Links 3/22/2023

Badger tunnels halt traffic on Dutch railways BBC (Furzy Mouse).

Watch Angry Moose Attack Speeding Snowmobilers Field and Stream

Net Climate Effects of Moose Browsing in Early Successional Boreal Forests by Integrating Carbon and Albedo Dynamics JGR Biogeosciences. From the Abstract: “In a region with intensive forestry operations and high moose density, CO2 emissions from moose browsing in post-harvested sites can be equal to about 40% of the annual emissions of fossil fuels from that region. Cooling effects from increased albedo can offset about two thirds of this impact.”


Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Working Group III Contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. Thread:

World on ‘thin ice’ as UN climate report gives stark warning AP


A pan-variant mRNA-LNP T cell vaccine protects HLA transgenic mice from mortality after infection with SARS-CoV-2 Beta Frontiers in Immunology. More here. Big if true. But monkeys exaggerate, and mice lie.

CDC reports dramatic increase in US Candida auris cases Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy


Thick sandstorms shroud Beijing and several provinces in China Reuters

China’s Communist Party wants to be everything everywhere all at once: but will centralised social control work? South China Morning Post

US Hegemony and Its Perils Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (Expat2Uruguay; Rev Kev). From February, still germane.

Chinese delegation masks up in Moscow, via Alex Christoforou (the whole video is worth a listen):

Elites — globally — know how to protect themselves from an airborne pathogen, whether in Moscow, Davos, or Newton, MA. They just don’t want you to protect yourself (or those near and dear to you).

AUKUS a hard nuke sale in next door SE Asia Asia Times (Rev Kev).


Indian data reveals Adani empire’s reliance on offshore funding FT

‘I don’t know how much I owe’ People’s Archive of Rural India

Mask up, say experts, as Covid cases double in UP Times of India. “Experts” always lag. The time to mask up is before the virus exhibits doubling behavior, not after. “Now,” in other words, is always a good time.

Southeast Asia’s power dynamic is not quite ‘Game of Thrones’ Globe_

The East Asian Package Richard Hanania. Plot twist.

Vietnam: leadership turnover and foreign-policy implications (abstract only) Strategic Comments

Fallen forest: Cambodia’s political reforestation unlikely to survive Globe_

European Disunion

Euro pushes higher as ECB chief Lagarde says inflation is still too high CNBC. And speaking of Lagarde, via alert reader Revenant:

Quelle extase!

Bundesbank chief says rate-setters must be ‘more stubborn’ in inflation fight FT

* * *

French government survives no-confidence votes over pensions AP

Former Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis attacked in central Athens Politico. Video (ambrit). Subtitled:

Dear Old Blighty

Boris Johnson news – live: Ex-PM ‘looking forward’ to televised Partygate hearing Independent. Meanwhile, either Google has a time machine or they put an AI in charge of writing their headlines:

New Not-So-Cold War

Britain Supplying Depleted Uranium Rounds to Ukraine Declassified UK (which broke the story).

US speeds up Abrams tank delivery to Ukraine war zone AP

* * *

Can Russia Get Used to Being China’s Little Brother? Foreign Policy. Is it literally impossible for us to conceptualize foreign policy without personalizing everything?

Meet China’s ‘junior partner’ Politico. “Xi’s visit underscored Putin’s reliance on China at a time of isolation.” Fog in the Channel; Continent Isolated….

The Caribbean

CITGO: A Multi-billion Dollar Heist? (infographic) Venezuelanalysis

Exclusive: Middlemen have left Venezuela’s PDVSA with $21.2 billion in unpaid bills Reuters

Biden Administration

Judge approves $600 million settlement over Flint water crisis The Hill

Fed’s Powell faces political storm, policy minefield over SVB oversight Reuters

B-a-a-a-d Banks

Small banks, big reach FT

SVB’s loans to insiders tripled to $219m before it failed Bloomberg (BC).

Swedish pension fund Alecta sells its stake in First Republic Bank at a loss of $728 Business Today

Total Wipeout of $17 billion in Credit Suisse AT1 CoCo Bonds Shocked Because No One Reads Clauses Anymore? Wolf Street

America’s banks are missing hundreds of billions of dollars The Economist (Furzy Mouse).


What to know about Alvin Bragg, Manhattan district attorney AP

Bragg wrestling with whether to allow Trump to avoid ‘perp walk’ Micheal Isikkoff, Yahoo News. Most WWF thing ever, if it happens.

The Bezzle

Coinbase Heads to the Supreme Court in First Crypto Case Gizmodo (Rev Kev).


TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew Promises Firewall to Shield User Data WSJ. Commentary:

TikTok Is Pushing Incel and Suicide Videos to 13-Year-Olds Vice (Furzy Mouse).

* * *

GPT-4 and professional benchmarks: the wrong answer to the wrong question AI Snake Oil

The case for slowing down AI Vox. Has anybody tried to automate bank runs yet?

It’s Game Over on Vocal Deepfakes Daring Fireball


The Maternal Health Crisis Is A Consequence Of Design Health Affairs

How a Group of Health Executives Transformed the Liver Transplant System The Markup

Supply Chain

The Time to Prevent Shortfalls in Critical Materials Is Now RAND

Iraq War Post Mortem

Massive Archive of Iraq War Lies Disappeared from “Center for Public Integrity” Censored News. Yep. Will Winston Smith please pick up the nearest white courtesy phone?

What I Got Right About The Iraq War Dick Cheney, The Onion

Class Warfare

65,000 school workers begin three-day strike in Los Angeles WSWS

Labor Tensions Rise in Stalled West Coast Port Contract Talks Hellenic Shipping News

Club-Wielding Ancestors: Myth or Reality? Sapiens

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:


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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. Polar Socialist

      I think I saw something about Trump still not being arrested while South Korean opposition leader actually was.

      Also Russia is strongly pushing for commerce denominated in yuan with (and within) Africa, Asia and South America.

      Oh, and China said something about USA having to either stop arming Ukraine or shut up about the peace initiatives.

      1. digi_owl

        Do wonder if China wants the yuan to become a reserve currency.

        And i think telling USA to put up or shut up has become quite common lately.

        1. Samuel Conner

          One wonders how they will get large quantities of it into the central bank holdings of other countries without becoming a large net importer. Swap lines?

          1. SteveW

            One possible way to do it is for the Chinese government to buy yuan denominated bonds issued by the other governments, with exchange rate peg to gold perhaps. That way, such governments cannot simply print the money to liquidate the bonds, but then they do not need to use US dollars issued by IMF. The Chinese is strong enough to do any settlement enforcement action (lands or resources). Come to think of it, this can apply to US trade as well. Rather than taking US denominated Treasury Bonds, they made the US take yuan loans pegged to gold to settle the differences in trade. This is definitely a nuclear option and will lead to WW3.

            1. Yves Smith

              No country with an operating brain cell and options issues bonds in a foreign currency. Consider Argentina.

              And how are they going to acquire the yuan to service the bonds? China would have to run a trade deficit with them, which China most assuredly does not want to happen.

      2. skippy

        The nation with the world largest Mfg base partners up with the nation with the most natural resources on the orb with short lines of information ….

    2. Ghost in the Machine

      Your handle caught my eye. My son recently read The Stand and so I decided to reread it. A bit weird in the light of the recent pandemic and it’s controversial start. Whatever it’s origin, a recent line I read caught my eye:”I think what happened in June happened because too many people were playing it a little too close. That wasn’t any act of God. That was an act of pure human $&@!ery.”

  1. Randall Flagg

    As far as that clip of the bees taking revenge…

    If that could only be done to the parasites that are running this country. Our ” political leaders”, the hedge funders, the PMC class, the list goes on.

    1. Oh

      The first swarm should be sent to both chambers of Congress. After they enter the doors and windows need to be locked shut.

      1. Paradan

        We could build a giant pork barrel out of wood, but with bees hidden inside. We then wheel it up to the base of the capital and leave for them as token of our appreciation…

      2. wendigo

        You mean the 2nd swarm, the first swarm just wandered around, grabbed a few souvenirs and left.

  2. Jeff Stantz

    re: America’s banks are missing hundreds of billions of dollars – The Economist

    Will the Economist ever ask: Where did American Banks get hundreds of billions of dollars?

    1. griffen

      That headline is poorly worded, in my opinion. Others Mileage May Vary.

      Depositors finally have an opportunity to shop for a better interest rate. Zounds, it does appear that something better than 0.000001% is available at last to the average John Smith or Jane Doe. Whether that is shopping for shorter term UST investments such as Tbills, or comparably short high quality mutual funds and money market funds. In fact we have had these very discussions in the past 6 to 12 months with the marked increase in UST market yields.

  3. Sam Adams

    Re: Badger tunnels halt traffic on Dutch railways
    Bring in the big boys: dachshunds and Teckels!

      1. flora

        adding: why… it’s almost like the current Dutch admin thought the Dutch citizens would have completely forgotten that their parents/grandparents/great grandparents truly nearly starved to death in WWI and WWII. (And bravo to Herbert Hoover for organizing a USA food relief program to the low countries during and after WWI.) Audrey Hepburn nearly starved to death as a Dutch child in WWII There is a reason the Dutch care about local food production.

