Links 4/6/2023

Watch the full ‘Pink Moon’ rise into the sky on April 6 Live Science

‘Coherent’ radio signal detected from alien planet, prompting hope in search for life Independent

Saving The Endangered Snow Leopard Madras Courier

Cat jumps on imam leading Ramadan prayers in Algeria BBC

‘Bees are sentient’: inside the stunning brains of nature’s hardest workers Guardian

Robotic beehive provides vital life support to chilly honeybees New Atlas


Coal phaseout’s pace needs to be sharply accelerated to meet Paris goals: Report Anadolu Agency

Power generation grows at fastest pace in 33 years, fuelled by coal Business Standard

California (Sort-of) Banned Small EVs When it Banned Gasoline Cars Energy Institute at Haas

The ice in Antarctica has melted before, says study


The evolution of SARS-CoV-2 Nature

SARS-CoV-2 ORF8: A Rapidly Evolving Immune and Viral Modulator in COVID-19 Viruses

A new approach to a Covid-19 nasal vaccine shows early promise CNN

NTSB blames pilot error, air traffic control for dramatic midair collision near Centennial Airport in 2021 Colorado Sun. NTSB needs to get post-Covid brainfog on its post-crash investigative protocol ASAP.


China is ghosting the United States Politico

China’s intensifying nuclear-armed submarine patrols add complexity for US, allies: Analysts Channel News Asia

China offers unified train ticketing app for all Belt and Road countries Channel News Asia

Tokyo ‘has come alive again’ as Japan sheds COVID-19 curbs, says governor Koike Channel News Asia. “Life” = “Commerce.” There you have it.


Embattled Adani Group trumpets stable ties with international lenders Business Standard

India opts against AI regulation Tech Crunch


‘Red line’: World reaction to Israeli attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque Al Jazeera. Helpful!

European Disunion

‘A failure’: French union leaders denounce pension reform meeting with PM Borne France24

New Not-So-Cold War

Leopard II Tank Shipment to Ukraine Faces Setback Ahead of Counteroffensive Newsweek

Should Leftists Support Sending Weapons To Ukraine? Passage

Ukrainian drone crashes near Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – Russian media Reuters

Russia’s ultranationalists appear increasingly vulnerable after pro-war blogger’s killing CNBC. Unblushingly accepting assassinating civilians in locations very far from the front, in an undeclared proy war. That’s our PMC!

* * *
Explained: Ukraine’s fight for Bakhmut Deutsche Welle

* * *
The tragedy of the war in Ukraine: a reply to Kagarlitsky Canadian Dimension

Putin as Shakespearean Demon or Tragic Hero? American Committee for US-Russia Accord

Is America’s global preeminence under threat? The Hill

Americans Must Choose The American Conservative (Re Silc).

* * *
Ukraine 2014: The Tipping Point of Terror Covert Action Magazine

Clinton regrets persuading Ukraine to give up nuclear weapons RTE. Nazis with nuclear weapons. What could go wrong?

South of the Border

The Amazon Has Lost All Subjectivity The Baffler

Brazil’s Bolsonaro testifies about receiving gifts of Saudi jewelry Anadolu Agency

Biden Administration

Biden admin slammed for ‘breathtaking’ proposal slashing dairy access for low-income moms, kids FOX

What We Learned From The Forgotten Train Disaster That Sparked FEMA The Brockovich Report


The Gaping Hole in the Middle of the Trump Indictment Politico. The deck: “What exactly are the ‘other crimes’ the former president is alleged to have committed that justify bringing the case?” Reminds me of this exchange (from memory) from the great Tomb of Dracula comic:

HORRIFIED BYSTANDER: But what crime has he committed?

DRACULA: Crime?! His very possession of life is his crime!

No time is a bad time to reread Mark Fisher’s Exiting the Vampire Castle.

More on the indictment from John Bolton (!):


Always contemptuous: Donald Trump violates the respect and decorum requested by Judge Juan Merchan in his criminal case NY Daily News. I guess the judge won’t be dismissing Bragg’s “case,” then?

Donald Trump indictment changes 2024 race, but not the way you think FOX

No One Is Above The Law? Give Me A Break The Federalist

Trump Derangement Syndrome Returns Black Agenda Report

Karen McDougal: Who is the second woman in Trump case? BBC. I think there are too many characters on the stage now, as it is.

5 Other Modern Presidents who Should have been Indicted for their Crimes Juan Cole (Re Silc). You can skip the first paragraph. Commentary:



Google’s AI chatbot Bard is still being rushed Business Insider. “Some of the contractors told Insider that they just aren’t given enough time to corroborate and check the most accurate answer.” So how much for “accuracy” then? Say, two bucks an hour?

Cut through the AI disinformation: Stanford’s free report measures trends in artificial intelligence Boing Boing. An appalling piece of puffery; I am surprised at Boing Boing. The “free report” is equally appalling, equally puffery, 365 pages long, and available under Creative Commons license to maximize, er, propagation. Always look for the funders:

Three AI vendors and an “Effective Altruism” NGO. Guys, come on.

AI is entering an era of corporate control The Verge. A different Stanford report.

Developers Are Connecting Multiple AI Agents to Make More ‘Autonomous’ AI Vice

Supply Chain

Russia notched record-high oil sales last week despite sanctions and production cuts Markets Insider

Russia says grain deal being implemented but shipments going to wrong destinations Anadolu Agency

Zeitgeist Watch

Most existing methods found to be ineffective for counteracting conspiracy beliefs Read all the way to the end.

Bob Lee, creator of Cash App and former CTO of Square, stabbed to death TechCrunch

Class Warfare

Drowning in Deposits New Left Review. What the Bearded One calls an “accumulation crisis,” but what I call “too much money sloshing about.”

Are robot waiters the future? Some restaurants think so Associated Press. Franchises, certainly..

Antidote du jour (via CC):

CC writes: “The mother sheep is named Platypus and lives in Ireland. She is shown here with her baby, just born in the last week or so.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Roll Over Beethoven by Chuck Berry)

    Well, the French love to riot
    Argentines are out in the street
    All of England’s in an uproar
    The Bobbies are in full retreat
    Go start a commotion, grab yerself a ringside seat

    People want more wages
    They’re weary of these banking coups
    This ain’t about an -ism
    Baby needs a new pair of shoes
    Go start a commotion, they’ve gotta share the revenues

    We’ve had Covid pneumonia
    Supply chains all confused
    Now it’s crazy inflation
    All of us have been abused
    Go start a commotion, let ’em know we’re not amused

    Well, when we stand together
    Shoulder to shoulder, they can’t deny us
    They can’t buy us, we’re off the tether
    We won’t stop, it’s Hell for leather
    Sisters, brothers
    Go start a commotion, high time to light the fuse

    (musical interlude)

    The wages we been earning is the reason we’re out burning
    Dumpsters and automobiles
    They’ve gotta share the cash or the system will crash
    We’ll stick our own bodies in the wheels
    Go start a commotion, no more down-at-the-heels

    Wherever you’re workin’,
    Make the place a union shop
    Many billions of dollars
    Are stolen at the very top
    If we don’t start a commotion, austerity will never stop

    Go start a commotion
    Go start a commotion
    Go start a commotion
    Go start a commotion
    Go start a commotion
    Let’s go get what we’re due

  2. Stephen V

    Nice observation from BAR:

    Trump is certainly a polarizing figure, more so perhaps than any other president. His unexpected win over Hillary Clinton in 2016 resulted in trauma for millions of people who have never recovered and they still allow the man they dislike to live rent free in their heads

    1. zagonostra

      Those millions I’m afraid are to-far-gone, it might be time for a new acronym, TFG, as a supplement to TDS.

