Links 3/18/2023

90-year-old tortoise becomes father of three BBC

Loneliness and the Trinity of Creativity: Ada Lovelace, the Poles of the Mind, and the Source of Her Imaginative Powers The Marginalian (Chuck L)

Posed Riddles Drift Magazine (Anthony l)


What Worked Against Covid: Masks, Closures and Vaccines Wall Street Journal (Dr. Kevin)

How a nasal vaccine could reduce the risk of COVID infections — and new variants Marketwatch (ma)


Minnesota Nuclear Power Plant Leaks 400,000 Gallons Of Radioactive Water OilPrice (resilc)

Big Oil Plans to Artificially Freeze the Melting Arctic to Drill More Oil Vice (furzy)

Ocean Farming: Seaweed Is Having Its Moment In the Sun New York Times (Dr. Kevin)

Global Fresh Water Demand Will Outstrip Supply By 40% by 2030, Say Experts Guardian. We’ve been warning for years what potable water was the natural resource that would come under acute pressure first.


US and other Western nations wary of Xi’s trip to Moscow South China Morning Post

China-proposed initiative on global civilization hailed China Daily (resilc)

TikTok’s Plan To Stave Off Government Intervention: Flood DC With influencers Politico

China-Argentina on verge of region-rattling fighter deal Asia Times (Kevin W)

India’s Impending BrahMos Deal With Indonesia Could Shift ASEAN’s Military-Strategic Dynamics Andrew Korybko (Micael T)

Pakistan Police Raids Ex-Premier Imran Khan’s Lahore House: TV Bloomberg

Old Blighty

UK Pension Funds Flee the Equity Market, Adding to London Woes Bloomberg

UK Backs Rolls-Royce Project To Build a Nuclear Reactor On the Moon CNBC(cnbc.c

La belle France

Fury in France as protesters block Paris ring road following Macron’s forced pension reform France24

New Not-So-Cold War

ICC judges issue arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes Guardian. We talked about Ukraine resorting to stunts (mainly of the terrorist sort) because it can’t win the wor. Now we have this. As chris remarked:

So the court we don’t recognize, and that Russia doesn’t recognize (both for the same reasons), is going to limit Putin how? And his ability to do things is going to be affected because why?

In Ukraine, US focused on delivering weapons, not diplomacy — secretary of state TASS

Understanding the Scale and Brutality and the Global Stakes of the War in Ukraine Larry Johnson

The Gathering Storm Douglas Macgregor, American Conservative

Kiev issues warning to countries that don’t support Ukraine RT (Kevin W)

Türkiye moves to ratify Finland’s NATO bid in parliament Anadolu Agency

Banned From Russian Airspace, U.S. Airlines Look to Restrict Competitors New York Times. This will simply make the US less attractive a destination by increasing transit times for all passengers who would otherwise use trans-Russian routes.


Will Bibi break Israel? Economist

Former Israeli premier urges world leaders to shun Netanyahu Associated Press (resilc)

For first time, Democrats sympathize more with Palestinians than Israelis: Poll Salon

Iranians are done with Kings and Ayatollahs, and look back to Mosaddegh for a Way forward Juan Cole

Iraq war: 20 years later and no lessons learned by war’s proponents, experts say Middle East Eye

Shock and War: Iraq 20 Years On, 4. The Inspectors BBC Radio 4 (resilc)

Saddam’s rusting yacht serves as picnic spot for Iraqi fishermen Reuters (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

AI Fools Voice Recognition Used To Verify Identity By Australian Tax Office Guardian

Why Palantir’s latest NHS land-grab is such bad news for patients openDemocracy

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Trouble with AUKUS Daniel Larison

What the AUKUS sub ruckus means for regional security Responsible Security


Trump-commissioned report undercut his claims of dead and double voters Washington Post


Where the money went: The Bidens and Biden associates that received Chinese cash New York Post (furzy)

Per below, you have no expectation of privacy with respect to your garbage and abandoned property. This is just harassment of that poor schlub repair shop owner. However, if someone on the right were alert, they’d fund his defense, because repair shop owner would get to do discovery on Hunter.


Rural America and suburbs part company politically Asia Times

‘Mutilating children for profit’: California teenager sues doctors over breast-removal surgery at age 13 in Kaiser Permanente’s SECOND blockbuster transgender lawsuit Daily Mail

Our No Longer Free Press

The Twitter Files and the new censorship regime Andrew Lowenthal

Residents’ Right to Be Rude Upheld by Massachusetts Supreme Court New York Times (resilc). So individuals can be impolitic but not anyone with a megaphone.

B-a-a-a-a-d Banks

First Republic Rescue Effort Fails to Ease Investor Worries Wall Street Journal

UBS in talks to acquire Credit Suisse Financial Times

This is Fascism, SVB Bailout Edition CounterPunch. Nice shout-out!

Biden to Congress: Ban execs of failed banks from the industry Axios. Resilc: “You mean like Barney Frank?”

The Bezzle

Microsoft Is Testing a Built-In Cryptocurrency Wallet For the Edge Browser ars technica

Guillotine Watch

Kiss my a$$: Credit Suisse wife Lizzie Asher flashes butt amid $54B bailout Page Six. Resilc: “Where is ISIS when you need them to run burn cages?”

Class Warfare


Google nixes paying out rest of medical leave for laid-off employees CNBC. Resilc: “When does someone gun up?”

A perfect storm of food-stamp cuts and low tax refunds is looming — and discount chains like Dollar General and Big Lots could feel the pain Business Insider

How Mental Health Care Is Near-Impossible to Get on Medicaid Intercept

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus. Resilc’s sheep herd:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Jeff Stantz

    “victims died painlessly because the airplane crashed into the ground so fast that their brains didn’t have time to process pain signals.”

    Give new meaning and a stark reality to “Hurry up and die”.

    I mean, the logical MBA response to this is to never try to land a crashing plane safely because the odds are it will cost them more money.

    1. griffen

      It’s like taking a page out of the Norfolk Southern executive leadership program. Or for those with a functional memory regarding the former budget airline ValuJet, which had an infamous flight that crashed in 1996.

      But yeah I’ll trust Boeing the next time I make a domestic US flight. Worth mentioning as well, the excellent Fight Club was on the US television yesterday afternoon. Seems fairly apt today in our modern, most excellent economic times.

    2. Questa Nota

      Next Boeing will join Ghoul Air and bill extra for thrill rides in the final few minutes or seconds? :/

    3. The Rev Kev

      Certainly those victims did register their 737 MAX going up and down like a roller coaster before the final plunge which series of events took about 6 long minutes-

      Easiest way to understand this is for the judge, lawyers for the prosecution and defence, Boeing representatives and the rest of the court to board a 737 MAX and have the pilot fly the same identical profile as that Ethiopian jet to see what it felt like. Well, except for the bit at the end that is.

    4. Craig H.

      Ralph Nader’s sister’s granddaughter died in that crash. They have the smartest lawyers on planet earth. Boeing is in very deep doo doo.

  2. digi_owl

    Seem like far more agreeable sheep than the ones i had to deal with growing up.

    And those UK strikes were a long time coming.

    1. chris

      It is interesting to think about what it would take to see that kind of general strike action in the US. I think or narrative management staff have done a solid job of separating us from each other over various imagined cultural and class differences so that you wouldn’t see teachers and ex-Googlers walking together in solidarity with municipal staff and food workers. But maybe this latest round of bailouts combined with tech layoffs will break through that.

      1. Wukchumni

        Look at the mass protests in France & the UK, and the populace is letting off steam, but here in the not so united states there is really no mechanism to bleed off said steam as societal pressure builds, could get messy.

        Na na hey hey kiss him goodbye, by Steam

        1. digi_owl

          USA seem to do riots instead. Or maybe the case is that agent provocateurs turn US protests into riots, so that the (paramilitary) police and national guard can be sent in to stomp heads?

          1. Wukchumni

            What I found oh so fascinating about 1/6 in that the goombahs against the government were more than likely overwhelmingly strident 2nd amendment types, and yet the only shot fired was by a cop killing Ashli Babbitt.

            We’re they so terrified of Humordor’s strict gun laws?

        2. midtownwageslave

          I would argue that traditional venting mechanisms (protesting, political action, etc) in the US have been redirected to various other forms.

          Consumerism, random acts of violence, suicides, ideological escapes (racism, civil religion, sports fanaticism, rugged individualism), and pharmaceutical escapes are some that come to mind.

          1. HotFlash

            I seem to recall somebody saying — mind you, this was a while back, in my youth, and I may be misremembering — “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Oh, I looked it up, it was just some guy.

      2. digi_owl

        Class consciousness for a start? Though i think the British concept of class is more akin to hindu castes than classes in a marxist sense.

        1. Oh

          There are so many brahmins in Silicon Valley and Wall St. the Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House.

      3. hunkerdown

        Sorry, the PMC is not the working class, no matter how much feelings-based disinformational rhetoric you want to pour on it.

        1. chris

          I have news for most PMC type people, if you get a W-2, you’re working class. I think the Googlers who just had the benefits cut after they were unexpectedly laid off are discovering that. The sooner they realize they have common cause with plumbers and waiters, the better it will be for everyone.

          1. Aaron

            100%. If you are are a regular employee of a company (as opposed to being on the board of that company), you are working class.
            A person doesn’t leave working class just because a $200,000 salary seems like a lot of money lol.

          2. semper loquitur

            I agree, but a big part of being in the PMC is not being a plumber or a waiter. Or, more to the point, ever taking the point of view of the working class. In just about anything.

            I’m not saying it cannot happen, I’m just saying there is a lot of inertia to overcome.

            1. TimH

              There are two valid but different definitions of working class. One is about societal attitudes and upbringing, and is possibly more a British descriptor than American. The other simply means that if you need a job to survive financially, then you are working class. PMC are not the former, may be the second. I know plenty of PMC who could retire if they wished to.

          3. HotFlash

            Unhuh. Srsly, if you can be fired at all, nowadays, you are working class — I call it class creep.

            1. chris

              I think the relevant definition, from a class consciousness point of view,, has to be the economic one. That’s why I mentioned the W-2.

              I understand why people think its more than that but tax treatment and other things are so important to it that the people who argue with this mainly don’t understand. Like, if you have a K-1 from a partnership you perform significant management duties at, you own a house and other property, if you get to decide where you money goes and what you pay taxes on and when you pay those taxes… you’re at the bottom of the next class, just above working class. If you have to decide whether and when to pay into social security and you make more than the cut off, you’re no longer working class. When you’re the owner paying people and making firing decisions, then you’re no longer working class.

            2. LifelongLib

              IIRC Orwell thought there should be a union of everyone who has to worry about being fired — “fears the sack” in his words. Unfortunately although all of these people are in the same boat economically, many aren’t in the same boat socially or culturally. Hence their inability (or lack of interest) in acting together politically.

        2. spud farmer

          If you make your living by selling your labor you are working class (in the Marxian sense). By this definition much, if not most, of the PMC is indeed working class. They hate the idea that they are mere workers so they just redefine working class to mean someone who works in the trades or does manual labor to pay the bills.

