Links 4/12/2023

Ghana’s Concentration Camps For Witches Stone Age Herbalist (guurst)

Production begins on season two of House of the Dragon Guardian (furzy)

Blastomycosis: Almost 100 confirmed or probable cases of rare fungal infection linked to Michigan paper mill, health officials say CNN

Where We Meet the World’ Review: A Flood of Senses Wall Street Journal (Anthony L)



Research Warns of Dangers of Too Much Hydrogen in Atmosphere Jalopnik (resilc)

The illusion of a trillion trees Financial Times

Shutting down U.S. nuclear power plants would result in more deadly air pollution ZMEScience (furzy)

The Scholz government closes the era of nuclear energy in Germany Oops Top

The EPA Faces Questions About Its Approval of a Plastic-Based Fuel With an Astronomical Cancer Risk ProPublica (furzy)

More than 2,000 people told to evacuate after inferno engulfs Indiana plastic recycling plant spewing a huge cloud of toxic black smoke visible 20 miles away – as officials warn it will burn for DAYS Daily Mail


China releases footage of military drills near Taiwan CNN (furzy)

Xi topping Biden in New Cold War’s economic game Asia Times (Kevin W)

Cambodia: Halt ‘mass forced evictions’ at World Heritage site Angkor Wat Amnesty International (furzy)


Pankaj Mishra · The Big Con: Modi’s India London Review of Books (Anthony L)

European Disunion

Looking for sanity check from Aurelian and others who know French politics:

My impression is Michel has acted as a pro-Macron voice on matters European, so my suspicion is he is gilding the lily. Look at the number of European leaders going to see Xi carrying US water. In other words, grumbling, which I am sure is happening, is a long way from revolt. And Macron is looking weak in France, which makes a difference. But having said that, Macron and his fellow refusniks have good odds of succeeding in bucking the US in its Taiwan adventurism given the cost of Ukraine v. the results, and the lack of any European security interest in Taiwan.

One calibration from Politico’s European morning newsletter. Forgive the length:

FRENCH PRESIDENT HECKLED DURING ‘EU SOVEREIGNTY’ SPEECH: With half of Europe pushing back on his comments to POLITICO about Taiwan and Europe’s relationship with the U.S., French President Emmanuel Macron drilled down on his vision for a “sovereign Europe” that can “choose” its partners during a speech in The Hague that was interrupted by protesters….

What’s that you said? But the speech was overshadowed by noise — from the audience, where protesters shouted him down and unfurled a banner saying “President of violence and hypocrisy;” and from further afield, as Central and Eastern Europeans lashed out at his suggestion the bloc should avoid “following” Washington.

Eastern anger: “Instead of building strategic autonomy from the United States, I propose a strategic partnership with the United States,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Tuesday ahead of his own trip to the U.S. Off the record, Eastern Europeans struck a tougher tone: “We cannot understand [Macron’s] position during these very challenging times,” one diplomat who requested anonymity told my colleague Jacopo Barigazzi. Read his full story here…..

Michel to the rescue: The din carried over to Brussels, where a spokesperson for the European Commission did his best to promote unity between Macron and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen; and where Council chief Charles Michel offered the French leader rare backing for his controversial remarks…..

No fighting, please: While Berlin pledged a fully equipped army division to NATO in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, the letter from the army’s inspector general said the army would “not be able to hold its own in high intensity combat,” Gabriel Rinaldi reports.

Numbers don’t lie: The leak was a reminder of the gap between ambitions of autonomy and the reality in Europe, where the U.S. not only provides the bulk of military aid to Ukraine, but a security umbrella covering the entire bloc. While France touts strategic autonomy, it’s far down the ranking of countries providing aid to Ukraine, with less than €1 billion pledged since the start of the war, according to the Kiel Institute.

The ‘dry residue’ from Macron’s visit to China Gilbert Doctorow

Taliban poppy ban puts Europe on fentanyl alert Politico (Kevin W)

Old Blighty

King’s coronation: 3 crowns, 2 carriages and a shorter route Associated Press (resilc)

La belle France

Liberty, sure; fraternity, sort of; but equality? Asia Times (resilc)

New Not-So-Cold War

Exclusive: Russia starts fuel supplies to Iran by rail -sources Reuters (Kevin W)

Looking At the U.S. and NATO Presence in Ukraine — Is That All There Is? Larry Johnson

Finland may come to regret joining NATO when everyone sobers up RT (Micael T)

Meeting on economic issues President of Russia. Worth reading if you have time. Inflation down to 3.3% annualized. Growth forecast expected to be increased from old projection as a budget time of 0.8%. And note this:

With unemployment at an all-time low of 3.5 percent across Russia, there is a shortage of workers in many industries.

There are three main tasks to be tackled here.

One is to tap the personnel potential of the Russian regions and cities where the unemployment rate remains high. We have such regions.

Second. We need to widely introduce lean manufacturing and automation technologies in all sectors of the economy and in the social sphere, and accordingly, take advantage of additional internal personnel reserves.

Finally, it is important to increase investment in the training of specialists in the most important and in-demand professions.

Putin then points out there are some programs that address these issues but they are long-term. He says they need short-term ones too, mentions a pilot, and said the labor market will be a major topic at the upcoming St. Petersburg Economic Forum and wants more study, which I take to mean proposals.

Contrast with the US….

Pentagon leak traced to video game chat group users arguing over war in Ukraine Guardian (furzy). Adds new details, including what may be the first gamer server on which they appeared.


‘Death to Christians’: Violence steps up under new Israeli gov’t Al Jazeera (Kevin W)

Al-Aqsa: Israel halts non-Muslim visitors from entering complex until end of Ramadan Middle East Eye

Egypt’s headline inflation rate increased to 32.7% in March Reuters (resilc)


The Espionage Act & the 4th Year of Assange’s Arrest Consortium News (UserFriendlyy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Los Angeles Tries to Claw Back Public Records After Police Invent New Definition of “Undercover” The Intercept

Imperial Collapse Watch

South Korea says leaked US intel document ‘untrue’, amid spying allegations Reuters (furzy). Has a “lady doth protest too much” quality.

One Particular Pentagon Doc Exposes The Unprofessionalism Of The US’ Intel Community Andrew Korybko

FWIW, trade finance is a very low margin, high volume, document-intensive business. You need big, well run ops not to lose money (which you can in a serious way via fraud). A sudden increase in activity will expose weaknesses in procedures and processes:

Private armies are making a killing Unherd. Note that there were huge private armies in the US. Pinkerton was for hire; Henry Ford has his own. All for the purpose of crushing labor uprisings.


Manhattan DA sues Jim Jordan over Trump indictment inquiry Associated Press (furzy). Hoo boy. Over my pay grade. The Feds do provide funding to the Manhattan’s DA’s office and allegedly some has been used on the Trump probe. So it would seem Congress could call Bragg in his capacity as head bureaucrat in that office. How far can they go at all in inquiring about his other capacity, running particular prosecutions? Jordan did not help himself here with his heated rhetoric. And did it not occur to him that the subpoenas might be challenged? Filing here. Note it makes a lot of noise about Trump’s attacks on Bragg when frankly that’s not germane to the Congress v. NYC DA”s office jurisdiction issues.

