Links 3/6/2023

New analysis of ancient human protein could unlock secrets of evolution Guardian

Vikings fashion: they filed their teeth, had female warriors and loved bling ZME Science

The Day Explorers Finally Found One of the World’s Great Lost Shipwrecks Literary Hub

Commercial real estate continues to get pummeled The Real Deal


‘The ship has reached the shore’: The planet finally has a treaty to protect life in the high seas Down to Earth

Many Antarctic glaciers are hemorrhaging ice. This one is healing its cracks Science News

Worried about Sea Level Rise? Look for the Lichens Hakai Magazine

Why North Dakota is preparing to sue Minnesota over clean energy Grist

The Climate Case for Rationing The New Republic

Norfolk Southern Chemical Bomb

Leaked audio reveals US rail workers were told to skip inspections as Ohio crash prompts scrutiny to industry Guardian

Michigan stopped Ohio toxic waste last week, but we import waste every day Bridge Michigan

20-cars of Norfolk Southern train derail in Springfield; Ohio and federal officials investigating

The Case for Nationalizing the Railroads In These Times


SARS-CoV-2 Can Integrate Into the Genome, Cause Positive Tests labroots

California Nurses Association condemns state decision to lift mask, vaccine requirements in health care settings National Nurses United


US military commander in Syria briefed on anti-IS operations Military Times

Recent ISIS attacks in Syrian desert carried out with US support: Source The Cradle

US, Saudi Arabia to conduct first counter-drone exercise without allies Al-Monitor

Old Blighty

The UK Continues Its Decline Ian Welsh

The Koreas

US, South Korea announce largest field exercises in five years AP

South Korea offers plan to resolve wartime labor dispute with Japan Nikkei


India’s Russian oil imports hit record high in February; now more than Iraq, Saudi put together The Hindu


One Year After Russia Mega Sanctions, Senate Asks ‘Can We Do Same To China?’ Forbes

To Prepare for a Pacific Island Fight, Marines Hide and Attack in California NYT

China increases military spending in face of ‘escalating’ threats Dawn

Pentagon Sees Giant Cargo Cranes as Possible Chinese Spying Tools

WHO expert ‘frustrated’ over US unwillingness to share info on COVID origins tracing Global Times

China’s ‘two sessions’ 2023: Premier Li Keqiang bows out with appeal for economic recovery SCMP

European Disunion

French Strikes Over Pension Reform Hit Power Utility, Trucking Bloomberg

New Not-So-Cold War

Bakhmut, Strategic Or Not, Is Falling Moon of Alabama

Ukraine: A war to end all wars in Europe Indian Punchline



Why the Russia Sanctions Are Missing the Mark Project Syndicate


German party rejects punishment for ex-leader’s Russia links AP


Germany warned of power cuts RT

German government plans extensive LNG infrastructure build-up to ensure security of European supply Clean Energy Wire

French general accuses the West of hiding the truth about Nord Stream gas pipelines Reseau International

Major US Outlets Found Hersh’s Nord Stream Scoop Too Hot to Handle FAIR

70 years after Stalin’s death: How Western propaganda has rebranded the Soviet dictator from villain to hero, and back again RT (Robin K)

92 Flights From Israeli Base Reveal Arms Exports to Azerbaijan Haaretz

Azerbaijan: Soldiers killed, wounded in clash near Karabakh TRT World

Turkey, UAE ink free trade deal in latest thaw Al-Monitor

Top U.S. Treasury official to warn UAE, Turkey over sanctions evasion Reuters. From January.

South of the Border

Political Repression Under Peruvian Coup Regime Black Agenda Report

Brazil Approves GMO Wheat Ag Web

As Kenya’s crops fail, a fight over GMO rages Wired

Biden Administration

If Biden Really Wants to End Homelessness, He Needs to Support Public Housing Jacobin

Garland insists charges against Hunter Biden can be brought outside of Delaware Washington Examiner


CPAC 2023: Trump wins straw poll, DeSantis loses support Washington Examiner

Democrats en déshabillé

Transportation post has become political nightmare for Buttigieg The Hill. Poor Pete.


Cancer-Free Medicare Recipients Received Fentanyl Indicated for Cancer Pain MedPage Today

After People on Medicaid Die, Some States Aggressively Seek Repayment From Their Estates KHN. No kidding?

Police State Watch

Special counsel urges sheriff to ban the ‘cancer’ of deputy gangs Los Angeles Times

Imperial Collapse Watch

Does Technology Win Wars? Foreign Affairs

Supply Chain

US steel shortage grows, End to EU Green Steel subsidies Steel News

Our Famously Free Press

How fake copyright complaints are muzzling journalists BBC

Class Warfare

High interest rates, car prices lead to record loans, debt The Car Connection

Powell to talk to Congress about the possibility of more interest-rate hikes, not fewer MarketWatch

No-Strike Clauses: Tips for First-Contract Bargainers Portside

Fain leads, but ballot questions delay decision in UAW presidential election Detroit Free Press


Solving the Moderator’s Trilemma with Federation Pluralistic

Who’s Cleaning Twitter? Tech Workers Coalition


Can A.I. Treat Mental Illness? The New Yorker

The Bezzle

Torching Retail Doomberg

Uh oh! The crypto collapse has reached the real financial system The Verge

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Linda Elkins

    I agree, however it is well worth remembering that Ronald Reagan brought us this mess with the “Supply Side” economics BS. With that ideology we have been brainwashed into thinking that big business and shareholders are all that matters and they’ll always do the right thing if they get obscenely wealthy at the detriment of the rest of us and somehow a wee little bit will even “trickle down’ to the masses. Well, the only thing that has trickled down is sickness and despair. Thanks Ronnie and all the rest of you jackass Republicans who have shoved that BS down our throat for 40 plus years. It’s time we the people took back our nation!!!!