  4. zagonostra

    >Putin hosts Xi in the Kremlin with imperial palace pageantry

    I was trying to find a video clip of this event, but it seems to have disappeared from Ytube. The video clip embedded in the AP article referenced in the link below shows an “Error Code: 102404,” whatever that means.

    There was a special grandeur in the ceremony that I wanted to save, especially the guards opening the golden doors. The staging and choreography had a certain marshal splendor, in contradistinction to the Satanic one that Biden gave a couple of months ago on the “soul of America” with a red background and two marines framed on either side.

    In a …ceremony filled with imperial grandeur, the two leaders entered the huge chandeliered room from opposite sides and shook hands in the middle to the sound of the Russian and Chinese national anthems.

    They walked past a lineup of Russian and Chinese officials to sit down for talks. Putin and Xi both wore black suits and dark red ties

    The pageantry reflected the importance of Xi’s three-day visit to Russia that gave a strong political boost to Putin.

    1. S.D., M.D.

      The clip in which two soldiers could not open a door without goose stepping?
      Nope. Sorry, nothing involving goose stepping qualifies as majestic.
      Ridiculous on the edge of creepy, not majestic.

      1. hunkerdown

        As “majesty” so often is. But the hegemonic PMC would rather have us so viscerally scared of history that we can’t even read it without their loving interpretation, let alone look it directly in the eye.

    2. Airgap

      Yes, the pomp and ceremony videos from that meeting have mostly disappeared. I tried WION as I had watched their Gravitas show last night which showed the meeting but today that link to a page had some text but the video box was empty. I then went to Yandex and found this which shows much of the splendor of the venue. The interview with some German security wonk that follows is pure NATO.

      Hope this helps.

  5. QuarterBack

    Re deep fake audio and

    Real recordings will be called fake and fake recordings will be leaked as purportedly real. I don’t think the general population is prepared for this, and I worry that news media organizations aren’t either.

    I think the “media organizations” have been diligently gearing up for this exact scenario and they have been “preparing” the general public to accept that truth is what the media says it is for quite sometime.

    1. NN Cassandra

      IMO these freakouts about deep fakes audio/video are just PMC voicing their implicit opinions about dumb plebes being totally dumb and easily manipulated. Right now everyone with modicum of skills can create convincing fake photos, yet the world still goes on and all we got out of it is memes. And as for the real lies, from Iraq WMD to Russiagate to the latest story about Nord Stream sabotage, it’s clear you don’t need any evidence whatsoever, doctored or not, just boldly claim whatever you want and with complicit media lot of people (including PMC) will eagerly fall for it.

      1. Oh

        Most Americans are fooled by the propaganda that is broadcast every minute of the day. Some Americans do their best to get another point of view by searching the internet but the exceptional ones believe every word of the media news. The Democrats keep blaring about the Orange haired guy because they know that’s the only way they can distract the people and get their votes. Trump, Trump, Trump, Russia, Russia, Russia, China, China, China!

      2. hunkerdown

        The PMC believe their value and power is situated in their Voice. They are expressing the same fear as Native Americans who believed that being photographed is hazardous to their spiritual existence. If just anyone with a computer can synthesize high dudgeon in anyone else’s voice, how will the rabble know which god to follow and which way to be driven toward them?

        1. digi_owl

          In the end their world runs on shame and excommunication/canceling.

          But shame needs evidence. And deepfakes makes such evidence harder to trust or easier to dismiss.

          1. hunkerdown

            Good point. As in any religious proceeding, evidence can be generated through pure interpretation. One doesn’t even need six lines anymore.

            Shame needs evidence, but I am absolutely unconcerned with “reforming” their soul, “perfecting” their actions, or any other kind of “uplift” crap. I’m solely interested in destroying those parts of their human capital that enable their self-styled vice cop activity.

    2. truly

      I am reminded of ‘The Running Man’ starring Schwarzenegger.
      Quick recap: brave cop stands up against orders to brutalize unarmed innocent hungry protestors. Cop is subdued and protestors are gunned down. Now video is manipulated to make it appear that the good guy is the bad guy. Makes it appear that cop goes rogue and guns down innocents. When in fact cop goes rogue trying to PREVENT innocents being gunned down.
      Rogue cop now sentenced to death in a brutal game. Made for TV viewers, bad guys are run down and killed by Mad Max style ultimate fighters.
      Schwarzenegger survives, wins, and revolution follows.
      The key to shifting public opinion is releasing the original audio.

      Odd how the futuristic sci fi films look more like reality than fantasy.

      1. OwlishSprite

        When I was watching the video with Varoufakis yesterday, the subtitles said that the attackers said they beat him up for voting FOR the bailouts in 2015. Maybe the thugs were confused, but he voted against them. Subtitles that are auto generated tend to be iffy, but I had to go look this up. I think this is a major easy method of manipulation for foreign language vids.

        1. Yves Smith

          Sorry, but not having tracked back what the actual argument is over, I believe the critics are correct. Although it was not a matter of voting since Varoufakis was finance minister.

          Greece already decided in February 2015 when Syriza, barely in office, agreed to what amounted to a letter of intent in which they also conceded they were subject to the IMF “arrangement”. Game, set, match. Greece (and the press which was sympathetic to their plight as being the victims of insane and counterproductive austerity) didn’t seem to grok that.

          If you mean the July 2015 referendum, that was a political stunt. It was illegal under the Greek constitution AND on a bailout that expired June 30, so pointless.

          1. OwlishSprite

            I am only commenting on the video, and the subtitles, which were incorrect. Nothing more.

  6. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Thanks For The Memory by Rod Stewart)

    Tanks and Uranium
    Depleted armor rounds, completely out of bounds
    Out there on the Slavic steppes, a game of hare and hounds
    From London with love

    You talk to China’s guy
    We’ll steal the whole front page, get the world enraged
    It’s not too late to escalate this war that we have waged
    Is this all a bluff?

    Many a realm we’d invade
    And many a vow we’ve betrayed
    But lately we’re all masquerade
    Our Army’s a joke, our Navy’s broke

    Tanks and Uranium
    Our Challengers make rust, and everlasting dust
    That spreads with every gust, our Saxon bloodlust
    Will stain your homeland

    (musical interlude)

    Banks here are falling down
    It’s like a tinderbox, we’re waiting for Guy Fawkes
    Our psychopathic ministers will not permit peace talks
    We do stuff that’s dumb

    Our budget now hangs from a shoestring
    We cannot compete with Beijing
    If we do this horrific thing
    Can you please not attack? Everything here will crack!

    Tanks and Uranium
    The whole thing’s silly dumb, it’s unobtainium
    Our military cannot fill a minor stadium
    We’re talking ’bout a pig’s ear cause we’ve got to interfere

    From London with love

    1. ChrisFromGA

      A poetic take on current events.

      DU rounds were used in Kosovo, during the last HATO campaign, so who can be surprised? This thing is going to keep escalating until we either get a nuclear exchange leading to the end of civilization, or somebody blinks …

      The rain in Ukraine falls mainly on the plain,
      Against the mud the wunderwaffen strain.
      Meanwhile, western banks get drained
      Talk of peace disdained
      And good men do nothing, so evil reigns

      1. Sue Doe Nymph

        I actually think that the whole DU issue is the British declaration that they have run out of ammunition to donate.

        And, of course, trying to play PR games and influence headlines…

        1. R.S.

          that they have run out of ammunition to donate.

          As far as I remember, a new type of Challenger with a 120mm smoothbore has been awaited since I don’t even recall… 2005 or something. CLIP (Challenger Lethality Improvement Programme), CSP (Capability Sustainment Programme), CLEP (Life Extension Programme), whatever.

          That mighty and shining Challenger 3 is still somewhere out there, but the production lines for the “old” 120 mm rifled L30 ammo were duly closed around 2008-09. There were also plans to outsource the production to Belgium, but they were also dropped around 2014. The army has to rely on its existing stocks even for exercises.

        2. hk

          I wondered the same: do the British have any more “conventional” shells to donate (presumably with tungsten carbide penetrator–these are expensive, more so than DU, and they couldn’t have had a lot of those)?

          One weird side note: MacGregor went on a bit in one of his videos about how Russia does not have DU shells. But as far as I know (information available from open sources), USSR began manufacturing DU shells in early 1980s and Russia introduced their latest model of DU tank rounds just a few years ago. Strange thing coming out of a supposed expert on Russian military….

          1. Wukchumni

            China is by an incredibly large margin, the largest producer of tungsten, with Vietnam & Russia 2nd and 3rd.

            Is it possible the west has run out of Wolfram, jack?

            49’ers would have been frustrated by tiny town and there was no pressshius here, but lots of tungsten and when Pearl Harbor happened, all of the sudden dozens of little mines opened up hither and yon.

            1. hk

              This is amazing: you have to get to #6 producer to get to first Western countries producing much tungsten (Austria and/or Spain, producing 900t of ore each) and that’s less than 1/70 that of China!

