Links 4/28/2023

What Cheetahs, Armadillos and Whales Revealed About Human DNA New York Times

FDA Approves Poop-Based Pill to Treat Hardy Gut Infections Gizmodo (ksmith)


Smoke and Heat: Breaking Records in Southeast Asia The Diplomat

Toxic benzene lingered for weeks after shelter-in-place warnings ended following 2019 Houston-area chemical fire Texas Tribune


“The Big Melt” has arrived as early season heatwave spikes flood concerns Weather West


Associations between illness-related absences and ventilation and indoor PM2.5 in elementary schools of the Midwestern United States ScienceDirect

Urgent warning to anyone who’s had Covid over ‘long-term risk of killer complication’ The Sun (guurst)

CDC relaxes COVID restrictions for international travelers The Hill

Old Blighty

Chinese vice-president’s coronation appearance would be ‘outrageous’, say Tories The Guardian (Kevin W)

Scotland’s lighthouse workers set to take historic strike action as union takes aim at government ‘failure’ Unite the Union

The Lucky Country

Federal government commits $3.8b to Australia’s northern bases after Defence Strategic Review ABC. Meanwhile (Guurst):

The Koreas

A Nuclear South Korea Is a Dangerous Miscalculation Foreign Policy

China denounces US plans to send nuclear ballistic submarine to South Korea South China Morning Post


China pushes largest-ever expansion of nuclear arsenal France24

China demands immediate halt to US arms sales to Taiwan Anadolu Agency

Joe Biden to make landmark visit to Papua New Guinea as US vies with China for Asia-Pacific influence South China Morning Post

New Not-So-Cold War

Xi Jinping to send Chinese peace talks delegation to Ukraine The Guardian (Kevin W)

Ukraine Peace Talks – A Grown Up Is Taking Charge Moon of Alabama

Poland seizes Russian embassy and trade mission funds RT (Kevin W)

Procurement in the Bundeswehr: Speed Now Has Priority



When Russia is defeated in Ukraine, look to Chechnya PoliticoEU. Will do.


Renewables generate more of EU’s electricity than fossil fuels over winter for 1st time Anadolu Agency. “…but it cannot rely on emergency demand cuts and mild weather for future years.” And…

The Future of U.S. Natural Gas: A Conversation with Charif Souki (Video) CSIS, YouTube. (RK): “The EU is in deep doodoo vis-a-vis energy. The US is not. All according to plan.”

Letters LRB. (Alynch) On the origin of “iron curtain.”

Putin hails Turkey ties as first Turkish nuclear plant inaugurated Reuters

Al-Monitor/Premise poll: Turkey’s election in dead heat, Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu tied at 45% Al-Monitor


Meeting of Iran, Syria and Turkey ministers of defense and intelligence in Moscow Gilbert Doctorow

Foreign actors tried to artificially accelerate Sudan military reform — diplomat TASS

Why Does Japan Have a Military Base in Djibouti? The Diplomat

South of the Border

Peru Declares a 60-Day State of Emergency at Its Border Areas teleSUR. “Besides establishing that the National Police and the Armed Forces will maintain control of internal order, the decree restricts the exercise of constitutional rights related to freedom of movement, assembly, and personal liberty and security.”

Peru’s coup-plotting congress has 6% approval, 91% disapproval (but full US backing) Geopolitical Economy Report. From April 16.

US to open Latin America migration centres, expedite deportations Al Jazeera

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

First Republic works on plan to prevent government seizure FT

Banks, experts call for accountability above all else in Fed’s SVB report American Banker

US regulators worried about uninsured deposits before March crisis Reuters

JPMorgan employees gripe about Dimon’s return-to-office edict Reuters

Spook Country

Hunter Biden investigation: Intel laptop letter signers scored top jobs in Biden administration Washington Examiner

America, the Single-Opinion Cult Matt Taibbi, Racket News

Twitter is complying with more government demands under Elon Musk rest of world

Biden Administration

White House insists Biden reporter cheat sheet ‘entirely normal’ New York Post

Realignment and Legitimacy

The Supremes

Roberts Memo Threatened To Challenge Ethics Rules The Lever



A research team airs the messy truth about AI in medicine — and gives hospitals a guide to fix it STAT

Police State Watch

This Man’s Conviction Was Overturned After Two Years in Prison. But the City Said He Didn’t Deserve a Dime. ProPublica


Cops: Woman Shot Her Pet Parrot To Death The Smoking Gun (ReSilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Global South Owes America Some Thanks Bloomberg. Commentary:

Guillotine Watch

Will the extraordinary boom in luxury goods ever end? FT

Elizabeth Holmes gets bail extension one day before prison term start Ars Technica

Class Warfare

US growth slowed sharply in first quarter as Fed pushed rates higher FT



Tech giants aren’t just cutting thousands of jobs — they’re making them extinct Business Insider

