Links 3/29/2023

An Astounding Composite of 90,000 Images Unveils the Sun’s Hidden Atmosphere Colossal


European court to hear first climate cases against France, Switzerland France24

As US pushes “climate-smart” agriculture, hopes and fears collide The New Lede

Yet More High-Rise Windows Crack as Salesforce East Has Second Broken Window Incident In a Week SFist

Winter Rains Bring Mushroom Boom in California Smithsonian


MPXV and SARS-CoV-2 in the air of nightclubs in Spain The Lancet. Monkeypox airborne, eh? Unsurprising. From 2022.

WHO initiates building a global curriculum for infodemic management WHO. Start here:

Yes, it’s still up!


Alibaba to Split Into Six Groups and Explore IPOs in a Departure From Jack Ma Era WSJ. Sounds like Alibaba was really a conglomerate. Remember them? Amazon?

China to stay open ‘no matter what’, Premier Li Qiang tells global CEOs in ‘first class business environment’ pledge South China Morning Post. TINA.

China spent US$240 billion bailing out ‘Belt & Road’ countries: Study Channel News Asia

Vietnam’s robusta: The go-to coffee bean in a warmer world? Channel News Asia


Coronavirus: Why are COVID-19 cases suddenly rising so fast? Times of India

Arcturus (XBB.1.16): 400% Increase in Deaths, 205% Increase in Cases in India. Spreads to 10 U.S. States and 14 Countries. TACT (NL).

Rahul Gandhi’s Disqualification Proves the Law Has Fallen Into the Wrong Hands The Wire. The deck: “It appears that a hydra-headed ecosystem is working 24/7 to erode the spirit of constitutional democracy by disingenuously using existing laws and procedures.”


The US-Backed Color Revolution In Israel Just Reached Crisis Proportions Andrew Korybko’s Newsletter (MT). Amusing if true. Meanwhile:

Political crisis, democracy, colonisation The New Arab

Dear Old Blighty

Humza Yousaf‘s efforts to heal divided party in disarray The Herald. Scotland’s new Prime Minister.

Heathrow strike forces BA Easter flight cancellations BBC

European Disunion

Workers’ strikes lead to German transport system chaos FT

German chancellor reports major progress on coalition talks Andalu Agency

New Not-So-Cold War

Pentagon’s Chief: Ukraine has “very good chances” for successful counteroffensive in spring Ukrainska Pravda. “There will be growth in the spring!”

Ukraine war: Germany sends much-awaited Leopard tanks BBC

EU allies query Estonia’s bumper refund from weapons to Ukraine Politico. “‘They are sending their scraps to Ukraine and buying brand new material for themselves, financed with EU money,’ a second EU diplomat said about Estonia.” The Estonians aren’t stupid!

Ukraine’s Humble Cardboard Drones Are a Master Class in Stealth Popular Mechanics

How US trainers helped Ukraine reinvent its doctrine Defense News

* * *

Moscow calls out US’ rules-based order in Europe India Punchline (Rev Kev).

There is still a place for neutrality in Ukraine Politico

State Dept. Proposes Joint Tribunal to Try Russian Leaders NYT

* * *

Ukraine grain glut hits agribusiness in neighbouring countries FT

South of the Border

Exclusive: US plans ultimatum in Mexico energy dispute, raising threat of tariffs Reuters

Think tank: more than 7% of remittances could be linked to organized crime Mexico News Daily

Biden Administration

Boy Scouts’ $2.4 billion bankruptcy plan upheld by judge AP

Lawsuit claims Maine tuition program discriminates against religious schools FOX. Of course we would fund madrassas. Why on earth not?

B-a-a-a-d Banks

A large global sell-off last week was likely sparked by a single trade in Deutsche Bank’s credit-default swaps Business Insider

Supply Chain

Trust in tomorrow – the evolution of underwriting Hellenic Shipping News

Our Famously Free Press

The IRS Makes a Strange House Call on Matt Taibbi WSJ

Imagine If All Officials Were Interrogated By Reporters Like This Caitlin’s Newsletter

Accuracy and social motivations shape judgements of (mis)information Nature


Deepfakes Will Make the Establishment Stronger Richard Hanania’s Newsletter

‘We are super, super fucked’: Meet the man trying to stop an AI apocalypse Sifted

The Age of AI has begun Bill Gates, Gates Notes. So awesome.

The Bezzle

The US case against Binance calls out one of the worst-kept secrets in crypto CNN

FTX founder Bankman-Fried charged with paying $40 million bribe CBS

Weight-Stuffing Walleye Cheaters Granted Plea Deal by Ohio Prosecutors Field and Stream

What Elizabeth Warren, Larry Summers, and Paul Krugman All Got Wrong About SVB James K. Galbraith, The Nation (NL). “As a bank catering primarily to small and medium-sized startups and some wealthy indiviiduals, SVB’s deposit base was unstable. Why did it fail when it did? The destabilizing factor was the Federal Reserve.” As Yves has been saying.


Sugar-powered teabag-like implant successfully manages type 1 diabetes The New Atlas

Sports Desk

Momentous Decision: What To Look For On Augusta National’s Longer 13th (excerpt) The Quadrilateral

Groves of Academe

University document seeks faculty that ‘speaks, acts, and dresses’ to connect with minority students FOX

Guillotine Watch

But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here All the pigeons gonna run to him (Re Silc):

Class Warfare

Fain calls it ‘new day in the UAW’ on first day of convention Free Press but UAW President Pledges New Day, But Key Union Democracy Provisions Defeated – University of Michigan to Strike Payday Report

Workers of Color Accounted for 100% of Union Growth in 2022 Payday Report

To Crush Unions, Starbucks Targets Employee Communications The Lever

What would happen if everyone just stopped paying their student debt? MarketPlace

MTA Announces New Minimum Income Requirements To Ride Subway The Onion

Dietary advice:

What about bugs?

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Jeff Stantz

    RE: The Age of AI has begun Bill Gates, Gates Notes.

    I live my life by two rules:

    1) Invest exactly the opposite of any Jim Cramer advice.
    2) Automatically hate anything Bill Gates likes.

    1. russell1200

      And per Nassim Nicholas Taleb (last link), you can now add “Eat Hummus”.

      The downside with your 2 points is that you will have to burn brain cells paying attention to them.

    1. Bjarne

      The key is they have the mainstream media complex on their side with this McCarthyite putsch. The bad news for them is the internet and all of us who get our info from non-mainstream sources. Hence the attempts to censor the internet. They are really going for it with this new “anti-Tik-Tok” bill, which is actually more draconian than the Great Chinese Firewall in that it outlaws VPN usage to access “anti-US” websites, with insane penalties of 20 years in prison and a $1million fine. I do hope this bill will not pass but who can say anymore. The US global empire’s war against the American people is really ramping up.

      1. hunkerdown

        It’s a war over “coordination goods.” It comes down to us to destroy their “coordination goods” by every lawful means possible.

      2. Phenix

        Tim Tok is the perfect target. Their algorithm is terrible…or great… depending on your views. I view as the former. Children are exposed to dangerous content…the recent vice article covering exposure to suicide and incel content is an example. In China children are exposed to prosocial/pro-academic content.

        Unfortunately the battle is over privacy and I don’t think that there is much difference between who spies on me.

        I would support banning tik Tok because of it’s algorithm but not because of privacy concerns so I am against the current bill.

        1. digi_owl

          Tiktok is also chinese, and thus scary because it can’t be tapped by the TLAs unlike say Facebook. Never mind that the Twitter files shows the level of manipulation that has been done on TPTB’s instructions by US corporations.

          As for Tiktok being terrible, well no shit Sherlock. 99% of everything is shit, as the saying goes. Social media, with Tiktok being the latest iteration, is what you get when you give a near infinite supply of edgy teenagers an unfiltered channel for self-expression.