      Americans who frame politics in terms of personality, left/right, blue/red are TFG, they have no understanding of history and the political/economic power dynamics at play. If you are going to bifurcate reality, It’s more useful, in my view, to see the world as a play of light and darkness. I think Empedocles was close when he described the nature of the universe as a play of Love and Strife.

      1. davejustdave

        TFG as an acronym is already in use

        from urban dictionary:

        Referring to the 45th President of the United States, “the former guy”, or sometimes, “that f***ing guy”

        Often used as a hashtag.

        by Stereopticon June 6, 2021

    2. griffen

      Reading that combined with the Politico piece, I’m left with this impression that Trump is held as an example, how no one is above the law. This is America!

      For us in the audience, however, I am thinking of those examples of individuals and /or corporations that were seemingly beyond the reaches of that long arm. Say, after 2008 when the Global Financial Crisis (or Finance Centric Clustermuck, if you would) and no real crooks went to jail. We can recall the interrupted sleep for the Lanny Breuer’s of the DOJ and the pursuit of the Holder Doctrine. Yeah, rule of law my eye.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      To be fair, people who believed 2016 was the most important election Evah! and would risk Hillary Clinton as the standard bearer weren’t all there in the first place. Her polls were always weak. Her team failed to understand rules in 2008 already. Her husband ushered in the end of 50 years of Democratic control of Congress.

      Bill, the only reason she ever held a job (her Watergate investigation staff role was the result of Bill helping out), is out regretting about the only decent thing he ever did.

      1. spud

        “Sitting there in gilded Manhattan, I thought of all the abandoned factories and postindustrial desolation in the surrounding regions, and I mused on how, in such places, the Democratic establishment was receding into terminal insignificance. It had virtually nothing to say to the people who inhabit that land of waste and futility.”

    4. Lena

      The HRC cult is complaining about the Trump indictment becoming a ‘circus’ while they comprise a large part of that circus. It’s so tiresome.

      1. earthling

        And we’re still patiently waiting for her perp-walk, so many laws broken regarding classified State Department documents, the murder of that young man and its cover-up, the bald-faced influence peddling, who knows what else a zealous prosecutor could unearth.

        1. Mildred Montana

          >”…zealous prosecutor…”

          An oxymoron in the USA today. Ain’t no such thing. Unless one is black and/or poor or steals from the rich.

          By the way, anybody heard anything about top law-enforcer Attorney-General Merrick Garland lately? For a high-profile position he seems pretty quiet. I wonder if he’s been hanging out with Pete Buttigieg.

          1. Lena

            Garland is learning to tie his own shoes. I understand there is progress being made. We must have patience.

            1. NYT_Memes

              Garland tying his own shoes ….

              Is he learning to use the Holder knot or is that too complicated?

    5. notabanker

      Yes, because if we had just allowed Ukraine to keep nukes and instituted a no fly zone over Syria, things would be so, so much better today. /s

      1. John Wright

        Bill Clinton should also have mentioned that Libya may be in much better shape, today, if it had NOT disarmed in 2003.

        Of course, Clinton’s Secretary of State wife was involved in the Libyan 2011 NATO operation (the USA’s “Operation Odyssey Dawn”) under Obama.


        The clip of HRC spouting (re Quadaffi) “We came, we saw, he died” is something I can’t forget.

        Imagine the outrage if a foreign country assisted in the death of a US leader and then bragged about it.

        Bill Clinton, advocate for nuclear proliferation.

    6. midtownwageslave

      If Trump lives rent free in the minds of liberals, there’s no room for the next logical thought in the “let’s indict former presidents” exercise.

      Can we set up a court to prosecute George Bush and his cronies for crimes against humanity? Might as well throw the Clintons in there too. Obama, Reagan…. You know what? There’s too many to list.

      1. Lena

        There is also no room for ‘Biden is cutting the safety net into shreds’. How convenient.

    7. The Rev Kev

      If Trump lives rent free in the heads of the Democrats/liberals, then Putin must have a summer dacha there.

    8. jefemt

      Trump rent free in my head!? This Cannot Stand! Where do I send my invoice?
      I suppose I will be waiting for his rent check as long or longer than the royalty check from Elon and Starlink for his use of my portion of lower- earth orbit.

      Dang. For a moment I thought I could Monetize Trump, or at least be a rentier and extract sumpin’.
      Maybe I should just simply sell some Trump merch and call it good… sales will be brisk!

      1. JTMcPhee

        It’s not Trump that’s living rent-free in so many heads — it’s the Fokkers of the real Rentier class and their minions who have squatted with the Trump memes in there. If you are going to send a bill for occupation, send it to them. And be prepared to get beaten down or worse.

        And good luck, in our “post-legal environment,” where Rules by the powerful totally displace those inconvenient “laws” of the past, getting them evicted. They own all the mechanisms of control (like that corporatization of AI, directed at full-Matrix-spectrum dominance.

        The Links today, taken together, have pretty much maxed out my personal ability to give a shit about any of this any more. A truly cynical person might come to expect that curation of all this stuff into one daily overdose after another could be part of the curtain of intentional fostering of despondency that wraps the thrust of the Few on their disinformative path to domination. Just kidding on that last bit, of course… don’t want to end up like my former avatar that got permanently banned from Daily Kos and a couple of other blogs…

    9. pjay

      I second all of the above comments on the insanity of TDS and related diseases. But I also want to acknowledge Margaret Kimberley’s take-down of Jamaal Bowman, who is becoming *very* tiresome *very* fast. The Jamaal Bowmans and the Marjorie Taylor Greenes shouting at each other is what our political reality TV show is all about.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Give me two talking knuckleheads over six anytime. Because that’s how many CNN gave us two days ago with its analysis after Trump’s post-indictment Mar-a-Lago speech. Six knuckleheads, all saying the same thing, all reveling in agreement, none of them aware of how pointless (and disposable) they were.

  3. deedee

    Should Leftists Support Sending Weapons to Ukraine?
    It seems to me if you call yourself an “antiwar leftist” as I do, the question answers itself.

    As X once wrote:

    Both sides are right
    But both sides murder
    I give up
    Why can’t they?

    1. Vit5o

      It’s baffling that the texts with clearly flawed arguments in favor of sending arms are winning in the poll below the discussion.

      I guess most leftists can’t get over their needs to engage in a good-vs-evil narrative, even when it is manufactured by the same media vehicles that often support oppression in all its forms.

      1. hunkerdown

        Exploitable losers don’t create themselves. That’s why Western society’s core values are competition and institutionalism.

    2. Ignacio

      Should Human Beings of Any Kind of Identity Support Sending Weapons to Ukraine?

      I would read the link if that was the question asked. You can cast all kinds of doubts about the political identity of those answering.

    3. Boomheist

      The poll results surprised me by being so lopsidedly in favor of more arms and war. Something else other than logic and critical thought must be at play here, some kind of wired-in emotional frame driving each of us to a certain pre-ordained conclusion. What seems to be true here, and everywhere else, too, is that we humans choose an outcome and then find the mental tricks to justify that outcome. War is bad, but Putin worse!

        1. tevhatch

          “I know no one in Canada who is not pro-Ukrainian.” They out there, but it is wise to hide it so you won’t easily see them. I’m normally back and forth between Asian and Canada anyway, but we left Canada for a while because my son defended his Belarus classmate who was being harangued by two Ukrainians Nazis the public school invited in to give a lecture about the evil Russians and Belarusians at the start of the SMO. Canadian public schools are not fence in and he spotted one of the Nazis watching the playground later that week.