    1. Quentin

      Oh, I see, thanks for clearing the whole ‘deplorable’ situation up for me. With a deep sigh of relief I can finally rest assured that no jackass Democrats, starting at least as early as Bill Clinton and his Hillary, played a significant part in propagating the supply side ‘BS shoved down our throat for 40 plus years.’ To take some literary liberty, ‘A turd by any other name would smell as rancid.’ I am so happy the US media is dominated by so few corporate outlets, just to mention one of the Clinton’s major achievements. Or was that NAFTA?

      1. spud


        thank you. reagan was a jerk and a bad president. but he was not the one who cemented neo-liberalism in america, that was done by bill clinton. almost all problems that were plaguing america at the time, he made them far worse, and created many many more problems for america.

        brad delong bills economic advisor even stated it so. and it was posted right here on NC by bill black.

        reagan was a piker compared to bill clinton.

    2. wol

      My ‘Greatest Generation’ parents who held important positions in state Democratic administrations drew the line at McGovern and voted for Nixon and Reagan. Certainly a mixed legacy.

      1. LifelongLib

        The Democratic Party was fracturing even earlier. I recall my mom saying that the (then much more influential) New Republic’s failure to endorse Humphrey cost him the election in 1968. AFAIK my parents voted for Humphrey and McGovern — they always said they would never vote Republican for a national office. My dad did vote for Henry Wallace in 1948.

    3. Robert Hahl

      Our immediate problem is the two war party system. If an economy runs mainly on military spending, high-income housing, and policing, nothing much else can improve.

      1. Wukchumni

        Those 3 industries have no fear of a foreign competitor, thats what we’re down to in terms of being competitive on the world stage, sad.

      2. Janie

        I like “two war party system”. Now, it’s the two war-party system, within 2 years it will be the two-war party system, thus becoming the two-war war-party system.

        1. jefemt

          I’m going to grab my Strunk and White “Elements of Style” and try to parse this.
          Seems like we are acknowledging two ‘different’ parties that essentially are on both sides of the same MOAR WAR coin, and that we are already… not in the future, fighting at least two wars, simultaneously-through proxies, advisors, and most importantly, arm sales unpaid for by deeper US debt, but credited to the balance sheets of the M I C.
          Lotta college tuitions, 2nd – 5th homes, and Yachts at stake!

    4. chris

      “And now, a word from our sponsor, the Friends of the Clinton Administration…”

      Our neoliberal era is responsible for this and other messes. And that started with Carter. St. Ronnie certainly accelerated things but to throw around accusations like ‘jackals republicans’ means ignoring an awful lot of damage caused not just by firmly Democratic administrations between 1980 and today, but all the damage from Democrat aligned state governments too. This isn’t both sides as a distraction. This has been a concerted effort by all people at nearly all levels of power to either destroy our country or shrug their shoulders while everything around them burns down.

      1. Robert Hahl

        I heard that it was Brzezinski who picked Carter, not the other way around. Gerald Ford was weak, and the neo’s saw their opportunity to pluck someone from obscurity and make him President. We have had a lot of them that way – Truman, Carter, Obama; if it wasn’t Carter, it would have been some other shlub.

    5. skippy

      All of this neoliberal finger pointing at political operatives or parties completely over looks the history behind MPS/Lippmann Inc being picked up by elites in a quasi religious manner in bringing the – Good Word – to the wayward unwashed seeking alternative social constructs e.g. anti Natural[tm] Order of things …

      The ball was rolling long before Carter or Reagan as elites imported all these ideological proselytizers from Europe, was turning pink at the time, and set them up with Academic perches to both buff the the rank ideology and indoctrinate future generations. This was expanded on by the establishment of think tanks and social out reach groups like FEE and IPA etc.

      So the idea that some electoid is responsible for neoliberalism and all its social ills is missing the point … it was an elite funded agenda from day one to shape society in a manner that pleased them … arguing about political operatives or parties deflects criticism and responsibility away from those responsible.

      1. skippy

        That went over well with the crowd that prefers to focus on individuals and not the framework …. ugh … we all live in a shared frame work and how some game it is the issue … not Trump, Biden, Oligarch at home or abroad, its all about he framework and how that relates to perception of self and everything else … barf~~~~~~~~~

      2. Acacia

        Agree. The rot is much deeper than Reagan or Carter. Wendy Brown has an interesting account of this in Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution.

  2. GramSci

    Re: Forbes on China sanctions

    Good to see at least a semi- mainstream source ‘fess up to US agency for the Nordstream sabotage:

    «Interestingly, Singh also said, “Sanctions downgraded Russia’s position as a leading energy supplier. By shutting down its prized Nordstream 2 pipeline and banning imports of Russian crude oil and other fuel sources, we have undercut Putin’s revenues.”»

    1. Dftbs

      Can we sanction China?! Ha, it seems we’ve stepped right into the collapse of the Aztec territory. Are the Gods pleased by the last hundred decapitations? Doesn’t seem so as Russia’s economy is chugging along and bread is over $5 dollars a loaf across the kingdom. Maybe the next hundred rolling heads will please the gods. Let’s sanction China! Everything interesting in Washington from Hunter Biden’s laptop to Quanon Shaman’s headdress was probably made in China. I guess we’ll see if these sanctions please the gods.

    2. ChrisFromGA

      Someone’s confused about the difference between distribution/supply lines and production.

      Russia can re-route production of oil and gas to other regions, namely China and India. It will remain a huge supplier, but the recipients will just be different countries.

      More hopium-sniffing madness out of Forbes.

    3. Wukchumni

      England had a major problem when France fell in that their source for wristwatches and precision instruments in Switzerland was now landlocked…

      We get damn near everything from China, imagine the rapture on the shelves @ Wal*Mart & Target after they cut us off?

  3. griffen

    Pity poor Pete. Mayor Pete can’t catch a break, and Republicans are mean and scared for their political lives at the mere thought of Pete having even more star power, say for example, 2028 as a sitting President in the oval office. Vomit inducing.

