Links 9/30/2023

Octopus Intelligence Is Unlike Anything We Know Mind Matters (David L)

Purr-fectly unexpected: Cat-astrophe as nail tech invades cat café Thaiger (furzy)

Kelping is a ‘global phenomenon’ sweeping the world of humpback whales, scientists say Live Science (David L)

Sea Lion Escapes From Central Park Zoo Enclosure During Flooding New York Times (David L). On the NYC flooding generally, see New York City: State of emergency declared over flash flooding BBC (furzy)

Did animal evolution begin with a predatory lifestyle? PhysOrg

Earthworms contribute significantly to global food production Nature (Dr. Kevin)

An Invasive Mosquito Threatens Catastrophe in Africa New York Times (Dr. Kevin)

Spider Venom That Causes Penile Necrosis Could Work as an Alternative to Viagra ScienceAlert. Chuck L: “Guys, inspect a banana bunch carefully before picking it up.”

FDA Wants to Oversee Lab Tests It Says Put Patients ‘At Risk’ New York Times (Kevin W).

Decreasing biodiversity may promote spread of viruses: Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Dr. Kevin)

The ends of knowledge aeon


SARS-CoV-2 infection triggers pro-atherogenic inflammatory responses in human coronary vessels Nature (ma)

Distinguishing features of Long COVID identified through immune profiling Nature (furzy)

I have asked the Covid Brain Trust about this tweet. One of my concerns is that Covid bad effects are often attributed to the vaccines, but this cohort is cancer survivors in many cases taking immunosuppressive drugs and thus regularly monitored:


Desalination system could produce freshwater that is cheaper than tap water MIT Technology Review (David L)

Louisiana saltwater intrusion declared a federal emergency Axios


U.S. corn prices slump as top buyer China turns to Brazil Nikkei. Oops!

Alarm in Taiwan as online map appears to show PLA ‘Trojan horse’ flight South China Morning Post


India’s not the China alternative Wall Street thinks Asia Times (Kevin W)

European Disunion

Slovaks vote in tight election as ex-PM Fico eyes return DW

Hungary, Poland didn’t attend meeting on Ukrainian agricultural exports – European Commission Interfax

New Not-So-Cold War

Russia has decided not to restore some of the cities in the new regions Orenda News

In a shift, McCarthy floats a clean stopgap without Ukraine aid The Hill

Ukraine Receives Last of Promised Western Tank Classes with Abrams Deliveries: How Will They Be Deployed? Military Watch

The New Atlas LIVE: Mark Sleboda on West Pivots to “Long War” in Ukraine, Industry to Decide Victor Brian Berletic, YouTube. This is very long but Sleboda is energetic and has lots of factoids about battlefield issues. Big takeaway is he thinks Russia will take a lot longer to subdue Ukraine than the likes of Scott Ritter and Douglas Macgregor think. Since Sleboda is in Moscow, this may reflect Russia managing expectations of its citizens way down so as to avoid negative surprises.

Russia-Ukraine war live: Ex-Prigozhin aide to oversee volunteer fighters Aljazeera

Canada’s honoring of Nazi vet exposes Ottawa’s longstanding Ukraine policy Grayzone. From mid-week, still germane.



Iran plans to build oil refinery in central Syria in partnership with Venezuela The Cradle

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Does US privacy regulation trump a state’s biometrics law? Supreme Court to decide Biometric Update< Kia and Hyundai Blame TikTok and Instagram For Their Cars Getting Stolen Vice

Imperial Collapse Watch

>U.S. ‘Leadership’ Isn’t Necessary or Desirable Daniel Larison

Empty Chair Diplomacy 2.0 at the United Nations Counnterpunch

SCOTT RITTER LIVE: WHAT WILL THE END OF WAR IN UKRAINE LOOK LIKE? YouTube. ZOMG, liste to the four minutes staring at 1:19:30 on the India-Middle East Economic Corridor proposed by Biden.


Top US general taking steps to protect family after Trump death comments Reuters (furzy)

Gen. Milley Warns of Fealty to Dictators, in Exit Speech Aimed at Trump Wall Street Journal

Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia Election Case Pleads Guilty New York Times


Federal investigators floated sex trafficking charges against Hunter Biden according to a document released by Republican members on the House Ways and Means Committee Daily Mail

EXCLUSIVE: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Planning to Announce Independent Run Mediate (li)

Feinstein R.I.P.