      4. Mike

        Don’t be so sure about general strikes- the AFL (CIO has been swallowed into it for years, and lost its edge from the 30s) has been on record to help the CIA and State Department in ruining labor movements in Latin America and Africa for decades. Their ability to propagandize such situations is legendary, thus workers in the USA tend to believe how unions cost employers so much that they layoff or shutdown to escape such a “rules-based order”. In short, unions are corrupted from the top, and movements from below will have to ignore such leadership when acting politically, and face goons and cops to do so. Thus, riots…not that I’m championing such, but they are inevitable until a political force arises.

      5. Mikel

        “But maybe this latest round of bailouts combined with tech layoffs will break through that…”

        Remember the Twitter clip of Sen. Lankford of Okla. questioning Yellen about the bailouts?
        He asked about Chinese investors/depositors being bailed out and Yellen said “there’s no legal basis for discrimination in bailouts.”

        She addressed it as a racial/nationality question. Being poor or not wealthy is not a protected class under law. The non-wealthy can be dumped on and screwed over because it’s not a protected class.

        Once situations develop that sear that into people’s consciousness in an unforgettable way, there may be some action.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>She addressed it as a racial/nationality question. Being poor or not wealthy is not a protected class under law. The non-wealthy can be dumped on and screwed over because it’s not a protected class.

          It is worse really, for the overclass and people like Yellen. They have difficulty being able to perceive class; we can blame the propaganda in Identity Politics, which focuses everything, but class.

          It becomes the (White) Working Class instead of just the Working Class, which is probably over represented by minorities.

        2. JustTheFacts

          Yes, I was seriously horrified by that discussion.

          It’s one thing for the FDIC to guarantee all bank accounts, and require us all to pay more for that insurance. One can then debate whether there should be a linear or progressive tax on that. And one can debate the effects of moral hazard on bankers.

          But it’s another thing entirely for the FDIC to guarantee only some “special” people’s bank accounts, but require everyone to pay more for the “special” people’s insurance.

          In France demonstrators were chanting yesterday “Louis XVI, on l’a décapité. Macron on peut recommencer!” (“Louis 16th, we decapitated him. Macron, we can do it again!”). We clearly have elites who don’t understand that people (or Capuchin Monkeys, for that matter) do not tolerate unfairness. This instinct is so primeval that playing silly games against it is not going to end well.

          I thought they were truly trying to fix a systemic problem of their own creation (due to zero interest rates). Apparently they weren’t. Instead they were just trying to help their pals.

    2. jackiebass63

      As a US citizen it amazes me at the number of people that turn out to strike compared to in the US. Un fortunately instead of people in the US being united we seem to be divided and oppose others. The old divide and conquer is working.

      1. mtjefe

        Briefly, during early covid, in the US there was some widespread orchestrated solidarity positively recognizing health care professionals, esp. nurses, by evening howls, or pot banging. But generally, no concerted sustained movements exist in the pages of recent history.

        Occupy was the subject of huge derision.

        The thing about France and UK…. I imagine their percentage of citizens with small arms, and the sheer number of small arms in circulation- is relatively small. And, there is a sense of civility.

        I imagine no nation-state that is not in post (or ongoing) warfare- no peace-time non occupied nation can have the number of gunz that Exceptional America has.
        And no nation seems to lack the civility as America seems to show- from the top leadership to the hoi polloi. Freedumb!!!

        The US is poised for – potentially– some very lethal population decimating events involving directed molded lead.

      2. some guy

        Ran Prieur offers a link on his blogsite to an article offering a very compelling theory as to why so many Americans are so terrified to go on anything like a “general strike”. It has to do with the ongoing prevention of universal tax-funded health care here in order to keep health care coverage job-tied and employer-tied, in order to make “national striking” an act of medical suicide for every job-supplied healthcare-hostage involved.

        1. digi_owl

          And this is where unions need to step in and cover those expenses.

          And yeah, at will firing combined with company health insurance is one hell of a leash.

          1. some guy

            There are not enough unions left to cover such expenses. And who will cover the expenses if a hundred million Americans decide to go on “general strike”? Which other hundred million still-working Americans will have enough money to pay all the medical bills of a hundred million general-striking Americans for a month or a year or a decade?

            No one has an answer. And yet entertainment-seeking Leftist bystanders still decide to berate Americans for not going on General Strike.

            No General Strike will happen in America. Never Ever.

            (Now . . . if all the Small Donors for Bernie were to “get the band back together” without a band leader, and all pool their small donations per month, month after month after month, they could fund a smaller group of workers in a critical schwerpunkt industry ( if I am using John Robb’s global-guerillas word correctly here) to pay all 50,000 or 80,000 or however many it is unionised railworkers to resign and stay resigned long enough for the railroad companies to either go into roach motel liquidation and stay there because no one would ever work for such evil management entities . . . or until they surrender abjectly and give the mass-resigned ex-union ex-workers everything they ask for in their wildest dreams to deign to be hired back on to the railroad industry. That is something that a Bernie-load of monthly small donors could pay for.)

            So unhappy Americans will either find other methods to resort to . . . or not.

    3. Martin Oline

      The last time this group was pictured in summer it was a group of cows…. or were they sheep in cow masks?

      1. ambrit

        Did they transition from cows to sheep? There has to be a pronouns pair to ‘handle’ the disconnect.

    1. Carolinian

      I dunno. It could be that Hollywood is not so much a cat’s paw of the MIC as a vastly superficial place trying to latch onto whatever social relevance cred it can muster. Back in the day, while the liberal Warner Brothers were making Mission to Moscow, MGM’s very Jewish Louis B. Mayer was worried about losing his German markets. These days Disney goes woke but will no doubt turn on a dime if they feel the political winds are blowing in a different direction. Cameron and Avatar make gestures toward environmentalism while Cruise and Top Gun throw back to the Reagan era. It’s all about putting butts in seats (or, these days, sofas and Barcoloungers).

      1. GramSci

        I read it rather as an indictment of Washington as a vastly superficial place trying to latch onto whatever social relevance cred it can muster. But I accept your reading, too.

  3. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “‘Mutilating children for profit’: California teenager sues doctors over breast-removal surgery at age 13 in Kaiser Permanente’s SECOND blockbuster transgender lawsuit” article at-

    Maybe, just maybe, surgeries like this should not be allowed until that person reaches 18 years of age and can consent to it as a legal adult.

    1. Bjarne

      I see this as mostly a money grab and frankly, so does the “healthcare” industry. Western nations that still have some care for their citizenry are banning this stuff. Yet in the grand old USA they continue to push bravely forward. There’s a video on twitter of one these ghouls proselytizing the marvels of setting up a “gender affirmation” clinic to hospital MBAs as the profits from such operations are simply marvelous. The ghoulish nature of neoliberalism on full display. Perhaps Lambert needs a new category for the rules of neoliberalism — the destruction of childrens’ future sex lives and removal of their sexual organs for profit. Its simply horrifying all around. What else can one say?

      1. hunkerdown

        Money is just a token of the value of alienation and, except to those who fetishize it, does not drive action. The “synthetic sexual identity” movement is simply about propertizing gender in the usual neoliberal formulaic way, and religitigating who controls access to identity-forming social institutions such as gender and race.

        1. Bjarne

          Its like the CIA: they take existing social tensions and exacerbate them for gains, either geopolitical or financial, often pushing these tensions far beyond their original impetus. The fact that this “gender affirmation” push continues in the face of all the sad de-transition stories and real medical evidence of massive harm to youth, is largely down to neoliberal profit harvesting.

          1. Mikel

            Aren’t there often quips and observations about how protest movements are infiltrated?

            The new play to me seems to be to co-opt and/or infiltrate and twist demands until it causes the desired counter-reaction.

            1. Bjarne

              Sowing chaos has always been the CIA’s default option when no more solid goal can be defined or achieved. I do smell their rotten hand in much of what’s going on in the US now.

      2. some guy

        Isn’t it the transgenderism activists driving the legitimization of this surgery? And aren’t the business-seeking hospitals only getting involved in it for business reasons ” after the fact” of the transgenderists’ demanding frequent application of this “gender affirming” surgery to begin with?

        Are we now accusing the medical-industrial complex of getting this ball rolling when in reality they are only chasing it?

          1. OwlishSprite

            In Scotland the enraged Mums were calling it the Nonce Culture at Holyrood. With all the push for Drag Queen Story Hour here in the U.S., MAPs, and the consternation in some quarters about the ‘Epstein list’ there seems to be a movement toward relaxation, shall we say, of certain sexual freedoms. If I can say all this here. It sickens me.

            1. ambrit

              Agreed. ‘Certain factions’ have overplayed their hand. Now comes the backlash, which will be played cynically by Politicos for personal profit.
              John Varley predicted a lot of this in his Steel Beach books.

          2. Mikel

            “…In August 2021, Gov. Pritzker signed into law a new sex education bill for all public schools in Illinois, the first of its kind designed in accordance with the second edition of the National Sex Education Standards (NSES) to update sex ed curricula in K-12 schools. Bill SB0 818 will be implemented on or before Aug. 1, 2022. Though the bill includes a written opt-out for parents (but not an alternative if they do opt-out), many are concerned with the material being brought into children’s schools under the auspices of teaching them sexual health—namely gender identity ideology and other related material….”

            I looked at the examples of the curriculum outline. The only thing fleshed out were the core concepts. Every box filled. The part about “analyzing influences” was not filled in on any of the boxes. Other areas sparsely fleshed out.
            I suspect “analyzing influences” would get tricky for the program.

        1. OwlishSprite

          In a mix of this topic and the link about the suburban/rural Democrat divide, Vermont, a largely rural state that sends Democrats to Congress and splits the Gov/House Repub/Dem, they are making a huge mistake forcing the Queer-Trans agenda (it’s not LGB, they are not happy with this) in schools, especially since it’s the girls who are being shut out and silenced.
          The VT Principal’s Assoc has teamed with Stanford Univ Ed Dept with a ‘Wayfinder’ program, and threatens to cut funding for a Christian school which demurred when told their girls basketball team had to play a team with a trans girl because they were concerned for the girls’ physical safety. They’ve already kicked the girls’ team out of the right to compete with other schools. It’s not like there are not already numerous examples of women being seriously hurt by aggressive trans athletes (see rugby player in Guam). The public outcry is substantially negative toward forced acceptance of males in girls locker rooms and bathrooms, but compliance is tied to funding from HHS (Adm Rachel Levine). I see Dems starting to lose on this one here.

      3. digi_owl

        I keep finding myself thinking of eunuchs whenever this topic shows up.

        In particular a claim i ran into somewhere that during imperial China, men were willing to have their genitals removed in order to get a access to the resources of the forbidden city.

    2. bob

      Someone should read the research from John Hopkins in the 70’s. Also, read the research now out of Sweden. It is beyond lunacy to allow a child to undergo irreversible surgery before they are adults. Munchausen by proxy.

    3. Leftist Mole

      As a parent of a child with mental health issues, this really resonates with me. I now feel lucky that mine didn’t feel gender confusion, because of the level of desperation you feel when your child is thinking about suicide as an end to their problems and going out at night without your knowledge, etc. If their child is screaming for transition and the doctors say this is the solution, how does a parent resist? Sheer logic says please wait until they’re 18.

    4. Pelham

      Or maybe 25. Also, why is “gender-affirming care” always defined as measures to align with whatever a child says? Shouldn’t the definition also at least include — as a possibility — trying to align a child’s gender perception with his or her chromosomes and biology?

      1. Young

        If “gender-affirming care” is a thing, how about “age-affirming care”?

