Links 3/19/2023

At Long Last, a Donkey Family Tree New York Times


Cradle-to-grave emissions from food loss and waste represent half of total greenhouse gas emissions from food systems Nature

Albania designates Europe’s last ‘wild river’ as a national park Ekathimerini

Pentagon to halt use of firefighting foam that contains PFAS as cleanup costs mount Maryland Matters

System Reboot Amy Westervelt, Orion Magazine. The deck: Addressing the climate crisis requires shifting the power structure, not just the power source.


Officials monitoring contaminated water leak at Monticello Nuclear Plant, leak contained KSTP. Leak was confirmed in November 2022 but only revealed to public this week.

Regulators: Nuclear plant leak didn’t require public notice AP

Minnesota nuclear power reactor seeks 20-year license extension Reuters. From March 10.


Covid-19 threat expected to become on par with flu this year, says WHO New Scientist

Report says long COVID could impact economy and be ‘mass disabling event’ in Canada CityNews Toronto

Bird Flu

Bird flu cases are expected to surge as birds migrate in coming weeks New Scientist


Uranium reported missing by IAEA in Libya ‘recovered’ Al Jazeera

Syria, Russia to sign 40 investment deals after Assad’s visit Al-Monitor


Old Blighty

Tony Blair defends Iraq war RT


China flexes muscles over Internet subsea cables across South China Sea Data Center Dynamics

La belle France

Emmanuel Macron: the weakling autocrat brought to power by American meddling Gilbert Doctorow

Has Emmanuel Macron broken France? Politico EU

France BANS protests on Champ-Elysees as fiery clashes break out over Macron’s pension reforms: Thousands march nationwide in gravest threat to President since Yellow Vests anger Daily Mail

New Not-So-Cold War

After nuclear-capable B-52 flies near Russian airspace, British and German warplanes intercept Russian jet over Baltic WSWS

Regime change in Moscow ‘definitely’ the goal, Joly says, as Canada bans Russian steel, aluminum imports National Post

IMF Changes Lending Rules, Paving Way for Billions for Ukraine Bloomberg

‘Satisfied with the Banderization of Ukraine’ Bandera Lobby Blog


Backlash Of Sanction On Russia Must Not Lead To Sanctions On Everyone Moon of Alabama

China and Russia capitals connected on New Silk Road for first time Rail Freight


Russia – Africa Relations and the Emerging New World Order Russia In Global Affairs (MT)

Blinken Warns African Nations That Wagner Group Endangers Them Bloomberg

Mali Gets Warplanes From Russia, Drones From Turkey The Defense Post

Turkish TAI TF-X fighter jet is on the runway for taxiing tests Bulgarian Military


Biden Administration

Biden denies China-linked payments to family members despite bank records Washington Examiner

Millions of People Could Lose Medicaid Starting in April MedPage Today


Trump says he expects to be arrested next week in Stormy Daniels investigation Washington Examiner

Get ready for Manhattan DA’s made-for-TV Trump prosecution: high on ratings, but short on the law The Hill

DeSanctimonious v. DeLoser Art Cullen’s Notebook

Imperial Collapse Watch


Americans Don’t Care About the Iraqi Dead. They Don’t Even Care About Their Own. The Intercept. The American elite.


An emergency for emergency medicine? Inside Medicine


Wyoming becomes first US state to outlaw use of abortion pills The Guardian


Learning from Silicon Valley Bank’s apologists Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic (LS). Original title in the url: Mon Dieu Les Guillotines.

Oops. How the FDIC Guaranteed the Deposits of SVB Financial Group Credit Slips

Rotten Banks

BlackRock’s Hildebrand reportedly taking part in UBS, Credit Suisse talks Reuters

Charles Schwab CEO and other insiders scoop up nearly $7 million in stock amid selloff Market Watch

US bank failures prompt rush to hedge rates International Financing Review

Fed to stay the course with 25 bps rate hike on March 22: Reuters poll Reuters

US Fed to consider pause in rate hikes as fallout from SVB roils markets Bloomberg

The Bezzle

This Week in Coins: Bitcoin, Ethereum Post Mega Rallies After Banking Intervention Decrypt

Norfolk Southern Chemical Bomb

Pro-Moscow Voices Tried to Steer Ohio Train Disaster Debate AP. Of course.

Guillotine Watch

His parents died. Then Amazon fired him for seeking time off, a worker’s suit alleges Los Angeles Times

Class Warfare

Healthcare exec charged with fixing wages of Las Vegas nurses KOLO

Visa, MasterCard $5.6 bln settlement with retailers is upheld Reuters. Fixing fees.

Wealthy Executives Make Millions Trading Competitors’ Stock With Remarkable Timing ProPublica

State agency alleges eight minors illegally employed by Minnesota meatpacker, seeks court injunction The Star Tribune

Minnesota becomes fourth state to offer universal free school meals Duluth News Tribune

It’s a New Day in the United Auto Workers Labor Notes

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Wukchumni

    Water is for lying over-whiskey is for lying under…

    The drama was high on the Tulare Lake bed Saturday as flood waters pushed some landowners to resort to heavy handed and, in one instance, illegal tactics, to try and keep their farm ground dry — even at the expense of other farmers and some small communities.

    Someone illegally cut the banks of Deer Creek in the middle of the night causing water to rush toward the tiny town of Allensworth.

    The levee protecting Corcoran had its own protection as an armed guard patrolled the structure to keep it safe.

    At the south end of the old lake bed, the J.G. Boswell Company had workers drag a piece of heavy equipment onto the banks of its Homeland Canal to prevent any cuts that would drain Poso Creek water onto Boswell land.

    And a tense political battle ended Saturday afternoon with the Kings County Board of Supervisors voting to cut a levee on Boswell’s land to relieve building pressure from the Tule River. A call to a Boswell representative on Saturday wasn’t returned in time for this story.

    Allensworth is an unincorporated community in Tulare County, California. Established by Allen Allensworth in 1908, the town was the first in California to be founded, financed, and governed by African-Americans.,_California

    1. griffen

      Reading the article about the system of levee and canals, seems from over here it’s people behaving badly in the face of ruin or catastrophe ? Additional thought, they were just being certain that excessive water flow elsewhere from the goodness of their dark soul.

      Brings to mind the Pale Rider film. Where’s your Clint Eastwood sitting high on his horse, when needed.

      1. Wukchumni

        The real risk is in tree crops (you can see an orchard in a photo in the article) which will all die if they are flooded out for some time, and it takes a couple years for the soil to dry out after major flooding, and most every fruit & nut tree takes at least 7 years to bear commercial crops, so 10 years later you get to start making money again.

        I get the desperation and underhanded tactics~

        This is my roadmap currently:

        Lake Kaweah holds 185k acre feet and it looks like 6,151 cubic feet per second is the maximum they can let out of the main spillway, and they’ve managed to get the lake down to 181k in the past 3 days of mostly sunny weather, but its gonna rain soon for 5 days and no way-no how will they be able to get rid of the excess~

        If I lived in Porterville or Visalia, it’d be a good time to not be there.

        1. Displaced Platitudes

          I and family will be in Visalia on Wednesday for 3 days. I’d joke about bringing waders, but given the lousy condition of the levee on the Saint Johns river, it would be gallows humor.

    2. airgap

      Thank you for this update. Our family history is tied to Porterville and Springville and I find it hard to find up to date information on what is happening in that area. I had never heard of the town of Allensworth and was surprised to learn that Deer Creek meandered that far and was a feeder into the now defunct Tule Lake.
      The Deer Creek reference was especially interesting in that although we sold the property not long ago our family ranch was named ‘Deer Creek Ranch’. It was named by my great grandfather as that creek runs through it before petering out somewhere near Porterville. This current situation is becoming quite the drama now that the Boswells are involved. Just mentioning the Boswell name can send shudders through many a small holder in The Valley.
      Yesterday my sister spoke with a friend in Springville who told her of the town being flooded, roads washed out and many asked to evacuate. This friend had tried to head up to Doyle Springs but was unable to proceed beyond the cattle crossing as it was washed out. The Doyle Springs community sits between Alder Creek and the North Fork and Middle Fork of the Tule River. And now with more rain on the way there’s plenty to be worried about. I can recall being in our cabin at Doyles during Spring floods with the noise from the raging river just deafening. I can’t imagine how it must be now.
      Best wishes to you and your community.

      1. Wukchumni

        The utterly useless Porterville Recorder’s lead story the past few days has been:

        Porterville College holds convocation and flex day

        The crazy thing about ‘somebody’ strong arming smaller farmers is its all the mootest of points in this ‘now & later’ saga where a million acre feet of water in the First National Snowbank of the High Sierra will seek the lowest ground, which happens to be where JG Boswell farms one heck of a lot of cotton. What would an extra week or month leeway from the waves do for you, really?

        What interesting family history you have!

