Links 5/17/2023

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A Guy Strapped a Camera to His Cat and It’s the Best Thing We’ve Ever Seen Futurism (PdB). I could not be a cat. I would get vertigo.

Pinball is booming in America, thanks to nostalgia and canny marketing Economist. In my teens, when my father was in an uncharacteristically generous mood, he got a pinball machine. It was totally cool

Titanic: First ever full-sized scans reveal wreck as never seen before BBC. Lead story, so there is officially no news.

Replication of High-Temperature Superconductor Comes Up Empty arstechnica

EcoLogicStudio turns algae into air-purifying biopolymer “tree” dezeen

The joy of sulk aeon


Covid-19 will cost the US economy $14 trillion Asia Times

The Pandemic Isn’t Over. Here’s How to Stay Safe Wired (Dr. Kevin)


Gas-Powered Cars Won’t Die Off Any Time Soon Axios

This year’s record-breaking snowpack is pouring into the dried-out Salt Lake High Country News (furzy)


Could a Taiwan tax deal help US ‘cripple’ China’s semiconductor development? South China Morning Post

From DLG via e-mail:

Fatto Quotidiano’s paper edition this morning has three articles about how Italy is being forced into not renewing its Silk Road accord with China, which comes up for renewal in 2024 (after five years in effect). Italy is the only G7 country to be in the Silk Road. Which makes sense, given that Roma has been one terminus of the Silk Road for, ohhh, a couple-a thousand years.

Pressure is coming from the US of A and the EU. And after NordStream, the Italians know what the friendses are capable of.

Further, Giorgia Meloni is going along with the Atlanticist garbage to preserve her government. She doesn’t want to be soft-coup-d’etat-ed and have Mario Draghi parachuted upon her.

It occurs to me that the august neoliberal leadership of Europe gives in to U.S. demands because it is the path of least resistance. So long as the U.S. doesn’t foment a war within their country, why not give in? There’s money to be made. One doesn’t want to end up as the new Serbia. The English must be allowed to extract further revenge.

Quad meeting in Australia canceled as U.S. politics pull Biden home Nikkei. Note this looks like it will push back the inking of the Papau New Guinea port access deal.

Old Blighty

UK sees record number of people off work due to long-term sickness Washington Post (Kevin W)

Vauxhall maker says Brexit deal must be renegotiated or it could shut UK plant Guardian (resilc)

Global Britain and King Charles’ Great Reset Canadian Patriot

Britain is becoming Brussels on Thames The Spectator

La belle France

France honours six-year-old WW2 Resistance agent BBC (Dr. Kevin)

New Not-So-Cold War

Release: Airman Teixeira leaks (53 MB) Distributed Email of Secrets (furzy). Note Larry Johnson has complained the slides are hard to find so this repository should help with review. Yours truly has not had a chance to have a look.

Ukraine – Air Defense Lessons (Updated) Moon of Alabama. Dima of Military Summary, who sometimes can be a bit wild-eyed, offered a theory: the Patriot battery had been located in a residential area. Somehow the operators got signals the Russians could hit it. So they fired a bunch of missiles off to prevent them from being detonated in place upon a Russian strike. Plausible?

EU to curb Indian fuel imports made with Russian oil: Report Al Jazeera (Kevin W). I’d like to know how they tell.

THE UKRAINE REFUGEE QUESTION Seymour Hersh. We mentioned this from time to time as an issue early on. Apparently enthusiasm for the Ukraine cause meant any signs of problems have been pointedly ignored.

The Anglo-American Hand Behind the Rise of Fascism Then and Now The Last American Vagabond (Micael T)


Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Google sued over ‘interception’ of abortion data on Planned Parenthood website The Register

Re-Victimization From Police-Auctioned Cell Phones Brian Krebs

Your DNA Can Now Be Pulled From Thin Air New York Times. I am skeptical of the positioning of this story. Yes, “your” DNA is in all sorts of places, but pray tell how is this proven to belong to you (for instance, yours truly has a tiny extended family and I am highly confident none of them have given DNA to cops or genealogy services)? Perhaps I am paranoid, but I read the angle as designed to desensitize the

Imperial Collapse Watch

Cédric Durand, Hollow States New Left Review (Anthony L)

Drug Shortages Near an All-Time High, Leading to Rationing New York Times (furzy). We fancy ourselves to be an advanced economy.

Is South Africa’s Foreign Policy a Thorn in the Side of Western Interests? Reported Arms Sales to Russia Are Only the Latest Development Military Watch

Pepe Escobar: US Empire of Debt Headed for Collapse Sputnik

Vending machines are the latest tool for fighting opioid overdoses Associated Press


Durham is Too Late to Stop the Madness Matt Taibbi. Worse, it’s been documented in cognitive bias literature that when people have strong beliefs and receive information that contradicts them, they double down on their priors. Paywalled but includes cringe-making examples of Mueller adoration.

Durham’s FBI-Trump report fuels House GOP ‘weaponization’ attacks The Hill


Democrats clash with Biden over sanctions on Cuba, Venezuela Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

US Sanctions Are Brutal and Inhumane. And They Don’t Work. Jacobon (resilc)

Debt Ceiling

Tick, tick, tick: Biden, lawmakers fail to reach breakthrough on debt ceiling The Hill

Senators dismiss happy talk after Biden-McCarthy debt sitdown Politico


Texas governor urges all US governors to help combat border crisis following end of Title 42 Anadolu Agency


North Carolina Legislature Reapproves Abortion Ban, Overriding Governor’s Veto New York Times (Kevin W)

A Texas woman was killed by her boyfriend after getting an abortion, police say NPR. Resilc: “Pardon ahead by Abbott.”

Woke Watch

Why Some Companies Are Saying ‘Diversity and Belonging’ Instead of ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ New York Times


Microsoft Says New AI Shows Signs of Human Reasoning New York Times (Dr. Kevin). Microsoft also thinks its software works.