Blinded by hate: Republicans too busy to notice plummeting poll numbers for Trump and GOP Salon


Biden Administration Proposes Evenly Cutting Water Allotments From Colorado River New York Times (Kevin W)

Bombshell Docs Appear to Reveal Biden Admin’s Direct Involvement in Raid on Trump’s Estate Sputnik. Kevin W: Linked tweet showing this –


Gun violence affects half of all US families: Survey Anadolu Agency

Our No Longer Free Press

Owning Twitter has been quite painful, Musk tells BBC BBC

Daniel Ellsberg Has Foiled Those Who Want Him Confined to the Past Norman Solomon, Reader Supported News (furzy)

It is way way too easy to make fun of John Kirby. Nevertheless, “What about ‘public information’ don’t you understand?” Once it becomes public, there is no way to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

New York Times Is Now Telling Bigger Lies Than Iraq WMDs and More Effectively David Swanson


Training ChatGPT AI Required 185,000 Gallons of Water: Study Gizmodo (Dr. Kevin)

Promising new AI can detect early signs of lung cancer that doctors can’t see NBC (furzy). I don’t know if this is true of lung cancer, but generally your body is making tiny cancers all the time but they get stopped by T-cells. When full body CAT scans were a fad, they picked up zillions of anomalies that were nearly always not consequential. Could some of these super early not normally detected cancers include ones that your body would stop on its own

Biden Administration Weighs Possible Rules for AI Tools Like ChatGPT Wall Street Journal (resilc)

Interest Rates Likely to Return Toward Pre-Pandemic Levels When Inflation is Tamed IMF

Urgent warning to electric car drivers as thieves target motors while they’re charging – don’t get caught out Sun (resilc)

The Bezzle

World Startup Convention: The India start-up gala that exploded into a scandal BBC (resilc)

Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes to go to prison end of April BBC. Resilc: “Better for the kids if she is held for 50 years.”

Guillotine Watch

Class Warfare

58% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, CNBC survey reveals CNBC (resilc)

What is the use of school? Lars Syll. Important

Antidote du jour. From Health Care Renewal: In Memoriam: Ahnold, Our Faithful Watchdog Mascot

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind? by The Lovin’ Spoonful)

    I betcha thought we put this whole thing behind
    Did you truly believe it’s how this world was designed?
    The Global South people are all making friends
    And that’s why and how our own empire ends

    The Saudis need to sell all their crude
    They sold it for dollars to get solitude
    We sold them our weapons our cars and our food
    But that nifty deal will not be renewed

    Cuz now they wanna join BRICS and make nice with China
    Which gives Mister Biden some major angina
    Without petrodollars we can’t rule the earth
    And the world will learn just what a dollar’s really worth

    That’s why it’s time for us to make up our mind
    Our Bretton Woods deal is sure to unwind
    When the Saudis join BRICS, when that treaty is signed
    Our supply of oil becomes non-aligned

    (musical interlude)

    The Saudis weren’t impressed with our Patriot missiles
    That made lots of noise and interesting whistles
    They never stopped rockets the Yemenis sent
    So MBS is telling Biden ‘go and get bent’

    Which means you bet we’d better finally decide
    This world runs on oil, and not on our pride
    We can’t put it off and we can’t let it slide
    There’ll be no one left to stand by our side

  2. griffen

    As a young kid I watched a lot of late ’70s reruns. You’ll know the shows, like WKRP in Cincinnati, Fred Sanford and Good Times. Well the CNBC survey about 58% living paycheck-adjacent definitely rings a bell to that era of high inflation and corduroy pants. At least today with inflation this seemingly persistent, we don’t have the same sort of fashion choices about!

    Apologies if you liked plaid and corduroy. But I am an easy, classic rock type of person so not everything from the era was unpleasant. America in 2023, Best of times!

    1. The Rev Kev

      Corduroy pants? I had those. I don’t suppose that you too had a pair of bell-bottomed trousers too, did you?

      1. griffen

        Mostly the corduroy brand sold by Sears, no real memory of having bell bottoms (or conveniently it is forgotten). Maybe some low top Keds or possibly Converse.

        1. Laughingsong

          PF Flyers were the brand of us 60s young-uns. Run faster, jump higher! And later, wide gauge corduroys, with huge bell bottoms that were a bit too long, and wide enough to cover your (usually bare) feet. Hip huggers. Midriff tops (after the fashion industry saw our habit of tying up button-downs in front by the shirttails).

      2. paddy

        bell bottoms will never go out of style.

        the us navy style blue denims were the best! with buttons not zipper!

        1. fresno dan

          Alas, I am at the age where I will never again wear button up jeans… due to the time contraints… Indeed, perhaps the Americans with Disabilities Act would permit me with not even zipping my zipper….for quick release

      3. eg

        Our high-school uniform featured brown cords — I have never worn cords (of any colour) since, and never will.

    2. ambrit

      Let’s all sing along to the theme song from the television program; “The Jeffersons”:

      “Well we’re movin’ on down, (movin’ on down,)”
      “To the Street, (movin’ on down,)”
      “From that basic apartment in the hood.”
      “Movin’ on down, (movin’ on down,)”
      “To the Street, (movin’ on down,)”
      “We finally got kicked to the curb.”

      “Jobs gettin’ harder to come by;”
      “Prices climbin’ up to the sky.”
      “Took a whole lot of lyin'”
      “Just to pretend we’re gettin’ by.”
      “Now we’re back in the bush leagues,”
      “Scrabblin’ for any ol’ thing,”
      “Now it’s just, you and me baby,”
      “Society don’t mean a thing.”

      “We’re movin’ on down, (movin’ on down,)”
      “To the Street, (movin’ on down,)”
      “From that basic apartment in the hood.”
      “Movin’ on down, (movin’ on down,)”
      “To the Street, (movin’ on down,)”
      “It’s time to tell this system good bye, ay, ay.”

      Announcer: “The Deplorables was filmed before an opiated audience.”

    3. Wukchumni

      I had brown & blue cords, along with a couple of pairs of Levi 501’s, in terms of a year’s worth of trousers during teenagerhood. I think the cords were of the bell bottom variety and every other person was wearing them, so it seemed perfectly normal.

      Levis were easily double the thickness of today’s offerings, and my mom would draw a bath for us, and after cutting off labels and whatnot on a new pair of 501’s, i’d would put em’ on and sit in that bath for about 20-30 minutes, form-fitting the blue jeans to our body, and then she’d wash them.

  3. Alice X

    >The Espionage Act & the 4th Year of Assange’s Arrest

    For being seditious, [Eugene V.] Debs and [Julian] Assange are the most prominent political prisoners in U.S. history.

    I was reading this before today’s links posted. It’s a good rundown of the precursors to, Woodrow Wilson’s abominable 1917 Act and subsequent additions. Can we please take down any statues or honorable references to that tyrant?

    1. montanamaven

      It started in Montana. I wrote in 2010 about the Sedition laws in Montana in 1916 called “Montana’s Inquisition” on my website. The U of Montana law students started the Sedition Project to get pardons for the many Montanans imprisoned during WWI. Gov. Schweitzer did pardon them in 2006.

      Was Montana’s law unique?

      Other states also enacted sedition laws in the same period. In 1917, just after the United States entered the war against Germany, Congress passed the Espionage Act. This law, despite its name, was enforced as a sedition law, punishing hundreds of people for voicing their opinions about the government and the war. In 1918, Congress passed a more specific sedition law, which was almost a word-for-word copy of the Montana law.

