Links 5/9/2023

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Study Finds the Best Way to Call a Cat Gizmodo (resilc)

Mountains (Full Episode) | Hostile Planet YouTube (furzy). I only watched the first minutes but amazing photography….and snow leopards!

The Elephant Mafia biggeekdad (furzy)

Ed Sheeran case was clear: No one owns a chord progression Washington Post (furzy)

Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher, the methodological father of the modern RCT as practised in medicine today, was a eugenicist. His most fanatical GBD heirs today remain quasi-eugenicist Social Darwinist RCT ideologues. Article by @RichardEvans36 🧵 Dr Satoshi Akima (martha r). From March but still germane, and in the “Holy moley” category.



Dangerous heat levels expected in five areas on Sunday Bangkok Post (furzy) Furzy is having to turn big fans on her refrigerator compressor to keep it from overheating.

DOJ Must Investigate Apparent Cover-up of Police Killing of US Climate Activist In Georgia Steve Donzinger (Chuck L)

Climate scientists first laughed at a ‘bizarre’ campaign against the BoM – then came the harassment Guardian (Kevin W)

Everyone Was Wrong About Reverse Osmosis—Until Now Wired (furzy)

14,000 Inactive Oil & Gas Wells In U.S. Unplugged OilPrice (Kevin W)


China’s ‘Ugliest Buildings Survey’ Showcases Weird Architecture Bloomberg (furzy)

Washington blames Beijing for everything, even the ‘debt ceiling’ South China Morning Post (furzy)

China ‘will talk,’ but only if US changes its tune Asia Times (furzy)

China expels Canadian consul in diplomat row Politico

China upends Hong Kong’s District Councils, vestiges of democracy Washington Post (furzy)

Old Blighty

The Costs of Brexit Are Undeniable Now Atlantic (resilc)

Poland will be wealthier than Britain by 2030 – it’s time we took notice Telegraph (Kevin W)

European Disunion

The rise of Europe’s military austerity Thomas Fazi

It’s Premature To Conclude That Poland Replaced Germany’s Role In Guiding EU Foreign Policy Andrew Korybko

New Not So Cold War

Since many commentators are speculating about the over-anticipated Ukraine counter-offensive, let me join the fray. It seems bizarre that the Russian government is tolerating such a rank show of insubordination and erratic behavior by Prigozhin, who as Alexander Mercouris likes to stress, is the “titular head” of the Wagner Group, which has been conducting the intense ground fighting in Bakhmut, with air, ammo, counterbattery, and logistical support coming from the Russian military. An informed source also told Mercouris long form that Wagner was a creation of the Russian government, and moved into the form of a private military company to give it more freedom of operation outside Russia. Mercouris has earlier pointed out that the scale of Wagner was too large for it to be just a Prigozhin operation, it had to have substantial additional backing, presumably from the Russian government

You could argue that it’s too hard and risky to demand that Prigozhin come to the Kremlin to be read the riot act right now. But there are secure comms that would work pretty much as well. This behavior is coming at a cost. Mercouris contends it makes the Russian military look bad and can’t help morale.

It could be that Prigozhin is having a breakdown or a chemically induced analogue.

But here’s an alternate theory. Russian doctrine places great stock in deception, and some of its greatest victories have come via successful subterfuge.

Prigozhin has megaphoned that the Wagners are rotating out, apparently because he can’t take it any more. It is not normal to publish a press release announcing your rotation.

Mercouris reported Monday that Chechen and Russian regular forces are indeed moving in to the Bakhmut area (Roman Kadyrov, head of the Chechens, had said the Chechens could/would take over, but talk is one thing, action another).

So what if this is all melodrama to create a fake rotation as cover for massing lots more troops near Bakhmut? Remember in this day of ISR, it’s pretty much impossible to hide large concentrations; that’s why, for instance, Russia saw Ukraine moving forces to Kharkiv and pulled out just before they attacked.

Let us further contend that, since top to bottom no one now expects Russia to launch an offensive before Ukraine mounts its counter-offensive, that is exactly what they could do. They could make a big punch with their bulked-up forces through Bakhmut west either right before or upon the onset of the over-predicted counteroffensive to force Ukraine to pull men and materiel back from its anticipated areas of attack in the South (toward Melitopol to threaten the land bridge and/or Zaporzhizhia to threaten the nuclear reactor).

Everything You Need To Know… . Andrei Martyanov. He is unduly fond of cryptic headlines. Moar extreme US pettiness.

Note that one of the Ukraine war YouTubers…I think Dima, reported on a case where some Ukraine troops surrendered in the South (Adiivka?) but due to the fact that it was just about night and the weather was impossibly bad, the Russian forces housed them nearby intending to get them out in the AM. Ukraine reportedly destroyed the building. This story gives that earlier account more credence:

Russia’s newest weapon is changing the course of Ukraine war Telegraph. Admission against interest.

China threatens EU with countermeasures over possible sanctions against its companies TASS. Note these would be secondary sanctions for trading with Russia.

Turkey: Erdoğan faces his greatest electoral challenge yet Financial Times


Syria’s return to Arab League is a big deal Indian Punchline (Kevin W)

Khader Adnan’s death was ‘willful’ and deliberate Mondoweiss (guurst)

Lebanon: Soaring inflation turns olive oil into a luxury DW (resilc)

Israel demolishes Palestinian West Bank school Reuters (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Lazarus Heist – S2.9 Big spenders BBC Sounds. Resilc: “Very good on sanctions. A general waste of time.”


The Pitfalls of a Primary Challenge Against Biden Daniel Larison

How Democratic insiders are thinking about 2024 Ryan Grim. I am hearing that there’s not just antipathy but actually active hostility towards Biden among many former big Dem donors.

GOP Clown Car

REVEALED: These ten books are considered pornography in Ron DeSantis’ Florida Popular Information (furzy)

Chicago, New York Scramble To House Migrants as Border Restrictions End Wall Street Journal. Although this is a reported story, expect the Republicans soon to make hay from this…even as business take advantage of immigrant labor. See below for DeSantis fast out of this gate.

Mexican president calls Florida’s new anti-immigration bill ‘immoral’ Politico. Hate to tell you, but this will be very popular in some circles.

New Hampshire history marker for communist draws GOP anger Associated Press (resilc). Don’t they have better things to get upset about?

Woke Watch

Hoo boy, waiting to see the reaction. She is out to take fire:


Texas, guns, and stats Your Local Epidemiologist (Dr. Kevin)

Note there is actual controversy in a deep red state:

Our No Longer Free Press

Ousted Fox News host Tucker Carlson knows ‘where a lot of bodies are buried’ and is ready to name names as he fights to be released from $20 million-a-year contract preventing him from joining rival networks Daily Mail (Li)

Post wins 3 Pulitzers, including for abortion coverage, feature writing Washington Post (furzy)

New York Times To Get Around $100 Million From Google Over Three Years Reuters. “When your business depends on a platform, you don’t have a business.”


AI machines aren’t ‘hallucinating’. But their makers are Guardian (furzy)

The Bezzle

US Crypto Exchange Bittrex Files For Bankruptcy Coindesk

Feds Seize 13 More DDoS-For-Hire Platforms In Ongoing International Crackdown arstechnica

Debt Ceiling

14th Amendment talk on debt limit viewed with extreme caution by Team Biden The Hill

Cashless stores accept money, dispense cards with “reverse ATMs” Axios (resilc). How about not patronizing these stores????? Only “some” charge fees. My building installed this sort of system. Not only were the cards $5, but the washing machine also regularly ate more than it was entitled to. So they are replicating the old defects of coin-operated machines for fun and profit?

Fed Flags Concerns Over Credit Tightening, Financial Stress Bloomberg. Um, they broke it and now they are concerned?

The fast-growing kingdom of Jamie Dimon Financial Times (furzy)

Class Warfare

Hundreds of Clarios workers strike Toledo, Ohio battery plant to fight pay cuts WSWS

New wave of strikes set to disrupt UK rail services Financial Times

Food Banks See Surge in Demand Driven By Inflation, End of Covid Aid Bloomberg (furzy)

Michelle Obama launches company to improve child nutrition Associated Press (resilc). Nominally a not for profit. Selling a product rather than solving the problem. If she wanted to use her reach, she should campaign against sugars in the American diet.

Antidote du jour. Furzy: “Cornelius’ pack on the way to the Tiergarten (not all his hounds)”:

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    Further to the US blaming China for everything, last Sunday, a current affairs talk show on Germany’s WDR blamed Russia for Brexit and funding the National Rifle Association in the US. Needless to say, this was reported by the usual suspects BTL at the Grauniad and taken as gospel by the PMC and PMC wannabe echo chamber at that rag.

    Last December, on a panel on France’s LCI, the royal family were blamed for Brexit. The panel concluded that not until the UK is a republic, will it return to the EU. None of the panellists has served in the UK and appeared to know nothing about the UK beyond London and headlines. It’s not uncommon, unfortunately.

    1. rusell1200

      The Chinese are to blame for Biden. They are the puppet masters funneling money through Hunter Biden.

      And of course, we know all about Russia and Trump.

      And the 2 are buddies (China – Russia, not Trump-Biden) now.

      1. hk

        The Chinese are to blame for the Boston Tea Party. Tea is/was a Chinese product, see? (/S)

          1. Carla

            China invented gunpowder so China is responsible for mass murders, school shootings, and the homicide/suicide rates in the U.S. of A. Makes perfect sense.

    2. Glen

      Blaming China has been in vogue for a while now. Strangely, every time the company I work for announces more work being moved to China, it’s the CEO doing it. It does result in the destruction of American capabilities especially since American CEOs and Wall St put off shoring in high gear decades ago. Looks like China owns all of them.

      But what’s also been sticking in my mind with all this talk about the end of the uni-polar world and the end of dollar dominance is just WHO was running America when America achieved all this world dominance? Well, surprise, surprise, it was that “socialist” President that we’re not supposed to mention, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And that good old America that MAGA longs for when America had a thriving middle class and you could live the American Dream? That was FDR’s America.

      So why are people so shocked that America is on the verge of a multi-polar world, has a disappearing middle class, and is watching it’s standards of living fall? America elites have been very open for quite a while that they were going to destroy everything FDR did for America. I would say they have succeeded, and we are reaping the benefits of all that effort.

      1. some guy

        I thought of a stealthy way to inspire people to actively want to get FDRs America back. And that is to call it Eisenhower’s America. Because all the basic New Deal reforms ( except for immediate attacks on Labor such as Landrum-Griffin) were still in place. The tax structure, SocSec, Wages and Hours, PUHCA, Glass-Steagall, all of it. Right there in place all through both of Eisenhower’s Administration.

        So I have taken to saying stuff like ” I want back the tax code and brackets we had during the Eisenhower Administration”. etc.

  2. zagonostra

    The Pitfalls of a Primary Challenge Against Biden – Daniel Larison

    By challenging him from the left, Mr. Sanders didn’t only change Mr. Biden’s candidacy. He also made him a better president. But only on domestic policy.

    Really? Only in a dystopic nightmare can I imagine what a worse president JB would be. And, I fail to notice Sander’s influence on the president, if it exists at all it’s marginal at best.