            2. Old Sarum

              Wolfram Jack:

              I worked on survey ships in the UK North Sea in the early ’80s which (bizarrely) were supplied with Wolfman Jack videos (pre-VHS & Betamax). I wonder if any one else picked up on ‘Wolfram, Jack’.

              Pip-pip! (really showing my age)

          2. R.S.

            But as far as I know (information available from open sources), USSR began manufacturing DU shells in early 1980s

            Yep. Both Russia and Ukraine theoretically may have 3BM-29, 3BM-32, 3BM-46 125mm APFSDS. As well as 9M124 tank gun-launched AT missile that was developed initially for T-64s which Ukraine used to have a plenty of. The question is if those rounds exist in any meaningful numbers. So far there are no reports from either side that anything like that was seen or used.

      1. Janie

        Yes, I was just researching the year. It won the Oscar for best song for a Bob Hope movie in 1938. For a few minutes I thought I was the only one here old enough to remember Bob Hope.

      2. Antifa

        You are correct, but Bob’s lyrics are a back and forth between he and Shirley Ross, almost a conversation. Rod Stewart had much better lyrics for the tune, for my purposes.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “French government survives no-confidence votes over pensions”

    At 278 of the 287 votes needed to pass for a no-confidence vote, I would call that a bullet dodge that. Macron may have survived but he is essentially a dead man walking. No doubt he is already asking around about what job in the EU that he can be promoted to when he is finished running France. I do wonder why he pushed for this vote and have thought of a possibility. A few weeks ago the Danes eliminated a springtime public holiday to boost spending on the military. And I note that this holiday – Great Prayer Day – was a religious holiday that has been observed since the 17th century. So maybe that was why this push to raise retirement ages for workers. Not so much to balance the budgets but in order to use the money saved to be spent on the French military for their part in NATO. There is a logic to this theory as in military budgets per-empt social budgets.

    1. David

      The vote was directed not against Macron but against Borne’s government. Had the vote been lost, Borne would have had to resign and Macron would have had to find a new PM. The law would also have been overturned, which would have been a political defeat for Macron but that’s it. Macron’s position is not threatened as such.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for the clarification. I’m not sure how secure Macron’s position would be though. There seems to be a general hostility arising about the guy and he has already been slapped in public a coupla times – and that was before all this blew up.

      2. Carolinian

        To quote Hillary re Assange, “can’t we just drone him?”: (kidding!–not sure she was). How did France come to have such a crazy anti-democratic system?

        1. tegnost

          The oldsters got theirs, and they don’t want to share, same as in the good ol’ usa…
          Pay for! Solvency!

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          In short the 4th Republic couldn’t deal with the Algeria problem and other colonies, a proper department of France with a 10% or so elite and effectively a subject class. There were claims of domestic issues caused by weak and successive governments. Polysci types pointed to the Federalist papers as an explanation and solution for France’s problems. DeGalle and the EEC put France in a great position and the morphing EEC took up time of successive leaders, but in the end, a guy who can win 20% of the electorate now has dictatorial power.

          Macron is largely there because of the incompetence and then the incalcitrance of French SDs. The other side is the system was meant to keep small parties out, but the collapse of the Gallists (because it was a personality based party versus a proper center right party) gave Le Pen electoral power that he shouldn’t have had. His daughter moderated a bit to hold those voters. The other parties haven’t adjusted to this and expect the center right to gel or the communists to worship neoliberals.

          Going back, I think the French saw the UK and US and simply assumed parties just materialized over night ignoring how they arrived at those points. 600 thousand Americans died because of the US constitution, a pro slavery document, 87 years after 1776. The successful turnover of presidents since movie reels created an illusion of stability that could just be replicated. The French made their system “better” with the 5th Republic to avoid the weaknesses the experienced, but they didn’t conceive of a proper minority president running things in a national election.

          1. Carolinian

            Thanks for explanation. Perhaps Franklin’s advice about “if you can keep it” applies all over the world.

        3. hunkerdown

          Because democracy, insofar as it is not a floating signifier of capitalist reproduction, is anti-property. Actually existing states are republics, which inherently put property over life.

  8. David

    The AP article on France is fair enough as far a it goes but doesn’t really give much background. It also trots out the tiresome meme about contributors and beneficiaries of social security as though it were about a grocer’s shop. For anyone interested, I have a (much longer) article coming out later today in my Aurelien Substack, which tries to explain why the French political system us in such a mess and how this crisis arose in the first place.

  9. griffen

    So, Tik Tok is evil, perverse and pushes the worst of content onto the screens of the youngest eligible users of the platform. I am not a parent, but I just can’t imagine raising a child in this environment. Give the child a phone on a short leash or don’t give the child a phone (and then the child is a modern outcast and seething resentment starts to build).

    Good grief. Pushing this manner of content on anyone under the age of 21 is beyond comprehension. I don’t follow this media narrative much at all as I don’t necessarily care about social media on this or that service.

    1. lab_rat

      The problem of TikTok isn’t that it is pushing such content to youngsters, but that it is taking over the job of pushing such content to youngsters from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Good luck thinking that getting rid of TikTok will solve the problem – the void will be quickly filled up by another social media platform that keeps its servers in the US of A (and keeps its door open to NSA).

      1. digi_owl

        Ding. This is not about children, this is about it being a Chinese owned and operated service muscling out the US competition once again.

        Observe that just as we get yet another “think of the children” pearl clutching, Tiktok is being banned from the phones of politicians and bureaucrats across the west.

        Tiktok is doing nothing more than Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram etc etc etc has been doing for decades already. but now it is HQ-ed in China, not USA, so it is scary.

        1. Oh

          If these a$$holes cared abouit children they wouldn’t let children go hungry by cutting off food stamps.

          1. hunkerdown

            Children are property, the feedstock out of which the next generation will be machined. Understand that and you understand the Roman ideology of the “family”.

          2. Nikkikat

            Thank you Oh, indeed any time you hear….oh, but what about the children these people are lying through their teeth. It’s been used forever by our elite class. It’s means you are about to lose everything.

      2. Paradan

        They said that the method they used to investigate TikTok was to create accounts and state that they were 13 years old, and then do a search for the word “incel”. TikTok’s advanced evil algorithm then directed them to content that made by people from the “incel” community, some of it disturbing. Thank God kids haven’t figured out how to spell Trump’s name, we’d have to completely shut down all democracy forever.

          1. OwlishSprite

            Being celibate is a crime against N̶o̶n̶c̶e̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶p̶r̶e̶d̶a̶t̶o̶r̶s̶ Humanity. You know who is running the world, right?

    2. bwilli123

      Cannot yet see how this differs much from Facebook/Meta, Instagram, Pinterest et al….
      except perhaps being more algorithmically efficient (which does have important secondary environmental benefits)
      Still, the guiding rule of US commercial internet practice remains undisturbed: unless there is absolutely no commercial benefit to any program, or ‘service’ (excepting those originating from China) that result in malevolent side-effects (narrowly construed) that far outweigh the benefits, then permission is granted to continue-as before.

    3. The Rev Kev

      If Tik Tok was just another Silicon Valley social media corporation, would this have ever been a story? They don’t care about any so-called spying. They only care because it was not Invented In America and thus under direct US control.

      1. TimH

        US doesn’t want a foreign country building up personality analyses from people’s social media. But it’s ok for FB etc to do it, because the US can access the dossiers.

        1. digi_owl

          Now you got me thinking about when some winds blew a way a fake facade on the US embassy in Paris, and uncovered a mass of antennas pointing at the various government buildings. USA is likely spying more on “allies” than enemies (building up that kompromat cache perchance).

          1. TimH

            If Pro-Brexit can use FB to sway the prevailing opinions, then spy agencies can use FB dossiers to short-list suitable targets showing disatisfactions with whatever to turn into CIs.

      2. griffen

        I had an evil thought that the 14 year old me would be totally pissed at this 50 year old me. Further, the 14 year old version was left with fantasies and fantasizing from certain, er, sections of big department store catalogs. Today it just pops into your feed! Like I said, is it evil because it is a China owned and likely state sponsored surveillance or it’s evil because the USA or Silicon Valley didn’t get there first. US tech was too busy working on deliverance, er delivery applications.

    4. Mildred Montana

      I strain to insert this here, as it is only tangentially relevant, but NC seems not to have mentioned it. From six days ago:

      Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek has been bought by PE operators. As a staunch believer in the harmful effects of pornography, I think this could be good news. And especially so for internet-addicted youngsters.

      After all, PE has a solid history of eventually bankrupting (or at the least, ruining) any entity it takes a financial interest in. It might, in this case and unintentionally of course, save a few young minds from distorted beliefs about sex.

      1. Skk

        And the PE operator that bought Pr0nhub’s parent company MindGeek was called Ethical Capital Partners.

        Ethical ?

