Links 3/24/2023

Rattlesnake Roundup: a Texas tradition runs into criticism Reuters (resilc)

Smoked bat, bacon and duck: Suvarnabhumi sniffer dogs kept busy by Chinese luggage Nation Thailand (furzy)

Big Bidet wants you to believe that people who use toilet paper are walking around with poopy butts Live Hacker (Dr. Kevin). Wellie, Southeast Asians are big on bum guns.

German monks create world’s first powdered beer New Atlas (furzy)

FDA Clears Lab-Grown Chicken As Safe To Eat CBS

Paradigms Gone Wild London Review of Books. Anthony L: “Steve Shapin on Thomas Kuhn.”


Taxpayers Paid Billions For It: So Why Would Moderna Consider Quadrupling the Price of the COVID Vaccine? CounterPunch (resilc)

Preventing Long Covid Eric Topol

Can an Addiction Drug Treat Long Covid? Rolling Stone (ma)

US moves to make antiviral drug more available against COVID MarketWatch. Gah. Paxlovid use promoted mutations.


Canada scientists create new method to break down toxic ‘forever chemicals’ Guardian (resilc)

Chipmakers Fight Spread of US Crackdowns on ‘Forever Chemicals’ Financial Times

Debt Forgiveness for Cape Verde: A Climate Deal that Could Become a Model for Others Der Spiegel. Resilc: “So write off worthless debt and that will fix the climate issue?”

The Wall Street Bet Behind Ithaca’s Green New Deal NYS Focus. Sam M: “Looks like Private Equity is coming for local energy systems and heating+cooling under the guise of carbon reductions.”


We are NOT controlled by China, TikTok CEO tells Congress Daily Mail (resilc)

China Reminds US That It Can and Will Kill a Forced TikTok Sale TechCrunch

Old Blighty

Breakfast Index Reaches New High After UK Food Shortages Bloomberg

La belle France

Macron holds firm on pension reform bill as protests escalate France24 (resilc)

Bordeaux town hall set on fire in France pension protests BBC (Kevin W)

In Search of Lost Empire: The Struggle for the Sahel Brad Pearce (UserFriendly. From February, still germane.

New Not-So-Cold War

How the close partnership with China is changing Russia’s domestic politics Gilbert Doctorow (Chuck L)

The ‘Junior Partner’ Meme Gives No Insight To Real Changes Moon of Alabama

Little-Known Traders Now Rule Russian Oil Markets OilPrice (resilc)

U.S. top diplomat Blinken urges all ICC members to comply with Putin arrest warrant Reuters. Rather cheeky for a country that is not a member of the ICC

Hungary Delays Sweden NATO Vote After Rule-of-Law Criticism Bloomberg

West Surges Ammunition Ahead of Ukraine’s All-Or-Nothing Offensive Brian Berletic, YouTube

Diana Shoshoaca in the Romanian Parliament demands to annex part of the territory of Ukraine Odessa Journal

Wood industry. The industry becomes uncompetitive Poland Posts English

I saw the Gonzalo analysis of the Vasquez and other Ukraine supposed war scene videos that Gonzalo called out as propaganda productions when they first went live. His take was persuasive. We flagged the second YouTube presentation Lira did in this series, where he showed that several supposed battleground scenes were actually all produced on the same site. Oh, and the actors were all too neat and tidy.

THE COVER-UP Seymour Hersh


Israel’s military reservists criticize judicial reform DW (resilc)

Israeli ‘Day of Paralysis’ in protest of judicial reform begins Jerusalem Post (resilc)

Iran-Saudi deal set to bring Riyadh and Damascus closer together Middle East Eye

To put it more tersely:

Selling the Iraq War: a How-to Guide CounterPunch (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

A US Agency Rejected Face Recognition—and Landed in Big Trouble Wired (BC)

License Plate Surveillance, Courtesy of Your Homeowners Association Intercept

Congress Shocked to Discover 10 Year Olds Check the ‘I’m Over 18’ Box Online Vice (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

US military to fight next big war with Xbox-style video game controllers Task & Purpose


Embattled Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg slams Trump for creating a ‘false’ expectation of his arrest and prompting Republicans to try and ‘interfere’ with the investigation as indictment is left in limbo Daily Mail (Li). ZOMG, Lambert in Water Cooler yesterday covered how Bragg engaged in a Brady violation by hiding exculpatory material from the grand jury. I think this prosecution is dead.

Advice for Alvin Bragg from Former Trump Prosecutors New Yorker (furzy)

Man targeted by January 6 conspiracists demands retraction from Fox News and Tucker Carlson over ‘lies’ CNN (furzy)


House fails to override Biden’s first veto The Hill (Kevin W)

Ethics panel admonishes Graham for soliciting campaign funds during Fox interview in Senate building The Hill

Our No Longer Free Press

Bomb disguised as USB flash drive exploded when inserted into journalist’s computer Boing Boing (resilc)

Woke Watch

World Athletics bans transgender women from competing in female world ranking events BBC


The Writers Guild of America Would Allow AI In Scriptwriting, As Long as Writers Maintain Credit Variety

The danger isn’t that AI destroys us, it’s that it drives us insane Guardian (Paul R)

Supply Chain/Inflation

It’s Not A Wage-Price Spiral. It’s ‘Greedflation’! Heisenberg Report

Rotten Banks

Deutsche Bank Shares Plunge in Renewed Bout of Stress Bloomberg

Culture clash: the challenge of uniting fierce rivals UBS and Credit Suisse Financial Times (Kevin W)

Companies Big and Small Lose Access to Credit Amid Bank Stress Wall Street Journal

Credit Suisse, UBS Among Banks Facing DOJ Russia-Sanctions Probe Bloomberg (furzy)

Taxpayers’ Gain Is Bondholders’ Pain Barrons (Kevin W)

Book Publishers Won’t Stop Until Libraries Are Dead TechDirt (Paul R)

Class Warfare

Job listing platform Indeed lays off 2,200 employees TechCrunch (BC)

Vanishing phone customer support is driving us all insane Washington Post (Paul R) Much of my anger is over this, or the alternative, when you finally get them, customers support that is incompetent or affirmatively misrepresents the vendor’s legal obligations.

Antidote du jour (Chet G):

And a bonus (carolyn w):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits)

    Call it fees or call it rent, its always ten percent for the Big Guy
    Here in the White House they can track damn near anything
    Wrestling with the pigs earns me pork pie
    I love the clout that fetching dirty money brings

    I get on Air Force One, and they take me to lots of places
    I preach freedom to the people who are black or brown
    There’s competition from Asian races
    Tony Blinken says we gotta shut it down

    From Foggy Bottom
    Foggy Bottom in DC town

    All those yellow hordes — they make motherboards
    Make ’em by the millions, just as cheap and fast as anything
    Chinese billionaires show up in the List on Forbes
    But I’ve got nukes — that makes me King

    I’m just a cardboard cutout, hanging from my puppet strings
    They stand me up days, they put me down at night
    I have a little song they have taught me to sing
    When things don’t go exactly right:

    “I am a Biden
    Ya gotta pull my strings”

    When a crowd of interns yells there’s a war in some Sand-istan
    Or they cry about the fall in my approval polls
    Well I don’t give a damn cuz I’m the Oval Office man
    For eight years I watched Obama roll

    Back when Barack
    Let me watch him through the keyhole

    (musical interlude)

    ‘Bout once a week I hafta step right up to the microphone
    I like to say awful stuff about Xi Denping
    And once I’ve read the words then I get to go home
    So I just wander off, mumbling the thing:

    “I am a Biden
    Ya gotta pull my strings”

    1. Martin Oline

      Thanks Antifa. I gotta say this is so nice I had to look up the chords so I could play and sing it. You made my day, at least until the granddaughters birthday party.

    2. ChrisFromGA

      A very humorous effort, I particularly like the way it reminds us that the “China!” hysteria is really just the same racist trope as the “yellow peril” stuff we used to learn from history class. And as a bonus, it’s delivered by the most self-righteous bastards ever to walk the planet, with their woke theology.

      The more things change …

      1. Wukchumni

        The world today seems absolutely crackers
        With nuclear bombs to blow us all sky high
        There’s fools and idiots sitting on the trigger
        It’s depressing, and it’s senseless, and that’s why…

        I dislike Chinese
        I dislike Chinese
        They stopped buying our treasuries
        Yet they’re always friendly, although at ill ease

        I dislike Chinese
        I dislike Chinese
        There’s 1.4 billion of them in the world today
        You’d better learn to dislike them, that’s what I say

        I dislike Chinese
        I dislike Chinese
        They come a long way overseas
        And if you’re a developing country they’re ready to please

        I dislike Chinese food
        There’s less cats in the hood
        Think of the many things they’ve done to impress
        There’s all that manufacturing we used to possess

        So, I dislike chinese
        I dislike chinese
        I dislike their not so tiny ghost cities
        Their zen, their ping-pong, their ying and yang-eze

        I Like Chinese, by Monty Python

        1. John Zelnicker

          Thanks, Wuk for two excellent additions to Volume II of the Naked Capitalism Songbook.

            1. John Zelnicker

              Janie – That’s exactly what motivated me to start this project.

              We have some highly creative songwriters in the commentariat.

              As Lambert said earlier today, the NC commentariat is the best commentariat.

  2. none

    I just read that Macron literally ran on a platform of cutting pensions. How did he get elected and how did he survive the no confidence vote? And btw why does the msm always say pension “reform” instead of cuts, which is shorter and more precise?

    1. Bugs

      He was elected because he was up against Marine Le Pen in the second round. He’s making the argument that he had a mandate for his platform when he simply owes his first 2017 victory to the untimely fake jobs scandal around the likely winner François Fillon and his 2022 result to the total fracture of the left.

      This morning the gendarmes came to refinery strikers’ homes near le Havre at 4AM and forced them to return to work. A woman in Rouen protesting against the pension cuts lost her hand after being struck by a tear gas cartridge. There are lots of videos of the police beating protesters as well as bystanders with batons. One man who was beaten while already on the ground lost a testicle. I don’t see anyone backing down. The mood is ugly.