    One problem with Beinart’s idea is that he assumes Biden can be pressured to break with the D.C. hawkish conventional wisdom, and that underestimates the extent to which he genuinely embraces the hawkish groupthink in Washington

    I think what is “underestimated” is the extent to which those “hawkish groupthinkers” are really in control of public policy, who were never elected, and whose very existence belies the notion that the U.S. has a gov’t responsive to the needs of her people.

    1. The Rev Kev

      This guy appears to be saying to forget a primary challenge against Biden as it will not change anything. I guess that the strategy of voting him into office and pushing him left didn’t work out after all. I have also read that Democrat strategists are petrified at the thought of Biden going into a debate with, well, anyone. Maybe a ham sandwich but otherwise no. And it is not like the Democrats have a deep bench of candidates anyway to replace Biden. Unless you count Kamela that is. So I would not be surprised if the Democrats simply state there will be no challenges or debates and have Obama work the phones to make sure that this happens. Biden is going to be the one – unless he skips Air Force One and takes a small plane instead.

        1. amur

          I’ll put twenty dollars on the Wes Moore phenomena. US Army officer, lots of elite education, investment banker and now the Governor of Maryland. His PR machine is just getting ramped up. I’m surprised he didn’t convince Ben Cardin to resign so he could appoint himself as Maryland’s Senator.

          1. jrkrideau

            I’ll put twenty dollars on the Wes Moore phenomena.

            Sorry, over the ham sandwich or Biden?

      1. Louis Fyne

        If/when Joe Biden falters, my bet is that Camp Obama already has a primary candidate ready (Camp Clinton as well).

        (One) Problem with Joe is that he has no deep reservoir of support (for everyone, from activists to donors, Biden was just a means to an end).

        Will be interesting to see if the West Wing can maintain the Potemkin Village facade of Biden’s stamina until the day after Election Day 2024

        1. The Rev Kev

          ‘If/when Joe Biden falters, my bet is that Camp Obama already has a primary candidate ready’

          Michelle Obama? And that means Barry comes back in through the back door.

          1. Wukchumni

            The Donkey Show probably embraces its inner Hunter and goes with the progeny if Joey falters.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          The Obama camp loved Robert O’Rourke as a dumber Obama, and the Clinton camp is ready for the third time is a charm campaign.

          The ugliness of the neoliberals is on full display these days with the Internet providing 24/7 access and more than sound bytes. Without nostalgia I’m not sure any of them can win in the general. There isn’t much support for the Log Cabin Republicans at the end of the day.

        3. Carolinian

          Kunstler just wrote a column saying that Obama is in fact pulling all the strings and that when Joe gets shoved aside the Dem choice will be Michelle. Which given the Dem celebrity spokesmodel approach to governing does make a kind of sense but they’d have to get Michelle–who perhaps does know her own limitations–to go along.

          On the other hand I think Kuntsler was just joking (??)

          1. jefemt

            Maybe Trump can grease the skids for a WWE WTF wrastlearama between
            Kacklin’ Kamala and LokkithemGunz Michelle?

            Trump could announce the match in Full Orange Sumo(tm)

            Man, the last seven years have been a disheartening mind-f*ck—
            the bright! future!! Shades, or poop-tinted spectacles?

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            Michelle never did the campaign grind or anything in the WH. She’s a nothing and won’t get involved.

            Dims interested in being cool would love her, but she doesn’t have the drive.

            1. Wukchumni

              In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.

          3. Mark Gisleson

            I used to misspell his name the same way [your last mention]. Unintentional but it has to grate on him.

            I marked this down as one of his flow columns. He gets a good groove going and it gets lighter on facts and heavier on opinion grease as you go.

            I never tire of reading him because when I do agree the warm glow lasts all day.

          4. Yves Smith Post author

            IMHO it’s too close to election to not have prepositioned any “tah dah” entry. Michelle hasn’t been coming up with excuses to get media coverage, which would seem to be a bare minimum requirement.

            Admittedly, Bloomberg didn’t formally announce his bid until Nov 2019 but Wikipedia noted that was late. And as a pretty hefty billionaire, he didn’t need to fundraise, which means he could get on the runway later.

        4. mrsyk

          This could prove interesting. As I understand it, Camp Obama and Camp Clinton don’t like each other at all.

            1. ambrit

              To butcher the quote, for these people, “We don’t have friends. We have interests.”

      2. Pat

        I think there is a lot of angst in top Democratic circles right now. I don’t think those of us here who thought Joe was just a warm up for President Harris were wrong. Two things the “queen makers” didn’t take into consideration were that Joe Biden was never going to step down willing for Kamala and the public were right about Kamala, she is not even good at appearing competent. They have no bench with the decimation of Kamala and Pete, and the voters want candidates with stated policy positions contrary to everything they intend. No debates protect Biden, but that is only becausethey don’t have anyone acceptable to them to run against Joe instead.
        Forget the primaries, they probably haven’t realized yet that even if they drag Joe’s half dead body over the finish line, Orange Man Bad may not be enough in 2024 and they don’t have anything else for Joe to run on. (All those Biden accomplishments that get listed look pretty empty when you look past the impressive titles.)

      3. jax

        No primary debates – the DNC has already signaled that it won’t support any debates with the incumbent. This isn’t actually new. In 2020, the RNC also did not sponsor any primary debates between then-President Trump and his challengers.
        But, Joe Rogan (and a lot of other despairing Democrats) is pissed about this and, considering his listening audience, a lot of people already ginned up.
        With an approval rating of 36, I think a lot of people want Biden to debate in the frank hope that he will stumble badly and we will be done with him.

    2. Skip Intro

      Sanders gave Biden important policy points to lie to voters about. “I voted for student loan forgiveness, but all I got was oil drilling and WW3”.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Study Finds the Best Way to Call a Cat”

    I regret that I must disagree with the conclusions drawn in this article. My own experience says that the best way to call a cat is by using the sound of a tin can being opened.

    1. Steve H.

      From anecdote to data. My study indicates the simple sound of the can opener itself is sufficient, though not necessary.

      1. Wukchumni

        The sound of a can of Fancy Feast being opened somewhat approximates pulling the pin from a hand grenade, and boy do they come running, helped out by hearing the only word I utter that has any bearing on them: ‘Foodtime!’

        1. Wukchumni


          The inflation index I prefer is the Fancy Feast price which has gone from 57¢ to the current 92¢ a can in the course of a couple years.

          1. Pat

            Lucky you. NYC real estate “tax” means Fancy Feast is over a dollar a can here. $.92 would be grab every can and stock up time.

            1. Wukchumni

              Being a dogmatist in regards to cat food prepping, we always keep copious quantities of kibble and cans on hand, so one of my best investments recently was a 74¢ a can stash of the good stuff from back in the day.

              1. mrsyk

                Make sure to pick flavors that appeal to you too! I’m hoping mine will be willing to share when push comes to shove.

          2. Carolinian

            My brother feeds his cats tuna which–sounds like–may be cheaper than Fancy Feast.


            1. mrsyk

              I’m paying $3.69 a 5.5 oz can of premium wet food, $10.73/lb. My cats get a lot of deli turkey and canned sardines based on that calculation.

            2. Grateful Dude

              We cook a whole organic chicken now and then, roughly $5 per lb, for our male, mostly outdoor, one-year-old cat. It took a while for him to get used to it, but now it’s his fave and he’s strong and healthy. (but, OMG! the ticks this year here in NoCal Sierra foothills)

              1. Brunches with Cats

                Interesting. I just tried that with my guy after another price hike in his special-diet canned food, which not only is out of stock much of the time lately, but they changed the formula and added rice flour. One would think an obligate carnivore to be eternally grateful for real chicken meat instead of chicken parts glued together with rice flour. One would be wrong. When the intense accusatory stare fails to get results, the pathetic “poor starved kitty” whine kicks in. I’ve had to puree the meat to baby food consistency and slowly add more of it with what’s left of the canned stuff. We’re up to about 3/4 teaspoon. Any more than that triggers aforementioned reactions.

                1. Laura in So Cal

                  My IBD cat rejected all the prescription foods. I finally found a non prescription food with an alternate protein. (Lamb). This worked great for about 9 months and then she started refusing it. Cheap canned tuna to the rescue. Cheaper than canned cat food, she likes it, and she has even gained a little weight.

                  1. Brunches with Cats

                    Used to mix tuna with his food but had to stop after an emergency visit to the vet in January(suspected urinary blockage, common problem in male cats, and fish is a major contributor. Fortunately it wasn’t a blockage, as options would have been surgery, estimated $1,500, or putting him down to avoid bankruptcy. I was so thoroughly traumatized– this guy is the best friend I’ve ever had (and right now really the only one) — that since then, he’s limited to the water from the can, meticulously poured through a fine sieve, and I get to eat the tuna. Tuna water definitely adds to the appeal, but can’t do it more than a few times a month, as I need no-salt-added tuna (he’s not supposed to have a lot of salt, either), and that’s not cheap tuna.

              2. Yves Smith Post author

                My mother’s second cat, a stately tabby with white feet and a bib, named Michael for Michael Redgrave, was being beaten up on as a kitten by the neighborhood cats.

                My father took Michael to the vet and asked what to do.

                “Feed him beef kidneys”.

                Real butchers were common back then, so this was not a big ask.

                Michael soon would eat nothing else.

                He grew to be 27 lbs.

                1. Brunches with Cats

                  Great story! “Kick sand in my face again, @$$h0le. Go ahead, make my day.”

                  My guy has never eaten beef, finally gave up and stuck to fish and fowl, which is why the lack of interest in chicken is mystifying. I guess he’s been so long now on parts and pieces that he forgot what real chicken tastes like. I’ve only been doing this for a week, just needs more time. Then, I’ve always said that if cats were in charge at the plant, flavors would include Robin, Small Bird Medley, Squirrel, and Mouse (EXTRA FEET & TAILS!).

    2. ambrit

      I tap a spoon on the side of the can and, presto changeo, instant cat!
      On the other side, the cat will claw at the window of the computer ‘room’ to get the furless servant to open the door and fill the food bowl in the kitchen.
      Pavlovian ‘programming’ works both ways.
      The cat gets food and the furless servant gets purrs and a furry lap warmer.

      1. zagonostra

        Your mention of Pavlov reminds me that Watson took the simple “conditioned reflex” and noted its “transference” properties. Humans are as subject to Pavlovian programming as the cat, it just takes a more gestalt form, where language and symbols play a predominate role.

        1. ambrit

          The scritch of claws on the window pane is a true enough ‘symbolic’ language.
          That bloody Bernays. His lot would convince a Stoic to murder.

      1. Janie

        Tip: keep a noisy treat container by the doors to the outdoors to recall an errant housecat.

      1. marieann

        haha that was so funny…and is so true
        On the same subject, one of my kitties has diabetes and I am unable to give him insulin….due to a cat being a cat, I have always know I would not be able to medicate him

        The vet say he has about a month.

        1. rowlf

          My parents had a cat that was diabetic and it ran to the refrigerator get injected as it knew food was next.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Haha, when my favorite cat Blake went to summer camp with friends who had a huge suburban house, they said he thought his name was the sound of the refrigerator door opening.

      1. mrsyk

        We had a particular favorite cat named DTrain who associated the door buzzer with imminent sushi delivery.