        2. Don

          Yeah, we are here, but the mainstream media in Canada is almost as bad as the BBC, and it’s been hard to be heard or seen. Although the Globe and Mail is now publishing most of my critical comments, including those calling out the dishonesty of their coverage, and including links to anti-NATO/ US Empire publications — I suspect that some of the moderators may have been won over.

          Unlike in the US, there is zero dissent at any point across the political spectrum, and although I will persevere, a late-night CSIS knock on the door would not surprise me.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Decades ago comedians use to joke that the difference between America and the USSR was then when there was a knock at your door early in the morning, that it was the milkman.

        3. Kouros

          They are forever banned from every site as soon as they rear their heads and question the narrative. So it is like they / we don’t exist.

        4. eg

          I’m a Canadian who isn’t “pro-Ukrainian” but to your point it’s rare and we have to keep our own counsel.

      1. Paul

        One of the best sermons I ever read as far as theme goes was one by MLK called “Perplexing Question.”. It’s about the time no matter how they tried, the disciples just couldn’t cast out the demon.

        That question for me hangs very heavy over all the modern left/liberals which fits the Dr’s now very old critique to a T. They always seems to ask the same thing, “Why couldn’t we cast it out?”

        What he points out that they don’t seem to get is that its actually a strange conviction to hold that only by governing, thinking, and inventing you will eliminate all the worlds nagging evils. Selfishness and hatred aren’t really effected by adding more laws, having an Iphone, or giving people a better education… some of those things we know make them worse.

        Liberals are often no less agressive people in the moral sense and often because of their half-ethics might even let themselves go a bit more than others.

        Trust me, if you find yourself justifying reaching for the gun to solve it… You are still solving with blunt force violence regardless of what you justify it with. It’s NOT complex.

        If that all is too Jesusy, Niel Young said it pretty quickly with “they got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand.”

  4. Lena

    So the Biden administration wants to cut by 25% the milk rations given to America’s poorest mothers and children through the WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition to Women, Infants and Children) program. What the *family blogging* is going on here? The cruelty of the Biden regime is absolutely mind boggling. It’s senility combined with sociopathy. It’s like they want to kill off the most vulnerable, ‘least productive’ among us. It’s like some kind of master plan. But, no, that can’t be true, can it? It’s the other side who engage in that sort of thing, right?

    If only we cared for our young the way that ewe looks after her precious lamb. What a wonderful world it would be.

    1. Questa Nota

      Fourth-graders burping after gulping milk, obviously the Biden topic.
      They have been contributing to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, with the dreaded noontime peak. /s

      1. JTMcPhee

        Isn’t that burped-milk smell part of the miasma that attracts the discerning nose of Joe Biden?

    2. Nikkikat

      Democrats love cutting food stamps WIC and cash aid. When I was a county worker in social services if they weren’t cutting the allotments they were designing policies that the people on these programs could not possibly meet. Obama cut food stamps several times. The housing programs like HUD housing had five year waiting lists for years and years. The work programs for food stamps and cash aid were a sham. Most of the time these jobs were temporary for less than a month duration. Mean while the recipients had no car, no one to watch their kids and a menial job paying minimum wage that kicked them off aid and as soon as the job ended or they couldn’t get there on the bus or had no one to care for their children, they lost the job and were forced to go thru the application process all over again. The people in Washington never thought about the barriers the poor had to deal with everyday. No ability to do laundry, not having suitable clothes for interviews or a job. Poor education no real job training. But it was so easy to mandate this on the poor. I never told anyone what I did for a living, otherwise I was on the receiving end of a diatribe about lazy people who wouldn’t work
      And used their benefits for drugs. Like everything else the propaganda against the poor was very effective.

      1. tegnost

        Apropos of something if the min wage went from 7.25 to even a a pitiful 10.00 then the poverty rate would have to also go up so medicaid would cover more people, more would qualify for food stamps and etc… Can’t have that. It would rend the fabric of society.

      2. JBird4049

        Let’s not forget that the aid is almost always a financial cliff. Make one dollar over the limit and lose it all. So, if your aid was a thousand a month, but your income (or savings) was a dollar over the limit, you would lose it all. Last I check, the two thousand dollar limit in savings has remained the same for over a decade of inflation, which means a decade of cuts although the income limits usually rise each year, but never with inflation, always just a bit below.

        And around here, the wait list for housing has been closed for over a decade. Restated, almost no one has been able to get on to the waiting list for housing for over a decade and once you do get on the list, it might be a decade or more, before you can get section 8. It’s effectively a multi-decade wait for housing.

        Then there is GA or general assistance. Around here, it is considered a loan, which you have to sign for. Technically, I still owe the county/state the IIRC the ginormous $63 or $68 per month they paid me for about a year. My case manager was a bit of a snot about it. Like I wanted to get the damn aid and was willing to waste my time to jump through the hoops for it.

        Keep in mind that since each state and county is slightly different in their programs, the amount of aid, the requirements, and the punishments are all sightly different. For example, California is generally more expansive in the amount of benefits, but of course, the cost of living is higher. However, Los Angeles County is far more exacting, humiliating, and punitive in administering the aid than the average San Francisco Bay Area county. But, IIRC, the waiting list for housing is much shorter.

        Then there is the South with its own particularly exacting, limited, and cruel administration of aid in the various states and counties. Also, there is corruption throughout the system of aid, but from what I can see, the South, again, is particularly corrupt and tends to divert the aid money to other things besides aiding the poor.

        With the morass of different federal, state, and county rules, requirements, and benefit amounts as well as the varying levels of local corruption in everything, it is hard to generalize except to say that the already inadequate benefits are cut by not adjusting for inflation and sometimes by the government just cutting. Then the local corruption can often reduce the amount given, but it depends on just how puritanical and corrupt the local government is.

        This recommended cut in the amount of milk to be given to children is just another cut in the whole death by a thousand cuts of the past few decades. Since politically the aid can’t be cut wholesale, they will do slowly, behind the scenes.

    3. midtownwageslave

      *puts on golden tin foil hat*

      Perhaps the goal is to kneecap those generations who will likely have every reason to ober throw the status quo.

      It’s bleak now; can you imagine the economic and environmental situation in 15-20 years?

    4. The Rev Kev

      Maybe Biden’s hero is Margaret ‘the Milk Snatcher’ Thatcher who abolished free school milk back in ’72 and justified it as a money-saving scheme for recession-stricken Britain. He’s not there yet but you can be sure that he is working on it. Maybe he will try to abolish all milk rations down the track on the grounds that all the money that they gave the Ukraine has to be paid back by cutting welfare programs-

      1. Wukchumni

        Tulare County is the biggest dairy producing county in the USA with 450,000 Bessies, and a good many of them aren’t too far away from Tulare Lake in Hanford & Lemoore, hope they’re good at dog paddling.

        I’ve mentioned it before, but one of the cabin owners in our community is a long haul intrastate big rig driver, and one of his most common carries is picking up milk powder from the dairies and driving it down to San Pedro, where it gets loaded on a ship going to the PRC, so somebody else’s kids aren’t missing out.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I thought that milk upsets digestion for many Chinese. Is the PRC using the milk powder for some purpose other than making a glass of milk to drink?

          1. tevhatch

            Thanks to Yakult, many Asians have been inoculated with the bacteria to make cows milk more easily digested. The biggest market for powder milk probably is baby formula, it’s a shame that marketing has convinced so many that formula is better that mother’s milk.