        2. Bjarne

          If they wanted to help kids they would simply enforce an age restriction on all social media platforms. I was talking to a teacher who teaches in East Flatbush in NYC and she says everything changed at her school when social media became huge with the kids over a decade ago including much more violence and unruly behavior. Kids can’t handle social media (adults don’t do so well either from what I’ve seen). This is about control, not about protecting kids.

    2. Screwball

      Thanks for this flora – great article and a must read.

      I don’t think there is any doubt the “information” wars are being won by the wrong side. It still amazes me how so many people can be manipulated into believing just about anything today. I was mocked, ridiculed, and called a Putin puppet, for telling my PMC friends the government was involved in this censorship. Yet, it’s true – and they will never agree. They would never read this article because it’s “fake news.”

      They don’t care about censorship, while accusing me of being a fascist (because if you don’t agree with them, you are a red hat Trumper, and therefore a fascist) who hates democracy and should move to Russia.

      Nothing will change the way these people think (which the article didn’t address). I think they are actually proud of their ignorance (they only allow stuff from approved sources to be “facts” – NYT, WaPo, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, Biden, and of course the White House Press Secretary).

      Another thing that stuck out in that article. Not sure how to say it, but I’ll just go with “thanks Obama.” Saint O strikes again.

      This country is so screwed.

        1. hunkerdown

          The same goes double for one’s “place” in society and the personal exploitation rights that (in fact) come with it.

      1. Kouros

        This is why revolutions get bloody and Ms. Guillotine gets employed…. Unwillingness to negotiate and compromise… Kind of understand Lenin a bit and his approach …

  2. jbc

    If pensioners want to do something about the climate in Switzerland they can stop buying vacation homes.

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    Optimistic DOD chief Austin–

    Napolitano interviewed Ray McGovern about this, and McGovern had the low-down on Austin. He was CentCom head during the height of our effort to remove Assad. He was not only wildly optimistic about that adventure but he was also willing to fudge the numbers and was called out on it by an IG. Also, McGovern said Austin had the DOD job because he went to mass with Beau in Iraq.

    Pretty concerning. I thought maybe Austin and Milley were voices of reason, but Austin is apparently just another liar for hire.

      1. mrsyk

        I’ll eat just about anything if it’s placed in front of me, but mammoth meatballs better mean huge not prehistoric.

  4. Wukchumni

    Watching the Walton heir’s yacht* from too many angles in that video, it got me wondering where such a word came from?

    Jacht in Dutch means ‘to hunt’, as in that doge will hunt!

    Size matters, and while 361 feet is big, the cruise ship we’ll be going on in a few months for my mom’s 98th birthday is easily twice as long, but suffers from a lack of exclusivity.

    And that’s what its all about with the .01%’ers, they all want to distance themselves from the rabble, not all that different from Emperor Caligula and his Nemi Ships which were 2/3rds as long as Walton’s effort, two thousand years ago.

    * Full Disclosure: I’ve applied for membership in the Tulare Lake Yacht Club locally.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If you turn your speakers up on that Walton’s yacht video, you can just hear them saying goodnight to each other- (32 secs)

      Personally I don’t give a damn if that yacht sails or sinks but it was a tragedy losing the Nemi ships when they had survived for so long.

    2. rusell1200

      Dutch Waters are famously shallow. Which allowed (but also in some ways hindered them) them to use very shallow draft light boats against more restricted foreign origin vessels. This type of thing played a number of times, probably most famously during the 1588 Armada, where the Spanish had to figure a way to get around these lightly built, maneuverable ships.

      At least some of these fast Dutch ships were called yahts.

      The Dutch gave one of these to the English King (Charles II) and he used the lightly built ship as a pleasure craft, rather than a warship. Which if you only have the one, sort of makes sense.

      Thus the “yacht” eventually became a pleasure craft, though I have seen it describing vessels that appear to be a type of utility/messenger boat in English sailing navies, so I think the idea of a light fast sailing ship gave way relatively slowly to the pleasure boat concept.

      1. begob

        You got me thinking of the Beast that lurks in Portsmouth dock in the UK: HMS Victory – magnificent, but it’s only when you get up close you realize it was an awesome killing machine. My sense of awe multiplied a couple of weeks ago, with this video on how it was put together and handled.

        1. Michaelmas

          begob: …’s only when you get up close you realize it was an awesome killing machine. My sense of awe multiplied a couple of weeks ago, with this video on how it was put together and handled.

          British warships of the 18th and 19th centuries were the most complicated technology of their age.

          Royal Navy captains entrusted with their command began their training and potential path upward as early as at ten years of age, but more commonly at the age of twelve — as in Horatio Nelson’s case — and thirteen — in the case of Jackie Fisher*, who began as a midshipman on a wooden sailing ship and ended as 1st Baron Fisher and First Sea Lord overseeing the transition to steel-hulled battleships, submarines, and the first aircraft carriers powered by oil, as well as to technologies like wireless radio communications

          The path to becoming an RN captain might take as long as, perhaps, twenty-five years (much depended on attrition among existing captains and, hence, commands opening up) or, in exceptional cases, less than a decade: Nelson achieved his first command at the age of twenty.

          * Arguably, Jackie Fisher — among a class of men who produced quite a few notable characters — was the most notable.

          Besides living through the transition from, basically, post-eighteenth century wooden sailing ships to a semi-modern navy with radio, torpedoes, and submarines, Fisher was said to be someone “who didn’t suffer fools lightly,” and the King once asked him to stop shaking his fist in the King’s face. He insisted that his ship’s officers learn to dance and cancelled the leave of midshipmen who wouldn’t take part. He also invented a number of innovations in electric gunnery systems and torpedoes.

          1. Stephen

            The Wooden World by NAM Rodger is very good on the organization, technology and social fabric of the Royal Navy in the 1750s to 1770s when Victory was built.

            Explodes many myths about the navy running solely on the lash and discusses the various career paths for both officers and ratings via the sponsorship of successful Post Captains. As well as how the press gang could only target “seamen” and that civil courts in both England and the American colonies would seek to convict officers who led press gangs that exceeded their presumed authority.

            The Royal Navy was also quasi independent of government and could borrow on its own account. The book brings home just how pluralist overall society was in the eighteenth century, albeit with many faults too.

    3. Carolinian

      LOL “that doge will hunt!”

      Your Wiki link is interesting including this

      In September 2017 a panel made of inlaid marble and mosaic then in the collection of a private owner in New York City was rediscovered by the antiquities restorer and author Dario del Bufalo. Subsequently the New York County District Attorney’s Office seized the artefact which was confirmed to have come from the Nemi Museum, and to have once decorated the floor of Caligula’s ship.[14] It had been bought by American antique dealers Helen and Nereo Fioratti from an aristocratic family in the late 1960s, and used since then as the surface of a coffee table in their home.

      Ancient decadence meets the modern–very appropriate.

      Of course the original Walton guy was only into land yachts (RVs). His heirs are something else.

    4. JBird4049

      Large? Let me give you large. Roughly a decade ago one of the world’s most gigantic sailing yachts parked itself next to Angel Island across from San Francisco.

      IIRC, all of the town of Tiburon disappeared from view when one was walking along the Marina in San Francisco. At least, I do not remember being able to see any of it. The scale of this yacht was so great I had to look at it several different times over a couple of days to actually get what I was looking at.

      I’m guessing the owner wanted to make his buddies in Tiburon envious.

    5. Old Sarum

      I prefer “floating gin palace” to “yot” and when I get one that’s what I’ll call it and i’ll have a tender called “Mother’s Ruin”.

      I wonder how many people the average FGP keeps employed in it’s economic hinterland. Having spent some months living on a proper yacht in a large French marina, I reckon it’s quite a lot.

      Just don’t think about the marine pollution involved [anti-fouling].


