Pat

      Oh it will probably go deeper as she realizes not only did he use her best instincts against her and help others con her, but that he used her to propagandize this choice to encourage others to waste money on Nazis and con artists. All this done when people in this country were increasingly ill, hungry and homeless. Or even worse she’ll recognize the endless agony this country has helped inflict in other countries, see Yemen, and that people like her father enabled with the same ignorant thoughtless and perhaps even racist political loyalty.

      1. hunkerdown

        Unlikely. That theory of mind is based purely on liberal-Christian mythology. She’s a daughter of privilege and it will fall to her to uphold the social order through the preservation and manipulation of the emotional, factual, and (through police) physical weaknesses of the inferior classes.

    3. hemeantwell

      The WSWS’ excellent demolition of her dad’s work was recently linked here. With the combo of egregious politics and the deliberate distortion of the work of other scholars in his field he puts the cad in academic.

    4. semper loquitur

      But those funds were an investment! Think of all the moralizing and status-puffing he will get to engage in at Yale cocktail parties! My little angel is on the right side of history! And consider the investment opportunities in a subjugated Russia! She’ll make her money back in spades!

      Fear not though. His darling’s bank account will be refilled quickly, come what may, and will soon be accruing interest. With Dad’s encouragement and support, she will be well positioned for her double mastectomy and name change at 16.

      1. petal

        Yep, I thought “He’s a Yale professor-she’ll be fine and get plenty more $$ as if it(the donation) never happened.” Now she can use that donation for points on her school and uni applications.

    5. wendigo

      More likely she will go on to realize the problem was with her fellow nine year olds who did not contrbute.

      Should be a market for a book tour promoting what we could have done if we only tried harder.

    6. Jason Boxman

      I dunno, trying to help people you’re told are being hurt might be suggestive of someone that has and will have better foreign policy intuition than any of the morons that run the Washington Consensus today. Maybe this child should be put in charge instead?

      1. hunkerdown

        No, she’s just learning to virtue signal early, and demonstrating for others how to be easily manipulable by suggestions of pain. Those people tend to form noble classes who style for themselves an exclusive right to appropriate society’s emotional labor power. If moral sentiment weren’t a capitalist scam, Empathy™ would have worked by now.

        1. Not Again

          Well, we know she’s a Democrat. She gave everything to Ukraine and nothing to East Palestine.

          1. semper loquitur

            A recent Quillete podcast featured a former Yale student who described how the Woke student’s were all in on helping the downtrodden overseas but who studiously avoided the homeless encamped about the campus.

            1. hunkerdown

              “The poor you shall always have with you“. Box ticked, job done. If they did not exist, they would have to be created.

        2. Jason Boxman

          I didn’t realize we started in on teaching them evil so early. Thanks for the bleak picture!

    7. johnherbiehancock

      when I read stories that have “the precocious pre-teen” trope, I reflexively assume the author just made them up.

      There were a lot of those on twitter in 2016, from the same Hillary-supporting liberals that hated Sanders, roundly mocked at the time.

    8. NN Cassandra

      First thing that came to my mind was, when he is demanding that everyone gives all to Ukraine, if HE is donating all his life savings, assets, earnings, etc. to Ukraine. I think it’s very telling that it didn’t occur to him he could be included in this group that is supposed to stop incrementing and instead go full monty.

    9. Gregorio

      If he really wants to juice the virtue signaling, he should donate all HIS life savings to Ukraine.

    10. Skip Intro

      Netflix already has the Navalny and White Helmets team working on the dramatization, code named The Littlest Nazi.

    11. juno mas

      Yes, it was a ‘teaching moment’ and Prof. Dad missed the moment. Academia today!

    12. ChrisPacific

      He doesn’t say how much money the ‘entire life savings’ amounted to. If she has the saving habits of most nine-year-olds, it could be a week or two worth of pocket money.

  4. DJG, Reality Czar

    Al-Mayadeen, Kiev Forces and Their Nazi Problem. The story mainly of John McIntyre + (the article, unfortunately, wanders off at the end).

    Yes, it is one person’s story. Someone who claims to have defected to Russia to offer testimony.

    And yet this rings true:
    ‘Furthermore, he [McIntyre] said he had to conceal his own anti-fascist and Communist views so as not to draw too much attention from Ukrainian soldiers, highlighting how some Western mercenaries told him that “the Russians aren’t the Nazis, we are the Nazis.” ‘

    This is an anecdote that might appear in Kaputt by Curzio Malaparte. It is all too true.

    And yet, just a couple of days ago, Hillary “She’s Still Here, Folks” Clinton was calling for the overthrow of Vladimir Putin.

    The U S of A, having evolved to where it now is, is the land of impunity for deplorables like Clinton. She’s only too happy to out-genocide Madeleine Albright and pad her résumé.

  5. CoryP

    Wait.. the defecting mercenary has “Communist views”? People contain multitudes I guess. (I’ll have to watch the interview but that doesn’t seem entirely credible)

    1. Polar Socialist

      If it’s the dude I think it is, he’s sorta communist who volunteered in order collect information and then defect. He had it all planned from the beginning.

      That still leaves so many questions, though.

    2. hemeantwell

      Re communist views, I heard that at the beginning of the invasion there was a surge of support for Ukraine in DSA’s anarchist tendency. Fizzled out pretty quickly as the extent of Nazi influence became apparent.

      It’s usually best not to be an early adopter.

      1. hunkerdown

        The only DSA I know that fits that situation well is Die Schwarze Auge, Germany’s own answer to the Dungeons & Dragons high-fantasy tabletop RPG franchise.