        If I say I am 70 years old, Admiral Levine should fight for my right to enlist in Medicare immediately, although I am under 65, biologically speaking.

        1. Hepativore

          Yes, and look at how quickly the idea of being “trans-racial” was squelched after a white woman tried to claim that she was trans-black because she “feels black”, so why is being “transgender” any different? Somebody can claim they are Napoleon, but that does not make them Napoleon no matter how deeply they may believe it, just like a man or woman wanting to use the pronouns of the opposite sex because they feel like they are a member of it does not make it true.

          You cannot change biology, and attempting to do so with drugs and surgery only makes things worse.

          For people who truly suffer from gender dysphoria, they should be treated with CBT and anti-anxiety measures, and should not be allowed in spaces or sports reserved for the opposite sex.

  4. timbers

    Old Blighty & Fury in France

    Perhaps a good impartial MSM snippet or headline to report these events might be

    “Massive demonstrations sweep Western Regimes as forces loyal to them ignore citizens to focus on overthrowing the worlds most popular leader with 80% approval”

    1. Bjarne

      That interview is something. He admits to 1 in 10,000 but we know the numbers are at least 1 in 5,000 from British reports and likely quite higher, with the long-term subclinical (currently) effects totally unknown. In Canada they took a vaccine off the market a few years ago that caused blood clots in 1 in 50,000. The long-desired move by big pharma to poison us for profit and redefine harm to mean whatever they want is in full swing, and this covid vax disaster is certainly not stopping them. I wouldn’t trust them to vaccinate my dog anymore. Seriously, they pump the same amount of required rabies vaccine into a Chihuahua as they do a Great Dane. Its sick and we’re sick.

      There was a time when we didn’t all get these mass vaccinations and we somehow survived. Yes, safe, properly made vaccines have largely eliminated some horrible illnesses. But trusting big pharma to properly manufacture (as in not letting MBAs figure out how to endanger us for higher profit) anything these days is the business of fools, and the ever-expanding childhood vaccine schedule is a horrorshow causing untold damage to young people. Like “gender-affirming” care for minors, if it makes money, it flies.

  5. DJG, Reality Czar

    First: Vive la France.
    Second: Americans, who can’t be bothered to get off the sofa because there are Cool_Ranch Doritos to devour, think that the French protest too much. But I’d venture that the French habit of protesting is to show who is boss. A reminder: The bill would raise retirement age preliminarily to 64–an age at which Americans no longer are eligible to receive full benefits from Social Security. A further reminder: Maybe a strike by the U.S. railroad workers would have produced better results for them–yeah, I know, it’s that darn French influence.

    Third. This is vile, using an antidemocratic law not once, not twice, but eleven times. From the France24 article:
    “Opposition lawmakers jeered and booed as Borne invoked the controversial article 49.3 to ram through the pensions law on Thursday, having failed to ensure a majority. Borne, whose own position is now on the line, has used the contested loophole to bypass a parliament vote 11 times since becoming prime minister last year.”

    Eleven times? Everyone should be out in the streets, you know, enjoying freedom fries, the jouissance of disobedience, and the denial of electricity of the powerful.

    1. mrsyk

      I seem to remember US railroad workers striking last fall. I also remember how it ended. Not that you don’t have a point about Americans being comforted away from protesting.

      1. Otis B Driftwood

        Actually, he is right. The unions were in negotiations and threatened to strike. Biden and Congress intervened to block a strike.

        In the US, it is the bosses, not the workers, who are in charge.

  6. Terry Flynn

    View from UK ground. Yes, life for us in “red wall” territory is shuddering to a halt. You wouldn’t know from watching MSM. Strikes unreported etc (as NC has said already). Local hospital spent months pleading for me to spend c24 hours of my own time (not reimbursed) to renew credentials on most idiotic surveys/tests I have ever encountered.

    I have long covid. Last infection 99% sure due to their policy eliminating masks and closing all windows. And want me to go back? Family blog you.

    Irony is they are testing VR software to eliminate all secretaries like me who do voice to typing stuff. This uses the cloud and AI to “help physicians who have accents etc”. I first used VR in 1999. I know it CAN work….. But not like this…. UK citizens will, if not already, have all their consultations up for grabs. (the NHS has already been hacked – see news passim)

    1. MaryLand

      I’m so sorry you have Long Covid, Terry. I suspect I do too. I had Covid in Spring if 2020 before there were tests available. Out of fear of catching it again I started taking supplements often seen on protocols for treatment of covid:

      They seem to help keep my symptoms at bay. I stopped taking them for a while and symptoms returned.

      Another source of “remedies” for Long Covid:
      I haven’t tried those yet.

      YMMV of course. Wishing you improvement and better days.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Thanks. I’m always open to suggestions and will look them up and if necessary try them out myself.

        My anger might be characterised as the old man shouting at clouds…. Yet my entire career has been about “Theory on the edge” which often is proven true because I’m a big empiricist ….. The kind of stuff via (for instance wastewater data on NC) has proven “ahead of its time”. Or, in the case of masking, something that is NOT ahead of its time but whose downplaying is political in ways Yves and Lambert emphasize repeatedly.

        I’ve got to the point where certain specialists acknowledge long COVID without question. Unfortunately these do NOT include my cardiologist and since I’ve been cardiac impaired since birth…… I’m sorry, but being dual UK/Australian I have to say the NHS ain’t fit for purpose anymore*. The Aussies, when setting up Medicare, said “let’s see what the NHS does right and wrong”. I’m not going to defend Aus to the hilt (it has some really weird and unfair bits and hasn’t dealt with covid well) but overall the NHS really needs to learn from its offspring.

        *I could talk about a cardiac procedure Australia considered “grossly dangerous” c2005 which the NHS did to me (unsuccessfully) and the NHS now laughs off as “well of course there’d be minor issues back then” (verbatim quote from my cardiologist).

          1. Terry Flynnn

            Thanks. I don’t wish to sound like a stuck record but it was just today that I discovered a fairly well known member of a YouTube “tech” channel who broke away and recently started on Nebula with his own channel. His reasoning probably taps into NC criticism along the lines of “if you don’t own the platform you don’t own the business” but that’s another story!

            Basically he argued to be VERY careful about laser treatment for myopia. He had VERY equivocal results. To cut a long story short, he must treat his eyes daily for dryness. And he’d had the “better” of the two treatments. My ophthalmologist happens to be the regional specialist. Plus I saw a specialist when in Oz. Both diagnosed me with blepharitis and said to tell them if ANY more of those “commercial” eye specialists recommended lasik/prk. They could be reported for malpractice. It is completely CONTRAINDICATED.

            Certain “high street” optometrists”continue to do so. One was a client when I was in Oz so knew they were family bloggers. It’s horrifying, even to a cynic like me.

            1. MaryLand

              A person has to do their own research nowadays to try to keep their health care consistent with research. It’s a matter of self-preservation and unfortunately we have to remain vigilant.

              Anytime you are in a hospital it’s really important to have a friend or family member with you as much as possible. You need that other person to be your advocate when you are tired or confused. I know only too well how a person gets treated by staff if they think nobody will come to your defense.

            2. Revenant

              None of the six consulting ophthalmic surgeons my mother works for would have these procedures. Too many adverse sequelae ranging from reduced physical integrity of eyeball to scarring / glare. Xerophthalmia is a new one on me but hardly surprising.

        1. Keith Newman

          @Terry Flynn
          Re “the NHS really needs to learn from its offspring.”
          Canadian here: the system set up in Canada learned a number of things from errors in the NHS.
          A very important one is that in Canada a doctor is either in, or out, of publicly funded healthcare and out means all the way out ie no public money at all. Since very few people can afford out of pocket healthcare this has meant in practice that almost no doctors opt out so there is almost no two tier healthcare.
          Of course conservative governments are attacking the system through the back door by under-funding some non-profit services then funding for-profit clinics instead. They do this despite prior promises not to do so. Still, no-one is required to pay out of pocket but it is an attack on the public system.
          Fight-back is occurring but the outcome is uncertain. When there is profit to be made the fight is never over to limit or eliminate profiteering. Each generation needs to fight for everything over and over again.
          And Terry, so sorry to learn of your long Covid. “Bon courage” as they say in Quebec (where I live).

          1. Terry Flynn

            Many thanks for Canadian insights since I have no knowledge in practice at all. There have been some “Canadian scare stories” on the internet recently….. I don’t know how much truck to give them…. I suspect little since I know how Oz can go wrong and it’s rare but they get lots of attention.

            It’s as if the MSM wants to pull down the Aussie and Canadian systems…… Perish the thought…..after all its not as if they destroyed the NHS….. Oh wait

          2. spud farmer

            The Canadian healthcare system is coming apart at the seams, and not just in conservative provinces. Trying finding a GP here in BC. Even many walk-in clinics are no longer accepting walk-ins because they have their hands full dealing with the patients they already have. In pharmacies relatively common prescription drugs are increasingly out of stock. It’s shocking how much Covid has accelerated the crapification of everything.

  7. Wukchumni

    Kind of a picture perfect day on tap here, 70/52 and sunny is the forecast…

    Calm before a storm though as another round starts tomorrow, perhaps a decidedly unlucky 13th atmospheric river?

    All of the reservoirs in the Southern Sierra are completely full, and Lake Kaweah here has been releasing 43,000 gallons a second through the main spillway as a like amount flows into the dam, but the main spillway is only capable of releasing say 47,000 gallons per second, so what happens when much more comes in than can go out?

    Terminus Dam is as old as me, and the emergency spillway is dirt on the backside (similar to the Oroville Dam-which almost had a catastrophe in 2017, but much smaller-perhaps the emergency spillway is 150 feet wide) and has never been used. Fingers crossed that it works as expected, but if there is a failure, about a quarter million lives in Godzone on the fruited plain are in much peril.

    The Baedeker as to what to expect as 1 million acre feet of water in the higher climes of the southern Sierra melts out is John Austin’s Floods and Droughts in the Tulare Basin and you’d want to know what happened in the previous winter of record in 1969, and he goes into much detail of what went down.

    Read all about it online for free, really a monumental work!

    1. griffen

      Too much of a good thing all at once is possibly not quite so good, after all? I saw earlier news coverage of the still deep snow cover in the portions of CA, and this may cause a concern for possible gas meter issues. Not an engineer, so my take is the deep snow covering these meters is preventing proper regulation or venting.

      Stay safe and dry I wish and I guess. Those living in Godzone must have surely planned ahead, right, for an eternal solution after all? I say that not as a cynic, but having grown up in a fairly fundamentalist church environment.

    2. Not Again

      Good Luck. I hope you Californian don’t find out that East Palestine wasn’t a one-off. The federal government doesn’t give a rat’s butt about you. Stay dry and help each other because – unless the floods hit Hollywood -you are on your own

      1. Wukchumni

        This will be a litmus test for the Feds, as Sequoia NP is pretty wrecked, as in it probably won’t be open this year-that drastic is the damage.

        Almost all of the buildings in Sequoia NP were built for Mission 66, a nationwide push for all NP’s started in the 1950’s to have all new infrastructure by the golden anniversary of the National Park Service in 1966, by contrast in 2016 on the centennial, if you were in Sequoia NP and went to a ranger station, you got a 2 inch square piece of cake and a commemorative decal.