      1. begob

        In 1848 the army and the garde nationale used “moyens algériens” to put down the rising in Paris: what happens in the colonies doesn’t stay in the colonies.

      2. none

        Thanks everyone for these explanations. I gotta ask whether the police are also affected by the increased retirement age. If yes, why the heck are they beating up strikers instead of going on strike themselves? If not, why are they exempt and what does that tell us about Macron’s “mandate”?

    2. JohnA

      Macron ran on a I am not Le Pen platform. And the entire establishment and mainstream media were united in a not Le Pen stance. What was in Macron’s manifesto was irrelevant in that respect, but voter turnout was not especially high nor was enthusiasm for Macron in general.

      1. some guy

        If Macron can run again, would Le Pen be able to run on an ” I am not Macron” platform?

        Even if he can’t, can she run on an “I will reverse every evil Macron decision” platform?

    3. nathe

      most obscene headline i saw this year was on france’s pensions cuts. it read, “The Party’s Over.” it was was from THE WALL STREET JOURNAL!!!!!. online. i don’t know how to retrieve it but i’m sure it’s still there. photos of happy older people having fun at beaches, holding up glasses of wine. just regular people.. how dare they! obscene

      1. ambrit

        As long as the propagandists can get the “average” pensioner to mentally associate themselves with the “well off,” the job is mainly done. Thus, the photos of supposedly “average” oldsters living the high life.
        The thinking is that the elites can elide the problem as long as the “poors” have to chose between paying for food or medicine. That mental double bind paralyzes the “poors.” When, however, the “poors” can neither afford food nor medicine alone, things get interesting.
        “F You! I’m all right Jack!” That’s the Neo-liberal credo.

        1. digi_owl

          Ah yes, the age old “temporarily embarrassed millionaire” trick. Or maybe it should be billionaire these days, accounting for inflation etc.

    4. VT Digger

      Media whipped up a frenzy over Le Pen and had a near total blackout on Melanchon.
      Hold your nose and vote for —
      Sound familiar?

    5. David

      Macron’s wish to “reform” pensions was first raised during his 2017 campaign, but in the form of a qualification by “points” for the number of years worked, rather than the age of retirement itself. This was not necessarily a bad thing, because it meant that manual workers who had worked for a certain number of years might conceivably retire earlier than they do now, and earlier than white-collar workers who started work later. In the run-up to the Presidential election this year, though, Macron’s team (or some of them) leaked a proposal to increase the pensionable age to 65, in an attempt to siphon off some votes from the Right. Between the two rounds, when he wanted to siphon off votes from the Left, Macron walked back the idea.

      Since the election, the result has been complete confusion, because as well as the age issue (which has tended to dominate the media) there was also the parallel issue of the number of years which people had contributed (not necessarily worked), as vao correctly pointed out yesterday. The final situation owes as much as anything to desperate attempts to get the Right on side, accompanied by splits within the Right itself. It’s a textbook case of how not to do politics.

      As I said in the Aurelien essay, there are genuine issues for pensions reform, and it could all have been handled in a much more sensible manner. But Macron’s use of the 49,3, as much to camouflage divisions on the Right as anything else, is what has really angered people. For the first time, students have been involved in the protests, which show no signs of abating. The government has been forced to cancel the State Visit by King Charles, scheduled for next week.

      1. Carolinian

        I read your Aurelian and thanks. I wonder what you think of Gilbert Doctorow’s assertion that the CIA had a hand in discrediting left candidates and creating all that divide and conquer confusion.

        1. David

          It’s all very amusing but it just amounts to CT speculation. There’s no evidence that Strauss-Kahn was framed, still less that the US were behind it, still less that it would have been in their interests to do so. Strauss-Khan was an unrepentant right-wing globalist completely in tune with US thinking. Hollande by contrast at least pretended to be of the Left. Incidentally, Hollande was chosen by a primary election of PS and PRG members in 2011 as candidate, coming out ahead (but not by much) of Martine Aubry. Strauss-Kahn was not popular with party militants and would have been unlikely to win in any case.

          There is even less reason to imagine the US was somehow behind the self-immolation of François Fillon. The leak about his wife’s fake employment and other money he’d received came from the National Assembly offices, and it’s universally assumed that Macron sympathisers were behind it.

        2. some guy

          If voting citizens decided ahead of time to retire their legacy puritan prejudices and pre-forgive office-seekers for any blackmailable pecaddilloes, faux paus, bad-boy/bad-girl behavior, etc. which might come to light, would that make agenda-motivated officeseekers a little more resistant to re-emptive discreditation?

      2. irrational

        100% agree with your analysis including in the Aurelien piece. As I said in the thread in links yesterday, the accelerated implementation of pensionable age and years of contribution is striking. This is where there could have been room for compromise, but none was sought.

    6. zagonostra

      I just was talking to family in Italy and it seems they are mostly oblivious to the size and scope of the protest happening on their side of the pond. Rather than worry about the looming cloud of Ukraine escalating and worrying about the precedent that Macron’s invoking of Article 49.3, they are planning their vacation (which one I don’t know since they have some ever month).

      1. JBird4049

        As someone around here might say, the CIA, FBI, and other associated American security agencies including the police have form; while Gilbert Doctorow might be mistaken in this case, they have been assassinating, imprisoning, blackmailing, and co-opting leftists and moderates, and even conservatives who are more nationalistic than conservative, since before the Cold War both domestic and foreign.

        It’s like saying that water is wet, and it would be more surprising if the Americans were not weakening the French left (and center). I just assume that half of the self destruction done by left is manufactured by the outside while half of the self destruction by the right is covered up also by the outside. Having, if not control, but heavy influence over the mainstream media as well as many astroturf organizations is very useful.

  3. The Rev Kev

    Scott Ritter is right about depleted uranium as it is vicious to deal with. I sometimes wonder if the whole point of using depleted uranium was that it was a cheap way of exporting the stuff rather than each country dealing with its production. Here is a tweet showing the results of this stuff on babies in Iraq- (Definitely NSFW)

    Tungsten can be and is substituted as it too is a dense material but if the Pentagon whinges that most of the stuff comes from China well I have a solution. Tell them to go to Fort Know as they have tons of the stuff just sitting there.

    1. JohnA

      Ritter makes the point that USSR stopped using DU because it also had bad health effects on its own troops. But in the case of Ukraine, a win/win for the British as they will be used by Ukrainian troops or mercenaries, not Nato, and they dont care about any long term health effects as they will continue the support to the last Ukrainian, and after he/she is gone, any long term effects would be suffered by Russian troops/pro Russia population in erstwhile east Ukraine.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        I keep hoping that the Ukrainian people (ex Azov psychos) will wake up one day and realize that their western “friends” are using them as expendable Steppe-trash.

        What’s that quote from Kissinger about being a friend of the US being the worst of all possible things?

        And while I can’t wish for it, the Azov crowd realizing they’ve been sold out and turning their fury on the Brits, US and Germans would be poetic justice.

        Blowback, anyone?

        1. Detroit Dan

          I think that Ukrainian (ex)military will be a problem for the West in the future. Some will survive and emerge from the war with a belligerent attitude. What kind of place will Ukraine be then? Which targets will be softer — NATO or Russian?

          1. ChrisFromGA

            Best options – porous Schengen-zone borders (there really aren’t any once you’re inside) and/or US southern border. Catch a flight to Mexico … the cartel sells you the weapons, head for the Rio Grande.

            Coming to a theater near you, maybe late 2025 – Al Qaeda 2, Electric boogaloo.

      2. Stephen

        Your take is right and applies to this whole war. The western politicians and overstaffed military top brass get to play soldiers but without having to justify body bags to the folks back home. Nor do they feel in any personal danger.

        My local MP in Esher and Walton happens to be the U.K. Justice Minister. Constituent emails get read and need to be replied to; sometimes even in person as I have found before.

        So I have let Mr Raab know that perhaps one day in the future a Russian / Chinese funded international court might regard the DU shells as a war crime and issue arrest warrants. Especially given that the Russian Federation does not use them. Given collective cabinet responsibility in the British system that might include him. I suggested that a rethink might be a good idea. The ICC warrant for Putin sets a precedent and is a double edged sword.

        Obviously nothing will change but these disgusting western policians need to know that not all of their electorate swallows BBC propaganda.

      3. nippersdad

        Also, too, after having spent a year rending their garments over the effects of the war on wheat exports to poor countries in Africa, they now want to poison the soil that produces the food they have actually been using to feed the pigs in Europe.

        Who are they going to sue when the British public has to eat radioactive pork?

        1. JohnA

          Who are they going to sue when the British public has to eat radioactive pork?

          A huge number of people in Britain buy food by price, many forced to due to low wages/benefits, others in uncaring ignorance of the provenance, whether radioactive, GMO, terrible livestock welfare etc.
          A handful of supermarket chains have a stranglehold on food sales, what few high street butchers/bakers/greengrocers that still remain are being strangled by mini versions fo the same supermarkets in convenient locations.

        2. some guy

          My understanding is that the depleted Uranium is either not very radioactive or hardly radioactive at all. The problem it causes is because it is such a heavy metal ( heavier than lead), that every heavy little atom of it inside a living system distorts the 3-D shape of every body chemical extremely close to it, thereby poisoning them. Am I wrong about that?

          1. nippersdad

            From what I have heard it is pretty radioactive, and has been indicated in cancers and birth defects from Kosovo to Iraq. As a result, Russia has specifically banned its use in weaponry, hence their anger at Britain importing DU munitions into the fight in Ukraine.

            Mercouris, Berletic and Ritter have gone into this in their podcasts. That stuff just sounds awful.

          2. marku52

            I think you are right. When DU hits a hard target, it blows into fine dust. That dust, like any other heavy metal–lead, cadmium, etc,–is toxic.

            1. Skip Intro

              I think there are nasty combustion products too, which poison those firing the munitions.

          3. wendigo

            Depleted uranium is radioactive.

            To simplify, its specific activity , the amount of disintegrations per second per gram is very low compared to other radioactive isotopes, about 80 thousand per second.

            It releases an alpha particle which has low penetrating ability. Will not pass through a thick piece of paper or more than a few centimeters of air.