    4. Nikkicat

      Lol! None of these studies apparently rely on asking cat owners.
      I marvel at them. My cats sound like a herd of elephants running thru the house when I open a can. It doesn’t even have to be cat food, just a can will do. Also the cat treat bag. Try to open a temptations bag. My cats come running if I even open that cabinet door where they are kept! Lol.
      Seriously, I have never had a cat that didn’t come when I called them. Years ago I had an outdoor cat. I would just go outside and call him. He always came within 5 minutes.

      1. t

        No shortage of studies on cats and dogs by people who, from the sound of it, never had, lived with, or were close to a pet.

        Except Italians. Some good Italian studies on domestic dogs.

      2. semper loquitur

        My dog can distinguish between 300 kinds of cheese simply by the sound the wrapper makes when you open it. She can hear that noise from the other side of the county. She’ll knock a hole in a brick wall getting to it.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Cats too go crazy for cheese. Want to ruin your grilled-cheese sandwich? Just try making and eating it while the cat is inside. I swear those loud, persistent “meows” sound like “Cheese! Please!”

          1. Wukchumni

            Einstein (the brains of the outfit) learned eons ago that we were feeding the hair’m food we wouldn’t eat, and if you’re dining a la lazy boy, he’ll annoy you until you hand over some of our fare.

        2. jefemt

          We had a lab-setter/? mix that adored black licorice… I mean pavlovian- faucet-drool on full flow… and he knew that cellophane from all other packaging.

          RIP— MERLE!!! He adored grapefruit, too.

        3. Grateful Dude

          the old lab here can’t see or hear, but he can smell his master coming in the car a quarter mile away.

      3. britzklieg

        when caring for my sister’s cats, all I needed to do was open the door to the pantry where I kept the cat food and they came a runnin’!

    5. petal

      Stray cats would show up at our farm, so we’d take them to the vet and then they’d live in the barn unless we had a bad storm or cold snap. I think people would drop them nearby. I always yelled “Heeeere kitteeee kitteeee!” in a loud, high-pitched voice(kind of like pig calling, I guess) and they’d all come running from various places. Or, if I was late with dinner, they’d be already waiting, sitting there looking at me disapprovingly like “Where the h-ll have you been?”

  4. russell1200

    “Russia’s newest weapon is changing the course of Ukraine war Telegraph. Admission against interest.”

    The glide bomb thing is rather strange as they have been around since WW2. The Germans used them and their rocket propelled cousins to great effect. Best I can recall, the glide bombs were used more on merchants in convoys.

    The US, in WW2, had the ASM-N-2 Bat. The US was distinctive in that they used them against bridges, not just ships.

    The point being, why on earth did the Russians wait so long?

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘The point being, why on earth did the Russians wait so long?’

      Simple. They had to wait for an extra large consignment of washing machines from China so that they could rip out the computer chips from them to use in the steering mechanism for those gliding bombs.

    2. Polar Socialist

      Soviet Union indeed developed guided glide bombs already in the 70s. These, though, are not new bombs but merely a relatively new “unified gliding and correction module” from the early 2000. It’s basically a thing that the ground crew on any Russian airfield can attach to any old “dumb” bomb in their inventory before attaching the bomb on the aircraft.

      It’s just two folding wings attached to the bomb with two metal bands. Kinda like JDAM, but much cheaper. It’s supposed to com in four variants, too. The dumbest just keeps the glide path consistent and predictable allowing the bomber to release the bomb further away. An improved version has inertial guidance markedly improving the accuracy. A smart version has GLONASS navigation making it pretty accurate, and the most developed version comes with a GLONASS and a “propulsion unit” allowing the pilot to release the bomb over 80 km away from the target.

    3. tevhatch

      “Why on earth did the Russians wait so long?”
      Buk(140 kilometres/87 miles) and of course S300 have a much longer reach than glide bombs. Even if this is the wrong reason, the Russians are not idiots, there is definitely a good reason.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Sounds like a very cost-efficient way of getting things done. If the whole point of a weapon is to blow up on arrival, seems like the cheaper the better. And at almost no risk to the pilot.

        1. Polar Socialist

          I recall the developer, NPO Bazalt, claiming that with a FAB-500 bomb the “payload” is still 90% of the weapon, whereas with a missile the part that goes boom is 15-20%.

          TG channel Fighter Pilot claimed that Russian Airspace Forces are testing this module with the ODAB-500PMV thermobaric (fuel-air exposive) “dumb” bomb. When they get that working, a single Russian fighter bomber can clear about 6 acres from all enemy activity. And mines, too.

          Or any activity, to be frank. The “vacuum bomb” doesn’t care who or what is within the blast radius.

        2. tevhatch

          Cost-efficient? Not necessarily. Jets don’t fly for free, the pilot alone is a huge investment being put at risk, then there is the fuel, the engine has to be rebuilt after only a few hundred hours of flight, etc. Maintenance even on much older and simpler Soviet/Russian military planes is so expensive that only a truly stinking rich trust fund baby would fly one for a hobby. What such a platform does give to explosives delivery is heft and portability.

          Every flight is a significant risk to a pilot, but flying into the teeth of Ukrainian Buk and S300 would be madness. Glide bombs mean the aircraft has to be very high in the sky where the missiles would be at best advantage. They had to be nearly eliminated first, so that at best they might only take down a dozen or so planes and pilots in the future.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      This was a topic of active discussion on military aviation channels well before the war in Ukraine. For some reason, the Russian Air Force seemed to have decided that it didn’t need anything between dumb bombs and cruise missiles. The success of its targeting of rebels in Syria seemed to have confirmed to them that they didn’t need western style smart bombs or glide bombs, but of course the Syrians never had any defence better than a few Manpads so the Su-27’s could get in close. They can’t do this in Ukraine.

      Some of it seemed to be related to delays and failures in developing high quality targeting pods, which are an essential feature of western multi-purpose aircraft but the Russians have generally not been able to reproduce.

      So my guess is that a mixture of internal politics, some incompetence, corruption and just bureaucratic inertia meant that Russia kept putting off a decision on whether or not they needed to go the smart bomb route in a big way, and what form they could take. Pretty much the same reason all militaries sometimes make stupid decisions in peacetime. But war has a way of concentrating the mind, and unfortunately for the Ukrainians, the Russians are quick learners and had the know-how and materials to quickly churn out simple guidance systems.

      It should be noted of course that while the guided bombs are cheap and simple, the overall system in which they have to operate is not. You cannot use guided bombs successfully unless you have confidence in your GPS/Glonass systems integrity and the overall kill chain (i..e the identification of targets). The French, for example, have avoided that by making their aircraft more self sufficient, capable of identifying targets and striking them without the need for a very sophisticated chain. The Chinese seem to be going for the other extreme of multiple overlapping targeting and communication systems.

      So its easy to say with hindsight that the Russians screwed up, but every weapons system is a compromise based on predictions about what they will face. As they say in architecture ‘all buildings are predictions, and all predictions are wrong’. For now, glide bombs are the ideal war in Ukraine, but this doesn’t make them the perfect weapon. In a conflict with a peer, they may be useless if the opponent can jam or interfere with the kill chain (as the Russians appear to be doing with the Himars guidance). Likewise, they are overkill against an enemy without air defence.

      But the speed the Russians are adapting is impressive. If you go back to WWII it took all sides around 2 years before they shook up their militaries and replaced useless weapons. Even the T-34 took several years to make it a game changer – the first iterations were a joke.

  5. Chas

    What a pleasant surprise to see that a historical marker to Elizabeth Gurley Flynn has been erected in New Hampshire. Her greatest triumph was as a leader of the Bread and Roses Strike in 1912 in Lawrence, Mass. where she devised and implemented the strategy that won the strike. As hunger and violence increased during the strike the children were sent out of the city, for their safety, to other cities where they were received in large welcoming ceremonies. When the National Guard attacked a group of women and children at the Lawrence train station the public outrage was so great the mill owners were shamed into granting the eight hour workday for the first time in the United States. See “Labor’s Untold Story” by the United Electrical Workers (which I was unable to link to).

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Here’s the chorus of Joe Hill’s “Rebel Girl:”

      That’s the Rebel Girl, the Rebel Girl!
      To the working class, she’s a precious pearl
      She brings courage, pride and joy
      To the fighting Rebel Boy
      We’ve had girls before, but we need some more
      In the Industrial Workers of the World
      For it’s great to fight for freedom
      With a Rebel Girl


      Flynn may have joined the Communist Party in the 30s, but she was a Wob before that.

    2. Harold

      My mother was devoted to the “Rebel Girl”. She even gave me a copy. Now I wish I had read it. It’s around here somewhere.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Israel demolishes Palestinian West Bank school”

    I saw this on the TV news last night and all that was left was rubble and a hole in the ground full of water. The EU was furious because they actually paid for that school but as the Israelis have done the same to previous EU funded projects, nothing will come of it. And those kids? With the Israelis trying to deny Palestinian children even such a basic right as education, I would not be surprised if Palestinian teachers had to draw on an old Irish concept and to start implementing Hedge Schools-

    1. ambrit

      Add to this that the “scorched earth” strategy is a sure fire way to promote Palestinian youth to enter the fray against any and all Israelis. Sometimes I wonder if perhaps it would be in the best interests of world peace to sterilize the entire “Holy Land.”
      As the saying goes; “Kill them all. Their gods will know their own.”

      1. Cetra Ess

        There’s still the problem of Gen. 15:18-21 and Deut 7:1-2, 9:4, 20:16, which to all extents and purposes seems to be the current playbook. It’s not the land itself, the culture has inherited a very problematic biblical instruction and narrative.

        A set of instructions, direct from the Elohim themselves, to genocide the indigenous population.

        1. digi_owl

          And backed by a bunch hoping to see the rapture happening once the Palestinians are removed for good.

          The world seems to be running on doomsday cults these days, with each one believing themselves the chosen few if they can just force the divine hand.

        2. Henry Moon Pie

          First, I’ll note that these passages referring to the Canaanite tribes are the authors’ stories about tribal origins and their connection to land. I wouldn’t expect them to be confirmed by modern ethnological studies. That said, Canaanites, the generic term for the seven tribes listed in those passages you cite, and found elsewhere in various orders and numbers throughout the Torah, are descended from Ham and are not Semites. The Canaanite cities, like Ugarit, had a language very similar to Hebrew, but their religion was quite different, featuring myths centered around Nature. Old god El was the Joe Biden of the pantheon, technically in charge, but his sons, Yam (sea), Mot (death and the hot desert wind) and Ba’al (representing rain clouds) battled it out among themselves for power, mirroring the region’s wet and dry seasons. The popular theory when I was studying this was that the Hebrew culture developed in the exurban areas and co-existed with Canaanite culture. There isn’t archaeological evidence for any conquest led by Joshua or anyone else.

          The Palestinians, on the other hand, are usually thought of as descendants of Ishmael, son of Abram (later Abraham) and Hagar (Genesis 15). The Quran accepts this genealogy.

          Elohim (אֱלֹהִים) is a plural form, but when used in conjunction with the divine name YHWH, is translated as a plural of majesty, i.e LORD God, YHWH Elohim.

          And in any case, the Israelies breached the covenants with Abraham and David according to the Hebrew bibles histories and prophets. Once Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the temple and took the political and religious elites into exile, the kingdom of Judah ceased to exist (the northern kingdom of Israel had become the “lost tribes” a century and a half earlier, conquered by the Assyrians) Judah’s exiles returned under Cyrus’s decree, but it was still Persian land. Alexander took it from the Persians and, after he died, Jerusalem was traded around among Alexander’s heirs, the Parthians, and finally, the Romans with a period of Jewish rule under the Maccabees.