Please click through to read in full:

Shutdown Row

Hard-liners plot to replace McCarthy with a deputy as shutdown looms Democratic Underground (furzy)

Gaetz war against McCarthy could leave Dems playing kingmaker CNN (Kevin W)

Defense Secretary Austin’s salary cut to $1 under GOP budget plan Military News (BC)

How a US government shutdown could disrupt science Nature (Dr. Kevin)


Tunisia expels hundreds of sub-Saharan African migrants from Sfax amid crackdown France24


Meet the women finding ways to resist US abortion bans France24

With no opposition in the room, a rural Texas county makes traveling for an abortion on its roads illegal Texas Tribune (furzy)

GOP Clown Car

Anti-Trump Republicans fail to sway voters – NYT RT (Kevin W)

Our No Longer Free Press

Supreme Court to hear cases on Florida, Texas social media laws The Hill


Microsoft (MSFT) Sees Artificial Intelligence and Nuclear Energy as Dynamic Duo Bloomberg (furzy)

What Lina Khan’s antitrust case could mean for Amazon Financial Times

Class Warfare

Teachers made 26.4% less than other similarly educated professionals EPI

UAW Escalates Strike Action Against Ford & GM, but Spares Stellantis – 25,000 Autoworkers Now on Strike Mike Elk

Why the UAW Strike is More Important Than the 2024 Election (and We Need You) Status Coup (Userfriendly)

Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers Jumps 30% to $20 Per Hour in California Michael Shedlock

US judge refuses to block Medicare from negotiating drug prices Reuters (furzy)

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. paul

    Here’s one for the great canadian nc songbook:

    Lord Almighty
    Feel my trousers rising
    Higher, higher
    It’s burning through to my briefs
    You gonna set me on fire
    My brain is flaming
    I don’t know which way to go

    <james burton slide />

    Your kisses lift me higher
    Like the sweet song of a choir
    You light my morning sky
    With burned love

    I feel my temperature rising
    Help me, I’m flaming
    I must be a hundred and nine
    Burning, burning, burning
    And nothing can cool them down

    They just might turn into smoke
    And I’ll feel fine

    Cause your kisses lift me higher
    Like a sweet song of a choir
    And you light my morning sky
    With burned love

    It’s coming closer
    The flames are now licking their bodies
    Won’t you help me
    Feel like I’m slipping away
    It’s hard to breathe
    And my chest is a-heaving
    Lord, have mercy
    Burning the hole where they lay

    Your kisses lift me higher
    Like the sweet song of a choir
    You light my morning sky

    With burned love
    With burned love
    I’m just a humka, a humka burning love
    Just a humka,a humka burning love
    Just a humka,a humka burning love
    Just a humka,a humka burning love
    Just a humka,a humka burning love
    Just a humka,a humka burning love

    1. John Zelnicker

      Good Morning, paul.

      Thank you for your contribution to the NC Songbook, Volume Three.

      Do you have a particular tune in mind to accompany your lyrics? If so it would be greatly appreciated if you could provide a link to your favorite version. Please reply here or contact me at zelnickertaxserivce [at] comcast [dot] net.

      Stay safe.

        1. John Zelnicker

          Thanks, John.

          I knew it was an Elvis song, but I’m horrible at remembering song titles or tunes. No musical ability whatsoever.

  2. Michaelmas

    Re. the Scott Ritter X/Twitter text under under ‘Feinstein R.I.P.’, YS writes ‘Please click through to read in full.’

    NCers should. My interest in/tolerance for Ritter varies. Here, though, he is bracingly forthright.

    Searingly forthright, even.

      1. Michaelmas

        It was my birthday. As for the ‘weighing souls against their sins’ part of Michaelmas day …

        Well, see Ritter.

    1. Tom Stone

      My clearest memory of DiFi is of my black and white pet rat climbing up her leg and her expression of frozen horror.
      She was there with her husband Bert Feinstein to celebrate my Father’s survival, it had been a year to the day since Dad’s third experimental brain surgery.
      Thirteen qualified for the experiment ( You had to have less than 6 Months to live and be experiencing Gran Mal seizures), one patient survived almost six Months, one lived 34 years (Dad) and the rest died either on the table or in the next few days.
      For those interested in DiFi’s corruption the “Anderson Valley Advertiser” did an in depth study decades ago and it is available in their archives.

      1. chris

        It’s probably best to see her life’s work as one bent on preserving and using power in the institutions she served. I think that’s the theme which links the anecdote from Scott Ritter and Matt Stoller, and also her role in investigating the CIA for torture. I’m sure she’ll be lionized with the Notorious RBG. I’m sure lots of stories will be presented in which she was funny, kind, brilliant. And we’ll once again ignore that people are complicated, no one is wholly good or bad, and even with good intentions bad things can come from someone’s work. The lady senator has a lot to answer for from her long career.

        1. Pat

          Sorry, but DiFi was first and foremost about preserving her own power. She was massively self serving.

          Personally I will never forgive her bit in undermining the Post Office and her reward of her husband being able to shore up his failing real estate business by brokering the sale of Post Office properties, which he usually managed to do in two steps to rake it in. Now he is reportedly a billionaire but I bet no judge his going to check his operations and undervalue his properties.

          The only thing complicated about Feinstein was the lies she had to keep straight.

          1. Robert Gray

            It’s often a mystery how politicians of all flavours can enthrall and command their supporters and constituencies. Why, for example, was DiFi so beloved on Castro St.? Didn’t they (the Castro people) see her for the grifter she was, or did they simply not care?