        A country concerned about one of it’s crown jewels would respond quickly and rebuild, but we’re not that kind of nation, are we?

        More interesting will be all the Ag down in Godzone which will be a complete loss, pretty much.

        Everybody swings so far hard right here, I feel positive they won’t have both outstretched arms out begging the government for a handout, for they mocked such people in the past, as is their penchant.

    3. Displaced Platitudes

      I may become one of those Visalia watershed surfers soon as a sibling living there has passed and I will need to attend their cremation ceremony. I very much appreciate your link for John Austin’s work on the Tulare Basin floods; I will read it with some serious interest! Best wishes for the atmospheric rivers to abate soon and for a slower than normal snow melt.
      Meanwhile we are at a mere 80+ inches of snow in the MSP area and hoping for a slow melt ourselves to avoid flooding down the Mississippi.

      1. Wukchumni

        There was never a more timely book to understand the scope of the disaster about to come down on the Central Valley, a fascinating read.

  8. The Rev Kev

    ‘Glenn Greenwald
    Hunter Biden just sued the Delaware repair shop where he left his laptop for invasion of privacy and distributing his data.
    The obvious premise is that the laptop was real and it came from that store – the exact opposite of what all corporate media claimed for the 2020 election:’

    Obviously Hunter was too drugged up to remember just what he did with that laptop and never went looking for it. So how long can a computer or laptop lay unclaimed in a repair shop before there comes a point where it can be considered abandoned so that the owner can dispose of it as they see fit?

    1. Schwelly

      Did you read the story? Because it answers that, while making the counter claim that no one else in the chain of custody had the right to copy the data, some of which is certainly Hunter’s, but all of which can’t be confirmed. It even mentions that Hunter really might have been too inebriated to remember what he did, but still doubts it his laptop, and that the data could have been retrieved from his device.
      Honestly, why wouldn’t he have taken it to an Apple store?

      But yet again, Glenn, misrepresenting things to create a strawman he can beat up, then confusing the issues for the pathologic to slurp up.

      1. griffen

        At first it wasn’t Hunter R Biden’s and now it is. At first it was a Russian disinformation plot and that it was conveniently ixnayed by many major media outlets just a few mere weeks in front of a national office election in 2020. Hunter Biden is to put it mildly, a person with seemingly amoral and unethical principles who will now be availed the opportunity to crush a single owner, small shop repair outfit with the apparent power of the state behind him to boot.

        Vomit inducing. And he’s creepy too, slept with his dead brother’s former wife. People want facts in 2023. This laptop stinks to high heaven. Added, if apparently the FBI is in possession of the laptop or it’s saved files and folders, then surely we will receive answers in due course ( hopefully before some of us our dead anyway ).

          1. griffen

            Hunter Biden as a modern day Gollum. They stole it, they stole the precious.

            IT’S Mine, My Precious….

      2. pretzelattack

        how did the data get on the laptop which Hunter can’t remember but doubts is his, and what is he suing the repair guy for if the laptop isn’t his? honestly, if he was too drunk or stoned to remember what he did with it, maybe he thought it was an apple store.

      3. Otis B Driftwood

        The legal issue, according to the post article, will likely come down to the difference between the store policy as stated on the receipt of gaining ownership after 90 days versus Delaware law that requires one year and publicly published notice.

        On that, Biden has a case. But absolutely no one will believe that laptop wasn’t his.

        Did Greenwald say anything that contradicts this?

    2. GiGi

      If I recall correctly, the repair shop guy initially tried to turn the laptop over to the FBI once he got a look at what was on it. The FBI refused to take it.

    3. GiGi

      Anyway, whether Delaware law applies or the language on the repair shop receipt, what does it matter? I cannot for the life of me figure what they hope to achieve by bringing this lawsuit. So what if they win a judgment against the repair shop guy?
      The cat is long out of the bag and the information in the public domain. Plus Hunter is now subject to all manner of discovery.
      Seems like a really dumb move. Unless there is even more damaging information on the laptop that they want to be in a position to suppress if they can show that it is tainted in some way.

      1. jsn

        The point of torture is not what happens to the victim, it’s what it tell everyone else about engaging with the torturer in any way.

        In this case, legal harassment can crush a small business owner and there’s nothing the victim can do to stop it.

        So, we all think about what we would do…

  9. griffen

    Flashing your butt for the world to see. As Austin Powers would say, Oh behave. Instead of Marie Antoinette we get this nonsensical behavior. \sarc

    Expect nothing less from well connected Credit Suisse bank executives or their spouses I suppose, as in there’s no shame on accepting a central bank / Swiss National Bank gift after all. Party like it’s 2029 ! ( I heard a portion of the Prince version on the radio, recalling I was not yet a teenager when “1999” became a big hit ). Life happens fast, let’s go crazy I do guess.

    1. Lexx

      I went to summer camp; our wardrobes didn’t look anything at all like those. What camp did they do to?

      1. griffen

        Tacky Camp maybe, I dunno. One individual certainly looked like a grown dude in a dress, an observation made in passing only and not a judgement of any kind.

        Definitely didn’t have a Camp Crystal Lake vibe either ( for Friday 13th movie fans ).

  10. Schwelly

    Glenn Greenwald again scolds corporate media, and in turn does the thing he is blaming them of doing. If he would read the complaint he would see that Biden doesn’t believe that he left anything containing his personal data at this repair shop. He can confirm some of the data is his, but can’t speak for all of it, or from where it came. The claim is that the repair shop still distributed it illegally, and is apparently confident enough to file that in court, even if it goes to discovery.
    Glenn knows that a source has to be scrutinized for providence and integrity, but instead, Glenn knows it’s a ripe opportunity to confuse assumptions with facts, inject this narrative out into the discourse to cloud the issues, all as his sponsors have charged him to do.

    Yet here we are.
    In this post truth world, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got the right values, it just matters if you’ve got the right enemies.

      1. Schwelly

        I don’t believe I said I believe the complaint.
        But they are a series of claims being submitted in court. Glenn’s are not.
        And in fact they are a misrepresentation of what’s being presented in court.

        1. Nikkikat

          Lol! Schwelly you are one funny guy. Let’s see now, believe Hunter Biden or Glenn Greenwald. Umm, gee whiz….I pick Greenwald.

        2. pretzelattack

          i believe you are accepting what the complaint alleges, whether you refer to it or not, and Greenwald is not a party to the suit so yeah, he’s not presenting his analysis in court, as if that were relevant to the truth of what he says.

    1. Carolinian

      Seriously? It’s full of pornographic pictures that Hunter took of himself. Of course it’s his laptop. And it’s provenance, not “providence.”

    2. Adam

      Thank you for correctly pointing out that little people should never question our imperial rulers and their families no matter how crazy and corrupt they are. I would appreciate you posting more often so that we can know where the guard rails are.

      P.S. please say ‘hi’ to King George for me the next time you see him.


      1. Schwelly

        I would simply prefer the people who do question authority and our democratically elected politicians and their families, do so with facts and honest reporting, such that the reasonable, pertinent, and true issues don’t get drowned out by the salacious and fake ones.

        If you want to give Glenn a free pass to flood the zone in the style of Steve Bannon, then by all means, we don’t need guard rails, but good luck getting any sort of collective action fomented.

        1. timbers

          True issues…like Greenwald’s work w/Snowden? And the shock waves or rather tidal waves of true issues that produced? Wasn’t Greenwald also involved in true issues w/Wikileaks/Julian Assange or am mixing that up? Not to mention Greenwald ratting our the corruption in Brazilian govt and how they framed Lulu etc etc. To say Greenwald is maybe the greatest journalist of our time might be a gross understatement. And Steve Bannon gets respect from some here regarding how he framed the 2008 financial crisis bailout as throwing working folk under the bus to subsidize Wall Street and banks and the rich. Just saying…

        2. tegnost

          There’s plenty of collective action going on with the PMC and the socialist class in wall st/finance/education trinity. Your problem with collective action seems to be that the rest of us won’t get in line like we’ve been commanded to.

        3. Otis B Driftwood

          What, specifically, do you find wrong in Greenwald’s reporting?

          Having read the Post story and Greenwald’s reaction, I can’t find anything.

          However, in the comments in the tweet, a lot of people seem to think the shop owner had a legal right to the laptop based on his store policy. That appears to contradict Delaware law.

        4. Adam

          And yet you give Hunter and his imperial defenders a free pass to flood the zone, which they have including almost completely stopping any opposing factual voices you claim to support. Funny, that.

    3. hunkerdown

      “Truth” and “values” are religious constructs. You’re writing pure religious twaddle and giving people more reason to abolish the professional-managerial class. We need to cancel whiny virtue signalers, not make space for them.

    4. Sam

      Hunter Biden already admitted that the laptop was his and he did on national TV a year or so ago. As for Greenwald just injecting a narrative you might want to check your biases about him. His point is that democrats and their friends in intelligence agencies said that it was just Russian propaganda and they got it banned and censored just before the election. I definitely have a problem with that.

  11. nippersdad

    Has it occurred to the ICC that it was the responsibility of Ukraine to remove its civilians from the front lines under the laws of war? How could “Putin” have personally abducted so many children if Ukraine had done their duty? And why is it not a laudable act for Russia to have done so in the absence of Ukraine fulfilling its’ responsibilities?

    All the ICC has managed to do is prove Russia’s point that the ICC is just a kangaroo court to the eighty percent of the world population that already suspected it.

    1. hk

      Ukraine was literally shelling the children, which is why they were removed by Russia in the first place. Apparently…

    2. jsn

      It took pleasure in the hyping by imperialist tools of the actions of a court the empire refuses to recognize, for very good reasons!

  12. DJG, Reality Czar

    Andrew Lowenthal, Twitter, and the new censorship regime. Worth your while, indeed.

    However, I disagree here: “Is disinformation an actual problem? Yes, though it is overstated and the “anti-disinformation” field is making it worse, not better. It is also contributing to increasing polarisation.”

    The issue is propaganda, not disinformation (whatever “disinformation” is supposed to mean). Propaganda includes government press releases, the endless crap flowing out of the marketing department at your job, the various campaigns by organizations like the chamber of commerce, army recruitment posters, adverts for spicy chicken wings, and so on.

    The endlessness of propaganda is what social media have brought to us. It’s all marketing all the time. Always be closing. (I am reminded of the many standing ovations that occurred so spontaneously at the publishing houses where I have worked–yes, applauding propaganda and sales goals, it’s what passes for joy in the U S of A.)

    This endlessness of propaganda has many persons’ moral compasses in a twirl. Add to that the relative ease to get on broadcast media if one has even minimal power. I caught a glimpse of Claire McCaskill (forcibly retired) blabbering about Stacey Plaskett on a YouTube report the other day–yes, Washington is the Hollywood of the ugly and morally misshapen (how else to explain Ted Cruz?).

    Twitter allows everyone to express an opinion–twelve or twenty times a day.

    Once one considers the overflow of propaganda to be just that–propaganda–the wars over “fake news” and “disinformation” look pretty silly.

    We all know that Zelenskyy is lying–the issue isn’t “disinformation” so much as that the endlessness of propaganda is wearing down people’s ability to discern even small glimmers of truth.

    Nevertheless, Lowenthal is worth a read.