        1. Wukchumni

          Meanwhile at the equally inept Visalia Times Delta, the lead article today is:

          First Latina chief justice named USA Today woman of the year honoree

      2. Wukchumni


        You probably never heard about this bit of flim-flam that Kevin y Devin pulled off a few days before xmas in 2020, and who owns the Friant-Kern Canal?

        The Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project will receive $206 million in funding as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations and Covid-relief package passed by Congress.

        Once signed by President Trump, the appropriations would provide timely funding for the project as construction is expected to start in early 2021.

        Earlier this year, the Department of the Interior initially requested $71 million in project funding, which is authorized under the Water Infrastructure Investments for the Nation Act of 2016 (WIIN Act), as part of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 recommended projects list required by the WIIN Act. But, in early December, the Department augmented that request by $135 million for a total budget request of $206 million, which is nearly half of the Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project’s estimated cost of about $500 million.

        “Since we began working to restore the Friant-Kern Canal’s capacity more than three years ago, one of the most common questions we’ve been asked is how we plan to finance the project, and whether the Federal government would be a meaningful funding partner for fixing this Federally-owned facility,” said Friant Water Authority (FWA) Chief Executive Officer Jason Phillips. “Today, the answer to that question became clear. Once again, we’ve seen the President and his administration prioritize and follow through with actions and projects that will deliver actual water supply benefits for the San Joaquin Valley’s communities and farms.”

        “Speaking on behalf of our members and the more than 15,000 farms and dozens of communities who rely on the Friant-Kern Canal, I want to extend deep gratitude and appreciation to our representatives in Congress, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Devin Nunes, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Jim Costa and Rep. TJ Cox for their work to advocate for and advance the needs of the Friant Division,” said FWA Chairman Chris Tantau. “This funding will keep FWA on schedule to award a construction contract and begin implementing the project early next year.”

      3. JP

        Yes Deer Creek is dry most of the time where hwy 65 crosses but you might wonder why it is still 100 ft wide. All the rivers and creeks in the sierra are currently roaring.

        Knew JG”s water engineer and some close to him. The complicated dikes and channels is all about keeping the flood off the cotton fields. Boswell Co owns a lot of the water coming out of the dams. JG was never an easy business partner or friend. I don’t think he was open to discussion. You were with him or against him. He would famously split the relationship by declaring You walk on your side of the street and I’ll walk on mine. When it came to securing land and water he did whatever it took. If I recall correctly the original population of Allensworth was brought from Georgia by JG’s father or grandfather to tend cotton.

  2. upstater

    When Signature Bank collapsed, it held $56 million of Syracuse taxpayers’ money

    Syracuse, N.Y. – No one was more concerned than Brad O’Connor to hear about the collapse of Signature Bank. The city of Syracuse, where O’Connor is the finance commissioner, had deposited – gulp – $56 million of taxpayers’ money at the bank.

    Amid mounting panic over an anticipated bank run, New York regulators seized Signature Bank on Sunday.

    “Sunday’s news was big news for us,’’ O’Connor said. “It was scary.”

    The city’s money was never at risk of being lost. Unlike private bank clients, the city had insurance that its money would be returned by another bank if Signature couldn’t make good.

    Counterparty risk is no biggie during bank runs. Nothing to see here, move along.

    1. The Rev Kev

      After 9/11 there were persistent rumours that some big financial players had shorted airlines. I wonder if anybody if anybody has checked around to see if anybody shorted SVB and Signature Bank just before they blew up.

        1. ambrit

          [Snark Alert!] (I have read the below events mentioned as bona fide “news” on several CT sites.)
          The rumour I read was that some of the 9/11 ‘shorters’ were part of the Mossad Retirement Authority.
          That’s probably where the stories of the Israelis dancing in the streets of New York right after the World Trade Towers were hit came from. The dancers were the North American employees of the aforementioned MSA. It’s called “Dark Money” for very good reasons.
          We now return you to your regularly scheduled ‘Goodthink.’

          1. The Rev Kev

            The story of the dancing Israelis were true. They were in a van and got out to dance and were filming the death and destruction of the Twin Towers. Locals called the police because of their behaviour and suspected them of being celebrating Arabs but after they were picked up, it was found that they were Mossad agents. Rather than put them through an extensive FBI question-and answer session, the Bush regime packed them on an airliner and sent them back to Israel as quick as they could.

            1. ambrit

              Ah ha! Just like how the members of the extended bin Lauden family were treated right after the attack. This much vaunted Saudi-Israeli “cooperation” goes back a long way.
              Um. Could I suggest a ‘new’ saying? “The counterparty of my counterparty is my friend.”

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Trump says he expects to be arrested next week in Stormy Daniels investigation”

    You have to hand it to Biden and the Democrats. With sections of the US banking industry blowing themselves up and the Feds having to bail out billionaires that were in danger of losing money, the Democrats were is desperate need of a major distraction. So up came the idea of arresting Trump and parading him around in handcuffs as the perfect distraction. What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Not Again

      The Democrats must have realized that governing is hard. The real money is in opposition to Bad Orange Man. Why else would they be trying so hard to get him back into the Oval Office?

      By Wednesday, Trump will be indicted and the president of Norfolk Southern will be having tea with Hunter Biden. If I was a scriptwriter, the rest of the movie writes itself.

        1. Watt4Bob

          It’s hard to get a Hollywood picture funded these days if it doesn’t involve balaclavas, automatic weapons and explosives.

          1. The Rev Kev

            And lots and lots of green screens. Pity that they had to cut back on the script-writing budget.

            1. Mildred Montana

              I’ve read a little bit about how the sausage in Hollywood got and gets made. The writers were always considered “smucks” and suitable butts of jokes. Here’s one:

              Q: Why didn’t the starlet get the role?
              A: She made the mistake of sleeping with the writer!

          2. Wukchumni

            Not many remember the Crimean War, but if it wasn’t for the English getting involved, we’d just call them ‘bank robber headgear’ instead.

            1. The Rev Kev

              As a ‘balaclava’ is a Russian name, they might have to rename them as ‘bank robber headgear’ instead. Happened to have had a distant relative in the Royal Horse Artillery during that campaign and after researching it, found the place was hell. In the summer it was backing hot but in winter it was freezing cold and if you look at contemporary photographs, there are hardly any trees to be seen meaning the wind swept right through in winter and there was no shade in the summer. Those balaclavas would have been a godsend as the winter was so cold that it killed the horses of that relative’s artillery unit meaning that they became horse stew. It was a helluva way to fight a war.

              1. JohnA

                Somehow, the history books need to be edited to explain that the Crimean war was obviously between Ukraine and France/England because Crimea has always been blue and yellow.

              2. Questa Nota

                Balaclava, or as I first learned, was a type of headgear handy when doing winter sports. Next I learned that they went and named a battle after it. Can you imagine?

                And then so much of my outdoor gear had many foreign words like anorak, cagoule, piton, carabiner, rucksack or even parka that I felt time outdoors was in order. Probably dating myself with those.

                The snow didn’t care about any of that. ;)

            2. digi_owl

              Well if we are going to walk down that path, in Norway it is known as finlandshette. Roughly translated to Finland hood.

              I think recently there was a formal complaint from Finland about the term, after all these years, regarding its association with crimes in the news.

              1. JohnA

                I imagine Sweden and Norway are the only western countries to have their own name for a Finnish sauna

                1. Polar Socialist

                  It’s complicated. There really are no real differences in traditional sauna’s from Norway to Russia. The Indo-Europeans (Scandinavians and Slavs) use the word ‘bath’ for it, while Balto-Fennic groups use word ‘small building’ for it.

                  In Russian, due to the multicultural inheritance, people sometimes do try to specify if they mean Turkish, Finnish or Russian sauna.

                  And the Norwegian name for balaclava comes from it being introduced to Norway at large when Norwegian ladies knitted thousands of them for Finnish troops during the Winter War. So the ambassador who complained about it was not really up to his/her task.

              2. wendigo

                Around here it used to be called a babushka as it was mostly worn by elderly Ukrainian women.

      1. Carolinian

        One can feel disgust at the Dems’ political games but then it’s not as though Trump is all that different. He’s all talk. He said he wanted to do away with NATO but he didn’t. He didn’t build his wall either and he definitely didn’t clear out the Swamp but instead hired a raft of swamp creatures to run his administration and him too seemingly.

        DeSanctimonious vs DeLoser up in Links is making this point. Trump panders to the Iowans by attacking DeSantis on ethanol but DeSantis is right. Trump obsesses over his electoral college loss to Biden (his popular vote loss doesn’t seem much in dispute) but Trump should have mopped the floor with Biden. The country is in deep trouble and we need more than the politics of resentment on both sides.We need competence.

        It’s a great dilemma–how bad all our polticians are. DeSantis too? I don’t know….