The Bezzle

Elizabeth Holmes loses bid to avoid prison and ordered to pay $425 million to her fraud victims Boing Boing (resilc)

Investor George Soros Dumps Tesla Stake, Enrages Elon Musk Jalopnik (resilc)

Mormon who left Wall St. to work for charity blows whistle on what he says is his church’s “clandestine hedge fund” CBS (Paul R). FWIW, I heard about this decades ago from a college buddy who converted to marry into the Mormon church, and his wife was from a very prominent LDS family. And he made clear the internal investment fund was large. I don’t find this surprising; where would all the tithing monies go?

April industrial production looks great! – until you account for the March revisions Angry Bear

Mohamed El-Erian says regional banks are in a ‘hospital’ phase of turmoil, but a Fed policy mistake will drive them ‘back into the ICU’ Business Insider. Guys like El-Erian are loath to criticize the Fed, so this is as close as he could get to our formulation, that this crisis was entirely the Fed’s creation.

The Great Pandemic Mortgage Refinance Boom Liberty Street Economics. Note refis are stimulative because they free up consumer budgets.

Inside the ‘White Gold’ Rush to Mine American Lithium and Make Millions Vice

Class Warfare

David Brooks and the “Which Way is Up” Problem in Economics
Dean Baker, Counterpunch. Resilc: “Brooks is such a load. USA USA can’t even get rid of the annual debt ceiling show. there is no united in United States on any issue. Hopeless on all frontzzz.”

Big Tech Resumed Hiring Foreign Workers Just Weeks After Layoffs Lee Fang (Paul R)

Antidote du jour. William B: “Spring turtles in MN”:

And a bonus. An addition to resilc’s herd:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. griffen

    Debt ceiling…tick tick tick..who will blink first. To lighten the mood just a little, I found this satirical take on the eventual goal of the debt ceiling negotiations. And if we’re insisting, or suggesting, work requirements, by the way, can we insist on more of our defense and military spending for weapons and systems that actually will work? We’re cutting back on the benefits, this plane is a lemon!

    1. Mildred Montana

      “…can we insist on more of our defense and military spending for weapons and systems that actually will work?”

      Perhaps the world would be a better place if US weapons 𝘥𝘪𝘥𝘯’𝘵 work. Or, to satisfy the minimal need for defense of the homeland while still placating the MIC, at most one in six. Sorta like Russian roulette for any nation which thinks about attacking. Call it the Dirty Harry strategy: “Do you feel lucky, punk?”

      1. griffen

        My highly cynical view is the defense spending and MIC spending, in combination, work as a jobs stimulus program but for very select sectors and industries. Fort Worth is where Raytheon has a large manufacturing site, just one example. I don’t believe that the Dallas / Ft Worth metroplex really needs a government defense contractor to remain a preferred location among many potential employers.

        And then there’s Arlington and northern Virginia, which is a whole different ball of yarn.

        1. LifelongLib

          Well, I’d argue that the army, navy etc. are jobs programs too. A little while ago there were comments here slamming enlisting in the military, but there are a lot of places in the U.S. where it’s the best deal young people can get.

          1. some guy

            After all the other deals were sent to China, Bangladesh, Mexico, Vietnam, etc. under the Free Trade Occupation Regime.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Quad meeting in Australia canceled as U.S. politics pull Biden home”

    Biden can’t come down to Oz because of wrangles with the US debt crisis in Congress? All I can say is thank god for American Republicans!

    Tag. He’s yours again.

  3. zagonostra


    The word of the day from Pepe Escobar’s article in Sputnik.

    Kudos to NC for including stories from The Last American Vagabond the Canadian Patriot and Lee Fang to balance out NYT, NPR and Politico among other sources.

    I’m experiencing first hand not so much the “cognitive bias” that the Matt Taibbi link referred to but amnesia. When I asked a friend who I know watches CNN/MSNBC on an almost daily basis about what she thought of the Durham report, she said she wasn’t paying attention to it, that she had not been following the story. It made me think of Gore Vidal’s book The United States of Amnesia

    1. Alice X

      For Durham, wait, there should be more:

      Per James Bamford, there was no Russian collusion, but there was Israeli collusion.

      And somewhat like Gore Vidal, everyday I sing the Red Pill blues.

      1. Pat

        If they were to acknowledge either, I can think of half a dozen people whose entire political belief system would have been rocked by Durham but would be blown up entirely by involvement of Israel.

      2. some guy

        Was Israel free-lancing, or was Israel doing it for American clients like , say, the Clintons?

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      yeah, The Last American Vagabond brings me back,lol.
      near eidetic memory sez that much of the post WW1 maneuvering by the then 1%…a la BIS, Fed, etc…. mentioned therein,matches what i remember of folks like William Greider.
      sadly, most people are distracted and driven to hysterics by the decor(giant owl statue, and such)

  4. rusell1200

    Mormon mega-funds: Yes this seems to have been floating around for some time. I think it is the clearer idea of an amount, and now a huge fine, that makes it “of interest”.

    They are a huge church with a messy history; they have a strong dispensation to horde for bad times. Although not all Mormons are wealthy, a lot of them are, and they have a strong support system that seems to actually help people in need: keeping the bottom from being to far below the median. So it is one of those obvious stories once you start thinking about it.

    1. Benny Profane

      The Mormons became great capitalists, probably out of self defense, since they were driven west into the desert from the East, and almost wiped from the Earth by the Union army. It was a lucky move settling where they did in what would become SLC, which became a major stopping point for the migrants moving west over the mountains, and the railroad sealed that one.
      Time did a great piece about church finances in 1997 and I’ll bet that if it was revised today, would expose holdings many times bigger. Still probably nothing compared to the Catholic church, even today.
      The whole financial and logistical preparation for the second coming is fascinating.

      1. jefemt

        If anyone is down near Zion and other Ute—ahhhh national parks and monuments, plan on and take a few hours of the historic “Dixie” southern LDS outpost tour in St. George. Fascinating how cooperative, communalistic, the church was/is. My late father re-married an LDS member.
        With LDS fecundity that makes a Catholic blush, it is a BIG club… but if you ain’t in it, you REALLY ain’t in it (although ironically it is rumored the Church baptizes EVERY person who dies posthumously into the LDS faith -infuriating the Catholics and atheists, in particular).

        Demographers say 10% of US population is LDS, and growing. Their biz / religious fervor- passion portend a future that may make the British Royal family and its holdings look like pikers.