            1. Pat

              Well as someone who has been represented by D’Amato. Schumer HRC and Gillibrand (not that I voted for them in every election or at all) I can honestly say that sometimes it is name recognition, sometimes constituent service, many times it is tribal, and sometimes the opposition is so hideous that you vote against them.
              The sad part of that list is that the best on constituent service was D’Amato. He was known as Senator Pothole and was old school in that much of his staff helped constituents through the bureaucracy to get any help they were entitled to receive, locally, through the state and from the federal government. He might have spent some of his time trying to end it, but as long as it was on the books and made voters grateful… And the people didn’t need to know the programs existed. I was not a fan but knew this was a “good thing”. I was also naive enough to think that was SOP and not old school and disappearing. I hated the judges he supported, but time and experience makes me wonder if NY and the country might not be slightly better off if Chuck hadn’t defeated him in 1998. (His record certainly makes Hillary’s stink even more by comparison even with the terrible taste in judges.)
              That is a long way of saying that even those interested in politics might not be able to see the big picture. They see an issue or two, or the status quo or just buy the need the majority argument.

  3. PlutoniumKun

    RE: Scott Ritter Live

    I’ve no idea where Ritter got his information on the Biden initiative vs the Belt and Road, but he is not correct about railways and ports in the Middle East. UAE and Saudi rail initiatives are largely done with French and Spanish contractors, not Chinese and are domestically funded. While most of the Gulf nations are officially part of the Belt and Road, none of the official maps show routes going through the region directly. It’s not exactly like they are short of capital there.

    As for Haifa Port, it’s one of the secondary ports for the US Sixth Fleet. There was a proposed takeover by a Chinese investment company, but the Israeli’s rejected that in favour of an Indian bid. So in that sense, it makes perfect sense as a Mediterranean node for an India to Europe corridor.

    That said, he is correct that this was just waffle by Biden. Creating a development corridor from the Indian Ocean to the Med has long been discussed by the Gulf States among themselves. Ideally it would go through Beirut or Syria, but physical barriers and politics has long stymied this option. The only influence Biden could have would be in twisting arms and providing carrots for a series of high quality links between Israel, Lebanon and Jordan. The latter is particularly deficient in basic infrastructure and represents a major choke point .

    That said, it’s hard to see why anyone would ship something from Mumbai to, say, France with two break of transport nodes, when you can just use the Sinai Canal. It only makes sense in the context of a development corridor, which would be massively expensive to develop, although arguably it could work. It certainly makes more sense than Neon or whatever other crackpot scheme the Saudi’s are into at any give time.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I wonder if all those different railway lines that they want to on-load and off-load goods from are all the same gauge or not. If not, that could create added difficulties. It took us damn near a century to standardize railway gauges here in Oz and it was a right royal pain while they differed. For railway enthusiasts here-

      And Roman war chariots put in a very surprising appearance.

      1. R.S.

        AFAIK to the extent those lines exist, they are. More or less so. Save for Jordan, which has its own narrow-gauge lines, so a new line has to be built anyway.

        I second PlutoniumKun’s point. This route in itself adds at least two more breaks of mode on top of the Suez route, without any clear advantage. It may work as a development corridor plus serving as a secondary route though.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        Most of the more modern railways in the Middle East are on the same gauge, although they are not necessarily easy to interlink due to conflicts between passenger and (slower) cargo trains. From what i can see, one of the main problems they’ve had in getting their act together in this is indecision over what the railways are actually for – super comfortable long range commuting or hauling heavy goods. There are older narrow gauge railways too, mostly left behind by the Ottomans or French. 20 years ago i passed through Dera’a in Syria and the railway yard would have any of my trainspotter friends drooling – rows of rusting old steam trains, still in good condition thanks to the dry climate. This is the line featured in the famous ambush scene in Lawrence of Arabia.

        Btw, corrections to my comment above – I said Sinai canal when I meant Suez Canal, and my link was wrong, this is the correct one.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Speaking of Lawrence of Arabia. One of the trains that he attacked is still sitting abandoned in the desert after over 100 years. It’s never been moved. Can’t remember if I saw it as a YouTube video or an article though.

  4. Wukchumni

    After midnight
    We’re gonna let all the money run out
    After midnight
    We’re gonna shutdown and shout
    We’re gonna ’cause talk and suspicion
    Give a Freedom Caucus exhibition
    Find out what it is all about

    After midnight
    We’re gonna let all the money run out
    After midnight
    Gonna shake up the political scene
    After midnight it’s gonna be a challenge for the American dream
    We’re gonna have the Red Scare cause talk and suspicion
    Give a Freedom Caucus exhibition
    Find out what it is all about

    After midnight
    We’re gonna have a falling out

    We’re gonna ’cause talk and suspicion
    Give an exhibition
    Find out what it is all about

    After midnight
    We’re gonna have a falling out
    After midnight
    We’re gonna have a falling out

    After Midnight, performed by Eric Clapton

    1. griffen

      I’ve been in the wilderness of South Dakota for a week, but alas even my cellular device on my person gets beeps in the middle of a wandering hike, on a sunny day in the Wind Cave park. I’ll have anecdotes of bucks rutting in the oddest location, and a bison photo to forward for eventual posting. Badlands, Custer state park and yes Mount Rushmore…it’s a trip that did not disappoint.