        I do recall a surge of radlib performativity, a dress rehearsal for the Ukraine drama perhaps, in response to the failed color revolution in Kazakhstan in January 2022 put down by those mean old Russians, and several calls for all good online anarchists to provide aid and comfort to NATO for great justice. As we all know from Rojava, anarchists strongly believe in absentee rulership, sovereign republican states, and anti-democratic international order, so it’s only natural. /s

    3. diptherio

      There was another interview with a returned US volunteer with Ukrainian forces that I think was linked here several weeks ago. He was not this guy. He was obviously a not-too-bright young man, fresh out of the military, who saw a Ukrainian orphan on TV and decided he needed to do something about it. In the interview, we repeatedly states that the Avoz fighters he got put with were “a bunch of Nazis,” but that they really were alright guys, and “yeah, there were a lot of swastikas around” but it really wasn’t that bad. So regardless of this guy’s motivations, his account mirrors that of others who don’t share his commie-lite politics.

    4. some guy

      If Mr. McIntyre was paid to fight there, then he could be called a mercenary. If he was/is fighting for free without pay, then he is a volunteer, not a mercenary. So . . . was he being paid to fight there?

  6. DJG, Reality Czar


    Any comments on the primary? Lori Lightfoot seems to have gone down in defeat.

    I no longer live in Andersonville/Edgewater (just blocks from Middle East Bakery), having moved to Chocolate City. So I skipped voting absentee.

    I will admit to a kind of buyer’s regret not long after she won: Something was off. And Preckwinkle truly is a much better politician.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Lightfoot deserved it (talking strictly about political machinations). She started burning all her bridges the moment she assumed office, being combative for no good reason.

      In the end, all she was left with is, “but I am woke!” On the hierarchy of needs,”being woke” is a luxury for everyone for 90% of the city after crime, jobs, inflation.

      Interesting that the Vallas v. Johnson race (their policy stances) will mirror future Dem. primaries.

    2. OIFVet

      Wait, voters decided that Lightfoot being being black and gay wasn’t qualification enough?! Bunch of trumpers, lemme tell ya.

      Preckwinkle is my former alderwoman. I couldn’t vote absentee since I no longer have a Chicago address (and wouldn’t even if I could). She is an Obama loyalist, and a UChicago lackey. Hyde Park was specifically gerrymandered in 2012 to take a particular property from Hairston’s ward and put it in Preckwinkle’s former ward so that her protégé could look for UChicago’s redevelopment interests over community objections. Hairston was just a bit too feisty on listening to her constituents.

      That said, Paul Vallas is atrocious, almost Rahm Emanuel bad. Fingers crossed the Chicago Teachers Union guy manages to overcome the big money behind Vallas.

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        OIFVet: You can vote absentee. For federal purposes, you’re still a resident of Ilinois, and you’d register with the good ole Cook County Clerk as having an address outside the U S of A.

        Surely you plan to vote next year in the Trump / Clinton re-match?

        1. OIFVet

          For the federal elections, darn tootin’!!! I am not a fan of any of the possible Corporate Party candidates, but the thought of putting up a picture of my absentee ballot on FaceBorg with Trump as my choice makes me giddy with anticipation. The outrage and cancelations by some people of liberal persuasion that I know will be priceless entertainment. I’ve managed to provoke and alienate scores of people over the past year, I am looking to up liberal outrage by a factor of 100 😉

          On a somewhat related (to tr0lling) note, last week the government here banned a neonatsee march commemorating a BG natsee general from the 30s and 40s. The local liberals were beside themselves with joy, and frankly so was I. However, the manner the government used was less than democratic, and the local liberals have marched to the Russian embassy shoulder to shoulder with Ukie characters with Azov flags featuring the broken cross. So I decided to tweak Liberal noses by opining that banning the neonatsee March was a missed opportunity to recruit volunteers for Azov and send them goose stepping toward Bakhmut. The outrage I caused warmed my cantankerous heart 🤣

        2. barefoot charley

          I lived in France during the 1976 election, and sent back to Chicago for my absentee ballot. It permitted me to vote for president and congressman, as I remember–federal offices that Chicago used to dispose of nuisances and deadwood. There were no boxes for the important offices–alderman, mayor, Cook County commissioner etc. I wonder if it’s changed.

      2. Chris Smith

        I think Lightfoot should get an image award for her service. She demonstrated that even though you are a Black lesbian, you can still be terrible at your job. Just like everyone else!

      3. Michael Fiorillo

        Vallas represents the very worst of school privatization, which has been extremely aggressive in Chicago, and which helped lead to the militant turn the Chicago Teachers Union took in 2010; the fact that someone like him, a vampire feeding on public institutions, has had a political comeback is dispiriting.

    3. Louis Fyne

      interesting to note that if Lightfoot kept Willy Wilson (and other Black leaders) on her side for four years, she could have scraped enough votes to squeeze out a win.

      in 2019, she campaigned as an “I am one of you, I want change” black woman, but she governed as a distant, “let them eat cake” limousine liberal.

    4. LawnDart

      I lived for but a season or so on Gregory, just west of Glenwood. Friends of mine owned the BC Tap on Clark street (and made the mistake of taking on Daley, so their bar went bye-bye a little after 2000).

      The impression I got from current Chicagoians is that Lightfoot was at best a figurehead with little clout, or respect… just a passing thing. Vallas has a strong organization, and he can do more damage than just doing nothing.

    5. Henry Moon Pie

      She’s the product of a Bloomberg “philanthropy” operating through Harvard.

