Links 4/18/2023

Behold: The 62,000-Mile-High ‘Plasma Waterfall’ That Erupted From The Sun Science Alert


Unprecedented sea level rise seen on Gulf Coast, East Coast as waters warm New Orleans Times-Picayune

Banks Say They’re Acting on Climate, But Continue to Finance Fossil Fuel Expansion Inside Climate News


What might Colorado River cuts mean for states and their water supplies? NBC News

Phoenix hopes to turn wastewater into drinking water by 2030 AZFamily

The Elephant on the Banks of the Colorado River Counterpunch. Arizona vs. Navajo Nation.


COVID-19 Strikes Again: Accelerating Dementia in the Most Vulnerable SciTechDaily (Mark N)

Poor Sleep After COVID Hospitalization: Dyspnea Is Part of the Equation MedPage Today

Bird Flu

Bird Flu Sample from Chilean Man Showed Some Signs of Adaptation to Mammals New York Times

Old Blighty

Rishi Sunak faces probe by ethics watchdog over budget ‘benefit’ to wife’s childcare agency The Independent

Renters’ unions are successfully resisting evictions around the UK The Canary


China starts ‘surgical’ retaliation against foreign companies after US-led tech blockade FT

Taiwan to buy 400 US anti-ship missiles to repel China in major WW3 escalation Daily Express

G7 diplomats discuss Chinese military threats to Taiwan at Japan summit Axios

China relationship will be determined by Beijing’s behaviour, EU policy chief says Reuters

DR Congo to audit and review ‘unfair’ Chinese mining contracts Devdiscourse

France seeks to reassure Taiwan over Macron’s controversial remarks France24

European Disunion

PATRICK LAWRENCE: Macron’s Europe Consortium News

Does Europe need to split? Unherd

Thousands rally against Czech government in Prague AFP

Slovakia ignores EU warning and bans grain imports from Ukraine FT

New Not-So-Cold War

Defense Official Confirms Leak: American Smart Bombs Are Failing in Ukraine Antiwar

Slovakia transfers entire MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jet fleet to Ukraine Airforce Technology

USAID will invest millions to boost the oversight of Ukraine’s management of aid NPR

Sweden begins largest war games in 25 years involving 14 countries Al Mayadeen


US’ Rising Anxiety as Russia Survives Attrition by the Entirety of NATO Al Mayadeen

Russia the mining and minerals titan of the future Intellinews

L’affaire Leaker

Snowden and Texeira: Ten Years of Disaster Craig Murray

The Press is Now Also the Police Matt Taibbi, Racket News

South of the Border

Colombia’s FARC rebel faction ready for ‘peace talks’ Al Jazeera


Palestinian President Abbas visits Saudi Arabia to ‘strengthen’ relations Al-Monitor

Iran invites Saudi king to visit Tehran The Cradle

O Canada

Federal workers to strike Wednesday if union, government don’t reach a deal CTV News

B-a-a-a-a-d Banks

‘Fraught with inaccuracies’: Schwab pushes back on post-SVB concerns American Banker

Biden Administration

Biden’s Northern Ireland ultimatum looks doomed to fail Politico

Rep. Gaetz Resolution Would Make Biden Disclose Number of US Troops in Ukraine Antiwar

Realignment and Legitimacy

The Age of the Crisis of Work Harper’s

GOP Clown Car

‘Godspeed’: Senate GOPer’s doubt Kevin McCarthy’s plan to cut food assistance for millions AlterNet

McCarthy pledges a vote on one-year debt limit hike – without clear GOP support CNBC

Democrats en déshabillé

Hochul’s Top Court Pick Represented Chevron in Climate Case Against Steven Donziger New York Focus

The Supremes

U.S. Supreme Court empowers bids to curb authority of federal agencies Reuters

Police State Watch

A War Crimes Team Investigated the Portland Police. The Results Are Damning Rolling Stone

Digital Watch


Groves of Academe

Chris Hedges: Taking Back Our Universities From Corporate Apparatchiks Scheerpost


Class Warfare

LEAKED AUDIO: CDC Urging Doctors Not to Test East Palestine Residents for Cancer-Causing Vinyl Chloride. Residents Are Testing Positive Anyway Status Coup News

Many Older Americans Haven’t Saved Anything for Retirement Bloomberg

Writers Guild Members Overwhelmingly Approve Strike Authorization Vote by 97.85% The Wrap

USW Calls on Paper Industry to Institute Safeguards Against Deadly Fungal Infection United Steelworkers


Is that the IRS with your refund? No, it’s a ChatGPT scam Politico

Photographer admits prize-winning image was AI-generated The Guardian

The Bezzle

Mission Accomplished: Shaquille O’Neal Finally Served With Class-Action Lawsuit Documents Defector

SpaceX scrubs 1st space launch of giant Starship rocket due to fueling issue

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Sardonia

    A song dedicated to poor Lambert, who couldn’t get yesterday’s Water Cooler up because his triply redundant connectivity was failing him. A little suggestion for days like that – melody from The Beatle’s fabulously psychedelic masterpiece, “Tomorrow Never Knows”. For those who don’t know it, really – enjoy the tune:

    Turn off your mind,
    Relax, and float downstream.
    Nothing is lo…oading.
    Nothing is lo…oading.