    Okay, now pull the other one I beg you. Pete is not up to the tasks for which has been assigned. Either it is the bad news from East Palestine, or the bad almost really near misses in varied airport situations (this morning, CNBC was discussing the FAA and a reported near miss at the Austin, Texas airport).

    1. The Rev Kev

      Never feel sorry for this jerk. The Democrats left him in a parking orbit at Transportation as it was probably considered safe. Maybe in times past but because of corporate cost-cutting and corner-cutting, all these chickens are coming home to roost at the ports, the airlines and the trains. A smart man with a pair might have stepped up and pushed for reform to fix some of those problems and establish a reputation as a trouble-shooter which is what America needs but hey, it’s Pete we are talking about here.

      1. Wukchumni

        My French friends told me Antony Blinken speaks French like a native and of course much was made initially of Mayor Pete being a polyglot, and in mono-America where our tortured form of english is as good as it gets for most WASP’s, we are easily impressed by multi-lingual sorts, as appears to be the case in why a couple of fellows were able to go so far with so little ability.

        1. JohnA

          His attempt at Norwegian was cringeworthy. Not sure how much Norwegian Mondale could speak, but Jens Stoltenberg’s father, also a politician, once said that whenever Norway needed to take an international position, they called VP Walter, whom they considered one of their own, to tell them what to say/do, back in the day. Sounds a familiar story with Jens and his NATO dg parroting.
          Here’s the story in part about Stoltenberg senior, a defence and foreign minister.

        2. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, W.

          The fact that Blinken speaks French gives his PMC fans an orgasm.

          When that is mentioned in my company, I add that, on my way from the Arc de Triomphe, near where I used to work and stay, to Longchamp racecourse, a destination I am sure you approve of, I go past the former homes of Blinken (and his Pisar stepfather) and their friends the Maxwell family (to whom Pisar was lawyer) and Epstein.

          1. Wukchumni

            Hear, here Colonel…

            The rot we’ve wrought, the driving force for flushing us down the drain, oh well-the sport of kings will endure.

            I drove by Santa Anita the other day on the freeway, and the San Gabriel range backdrop could have filled in for the Alps, so snowy.

            I’ll have to make it to the races~

            1. Colonel Smithers

              Thank you, W.

              That would have been an amazing sight.

              The official flat season is a few weeks away, but the climax to the jumping season, Cheltenham, is next week.

              I hope you enjoy the season.

              Please let me know when you visit Blighty or la belle France.

            2. Nikkikat

              That view of the mountains is awesome. Santa Anita is as well. There have been numerous famous thoroughbreds that loved that view from the track so much that they were always brought out early for their exercise so they could stand there and gaze at the mountains for a few minutes. The Great John Henry was allowed to stand there and look at the view and usually insisted on a half an hour. His trainer said if that makes him happy we’ve got all the time in the world.

                  1. anon in so cal

                    Santa Anita is too sad….

                    6 horses have perished so far this year at Santa Anita…reaching half the total for 2022 in just the first six weeks of this year.

                    Of the six horses that have died this year, four were from bone injuries…

                    The 12 deaths reported in 2022 were well below a typical year at the track.

                    Between 1995 and 2018, Santa Anita averaged 50 horse deaths per year.

          2. BillS

            A curse on Blinken and all the other cretins and poltroons who believe themselves worthy of Rule. Old Willy Shakes could really deliver a fine insult when he wanted and it suits my mood today!

            “A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a
            base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited,
            hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a
            lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson,
            glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue;
            one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a
            bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but
            the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar,
            and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I
            will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest
            the least syllable of thy addition.”
            Act 2, Scene 2, King Lear, W. Shakespeare

            1. flora

              Yes, indeed. An aside: I think Blinken’s crowd may be working for a different “government” in their dreams. Something to do with international private finance. This is just my opinion of course.

              Here’s an interesting movie about the history of the City of London, the so-called Treasure Islands, the tax haven trusts, and the UK and US govts’ roles in creating and maintaining them. Midway through, Michael Hudson makes several interesting comments about the 1960’s and Chase Bank. utube. 1+ hr.

              The Spider’s Web


              1. Albert Hoffman

                The city of London…the square…succeeds in mitigating it’s perceived influence in the chain of greed….

                ..the USA is still a colony…

        3. Questa Nota

          Blinken and Kerry can order easily at their favorite Left Bank or Georgetown haunts, and even compare notes on which one was the biggest escargot waste of space.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Actually, they offered him the VA, and he threw a tantrum because he didn’t see it as a new opportunity to recruit super delegates.

        1. upstater

          Mayo Pete served in a war zone. He was even outside of the blast walls, once.

          Too bad Hunter got kicked out of the Naval Reserves program for coke, unlike Pete. Hunter could have handled DOT in his stupor sleep because of his experience on Amtrak’s board of directors.

      3. Janie

        A fair number of Washingtonians have Ukrainian ancestry, like Blinken, Nuland, Kagan. Both houses of Congress had Ukrainian caucuses well before this war began. Currently the House caucus has 91 members and the Senate, 15, per Wikipedia.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Grazie mille and well said, Michael.

        McKinsey and Goldman should be disturbed, if not embarrassed, as to how, to me a hardline Catholic, the apostate Buttigieg and Sunak are exposing them.

        Buttigieg studied at Oxford and, there, decided to become an Episcopalian. He must have missed the monument to what good queen Mary did to apostates and whence the Oxford movement arose.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I figure he saw the efforts of the religious right and recognized he needed to do something for his political career.

          “I get that one of the things about Scripture is different people see different things in it,” he said. “But, at the very least we should be able to establish that God does not have a political party.” (I think Peter Griffin said this on Family Guy)

          In another article, Mayo Pete was inspired by the solemnity and contemplation of the services. And then he decries the Democrats not talking about the language of faith on the campaign trail (hardly an original idea, but like John Kerry with his Manny Ortez line, don’t fake it). Pete when he does talk about “faith” and his religious experiences he mentions a “spiritual awakening” with no particulars despite the position of Saul of Tarsus in the faith he professes and his trying to learn about the bible in different languages which he “confessed” didn’t go well. He found a way to talk about scripture without talking about it.