      Remember way back three years ago when Bernie had won three primaries, and Michael Bloomberg was going to save the Democratic Party from communism? Lori Lightfoot was “considering” endorsing Bloomberg.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Zelensky Requests U.S. Tank Autographed By Shaquille O’Neal”

    I saw an article here in Oz a few days ago that sounded like an Onion story. Oz has given the Ukraine about half a billion dollars which included 90 Bushmaster armoured vehicles. But our Ambassador is still in Poland instead of Kiev as probably Canberra knows what is coming. So the Ukrainians have been getting on their case and wanting the Ambassador to not only return, but to do so riding a Bushmaster armoured vehicle. Are these people insane?

    1. griffen

      The Onion article was just hilarious. Especially the added request, to be delivered in a protective acrylic case.

  8. Samuel Conner

    the thought occurs that spending hours a day on enhancement of the attractiveness of one’s appearance might interfere with one’s “avoid contracting the CV” agendas. Shouldn’t one be keeping people further away? I don’t want to improve my visual attractiveness, and lately I’ve lost interest even in improving my, ahem, olfactory attractiveness.

    Spend those hours starting plants, and wear a quality respirator to conceal your chronic scowl at the ignorance and stupidity of your countrymen.

    1. semper loquitur

      Agreed. I used to be a bit of a fancy lad, I had an outfit for every occasion. One day a black skinny jean, coke dealer jacket clad Metrosexual and the next a preppy dandy in Argyle and a pie-cap. Manhattan is a stage.

      COVID changed all of that. Of course, there is the danger of socializing, I rarely go out anywhere and if I do I take every precaution I can. But more than that, I’ve just lost the taste for dressing up. It seems so frivolous and empty. Pointless. I’ve taken to far more utilitarian clothing, as befits an age of decline.

      The scowl was always there but now it’s especially pointed. The world is filled with lunatics and fools. They are legion and their ranks are swelling…

      1. t

        You are really missing out on the joys of smoking jackets and velvet slippers for lounging around the house in private.

  9. danpaco

    Re: House panel lays out ‘existential struggle’ with China in primetime debut

    I was curios what the venue would be to stir up anti China furor in the masses since the balloon story went down like , well, a lead balloon. The lab leak story a few days ago now day one of the House Select Committee on China.
    This really reminds me of something.
    Four years of Russia bashing via Russiagate really made it easy for the masses to get behind Ukraine last year.
    The blob playbook is really wearing thin. Like Marvel movie scriptwriters.

    1. Louis Fyne

      So I came across the WEB DuBois speech re. China given after DuBois toured China.

      “…We hate China. We propose never to forgive the Chinese . We count them outside humanity . We charge them with every crime we can invent.”

      DC GOP and DC Dems are equally guilty. Worst aspects of Americans rise to the surface when Russia and China are on the table.

      (cite: recording of the speech at Madison, WI from W.E.B DuBois, Socialism and the American Negro, April 9, 1960)

  10. John

    Censoring Roald Dahl: Does the word Bowdlerization mean anything to those cleansing Dahl, and others, of whatever it is they think needs cleansing? If their view of the world allows no deviation from its beliefs, if words and ideas must conform to their words and ideas of the present moment, then I submit theirs is a totalitarian ideology. Do as I do. Act as I do. Speak as I do. Think as I do. This is a dangerous path.

    1. semper loquitur

      See, if you change the narrative, you change reality. After a while, bigotry will simply fade away. Then we will all get to wear white togas and dance to World Music…

      1. hunkerdown

        … while the rented eunuch slave class, mute and invisible, peels grapes and schleps dishes for the PMC revelers.

        That’s just one more good reason to take pains to knock virtue signalers off the theater stage, so that their 3-4 hours per day of symbolic servitude comes to naught.

    2. vao

      I seem to remember that books by Enid Blyton suffered the same ignominy, and that last year a re-edition of “Winnetou” novels by Karl May caused quite a controversy in Germany (though no attempts were made to “sanitize” them, as far as I know).

      1. John

        Bowdler “cleansed” the Bible of all naughty sexual references … at least to his satisfaction.

    3. Cassandra

      I confess that when reading Kipling’s beloved “Just So” animal stories to my children decades ago, I changed the n-word. I felt my preschoolers did not need to add that word to their burgeoning vocabularies. I would do it again.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Although I detest censorship in general, I can go along. That word is one dripping with hate. Good for you!

        1. LifelongLib

          The “n-word” is also in Huckleberry Finn. When Huck uses it he’s not being derogatory. It’s his language’s word for black person and he doesn’t know a different one. It could be a lesson in how words can shift meaning over time, but that’s too subtle for today’s politics.

          1. Cassandra

            I think the teaching moment is not that words can shift meaning, but that both Huck and Kipling were embedded in cultures so steeped in racism that there were no non-derogatory ways for a white person to refer to a non-white person. Along those lines, Dorothy Sayers’s Peter Wimsey’s effort to push back against the antisemitism of his culture is rather cringeworthy to today’s readers. Twain’s genius was his ability to contrast the nobility of Jim as a father figure with Huck’s debased biological father in a way that even a schoolchild can get the message. But you are correct, it is too subtle for today’s politics.

            1. Procopius

              The word wasn’t derogatory, in Twain’s time. It was just “Negro” with a Southern Accent. “Negro” wasn’t derogatory, either, in those days. It was just Latin for “black.” Well, of course since almost all blacks were slaves the word wasn’t complementary, either.