    1. norbert

      Great point. The issue is propaganda. A secondary issue is whether things are really different now. Here is a case that it is not. Before the internet one managed the propaganda system by managing the major news outlets. That was relatively easy as Bernstein’s old Rolling Stone piece showed. Get the right people inside, make a few calls and presto, consensus and the wrong news doesnt make it to the public domain. Or it only makes it to a fringe, people who read. Monthly Review or Ramparts or whatever. What the internet changed was the potential reach of the fringes. Now they could get much wider audiences and could thus exert influence. This needs to be stopped. How? Well, the Twitter files are explaining the method developed. We can be rest assure that if the NYT and WaPo co trolled the net the way they did pre-net news we would have no need for what we have now. So, yes, the issue is propaganda and the goal is to get us to trust and revere the opinions of our leaders, and to believe anything else is conspiracy and deception.

  13. chris

    On the topic of “when does someone gun up?”…

    It actually isn’t that easy. The places where these workers live are also the places where access to weapons is legally more restricted. You also have the cultural identity of most of these people based in polls I’ve seen which suggests they take pride in not hunting or exercising 2nd amendment rights. And if you’re here on an H1B visa or have a greencard or you’re trying to support family applications for visas/citizenship, you’re unlikely to go the route that puts you in conflict with authorities. I’d say the answer for these ex-Google employees is likely that they will never go postal… but.

    During the fallout from Trump’s election, during the first heady days of “antifa”, the left got religion quickly. It was shocking to see how fast people who had espoused non-violence suddenly embraced organized violence. So I’m aware this could change quickly.

  14. mrsyk

    Remember East Palestine anyone? Anybody? Where’s the victim registry? According to google 5mm people get their drinking water from the Ohio River, 25mm people live in the Ohio River Basin. Maybe they will get to be part of that 40% excess demand (dying of thirst?) of fresh water.

    1. Screwball

      I watched a short interview yesterday with women who lives at ground zero. They can still smell the chemicals, people are getting sick, they are worried about the water and soil. Some testing has shown dioxin levels elevated above normal. It doesn’t sound good for those people. The coverage has now dwindled. Nobody asks about nearby towns/people in PA either, which is very close.

      Buy, hey, the trains are running.

      1. ambrit

        The testers said that Dioxin levels in the soil at the wreck site are running at 700 Parts Per Trillion (PPT). The Federal level at which a clean up is mandated is 1000 PPT. This is considered high in most other States. The generally accepted cancer risk threshold is 3.7 PPT. So, the soil tests at almost Two Hundred times the cancer risk level of contamination.
        Also, what about the citizens of the towns and cities that get their drinking water supplies out of the Ohio River downstream of East Palestine? (Several million people.)
        This is sloppy eugenics.
        The railroads must be Nationalized. Nothing less will solve the problems.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I may have to disagree here. What is actually required is for executives to do hard time in a federal prison for many years. Make an example of them to show that they can’t just do a deal with the government to pay a fine without admitting guilt and walk away with a bonus as has been normal for the past two decades. I am given to understand that during the Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, that about 1,000 execs went to the slammer. And the last time something like this happened was in the aftermath of the Enron implosion.

  15. Hepativore

    It seems odd that Microsoft is thinking about adding a cryptocurrency wallet to its Edge brpser to make it even more useless, as I thought that the cryptocurrency fad has largely tanked at this point except for a few diehards.

    1. Wukchumni

      Bitcoin is $27.5k now, there must be quite a few diehards, up from it’s lows of $15k.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Somehow tying in cryptocurrency wallets, coupons, cash back, and “buy now, pay later” add-ons and maybe even bank accounts into a Microsoft browser is not an idea that fills me full of confidence

    3. notabanker

      March Madness caused the need to replenish a certain nefarious in some states but not others online gambling account. CC=10% fee, echeck = 5%, BTC = Free. In reality it cost a little under 3% to buy and transfer the btc. So it is already a legit payment rail. Not sure how efficient it is at scale, but my transactions have never taken more than a couple of minutes. For online that is just fine by me if it is going to save me $$.

    4. hunkerdown

      1. It’s cool when all the kids are doing it. It’s uncool when all the parents are doing it.
      2. If Microsoft is finally playing with Pokémoney, there’s probably nothing much to it beyond getting people in the habit of paying with their browsers, in preparation for digital currency.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “ICC judges issue arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes’

    Gotta keep on pocking that bear. The ICC cut their teeth prosecuting Africans and people from the Balkans. Looks like they are expanding. A coupla points. So was Russia supposed to leave those kids unprotected in an active war zone? The Ukrainians are notorious for shelling civilian targets and in fact there is a monument in Donetsk City called “The Alley of Angels” dedicated to the 500 children killed by shelling since 2014. What was supposed to happen to those kids?

    There has also been talk of it being a war crime because forced deportation of populations is recognized as a crime under the Rome statute that established the court. Thing is, it was only a coupla months ago that Zelensky said that he was going to deport the people in the eastern region to the west of the Ukraine which sounded like the same. Now here is the thing. The Russian Federation incorporated four Oblasts into their country some time ago. If those kids left after that date, then would that not be a case of kids being moved from one part of Russia to another?

    You can imagine that there will be Neocon wet dreams of seeing Putin arrested in some country to be deported to one that recognizes the ICC. Say, if this war ends and Putin flies to the UN building in New York to formally end it, do you think that the Biden regime might try to arrest him, deport him to Canada which recognizes the ICC, and then flies him to The Hague? Stuff like that has happened to Russians before. But if they think that the Russians will send him to The Hague, it ain’t going to happen. Not only does Russia not recognize the ICC but it is actually illegal in Russia to extradite a citizen to another country-

    The Constitution of the Russian Federation
    Chapter 2. Rights and Freedoms of Man and Citizen
    Article 61 1. A citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported from Russia or extradited to another State.

    1. Stephen

      AJP Taylor once said (I paraphrase) that war criminals reach that status because they lost the war.

      A German 1945 victory would, of course, have seen Harris, Eaker, et al in the dock for the bombing campaign. The allies themselves prosecuted some “war criminals” but ones who might be useful (even senior Wehrmacht officers who had participated in the Final Solution) were not treated as such. It is a purely political process.

      This warrant seems to have the normal order reversed though. First win the war, only then prosecute the people whom it suits you to treat as war criminals so that you can justify the cost as good triumphing over evil. Not the other way. Zelensky is far more likely to end up as a war criminal ultimately than Putin is. Because he is not going to win. And eventually it will not suit the US to protect him. Rather, it will probably suit them not to do so.

      All war crimes cases are really kangaroo courts because the decision as to whom to prosecute is very selective and purely political.

      1. The Rev Kev

        You have a good point. Still, there are exemptions sometimes. At the end of WW2, they put German Admiral Karl Dönitzon trial and one of the charges was waging unrestricted submarine warfare. But then-

        ‘His sentence on unrestricted submarine warfare was not assessed because of similar actions by the Allies. In particular, the British Admiralty, on 8 May 1940, had ordered all vessels in the Skagerrak sunk on sight, and Admiral Chester Nimitz, wartime commander-in-chief of the US Pacific Fleet, stated the US Navy had waged unrestricted submarine warfare in the Pacific from the day the US officially entered the war. Thus, Dönitz was not charged of waging unrestricted submarine warfare against unarmed neutral shipping by ordering all ships in designated areas in international waters to be sunk without warning.’

        1. Stephen

          Yep, I nearly added that story! Admiral Nimitz seems to have been a genuinely courageous man. Lots of stories about him seem to attest to that. I think he even offered to be charged too if they persisted!

          Although, of course, other charges to make sure Raeder and Donitz were war criminals were used instead.

          Todays leaders seem almost to revel in double standards and hypocrisy though. A feature not a bug.

          1. hk

            I think the “moralization” is at the root of the problems. The problem, as they see it, is that they mean well, so whatever they do is justified (as the old saying attributed to Crusaders goes, “Kill them all. God will know His own”–i.e. it’s OK if you engage in genocide, as long as you do it for glory of God, or whatever righteous cause you believe.) Since the “other guys” are opposing you, who is obviously doing everything for the good and holy, they must obviously be the bad guys. Even if they save lives and feed the poor, they are still evil deeds because they are obviously doing them for the evil, made self evident by the fact that they are opposing us. Or something like that.

      2. paddy

        icc is better ridiculous headline and diverts attention from the mess that 15 years of unlimited $$ fiat printing has done to the usa of weimar

    2. nippersdad

      The UN has so completely disgraced itself that I could never see the Russians bothering with them. Ritter was saying a few months ago, in his usual colorful way, that the war in Ukraine will end up much like the one with Japan, with the Ukrainians signing a total surrender on a Russian battleship in Odessa harbor. That seems a much more likely scenario.

      Extra points for them if they can get the leaders of the collective West on board the destroyer to co-sign the surrender.

      1. Lex

        The next chair of the UNSC is … Russia. It begins sometime this month, IIRC. Could be interesting.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That will be hilarious that. In other diplomatic meetings, the western nations get up and walk out when the Russian delegate speaks. That is not possible on the UNSC because if they do, they can’t vote if they are not present and Russia & China could pass all sorts of stuff.

      2. tevhatch

        Russia and China both say that international law and the UN are the proper alternative to US Hegemony rule(s base order). They both claim the system is broken, but not beyond fixing. I wish them luck.

    3. R.S.

      …there is a monument in Donetsk City called “The Alley of Angels” dedicated to the 500 children killed by shelling…

      I’m sorry but that’s a bit of an overstatement. The iconic granite slab started AFAIR with 50-something names; the last time I’ve checked it had about 70. The total number pre-SMO was ~150 killed directly. As for those wounded and crippled, I have no data on hand, but it’s definitely somewhere in hundreds.

      Anyway, the Ukrainian position has always been that “Ukraine can do to its citizens whatever it wants, and that’s none of other countries’ business”.

      1. The Rev Kev

        With about 14,000 people killed in this region from 2014 to 2021, 500 children killed is not a stretch at all. And those are official UN numbers. Those names would just be Donetsk city alone as for the past eight year the Ukrainians have made it a past time to shell that civilian city. No military targets mind, they just want to kill civilians to make them pay for resisting. And here is a thought. Every HIMARS shot is supposed to be ultimately cleared by the US in the targeting, right? So why are HIMARS rounds being used to shell places like hospitals and not things like ammo dumps? Maybe ‘Ukraine can do to its citizens whatever it wants’ but Russia says play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

        1. R.S.

          I’m not questioning the general premise tho. I’m just fun at parties and have already had my share of gotcha moments with “anti-Russian-disinformation” fact checkers. Gratuitous shelling of civilians has been real, and something like the Zugres strike was a rather ingenious way to win hearts and minds. No idea about the HIMARS missiles, really. It makes no military sense. And the Kramatorsk strike. And the shelling of the nuclear plant. There must be a method to this madness.

          I’ve read the “Statement by Prosecutor Karim A. A. Khan KC on the issuance of arrest warrants against President Vladimir Putin and Ms Maria Lvova-Belova”, and it says
          Incidents identified by my Office include the deportation of at least hundreds of children taken from orphanages and children’s care homes.
          So it seems that those kids had no parents or custodians present, other than the staff of those institutions. And they couldn’t be moved out of the combat zone, that’s “unlawful deportation”. Where were the kids supposed to go, exactly? Packed in a bus and sent across the front line?