          2. eg

            I am led to understand that populations capable of consuming milk into adulthood are a minority in global terms. That’s why I call us “the mutants” …

            1. Polar Socialist

              Basically northern* Europe and derivatives of (USA, Australia) are milk drinkers**. Also in Ex-Soviet Union and Canada majority are.

              But in the rest of the world adult milk drinkers are the odd ones out.

              * as in not Mediterranean
              ** I’m about as northern European as can be, yet I don’t drink milk and I have to choose my battles with ice cream.

            2. jan

              I’m in that club. I need to gulp down a glass of milk every now and then. But, I’m Dutch.

              1. JBird4049

                It is not just being European. The ability to drink milk arises and stays in a herding society or at least gets a large percentage of its from herding animals and tends to suffer from famines. Even if dairy never becomes common in the cuisine, the ability to use milk as food without getting sick sometimes decided who did not starve. The mutants survived to pass on their mutation.

                I have completely forgotten the statistics, the benefits for survival was often slight as just some milk often does make a person sick especially if he has the right bacteria or is eating yogurt and cheese, which are more stomach friendly. However, if your community had failed harvests every generation, worse weather, and maybe some epidemics as well the ability to get as much energy and nutrition from your food was important. Lactose intolerance with its slight disadvantage change the population steadily. It could take centuries, but eventually lactose intolerance disappeared. And Europe often had food shortages until the late 19th century. Less than two centuries ago.

                To me, it is fascinating to read about as long as I do not think too hard on how much suffering occurred.

        2. tegnost

          According to the publisher’s analysis, consumption of dairy products will continue to expand as China’s national income increases and its consumption structure is gradually optimized.

          Wall St already took over the world, we’re in the optimization phase now.
          I was looking to see how much of that powder gets sent back to the US as an input to other products but this is all the farther I got…

          1. JTMcPhee

            A segment of the post-WW II occupation of Japan was a plan by some of Macarthur’s staff (notably Charles Terry) to promote dairy farming by Japanese and consumption of dairy products. Along with Christian values and stuff. Became the Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project, which continues to give millions of bucks from the Eli Lilly Foundation and various individual and institutional “philanthropic” public benefactors ™ to the Project. The dairy farm started, in Kiyosato in the Japanese Alps, with Guernsey cattle flown in by the US Air Force and supplemented since by “philanthropic” money. The Farm runs a dairy bar and restaurant that is a popular destination spot for Japanese with its attached resort — which is a school for Japanese wanting to learn the resort accommodation trade.

            I leaned of it through my ex-wife, who learned of it from her pastor, who was part of the Occupation force. One of its functions is to keep the racket going by flying influential folks and Trustees of the Eli Lilly Foundation in for free stints at the Resort. Special Guests get to stay at the Paul Rusch Home, with its picture-window view of Mount Fuji. I learned about it by getting to carry the ex’s luggage on her first trip there on her way to becoming a director herself.

            Corruption is everywhere…

            1. tevhatch

              The Trappist introduced milk consumption into Hong Kong, Malaysia (and probably other point) so there is something to this religious connection between dairy and Asia. Hong Kong based US businessman Ira Dan Kaye worked to introduced consumption of cows milk into Deng Xiao Ping’s China I knew the man through mutual friends and thought this business had to have some undisclosed backing, as Ira Kaye himself could not have come up with that much capital, and now I can finally get a good idea about from where. Thank you.

      2. marieann

        I grew up in the 50’s in the UK..we were very poor. The only milk I had was the ones I got M-F at school. Thank got for that ( I ended up only loosing half my teeth by my 20’s)

        I was appalled at what Margaret Thatcher done…she was wicked

    5. Jeremy Grimm

      As I recall, the many food programs came about as a way to maintain price levels for agricultural products by siphoning off excess production and giving it to the needy who otherwise could not afford to buy a healthy diet for their children. I wonder whether the efforts to cut back food programs might indirectly reflect some measure of the ongoing consolidations of agriculture.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Are robot waiters the future? Some restaurants think so”

    Yeah, nah! You know how when you are in a supermarket that they want you to pack your own groceries and check out your own items, that you are providing free labour for that supermarket chain? And the same in McDonalds as well in ordering? Well robot waiters would eventually be the same where you would have to tap a menu on that robot waiters – and too bad if you have any requests that they have not bothered making a part of that digital menu. Myself, I would prefer to hear a feminine voice, even one that is sassy, with a real person behind it that you can actually talk to. A robot waiter would be as impersonal as being in a cafeteria where you load up your own food and just pay the cashier at the end. What is the point of dining out then?

    1. mrsyk

      “Are robot waiters the future? Some restaurants think so”
      They’re called vending machines.

    2. griffen

      This would go a good way in solving that pesky union issue at certain franchises would it not? I could see a Schultz at Starbucks thinking hey, this is a really good idea. \sarc

      A little surprising to read this in a fast food / quick service franchise like ChikFilA but their central offices are south of Atlanta; so I’m sure getting pitched at either a corporate or franchisee level of management is pretty common. This idea will get more widespread, just my prediction. I have read in recent years, post the 2020 pandemic “short lived” lockdown and all, locations that had to shut hours or days because of staffing constraints.

  6. KD

    Clinton regrets persuading Ukraine to give up nuclear weapons

    According to the recent James Baker biography, although Ukraine had nukes and the launch codes, there were actually two launch codes, and the Soviets never provided the second launch codes to the Ukrainians. Maybe there would be some way to hack the second launch codes, not clear, but Ukraine’s nukes were not actually operational for the Ukrainians, even when they had nukes. So it was not necessarily a bad deal to give up non-operational weapons in exchange for diplomatic guarantees.

    1. pjay

      A history lesson from this article:

      “In January 1994, Mr Clinton signed a tripartite agreement with the then presidents of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, and Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk, to eliminate the arsenal of strategic nuclear weapons which remained on Ukrainian soil after the fall of the Soviet Union. The United States was also party to a related agreement later in the same year, which included Russian commitments to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity.”

      “These commitments were broken in 2014, when Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, and further shattered when it began a wider war against Ukraine last year.”

      See, Russia is just not agreement capable! By 2014 they started breaking agreements left and right. We should have left those nukes in Ukrainian hands!

      With hindsight, I would say that negotiating the end of nukes in Ukraine was by far the best thing Yeltsin ever did for his country.

      Whenever I think my utter disgust with Clinton could not get any greater, he comes along as says stuff like this to show how wise and prescient his policies turned out to be.

      1. OnceWereVirologist

        “The United States was also party to a related agreement later in the same year, which included Russian commitments to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. These commitments were broken in 2014, when Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, and further shattered when it began a wider war against Ukraine last year.”

        As I understand it the agreements prohibited not just Russia but also the United States from threatening or using military force or economic coercion against Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. The US sanctions against Belarus are pretty clearly a violation. One might also argue that the United State’s involvement in the 2014 coup was also a violation.

        1. Polar Socialist

          I do recall that at the time of the Sanctions USA argued that the Budapest Memorandum was not an official treaty or legally binding.

          Naturally, in a rules based order that doesn’t mean others are off the hook.

          1. R.S.

            Here you go.
            Media Statement by the U.S. Embassy in Minsk
            April 12, 2013
            Repeated assertions by the government of Belarus that U.S. sanctions violate the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances are unfounded. Although the Memorandum is not legally binding, we take these political commitments seriously and do not believe any U.S. sanctions, whether imposed because of human rights or non-proliferation concerns, are inconsistent with our commitments to Belarus under the Memorandum or undermine them. Rather, sanctions are aimed at securing the human rights of Belarusians and combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other illicit activities, not at gaining any advantage for the United States.