        1. ambrit

          Take “DeSantis too” as a given. Florida, or, as the ‘indigenes’ Down Souther say; “Pobre Florida! Tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca de C—-o!”
          [“Poor Florida! So far from G– and so close to H—!”]
          Having lived there I can attest that Florida has a financial and political culture that is a combination of the worst of the Yankee Carpetbaggers and the old Plantocracy.

        2. Albert Hoffman

          15 bellweather counties were wrong in 2020?

          I doubt it,

          most fake election…


      1. Wukchumni

        So for the mugshot does hair furor give us one of them there toothy grins with a thumbs up, although you can’t see the digit?

      1. Pat

        I’m actually hoping for the first impeachment to reach a conviction in a century. Largely because I believe the Democratic bench is so week it is the only way we don’t get a rerun of 2020, even impeached but barely missing conviction.

        Oh and for the record if we do have Biden vs Trump, I fully expect all the electoral college votes that flipped to give Biden the win will flip back to Trump baring a miracle where Biden and Congress start spreading the largesse to the masses and stop with the austerity. If the current cut every support and increase unemployment plans continue Biden, or any Democrat attached to it, will lose. Change will be the winner.

    2. Jason Boxman

      It’s hilarious that liberal Democrats couldn’t get the former president on much of anything except an alleged pay-off, after years and years of countless investigations. Kind of hilarious that said payoff wasn’t likely even necessary, as Trump probably would have still gotten elected! What a screw up.

      1. Questa Nota

        and all one of Clinton’s, er, partners victims, got was a publicized $850K goodbye and not even a spot on SNL.

  4. Mark Gisleson

    The AP link to the VOA story about the train derailment is an almost perfect example of The Blob’s disinformation tactics as explained by Matt Taibbi in the Twitter Files.

    What kind of person could possibly care about the propaganda angle in such a horrible incident?

    1. Jeff Stantz

      Q: What kind of person could possibly care about the propaganda angle in such a horrible incident?

      A: Every politician and PR department I have ever met.

      1. John

        Oh those dastardly Russians. Even if the article was anything more than claptrap, the propaganda has become too repetitive and transparent to attract anyone with an IQ above room temperature.

      2. timbers

        Your link reads:
        Pro-Moscow voices tried to steer Ohio train disaster debate

        David Klepper is a sure winner of this year’s Racheal Maddow award for Truth and Excellence in Journalism.

        1. JohnA

          I am surprised it wasnt Putin actually steering the train. For all the stories of Putin being at death’s door with cancer and incontinent bowels etc., he was filmed driving a car in Mariupol and Crimea yesterday

            1. The Rev Kev

              If I had a young girlfriend that was a former gymnast like Putin has, I’d be walking around with a limp too.

          1. GF

            I was wondering if the downed US drone flight was the result of intelligence received about Putin’s upcoming trip? It didn’t deter Putin however.

    2. NN Cassandra

      I like how in that whole article the only concrete and cited example of dangerous Kremlin disinformation is this tweet:

      “Biden offers food, water, medicine, shelter, payouts of pension and social services to Ukraine! Ohio first! Offer and deliver to Ohio!”

    3. Will

      Have you heard of the “Devils Milkshake”? It’s when officials (supposedly) drink the contaminated water to prove there is nothing to see. Perhaps the most famous example being when Obama faked drinking tap water while in Flint, Michigan.

      In any ever, PR seems to be the default response to manage a crises so why not also use a crises for other propaganda goals. By the way, it seems the first politician to drink the devil’s brew in East Palestine was a Republican congressman from Texas. Many more followed.

      1. Stephen V

        This reminds me OTOH of a story a college prof told us in 1980’s San Diego: IF President Nixon had drunk the water decontaminated by aquatic plants, the world might have been a different place. Instead, it was used on golf courses.

    4. Cat Burglar

      I pulled up the manhole cover and looked in.

      The AP article’s source for the Russia meddling is an NGO-thing called Reset, which runs off Omidyar and Sandler Foundation money.

      The Omidyar money comes through something called Luminate, which overlaps with Reset in the person of Ben Scott, a former Clinton Campaign official in charge of tech policy.

      As for the Sandler Foundation, they emphasize that they fund not just policy formation, but action. Look at who they fund: Center For American Progress, Alliance For Securing Democracy, and Indivisible are a few. I mean, just look at them.

      Kartte, the Reset Representative named in the article, is basically a PR man.

      It looks like a bunch of flexians stretched between upper-levels of the DNC, Silicon Valley, and what we can call the Disinformation Community, are pushing back against the Twitter Files revelations in this article. Funny the article does not name any of the Russia accounts they denounce, but just singles out a few US individuals to denounce for having crimethink — almost like that was the real reason for the article.

  5. Wukchumni

    This Week in Coins: Bitcoin, Ethereum Post Mega Rallies After Banking Intervention Decrypt
    The Numismatrix was saved by SVB & Signature being bailed out while Dow Jonestown is actively seeking sub 30k levels.

    It really is Seinfeldian, our economy is a show about nothing.

    So, who’s Jerry, George, Elaine, Kramer, and most importantly-Newman, in the imbrogliowe?

      1. Wukchumni

        Ok, lets role:

        Kramer = Cramer
        Jerry = Silicon Valley
        George = Powell
        Elaine = Yellen
        Newman = Dow Jonestown

      2. griffen

        We also need an Elizabeth Warren to be cast ( she is on the weekly ABC news this morning, discussing this topic naturally ).

        Susan Ross, engaged to marry George? Then there is the envelopes that cheap George bought for the wedding invitations, however.

        1. Wukchumni

          Warren is more interested in other trans actions-like the rest of the hopeless Donkey Show, mainly because the evangs hate, hate, hate anything trans with a burning passion.

          Really an ideal replacement for Roe v. Wade now that every sperm is sacred, no?

          Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren caused a stir during a campaign event in Iowa last week when she appeared to say that she’d move ahead with her choice for education secretary only if approved by a transgender youth she had met.

            1. ambrit

              Sounds like something cooked up by a Campaign Consultant during an “Out of Focus Group” interview.
              Warren is an almost parodic version of a PMC.

              1. petal

                Yes, lack of good judgment, etc-like who was in charge? Did she pay a consulting group for a pre-cooked campaign? Parodic version of a PMC: She fit right in here in Hanover, let’s put it that way. The whole thing was ridiculous. Glad it was outside on the bema because I nearly had to vomit after the education sec comment. Only good thing about it was I got to meet her golden retriever. Nice dog. Her husband sure seemed like he had been dragged along and wasn’t too pleased. Kind of felt bad for him. Since then, I read any comments of hers with the seasoning of that education sec comment.

          1. Mildred Montana

            The problem with the “woke” movement is that it is going too far. Instead of accepting the justified gains it has made, it keeps pushing and starts sounding ridiculous. Nobody in his or her right mind endorses discrimination against women, blacks, gays, trans, etc. yet, having achieved this tolerance, it just goes on and on, demanding more and more.

            A concrete illustration of what I’m saying: I accept and tolerate “drag”. Whatever floats your boat. Just don’t ask, please, to read stories to kids in libraries or have a parade. There’s no need for that, no need to display your eccentricities, no need to inflict them on other people at the risk of making them uncomfortable. Think of others. I make a point of keeping my eccentricities to myself. You should too.

            Because, if “woke” goes on, what’s next? Gay guys from leather bars sporting whips and chains reading to those kids in those libraries? There’s gotta be a line somewhere.

            1. hk

              Quite a few gay people I know are uneasy with “gay activism,” and have been a long time.

              Many activists peddle popular but over the top gay stereotypes–the kind of things that my friends say are uncommon and ridiculous–as “essence of gay identity” to the masses. Having seen the kind of stereotyped and racist nonsense that “multiculturalism” has spread about Asian-Americans (being on the wrong end of it more than once), I tend to agree with their view.

        2. cnchal

          > . . . ( she is on the weekly ABC news this morning, discussing this topic naturally )

          I watch that crap just to know what the rubes are supposed to believe. The cable attached to the rube’s nose ring will lead them into a blind alley. According to Warren the problem was the FED taking a flamethrower to small bank supervision rules.

          Nothing about interest rate risk because the FED uses the the “wage – price” spiral excuse and intends to throw ten million peasants out of jawbs to cure inflation combined with the billionaire’s rug pull at SVB and their bailout and if that bank failure were to happen in Ohio the uninsured depositor’s haircut would be at the shoulders.

          In the blind alley, rubes are expected to swallow crap labeled caviar, according to This Week.

          1. griffen

            I might have occasion to take an offense but I will pass. Not today Satan! \sarc

            I only see this version of whatever the key topics might be for the week on a Sunday. Usually, I’ll watch just to see Donna Brazile and Chris Christie pretend at getting along. I also suspect the true believer rubes are watching their preferred brand of spin more diligently than my weekly attempt. I mean there is always CNN as an option.