          He even decried rock music in services. I found his conversion to Anglicanism to be particularly amusing as officially services people understand is a main point for cutting off from the RCC. Instead he’s banking on “catholic-lite” and stories about learning languages (something he does know a bit about) to protect him from avoiding questions.

          His “language” of faith is word salad at best, but he has that story about learning languages so he doesn’t need to use actual religious imagery. In an age, where there is less scripture literacy (a great thing), people don’t use allusions as much as well they aren’t as relevant. And with his focus on the word salad and quiet contemplation, he can avoid any messy stuff like Abraham killing his kid because Dog told him to.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, NTG.

            I’m an easy going Catholic socialist, but find the Maltese chicken farmer amusing.

            1. ambrit

              “…the Maltese chicken farmer…”
              Ouch! Those wouldn’t be “nasty chickens” by any chance?
              In line with the “Official Narrative,” I point to Mr. Gutman’s remark near the end of the film, (The Maltese Falcon,) that: “… yes, it’s the Russian’s hand, there’s no doubt about it.”
              Now, “Mayo” Pete begins to make sense. Just compare him to Peter Lorre in “The Maltese Falcon.” If Poor Pete is Joel Cairo, then who is his Kaspar Gutman?
              “Maltese Falcon” clip:
              It is so wonderfully appropriate on many levels.

          2. skippy

            In my small paddock in OZ my French ex pat Catholic family friends burning topic is getting Priests the rights to marry, so it will fix the image problem, which will then fix the number/s problem.

            Not much about education of what resides in the book IMO …

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Even then, they are taking positions. Pete’s position is how great he is because he says things like “god is really big” and that he’s brave for saying that unlike those godless democrats!

              Don’t ask Pete to have position, he’s an episcopalian and likes to go to church nearly every sunday, the most ever asked by any christian.

              1. skippy

                I get what your saying NTG and don’t disagree with it, albeit, the flexian commodity will always hedge the – social market – because that is what has become. I don’t think even Bernays would want a thing to do with his sort [not on the party list] or how his baby grew into this stage of multifaceted social bingo night in and endless loop.

                As far as the religious aspect goes I’ve seen it all and finding those that actually study and apply it are like pro golfers. Out of the multi-millions that play only about 10% are any good with consistency, out of that about 10% could have a chance at placing in a tournament, out of that about 6% could win, out of that less than 1% can make a living out of it without support.

                I would note my comment above thread about focusing on individuals when confronted by a social ideology that sets the frame work for everything else. Fighting the product of this ideology allows it breathing room because people focus on the individual product and not the owners of its manufacture e.g. bad product and not bad social Mfg construct.

                Cheers mate …

      2. chris

        Gods that really is true, isn’t it? It’s like they 3D printed what a bunch of illuminati like patricians’ concept was of a young person running for office should be and what kind of acceptable views they should have.

        Mayo Pete is all cheap plastic and no soul.

        The one thing I’m looking forward to if we have to suffer through his participation in the next campaign cycle is how we’ll get to watch him abuse everyone around him in increasingly bizarre ways. His treatment of his husband was so bad during the last campaign it made me think his being had was purely an act to put him in with the right people for higher office.

        1. griffen

          “…cheap plastic and no soul” Now I’m left to recall a highly excellent tune by Radiohead.

          Fake Plastic Trees.

        2. Publius Flavius

          the first attempt at vote fraud via digital manipulation in Iowa was comedy gold….

 it Mayo is its Burnee?

          We don’t know flush it down the memory hole.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Can A.I. Treat Mental Illness?”

    Well frankly, a lot. The article mentions that ‘a Stanford psychiatrist named Kenneth Colby created Parry, a program that attempted to simulate the language of a person with paranoid schizophrenia, to train students before they cared for real patients.’ Now suppose that some profit-seeking, corner-cutting corporations decided to build mental health AIs right across the board due to the potential profit, one of which is for paranoid-schizophrenics. I happen to know a paranoid-schizophrenic and he spends the day wandering the house and talking to voices from the reaches of his mind. I can just imagine what would happen if he was given an AI. Instead of leading them to health it would help reinforce that poor kids delusions and feed back on itself. It would be disastrous for people like that. So when the author says ‘And what do we stand to gain, or lose, in letting them try?’ I say ‘Seriously?’ And yet the author – Dhruv Khullar- is a ‘practicing physician and an assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.’

    1. upstater

      First do no harm. Isn’t that so quaint?

      As a parent, the only progress to be had for my son is with human connections: family, professionals, mentors, friends, etc. Given the hideously broken system of psychiatric care, I have no doubt that between the potential license fees and “cost savings”, we’ll soon have “caring” people such as Eric Adams and Gavin Newscum handing out devices to the people they sweep off the streets devices to provide “care”. So much cheaper and it’ll be “proven” to work. What’s not to like about that for neoliberals and conservatives alike?

      1. chris

        We’re currently dealing with the opposite side of this. People in our family who were incorrectly diagnosed as having issues like paranoid schizophrenia so that the state agencies would not be required to do much. Decades later we’re trying to get help that should have been provided a long time ago :(

  5. Wukchumni

    I’ve oft wondered how it must feel to a Floridian with the knowledge that a Cat 4 or 5 hurricane 4 days out is approaching and you’ve got time to get the heck outta dodge and maybe nail plyboard across windows and take keepsakes with you as you drive off to a hopefully safer place, how surreal.

    We’re 4 days out from a catastrophe and will be one of many foothill towns in the Sierra Nevada sharing the same fate, some with burn scars above from recent fires-others more fortunate in that regard.