        1. converger

          No. 2%. And ugly and weird as the Church can be, give them some credit. They do take care of their own, unlike some governments I can think of.

          If the global 0.01% was cheerfully giving back 10% of their fortune to do good, the world would be a different and better place.

        2. Lexx

          What does the dead person and the church get from the posthumous baptism… and how do they manage to pull that off?

      2. some guy

        One good Survivalist concept is the “Mormon Stake”.,to%20a%20diocese%20in%20the%20Roman%20Catholic%20Church.

        What if all kinds of other organizations and associations and etc. all had their “community survivalist stakes”?
        AFSCME Stakes.
        UAW Stakes.
        Teamster Stakes.
        Audubon Society Stakes.

        What if every bowling league had Stakes? How much Survivalism could spread throughout society?

  5. KD

    Durham is Too Late to Stop the Madness

    In terms of the late Roman Republic, you had partisans increasingly willing to flout the old conventions which were previously honored by all sides until everything began to degenerate into violence, and then the coin of the realm became the person who was able to command the largest contingent and put down the violence and crush all rivals. People look to polls about civil war, but if there is a civil war, its going to be driven by stuff like Russiagate de-legitimizing public institutions broadly viewed as nonpartisan, and people just saying f___ it when they don’t like the election results.

      1. Louis Fyne

        to be a bit nuanced…. for me, late Roman Republic politics-⁷values + Carthage’s overstretched footprint + Carthage’s use of using other people to die for its wars + Carthage’s blissful isolation from war (until it hit the fan)

    1. JBird4049

      Part of the violence became self defensive. If you were not violently proactive at least by joining with a faction, then someone could decide to kill you, your families, and likely your friends with your enemies being anyone who wanted your businesses, land, money, slaves, wife/sister/daughter or even for some unknown or petty grudge.

      Restated, the civil wars devolved into a cycle of murder, theft, and revenge with people trying to just survive often for the sake of their own family and friends. Politics stopped being about ideas, or goals, or power, but survival.

  6. Carla

    Photo of Liz Truss in that tweet above looks more like an animation than an actual live person. Maybe that’s what she is… ?

    Quite bizarre.

    1. The Rev Kev

      She thinks highly of herself, especially since she could not even outlast a lettuce. She is now going on about creating an ‘economic NATO’ to counter China. The idea seems to be that the Collective West would ‘reduce dependence on China in all spheres’ to bring them in line and isolate them. If this happened, I think that it would be the West that would be economically isolated. Read a comment online which rings true. China, for all its many faults, has been raising people out of poverty by the millions for decades now. In contrast, the countries of the Collective West have been pushing people into poverty by the millions for decades now.

      1. The Rev Kev

        First time I heard her name, I was immediately reminded of a saying among firefighters – ‘Don’t trust the truss’ – and the best example of how that worked out was the WTC buildings on 9/11.’ I expect nothing less from Liz Truss.

        1. some guy

          I remember reading a ” just a theory” about the swift falldown of the buildings in 9/11. And it went like this. Supposedly the mafia families were still very important in the major-skyscraper building trades in New York. They diverted some money from every project to their own selves.
          What if the Twin Towers’s building project was stealth-dominated from the shadows by relevant mafia families? What if the people who commissioned those towers paid for a billion-dollar building and only got a half-a-billion dollar building? Or a 250 million dollar building?

    2. Nikkikat

      Well, is does look incredibly stupid most of the time. One has to wonder why she is still allowed out and about, but they seem to be okay with letting Boris out of the asylum too.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine – Air Defense Lessons (Updated)”

    Was looking at that video earlier today and wondered how close that Patriot battery was to those apartment buildings. And I have seen other people on the net wonder the same. Since the first days of this war, the Ukrainian military has made it a habit to hide next to civilian buildings or even inside them for some sort of measure of impunity. Before, that was only in the Russian-speaking regions but now it also appears to being done in Kiev. You can bet that the glaziers in Kiev will have a boatload of work to do in this suburb alone.

    But the money costs of this war are getting out of hand. That Patriot battery was supposed to have cost perhaps a billion dollars and that massive depot explosion the other day was reckoned to have destroyed another half billion dollars. And if that explosion did destroy the depleted uranium munitions, then the sky is the limit for future costs. I see in passing that Brian Berletic dropped a new video talking about this subject (24:47 mins)

    1. Benny Profane

      Hardly a mention in most media about that ammo depot blast in Khmelnytskyi, but, man, I understand why some thought it could be a small tactical nuke from the videos. Lord knows what the damage is like in the nearby town. Ukraine is probably barring any filmed evidence of Beruit like devastation.

    2. digi_owl

      Reading a bit about the Patriot system on Wikipedia suggests that even back during the Gulf War it became customary to fire multiple missiles pr intercept target.

      1. Paradan

        Standard procedure for all SAM systems is to fire 2 missiles at each target. Newer systems(AEGIS,S-300,probably the latest Patriot system) can retask/retarget the second missile if the first one hits.

  8. Henry Moon Pie

    The Durham report reveals not one but two conspiracies in my opinion. The first is contained largely within the FBI with players we already know like Strzok, Page and McCabe. It had two aims: tie Trump to Russia; and suppress HRC’s problems with the Clinton Foundation, email server and the Clinton-approved plot against Trump.

    The second was born when Brennan brought the information about “the Clinton Plan,” as the FBI dubbed it, to the Oval Office in a meeting with Obama, Biden, Clapper, Lynch, etc.:

    On July 28, 2016, Director Brennan met with President Obama and other White House personnel, during which Brennan and the President discussed intelligence relevant to the 2016 presidential election as well as the potential creation of an inter-agency Fusion Cell to synthesize and analyze intelligence about Russian malign influence on the 2016 presidential election. Brennan’s recollection was that he spoke with Director Corney on the morning of July 29, 2016, to brief him on his July 28th meeting with the President. Brennan could not recall when he actually saw the Clinton Plan intelligence, but he did not think he had the information when he spoke to Corney on that morning. Immediately after communicating with the President, Corney, and Clapper to discuss relevant intelligence, Director Brennan and other agency officials took steps to ensure that dissemination of intelligence related to Russia’s election interference efforts, including the Clinton Plan intelligence, would be limited to protect sensitive information and prevent leaks. Brennan stated that the inter-agency Fusion Cell, a team to synthesize and analyze pertinent intelligence on Russian malign influence activities related to the presidential election, was put in motion after his meeting with President Obama on July 28th . Email traffic and witness interviews conducted by the Office reflect that at least some CIA personnel believed that the Clinton Plan intelligence led to the decision being made to set up the Fusion Cell.