              1. Cassandra

                I would beg to differ. If you read Frederick Douglass’s passionate calls for respect for his people, he uses the terms Negro, black, and colored, but never to my knowledge the n-word.

      2. Lex

        That is both understandable and different from changing the published word. At some point your children were capable of understanding the word, how it was used in context and what Kipling’s use of the word symbolized. And through that they had the opportunity to understand the whole world better and, I would imagine, without losing their nostalgia for the stories as read to them by their mother.

        If the word was stricken from modern printings of the text, we wouldn’t be cleansing our minds of the word but Kipling’s prejudice from his writing.

      3. semper loquitur

        I agree. I just don’t like leaving that decision to publishers, authorities, or Tik-Tok mobs. Or offer two versions of the book.

      4. Raymond Sim

        Having spent much of my formative years hearing “nigger” in my fellow white people’s mouths, day in day out, I feel very strongly that when quoting someone, if that’s the word they used, then it should be reproduced explicitly. Treating hate words, and here in America that word in particular, in the same way we do other expletives makes it too easy to treat what is the closest thing to original sin I can think of as merely a matter of decorum.

        More than that, reading my grandfather’s old boyhood favorites, which included lots of unexpurgated Mark Twain and Rudyard Kipling, did a great deal to open my eyes to what the social phenomena I encountered in my daily life really amounted to.

        On the other hand my mother’s success in keeping “that word” out of my vocabulary till I read ‘Huckleberry Finn’ actually caused me some grief, but that’s a whole other story.

        1. Cassandra

          Ray, do you really think it appropriate to try to explain evil to a preschooler? I agree that hate speech is absolutely a different matter than the swears and scatological words that little kids find so appealing. Those words can be explained as something we don’t use because they are rude. Hate speech is different, which is why I tried to put that conversation off for several years.

          When my children were babies, I went to elderly relatives who were casually and ignorantly racist and told them that I absolutely could not tolerate that sort of talk in front of my children. They respected that, to the point that my children were later shocked to hear from other family members that their late relatives were racist. Was that minimizing their sin? I don’t know. But it seemed right at the time to give the little ones a few years before having to confront that evil, and it still does to me. I don’t think my adult children minimize the evil of hate speech because of my postponing that discussion.

      5. eg

        My mother used to read bedtime story books to me which included the Uncle Wiggily series and the especially egregious Little Black Sambo

        1. LifelongLib

          When I first read the story I admired Little Black Sambo. He was a kid my age who outwitted these fierce tigers. Smart and brave. It wasn’t until years later that I heard the story was “racist”. I was surprised because I had never thought of it in those terms.

    4. begob

      Is My Uncle Oswald getting the same treatment? Probably not, since the premise is comfortingly neolib:

      When Uncle Oswald discovers the sexually invigorating properties of the “Sudanese Blister Beetle”‘, he devises a plan to steal the semen of great men and sell it to women who want to have children fathered by geniuses.

      1. MarkT

        A friend introduced me to My Uncle Oswald at high school, and I’d never laughed so much before.

    5. Pat

      I truly hate it. Just as I hate trying to make certain things disappear.* Actually examining and discussing history or art including the troubling and problematic appears to be too much trouble. Clean it up and you don’t have to examine or explain it.

      *A new city representative demanded and got a statue of Thomas Jefferson removed from the council room in NYC a couple of years ago. AFAIK it has not been returned. Rather than trying to use it to teach about people who do good can also do bad things and even illustrate how whitewashing history is bad, let’s just bury it.

    6. Mildred Montana

      >”Do as I do.” That shouldn’t be too hard:

      1. Sit in meetings all day with stacks of books, combing through them for potentially “offensive” words, and then having a vote to expunge or not. Great fun and so easy!

      2. Don’t bother countering their “offensiveness” by writing any of your own. With your “impeccable sensitivity”, people would soon forget those of that cad Dahl and read yours instead. But no, don’t do that. That would be actual work!

    7. britzklieg

      No argument from me regarding the virtuous cleansing of good literature or even bad literature, it’s appalling… that said I am glad that Agatha Christie (or her publishers) changed the original title of “And Then There Were None” :

      “UK editions continued to use the original title until 1985.”

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Does Russia risk disintegration? Experts’ Perspectives”

    The article is what you might expect it to be. A bunch of PMC giving their analysis of the state of the Russian Federation – or their idea of it. But if you want to spice it up, try the following exercise for entertainment. Read it again but pretend that they are talking about America and translating terms like regions to State. So when one person talks about ‘Secessionist talk has accelerated in the republics of Sakha, Tyva, and Buryatia’ you can translate that as ‘Secessionist talk has accelerated in the States of Texas, Oregon, and California.’ It totally works.

    1. Chris Smith

      Classic projection. I’ve come to realize that Jung was right – look at what ever someone is decrying and you will see the flaw they see in themselves and crammed into their shadow.

      1. hunkerdown

        Scapegoating = vicarious self-flagellation. It’s not as effective in “correcting” behavior as actual self-flagellation — see Sunday’s Links about vicarious handwashing — but it’s more effective at manufacturing and distributing social capital for the in-group, and more spectacular and fun for the audience.

    2. nippersdad

      “It totally works.”