  4. zagonostra

    Is it too early to start a link section/rubric on the 2024 presidential campaign?

    RFK Jr. has made the upcoming election cycle much more interesting than I would have thought. His recent speech on the U.S.’s off-shoring of bioweapon production in Ukraine and Wuhan is certainly information that most listeners/readers will find refreshing. On a recent episode of “The Duran” Robert Barnes was asked who would come out ahead if RFK jr. faced Trump, his answer, “the American People.” I think Barnes is right, all though I’m chastened by having donated and supported Bernie Sander’s campaign, I can’t help but retain a modicum of hope. Someone has to constrain/clamp down on the secretive agencies working behind the scenes a la deep state.

    1. GramSci

      I don’t see much hope for this upcoming electoral cycle, but I plan to give RFKjr a little support up front.

      I’ll give him much more support ater, after the Dems do him a bernie and he jumps to the Green Party–if they can see their way to nominating someone who might garner votes.

    2. NarrativeMassagerInc

      Yesterday’s morning consult poll had RFK Jr at 10% in the polls already. The dems are gonna have a hard time excluding someone with high poll numbers and the Kennedy name from the debate stage, but they’ll do it anyway. Good thing is I don’t think it matters — we’ve reached a point where the information “space” is out of their control and all the censorship scary poppins they can muster won’t save them from reality now. Go RFK Jr!

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Remember what happened when Gene McCarthy cracked just 40% against LBJ in NH. When two candidates, both of whom receive a lot of negative press, hit 10% each that quickly, it tells me that ABJ (Anybody But Joe) would draw 50%+ just about anywhere but South Carolina, and that’s only because of Clyburn’s machine there.

    3. zagonostra

      >US making ‘bioweapons components’ in Ukraine – Moscow

      It’s amazing to me how little interest there is in this since Victoria Nuland surprised Senator Rubio by admitting that the U.S. had “biological research facilities” operating in Ukraine during a Senate hearing. There also is a report that the “US is Working on ‘Universal’ Genetically Engineered Bioweapon” according to a Russian Parliamentary Investigation in Sputnik News today…of course this is Russian funded media, but at the very least you would think there would be more concern.

      1. Polar Socialist

        According to the news those biolabs were only interested in collecting “Caucasian* Russian” samples. So no worries, at worst those weapons endanger only 6-7% of the US population.

        * excluding, of course, Russians of actual Caucasian descent, go figure.

    4. fresno dan

      considering the geriatric collection of candidates, I would think that there would be at least one major deletion of what is available by 2024…

      1. Mildred Montana

        573 days is a long time in politics. Even longer for those in the perilous ninth decade of life.

  5. timbers

    “This is information that has no business in the public domain…It has no business…on the front pages of newspapers or on television.”

    In a sane world, someone, some reporter, might have ask as follow up:

    “Why does this information have no business in the public domain, Mr Kirby? Are you suggesting the public is not intelligent enough to know what you and public officials are doing and has no right to know or have input on your actions, that you are entitled to be unaccountable for your actions?”

    But today reporters from MSM outlets internally assume it is not only correct but honorable for the government to keep secrets from us.

    1. Ignacio

      Yes Timbers, these are some of the Unwritten New Democratic Rules:
      -The Government is secretive and decides what the media can publish and which opinions are allowed.
      -Journalists not behaving by the first rule will be, in first instance, lectured by the democratic representatives. We have not yet decided what will be done in second instances, but we will incarcerate a few, remove licenses and other stuff like in European democracies
      -The democratic representatives no longer control the government. They just approve TINA rules and their main role since now is as vigilantes for the correct behaviour and thinking of the populace… er, citizenship

      1. Kouros

        You are describing very well how the Austro-Hungarian government or the Czarist government in old Russia used to operate…

    2. Mikel

      He’s saying it has no business in the media, but sure to holler about it in the media.

      I thought what happened with the Hersh pipeline story presented a more accurate look at the blob dealing with information that could be considered explosive.

  6. Steve H.

    > What is the use of school?

    >> If the school is to be a realization of each pupil’s potential rather than a time-bound and contingent facticity, it must be able to build bridges to the pupil’s lifeworld while maintaining the distance between school and society.

    Wow. This in distinction to the philosophy of educator Frank Templeton. He likened the nation to a building, where each brick needed to be strong, and education made for strong bricks. The philosophy expressed in this article inevitably puts greater resources towards those with greater ‘potential’ as defined by who exactly?

    Neoliberal identitarian hairball. Divide et impera at the sub-individual level. Tower of Babble as language studies.

    1. GramSci

      «In the school world, the educational-theoretical question ‘how one can become what one has the potential to become in the future’ must be the guiding starting point.»

      I found myself asking what kind of school the author himself attended? Perhaps his point is that the future has been coming on faster since — when? the industrial revolution? The above prescription reads to me like that of every working-class school I ever attended or taught in.

      I arrived at the end not understanding his point. He places so much emphasis on becoming. Simple being, apparently, is only granted to one’s betters.

      1. Carolinian

        Thank you. School is a baby sitter for the kiddies while the parents go to work to pay for the little darlings. They might also learn something useful.

        And perhaps on the high school level “equity” really should be the goal rather than jump starting teenagers into the meritocracy. In America our public schools have always been as much about socialization as brain building. My main takeaway from an AP English class was that the teacher was a snobby jerk.

        1. chris

          Equity is possible to some degree in pre-school or kindergarten. How would it ever be achieved at the high school level? There is no way to give people the same chances to succeed or to promote similar outcomes by that time in a person’s development. The only ways to do it would require draconian enforcement of policies that would chase every person who had a choice far away from public school.

    2. Boomheist

      Er….isn’t the main point of school to teach, as in, instruct children so they can be successful, however that is defined, when grown? Furthermore, to teach or instruct children to read, calculate, think critically, and learn basic civics and history so they know something of the world as it is? Further, to guide students in the skills needed to work together whether in the classroom or on sports teams or on the playground? In a democracy, however defined, a school also needs somehow to train students to become citizens, a vague term, but basically to bring to them a shared sense of being and belonging in their national enterprise…..

      Of course, this drastically simple, and some might say simplistic, view of education assumes that the family and parents back home are the main sources of behavioral, religious, and social norms and behaviors. Our memories are so short. It wasn’t that long ago that the basic issue was literacy and most people lived on farms, let’s say until the 1920s, then there was a period when farming declined and the one earner stay at home mom model developed and became the “norm”, let;s say the 1930s until the 1980s; and now we have two-earner homes and helicopter parents (the track to elite success) or one parent households needing school lunch programs to feed their kids (the track to a non future) and it seems a complete loss of understanding as to what the basic purpose of a school IS, yet we are turning out graduates who can barely read, know no history or civics, and somehow think the entire purpose is self actualization instead of building skills to survive whatever the future brings…..

      Readin, writin and rithmetic…still the basic tools and, it seems, being lost every day….

    3. tevhatch

      Sadly, Google and Bing have no idea who educator Frank Templeton is, they do keep trying to send me adverts for investment funds. I know there are schools named after him, but Google or Bing do not. I remember nice things, but a bit fuzzy, about him. However the brick quote disturbs me, it sounds like something a eugenicist would come up with, and he would have been alive about peak eugenics time in the USA. Please, if it’s not too much trouble, then can you point me to a resource about him? Thank you in advance.