The Bezzle

SpaceX’s Starship blew up after launch — it also caused ‘catastrophic’ damage on the ground The Verge (Kevin W)

L’affaire Epstein


Zeitgeist Watch

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from How Sweet It Is by James Taylor)

    How sweet it is to be owned by you
    How sweet it is to be owned by you

    I so love the pleasures of a rich man’s stash
    And there you were
    My soul is for sale for a steady flow of cash
    And there you were

    Your private jet and your gorgeous yacht
    I dived right into your honeypot
    I have to stop — and thank you, Harlan
    I’ve just got to stop — and thank you Harlan, (yes I do)

    How sweet it is to be owned by you
    It feels so fine
    How sweet it is to be owned by you

    I check my accounts at night
    They’re so much bigger now for me and my wife
    Supreme Court cases are such a bore
    I vote as you like — you’re the man I work for

    Slaving for a billionaire really, really pays
    And those Federalist guys give me so much praise
    I have to stop — and thank you, Harlan
    Lemme just stop — and thank you Harlan, (oh yes)

    How sweet it is to be owned by you
    In these oligarch times
    How sweet it is to be owned by you

    Whoa yeah

    You feed me treats, cuz I’m your black cat
    You’ve made me an aristocrat
    I wanna stop — and thank you, Harlan
    I just wanna stop — and thank you Harlan, (oh yes)

    How sweet it is to be owned by you
    How sweet it is to be owned by you,
    (oh now)
    How sweet it is to be owned by you
    I like jelly in my belly, Harlan,
    (oh yeah)

    How sweet it is to be owned by you
    You’re the honey I’m the bee, Harlan,
    (yeah now)
    How sweet it is to be owned by you

    1. Tom Stone

      Every time I think of Clarence Thomas I think of his Hero, Long Dong Silver.
      I met LD at the one and only “Swinger’s” party I ever attended.
      I was young and curious and as I was walking up to the house where the event was held a ratty looking limo pulled up and a dejected looking ( Head down, shoulders slumped) black man got out of the back seat and followed his handler into the building, squaring his shoulders as they approached the front door.
      A very sad man.
      The wine was in a box, I wouldn’t have fed the finger food to a dog and I couldn’t get a good conversation.
      Not my kind of scene.

      1. caucus99percenter

        As Aline Kominsky, underground comix artist Robert Crumb’s wife, said of a swingers’ club called Plato’s Retreat: “It’s the downfall of Western civilization, I tell ya!” (I think it was in Dirty Laundry comix #1 or #2)

  2. zagonostra

    >Controversial bill to regulate online streaming becomes law – Canada C11

    Like France’s Article 49.3 the Controllers are adapting to keeping the proles in check. It’s not just America that has a “Single-Opinion Cult” (loved the clip of Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor in the Taibbi link, SNL used to be funny).

    Bill C-11 prompted much debate in its tumultuous journey through Parliament

    One of the most contentious points of debate is whether C-11 would apply to user-generated content, such as podcasts and online videos. The government has insisted that the legislation is not intended to regulate independent content creators.

    1. Mildred Montana

      From your link: “The legislation requires streaming services, such as Netflix and Spotify, to pay to support Canadian media content like music and TV shows. It also requires the platforms to promote Canadian content. Specifically, the bill says “online undertakings shall clearly promote and recommend Canadian programming, in both official languages as well as in Indigenous languages.”

      In Canada we have a regulatory body called the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission) which mandates 30% Canadian content in all broadcasting.

      A few examples of the CRTC’s cultural power: Fox, Home Box Office, and ESPN are all unavailable in Canada, as are US radio broadcasts on the internet. I’m sure there are more.

      The point of the bill is to expand that power into other areas, not to censor. At least that’s what they’re telling us. But I have little doubt that it can and will be used for the latter. Temptation being temptation after all.

      1. zagonostra

        Please keep in mind that the article was from the CBC which, Elon Musk noted, is gov’t sponsored, before he backed off using that designation on Twitter.

        There is a wide spectrum of views on C11. I was hoping family who lives in Vancouver, BC, would tell me about pros and cons, but they mainly get their info from CBC and CTV, which, to my mind, after the CV19 overreach has been discredited.

        1. gf

          Conservatives have been attempting to get the CBC de-funded for ages in Canada with the Sun news network leading the charge on that effort.

          So cry me a river.

          When elon labels private media “Pro war / pro rich media” i will start to take him seriously.

        2. Mildred Montana


          I was aware that the article was from the CBC. I just wanted to inform any interested readers about the CRTC’s cultural prerogatives. And then warn them, as you say, about possible “overreach”.

  3. Mikel


    Nice digs for the Maxwell.
    And NC still insists on the header “L’ Affaire Epstein” for these stories. It’s “L’ Affaire Epstein and MAXWELL”.

    The Maxwell is living like a real “Don” and Epstein went down like a soldier defending a Don.
    Talk me down.