    A warm atmospheric river with 60/55 temps here, translates to a rain on snow event up to around 8K, where there is 5 to 12 feet of snow on the ground from 4,500 to 8,000 feet, which will result in perhaps 15 inches flooding tiny town.

    We had a 1 day storm about a decade ago which dumped 7 inches of rain, and another angry inch would’ve meant a lot of property damage, imagine double that amount?

    1. GramSci

      Yikes, Wuk! My snow cover forecast has ‘Dodge’ going from 160 to 48 inches between Tuesday and Wednesday. I hope it’s wrong!

    2. griffen

      To quote every living or dead head coach…failing to prepare is preparing to fail, or some such statement. Here on the east coast, the cue is always when the Home Depots of the world are quickly running out of plywood and generators. One would think boarding up windows for the predicted onslaught would be, possibly, a normal emergency procedure and the plywood used before remains in a dry storage location. But I digress. When I lived during the college summers in Dare County, NC, they had an effective procedure for hurricane evacuations. Get Out, Vacation Over.

      That is an awful lot of possible precipitation. Not really enough time to build the ark and load the animals up, marching them in 2 x 2 ?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Funny that you should mention the use of plywood to help protect a home. Whenever I see footage of people preparing for oncoming storms in the US, it always include them boarding up their windows with plywood and nails. I wonder sometimes why it is not a requirement to have storm shutters for each new house. It is not exactly high tech and people used them widely in earlier times. I would even suggest that windows may have shrunk over the decades with the general adoption of air-conditioning so they would be relatively smaller and cheaper.

        1. t

          A lot of the plywood is storm shutters. The plywood goes on with clips. everything is stored and used year after year.

          People also use them for rural buildings that are infrequently or seasonally used and cabins. Good protection from weather and critters.

          They are not good protection from vandals and explorers who have thumbs.

          Just a the more you know point.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Interesting that. When you put in the term ‘storm shutters’ in a Google Images search, lots of interesting solutions come back. At least with permanent ones you would do away with the sheer waste of plywood with each and every storm

        2. Gregorio

          Having lived in an area affected by hurricanes for the last 30 years, it’s more cost effective in the long run to just use impact glass in new construction rather than spending money on hurricane shutters or plywood. We just have single pane tempered glass in our home and it’s been through at least 10 hurricanes and survived winds of over 150 mph, with zero glass breakage. Impact glass is even tougher because it consists of two layers of tempered glass with a plastic membrane between them.

      2. Wukchumni

        I e-mailed Ark Depot requesting next day delivery and all they have now are fully fitted out models that are really spendy with frankly overdone pens for the 26 pair minimum included in the package on the 53 foot long flat bottomed 2023 by Driftwood Industries of Elkhart, In.

        When I attempted to negotiate a better deal, they simply said:

        Take it or flee it!

        1. chris

          If you have some time, there are decent inflatable barrier options for residential flood protection. Like this one, or this one. There’s been a lot of activity in this product space over the last 10 years.

          I hope you and yours get out OK with minimal damage!

        2. griffen

          This was circa April to May 2015, but at the time I was living in the Dallas metro region and the daily inundation of water was setting records. We kept joking at the office about rowing a boat and sorting out the animals…

          It was rather interesting as well, that a recently renovated golf course down the way from the above office was so besieged that the entire course was a water hazard. My recall is that the Trinity River was unleashing havoc lower downstream.

      3. Questa Nota

        Just-in-time deliveries, bothered somewhat by the odd train derailment.
        Modern inventory management, where your patience is on that back shelf.

    3. GiGi

      I’ve had some experience with incoming hurricanes. If you delay leaving until you know for sure it’s heading your way, the roads will be giant traffic jams and you will likely not be able to get out.
      I’ve also had some experience with floods. If you have two stories, put everything upstairs. Downstairs will be filthy and dank and there will likely be no power or running water to begin cleanup for quite some time.

      1. Wukchumni

        Great tips, although I think we’re ok aside from a leach field that is crying uncle from so much rain. We’re far enough above the river that it isn’t a concern, but for about half the town it most certainly is.

  6. Gremlin

    In the Forbes’ article concerning possible sanctions to China, we see yet again an example of involuntary admission by US government authorities of their role in getting rid of Nordstream 2. See the following paragraph:

    Interestingly, Singh also said, “Sanctions downgraded Russia’s position as a leading energy supplier. By shutting down its prized Nordstream 2 pipeline and banning imports of Russian crude oil and other fuel sources, we have undercut Putin’s revenues.” He also said the squeeze on Russian fossil fuels means “we are speeding our transition to renewables” as if this is the real reason for some of these policies, especially in Europe.

    It seems they cannot avoid it.

    1. Questa Nota

      Sanctions from the crop in DC come across like petulance, tantrums, acting out and other dysfunctional displays.

      While sanctions can be effective, when well conceived. That usually doesn’t involve posturing, short-term thinking, poll watching or horse-trading, even outside the bubble across that hallowed aisle.

      The practitioners could use more practice, starting with some education about history and economics.

    2. LifelongLib

      In fairness, “shutting down” could just mean something like “closing the valves at our end”. I suppose that having most of the pipelines destroyed reduces the chance that anyone will press for them being re-opened, but isn’t one (Nordstream 1?) still intact?

      1. fjallstrom

        Nordstream 1 and 2 consists each of two pipes, A and B.

        As I understand it, Nordstream 2, pipe B wasn’t hit while Nordstream 2, pipe A was hit at two different locations.

  7. zagonostra


    Russia is hardly a victim here. Vladimir Putin seems comfortable abetting a new cold war, and his unjustified attack against Ukraine has offered the U.S. and NATO a golden ticket to ratchet up militarism,

    They just can’t help themselves. Even when decrying “group think” they engage in “group think.” At least they didn’t say “unprovoked” this time, they slightly altered it to “unjustified.”