      1. Steve H.

        One of tens of thousands of public educators and administrators, believed to his core in quality public education. The metaphor was from a pamphlet written in 1957, part of a public school bond offering as there were going to be seven hundred students without a school the next year. I found it in some local historical records.

        1. tevhatch

          Steve H. Thank you for check back and giving what you could! I was guessing 1920s. While 1957 isn’t entirely out of the woods in US Empire (ask any Puerto Rican), however it’s highly unlikely by 1957 a eugenicist would have been setting policy in Illinois at a a public school board after WW2 (but CIA, US Dept. of Health absolutely).

    4. CanCyn

      I’m with Gramsci on this one. I kept waiting for the guy to make a point or give an example of what he means. Made nonsense to me. It reads like a stream of consciousness first draft in need of some editing. Weird.

      1. Geof

        Through all the tangled jargon, here’s my interpolation of what the article is trying to say:

        Back when (1950s? 60s? – the era of the organization man), school was not separate from social and work life. On the contrary, its job was basically to integrate students into existing (objective) social structures and traditions.

        In the 1960s educators came to believe that school should instead be a place where students could seek refuge from the pressures for social conformity. Its job now was to encouraged them to discover and their individual (subjective) identities and differences.

        This was radical at the time, but society has changed. The social structures and traditions that once existed have dissolved. Students are continually exploring and developing their subjective identities. “Find yourself” has become tedious, not revolutionary. It is no longer a path to growth.

        School has again become too integrated into society. It is no longer an escape from the life of work and home, just a continuation. To regain its mission it must again separate from everyday life – not to fall back into subjective identity, but to bring students together as equals and challenge them to go beyond themselves.

        That’s my take anyway. I have limited patience for wrestling with the typical academic gobbledygook of the article. I think it’s trying to preserve the ideal that the subjectivity of the radical era was a kind of progress and avoid offending today’s obsession with identity, while at the same time recognizing the difficulty for students who must constantly fashion their own identities.

        I think this really is a terrible burden that neoliberalism has imposed. (Yes, neoliberalism does mean something. To caricature: everything in the market, nothing outside the market, nothing against the market.) Each of us is adrift as an entrepreneur in the market, responsible for creating and selling our own brand. Maybe at one time exploring one’s subjective identity was an escape from the pressures of society. Now, creating and advertising a unique individual identity has become a requirement to successfully taking part. Whereas in the past we had stable, easy to achieve (admittedly conformist) social roles to fall back on, now we are all expected to be unique. In the past we could step into a social role while maintaining a separate identity in our private life, our “authentic” selves are now what we are expected to sell.

        Personally, even back in the 1970s and 80s, I never found exploring and revealing subjective identity at school to be liberating. What business do teachers have demanding access to one’s inner life? I think for many people (introverts unite!) the whole business was oppressive from the get go. It’s obvious that people crave structures and roles to live up to. Sure these can be hackneyed or unequal – people will have them regardless (e.g. Disney princesses). According to Alasdair MacIntyre, the attempt to live up to a social archetype was once the meaning of virtue. No wonder turning inwards in search of authentic identities has mutated into the creation of rigid identity categories like gender.

        I think the article’s author is glimpses the truth of the terrible burden our identity entrepreneurship culture (and especially our schools) place on young people, but is unwilling to give up on the original dream that subjectivity meant progress. So the author tries to describe the need for structure in ways that uphold the importance of identity. To achieve emancipation we each need to develop our unique potential for success? Please. That’s turning schools into self-improvement programmes. Like the house, neoliberalism always wins.

        1. Anon

          As an aside, I applied for a warehousing job today, packing delivery trucks. There were three separate questions about my gender identity. I was tempted to respond “non-binary” to one, because, you know, it’s a spectrum, and I need a job.

    5. eg

      The eternal political football: “what is school FOR?”

      No answer satisfactory to all is possible, so we’re left with constant squabbling over it until humanity goes extinct.

    6. Ranger Rick

      The theory of education is a complex one, but in reference to its purpose it tends to boil down to two things when I encounter discussions of it: first, preparing (this word does a lot of work) prospective members of a future workforce, and by extension, society, and second, instructing the young in what has been defined as “cultural literacy” — familiarity with morals, ethics, metaphors, historical anecdotes (none of the bad ones), cultural touchstones, rituals, procedures, civic responsibilities, and in some cases even basic household tasks.

  7. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    One looks forward to hear what Aurelien (David), Bugs and Marcel have to say.

    Further to Macron’s kite flying, that decoupling has public support from Michel-Edouard Leclerc, head of the eponymous firm, and discrete support from the Arnault (LVMH) and Bettencourt-Meyers (l’Oreal) dynasties.

    Last week, Leclerc was interview on LCI (tv) and repeated what he said on the same news channel in early January, i.e. his clients and suppliers were suffering from the war in Ukraine, France had no strategic interest in Ukraine, Russia had legitimate interests in “its” (not “the”) neighbourhood and Europe should be an independent actor, implying it wasn’t and without saying independent of whom.

    The January appearance was on a panel and not devoted to Ukraine only. I wondered if Leclerc would be invited again as the hosts and panellists were taken aback. Leclerc was interviewed on his own this time.

    Speaking of Ukraine, the Tory leader of Buckinghamshire county council has been saying the quiet part loudly. A fortnight ago, he chaired a meeting of the councillors holding executive functions. Nearby, an IT support worker of Pakistani origin was working. He overheard the council leader say that Buckinghamshire needs to welcome more Ukrainian refugees and the refugees should be given more money and other support, e.g. places at schools and subsidised extra-curricular activities (e.g. music and fencing in Buckinghamshire). The council chief added that taking in and more Ukrainians meant not having to take Afghan and other refugees (of that type, but Afghans in particular).

    1. GramSci

      Thank you, Colonel,

      This reinforces my distant understanding of France and Macron: Both wish to be the grand imperial (albeit lower-case (temporarily)) leaders of europe, as opposed to vassals of the United States or the penitency of Germany.

      Macron and his allies hope he can ride this horse to retain/regain the throne.

    2. IMOR

      Re: France and strategic autonomy, and the precipitous decline of Politico (yes, I know: from where?) under foreign ownership:
      “While France touts strategic autonomy, it’s far down the ranking of countries providing aid to Ukraine, with less than €1 billion pledged since the start of the war, according to the Kiel Institute.”
      What kind of commentator let alone analyst doesn’t get that this terrible spectre is precisely what one would mean by ‘strategic autonomy? Is Ursula moonlighting at Politico’s European desk?

  8. The Rev Kev

    “The ‘dry residue’ from Macron’s visit to China”

    ‘China might also have had agency in the relationship with the European visitors’

    Maybe more so that Doctorow concedes. Consider. It is only a matter of time until the neocons in Washington starts a major bun fight with China. At that point, people like Lindsay Graham will demand that the EU cut off all economic links with the Chinese like they did with the Russians because ‘you are either with us or against us.’ So the Chinese must be aware of this and are making their own preparations. Macron had with him more than 50 chief executives so you can bet that a lot of agreements and contracts were signed with some major French players. I would not be surprised if the Chinese tossed in a few sweeteners for the French. So what happens when they go back to France.