            But internally, like in lungs, it is a charged heavy particle that can cause damage.

    2. Wukchumni

      Tiny town and environs has dozens of little tungsten mines, mom & pop affairs opened up after Pearl Harbor and closed after Nagasaki.

      There’s a few visible from the road, and most locals have no idea.

      As I pointed out the other day, Club NATO doesn’t have hardly any wolfram production, and I doubt the by far largest producer China is a seller-because markets.

      And not to forget Formosa, how do we facilitate a war there under the same lack of foresight?

    3. paddy

      tungsten is expensive.

      du is cheap and effective to over come reactive armor which can suppress shape charge effect (ww ii era tech) on expensive tanks.

      next usa and uk will send cluster bomblet rockets and shells (may take time as usa supposedly demilitarized these instant mine field shells).

      bottom line is kill russkies!! use up ukraine people, is cheap and no body bags at dover.

      usa treating du effects like covid vaccine effects, ‘hide the data’.

        1. digi_owl

          Yeah, much to untangle there. Leftover attitudes from the cold war? Remnants from when USA enacted the first immigration laws once the boats started unloading landless peasants in New York? Hard to tell really how deep the rabbit hole goes.

          1. marku52

            The Donbassians call them petal bombs. they show up in Donetsk regularly, courtesy of the Ukies. I remember vid of people gathering them up and putting them in the street for a tank to drive over.

        2. paddy

          i have not confirm thru a google that usa has demilitarized the cluster shells/rockets.

          the bomblets are fired from a launcher or artillery tube, they enter target area and the carrier round dispenses the bomblets (think 30 mm grenade) on most a ribbon is deployed and spins up the fuse.

          the ideal is detonate 20 to 10 meters above targeted soft skinned vehicles and personnel.

          the problem is the fuse process results in high percent of unexploded ordnance…..

          this is how kids get blown up!

          but the economy provided by cost effective cluster munitions is good.

          they were used in iraq, cheap, although not effective

      1. tevhatch

        DU is very, very expensive! It’s just heavily subsidized; plus much of the costs can be forced onto 3rd parties who don’t have any way to claw back their losses. Just ask the Navaho.

      2. jefemt

        Saw on the MSM Nightly News a piece about abnormally high cancer rates in US airmen and their ground crews. My thoughts were, de-icers, petrochemicals, and yes, handling DU laced bombs and bullets.

        the poop-tint on my spectacles seems darker these days…. getting in touch with my inner Ray Charles.

          1. Vandemonian

            governments can still find doctors who say that there is no link.

            There’s a bit of sophistry going on. The line that the White House talking heads and and approved “experts” are pushing is that the level of radiation in depleted uranium is low, and the alpha particles it gives off don’t travel far – blocked by human skin.

            But as ‘some guy’ notes above, the short travel is irrelevant – vaporised DU gets into tissues, and (like lead) is difficult or impossible to remove.

      3. nippersdad

        I seem to recall Patrick Lawrence reporting on cluster bombs of butterfly mines dropped on Donetsk city about six months ago. Soviet era munitions, but not widely reported on because all war crimes must exclusively be blamed on the Russians and they couldn’t figure out a way to blame it on someone else.

        Anyway, point being, that they have already done that.

  4. digi_owl

    The danger isn’t that AI destroys us, it’s that it drives us insane Guardian (Paul R)

    Given that non-AI algorithms tuned for “engagement” already seem to be doing just that, the warning may be too late.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “German monks create world’s first powdered beer”

    I don’t care if the stuff was personally made by the Dalai Lama so no. Just no. I’d sooner try Vegemite -flavoured ice cream.

    1. ambrit

      Oscar the Grouch would like to disagree with you. Vegemite flavoured ice cream is right up his alley.

    2. Wukchumni

      My parents would buy coffee ice cream for themselves, knowing it was safe from the kids.

      1. The Rev Kev

        When I was a kid, there was a dark chocolate made that was advertised as one that the kids would not touch as it was kinda bitter and so it would be left for the parents to eat by themselves. It was like an adults own chocolate. Guess who like that chocolate’s taste.

        1. Questa Nota

          A young child’s rite of passage, seeing that Bakers Chocolate in the cabinet, then taking a bite. Talk about Disappointing! @$&# Sanitize that past little bit! lol

          1. JBird4049

            Finding Baker’s chocolate just incentivized me to learn baking. And ice cream making. :-)

            I am going to have to get back to making my own desserts as I am getting old, or ill, or they have finally crapified too many sweets with too much artificial food. I am lazy, but I refuse to let that stop me feed my sweet tooth!

    3. Vandemonian

      Apparently, you just add water to make a refreshing alcohol free beer.

      Where’s the fun in that?

    4. Peerke

      I was earlier theorising with a mate that one could theoretically create instant beer using a soda stream, bovril/Vegemite/bisto, liquid hop extract, cheepo vodka – I think you could easily approximate a decent dark mild or German dunkel albeit with a lot of body (beefiness even).

  6. Carla

    “The danger isn’t that AI destroys us, it’s that it drives us insane”

    Wait. Is to drive us insane NOT to destroy us?

    1. hunkerdown

      “I can’t go on like this.”
      “That’s what you think.”

      Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat.

      I suppose that, if “us” is nothing more than our assemblage of self-flattering conceits and ideals including the virtue of rationality, one might say that. But one could equally as well say that conceits and ideals, even about the virtue of rationality, are the first stage of madness.

  7. CanCyn

    The trans athletics problems continues to puzzle me. Why haven’t the various athletics associations started figuring out new ways classify competitors rather than just male or female. Why not weight, height, speed/strength minimums and different classes of those (ala boxing, featherweight, lightweight, etc.) to qualify? If you hit these minimums, you can compete, don’t care if you’re male, female, trans, DSD or whatever. Is this just too simplistic?

    1. Wukchumni

      In horse racing, rarely could fillies compete against geldings, but lets not get into transthroughbreds.

    2. Stephen

      Maybe just go the whole hog and classify according to how fit / capable people are. But then it becomes a bit circular too, I guess.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The reason that you have men and women’s events is because they are biologically different with different capabilities. I came across a video a few weeks ago showing these male gymnasts trying to do what female gymnasts were expected to do but because of physiology, they were really having a tough time trying to do so. Of course the girl gymnasts were having a good laugh. Then the girls tried to do what male gymnasts do and they did a bit better but also had a tough time of it. Riffing off of your idea, I cannot see why they cannot have events made up of trans athletes to test how capable they are. It’s the only way to be fair to all parties. To add to this, I saw a video of this British guy saying that he was going to lift this particular set of weights which he did without too much effort. He then announced that he had broken the UK’s women’s record for lifting that weight. Case closed.

        1. Questa Nota

          Tennis went through that discussion some years ago, about the number 200ish guy beating the top gals.
          Some of sport is the participation, and some is the spectating.
          I’m an old curmudgeon still appreciating Vive la différence.

        2. Stephen

          I agree.

          A challenge with Trans only events is that the pool of competitors is small so I wonder how world leading the results would be. But the Trans lobby would want their status to have total equality with other male and female events.

          Our society is spending a lot of time and resources on things that do not contribute so much to overall human welfare in a world that still has wars, deprivation and hunger. Not to mention stagnant or declining life expectancy in various parts of the west. I wonder how long we will be able to afford such luxuries.

          None of that is to be anti anything but there is a question of what to focus energy on given all the competing priorities that can improve or destroy overall welfare.

        3. Mildred Montana

          I like the idea of four gender divisions, with trans-men and trans-women being the third and fourth. After all, it’s usually amateur athletics, so who really cares?

          As far as professional sports, here is the sad tale of female golf prodigy Michelle Wie, a champion on the LPGA , who attempted to compete against men. If I’m not mistaken she was even given the advantage of hitting off the shorter women’s tee-boxes. From Wiki:

          “Despite the publicity her appearances garnered, Wie made only one cut in a men’s tournament: at the rain-shortened 2006 SK Telecom Open on the Asian Tour. She made no cuts on the PGA Tour. After she missed the cut at the 2007 Sony Open by 14 shots, many sports critics began to doubt whether she ever would. Wie’s last appearance in a men’s professional event was at the 2008 Legends Reno-Tahoe Open, an alternate event on the PGA Tour. Wie shot rounds of 73 and 80, missing the cut by nine strokes.”

          As usual “woke” went too far and refused to admit the obvious physiological differences between men and women (obvious to everyone, that is, except wokesters). The movement, in its radical zeal, would rather deny fundamental truths and instead complain about “discrimination” in sports.

          And that is only one of the several ways in which it discredits itself.

          1. semper loquitur

            How about we start to treat gender dysphoria without fast-tracking children into affirmation therapy, drugs, and surgery? I’ll tell you why: This is a burgeoning industry, and millions of dollars are being pumped into it by wealthy investors and corporations. Enormous lobbying efforts, the infiltration of greedy NGO’s, receptive universities addled by the likes of Butler, Astro-turf activism, and profit-oriented medical institutions are the conduits that are feeding this contagion. Unless we are to accept that the sudden explosion, by several orders of magnitude, of the “trans” identified in the last few years is a natural occurrence. Without historical precedence, I should add.

            1. Duke of Prunes

              Sign ’em up early, and put them on a lifetime of expensive hormones. Throw in a few surgeries, what’s not to like? Look at that revenue stream!!!

            2. CanCyn

              This is bang on! Recently here on NC someone (sorry, can’t remember who) made the point that we don’t put people with anorexia nervosa on diet pills or any kind weight loss regimen just because they think themselves fat. Why on earth would we not do some basic psychiatric therapy and find out what may be behind the wish to identify or be the other gender? And yep, we all know the answer – the gravy train of profitable treatment has left the station. And I have no doubt that those riding the gravy train would argue that indeed that psychiatric assessments and therapy are done. Wanna bet that the protocols/investigations are all about gender dysphoria, not just simply trying to help with whatever child or teen trauma or angst has caused the person to look for such a dramatic way out?