      As demonstrated by the outcry after Marjorie Taylor Green dared to mention the “national divorce” that Republicans have been talking about now for over twenty years.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Situation in Bakhmut is “much worse than officially reported,” Ukrainian soldiers say”

    Trust CNN to be a coupla months behind in the news, especially now that Bakhmut is about to be cut off with several thousand Ukrainian troops trapped. Not only those in the city itself but those fighting to stop the cauldron being closed. I’ve heard figures of 3,000 to 7,000 troops there. The title may have well been ‘Situation in Stalingrad is “much worse than officially reported,” Wehrmacht soldiers say.’ Obviously Zelensky will want those soldiers to fight to the death as it would make him look good but the soldiers themselves may have a different opinion. If they surrender, then they may have good chance of surviving this war. Puts me in mind of what General Rommel said when he learned that his Afrika Korps had been taken prisoner in North Africa. He said that at least they will get to live and would not have their lives wasted in stupid, ill-informed campaigns.

    1. Fischer's Fritz

      It’s also always better to have everyone fight to the death than to see large numbers of captives being treated humanely and lawfully by the Russians.

    2. zagonostra

      If I recall correctly, Ukrainians allegedly killed their own soldiers in Bucha for fear of what they would reveal, that it was staged to make it look like Russians committed war crimes? Is it conceivable that the same could happen in Bakhmut, that Ukrainians would prefer the 3K-7K dead?

  13. Jason Boxman

    Times Mag story today:

    This Revolutionary Stroke Treatment Will Save Millions of Lives. Eventually.

    A procedure called EVT is creating radically better outcomes for patients, but only when it’s performed quickly enough — and that requires the transformation of an entire system of care.

    So, no, this will by and large not be the standard of care; It’ll require slack in ERs in order to deliver. You can’t maximize PE revenues with slack.

    Only the wealthiest patients are likely to have access to medical care that can provide this.

    First, you gotta get to the hospital somehow; PE owned ambulance perhaps?; Then you gotta find someone that actually recognizes what’s going on; Maybe you need insurance preauthorization, it’ll be expensive; someone trained in the procedure has to be available; ect.

    Reminds me of a hospital scene in Altered Carbon, where hospital care is immediately available to someone with beryllium level credit, otherwise go wait in line while bleeding out to death. Healthcare in dystopian futures is always remarkably like what we have today!

    1. John

      This feels like an increasingly dystopian present.

      Of course. A treatment that works best if you have your own on call medical staff.

    2. Jason Boxman

      Hilariously, once access is discussed, America is lumped in with the rest of the world, as the NY Times quests for global access to the procedure. No mention of how unlikely it is to be universally or even marginally available in the US due to the for-profit nature of US healthcare. Most of the focus is on low income countries, instead, as if available here is a fait accompli.

      Hardly a surprise, this is the Times.

    1. zagonostra

      Fascinating link. I think Putin was overly generous when in his recent speech he said “forgive them for they do not know what they do,” at least with respect to military aggression.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “‘Shameful Day For Chess’ Says European Chess Union As Russia Formally Joins Asia”

    Because the Asian Division refused to condemn the Russian and to punish them. True, those Indian and the Chinese players will have tougher competition but that means in the long term that they will get better. But this whole story is yet another example of how the Russians are turning their backs on Europe and looking to Asia for their future. This was what Putin wanted before the war but could never convince the people to do this. But because of how the Europeans have treated Russians and in fact anything Russian over the past year, the people themselves are turning eastwards. I don’t think that Russians want anything to do with Europe now, so deep is the feeling of betrayal.

    1. Vit5o

      This story is one of the most striking recent examples regarding the shift that NATO’s aggressive policies are causing.

      The fact that the director of the ENGLISH federation is gushing salty complaints makes this text priceless.

      Now the European scene will lose most of its value, while the Asian is set to become the best very soon. One cannot hope for a better illustration of this overall trend, that touches many other fields.

    1. jefemt

      Lots of not enviable results of Biden’s actions as powerful Senator in the Gingrich and Clinton eras.
      Can’t seem to lay them squarely at his feet— musta found a vat of that Reagan Teflon(tm) in a White House closet?

      PFA’s abound- toxic town, all Reagans fault!

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        South Park “member berries” explains Biden. For most people he’s just a name remembered from better days, not a real person. He gets plucked out of obscurity, put in a job where he can’t do anything and praised as a serious person kept on to keep the black guy in line.

        Then he wasn’t one of those he-man women haters from the Sanders campaign. So he was free of the negativity of having young people point out what a has been and monster Hillary was.

        Now you see worries about his age being more public, but he’s just Biden, young and old.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I’m not sure but I think that when he was saying this that he also mentioned that they could always try Iran which he also thought funny. And now Iran is in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and is being integrated with the east. He who laughs last…

  15. Questa Nota

    Department of Labor needs a competent leader. Might as well try for one in the Bidet Admin.
    Not with Su, she of California lost billions infamy.
    Her surname is a Linux command – Switch User

    What next, will there be CalPERS geniuses summoned, too? Who knew that the Cali exodus would include sending the best worst and brightest unbrightest to the Potomac swamp. :/

    1. hunkerdown

      But, note well, not “sudo”. Doing is for the little people.

      There was an excellent, no-frill Mongolian grill on El Camino Real by the name of Su’s that we data center rats used to frequent back in the day. 25 years later, Yelp claims it’s still there. Curious whether it’s still excellent and no-frills.

    1. Screwball

      It is also being sent to a facility near Vickery, Ohio, which has a history of troubles as well. Link to local newspaper about the transfer of waste;

      East Palestine waste coming to area

      Link to a Chicago Tribune article about the site from 1985, which was linked in the article above;


      I live about a half hour from that place. It’s only a couple miles from Lake Erie, but out in the middle of nowhere. Any waste transported there must travel on small highways and county roads.