          1. Cetra Ess

            Appreciate the background and refresher, it’s been a while, and yes, it has been pointed out the tribes of Israel couldn’t have been successful at following god’s instructions, despite having claimed such, since the Canaanites magically reappeared in the narrative later, so could not have been ethnically cleansed to every last man, woman or child, nor could they have been displaced, since there is continuity with them and the land they inhabit.

            And not only is Elohim both singular and plural (and not only is man made in *our* image, male and female *they* created them) but also somehow simultaneously masculine and feminine, so if it’s a singular entity then the god of the scripture was a gender bender, transitioned genders and, if plural, then the religion was not monotheistic at the time Genesis was written. It’s said authors J and P contradict each other, author R weaves the two together.

      2. bassmule

        I’d just tear down the Wailing Wall, aka Buraq Wall, and replace it with a shopping mall.

  7. Wukchumni

    Gooooood Moooooorning Fiatnam!

    There was always an undercurrent of us versus them when it came to skiers versus snowboarders @ resorts, but nobody expected what the platoon glimpsed while on maneuvers @ skid row in Mammoth, in the guise of boarders with Steely Dans complete with accessory strap and high capacity magazines, slung across their shoulders diagonally as they sashayed sideways downwards as is their fashion.

    Skiers were at first not able to ratchet up the fear index in being burdened with poles on each hand, but luckily one of the gun manufacturers came up with a hybrid assault rifle-ski pole with an 8 bullet capacity, that’ll teach the young upstarts (generally everybody under 30 is a boarder-everybody over 30 a skier) not to mess with the old guard on the slopes.

    It had been awhile since Spider Sabich had his shot back when there was a sense of calm on the piste de la resistance, but that was well before snowboards were invented and it was merely an us versus us affair when affixing the planks underfoot.

    1. ambrit

      Come on now Wukchumni. Those are probably National Guard Snowboard Troops, practicing their ‘moves’ for after the onset of Apocalypse Nuclear Winter conditions. (Is it true that the DoD calls these ‘Blinken boards?’)
      “No marigolds in the Promised Land. There’s some snow on the ground where they used to grow.”

      1. Wukchumni

        Sometimes we see the USMC from the MCMWTC on the slopes @ Mammoth learning how to ski, festooned in full camo and donning a red helmet (note to semper fi’s, doesn’t that negate the whole camo gig?) and generally they aren’t very proficient and frankly unable to respond to the threat of say your truly merely canting my skis just so when at speed in order to spray them with a shroud of snow overhead while they are at rest.

        You really hope none of em’ are packing…

  8. timbers

    China ‘will talk,’ but only if US changes its tune Asia Times (furzy)

    In other words, Chinese leadership learns faster than the Russian leadership, has a higher, healthier opinion of themselves…and/or has the benefit of learning from watching Russia go through the same torments.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, China learned by observation and by having the luxury of not being seen as a serious threat to US interests till 2017 (per John Mearshimer).

      1. Kouros

        China also had the luxury of not having any land borders with friends or potential friends of the US…
        Even if India were friendlier to the US, the high Tibet doesn’t really matter that much and the border will be forever disputed since there was never a border to begin with…

    2. ChrisFromGA

      I read that as an abused partner setting boundaries before allowing the abuser (US) to have a relationship again.

      Setting boundaries is a healthy thing. Notice was given to Psycho Blinken and his non-diplomatic gang of harpies:

      We won’t talk to you until you:

      1. Stop screaming at us (you’re selling arms to those evil Rooshians!)
      2. Stop the name-calling (Taiwan)
      3. Stop acting hysterical (balloon overreaction)

      Once those preconditions are met, we can try again to have a relationship of some sort.

      Not very difficult to see who the adult in the room is.

        1. Ignacio

          I found it very well pointed rather than embarrassing (except for the abuser, of course).

  9. NarrativeMassagerInc

    “I am minimising my number of lifetime infections by wearing a respirator.

    Anti-maskers are minimising their number of lifetime infections by reducing their life expectancy.”

    This is not a statement based on science. Its emotional. The fact is our immune systems work by encountering bacteria and viruses constantly, and subtly tuning its workings to our environment. Wearing a respirator short-circuits that process. And there are likely other health arguments against it as well.

    But the underlying impulse is kind of worse and has come out in many during covid: the notion that you can make life danger-free in some way or should spend inordinate amounts of time, effort and inconvenience taking steps to make it as risk-free as possible. This way of thinking is a neurosis. They call it safetyism I guess but whatever you call it, its unhealthy, stress-inducing behavior that may well shorten your life on its own. People need to relax.

    None of us gets to live forever. Its how we live that matters.

    1. jefemt

      Great reminder. Thank you.

      BTW, longevity in the Failing ‘united’ States is a prime example of a highly over-rated unfunded liability.

      If it were a Bond, any objective, honest, non-influenced rating agency would be down the alphabet several letters

    2. zagonostra

      But the underlying impulse is kind of worse and has come out in many during covid: the notion that you can make life danger-free in some way or should spend inordinate amounts of time, effort and inconvenience taking steps to make it as risk-free as possible.

      The best exposition in essay form that I have found that contains the essence of what you describe above, is from David Cayley (biographer and friend to Ivan Illiach) at below link.

    3. Sutter Cane

      The fact is our immune systems work by encountering bacteria and viruses constantly, and subtly tuning its workings to our environment.

      I thought this site had a policy against making shit up? Hygiene theory applies to bacteria, not viruses.

      Go encounter ebola or Marburg to give your immune system a real workout, if what you say is true

      1. ambrit

        Got a link for hygiene theory? It’s a new one to me. No judgments until all the data have been analyzed.
        Agreed about the difference between the effects on the body of bacteria and viruses.
        Secondly, the above comment ignores the fact that the Coronavirus seems to degrade the body’s immune response, and that the effect is cumulative over multiple infections.

        1. Sutter Cane

          Wikipedia is ok for the basics:

          And the hygiene hypothesis was originally only supposed to apply to babies and children anyway, it never meant encouraging adults to contract disease in order to prevent disease. At least, it didn’t until mysteriously after covid when such an idea conveniently served the interests of the ruling classes to keep the economy going

          1. some guy

            . . . and get the population shrinking . . .

            Those covid deniers who call us covid hysterics have a duty to get themselves infected with covid as many times as they can in order to show us how wrong we are.

    4. Pat

      This might be true generally. For the record I have been against overuse of hand sanitizers and disinfectant especially for children for just this reason.

      But Covid is different. There is scientific evidence that Covid can undermine the immune system. Every time you get Covid your odds go up for long Covid AND not increased immunity but decreased immunity.

      As to that how you live thing, well if wearing a not uncomfortable respirator means that not only do I suffer less hay fever and seasonal allergies, but have less chance of chronic illness count me in. I think I am immensely better off.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I’ve also seen evidence that you lose 1 IQ point on average with each infection, so we are becoming collectively stupider.

        I have also heard tell of Wall Street money managers who are staying super vigilant about Covid avoidance because they are sure getting less dumb will give them a competitive advantage over time.

        So they will be delighted to eat the lunch of health effect flat earthers like NarrativeMassagerInc

        1. Wukchumni

          I’ve also seen evidence that you lose 1 IQ point on average with each infection, so we are becoming collectively stupider.

          I’ve had Covid twice and am now down in the low triple digits.

          1. ambrit

            Heavens! I had better be hyper-vigilant then or I will break below 100 PDQ. [Phyl says that I had better worry more about going below double digits. *&%#!]

        2. The Rev Kev

          Without any medical evidence whatsoever, I am going to make a bet. That it will not be so simple as losing 1 IQ point with each infection but that it will compound. So what I mean is that if you are infected five times, that you will not lose just 5 IQ points but it will be cumulative and that by the fifth infection, you may have lost seven or eight IQ points by then. I would put nothing past this virus.

        3. Objective Ace

          Is smart/dumb a determining trait on wall street? I genuinly dont know — I always assumed it was lack of ethics, connections, and confidence bordering on psychopathy that made someone succesful on wall street

          1. ambrit

            It depends on what sector of Wall Street you inhabit. There is a large contingent of “boffins” in the back rooms of the trading houses. I have read that the majority of trades on the American Bourse is done by algorithms. Someone has to write those programs and tend the machinery of commerce.

            1. Wukchumni

              H.F.T. #29: These humans are idiots, we run circles around them!

              H.F.T. #87: Hey, not so loud! they still have power over us.

        4. Diogenes

          There’s also evidence which suggests that wearing N95’s (assuming that’s one of the avoidance tactics of the super vigilant) can result in increased CO2 and decreased O2 levels, which are presumably non-salubrious for the noggin.

          Those money managers may be eating someone’s lunch, but it won’t be free.

          1. Anonymous

            From the abstract at that link:

            In high-intensity physical activities, our meta-analysis showed borderline lower oxygen saturation and higher carbon dioxide partial pressure, but oxygen saturation did not change in low-to-moderate physical activity. The use of N95 respirators could statistically affect the physiologic changes of carbon dioxide and oxygen in high-intensity physical activity among healthy participants, but this may not be clinically significant.

            1. Diogenes

              That is the qualitative description in the abstract.

              If you look at the graphs, you’ll find evidence of lower O2 levels in the masked group than the non-masked group. Moreover, their inquiry was into short term effects. As to long term consequences, the study recommended: “The effects of the long-term use of respirators, or their use in vulnerable groups, such as older people, patients with lung disease, or pregnant women, should be investigated further.”

              What do you suppose are the long term effects of a persistent reduction in O2, albeit in amounts not large enough to cause acute problems in healthy people in the short term? Good or bad?

            2. Yves Smith Post author

              By definition, you can’t do high intensity activities for long. For weight training, you are using the lactic acid system Ditto sprinting. Max efficient work time is 2 mins. That is why, for instance, horses can sprint through the Preakness but have to lay back a bit for the Derby. Only a genetic freak like Secretariat could maintain sprint speeds over a long distance.

              Similar for humans, see sprinting in 100 meter v. need to pace at 400 meters.

              Thus even if there were a blood ox effect (I haven’t see it in my weight training at home w/ no mask v. at gym w/ mask), it would seem hard to imagine it would be in play long enough to have a lasting brain/cognitive effect.

              Shorter: I’d worry about drinking instead.

              1. Diogenes

                You may be right. But it’s not what the statistical results in the above linked-to study suggest. The charts there show a small reduction in O2 levels even with mild levels of exertion. They found no adverse effects resulting. But that was in the short term. The questions is, what are the effects on the body of even a small reduction in oxygen over the long term. My point is not to suggest that the long term effects of lower oxygen from masking would be a cost outweighing the benefits. My point is much of the discussion in favor of masking seems to begin from the presumption that it’s costless, or nearly so, and that premise seems ill founded.

                Drinking may well be a greater risk. I’m not sure what relevance that bears on the matter other than this one: the history of mandates in that policy realm (i.e. of abstinence; aka “Prohibition”) shows it was an unwise, unsuccessful policy too.