    1. Wukchumni

      Epstein was quizzical
      Studied physical science in a bed @ home
      Late nights all alone with a ‘test tube’
      Oh, oh, oh, oh

      Maxwell-Ghislaine, majoring in meddling
      Calls him on the phone
      “you know they have us together in pictures, oh!’
      But as he’s getting ready to go
      A knock comes on the cell door

      Bang! Bang! Maxwell’s silver spoon
      Came down upon his head
      Clang! Clang! Maxwell’s silver spoon
      Made sure that he was dead

      Back in court again, Maxwell plays the fool again
      Judge gets annoyed
      Wishing to avoid an unpleasant scene
      He tells Max to stay when the jury has gone away
      So she waits behind
      Writing fifty times “I must not be so”
      But when he turns her back on her ploy
      She creeps up from behind

      Bang! Bang! Maxwell’s silver spoon
      Came down upon his head
      Clang! Clang! Maxwell’s silver spoon
      Made sure that he was dead

      Bailiff Thirty-One
      Said “We caught a dirty one”
      Maxwell stands alone
      Painting testimonial pictures
      Oh, oh, oh, oh

      Bill, Donald & Andy screaming from the gallery
      Say she must go free (Maxwell must go free)
      The judge does not agree, and he tells them so
      But as the words are leaving his lips
      A noise comes from behind
      Bang! Bang! Maxwell’s silver spoon
      Came down upon his head
      Clang! Clang! Maxwell’s silver spoon
      Made sure that he was dead

      Silver spoon swoon…

    2. tevhatch

      Maybe she’s organizing it? A sex slave brothel with bars, rather than a brothel with a bar.

  4. FreeMarketApologist

    Re: SpaceX’s Starship blew up after launch — it also caused ‘catastrophic’ damage on the ground:

    Interesting that the article points out that “the FAA confirmed it had received no reports of damage to public property”, given that other news had reported some property damage (and lots of flying dust/dirt). I wonder if people who were affected know that they should be reporting damages to the FAA? It’s not like the FAA is going to do door to door canvassing or send out a survey, nor does the wildlife in the area have an advocate.

    (from June:

    “The FAA has determined the Proposed Action would not significantly affect the quality of the human environment. Therefore, the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not required, and the FAA is issuing this Mitigated Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI),” wrote the agency’s environmental protection specialist, Amy Hanson,…”

    1. jefemt

      Trash the Earth. Up next- trash space.

      Lookout everyone, the plague and pox of humanity is heading your way!

      1. caucus99percenter

        People who’ve read Liu Cixin’s The Three Body Problem though will be acutely aware of the notion that once other civilizations get wind of us, one way or another, one of them is gonna fix our wagon but good.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “The Global South Owes America Some Thanks”

    When I first saw that title, it made me wonder. Most people are familiar with the relationship between the US and places like South America going back to the Monroe Doctrine. Then I began to wonder if Bloomberg in their heart of heart actually believed this. That the Global South did owe the US. Then when I opened up the article I saw that it was actually an opinion piece by some jerk from the American Enterprise Institute so of course people like this believe it. Of course ‘Roughly 5% of the human race currently live in the United States of America. That very small fraction of humanity, until quite recently, enjoyed about a third of the world’s energy resources and manufactured products and about a quarter of its raw materials’ but that Hal Brands would just accept this as the way that it was and has to be.

    1. digi_owl

      Almost as if he took a bunch of economic comments off Reddit and Hacker News, and ran them through an LLM.

      And your little sniplet there reminds me of watching Oliver Stone’s series on USA, and some line from LBJ in there to the nature of “we have it, they want it” with they being the third world.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The author certainly believes his racist screed. Racists aren’t reasonable regardless of how they dress. That he felt safe to publish this nonsense is indicative of how widespread the sentiment is.

    3. Kouros

      I am thinking at a counterfactual here, particularly India. I cannot imagine, given the history of India as multifaceted polities with languages galore, fractionate political entities space, that was never united, neither under Asoka, then later under some C.. something dynasty, nor under the Mughals. India as we have it today is the creation of the British Raj – and under their time India was bigger, and included Pakistan and Bangladesh…

      India even inherited the appetite for territories in the Tibetan plateau, that were never under British control, never mind Brahmanic or Mughal Indian control…

    4. eg

      The AEI is a hive of scum and villainy to rival the Fraser Institute and the Montreal Economic Institute.

  6. Henry Moon Pie

    That was a very interesting trace of the phrase “iron curtain.” I had no idea it went back that far. The use of the phrase in the modern, post WW II context, was by Winston Churchill in a 1946 speech delivered at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. There is a museum there commemorating this.

    1. begob

      Churchill must have been thinking it during his 1919 blockade of Russia in the Archangel invasion. I guess this is what Neocons have in mind when they’re described as having no reverse gear.

  7. griffen

    FDA approves of a pill approach to solve an intractable issue, one that has done serious harm to mankind. Nope, not a cancer treatment. Take this pill a few times daily, and your gut will thank you. I make light of this since it is poop we’re discussing!