    You can bet that the other 26 members of the EU are looking at this and may be thinking of their own chances of nabbing good contracts. Anybody think that Annalena Baerbock will also take a coupla dozen German chief executives with her when she goes to China soon? So all those EU nations will see that they can have a future with China if they want one while others will refuse out of loyalty to the empire. When Washington starts that bun fight, there will be a split in the EU with those that will refuse to abandon all those agreements which would have the effect of helping impoverish their countries and those that demand that all EU must abandon all Chinese contacts. Perhaps that is why European Council President Charles Michel sided with Macron. He has seen the damage caused to the EU by abandoning contacts with Russia and is afraid if the same happening with abandoning China.

    1. Steve H.

      > Macron had with him more than 50 chief executives

      That is an enormous train of Dukes, Barons, and Earls. The question is, is this a King imposing on the ‘hospitality’ of a Duke, or a satrapy paying imperial homage?

      > Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires;
      Men so disorder’d, so debauch’d and bold
      That this our court, infected with their manners,
      Shows like a riotous inn. Epicurism and lust
      Makes it more like a tavern or a brothel
      Than a grac’d palace. The shame itself doth speak
      For instant remedy.

    2. JohnA

      The thing is that, just as Ukraine is divided into east and west, so is the EU. The eastward expansion to incorporate the former Soviet bloc countries has been an unmitigated disaster – one of the triggers for Brexit was all the Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian etc., plumbers, builders moving to England. Poland, the Baltic states all have longstanding hatred of Russia, and would happily cut their own noses off to spite their own faces in that respect. France, italy, Austria, are all much less anti Russia than the east. Maybe Macron’s comments are a slight reaction to the ongoing unrest in France, where anti Nato and anti US voices have been prominent. The irony of course of the eastward EU expansion was was very much encouraged by Britain, that since has exited the EU, wanting to dilute French and German power in the EU. The situation is likely unresolvable without a breakup.

      1. digi_owl

        As best i can tell, UK has been a slow boiling civil war of sorts pretty much since WW2. But it peaked around the time Thatcher came to power, and has been simmering until Brexit.

        By this i mean a war between the working class and the financial class, with the latter breaking the back of the former via Thatcher’s thuggery and then Blair’s coup of Labour.

        Brexit was in part a revenge for all that, as it is UK’s finance that has benefited the most from the EU freedom of movement.

    3. Anon

      I fail to understand how their logic can be so willingly applied to the culturally opaque Chinese, but not the Russians, with whom, despite their historical enmity, Europeans share interests and values (one would think, more-so than the Chinese at least). The Chinese are still Communist, after all. Why is Russo non grata, but Sino-cooperation a go? Perhaps fears of Russian ambition/expansion are actually warranted, and/or Uncle Sam is satisfied being the gas station (would say a lot about which lobby is driving policy)?

  9. OIFVet

    Re Eastern anger. A source close to the Polish president said that Europe needs more US, not less. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Eastern Europe and the Baltics are the tail wagging the the US and EU dog. Poland in particular is a witches’ brew of reactionary revanchism that ought to be poured down into the sewer in which it rightfully belongs.

      1. Louis Fyne

        Easy to be throwing stones when there is 0% odds of you being drafted (applies to septagenarian politicans as well)

        1. The Rev Kev

          She does a lot of traveling around and has done talks with Alex Christoforou from time to time but her heart is still in Poland – and she is not happy with the present Polish government trying to push the country into the Ukraine. So when she hears about the government wanting to call up 200,000 people for military training, she is of course very concerned.

    1. Kouros

      Poland is not all of Eastern Europe, nor the peanut gallery of Baltic states or the Czechs.

      Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria have not truly joined the crazy yet.

      1. OIFVet

        True enough re Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. But we have our subset of true believers who dial up the crazy to 12 for breakfast and 19 for dinner. I have a friend (married to a good Polish girl, of course) whose rants on Russia and “its primitive fascist Bulgarian collaborators and enablers” could be put into any textbook on abnormal psychology. If such a person ever has his way, I would be thrown in jail, or worse, because (unironically) these noted antiRascist neoEugeniscists would use my different opinion on the war to prove that I am a primitive who is unworthy to breathe the same European civilizational air as themselves. He is normal in all other respects, a nice guy really, so it goes to show how dangerous Russia Derangement Syndrome can be.

        Look, we are Eastern Europeans and we know our people, and what they are capable of under certain circumstances. The fact is that I am concerned if crazies like that ever manage to get hold of real power, people like me will be persecuted physically as well as socially. Donbass proves that. There was a fascist terror in Bulgaria between the world wars, and its perpetrators were fully rehabilitated by law in the 1990’s and made into “victims of communism.” Not quite Banderastan level of worship, but then again we now have Azov flag-waving Ukie “refugees” here, and everywhere in Eastern Europe, so it would be a matter of time for this tumor to metastacise. Hope I am not being overly dramatic, but from my perch here in the Balkans I see, hear and feel the consequences of 30 years of propaganda and a year of war in Ukraine, I don’t like what I see.

  10. Wukchumni

    I get around (get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round)
    From blasting town to town (get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round)
    I’m a real cool head (get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round)
    I’m makin’ real good bread (get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round)

    I’m gettin’ ragged running out of inventory, 155mm’s stripped
    I gotta find a new supplier, hopefully the South Koreans aren’t hip

    My proxy war buddies and me are getting real well known
    Yeah, the bad guys know that we can’t atone

    I get around (get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round)
    From blasting town to town (get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round)
    I’m a real cool head (get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round)
    I’m makin’ real good bread (get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round)

    I get around (’round, get a round, ’round, ’round)

    We always go too far, ’cause Capitalism’s never been beat
    And we’ve never missed yet with the payback we meet

    None of their economies is steady ’cause it wouldn’t be right
    To leave their best adversary stable now on a Saturday night

    I get around (get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round)
    From blasting town to town (get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round)
    I’m a real cool head (get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round)
    I’m makin’ real good bread (get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round)
    I get around (’round, ’round)

    ‘Round, ’round, get a round, I get a round
    Yeah, I get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round
    Get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round
    Get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round
    Get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round
    Get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round (I get a round)

    Get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round
    Get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round
    Get a round, ’round, ’round, I get a round
    Get a round, ’round, ’round, I get around

    I Get Around, by the Beach Boys

  11. griffen

    The purchase of the company, and now owning that company, Twitter has been painful. Yes, lighting a few $billion and watching while it burns will do that. Think of the professional sports teams going hungry tonight because of this drastic decision. \sarc

    I have no real pity for billionaires such as Elon, he has and willfully did this to himself.

    1. ambrit

      I too shed crocodile tears here. We would gladly live well off of just the interest income from one of St. Elon’s major investments.
      Get back to us when St. Elon immolates himself because he only has a billion dollars left.
      Stay safe.
      {For those of you wandering about Wall Street in Manhattan; keep looking up. Falling brokers will be a distinct menace soon.}

      1. Wukchumni

        I wonder if Elon’s deal came with buyers remorse code, and maybe in the NADS you can still open and shut windows any old way you’d like up or down, but don’t try it Manhattan as they’re really down on demonstrations of defenestration.