      There have also been talk in the area that many people don’t think it is safe, and there have been complaints of health issues in the area, but not much press. I have a buddy who has been there when he worked for a hazardous waste company, and he tells me they quit taking certain kinds of waste years ago, but still use the deep well injection type.

      I’ve read they are 3000 ft deep, so similar to the depth of a fracking well. I assume they pump this waste down the holes. I have also heard they use this facility (there may be more than one, but I’m not sure) for nuclear waste from Davis Besse Nuclear Power Station which is about a half our away. That waste, of course, must travel along lake Erie and across the Sandusky Bay to get to Vickery.

      What could possibly go wrong?

      1. MaryLand

        Thanks for the links. Lake Erie has had so much toxic waste from industry along the shores for decades. A little more can’t hurt, right? Many people won’t eat the fish from Lake Erie due to cancer fears.

        The waste from the train wreck could end up in many places, sharing the wealth around the country.

        1. Screwball

          There is nothing like eating Lake Erie Perch – radioactive or not. ;-)

          Yea, the algae blooms I think they call them are a problem too. Then, between these dump sites and the nuke plant there is/was a artillery test range at Camp Perry. I don’t know if it’s still in operation.

          So you can get cancer from the blooms or the fish, and as a bonus get blown up by a small bomb too (if you are out in a boat). They used to shut down an area of the lake when they fired the weapons. I was there once, the security was off the charts, and that was 35-40 years ago.

          Seems crazy they would put 3000 ft wells for this stuff less than a few miles from a lake.

  16. Carolinian

    Re High Country News

    Good to know the author is a “they.” Perhaps if there are enough of them they can fight off that tribeland pump storage project. Of course there do seem to be growing conflicts between woke and concern over planet death. But then AGW is so last decade.

    My friend in Arizona had to have a medical procedure recently and was asked on sign in–with a straight face–“what’s your preferred pronoun?” She laughed.

  17. flora

    re: US lawmaker introduces bill aimed at limiting Fed’s authority on digital dollar – Coin Telegraph

    The GOP really wants my vote, or some of them do.

  18. Realist

    RE noahpinion – Cheap fuel in the US.

    I have been watching a YouTube Channel called Atomic Shrimp for the videos where he tries to make 3 meals for £1 at the supermarket.

    Even in his latest video this week, every item that he buys in UK is 80-90% cheaper than the equivalent in my local supermarket in the US.

    Bread 29p
    Eggs 6 for 79p
    Flour 50p
    fruit and vegetables are a a fraction of the price.

    I’m hard pressed to find a single item in the US supermarket that is less than a dollar, never mind 3 meals worth.

    I am at a loss to explain the extreme disparity. Can anyone explain it to me? Why is everything so expensive in the US?

    1. Samuel Conner

      I have the impression that the market for many consumer commodities in US is not truly competitive, so there is not a lot of pressure to drive the price the consumer sees close to the cost of production. I think I recall reading in posts at NC in years past that anti-trust regulation was relaxed decades ago on the theory that consumers would reap the benefits of economies of scale achieved by near monopoly giant corporations that had near control of their markets. Perhaps it hasn’t worked out that way.

      1. Realist

        Thanks. This got me looking into US supermarket cartels, and I was amazed to learn that many states have “minimum markup laws” to protect the profits of the big grocers! What a crock!

  19. Bsn

    I just don’t get it. Banning Tic Toc from government devices. Really? Why don’t they ban all gaggle accounts and “services” because we all know that they record, document and sell every keystroke and click a person makes. Oh my, les cons sont partout.

    1. The Rev Kev

      They want to ban TikTok as it is not headquartered in Silicon Valley which means that they don’t have ultimate control. We saw recently with Twitter how that works out. Anyway, it’s not Made in America.

  20. John9

    “Build nothing country” forgets to mention our corrupt oligarchic form of government and our predatory financialized capitalist economy as the main reasons nothing gets built that is needed.
    There has been plenty of building along the War Corridor of Death (I-66) leading into the imperial capital.

    1. semper loquitur

      Yeah, that article is full of $hit. He acts as if the poor, disenfranchised developers have the best of intentions towards society but are handcuffed by those darned regulations! Don’t people realize the poor need housing need areas of “opportunity”?! How else can they get the three jobs they need to barely keep a roof over their heads? Pure $hit-lib drivel.

      1. Mookie

        Noahpinion is the guy for people who agree with everything Matt yglesias writes but need it dumbed down a bit more. Not worth linking to for any reason in my book.

        1. curlydan

          Noahpinion and David Brooks are guys I just can’t read unless there’s a metaphorical gun to my head or maybe I just want to be really nice to my mother.

          One thing I think that would help some of these large projects that usually goes unmentioned is a good, ball-busting project manager. On-site, raising hell, and pinching every penny possible. Project management almost seems like a lost art to me these days–especially at my work when I’m in the middle of a daily “stand up”. Ugh.

        2. eg

          I follow Noah as one keeps friends close and enemies closer — also to insert occasional sanity into the comments …

  21. Mikel

    “China raises status of international law studies in push for home-grown global expertise” South China Morning Post.
    So China won’t be building truly global institutions like ISDS or the World Bank anytime soon?

    “…However, an international relations and law expert in Beijing who asked not to be named for fear of repercussions said the development indicated an official recognition that legal awareness in China was relatively weak.
    “In international matters, people in China tend to rely more on strength and force rather than morality and law. Officials in China generally lack knowledge of international law and prioritise power, rights and interests,” the expert said.
    The expert also hailed the upgrade as a positive sign that would attract more students and help China send more people qualified in the field to international organisations…”

    I saw “In international matters, people in China tend to rely more on strength and force rather than morality and law” and immediately thought it sounded like projection.
    But if this is an area where China feels it is lacking academically, then the institutions they pick as models with valuable lessons will be clue to how much more viable (or essentially different) the allegedly new multi-polar order will be.