    Lay down all thoughts,
    Surrender to the Void
    Your screen is sho…owing
    Your screen is sho…owing.

    Let Nothingness
    Become your Twitter feed
    All is with…i…in it
    All is with…i…in it.

    There you will see the news
    That matters most
    Already kno…owing
    Already kno…owing.

    Enjoy the view of
    Utter Emptiness
    All is appea…earing
    All is appea…earing.

    Just listen to the colors
    Of the dream.
    Upload a bla…ank screen
    Upload a bla…ank screen.

    We all will understand
    And fill the slack
    With commenta…ary
    With commenta….ary.

    With commenta…ary
    With commenta…ary
    With commenta…ary
    With commenta…ary
    With commenta…ary….

    1. Lexx

      Small plane pilots would call it ‘a touch and go’. The definition of focus and stealth in flight, that bird is hunting and doesn’t want to offer a warning.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        50 some years ago, when I was at the Rochester MN airport because a relative was being treated by the Mayo Clinic, I saw a Northwest Airline 747 doing touch and goes. The jumbo jet had just been introduced and I presume NWA was qualifying one of their pilots on it. The plane went around 3-4 times while I was waiting for another flight.

        1. digi_owl

          Now that you mention it, there was a smaller jet that did such a thing at a nearby airport this winter.

          1. John Beech

            Touch and goes are frowned upon these day because of the added risks, e.g. human error like forgetting to lower the landing gear. As for a smaller jet performing repeated approaches, this is quite likely an FAA aircraft doing required checks on instrument procedure equipment. I live beneath the downwind of 9R at KSFB where we hangar our Bonanza business aircraft so my ears perk up when unusual traffic is in the pattern (and business jets using 9R almost 100% get a straight in approach versus actually flying the pattern like the typical traffic). Anyway, the FAA is out and about around here once a year. The IFR plates are updated every 56 days but their aircraft are actually flying the variations to confirm function.

            1. BeliTsari

              We’d watch Air Force One do touch & gos at Harrisburg’s airport (long runway, proximity to DC & quite literally Dickensian mill-lined wide, shallow river. We’d be watching it an easy pistol shot above Mittal, both Obama & Trump years. Granted TMI survived melt-down, so Westinghouse containment wasn’t scary like GE reactors full of fuel bundles in Berwick, 90mi from NYC. But Steeltown’s pretty heavily armed & Highspire’s mighty canked up? Anyhow, we kept our phones on 4K Video!

        2. Pnwarrior_womyn

          Touch and go constantly at McCord AFB (Joint Base Lewis McCord) right here in greater Tacoma, WA. The scary part is when the C-17 is right over your minivan with the sunroof open and just shy of the runway at SR 512 and I-5. A light there. Anxiety builds as you think the C-17 will be landing and crushing your minivan.

  2. JohnA

    Re Many Older Americans Haven’t Saved Anything for Retirement Bloomberg
    this headline suggests these are spendthrifts, whereas a likely more accurate headline would surely be
    Many Older Americans too poorly paid to save anything for retirement

    1. Arizona Slim

      Or, put another way, those naughty older Americans had the audacity to enjoy a latte or two at the coffee shop! What nerve they have! They could have been putting that money into the stonk market!

      1. flora

        Oh, we bad. We bad. / ;)

        80% of American workers haven’t seen a real inflation-adjusted raise in wages for over 40 years.
        From 2018:

        For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades

        “In fact, despite some ups and downs over the past several decades, today’s real average wage (that is, the wage after accounting for inflation) has about the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago. And what wage gains there have been have mostly flowed to the highest-paid tier of workers.”

        1. jefemt

          Fergoshsakes, don’t tell Larry Summers! A fly and pox on his narrative!!

          Inflation is due to those too-high wages!

      2. tevhatch

        Moar Pauper Prisons…
        ala New Jim Crow, but you know, woke New Jim Crow.
        The rulers are upset the retired and unretired are not helping the American Justice Industry carry out equivalent of the Afghanistan war goals according to Julian Assange. The last thing the Oligarchy that owns WSJ, etc; want to see is their bonded slaves capital wandering around unguarded.

    2. The Rev Kev

      This can also seen to be related to the linked Tweet near the top Links today where it says-

      ‘this headline does an incredible, almost poetic job of demonstrating how liberalism approaches nearly every crisis by performing acknowledgement while institutionalizing denial’

      In this case liberalism is shifting the blame onto those lazy workers instead of the economic system which forces too many workers to live from hand to mouth.

    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      Or got hit with unexpected medical bills after losing their company paid insurance when their job flew over the Pacific.