            3. IEL

              One element that no one seems to want to touch, is the question of to what degree the change in transgender prevalence might be due to endocrine disruptors or other pollutants. Remember a few years ago the stories about frogs changing gender? One side may not want to look at the issue for fear of dehumanizing trans folks or pathologizing their situation; the other doesn’t want to admit that industrial pollution is a problem.

              1. Janie

                Yeah, I’ve thought about hormonal disruption also. I wonder what percent of those who feel misgendered have physical anomalies, DNA variations or other physical markers. Most of us commentators are of an age and would have noticed significant numbers of self-identified misfits in our schools, had there been such. So, what has changed?

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Because moral panic of men stealing athletic glory in sports that are subsidized by revenue sports is a side show to avoid discussing actual issues. The money programs in the NCAA and majors aren’t going to have Trans athletes. It’s that simple. A few examples across a country of 300 million. High school sports is already trash.

      No one really cares if a trans man is on the women’s crew team. They are barely funded as it is.

      There is a panic that the scholarship will go to a man instead of a “deserving” girl by parents who spent years carting their daughters from competition to competition instead of making sure their academics were good enough. It’s like that girl down in Texas who sued because she didn’t get in to the University of Texas and minorities did. She couldn’t hack the top 10% of her high school class.

      Nevermind those girls athletic scholarships are how deranged programs like college football morally justify their existence. Except for wife beaters, no one is selling tickets to an mma fight of a man beating up women , maybe Andy Kaufmann.

      1. semper loquitur

        “No one really cares if a trans man is on the women’s crew team. They are barely funded as it is.”

        Really? Have you asked the women? Who suddenly have to “compete” with a male who is bigger, stronger, and faster than they are? Who are at risk of more serious injuries as a result?

        And the numbers of the “trans” identified are growing, as the marketing campaign behind it all continues to pump fuel into it. So we can expect to see more women robbed of opportunity and glory as time goes by.

        Let the “trans women” compete on the men’s teams. Why are we looking out for their feelings but ignoring the ladies’ feelings? Or, if we want to further validate their delusions, create separate categories. But leave the women alone.

        1. hunkerdown

          There is something to be said for putting paid to elitist virtues like opportunity and glory by debasing the coinage.

          1. semper loquitur

            Not on the backs of others. If you want to criticize athletics, you won’t find me disagreeing. I grew up with half a family of “ath-a-letes”, I know the BS that goes on. But this is an assault on women, make no mistake. It’s misogyny in lipstick and heels…

            1. Louiedog14

              s.l., you’ve been banging on about this issue for some time. I admire your take. As much as I don’t want to be cruel to an “out” group, the sacrifices demanded by the Trans community really do seem to come almost exclusively at the expense of women. It is indeed misogyny.

              Thanks for helping to clarify my thinking.

              1. semper loquitur

                Thanks for saying so. It’s admittedly a sore spot. Setting aside the misogynistic aspect of it all, the notion that one can transition between the sexes is an assault on consensus reality. Believe you me, the Powers That Be are very interested in the fact that a significant percentage of the population can be made to think that up is down and black is white. I see corollaries between the “trans” scam and the fact that a million people died, and continue to die, from COVID without any real pushback from the masses. It’s a measure of the credulity and malleability of our society and it ain’t looking good…

            2. hunkerdown

              To my mind your argument has two claims, and they seem to have merged. Let me see if I can tease them apart. One is that gender capitalism is a pointless property paradigm created by pointless petty people. I find nothing disagreeable here. The second is that sex is not merely a determinant of gender but the same phenomenon as gender, which is both a category error and a form of fetishism.

              I’m inclined to read this concern for “women” as a synecdoche for Western social reproduction, the latter which is a question we should be tackling head-on rather than by judging the performances of the useless classes.

              1. semper loquitur

                I certainly never said sex and gender are the same phenomenon. Sex is a biological reality, tangible and observable. Gender is immaterial, which is NOT to say it’s not real, a collection of mores, attitudes, stereotypes, assumptions, etc. In Idealist language, sex is a consensus experience, gender is a subjective experience. In fact it is the “trans” ideologues who are attempting to first confuse the two and now do away with the category of sex altogether.

                Is there anything you don’t see as a synecdoche for Western social reproduction?

                My concern for the women is because I find it morally repugnant that they must suffer displacement and abuse, yet again, at the hands of men. And because I have young women and girls in my life who I love and want the best for, given the givens of the bat-$hit world we live in. And I believe criticizing this garbage IS tackling a major problem head-on: the problem of ontological and epistemic “fluidity” that infects our culture. When anything can mean anything, power will define meaning.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          A trans man should be “competing” on the male crew team, which would never be allowed to happen. Or even attempted.

          1. semper loquitur

            Oh no! You wouldn’t want to invalidate their identities, would you? That’s for the biological women!

        3. Bsn

          Yes, even the definition gives the answer away. A trans woman, for example is “transitory”, ergo, not a woman – never will be. It’s a man nearing a woman, but will never arrive. They even define themselves as trans. They never (never say never I guess) say “I am a woman”. Hint, it’s because they are not a woman. It’s funny how people label something without realizing the definition of their label. Remember the recent company naming it’s “food” Soylent.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        There’s a lot more to participation in sports than money, at least for the athletes. Very few college athletes go on to make the big bucks. The corruption in the ncaa is a whole ‘nother issue.

        Physical fitness, learning to set personal goals and achieve them, learning how to be a member of a team, learning what it feels like to win and lose graciously and to move on afterwards are all benefits of sports participation.

        god only knows what a better place this country would be in right now if hillary clinton had gotten her entitled nose out of a yale law book and played on a soccer team where she learned the art of losing gracefully. jeezus, what a sight that would have been.

        Women, actual ones, have fought hard for the right to participate in that organized system, paltry as the “rewards” may be. If transvestites want their own league, let ’em establish it instead of carpetbagging on someone else’s commitment and struggle.

        Trouble is, this cultural fad is likely to flame out long before anything comes of it.

      3. notabanker

        There is a panic that the scholarship will go to a man instead of a “deserving” girl by parents who spent years carting their daughters from competition to competition instead of making sure their academics were good enough

        This strikes me as both hyperbolic and ad hominem. I have now fully grown adult boys. If I had girls, I would absolutely not want my daughter competing with a man who decided he is now a woman even though he still has a male body, regardless of what hormones they were being treated with. Having paid ungodly sums of money to send my kids through college, even with D1 scholarships, it has absolutely nothing to do with money. Very, very few NCAA D1 athletes get full rides. The vast majority get well less than a 1/3 of their tuition, which is just a small percentage of total costs after room, board and books.

        We are talking about less than 1% of the population here. The vast majority of students cannot physically qualify to play D1 sports, the bar is very high. I don’t understand why we should be carving out exceptions for trans, and why they are in a different category than the rest of God’s not quite totally gifted enough to be athletes on scholarships.

    4. mrsyk

      To be fair, the article mentions forming a new classification. “The governing body said all transgender athletes should be allowed to compete with men in an open category to “ensure fairness” in women’s competition.” and “Fina also aimed to establish an ‘open’ category at competitions, for swimmers whose gender identity is different than their sex observed at birth.”

    5. MT_Wild

      What’s going on is that complaining about men competing as women in amateur sports is the only “acceptable” criticism that can be made against the trans movement without you losing your seat at brunch.

      So even if you think most of these individuals are nutters and would be better off getting therapy and meds before they lopped their penis off (not after), you only talk about women’s sports.

      1. Stephen

        I agree. It is in part a politically correct way of protesting.

        We are lucky to be part of a society that is so rich and which has resolved so many issues that it feels it can invest so much energy in topics such as philosophising over what a woman is, and then not really being able to decide.

      2. GiGi

        Most of them keep their penises, particularly those who do not suffer from gender dysphoria beginning at an early age. And those who keep their male parts are often attracted to women and claim to be lesbians. They can become quite angry and verbally aggressive when rejected by actual lesbians.
        There are Reddit and Twitter threads just full of all sorts of, well…pathologies for lack of a better term. It makes for some disturbing reading.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The first trans woman I met was in Oz in 2002 and she’d gone to Thailand to have her equipment removed. In a “too much information” moment, she mentioned she had to do post surgical PT to reinforce the vagina they’d created.

          I would not have a problem with trans women using women’s bathrooms if they had their penises removed. IMHO the risk to women is not so much of trans women abusing women but the ick factor, the perceived lack of safety, and the possibility that straight men could minimally cross dress and target women at off hours.

    6. cfraenkel

      Funny how you only ever hear about trans athletes complaining about being allowed to complete against women.

      There’s only one word that comes to my track & field mind: cheating.

      1. semper loquitur

        They celebrate it! A man, fake breasts and all, just won some women’s bicycling competition and declared he feels like a “superhero” because of it. The narcissism is off the chart…

    1. Bart Hansen

      I’m surprised that armadillo hasn’t been renamed, given the recent shunning of Dilbert’s creator. The comic itself apparently has been put behind a paywall.

  8. CanCyn

    Ebook publishers do indeed hate libraries. They also hate individuals who ‘buy’ ebooks. I use the quotations because as far as I’m concerned I don’t own a book that I can’t lend to others or that I might lose access to due to a platform or licensing changes. Having worked in libraries for my entire career and having had to swallow a lot of licensing BS from publishers in order to provide students with access to eresources, my personal book purchasing has never included ebooks and never will. Last, many public library users, myself included, are also book purchasers. The author Neil Gaiman famously changed his mind on his dislike of libraries (assuming they cut into his book sales) when he realized how many times a fan had told him that they first discovered him in a library and then gone on to purchase his books.

    1. digi_owl

      Libraries, home taping, many a thing was tolerated back in the day because banning them would be practically impossible (not from lack of trying though as trade press clippings from the likes of MPAA and RIAA shows).

      The net has however made it possible to place a policeman in every pocket.

        1. digi_owl

          Again and again i find myself thinking that the one thing that kept the west “sane” during the cold war was having the likes of East Germany as a low water mark. In order to win the PR war, the west had to be seen as better.

          1. Wukchumni

            Communist bloc party money had scant exchange value in the west, it wasn’t PR.