  5. timbers

    B-a-a-a-d Banks

    Am seeing reports the Fed has increased it’s balance sheet by up to $400 billion in response the the SVB situation. If true, this is a sudden increase and an abrupt reversal of policy. Not Covid sized but quite large. This money created out of thin air, supposedly is for banks that need the funds to avoid going broke. Nice to be able to spend money unilaterally to help your friends and to do it w/o oversight.

    So the Fed is printing money at a fast rate while the same time it is raising interest rates.

    1. Louis Fyne

      “So the Fed is printing money at a fast rate while the same time it is raising interest rates.”

      It’s a bit more nuanced than that…

      the Fed (via its B-acronym facility) is printing “money.” That money is going to the depositors who are leaving small banks XYZ. The depositors are then taking that money and depositing it in T-Bills, at too-big-too-fail banks, and other small banks.

      Given that the original small banks XYZ owe the Fed money, and the depositors’ money is not being spent but going to other places, arguably this is tightening the money supply via tighter lending standards from banks and lower money velocity.

      We’ll know this spring/early summer if there is a credit crunch.

      1. mrsyk

        Questions about the monies banks XYZ owe the fed. What do these look like on a balance sheet, how are they valued, and does this effectively counter the corresponding sums added to the economy? This is well outside my own expertise.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “University document seeks faculty that ‘speaks, acts, and dresses’ to connect with minority students”

    ‘Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis’ hiring guidance advises that potential hires speak, act and dress ‘in ways that authentically resonate with racially minoritized students’

    Wait. Isn’t that the definition of cultural appropriation? Because it sure sounds like it. And it’s suppose to be worse when members of a dominant culture appropriate from minority cultures.

    1. semper loquitur

      You nailed it. DEI is blackface, brownface, yellowface; pick your “protected marginalized group”. It’s profoundly insulting and condescending to claim that anyone is so fragile that you have to pander to them by dressing up and mimicking their language and mannerisms.

    2. Mildred Montana

      That’s going to be quite the slapstick comedy since minority students are probably quite numerous, even in Indiana. I can see a professor delivering his or her lecture in three or more languages (“Excuse me while I switch to African-American argot.”) while donning, intermittently, various articles of garb such as the hijab, the native American head-dress, or the Sikh turban. The possibilities for comedic effects are almost endless. SNL, are you paying attention?

      Perhaps it’s a revenue-raising ploy because, honestly, I would pay to see such a lecture just for the laughs. Those PMC types—those hacks of academe as Gore Vidal called them—are really, really lacking for something to do if this is all they can come up with.

      And I gotta laugh at that phrase “authentically resonate with racially minoritized students”. Yeah, right. Like a white guy wearing a head-dress or a turban is going to “resonate” (and “authentically” to boot!) with a native American or a Sikh!

      1. Wukchumni

        Indiana was quite the hotbed for the KKK once upon a time, and this was the membership in the 1920’s:

        250,000 at its peak
        (30% of native-born
        Indiana male population) (Wiki)

    3. marym

      No links in the Fox link. Did a very quick search, so maybe I’m missing something. Here’s a link to a March 2023 university announcement which contains links to a guidebook and a video. I didn’t find “dress” “talk” or “resonate” in the announcement, guidebook, or video transcript. Didn’t listen to Tucker’s or university videos though, so maybe wherever this is suggested is documented somewhere.

      1. BigJilm

        Perhaps it was some unofficial, internal communication that somehow got leaked. Or maybe it was just made up. Eh who really cares about the truth anyway? Just get incensed! Get indignant, get riled up about you know, diversity and inclusion.

  7. pjay

    – ‘The US-Backed Color Revolution In Israel Just Reached Crisis Proportions’ – Andrew Korybko’s Newsletter (MT). Amusing if true.

    Indeed. Wouldn’t it be funny if a new “Abraham Accords” developed, which included Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, and Russia, and *shut out* the US? Bibi, Erdogan, and bin Salman are certainly not my favorites. But I prefer them working for peace and stability in the region rather than for chaos and destruction as US lackeys.

    I admit that viewing Netanyahu as a victim of a US color revolution is a little out there. I see him as doing whatever is necessary to serve his own interests – sort of like Trump. But there is something to Korybko’s “globallist” vs. “nationalist” distinction. And it would explain why all of the sudden we have these stories, first in the European press and then in the Nation the other day, about a Netanyahu-led Israeli intelligence operation serving as part of the “foreign collusion” allied with Trump in the 2016 election. Makes a nice narrative, linking all the right-wing “authoritarians” liberals hate: Trump, Bibi, Putin, etc. Hmm.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      I think it is way out there. Netanyahoo functions as a useful attack dog for US interests in the region. Unless he strays too far off his leash, he’s probably the neocons “number 1 with a bullet” fave.

      He’s nationalistic but that is an easily forgiven sin. As long as he keeps bombing Syrian airports, he’s cool with the Kagans.

      1. pjay

        Agreed. But Korybko is suggesting that maybe he is not sufficiently anti-Russian, which could conceivably mean being a less vicious attack dog with the right incentives, which would in turn mean being no longer cool with the Kagans and their globalist buddies. We’ve had many vicious attack dogs whom we’ve abandoned when deemed necessary. And our attack dogs in Saudi Arabia and Turkey seem to be mellowing a little these days, which adds some urgency from a US perspective. Let’s see how concerned the Establishment becomes about “democracy” in Israel – and how they cover these “revelations” about Bibi and the 2016 election. I’m not saying Korybko is right, but it’s not beyond comprehension.

        1. ChrisFromGA

          Then there is the Turkish election coming up. Pretty sure that the color revolution gang would love to see the Sultan go down, he’s way to uppity, crafty, and has been much more neutral than Israel has with Russia. So add another variable to bloodthirsty hegemonic equation.

          IIRC, Netanyahoo made some noise about selling defensive systems to Ukraine; not sure if he followed through. Russia has levers to pull there. They can put more S-400’s in Syria or sell them to Iran. Or turn Al-tanf into a smoldering crater, if they want.

        2. digi_owl

          Another thing is that Israel has seen an influx of rich individuals in relation to the Ukraine debacle.

        3. lyman alpha blob

          I would have guessed that the Israeli protests were one of the few that were not fomented by the US, but the spooks really are everywhere I guess. If the author’s take is true, does this mean I have to support Netan-yahoo now?

          At this point, I have to say if tough guy Joe Biden really wants a piece of Putin, he ought to send in the US military himself and see where that gets him, rather than trying to destabilize every other country on the planet. And it will get him pretty much where it got every other would-be ruler of the globe who tried it – humiliated and/or dead.

          Regardless of which faction wins out here, sounds like the Palestinians are still [family blog]ed either way.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Maybe Biden has a burr in his butt because Trump and Netanyahu were such good buddies and he isn’t. Come to think of it, I believe that it was the boys from The Duran who were saying that no international leader like Biden as in at all. Can’t think of any myself.

        1. nippersmom

          What’s there to like? He’s a bully to his alleged “allies” as well as to his acknowledged adversaries, and an oafish idiot to boot.

    2. Daniil Adamov

      “I admit that viewing Netanyahu as a victim of a US color revolution is a little out there. I see him as doing whatever is necessary to serve his own interests – sort of like Trump.”

      Or indeed Yanukovych?

    3. wendigo

      It is interesting to see the “two state solution” framed as a liberal globalist intervention.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Personally, I favor the one-state solution and I’m not the only one, although it is not often mentioned. I wonder why that would be? Could it be, divide and conquer, ensure that hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians go on forever?

        Take a look at Nazi Germany and contemporary America as examples. The best way to divide peoples is to separate them into “us” and “them”. Hence Jewish ghettoes in the 1930s and 40s, black inner-city ghettoes in America today, with various laws to enforce the separation.