    4. FreeMarketApologist

      I can’t quite tell what that article is trying to say, as it roughly summarizes a survey that appeared to mostly be about net worth, commissioned by CreditKarma, who have their own biases and interests.

      The message I got from the survey results* was that people aren’t very smart about basic finance, which does not surprise me one bit. The statements about people not knowing how to calculate net worth may well be true, but the statement about people caring more about celeb’s net worth than their own isn’t an obvious conclusion from the little data presented. The whole thing seems mostly to be about generating headlines.

      * Here:

      Bloomberg (the company and the man) has a bias toward a ‘work hard and save well’ ethic (which I agree with), and their own financial health calculator** is a pretty good (and conservative) tool for thinking about personal finances.

      ** and here:

    5. .human

      Many Older Americans Haven’t Financialized Their Savings For Retirement

      Fixed it for ya…

      I’m one of those who refuse to play the game and watched as interest on savings accounts have dropped to fractions of a percent forcing us into the maws of parasitic “wealth advisors.” Responsible savings, indeed!

      1. flora

        Oh yeah. There was a time, when interest rates on savings was basically 0%, that going into my locally owned bank to shift some savings around into a CD would prompt the person assisting me to give a sales pitch for using their “wealth advisor” to invest in the stock market. No, thank you. “But but you could get a higher rate of return.” Is it FDIC insured? “Well, no, but….” No, thank you.

        I like all the people at my local bank. They were doing what management wanted them to do. One person said (under her breath), “I understand, but I have to do this.” I noticed they stopped asking me this question a couple of years ago. They still have a “wealth advisor” office but they aren’t pushing it to me anymore.

        1. Arizona Slim

          And here’s another thing: You can wealth-advise yourself. There are online forums like this one, and, yes, you can learn quite a bit about managing your money here.

          If you’re feelin’ even friskier, you can go to Bogleheads, which is a pretty good investing forum. Just read it for a good long time before you even invest a penny, mmm-kay?

          Oh, you can also go to the library and borrow books like The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing. The chapter on managing a windfall is especially helpful, should you be fortunate enough to find yourself in the bullseye of one of those “wealth advisors.”

          1. flora

            Yep. Thanks for the Bogleheads tip. John Bogle style thinking and strategies? ‘Nuf said. ( I learn tons of economic stuff reading NC. I’m adding your tip to the list. )

          2. Vandemonian

            Seconded. And, as a bonus for us down under, Bogleheads has a lengthy page with investment advice for Australians.

        2. flora

          adding: it seemed weird to me that a bank would invite its savings customers to send their money out of the bank to Wall St, instead of keeping the savings within the bank itself. Then again, I don’t have an MBA. Go figure. / ;)

          1. Mildred Montana

            Cherchez la monnaie. If an institution is willing to divert your funds to another, that can only mean one thing: It is getting a juicy commission on what will probably turn out to be a bad investment for you. In general, retail investors are offered garbage.

            A cautionary anecdote: Twenty years ago I had a small safe GIC earning 5% at a brokerage. One day one of its brokers called me in for a “consultation” and I went. He showed me the returns on a few Government of Canada bonds. I was interested. He then showed me the much-higher 8% return on a private segregated fund and recommended I invest in both. I immediately smelled something rotten in Vancouver. “Let me think about it”, I said.

            It never went further and good thing it didn’t. The GOC bonds were fine of course but I learned only later that the segregated fund on offer was the turkey I suspected, with an exorbitant 5% commission for my “advisor”. Sure, it paid out 8% annually (guaranteed!) for a few years but its Net Asset Value declined sharply from the start and it was eventually de-listed.

            If I had bought into it I would have lost most or all of my principle with only the consolation of those few “generous” interest payments.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        CEO Andi Owens, the subject of this twitter is a poster child for the empowerment of women and the shattering of the glass ceiling.
        Her MillerKnoll brands collective:
        “Each brand offers a distinct perspective on design and a full portfolio of products to suit diverse needs.”
        “Drawing on the combined strength of our people, values, and expertise, our collective of brands comes together to design the world we live in.”
        Some brands not to buy — if you happen to enjoy an income in a well-paid PMC position and feel any sympathy or concern for the lower minions:
        Herman Miller, Knoll, Colebrook Bosson Saunders, DatesWeiser, Edelman, FilzFelt, Geiger, HAY, Holly Hunt, KnollTextiles, Maars Living Walls, Maharam, Muuto, NaughtOne, Spinneybeck.
        I suppose Andi Owen can sleep easy with her bonus knowing there will be little customer based blowback. The MillerKnoll stock MLKN dropped 2.38% in response to CEO Andi Owens town hall to inspire her workforce offering a buying opportunity for picking up MLKN stock. If the minions remain restless, a little housecleaning of personnel should take care of the problem, and possibly give the MLKN a nice bump up into the next quarter.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Slovakia ignores EU warning and bans grain imports from Ukraine”

    This is getting to be a big story and is leading to a fracture of the east European nations that have been fully supporting the Ukraine and the Ukraine itself. As the article says, Poland Hungary & Slovakia have banned grain coming from the Ukraine and I think that Poland has even banned Ukrainian grain transiting their country. Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic are also considering taking action. Hungary for example said ‘The price of food wheat, excluding VAT and transport costs, set by grain producers in Hungary was 27% lower than a year earlier, feed wheat -37%, and feed corn -23%’ which is really hurting local farmers. And this is happening to all the countries bordering the Ukraine. Poland is really under the gun because they have an upcoming election and cannot dismiss those farmer’s complaints. Add to that that Slovakia had to destroy 1,500 tons of wheat as it had a banned pesticide in it.