        2. KD

          Either way, Ukraine got much a longer out of the commitment from both sides than Iran ever got out of their nuclear deal.

    2. Polar Socialist

      Technically the nukes were owned by the Commonwealth of the Independent States and completely controlled by Russia. I don’t think Ukraine had any codes for them, nor were they able to hack the Russian codes.

      This arrangement was done because neither the Russians or The West trusted the Ukrainians not to sell them “to whoever is prepared to pay for them”*. It kinda suits the old Bill to regret he convinced the Ukrainians to give up something the Ukrainians didn’t actually have.

      * MP David Evans at House of Commons 1993

  7. The Rev Kev

    “China is ghosting the United States”

    If we are going to be honest, what would the Biden regime have to say to the Chinese? Seriously. Stop supporting Russia? Order them to give up? Stop spying on the world using your technology? Let Taiwan ally itself with the west militarily? There is no trust. The Chinese have said that the Biden regime will promise to do one thing but will in actuality do the opposite on the ground. You certainly can’t expect them to take a person like Blinken seriously. When you listen to him he is like a more coherent form of a Kamala Harris. The previous offer by the US to China was to cooperate together on things that benefit the US but on other matters, the US would attack them and sanction them to the max. Yes, that was the actual offer.

    1. tevhatch

      It was interesting that Politico was running the same article under it that was published in Analysts Channel News Asia: “China’s intensifying nuclear-armed submarine patrols add complexity for US, allies”, and it’s appeared in many other NED/CIA outlets. I guess this is how Biden wants to message China: “Stop defending your sovereignty” and therefore China already has the message. Why spend the time and energy to pick up the phone?

  8. Mark Gisleson

    “exposing participants to counterarguments before they encountered misinformation, were the most effective strategies to challenge conspiracy beliefs” [PhysOrg]

    Sounds like how Fox used to manage my parents back in the ’90s, or how Team Biden (aka the FBI) kept the news media from taking Hunter’s laptop seriously. I would like to see these studies parsed very carefully by experts because this ‘innoculation’ counterstrike seems very consistent with wholesale gaslighting efforts (mass formation?).

    1. hemeantwell

      The article ends up conflating “critical thinking skills” with awareness of counterarguments to specific “disinformation” claims. No, no, no. It’s like there’s no such thing as a scientific method existing independently of content. You don’t need to go to grad school to develop a methodological conscience that often operates in a Keynesian fashion, taking away the punch bowl when you’re tempted to get drunk on rhetoric.

    2. LawnDart

      Isn’t this (“exposing participants to counterarguments before they encountered misinformation”) actually “strawmaning,” a practice that will get you your teeth kicked-in by our hosts? Or am I missing some nuance here?

      1. Mildred Montana

        From the article: “…effective interventions tend to be presented to participants before exposure to conspiracy statements, while post-exposure interventions are generally less effective.”

        That’s the article in a nutshell; no need for anyone to read further. Essentially, those “effective interveners” will judge beforehand what is true and what is conspiracy. And then present them to participants in the “correct” order.

        But there’s also this shocker at the end of the article: “[The authors of the study] also found that most interventions would be difficult to implement in real-world settings, which is why we are developing a more viable intervention funded by the Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership with Google in the form of a video game.”

        Great. A “more viable intervention”. Get ’em young. The authors, in conjunction with Google, think it’s a good idea to indoctrinate the young, with themselves and Google (of course) as ultimate arbiters of truth. Instead of exposing impressionable youth to all arguments and counter-arguments and encouraging critical thinking among them, they would rather recommend censorship or, more politely put, prophylactic propaganda.

    3. pjay

      I’m always interested in which specific “conspiracy theories” are discussed in articles like this. It gives you a clue as to the article’s real intent. Interestingly, there was no clue given about what beliefs the “Public Library of Science” had in mind – until the last paragraph. Which is why Lambert said to read to the end. I laughed out loud – a bitter laugh, as most of them are today. Pretense of a scientific meta-analysis in order to justify it’s *real* purpose.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Yes, as I said above, the last paragraph of the article was a real eye-opener. Which is probably why Lambert said, “…read to the end.”

        A disgusting and criminally disingenuous piece, combining the pretense of scientific “objectivity”, with the real intent of corporate control.

        1. JTMcPhee

          A take on the article and the reality surrounding it that will become part of the cognition of what, maybe one person in 10 million?

    4. britzklieg

      It’s a classical “tautology – used by the ancient Greeks to describe a statement that was asserted to be true merely by virtue of saying the same thing twice, a pejorative meaning…”

      the term “conspiracy theory” begs the question (assumes the conclusion) and places the subject outside the realm of rational discussion. Feature, not a bug.

  9. jhallc

    Reuters – “Ukrainian drone crashes near Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant”

    “Grossi was due to travel to Russia’s Kaliningrad region on Wednesday, a week after visiting the Zaporizhzhia facility in southern Ukraine, which is controlled by Russian forces….
    Grossi has been pushing for a demilitarised zone around Europe’s largest nuclear facility, which has come under repeated shelling, with Russia and Ukraine have blamed on each other.”

    They just can’t say it can they…That Ukraine is shelling the Nuclear power plant. Somehow the Russians are shelling themselves?

    1. Polar Socialist

      The Russians are even so cunning they use NATO artillery shells and Polish made drones to attack “their” nuclear plant. That’s why it’s do darn difficult to find out who’s shelling it.

      Meanwhile, though, the Rosatom executive at Zaporozhe plant said that four reactors are completely shut down, two are still generating heat for the Energodar city. The reason they are not running is not the shelling – that has slowed down and can be handled by the air defenses (see, the Russians are even shooting down their own rockets, the clever villains!) – but because the Ukrainian maintenance policy has left them in a condition in which Russian regulations won’t allow starting them before a major overhaul.

      1. The Rev Kev

        When they come to write the history of this war, the saga of the Zaporozhe power plant will require its own chapter. Apparently from now on, it will be OK to shoot up nuclear power plants whenever there is a war.

      2. begob

        An opinion I read a few months back was that the Ukrainians were targetting the nuclear waste left on site by the American contractors who replaced the Soviets, rather than the reactors themselves.

  10. JohnnyGL

    Just stumbled across this one. Mexico nationalizing a bunch of electricity plants. Bought them off a spanish company. Apparently, state owned proportion of electricity generation will rise from 39% to just over 50%.

    Add this to the list of quietly very effective reforms AMLO has undertaken in Mexico. He’s done a lot to expand Mexican national sovereignty and improve state capacity for action. Very anti-neoliberal.

    Expect the US to throw a fit.

    1. Phenix

      Unfortunately the Mexican state is not known for it’s competence. Hopefully AMLO’s successor will improve upon AMLo’d policies.

      1. Don

        AMLO, and Mexico (in which I have a home) is vastly underrated. The minimum wage has been doubled, corporate taxes owed by US and Canadian firms for decades have been collected (except for one Canadian holdout), The Mexican peso has outperformed most, if not all, other currencies against the US$ over the past 2 years, in 2024, the booming Mexican economy will pass Spain to become the world’s largest Spanish-speaking economy, fossil fuel industry has been renationalized, with hydro to follow. AMLO and Moreno are not the same as previous regimes. Do some research—you will be amazed.

        Mexico is contesting the coup in Peru, defying Russian sanctions and very vociferously calling for Assange’s release. Final argument: the US is threatening not only sanctions, but military intervention.

        1. JBird4049

          I do hope that Mexico confounds the United States.