        Much better to encourage those disparate populations to live together and arrive at some sort of comity (which they inevitably will, given time). But that can only come from day-to-day interaction with each other. Familiarity does not necessarily breed contempt, it can breed understanding and tolerance.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          Perhaps. On the other hand, look at Yugoslavia. Encouraging those disparate populations to live together unravelled very badly, and they did not have the recent backstory that a United Israel-Palestine would have. I am also not sure how one would go about achieving a one-state solution over strong resistance from the populations on both sides.

    4. square coats

      It seems to me that there’s been a solid current of anti-zionism in a lot of the recent re-establishment of normalizations between different countries in the Middle East. I find it difficult to consider it possible that, for example, China might be able to successfully facilitate normalization between Iran and israel.

      I find it slightly more possible that the u.s. could (this is super hypothetical) throw israel to the wolves, so to speak, by backing away from supporting it, thereby causing it to try to join with the east-oriented multipolar pole, resulting in potentially a big problem for Russia (and maybe also China) if different countries in the region decided to take advantage of israel’s resulting vulnerability, or if Palestinians were able to take that as an opportunity to make a lot of progress in fighting back against israel, and countries in the region supported the Palestinians in doing so, etc.

      Maybe it wouldn’t be a problem for Russia (and China) if they were just like well that’s your internal problem. Idk, I’m obviously totally speculating.

      One thing in Korybko’s piece I found least plausible was the idea at the end that a “tacitly us-approved Intifada” would make netanyahu’s situation more precarious. I think it would be more likely to give netanyahu the opportunity to unite israel behind him against the Intifada.

      But I do find the piece interesting as a whole, especially considering like what lyman alpha blob said below, “if the author’s take is true, does this mean I have to support Netan-yahoo now?” but applying this line of thinking to other countries.

  8. WobblyTelomeres

    re: ‘We are super, super f*cked’

    Personally, I fear that AGI (artificial general intelligence) will be achieved soon and will be indistinguishable from Peter Thiel.

    1. Mikel

      “Leahy speculates that, were a super-intelligent AI system to break out, it could then start secretly running on its own servers and improving itself and amassing its own financial resources….”

      Like I’ve said…prepare for the heist.
      “Amassing its own financial resources”…LOL.
      Just tell the authirities to follow the money and arrest anybody talking about “AI did it.”

      They better sell the financial sector on the BS hype because algorithms definately don’t need student loans, home loans, car loans, health insurance, life insurance…

    2. Mikel

      I think that “hair on fire” take is oart of the hype.

      There is already a preview of what ChatGPT will do to an aesthetic, culture, or industry: Autotune.

    3. YPG

      A counter-point:

      I’ve read about half of it and, though I’m no math genius, I sleep soundly as a result.

      Also, isn’t it funny that the person telling us that the really-actually-very-terrifying-uncontrollable AI is definitely on its way is the same person starting a company that will really-actually-verymuch save us from it? Good grief.

    4. Old Sarum

      Re “Super…”

      We were super-bleeped way back when Windoze of old was released onto the world with all its superlative-expletive faults. When the powers-that-be didn’t smack that sort of thing down it was “open-slather” as the Australians say.

      Reminds somehow of Reggie Perrin’s co-worker who gets a brief word in:


  9. paddy


    us secdef’s optimism on ukraine’s offensiveness and russian depletion is reminiscent of kabul’s chances over taliban….

    send more tanks, with no spares and contract technicians!

    us trainers introducing “doctrine”. it is the other way around existing doctrine founds training curricula! and a lot more than trainers needed for new doctrine,

    send a $100 billion!

  10. The Rev Kev

    “EU allies query Estonia’s bumper refund from weapons to Ukraine”

    Estonia may have a point. When they buy replacements for all that gear that they gave to the Ukrainians, they will have to buy new ones at full price. And you can’t buy that gear second hand as all of it has already been sent to the Ukraine. It may have been that the EU was hoping that most countries would be like Sweden and only claim the minimum from the EU refund scheme which means that Brussels would be able to keep the remainder of the funds for themselves. It would not surprise me.

    Yes, ‘The Estonians aren’t stupid!’ but the same cannot be said of their leader Kaja Kallas. A tweet is making the rounds where she complains that putting sanctions packages requires a lot of coordination and is hard work but each time one is announced, the Russians laugh at it and mock it. So she came out and said ‘Russians allow themselves to joke on the Internet about each new package of sanctions, they openly mock our work. I beg them to take this seriously and show at least some respect’

  11. Wukchumni

    Boy Scouts’ $2.4 billion bankruptcy plan upheld by judge AP

    I was doing some research on the only Boy Scout camp within the confines (ran from 1939 to 2011) of a National Park-here @ Wolverton in Sequoia NP, and I came across a photo of John Ehrlichman from 1941 as part of a group of scouts who were walking the High Sierra Trail across the Sierra to Mt Whitney and it piqued my interest, as i’d only really thought of him as Nixon’s henchman-as in sneaky illegal, but it turns out he was really the catalyst for the environmentalist movement and all that, being an avid outdoorsman and a very persuasive lawyer.

    Nixon’s environmental agenda was powered by several of his lieutenants, especially Ehrlichman, a political moderate and former land-use lawyer. Ehrlichman had won local acclaim in Seattle for successfully fighting a proposed industrial plant on an island in the Puget Sound, and he coupled his passion for the environment with hard-nosed political instincts. Once in the White House he sold Nixon on the environment, showing him polling data and, Whitaker recalled, making him see it was “politically dangerous if he didn’t get on board.”

    Ehrlichman is the second on the left in the back row in this 1941 photo.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Wuk, are you sure about JE being the 2nd from the left in that back row, who has blond hair? My recollection of JE having very dark hair is confirmed by this image search. The 1st guy on the left of the back row looks like a more likely match with JE’s visage 3-4 decades later.

      1. Bugs

        And Nixon hated them right back. Probably led to the stupid decisions once the break-in was found out. And explains why they sent somebody like Goldwater to tell him it was over. That story is right out of Shakespeare, and it just keeps giving.

        1. Carolinian

          I’m not sure Shakespeare had much to say about class warfare–maybe Othello or Merchant of Venice where the leads are conveniently not English. A closer match might be Dreiser’s An American Tragedy where the subject is tempted to villainy by his class aspirations.

          Which isn’t to say we should feel much sympathy for the eternally self pitying Nixon. But maybe we should take another look at his opponents. The history dubious Spielberg (see Lincoln) tried to make Kay Graham and Ben Bradley heroes in his film about the Pentagon Papers. But when Reagan came along Graham said “we’ve had enough” of presidential investigations. After all they were her friends. Plus the Post was all for Vietnam until it became unfashionable to be so.

          1. pjay

            Yes. The heroic “free press saves America from tyranny” story is certainly a crock. Not that it was an “elite vs. little guy” story. More like the usual struggle for power between elite factions. Nixon was certainly battling the both the Pentagon and the CIA over his policies toward China and the USSR, which, partly because of their resistance, he and Kissinger were carrying out in secret. This was behind the earlier (and mainly unknown) scandal, the Moorer-Radford Affair, in which the Pentagon was actually spying on and stealing documents from Nixon’s National Security Council.


            Then, of course, there was the ridiculously amateur break-in, led, just coincidentally, by “former” high-level CIA officers Howard Hunt and James McCord, and carried out by other “former” very notable CIA assets. And Woodward’s background. And numerous other interesting facts that show our Accepted Narrative (i.e the Spielberg version of history) to be, uh, incomplete at the very least.

            As Hedges points out, like Trump, Nixon was not a “good guy,” but also like Trump, neither were his real enemies. Jim Hougan’s book Secret Agenda was written decades ago, but I still think it’s a pretty good starting point for asking the relevant questions about this famous “scandal.”

          2. Bazarov

            There’s some “class warfare” or at least tension in Henry IV between Prince Hal and Falstaff. In Part I, they’re best buds while Hal slums it. In Part II, Hal the King denounces Falstaff along with his “bohemian” past.