    So the CIA, supposedly from Russian sources, learns that HRC has given the go-ahead to frame Trump, and Brennan takes this information to Obama, Biden, Clapper and others (Lynch?). He comes out of that meeting and meets with Comey and sets up a Fusion Cell, similar if not the same as the FBI/CIA link that helped suppress the information that the CIA had two Al Qaeda assets taking flying lessons in the U. S. The FBI and Fusion Cell are given specific instructions not to leak and safeguards are put in place fo suppress the information.

    So at one level, the FBI was pursuing Trump based on information given them by the Clinton campaign. At the higher level, Brennan, presumably with the approval of Obama and the knowledge of Biden, was busy suppressing the information the CIA had received that this was all a Clinton campaign ploy.

    We’ll see what Jordan and the independent press are able to learn about several things:

    1) Who was the “foreign policy advisor” to Clinton who suggested the Trump framing?

    2) Who was in the room when HRC “approved” the plan?

    3) Did Obama, Brennan or anyone else inform the Clinton campaign that the CIA knew of the plan to frame Trump?

    4) Did Obama know about the plan to frame Trump before Brennan informed him in the July 28 meeting?

    Watergate does look like a “third rate burglary” compared to this massive effort to defraud American voters.

    1. Pavel

      IIRC, Mueller testified before Congress that he didn’t know that the HRC campaign had funded the Steele dossier via one of its law firms. A sad testament to the quality of his investigation.

      So much fuss about Trump paying a stripper via *his* lawyer but the same MSDNC and other media clowns who were once hysterical over Russia Russia Russia (Say it in unison: “The walls are closing in!”) are now ignoring this very blatant election interference.

    2. Steve H.

      The next round of questions comes from Walter Kirn’s notion of fiat news: Cui bono, cui malo? Why now? From who, to whom?

      Ellul on orthopraxy: an action that in itself, and not because of the value judgments of the person who is acting, leads directly to a goal, which for the individual is not a conscious and intentional objective to be attained, but which is considered thus by the progagandist.

      Deathbed confessions can also spice the stew…

    3. The Rev Kev

      As to your point ‘2) Who was in the room when HRC “approved” the plan?’, I’m pretty sure that somebody in Links said a coupla years ago that when Hillary’s book “Shattered” came out, that this whole Russiadidit caper was made up the night of the election loss and was mentioned in that book.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I think it was Mook and Podesta on election night or the day after, but that was wrong according to Durham. The Durham report says that HRC “approved” the plan that was suggested by a “foreign policy advisor” on July 26, 2016, months before the election. Unfortunately, Durham didn’t pursue that line by interviewing or deposing Clinton campaign officials. Will Jordan do it?

        Another question: did Brennan inform the House and Senate Intelligence Committees about the “Clinton plan?” That’s a rhetorical question since Republicans would have been up in arms if they had known that the Obama administration knew that the allegations against Trump were a Clinton frame-job. If Brennan withheld that information from those committees, what’s his legal liability?

      1. fbi surveillance van

        The 911 “investigation” was commanded by Philip Zelikow who, as executive director of the 911 commission, had more authority than other any individual, including the chairman.

        Zeilkow and Ernest May wrote the draft report and kept it secret from all the other commission members, prompting many to quit altogether. Max Cleland stated quite prominently upon his departure that “the fix was in” from the get-go.

        Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton also said the whole thing was a charade, though they stated it “in so many words” and didn’t say anything until years later, unlike the principled players who quit right away.

        1. covert ops cubicle

          I believe it was Hamilton who said it was “set up to fail.” But as you said, not until years later, when both he and Kean profited on a book sale about it.

          The basic questions of cui bono, means, motive, opportunity, access and of course funding were never seriously asked or followed in the official pronouncements.

      2. pjay

        This is a significant and, in my opinion, an overlooked observation. There are a handful of top officials whose names turn up over and over again whenever a coverup – I mean an official “investigation” – is needed. When I saw Mueller’s name, if I may be so immodest, I *knew* what would happen. When the name “William Barr” appeared I had the same reaction. The government careers of those two have consisted largely of covering up for the Deep State. Durham’s “Too Late to Stop the Madness” report also accomplished pretty much what I expected. It drew out the “investigation” until it was easily memory-holed by the media and our amnesiac public, made the obvious conclusions that Russiagate was a false propaganda effort (Susan Schmidt’s ‘Eight Takeaways…” cited by Taibbi provides a useful summary here), and then, of course, punished *no one*. Mission accomplished.

        Any hay the House Republicans try to make of this will likely be twisted into a Benghazi-like shape to avoid any deeper inquiries while the partisan rhetoric flies. We’ve seen this movie many times before.

        PS to Fbi surveillance van: Lee Hamilton is another one on my “official investigation” short list. I half expected him to be in on this investigation somehow.

        1. scott s.

          What’s missing is the role of SSCI – in particular Feinstein, Burr, Warner, and Rubio.

      3. ThirtyOne

        From 2018, Dave Emory

        Robert Mueller is a very, very “special” prosecutor indeed. In fact, he is not a “prosecutor” at all–he is a fixer. Charged with the legal untangling of numerous, overlapping criminal conspiracies involving powerful elements of the intelligence community dealing drugs and engaging in, or enabling terrorism, Mueller has been “less than vigorous” in his investigations.

        BCCI–Dubbed by wags “The Bank of Crooks and Criminals,” BCCI was used by Oliver North and the Iran-Contra milieu for some of their operations, in addition to serving as a financial vehicle for the financing of terrorism. Mueller did not pursue the U.S./Reagan administration elements involved in the Bank’s operations.

        Manuel Noriega–Another of the players in the Iran-Contra drug dealing, Noriega’s prosecution circumnavigated the Panamanian dictator’s operations on behalf of the U.S. national establishment that originally placed him in power.