    So after ignoring all those country’s complaints the past few months, the EU is now threatening those countries banning Ukrainian wheat and say that only they can do it – which they have no intention of doing. They say that the Ukraine needs the money from grain sales so they cannot stop them. Those countries are now saying ‘Watch us!’ The same tensions are also happening with the import of cheap Ukrainian poultry, eggs and honey as well. The Ukrainians meanwhile have gotten on their high horses and said that those countries are not allowed to do that and let people know that they feel betrayed. I suppose that it is too late to mention that all that wheat was supposedly have been shipped to African nations but it may not matter. Next month the grain export deal runs out and the Russians probably will not renew it as the EU has deliberately not held up their end of the deal by allowing Russian exports of grains and fertilizers to Global South Countries.

    1. Cristobal

      The EU is not doing its job in protecting its citizens and its industries. From what I read, the Ukranian grain is contaminated with a pesticide banned in the EU. In addition this ¨dumping¨ is harming the local farmers. They have every right to ban it, but actually, the EU itself should be banning it.
      I live in Spain, where there is sometimes a problem with cheap imports from Morocco which pays its labor much less and has less in the way of environmental standards. Many sectors of the Spanish agricultural industry are sufffering from the introduction of imports that are cheaper than the cost of production locally. Apparently the EU has no problem with this as it lowers the price of food in Germany and elsewhere in the block. This is not to mention the Chinese impots of foodstuffs such as honey. I am sure that other EU countries such as France and Italy, with important agricultural sectors, have similar problems. The EU should protect its own in the so-called single market, if it does not do so, what use is it? Don´t get me wrong, I am infavor of a strong European block, but it needs to support its industries as if it were a real country, and stop trying to privatize healthcare and everything else for the benefir of multinational (mostly US) corporations.

      In regards the grain deal, in addition to the EU poñicy harming its own citizens, the terms of the agreement with Russia have not been met, as most of the NC readers are aware. Russian grain and fertilizers are still subject to many restrictions, which were to be removed as part of the dealIn terms of wheat production, China is #1 by a lot. #3 is Russia and Ukraine is #8. The original problem was the ffact that Ukraine had mined their own harbours to prevent the Russians entering (and trapping hundreds of vessels and their crews of all nationalities in the harbor). The grain has not gone to the supposedly intended recipients, and there is reason to suspect that the Ukraine has used this arrangement to import weapons.

      We will see what the EU does, but I suspect it will dance to the tune of their paymaster, Uncle Sam.

    2. Paradan

      Also I seriously doubt that the grain is grown by Ukrainian owned farms. It’s almost certainly an American corporation, and probably none of the profit stays in country. Hell they probably don’t even pay taxes.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Ukrainians do own a lot of the agricultural land, due to the moratorium banning land ownership transfers instituted in 2001 to stop the concentration of land to oligarchs and foreign companies. But a lot of those fields have been leased by big agri.

        Moratorium ended two years ago, though, allowing transfers of under 100 hectares. 2024 it will rise to 10,000 hectares.

        The system is so corrupt that nobody really knows how much land is leased or the 100 hectares is circumvented by dividing the area into smaller pieces. This is called a “land reform” and it was pushed by World Bank, among others. Majority of Ukrainians did oppose this reform last year. Technically the reform bans foreign companies from buying land in Ukraine, but nobody believes the corrupt system can prevent this – or even try to.

        1. Paradan

          Zelenski had that as part of his platform when he ran. Then after he was in office he did an about face and backed land reform, who could’ve guessed that an oligarch backed candidate would rule in Neo-liberal favor?

    3. some guy

      This is part of the EU delamination which the RussiaGov hopes to see develop further by fighting its end of the war just hard enough to keep NATO and Ukraine fighting too . . . for the next few years.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Iran invites Saudi king to visit Tehran”

    Wow. This is big. A year ago this would have been completely unimaginable. This reconciliation should serve to put out all sorts of fires in the middle east and maybe, just maybe, that region can settle down a bit. But if I were the Saudis and the Iranians, I would have maximum fighter protection for the plane carrying the Saudi king just in case some other countries got some funny ideas. These days you just never know. Fortunately the Iranians are already receiving the first three of their Su-35S fighters which should help. They were originally going to Egypt hence them still being in Egyptian colours and eventually there will be 24 of them- (31 secs)

    1. flora

      From 2021.