            The only one late in the game with some semblance of an orderly market was for some inexplicable reason, the Hungarian Forint.

            You could buy said currencies in the west for a pittance compared to the official ‘exchange rate’, but there was nothing to buy in the countries.

            In Czechoslovakia during Communism they had what were called Tusex stores where you could buy most anything as long as you had western money in $, DM’s or what have you.

            My mom told me that Czechs attempting to do clandestine forex deals with foreign visitors was almost like the national sport.

    2. Carolinian

      Right. I’m constantly reading ebooks from my library and would not be aware of the vast majority of them if they weren’t in the library. Of course thereby the publishers aren’t selling books to me personally but the library has been a huge promotional tool for publishers.

      There is so much more to say about this topic including the fact that libraries have always been a socialist idea in a capitalist world. But then societies used to see the need of a balance between social and private benefit (and the copyright laws reflected this).

    3. c_heale

      There is a quote that the music industry has nothing to do with music. I think the same is true with books. The publishing industry has nothing to do with books. It’s a parasite.

  9. Martin Oline

    Thank you for continuing to follow the publishers vs. Internet Archive lawsuit “Book Publishers Won’t Stop Until Libraries Are Dead.” It is of interest to me because I have considered donating (not yet) scanned books that I own and are not available on the archive as far as I know. I have two books by John Wilkins (1614 – 1672 a founder of the Royal Society), The Discovery of a World in the Moone & Mathematical Magick, that I feel should be publicly available. The books have some value and I would rather not donate the books themselves to the archive so the outcome of this trial could have a bearing on what I do. Presently the Internet Archive will accept scanned images of books from the public and this policy could change.

    1. Carolinian

      Are you aware of Project Gutenberg? Your books may be available there along with thousands of older books out of copyright. In fact my library has started offering Gutenberg books via their Overdrive system and these can be used in the Overdrive browser reader. Presumably Overdrive gets some kind of technical fee but no more.

      The Linked article also doesn’t mention the open source ereaders that can read both Gutenberg and scanned library books with practically the same functionality as Kindle or Overdrive readers. I think the article is being a little bit deceptive by suggesting that library scanned copies are inferior to publisher versions (and therefore less of a threat). They may be but don’t have to be.

      1. CanCyn

        Sorry Carolinian – I didn’t refresh and missed your post when I posted mine about PG.
        PG ebooks are the only ones I indulge in. Licensing issues aside, I think I will always prefer a paper copy in my hand.

        1. Polar Socialist

          It would be nice to be able to order a hand bound copies of PG books. I wonder if any bookbinder has that kind of service.

          On the other hand, while book binding is a skill that can be elevated to an art, it’s is possible to learn how to bind your own copy well enough to last your lifetime. Provided that the paper and the ink last as long, too.

          1. CanCyn

            I don’t know if they still have it, but the McMaster university (Hamilton ON) used to have a printing machine that would print and bind ebooks for those who wanted a physical copy. Mind you, the end result was not a book that would be considered a physical work of art by any stretch. I’m sure professional printers could print one for you and there are makers who create handmade books – check good old Etsy. If you were willing to spend some money I have no doubt you could have a lovely book made from a digital file.

          2. Carolinian

            Didn’t some book store–maybe it was Barnes and Noble–have a service where they would take a digital file and print up a book for you in the back room? They had a machine to do it.

            Every now and then these days I will encounter a library book that looks like it was made this way and on paper that is like newsprint. And these are new books from publishers. It’s almost as though the ebook was the main product and the paper book the afterthought.

            And there is a whole book copying subculture now where a good quality digital camera can photograph the pages and then an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) program convert the pictures into digital text that is searchable etc. The accuracy of the text may depend on the quality of the pictures and condition of the book.

            Personally I’ve come to prefer ebooks because I can adjust my laptop to give the preferred contrast to help aging eyes. After awhile the mechanical side becomes as automatic as with a paper book.

    2. CanCyn

      The Discovery of the Moon & Mathematicsl Magicke is available on Project Gutenberg:
      About Project Gutenberg:
      Wilkins’ books are long in the public domain, anyone can post a copy online without fear of copyright violation.
      The Public Domain Review publishes an annual list of works that have entered the public domain. Here is the list for 2023:

  10. CanCyn

    With regard to Dilbert the yawning armadillo, my dog does the same tongue out first big yawns too. I’ e yet to capture one on video but if I ever do I will submit it for antidote photo.

  11. Martin Oline

    Thanks Antifa. I gotta say this is so nice I had to look up the chords so I could play and sing it. You made my day, at least until the granddaughters birthday party.

  12. DJG, Reality Czar

    The Philip Pilkington tweet on Assad and Syria. Talk about a re-set. This is the second notice I’ve had in a couple of days that Syria is restoring relations with Saudi Arabia.

    Now: Syria is a mess, caused in significant part by meddling from the U S of A (remember when the U S of A was allied there with the Muslim fundies? Yumlicious as freedom fries!), Israel (Golan), and Turkiye.

    Just as the sovereignty of Yemen now is being cobbled back together, so the next question is Syria.

    Any influence the U S of A might have had in getting the Assad Family Values off the necks of the Syrian populace are long gone. Just as any influence the U.S. might have in Iran is mere vapours.

    Lurking, another country that is a current catastrophe and deserves better: Lebanon.

    Stay tuned.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. foreign-policy elites, Antony “Banality of Evil” Blinken, Victoria Cookies Nuland, and Joe “Fake Stutter” Biden are not prepared for what may happen. When war is one’s answer to every problem, peace is just darned perplexing.

    1. Stephen

      I love the various complaints from the US that the Russians are violating the air space of their illegal bases in Syria. Surely the generals making these comments must realise the total hypocrisy of their statements or are they so imbued with their own sense of omnipotence, moral certainty and exceptionalism that they fail to see it?

      1. digi_owl

        My impression was that it was the MSM that was making a bigger deal of it than it was considered by the boots on the ground there.

    2. tevhatch

      Any influence the U S of A might have had in getting the Assad Family Values off the necks of the Syrian populace are long gone.

      Any chance Americans might get the Bush, Clinton, or heck, Mellon/Rockefeller Family values off the necks of the world?

    3. The Rev Kev

      I’d like to think that the Saudis are thinking that perhaps the Assad Must Go Curse might be a thing-

      But if Syria is brought back into the Arab fold, between that and Chinese investments that country might finally be rebuilt so that the people might once more have a chance to prosper. Of course your mention of Lebanon is interesting. Lebanon was once so well off that it was known as the ‘Switzerland of the Middle East’ but not so much any more. Their fragmented government might make it harder to invest in that country.

      1. John k

        I heard it referred to as ‘the pearl of the levant’. I visited several times as a teen in early 60’s, a beautiful, safe place with warm beaches/good food and hotels (Phoenician was beautiful) where Persian gulf elites went to play. Such a sad place now.

    4. ChrisFromGA

      The general scratches his belly and thinks
      His pay is good but his company stinks
      Jihadi girl, hot and sweet
      A military man would love to meet

      The despot looks into the camera and speaks
      His shirts not clean & his country reeks
      Bone saw skills
      Syrian hills

      Assad must stay!
      Cause he’s okay
      Assad must stay
      We like him, today

      The sultan only wants to teach us to dance
      His army life doesn’t give him any romance
      Jihadi girl, zealous and sweet
      The kind a military man would love to meet

      The general scratches his belly and thinks
      His pay is good but his company stinks
      Infidels – are awfully dull
      His brother Bashir doesn’t look so bad, after all

      Assad must stay!
      Cause he’s okay
      Assad must stay!
      We like him, today.

  13. ChrisFromGA

    While working on my Magnum Opus of doggerel, this quickie came to me:

    J-Pow’s Raised Fed Fund Rates (A banksters lament)

    (Sung to the tune of, “Girlfriend in a coma”, by the Smiths)

    J-Pow’s raised Fed Fund rates, I know,
    I know it’s serious
    J-Pow’s raised Fed Fund rates, I know,
    It’s really serious

    There were times when I could
    Have murdered him
    But you know, I would hate
    Anything to happen to him

    No, I don’t want to listen to him

    Do you really think he’ll keep doing it?
    Do you really think he’s not like Ben?
    Do ooh ooh ooh

    J-Pow’s raised Fed Fund rates, I know
    I know, it’s serious
    My, my, my, my, my, my risk rating goin’ high

    There were times when I could
    Have strangled him
    But, you know, I would hate
    Anything to happen to him
    Would you please
    Call the Clintons?

    Do you really think
    He’ll keep doing it?
    Do you really think
    We’re totally screwed?
    Doo ooh ooh ooh
    Let me whisper my last goodbyes
    I know, it’s serious

  14. Jon Cloke

    “a defense witnesses has been an FBI informant since the BEGINNING of the case thru start of trial” – really?

    COINTELPRO did this in a saturated, 24/7 version to black groups throughout the 70s and 80s, but none of these Aryan Karens gave a toss.

    All of a sudden, their neo-fascist friends are under surveillance and they wet themselves.

    Lastly, as a Brit, please, please don’t quote the Daily Mail any more – Wikipedia rejected using them as a source for anything a long time ago. You wouldn’t quote the National Enquirer, would you?

    1. tevhatch

      Wikipedia also rejects using The Grayzone as a source, (and probably NC) so IMHO that’s actually a positive.

        1. tevhatch

          I don’t bother to edit anything on Wikipedia so I can’t say from personal experience but I’ve heard and read that using any link to The Grayzone will not only get your account pulled, but any past edits that you made are marked for inspection and possible deletion.

    2. hunkerdown

      NC is a critical thinking site. If you need to be told what to believe and how to feel about it, you and your feelings are of zero value.

    3. Carolinian

      So your other newspapers are so much better and more reliable than the Daily Mail? We live in a National Enquirer world these days, sometimes rebadged as the New York Times. Turning to rightwing sources at least provides a little competition and possibility of truth.

      1. Keith Newman

        @Carolinian, 9:43
        “We live in a National Enquirer world these days”
        Indeed we do. However I prefer to think of it as a world of the absurd (cf the theatre of the absurd).

    4. digi_owl

      It is funny how, with hindsight, similar FBI and Stasi look.