      2. hk

        Ukraine’s position has also been that those who were resisting Ukrainian rule were not Ukrainians, but “Russian invaders” who didn’t have the rights of Ukrainian citizens, even if they were natives of the region. I don’t think they get to have it both ways.

  17. LY

    James Gleick’s The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, not only covers Lovelace and her work, but also Alan Turing and Claude Shannon. For me, Claude Shannon is the most brilliant American mind of the 20th century, and this is the closest to a popular biography he’s gotten. His master’s thesis is how we design digital circuits, his PhD thesis anticipates bioinformatics by decades, and his paper on information theory tells us how digital communications and storage work.

    The book is also a one of the few written for lay people that covers what you would learn in computer engineering and electrical engineering, especially for signal processing and telecommunications.

    1. Late Introvert

      2nd that the Gleick book is outstanding – it’s possible I found out about it here maybe? About 4 years ago? I wouldn’t be surprised.

      There’s a great story about talking drums in Africa, how they were an early (the first?) example of using coded signals. The white men would always be surprised that the villagers were expecting them. Shannon’s other great insight was that a signal with expected information is not as “rich” as that with unexpected info.

      Another concept Gleick keeps underscoring is how at the very basic core of existence is information. I’m doing a bad job describing the book – it’s highly recommended.

      There’s a movie about Shannon and I plan to watch it.
      The Bit Player

  18. Hepativore

    It seems odd that Microsoft is thinking about adding a cryptocurrency wallet to its Edge browser to make it even more useless, as I thought that the cryptocurrency fad has largely tanked at this point except for a few diehards.

  19. flora

    re: large and growing strikes in UK and France.

    Once aspect of the US’s Great Depression and the passage of New Deal programs is rarely if ever mentioned in most of the popular histories of that time: strikes and wildcat actions by both union and non-union workers. Farmers were dumping milk and burning their own crops rather than continue to sell at a loss. Judges and Sheriffs trying to evict farm families started getting met with armed groups of farmers turning the Sheriffs back. Miners were striking, sometimes with violence. The country was coming apart at the seams. FDR and Congress didn’t pass New Deal programs out the the charitable goodness of their hearts. (They were politicians, after all.) All the parts of a functioning Western democracy and economy were breaking down.

    It seems like an oxymoron to say “radical farmers”. Back then it became a reality.

    The point is, people can be pushed only so far for only so long before…. What’s the saying?
    “Beware the anger of patient men” ?

    1. hk

      “Armed farmers turning the Sheriffs back.”.

      I suppose PMC would respond to something like that by decrying the evils of “gun culture” and calling for more “gun control.”

  20. Dalepues

    Global Water Demand…after gas and oil, another reason to break up Russia:
    “Lake Baikal is the world’s largest freshwater lake by volume, containing 22–23% of the world’s fresh surface water,[5][6] more than all of the North American Great Lakes combined.[7]”

  21. griffen

    Biden requests that Congress approve authorization to ban bank executives of failed institutions from the industry. One might presume, perhaps naively, that the failure would be enough to deter a new corporate employer. Looking over your CV, it says “CEO” or “CFO” of Silicon Valley Bank; please explain like in Office Space, what would you say you do here? How often are you using these TPS reports? I mean hopefully you can do math or basic finance after all (it is in question, however).

    More seriously, though, these executives and management have just taken it on their collective chins in the loss of a previously, if not very recently, high value investment holding of bank shares. Don’t kick wealthy people when they are already down! Selling shares of the bank’s equity out of my portfolio is a risk management technique! \SARC

  22. flora

    re: Rural America and suburbs part company politically – Asia Times

    No mention that beginning in the C admin, the Dem estab has made a conscious desision to abandon rural America. Remember Howard Dean’s 2004 50-state Party program to increase the Dem wins in all states, which O, who benefited from the program, later killed. Everyone remembers Schumer’s infamous declaration:

    ‘Ahead of the 2016 election, Schumer infamously declared, ​“For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.” This was, to put it mildly, not what happened in 2016.’

    The Dems have completely abandoned rural communities, even though the still existing local Dem party structures in rural areas beg the national establishment for elections help. They’re ignored. The GOP still works for wins in these areas.

    1. Charger01

      The Dems have completely abandoned rural communities, even though the still existing local Dem party structures in rural areas beg the national establishment for elections help. They’re ignored.

      Urban vs rural dynamic, writ large. Dems are really clueless. Can’t beat something with nothing.

      1. flora

        I can’t decide if they’re clueless or if (adjusts foil bonnet) the Dem estab and the GOP estab have formed a detent based on essentially gerrymandering the entire country for the benefit of the ‘uniparty.’ (removes foil bonnet) / ;)

      2. JBird4049

        And the Republicans have abandoned much of the urban areas. This shows that the parties have gerrymandered the entire country.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I think the link’s analysis of the rift between rural and suburban America hits far wide of the mark. The rift between rural and suburban America is not that complicated. Neither rural nor suburban nor city people are happy with the direction the u.s. has been heading, and they have been unhappy for many years now. Rural people are angry. They vote Republican to raise a middle finger to the Power Elites. Suburban and city people are frightened by the bizarre craziness of many of the Republican candidates. They vote Democrat as the lesser evil.

      I believe a ballot line for voting “No — none of the above!” would be the overwhelming winner of most elections.

      1. bob

        I believe a ballot line for voting “No — none of the above!” would be the overwhelming winner of most elections.

        It is. Less than half of people bother to vote – a very clear majority.

    3. Lexx

      I’m going to leave a link to an article that was in The Guardian a couple of days ago, that my curiosity has been ruminating on since, with both admiration for the talent involved and hope in the implications. It comes under the general heading of ‘Feds vs. States’ and what may yet be accomplished on a state level.

      What I wanted to know was what was specifically in the wording of the those briefs that prevented the fossil fuel attorneys from arguing that that litigation needed to be kicked up to the federal courts? The lessons taken away in the many cases called ‘Big Tobacco’ (and I think, though not mentioned, also in the legalization of marijuana) were mentioned.

      I’m disinclined to tar and feather an entire party based on the antics of Washington D.C.. There are still good efforts being made on the part of both parties, but especially the Dems, if we don’t look at the profit motives too closely.

      1. c_heale

        I completely disagree. Biden and the Dems don’t care about any of this. It’s just optics. If he cared he wouldn’t have allowed the Willow project.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “AI can fool voice recognition used to verify identity by Centrelink and Australian tax office”

    The few times that I have rung the Tax Office the telephone prompt gives the option of using your voice to identify yourself in future. By instinct I have always refused even though I knew that they were going to keep a copy of my voice print anyway but I am surprised that so many people agreed to do it.

    1. digi_owl

      People agree, because even highly educated people do not know how tech works and value convenience above all.

    2. flora

      I’ve spent a career in IT in all aspects; programming, security, hardware, networking, etc.
      I’ve never set up an online banking account because, well, I’m just that paranoid about the skills of hackers. I’ve made a point of telling my bank they cannot and may not set up an online banking account for me unless I come in – in person to request the setup. (My friends (and my bank) think I’m a Luddite. ha. )

      Anything by way of online user authentication that is ‘easier’ for you to use is also easier for hackers to use. That’s my theory and I’m sticking with it. / ;)

      1. digi_owl

        There is this joke going the rounds where the only “smart” device in the home of a sysadmin is a networked printer. And they keep a gun near it for when it starts to act funny.

      2. flora

        an aside: Traveler’s Checks are still available and also pre-paid bank credit cards are available. Neither expose the user’s whole bank account and personal data to bad actors if compromised. So there’s that. Extra steps. A bit of extra effort. Probably 99% of the time not necessary. It’s the 1% of the time I think about. YMMV. / ;)

      3. Keith Newman

        @flora @12:42
        A friend of mine used to be the research director of a German regional bank. He does use online banking but checks his account daily for possible hacking.
        I too use online banking but do the same as my friend.
        I always refuse voice authentication for anything although I recognise my voice may be recorded anyway.

        1. flora

          I think that both you and your friend are smart in your online usage.

          (wherein the term ‘smart’ has nothing to do with the AI meaning of the term ‘smart’. ha)

  24. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “The Gathering Storm”
    The title of this opinion piece echoes the title of Book 1 of 6 of Winston Churchill’s “The Second World War”. I can only disagree with two points at the tail of this link:
    –“Far too many Americans believe they have had no real national leadership since January 21, 2021.”
    Macgregor got the date wrong. I am having trouble coming up with the date I last felt the u.s. had real national leadership.

    –Macgregor blames “Liberal internationalism or, in its modern guise, “moralizing globalism,” for making prudent diplomacy difficult.
    I would cast the blame far more broadly.

  25. griffen

    Lyrics to the tune of Jackson Browne “Running on Empty”…Substituting of course the topic du jour of the week and the moment, Silicon Valley Bank.

    Looking out at the funds rushing out of our doors
    Looking back at our asset duration in years
    In 2019 we cooked with gas
    In 2020 we got flushed with cash

    Bank running along
    Bank running dry
    Bank, no, now we’re running behind

    Gotta do what the Feds tell you to
    To keep your bank floating alive
    Try not to confuse them folks
    Keeping their start ups to thrive

    Bank running along
    Bank running dry
    Bank, oh no we’re running behind

    Janet you’re really tempting me
    With your bailout scheme so fine
    Pass the hat for us fat cats
    And we’re outta dodge in no time

  26. ChrisFromGA

    Re: Xi’s excellent visit to Russia, and the WH spokes-stooge response:

    The Chinese might promote a ceasefire in Ukraine and ‘try to couch themselves as peacemakers’, a White House official says

    These people lack the self awareness to see their own evil. Words don’t describe how rotten they are. Can’t have peace breaking out, if you’re a warmonger. Must keep the blood and guts flowing and fertilizing the steppes of Ukraine.

    1. Wukchumni

      Xi is this century’s Teddy Roosevelt negotiating the peace between Russia & Japan, right?

      1. hk

        Who’s Japan and who’s Russia now? Recall that Roosevelt’s intervention was unpopular everywhere even though the Japanese leaders, who knew the facts, knew they really needed it and Nicholas Ii and his advisors, who didn’t want the war in the first place, were happy to use it to overrule the generals who knew Russia had advantage in the long term.

            1. hk

              The accusation has been made: most Koreans know something called “Taft-Katsura Pact,” which supposedly said Japan gets Korea and US gets the Philippines. Technically, that’s not really fair since, by the time of this agreement (after Russo-Japanese War had ended), both US and Japan were solidly in control of these countries. The agreement was essentially an understanding that both parties recognize the situation and agree to not mess with each other. Still, it was still an imperialist understanding.

    2. Martin Oline

      I wish Xi would come over here and show us how to treat crooked CEOs like they do in China. That’s right, hang ’em high! They won’t do it again. It’s no accident they are stealing all the money, they trained for it in college. Silicon Valley bank, SBF, they were raised to steal and are just following the examples of our politicians from the last fifty years by taking everything they can get their hands on. I think Robin Harris, the black Don Rickles, had the right idea when he said ” Gotta go? Gotta go!” Click on that link and go to 50 seconds in. Better yet watch it all and enjoy him while you can because he died in 1990.

  27. Lex

    I can’t speak to the legality of the abandoned laptop, but from a long career cultivating illegal plants I know something about how criminals should treat their garbage. No warrant required and it was always the first step because it was a great way to get a warrant. Once you leave the garbage on the curb you surrender it as your property. I was famously fastidious about the content of garbage bags, not even allowing any indication of use of the plant in question much less indications of cultivation.