      Iran and China sign 25-year cooperation agreement

      The Saudi’s see which way the wind is blowing. Apparently, sanctioning almost the entire world has “unforeseen” consequences. This following headline speaks volumes about blinkered DC decision making by both parties. From this past Sunday April 16th.

      Yellen Says Sanctions May Risk Hegemony of US Dollar.

    2. Carolinian

      Years ago Alex Cockburn said that if you were living under the Roman empire would you want a competent emperor running things or one who would gum up the works. Sleepy Joe (the Russians refer to him as the “biological Biden” as opposed to the staff controlled version) may be doing more to end US imperialism than any now non existent antiwar movement. Assuming we make it through the world and even the US may be better off.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        It’s true, I’ve been listening to Lefties talk about “contradictions” forever, and have caught myself using that terminology on occcasion, but snap on us: the Hegemon will fall without so much as a breath from the so-called Left.

  5. Jake

    FYI Link Error: Russia the mining and minerals titan of the future Intellinews
    The link is a dup of the link above it

  6. paddy

    blame russian “jammers” for the shoddy jdam-er.

    the ‘fusing’ issue suggests: poor training, no support equipment to check out the kits, and shoddy integration into the platform csrrying the kluge.

    other issues masked by “jammers”: poor reliability, poor inspections of the kits drawn from long terms storage, and software issues not tested when the jdam profits were distributed.

    jammers are small light and hard to find.

    the hidden worry: if “jammers” are effective what about terrorists going after icao navigation…..

    1. R.S.

      Yeah, re: those Slovak MiG-29s there was much fuss over “Russian sabotage”. Like,
      Russian technicians may have been intentionally sabotaging the operation of Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets owned by the Slovak army, said Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď.

      But if you read today’s link…
      The 13 aircraft, which were last modernised in 1996, have reportedly experienced a high failure rate in the past. According to Zemko, the aircraft experienced failures on average every 43 minutes during operation.

      The availability of spare parts, components, and ammunition posed yet another critical problem.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I cannot see a timeline for those jets and these Russian technicians. They were last used in August of last year. So when were these Russian technicians working on these planes exactly? The article says last year but when exactly? After February would have been high risk and you think that the government would have put a stop to it. So does that mean that they were unserviced between February and August of last year? The article sounds…off.

        1. R.S.

          No idea. Some sources suggest that the Russians were expelled in Mar.2022, right after the whole show had started.

          I did a quick search, and the “Russian technicians” seem to have been not that Russian. The planes were reportedly serviced by some “Willing” firm owned by a Slovak “oligarch” Miroslav Výboh. The company itself is either Slovak or Czech, and that Vyboh guy is facing multiple corruption charges. Maybe his firm hired some Russian nationals, or ethnic Russians, or whatever, and the parts could be, let’s say, “refurbished”. IMHO it probably has more to do with corruption than with actual sabotage.

          A study by Prague Security Studies Institute suggests that the contracts go as deep as 2005. (Herrjemine, just its title makes me already feel weird…)
          Signs of the usage of economic and financial tools of Russian influence in
          Slovakia could be discovered by tracking connections between members of the Slovak governmental party SMER-SD with influential business figures. One of such figures is Miroslav Výboh, owner of an armament company called Willing, which on behalf of the Russian company RSK MiG signed a deal on air-fighter servicing with the Slovak government, lead by Mikuláš Dzurinda in 2005.
          “United We Stand, Divided We Fall: The Kremlin’s Leverage in the Visegrad Countries”, Ivana Smoleňová (ed.) and Barbora Chrzová (ed.), Prague Security Studies Institute, 2017

          Sorry, that Slovak Spectator site is nasty, shoving their ads right into your face.

          This is from March 2022, more than a year ago:
          During the Smer-led governments, the Willing company, owned at the time by Miroslav Výboh who faces corruption-related charges, kept receiving orders worth millions of euros. Since the year 2020, when the government changed and the Defence Ministry was given to the senior coalition party Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO), the department has signed five contracts worth more than €0.5 million with the firm. It secures the supplies of spare parts and the repairs of MiG-29 jets.

          This is 4.Aug 2021
          Entrepreneur Miroslav Výboh, who has been described as a close friend of former prime minister, now Smer MP, Robert Fico, has been charged in the Mýtnik (Toll Collector) case.

      2. paddy

        mean time btw failure @43 minutes flight time is not a problem if failure is not mission/safety critical and there are techs and materiel. f-35 is likely worse, and most techs are from lockheed

        aircraft tend to need more repairs as they age, and there is no money to keep them up.

        which is common issue outside the USA’ military profit mill.

        where the problem is repairs compensate for poor reliability

        f-16 going to Kiev would drag in a large support tail which would ripple through the USAf fleet which has not achieved budgeted readiness in last 11years

        1. R.S.

          Thanks. Slovakia signed a deal in 2018 to replace those MiGs with F-16s by 2023 anyway, so likely on a minimal budget. (Those deliveries are postponed – great job, LM!) Just ageing planes and not enough money to keep them all fixed and shiny, the Russians probably didn’t really need to sabotage anything in the first place.