          “Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States”

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Trump Derangement Syndrome Returns”

    What is it now? Season Seven of “Get Trump?” I wish that they would come up with fresh scripts rather than rehash scripts from earlier seasons. Some of the plot lines are really getting stale and so unbelievable that suspension of belief is starting to get to be a bit of a problem. Maybe they should do more character development with Melania Trump as she is more a sympathetic character to audiences.

    1. Questa Nota

      Those pushing Walls Closing In are the, er, contractors building the walls. NPR, MSDNC, WaPo and their ilk.
      Ratings and circulation declines don’t seem to matter as much as one would think, given their persistence.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Russia says grain deal being implemented but shipments going to wrong destinations”

    I think that this is a case of the EU playing it too smart for their own good. There is a glut of cheap Ukrainian grain that has swamped Poland, Romania and Bulgaria and is pressing local farmers hard. Those farmers are having a tough time selling their own crops and they are not happy about it either. According to Polish farmer Marcin Misiak, ’he could sell wheat for €340 per ton in August 2022, but at the beginning of March 2023, it cost just €220.’ By not sending that grain to Africa, they let Ukrainian operators monetize the situation as grain from the Ukraine was favoured in European ports so that was where it was sent.

    But this is coming home to the Polish government. They are having Parliamentary elections in late 2023 and wouldn’t you know it, the farming block is a major supporter of the sitting government – for the moment. But that could change if the situation for those farmers doesn’t change and improve. The EU could send that grain on to Africa but instead said ‘Nah!’ and are just going to ’provide financial support to farmers from member-states neighboring Ukraine to compensate for their losses and limit the impact of market imbalances.’ Tough luck if you are in Africa hoping for the arrival of those grain shipments. You would be all out of luck.

    1. digi_owl

      Because EU wants to drive out independent farmers and replace them with big agricorps instead.

  13. Stephen

    “Clinton regrets persuading Ukraine to give up nuclear weapons.”

    This is sheer propaganda.

    Ought all of the states that were created after the dissolution of the USSR “retained” nuclear weapons too? Am sure that Clinton would love the idea of a nuclear armed Azerbaijan.

    My understanding is that legally the Russian Federation is the continuing state to the USSR and that there was never really a question of other states “retaining” nuclear weapons.

    Western hypocrisy and the lack of journalistic questioning continues.

    1. R.S.

      My understanding is that legally the Russian Federation is the continuing state to the USSR and that there was never really a question of other states “retaining” nuclear weapons.

      You’re 100% spot on. There were no “Ukrainian”, “Russian”, etc nuclear weapons to begin with. Just like the ships in Norfolk are not “Virginian Navy”, and the missiles in the silos in Montana (if there are any left there) are not “Montanan nuclear weapons”. The newly formed states (apart from Russia) had no launch codes, no facilities to maintain the warheads, nothing. I’ve seen estimates that it would have cost, say, Ukraine some $60+ billion upfront just to build the basic infrastructure.

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      IIRC there were only two other USSR republics hosting nuclear weapons at the time of its dissolution in 1991. They were Belarus and Kazakhstan, and like Ukraine they consented to the USA’s and the RF’s pressure to give them up. Scott Ritter would be the source to verify this.

  14. Carla

    Clarence Thomas and the Billionaire

    From the ProPublica email: “Island-hopping on a superyacht. Private jet rides around the world. The undisclosed gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the Supreme Court. “It’s incomprehensible to me that someone would do this,” says one former judge.”

    This absolutely makes my day. Maybe my month… maybe my year!

    1. Boomheist

      It will be a miracle if this story gains legs and actually rises to Serious Discussion, but it should (once someone checks what all the other Justices have been doing, as I bet there are a lot more freebies being given out than we know or expect, just as there are a lot more classified documents going missing than only Trump’s cache). And, if it does rise to such a level, then the howls about racist attacks on Thomas will begin.

      If you are a truly conspirital thinker you might conclude that this is the launch of Biden’s and the Democrat’s effort to tank Thomas so Kamela Harris can be appointed to the Supreme Court and Biden be free to choose a VP with more vote getting ability (I know, I know, this will not be easy for many reasons, all identity related, but still…)….

        1. the last D

          I think that biden voted against thomas’ appointment in the end, but he conducted his confirmation hearings in the usual lazy and sonambulent style that still turns my stomach so many years later. Eager to hear tucker’s take on this.

    2. tevhatch

      Well, Thomas also has grabbing women in common with Joe Biden, who ran screen for him during his senate hearings, but I guess that’s so common among Judges it’s totally comprehensible.

      1. Carla

        @tevhatch — I wonder if Kagan, Comey Barrett, Sotomayor and Jackson grab people of any gender. Kinda doubt it, but inquiring minds would like to know.

        1. tevhatch

          They certainly have no problem working with him, so I guess it’s comprehensible to them. Anthony Scalia liked grabbing his cowboys, a sort of Roy Cohn in robes, a side perk in collect his freebees from the Oligarchy like Thomas; and again the blue black wall of silence applies.

    1. petal

      UVM Health Network to roll back COVID mask, visitation policies

      “BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Vermont hospitals in the UVM Health Network are rolling back their COVID mask requirements and visitation policies next week.

      The network says patients and hospital staff will no longer have to mask in public areas of the hospital, but masks will be required for staff while providing patient care.

      Patients will be asked to wear a mask if they have symptoms of respiratory illnesses.

      Visitation will be permitted in clinical units and offices but may be restricted in high-risk areas.

      The new rules do not apply to the network’s three New York hospitals.

      Our Cat Viglienzoni is taking a look at the bigger picture of COVID in Vermont and talking with the state’s health commissioner. She will have a full report on the Channel 3 News starting at 4 p.m.”

      1. antidlc

        Serious question (and I don’t expect you to know the answer):

        Do the doctors and nurses on staff really think this is a good idea?

        I don’t get it.

  15. LawnDart

    Re; Climate

    The links today were lacking a certain depressive quality and failed to imbue a sense of utter hopelessness and the futility of effort, so allow me to correct that:

    Greenhouse gases continued to increase rapidly in 2022

    Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide rise further into uncharted levels

    NOAA scientists are investigating the possibility that climate change is causing wetlands to give off increasing methane emissions in a feedback loop.

    1. Grumpy Engineer

      I dunno about the lack of a “depressive quality”. When I look at the headlines:

      Coal phaseout’s pace needs to be sharply accelerated to meet Paris goals
      Power generation grows at fastest pace in 33 years, fueled by coal

      I see that the first one says what should be happening, and that the second one indicates the exact opposite is actually happening. I can’t say that this state of affairs surprises me, given our political leadership’s inability to come up with a viable energy transition plan, but it definitely seems depressing to me.

  16. bwilli123

    Re Bob Lee, creator of Cash App stabbed to death.
    A brief chronology

    March 23, Hindenburg Research published

    “Block: How Inflated User Metrics and “Frictionless” Fraud Facilitation Enabled Insiders To Cash Out Over $1 Billion.”

    April 6 Bob Lee murdered.
    According to the linked article… “No arrest has been made in the case and the San Francisco Police Department hasn’t shared any additional details…”

    I hope we are not seeing a Seth Rich type situation here.

  17. ALM

    If only Ukraine had retained Soviet era nukes without the launch codes, Russia would never have invaded Ukraine according to Bill Clinton who has his own experience in waging wars against non-nuclear countries. While it’s clearly too much to expect Clinton to do the decent thing and retire from public life to spare us any more of him, it’s also apparently pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking to expect him to make an honest assessment of his own culpability in contributing to the actual casus belli of the Ukraine War by expanding a hostile military alliance eastward toward Russia.

    1. digi_owl

      Not just launch codes, but the means to maintain the rockets etc.