        1. ambrit

          I can hear the caterwauling of the rowdy crowd looking up at the broker sitting on the ledge outside it’s twelfth floor office window.
          “Go on you coward! Short!”
          Crowd, chanting; “Short, short, short, short….”
          The firemen standing around off to the side are making book on exactly where on the sidewalk the broker will “rapidly, catastrophically, decelerate.” As with everything else on Wall Street, gambling is the name of the game.
          Stay safe in the High Castle.

          1. rowlf


            (Maybe not the best link but the sentiment towards the financial sector is there. In past times in the US the lower classes acted more directly.)

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Looking At the U.S. and NATO Presence in Ukraine — Is That All There Is?”

    I think that most can all agree that there would be any number of American mercs running around the country doing their thing. That is how Bush kept the number of US deaths in the occupation of Iraq lower than it should have been. The deaths of soldiers were counted officially – kinda – but nobody was keeping track of the number of American mercs that got killed there. That was off the books that number. The same must be happening here in the Ukraine. By mercs, I don’t mean those goofballs that turn up to go get themselves some Russkies. I mean Americans working for merc companies that were hired by a number of cut-offs corporations so nobody realizes that the Pentagon is actually paying them. As for those 200 NATO personnel killed in that missile strike, nobody will want to advertise that officially. Those bodies have already been recovered and sent to their home countries. Seriously, can you see the New York Times or the Washington Post having pictures of the twenty Americans killed with their names and where they came from on their front page? The Biden White house would never allow it.

    1. paddy

      usa/dod has turned to contractors to work on its expensive, ‘complex’ weapon and sensors…..

      this is two fold: the manning documents are smaller so logistics soldiers are cut and the work done by contractors….

      second, it costs money to build sustainment processes that can be trained to soldiers, the money is budgeted but the failures to meet operational requirements (f-35 is most recent biggest example) spend the sustainment money.

      in the late oughties, the dod contract budget hit $400B….

      the contractor in the field trend goes back to the Serbian bombing spree.

  13. Aurelien

    On Macron, Europe and the US, it’s…complicated. The idea of a strategically autonomous Europe choosing to cooperate or not with the US depending on perceptions of its interest has been going round for thirty-five years now. It’s in some senses a logical development of the traditional French posture: we cooperate with the US when we think it’s in our interest to do so, not just as automatic followers. The weakness of US power as demonstrated over Ukraine actually makes this a more powerful argument. Politico doesn’t understand these things and seems to believe that money equals military capability. Few Europeans have ever felt “protected “ by the US and even fewer do now. The concept has always been of a sovereign continent, with its own military forces and capability to use them, freely cooperating or not with the US and having it’s own policies towards major problems in the world. Majority opinion (at least) has always been behind this kind of approach in France and there’s nothing new in what Macron is saying.
    But there’s always a but. On the one hand the UK spent decades trying to sabotage this concept because it was afraid of losing its influence with US and NATO. On the second hand, the galloping expansion of Europe meant that it became increasingly difficult to organise or even seriously talk about, a strategic European response to crises or even identify common interests. And on the third hand, in a Europe of wildly varying countries with very different size populations and economies there is, even more than in the past, a fear that a European system of the kind Macron is talking about would just make the French too powerful, as the only serious military nation in Europe. So Danish soldiers might be sent to fight in Africa, for example. For many smaller EU nations, the US has always been a useful counterweight to potential domination of Europe by a few large states. With Brexit this is even more of an issue because the UK was itself seen as an important check on French domination of defence and security issues. The Germans had a long history of dog-like devotion to NATO and the US primarily because it was their ticket back to respectability in military issues. Even now there are many nations who would prefer the US sitting on top of the Germans than the French trying to do so.

    1. Polar Socialist

      According to the history books the Russians have the best track record on sitting both on top of the Germans and the French. :-)

      1. OIFVet

        Then again, most Poles are happy to point their rear ends high towards the West and bark towards the East while getting thoroughly serviced from behind. Sikorski had something to say about that back in 2014.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          Hope this isn’t too off topic but while European music isn’t really on most Americans’ radar, the music scene in eastern Europe is intriguing.

          Poland has a wildly creative/brilliant jazz scene that’s fairly accessible. Whereas US jazz innovation trends towards inaccessibility and the overly avant garde, Polish jazz prefers cleverness over provocation and reflects a much higher standard of musical literacy. I’m a big fan of Niechec.

          To me, this suggests a culture that probably isn’t backing their govt 100%. As you go east and south from Poland, you find very good punk/metal/noise bands and as in the West punks are fascists or antifa and hardly anything in between.

          The extraordinarily diverse Russian musical scene, otoh, seems to be sliding into mostly techno, metal or noise. Noise is something that’s used widely now and ranges from ambient to industrial. In Russia it’s both but the mix has flipped towards ambient over the last decade which would mirror the hipster preferences of our PMCs. Metal attracts the same kind of audience as it does everywhere else but seems to be gaining in popularity. Seeing lots more tags along the lines of deathcore, thrash.metal, doom.jazz,, etc. so I’m guessing Putin won’t run out of army recruits any time soon.

          Musically eastern Europe is very interesting right now. Like the United States used to be…

          1. JBird4049

            Yes. Despite my hearing loss, I do enjoy me some live jazz and I would love to go to a classical concert, but the rarity and the prices makes it almost impossible.

            Add that jazz has been sliding into inscrutability or banality as much of art (music, painting, writing, sports, etc.) has for the last half century. Anything that comes intersects, informs, or even just comes from live, breathing humans, preferably while you can see it live, is commercialized either into garbage or unaffordability. Anything that speaks against the system is doubly anathema.

            I am lucky that if I want to take the financial hit, I can go to some jazz concerts that are not quite nose-bleedingly expensive. Or I can seek out the talent on YouBorg, but it is not the same.

        2. Kouros

          Poles will forever be unhappy that the uncouth Asiatic mongrelized Slavic Russians managed to get the upper hand. In their minds God ordained things differently…

    2. Ignacio

      Last June Denmark decided to Join the EU common or joint defence policy. Correct me please if I am wrong but as it seems you might be in the EU while not participating in such projects. I ignore the political significance of the move. Might it be that Denmark joined because they were assured that common defence policy was watered down enough for Danish acceptance?

      1. PlutoniumKun

        So far as I’m aware, Denmark was always a member of the EU SCDP. Perhaps you are thinking of the Austrians?

        Several members, including Ireland have ‘opt-outs’ for missions that are not approved by the UN Security Council.

        1. Ignacio

          The link goes to an article in Spanish. Jeppe Kofod signed an agreement in the corresponding EU Council by the 22th of July 2022 according to this. Before, Denmark wouldn’t participate in European missions.

        2. irrational

          Goes back to the Danish rejection of the Maastricht treaty in a referendum in 1992.
          The then-government secured 4 opt-outs: joining the euro, participating in the common security & defense policy, justice and home affairs and citizenship of the EU. Thereafter, another referendum was held and they got it right this time (voted yes).
          Last year in June, they had a referendum on the security and defense opt-out and surprise, surprise opted to drop it.