  10. Jean-Luc Szpakowski

    The post on liver transpants misstates and omits significant facts. For one, all citizens of the US are required to have equal access to liver and other transplants, regardless of arbitrarily drawn organ procurement areas and previously arbitarary acuity distances. The changes have made distances of acuity more related to data about how long a liver can survive, how quickly someone can come to the hosptial to get one, etc. The succees of the changes is reflected in more people getting transplants who are in the sickest groups, while deaths have decreased among those waiting for transplants. The article pushes a narrative of big states taking advantage of smaller states, ignoring that from a patient perspective that whole narrative is irrelevant. That poorer and smaller states are doing fewer transplants is in part because with the older system patients would move to areas with easier access to livers, not jus because fewer in that state were getting transplants.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “US speeds up Abrams tank delivery to Ukraine war zone”

    I’d ignore statements like this and only pay attention to when those Abrams actually cross the border into the Ukraine. So Norway has said that it has already delivered eight of its older Leopard 2 tanks into the Ukraine and are now art of the Ukraine’s tank fleet. The Abrams remains just a promise – by Washington.

    1. digi_owl

      Looks like Ukraine still had enough Antonovs to go and pick them up, thus not putting Norwegian personell etc at risk.

      Curious if the same will be the case with the Polish migs (that Poland refused to risk a year ago), with Ukrainian pilots being transported into Poland to fly them back (only to get popped the second Russian jets have them on scope).

      All in all i wonder what has NATO so spooked that everyone is playing along now rather than drag their feet. Did Zelensky’s recent hard line cost Ukraine too much?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Maybe because they now realize that the Ukraine is going to be lost. The west are giving them the last available equipment and have dug deep into stocks of ammo that they can literally ill afford. But when the Ukraine uses this lot up, that is it. They are done and there will be no more available to send. And then what? Negotiate? Threaten to send NATO troops into the Ukraine itself? For sure there will be a lot of bitter recriminations in western countries as they realize that all those sacrifices the past year all went for nothing.

        1. digi_owl

          Well there was a Polish ambassador that voiced the idea recently that Poland could decide to enter Ukraine.

          Also the whole tank thing in Norway is a story all its own. There have been ongoing evaluation for a replacement/upgrade to the current tanks, and around new year it was hastily announced that Norway had decided to go with the upgraded Leopard.

          Thing is though that the chief of defense has voiced his disagreement with that decision, and wanted instead to use the money to buy helicopters and SAM systems (Norway btw is responsible for the very popular NASAMS).

        2. vao

          there will be a lot of bitter recriminations in western countries

          That is the lesser problem. More dangerous, given the mentality of the Ukrainians who have been calling the shots so far, is the “Dolchstosslegende” that might arise and lead to bloody revenge not only inside Ukraine, but also outside against those EU partners deemed treacherously unreliable.

          1. digi_owl

            So even more fighting between right wingers about what book is the bestest, with the rest of the public caught in the crossfire. Oh joy. Sometimes i wonder if CIA see blowback as a feature.

            1. Daniil Adamov

              Why not? It seems to me like most of it falls on Europe anyway, and what gets to America does not affect its ruling elite.

        3. NotTimothyGeithner

          Larry Johnson has accused the governments of the West of relying on Ukrainian intelligence, but one does wonder if they started to get reports from their own organizations in more recent days.

          If Johnson is correct, these politicos may have learned the deindustrialzation of Europe will come with no victory to point to in a relatively short time.

        4. Sue Doe Nymph

          – And then what? Negotiate? Threaten to send NATO troops into the Ukraine itself?

          I think the hope is to somehow keep Odessa, talk about Russia having failed somehow, and work things out from there.

          I don’t think it’s going to work, but hey, pragmatism and effectiveness are apparently in short supply at the moment.

          As an aside, my head really spins at the sheer level of incompetence on full display over the past couple of years. I cannot think of a single situation that has improved the US’ long term interests since Biden came into power–and not because of indifference, either, as there is clearly lots of energy being expended on useless, self-destructive idiocies.

          I understand that Biden is a bozo, but the whole point of an entrenched bureaucracy is to keep the country functioning no matter which morons are in power. This has clearly completely broken down

        5. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

          Polish troops enter Galacia region to “peacekeep.” Then just forget to leave for a couple dozen decades…

      2. paddy

        someone should planning the defense of kiev!

        poland don’t need migs they have f-16 (since 2008) that they lust to be replaced by even less supported f-35!

        ukraine migs should be plenty of grounded airframes to keep a few others flying until expended!

        nato has not achieved the amount of leave behinds as usa in afghanistan!

    2. wendigo

      So, the Abrams are only one Friedman Unit away from delivery.

      The IMF has approved the first tranche of loans to Ukraine.

      No need to negotiate as the money and weapons to ensure the defeat of Russia are on the way. Unfortunate that this is not sarcasm.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Didn’t the IMF have a rule about never loaning money to a country in the middle of a war?

            1. Paradan

              No, a police action requires a genocidal air war that specifically targets the civilian population in order to deny their use by the enemy (and teach them a lesson for gettin uptiy).

              BTW, if you use the right to protect concept, then the North Korean invasion was justified.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            No, it’s a heroic defense of Democracy against a despot who is simultaneously insane and crafty, incompetent and bent on world domination.

            1. Polar Socialist

              I don’t think Zelensky is bent on world domination (excluding the media sphere, of course). But other than that, it’s a pretty good description.

  12. DJG, Reality Czar

    Many thanks for the images of bees: Here in Chocolate City in the Undisclosed Region, there is much appreciation for cows (veritable cow worship) and bees. Every market has stands selling many varieties of honey, and my local herbal-pharmacist had me try propolis lozenges.

    Varoufakis: I recommend taking a few minutes with the video. There are English subtitles.
    –One has to admire his personal bravery.
    –Yet he remains a clear thinker, with much insight to offer.
    –The Tempi train wreck is a direct result of what the Troika did to Greece. The scandal extends to Italy, because Trenitalia (FFSS), the Italian national train system, owns Hellenic Train. Given how fussy Italians are about their own train system, there is something truly dirty going on here. More to come.
    –The quality of the discussion is refreshing. For those Americans who think that political discussions can only be dialogues of the deaf and/or shouting matches, the supposedly excitable Greeks look awfully darn rational. Question: What’s wrong with U.S. discourse that makes it so inevitably venomous?

    I have my ideas about what has gone wrong over the years with U.S. discourse. But I won’t put them here.

    Take a look at Varoufakis and his two main interlocutors instead. One million young Greeks moving away: That’s what austerity and neoliberalism are all about.

    1. some guy

      Professional envenomisers inject venom into every discussion in order to make it venomous and keep it that way. Verbal combat engineers like Luntz work hard to destroy the meaning of language, in a manner exactly opposite to the rectification of language that Confucius once called for.

      The corporate monopoly media hire venomized discussion engineers to keep all MSM-platformed discussion venomous. Venomous discussion design engineers like Paul Begala, Tucker Carlson, etc. etc.

      Americans seeking less venomous discussion turn to NPR, Pacifica, PBS, local unafiliated public radio and TV stations, etc. . . . . to at least get a less shouty and curse-y presentation and affect.

      If the League of Women Voters hosted a non-venomous discussion program to be aired on various digital venues, and it stayed reliably in place for enough years for people to find it, then we could find out how many Americans would actually seek out a non-venomous discussion.

  13. mrsyk

    Re Candida auris: ““The rapid rise and geographic spread of cases is concerning and emphasizes the need for continued surveillance, expanded lab capacity, quicker diagnostic tests, and adherence to proven infection prevention and control,” the study’s leader, Dr Meghan Lyman, said in a statement.” Sounds good. Maybe Dr Lyman could be in charge of the CDC Covid response. link from the Guardian

  14. Skip Kaltenheuser

    Re: Massive Archive of Iraq War Lies Disappeared from “Center for Public Integrity”

    A morning note to the Center for Public Integrity:
    Hi. What’s going on with the long-missing archives of false statements on Iraq?
    Hi and thanks for reaching out.

    The database was taken down not by us, but by a third party host sometime in the years since the original story posted.

    After some digging, we identified who hosted the original database in that story and were able to obtain the data.

    I’ll be updating the story om our website today. We have uploaded the data we obtained yesterday. here available to anyone on github:

    Please let me know if there’s anything else you need and thanks again for reaching out.


    Thank you, Lisa. Congrats on the return, and best fortunes with your projects, Skip

  15. Lex

    I’ll give the FP piece credit for being about as even-handed as an FP piece on this subject can be. “If Russian trade data is to be believed, in January and February Chinese exports to Russia grew by nearly 20 percent to a total of $15 billion, and imports from Russia climbed by more than 31 percent to $18.65 billion.” That seems pretty evenly balanced to me.

    What most of the US analysis on this ignores is that it’s a complimentary relationship, and as such as significant potential. The FP author makes a point of China gearing up for a contentious relationship with the US. In that scenario, having land transport access to oil and gas is a huge deal. The world’s largest and most diverse natural resource base combined with the world’s factory is a potent combination.

    The Politico take on the same subject, however, is the sort of garbage the flock of seagulls that passes for the State Department will love. It’s particularly interesting that most of the coverage of the visit focuses on this “junior partner” angle so as to quietly ignore that the final statement calls out NATO, tells it to get out of the Indo-Pacific and even demands the US settle its difference with the DPRK. But the kicker is from the joint statement, “Russia and China intend to provide support to protect each other’s interests, above all, sovereignty, territorial integrity, security; …” Tell me you have a Great Power military alliance without telling me you have a Great Power military alliance.