        The bombing of Pan Am 103–alleged by the insurance investigator’s report to have been executed by Monzer Al-Kassar, the bombing killed a team of military intelligence officers who had come across some of the Iran-Contra players and their dealings with terrorists. Al-Kassar was reported by the DEA to bring 20% of the heroin into the United States. Al-Kassar was used by Oliver North for some of his shipments of weapons to the Contras.

        Operation Green Quest–The investigation into the financing of Al-Qaeda, the inquest produced the raids of 3/20/2002. These raids targeted individuals and institutions overlapping both the Bank Al-Taqwa and the Islamic Free Market Institute of Grover Norquist. The Bank Al-Taqwa held an account with an unlimited line of credit for Al-Qaeda. Incorporated in Liechtenstein, Al-Taqwa was headed by a former Nazi intelligence officer named Youssef Nada. The driving force behind the Bank Al-Taqwa was Francois Genoud, the heir to the political last will and testament and collected literary works of Adolf Hitler, Martin Bormann and Joseph Goebbels. Talat Othman, the operating director of Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute and protege of BCCI kingpin Gaith Pharaon, interceded with then Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill on behalf of the individuals and institutions targeted by the 3/20/2002 raids. O’Neill was fired later that year. The Operation Green Quest investigation went nowhere and then FBI director Robert Mueller did not pursue any of the above leads.

    4. Carolinian

      Yes it’s all about Obama taking out Trump “Chicago style.” After all Trump did once call him a Kenyan phony.

      Our government runs on the same basis as High School so it’s only appropriate that a reality show TV star should head it. After all did Obama have any greater experience or qualifications for being president other than being slightly smarter? The same goes for Mrs. Clinton and of course the former senator from Mastercard who we now suffer under. In a country with hundreds of millions and lots of capable people mediocrities dominate our politics. This really explains everything although not how we got here.

    5. Rod

      HMP and our Host
      I would have liked this comment this closer to the top however the traction appears here.
      Opened the Bing Homepage today before 10am to get connected.
      and right below that clicky box with the pushed stories was this Headline and Link that made me almost fall out:
      From USA Today
      Opinion: Trump was Right
      you know its chock full of links
      You play hell trying to find it anywhere on that Bing Homepage now.
      Been talking to my grown daughter just prior–sent her the USA Today link along with a very brief why.
      Its been “Talk to the Hand” since.
      Within minutes, Wife asked me what I’d been doing while she was gone from the homeplace and I asked if I could show her two things 1) The source USA Today and 2) The Headline. The room Frosted immediatly.
      Let me say plainly I find the T-man despicable.
      imo, Taibbi and Kirn are so correct: he has become an intentionally weaponized tool. I can’t and won’t speculate beyond that–I give my money to Taibbi and he gives it to his team that is turning this ground faster than I can comprehend–going after facts.

  9. Lexx

    ‘Mormon who left Wall St. to work for charity blows whistle on what he says is his church’s “clandestine hedge fund”’

    The real purpose of having over $100 billion in a secret fund is to let the IRS know that that “non-profit” church is politically too dangerous to investigate? It’s the size of the cudgel they’ll be using in court should they be forced to pay any taxes, despite their ‘for profit’ behavior? But the church bishops are feeding the faithful fear and end-times stories in exchange for 10% of their income and the promise that no matter what the church will survive… I guess everyone has their own definition of the word ‘jackpot’ and to what use it may be put.

    1. tevhatch

      I recall hearing Bishop Mitt had his mittens in this years ago, part of the family success. Charity starts by destroying companies, creating need for moar charity.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Gas-Powered Cars Won’t Die Off Any Time Soon”

    Though not being a car guy, I do wonder about the value of a second-hand EV. I mean, a gas-powered car is what it is and buyer beware. But an EV? How do you price it properly. And here I am thinking of the lifespans of those batteries and how long they will last before they are due to be replaced. Gas stations are plentiful but recharge stations for an EV? That will work with your car? And what if you lived in the country where everything is far apart. Should you park your EV away from the house in case it was one of those that catch fire? How well will it go if you lived in wintertime Montana for example. That is an awful amount of unknowns so a lot of people may just go with what they know works.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Suposedly the Tesla batteries have an implied average lifespan of 500,000 miles. (unless have bad luck and you hit the early aide of the tale).

      But ask any mechanic how the interiors of cars with 150, 175, 200+ thousand miles look….those interiors are quite knackered.

      Old Teslas will probably get to the point where by age 15 or so, there is more value in scrapping the car for parts and using the batteries for stationary power storage.

      The weak point for EV durability are the cooling systems , electronics, and that a 5G network is still available in 15 years….the batteries can’t be too hot or cold, and the cooling systems are incredibly complex and expensive to replace.

      ironically everything else is relatively basic engineering

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        EVs have less moving parts. The non engine parts will be in much better shape than internal combustion units, and they aren’t carrying a power plant around. Battery life and grid capacity load have always been the issues.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          im a golf cart guy…my Falcon(so i could say “i’ll get her out on the Falcon” regarding wife at my mom’s house and precipitation),is my work truck…tools…silent running, so i can go about my bidness without drawing mom’s unwanted interest/interrogation…but there’s a few black boxes in those things these days.
          long ago, i was an EZ-Go mechanic for a time…learned all about them.
          when they had a big coil in the middle, between the battries.
          that coil has been replaced by a black box containing, essentially, a computer.
          like a john deer, one needs the proprietary scanner thing to learn whats up…rather than a mere volt-meter.
          i assume that most, if not all, of the Ev’s on offer(for large money, btw, from my perspective) have even more such black boxes of mysterious workings…so’s that ordinary folks can’t work on them…only Approved Techs, working for large corpses(!), so as to wet the important corpsebeaks.

          and…battries are expensive.
          Falcon right now: 5 out of six 6v are bad.
          ie: replace whole set is indicated(likely due to the last 3 years of hard freeze winters…as well as my being far too busy to remember to fiddle with such things…my bad..altho they are 6 years old).
          nearest physical place to get them is local Napa.
          $180 per battry.
          and that’s the oldtech lead acid deep cycle.

          i’m on a fixed and very limited income, so all that will hafta wait a bit,lol.
          so i’m driving Walter around the place…POS ’06 kawasaki 4 wheeler…loud…hot…far too powrful(no creeping around in that thing)…and without the secure storage options that the Falcon has, for tools, etc…attaching milk crates manana.