            My King! My Jove! I speak to thee, my heart!


            I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy prayers.
            How ill white hairs becomes a fool and jester!
            I have long dreamt of such a kind of man,
            So surfeit-swell’d, so old, and so profane;
            But, being awaked, I do despise my dream.
            Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace;
            Leave gormandizing; know the grave doth gape
            For thee thrice wider than for other men.
            Reply not to me with a fool-born jest.
            Presume not that I am the thing I was;
            For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
            That I have turn’d away my former self;
            So will I those that kept me company.
            When thou dost hear I am as I have been,
            Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou wast,
            The tutor and the feeder of my riots.
            Till then I banish thee, on pain of death,
            As I have done the rest of my misleaders,
            Not to come near our person by ten mile.
            For competence of life I will allow you,
            That lack of means enforce you not to evils.
            And, as we hear you do reform yourselves,
            We will, according to your strengths and qualities,
            Give you advancement. Be it your charge, my lord,
            To see perform’d the tenor of our word.
            Set on.

  12. paul

    RE: Humza Yousaf‘s efforts to heal divided party in disarray.

    Looks like the inept chancer’s starting as he intends to go on.

    All of his new cabinet are going to be sturgeonites, their sole concern will be to keep the ossuary sealed tight.

    All rather dispiriting.

  13. Ignacio

    WHO initiates building a global curriculum for infodemic management WHO. Start here:
    (then WHO’s BS on COVID not airborne).

    Question, Who is WHO?
    How is the World Health Organization funded, and why does it rely so much on Bill Gates?

    An institution funded mostly (80%) by “voluntary contributions”. Assessed contributions probably go to housekeeping and little more.

    Kelley Lee, a professor of public health at Simon Fraser University who authored a book about WHO, said the agency suffers “a chronic shortfall in resources” hindering its ability to successfully fulfil its original mandate.


    Most of these voluntary contributions are “specified” – meaning they are tied to a specific programme or health campaign in a specific part of the world and are given a detailed time frame during which to be spent.

    Might there be contributions that specify that COVID cannot be airborne?

    The WHO is a dysfunctional thing.

    1. flora

      The WHO is a disfunctional thing that wants total control of countries pandemic responses. See latest treaty modification proposals. What could go wrong?

  14. Acacia

    When I look at that WHO tweet from 2020 claiming “#COVID19 is NOT airborne”, it is followed by this text:

    Readers added context they thought people might want to know

    Scientific understanding of COVID-19 has evolved. It’s now understood that the virus can be transmitted through aerosols that can remain suspended in the air for hours:…

    This tweet provides information that was not conclusively proven at the time, and is now confirmed false.

    A link is embedded to an article on the CDC’s web site, though interestingly the word “airborne” only appears in the footnotes, not the article proper, which says things like:

    Exposure occurs in three principal ways: (1) inhalation of very fine respiratory droplets and aerosol particles, (2) deposition of respiratory droplets and particles on exposed mucous membranes in the mouth, nose, or eye by direct splashes and sprays, and (3) touching mucous membranes with hands that have been soiled either directly by virus-containing respiratory fluids or indirectly by touching surfaces with virus on them.


  15. Wukchumni

    As US pushes “climate-smart” agriculture, hopes and fears collide The New Lede
    March is planting season for annual crops in Cali, and with the rain unrelenting, very little got into the ground-and its pouring again.

    Farmers will need a few more weeks for the soil to dry out (that is if there aren’t anymore storms) and that takes them out of the game, and this is oh so similar to what fomented the French Revolution (aside from the usual dumb human tricks, that is) in that a couple of sizable volcanoes in Iceland erupted in 1783-85, and so messed up growing cycles resulting in a series of bad harvests that the price of wheat went through the roof, beyond a Frenchman’s daily wages.

    A massive underwater Tongan volcano spewing water vapor into space wasn’t on my radar way back when a few years ago, but shift happens.

    More food inflation coming soon, to a supermarket near you!

    1. jefemt

      I had a theory on our 24″ atypical in-town snow dump the other day: Tongan volcanic particles supercharged by the abnormally strong solar wind event seen way down south in Dixie.

      I think the next ten years could be heart-and-back breaking, hanging with my shovel pal Gym.

  16. Chris Smith

    Re: State Dept. Proposes Joint Tribunal to Try Russian Leaders

    It sounds like they are setting a precedent for any country to create its own tribunal with jurisdiction to prosecute heads of state for starting wars of aggression. Clinton, W, Obama, Trump, and Biden might not like the result as US power fades.

    1. The Rev Kev

      A made up, hybrid court based on Ukrainian “justice” fully supported by the United States. Hmmm. And the US has not only refused to join the ICC but made a law that they will attack militarily anybody that tries to arrest an American or allied official. This must be part of the “rules based order” that we keep on hearing about which appears to be based on Calvinball. A lot of countries would be reflecting that if this “court” goes ahead, then any country could become the target of another such made up court.

    2. Stephen

      AJP Taylor (on Nuremberg) made the comment that war criminals are treated as such not because they are criminals (which they may still be) but because they lost. As ever in modern times, the collective west is ahead of itself. First win, then try to prosecute people.

  17. Lexx

    ‘Yet More High-Rise Windows Crack as Salesforce East Has Second Broken Window Incident In a Week’

    One might suspect ‘gale force’ winds hitting the building and the structure flexing in ways it’s not supposed to, with the most brittle material bearing that force inside the restrictive frames and cracking.

    It’s just a thought. We bought a 5th wheel with a cracked front window. There was no sign it had been hit by anything. What we think happened instead is the former owner took the RV ‘off-roading’ to hunt and the frame wasn’t designed to roll on such uneven surfaces. The glass cracked in the stress.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Glass windows have been common since the 17th century so you would think that we would have the basics down by now and know how to build a window that will not crack and break when it gets windy. Apparently not. It could have been worse. Imagine a window popping out its frame intact and sailing along to the ground while carried by strong winds. It would be like an enormous guillotine that.

    2. Adam1

      “…the frame wasn’t designed to roll on such uneven surfaces.”

      Wasn’t designed indicates and engineering error was made relative to the structural capabilities of the glass being used.

      It sounds like something similar happened with the building. Either the wrong glass was bought or the window framing did not structurally meet the demands of the window/glass bought given the environmental demands of the overall building structure. These are all avoidable problems absent errors in purchasing and/or engineering. I’d lean towards errors and not the wind.

      1. Engineer

        It’s not the frame, it’s the rubberized “frame” inside the rigid frame that holds the glass in place. When that gets inevitably dries out, deteriorates, it leaks air, water and eventually cracks and shrinks and glass blows out. Every highrise in the world faces the same problem.

  18. Wukchumni

    I’m curious if there is any way to find out what percentage of withdrawals on SVB were in person versus online?

    …its tragically easy to panic on the internet

    1. Glen

      Imagine a withdrawal in person:

      “Would you like the first million in twenties and fifties or would you also like some fives and tens?”

  19. Lexx

    ‘Imagine If All Officials Were Interrogated By Reporters Like This’

    ‘Should I be asking you about this?’ Given the way that exchange played out, I’m kinda impressed. There’s something male bird mating ritual about the dance, the ‘bow-scrape’ razzle dazzle. Like someone accustomed to appealing to political figures much more powerful that could squash him at any moment (genuflect), but if not squashed then here’s the question he really wants to hear answered.

    1. Daniil Adamov

      I can’t help but think that it is a little easier for reporters to ask those questions of UN officials than American or Chinese ones.

      1. pjay

        Yes. But it nicely exposes the myth that the UN is any sort of “neutral” body. I love this clip for its absolute directness and clarity.

      2. tevhatch

        Matt Lee, who somehow hasn’t been fired by NED/CIA proxie AP, asks some awkward questions of State Department. I guess this is tolerated as there is AP is a wire service, and the State knows that no Corporate Media will pick up and report it to the unwashed masses, plus even if they did, the masses would not care a hoot.