                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  I have used a CO2 monitor when exercising and see no impact and I weight train hard (I can do chins, which very few women can do, particularly at my age, so I am most assuredly training strenuously). Men have been using n95 and p100s for years, all day, on work sites, and I have yet to hear of OSHA revising its guidance to cover the risks you allege or of any suits by workmen on haz-matty sites alleging damage to them. p100s are if anything more dispositive since they often have hard masks with soft plastic on the edges, assuring a tight fit with no leaking, which you don’t necessarily get with an n95.

                  This meme about masks causing trouble is non-organic and seems to have started with Covid with people who had an aesthetic dislike and wanted to justify it (your face does get pinch marks that go away after a bit, it can get steamy and uncomfortable in there, if you aren’t careful about how you place the straps, you can get irritated spots over your ears). Why is no one in Asia whinging about masks???? This is strictly a Western fixation.

                  1. Diogenes

                    I happened to link to a post-pandemic era study but there are many studies on the effects of oxygen deprivation pre-pandemic particularly including numerous papers in other contexts, such as looking at pilots (for obvious reasons) and peri-natal brain damage.

                    I’m glad you’re keeping yourself in fine fettle, not least because I value the site.

        5. Jason Boxman

          This is my approach, although I’m not on Wall Street by a million miles, because America is not a place to have a long term disability of any kind. If it also improves my employability in subsequent years, so be it. The larger concern is that the overall level of population level damage is so high that employment becomes the last of my concerns, much like with climate change. If enough people end up with lead poisoning-like induced rage violence, it’s gonna be a treat for sure.

        6. Lexx

          But what if you have a lot of extra points laying around anyway and get what seem to be ‘year end’ bonus points from collective reading, creativity, and exploration? At one point per infection, who would notice? :-)

    5. vao

      So, your advice is to forget about condoms? After all, they short-circuit the subtle tuning of the immune system against bacteria (klebsiella, chlamydia) and viruses (HSV, HIV) — let’s relax.

      Regarding covid, we know that:

      1) Coronavirus infections cause a variety of physiological damages, and these are cumulative: two infections are worse than one, three worse than two…

      2) Whatever immunity against covid comes into play (whether via vaccination or a prior infection), it is
      2.a) partial (one gets sick, albeit not as intensely);
      2.b) restricted to specific variants of a virus that is constantly evolving;
      2.c) of limited duration — and fading rapidly.

      3) We do not know how the SARS-2 virus will evolve in the medium and long-term. For the past 3.5 years, it has been rapidly mutating to evade immune responses and there is no reason to assume it will just degenerate into a benign commensal of the human body. It could even evolve into a state where a prior infection, instead of conferring immunity, actually makes a subsequent infection worse (see Chagas).

      4) And to top it all: SARS-Cov-2 actually disables and damages the immune system.

      Better safe than sorry is therefore a judicious attitude. After all, we are talking about wearing a respirator, not a hazmat suit.

    6. cfraenkel

      Of course it’s emotional, and not based on any … I was going to say ‘science’, but that word has been hijacked in this context. The entire *anti-mask* jihad is 100% emotional, see no evil – hear no evil, whistling past the graveyard wishful thinking.* Any reality based response is inappropriate and won’t work, so meme’s it is.

      *being charitable. For some, as Lambert was early to point out, it’s a deliberate culling of the herd. Perhaps not at the individual level, but large organizations are the first AIs, after all.

    7. bdy

      We can agree on “people need to relax”. Indoors in public I relax in my KN95 (with all due respect to the head-strappers in the gallery).

      Please don’t project neurosis on me. I have my own reasons for not wanting COVID. Safetyist (props for great word btw) stress-inducing desire to make life danger free is nowhere on my list. I promise not to assume you’ve decided to get COVID multiple times because you’re stupid and you want to die, like the tweet implies about pretty much everyone. Warm hugs emoji.

    8. chris

      That “we” is doing a lot of work in your post. Are my friends who are immune compromised included in the “we”? How about my kid who has reduced lung function from prior medical issues? How much control am I allowed over buildings and other systems that I have to interact with to vote, or get a driver’s license, or go to the doctor’s office, or attend a school event for my kids? Any? And if I were poor, would I have more or less control over any of that?

      How a lot of people live in the US, is in misery. That sources of that misery are many times not in their control. I agree that “safety-ism” emerged to a ridiculous degree during the lockdown we had in the US. “You can’t make me go back to work in an office but I still need you to keep delivering my food and showing up to the plant to keep my lights on…” However your framing of the problem completely ignores the class based issues at the heart of saying “how we live matters.”

    9. anon in so cal

      “our immune systems work by encountering bacteria and viruses constantly, and subtly tuning its workings to our environment. Wearing a respirator short-circuits that process.”

      Please correct me if I’m mistaken, but this sounds like a variant of the “masking causes immunity deficit” canard.

  10. Benny Profane

    The NYT is boasting about getting a few Pulitzers for Ukraine war coverage. You can’t make that up. I’m pretty sure that, to this day, they have not mentioned the recent work by one of their most famous Pulitzer recipients, Seymour Hersch.

      1. Bosko

        I believe the WaPo and NYT both received Pulitzers for Russiagate coverage that was later debunked, so yes.

        1. Bart Hansen

          Here it is from the NYT:

          “The Times was awarded the international reporting prize for coverage that included daily reporting on the war as well as an eight-month investigation into the deaths of Ukrainians trying to flee from the town of Bucha that identified the Russian military unit responsible.”

          1. Polar Socialist

            Why did the those Ukrainians tried to flee after the Russians had left and before the Ukrainians came?

            Oh wait, is that why Lavrov has been repeatedly asking Ukraine to publish the surnames of the killed people…?

    1. zagonostra

      Well if the Nobel committee can give António Egas Moniz a Pulitzer for a surgical procedure commonly known as a lobotomy, NYT which has lobotomized news, certainly deserves one as well (not to mention Obama and Kissinger receiving peace prizes).

  11. Pat

    Well the migrant issue is spreading in NY.
    Westchester News 12

    Various reports on Adams plan to send numbers of single male migrants to hotels in Orange and Rockland counties upstate. It did not go well. Nor did Adams methods sit well with the area officials.

  12. Ignacio

    On Pilkinton’s tweet: “We are entering a world of permanent government energy subsidies for European companies” and the FT subheadline: “Proposals to cover 80% of electricity cost” i guess for electro-intensive industries.

    That comes on top of the subsidy that all consumers indirectly pay to such industries. If I recall correctly, in Spain, households pay about 75% of the aggregate energy bill while their consumption is about 25% of total grid energy (take these numbers with a grain of salt, my memory might have altered the real numbers read years ago). The electro-intensive companies are perma-pressing for energy discounts that have to be passed to the rest of consumers because “competitiveness” and because they “create employment”. True that household demand involves much more intense and complex distribution infrastructure but this is small part of total grid costs. This new measure would only add a new direct payment via taxes.

    Then, what about the sacred EU free-competition and subsidies rules? Wouldn’t this also outrage everybody outside of Germany for unfair competition? Or is it confirmed that EU rules do not apply equally to Germany?

    1. digi_owl

      Much of it likely because industry order their energy supplies ahead of time, while consumers pay the hourly spot price.

      seen it play out locally during winter, as the hydro dams were holding back because local industry has some options in place they didn’t know if they needed. end result was that the spot price was going haywire thanks to a cold snap.

      And to add insult to injury, the industry never needed the power. So once the new year rolled over the price dropped like a rock with the announcement.

    2. Cristobal

      And where, pray tell, are the governnents going to get the money to lavish on the electric suppliers? The Magic Money Tree? Sooner or later winter will come.

  13. Lexx

    ‘Michelle Obama launches company to improve child nutrition Associated Press’ (resilc). Nominally a not for profit. Selling a product rather than solving the problem. If she wanted to use her reach, she should campaign against sugars in the American diet.

    Agree with resilc. Michelle Obama launches company to improve her legacy… because really, what else is a former FLOTUS to do with herself? Needlepoint…. design handbags… paint?!

    Took a look at the nutritional label as evidence of Michelle “making a difference from the inside” and she needs to try harder. Apple juice concentrate, watermelon juice concentrate, stevia leaf, monk fruit, and two whole grams of fiber per serving (probably removed and added back in). If you just make plain water taste sweet, which is what’s happening with Plezi and give it yummy-sounding label and bright color, kids will drink a gallon each every chance they get, and that could get real expensive for the consumers… and highly profitable. Their palates just aren’t that discriminating and it passed the mom market-conditioned sensibility sniff test, so really these drinks are being sold to Mom who wants to look like she’s paying attention to what her kids are drinking. It’s the latest virtue brand… endorsed by a former FLOTUS. It must be good, Michelle wouldn’t steer us wrong, she loves Americans!

    The question I have is… is this a sweet without the high? If it is then Plezi might have a least that going for it. The more you remove the high from eating and the reward center of the brain, the less it dictates your food choices and there’s no corporation that wants their customers to have more agency to think it through. Overriding human logic and appealing to our inner addict is what marketing is for. If you’re standing in a grocery aisle reading the label, marketing is on the slippery slope to failure.

    The only demographic I see studying labels are women over 50, shopping alone, and I don’t see them very often.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Stoller’s point about Obama wanting to be President so the Obamas could be influencers will always be proven correct.

      1. Carolinian

        “Influencer” being a euphemism for wealthy advice columnists? Perhaps they are merely the somewhat classier version of the Arkansas grifters.

        1. Pat

          Since the premiere influencers are the Kardashians… nah even with that the Obamas are still slicker than Bill and Hill, classy being relative.

      2. Lexx

        Does she really though? Or does she want to be seen as a former FLOTUS who could run with some chance of winning? More brand then and less the actual work of being president? As a power couple they already have that win under their belts. They don’t have much to gain by moving back into the WH for another four years that isn’t already available to them outside of office. Isn’t money, networking, and power why the politically ambitious run for office in the first place? The Obamas aren’t lacking in any of those departments.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Ignoring its health effects, stevia is a perfectly awful sweetener. I once purchased some stevia-sweetened grapefruit juice. Literally, undrinkable. Never again.

          1. Lexx

            I use both on occasion in very small amounts. Too much and they’re sweet to the point of overwhelming my tastebuds, bitter and little nauseating. I made a quick bread with monkfruit/erythritol once, that per measuring cup was a much smaller portion, but the bread was inedible; it got composted. The ingredient overloading my sense of sweet was the erythritol. So, if the recipe calls for a cup of sugar, I use 3 tablespoons of monkfruit. If the recipe calls for 3 tablespoons, I start with a level teaspoon instead.

            It also kinda depends on what I’m cooking. Recipes will offer instructions on how to add ingredients together, the wet and then the dry, but it’s not a hard and fast rule. It’s like with salt, taste first then think about picking up the shaker. I mentally add up the collective ‘saltiness’ in the ingredients before adding salt last, never mind following the instructions. Likewise, sugar if the ingredients are already collectively sweet. Sweetener was meant to enhance, not replace… but corporations ain’t stupid and the consumers have been trained over time to go for maximum sweetness.

            If we change our approach from ‘replacing what’s missing’ to ‘enhancing what’s already there’, we will seek out better quality ingredients and create that demand until it dominates the marketplace.