      Didn’t USA recently discover that they can no longer maintain some of their long range nukes because all blueprints have been lost, and much of the specialized tools have been junked?

    2. spud

      its why him and his wife must be driven out of society. like bad meals they pop up all over americas media.

      jaun coles article is from someone living in a alternate reality. that list if his are pikers, except bush. just look at clinton/obama/bidens did.

  18. Jason Boxman

    A new approach to a Covid-19 nasal vaccine shows early promise

    Shows a HCW with a proper respirator on, and it’s credited to Hou Yu/China News Service/VCG/Getty Images, so clearly not in the United States. I wonder if they couldn’t find a photo of someone wearing a proper respirator in a health care setting here?

    The US has reached something of a stalemate with Covid-19. Even with the darkest days of the pandemic behind us, hundreds of Americans are still dying daily as the infection continues to simmer in the background of our return to normal life.

    Well, that doesn’t sound like “normal life” to me then, does it?

    And while Covid infections have become manageable for most healthy people, they may still pose a danger to vulnerable groups such as the elderly and immunocompromised.

    So the Establishment is bettin’ everything is gonna work out okay, as long as you’re healthy. Because NC is into reality rather than fantasy, I’d bet things aren’t going to work out okay given what I’ve been reading these past 3 years. I guess we’ll see who’s right. My money is generally on NC.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Russia’s ultranationalists appear increasingly vulnerable after pro-war blogger’s killing”

    ‘Unblushingly accepting assassinating civilians in locations very far from the front, in an undeclared proy war. That’s our PMC!’

    Bellingcat was also all in on this bombing of a bunch of civilians in a cafe because of course they were-

    But I suspect the mood in Russia is not feeling vulnerable but feelings of rage instead. Nobody appreciates terrorist attacks in their own country which includes the Russians. They went through this with the Chechens a long time ago so are not going to sit back and take it. Would we?

    1. the last D

      we certainly would, if the attack was a toxic train derailment in East Palestine, ohio. Oh, that attack was precipitated by terrorists posing as american, full-throated capitalists willing to throw public safety overboard for a few more dollars. That’s the cost of doing business the american way, and east palestine is somewhere down from palookaville, and so what?

      1. eg

        Which is small beer compared to the decades of socioeconomic damage done by those same “terrorists posing as American, full-throated capitalists” hollowing out “flyover country.”

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Is America’s global preeminence under threat?”

    Yeah, that boat has sailed and ain’t coming back. No country can act as international policeman much less global hegemon. The world situation has changed far too much to make that a viable idea and you can read the confusion in this article. They seem to realize that the Ukraine is a lost cause and want to tackle China but how? The NATO-Russia war has shown that the bulk majority of the world’s countries will not back the US in a fight against China, even a proxy one. They must know that they cannot match the industrial out put of China but nonetheless want to go face to face with China anyway. They can’t take on both fights as they realize that the US is overstretched and they seem to bitterly regret not splitting China from Russia instead of forcing them together. Like happened back in the 70s, the US has realized that they cannot do everything but must prioritize what is really important to the interests of the US itself. But to tell you the truth, I really can’t see Washington doing so as there are too many factions/fiefdoms that want to prioritize their own obsessions whether it be Russia, China, Iran or wherever.

    1. jefemt

      Lotta college tuitions, 401K’s, and second – fifth homes at stake in the US Military Industrial complex.
      We need foils, we need wars. The last declared war, if I recall correctly, was the sitting President, backed by Congress, – the War on Poverty. Win or lose, wars direct a lot of political-will-dollars to certain pockets.
      And create a lot of havoc for the collaterally-damaged.

      We, as a species, have never tried Not War?

    2. JTMcPhee

      “International policeman.” Will someone please shoot that meme in the head and burn the corpse with fire? The US or UK or any other thug practitioner of imperialism is not a “cop.” It’s the kind of thug enforcer that Smedley Butler so aptly and adequately described in 1936, “War is a Racket.” And “police” are accurately described as protectors of property rights against the dispossessed.

      The lame attempt to attribute civic virtue to the US as a “kindly Irish beat cop” is bullshit in the extreme, in large part because the underlying reality of Irish (or any other ethnic) cops is more like the corrupt anc corrupting and depraved groupings like the Chicago cops how murdered Hampton and Clark, ran the public robbing of businesses in the “Summerdale scandal” days, and the Homan Square black site lock away and of course the fusion center demolition of the Occupy movement,

      Give up on the idea that a nation can ever display the kind of behavior idolized and idealized by us mopes when thinking about how the Rule of Law protects and defends us. Get Effing Over It, folks

    3. Susan the other

      Yes, and The Conservative. McGregor at his best. Very straightforward statement on his part. We the people must demand changes to our foreign policy and our economic policy. Where is our Nixon?

    4. Phenix

      They must know that they cannot match the industrial out put of China but nonetheless want to go face to face with China anyway.

      I don’t think to that there will be a hot war in the Pacific. China can cement all the deals it wants for oil and LNG but it is at the end of the supply chain and can not protect it’s own supply, yet.

      The pipelines from Russia will be done around 2030.

      Fortunately? for us the US is run by ideologues that are detached from reality. If we really wanted to confront China we would be bringing jobs back to the States instead of friend shoring.

    5. spud

      The Rivers of Siberia have the potential to be able to take the riches of that region and transport them by containerships all over the world, pending those boats can make it up to the Arctic Ocean and not run aground. Putin has been a big advocate of developing the Arctic for many reasons, this being one of them. Although Siberia is famous for its minerals and wood, it also produces a lot of food and this infrastructure will help Russia continue to grow as a major food producing titan which is a factor in the great relationship between Moscow and Beijing. The food production capabilities of Southern Siberia are beyond comprehension, but have been kept dormant by the region’s landlocked isolation.

  21. JEHR

    Today’s antidote is wonderful; female animals show such attention and love for their offspring. Nature made the young so cute for that very reason.

  22. Mikel

    “Drowning In Deposits”

    “…the fundamental structural problem of contemporary capitalism: a hyper-competitive system, clogged with excess capacity and savings, with no obvious outlets to soak them up…”

    A person or business could easily feel they do not have enough saved. The necessities get more expensive and being poor can criminalize as well as marginalize.
    One example: ever increasing health care costs can bankrupt businesses and people.

    I’d go out on a limb and say that in societies where rentierism rules – there is no such thing as “excess savings.”
    Where there is excess precarity, there is no excess savings.

    This does not negate the argument that there is lack of investment or misspent stimulus, etc.

    1. Jorge

      This author had no idea how banks work. Banks cannot ‘invest’ money earmarked as immediately-available cash; at scale, they can only broker investments where the depositor does not expect immediate gratification at 100%. SIVB pretended that they did not need to broker the investments with a withdrawal penalty.

  23. Jason Boxman

    Google hired a team of contractors to check Bard’s answers, to make sure it didn’t happen again.

    So Google is nonetheless trying to do what they do with Google Search, have an army of contractors validate responses. While this works some for Google Search, it won’t work for big data text language models. You can’t possibly validate the universe of outputs for these general models, because it requires a high level of domain expertise, and because these are for general use, you’d need to have experts in every imaginable domain, and they’d need to be able to rapidly validate chat bot outputs, retrospectively, because it cannot be done in realtime, and Google Search validations are also done retrospectively.

    There’s no way this can be done economically. And because this large data models are garbage in, garbage out, that is what you’re going to get. That said, the goal here is to make bank, and if the state of these tools is abysmal, it doesn’t matter, as long as key investors and executives make bank before it’s clear the emperor is naked here.