        China language press is much more robust than you might expect, particularly with corruption. As long as they are not acting against the long term interest of the CPC they can get away with more than I see in the American Corporate Press, and often enough their reporting will get positive action from the CPC. For example, there were attempts by local officials and state owned corporations to hush up train accidents, but in the long run officials were jailed. It’s kind of refreshing to compare that to New Palestine.

        I guess the biggest difference is that Americans can not act in solidarity, where as public protest in China is nearly as much an art as in France, which goes to the idea that democracy is rule by the people, not a vote (rendered meaningless in most cases) by the people. The problems with the press are really problems of the people.

        1. tevhatch

          Today Patrick Lawrence set it down better than I could.

          The French* are still citoyens and take to their streets and public squares. Americans are no longer citizens: They are individualist consumers—and take to their sofas no matter how abusively political elites treat them, no matter how many wars they start, no matter how corrupt the financial system, no matter how many people live in poverty, no matter how grotesque the “defense” budget, no matter how poisoned the environment, no matter… let me not go on.

        2. Kouros

          Xi Jinping said that they measure their democracy by the results delivered to the population… How dares he!

          1. hunkerdown

            America measures Their Democracy™ by the results extracted from the population. Old boy Jinping’s got the whole thing backwards.

  20. Stephen

    Not seeing too much authoritative coverage at the moment about the specifics of the actual protests in France – eg numbers of protesters, locations, reaction by the authorities.

    Various Twitter links claim hundreds of thousands on the streets in Paris. Not sure if this is true. Videos also show what seems to be super extreme violence by the police. As ever, these may not be the full story so am hesitant to post links and so forth. Very little comment by western politicians either. More comfortable to focus on Belorussia, Iran and so forth.

    Would be great to read some more informed commentary on what is actually happening. Earlier comments (particularly by David) were very helpful on the context and causes. I cannot see the Fifth Republic falling or anything dramatic like that. Revolutions / regime changes typically need a cleavage in the elites, as apparently happened with the collapse of the Fourth Republic over the Algeria Crisis in 1958. Does not seem that such a cleavage is present, but I am not close to it so cannot comment knowledgeably.

    1. David

      There isn’t a lot of authoritative coverage actually. There are two reasons for this. One is because the situation itself is so complicated, with lots of things happening and no central coordination. In addition, as with the Gilets jaunes, a lot of things are happening outside Paris, where foreign correspondents often fear to tread, in small towns they have never heard of. The other is because most journalists belong to Macron’s class and have a similar background. They affect an attitude of amused incomprehension that rubbish collectors and care-home attendants can’t understand the economic logic of being forced to work until 64 to please the markets, even if they die shortly afterwards. There are a few exceptions: John Lichfield, formerly of the Independent who now writes for Unheard goes through phases of clarity, because he lives in the countryside and often talks to ordinary people, but over this subject he’s reverted to type.

      As regards actual detail, Le Monde has taken to producing real-time updated information on demonstrations etc. on days of mobilisation. Yesterday’s is still up, and gives a reasonably balanced, if not complete, picture:

      I’ll do another piece on my Aurelien site when the situations a bit clearer, but I think there are two things to bear in mind about the current situation. First, the protests and demonstrations are diverging. The trades unions are still fighting the pension “reforms” (there are legal avenues still to try as well as the streets) and the announced days of action (the next on April 6) are at least notionally organised in that context. These demonstrations have been large and peaceful, but they haven’t changed anything. As a result, you’re getting independent, sporadic actions happening locally, which are as much out of frustration with the government as a whole than with the pensions “reform.” Indeed, in many cases, other than anger against Macron, it’s not very clear what the motive actually is. And we’re now seeing the arrival of Black Blocs from different parts of Europe, and the slow loss of control of the situations both by the trades unions and the government. Macron has been making defiant statements about “keeping order” but he’s not getting much support. To add to the fun there are now massive protests around Sainte-Soline in the west of France where a reservoir to supply intensive farming is being constructed. In all of this there have been some violent clashes between demonstrators and police, including one police unit which wasn’t trained public order and shouldn’t have been deployed.

      But the longer term question is whether the political system can survive four more years of this. Macron, who has the political instincts of a stuffed toy, has no majority, and is dependent on the divided, fractious Republicans to get anything done. They are divided between deputies from the countryside and small towns, afraid of the populism of Le Pen’s party, and deputies from the big cities who fear losing out to Macron’s party. This is an impossible divide to straddle, and the party may well split. Such a situation would only encourage Macron’s authoritarian instincts further, and people are beginning to wonder whether another French Republic will perish on the streets.

      1. hunkerdown

        You’ve gone through five already, and they seem easy enough to knock together. What’s one or two more? :)

      2. Karl

        “But the longer term question is whether the political system can survive four more years of this.”

        I’m no close observer of the French scene, but can Macron survive even another month? We’ve seen what sustained massive public protests can do (e.g. in Israel). Netanyahu survives–for now–because he has paused the attempt to pass “reforms”; so, he may yet be able to announce an end his “reform” push and survive (“I listened to you!”). Macron has no such face-saving way out, having forced his pension “reform” through. If the protests continue, and worsen, the only path for Macron, it seems to me, is to resign. The only question then, is whether that would be followed (or preceded?) by repeal of the pension reform. As you said,

        Macron…has the political instincts of a stuffed toy

        If true, this stuffed toy’s head may be the sacrifice to quell discontent and (possibly) enable the elites to get what they really want–keeping the reform in place. Yielding to the street protests and strikes by repealing the pension reform would be a defeat and humiliation beyond the pale for these elites. But Macron’s head may not be enough. This would suggest that France’s elites also have the political instincts of a stuffed toy!

      1. tevhatch

        When they protest the EU constitution, then they may be onto it. Macaroon is just a poisoned cookie for Brussels. First Sovereignty, then maybe they can win a democracy.

  21. Lexx

    ‘Antidote du Jour’

    We’ve caught up on ‘The Mandalorian’ story this past week. Grogu is a study in everything we find appealing about the youngsters of most species. The too large eyes, the sweet touchable ears (in Grogu’s case like those of a fennic fox), shortened muzzle, diminutive size, and he’s re-verbal. Human adults are constantly projecting their expectations on to him.

    My first thought looking at the photo was ‘trash panda’ or pregnant and dead on the side of the highway… but who knows? Do raccoons get to be old in the wild?

    1. OwlishSprite

      Around here they get humongous and sassy. I don’t get friendly, they would be moving in and making me wait on them hand and foot. I look into that baby’s eyes and see, “Abandon all hope, I WILL break into everything.” We sometimes have words. I just lock everything up. They do fine, there’s plenty of frogs and stuff to eat.

      1. semper loquitur

        When I was a youth living in New Jersey, I used to read by flashlight after going to bed. One night, I shined the light out into the big tree near my second story window. A huge pair of yellow eyes glared back at me. Moving the light around revealed a coon the size of a young bear cub.

        Soon afterwards, my stepfather was mowing the grass around the base of the tree and discovered why the thing was so huge. There were two or three disassembled cat skeletons hiding in the weeds and saplings around the tree. He called animal control and they came and removed the beast. The guy said it was the biggest raccoon he had ever seen.

  22. Jason Boxman

    How Cigna Saves Millions by Having Its Doctors Reject Claims Without Reading Them

    Howrigon, the former Cigna executive, said that although he was not involved in developing PXDX, he can understand the economics behind it.

    “Put yourself in the shoes of the insurer,” Howrigon said. “Why not just deny them all and see which ones come back on appeal? From a cost perspective, it makes sense.”

    Cigna knows that many patients will pay such bills rather than deal with the hassle of appealing a rejection, according to Howrigon and other former employees of the company. The PXDX list is focused on tests and treatments that typically cost a few hundred dollars each, said former Cigna employees.