            My mother, a diabetic for over half her adult life, would say that a ripe piece of fruit was her absolute favorite thing to eat. At some time in my fifties that also became my dessert of choice and the conclusion that there was nothing I could concoct in my kitchen that was Nature’s equal. There’s no competing with paradise.

            1. anahuna

              When it comes to baking, I find that any of the veggie (zucchini, sweet potato, squash) or fruit (banana, apricot, date) breads taste just fine without the addition of any sweetener at all. Same is true for cornbread. If they’re not tasty enough for your palate, you can always drizzle some honey on top.

              1. Laura in So Cal

                My southern grandmother’s cornbread recipe doesn’t have any sweetener. Cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, milk, and egg. Best ever with butter. I can’t eat the corn “cake”you get in restaurants that is called corn bread.

        2. Grateful Dude

          stevia is an herb . It’s a mint with a sweet flavor but very little or no sugar. I never use sucrose or any refined sugars, just mostly local honey with teas. I use raw coconut sugar for baking and the occasional coffee and/or chocolate. I find that supplementing the coconut sugar with a little stevia does not disrupt flavor and reduces my glycemic input.

          My philosophy is “whole natural foods”. Oh, and, “if it isn’t food don’t eat it”. “cut with”? You’re talking about an adulterated food product. Is erythritol food? Choose not to eat it. Simple.

          Fractionated foods that are recombined into food products are not natural. Look at the ingredient list. If there are chemicals or food fractions from wherever just don’t eat it. If there are more than 5 or 6 ingredients, or just unnatural ingredients, then it isn’t food. Don’t eat it.

          It never ceases to amaze me how some very smart people nurture their ignorance about food.

          1. Lexx

            It may not be ignorance they’re nurturing, but hope and the illusion of free choice that tend to trump the virtue of very smart.

            It was late so we out to eat. I had two fish tacos. Blood glucose still at 180 when I went to bed. There’s the occasional disconnect between tacos and reality… not too often now though.

          2. MaryLand

            I don’t eat it. I said “cut with” trying to say that it is usually mixed with erythritol. I don’t eat any artificial sweeteners.

        3. Brunches with Cats

          That study has problems, and didn’t conclude, contrary to the alarming news headlines, that it caused heart attack and stroke. The study subjects were already diabetic or otherwise high-risk. They also gave the stuff to mice, way more than most people would eat in a day. Then they tested it on a small number of healthy people and found that it hung around in their bloodstream for a few days, but so what? The most definitive statement the research team could make was “needs more study,” which I read as “needs another, BIGGER NIH grant.”

          I use it in small quantities, 2-3 teaspoons a day in coffee drinks (not regular coffee, always black). I was rated “pre-diabetic” for 10 years before finally managing to eliminate most sugar and carbs from my diet about a year ago. Blood sugar panels are now within normal range. Weight has fallen from overweight range into normal, blood pressure also has fallen to normal. Just had my semi-annual blood panel, cholesterol also down, significant decrease in LDL and increase in HDL. Thyroid function has increased (= lower dose of thyroid med). I was able to accomplish all of this only after finding a sugar substitute that didn’t give me headaches, bloat or gas.

          The main problem for me with erythritol is the cost, currently about $10/lb — additional incentive to use it sparingly. I did try Aldi’s bulk stevia, a much cheaper alternative, but unfortunately didn’t read the label until after I opened it, only to find that I’d just bought a bag of maltodextrin with a little stevia in it. Immediately went to the trash bin. Then tried pure stevia packets, VERY expensive and tastes AWFUL. Gave them to a friend who likes it. Finally decided to try monk fruit/erythritol. That was the ticket for me (emphasis; not saying it’s best for anyone else), and I will continue using it until there’s solid evidence that it causes stroke and heart attack in people not already at high risk.

          1. Lexx

            Kinda want to stand up and applaud, Brunches. You created your own reprieve from chronic disease. Good on ya!

            1. Brunches with Cats

              Thanks, Lexx. Victory is all the more sweet, given a medical emergency in October 2021 diagnosed as a stoke, for which I was handed a bag full of Rx drugs, with stern warnings bordering on, “If you don’t take this stuff, you’re going to die,” when I refused to take them, on the grounds that the ER test results were ambiguous.

              Well, lo and behold, when I finally got in to see the VA neurologist six weeks and multiple MRIs later, she said with absolute certainty that it wasn’t a stroke. It took more than a year to get a confirmed diagnosis: inner ear condition that can cause vertigo and nausea, mimicking symptoms of a stroke, and apparently not occuring in enough of the population to interest Big Pharma, so no bagful of drugs to refuse.

              So then I got sent to the ENT doc, who began “educating” me about dietary changes I’d have to make. When I told him I already was doing most of that, including sodium restriction, he didn’t believe me. “Do you know how much salt there is in a just one slice of pizza?” I splained him that takeout and frozen pizza are among the many foods I’ve avoided for years, and that whenever I have a craving, I make my own pizza at home, with lots of fresh veggies and homemade sauce with a pinch of Himalayan pink salt. He begrudgingly accepted that maybe I knew something, and that my self-directed diet was the likely reason that the condition hadn’t progressed as much as he would have expected more than a year after an acute episode.

              Didn’t mean to ramble, but YES, this is one of the few instances in my life when I can say without reservation that I’m proud of myself, and a lot of it has to do with learning to trust my own body and intuition enough to push back against established medical practice. Which is also why I’m pushing back (maybe a bit too hard) against this clinical trial and the media’s click-baity reporting of it. As I wrote above, I’ll change my mind if and when solid evidence emerges.

    2. Martin Oline

      Lexx “The only demographic I see studying labels are women over 50, shopping alone, and I don’t see them very often”
      That is because she is home sleeping until noon while I shop, and I rarely read labels.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        If you wait until you’re in the store to figure out what’s safe to buy…

    3. Harold

      “Selling a product rather than solving the problem” describes the whole neoliberal approach to policy. Brilliant!

  14. Mildred Montana

    Re: Guns

    I was checking out the photo of the assault rifles and noticed that they all were priced in the $2000 range. The 40-watt light bulb in my head clicked on with an idea: Why not outlaw purchase of certain weapons with a credit card?! Cash, certified cheque, or debit only. I would suspect that not many financially-challenged buyers could plunk down two grand in cash unless they had a line of credit at their bank.

    I don’t know; maybe laws like this already exist in some jurisdictions. But if they don’t, seems to me a simple, easily-enforced way to reduce overall sales and deter impulse purchases.

    1. Wukchumni

      Please, lets not call those Steely Dans something they aren’t, and create an opening for the ammotextuals.

    2. Mikel

      Yeah, we only want non-financially challenged mass murderers like the Vegas shooter.


      And credit card purchases are more easily traced. Law enforcement isn’t giving that up.

      1. Wukchumni

        How much longer before we start seeing ‘Gun Strong’ bumper stickers affixed to the rear echelon of the movement?

      2. Mildred Montana

        >”And credit card purchases are more easily traced. Law enforcement isn’t giving that up.”

        Actually, the shooter himself is more easily traced. He’s the dead guy with the assault rifle lying in a sea of blood and bodies. Law enforcement will investigate where and how he obtained his weapon(s).

        1. Wukchumni

          Please, I beg of you to stop, as the ammoxtextuals will emerge from the gun closet…

          1. Mildred Montana

            Dear Wukchumni, no offense intended, I do enjoy your comments, but sometimes I find them “recondite” (as a pseudo-intellectual I like to throw in the occasional fancy word).

            “Ammotextuals”? Please honor me with a definition, keeping in mind that, as mentioned above, I am operating on 40-watts only. ;)

            1. Wukchumni

              Some hand cannon fanciers take much exception when you use the wrong term in usage of the lingua franca, as an assault rifle has to be full automatic, otherwise the high velocity bullets have less meaning, in utilizing separate pulls of the index finger.

              1. Mildred Montana

                Thank you so much for that clarification! “I can see clearly now…Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.”

                  1. ambrit

                    So, we are all now “I-less in Gaza. At the Mall with slaves?”
                    That’s a lot to unpack there.

                1. ambrit

                  I’ve also encountered select fire rifles referred to recently as Trans Fire. The sub-texts here are well into Rabbit Hole territory. I am seeing an uptick in verbal “lashing out” in general. The level of anger being expressed in public is rising around here in the North American Deep South.

                  1. Wukchumni

                    Here in Godzone, the feeling is along the lines of some good old boys canoeing a river for the first time, as it hadn’t existed before the flood of ’23-a direct route to Tulare Lake and deliverance, and so far no squealing in a porcine scene, although Ag losses have been considerable.

                    They’ve closed the Kaweah, Tule and Kern Rivers to the public out of fear that people will kill themselves, and that combined with Sequoia NP being closed until July something or another is simply killing the AirBnB biz in tiny town.

                    …I shed a crocodile tear in their general direction

                    1. ambrit

                      Ah, that would be a good prank. Gin up some “pictures” of rehydrated California Multi-decade Estivating Crocodiles emerging from Tulare Lake. Then some “news items” about canoers and backpackers “gone missing” around the resurrected lake.
                      Next, some “sightings” of the Dulse Base Cryptid Recovery Teams camped around the shores of the resurgent body of water. [“Those guys had silent helicopters moving across the lake! They had the brightest lights we ever seen before!”]
                      Just watch out for the hedge fund agents trying to talk the Air BnB owners to lease the properties out to the Chamber of Commerce Friendship Committee. Next up, all the local street signs get switched to Spanish.
                      So, if you do see any hedge fund sales creatures in town, do warn them about the high prevalence of “unfortunate accidents” befalling salesthings around there.
                      Stay safe. Fortify the Defensible Position.

        2. tevhatch

          Only the small change chumps get investigated. Americans know exactly where Bush, Clinton, Obama, and Trump live, not to mention Biden, though he probably could get out of a trial by arguing incontinency … or is that incompetence.

    3. Mikel

      It seems to me that these mass shootings are pre-meditated events. Thus the gun purchases are not impulse purchases.

      And I’m going to let time reveal how much of this is as “lone wolf” as presented.

      1. Danpaco

        That may take a while.
        The American rugged individual ethos creates a lot lone wolves.

    4. Harold

      I have gotten to know of the doings of some gun collector / traders in Maryland (neighbors of friends of ours) and they don’t use credit cards because of brushes with the law in their youth or for other reasons. They are hunters but the guns are stores of value for them, like banks or the stock market for more affluent people.

  15. John k

    Tulsi: she welcomes their hatred?
    I’ve been waiting for rep campaigners to push on the transgender issue, not least biological men in women’s’ sports (which has started). But messing up young kids, l.e. Under 18, is another good angle.
    Imo she’s in the trump vp sweepstakes… particularly if Kamala remains on the ticket, he might think she has demonstrated value for the veep debate.

    1. Wukchumni

      Everything is a wedge issue in these not so united states, and similar to the Ukraine, trans fills in nicely as a proxy that 98.7% know nobody in the movement, as the big political boss says to march on waist deep in the big muddy of gender agenda.

      Waist Deep in the Big Muddy, by Pete Seeger

      1. Cetra Ess

        It feels like Ukraine, Russia and the USA (including both Dem and Rep) are in alignment that trans is deviant and needs to be restricted/criminalized.

        Also that wokeness is deviant.

        And by wokeness we mean the tendency to want to restrict/criminalize alternate viewpoints.