      2. Late Introvert

        My ’09 Camry is at 154,000 and the interior is quite nice still. Everything still works but the CD player died last year. Due to used car prices I can almost get what I paid for it 7 years ago.

    2. Benny Profane

      Nobody is talking about the state of the electrical grid (well, there was testimony to congress about this matter recently, but that was blown off). We need billions of investment just to handle existing needs, and now the political class think that they can add tens of millions of EVs to the load in a decade or two, and everything will be cool? I will probably be gone, but, in 2040, we’ll be a nation of periodic blackouts and will have limited mobility in cars that will, in effect, cost twice as much as present gas powered cars.

    3. Carolinian

      Should you park your EV away from the house in case it was one of those that catch fire?

      Not many Teslas around here but one neighbor tends to park their $90,000 Model S out on the street.

      Wonder why that is.

      One should say that the Tesla folks were aware of the battery danger from the getgo and one of the engineering advances they pioneered was the design of battery packs to keep those thousands of tiny cells properly separated and cool. But then if your “Autopilot” drives you into a highway barrier that arrangement may not hold so arguably they should have included a built in fire extinguisher as well. Or no Autopilot. To paraphrase what was once said about Newt Gingrich–“there’s Musk’s ideas and then there’s Musk’s good ideas.”

      1. Mildred Montana

        >“…there’s Musk’s ideas and then there’s Musk’s good ideas.”

        Even the great Thomas Edison patented many more losers than he did winners. His winners he took great care to protect in court through vigorous patent enforcement, despite the dubious provenance of some of them. And he was not averse to underhanded tactics. When he went all-in on DC electricity against AC, he famously electrocuted an elephant in public to show the dangers of AC.

        The inventor’s, the public’s, and Musk’s rule of thumb should be: “Innovations are like genetic mutations. Most are mistakes. Most fail.”

      2. Angie Neer

        I’m not a Tesla acolyte, and while the danger of battery fires is real, compare that to a technology that has “combustion” as its fundamental operating principle. Gasoline is incredibly dangerous.

    4. heresy101

      Second handed EVs are about a quarter of the original price after 8-10 years. Over the last year this commenter purchased two EVs: a) 2014 Toyota RAV4 EV with 100 miles range for $18,000 and b) 2014 Tesla Model S with 240 miles range for $28,500. Both cars are like new inside and out and the combined cost less than the average new car price. The batteries are measured at 90% of original storage. One of the reasons for buying the older Tesla is that it gets FREE supercharging on the large Tesla network. We live a half mile from the street outside of the Bay Area and don’t have a garage so we park them by the EV charger 20 feet from the house. When we get the dual axis solar tracker installed by the end of the year, it will charge them and the house and we can tell PG&E bye bye.

      When the Canoo pickup comes out next year, I’m planning on selling the RAV4 and my Ridgeline pickup to by an electric Canoo.

      1. juno mas

        Have you seen a real life prototype? This promo reminds me of the VW promotion of the proposed new electric VW Bus. VW produced a drivable pre-production model that it displayed at auto shows for years. The actual production line model looks and drives nothing like the concept car. Save your 100 bucks.

  11. Joe Well

    >>Pinball is booming in America, thanks to nostalgia and canny marketing

    I just saw a flyer on a bulletin board at a cafe asking to buy people’s old pinball machines, it said “I am just a hobbyist who loves pinball machines”. Makes sense now.

    1. Wukchumni

      Circa 1974 the local Texaco gas station owner decided to buy 2 new pinball machines which he placed prominently in the ‘store’ (back then there was no such thing as a gas convenience mart-they might have had packs of Wrigley’s gum and Life Savers, and that was about it) which attracted every boy within bicycling distance.

      I only remember the name of one of them, it was called ‘Duotron’ and we discovered that if you rapped along the side about halfway up the flat part of the game, it would give you points, a lot of points.

      It was 2 plays for a Quarter, and we could play all day and then some on 2 bits, and the owner thought we were God’s gift to pinball, frickin’ wizards, always getting replays. If he only knew our secret, ha ha.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Downstairs at “Danny’s All-Star Joint,” they had a pinball machine to go with the juke box that went doit-doit: Audio

    2. Jason Boxman

      When I was at Google Cambridge, they had a popular star wars pinball machine that someone was there repairing frequently. Busy tech. Eventually it was just labeled broken and I don’t know if it was ever repaired. More popular by far than virtual cop, which was my distraction of choice. I finally made it to the bonus round!

  12. Joe Well

    First time seeing Resilc’s sculptures. Are they for animals to play in, like birdfeeders or bird baths? That be cool to see and hear squirrels banging around in one.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Coupla months ago there was a wintertime image of some of his “livestock” standing in the snow and it looked way cool.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Titanic: First ever full-sized scans reveal wreck as never seen before”

    Probably just as well that it has been scanned like this. That wreck is deteriorating and the crew that did those scans could see the major changes that had taken place since the last time it was visited 14 year previously. In the years to come that wreck will probably pancake in on itself leaving only rubble on the ocean floor. Some materials will last but all that iron and steel won’t. And when that happens, at least we will have these scans to remember what she looked like one upon a time-

      1. Joe Well

        Dear God, I just finished the linked National Geographic article and at the very end it says that the Black Sea is in the Middle East (it’s between Europe and Western Asia/Asia Minor). That was in National Geographic. There is no hope for us.

        Also, reading the article reveals that the Navy did not find it, Ballard did, just like we were always told, but it was with Navy funding on a side-mission during the search for submarine wrecks. Why is so much that is in mainstream media, and particularly Business Insider, so unreliable?

  14. tegnost

    Covid not over…
    Young, otherwise healthy people can still be at risk of developing long Covid from contracting the virus. A review paper in January 2023 estimated that approximately 10 percent of those infected go on to develop this condition.
    Vaccination appears to have a protective effect against long Covid, but 10-12 percent of vaccinated individuals still develop the condition. People aged 36 to 50 appear to be most vulnerable.