    3. Ignacio

      I read today an article written in a Spanish conservative outlet about the reactions that Macron’s Politico interview had in Germany and not knowing how accurate the report is, what is outstanding is the cacophony of voices. Europe is a henhouse. According to this paper, German conservatives (CDU, Röttgen) criticise Macron because he is just defending French corporation interests and according to her she is debilitating the coalition with the US and “increasing the probabilities of China attacking Taiwan” if Europeans are perceived as neutral. The SPD (Hakverdi) was more or less on the same tune “the West must be kept united” – I guess regarding China- “in a dangerous world” meaning this the SPD feels protected by US’s nuclear umbrella. But yet a German columnist says this is nothing but crocodile tears as Germany is equally interested on keeping strong commercial relations with China and criticises the SPD for being supposedly progressives but only thinking about money and forgetting The Values.

      I find it all crazed stuff.

    4. tevhatch
      Mark Slaboda give a better answer than I can in the last 7 minutes (3.5 minutes at 2x speed) which is Macron only cares about Macron, but he lives in fear of Washington and had done everything they asked, including emptying France’s Armory. He was on instructions, which is why the Whitehouse didn’t bash him hard. (I also agree the recent Pentagon leaks were intentional, which is discussed earlier).

      1. playon

        The armories of the EU have been emptied so that the American “defense” industry can replenish them. Excellent business opportunities all around.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Interest Rates Likely to Return Toward Pre-Pandemic Levels When Inflation is Tamed’

    IMF also claims that long term that the war in Ukraine will only prove to be a storm in a tea cup economically. If the IMF thinks that we can ever get back to the conditions of 2019, then I can get them a good price on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. That economy is gone and is not coming back.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Mmm, I’ll have a cookie with that steaming hot cup of normalcy bias served up by the IMF.

    2. Mikel

      2019 was already cracking. Remember the “move-along-nothing-to-see-here” discount window action late in 2019?
      And 2008 era was never really fixed.

  15. jefemt

    RIP Ahnold- handsome shepherd…

    I still have nervous laughter recollections from bicycle rides outrunning two shepherds on a neighborhood shortcut…. devil take the hindmost!

    POV— turns out the dogs were a mom and son, owned by my unbeknownst-to-me future wife’s family… their recollections are of hilarity ensuing as their dogs chased the kids on bikes that should NOT have ‘been there’. Cause and effect? Hey, y’all, watch THIS! Small world/ degrees of separation.

    Condolences on the loss… pets bring such joy , but the parting is fraught with such profound grief…

  16. The Rev Kev

    ‘Philip Pilkington
    Yuan now rivalling euro in trade financing. Lower interest rates relative to the inflationary West seem to be attracting more people to use it. The inflation is part of the #greatdivergence and unless something changes in Western policy, these trends will continue.’

    Trends are always worth paying attention to. Back in WW2 Churchill was once asked about a battle that had just been lost and he said something very interesting. He was saying that he noted such things but it was the trends that were more important and he had a point. Consider alone the trends that have made themselves apparent the past forty months to get a sense of which direction the world is heading. And those trends can be seen militarily, economically, socially and right across the board.

    1. LawnDart

      Maybe US manufacturers can buy cheap electronics in bulk from China and harvest the rare earth metals from these…

          1. JBird4049

            Much, if not most of what China has a “monopoly” on is merely more expensive gotten elsewhere like the United States, which has its own, closed mines.

            However, I worry that the Congo is going to reamed even more. There are reasons why the great powers have never allowed that country to be a country with the people only allowed to Dance to the Glory of Monsters.

            This true of other countries with very useful, even required, resources that are rare and expensive to procure resources. They get destabilized with coups, assassinations, bribery, perhaps with a light serving of genocide, and the multinational corporations come in and steal buy the resources. After suitable bribes payments for them to the country’s new management.

            So, I am not too worried as the most that will happen to me is some modest discomfort, but weaker countries will get stomped, if needed, hard; the United States and Europe will be okay after some adjustments. The United States has most of what it needs inside its borders, and what it doesn’t have, it can steal it.

            Hilaire Belloc: “Whatever happens, we have got The Maxim gun, and they have not”

            To hammer it home, I will say everything old is becoming new, again. What a stupid, stupid world we live in.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Damn! They actually did it. They were talking about doing so a coupla days ago but it looks like they decided to go ahead and pull the trigger. That is going to throw supply lines to the US into chaos, particularly for the Pentagon. ‘No rare earths for you!’

      1. LawnDart

        Yep, chaos indeed.

        Now imagine if China takes it a step further and bans the re-export of these materials, telling would-be middlemen that sending these from third-countries would make them fair-game for sanctions as well.

        In a way, this could be a boost to European manufacturers: the USA gave them sky-high energy costs, and China give them continued access to rare earths… I think that the Chinese may have picked-up a lesson or two from Kissinger.

      2. Paradan

        We actually have plenty of rare earths deposits, we’re just to cheap to invest in the processing plants. After all the next administration could improve relations with china and get the embargo dropped, so too risky for such a large capital investment, heaven forbid we engage in protectionism with tariffs, that a slippery slope to serfdom damit!

  17. Jason Boxman

    On cancer, we definitely are at risk of over screening and over detection:

    Thyroid cancer over-diagnosis is a result of screening programs in South Korea

    And we know that before prostate cancer kills, usually something else does: Is It Time to Rename Low-Grade Prostate Cancer?

    A recent article published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has put this argument back in the spotlight. The article’s author, University of Chicago Medicine’s Dr. Scott Eggener, referred to Gleason 6 tumors as “the wimpiest form” of prostate cancer, adding that it’s “literally incapable of causing symptoms or spreading to other parts of the body.”

    What’s going to become of all this, given what COVID does to the immune system, I guess we’ll find out. I’ve read anecdotal evidence of increases in cancer, but I haven’t seen any longitudinal studies on this.

    1. paddy

      on prostate ca….. over 70 prolly leave it be if your psa modestly rises….

      my rule at >72

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Just like happened with breast cancer screenings / mammograms, when you try to dial it back, you get all kinds of unhinged screeching about “death panels.”

    3. Lexx

      Sitting on the throne this morning and reading a few more pages of ‘The Myth of Normal’, when I read this paragraph:

      ‘Dr. Steven Cole is a prolific researcher whose work has cast a bright light on the disease process. “We now know that disease is a long-term process,” he told me, ” a physiological process taking place in our bodies, and how we live influences how quickly that’s going to get us to the clinical level… The more we understand about disease, the less clear it becomes when you have it and when you don’t.” Within the myth of normal, of course, this kind of nuance is barely comprehensible: you’re either “sick” or you’re “well”, and it should be obvious which camp you’re in. But really, there are no clear dividing lines between illness and health. Nobody all of a sudden “gets” an autoimmune disease, or “gets” cancer — though it may, perhaps, make itself known suddenly and with tremendous impact.’

      It is obvious which camp you’re in… to the patient, that party in the medical transaction with the least agency. Medicine isn’t (profitably) geared to nuance; it’s deaf to subtext. Patients who are, in regard to their own bodies, are seen as just hypochondriacal, or whiners and time-wasters, until lab tests confirm that which the patient had been frantically pointing to for years. It’s a caretaker system, not a caregiver.

      The level of clinical disease arising within the system itself… is discussed here almost daily.

    4. Mildred Montana

      In my humble non-medical opinion, early detection of cancer is over-rated. Sorry to be so blunt, but if the cancer is aggressive you’re dead, regardless of how soon it is detected. If it’s indolent as in the case of many prostate cancers, it’s probably best to leave it alone. But the sad fact of the matter is that the medical profession still doesn’t know much about the pathology and behavior of cancerous tumors.