    “Insurers are very good at knowing when they can deny a claim and patients will grumble but still write a check,” Howrigon said.

    Or, in other words, this is America and per our elite it is OK to steal on an industrial scale. Big theft is winning.

    1. Carolinian

      In very slight defense of Cigna and the others one can say that health insurance was more straightforward back in a time when medical pricing wasn’t so over the top. Undoubtedly some doctors and hospitals do over test for financial rather than medical reasons and the tests today cost a lot more than they once did or still do in other countries.

    2. Daniil Adamov

      That title gave me pause before I realised they weren’t talking about millions of people.

    3. notabanker

      Love it! Skip the trial, just convict the executives of fraud at the plea hearing and let’s see if they win on appeal!

  23. Robert Hahl

    Re, A large global sell-off last week was likely sparked by a single trade in Deutsche Bank’s credit-default swaps Business Insider

    Nonsense. We had our dead cat bounce, now it’s time to sell. With apologies to my feline friends. You know who you are.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        I wonder if you get a better bounce if you wait until rigor mortis sets in. Might be a real art to it.

  24. digi_owl

    EU allies query Estonia’s bumper refund from weapons to Ukraine Politico. “‘They are sending their scraps to Ukraine and buying brand new material for themselves, financed with EU money,’ a second EU diplomat said about Estonia.” The Estonians aren’t stupid!

    Outside of them using EU money, i think this is the process the MIC is betting on for this conflict. Old kit shipped of to be destroyed by the Russian Army, new kit being ordered in bulk as a replacement.

    Ukraine’s Humble Cardboard Drones Are a Master Class in Stealth Popular Mechanics

    So now cardboard is ingenious, while back in fall when cardboard tubes were noticed at a Russian MIC faire it was rapidly ridiculed.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Thanks for that.

      That was an absolute evisceration of the UN flak by the Chinese reporter.

      1. Stephen

        The UN guys comments about “military activity” not being some form of on the ground action felt straight out of Newspeak. Amazing.

        The so called democratic west needs Chinese reporters to ask the questions that its own corporate media simply ignore.

    2. skippy

      Besides the the Oz Dawn and Clark skit UN vs Reporter absurdity, I was then confronted when the height of hubris and hypocrisy with Biden banging on about – respect for peaceful democratic demonstration – in France after the 14 city crack down on Occupy with military grade force.

      One might be compelled to consider that he is trying to leverage Macron over playing footsie with anyone in the East et al.

  25. Wukchumni

    Winter Rains Bring Mushroom Boom in California Smithsonian
    We came across a number of Morels in burned over sections of the 2021 KNP Fire in Sequoia NP last year, and i’d read that the 2nd year after a fire is often the best harvest-but its all a no-go now, can’t get there from here~

    Our wildflower season has been muted by the constant storms, the old reliable in fields of gold populated by Fiddlenecks still shines, but everything else is on the shy side.

    1. Lexx

      Chantrelles in the fall are about as exotic as mushrooms get in flyover country*. I look forward to them eagerly, buy boxes of them, clean and roast them, and put them up in the freezer for a winter of risottos, omelets, and ragus. But the recipes I’ve been coming across lately are never seen here in markets fresh, just dried. Too fragile perhaps to ship.

      *I’ve been told by a woman up in Wyoming, who teaches dye classes (on fiber), that during wet falls there mushrooms could still be found aplenty. Since I last took a class from her, there’s been a long string of very dry falls. Maybe this will be a spring mushrooms can be found again.

    2. LilD

      We have lots of oaks and poison oak and got maybe 20 pounds of chanterelles under and around them.

      I can’t reliably identify any other edible mushrooms despite several Big Sur foraging lessons over the years, but chanterelles are easy.

      Bloom is over but Feb was risotto month in the D household

    1. hunkerdown

      That’s not a very interesting frame. What’s more interesting is the valorization of creativity (i.e. the status of having created something) as a pure virtue and the feelings-based entitlement to wasting labor power on the aesthetics some dead person told one to like.

      1. Mikel

        Do you think everything should look the same? Everyone should act the same?

        People can value what life brings to their inner experience. You ever had one of those?
        It’s not always about exalting industry and the entitlement some feel they have over other people’s labor or time – telling them the more “valuable’ way to spend their time that has to conform to ideology about productivity.

        And the point about creativity is so that one is not caught in the rut of being told to exalt what some dead person likes.

  26. anon in so cal

    >Robusta coffee

    Final nail in the coffin for birds and biodiversity? Robusta is “sun” coffee and typically involves thinning or completely removing the forest canopy, which is killer for endemic and migratory birds.

    Vietnam and Brazil are two deforestation hotspots where robusta is mass-produced for global markets.

    Even arabica can be harmful. Birding organizations such as American Bird Conservancy, Smithsonian, etc. implore consumers to only purchase “bird-friendly” coffee.

      1. JustAnotherVolunteer

        “ Café Mam (say “mom”) is grown by fair trade cooperatives of native Maya farmers living in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. It is 100% organic, fair trade certified, shade-grown, high altitude, arabica coffee. We roast your coffee to-order, and ship within one day of roasting, giving you the freshest roasted coffee possible online! And, all of our packaging is biodegradable. Not only will your coffee taste good; it will feel good too.”

        And it’s pretty good coffee.

        1. anon in so cal

          I’m not trying to be mean, but coffee from this purveyor (Café Mam) is not certified “bird friendly.”

          “Fair trade” and “organic” and “shade grown” do not necessarily translate to “bird friendly.”

          I myself did not realize this until I was provided a lengthy explanation from someone from the Smithsonian bird conservation center.

      2. anon in so cal

        Here is a list of “bird-friendly” coffee sites:

        We’ve been getting the “Songbird Tropical Blend” from Thanksgiving Coffee Company but there are many, many roasts, blends, and companies to choose from. We’ve also gotten it from Birds & Beans in Canada.

        There is a lot of coffee out there and, from what I’ve gleaned, only coffee that is certified “Bird Friendly” is truly bird friendly. “Fair trade” refers to how workers are treated and compensated. “Organic” refers to absence of pesticides. But neither of those adjectives guarantee that the coffee is truly “bird friendly.”

      3. anon in so cal

        I posted a link to the Smithsonian “bird friendly” online site and it will probably show up soon.

  27. Tom Stone

    The response to my remarks about my conversation with an evangelical Christian yesterday were interesting.
    I view every evangelical as a potential steward of the earth, having some knowledge (All you need is the sermon on the mount and James) of the Bible allows me to get past the fear of the other and have a productive conversation that might lead to positive action.
    The same with “Gun Humpers” I know and have known a lot of Union members, many of whom were gun owners and hunters.
    There are, at a minimum 50,000,000 gun owners in America, are they all beyond the pale?
    If we approach our neighbors with fear and contempt they will respond with fear and anger.
    Do you want these people inside the tent pissing out, or outside the tent pissing in?

    1. Mildred Montana

      Speaking as a Canadian, I don’t want them anywhere near my tent—inside or out.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>There are, at a minimum 50,000,000 gun owners in America, are they all beyond the pale?
        If we approach our neighbors with fear and contempt they will respond with fear and anger.
        Do you want these people inside the tent pissing out, or outside the tent pissing in?

        >>>Speaking as a Canadian, I don’t want them anywhere near my tent—inside or out.

        Speaking as an American, but why? This is something the establishment wants us all to do. Divide ourselves into separate warring nations for them to control and parasitize.

      2. Don

        As a Canadian, I was surprised to learn several years ago, that gun ownership, per capita, was higher here than in the US. This may have changed, but we are still a pretty rural and agrarian bunch. I think it would still be pretty hard to find a rural/small town Canadian without one or more long guns.

        1. ambrit

          Even now, some tools are better at dealing with dangerous large carnivores, or omnivores, than others.