      Back to earth…we’re running out of funding when? Oh good gawd no, America pays its bills ! News this morning, that without funds air traffic control for commercial flights could be interesting but not in a good way.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        This is my favorite part of the country. Isn’t the buffalo roundup this weekend?

        Last time I was there you could play single deck blackjack at $2 tables at Saloon #10 in Deadwood.

        1. griffen

          I think that is correct on the roundup, my departure was on Thursday and the remainder of the family / crew left on Friday. We did a detour through Deadwood ( for a hot meal, nothing else ) after a sojourn to Devil’s Tower in WY. Remarkable scenery…looks like we got this trip under the wire so to speak if the shutdown prevails.

      2. Wukchumni

        Last time I was at a Dakota was the day after the music died and there was a gathering outside in Gotham City.

  5. Steve H.

    > The ends of knowledge aeon

    What an intellectual dumpster fire. Fukuyama to the white courtesy phone, please.

    > The 19th-century formation of the university established our three primary divisions of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Now, we are proposing a thought experiment of a new four-part structure.

    More is better! We’ve just increased the infomass ‘of knowledge production as a whole’. From Kings’ blog:

    >> I draw on this concept to reveal how four crucial genres that emerged during this time—the newspaper, the periodical, the novel, and the biography—

    I had something to say about genres yesterday. The simple fact of the ambiguity of ‘genre’ is an example of people thinking they’re talking about the same thing when they ain’t. “Well, you figgered out somepin, didn’ you. Come right out of your own head.”

    I could say a lot, but I’ll cut to this. Who decides what ends are funded?

  6. timbers

    Mark Ames and Sarah-Aston Cirillo – It’s reached the point that Western hatred of Russia has become straight up racism. But no worries, I’m sure Google and FB are this very moment working on AI and censorship polices to block such views online.

    1. The Rev Kev

      You forgot one of the rules from the Rules Based Order-

      ‘It’s OK when we do it.’

      Racism is OK when it is in a good cause. /sarc

        1. tegnost

          The “if you’ve nothing to hide the surveillance state is nothing to fear” is another trope I thought had been exorcised forever, but no…

          1. John

            The is only one rule and The Rev Kev stated it. Put another way it would read something like this. We can never be guilty of hypocrisy since we are always correct.

          2. hunkerdown

            “Then shut up and strip, [familyblog]” seems like a good answer to that trope. The more transgressive and intimately degrading that familyblog, the better.

        2. Jabura Basaidai

          between censorship justification and war justification from surprising individuals that i thought were friends with critical minds able to discern and at least discuss, now consider me a Putin enabler and apologist – canceled me – oh well – and here we are –

    2. Michael Fiorillo

      Hatred of Russia, and minutely-targeted propaganda directed at the kind of morally vain, IdPol-obsessed liberals who put BLM/In This House We Believe (We’re Morally Superior To You)/We Support Ukraine lawn signs on their property. The Azov Nazis who have veto power over the Ukrainian State are quite open about their homo/trans-phobia, so this endeavor is clearly directed at a liberal audience in the US, one that has absolutely no idea of how ridiculous/insane they look to those outside their tightly-conforming echo chamber.

      You can just imagine the smirks on the faces of the people producing this horse*^+> as they put it together and run it. Unfortunately, for them and the Get Russia gang, this human’s mental illness got in the way of a pretty nice racket.

        1. The Rev Kev

          As Jimmy Dore said years ago, ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness’ is not a motto – it’s a mission statement.

        2. Michael Fiorillo

          Yes, and they then proceeded to give us years of unending Russia-Is-Infiltrating-Our-Precious-Bodily-Fluids as a down payment.

      1. digi_owl

        This is more and more looking like a duel for power in congress and Wall Street, that is spilling over into the wider wold thanks to cargo culting by those trying to climb the status ladder (if i do and say like HRC etc i too can be rich and powerful).

      1. Lex

        Ah yes, with self-proclaimed heirs to Kievan Rus being the prime promoters of the racist trope that modern Russians are subhumans because they’re asiatic, the mongol horde reborn.

        1. R.S.

          Yeah, that “muh asiatic hordes” trope is much older than 2022, or 2014, or 2004. Or even 1930s. Codified in its present form in the mid-to-late 19th century, and keeps popping up here and there, virtually unchanged.

            1. R.S.

              This particular one is “the Polish question”. Primarily Frantz Duchinski and his followers. His theories were absorbed by some Galitzian scholars (in big quotes) virtually unchanged, and have been lingering on ever since.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      On a related note here’s Trudeau’s semi-non-apology, I think it was the 2nd one, for the standing ovation applauding a Nazi on the floor of parliament –

      He ticks of the list of Idpol groups who were likely offended – Jews, Poles, Roma, LGTB (with a few extras added to the acronym I’d never heard of before – bonus points!), “racialized” people (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean) – before quickly pivoting to blaming and demonizing Russia again, as he did in the first apology. He also says we should “never forget the horror blah blah blah” – not sure if he said that part before or after a member of parliament asked for the standing O to be stricken from the parliamentary record lest anyone remember it.