  6. John Beech

    Neighbors on two sides have donkeys. Well, one donkey behind me named Christmas and two, who made a third, next door (BB for Brown Boy and GG for Gray Girl and I don’t know if the baby donkey addition has a names as of yet). Anyway, around here, they’re pets instead of beast of burden. Yes, a life of pure leisure. And they are very well fed. For example, due of them, apples and pears are purchased and disappear soon after delivery (meaning I have to be quick to snag one else the donkeys get them all). And the boys, 6 and 9, absolutely adore them (as do other nearby neighbors who bring them treats, also). Yes, occasionally I’ll hear Christmas braying up a storm but otherwise they’ve very nice as neighbors go. Recommended.

    1. GiGi

      Donkeys are not entirely without usefulness even today. Goat ranchers often use them as guard animals to protect their goats from coyotes, feral dogs, and other predators. Donkeys are popular guard animals as they bond with their herds and are famously bad tempered and intolerant of canids.

    2. Jeff V

      Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight has the “famous” Carisbrooke donkeys, which work the treadmill to bring the water up from the well.

      These days it’s strictly for the benefit of the tourists, and each donkey apparently has a working “day” of about 10 seconds on the treadmill. The look of disgust on the donkey’s face when it is “encouraged” to carry out its 10 seconds of duties (interrupting its otherwise pampered existence) was very funny.

  7. Lexx

    ‘Americans Don’t Care About the Iraqi Dead. They Don’t Even Care About Their Own’

    Entertainment and news are delivered to us through the same sanitized media. Art imitates life, life imitates art, none of it is real in a sensory verifiable way. Where’s the sounds and smells?

    The soldiers and civilian bodies in a movie or war fly through the air exactly the same; they are all anonymous, broken, and dead… cut to the next scene.

    Patients in a hospital on a sound stage look exactly like patients in any overseas hospital, looking all vulnerable in their gowns, talking into the camera, and saying pretty much what we would expect. ‘ The script sucks. I am not amused, fire those writers! I want better content for my viewing dollars.’

    Unless we experience it up close and personal, it isn’t real and even then I’ve found people to be remarkably adept at managing their reality bubbles to exclude what they don’t like and/or can’t live with. It’s easier still to push away that which was never real in the first place. ‘I have little enough time to think about the living in my immediate circle, no time at all for the dying and dead. They’re beyond caring.’

    1. John

      Americans, our “leaders” most of all, also do not care about Ukraine’s dead. The US and its fellow travelers are incurring a heavier and heavier moral debt for the war crime they support.

    2. semper loquitur

      “I’ve found people to be remarkably adept at managing their reality bubbles to exclude what they don’t like and/or can’t live with.”

      You can say that again. It’s staggering, the levels of denial and “bright-siding” and magical thinking that I’ve seen in play. I suspect Americans are particularly susceptible to all this and COVID really kicked it into overdrive. There have been a few occasions when like-minded people and I, total strangers, have seen some act of monumental COVID related stupidity or had a brief moment to talk about our precautions and I get the sense that we are in some sort of an “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” scenario.

      “But a virus that is not disrupting our society or disrupting our hospital systems, and I believe that that will come, as Tedros said, this year.”

  8. The Rev Kev

    “After nuclear-capable B-52 flies near Russian airspace, British and German warplanes intercept Russian jet over Baltic”

    Gotta keep on poking that bear. Harassing Russian aircraft is par for the course and several years ago NATO fighters intercepted the plane carrying the Russian Defence Minister. It was only when the accompanying Russian fighters flashed their loaded missiles to them that the NATO fighters departed the scene. And I have just read that Poland has just stationed HIMARS missiles on the border of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. No real point in that as to fire on Kaliningrad would mean a strike on Poland but still, gotta keep on poking that bear. As for that B-52 bomber making a dry run in an attack on Russia, if the Russians were doing the same over the north pole, would US media publish that at all? If this keeps up, we may end up with our very own Bedford Incident.

    1. Louis Fyne

      interesting circumstantial hypothesis floating around:

      22 Feb., the US ambassador to Russia is given a demarche from the Russian government that any military-intelligence western personnel in Ukraine are legit targets
      9 March, 6 Kinzhal strikes on still unknown (presumably very high-value, well-bunkered) targets
      12 March, B-52 practice run (ironically against arguably the most pro-West Russian city)
      14 March, US drone fly-by

      Hypothesis: the US was “showing strength” following the destruction of a Ukrainian command center staffed by western off-the-books intelligence and/or military staff

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        I’ve been in the habit of visiting the site since February 2022, just to see what’s going on near UKR. Usually the USA has had a drone flying semicircles just south of Crimea, pretty much 24×7, along with at least one refueling aircraft (usually based out of Ramstein or Lakenheath or Mildenhall) flying circles over eastern Romania or Poland. Since last week’s incident, I haven’t seen any more drones. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, or maybe I’ve missed something. I’ll keep watching. It will be interesting if, despite the defiant bluster, the Pentagon decides to scale back its drone activity near Crimea in order to de-escalate things.

        1. Louis Fyne

          allegedly (take salt) that is correct: US drone activity very curtailed.

          factually (from the RUMoD video), the downed US drone was carrying a mission pod that bore a striking resemblance to a mission pod for the “Gordon Stare” intelligence collectiom system.

          The Gordon Stare is one of the most advanced intel platforms in service.

          Know way of nothing the truth, but the loss of the Reaper could be anything from a nothingburger to a severe setback and embarassment for the US.

            1. Louis Fyne

              lol, yes. As from Greek mythology.

              Darn typing on tablet with fat fingers and tiny brain.

    2. Paradan

      Kalingrad probably has 20+ Iskander batteries stationed in it, so 10 minutes after the s-350, and s-400s shoot down all the HIMARS, 80 of Poland’s favorite infrastructure assets will mysteriously go boom.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Was just reading that that unprecedented flight of that B-52 towards the Russian border before turning into Estonia may be a result of something that happened the previous day. The Russians launched 6 Kinzhals into the Ukraine and it is rumoured that one was aimed at a NATO headquarters and which resulted in 40 dead. So you would assume that would include NATO officers and staff. Come to think of it, something similar was supposed to have happened in the Syrian war where a HQ outside of Aleppo that contained NATO, Israeli, etc. officers was slammed with two Russian missiles after the Coalition air attack on the besieged city of Deir ez-Zor nearly resulted in that city falling to ISIS-

      1. ChrisFromGA

        Yeah, I heard that one too. Hypothetically assuming there is some truth to it, how will they hide the bodies coming home? A rash of “military training accidents” reported in Europe?

        1. The Rev Kev

          I think that over 2,000 dead Poles alone have been returned from the Ukraine for burial but that story is not getting that much coverage.

      2. Kouros

        Mercuries says that his sources do not confirm the hit on the high value bunker in western Ukraine.

    4. digi_owl

      There were some B-1s buzzing around North Korea as well recently.

      Also, them B-52s have been all over the place recently. Including the Joint Viking NATO exercise in Norway, as a pair of them was clearly visible on Flightradar24 the other day.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        Peace is almost certainly politically unfeasible without regime change in either country (or both). I suppose the passage of a decade or two could do it as well (due to turnover in the elites and the eventual decline in public passion). Ceasefire is the best that we can hope for, but I’m not holding my breath about it happening soon.

  9. griffen

    Bank and finance firm CEOs and other investors buy shares on the open market. Not here to defend exactly, but the window to purchase shares is usually pretty narrow. Added comment specific to Charles Schwab investors, long term fund manager Ron Baron was in the news around the same time for buying shares of Charles Schwab in particular. Ron Baron is usually more right, I believe, on the investment fundamentals, than he is wrong. He’s just not in his 90s like Warren or Charlie.

    Added comment, the Schwab CEO was on CNBC Tuesday I believe and presented a fairly good interview and business case of why Charles Schwab is of a different nature than Silicon Valley Bank was. One can say well of course, our business model is superior to that sinking failure but hey, now it’s started as in the confidence game when the Feds intervene in the rescue of SVB ( it’s a bailout we all know it to be so ).

    I believe the Schwab CEO just a little more than say our Treasury officials who stepped in it before a Congress / Senate committee or in a live interview Friday on CNBC. Yellen and the deputy Treasury secretary come across a bit poorly.

  10. Alice X

    >HOW IRAN WON THE U.S. WAR IN IRAQ The Intercept

    That Iran had gained politically was apparent to me since the mid aughts. One time I wrote it somewhere and another commenter asked if I was conservative or liberal as that was outside the narrative matrix. I think I replied: a realist, or something like that. So tragic how the Iraqis lost in that grim treachery that should never have happened.

    1. Louis Fyne

      the biggest winner in the past 25 years in the MidEast has been Iran: everyone else from Israel to DC to the Saudis are losers

      Absolutely amazing how they navigated sanctions and 2 wars on their borders.

      Stronger than ever.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Maybe that is a major reason why the Saudis sought rapprochement with them. They both have a lot to offer each other. In any case, Iran’s history goes back for about 5,000 years so for them the past seventy years is just one page of a very thick book.