      Was there not some “joke” about some radicals group getting together and 6 out of 7 was either an FBI informer or undercover agent?

      1. hunkerdown

        It’s been said that the vast majority of dues-paying Communist Party USA members were FBI informants, in effect “paying for” the organization.

        1. Lunker Walleye

          We watched “I Was A Communist for the FBI” last night on utube. Had to search for it.

      2. Daniil Adamov

        FSB is good at this as well. There was a scandal some years ago about FSB agents entrapping schoolgirls into a far right nationalist revolutionary organisation they made up.

      3. R.S.

        Was there not some “joke” about some radicals group getting together and 6 out of 7 was either an FBI informer or undercover agent?

        It’s pretty much universal.

        “Ohne den Verfassungsschutz wärt ihr nur zu dritt” in German, “without the BfV there would have been only three of you”. Or along the lines of “ohne Polizei – zweit”.

    5. Bugs

      Daily Fail sometimes covers stories in great detail that other papers shy away from or ignore. Plus there’s the distraction of the endless column of shame on the right side of the screen! Love it.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        Seconded. While it is a horrid organisation with many bad practices, I vastly prefer its output to that of the “respectable” British press. At least it doesn’t pretend to be something other than a rag.

    6. Bsn

      Who would reference Wick’ped in the first place? Wic. is not a reliable source.
      And referencing the Daily Mail is fine, as long as the specific facts can be verified. I would never in a hundred years think that (some) of Fox news is spot on – but it is. Check sources and verify, regardless of the messenger.

  15. tevhatch

    Smoked bat, bacon and duck: Suvarnabhumi sniffer dogs kept busy by Chinese luggage Nation
    I wonder what’s in the luggage of the Europeans & American’s flying out from the Golden Triangle.

  16. Carolinian

    Re Book Publishers Won’t Stop Until Libraries Are Dead–While publishers are definitely villains in their zeal to extend a copyright blanket over everything I’d say the article is being disingenuous to suggest that library ebooks and regular books are the same. The elephant in the room here is something Cory Doctorow used to talk about all the time which is that DRM (Digital Rights Management) doesn’t work in a computer savvy world and that any digital file is extremely easy to copy. And that goes double for books.

    So in that sense the copyright system protects libraries because they can justify themselves by providing legal copies of books to those who don’t care to buy and might otherwise go on the internet and download a pirate copy. Arguably it’s the existence of ebooks themselves that really threaten libraries–particularly when they seem to be abandoning their one time archive function by discarding paper books that don’t get checked out.

    And they threaten publishers too which was the reason for the big row between publishers and Amazon. So yes the publishers should be seeing libraries as partners in holding back the tide rather than enemies. But greed rules our world.

    1. digi_owl

      Because now they have MS and Apple selling computers with hardware locks in the name of safety. Windows 11, unless you jump through hoops, will encrypt the “C” drive for your benefit and upload the key to the MS cloud. Meaning that they can at any time basically lock you out of your own files.

      This similar to how if you make one too many snarky comment on Youtube, Google will yank your access to gmail and google drive files.

      1. Carolinian

        The problem for MS and Apple is the same as for the publishers and movie studios: if they try to restrict customer behavior too much then those customers will turn to the Darknet and open source. Therefore the game is to make the latter sufficiently inconvenient as to make paying fees and accepting DRM worth a not excessive profit take for the IP owners. With computers we are in a new world compared to the old days when movie studios totally controlled distribution by owning theaters (knocked down by the 1940s antitrust Paramount case) and publishers had the difficulty of copying a physical book as their defense.

        The Links article talks about none of this and, perhaps, should.

        1. Jason Boxman

          Much hay has been made of torrents and stuff like The Pirate Bay, but stumbled across Usenet binaries the other day, which I thought was dead with Usenet itself, and there’s a whole universe of recent DRM free content on Usenet, with an advanced suite of software programs that you can setup with some difficulty, to pull whatever movies, shows, or books that recently were released or were released in the past 10 years or so, for the cost of a Usenet feed subscription, which is almost nothing. Kind of blew my mind. The Usenet providers are subject to DMCA takedowns, but end users that use SSL to connect are basically in the clear if the Usenet feed doesn’t keep any logs and isn’t US-based.

          I guess information does want to be (mostly) free.

          1. Carolinian

            Years ago Hollywood tried to take on Bittorrent but now seem to have mostly given up unless it’s somebody uploading an Oscar screener. They may even have decided–rationally–that the hackers who steal movies were never going to buy a ticket anyway and meanwhile provide great word of mouth publicity. All those “peers” sharing Game of Thrones even became a kind of perverse metric of the show’s popularity.

            Which is to say that Movietown has always claimed to be doomed by new technology–television, VCRs–and yet somehow they survive. These days they have somewhat lost control of their IP while at the same time using computers to create visual extravaganzas that bring in a fresh, non English speaking market. Who can deny that the 1960s version of Hollywood–hanging over from the old days–was, mostly, creatively defunct? Whereas the 1930s, juiced by the new technology of sound recording, were their heyday.

            Arguably in the 2020s they may need another juicing. Streaming seems to be petering out.

          2. digi_owl

            Usenet is the original source that torrents etc feed off.

            And Usenet can’t really die as it is a protocol same as email. What did die was ISPs running Usenet servers as web forums and then social media displaced it. Never mind that most ISP servers didn’t deal with binaries anyways, as the storage requirements are downright nuts.

  17. tevhatch

    U.S. top diplomat Blinken urges all ICC members to comply with Putin arrest warrant Reuters. Rather cheeky for a country that is not a member of the ICC …and has a national law requiring the US Military to invade The Hauge, arrest the court and free any citizens of the US or Allied Nations detained by same court.

    1. Wukchumni

      My President said, “Putin, you’re gonna’ drive me to drinkin’
      If you don’t surrender right away to Antony Blinken”

      Have you heard this story of the Hot War phase
      When Ukraine our proxy was settin’ the pace
      That story is true
      I’m here to say
      I was paying for HIMARS way

      It’s got room for 6 GMLRS
      And it’s really souped up
      And that 5-ton flatbed body also rises up
      It’s got six cylinders; uses them all
      It’s got fire & forget, just won’t stall

      With a pod for six and quite the cost
      With high velocity
      Those rockets red glare can really get lost
      It’s got room for one ATAMCS missile, but I ain’t scared
      The thing will land in Ukraine somewhere

      Pulled out of a C-130 Hercules late one night
      The moon and the stars was shinin’ bright
      We was drivin’ up, set up an attack on
      A stationary target sitting still
      Hitting a bridge, i’m paying the bill

      All of a
      Sudden in a wink of an eye
      A Kinzhal missile passed us by
      I said, “Boys,
      That’s too quick for me!”
      By then nothing was all you could see

      Now NATO was ribbin’ us for bein’ behind
      So I thought I’d make the HIMARS unwind
      Took my money from Congress and man alive
      I shoved production on up into overdrive

      Wound it up to almost a hundred klicks around a bend
      My speedometer said that I hit top end
      My foot was blue, like lead to the floor
      That’s all there is and there ain’t no more

      Now the boys in the MIC all thought I’d lost my sense
      After all, they had spared no expense
      I said, “Slow down! I see deep muddy spots!
      If we get stuck on this road our mobile status is shot”

      This arrested me and I had to bail
      And called my President to get a new detail
      And he said, “Putin, you’re gonna’ drive me to drinkin’
      If you don’t surrender right away to Hot… Rod… Antony Blinken!”

      Hot Rod Lincoln, by Commander Cody

      1. earthling

        Not ‘by’ Commander Cody. Written by Charlie Ryan, 1955.

        I know it is common on the internet to say ‘by’ meaning a performer, but it’s not right. If Beyonce sings Summertime, it’s still by Gershwin, not ‘by Beyonce’.

        1. Wukchumni

          …you can practically see the wet noodle lash marks on my back from the punishment levied by lax labeling

          1. ChrisFromGA

            Well, if you want to get really pedantic, a lot of song lyrics to our classics were stolen from African-american blues and folk artists back in the early part of the 20th century, well before the advent of recording technology. Traditional songs with no real known author are out there as well.

            Thinking of “On the road again” as performed by the GD, yet to my knowledge Robert Hunter did not write the lyrics, but borrowed them from a traditional American folkloric song, author unknown.

            Led Zeppelin in particular took a lot of heat for this, blatantly ripping off blues classics and not paying attribution, thus denying them royalty income that would have probably made for easier lives for these older blues artists.

            The Stones and Clapton were also guilty of this, although in their later years they’ve tried to make amends by connecting with their inspirational sources and giving them support and visits.

            Duly chastised, I will henceforth attribute all my silly songs with “As performed by” Beyonce, not “as sung by”

      2. Jonathan King

        I’m not a fan of these parodies generally — failure to attend to meter being one of the sins that leave me lukewarm about them. So kudos to Wukchumni for this effort, a pearl both metrically and lyrically. .

    2. nippersdad

      Cheeky and stupid. I seem to recall first hearing about the sovereign immunity of state leaders in the eighth grade. Unless something has changed that I have yet to hear about, seems like our foremost diplomat, having such a high regard for “norms”, “guardrails” and “rules based orders”, should have known about that before putting himself into a position where he could be arrested for war crimes in places like Africa.

      What is good for the goose…..

    3. Karl

      I saw Larry Johnson on Youtube yesterday on Judge Napalitano’s Show. Johnson said Putin would visit Germany only as part of a victory tour after invading it, whereupon he’d make the arrest warrant null and void. That provoked lots of chuckling.

      With NATO now pretty much stripped of ammo, an invasion of Germany might be tempting, yes? Imagine Putin ordering Germany to repair Nordstream, to the relief of the German people. And Russia importing German machine tools again. And the German economic locomotive restored again to the relief of Europe.

  18. wendigo

    Lab grown chicken safe to eat.

    Yes, but what does it taste like? Alligator, rattlesnake, frog legs?
    Or, as Christopher Columbus said, maybe iguana.