      I have some questions for JJ – is it OK for run of the mill white people, maybe even some Russians who lost 20 million in WWII, to also be offended by the whole of the Canadian parliament applauding a real live Nazi, or do just those IdPol groups matter? Or were you assuming white people all tacitly agreed with the standing O like you did before you got called out for being a little too Nazi-adjacent yourself?

      1. The Rev Kev

        I noticed that the first thing that he did was to blame all of it on the Speaker as if it was nothing to do with him. Did you notice too that he never apologized to the families of those Canadians who died in WW2 fighting the Nazis? Was it so not to offend the sensibilities of those Canadian-Ukrainians? But the guy is such a weasel.

        1. Wukchumni

          “Six War Years 1939-1945: Memories of Canadians at Home and Abroad”, by Barry Broadfoot… is one heck of a oral history of WW2, captured in the early 1970’s as he crisscrossed Canada in search of tales to be told.

          A great companion to his opus: “Ten Lost Years, 1929-1939: Memories of the Canadians Who Survived the Depression”

          If you like Studs Terkel, you’ll love these books.

          1. NYMutza

            I read the second book you mentioned, and i highly recommend it. I have the first book in my possession, but have been busy reading other books for the time being.

            1. anahuna

              Long ago I ran across a copy of The Regiment, by Farley Mowat. An account of his experiences in WWII. I remember it as full of a fine, scathing indignation.

        2. Jen

          Blaming the speaker was the only part of the speech he sounded animated about. The rest played like a hostage tape.

        3. Roland

          And the way he disses the memory of millions of Ukrainians who fought under Soviet colours. There were a lot more Ukrainians fighting on the Allied side rather than for the Axis.

          But what depresses is not just that my country’s PM is a bloody fool. It seems that hardly any member of Parliament was bright enough, or knew enough about WWII, to even refrain from joining the applause. What a disgrace.

      2. eg

        As embarrassing as Trudeau’s performance was, it’s not like anyone else in the chamber, regardless of party, covered themselves with glory in this incident. They were all clapping like trained seals for the old Nazi.

        Our political class in Canada is a collection of performative ignoramuses.

    4. Danpaco

      As Trudeau so eloquently displayed last week, as well as the entire West for the last 2 years, we hate nazis unless they’re our nazis.

      1. El Slobbo

        Justin’s father, our former Prime Minister, was strongly against Canadian participation in WW2, which he thought was the fault of les anglais, and there are even stories of him taunting soldiers, telling them how they are going to die for the interests of a foreign monarch, as they were marching in formation.

        Not often discussed is that at the time, Canadian participation was controversial in Canada, nearly driving the country apart.

        My father volunteered, but in his explanation, that was because he knew his number was coming, and volunteers were given better treatment than draftees.

          1. eg

            Leading to this exquisite classic from Mackenzie King: “conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription.”

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine Receives Last of Promised Western Tank Classes with Abrams Deliveries: How Will They Be Deployed?”

    And the answer is that they won’t be. More likely they will be used to defend Kiev or somewhere else like Lvov. There is no way that the MIC want to see the sight of Abrams tanks burning outside Robatino or maybe Bakhmut. You are talking about putting international sales at risk here. Fortunately time is on the side of the US here. All they have to do is slow walk the deployment of those tanks and in the next 2-4 weeks Rasputitsa starts – mud season. Those tanks are so damn heavy that they would quickly get bogged down and then get picked off by the Russians. And that means that that is a great reason not to deploy those tanks forward.

    And in related news, Russian soldiers who destroyed German Leopard tanks have started to receive their 1,000,000 Ruble bonus which is well north of US$10,000. You can be sure that many will be eager to pick up a bonus on destroying Abrams tanks with the remains being ship to Moscow’s military museum.

    1. Benny Profane

      In the New Atlas/Marc Sleboda YouTube, Sleboda repeats what I have heard a few times, that some Ukranian soldiers want nothing to do with the western tanks, because that are juicy targets for the Russians, with bonus incentives for a kill. He even claims that some are disabled before they reach the lines, just to make sure.

    2. Polar Socialist

      For what it’s worth, the rumor is that last night 8 Geran drones hit a railroad junction in Vinnytsia Oblast, while there was a train transferring the Abrams tanks to east. If true, some of those tanks may require a bit of maintenance (in Poland) before being re-deployed.

      1. S.D., M.D.

        Honestly, why are railroads still functioning at all in Ukraine? How many Russian gage locomotives that the west cannot possibly replace can there be?

        1. redleg

          1. If you keep the rail lines serviceable, then it is easier to monitor/target the rail.cargo.
          2. Railroad track systems are surprisingly resilient. They can be damaged but are fairly easy to repair quickly.

          1. JBird4049

            >>>2. Railroad track systems are surprisingly resilient. They can be damaged but are fairly easy to repair quickly.