          Seems Uncle Sam also provided them with an incentive.
          March 22 (Reuters) – The United States has offered to sell Slovakia 12 new Bell AH-1Z Viper helicopters at a two-thirds discount after Bratislava sent its retired MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad said on Wednesday. The remainder would be covered under the U.S. Foreign Military Financing programme, Nad said in a post on Facebook. The deal includes parts, training and more than 500 AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles, he said.

          1. paddy

            Poland acquired f-16 in 2008. they are in line to replace with f-35. good luck with that.

            engines on both are high maintenance and no small country can sustain the engines so they go back to usa for repair, expensive and slow.

            us fighter aircraft are expensive to own and fly, and f-35 is largely repaired by lockheed

            ah-1z is better attack helo than Apache, simpler.

            modern us weapons are status symbols more than military capability.

            bigger f-35 buyers got some free technology and license to make foreign sales components, bribes!

    2. Cristobal

      there are several airplane crashes in the last several years in which fake navaids may have played a part. A localizer going off line while another signal was being sent, or the same with a beacon. With my limited knowledge I can thind of two or three that are highly suspece.

      1. paddy

        the most significant factoid in the leaked psyops could be telling regular people that things they depend on can be jammed.

        late icao navigation standards emphasize enroute aircraft self positioning using redundant on board navigation/position systems (complex flight management system), some inertial and some gps based.

        using ads-b in usa or similar outside usa aircraft positions are tracked mostly by self report/link.

        secondary ground radar positions roughly using transponder and differential computations.

        ability to jam gps poses significant risk!

  7. tevhatch

    Taiwan to buy 400 US anti-ship missiles to repel China in major WW3 escalation, Daily Express

    Further to my comment in links yesterday, all of those missiles are subsonic and have a pretty limited range, which makes blockade breaking with them moot even if they are not taken out first.

    The goal is to use Afghanistan Taiwan Province to wash money out of the tax bases of the US, and Europe, Japan, and Taiwan Province through Afghanistan Taiwan Province and back into the hands of a transnational security elite. The goal is an endless war, not a successful war”

    Somewhere on NC in the recent past years I commented that in order to manage the need to increase dividend growth and stock values, eventually the USA would need to have a cold/hot war with Russia, China, then South America and finally the EU, and when its got the whole world set against the US, to go against aliens, that is until the USD goes kaput.

  8. Roger Blakely

    India: Eyes are blood red, gooey, and glued shut.

    Lambert was asking about this yesterday. The reason why I focus on ocular exposure is because I wear a respirator at all times and still get hammered with COVID-19. One of my infections had my eye swollen and puffy for a week.

    Every variant seems to be good at beating up on different organs. Is XBB.1.16 is good at beating up on mucous membranes in the eyelids? SARS-CoV-2 is not infecting the eyeball at first, though there is evidence that it can happen eventually. At first SARS-CoV-2 is beating up on the mucous membranes in the eyelids and the immune system is flooding the eye with white blood cells to control the infection. That’s how the eyes get blood red, gooey, and glued shut.

  9. Wukchumni

    What might Colorado River cuts mean for states and their water supplies? NBC News

    Phoenix hopes to turn wastewater into drinking water by 2030 AZFamily

    The Elephant on the Banks of the Colorado River Counterpunch. Arizona vs. Navajo Nation.
    Nicely done, the 3 links combining the aqua saga about to hit Arizona, holding a guaranteed losing hand after the cards are dealt.

    The Colorado River basin did ok this winter, but it doesn’t really matter as the water is so over allocated already and not a drop will be wasted as it makes its way through giant reservoirs capable of holding say the 78 trillion gallons we got in the state in our all-time winter of record in the southern Sierra, but thats the riddle with Sierra reservoirs-there’s lots of them, but they’re all pipsqueaks in capacity comparison, combined with the valley floor being oh so heavily compacted from all those crops wanting to be nourished, in particular the tree crops that couldn’t be fallowed as dire consequences would soon follow.

    The Philip S. Raine rest areas on either side of Hwy 99 near Tipton and the expanding Tulare Lake basin have been closed for over a year now, with the official reason being:

    TULARE COUNTY: A long term closure of the Philip S. Raine rest area on State Route 99 (both directions) begins this Wednesday, February 23, for water, wastewater, landscape and building infrastructure upgrades.

    Absolutely nothing has been done on either rest area in upgrades, and why would you when the well that supplied the water went dry and then you hit brackish water-a no go.

    I heard the well was around 1,000 feet, now imagine all those years since the turbine pump started draining out the underworld in the early 1900’s all over the Central Valley, and how impermeable said soil will be in limbo?

    In the 1982-83 big water year it took a couple years for Tulare Lake to dry out, and there was hardly any tree crops in the Central Valley compared to now, a pittance.