    I think these large language models might work for very specific domains, trained only on validated, domain specific inputs, but that isn’t what Google and Microsoft are offering; that isn’t the grift.

  24. Mikel

    Just letting my imagination run wild here, but what if the unexpected consequence of this high profile case of Trump paying off his side piece puts in the minds of the powerful: “Hey, it’s a lot easier for them to get me for a payoff than for murder.”

  25. RobertC


    The kinetic US-China conflict has begun along the path I thought most likely China to inspect ships in Taiwan Strait, Taiwan says won’t cooperate

    BEIJING, April 6 (Reuters) – China’s Fujian maritime safety administration launched a three-day special joint patrol and inspection operation in the central and northern parts of the Taiwan Strait that includes moves to board ships, it said on its WeChat account.

    The maritime safety authority in the southeastern Chinese province said on Wednesday the operation included “on-site inspections” on direct cargo ships and construction vessels on both sides of the Taiwan Strait “to ensure the safety of vessel navigation and ensure the safe and orderly operation of key projects on water”.

    [Taiwan’s Transport Ministry’s Maritime and Ports Bureau] said it has notified relevant shipping operators that if they encounter such requests from China they should refuse them and immediately notify Taiwan’s coast guard to render assistance.

    Most analysts examine the US-China conflict from a military-on-military perspective. Mostly because that’s their comfort zone and that’s how the US military is organized*. But China’s seaborne forces are a three-prong organization: Navy (military), Coast Guard (law enforcement), and maritime militia (civilian).

    Taiwan is risking (sacrificing) its de facto independence for US promises of de jure independence.

    *Yes I’m aware of the USN-USCG wartime organization. The USCG is too small and too weak and too far away to be a factor. As is US seaborne forces in general Shipbuilding Battle: Deep Dive On The Fight Between 3 Commandants And 1 Admiral

  26. R.S.

    Re: Should Leftists Support Sending Weapons To Ukraine?

    I actually have difficulties with this argument:
    By the way, one of the Russians that worked on the agreements, Vladislav Surkov, stated that he had no plans to implement them.

    That interview by Surkov was not an interview in the usual sense. Surkov was asked four questions in writing, which he answered with “YES” or “NO” only. The relevant question goes as follows:
    – Working on the Minsk agreements, did you {a formal personal address, like “Sie” in German} proceed from that they had to be implemented? {a passive construction with a modal that means “have to, must, should, supposed to”}
    – NO.
    And that’s it. Even native Russian speakers have a hard time interpreting it, and I’ve seen varying and contradicting opinions on what this question actually means.

    1. Polar Socialist

      The weirdest part is that there was nothing for Russia to implement in the Minsk Accords. Russia was not the “other side”, Donetsk and Luhansk were, but this yahoo keeps claiming that 2014-5 was a Russian intervention.

      Which is kinda absurd when we can now all see how a Russian intervention actually looks like.

      1. Yves Smith

        That is incorrect.

        Russia was a signator and guarantor of Minsk.

        The two rebel republics had no legal standing in Minsk. Ukraine never would have tolerated it. The were and were to remain Ukraine oblasts, just with more autonomy on certain issues.

        Rebel leaders did sign the agreements but ONLY as observers, not parties to the agreement.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Yes, Russia signed as a guarantor, just like UK and France did, but the accords had nothing else for Russia to do. Even if Ukraine did not tolerate the rebels, the accords were all about actions Ukraine and the rebels would take towards a peaceful solution.

          Russia’s role was to guarantee that the rebels would keep their end if and when Ukraine kept theirs. That, as we now, never became an issue. IIRC it officially was about the order of the steps: should the rebels give up their weapons or should the constitution be changed/restored first.

          Russia would never have signed an accord recognizing Russia as a party in what Russia claimed was Ukrainian civil war.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Francois Hollande has just been outed by comedians Vovan and Lexus in saying that the whole Minsk 2 agreement was bogus and was just a plan to let the Ukraine re-arm to fight Russia. One of the comedians pretended to be Poroshenko and Hollande fell for it completely in spite of knowing Poroshenko-


            The Ukraine may talk about negotiating about the Crimea and the Donbass after they win their planned offensive but nobody in Moscow will be interested in a Minsk 3.

  27. digi_owl

    “‘Coherent’ radio signal detected from alien planet, prompting hope in search for life Independent”

    Sadly unlikely, as the radio signal is most likely an interaction between planet and the star it orbits. From what i read elsewhere when this news first broke, the planet is orbiting closer than Venus to the star in question. And the star itself is unstable and prone the massive flares.

    “Tokyo ‘has come alive again’ as Japan sheds COVID-19 curbs, says governor Koike Channel News Asia. “Life” = “Commerce.” There you have it.”

    Conspicuous window shopping seem to be a Tokyo pastime.

    1. Questa Nota

      MSNBC has plenty of company in the prevaricating, preening peacocks of pusillanimity program.
      That they could lie so easily about so many topics, and then refuse to recant, retract, revise or just act like honorable, decent aspirants to journalistic ethics is no longer a surprise.
      Who is directing their policies, in or out of the company, or is that Company?

  28. Don

    I don’t know what rules and/or etiquette apply here, in the absence of a NC link, but apologies if I am violating them.

    Early this morning Global Times carried an almost gushy main story about Macron’s visit — 21-gun salute, reviewing the troops, warm and fuzzy statements about a long history of friendship, shared international values, respect for other countries, non-coercion, etc., with not a single mention in this story, or anywhere else on the page, of Ursula von der Leyen’s concurrent visit.. Accompanied by a photo of Xi and Macron fronting a display of Chinese and French flags.

    I wish that I had saved it/emailed it to myself — because now it is gone, replaced by a much more subdued piece on “trilateral talks.” The current piece makes a clear distinction between Macron’s warm and positive messaging, and China’s equally positive response, and von der Leyen’s (the latter’s visit is characterized as only being part of the trilateral discussion, implying, as I read it, a snub) which was a re-statement of her hectoring and bellicose comments of the past week or so, and which receives a sharply chilly Chinese response. Photo is now of Xi, Macron and von der Leyen seated distantly around a giant round table.

    If anyone still has access to the remarkable first coverage, it would be great if they could post it.

    1. RobertC

      Macron is head of state. von der Leyen is a bureaucrat, at best equal to a minister.

      Still the Chinese were sending a message although I think she’s hard-of-listening.

    2. RobertC

      According to Politico “Xi and Macron will head to the Chinese city of Guangzhou on Friday, where they will hold more talks and a private dinner.”

      Apparently von der Leyen won’t be joining them: “European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who was invited by Macron to showcase European unity but who will not take part in many of the events between the Chinese and French leaders.”

      I viewed Reuters videos of Macron’s welcome, quite impressive, but nothing on GT like you described.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Just watched that video a little while ago and fully agree. Yeah, that first few minutes tells the story. The tempo is picking up so fast that it is getting hard to keep track of the big picture.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’m thinking that it was the Pentagon itself that leaked this material. They are done with this war and want it over before some idiot in DC gets the bright idea to send US troops into the country or, more likely, that DC will force the Pentagon to send vital military reserves to the Ukraine leaving the US military with zip. Just read the other day that the US was shipping two bits of gear that was parked outside of one of their museums to the Ukraine. The bottom of this particular barrel has been nowscraped.

    2. tegnost

      Military analysts said the documents appear to have been modified in certain parts from their original format, overstating American estimates of Ukrainian war dead and understating estimates of Russian troops killed.

      seems legit (/s)
      I guess we know what will fill the sunday am airwaves….
      No, seriously, we are totally winning.

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