    Why doesn’t the Intercept do real journalism, like looking at who Zelensky’s dad is. I only recently read about the relationship between Igor Kolomoisky and Zenlensky’s banker dad. I sure would like to know more…gotta keep the money in the family I guess.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Group think is the original sin of the neoconservative cabal. It goes back to its founding bull sessions hosted by Leo Strauss as World War II was ending. GT makes it difficult for the potential downsides of actions being planned to be taken into consideration. Hence such cluster-family blogs as the disbanding of the Iraqi Army in 2003 launching ISIS, and sanctions imposed on Russia in 2022 backfiring on the European countries supporting them. The only thing the neoconservatives excel at is bureaucratic infighting.

    2. anon in so cal

      Intercept still owned by Pierre Omidyar? He helped fund the US’ 2014 Ukraine coup.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      And what happened to Jeremy Scahill? The man didn’t used to pull his punches like this. Barely heard from him since he joined the Intercept and when he does put something in writing, it;s anodyne stuff like this.

  8. griffen

    Higher new car prices, and higher levels to pay for the new car smell in long term loans. 84 months worth of that new car smell! At some point a hanging pine tree may help in retaining the aroma.

    Best times ever in the US of A !! Your new monthly payment is clocking in at roughly $717 compared to $659 the prior year (Q4 2022 vs Q4 2021, for comparative purposes). That’s a large amount to meet every time for on average the next 70 months. Going long with the repo men on this trade.

    Sample thought. If a new owner finances their purchase for 84 months, payments starting in April 2023 the installment amounts reach into the early months of 2030. All that for the pride in ownership of vehicular transport that is declining in value.

    1. Louis Fyne

      the new car market has totally detached from the every day economy.

      Maybe 60 years ago new car buyers overlapped with the general public, not anymore. The skew of the sales is towards the higher-end trims of the higher-priced cars/SUVs.

      Spare a thought and a small violin for anyone trying to buy a >$70,000 SUV/pick-up truck. Near zero inventory in most metro areas.

      This also has big implications for the used car market 5 to 10 years on—-as by definition used car buyers can only buy what new car buyers trade in.

      A reasonably-priced, quality mid-sized sedan is very difficult to find right now, will get even worse in the upcoming years.

      1. cnchal

        > trying to buy a >$70,000 SUV/pick-up truck. Near zero inventory in most metro areas.

        There are lots of those and exactly none of them are worth buying used when they hit the used lot.

        As for sedans, yes there is a shortage and then there is Buick, but still exactly none worth buying when they hit the used lot.

        What is worth buying? Almost anything made before 2007. I will take my car with proper instruments and simple controls. A TV screen for a dashboard and infotainment systems are road hazards. Lately, it seems that I have to share the road with drunks and stoners, it’s that bad. The newer the car the worse it is.

  9. upstater

    re. The Case for Nationalizing the Railroads In These Times

    This provides a good industry history and mentions PSR. I quibble that she doesn’t mention that Conrail was an effectively nationalized railroad. In it’s 1976 creation was the largest system in the US. Deindustrialization and financialization killed the railroads operating in the northeast. The federal government abandoned half the trackage and invested many billions to rebuild the system. It was sold off in an IPO in the mid 80s then split up in the late 90s by Norfolk Southern and CSX. East Palestine is former Pennsylvania Railroad and Conrail tracks.

    From my jaded perspective as a former railroad worker, railfan and shareholder, while I support public or worker ownership, how in the world could that be pulled off in the United States? The author mentions various public ownership models, but almost all have a public-private partnership component to enrich rentiers. Off the top of my head, probably only the Swiss SBB and cantonal regional railways are the best examples of public ownership.

    1. Mildred Montana

      The private railroad company involved in the recent Greek collision (57 dead) had taken over the public system six years ago.

      Private or public? My basic rule is that if an industry provides a generic service or product that is prone to monopolization, nationalize it. With transportation (only one instance) I want to get from A to B safely and in a timely fashion. That’s it. All else is frills. It should be nationalized and remain so.

      Better to tolerate the light hand of government inefficiency rather than the heavy depredations of private enterprise with its relentless—and sometimes unsafe—cost-cutting, aimed only at filling the pockets of investors and executives of the company.

      I would also add that, though public companies are by no means perfect, at least the proceeds of their inefficiencies are given to the many, as opposed to private companies which tend to concentrate the wealth in the hands of a few.

      1. jefemt

        I agree with this, and will add that generally the old-school public utilities- even if private- but fully and heavily well-regulated, generally did not pay ridiculous dividends, or Executive salaries, until they were privatized.
        They used to pay great salaries to all employees, great benefits, reasonable ESOPS and generate a respectable safe rate of return (yield) to shareholders— 5-7%. What Warren Buffett has said was a reasonable return to expect. Think back to Utah Power and Light, Montana Power.

        How far in the wrong direction we have run, not walked…

        1. Mildred Montana

          Thank gawd in Canada we’ve got regulated utilities. Most of them, if I am correct, are treated as Crown corporations. In other words, nationalized. Rate increases must be approved and are usually reasonable.

          Transportation has become, sadly, another matter. Our Trudeau government found billions upon billions to bail out the private airline industry (significant sums of which went to executive bonuses) yet nothing for rail or bus. The result? Greyhound left the country entirely four years ago and passenger rail service is moribund or spotty at best (except in Trudeau’s beloved Ontario and Quebec of course).

          Ya wanna get somewhere in Canada these days and you live in the west? Unless you can afford to fly (very expensive) or are a government employee or businessman on an expense account, forget it. Drive or hitchhike, loser. Those are your options.* Regards, Justin.

          *Oh, I forgot. One can also ride a bicycle.

          1. wendigo

            Mulroney privatized Air Canada and also initiated the biggest cuts to Via Rail in 1990, including the ending of the Super Continental.

            Both parties had their hand in eliminating public rail transportation in Canada.

            1. upstater

              Myron Bulroney also privatized Canadian National Railway.