    An acre foot of water in Godzone was fetching $2k last summer, but wouldn’t be worth 2 Cents plain now.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It always seems strange to me that when they talk about turning wastewater into drinking water, that it is always for the general public. Why not use that water for agriculture? Or manufacturing? Or for factories. But they never do so. Some time ago they tried to bring this scheme into our State during a hard drought and built pipelines everywhere – no expense spared. But when the rains broke, they canned the whole project. But here too they never talked about using this treated wastewater for non-drinking purposes.

      1. juno mas

        Decades ago I did a thesis on wastewater re-use. Today, tertiary treatment of wastewater in the US is now an expected/encouraged treatment level for most cities. However, cleaning wastewater to that level requires expert personnel, time, money, and occasionally added “clean” water to meet tertiary use standards (construction, landscape maintenance, non-contact man-made lakes, etc.;—no edible agricultural).

        Removing today’s plethora of unwanted additives in wastewater (pharma chemicals, plastics, solvents, etc.) is unlikely to reach a level of acceptance by the public. Heck, many people don’t drink utility supplied real drinking (faucet) water! Avian is their thirst quencher.

        1. Louis Fyne

          —Heck, many people don’t drink utility supplied real drinking (faucet) water!—

          In the US, federal and state standards are so lax/outdated that it is 100% reasonable for people in many locations to not drink their tap water given possible increased lifetime cancer odds (see nitrates, PFAS, etc)

          1. Louis Fyne

            (federal standards on bottled water are lax too)….so reverse osmosis “purified” water is only as good as the quality of filtration used.

            While distillation removes impurities, including PFAS (given the relative low boiling point of water, and there is no incentive to set a water distillery much past the H2O boiling point).

      2. LY

        Many municipalities in Arizona treat their waste water to drinking water standards (quick search brings me

        The reclaimed water is largely used for landscape irrigation (including golf courses), groundwater/aquifer recharge, and restoring wetlands. In a way, the water is reused, but indirectly after filtration through local ecosystems.

  10. TimH

    Photographer admits prize-winning image was AI-generated

    What a lying lede, suggesting the artist was caught out, when he actually told an unknowing audience by forcing his way onto a forum.

    The competition was caught out, and their response being to pretend the work didn’t win is shameful.

  11. tegnost

    Am I the only one getting a cookies request every time I refresh the page?
    Not happening on other sites…

    1. Don

      Me as well, and I also got endlessly repeating (and incorrect, I think) double posting error messages yesterday evening until I gave up.

    2. Mildred Montana

      I have been getting an annoying pop-up with “reject all” or “accept all” as the options. Never seen it before. Have just been clicking on “reject all” constantly.

      1. KC

        Same thing. I’m getting an ad blocker advertisement (by Admiral?) that keeps me in a continuous loop. I never can access It’s not happening with any other site

      2. Old Sarum

        I got the same on Firefox, but when I used Librewolf* (a Firefox derivative) it was absent.


        *no ads on YT for me!

      3. berit

        Me too, last days and today – in Norwegian. I’ve never seen it on NC before. Will try and send screenshot.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “US’ Rising Anxiety as Russia Survives Attrition by the Entirety of NATO”

    ‘Bout time. Maybe somebody has worked out that if Russian can fight off the military resources of the Collective West and retain the initiative, then what would happen if the Collective West took on the industrial capacity of China in a fight over Taiwan?

    1. Polar Socialist

      That precisely was Mr. M.K. Bhadrakumar’s point he made in Indian Punchline some time ago: this war in Ukraine will prevent WW3, because it (eventually) forces The West to accept it can’t force it’s way around the globe anymore.

      And then we* talk.

      * the global community, including The West

      1. Louis Fyne

        In a rational world, you are absolutely correct.

        But given a relentless news-stream that we makes it seem that we are living in the stupidest of all possible worlds, I hope that you/MK are correct!

  13. John

    Why do we have a debt ceiling? It is pointless as an actual limit. Sure, it allows utterly insincere whining and fussing about how the other guys spent too much. It gives persons such as McCarthy and Minions the opportunity to grind the undeserving for the sin of being undeserving. (They haven’t the honesty to say, “Go die.”) I favor a vote to abolish the debt ceiling. Now would be a good time as the next election is nearly 18-months away and the public, whom the Congress critters disdain as stupid, will have forgotten that it ever existed, if they ever knew there was such a thing. Besides the PR, propaganda machines can work on disproving its existence in the interim. Just a thought.

    1. mrsyk

      I fully support your observation, but who will vote for that? A smattering of libertarians maybe. Team blue sure won’t be, for the reasons you posted.

    2. Jorge

      Ah- there is a use for the debt limit: it allows short-term sabotage of govt’ programs that someone doesn’t like.

  14. Alice X

    >Many Older Americans Haven’t Saved Anything for Retirement

    James Baldwin:

    Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.

    From the NYT in 2015 but still germane: How Expensive It Is to Be Poor

    JohnA brought Bloomberg link up above with many good responses but I will just point out the
    appearance today on DemocracyNow of Princeton Sociologist Matthew Desmond.
    His new book is Poverty, By America.