    Getting caught is usually because you make dumb mistakes. Leaving your laptop with incriminating evidence at a repair shop (even for the repair much less abandoning it) is a dumb mistake of the highest order.

    1. Nikkikat

      I don’t imagine Hunter ever had to account for his actions in any way. There was his crooked corrupt old man doing the evil thing everyday. Old Joe never paid a price for anything either.

  28. The Rev Kev

    “Global fresh water demand will outstrip supply by 40% by 2030, say experts”

    This article entirely misses the worse problem to do with water. You would think that as water is critical to survival, that it would count as a basic right. Yeah, about that. Corporations are already buying up water sources and will treat water as a tradable commodity to the highest bidder in the open market. So in years to come you may see water being pumped from a country suffering drought conditions to be used in another for profitable agricultural products like palm oil. You know that it will happen. The US will be a leader here because you already have cities that have cut off water to poorer people and the problem of Flint started as the result of trying to privatize a regular water supply. And look at how some in the west demand water be piped to them from the east. There will be water wars in future and you will read of water pipelines being blown up before that water leaves a region. Because at the end of the day, if you do not have water you will be dead within a week.

    1. noonespecial

      “Because at the end of the day, if you do not have water you will be dead within a week.”


      Rev and others here at NC may have seen the following from South China AMPost, but just in case. Part of the headline: Asia’s ‘rice bowl’ is under threat due to groundwater woes.

      A quote from the link, “Farmers in northern India use subsidised electricity to pump out water from ground for rice cultivation, which has caused water tables to plunge over years.” The article does not indicate if a corporation benefits from the subsidies, but my bet is that this is a strong possibility.

      Capturing and storing rain water is not just for the home gardener. More big-scale industrial thinking and development of recycling/reusing of what comes form the sky is due, albeit with the caveat that something has to be done about microplastics.

      1. Kouros

        I think that was the plan with the legislation that Modi tried and failed to enact a couple of years ago, which would have opened up India’s agricultural sector, which is relatively protected.

    2. John k

      I focus on the bit that in ca ag uses 80% of the water allocated to man and cities generate 98% of ca gdp, to say nothing of probably 98% of the voting pop. Granted ag buy the pols, but ca has initiatives that aren’t that difficult to get on the ballot… what if they said ag has to pay half what city people do/gallon?
      This years rain pushes off the problem, but if real drought returns imo ag will lose the water war.

    3. Glen

      Years ago, I did search and rescue. We were taught the Rule of 3s:

      Rule of threes (survival)

      Basically –

      You can survive three minutes without breathable air (unconsciousness), or in icy water.
      You can survive three hours in a harsh environment (extreme heat or cold).
      You can survive three days without drinkable water.
      You can survive three weeks without food.

  29. fresno dan
    Any indictment of the former President, who is running for reelection in 2024, would mark a historic first and quickly change the political conversation around an already divisive figure. While Trump has an extensive history of civil litigation both before and after taking office, a criminal charge would represent a dramatic escalation of his legal woes as he works to recapture the White House.
    The exceptional country, the shining city on a hill, etcetera, etcetera. Now the “right” (I have my doubt that Trump is “conservative”) establishment, the police are always right, is gonna get to have a little debate about the US legal system. I guess Trump will want to be put gently into that paddy wagon… I have always been struck when I read “conservative” or “right” blogs how much antipathy there is toward law enforcement, and this is pre Trump. It is just part of the MSM dogma that repubs are all big police supporters. Now a political debate will come out in the open – do prosecutors and police always fairly go after people from the right political oersoectuve instead of only just the left. Is what Trump did worse than what Hunter Biden may have done? (and if its not investigated, how would you know???) That the laws do not enforce themselves – men make these decisions, and politics often plays a role.
    OH, AND the walls are closing in…finally

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      So what worries me is that if the Dems are willing to double down at this level domestically, what are they contemplating as Xi and Putin meet? These people are both in crisis and in charge.

  30. davejustdave

    I was favorably impressed with Tom Frieden’s piece at the WSJ “What Worked Against Covid” – a non-paywalled link is

    My spouse, who works in DC, suggested that one goal of publishing it might be to motivate influential people to speak to their congresspersons about the unfunded needs identified.

    As is usual, unfortunately, there is no mention of Long Covid.

  31. Guillermo

    Banned From Russian Airspace, U.S. Airlines Look to Restrict Competitors

    “Corporations are people”, a policy agreed upon by the Uniparty, lawyers and certainly corporate America.

    Guess those corpeople didn’t get the memo from the president:

    “The price of the sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia. It’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well for as long as it takes to make Ukraine free!”

    Why do airlines feel like they are immune from that? If they are not Americans, then they certainly do not deserve taxpayer subsidies. Wouldn’t blocking foreign airlines go against the Commerce Clause?

    1. The Rev Kev

      That article starts off by saying ‘Because of the war in Ukraine, U.S. carriers have to take the long way on flights to and from Asia, giving an advantage to foreign rivals flying the same routes.’ So because they did it to themselves, those airlines are demanding that the rest of the world do the same. This is like when the US found itself losing the technology race with China. So instead of ramping up investment in research & development as well as industrial manufacture, decided to instead put sanctions on China to sabotage their technological development. Or how the present NATO-Ukraine war is being used by Washington to sabotage and de-industrialize the EU as it is a competitor to the US while trying to get those EU corporations to move to the US. This is definitely not the way to win friends and influence people.

      1. Margo

        “…how the present NATO-Ukraine war is being used by Washington to sabotage and de-industrialize the EU as it is a competitor to the US…”

        Dude! It’s more like an excuse to suck the last marrow out of the American people and small businesses.

        We are now an internal colony of the globalists, just like Africa and Latin America. We need to do to our local globalists and their agents what the colonists did to the Redcoats…

  32. pjay

    Regarding “foreign interference” in Presidential elections and current European leadership, I thought this new post by Gilbert Doctorow was interesting:

    I’ve often wondered, and in fact I’ve asked at this forum more than once, how it was possible that *all* of Europe’s realist and relatively independent leaders have been displaced by utter US sycophants who often act against the interests of their own citizens. Doctorow provides a possible explanation. I’d be interested in the response by European NC readers. It certainly jives with my own worldview, but then I’m pretty jaded.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think Europe’s realists existed because they were on too. They didn’t become less racist because of the internet. Cecil Rhodes and such haven’t been addressed. They are dealing with these issues even if they can’t say it.

    2. Keith Newman

      @pjay 12:37
      Very interesting post by G Doctorow.
      There has been discussion on NC regarding why almost all European leaders have betrayed their own citizens. Yves has mentioned IIRC that she, or someone, will do a major piece on this topic eventually.

    3. Revenant

      Yes – and NC also seems to have missed LaGarde’s farcical repeat of DSK’s tragedy!

      Apparently the Oompa-Loompa of multilateral finance has been pranked by Vovan and Lexus into admitting to “Zelensky” that the sanctions on Russia have failed and central bank digital currency will be used to control the populace.

      Apologies if this has already been linked or debunked but I could not find evidence of either….

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        We are not omniscient and have only 55 links a day. The pranking is fun but we have never deemed it to be important enough to merit a link in Links.

  33. griffen

    London Metal Exchange had to delay or actually postpone nickel trading until March 27, due to a nefarious plot to substitute a bag of stones instead of the precious metal being traded. Hilarity ensues ( at least from over here in the eastern US ).

    Gotta check the warehouse inventory a little more closely ! And added “iron-y”, this report (I searched around, found it on Reuters is dated March 17) comes on St Patrick’s Day. You won’t get me gold this time, laddie.

    1. Wukchumni

      There have always been scamsters in the presssshus business, and my favorite was this one 40 years ago.

      We had a closed system teletype in the coin & bullion biz, and when news of this came out, there was almost immediate buy/sell spreads on spray plated gold 2 by 4’s, ha ha

      International Gold Bullion Exchange was a gold bullion dealer that committed major fraud during the early 1980s.

      International Gold Bullion Exchange was founded in 1979 by brothers William and James Alderdice. It grew to be reportedly the largest retail gold bullion dealer in the United States.[1] It offered sale and storage of gold and silver bullion and coins. The company would sell gold bullion at a discount if the buyer agreed to postpone taking delivery. It was headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with offices in Los Angeles and Dallas and employed over 1000 people. The company advertised in national publications like the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s.

      The company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 1983 and then ceased operating. When the company’s offices were raided by law enforcement, it turned out that the gold bar stacks shown in their advertising were only wooden blocks painted a gold color. While it operated the company collected over $140 million. At the time it shut down, there were $75 million in claims by 23,000 people. The company spent over $44 million on personal spending, salaries, marketing and travel and had little in assets when it shut down.,dealer%20in%20the%20United%20States.

    2. Kouros

      This goes well in hand with the several weeks ago story of the Australian Perth Mint found to have altered its gold bars and defrauded on the order of billions? buyers in Asia (China) for many years…

      1. The Rev Kev

        I really find it hard to understand stories like this and can only put it down to greed. Wrecking your own market is like p****** into your own drinking well. It’s not like you can go out and buy a new reputation off the shelves. Once you lose your reputation it takes decades of hard work to get it back again.

  34. North Star

    On the Larry Johnson piece regarding the scale and brutality of Ukrainian forces casualties.

    I attended a NHL hockey game the other night with a capacity crowd of about 18,000. I looked around and imagined, to understand the scope of the Ukraine conflict, that all of these people fought and died there. It was extremely sobering, and to think that about 10 times that number have died to date on the Ukranian side alone is unimaginable. A truly monstrous course of events. If Biden and all the political leaders of the countries supporting the US in provoking and prolonging this conflict are not war criminals, just what the hell are they?

    1. tevhatch

      “Kupol told the Washington Post this week that the Ukrainian army training was often poor and that some of the rookie replacements didn’t know how to throw a hand grenade or fire a rifle.”

      That’s one way to insure the least committed troops don’t frag their officers and flee. I’d not be surprised to learn they don’t even give them bullets, as they are nearly useless for killing Russians they can’t see, but might be useful for threatening their own “NKVD”. The cattle’s only purpose seems to be to act a place keepers, while absorbing Russia’s shells in some sort of rope-a-dope strategy.

    2. John k

      At first it was maybe 20-30-yr old man, now morphed into 16-60. But not many men for the Ukrainian women, many of whom moved to eu. Why would they go back to the west Ukraine disaster, maybe with no electric/water/sewage?

  35. Ignacio

    RE: The Gathering Storm Douglas Macgregor, American Conservative

    Macgregor makes here a compelling case for de-escalation and negotiation and the strong part of it has to do with the military realities in Ukraine. He also adds some discussion on the economic side of events though I think he enters there muddy territory. OK the financial meltdown of SVB and others is in part a consequence of rising interest rates which themselves are in large part consequences of the war and it’s impact in commodities but nobody can really say if this is signal of a rotten economy or more simply a result of financial excesses that may or may not have many systemic implications. More interesting is the case that the Western economies seem unable to cope with the needs of Ukraine regarding weapons, ammunition and building air defences. Inflation and monetary responses do not help to solve this problem but more importantly there are physical limitations in the structure of Western economies that would require several years to be overcome and should mandate not only pause in the escalation but fast diplomatic actions to avoid the worst to come to Ukraine. If real diplomatic action is not rapidly taken and Ukraine is sunk as Macgregor predicts (with powerful reasons to agree with him) what the West and more specifically the Biden administration is doing to Ukraine turns from what could be qualified as military help into total sacrifice in the altar of hegemonic pretences. The optics of that shift are awful for the US and for the very same hegemonic pretences as well.