            During the American Civil War, General Sherman’s army developed Sherman’s neckties which involved heating rails and then twisting the softened rail often around the nearest tree. Otherwise, the Confederates would just rebuild the railroad.

        2. jrkrideau

          My guess is that the problem in that the railways are the main logistical / shipping means for civilian materials. Take out the railways and you have a massive humanitarian crisis with cities starving.

          1. digi_owl

            Yep, that is the one thing that seem to puzzle people about all this. Russia has from day one tried to minimize civilian impact.

            If they wanted to they could outright bomb every power plant and dam flat, but that would case massive civilian harm and displacement. Instead they have tried to hit only substations and such near military infra to hinder the war effort directly.

            More often than not if we see news about some “Russian” missile hitting civilian areas, it is more likely to be a Ukrainian one hitting a town near the front line.

            But to find out that one have to look up the location mentioned on a map and know roughly where the line is, as rarely will there be a map attached to the article about the “Russian” strike.

            In the end most of the people living east of the Dnieper have some Russian ancestry. And thus Russia considers them “cousins”.

          2. GC54

            Yes, destroy the train’s cargo, not the tracks. Easy to see from above even if cloudy (side-scan radar from low orbit). Rinse and repeat

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      Just a note on Ukraine funding. In one of many votes taken, when Ukraine funding stood alone, there were 117 House Republicans that voted against it, more than the Republicans who voted for it. How many Democrats? Big, fat zero. Great work, Squad.

      1. Benny Profane

        It is remarkable how the Dems are all in. But, the momentum is definitely away from Ukraine funding. Sleboda in his New Atlas rant is very good at the details of the war we hear nothing of here, but, on the other hand he is very gloomy and pessimistic that this thing will go on for years, not seemingly aware that the average voter in the US will not stand for hundreds of billions more for this war. When that stops, Ukraine folds. We’re funding their social security, furcyryingoutloud.

        1. Gregorio

          Considering how long we managed to prolong the Afghan debacle, don’t “misunderestimate” how congress can continue to support an unpopular and costly war to keep their donors happy.

          1. Benny Profane

            We’re fighting a peer right now, with even better weapons and larger stock of artillery, and such a good air defense that our trillion dollar fighters are useless. Not a sandal wearing bunch of fanatics.

        2. digi_owl

          For Dems Ukraine seems like a extension of TDS into PDS via Russiagate.

          The Reps likely want to see the Ukraine thing end so that they can pivot focus and resources towards China, that they see as needing to be put in place as “good little gooks” and get back to producing those cheap widgets.

  8. Mark K

    From the octopus article: “Essentially, the nervous system inside the octopus’ arms can bypass the brain and communicate with each other.”

    Dave Barry once opined, speaking of us humans, that as far as chocolate is concerned the hand and the mouth bypass the brain entirely.

    1. paul

      The glaring fact that each one of us is an independent and very nervous system, seems to take the wind out of this revelations sails.

      If I knock my knee, the brain knows, and the autonomous system does its best.

    2. Jabura Basaidai

      while back read “the Soul of an Octopus” by Sy Montgomery – interesting book and quite defintitely described a very intelligent life – worth a read – i cannot disparage any animal and feel they all, in many ways, are much more intelligent than we are or ever will be by a huge degree – the arrogant illusion of our intelligence has provided justification for the chaos and debacle of environmental destruction we are experiencing as well as the social destruction of any sense of community(except the present community of NC) – one of the books i’m presently reading is a re-reading of Vonnegut’s final book, “A Man Without A Country”, which is a series of personal essays – in Chapter(?) 4, “I’m going to tell you some news.” he illustrates his unique genius writing about our addiction to fossil fuels – “….we….have all but destroyed this once salubrious planet as a life-support system in fewer than 200 years…..making…whoopee with fossil fuels……..And nobody can do a thing about it. It’s too late in the game.” – the book was published in 2005 – never denigrate the intelligence of any animal, it’s a fool’s errand – and here we are

      1. digi_owl

        Intelligence is such a vague word.

        That said, there was an article recently about bonobos failing to distinguish between different pairings of colored light. that is, if say a blue light was followed by a yellow they were supposed to do something different than if it was a yellow followed by blue.

        And if we ponder it, is not providing and following sequential verbal or written instructions something fundamental to humanity? So much so that if a child beyond perhaps the ages of 2 fails to develop any semblance of language then there is automatic cause for concern?

      2. digi_owl

        Intelligence is such a vague word.

        That said, there was an article recently about bonobos failing to distinguish between different pairings of colored light. that is, if say a blue light was followed by a yellow they were supposed to do something different than if it was a yellow followed by blue.

        And if we ponder it, is not providing and following sequential verbal or written instructions something fundamental to humanity? So much so that if a child beyond perhaps the ages of 2 fails to develop any semblance of language then there is automatic cause for concern?

    3. digi_owl

      Yeah, i think we overestimate how much control consciousness actually has.

      One example is martial arts, where the idea is to practice various moves and counters so much that it becomes automatic.