    Let the ensuing high school pranks begin. I just recently turned the round 50, so poops and pending colonoscopies are kind of in the wheelhouse anyway. I confess to being pretty slow at scheduling the latter.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I know for a fact that there was a paper on this idea in either the late 50s or very early 60s so it is hardly a new idea. I guess that with this “treatment”, that the FDA can now tell people to eat s*** and die.

      1. Mildred Montana

        I hesitate to say, considering the subject matter, but are the latest researchers seeing further because they “stand on the shoulders of giants”?

    2. Lexx

      Wider applications, Griffen. What kills patients with C diff is first severe dehydration, then sepsis and the patients are usually old. Compare that to something viral like dysentery which kills many more globally and mostly kids under the age of five living in poverty.

      So many ways to die in our short time here on Earth and a silent mind-boggling number s*** themselves to death.

      One long tube to the outside from mouth to anus, four sphincters with muscular motion along the tube heading downward, each with it’s own environmental preferences, and to address C diff Vowst has to make sure its payloads survive those environments and the body’s defenses to the end of the line and shift the balance toward ‘healthy’ in the large intestine. This is a tall order. Makes me wonder what Vowst really has going for it, all the more so if they intend the patients to take antibiotics at the same time… what?!

      Skip the probiotics and go for prebiotics. Eat fermented foods and drink fermented drinks (easy on the alcohol) and make sure you’re getting fiber in every meal. Eat your veggies first… daily! It’s a bolus of fiber those bacterial communities in your gut need to stay healthy. After a while the ‘voice’ in your gut overrides the food industry’s marketing and the allure of lab-enhanced junk food. Do this for a year and then buy a kit online from a company that will do a poop analysis and tell you what your bacterial balance is. If their report to you sets off alarm bells, then schedule the appointment to take a visual look. FWIW.

      1. griffen

        I jest because well, I’m acting 50 but really adolescent behaviors and thoughts in my head. Yeah it’s difficult to always know when or how things go awry. I can tell this week, eating more processed items for breakfast as opposed to the routine oatmeal and a few hard boiled eggs is making a difference for the worse.

  8. Not Again

    Antidote du jour

    What the American public will feel like during a Biden-Trump election campaign in 2024. The armadillo election. “If we just roll ourselves up into a fetal position, we just might make it.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      C’mon, man. Where’s your enthusiasm? Biden still has two more years to go and when the establishment throws the election to him again, he will get another four. So-

      ‘Six more years!
      Six more years!’

      1. Not Again

        One candidate is a mentally impaired crook who has minimal ethics and even more questionable parenting skills. So is the other one.

      2. griffen

        I’d settle for roughly 18 to 20 months remaining, and then we get a replacement candidate into the White House. Doesn’t need to be Trump again, my two cents, but one really has to ask this question. What darn difference is there?

        This one’s corrupt and so is the other. Just try pretending which flavor / party is the least evil is really doing most Americans a bit of lip service. My candidate is less corrupt than your candidate! Your candidate hates puppies and rainbows!

        1. Carla

          Well, one difference is, Trump didn’t back us into war.

          Of course all my friends and relatives suffer from TDS, so I daren’t point that out to them. If I point out to them that Biden greased Clarence Thomas’s way onto the Supreme Court and made student debt no longer dischargeable in bankruptcy, they look at me like I’m crazy and want to know where I got that information. When I tell them I REMEMBER it, they know I’m nuts!

      3. Ozz

        To me the real question is who is managing Biden today. I have doubts he’s making any decisions that matter or strategizing or anything else. What they are saying is that they are cheering for his handler. That is scary to me. He only gets 6 more or 2 more years if he or his handler doesn’t start WW III. That is an even bet right now.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I understand that the “nuclear football” that the US officer carries around wherever Biden goes is actually a game consul with the game ‘Missile Command’ loaded up.

          1. caucus99percenter

            That’s what the more cautious faction of the Blob thinks it has done.

            Meanwhile, the war faction has secretly pulled off a double switcheroo with a nuclear football that looks like a cheap-o game console, but really does launch the real thing — see the book / sci-fi flick Ender’s Game.

      4. Acacia

        US as jungle mining town à la Friedkin’s Sorcerer, complete with buzzards, soldiers, and “4 AÑOS MÁS” painted on walls.

    2. Kurtismayfield

      I can’t believe that the establishment thinks that the way they are protecting Biden from primary challenges, and how it’s going to be Trump/Desantis attacking each other for six months , s a good idea. I am not sure who is going to look worse, nor do I think it is democratic at all. In fact, it just gives more supporting information to argue that the US is an oligarchy.

      A wel organized write in campaign forwarded by someone who will be denied competition in the primary would do serious damage to legitimacy of either candidate this year.