        1. digi_owl

          Maybe they seek advice on how to cure their economy of Dutch disease. I suspect it will involve getting sanctioned heavily by USA though.

            1. Wukchumni

              I was thinking more in the lines of pecking order 123 years ago, and there always is one, for instance say the Caribbean, there’s Haiti and Dominican Republic next door, but worlds apart, that sort of thing.

              1. Alice X

                The Persians were independent but had numerous conflicts with the Russians along the Caucuses.

                The Arabs were under the domination of the Ottomans. Until the Brits promised the Sharif of Mecca he would be the head of the united Arabs if they rose up against the Ottomans. They did but the Brits cut another deal with the French with the Sykes Picot agreement which divided the Arab domains between the two. Then the Brits came upwitht the Balfour declaration. You just can’t trust those Brits.

      1. jsn

        Khomeini’s death corresponds mysteriously with Cheney’s third heart attack, and the start of his focus on Iraq.

        I suspect a ticker transplant at an undisclosed location.

        The mechanical heart rumor from 2012 is a “limited hangout.” The Ayatollah’s heart beats on!

    2. Eclair

      Thanks, Alice X! I have been looking for a ‘place’ for the past few years, neither ‘conservative’ nor ‘liberal.’ It is only in the past year, bolstered by listening to John Mearsheimer’s analyses, that I have begun to dub myself a ‘realist.’ At least in IR. Is it the opposite of ‘ideologue?’ Although I have a strong aversion to labels of any kind.

    3. tevhatch

      I’d hesitate to call it winning. Rather it’s been an improvement or more like a return from hell to sub-normal. They have a lot of upside left.

    4. ChrisPacific

      Iran are still losers in the long game as climate change is impacting them pretty badly (then again, so are we all).

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Regime change in Moscow ‘definitely’ the goal, Joly says, as Canada bans Russian steel, aluminum imports”

    No real surprise that Joly said the quite part out aloud. Last year you had senior officials in both France and the UK say that regime change was the point of the sanctions and old Joe in a speech in Poland demanded that Putin must go. So when Mélanie Joly says ‘regime change is indeed the point of sanctions and pursuing accountability for alleged war crimes’ she is just vocalizing a Neocon fantasy. But right now Putin’s approval rating is north of 80% while somebody like Justin Trudeau is at 37% – and dropping. Next Canadian election Joly may be heading for the back benches. I took a look at Mélanie Joly’s Wikipedia entry and she does not strike me as a heavy weight in any case-

  12. CanCyn

    Re Canada’s long COVID problem (City News link)
    “PHAC [Public Health Canada] said the remaining $9 million will go to McMaster University to develop clinical practice guidelines for those who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection but continue to struggle with symptoms.” Great! The originators of evidence based medicine are creating the clinical practice guidelines. What could go wrong? Whole thing smacks of means testing when access to disability support, unemployment insurance, etc is mentioned. Of course we need to figure out how to treat long COVID but if someone is unable to work, they are unable to work and they need support. The reasons why and treatment should be left between doctor and patient.

    1. Will

      Agreed that the allocation of money may not be great, but at least there’s some publicity about the risks.

      A few days ago in comments I posted a link to the same story but published in The Toronto Star. And Links the next day had it but published in an insurance industry publication. Hope it continues and not with just publishing the same wire service story.

      Of course, could all come to nothing as the powers that be try to manage public perception of the issue but at this stage I’m choosing hope (self-delusion?).

    2. Kouros

      With Covid, any ministry of health in Canadian provinces has established a “Covid” cohort. There is a very detailed information on who got Covid, who got vaccinated and how many times.

      Dashboards were created to see the DAILY progress…

      I asked quite a few times my colleagues from the ministry in my province to produce a dashboard using the existing Covid Cohort on anything that could be called long-term Covid effects.

      No action has been taken.

  13. griffen

    Minnesota launches a new program to provide free meals in school. I found the money quote below, apparently by a state Senator, of never having met a hungry Minnesotan. Yeah they are probably hard to see behind your Oakleys or riding in a black SUV. Elected leaders who make such dimwitted statements deserve all the rotten feedback that they get.

    On further analysis, the statement was made by a Republican which appears to be a rare breed in the state legislature. Would probably choose to support or argue for tax breaks for a big Ag firm instead, I am supposing.

      1. earthling

        That image link has been taken down, something about it being from a different state and event.

  14. GramSci

    Re: Healthcare exec charged with fixing wages of Las Vegas nurses

    One count over three years. He can put that on his resume.

  15. Lena

    So expressing concern or even outrage online about the catastrophic Norfolk Southern train bomb in East Palestine now makes someone ‘pro-Russia’? How deranged is that? If I express concern about people losing Medicaid, SNAP benefits, rental assistance, etc, will I be labelled a ‘Russian asset’? Does any criticism of the Biden regime constitute ‘pro-Russian’ sympathies? Does HRC have my name on her blacklist (she is never wrong!). I think I already know the answers.

    1. LifelongLib

      I remember the “Anyone who criticizes the U.S. is helping the Soviet Union” thing from the Cold War days. So it’s nothing new. Back then it was pushed by the right though.

    2. Wukchumni

      So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified online terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

    3. ChrisPacific

      If you read the article, it’s actually a story about Twitter rather than the train bomb. Propaganda accounts, many of them Russian (certainly the only ones this article is interested in) have been putting out a lot of material about a lot of things, including the train incident. Some is true, some is clearly false, some is in between.

      The point is that since Musk transformed the Twitter blue tick from an identity verification mechanism into a revenue gathering tool, it is no longer a guarantee of identity (surprise!) So there are many propaganda accounts possessing the blue tick, and apparently also a lot of dumb people who still think it means a verified identity.

  16. thoughtfulperson

    Banks take in 152 billion from Fed…hmm make 30 billion deposited with First Republic look a bit less generous. Anyway this is all above my pay grade but lots happening with CS etc as well.

    “Banks took an all-time high $152.9 billion from the Fed’s traditional lender-of-last resort facility known as the discount window as of Wednesday, while also taking $11.9 billion in loans from the Fed’s newly created Bank Term Lending Program. The discount window jump crashed through the prior record of $112 billion in the fall of 2008, during the most acute phase of the financial crisis.”

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Fareed Zakaria, after a rather amazing opener where he noted that just maybe it wasn’t a good idea to go around making enemies of everybody (complete with world map showing countries the U. S. has bombed, bashed and sanctioned in the last two decades), went on to cover the banking crisis. Who should he go to for expert opinion on banking crises other than Lloyd Blankfein, Esq., now retired from doing God’s work. Lloyd seemed rather grateful to Fareed for having him on after some of Lloyd’s get-off-my-lawn comments of recent years including a promise to vote for Trump if Bernie was ever the Democratic nominee.

      But I must give Blankfein credit for pointing out something Yellen and Adeyemo were trying very hard not to point out. This Trump era modification of Dodd-Frank that Dems are trying hard to blame for SVB, contains, Lloyd explained, a provision that prohibits the Fed from once again bailing out all depositors over the limit as they did in the GFC. This provision still allows the Fed to bail out over-limit depositors, but only one bank at a time. It was pretty painful politically to bail-out SVG and Signature, so much so it seems, that Yellen and Dimon needed to cook up a non-Fed bail-out stunt for First Republic with the big boy banks chipping in. Now what happens when the next bank, and the next bank go? Pulling out fingernails one at a time. And then, the bailout will halt, at least temporarily, like it did with Lehman.

      And with Covid, Bakhmut and climate disasters aplenty, the Demos will be grateful when Trump beats them like a drum running his unique Leavenworth campaign.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>the Demos will be grateful when Trump beats them like a drum running his unique Leavenworth campaign.

        Maybe the Democrats are thinking about Eugene V. Debs who was successfully railroaded and politically destroyed using dishonest legal charges.

  17. Alan Roxdale

    Regime change in Moscow ‘definitely’ the goal, Joly says, as Canada bans Russian steel, aluminum imports National Post

    What is the SOURCE of all this?! I refuse to believe for a second that Washington as a whole gives a damn about rights in Russia or the probity of authoritarian regimes anywhere. I don’t buy the historical grievance models either (you seriously expect me to believe there are more Canadians with grievances against Russia than against say, the UK?).

    The only explanation that makes sense to me is that there is serious money pushing for regime change in Russia for entirely commercial reasons. Whether this is from oligarchs inside or outside, or who used to be inside Russia I don’t know. But there must be huge money being thrown around by someone or someones to pull the world into their own pet regime change projects for fun and profit.

    1. divadab

      Joly is a lightweight who doesn’t even understand what she’s given to recite, let alone the second or third-order effects. Diversity hire who looks good in lycra and pumps. Emperor Justin the male equivalent. No doubt they are very nice to look at but they are only doing what they are told. By whom it is difficult to discern……

    2. wendigo

      There is a large amount of Ukrainian 2nd and 3rd generation descendants who have been raised on the Soviet Holodomor of their ancestors.