    1. JohnA

      What will be the benchmark for the taste of lab grown chicken? The bland, fast reared and slaughtered version that is mostly available, or meat from birds that have been given time to grow to maturity, lived outdoors eating worms and the like along with farmer provided food? The latter needs more careful, slower cooking but the rewards on the plate are infinitely better.

  19. The Rev Kev

    Full credit to Gonzalo Lira for exposing James Vasquez for the scammer that he is. Lira’s video at the time amounted to a demolition job of this guy’s reputation and he demonstrated several Ukrainian propaganda videos that had been made in a street that also appeared in James Vasquez’s videos. Alex Christoforou also gave credit to Lira at the end of his last video. Last year NC linked a video showing James Vasquez getting his a** kicked by some kid on the subway when he was back in America.

    1. dogwood

      Thank you all so much for the wonderfully poignant and insightful lyrics and poems. And very funny too! Considering the material you have to work with you all are churning out some pretty amazing stuff. John Z. thank you for the compilation! This is such a great website on so many levels. Thanks from a long time devoted reader.

  20. FreeMarketApologist

    Re: The Wall Street Bet Behind Ithaca’s Green New Deal:

    The article is worth a close read because it shows the tremendous amount of handwaving and obfuscation that is going on the residential energy markets. You can see that the writer gets sucked into some of it, by raising questions, then providing quotes from subjects that are all indirection and magic.

    It’s unclear, in a city where one third of the population lives below the poverty line, just how the very large expenses of retrofitting and upgrading are going to be paid for, without further stressing those very residents who struggle to pay expenses now. NYSERDA, who provides loan loss guarantees, already has $2.5bn in debt, interest and principal paydowns on which is paid for via a fee on every ratepayers energy bill (the “Public Benefits Charge”).

    Some of the ‘features’ alluded to in the article point directly to significant levels of control that will be given to those who already have their hands deep into rate payers pockets under these programs: “The installation of leased equipment also provides an opportunity to control the demand side of the system. ” Think carefully about exactly what that means!

    These programs are about to be aggressively sold to communities that want to tick a sustainability box on their scorecard, or show that they’re helping people with energy costs, but they come with significant risks and expenses for everybody but the financiers.

    1. Stephen

      I agree. It is a confusing article so I might not have understood it fully.

      My take feels in line with yours. This will involve selling complex, multi year products to consumers, many on low incomes. It looks like investors would then operate some sort of model where they earn revenue from the energy savings. That almost guarantees that they would want to have some control over energy usage. So these products will be super hard to understand for anyone and the people will get into debt, give up control of their energy usage and not accrue energy savings in dollars anyway, which will be creamed off by the investors.

      Ithaca has always been an interesting place. I lived there in the late 90s when I was taking my masters at Cornell. The city government was typically dominated by very liberal and well heeled sentiment that reflected the composition of faculty and administrators at Ithaca College and Cornell University. I recall a debate even back then (albeit at county level) to stop buying diesel buses owing to environmental concerns. There were not so many alternatives at that point, of course.

      But as the article says many of the inhabitants are low paid and often in blue collar jobs at the university. Others are transient students. The fact that many houses in the city are given over to rented student accommodation would be an added complexity too, I guess. Not so sure that private landlords in the student sector have a major incentive to buy these products unless they are very attractive and enable higher rents to be charged. Perhaps well heeled students of the core catchment area of NYC, Boston and Philly will be happy to do so.

    2. Another Scott

      It’s also important to note that both the mayor and the environmental manager who initiated the program have already left. I’m guessing that the new positions pay better and likely outside of Ithaca. Any problems that emerge will be unlikely to harm them, if those two individuals even see them.

  21. Questa Nota

    Who lost China?
    That was the big foreign policy question.

    Next expect to hear: Who lost Russia?

    How many around DC will be looking nervously at their funding sources as they attempt to retool and regrift? Just don’t ask about what the average person in China or Russia, or America thinks.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Maybe the most important question that will be asked is Who lost Saudi Arabia?

      Losing the place where the PetroDollar is based on will be seen as a spectacular self-goal for the Biden regime.

          1. Wukchumni

            Increasingly it looks like proto-Commies from Siberia who split on a Tuesday in mid April, 18,451 years ago.

              1. ambrit

                If Wormwood shows up again on time, there will be fireworks too!
                Think of it as the Neo Dryas.
                It will be a “Reset” unlike any other seen in millennia.

  22. fresno dan
    It has now been twenty years since the single most catastrophic foreign policy crime in modern American history, one that killed and maimed thousands of American and British youths, and hundreds of thousands of ill-fated Iraqis unfortunate enough to be born in the Middle East at the peak of American unipolarity.
    As Justin Logan wrote in “The Structure of Domestic Politics,” private actors invested in American foreign and defense policy and the national security bureaucracy itself have interests in persisting in primacy. Restraint is simply hard to sell. No one benefits from retrenchment, and there are far too many lobbies and external variables opposed to realism. Absent external great powers balancing the U.S., inside the country a parallel “unipolarity” exists in the form of a dominant political coalition that promotes and defends an activist grand strategy.
    In short, unipolarity is a get out of jail free card: It allows one to be dumb without any immediate consequence. Given that we are an electoral polity, and not Hans Morgenthau’s idea of a realist great power with a smart Platonic epistocracy, the pressures of public opinion, influenced by a hyper-liberal activist elite and media, make it impossible to execute a rational grand strategy….
    There have been quite a few changes since 2003. Back then, there were large spontaneous anti-war protests in Europe and America. There are not many these days, nor were there during Libya or Syria. Johnny Public may still be uninterested in foreign conflicts, but there is now an asymmetry in propaganda. Put simply, foreign policy realists are at a disadvantage, because the elite media and the national security bureaucracy have almost total control of the commanding heights of Western public discourse.
    Most conflicts are decided, in camera and without democratic control, by the executive through a permanent national security bureaucracy that, thanks to the War on Terror, expanded to the beast we see now. That bureaucracy, in turn, has a stranglehold on elite media. Just observe the range of guests on Jake Tapper’s, Erin Burnett’s, or Margaret Brennan’s shows.
    The “national security state” is the enemy…. The system is now self-perpetuating and destructive of the very fabric of society. There is an economic angle to it. Due to the War on Terror, massive expansion of bureaucracy led to the single largest expansion in “surplus elites”—a managerial education creating an unoriginal midwit cadre, a rapid and uncontrolled expansion of the “social-democratic state.” Historically, surplus elites are the most destructive class and lead to revolutionary activism at home and exporting ideology abroad—in Middle Europe around 1848, for example, or Russia in the first decade of the twentieth century.
    I think the article gives a good explanation of where and why we are where we are, i.e., we have created a PMC devoted to American unipolarity, both militarily and financially. We can scoff at what the WP, NYT, and CNN present as news, but that is the sea of reality for many, if not most Americans. Until that propaganda strangle hold on most Americans is broken, it is hard to see how belief in American unipolar dominance can be thwarted.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “it is hard to see how belief in American unipolar dominance can be thwarted”

      The Empire will have to be defeated by an external force, i.e. Russia and/or China. More accurately, an external force must oppose the Empire to accelerate the process of decay, decline and collapse.

      Then the question is whether they go all Samson on the world. If not, those PMCs will be having some “Hard Travelin‘” because there won’t be much demand for lying gasbags.

      1. KD

        Exactly. Reality doesn’t actually care about your theories. However, don’t discount the possibility of an internal force causing the defeat–the game we are playing with the banking sector could easily bring everything down before the Russians or the Chinese.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Resistance from the Russians played a part in this: SMO->Sanctions->Blowback->Inflation->Fed reaction->Bank failures.

          Covid is another external force that set of a similar chain.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Sanctions actually preceded SMO. So it’s more like:

            3 days of Ukrainian artillery barrage forces hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee Donbass -> Russia recognizes Donbass -> Sanctions -> SMO etc

    2. ChrisFromGA

      single most catastrophic foreign policy crime in modern American history

      Biden says, “hold my beer, I’m headed to a certain eastern European .. you know …the thing”

    3. eg

      The “unipolar moment” ate what little was left of America’s diplomatic brains. First hubris, then nemesis …

  23. The Rev Kev

    “License Plate Surveillance, Courtesy of Your Homeowners Association”

    Somebody was saying the other day that the problem with living in a small place is that everybody knows your business. So people gladly move to the big smoke and find a nice area to live in – only to find their license plate is being recorded every time they come and go. So it looks like Mrs. Grundy went high tech and got herself elected to the Homeowners Association.

    1. Carolinian

      Supposedly back when terrorism was the big craze police departments across America installed cameras to record and monitor license plates. I’ve seen cameras on our downtown stoplights but not sure what they do. Maybe it’s just to monitor traffic and accidents. At any rate hard to say license plate privacy has ever been a thing. After all the reason they are there is to be seen.

      Besides, when it comes to spying surely the UK takes the cake. They take pictures of everything. There are a couple of movies where this is the main plot point.

    2. Lexx

      Did they say ‘gated’ communities? Not a lot of those in our fair city and when I drive by the gates are always open, which kinda defeats the purpose.

      So let’s say there is a gate and it can be closed, with a camera there monitoring who comes and goes, and near the doors of homes within lots of Ring doorbells, or Eufys, and closed circuit cameras (we have both, none of them available to law enforcement). That’s a lot of cameras. I can see what’s in it for the police and the virtue-seeking HOA boards. What’s in it for the homeowners? We don’t have a porch pirate problem, too many cameras that can pick up the license plate and too many eyeballs. It’s not suburbia, it’s a ‘walking/jogging/biking/golfing/yard work community. Difficult to snag a package without someone or something noticing.

    1. Wukchumni

      We’re 44 miles as the condor flies from Tulare Lake

      Read that the deepest point they reckon will be around 220 feet later this summer.

      The wildcard for us, is how does it’s newfound presence change our atypical 100 days of 100 degrees in the torrid summer, not to mention one hell of a West Nile virus breeding ground for mossies.

      1. Carolinian

        Surely it’s time for new Mulhollands to start digging a canal to Sunset Boulevard. “It’s Chinatown Jake.”

        1. Wukchumni

          Seeing as J.G. Boswell is headquartered there, i’d say.