      1. flora

        I think the Dem estab knows they can’t let B debate anyone since the answers and counter questions would be unscripted. It could be a disaster. (I’m personally sorry for him and his family that he’s fading out. Compare him now to just 2 years ago. We’ve all seen the clip of DiFi harshly lecturing grade school children who visited her office when one politely asked her a simple question. DiFi didn’t handle it well. )

  9. Mikel

    “Banks, experts call for accountability above all else in Fed’s SVB report”American Banker

    The Fed should -above all else – emphasize that they left interest rates too low for too long. Too long because it could be observed that the cheap money was being used for the ultimate pig-out out on stock buy backs and other financial bubbles. Fat with cheap money and tax cuts, but leaving the US looking like a developing country.

    1. digi_owl

      The real market do not matter, as it will automagically recover when there is enough financial activity. Or so the magic thinking of western leadership has been since the wall came down.

      1. Mikel

        It’s all ulitimately a version of the trickle down myth.
        April 13, 2023 article.
        “…Now, the veteran trader has a warning to share with investors: “The Fed will have to take the wealth effect out of the market.”

        The wealth effect is the idea that as asset prices rise, most commonly in the stock and real estate markets, it can spur consumers to spend more, thereby increasing economic growth and boosting inflation. In an interview from the CBOE trading pit Thursday, Karsan told CNBC that with stocks’ recent rise exacerbating this wealth effect, Fed officials will have to “come back and start talking the market back down” if they want to control inflation…”

        Interesting take. And Fed officials have talked about the wealth effect as a strategy for decades.
        I say it’s an interesting take because I recall reading opinions that the stock market has nothing to do with inflation (which ties it to the “real economy/market.”
        So what does the Fed believe? Or now believe?

        1. Mildred Montana

          Since the wealth effect is not measurable, it is understandable that the Fed would place undue emphasis on it.

          And what does the Fed believe or now believe? The Fed is like the Supreme Court: It makes up its mind and then makes up its reasons.

    2. Mildred Montana

      I place the blame for the current homeless problem squarely on the Fed. From 2008 until recently it encouraged and financed a bubble in housing prices with ZIRP. Rents of course increased in step, and investment banks and private-equity firms started buying up everything in sight with cheap borrowed money.

      In my experience it’s never been so bad. Who the hell nowadays can afford $2000/month for a one-bedroom apartment? Which would amount for most people to 50% of their pre-tax monthly income.

      No wonder the homeless are everywhere and their numbers increase every day. Even in my Canadian city with good social supports, the sidewalks and parks and other available public places are daily taken over by tent cities. The lucky are housed in the rooms of former hotels purchased by the government. Thus, the greed of the financial industry has been passed on to taxpayers. Yet the problem persists and grows.

      I like to try to suss out first causes. In this case the first cause is, imo, central bank policy. It saved the banks from their bad investments in mortgage-backed securities. The financial industry repaid it by bidding up the price of housing and destroying the lives of a generation or two of (mostly young) people in the process.

      Looking for one explanation of the apparently senseless youth violence these days? Look to the Fed. They are, even if they might not be able to articulate it as such.

      1. eg

        I’ve been asking myself the same question — how is it that we’re back to hobos and Hoovervilles again after all these years?

  10. Jabura Basaidai

    nice Antidote du jour – had a recent client from Texas that informed me that they are a carrier of leprosy in N. America – this isn’t about todays links – heading off soon to volunteer for our local Conservation District bi-annual tree & shrub sale – yesterday Amfortas provided a link that was of an article by Robert Kaplan – he is a favorite author which made me look up at my bookshelf (love books, would never read books on-line) and seven books of his – still need to get and read Balkan Ghosts and The Arabists – first book of his i read, Ends of Earth, was an eye opener and enjoyable, leading me read to more of his books – The Revenge of Geography, The Coming Anarchy, An Empire Wilderness and a couple of years ago reading Monsoon – an incredibly pragmatic writer – one thing i appreciate about the NC commentariat are the many books that are suggested – Neil Postman is another favorite and Jerry Mander’s books too – or the insight Jane Healy provides – but always have to balance with novels to quell the anxiety these and other authors provide with their insights – going through J.G. Ballard’s novels at present – just wanted to say thanks again for the island of sanity that awaits me each day – off to volunteer now – jb

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      armadillos do carry leprosy.
      nevertheless, ive been on a 30 year campaign to stop the madness in which people out here just shoot them(they dig holes in the yard/pasture).
      they are from the same general area in south america as the imported fire ants…and are their natural predators.
      i’ve seen them (night vision) tear up a fire ant mound to get to the larvae

      the difference, is humans didn;t introduce them…they wandered north long ago, and of their own accord….and for their own secret purpose.
      almost blind, you can follow them around of an evening and watch their doins…armadillo TV….

      1. caucus99percenter

        When I was four or five, my dad read me Rudyard Kipling’s “The Beginning of the Armadillos” from Just So Stories as a bedtime tale. It features an ineffective villain, Painted Jaguar, and two protagonists, a hedgehog named Stickly-Prickly and a tortoise named Slow-and-Solid.