    1. NN Cassandra

      Always find it amusing how on one hand West must completely cut-off itself from Russia, no drop of oil, not one word from their news media, not one emigre bumbling around, nothing is allowed to go through, because that would spell the end of Western democracy. Yet when Russia tries to trade with China, it will be the Russians who will be the slaves, China will take over Siberia, etc. I guess this makes the Chinese some super villains, if they can so easily subdue even the fearsome Moskal hordes? And by transition the West is the weakest of all?

    2. jsn

      “Junior partner” my eye.

      Russia will have to manage it’s military exports and domestic scientific community well over time to maintain it’s current technological lead in war tech, but it’s currently in the position to provide China exactly what China needs but can’t provide itself.

      How it all works out depends on whether the psychos in the West can face anyone living in a future they can’t dictate: nuke subs to Australia and depleted uranium munitions to Ukraine are deliberate provocations violating clearly stated “red lines.” How do we get rid of these psychotic clowns?

    3. skippy

      I responded above thread to a comment before noting yours Lex, agree, Mfg base of the world in partnership with its largest basket of resources working together to develop trade ties with LatAm/Africa and the rest of the East will be quite the show for viewers[tm] back home.

      Military response will be off the table as the Empire is stretched thin these days after decades of adventurism gone wrong, limited recruits [growing up with what came back], loss of Mfg capacity after shifting to the war on terror future wars polices & congressional pork distribution [mop up phase of globalism], and developed nations sick of dealing with its billionaire class proxies and not the political administrators save photo ops and off camera signaling with the index finger across the neck …

      The curious bit is how the financial dramas at the moment almost seem ordained so the unwashed gets pulverized and the elites can wash their hands of it – because[tm] – markets[inc] e.g. no force was involved so its just natural … meanwhile the elites maintain the neoliberal social order without any notion of intent against the unwashed …

  16. ex-PFC Chuck

    What I Got Right About The Iraq War Dick Cheney, The Onion

    Masterful! One of The Onion’s all-time greats, right up there with Bush: ‘Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over’. Which itself was published on the 40th anniversary of Eisenhower’s Farewell speech, containing his warning about the Military Industrial Complex (MIC), since updated by Ray McGovern to the MICLIMATTIC (Military Industrial Congressional Lobbyist Intelligence Media Academic Think Tank Complex).

    1. Skip Intro

      I was going to comment that it truly is a must read. Only a court jester can get hard truth like that into mainstream discourse.
      I’d elaborate, but I need to get on that Thailand flag emoji!

  17. Wukchumni

    Food for thought dept:

    I was thinking in regards to the ongoing great resignation and it’s like when a dog knows it’s going to die, it goes off and finds somewhere to hide, society is doing that en masse.

    1. c_heale

      Brexit being an example of this. People voted to detach themselves from the EU, because they didn’t want to their lives to continue getting worse. Unfortunately the EU wasn’t the source of their problems – the British state was (and is)

      1. Daniil Adamov

        My very simplistic understanding was that the EU limited the ability of the British state to change things for better or for worse. In theory, then, getting rid of EU membership would have created some opportunities for improvement if Britain’s ruling elites were to take them. I cannot say I am surprised that they followed a different route.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Just to clarify – it was the English, not British elites who wanted Brexit (or, to be precise, a subset of those elites). Brexit was to some degree a revolt by the English against their own Celtic periphery and the loss of identity entailed.

          Some disaster capitalists and dreamers of 19th Century freewheeling liberalism certainly thought there were advantages to Brexit (as did a small subset of the left). But I’ve yet to see a coherent economic argument setting out any advantages of the type of Brexit pursued by the Tories.

      1. John Zelnicker

        Thank you, LawnDart.

        Our NC songwriters have created some great lyrics that really get down to the core issues of what’s going wrong in our society and world.

        I think it’s great that you are doing this to spread the word. I’ll happily pay for a copy, plus shipping.

        If you can’t reformat the Google doc to book style, I can send you a Word document if you want. Mail me at zelnickertaxservice [at] comcast [dot] net.

        Stay safe.

        1. some guy

          One hopes it would be sold through various no-Amazon venues and outlets.

          Buying such a book from Amazon would be like having a NaCap meetup in a not-yet-unionized Starbucks.

  18. mrsyk

    I confess I stopped following the SVB collapse as I’ve read that book already, but the loans to insiders article above sure has a FTX familiar ring to it.

  19. cnchal

    > First, climate change has already caused widespread and substantial losses to almost every aspect of human life on this planet, and the impacts on future generations depend on the choices we make NOW.

    We choose to aimlessly waste energy on all kinds of stupid stuff, from nearly five ton electric 1000 HP Hummers to a power sucking data center on every block to the moar chips act and all war all the time. Flying everywhere so a rich slob can lie on the beach somewhere is surely not a wise use of energy.

    Advertising drives competitve consumption and one enters that race when a child and few realize what a rigged system it is. Their parents are no help. The so called media is no help. We are regularly regaled with stories of child entrepreneurs and that their highest calling is being a pustule of greed.

    Then there was the article the other day that made me go whoa! It ties in with radical conservation but was couched in ‘this is terrible’ terms. Seven million men of working age have given up working and do essentially nothing but look at screens. They are lost to advertisers as there is a high probablity that all the income they get is for bare existence. They are lost to employers and the meaningless jawbs they need done. They are lost to women and the rigged divorce system with the benefit of fewer children being born into their dystopian present and besides, women won’t even miss them.

    In effect, they are practising radical conservation by erecting a middle finger to the rigged system. Their choices, unfortunately, will not make a difference. For every joule they don’t consume, a glutton is happy to consume it for them.

    1. Jason Boxman

      We’re all condemned by capitalism. In America, we can’t even discipline the banking system or gore the health care ox, when it’s demonstrable just how problematic these sectors are;

      So a radical redesign of the entire system itself, worldwide? LOL. We’re done, as a species, period.

    2. Oh

      I notice that there more articles blaming cattle and other animals for CO2 emissions. Of course humans don’t fart emit gases because they’re exceptional. Instead of driving home the need for less energy usage to mitigate AGW, we always find reasons to blame something else!

    1. ambrit

      Bragg et. al. had better be careful what they ask for.
      Trump is a seasoned performer. He didn’t do multiple seasons on that ‘Bring me an idea’ show without learning the thespic arts ‘just a little.’
      Speaking of the thespic arts; Pro Wrestling is mainly “kayfabe,” a code word for ‘performance’ art. Trump could make the “perp walk” such an outrageous piece of street theatre that the “authorities” wouldn’t know what hit them.

      1. philonius

        100% this. Not a rassling fan but there must be some storyline in the WWE archives where a character is vanquished and sent packing in dramatic style, only to re-emerge later and defeat all comers. The script already exists.

        1. Wukchumni

          Oh goodie goodie, can’t wait until Donald gets raked over the head by a chair wielded by Mike Pence.

  20. Objective Ace

    I’m hoping someone could help me interpret the climate change diagram. My understanding is Celcius isnt a linear scale like Farenheit is. So a 4 degree Celsius change when the Celsius level is low can be significantly different than a 4 degree change when the starting level is high.

    So.. what exactly are we talking about here? The worst case scenario for a newborn appears to be a 4 degree Celsius change. What is that in Farenheit?

    1. Paradan

      Its linear, each degree of change in C is equal to a change of 1.8 F.
      The confusion comes from converting an actual measured temperature from one to the other (C*1.8)+32=F

      A 4 degree C increase in temp is 7.2 degree increase in F, but, this is an average increase of global temperatures, it does not mean that the temperature will increase by 4 degrees at every spot on the globe, every day of the year.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      The bulk of this excess warming, about 90%, is being absorbed by the oceans. This is good news insofar as it buffers and slows down atmospheric heating, but it’s bad news in that even if we were to cut carbon emissions to zero, our warmed oceans will continue warming the rest of the planet until a new equilibrium is reached.

      Warm oceans are not a good thing. The increased temperatures disrupt ecosystems that were healthy at lower ocean temperatures. Corals are an example of ocean life that can be killed by ocean warming. Ocean ecosystems are also being adversely affected by ocean absorption of CO2 which lowers the pH.

      There are also effects on weather. Hurricanes are powered by warm, tropical water. As that water gets warmer, hurricanes become more powerful. Temperature changes are also affecting ocean currents that distribute heating around the globe. The effects of significant changes in ocean currents was portrayed in “The Day After Tomorrow.”

  21. Michael Fiorillo

    Regarding Alvin Bragg, his Grand Jury and the TDS Nostalgia Tour: can we bring back Michael Avenatti and those good times when #McResistance media spoke of him as a possible presidential candidate? I so fondly remember all those “The Walls Are Closing In!” news episodes, along with the thrill of aghastitude I felt when reading reports of Putin hacking sex toys and Pokemon Go… or Assange meeting Manafort at the Ecuadorian Embassy (minus, of course, any pics from the then most-highly surveilled place on earth).

    Rookies in the Writer’s Room, or what? Let’s bring back propagandists who know how to entertain!