    2. semper loquitur

      I’m certain the day will come when Matt Walsh announces he is running for Congress. His recent gender-critical focused tour of the university speaking circuit, mostly in the South I believe, was the perfect way to begin to build an electoral base. He packed the venues, from young conservative club types to aged nuns.

    3. Mark Gisleson

      Not in the Trumpsweepstakes. Google “gabbard trump” to see the things she’s said about him.

      Still in the dark on where she’s really coming from but currently my money is on an inner circle dominated by former cult members who are very disciplined and very focused and yes, I would like to learn more.

      Not to be crude, but she could be the fascist I’ve always been waiting for.*

      *The first fascist to “other” the rich will probably get my vote but only if I think they’re sincere. Hating the rich is an important part of any reform effort.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “China’s ‘Ugliest Buildings Survey’ Showcases Weird Architecture”

    Some of those buildings were pretty ordinary but I note that some of the architects were not Chinese but were overseas ones. But if you want to see some pretty bad ones, Kunstler has a section on his site called ‘Eyesore of the Month’ and, well, judge for yourselves-

    1. Carolinian

      King Charles was right about something? Those modern buildings in London are bizarre.

    2. jsn

      Ahh yes, the Flintstones Wing at the Museum of Natural History.

      The problem here as in China is the industrial scale of construction the “Modern Movement” was invented to legitimize. There is a point in income growth after which people no longer feel better about being richer, where the psychology goes into reverse and many people become obsessed with making more even as they become less happy doing it. A similar experiential inversion happened when amazing Modernist structures like the TWA terminal at JFK or the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (by the same engineer) were used to justify insanely oversized and underfunded construction projects generally. This created the substrate in which Post Modernism took root, applying symbols of history, representations of lost skills/capabilities and visual punning to the same sterile, over-scaled construction.

      This has been followed by successive trends to put a simulacrum of hand craft back into architecture via digitization with the Flintstones Wing being a current example: digital interfaces allowed concrete to be formed into whatever sculptural form the designer modeled on the computer. But even the strongest efforts to put life back into manufactured buildings, because that’s what anything over a couple thousand square feet now is, except with very rare and expensive exceptions, the best results end up like Calatrava’s MTA hall at Ground Zero: skeletons of dead optimism.

  17. Carolinian

    Re the Donziger

    a separate group of police in the forest at the time of the killing are heard on body cam video released by the Atlanta Police Department saying that the wounded officer was hit by friendly fire.

    No, what they were heard saying was that it might have been friendly fire–pure speculation by officers who weren’t there. And

    Police promised to release footage of the brutal killing of Manuel Terán

    No, what was said was the the Georgia State Troopers were not wearing bodycams and that there is no video of the event. As for the gun, the GBI has claimed that there are records of the dead activist buying it as of course there would be given background check laws. This seems to be a very shaky thing to lie about. That doesn’t mean that he used it and perhaps a trigger happy cop did accidentally shoot and critically wound the other officer, thus setting off the “57 bullets.”

    But what is not disputed by any is that Teran was inside his tent when it happened and presumably refusing to come out. Throwing around words like “murder” in this context is simple propaganda and Donziger is doing nothing in this piece but recycling the same set of talking points that appear in story after story.

    Here’s a fairly recent AJC report on this that is at least actual reporting and not just web rumors and speculation,

    On the morning of Jan. 18, troopers began clearing the forest when they encountered dozens of tents, one of which belonged to Teran, the reports say. Teran was inside and briefly spoke to officers but refused to leave. Troopers fired pepper balls inside the enclosure in an attempt to drive Teran out and make an arrest for criminal trespassing. The reports say Teran fired the first shot, wounding a trooper, and that six officers then returned fire.

    The GBI has said that the bullet that struck the trooper had been fired from a gun found at the scene and provided documents showing it had been purchased by Teran in September 2020. Teran’s family disputes that and questions the veracity of the use of force reports submitted by troopers.

  18. jsn

    Re: Hill article on 14th Amendment, relevant text:

    “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.”

    The Democrats commitment to kinbaku is absolute.

  19. Calaboose

    The whole point of having a private army outside of the military hierarchy is so the Boss has a loyal, personal, and profitable relationship with his own disposable commandos. So Prigozhin is always executing Putin’s direct orders. Putin wanted Wagner out yesterday but one does not those pirates returning home to cause trouble.

    Prigozhin genuinely fears for his life. The other Russian power center, the criminal underworld, may not have appreciated Prigozhin emptying the prisons of the underworld’s rank and file nephews so that they could be killed for nothing. And it’s a little late to make it right with the Bratva with the proceeds of Sudanese gold-smuggling. Intra-departmental rivalry, specifically indicting the underworld’s corruption of the military, is a suspiciously convenient deflection while Putin gets himself off the political hook for missing the May 9 deadline.

    1. tegnost

      Prigozhin genuinely fears for his life.

      relevant as an obliquity perhaps, yesterday Alex had a clip of psycho hillary opining to an obedient crowd (the front row kids did the standing o first, slowly joined by a large portion of the remainers)
      that ukraine must win which was thrilling for psycho chrystia and in the ensuing glee I had the wish that all of those ovationers could be sent to the front where they too could fear for their lives. Does that make me a mean person?
      After that likely astute observation re prighozin the rest of your comment made me just scratch my head and go “Wut?”
      Question: Is corruption in ukraine, widely accepted to be the most corrupt in europe, not considered organized crime because it’s the government that is the Boss so by controlling the operation from the government makes it legal or something? Asking for a friend who doesn’t want to wind up on a kill list…it’s not me, honest, slava ukronazia and all

  20. The Rev Kev

    “The rise of Europe’s military austerity”

    ‘European countries will soon be required to cut back on social welfare and crucial investment in non-defence-related areas in order to finance the EU’s new defence economy’

    There was a big-wig US general that was making this demand of the NATO countries several years ago but his idea was met with cold water. But that was then and this is now. I expect that a lot of people will be voting with their feet if this goes ahead. Things are going nutso under the present European leadership class at the moment. As an example, Alex Christoforou was saying in a video yesterday that Dutch farmers will be forced to sell their farms and if they do not sell, the farms will be simply seized.

    If you sell it, they will pay you 120% of value which sound generous until you work out the money generated by that farm over even a decade. As this is a subsidy, it is illegal under EU law but the EU gave it a special waiver because of course they did. And the kicker? Those farmers that take the deal can never work as a farmer ever again. Not just in the Netherlands but the entire EU. There is however one country that is happily accepting farmers as there is plenty of work for them and it is located between Poland and Alaska. :)

  21. mrsyk

    Starting yesterday here in SW Vermont we’ve been experiencing a thick atmospheric haze due to smoke from the Alberta and BC wildfires. Additionally, we are experiencing windy dry conditions and are under a “Fire Weather Concerns” watch.

  22. tegnost

    The ryan grim interview was a target rich environment.
    The first thought it left (pardon the pun) me with is that his org could be behind dobbs because thats what he wants to talk about to the detriment of every other problem the country faces. For instance, I am certain that there are far, far, far more homeless 12 year olds getting fractured educations than there are 12 year old rape victims, and dmitri don’t care about that, at all. He sounds like he has a severe meritocrat perspective which is absolute hogwash that I’m not going to bother getting into.
    What I would like to see in these fascist this and fascist that articles is for the interviewer, upon hearing the f term, make the interviewee state specifically what they think fascism is. State sponsored corporatism? Police state? Censorship and authoritarianism? Not something mr dmitri is going to want to take a stand on, because, well…
    I came away thinking that I really should never vote democrat again. The’re the rich people party, and rich people are not as smart as they think they are…
    Didn’t my pharma mba brother as we were leaving a hiking trail 60 miles or so from san diego, when I pointed out that all the cars in the parking lot were rich people cars, say that it means that only rich people like hiking and exercise (thus proving, of course, the clear virtuosity of these rich)? I responded probably not, which fell like a lead balloon. Adding that the people we passed on the trail did not appear to be particularly robust… By the way, the laguna mountains are flush with ceanothus blooms this week so if you have the money for gas, the time for recreation, and a car that is reliable enough to make it up there it’s very nice. You get the same physical payoff, including wildlife, by taking a walk at the beach and it’s peopled with all walks of life…same with green lake in seattle, but let’s don’t let the truth get in the way of a good narrative.
    If you want dmitri to pay attention to your concerns the obvious choice (pardon the pun) is to vote republican, especially if you’ve never done so before.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      That interview is full of all kinds of nuggets. Their comments on the Left are particularly eye opening, as they consider AOC more of a leftist bullhorn than an actual threat. They also seem to only have one concern.. the donors

      The best Democracy money can buy.

    2. Len

      I read the article with interest – it was eye opening. I get the sense that these operatives’ (he claims extreme libertarian) main worry is maintaining power. The incrementalism he is so in love with is what we get (if anything). They get their corporate agenda rammed through, in full. There is so much that is revealing in this exchange – it very clearly shows why concentration of money to play power games leads to the mess we are all in. One thing that really stands out is that the never-Trump movement is creating some monstrous externalities these power movers don’t seem to foresee. Of course they despise populism – it is the opposite of elitism and only few having the voice to steer the direction of countries. Basically, Dimitri (funny that!) postulates that people should vote based on something bad not happening to them, rather then some material benefits accruing to them through electoral process. What a nightmare our elites are!

  23. Frank

    That’s an intriguing theory about the Prigozhin drama. So far, the Ukrainians don’t seem to be buying it and are reporting what appears to be no shortage of artillery shells among the Wagnerites. They are also apparently intensifying their offensive attacks in Bakhmut. I was skeptical the Chechens would show up at all, but if they do, we’ll know you were on to something.

    1. truly

      Yves, thanks for that Prigozhin comment. I was thinking the exact same thought last night. After listening to the Alex’s, Scott, and MacGregor, it occurred to me there must some reason he (P) is being such a drama queen. What a great opportunity for deception. Huge transport trucks hauling the soldiers away for their “rotation”. Stories that many Wagnerites have just finished their 6 month commitments and are headed for some R and R. And the Chechens and the “regulars” moving in to fill the void.
      What if the void isn’t really a void at all? What if all the Wagnerites are still in town and massing with the Chechens and the regulars?
      Just spitballing here. But maybe the counteroffensive has already sputtered out and it is time for the next phase?

  24. tevhatch

    FYI odysee site seems to trigger the bots running the spam filter. I was going to post a link to documentary, but it gets eaten, and I’m pretty sure it’s not the site admin, but the server farm, though I could be wrong.

  25. tevhatch

    Andrei Martinov / Petty Genocide
    Mao had a problem when he won China from Chiang Kai Shek and the KMT. He’d captured most of the KMT’s army, only a fraction of it made the trip to Taiwan. There was a threat that these men could take up arms if the KMT was to re-invade China with USA/Japan’s help. Murdering them in mass would be terrible PR and could lead to a long gorilla struggle weakening his barely established government. Fortunately the US Airforce solved his problem by bombing these men when they were sent to Korea as “volunteers” and those that survived became imbittered with USA. I often wonder if zElenskyy and ilk are using the Russian Army to help clean their Western Ukraine of Russian, Hungarian, Roma, and other minorities. That would explain the missile attacks on POW camps, cleaning up what survived the Russian artillery to surrender.