      In practice this means many Canadian politicians can only be elected by being anti-Russian.

      So yes, there are many more Canadians with grievances against Russians.

      1. Will

        The first wave of Ukrainian immigrants to Canada in the early 1900s were socialist. So, when they established local community centres to provide, among other things, healthcare, they, unlike like other immigrant groups, made those services generally available. The first signs of a “public” healthcare system!

        Of course, a dangerous development that needed to be quashed. Mother Britain offered helpful advice based on its experiences in India.

        And so it was that Canada began to encourage the right sort of Ukrainians to come to Canada, i.e., anti-communists (and proto-fascists) who were more than happy to stomp out the problem for their benefactors. This practise extended post-WW2. Which is how, for example, Michael Chomiak, a very high profile Nazi collaborator and grandfather of Canada’s current Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland came to enter the country.

        Of course, I’m probably just spreading Russian misinformation.

        By the way, Ms Freeland has often spoken warmly about her grandfather and working with him on his local Ukrainian newspaper in Canada.

        And just so nobody accuses me of picking on Ms Freeland, who also happens to be my Member of Parliament, here’s a recent-ish story about all the Nazi memorials in Canada.

        By the way, I’m not at all disagreeing with your take on the pecuniary interests that may also be driving the Russia hate. Just saying it’s not the only reason. Which is perhaps why you can get so many people to come together and work towards this common goal.

        1. Wukchumni

          My favorite Ukrainian import into Canada are the Doukhobors…

          The Sons of Freedom used nudism and arson as visible methods of protest.

          In less than fifty years, the Sons of Freedom committed 1,112 separate acts of violence and arson, costing over $20 million in damages; these acts include bombing and arson attacks on public schools, bombings of Canadian railway bridges and tracks, the bombing of a courthouse at Nelson, and the destruction of a power transmission tower servicing East Kootenay district resulting in the loss of 1,200 jobs. Many of the independent and community Doukhobors believed the Sons of Freedom’s arson and bombings violated the Doukhobor central principle of nonviolence, and that they did not deserve to be called Doukhobors.

          1. Kouros

            And those actions were a reaction to what?

            Having their kids forced into Canadian public schools? Closing of the communities financial mechanism of support, thus not relying on the Canadian banking system and potential debt peonage? etc?

            1. Wukchumni

              Don’t really know, but man I love saying Doukhobors, it just rolls off your tongue so easy.

              The reason I know of them, is my mom remembered them being kinda crazy, when she was growing up, up over.

      2. LY

        Same in the US. There are votes and funds to be raised for being pro-Ukrainian. I happened to run across a rally a few months ago, attended by Ukrainian cultural and religious organizations.

        The Russian-Americans I know don’t want anything to do with the politics in Russia, be it the Communists, Yeltsin, or Putin.

        Right wing isolationists and lefty anti-war don’t vote in blocks, and more importantly, don’t fund raise.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>Right wing isolationists and lefty anti-war don’t vote in blocks, and more importantly, don’t fund raise.

          Maybe they should get together. One of the reasons isolationists are isolationist is because of the cost of the United States being in all the damn wars, which is shared with the anti-war leftists; let’s not forget that anti-war isolationism was more broad politically going all the way from left to right.

          Avoiding wars especially ones fought for benefit of the wealthy, honest and competent government working for the general welfare, and actual democracy is probably something desired by the overwhelming majority of Americans. Everything else is fiddly bits. It is something that we work towards, together, or just go over the cliff we can all see.

    3. Mikel

      “The only explanation that makes sense to me is that there is serious money pushing for regime change in Russia for entirely commercial reasons. Whether this is from oligarchs inside or outside, or who used to be inside Russia I don’t know”

      I said on some post a couple of months that the West would never give up on it’s A game, no matter the well-reasoned arguments against it. The weapons manufacturing is a jobs program and infinite ATM. But sowing internal divisions in a country and softening it up for the kill is the go-to-play.

    4. Kouros

      Russia is the last place where easy primitive capital accumulation can be realized, due to its resources and infrastructure (as opposed to Africa, where there is no appropriate infrastructure built to allow easier exploitation).

      In the Gold Rush years, 1991-early 2000, the west has siphoned out of Russia over 1 trillion dollars worth of wealth. So yeah, destroying and dismembering Russia is a worthy goal, despite its dangers (i.e. an aggrieved Russian SSBN captain deciding to launch against the US, and not bribed like the Iraqi generals prior to Iraq 2 War)…

      1. VietnamVet

        The USA has fracking and the new Alaska field and Canada has tar sands. Without Russian and Middle East oil, this will be a repeat of the 1970s Energy Crises on steroids. Plus, banking crises have hit both America and Switzerland. With an ill US labor force (life expectancy is crashing) devaluation of the dollar is baked in without a victory in Ukraine and access to Russia’s resources. Except, there can be no victory for superpowers in the nuclear age. To have Peace, North America and Europe must sign an armistice and cross the Eurasian continent from north to south with a barbed wire DMZ and live within their means. This requires good government and equality not the current failed autocracies.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Blinken Warns African Nations That Wagner Group Endangers Them”

    I do wonder what the African nations think when they get a visit from Antony Blinken. Maybe they reflect on when they get a visit from Lavrov and compare the differences between the two men. My understanding is that when Blinken returned to the US, that he was afflicted with a Repetitive Strain Injury of the Index finger caused by him wagging it so much at those African leaders.

    1. JohnA

      One African leader told Blinken a year or so ago that whenever China visits, they get a new hospital. Whenever the US visits, they get a lecture. Another example of a lecture from Blinken about how dangerous Wagner is for them!

  19. LawnDart

    Off-topic, but some after reading the morning news here some may wish for an additional antidote… although Mr. Kitty is cute, him and I seem to be sharing the same opinion of snow, also (sadly) in the picture.

    Rwanda: it’s now on my must-see bucket-list of things to do in this lifetime.

    Most of us remember the machette-madness that hacked its way across that country not-so very-long ago, but this shows how a country can pull a complete 180 and radically change for the better– the contrasts are breathtakingly stark.

    This 20-minute video clearly illustrates how medical drones are being used to save lives today, as in right now, as you are reading this. But it’s much more than that, or even drones– it encompasses tech, engineering, and regrowth: it’s an antidote to much of the news we’re hearing today, and the reporting, story-telling, and camera-work are excellent too.

    The possibilities and potentials of this tech will touch almost all of us in the very near-future, and will be a catalyist we haven’t seen since the birth of the cell-phone (may hate the damn things, but none can argure that the advent of that tech didn’t radically and quickly change things in an extremely short period of time).

    I hope this video brings a little sunshine to your Sunday!

    1. LawnDart

      Some background: Rwanda must have an extremely progressive airspace authority, or a total lack thereof (freeing space for creative-anarchy?). Drones currently are not widely in use because in most of the world their use is restricted to VFR or line-of-sight operations: civilian operators must have visual-contact with their drones at all times, and this is preventing widespread commercial adaptation, at least at this moment.

      But this will soon change, and quite possibly within in the next few months, or within a few years for much of the world. Albeit, not North of the Rio Grande…

      China is way, way more advanced than USA’s FAA in terms of creating the regulation necessary and the technologies for the management of low-altitude airspace, and the opening-up of possibilities for commercial operations– Trump didn’t just pull the “flying-car” stuff out of his wazoo: the change to logistics, transportation, and mobility will change our economy, one way or the other: USA is seriously at-risk of falling further behind in terms of productivity, time and cost efficiency, let alone in technology. USA kids, future engineers and scientists, will need to go to China to obtain relevent education, experience, and to learn how modern things really work in the real world.

      The video reminded me of why I want to get back into the world and out of USA (by end of Summer if things go right). Rwanda really seems to possess a hope and vitality that I’ve seen missing, but one that I have seen elsewhere during travels– real hope, not like the manure spread widely around these parts in ’08 (a tough taste to get rid of– good riddance).

  20. Roger Blakely

    Covid-19 threat expected to become on par with flu this year, says WHO New Scientist

    “I think we’re coming to that point where we can look at COVID-19 in the same way we look at seasonal influenza,” WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told a press conference. “A threat to health, a virus that will continue to kill. But a virus that is not disrupting our society or disrupting our hospital systems, and I believe that that will come, as Tedros said, this year.”

    Yeah, well, OK. SARS-CoV-2 is also a virus that will have me avoiding indoor public spaces and wearing a respirator in all indoor public spaces for the rest of my life.

    1. antidlc

      “But a virus that is not disrupting our society…”

      I guess he didn’t read the January 9, 2023 McKinsey report:

      One billion days lost: How COVID-19 is hurting the US workforce

      However, that does not mean that we have defeated the disease. Every day, between 250 and 400 US families lose a loved one to COVID-19.1 That’s roughly 2.5 to 4.0 times the average number of daily deaths from the flu in the decade preceding the pandemic.2 For these families (and those of the more than one million victims since 2020), COVID-19 is an unalloyed tragedy.