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Can Russia Get Used to Being China’s Little Brother?” by Foreign Policy.

    “Meet China’s ‘junior partner’ ” by Politico

    And that is how a narrative is done in such two diverse publications like Foreign Policy and Politico. Russia and China are making big moves and the tempo of what they are doing is picking up and is having knock-on effects in the Middle East such as the Saudi-Iran deal. While this is going on, there are also representatives of forty African nations in Moscow and I believe that Brazil’s Lula is going to visit there for several days. The Mackinder Heartland is being integrated and not only is there not a damn thing that the west can do to stop it, but when you think about it, it was the west that was responsible for this even being possible. Thanks evil Neocons, it would have not been possible without you.

    1. Carolinian

      two diverse publications like Foreign Policy and Politico

      But you repeat yourself? Maybe all these Blob members have secret handshakes. There was a time when they would all be Masons but that’s probably on the outs.

  23. Carolinian

    Interesting Link on TikTok. I was about to look up what an “incel” is when the article explained it.

    ‘Incels, or “involuntary celibates,” are a large online community overwhelmingly made up of young men who formed a bond around their lack of sexual success with women. The incel subculture is a part of the “manosphere,” an umbrella term for the interconnected misogynistic communities typified by the content produced by accused rapist Andrew Tate. Incel communities began on online channels and forums such as Reddit and 4chan. However, in recent years they have begun successfully using and building their networks on more mainstream social media platforms, such as YouTube and TikTok.

    Already covered here is the teenage TikTok craze about how to steal certain cars including mine –with videos and details about techniques. Needless to say I’m feeling that computers in general and especially child available smartphones are joining Bitcoin in the category of “prosecution futures.”

    But encouraging children to commit suicide or commit mass shootings is a lot more serious than me having my car stolen. Meanwhile lets all once again celebrate Steve Jobs for putting a dangerous video toy in the hands of kids. It’s not just about China.

    1. Sue Doe Nymph

      > ‘Incels, or “involuntary celibates,” are a large online community overwhelmingly made up of young men who formed a bond around their lack of sexual success with women.

      So either:

      1) There are a lot of voluntary female celibates
      2) All the females are sleeping with the same few exhausted males
      3) All the females are sleeping with each other
      4) This is a very, very small group of people

      Sorta curious about the conclusions to this one…

      1. tevhatch

        Don’t think binary, it’s probably all of the above except the last one, with some corrections. One correction, sex isn’t that hard a workout, the men who score on pickups/dating apps are probably doing far more strenuous exercise making themselves into sex toys than the actual performing, which thanks to viagra, etc can be frequent if hazardous.

        I don’t live state side, but my friends tell me they believe no small number of incels are married so it’s probably complicated. Divorce is expensive and the most intimate lover any person can know is in their own hands. So does the celibate in incel mean no sex, or no intercourse?

        1. hunkerdown

          The movement “incels” are generally unmarried, unsocial, and hopeless for either, or (might potentially) have graduated into some sort of exemplar, minister, or “leader” of the rest by virtue of somehow having acquired a partner in their dismal visions.

          Dead bedrooms aren’t necessarily implicated by the incel movement, except as a typical and perversely ironic consequence of the world they seek to build.

        2. anahuna

          Hmmm… You mean all those centuries, even millennia, of “conserve your sperm” advice from everyone from yogis to football coaches on the night before a game was a mistake?

          I remember Colette, who was certainly something of an expert, saying in her diaries that the older women she knew were “purring over their memories,” while men of the same age were bitter, raging: “The bitches! They took it all away from me!”

          Fortunate to be on the purring side of the equation….

      2. Carolinian

        And their hero is Jake Gyllenhaal. Scary.

        Re my car Hyundai now says they can “upgrade” the firmware so the locker keyfob will also put the car in immobilizer mode. However sounds like dropping the fob in a puddle could immobilize me as well. Plus the teens won’t know about it unless on TikTok and would still break in. I bought a bright yellow steering wheel Club instead. I should send TikTok the bill.

        1. Wukchumni

          Headline in Las Vegas fishwrap:

          Free steering wheel locks available from Las Vegas police

          Kia and Hyundai owners with vehicles made between 2011 and 2021 are eligible for a free steering wheel lock, according Las Vegas police.

          1. Carolinian

            Other cities too. Easier just to go to Autozone.

            I’m not mad at Hyundai about all this. I love my car. And there’s a case to be made against immobilizers. If you lose the dongle it can cost hundreds to replace and have programmed. The dongles do have built in keys though so if the battery goes dead you can still start your car.

        2. digi_owl

          Frankly i do not get the whole hoopla about the car thing. Hyundai apparently knew about the problem for years before someone made a instructional video. And a relative of mine got his sporty looking car hotwired multiple times by bored teens going on a joyride before moving out of the city. And that was decades before social media on smartphones.

          1. Carolinian

            Right. All cars could be hot wired before immobilizers which disable the computer that controls the engine. Naturally insurance companies like this.

            Hyundai just had a design that was easier than most to bypass once you broke into the car and cracked open the steering column. Reports say the cars are then mostly used for joy riding and getaway cars.

      3. digi_owl

        From what i have read, point 2 may well be the truth. At least among those ladies of higher education.

        This in that she will go steady with a guy of at least equal education, and thus pay, until pregnant, and then evict him from her life. Only for the same guy to be approached by a friend of his ex, and the whole thing starts again. Soon enough that one guy had a kid with some 3+ ladies, but still nominally single.

      4. Daniil Adamov

        IIRC 2 is a key part of their ideology. A few “alpha males” have all the females and this horrible injustice must be rectified. That said I think 4 is likely also true.

  24. tevhatch

    Can Russia Get Used to Being China’s Little Brother (instead of USA’s impoverished gas station)?
    It’s clear none of the ignorant pundits know the privileges of being a little brother in China’s culture. When foreign nations presented tribute to the Chinese imperial courts, their delegations received in return gifts of an even greater value.

  25. Wukchumni

    Donald has a feeling
    A beautiful feeling
    The smell of a press coup just makes you pass into a dream
    You’re here today

    No future fears
    This next term will last
    A thousand years
    If you want it to

    You look around you
    Things they astound you
    So breathe in deep
    You’re not asleep
    Open your mind

    You’re here today
    No future fears
    This next term will last
    A thousand years
    If you want it to

    Do you understand that all over this land there’s a feeling?
    In minds far and near things are becoming clear with a meaning

    Now that you’re knowing
    The mugshot camera starts going
    It’s true life flies faster than eyes could ever see

    You’re here today
    No future fears
    This next term will last
    A thousand years
    If you want it to

    Dawn is a Feeling, by the Moody Blues

  26. The Rev Kev

    “Britain supplying depleted uranium rounds to Ukraine”

    Those 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks that the British are sending to the Ukraine have rifled barrels unlike the Leopard 2s so perhaps those depleted uranium rounds will be only fired from those tanks. If so, I pity the Ukrainian crews as they will be top priority targets for the Russians. But this is not just poking the bear supplying depleted uranium rounds but is on another level altogether. It should be pointed out that the present fighting is taking place on territories/Oblasts that are legally now part of the Russian Federation. So when the Ukrainians use those depleted uranium rounds, it will be in Russia itself. This is a case of literally salting the earth but doing so with radioactive particles. What about when civilians move back there eventually? Will we see birth defects like seen in countries like Iraq that have had depleted uranium rounds used in their countries? The UK Defence Ministry has put out a statement that the chances of this are low according to “independent studies” but nobody believes that for a moment. What happens if the Russians blow up that ammo while it is in western Ukraine. Will the UK complain at all the deadly radioactive particles spread around? I have to say that the UK has really crossed a line here and once they are used, that will be it. The Russians will make the UK pay for this and that is certain. I have no idea what they will do but it will happen.

    1. Sue Doe Nymph

      Sorry, I meant to reply to this post:

      I think this is the UK’s way of admitting that they have run out of other ammunition to supply (and to control the headlines).

      I also don’t think that they will actually supply this stuff, because they are aware that Russia will not limit their response to the Ukrainians and that it will not meaningfully alter the outcome of the war anyway. In other words, there is no upside and lots of downside to doing this.

      Just my two cents.

      1. Skip Intro

        I hope you’re right. There is definitely a pattern of neocons popping up to say extreme things that constitute clear escalations, but without much policy behind them. One thinks of Baerbock and others ‘admitting’ that the war is with Russia, or that Putin must go, or Crimea must be taken, or fantasizing aloud over tactical nukes, or doing terrorist designations, or the ICC. I’m sure you can come up with more.

    2. tevhatch

      It’s spent uranium, so the amount of radiation is less that one gets sitting in Denver. The problem is that uranium metal itself is extremely toxic, and elements, unlike radiation, really are for ever, or at least until the heat death of the universe. This is why the Navaho nation has the highest cancer rates, lowest fertility rates inside the USA, because their lands get stripped mined for uranium which puts a fine dust of it everywhere. That’s all considered a plus for the USA, getting a cheap ammo and killing off “pests.” Scott Ritter does a nice discussion on US vs. Russia on DU ammo on today’s “Garland Nixon” WARRIOR UPDATE 24 WITH SCOTT RITTER BAKHMUT AND AVDIIVKA CAULDRONS.