              VIA Rail is an orphan; unlike Amtrak it does not have statutory authority to use the private railroad tracks. As a result CN routinely delays VIA passenger trains and there is no consequence. The Toronto-Vancouver train only runs 2 days per week and takes more than a full day longer (4 days total) than it did 25 years ago. The fares are astronomical. It’s an accomplishment to be worse than Amtrak, but VIA wins that prize. Like the US, it is bipartisan neoliberalism.

  10. GramSci

    Re: Pluralistic/internet federation

    I had a dream wherein the US Postal Service gave every citizen an email address and an interoperable URL, defining a legal and standard free speech zone. The EU ‘social network’ Doctorow links to is not what I envisioned:

  11. The Rev Kev

    “The Day Explorers Finally Found One of the World’s Great Lost Shipwrecks”

    That is the funny thing about legends. Some of them are complete in themselves but then there is the other type. The one where the legend can be added to. So the loss of Shackleton’s ship “Endurance” was a legend in itself plus all the search attempts for it. But now the crew of the S. A. Agulhas II will join that legend whether they realize it or not in the same way as the crew that found the Titanic-

  12. upstater

    Trying to avoid FRA regulations, Norfolk Southern taking steps to improve wayside detector network:

    “NS will add about 200 hot box detectors, accelerate deployment of new technology, and work with other railroads to develop best practices around use of detector data”

    Executives, lobbyists, lawyers and PR departments are working overtime on this one! The only motivation that a corporate person needs to do to improve public safety is to kill or poison people.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Why the Russia Sanctions Are Missing the Mark”

    Lots of hopium here but then again, it was written by Kenneth Rogoff. And predictably, it follows the Washington mind set with things like Putin maybe nuking the Ukraine. As an economist he should have know what some of the effects blowback of the sanctions regime would be but just went with the flow.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Bakhmut, Strategic Or Not, Is Falling”

    I was thinking about those Ukrainian soldiers and how it must be for them. Some time ago I read a few novels about a squad of German soldiers in WW2 and that was written by an actual German combat vet. In one of them they talked of the 39ers. These were the guys that were in the German Army in 1939 but few were surviving by 1945 after six years fighting. I wonder if the same will be true of the Ukrainians and how they may talk of the 21s. Those that were in the regular Ukrainian army in 2021 and how fewer their numbers are after only one year of fighting. The Germans took five years before they had to call up the grandpas and the kids. The Ukrainians did it in only one.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Keeping in mind that a billion is a thousand million, there’s some fun arithmetic in that article.

      Over $6 billion spent on Iowa Medicaid in 2022, “Iowa’s Medicaid estate collections topped $30 million in fiscal year 2022…and more than half the money recouped goes back to the federal government…” 11% to the Sumo Group, most likely before the split.

      I don’t know who–the Sumo Group?–gets to accept or deny “hardship requests,” but, as far as the state of Iowa is concerned, the whole thing seems like the equivalent of rootin’ around in the couch cushions for loose change.

      At least the 83-year-old husband won’t get kicked out of the $80,000 house before he dies to pay a small part of the bill. And all for the privilege of caring for a dementia patient by her daughter at home, keeping her out of the hospital which, undoubtedly, would have increased the bill astronomically. That alone should have gotten any cost forgiven.

      1. ambrit

        Alas, forgiveness assumes the presence of a host of personal and public virtues. Our present day socio-economic system vigourously crushes any and all vestiges of virtue, as being bad for “shareholder equity.”

    2. Carla

      I find the headline to the KHN article quite misleading. Congress is actually in charge:

      “Federal law requires all states to have “estate recovery programs,” which seek reimbursements for spending under Medicaid, the joint federal and state health insurance program for people with low incomes or disabilities. The recovery efforts collect more than $700 million a year, according to a 2021 report from the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, or MACPAC, an agency that advises Congress.”

      And I wonder if the Justice Dept. could change the law. Maybe ‘ole Joe could make this go away.

      Not a chance in hell he would do so, though.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Exactly right, Carla. These articles are written as if these policies fell down from heaven.

        And I’ll bet that if we looked into the lobbying efforts aimed at that bill when it was written and passed, we’d find that it was drafted with the creation of companies like Sumo Group in mind.

    3. Louis Fyne

      ” Aggressively Seek Repayment From Their Estates’”

      All the reason why even if you think you have a modest amount of assets, one should plan for the tax aspects of death.

      And to be blunt, if one has certain terminal illnesses, the more you should be aware that you can take certain steps to protect your assets and/or minimize taxes. (At the very least you can give $11,000-ish in cash to relatives tax-free every year).

      Obviously it’s a lot to deal with at the same time, so best to think of those sorts of things when one is healthy.

  15. Mildred Montana

    Re: The Vikings Filed Their Teeth

    Apparently for “decorative” purposes. Ouch! Not good for the enamel. But a probable lifespan of only forty years has an advantage. No dental problems in old age. This has been confirmed by archaeologists, who have yet to uncover even a single tube of “Senso-Dyne”.

    1. Lexx

      I read that and suddenly the ferocious tattoos of the working class took on new edge. Whatever story may be offered to explain covering that much skin in ink, I think ‘class warrior’ every time, paired up with the multiple piercings, facial hair, and what appears to be a preference for hunting/tactical clothing… and large dogs they brought shopping with them. Got a big dose of it at Shiel’s yesterday. Chaos.

      1. Late Introvert

        Interesting read. I have had an interest in the Normans (north men), the Vikings, and the Rus for some years now. My guess is that account is part propaganda, part truth, and part mistaken, like most history. Thanks.

  16. Wukchumni

    Great train songs from yesterday, and thinking about it-my last ride on a choo-choo in these United States was 25 years ago going from Union Station in LA to the Del Mar racetrack and back.

    Am I an outlier being out west where rail opportunities are rare?