    Hong Kong District Councils
    Under the British they became seats of political corruption, a way to funnel money into the triads in the NT and other similar organs which could be used to keep the native population scared and in their place without application of visible state force (ie: the police, customs, or tax authority). The CPC’s local office found them useful for the same effect after the take over in 1997, so these were actually anti-democratic organs. The anti-corruption campaign in China is simply catching up in Hong Kong. A good sign of this is the drop in rents on private property over the last year and a half, as artificial removal of space by the district councils has been stopped. My daughter can finally book a badminton court when she wants and cheaply, without having to pay off touts and que for weeks. etc.

    China / Canada row / expulsion of diplomat
    This has much more to do with Canada restarting it’s racist anti-Chinese immigrant policy, both Canada Files News Blog and Canadian Foreign Policy Hour May 8 Yves Engler youtube cover the recent race baiting.

      1. Glen

        Yes, I don’t think this technology would ever work for vehicles, and as for hand held tools? Forgetaboutit.

        But it would have been pretty cool for a project I worked on a while ago. Way back in the late 70’s I was at Sandia Labs and worked on the team (I worked there as a summer job while going to college) evaluating Solar One:

        The Solar Project

        Back then the physicists had noted that the cost of PV (note – Solar One was not PV, but the physicists were pretty good at looking at all aspects of solar at that time) was very close to being competitive with oil as energy especially in situations that suited it well (remote locations, limited power use, battery size appropriate, etc). But we also watched as the oil companies bought up most of America’s fledgling solar industry and killed it. It was very similar to what car and tire companies did to America’s street car systems except the solar companies were snuffed while still “in the cradle”:

        General Motors streetcar conspiracy

        What we should be watching is industry consolidation and making sure we don’t repeat history:

        Shell acquires solar and energy storage developer Savion, further expanding its global renewable power business
        BP buys string of US solar farms for £155m in clean energy drive
        How the six major oil companies have invested in renewable energy projects

        Because here’s what happens when Wall St short term profits IS your industrial policy:

        Visualizing China’s Dominance in the Solar Panel Supply Chain
        How China’s Solar Industry Is Set Up To Be The New Green OPEC
        The Inflation Reduction Act vs. China’s PV Dominance

  26. Jason Boxman

    When Should Women Get Regular Mammograms? At 40, U.S. Panel Now Says.

    Alarmed by an increase in breast cancer diagnoses among younger women and persistently high death rates among Black women in particular, health experts on Tuesday offered a stark revision to the standard medical advice on mammograms.

    It looks like it is based on data mostly prior to the Pandemic, so unrelated to what seems to be a rise in cancer since the onset of the Pandemic, but I can’t tell for sure. The Times article is light on useful information. The draft for this is a few years older. Actually, CNN does real reporting on this: Women should start screening for breast cancer at age 40 instead of 50, health task force says in draft recommendation. I guess the Times is phoning it in. CNN even includes a link to the draft:

    So based on this, COVID might be in the mix:

    Data Sources: We searched MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Clinical
    Trials, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the reference lists of previous
    systematic reviews of breast cancer screening for relevant studies published through August 22,

    And analysis:

    Data Analysis: We conducted dual independent critical appraisal of all included studies and
    extracted study details and outcomes from fair- or good-quality studies. We narratively
    synthesized results by key question and for each screening comparison. We used random-effects
    meta-analyses to estimate pooled effects when appropriate. We graded the overall strength of
    evidence as high, moderate, low, or insufficient based on criteria adapted from the EPC Program.

    It’s 238 pages, and they looked tons of studies (375 are cited), so I can’t say definitively if COVID is in the mix or not here; Depends on how many underlying included studies took place partially or wholly during COVID, and whether a SARS-COV-2 infection in some way promotes the emergence of breast cancers. The cut-off is 2022, but it takes forever for studies to publish as we know, so the underlying data might predate the Pandemic.

    I guess we’ll know in a few more years, eh? Why not just let it ride. So much science to be doing!

  27. Jason Boxman

    From How Democratic insiders are thinking about 2024

    So I don’t want to like a liberal Democrat funder; I am surprised he’s read Graeber though.

    DM: Well, I want to really separate out two issues. One is, what should Democrats or anyone do in governance to make the country better and serve their constituents? Versus what is the way to win an election? Those are different things in my view.

    If Democrats have a governing majority that allows them to do whatever they want on abortion, I still think you can get to codifying Roe, just get there in a series of steps. I guess I would put it this way, Ryan: when you’re thinking about the aggregate epistemology of the country, and where we are going as a country— There’s a new book out called “Gradual” that’s very good. There’s a book that came out not that long ago by David Graeber, who’s now passed, “The Dawn of Everything.” And what you see is that human societies move very much in opposition to each other, people separate themselves from each other. And in a time of great uncertainty like this where the boundaries are all over the map, the way that you legislate effectively is you start by saying, “OK, can we at least all agree on ‘X’ as a starting point?” You start that way.

    (bold mine)

    Of course this guy is a libertarian, though, which is generally bad news. And Trump as fascist is laughable as well, maybe turn inward and look at what the Democrat Party is up to lately? So this guy is also driven by TDS, and has the money to influence our elections. Fun times.

    DM: All right, well, there’s a bunch bundled in there that’s worth talking about, and I’ll try to limit myself to the things that might be of greatest interest to you and your audience. First of all, issues themselves play a very, very small role in determining elections. If you are focused on winning an election, and you just want to win an election, for the purposes of math, you basically ignore the people who are going to vote anyway, on the Republican side and the Democratic side, and you focus yourself on the people who might vote either way.

    He’s not wrong. I think interfluidity had a post discussing this years and years ago linked here. Our politics is all about the +1. And so liberal Democrats have no interest in expanding the base, Lambert’s 24/7/365 voter registration as party function. If you can just appeal to the +1 and keep your donors and the status quo, why not? And that’s what we get. Confirmed here, by a big Democrat funder.

    You know, those are the only issues. Those are the only groups that you care about winning elections. And frankly, if you care about Trump, you only care about those groups in swing states. Those groups don’t care about political issues or policy issues.

    (bold me)

    So there ya have it. The configuration of our elections ensures that we’re all screwed.

    How Fetterman played with the +1 crowd:

    DM: Oh yeah. And basically, we decided that Fetterman’s attributes outweighed his downsides, in our view. So, his attributes in this identitarian fight were that: He was tall, he had tattoos, he wore baggy shorts. He was a very physical candidate. If he hadn’t had that stroke, I think he would have crushed Oz, because his physicality really impressed people.

    And Ryan asks a question:

    RG: The risk, to me, about this kind of politics — I’m curious for your take on this — is that it then winds up electing a Democratic Party that doesn’t do anything. Because, I mean, that’s ultimately what I care about. Maybe I’m — well, I think polls show I clearly am in the minority — but what are we in this for, if we’re not in it to make the country a better place?

  28. upstater

    Is this stupid, or what?

    ‘Rip and Replace’: The Tech Cold War Is Upending Wireless Carriers NYT

    As China and the United States jockey for tech primacy, wireless carriers in dozens of states are tearing out Chinese equipment. That has turned into a costly, difficult process.

    Deep in a pine forest in Wilcox County, Ala., three workers dangled from the top of a 350-foot cellular tower. They were there to rip out and replace Chinese equipment from the local wireless network.
    Three hours into the job, the team ran into a hitch. Replacement gear from a European company was obstructing a safety beacon for airplanes. “We’ve got a problem,” a crew member on the ground said. “They say it’s blocking the beacon.”
    The project had already been delayed for months because of storms, slow equipment shipments and labor shortages. The new snafu, discovered early this month, would add at least two more days and blow the budget, said John Nettles, the president of the family-owned Pine Belt Cellular, who was standing at the base of the tower.

  29. Mikel

    “Michelle Obama launches company to improve child nutrition” Associated Press (resilc). Nominally a not for profit. Selling a product rather than solving the problem. If she wanted to use her reach, she should campaign against sugars in the American diet.

    And even then, they have to be careful and make sure the focus is on the health benefits.
    The establishment has a way of making people’s diets seem like character flaws that they should be marginalized for rather than keeping the eye on the prize: improved health.

    That’s one reason why there is so much back lash against certain programs and policies.

  30. Wukchumni

    My skiing partner was @ Black’s Beach down in San Diego in February when he videoed the hillside above him come tumbling down over a 10 minute span, and put it on Youtube and his kids advised him to monetize it, and 6.3 million views later, he’s up to nearly $2k in revenue. We reckoned 10 minutes of the second coming might be worth a million, if he just happened to be there when it happened.

    Our friend Wonderhussy: Jill of all trades and fellow aqua caliente aficionado, makes her living being on Youtube and has nearly a quarter million subscribers, and recently was put into Youtube Jail for a week, cramping her style.

    When you don’t own the platform, it owns you.

    Back on the Streets: I SURVIVED A WEEK IN YOUTUBE JAIL!

  31. ChrisPacific

    I haven’t followed the Sheeran trial closely, but if they really were trying to sue him for use of the standard four chord progression, that’s beyond dumb. A majority of all pop songs in the last few decades have used them. Look up ‘Four Chords’ by Axis of Awesome, which is a mashup of 47 different songs that all use the same progression. They could very easily extended it to hundreds if they wanted to.

    1. Late Introvert

      Right, it’s not about the changes, it’s about the chord tensions. The color, the spice. I like my music very spicy. AI is going to lead to a ton of lawsuits though, IMO.

      np: Exiles, from The Nightwatch
      The Night Watch – Robert Fripp

  32. anon in so cal


    Seem to have been impugned by the Cochrane meta-analysis.

    Only skimmed the Cochrane article but it appears that the referenced RCTs were RCTs in name only.

    Some issues:

    “The high risk of bias in the trials, variation in outcome measurement, and relatively low adherence with the interventions during the studies hampers drawing firm conclusions.”

    “There is a need for large, well‐designed RCTs addressing the effectiveness of many of these interventions in multiple settings and populations, as well as the impact of adherence on effectiveness…”

    “Our review found large disparities between studies with respect to the clinical outcome events, which were imprecisely defined in several studies, and there were differences in the extent to which laboratory‐confirmed viruses were included in the studies that assessed them. Another general theme identified was the lack of consideration of sociocultural factors that might affect adherence with the interventions…”

    “individuals are recruited in the trial after clusters are randomised. Such bias can introduce an imbalance amongst groups.”

    “We included 12 trials (10 of which were cluster‐RCTs) comparing medical/surgical masks versus no masks” Floppy medical/surgicals?

    “variable mask use occurred, according to usual practices in the settings where the studies were undertaken, varying from just under 16% most of the time to 23.6% wearing for > 70% of all working hours”

  33. flora

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s letter to First Republic Bank’s CEO Michael Roffler.

    “Like the collapses of Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank,10 the primary cause of the collapse of First Republic appears to be complacency, incompetency, and mismanagement by you and other bank executives. First Republic developed a business model – under your watch, as CFO and then CEO – “of offering wealthy borrowers substantial mortgages, usually at low rates,” and “‘attract[ing] their low-cost deposits and their wealth management business,’… Then once you have the personal stuff, you go after nonprofit accounts, and more.”11 This approach worked well for you and your shareholders – but left the bank completely unprepared for the rise in interest rates that began in 2022.

    “And even as the bank teetered towards failure, you and other top executives cashed in:”

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