      1. JP

        My spouse is having trouble getting the yellow she wants on a ceramic project. I told her that yellow cake will produce the truest most dense yellow glaze. She thinks I’m kidding.

    3. David

      DU ammunition was developed in the Cold War by all sides (the Russians had lots of it) as a way of overcoming the deployment of modern compound armours, by punching through with kinetic energy. Think of it as drilling extremely quickly through a sheet of metal plate. The round would then disintegrate inside the turret, leaving a residue of highly toxic (but not radioactive) dust. But that would have been the least of the defending tank crew’s problems, and if you’ve every seen photographs of the inside of a tank hit by a KE round, you’ll understand why. The rounds do not “explode” and cannot be “blown up.” If they don’t strike a hard enough target to disintegrate they just remain solid, very heavy, lumps of metal. DU rounds only have any value in tank-on-tank engagements: they are useless for anything else, which is why tanks carry, for example, HE rounds as well. Ukraine has seen very few tank-on-tank duels: certainly all of the photographs of knocked out tanks I’ve seen look as though they’ve hit mines or been targeted by artillery. If the Challengers get to the front and if they get into tank duels with Russian tanks and if they score some hits, then there could well be poisonous dust blowing around, but that’s about it.

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        Thank you for this summary. Just to add: back in the day, our M1s always carried a roughly 50/50 mix of HE (high explosive) rounds and sabot rounds (made from tungsten or DU), the HE to be fired at soft targets (anything other than a tank, basically) and the sabot rounds to be shot at tanks. It would be useless to fire a HE round at any modern tank, since only a sabot round can punch through the armor (even reactive armor). These sabot rounds are quite small once they shed their covering, but incredibly heavy. It’s simply a matter of raw kinetic energy slicing through whatever they hit.

        The fear of radioactive contamination is completely overblown, IMHO, even if we do see Kursk-style tank-on-tank battles (which I very much doubt will ever occur).

        1. Polar Socialist

          To be more precise (and yet very crudely describe the terminal ballistics) the kinetic penetrator doesn’t slice trough the armor, but the immense pressure at the tip turns the penetrator in to plasma that consumes both the armor and the penetrator.

          Thus the tendency to have always longer and heavier rounds – the more there’s material to consume, the deeper the penetration. Both tungsten and DU are used because they are very dense materials so you have more material in the same space to be used for the penetration.

          And thus also the tendency to build armor – both passive and reactive – that tries to break up the long rods so that the parts take different paths trough the armor and thus lack the sufficient material to “eat trough” the armor. We’re talking about speeds and forces where almost any sideways force will cause the long rod to split.

          The same also applies to the initial shock of the collision between the rod and the armor – after certain speeds tungsten survives better than depleted uranium. So the latest generation of tank ammunition seems to be jacketed tungsten alloy penetrators, in which the rod is in 2 (or more) pieces inside a thin jacket, so that any perpendicular forces won’t travel trough the whole rod and the jacket – being much softer – retains it’s integrity for long enough to allow all the tungsten to follow the initial path.

          All that said, this is the realm of guestimate* physics and what gets published is usually at least a decade or more behind the curve. Also, I may not know what I’m talking about.

          * no one really knows/understands what happens to the materials under such stresses, but they can make very good, educated guesses and test what works and what doesn’t.

      2. tevhatch

        It is estimated that 782,414 DU rounds were fired during the 1991 war in Iraq, mostly by US forces, between 315 and 350 tons of DU were used in the 1991 Gulf War.[22] In a three-week period of conflict in Iraq during 2003, it was estimated that between 1,000 and 2,000 tonnes of depleted uranium munitions were used.[43] More than 300,000 DU rounds were fired during the 2003 war, the vast majority by US troops.[42]

        Depleted uranium is favored for the penetrator because it is self-sharpening[39] and flammable. impact and subsequent release of heat energy causes it to ignite. [35]

        Court in Italy found the state guilty for sending their Carabinieri to Kosovo and Metohija, to locations attacked with depleted uranium. 45 soldiers got cancer, and Italy has been paying damages for this of between EUR 200,000 and 1.2 million per soldier.

      3. PlutoniumKun

        This is what leads me to think this is a deliberate political decision by the UK. There are non-DU rounds available for the Challenger – older ones and conventional sabot rounds for the export market. These are likely sufficient to deal with all but the most advanced Russian armour in the unlikely event that these tanks will get close enough to get some clean shots off.

        And as you say, there is little evidence that there have been more than a handful of tank on tank kills in this war, and no reason to think this will change (the possible exception being if those tanks are used for urban defence, essentially ambushing attacking tanks). Its pretty clear that the Russians are finding HE or other types of rounds far more useful. They are much better at attacking troops or light to medium armour, and can usually do significant damage in the unlikely event they find themselves facing a tank.

        So if the UK insisted on only giving non-DU sabot rounds or HE or HESH, its doubtful there would be any loss in combat effectiveness. So unless there is a very specific tactical reason for them, it must have been a deliberate decision to rile up the Russians – maybe to provoke an over-reaction?

        There has been plenty of speculation that the west is pressuring Ukraine into a hail mary pass of an attack on Mariupol. It could be that there is more logic than appears from the outside in the choice of weapons being given to the Ukrainians (unlikely, but always possible). So it might me that they are trying to give Ukr every possible advantage, even if it has long term political and military consequences. Its also possible of course that this is ass-covering – ‘look, we gave them everything we could, but it still didn’t work so its not my/our fault’.

        So, as always, only time will tell whats behind this.

        1. Procopius

          So it might me that they are trying to give Ukr every possible advantage, even if it has long term political and military consequences. Its also possible of course that this is ass-covering – ‘look, we gave them everything we could, but it still didn’t work so its not my/our fault’.

          Personally, I suspect the choice was made by a low-level clerk in the MoD, who had read about the use of DU in Iraq, but had no idea how it really works. Then successively higher ranked civil servants, having no idea about what depleted uranium is, forwarded the decision paper to their bosses.

  27. Wukchumni

    Added another 5 feet of goods on deposit in the First National Snowbank of the High Sierra-the most ever in total since they started keeping records, account overdrawn!

    A run on the bank would result in much liquidity around these parts…

  28. LaRuse

    I love Kate Wagner on a typical day, but her latest essay at the Nation (which is paywalled for me but on is both absolute perfection, and deeply depressing because the Windowless Bedroom advocates will win thanks to Neolibral Rule #1.

    What is at stake here is not pesky apartment “inefficiency”: It is, and I am not being hyperbolic, the commodification of sunlight as an amenity, something you pay extra for like marble countertops or a walk-in closet.

    This quote hit me hard as a Seasonal Affective Disorder person. Sunlight is critical to our well-being. So commodifying sunlight fits nicely in with Rule #2.
    Really, this is the stupidest timeline.

    1. OwlishSprite

      Thank you. Which is why I moved Heaven and Earth to end up retired in the NE woods. I have SAD also and hammer Vit. D now all year ’round. Water, sunlight, fresh air. Critical, so commodified. My best to you, and good health, fresh water, air and bountiful sunlight!

    1. EGrise

      And I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight this section:

      Paul Brown, the CEO of Inspire Brands, whose portfolio includes fast-food franchises Dunkin’, Baskin Robbins and Arby’s, sits on the board of trustees of the APF, which is raising $60m from corporate funders to build Cop City in the Atlanta forest previously earmarked for a public park.

      Cops and donuts. We really are in the dumbest timeline.

    2. Carolinian

      So you make fun of the Guardian while simultaneously endorsing their veracity and news judgment? A little inconsistent.

      To me the interesting thing about this cop/firefighter city story is how little American press coverage it has received, given the supposed outcry by the great majority of Atlanta’s populace. Perhaps a more interesting question is “who is supporting the opponents’ campaign?”

      1. hunkerdown

        Tell me how exactly it is that covering Cop City negatively would lead in any direction of positive outcomes for the landed class whose property cops exist to protect, and the order in which it is possible for them to exist? What kind of brainwash have you been drinking where you believe that competition is a real force in the universe, and not a dissipative distraction to tire out the kids?

        1. Carolinian

          Perhaps you didn’t read my comment where I said that the interesting thing is that it isn’t being covered at all except by newsletter type sites and, yes, the Guardian with stories that basically reproduce the newsletters. I’ve commented on this several times now and my point has been quite clear that I think the whole controversy is a made up including the name “Cop City” to describe what is really intended as a police and firefighter training center. But of course it helps the propaganda to leave out the firefighters who are popular and concentrate on the police who are not.

          Is it an expensive boondoggle? More than likely but then you may not have been to Atlanta which is full of them. Is it an assault on the underclass in a city run by black politicians? You are going to need actual journalism and not just scary headlines to make that case.

          What the training center really consists of is a symbol being used by a movement that is about little other than symbols. If they want to attack the locus of “property” and its managers they need to move further north. But then that might annoy the plutocrats who like to pretend if it’s in the South it must be about racism.

          Hobby anarchists in black suits do not impress me. How about something real?