      Or how we react to certain shapes and sounds, like say spiders or snakes, seconds before being conscious of their presence.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        very true of martial arts – muscle memory is key – as is learning a musical instrument – yeah…intelligence – waddafug is that anyway –

  9. The Rev Kev

    “With no opposition in the room, a rural Texas county makes traveling for an abortion on its roads illegal’

    Good luck with making that stick. The laws about this were settled back in 1823 with Corfield v. Coryell and have been updated since-

    ‘As the Supreme Court affirmed in 1958 in Kent v. Dulles, citizens have a liberty interest in the right to travel: “[t]he right to travel is a part of the ‘liberty’ of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment …’

    In order to get their way, this Texas county would have to pass a law saying that the laws of a County supersede the Constitution of the United States. Let me know how that one works out.

    1. FlyoverBoy

      You seem to believe that the current US Supreme Court gives two hoots in hell what long-established legal precedent is, on anything at all. I wish I shared your faith in this exceedingly well-compensated bunch.

        1. Pat

          How do they know the purpose of travel? This is very important. Why do they stop the car?
          I don’t think the DOJ will have to get into it. Let the county officials stop the wrong car or two and wrongly accuse someone. The county will be bankrupt before long. They will be sued on multiple items. And that is before we get into buses. (Do they indemnify the bus companies or do they expect them to query every female between 12 and 55 who want to buy a ticket?)

          This is performative. But I do think it will come back to bite them in the ass.
          For legal reasons it might end up that no bus company or car rental company may choose to operate there. It may cause some people to avoid the county. And these are just odd items. Constantly being under suspicion might make the area toxic to live in for a fair percentage of females. (That will be welcomed at first, but it won’t take long for it to become a problem.) And that’s before litigation.

          1. Gregorio

            I wonder how long before someone proposes a checkpoint where every woman of child bearing age has to stop and take a pregnancy test before leaving the state?

        2. paul

          Please note:

          Cheap,able labor can be imported w/o obligation.

          This is a win/win/lose situation for the western lifestyle of the discrete and fabulous.

          ..and as we have a brood of lifestyle politicians, from edinburgh to berlin to brussels (all reporting with their own own one eye) who are astute at padding their own poisonous arses.

’s going to decay further.

          We have only one identifiable enemy left.

          Take him out and a thousand rainbows will encircle the earth, like perestroika but even better.

          To paraphrase the stranglers:

          Not more heroes but hanging around

    2. marym

      From the link:

      “Similar to the sanctuary city ordinance, the act would be enforced through private civil lawsuits.”

      This is another example of laws to legally able citizen against citizen surveillance, snitching, and bounty hunting that are being passed in relation to abortion, voting, and the “CRT” etc. school controversies.

      Not only TX for travel restrictions
      “Idaho has become the first state to pass a law explicitly restricting some out-of-state travel for abortions. The new legislation makes helping a pregnant minor get an abortion, whether through medication or a procedure, in another state punishable by two to five years in prison.”

      “Advocates who counsel and aid Idaho teenagers seeking abortion care filed suit Tuesday against [Idaho] Republican Attorney General Raúl Labrador in a bid to overturn the state’s abortion travel ban…Legal experts say the ban, based on a model bill written by National Right to Life, one of the country’s largest anti-abortion groups, is drafted to sidestep implied constitutional protections for interstate travel. [emphasis added]”

      1. ACPAL

        There are so many ways to sidestep federal laws and the constitution that it’s pretty much anything goes. For example, the SCOTUS declared the second amendment applies to individuals and struck down NY’s practical ban. So what did NY do, they just rewrote their laws and kept their ban. State and local governments can pass laws faster than the courts can strike them down. And now that it’s so obvious that the SCOTUS is just a corrupt political football all government agencies can ignore almost any decision or law they want. Welcome to America.

  10. Samuel Conner

    re: the MIT News item on low-cost desalination —

    That a very encouraging development.

    The thought occurs, “now do contaminated groundwater”.

    1. britzklieg

      I have understood that a big problem with desalination, besides the salt clogging up the works, is what to do with, where to put, the extracted salt and if that’s true then only have the problem is solved. That said, apparently they are working on a process to convert the hazardous brine into useful compounds.

    2. redleg

      My team is doing this as a pilot project in Minnesota using the PFAS’ foaming characteristic. Aerate the water and scrape off the foam until it doesn’t foam anymore. It’s working at the part-per-trillion (ppt) level and are moving on to more heavily contaminated (ppb) water right now. Next step is to scale it up to more than the 80 gpm (~300 L/min) rate we are running at the present.
      Waste PFAS foam is concentrated and sent off for either incineration or run through the experimental de-fluorinization unit we are working on. We’re not all doomed yet, or at least not via PFAS pollution.

    3. NYMutza

      I disagree. Unlimited potable water, along with unlimited energy will only accelerate the destruction of the planet. Limits are good. No limits are very bad.