      Another ongoing effect of COVID-19 is less critical, and less obvious, but nevertheless substantial: more than two years after the lockdown, the disease continues to exert a brake on the US economy through productive workdays lost to worker illness, caregivers’ responsibilities for children and seniors, and compliance with isolation guidelines. And some analysts are starting to notice.

      Lots of BS (It’s no longer a pandemic!), but at least an acknowledgement of continued deaths and sickness.

    2. aantidlc

      “I think we’re coming to that point where we can look at COVID-19 in the same way we look at seasonal influenza,”

      Ah, yes, COVID-19 is just like the flu.

      1. Bsn

        Funny that. I’ve got a handful of friends who’ve had Covid every couple of months. I’ve had a few tough versions of the flu over the years but never the flu 3-4 per year.

    3. Will

      Name checking Tedros, the psychopath that was in charge of public health in Sweden during the pandemic is a huge red flag.

    4. Cassandra

      “I think we’re coming to that point where we can look at COVID-19 in the same way we look at seasonal influenza,” WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told a press conference. “A threat to health, a virus that will continue to kill. But a virus that is not disrupting our society or disrupting our hospital systems”

      And, in fact, the way they look at all threats to the health of the masses:

      1. Because markets
      2. Go die

  21. The Rev Kev

    That cat in today’s Antidote du jour looks like it has some serious Zen going on. I found that the poster is one Zhang Meifang who is the Consul General of China in Belfast so maybe that image was taken in northern Ireland.

  22. divadab

    Re: Tony Blair still justifying the invasion of Iraq

    I have the same reaction to this person as I have to Hillary Clinton. Utter disgust. They are corrupt entities, war criminals responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands. jail is too good for them and their ilk. That they have mass media platforms says all one needs to know about the media.

  23. Mildred Montana

    >Learning from Silicon Valley Bank’s apologists Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic

    Very good link. Written clearly and simply. Thank you.

    I commented two days ago about how depositors in a bank should keep on eye on its stock price and beware of any dramatic moves to the downside. Out of curiosity I checked the history of SVB* and well, wouldn’t ya know. Back in October, in one day (Oct. 21 to 22), its stock got absolutely hammered: Down 23% from $302 to $230. And this for a dividend-paying bank. Thereafter it traded evenly and even rallied somewhat until its ignominious end.

    But depositors paying attention could have deduced five months ago that something was rotten at SVB and bailed well ahead of the crowd and the crash.

    *Same thing for First Republic although not nearly as early or dramatic. On Feb. 21 it suffered a one-day decline of ~5% (from $128 to $122). Not a good sign for it either. Currently trading at $23, despite a bank-engineered rescue plan.

  24. Will

    If I may beg, a sanity check, please, from the knowledgeable commentariat here at nc.

    Am I totally off base in seeing the recent financial turmoil as, in part, another example of Russian sanctions blowback?

    I realize the conditions for the recent bank failures were not created by the the sanctions, and it was all going to end in tears anyway, but as I understand it:

    1. Russian sanctions if not caused at least greatly contributed to turning what may have been a transitory inflation event (Covid induced supply disruptions) into more long lasting economic re-ordering with inflationary consequences,

    2. The Fed responded by trying to kill the economy (or at least the poors) to save it from inflation by raising interest rates, and

    3. Rising rates was the lowering of the tide that revealed who’s been swimming without trunks and/or didn’t know how to run a bank.

    Yes, no, maybe so?

    Well, either way, think I’ll take off my tinfoil hat and go for a walk. Snowed again last night, and I rather enjoy the sight.

    1. tegnost

      I’m not particularly knowledgeable, but…
      1. Goosed oil profits and now fracking is good. Deindustrialize and deunionize germany.
      2. This one is a complicated mystery to me, Kill the poor is good, fewer people; the homeowners who tangentially benefited from bailing out the banksters by having their house value inflated don’t really deserve that money and now that the banksters are flush from 15 years of QE stock buybacks and monopolization it’s time to take that money back, emerging markets are getting commie, ftw, and probably more… so the exact intention is opaque.
      3. Create-a-crisis, drive people to the big 4 banks while decrying people for going to the big 4 banks because competition is a cost big corps don’t need to pay. Plus bonus for VC’x getting to flex, and moralizing about the poor poor paycheck processors et. al. who put bookkeepers all over the land out of business with their apps but who couldn’t be bothered with managing the money what with yoga, walking the doodle, and brunch taking so much time

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The “sanctions” are a little over a year old. This “economy” has been on shaky ground since the papered over great financial crisis 15 years ago, and well before that, necessitating those bailouts in the first place.

      There has been plenty of inflation in this country for decades, albeit studiously unacknowledged. A deindustrialized, financialized economy demands it. Housing, higher education, “healthcare”/pharma, financial “assets” of all kinds. That inflation has been celebrated as “growth,” hedonically “adjusted” away, or just plain ignored.

      Plenty of financial commentators have been sounding the economic alarm and expecting a day of reckoning for years. Russian “sanctions” didn’t cause this “inflation.” The Fed did.

      1. Carla

        Thank you, Katniss Everdeen.

        Of course, nothing you said means the sanctions didn’t backfire.

  25. spud

    there really is only one way out. the Gilbert Doctorow article strangely misses this point, as long as france is in the free trade E.U., it matters not if it was Macron, or some other, they would in the end be forced into what the oligarchs that rule the free trade world want.

    that want is the complete dismemberment of any form of sovereignty and a civil society. civil society stands in the way of a complete lust that the rich have for child labor, human trafficking, sexual predation, as well as all predation scenario’s,

    The capturing of prey for food.The act of robbing, victimizing, or exploiting others.The act of plundering or pillaging; robbery; predatory incursion.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      These neolibs don’t hear what they are saying. Macron is trying to say that raising the retirement age is “progress.” In what world is that true if you’re a working person?

      And the second is the familiar “but people are living longer now.” With such rapidly declining life expectancy, maybe they should can that sell point.

      1. spud

        Macron can get away with calling it progress, because bill clinton called deregulation, free trade, privatization, tax cuts for rich parasites, slashing the safety net and turning a whole generation of women into prostitutes and meth dealers, jim crow laws, etc. as a bridge to the 21st century, and today bill clinton is still revered, and walks freely amongst us.

        so if it works for clinton, it should work for macron.

  26. Wukchumni

    The ‘driveway’ to our cabin in Mineral King is about 21 miles long, and the KNP Fire in 2021 burned above and below Mineral King Road from mile 8 to mile 18, often leaving lunar landscapes in its wake.

    The lower section of the road from mile 4 to mile 6 is pretty wrecked in quite a few places, which makes me wonder what happened in the 10 mile burned section?

    I probably don’t want to know~

    1. The Rev Kev

      So strange that. Going along a country road is supposed to be mundane but punctuated with lots of interesting scenery. Going along Mineral King Road seems to be its own adventure with cars not welcome. It’s like nature in that area is saying that they hate roads and slams them with boulders and mud slides to make its feelings known.

  27. tegnost

    Credit slips…
    What’s worse is that the holdco, which filed for bankruptcy today, has substantial assets including around $2 billion on deposit with SVB. Almost all of that $2 billion deposit at SVB would have been uninsured, but by guarantying all the deposits, FDIC accidentally ensured that the holdco’s bondholders would be able to recover that from that full $2 billion deposit.

    I think they mean surreptitiously
    Of course 2 billion is chump change not even equal to a wells fargo fraud fine, so these must be the mom and pop bond holders so it’s all good…

    1. Karl

      My reaction exactly.

      The FDIC has taken over numerous banks. Surely that includes holdcos. Like any federal bureaucracy, it’s full of experts (lawyers, accountants) who’ve gone through this drill many times. So, “oops?” “Accident?” Why do the reporters assume that?

      The role of the FDIC, the SF Fed, Governor Newsom, the VC, et. al. is pretty stinky, yes?

      The SF Board and Powell should resign. The whole outfit (finally) needs a wholesale Financial, Operational and Regulatory audit.

      Remember the latin saying “Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes” — who will watch the watchers themselves? Who will examine the examiners themselves?

  28. tevhatch

    Americans Don’t Care About the Iraqi Dead. They Don’t Even Care About Their Own. The Intercept. The American elite.

    Maybe I have a higher threshold for care than most, but from what I’ve read and seen, I don’t see much care at all from the middle class either. I can’t say much about the poor since their voices are muffled. I’m sure there are exceptions that will pipe up; I’m going by the mean average.

      1. ambrit

        Truly reprehensible pun. It’s fitting collateral for Overton’s Repo Window. I mean, I’m average, and I laughed at it.