      An example involving a very famous person:

      In 2002 Ebert was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer, a slow-growing differentiated cancer with a good prognosis. He had surgery. A year later a metastasis was found in his salivary gland. He had surgery. Three years later cancer was found in his jawbone. His jawbone was surgically removed, requiring him to wear a prosthesis.

      Long story short. After ten years of surgical interventions, medical complications, and further metastases, he died in 2012. I read somewhere (sorry, can’t quote a source) that he said he regretted ever having had that initial surgery.

      Perhaps his thyroid cancer was unusually aggressive. Or perhaps the surgery to remove it affected its behavior (I’ve heard of such a phenomenon) and it became more invasive. Who knows?

      Whatever the case, I’m only saying that when it comes to cancer oncologists don’t have all the answers yet so they resort to the comforting (and profitable) belief in testing and early detection. That, at least, is something they can do.

      1. Revenant

        Cancer survival rates increase because they measure 5-yr survival, not cure. There has been great improvement in early diagnosis. Cure rates from detection when analysed by stage at detection have not increased so much. There are some honourable exceptions, especially where new immunooncology drugs are concerned. Some of the biggest improvements have come from innovation in reducing treatment, e.g. studies showing that chemo and radiotherapy is not required for certain patients, just one alone (cannot remember which).

        Even diagnosis is dangerous. Breast scans are both a source if ionising radiation And, worse, require significant compression of the breast which risks breaking up tumours, which are fragile, disordered tissue, and seeding metastases.

        I invested in a phased array radar based breast screening approach at one fund, which is now finally coming to market as Micrima and is an improvement over x-ray on both counts (and also works on dense breast tissue for young women). It has taken 20 years! Venture capital is not all bad, Yves/Lambert!

      2. Jason Boxman

        I read an article in scientific American some years back waiting for a haircut in Boston, that cancer DNA doesn’t even all sequence the same for even the same cancer at the same site. So much we don’t know.

        1. Revenant

          Yes. BBC has an article with a lung cancer investigator saying that it mutates so much, we should abandon hope of a curein all patients, just a lucky subset.

    1. JBird4049

      I know that you are joking, but the American, and I bet the European as well, companies are making bank with this American creation. The Biden Administration doesn’t dare offend its regime’s supporters. Just look at the outrage over ending the profitable Afghanistan Grift War.

  18. Mikel

    Bloomberg is one of the outlets reporting NPR is crying foul to Twitter for labeling it “state-affiliated media.”
    Will Musk stick the “state-affiliated” label on the corporations advertising on the platform?
    Lots of corporations, including Tesla and Space X, are “state-affiliated.”

  19. Aaron

    Re 58% of Americans…

    Yeah sucks but bullet point 3: “ Learning to better manage financial stress boils down to some basic budgeting skills and key behaviors, experts say.”

    Phew, was briefly concerned. Thanks experts!

      1. JBird4049

        Lovely. Can I add that most gun deaths are suicides? Deaths of despair, that is. Great country I live in.

  20. Wukchumni

    Former President Donald Trump is coming to Indianapolis Friday for the National Rifle Assocation’s annual convention, where he’ll share stage time with his former vice president, former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, along with other presidential hopefuls and key figures in Indiana politics. (Indy Star)
    Would that be major league awkward for Pence?

    Gee, I hope so!

    1. Wukchumni

      in related news:

      You better watch out
      You better not cry
      You better not pout
      I’m telling you why

      Second Amendment is comin’ to town
      Second Amendment is comin’ to town
      Second Amendment is comin’ to town

      Pols making a stage presence
      Even though there are no guns present
      They’re gonna find out
      Who’s a well regulated militia, no doubt

      Second Amendment is comin’ to town
      Second Amendment is comin’ to town
      Second Amendment is comin’ to town

      He sees you when you’re sleeping
      He knows you can only draw when you’re awake
      He knows if you’ve been bad or good
      So be good for goodness sake
      Because the only thing that stops a bad person with a gun
      Is a good person with a gun

      Second Amendment is comin’ to town
      Second Amendment is comin’ to town
      Second Amendment is comin’ to town

  21. Dart

    Shutting down U.S. nuclear power plants would result in more deadly air pollution

    Talk to the Japanese and the Ukrainians about the dangers of air pollution versus nuclear power. They might have something to add to that discussion. Been to a beach on the pacific coast lately? Notice how few seagulls there are, as well as marine life, sea urchins etc? The Salmon Season was cancelled off California, too few fish.

    Billions of snow crabs missing, all this since Fukushima.

    “As biologists, all we can point to is some sort of large-scale mortality event,”

    1. tevhatch

      Notice how few seagulls there are, as well as marine life, sea urchins etc? The Salmon Season was cancelled off California, too few fish…..Billions of snow crabs missing, all this since Fukushima.

      Maybe those phenomena / effects are due to mercury contamination? PFAS contamination? or who knows, possibly global climate change causing unusual temperature changes in the waters? How about if that’s not enough, combining all of the above plus oil spills, overfishing, etc. etc.? I have no idea other than to say correlation does not = causation.

  22. Wukchumni

    Biden Administration Proposes Evenly Cutting Water Allotments From Colorado River New York Times
    I think it boils down to human beans over artichokes eat al, in terms of who gets the water. Now if asparagus could pay property taxes it might have a chance against us.

    Most everything grown with Colorado River water in Cali is annual crops, so expect much more price inflation as dwindling supplies of water come a cropper on many a crop.

  23. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Blinded by hate: Republicans too busy to notice plummeting poll numbers for Trump and GOP Salon

    I’d say the author of that article knows whereof she speaks when she speaks about being “blinded” by “hate.”

    She’s apparently written a book, as noted in her biographical blurb at the end of the article:

    Amanda Marcotte is a senior politics writer at Salon and the author of “Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set On Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself.”

    1. Massinissa

      Truth itself, hahaha. Sounds like she might have a case of TDS, so I’m not sure how to take this article.

      1. JBird4049

        She probably does, but I would add that the Liberal establishment are rat-f*cking conservatives, America and truth as well. It’s a collective rat orgy.

  24. bdy

    >Training ChatGPT AI Required 185,000 Gallons of Water: Study Gizmodo (Dr. Kevin)

    To be fair, it takes a lot more water to keep the people alive whom ChatHPT renders superfluous and dispensable.

  25. GF

    ‘Death to Christians’: Violence steps up under new Israeli gov’t”

    Time for the 9th Crusade.

  26. flora

    From Edward Dowd.

    Let me speak as if to a child…when M2 (money supply) year over year growth goes negative historically bad things happen…like financial panics. It happened in November 2022. It’s not a market timing tool but a clear warning that one should be seriously considering cash (money markets, t-bills etc) as a part of their asset allocation until the uncertainty clarifies.

    IMHO we are nowhere near clarity yet. Clarity for me is lower prices reflecting reality.

    Holding cash as an asset class? There’s a concept. / ;)

    1. Late Introvert

      Thanks to NC commentariat I opened a Treasury account last week and bought my 1st round of T-bills at 4.9% for 15 weeks. Zero commission and it is safe until it isn’t.

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