    Look, it’s killing old people, the death cult/master race needs sacrifices or the economy will be stricken by angry gods!….

    1. Ghost in the Machine

      Notice that between the two quotes that there is a claim vaccination helps prevent long Covid, but then the percentages of incidence was the same.

      1. britzklieg

        one notices that a lot when looking for the “effectiveness” of the vaccine and it’s been evident since the beginning.

  15. Ranch Moonwater

    Since Russian state media has an audience of one, some clarification about integrated air defense might be in order: PAC-2 GEM-T missile entered US service in 2002; therefore, these particular units were probably at the end of their lifespans, so the cost is negligible, having already served their purpose. However, the Kinzhals destroyed were Russia’s state-of-the-art kit right off the production line.

    The Kinzhal program set out to solve a problem which did not exist; it’s capabilities are redundant to the Iskander’s, of which the Patriot was designed to counter. The Kinzhal might be faster but it’s air-breathing (s)ramjet accelerates slower, still requires a high angle of attack (turn radius, if it can turn during its terminal phase), and glows white-hot plasma. At Mach 5, the Kinzhal is far less maneuverable than the approaching the IAD missiles area saturation. If the Kaliber cruise missiles had decent avionic and jamming suites, enabling it to fly low without a radar cross-section, it could’ve gotten through.

    If Patriot interceptors, of which there are 10,000 in service, were destroyed, the Russian MoD would have photos. Kinzhal wreckage and fuel stores merely completed its trajectory without its guidance intact. The kinetic energy the Kinzhal can achieve is still record-breaking, probably. Just as likely, an interceptor exploded in its tube during the salvo. Neither side knew for sure what the outcome would be.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      1. We don’t know if they are PAC-2 or PAC-3, that information has not been released publicly. Most sources indicate a mix of missile types within PAC-2 launchers.

      2. Official US sources have already confirmed that the system is badly damaged and must be returned to the manufacturer.

      3. The Kinzhal is not air-breathing, it is a solid rocket missile. It has very long range depending on its launch vehicle and it has a flat trajectory that makes it harder to intercept than a pure ballistic missile. Its flight characteristics are unknown. No credible evidence has been shown that any Kinzhal has been intercepted successfully at any stage of this war.

      4. Russia does not have photos because Kiev was under cloud today. No open source satellite photos have been available because of visibility issues, and Russia does not have observatiriton drones over Kiev because… Patriots. However, the Ukrainian videos clearly show strikes within the airport right after the full launches, and these show secondaries. Something was hit. Open source photos will probably be available tomorrow.

      1. Polar Socialist

        This image, allegedly a missile found in Kiev the next morning, sure looks a lot like PAC-3 CRI (the latest variant). It also looks like it failed to intercept anything or even self-destruct. I recall that in the video at least two missiles seem to fail after launch and they turn downwards with rather dim engine flare.

        I’m not totally sure if it’s from that night, or even in Kiev – the surroundings are so… undisturbed. But it sure looks like a failed Patriot missile, anyway.

    2. juno mas

      I’ll wait for the pics showing the installation of a new Patriot system in Kiev.

  16. Butch

    Yes, Matt Taibbi is behind a paywall. $50 a year. And worth it. Coming in June 5 bucks every month to NC, b/c they’re worth at least that.

    1. tegnost

      I probably should get taibbi but the substack model is tough, I can’t buy that much content. As for NC I’ve long been donating the money I once spent on newspapers so i try for $350 a year and Many Thanks to sarah henry for helping me increase that with the generous doubling challenges!

  17. Bsn

    I can’t resist. The Wired article on the Pandemic being over, so now what? The article is such a crock! They’re still pushing vaccines and not mentioning simple approaches such as Vit D, zinc, much less Ivm or other approaches. It really is a “you’re on your own buddy” but people are working together, doing research, finding FLCCC and reading non corporate propaganda (as much as possible). At least they mention ventilation. But, boy howdy, what crock. We at NC really appreciate Lambert’s water cooler info and people’s comments. We have to band together as the USA USA USA is no help, in fact, it’s truly criminal.

    1. Jason Boxman

      The brief mention of a tightly fitting mask for air travel neglects to mention that said makes are called N95s or better. That really is outrageous, to fail to identify what a high quality respirator actually is. Casual murder.

  18. MT_Wild

    Here in Central Montana the border is being infiltrated by wildfire smoke feom Canuckistan. The Canuckistanees really need to get their act together and pour some maple syrup on those fires. We had a late-August sunset last night and it’s only mid-May.

  19. jhallc

    The Anglo-American Hand Behind the Rise of Fascism Then and Now – The Last Vagabond

    A lot to digest from that link and I never knew about the assassination attempt on FDR in Miami in 1933. Also the anti-fascist/oligarchic aspect of Putin and Xi being FDR like, has merit. Biden will never be anything close to resembling FDR.

    1. zagonostra

      I just went over to Breaking Points after seeing a Tweet/clip by Anya Parampil to read viewer comments. Krystal’s own audience, I’d say 9 out of 10, took her to task for conducting a dumpster fire of an interview.

      She continuously interpreted RFK jr., didn’t want to get into the “details,” cuts off any attempt to address substance of argument and confirms my decision not to pay that channel any heed.

      What a complete disaster of an interview for Saager and Krystal…how they’ve fallen after such promise…sad.

      1. Screwball

        I read the same thing from other Tweets. I watched their preview yesterday before they released the video to non-subscribers and they promised some fireworks. I haven’t watched it yet, but I will. But it sounds like it was as I expected.

        How they have fallen… I couldn’t agree more. I used to watch them daily, but quit some time ago. I do check their channel and watch what I think might be interesting, but usually shut if down before finishing the entire segment.

        What happened to them? Money? Only a guess here, because I don’t know, and haven’t researched, but when they started bringing on Ryan Grim gave me a potential clue.

        Doesn’t Grim work for the Intercept? The same Intercept owned by Pierre Omidyar? The same people that Glen Greenwald left because they wouldn’t allow him to write what he wanted?