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            “Hobby anarchists in black suits” are either idiot adventurers, dupes or most likely cops.

            As for that “police and firefighter training center, ” it’s a back lot for militarized law enforcement and urban warfare (to be directed against you-know-who) practice.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        Maybe those dirty hippies drew attention to some nasty business down there in Atlanta?

        It’s a disgrace that labor unions invest money using private equity, an institution that does its best to debase work, even professional work, and subject it to capital like back in the old Robber Baron days.

        And these “public-private-NGO” partnerships are really smelling fascist, a word I don’t use often. It’s a quasi-private police force funded mostly by the public.

        1. Carolinian

          One state north my town is full of them including our library and new trail system. I agree that turning the commons into PR is distasteful but no sign of jackboots so far. It’s more about tax dodges and such.

          One could point out that ultra liberal NYC has some public buildings named after real bad guys.

  29. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Maternal Health Crisis Is A Consequence Of Design Health Affairs

    Legit “healthcare” article or elevator pitch? You decide.

    The “authors”:

    Dr. Peahl is a paid consultant for Maven Clinic. Dr. Shah holds a position at Maven Clinic and has equity in Maven Clinic.

    Maven Clinic link from the article takes you to what looks like a start-up sales website.

    But they’ve sure got the brave new world buzzwords down:

    Digitally enabled care has promise to improve health outcomes by creating a positive, affirming, patient experience and by overcoming many of the time and space constraints of physical clinicals….

    …In contrast, digitally enabled prenatal care is designed to improve the pregnant person’s health and well-being through a variety of services, including but not limited to medical care. Digital services can promote equitable access to services and also help patients connect with care team members with similar lived experience, promoting comfort and a sense of psychological safety.

    Every “problem” is an “opportunity” in this wonderful new age of technology.

  30. Val

    Golly here I was thinking it was military production, warmongering, unimproved 1950s infrastructure and logging operations themselves that were the largest sources of carbon emissions. Turns out the problem was moose. Damn you charismatic non-reflective Bullwinkles (shakes fist). Good to know. Off to get my booster!

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Somebody is desperate to point the finger elsewhere. Wild mammals like the moose make up just 4% of mammal biomass. Human-raised livestock accounts for 62% and we humans ourselves amount to 34%.

      Birds are just about as bad. All those turkey and chicken farms. And birdbrain politicians.

  31. fresno dan
    News just in: money does buy you happiness. Duh, you might say. Anyone could have told you that; it’s hardly a Nobel-prize winning insight. Well, actually, it kinda is: in 2010, Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel prize-winning economist and psychologist, came out with the theory that there was a monetary “happiness plateau”. Once you hit an annual household income of $75,000 (£62,000), earning more money didn’t make you any happier.
    Anyway, no offence to these very smart researchers, but this feels like one of those studies that you can file under “pretty goddamn obvious”. You don’t need sports cars and private jets to be happy, but you do need shelter and stability – and those things cost a fortune these days.
    And then there’s retirement. Stressing about whether you’re going to have to survive on cat food in your old age is generally not conducive to happiness. In the US, most companies don’t offer proper pensions any more.
    Most people are well aware that there’s a cost of living crisis, that prices of everyday essentials are out of control and that not having to stress about how to pay bills is good for your mental health. Still, while this study’s conclusions may seem obvious, I think it serves as an important corrective to a narrative that a lot of people in power have been trying to push. It’s funny how a lot of obscenely rich people are fixated on trying to tell everyone else that money doesn’t make you happy. See, for example, the CEO of Google recently telling all his employees that “having fun … shouldn’t always equate to money” after cutting staff benefits. It is very convenient to pretend that money isn’t important when you’re busy trying to hoard a lot of it yourself.
    So there is another post today about how Medicare Advantage is screwing people, and if it is at all possible you are better off with traditional medicare (something I whole heartedly agree with). Now having more money to buy traditional medicare might not immediately make you happier, but if you have a serious illness and are deprived of treatment because medicare advantage wants to make the company richer and you dead-er, well, if you had had more money to buy traditional medicare you would be more alive-er, and that is something that is a prerequisite to being happier.

    1. Mildred Montana

      In my seventy-one years I have been comfortably well-off at times and last-nickel poor at others. Today? Comfortable, but not well-off comfortable. That’s OK with me. My rent is cheap and the landlord is reasonable with increases.

      Two aphorisms about wealth:
      1. Money doesn’t solve your problems; it just means money isn’t one of your problems.
      2. Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy you the addiction of your choice.

      Speaking of addictions: If the wealthy were truly happy (which I doubt) why would they constantly, almost obsessively, seek solace in status symbols such as mansions, expensive cars, fine clothing, etc? To my mind the truly happy contented person does not seek the admiration or approval of others. Nice if it happens but they are content within themselves regardless.

      1. Wukchumni

        Money is only ballast in the last honest place in the USA, and it doesn’t take plastic, Apple Pay or any other way.

        Most everything I enjoy in the true wilderness (a ski resort hardly qualifies though-) has no price tag, nor is 94.3% of the forest in debt to the upper crust who landlord over them.

        Everything is on the up and up.

      2. Vandemonian

        Nicely said, Mildred. Your last two sentences would fit comfortably within Ursula Le Guin’s rendering of the I Ching.

      3. Glen

        I think money must buy a certain amount of happiness because it’s predominately poor people dying from drug overdoses, not wealthy people. And poor people mostly take drugs to escape the absolute misery of being poor in America.

        Or maybe wealth just buys safer drugs, and much better health care.

    2. OwlishSprite

      I really think you can be homeless and happy, if it were not for the relentless persecution and stigma that makes it almost impossible for you to ever have a home again. I am speaking from experience here, having had bosses ‘disapprove’ of my money-saving lifestyle (not homeless, just frugal). The people who want to feel ‘more fortunate’ are always going to want the homeless and frugal to pay. Why should they ‘get away with’ living within their means?

    3. Adam Eran

      “Health is wealth, and peace of mind is happiness. Yoga shows the way.” – Swami Vishnudevananda

  32. semper loquitur

    DEI on the Rocks:

    Corporate America Is No Longer Pretending to Care About Diversity

    In what should be a surprise to no one, corporations are quietly trimming the “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” teams they loudly championed in 2020.

    I know I’m shocked… they need a stern talking-to from Kendi! Here he is explaining how racism is….racism.

    Ibram X. Kendi Can’t Define Racism

    Dr. Ibram X. Kendi (Born Ibram Henry Rogers) has made millions from his anti-racism propaganda. But he can’t seem to actually define racism. Even the audience wasn’t buying it.

  33. Some Guy

    I saw an article saying that Indonesia was looking to ensure it’s financial payments systems was locally based only (not relying on western banks or western payment managers like Mastercard/Visa), in order to protect against the potential for western sanctions.

    The world is being re-ordered into blocs as we watch. Indonesia doesn’t get much press, but it is massive, with a GDP larger than Brazil, the UK or France.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      It’s absolutely not true that Indonesia’s GDP is bigger than Brazil’s, the UK’s or France’s, but Indonesia has been trying for years to move away from the use of the dollar to settle international trades.

  34. Jason Boxman

    Now I’m in text message h3ll from liberal Democrats about fund raising. Donated to the opponent and sent a screen shot to the candidate on Twitter for amusement. Really sick of unsolicited garbage on my phone. That’s for real communications, not fund raising garbage. I should have sent money to Trump too. Heads would really explode.

  35. Alice X

    Another day of face meet palm…

    Where to begin… so I’ll be brief:

    The Masque of Anarchy

    ‘And these words shall then become
    Like Oppression’s thundered doom
    Ringing through each heart and brain,
    Heard again – again – again –

    ‘Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number –
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you –
    Ye are many – they are few.’

  36. Dee

    Just pointing out an IT issue: some of the ads that appear in the Links and also in the Water Cooler have a severe formatting issue: the ad is stretched out vertically so that I have to scroll for a very long time before getting past the ad. Is this happening for anyone else?

    1. Futility

      Usually, I am using an ad blocker, too, or Brave, but on NC I keep it turned off since it generates revenue for NC, even when I never click on one.

  37. Jessica

    From Varoufakis’s twitter account:
    “By they bye: They were not anarchists, leftists, communists or members of any movement. Thugs for hire they were (and looked it) who clumsily invoked the lie that I sold out to the troika. We shall not let them divide us. Onwards! 2/2”
    “I resigned so as NOT to sign the capitulation. Since then, I have been demonised by the establishment for not having surrendered.”

    1. Yves Smith

      The problem is that Varoufakis did agree to the February 2015 extension terms. So while this is narrowly accurate, and he did not support the deal Tsipras agreed to because he was gone, in the end Greece got a WORSE deal than the one on offer when Syriza (and Varoufakis) took office.

      The US was prepared to help Syriza and muscle the Troika, because the one thing Syriza could in theory do was reform the tax system, and in particular collect taxes from the oligarchs. But the US worked out that Syriza would not do that because one of the easiest groups to target would be broadcasters, since the government could cancel their licenses for non-payment of taxes. But the broadcasters had backed Syriza and depended on their continued favorable messaging.

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