  22. Wukchumni

    Goooooooooooood Moooooorning Fiatnam!

    While some in the platoon turned askance when I dared mention going to the golden arches for breakfast in Mequite Nv., all were technically on board except for Pfc Jones who was sulking in the back of the APC, another McDonalds despiser in our midst, i’ll be sure to mention that on his record.

    We strided up to the counter, but there was no there-there aside from a lack of cash registers & credit card terminals, something was most definitely up, for we’d blundered into yet another incursion in the War On Cash…

    Steeling our resolve, we attempted to use the kiosk and I promptly ordered myself 4 big breakfasts accidentally and couldn’t remove 3 of them, oh the humanity!

    Extracting a few lonely Lincolns out of my pocket I thought it was time for the penny loafer treatment, er, make that a kiosk loafer and said un-chipped Cents were inserted into the credit card reader so the machine could do no more evil.

    Disappointed in acquiring a quick & easy repast, we adjourned to Peggy Sue’s diner down the street where our kind was still embraced, in the ongoing struggle.

    1. jhallc

      Last time I was in a Micky D’s I tried to order at the counter and was directed to said Kiosk. Probably a good thing the one in East Palestine that Trump visited still had a live body at the register.

    2. skk

      Has Peggy Sue’s diner become a chain ???? I know the one a little north of Barstow on the I15 on the way to Vegas.

      1. LifelongLib

        My understanding is that if the name isn’t trademarked somebody else can use it too. And I forget if it was linked here, but IIRC there’s a state where the Burger King chain can’t use that name because another restaurant there had trademarked it already, but only for that one state.

  23. spud farmer

    Re. The dude with the 9-year-old daughter donating her “life savings” to Ukraine…do people like this have no shame instrumentalizing their kids as propaganda props to support their pet political causes? And what kind of 9-year-old has “life savings” anyway, gimme a family bloggin’ break. Here’s hoping the kid rebels when she hits her teens and puts her goofy PMC pops in his place.

    1. Wukchumni

      Its worse than you know, apparently the paterfamilias ordered said 9 year old to extract most of her teeth using a rusty crescent wrench, with the promise that funds from the tooth fairy would go towards a new wardrobe of green shirts for you know who.

  24. flora

    East Palestine Plants Suspend Operations as Workers Get Sick

    EAST PALESTINE, Ohio – With employees continuing to suffer ill effects since the train derailment now more than three weeks ago, CeramFab and two of its affiliated plants in East Palestine have been forced to cease manufacturing – again.

    The EPA, still not testing for dioxins or much else, says E. Palestine is safe.

    1. wendigo

      “there is no benchmark to show what the dioxin level was before the derailment, so it would be impossible to know if the levels are now higher”.

      So if the levels were high before the derailment and high now East Palestine is still safe.

      This shows the importance of well owners having their water tested as soon as posible to be able to document changes in the future.

      As well they should be saving any home made canning/preserved food they have made in the past. These can be used to document previous levels in their water for comparison in the future.

      Unless the landowners have proof of previous levels they will never be able to demonstrate liability.

  25. antidlc

    Nasal vaccines in the news:
    Nasal Covid vaccine shows promise in early clinical trial
    Nasal vaccines could provide better protection against infection by bolstering immunity right where the virus enters the body, but few have made it to human trials in the U.S.

    An experimental nasal vaccine provided strong protection against Covid infection, according to preliminary results from a Phase 1 clinical trial.

    The vaccine, developed by a startup called Blue Lake Biotechnology Inc., was found to reduce the risk of symptomatic Covid infections by 86% for three months in people who received it as a booster dose. Existing booster shots in the United States reduce symptomatic infections by 43% in people 18 to 49 over one to two months, according to a study published in November by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

      1. kareninca

        I’ve been using Xlear (along with other preventatives) since the start of the pandemic, as have the other two people in my household. None of us have yet caught covid. For what that’s worth. I also credit a daily claritin (not medical advice).

        If the DOJ bans Xlear, I’ll take that as the best evidence that the stuff is effective in preventing covid.

  26. PlutoniumKun

    How did the forest develop at the Hailuogou glacier area? Soils Matter

    An oddly fascinating topic (for me anyway). My hiking buddies usually look with puzzlement when I insist on stopping anywhere the post glacial deposits that litter my local hills are exposed – usually in road cuttings or gravel extractions. They all tell a story – often repeated layers of glacial tills or depositions from glacial floods in the millennia or so after the last glaciers started to melt. Last Sunday I found a scattering of oil bearing shales scattered randomly on a lakeshore many miles from any known shale deposits, presumably having been dumped by a passing glacier. Once shattered they make excellent skimmers as the 12 year old I was with discovered.

    Very occasionally you will find organic layers, meaning that somehow life established itself on tills before getting rapidly covered by yet another glacial flood. Its pretty clear that for centuries after the glaciers left Ireland the only organic matter was in shallow ponds or occasional bogs (leaving behind a smear of red iron) – trees only establishing themselves centuries or millennia after the last glacier fled north. In some places, the gravel was so well washed it is likely that no forest ever really established, leaving behind the undulating sandy plains found in a belt all across the northern hemisphere. One such gravel bed local to me (the Curragh) is familiar to anyone who has seen movies from Oliviers Henry V to Braveheart, as it is popular for filming battle scenes.