    I’ve just put in on hold at my Library, because, well, I’m poor.

    He brought up many good points, one that the stuck, with me, was while families below the poverty line might get some $25k in subsidies, those somewhat above might get $36k.

      1. flora


        “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

        ― Warren Buffett

        As long as the pols could convince the middle and upper middle classes they, too, could become rich things were quiet. The middle and even upper middle classes are being hollowed out now after 40+ years of neoliberal economics. The sales pitch for steady-as-she-goes “you too can be a millionaire/billionaire”is losing its, uh, purchasing power. / ;)

      2. Alice X

        In his comment on the show, I took him only to mean that others get subsidies. I was somewhat surprised that he brought up the lower middle class, but maybe they are ones who object to the poor’s subsidies. The arch villains, of course, are the mega millionaires and billionaires who get vast sums.

    1. Laura in So Cal

      I’m in the middle of reading it. I read “Evicted” by him a few years ago which was excellent. I find his writing style very accessible.

      I also got it from the library. :-)

      1. Alice X

        I’ll be interested to see how much he gets into political economy. On today’s DN he spoke of a means to allow all workers in a given industry to unionize simultaneously, but the is exactly what corporations never want to happen.

  15. Carolinian

    Re Chris Hedges on Rutgers and university administration salaries

    Stephen Pikiell, the university’s head basketball coach, who has received a 445 percent pay raise since 2020 and currently gets $3 million a year.

    Awhile back my brother and I were hanging out at the city’s airport and there were a dozen or so corporate jets out on the apron. Turned out there was a basketball tournament in town and various coaches had been royally flown in to scout the high school players. So add this astronomical cost to the huge salaries that college coaches get. And the rationale for those high cost sports programs is to appeal to the ultra rich alumni and their giving, just as the now luxurious campuses appeal to their children.

    Here’s suggesting US universities have now become ground zero in our class war. Education is somewhere down the line.

    1. mrsyk

      Having seen first hand budgetary mechanics and processes for number of years now at a public university I must strongly agree. And the admin/faculty power dynamic trajectory is dismaying.

    2. digi_owl

      I do wonder how much of the US school malaise comes back to sports being so tightly coupled with them.

  16. KD

    US’ Rising Anxiety as Russia Survives Attrition by the Entirety of NATO

    I keep seeing versions of this same argument, Ron Unz has a similar essay/argument up on his site. War with China is off because the US has alienated all the strategic partners it needs to competently pursue a war with China. This may be so, but it does not appear that Victoria Nuland or John Bolton or Lyndsey Graham or anyone else has gotten the memo. Even Mearsheimer is running around claiming the US is still the most powerful nation in the world. Welcome to the new Dunning Kruger school of foreign policy, where you radically overestimate your own capabilities and dismiss the capabilities of your adversaries. The result is going to be a conventional drubbing that will reorder the direction of history, or a nuclear exchange that promises to be even more catastrophic. The Neocons are re-enacted that last scene in Thelma and Louise, but the car they are driving is America. Hopefully, God will still have mercy on drunks and the United States.

    1. ChrisPacific

      It concerns me as well. The point made in the article is obvious, yet not accepted by the US, which is increasingly making a point of denying truths that are obvious to anybody else. So is it propaganda, or do they really believe it?

      Unfortunately I think it’s the latter. When the echo chamber is so loud that even the Pentagon is ignored when it clears its throat and says that maybe we shouldn’t be doing this, it’s a pretty clear sign that reason and sober evaluation of the odds are not in the driver’s seat.

    2. tevhatch

      I may be wrong, but Hot war was never on with nuclear armed China, IMHO. The whole farce is to tempt China into doing something so shocking that it would alienate the balance of the world into isolating China and destroying the country. Problem is, if Russia can’t alienate 80% of the world by invading a sovereign country even if Ukraine is NAZI, what hope is there that China will alienate more even more nations than 20% when it is to a greater detriment of each nations own survival due to China’s economic weight. Remember China claims what according to every member of the UN but 12 tiny island-nations already admit is Chinese sovereign territory, would these nations give up the right to retain their own lands? The Neocons never let go of a failure like Afghanistan or Ukraine, they will keep trying the same stupid failures again and again. It has to be slapped out of their hands.

  17. Tom Stone

    In local news the “Apple Blossom Parade and Fair” are scheduled to go on as normal on the 29th and 30th.
    School bands, streets lined with American flags and thousands of cheering spectators standing shoulder to shoulder.
    Thank goodness the Pandemic is over and things are back to normal!
    Except for the dying.

  18. Old Sarum

    Re Snowden/Tex

    It seems that any information which is in a widely distributed system to which the equivalent of “Private Pike” has access to does not contain “secrets”. When trying to make sense of reported events I try to keep in mind that Stalin did not believe his very efficient and resourceful spies who gave him valid information about the German intentions to invade the USSR in 1941.

    Private Pike: (short video):


    Pip-pip! (ref Private Eye magazine of yor)

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