        Seems to me that’s when things changed (plus, after they left The Hill), and not for the better. They have become MSNBC light, and maybe not so light. Money will do that I suppose. I don’t know if that’s what happened, but that’s my guess.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        I had a completely different take. I was cheering Krystal on because I had never heard anyone pin RFKJ on issues like M4A (which he said was “politically impractical”) or nationalizing a corrupt industry like Big Pharma (“Oh no! The profit motive is human nature.”) And then his idea that environmental problems can be solved by making markets really free.

        He’s really a libertarian who thinks our crony capitalism needs to be reformed, but can be saved if the conflicts of interest are removed and the elites act more like the Roosevelts and Kennedys in WW II than the Clintons, Obamas and Bidens in the last three decades.

      3. Nikkikat

        Megyn Kelly did a really excellent two part interview with RFK Jr on you tube. She asks some really good questions and follow ups.
        I just can’t handle Saagar and crystal. Always trying to pretend to be anything but mainstream dummies, especially crystal.

      4. skippy

        I posted long ago that both had a very sus history and people should hedge accordingly. Its actually a niche media start up catering to the disaffected, with stylized information drops, so once enough eyeballs give it market credibility the hosts can ascend and take those eye balls with them for a pay/life style upgrade.

        Then people get confused about the results in the last few decades wrt media publications and the personalities that front them – its just market pigeonholing segments of society for dollars or Lippmann media 2.0 stuff.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Thanks for that. As he laid out his reasons for alarm at the “lockdowns,” I could see how someone focused primarily on civil rights would feel like the Bill of Rights were being taken away one by one. He doesn’t seem to put much consideration into the nature of the emergency. Has everyone forgotten those videos coming out of the hospitals in Queens and Detroit where people were jammed into hallways, dying while waiting for a respirator (that was unlikely to be much good anyway). The disease was spreading at an exponential rate, and all the hospitals in the country wanted to avoid a crunch that would lower the standard of care even further. It was a horrible thing to close the churches, but then the churches were prime places to spread the disease, especially among the vulnerable elderly. It’s a very tough call.

      The other thing I noticed is that Krystal found out how conservative RFKJ really is. He has a very informed critique of the way medical research is done in this country, and when he finished, Krystal asked him if the pharmaceutical companies should be nationalized. “Oh no!,” Kennedy responded, and he went into a “let’s reform how the money flows” series of policy proposals. Krystal persisted, “Isn’t the profit motive at the heart of this?” Kennedy interjected, “That’s human nature. The profit motive is human nature.” His daddy’s daddy would be proud.

      1. anahuna

        Glad to read an actual exchange of views on RFK Jr’s policies. (I still remember the loss of hope — my own and others: — after the stunning news of his father’s assassination.) Seems to me that his presence in this race is indispensable.

        A question: is he educable, and if so, by whom?

        Within a strong anti-war statement, he also said that we were right to intervene in Ukraine “against a brutal invasion” at the beginning, and it was only later that the goal of regime change took hold.

        Considerable fence-straddling going on?

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          I think he should run as a Libertarian. We know what the Dems do to anyone they don’t choose. I’m sure it would be hard for a Kennedy to run as anything but a Democrat, but he could be himself there. As for educable, that’s why I’ve been listening to so many of his interviews. If it’s just the Covid response, then that’s not a deal stopper for me as much as I care about the world’s failure with Covid. But his views on domestic policy are nothing like Williamson’s, and as you point out, his views on Ukraine are “evolving.”

          I think Williamson should run as a Green. They’d be lucky to have her. Why waste your time with a party that could all be in jail in three years. ;) Seriously, let the Democrats lie in the bed that Obama and Clyburn made for them.

          Bobby’s worldview is what it is. He’s as old as I am, and it’s unlikely to change. I have some insight into his “formative years” since we spent a couple of years sleeping under the same roof and eating in the same dining hall along with his brother Joe. His dad was no Lefty either. As he spoke about this magic free market, I thought of his Uncle Ted who led the charge on airline deregulation. Can you imagine if we still viewed air routes as regulated and driven by need instead of profit? That would be a big help with carbon.

      2. Jed

        I think you meant ventilator, rather than respirator. Sorry if I am misrepresenting you on this.

        This <a shows how bad of a response our system had regarding ventilation.

        Hospitals were only overwhelmed by panicked patients for short bursts of MSM hype. Many of those got pneumonia while in hospital for covid treatment and ventilators were certainly a factor. Some died due to that hospital personnel decision-making.

        My wife had emergency surgery in June 2020. I couldn't be there due to protocols, but when I went to drop off food/clothes/etc. I was shocked to find ZERO patients in there very hyped up COVID entryway. And zero workers.😕

        I had to buzz in and wait 5-10 minutes for a nurse to get this stuff.

        It was literally dead during the peak of the pandemic hype and I don't think most people understand how much of the response was just a$$-covering BS!

        I'm lucky my neighbor had in-house credentials (he's a surgeon in the same hospital) and could check in repeatedly throughout, but that was literally the worst time of my half-century life.

    3. Screwball

      After watching the entire segment, a few thoughts.

      1) I thought early Krystal & Saager wanted a “gotcha” interview, but did a good job for the most part in the first half hour.

      2) I think some of RFK Jr. answers caught them off guard during that time.

      3) At the end it got silly. Krystal told him up front they were not going to agree, and then proceeded to go after him over the vax stuff. I wonder if he knows enough about them to know she would do that? It wasn’t productive after that, but I give her credit for putting someones feet to the fire. Kinda…

      I would rather see a journalist do their homework and lead their interviewee down the path of incriminating themselves instead of telling them they are wrong and talk over any attempt to tell their side of the story.

  20. Willow

    Dima of Military Summary’s theory is unlikely. Russia killing civilians are always a PR coup for the West. Incompetence more credible explanation. Combination of Ukrainians getting carried away & not having a layered air defence.

  21. Willow

    Zelensky is likely pushing for 30-40,000 NATO trained Polish & Baltic State ‘volunteers’. Poland and others are starting to realise this is too hard to sell domestically when there are millions of Ukrainian ‘refusegees’ in their countries unwilling to fight.

  22. mcwoot

    Amazing this country fought at least two wars to rid themselves of aristocrats and 200 years later people who otherwise seem intelligent are tripping over themselves to defend a Kennedy.

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