      2. JP

        The last time I drove through Texas at night it seemed as if they paved their roads with armadillos

  11. mrsyk

    Last paragraph from “Smoke and Heat: Breaking Records in Southeast Asia” (The Diplomat)
    ““This year is looking much worse than previous years, I wouldn’t have thought that possible,” one Bangkok resident said. “The heat and smoke make any type of physical work impossible – all one can do is cough, wheeze, and sweat, stay indoors, and run the air conditioners.””
    Until the power goes out.
    Coming to a theater near you!

      1. mrsyk

        A quick consultation with Marianne Williamson’s crystal ball has revealed that “refugee” will be 2023’s word of the year.

    1. Wukchumni

      Got a trio of dartful codgers up for a trip to Mammoth next weekend for a little piste de la resistance, with outdoor temps around 40 degrees on the mountain in May with so much snowpack i’d like to think i’ll be skiing in August, too.

      Its as if the rest of the world got the year without a winter (with apologies to 1816) and much of the moisture ended up here where it was needed, but frankly much of it will be drained out to the Pacific or evaporated back into the atmosphere.

      My only sight of Lake Mead was coming over the bend towards the downhill to Hoover Dam, and one giant island 20 years ago is now part of the shore, looks like its always been that way, and it was,a century ago before the lake was filled.

      If there was only a way to distribute some of our watery bounty to the Colorado, but its a 1-way street all of the largess heading west.

      1. Lexx

        Snowpack here at end of winter was 168% (average), with ‘100% of median runoff in almost every basin’. Where would this state put more water? The existing reservoirs will reportedly reach capacity…. but we’ll see.

  12. digi_owl

    “Why Does Japan Have a Military Base in Djibouti? The Diplomat”

    What is interesting is that the piracy that lead to the base being established came about thanks to deep sea trawlers from EU (EU has badly mismanaged its fishing for ages, and a big reason why Norway and Iceland is staying out) and elsewhere exploited the lack of a functioning government (and thus navy). End result was that coastal villages found themselves without staple foods, but lots of guns.

    First the pirates targeted said trawlers, but as they moved further out to sea (or ran scared once the rest of the world took notice) the now well established pirates started targeting other ships within reach.

    In the end what ended the pirate activity was the rebound of the fish stocks once the trawlers ran, as the villages once more could sustain themselves peacefully.

      1. tevhatch

        The EU fleet no longer takes relatively little fish from that region. In particular the Portuguese were very active around the horn of Africa, old stomping grounds of the empire.

    1. tevhatch

      It’s interesting area and history. China gets a lot of flack for opening it’s anti-piracy naval base in Djibouti. What is forgotten is Bush Jr. and Obama use to rag on China’s merchant fleet getting a free ride from US/EU/RU anti-piracy efforts also operating out of Djibouti, and pressed China to pay/put up. China began patrols in 2014 and opened it’s base in 2016, and now their base is used as evidence of China’s expansionist ambitions. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      1. digi_owl

        Again and again it feels like international politics is basically a schoolyard filled with cliques.

  13. Not Again

    Peru’s coup-plotting congress has 6% approval, 91% disapproval

    It appears we were finally able to export “American Democracy”

  14. pjay

    – ‘Twitter is complying with more government demands under Elon Musk’ – rest of world

    “The figures are drawn from the Lumen database, a public clearinghouse for takedown requests and other government orders received by online speech platforms. Maintained by Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Lumen has collected government requests to online platforms for more than 20 years, with participation from Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Reddit, among other platforms.”

    Just curious. Did the Berkman Klein Center say anything about Twitter takedown requests prior to Musk or the Twitter Files work?

    I’m always interested in the source of stories. rest of world is Sophie Schmidt’s creation (daughter of Eric Schmidt).

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Federal government commits $3.8b to Australia’s northern bases after Defence Strategic Review”

    We have literally handed over our defense and foreign policies over to the Pentagon. And I mean this literally. Caitlin Johnstone came out with a post talking about how Oz is paying top dollar for an ex-US admiral to redesign our military. At least that puts that idiotic nuke sub deal into some sort of context. But what really riled me was to learn that James freakin’ Clapper was paid to work for Australia’s new Office of National Intelligence. What the hell, man? Did he tell them to spy on everybody in Oz and if called up before our Senate, to lie their faces off and deny it? It worked just fine with Clapper.

    And what also has gotten me concerned is if they do the same for our Army. They have their own military doctrine as seen in Vietnam but I would not be surprised if the US military demands that they adopt the US doctrine on the grounds of ‘interoperability’ – and only buy US equipment for the same reason.

    1. Wukchumni

      Otter : Flinders, you can’t spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You fucked up… you trusted us! Hey, make the best of it! Maybe we can help.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I miss the time when Oz was – like the Pacific – just a kinda backwater without all the countries buying weaponry left, right and center and great power conflicts with nukes threatening to break out. Sigh. It was a nice neighbourhood.