  29. Mikel

    This article is from a couple of days ago. Just really noticing this part:
    “…Andy Rappaport, a former partner with August Capital and a former investor in the semiconductor industry, among other areas of tech, said that starting in the 1990s, just years after it was considered a startup bank itself, SVB would loan its clients funds based on purchase orders from customers, with the startup’s credit as collateral, enabling a company to buy the materials it needed…”

    Sounds like some kind of version of supply chain finance going on. Not uncommon, but people were wondering about some of the types of loans on the bank’s books.

  30. Tom Stone

    When people are projecting the future course of the economy I don’t see any of them acknowledging that 15,000,000 Americans are suffering from long Covid with that number likely doubling within 2 years.
    That’s a mass disabling event by any reckoning and it is very likely going to turn into a mass death event if my experience with having an impaired immune system is any indication.
    I suspect this is going to have profound effects, none of them pleasant.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      They can hardly acknowledge their eugenics proof-of-concept project. Instead, they’re pointing at lazy proles stuffed with all that fabulous wealth from the Trump check and the Biden check. The plan is to improve whip targeting using smart whips invented by a start-up with an account at SVB. Talk about systemic. It’s positively pneumatic.

    2. ambrit

      Just as the Water Cooler has the Rapture Index in it’s regular departments, we should agitate for a Jackpot Index.

  31. Jason Boxman

    As usual, laws are for dull normals:

    U.S. securities law bars “insider trading” — buying or selling stocks based on access to nonpublic information not available to other investors — under certain circumstances. Historically, insider trading prosecutions and SEC enforcement have both focused on corporate employees, and those close to them, trading in the stock of their own companies.

    But executives at companies can also have extensive access to nonpublic information about rivals, partners or vendors through their business. Buying or selling stock based on that knowledge can run afoul of insider-trading law, according to experts. ProPublica described multiple trades, without mentioning names, to Robert Zink, a former chief of the Justice Department’s criminal fraud section, who responded that if he were still at the Justice Department, “of course we would look at it.” He added that the key to ProPublica’s findings is “the trading doesn’t appear to be a one- or two-time thing. It’s happening a lot.”

    (bold mine)

  32. Rita

    I have a house 10 km away from the Vjosa river. There has been a boom of hydropower plants due to a flourishing of building sector, loans and government supported high energy prices. But lately the government announced that it will take half the profit from the power plants due to high energy prices, as an emergency measure. But if it becomes permanent the industry will be less incentivised to build hydropower plants, so the rivers may be spared. Climate change is also decreasing precipitation.

  33. Mikel

    “Fed to stay the course with 25 bps rate hike on March 22: Reuters poll” Reuters

    “US Fed to consider pause in rate hikes as fallout from SVB roils markets” Bloomberg

    And what part does this type of speculation play in the bond markets?
    Reminds me:
    One of the most important old cons to be aware of is the old Baltimore Stockbroker con.

    Take a look and see how it works:

    May not be too farfetched to say someone like a Cramer has a televised version/variation of the Baltimore Stockbroker.

    1. Wukchumni

      Jim Cramer has always struck me as a malevolent version of Soupy Sales, except Soupy wasn’t selling anything.

      1. Questa Nota

        Take all those pictures of Presidents and put them in an envelope to send to me, Soupy, at Box xx, whatever Station, NY NY 100xx

        And that led eventually to a new class of scams, eventually going international.

  34. Karl

    RE: Regime change in Russia is definitely the goal, Joly says

    This is another example of the fantastical thinking of foolish leaders in the West, much remarked upon here at NC:

    “Goal”–> Magic –> Regime Change

    Sy Hersh said, in his talk to the DC Press Club last week, that Putin’s problem in Russia is with the far right, i.e. nationalists who want him to prosecute the war more aggressively.

    So, if the West really got the regime change they say they want, the successor regime could be worse. But Trudeau, Jolly et. al. probably know that. So this is what I think the real goal is:

    Suck up to the U.S.–>Call for Regime Change to distract from–>”Gee Canada, it’s a year after sanctions were imposed and you’re still importing steel and aluminum from Russia?”

  35. Mikel

    I’m just going to throw this out there for fun:
    All of this bank blow-up, while it may have been simmering for a long time, also happened as the parties involved in the SBF trial are gathering evidence.

  36. Sub-Boreal

    I wondered what had been happening in the months since the Chilean constitutional referendum had overwhelmingly defeated the proposal from the constituent assembly, but found this recent update.

    I have no current personal connections with Chile, but their 9-11 made a big impression on me as a politically curious teenager, and over the years I’ve known Canadian members of the Chilean post-coup diaspora.

    If any NC commenters have any insights into what is happening there, please share!

    1. Glen

      And seriously, I’d welcome any analysis of what in the world is going on here. The only common link I can find is that I keep hearing and reading that depositors are withdrawing funds, and I keep wonder who can do this? If I and everybody I know withdrew our funds from our banks, it’s effectively a flea bite. And where would we put it? Under our beds?

      Is this Fed rate hike related?
      Is this poorly run banks?
      Is this related to geo-politics? (Like our State Department brain trust Blinken/Nuland threatened SA with oil price caps?)

      What a mess.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        This is just hearsay, but I read on another site, maybe MoA, that a lot of Chinese depositors pulled their money out of Swiss banks when the sanctions on Russia were imposed. They did not want to end up having their money seized the way the EU tried to seize Russia’s private deposits.

        At one time Swiss banks were considered off-limits to any prying by outsiders, and rock-solid safe. That all disappeared over the years, as the Swiss abandoned their pretense of neutrality.

        If I find a source I will update later.

    2. Wukchumni

      Its interesting, the 2 countries that gained the most financially in the aftermath of WW2, are both on the ropes in the banking sector.

      And an awful lot of people think of the Swiss and all that glitters, but similar to the English, they got rid of their holdings-albeit @ a higher level of around $400 pr oz a few years after Gordon Brown did his thing.

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        Reading your comment just now over morning coffee: I don’t think that’s correct about the Swissies selling their XAU. All the lists I see show they’re still in the top 10 worldwide for central bank holdings. The Swissies may have abandoned bank secrecy and neutrality (for the time being, anyway: desperate times call for desperate measures…..), but giving up one’s gold is too much for a country that worships mammon. Perhaps you confused them with the Canadians, who did in fact dump all their gold (literally all: Canada has zero reserves). Even the land of Brown’s Bottom still has about 300 tons. As for the lists: it’s widely believed that both China and Russia have way more gold reserves than they’re admitting publicly, and of course no one knows just how much yellow metal there really is inside Fort Knox and in the basement of the NY Fed. Just sayin’.

        But yes, it’s ironic that the Swissies and the Yankees are having bank issues. Karma?

        1. Wukchumni

          In June 1999, the Governing Board of the SNB decided that half of its then gold reserves of 2590 tonnes were no longer required for monetary purposes and that it would inform the market and the public accordingly. This decision contributed to the process that eventually led to the first central bank agreement on gold sales. This so called Washington Agreement provided the framework for the subsequent gold sales of the Swiss National Bank, the ECB and thirteen European national central banks. Under this agreement, the SNB’s realized sales of 1170 tonnes which represented the bulk of the total sales of 2000 tonnes for all participating central banks.

          1. Maxwell Johnston

            Wow. They certainly started out with a huge pile of the yellow metal, given that they unloaded about half of it but still remain in the top 10. They didn’t quite sell at the top.

  37. Mikel

    “Learning from Silicon Valley Bank’s apologists” Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic (LS).

    If anybody isn’t clear on what one of these suck up apologists (piss on you and tell you it’s raining type) sound like:
    The Atlantic: What People Still Don’t Get About Bailouts

    Compares bailouts to firefighting. Dares to mention arson in the analogy. Does not dare mention throw a mofo in jail – which is what happens to arsonists.

  38. Willow

    Is SVB a red flag that there’s potentially significant mispricing of derivatives out there? Similar to the red flags in April 2007? Which means things are going to get very very ugly?

    1. Wukchumni

      I sold all my stocks around April 2007, and my favorite was Fannie Mae which was around $59 a share when I offed it.

      The housing bubble came back bigtime, but not Fannie.

      The current price?


  39. LawnDart

    So many comments refer to stuff that happened before I was born, or that may have happened when I was a kid, or certainly before I became politically-aware– and I’m not that young!

    Where’s the sense of living-history, the stuff that most of us can relate to or agree upon before dragging us into the muck of a past that we haven’t witnessed and has probably been re-written, edited, a hundred-fold or more?

    No, not addressing or calling-out anyone specifically… but yeah, none of us could have chosen our parents, although we can still affect the world around us to influence the present and to shape the future– why undermine our agency?

    1. Wukchumni

      Being a time traveler of sorts as an occupation, I was mired in the past quite often, I might be in Ancient Rome in the morning and the Napoleonic era ‘100 Days’ in the afternoon, via aged round metal discs, and being a curious type-I needed to know what made money tick for the last 2,500 years, and that involved the past, not the future.

      About the only honest thing in our country is the wilderness, and I try to influence those reading these comments to take solace in that, go explore.

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