    1. chris

      Do you think there is any basis for Russia to sit down and negotiate? If they do it without the US, the negotiations are pointless. If they do it with the US, the negotiations are useless. I think Putin has been put in the position of total victory or constant war. There can be no alternative solution to the problem the “West” has posed Russia.

      1. Ignacio

        No the basic need to negotiate should be on the West as explained. Problem is current leadership doesn’t seem willing to grasp the reality of the situation.

        1. hk

          Even if they recognize the reality, they have nothing to offer. They burned up every bargaining chip they had and ruined any shred of credibility. The only thing that can wind this war up now is France and Germany surrendering unconditionally, if not de jure, de facto.

  36. Tom Stone

    As far as “Gunning up”, Women (40% of new gun buyers are women) and minorities are definitely changing the face of gun owners in the USA and this has been going on for a while.
    We now have 25 “Constitutional Carry” states, up from one (Vermont) when I turned 18 and the number of gunfights over parking spaces. I see these phenomena as a rational response to American Society as it continues to adjust to the change from a high trust to a low trust society.
    I do expect the unworthy poors to stay unarmed ( Getting a CCW in Sonoma County costs about $2K exclusive of weapon, ammo and holster) but those who can afford to will increasingly take responsibility for their own self defense because they don’t have a choice.
    If you really want to reduce violence in our society you simply have to ban the one commodity that has been convincingly linked to violent behavior for well over a century.

  37. Wukchumni

    The only time I ever saw a gun brandished in anger in public was in a takeover robbery in a Bank of America I just happened to be doing business in about 30 years ago, how about the rest of you in the USA, is that a common experience where it really doesn’t happen that much?

    1. chris

      I’ve seen it more than I’d like but that’s the result of my vocation more than any statistically significant sampling. Case in point, I was surveying a field in the country in a southern state. The farmer nearby, who based on all records I had access to did not own this property or the adjacent property, had a gun and asked me what I was doing and how quickly could I stop doing it.

      Another example, inspecting a property for a plumbing related matter, the owner had multiple issues and threatened me with weapons as well because I wasn’t going to commit to an opinion that held them blameless.

      Lastly, two people who knew each other, and did not like each other, arrived at a gas station where I was filling up. They were both armed and decided to resolve their personal differences with their weapons.

      I’ve also lived and vacationed in places where you don’t go in the woods if you’re not wearing bright reflective orange. And it didn’t matter whether it was hunting season or not.

      So, in my opinion, yes, there is a lot of gun violence and ordinary people using guns violently in the US. But I’m probably a biased sample given my life choices and occupation.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      once, when i was 14 or so, got lost on our deerlease, and ended up going thru adjacent place(fence was down/nonexistent)…rancher type pointed a shotgun and yelled something in an even more incomprehensible drawl than my own, and i vanished back into the frelling woods.
      other than that, ive only seen cops actually draw their weapons in anger/fear…including towards lil ol me(to be fair, they had been told the whole Amfortas=evil criminal mastermind mythos by that girl’s actually evil dad/pillar of community).
      all of this has been rural to varying degrees(ie: including little towns in rural areas)…i dont linger in big cities if i can help it….
      that said, i did live for 3 years in South Austin, and gave coworkers rides home to the east side ghettos. there were guns aplenty…much like way out here…but i never saw them brandished in any way.
      a further caveat: all of this was 30+ years ago….well before the fetishisation of guns became quite so acute.

    3. tevhatch

      I’ve never had a gun brandished at me in anger. However the number of times I had them pointed at me for fun, boredom, curiosity, etc. is beyond account. You see I’m not white, and don’t look threatening and sometimes that engenders the gun owners with a feeling of impunity. I just feel lucky that I didn’t get shot by “accident” so when I completed my schooling I put an ocean between me and the madness.

    4. Henry Moon Pie

      Most recently, a few months ago, I heard gunshots closer than usual and at a very odd time, around 8 AM. I looked out the windows, and the neighbor across and just down the street was aiming and firing a pistol up the street. He would fire from the front porch, duck back within his front door, then pop out again to fire. This happened three or four times.

      When it ended, no cops, no fuss, no muss. Back to business as usual.

  38. Tom Stone

    The last time I was robbed at gunpoint was on Linda Ave, zip code 94611 at a little after 1 PM on a sunny Sunday afternoon…
    If it had only been a “Gun Free” zone that would never have happened.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Thanks for that link. It helps explain what Biden et al. mean by “authoritarian.” Basically, it’s anybody not installed by the American CIA.

  39. Jason Boxman

    So color me completely shocked. The WSJ column is actually right on masks. In the WSJ.

    Whether masks work is a different question from whether mask mandates work. Seat belts reduce the risk of death—but only if they are worn. So do masks. A careful analysis of data from Germany, where different regions mandated mask-wearing at different times, estimated a 45% reduction in infections from mask mandates. In a place where the proportion of people wearing masks is already high, a mandate will have limited impact, and if a mandate is ignored, it will not reduce infection rates. As with laws requiring passengers to wear seat belts, mask mandates work best in combination with a social norm that encourages the behavior.

    High levels of masking have been linked to reductions of virus spread ranging from 10% to 80%.

    Extensively describes the effectiveness of masks.

    And even some sensible advice.

    To avoid death and disruption from infectious diseases, we must adapt our actions rapidly based on the best available information. That in turn means more investment in collecting and analyzing accurate, real-time data on health, including reliable systems to monitor death rates and trigger alarms when there are increases.
    The best early-warning systems depend on patients who trust clinicians and visit them when they are sick and on clinicians who trust public health organizations and report suspected cases and outbreaks promptly. Such reporting needs to be supported by accurate and timely laboratory work, using traditional methods and also newer tools such as wastewater surveillance and genomic analysis.

    Naturally also heavy on the theme that vaccines saved many lives and no mention of any adverse events.

  40. upstater

    Now I know PropOrNot must’ve been right about NC /s

    Pro-Moscow voices tried to steer Ohio train disaster debate

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Soon after a train derailed and spilled toxic chemicals in Ohio last month, anonymous pro-Russian accounts started spreading misleading claims and anti-American propaganda about it on Twitter, using Elon Musk’s new verification system to expand their reach while creating the illusion of credibility.

    This is beyond anything I ever recall… calling out corporate criminals is now Russian propaganda.

    1. R.S.

      …posted one of the pro-Moscow accounts, which boasts 25,000 followers and features an anonymous location and a profile photo of a dog. Twitter awarded the account a blue check mark in January.

      Anonymous NAFO Shiba Inu == good.
      Anonymous pro-Moscow dog == bad.

      The accounts were identified by Reset, a London-based nonprofit that studies social media’s impact on democracy…

      How many researching-social-media-something nonprofits are out there? Asking for a friend.

      The account has 60,000 followers and is known as Donbass Devushka…

      …especially the nonprofits run by so clever individuals that it takes them an effort to “identify” an account like this.

      The funniest thing of all is that Twitter is legally blocked in Russia. And I doubt there’s a simple way to pay those $8 for the blue check.

  41. Amanda P

    I tried to comment on the ‘Rising Wealth Concentration’ article but I’m not sure it worked. I wanted to mention this article claiming that some SVB clients signed exclusivity agreements and weren’t allowed to diversify. If their VC’s were telling them to use SVB, and they couldn’t get access to SVB without putting all of their money in SVB, what were they supposed to do?

    1. tevhatch

      If this was the salary for the workers, then I find it odd that the workers were not allowed to draw down their salary and built up amounts over $240,000. If this is the business seed investors, then they made a choice about where to go for 2nd tier and this is the cost/risk/benefit they settled for. There is even private insurance options, but why buy if you know Nancy and Joe will bail you out for free.

  42. spud

    clearly obama deserves jail time for his crimes, along with his advisors, but all obama did was bail out bill clintons disastrous polices.

    “Bill Clinton, who signed off on a lot of this deregulation, and has celebrated this. “Oh, we’re modernizing the financial sector.”

    “Yeah, and we have to think about that Title III of a bill that Bill Clinton signed into law that said, “No regulatory agency, and no existing law will govern and control the marketing of these collateralized debt obligations, these mortgage-backed securities,” which ended up being one of the great Ponzi schemes and scams of world economic history, and if the Mafia had done it, they’d all be thrown in jail and never allowed out for even a walk in the yard.”

    clintonism: This legislation is truly historic President Clinton told a packed audience. We have done right by the American people: the swindle, it was the repeal of glass-steagle which ended in depression

    Clinton Signs Legislation Overhauling Banking Laws
    By REUTERSNOV. 13, 1999

    President Clinton signed into law today a sweeping overhaul of Depression-era banking laws. The measure lifts barriers in the industry and allows banks, securities firms and insurance companies to merge and to sell each other’s products.

    ”This legislation is truly historic,” President Clinton told a packed audience of lawmakers and top financial regulators. ”We have done right by the American people.”

  43. Karl

    RE: Biden proposal to claw back bonuses awarded to execs of failed banks (etc.)

    This seems like another example of Biden offering little that iwill reassure the public that the many serious and chronic problems will actually get fixed. The system is rotten, it seems to be teetering, and all Biden can think of is to go after execs of failed banks? The problems of poor bank oversight despite vast bureaucracies charged with this role seem to scream for explanation. Where’s Warren? Sanders? Are they like the proverbial deer in the headlights?

    The problem goes beyond our shores. Credit Swisse is apparently the next domino to fall. That bank has been the subject of one scandal after another for a decade, and has been twisting in the wind for months. Now it’s capsizing because a bunch of rich people are pulling their funds? The Swiss authorities couldn’t have acted sooner? Well, how many of them have their own questionable dealings with Credit Swiss? Merging it with UBS will keep all of those skeletons safely in the closet.

    Monday may be a difficult day for the markets. The much hyped support by banks of Republic bank was not enough to settle things. It seems like the Fed doesn’t know what to do. Should it resume QE or continue QT? Raise interest rates, or lower them? The optics are not good: seeming to be faking it til they make it can’t be bolstering confidence.

    1. Martin Oline

      Well, my opinion is Stephen King is a poor writer who has made a fortune catering to juvenile audiences under the age of 25 as they love his effluence. I have managed to read The Shining and I think it was a trilogy of his, maybe The Stand. He has not progressed and has a fascination with horror, killing off protagonists willy-nilly whenever he writes himself into a dead end. Most first novels are sophomoric but the authors generally move on with life. Stephen has not matured. Authors such as Douglas Adams, Tim Dorsey, and Christopher Moore also are fairly juvenile but they at least use humor to leavan their stories, an aspect not found in King.
      This willingness to abandon his creations to their fates aligns him with US foreign policy (Iraqi Kurds in the 1980’s, Egyptian democracy, Libyan ‘responsibility to protect’, and today’s soon to be abandoned Ukraine). That being said he is in a good position to judge what the American teen and consumer of MSM believes. Compassion, adult relationships and responsibilities are areas he does not understand and possessing sympathy for the human condition is beyond his ken.

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