    2. Vandemonian

      Aw, c’mon, Rev, it’s not like we have any other areas of public policy that could with a bit more money from Canberra. Universities are turning out all the doctors and nurses and teachers we need, public hospitals are doing fine, the aged care system looks after the olds just fine, public transport is world class, everyone who needs a roof over their heads can find a place they can afford, nobody’s going hungry…

      Oh wait, sorry, that was last night’s dream.

  16. giantsquid

    Re: Chicken pox-hybrid debt immunity?

    In addition to the possibility of increased chicken pox due to immunity debt, the reactivation of latent herpesviruses, such as varicella-zoster (VZV), the causative agent of chicken pox, is a common in long covid patients.

    “The observation of elevated IgG against EBV lytic antigens in this study suggests recent reactivation of latent herpesviruses (EBV and VZV) may be a common feature of Long COVID. Additionally, concordant analysis of EBV IgG responses by REAP and SERA found significant positive correlations between reactivity against EBV p23 and TEMRA and IL- 4+/IL-6+ CD4 T cell populations, as well as correlations between reactivity against EBV gp42 and IL- 4+/IL-6+ double positive CD4 T cell populations among participants with Long COVID. These results suggest that herpesvirus reactivation is not incidental following SARS-CoV-2 infection, and instead that non-SARS-CoV-2 viral pathogens may alternatively mediate, aggravate, or exploit the persistent changes observed in circulating immune effector populations. Whether EBV reactivation may also predispose people with Long COVID to the development or exacerbation of autoimmune pathologies, as has been recently reported for people with multiple sclerosis57,58, will require extensive longitudinal monitoring and surveillance of people with Long COVID.”

  17. The Rev Kev

    ‘In April 2020 we entered into a lease agreement with the US to store oil in their Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). We also purchased and put 1.7 million barrels of oil into the SPR. In June 2022 this reserve was quietly sold. Australia’s has no SPR fuel reserves.’

    Luckily we sold it at a profit but during the 1970s oil shock we were running on empty. As old Joe needs all of the SPR because of the upcoming election, he might have not allowed us to get our oil back. But why store it overseas? We would be paying for that. The same is happening with gold right now for Oz-

    ‘Almost the entirety of the RBA’s physical gold holdings (99.9 per cent) is stored in the United Kingdom at the Bank of England (BoE). The BoE holds the RBA’s gold as bailee; legal and beneficial title to the gold remains with the RBA. A very small amount of gold is stored at the Reserve Bank’s head office in Sydney.’

    We would be paying the UK money to store that gold. Why not keep the damn stuff here? Is it still there? And should I mention that the UK proved to Venezuela that possession is nine-tenths of the law?

    1. Polar Socialist

      Technically that Venezuelan gold remained Venezuelan gold all the time. It was merely a case of UK court deciding who is the legitimate president and legitimate director of the central bank of Venezuela.

      Now, that’s called Democracy here in The West!

  18. Lexx

    ‘Cops: Woman Shot Her Pet Parrot To Death’

    Read the article to find out what the parrot’s final words were. Disappointed.

  19. DJG, Reality Czar

    I have been much hindered in accepting the lab-leak hypothesis and the seeming certainty of the lab-leak-faithful. Something seems awry.

    Here it is. Blaming the other for the unexplained.

    Other books that are good sources for discussions of this tendency to blame the unknown other are John Boswell’s classic “Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality” (some coverage of Jews and lepers and what was visited upon them) and much of Carlo Ginzburg’s work with his discoveries of the mystical benandanti, “witches” (who weren’t “witches”), the mystery of whether the witches’ sabbath even existed, heretical millers, and that copy of the Koran that was rumored to be in a village in the Veneto in the 1500s.

    And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio…

  20. flora

    re: America, the Single-Opinion Cult Matt Taibbi, Racket News

    Thanks for the link. Is it just me, or did AOC in Psaki’s interview look a bit…manic?

        1. Late Introvert

          I was at first willing to give her time to prove herself, and unfortunately she has told us who she is.

      1. John k

        She met an offer she couldn’t refuse.
        I don’t really regret my donation, she presented herself as a different person then.

  21. Alice X

    >Hunter Biden investigation: Intel laptop letter signers scored top jobs in Biden administration Washington Examiner

    It is slightly jarring to look to these right wingers for the information, but the only pertinent question is: is it true? And yes, it seems to be well based.

    We had a discussion yesterday found here – the Marco Polo report pdf I mentioned there is nearly 3 GB. It will be an enormous effort to take it all in. But I will be chipping away. The report is here.

    Anyway, I didn’t need to know this about Biden to not vote for him. I had thirty years of his congressional record clearly in mind. I voted for the Marxist.