    1. britzklieg

      I remember picking up my yia-yia at the St. Pete train station when I was a kid. That ended almost 60 years ago. Now it’s an upscale ceramic arts studio called the Clay Factory funded by deep pockets, after laying fallow for 5 decades. All attempts at expanding train service in Florida have been thwarted, most notably by the baby-faced pudge, Jeb. Gaaahh

      and thanks for the opportunity to post another train song which I meant to add to my “Petticoat Junction” comment.

      The dark, sobering “Been on a Train” by the great Laura Nyro from her masterwork – Christmas and the Beads of Sweat

      “you got more tracks on you, baby, than the tracks of this train…”

    2. MaryLand

      A great train song: “The City of New Orleans” written by Steve Goodman singer-songwriter who died at the age of 36. It’s about the Illinois Central which still runs today. Several artists have sung it, but the best IMO for this song is Willie Nelson.

    3. Martin Oline

      I remember my first train ride when I was five years old from Iowa to California around 1958. We traveled through orange groves in southern California that were probably gone soon thereafter. The last train ride was from the Bay area up to Salem, Oregon in about 1985. I had to go to Oakland to board and it left in the early night. When we went through Albany and Richmond there were a few industrial places that must have been smelting or casting metal as I could glimpse fiery scenes inside the backs of industrial buildings. It was otherworldly.

  17. antidlc
    Pete Buttigieg starts to rethink how he does his job in wake of Ohio train disaster

    Buttigieg says what he’d rather be doing is trips like Monday’s: Opening the first new airport terminal in Kansas City since Vice President Spiro Agnew was there for a ribbon cutting – Buttigieg arrived late, courtesy of being stuck on his own delayed Southwest Airlines flight – celebrating the groundbreaking on a record-busting $4 billion electric vehicle battery plant in DeSoto, Kansas, and talking transportation programs with students at the University of Missouri.

    Those events are the things Buttigieg thought he was signing up for with the Cabinet job along moments like when Missouri Gov. Mike Parsons – a Republican who has close to zero political alignment with Buttigieg – took time to fix his hair before a photo after they toured the new Kansas City International terminal, later pulling him in for a long private chat.

    1. Jason Boxman

      So he thought he signed up for a free ride and it turns out a cabinet secretary might be expected to lead? Oops. What a hack.

      1. Late Introvert

        And the idea that Tiny P would ever be President, LOL. Kamala HaHa might get there by appointment.

  18. Jason Boxman

    Fantasy from

    Resupply across islands hundreds or even thousands of miles apart, General Berger said, may not be something the Marines can count on. They may have to purchase food and fuel from the people who live there, desalinize ocean water to drink and use only enough munitions to do the job.

    So that’s fantasy land. We’re going to seriously defeat China on it’s home territory, buying crucial supplies from villages on islands, because we admittedly cannot supply our own forces safely?


  19. BeliTsari

    Clean Energy Wire = FRACKED gas, from hundreds of thousands of leaky NEW wells, soon to kick. IMPOSSIBLE to plug; re-re-refracked and abandoned (addicting US all to VERY EXPENSIVE investment, mandated without ANY say on those of us trying to pay assessments on boiler replacement; hold onto rent stabilized apartments, now up for flipping (what 2016/ 2020 superdelegates stole our votes over, before COVID!) Just imagine relatively clean, exponentially cheaper and FRIGHTENINGLY plentiful Rooski gas replaced by FRACKED, to line a few thousand kleptocrats’ pockets, and nobody calling BULLSHIT on this article?

  20. BeliTsari

    Clean Energy Wire = FRACKED gas, from hundreds of thousands of leaky NEW wells, soon to kick. IMPOSSIBLE to plug; re-re-refracked and abandoned (addicting US all to VERY EXPENSIVE investment, mandated without ANY say on those of us trying to pay assessments on boiler replacement; hold onto rent stabilized apartments, now up for flipping (WHY 2016/ 2020 NYC super-delegates stole our votes over, before COVID!) Just imagine relatively clean, exponentially cheaper and FRIGHTENINGLY plentiful Rooski gas replaced by FRACKED, to line a few thousand kleptocrats’ pockets, and nobody calling BULLSHIT on this article, these websites.

  21. spud

    the welsh piece points out the reality. and the neo-liberals running the u.k. are running out of time, they are just to stupid and greedy to know it.

    60 million people will not take starvation, whilst a de-industrial landscape has to stand by and watch their wall street eat cake.

    there will be a change, no one knows just exactly what that change will be.

    if the u.k. had stayed in the E.U., that would have extended thatcherism. but the E.U. will most likely not survive in its current form either in the future.

  22. Ignacio

    RE: ‘The ship has reached the shore’: The planet finally has a treaty to protect life in the high seas

    Though I think this has potential to be an advance mainly for the protection of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems one shouldn’t be too optimistic about the reach of the treaty. Mr. Guterres doesn’t say how many countries have signed it and it only will be binding for signatory countries. In high seas it is the flag country which is responsible for the action of its flagged vessels and you can do nothing about other country’s vessels except taking measures against the country herself and that is cumbersome. This already occurs nowadays with or without the treaty in, for instance NAFO or NEAFC waters. If you find a vessel from a country which is not contracting part you can do nothing except against the flag country if you can identify it. Then there is still a large region, South West Atlantic where there is not an agreement for international coordination on fisheries and this is the real wild west of the oceans.

    Then, even if you declare a reserve but some or many vessels do not have installed a satellite-based monitoring system how do you control they are not fishing there? Will you have permanent surveillance at high seas? Who will be paying for it?

    1. britzklieg

      “Bill Gates didn’t invent anything… he’s built an empire by creating patents on software”

      Drop the mic!

  23. Alice X

    >Michigan stopped Ohio toxic waste last week, but we import waste every day Bridge Michigan

    I’m within walking distance of the MI landfill that took the Ohio toxic waste. :-(

    I’ve just learned that it is the only landfill in MI licensed to take hazardous waste. Just great!

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