    Its pretty relevant for mining and tipping, as chemical composition is crucial for establishing new vegetation. I’ve seen coal spoil heaps in Wales that were ‘successfully’ restored in the 1960’s and 70’s wotj tree cover, only for a wet winter to reveal that the rooting was so shallow that after a couple of decades the soil cover just slips off like syrup off a pancake, leaving the spoil exposed again decades later. There are unvegetated spoil heaps from Copper Age mining in the SW of Ireland that have never vegetated, and they are still technically toxic waste.

  27. Wukchumni

    What happens in Vegas-stays in Vegas dept:

    It had been pissing down rain for 77 miles and then when I got into the belly of the beast on Interstate 15, traffic had slowed to a crawl on account of the 4 inch Las Vegas Creek in the 2 fast lanes, and then all of the sudden blue skies in the distance revealed the mountains surrounding sin city to be slathered in frozen white with a digital sign adjacent to the interstate stating in no uncertain terms that the pathway west was closed at the Nevada/California line…

    …snowed in

    Being a man of constant sorrow over perceived events in the future that seem to seldom come to fruition, this is not where I want to be for the neo-Carrington-event soon to come (in my mind) a cropper.

    Pavlovegas has a burgeoning catalytic converter theft problem like you wouldn’t believe, maybe I should just obsess over that?

    1. Carolinian

      I’m told I 40 in AZ still only intermittently open. The Superstition Mtns to the east of Phoenix are snow covered.

      End times?

      1. Wukchumni

        I”m plotting my escape route on the 40 going west via Nv 95 which goes through Searchlight Nv. which makes a tidy living from speeders who go from 75 mph to 45 to 35 and then 25 mph in a hurry.

        There are 3 coppers with lights a blazing on the side of the road from my perch in what may be the worst Denny’s ever, which consists of 1 waitress and 1 cashier.

      1. JBird4049

        Most Californians have difficulties driving in the rain. Anaheim is/was probably a parking.

  28. playon

    Thanks much for the link regarding the Yakima tribal lands. I had just last week driven to The Dalles OR and back from central WA, passing through Goldendale and saw the proposed site but had no idea this was happening.

    I found an article in the Yakima Herald from 2022 that goes into more detail.

    Typically natives were given the worst land that white settlers weren’t interested in. While their ceded land was originally huge, most of the land “given” to the Yakama tribe as a reservation is useless and dry — some game can be hunted there perhaps but it is mostly rocky ground, full of sagebrush with no irrigation.

  29. Sub-Boreal

    To complement the link about rapid forest establishment after retreat of a glacier in Sichuan, here’s another case study (open access).

    In this Yukon example, the forest got underway before the ice was gone, supported by a soil forming in a thick (> 2 m) deposit of volcanic ash blown out of a nearby Alaska volcano ~ 1100 years ago.

    In the more benign climate of coastal southeastern Alaska, extensive forests can grow on stagnant glacier ice as long as there is a cover of sediment, e.g. at the Malaspina Glacier.

  30. Raymond Sim

    “Protection from past infection against re-infection from pre-omicron variants was very high and remained high even after 40 weeks. Protection was substantially lower for the omicron BA.1 variant and declined more rapidly over time than protection against previous variants. Protection from severe disease was high for all variants.”

    This is a subject I paid a lot of attention to in the first two years CE (Covid Era). In my experience conclusions like these were always drawn using utterly inadequate means of ascertaining previous infection. In other words a lot of the sick and dead could have had previous infections and the investigators would never know. Combined with other factors (for instance, see my comment on undercounting in yesterday’s Water Cooler) my conclusion was that this was in fact the case, and I quit using my energy reading such stuff. I haven’t read this Lancet article either and don’t plan to. I would advise anyone who does to subject their notions of what establishes previous infection to close scrutiny

    .One of the welcome bits of news circa late 2020 – early 2021 was that people who survived Covid did seem to mostly, eventually, develop competent immune memory, but it took a lot of time, used up more non-renewable immune system resources than the “It’s a cold virus.” brigade had any conception of, and it seemed quite likely that reinfection before proper immune memory was established could seriously disrupt the process. If my memory serves, the latter was established as fact last year. For this reason I’m very skeptical that the 40 weeks of protection found resulted from infections that occured less than 8 months prior to the challenge. If the infection purported to be providing the protection came more recently I would guess that it itself was a reinfection, and the conclusion becomes something like “People who have succeeded in establishing immune memory subsequent to infection keep catching the disease over and over, but it’s not that bad.”

    And of course “not that bad” requires ignoring the ongoing mass casualties due to immune injury and other sequelae.

  31. LilD

    3.6 hours???
    Shower twice a week
    Shave every other day
    Comb my hair…
    Still got 3.5 hours of free time!

  32. JTMcPhee

    Latest possible ‘Gift” from US to NATO to skating ever closer to the edge of nuclear war is maybe a bunch of “Tank-bustin’, depleted-uranium-spittin’ A-10 Wart Hogs.”

    One hopes that there will be enough spares to fit ‘em out and shoot up the landscape. Them pesky Rooskies, though, have some pretty good air defense, though. Just one more step on the ladder to hell…

  33. MarkT

    Bought a copy of “Sunday Star Times” because it was trumpeting a double-page feature about (New Zealand) experts talking about the response to the floods. Every third expert was an economist, the others were business people and local government politicians (who tend to be business people). There were a couple of educators. And one lonely soul of no fixed abode who said a few things about climate. No engineers or scientists in view.

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