  22. Tom Stone

    The recent escalation in the assaults on the 1st Amendment concerns me, and I hope Yves manages to relocate before it is too late.
    Based on the performance of the Biden Administration so far I do not believe that there is any action too reckless, too stupid, too violent or too corrupt for them to take.
    NC will almost certainly be taken down at some point, perhaps quite soon.
    Because nothing is more offensive than the Truth.

    1. magpie

      I fear you may be right. And if that does happen, I wonder where else I would possibly find a community like this again.

      1. Bsn

        I’ve been thinking about this and perhaps an answer is short wave radio. A short introductory link:

        People of like minds could communicate in this manner but how could we communicate and share links, documentation, graphs, data, etc? I like how Catherine Austin Fitts says “when the shit hits the fan, know your sheriff”.

    2. some guy

      If people are genuinely afraid of this, they should start making thousands or millions of paper copies of everything that appeared on Naked Capitalism, so that hard copies of it can still exist.

    3. Roland

      Funny you should mention it. I have found myself wondering the same thing.

      Authoritarianism has been creeping in from all sides since 2001. A generation later, the dystopian future has arrived.

    1. petal

      flora, after watching RFK Jr’s talk here the other day(and comparing it with Biden’s town hall in August 2019 and the unignorable frailty of both him and it), it would be embarrassing. There’s no way anyone around Biden would allow it. If I remember correctly, not long after that town hall his people started cutting way back on public appearances for him or heavily controlling any that did occur. If I am wrong, please correct me on that.

  23. Daryl

    > Xi Jinping to send Chinese peace talks delegation to Ukraine The Guardian (Kevin W)

    US getting lapped everywhere. Appears that there are *some* adults in the room. It’s a slim hope, but wonder if the foreign conflict spigot getting turned off by the rest of the world will cause people to actually pay attention to what’s going on here.

  24. Henry Moon Pie

    Aaron Mate interviews Sy Hersh on the Jimmy Dore show It’s mostly about Ukraine corruption, and Sy includes a description of today’s Kiev that sounds like Rodeo Drive. Lots of very high-end restaurants and boutiques. He said it was full of world-class grifters.

    Your tax dollars at work! (I know that’s a tall tale, MMT, etc.)

  25. outside observer

    re: CDC relaxes COVID restrictions for international travelers
    This doesn’t seem to be a meaningful relaxation. By now most travelers to the US will have gotten a primary series, and gotten covid to boot, possibly multiple times, and yet the updated requirement is for *only* the most recent iteration of the vax, and from *only* Moderna and Pfizer? When everyone knows it will do nothing to stop transmission on those airplanes anyway. Simpler to just drop all pretenses and just add an airline fee that goes direct to pharma.

  26. playon

    After reading about the outrageous abuse by staff at the Tallahassee prison in Tennessee I looked up the Nakamoto Group, who are apparently running several federal prisons. Incredibly, the vice president and president are both women. They describe themselves as

    “The Nakamoto Group, Inc. is a small, disadvantaged, minority woman-owned business established in 2003. The company received the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Small Disadvantaged Business certification in May 2004, was certified to participate in the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program in December 2004, and is 8(a) certified until 2013.”

    They seem to be all-in as far as the federal grift:

    “Nakamoto staff members and consultants have provided services for a variety of government agencies and private organizations.

    Department of Homeland Security
    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    Department of Justice
    Office of the Federal Detention Trustee
    Department of Health and Human Services
    Health Resources and Services Administration
    Office of Performance Review
    Office of Rural Health Policy
    Maternal Child and Health Bureau
    National Institutes of Health
    National Institute on Drug Abuse
    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
    U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
    Department of Commerce
    White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders”

    Your tax dollars at work etc.

  27. Kouros

    Once I grew up and matured and read a bit, it became clear to me that the Iron Curtain was put in Place by USUK to protect their dominion from the bad socialist ideas emanating from the USSR area. So as in the theatre, they pulled down an Iron Curtain.

    It wasn’t the Russians that did it.

  28. Shame on them

    I’m amazed that no articles in the news discuss what happens to peoples Social Security deposits when a bank goes into receivership, there are millions in the US barely surviving on their Social Security Disability or Social Security Retirement checks. Surely there are those who had/have accounts at one of the failed or failing US banks, and don’t have any extra money to deposit and are daily living on the razor’s edge as it is.

    Are these people supposed to guess whether they should write the rent check or not?

    Are they supposed to guess what new bank they are under?

    Will their old checks even work? If not, will they be provided new ones for free, as they should be?

    Who will pay for late fess on the payments paid by check: rent; utilities; phone; insurance; etcetera that cannot be paid with cash if they can’t be made on time?


    I know one thing the beleaguered Banks won’t be contacting them, and Social Security is already excruciatingly difficult and time consuming to get any valid information from the lowest on the totem pole workers at the privatized Social Security call centers.

    SHAME ON OUR Fourth Estate and Our US Government; It’s more than sickening that this doesn’t appear in the mainstream news when I search for it.

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