    2. BigJilm

      Gun owners are one thing man, but religious zealots I don’t mess with. You are of course welcome to exchange bible verses or whatever with them.

  28. LilD


    When productivity goes up, society benefits because people are freed up to do other things, at work and at home.

    Keynes thought so too, but it looks like 1%-10% get a benefit and the rest become unemployed or homeless…

    1. Pat

      Keynes has an excuse, he was speaking at a different time. Gates knows that today the profits attributed to increased productivity only goes to those who have invested in the business and the people who run the business for them rather than the people whose productivity produced that result for the business. And he likes it that way. But then Gates has been a snake oil salesman his entire life.

      1. digi_owl

        I dunno. The guy may have been ruthless in his business practices, he did have an understanding of technology and how companies could make use of it.

        Likely why Microsoft put a huge effort into office LANs and similar that is still printing money for them to this day.

        1. The Rev Kev

          ‘he did have an understanding of technology and how companies could make use of it.’

          Not always. In the early days he saw no use for this new internet thingy and thought that it was just a fad. His engineers were literally screaming at him to pay attention to it but he thought he knew better. Finally at their insistence he went home and started using this internet thing and the following week he was a true believer and insisted that the internet be jammed into all of Microsoft programs. But Microsoft nearly missed the boat here.

          1. digi_owl

            What likely woke him up was Netscape trying to push web tech for office network use (intranet). Back when he published his infamous book, the WWW was barely getting started.

            And the net before that was basically email and FTP, something MS had a lock on via their Exchange server offering that had displaced Novell’s Netware.

            Thus he instead seemed to have focused on services like AOL, with MS having spun up its MSN competitor.

        2. Acacia

          I would say M$ is printing money not because they have some special understanding of technology, but mainly through vendor lock-in. Some would call vendor lock-in an anti-competitive business practice, but in any case Microsoft is an old hand at this game, and has been kneecapping the competition for a long time now.

          So, you want to use different office desktop apps and stop paying a f*ckton of money to Gates? That’s fine, except you will find you can’t interoperate with other companies/bureaucracies, because they are mostly using MS-Office and the file formats are all an arcane mess of XML, not XML, weird UUIDs, etc. You try to open that spreadsheet from XYZ Inc with LibreOffice, and it kinda sorta almost works, but not quite. Gates “understands” that your company can’t afford to spend a lot of time futzing around with every document that only kinda-sorta opens correctly, and that your company will, in the end, fork over money for his software.

          Another example: you want to run a third-party email app like Thunderbird? That’s fine until your IT Dept. decides they will save time/money by outsourcing email to Microsoft, running an Exchange Server in the cloud somewhere. Thunderbird works fine… for a while… until Microsoft changes something on their end and then every third-party email client in the world can no longer talk to an Exchange Server without going through some complicated Microsoft-y ‘authentication’ dance, involving adding a M$ app on your cellphone, the upshot of which is: you are pushed into using Outlook if you want to communicate with your colleagues.

          Once again, Gates “understands” not the tech but simply that you will cave and suck up the vendor lock-in, because if you blow off email from your colleagues for very long, you’ll prolly get fired.

        3. Glen

          I’ve been using Linux as my desktop since 1997, and I can tell you from first hand experience that about half or maybe more of the desktop improvements that eventually showed up in Windows were being used in a Linux desktop YEARS before that. And Linux is open source, so M$ was perfectly within their rights to see the code and duplicate it with slight differences.

          M$ is extremely good at taking some other code, file format, etc, and tweaking it so that it will only work properly with their products or operating system. Gates has been doing stuff like this from DAY ONE:

          Was Microsoft’s Empire Built on Stolen Code? We May Never Know

          Plus the networking/routing/filtering capabilities in Linux far exceeded Windows from very early on which is why almost all the lower cost network devices such as the router in your house is most likely running Linux under the hood, why Linux is the backbone of the internet, and why Linux is under the hood on all Android phones.

    2. tevhatch

      When productivity goes up, society benefits because people are freed up to do other things, at work and at home. like join the military and expand the Empire, unemployment and homlessness being perfect tools for breeding a disrespect for life, of others or of oneself.

      Some of that excess labour of the UK was sent to secure markets for the excess production, the rest took part in settler colonialism for much the same effect.

  29. marku52

    WHO: “Covid is NOT Airborne”

    My Neighbor: “They are trying to kill us, aren’t they?”

    True conversation.But he was referring more to vaccines and making early treatment unavailable and censored.

  30. hemeantwell

    Re the University of Michigan graduate employees strike, a labor solidarity note: GEO went out on a union recognition strike in February 1975. The strike was holding up well against a university negotiating team headed by moonlighting suited thugs whose day jobs including bargaining for Caterpillar against the UAW. After a month out the Teamsters, impressed by GEO’s resilience, started observing our picket lines. The university folded in three days.

  31. Karl

    RE: Galbraith–SVB’s Failure is the Fed’s Fault

    I’m not particularly convinced. I think calculated malfeasance to get the Systemic Risk exception should not be ruled out. After all, SVB took actions (removing interest rate hedges, ignoring SF Fed warnings, no CRO in the last three quarters of 2022) that look like a deliberate demolition job t get the Fed to panic.

    Galbraith points out that SVB lost $42 billion in withdrawn deposits just days before the collapse. Because extreme wealth in times of crisis creates huge risk, is this an argument for capital controls or some sort of “circuit breaker” to limit runs, or even massive transfers? Galbraith says this:

    If they [central banks] don’t follow suit [raise interest rates to defend their currencies to match Fed raises] —and perhaps even if they do—hot money will flow massively out of European and other foreign banks, notably Japan, and out of commodities, such as oil and copper. The money will flow into the United States. Into the money market funds and the biggest banks.

    It seems that concentrated wealth increases volatility and risk for everyone else (as I believe Yves has pointed out). It seems like we need to start thinking of capital controls to reduce this volatility. E.g. “If you’re deposit exceeds ‘$X’ you can only withdraw 1% in a week. If you need more for legitimate business purposes, you can borrow with your deposit as collateral.” This actually protects wealth holders by giving banks time to work things out and preventing “the first one to the exits wins” panic. It also puts wealthy depositors on notice to think longer term about where they put their money (reducing moral hazard).

  32. Wukchumni

    Have you seen his fate
    He keeps doing buybacks on stock
    And this activity it surely won’t stop
    To help the escalating flight
    But greed is a green light
    He’s a tease like a financial social disease
    But he’s still so close to being a leech
    If I recall, if I recall at all
    Any time at all
    Any time at all
    Any time at all
    Any time at all

    So the story goes
    I think he’ll take the market for a ride
    With this moneybag by his side
    A buyback is the only way to go
    And why even show his face
    And he can’t even fake a smile
    But he’s laughing inside all the while
    This little plutocrat
    He’s a joke
    He’s a joke
    He’s a joke
    Any time at all
    Any time at all
    Any time at all
    Any time at all

    He’s a whore, (He’d do anything for money)
    He’s a whore, (Look at the things he underwrites)
    He’s a whore, (Ooo, the stories I can tell)
    He’s a whore, (In the morning, in the night)
    He’s a whore, (He’ll do anything for money)
    He’s a whore, (Look at the look of urgency that he has)
    He’s a whore, (He’ll do anything for money)
    He’s a whore

    And so the story goes
    I think he’ll take his stock options for a ride
    With this moneybag by his side
    A buyback is the only way to go

    He’s a Whore, by Cheap Trick

  33. Willow

    US has lost its manufacturing dominance to China which is why USD will be replaced by CNY quicker than people think. CNY strength as a global currency lies in the ability to swap it for a huge range of Chinese manufactured goods. Holding USD was important for both trade and financing. Now its only for cheaper financing which is becoming less attractive due to appropriation risk.

Comments are closed.