          ‘Forget it, Jake. It’s Corcoran.’

        2. LifelongLib

          In the movie, wasn’t Mulholland the basis for both the visionary water engineer Hollis Mulwray and the evil millionaire Noah Cross?

          1. Carolinian

            Somewhat. The chicanery had more to do with the Owens Valley.

            Additional acts of violence against the aqueduct continued through the year, culminating in a major showdown when opponents seized a key part of the aqueduct and, for four days, completely shut off the water to Los Angeles. The State and local authorities declined to take any action and the press portrayed the Owens Valley farmers and ranchers as underdogs. Eventually, Mulholland and the city administration were forced to negotiate. Mulholland was quoted as saying, in anger, he “half-regretted the demise of so many of the valley’s orchard trees, because now there were no longer enough trees to hang all the troublemakers who live there”.[15]: 92 

            In 1927, when the conflict over the water was at its height, the Inyo County Bank collapsed, due to embezzlement.[15]: 97  The economy of Owens Valley collapsed, and the attacks ceased. The city of Los Angeles sponsored a series of repair and maintenance programs for aqueduct facilities, that stimulated some local employment and the Los Angeles water employees were paid a month in advance to bring some relief.[


    2. Wukchumni

      There’s a sign along Hwy 198 in very bold large lettering:


      Methinks they overprayed their hand~

    3. upstater

      The explosive vegetative growth from the over abundant rains and snow of understory in the stressed forests may portend a nasty wildfire season in late summer. That is how it plays out in Alaska and Yukon some years.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “The US military will fight the next big war with Xbox-style video game controllers”

    I can’t find a reference right now but when the Russian T-14 Armata was introduced not long ago, they too had gone for video game-style controllers as young guys are very experienced in them already. Can’t see it taking off in the cockpit of a fighter plane though.

    1. zagonostra

      Reminds me of the 1985 SciFi Novel Ender’s Game

      The U.S. Marine Corps Professional Reading List makes the novel recommended reading at several lower ranks, and again at Officer Candidate/Midshipman.[20] The book was placed on the reading list by Captain John F. Schmitt, author of FMFM-1 (Fleet Marine Force Manual, on maneuver doctrine) for “provid[ing] useful allegories to explain why militaries do what they do in a particularly effective shorthand way”.[21] In introducing the novel for use in leadership training, Marine Corps University’s Lejeune program opines that it offers “lessons in training methodology, leadership, and ethics as well. . . . Ender’s Game has been a stalwart item on the Marine Corps Reading List since its inception”.[21] It is also used as an early fictional example of game-based learning.[22]'s_Game

        1. ambrit

          And Butler’s “War Is A Racket?” [We must be approaching General Staff level curriculum now.]

    2. digi_owl

      Heck i seem to recall reading that America’s Army was shut down for good only recently.

      It was a first person tactical shooter created by Pentagon back around the Iraq invasion. This after first trying to recruit among players of such games, only to find they had not the first clue about friendly fire. This became few games at the time had that enabled by default, if coded at all.

    3. R.S.

      I can’t find a reference right now but when the Russian T-14 Armata was introduced not long ago, they too had gone for video game-style controllers

      I’m sorry but that’s probably not true. T-90Ms and T-14s (Armata-based MBT) have steering wheels. Older (not upgraded) T-90s have levers.

      1. The Rev Kev

        No, I remember reading an article at the time and they definitely made use of this type of controller. Can’t remember if it was for driving the whole tank or mostly for controlling the turret and its weapons systems – too long ago – but this article went into some detail talking about it and how the young guys adapted to it straight away as they were used to using them while playing games. I guess that the fly-by-wire systems of aircraft are now being used in tanks so no longer the need for heavy mechanical controls like before.

  25. Wukchumni

    This weekend will be packed with celestial events, and space fans should just brace themselves.

    In addition to the upcoming visible alignment between the moon, Venus, and Mars, the Earth’s higher latitudes will likely witness moderate auroras on Friday, March 24, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports. According to the NOAA’s three-day forecast, on March 24 a level 2 geomagnetic storm, which is considered “moderate” according to the NOAA scale, will affect our planet, and moderate auroras are expected because of it.

    Not to cause concern as this appears to be a much weaker solar storm, but we’re in a solar maximum and this is what happened during the 1859 Carrington Event:

    Auroras were seen around the world, those in the northern hemisphere as far south as the Caribbean. The aurora over the Rocky Mountains in the United States was so bright that the glow woke gold miners, who began preparing breakfast because they thought it was morning. People in the Northeastern United States could read a newspaper by the aurora’s light. The aurora was visible from the poles to low latitude areas such as south-central Mexico,

  26. Bugs

    “US moves to make antiviral drug more available against COVID MarketWatch. Gah. Paxlovid use promoted mutations”

    I’m pretty sure that it’s Molnupiravir, the Moderna antiviral, that caused mutations. Paxlovid has a different pharmacology and mechanism of action (Molnupiravir promotes mutations to suppress replication) and is looking like useful for long Covid, according to another link today.

    1. Lee

      That is my understanding as well. I think the main problem with Paxlovid is the many drug interactions caused by the additive ritonavir, which increases the period of time that the antiviral component, nirmatrelvir, remains in the body enhancing its effectiveness. Unfortunately it can do this with quite a number of drugs often taken by older patients causing serious or even lethal side effects.

      I had a recent conversation with one of my healthcare providers about this, and she wondered if simply increasing the dose and/ or frequency of the antiviral component alone without ritonavir might address the issue of maintaining antiviral effectiveness and obviate the issue of side effects.

  27. Lee

    “Can an Addiction Drug Treat Long Covid? Rolling Stone (ma)”

    I’ve been using the drug in question, low dose Naltrexone, for several years now for chronic low back pain related to ME/CFS, which is similar to long Covid in its symptomolgy and in that it is typically triggered by a previous viral infection. It works great, having completely replaced prescribed opioids I had been taking previously.

  28. Tom Stone

    Am I the only one here who thinks “Bolivian Admiral” when they see a pic of Milley?
    And why are people surprised that the FBI infiltrated the “Proud Boys” defense? , that sort of thing has been traditional f9or the FBI just as it was for their predecessor, the Pinkerton’s.
    Charlie Sisssringo’s books are a wonderful read , especially the one about the Pinks which was suppressed for many decades.
    As far as Bragg concealing exculpatory evidence, that’s as common as testilying by LEO.

  29. Mildred Montana

    >Taxpayers’ Gain Is Bondholders’ Pain Barrons

    Headline: The Fed Has Overseen a Remarkable Transfer of Wealth From Bondholders to Taxpayers

    Yeah, right. Whenever did the Fed or banks lose money to taxpayers? If they have ever, well, they make sure to recover it as soon as possible.

    The article is a joke. All one need do is read this quote from it:

    “Regulators are concerned about a time bomb on the balance sheets of U.S. banks. These are bondholders who have unwittingly given a large transfer of wealth to their debtors and may not be able to afford it.”

    Unwittingly. That laughable word is the tell. As if banks were just innocent victims in the whole unfortunate business. They weren’t. Truth is, they simply got greedy. They borrowed short and lent long.

    Nothing unwitting about it. Even I know better than to chase yield, and I’m not a banker.

  30. Kimberly

    Vanishing phone customer support is driving us all insane

    Overcoming Consumerism ( has a great technique to avoid this:

    Call the phone support number, found online, before you buy a product or service. See how long you languish in “voice jail” or how many bullshit portals you have to go through to talk to a literate English speaker.

    If and when you do have a problem after you spend your money:

    Another trick – and this is Really hitting corporations below the belt -is to call their “New Businesses” number, or “sales” number which are usually answered by helpful stateside people ready to take your money. Tell them you are a “business customer and love their company, but you have a little problem to fix and could they please transfer you to repair or customer service, and stay on the line until connected”

  31. Jason Boxman

    The chemicals, also known as PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are used for non-stick or stain-resistant surfaces, including clothing, cookware, stain repellents and firefighting foam. But they are also notoriously difficult to break down naturally, giving them the name “forever chemicals”.

    In recent years, scientists have found the chemicals, which were once assumed to be harmless, are also linked to elevated cholesterol, hormonal disruption, infertility, cardiovascular disease and cancers.

    (bold mine)

    By whom? The original manufacturer knew they were poisoning employees for decades! A malicious way to give a pass on responsibility by the Guardian; A guardian of capitalist exploitation?

  32. nielsvaar

    In France Riot-Police joined the protesters. Soon everywhere.

    this isn’t accurate information. police escort for arrest.

  33. Karl

    RE: Paradigms Gone Wild — Thomas Kuhn’s “Last Writings” (London Review of Books)

    One interesting aspect of science, according to Kuhn, is that knowledge within a paradigm is cumulative over time; and as more facts are gained with new, better tools, and interpreted by knowledgeable practitioners, a coherent picture of reality (“truth”) emerges. When new facts arise that don’t fit the picture, the paradigm is poised for a “revolution”.

    Applying Kuhn’s conceptual framework to the human domain, I suspect a geopolitical revolution is happening in the world right now. We are experiencing a momentous –yet not understood– paradigm shift from a uni-polar to some kind of a multi-polar world. I think that quite soon we’ll be able to fit another important puzzle piece– Ukraine–into the larger picture. This picture (I anticipate) will probably cohere with other puzzle pieces (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.). But the full significance of these events may not be understood for many years.

    Rather like peer reviewed science, NC is a community of independent critical thinkers that “peer reviews” one another and the news floating around the internet. I distinguish this community from others, e.g. the “Foreign Policy Establishment” (that also uses formal “peer reviewed” modes of discourse) because it is hardly disinterested, unbiased and independent. As Kuhn explains, professional communities, even communities of science, tend to cling to their orthodoxies even when a revolution is upon them.

    Here, there are independent experts (i.e. without the constraints of an orthodoxy) who “fact check” the internet and one another that a coherent picture of world events can begin to emerge over time, despite the noise of misinformation and propaganda in the sources. So, I see NC as rather like the Webb Telescope–its many contributors acting like separate mirrors, able to penetrate deeper into the fog!

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