  11. Wukchumni

    Great story about a local legend-the ne plus ultra of tree fallers, not to mention being drummer in the High Sierra Jazz Band, a Tiny Town institution. Some nice photos of Three Rivers in the article to give you the lay of the land.

    The Indigenous tree climber who saved a burning sequoia – and became a living legend

    In his 42 years with the National Park Service, Charlie Castro was among the few people trusted to scale the giant trees. Now 89, he has watched as fire has transformed the American west

    Dallas Blues – High Sierra Jazz Band, Suncoast Jazz Classic, 2014

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      nice music, keep the beat Castro! – it has to be difficult for him given his personal relationship with those trees – had an old girlfriend who was from Bratislava many decades ago – she loved foreign films and took me to a flick about the cult of trees in Slavic mythology – one character would go around hugging trees saying ‘stromy’ – loved the movie and have had a fascination for trees ever since – when i ran every day years ago there were trees i would touch on my route and say hi – like i wrote it must be difficult for Mr Castro since the trees were/are his friends –

  12. Wukchumni

    Aside from Arizona & Utah, all of the National Parks will be shuttered during the shutdown. Both of the SW states paying the freight to keep their NP’s going, they feel its that important to their economy, no dice here.

    It’s a sliver lining for the 300 to 350 garage mahals who ply their traits on AirBnB & VRBO, servicing the Sequoia NP visitor.

    (sheds an imperceptibly tiny tear)

      1. Wukchumni

        It took a few months of shutdown during Covid for this to happen…

        A few of the country’s most iconic birds decided recently to take in the sights from Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park, making it the first time in nearly 50 years that California condors have been spotted in the park.

        Recently reintroduced endangered California condors continue to reoccupy parts of their historic range, including the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and adjacent foothills. Condors were seen atop Moro Rock, a popular hiking destination in Sequoia National Park, in late May. They are back to the towering trees and cliffs of the parks after being absent for nearly 50 years.

        “Condors were consistently seen throughout the parks until the late 1970s. Observations became increasingly rare throughout the latter portion of the century as the population declined,” said Tyler Coleman, a wildlife biologist with Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, said. “Four condors were spotted flying near the Giant Forest and at least two near Moro rock.”

    1. NYMutza

      The last time there was a government shutdown Joshua Tree National Park was devastated by lawless yahoos in giant pickup trucks who marauded across the landscape uprooting hundreds of endangered Joshua trees. In addition, because restrooms were locked human feces was common along trails. I was there for a day hike witnessing this. I nearly cried.

    2. JP

      They will leave the back door open if you want to hike in. You don’t have to step off the trail very far to find a rest room in the back country.

  13. Alice X

    At the NYT, from the department of nothing will fundamentally change:

    What Happens Next to Feinstein’s Seat?

    Under California state law, the governor has the authority to name a successor.

    So Newsom qualified his previous pledge to appoint a black woman to fill DiFi’s seat to say that it would prohibit that person from seeking election to a full term in 2024. Wellie… So Schiff still has an inside track. Barf!

      1. tegnost

        I don’t think they have a mansion in cali, maybe zelensky has an extra they can use…
        In reality, California has plenty of qualified black women to choose from. The dems seem vaguely aware that their brand is turning and may look to burnish that image by picking someone who in the recent past they may have shunned…hope springs eternal…

        1. Alice X

          Well, the point I was making is that now Newsom says that whoever he picks cannot run for a full term. The last person he picked to fill KH’s seat did not have that restriction.

          That matters if he were to pick Barbara Lee, which previously was the thinking. I doubt she would take it with that restriction. Elsewhere the Donkey Show is a rental unit of the PMC.

          Mostly US politics is a farce.

          1. Pat

            But The gossip circuit believes Meghan Markle has been lobbying for the job for awhile. It would give it to a biracial woman, get her off his back and open up the seat for 2024.

            Not that I think this is the plan, but it is amusing, and not entirely outside our leaders level of stupidity.

            Sadly, I don’t think it is as much about giving it to Schiff as that the top Dems probably don’t want Barbara Lee, who would be the best choice.

          2. some guy

            Would such a restriction be legal or enforceable? What would happen if an eager Senator-appointee agreed to the restriction and later changed herm’s mind about that?
            Could he/she be legally prevented from running in the Senate Primary?

        2. Glenda

          Barbara Lee has started her race for Diane senate seat and won’t want to be derailed by an appointment for a short term. She speaks for me. She actually has voted against some of the wars, but sadly disappointed me by not being against this recent one. Sigh. I wonder what kept her mouth shut. The woke powers can be mighty oppressive.

    1. NYMutza

      Does Newsom have the authority to prevent someone he appointed from running for a full term? Where does he get such authority? If he has it, he shouldn’t have it.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        No, but Newsom’s promise was deeply insulting, even to people who advocate for greater representation as Cali’s African American population is 6%. It was supposed to sound good, but it just comes off as pathetic. He’s just trying to find an out. He also doesn’t likely have a black woman with sufficient standing in the state who would have the right politics to justify the promotion over Barb Lee or a couple of others who would be unwelcome additions to the additions to the senate caucus.

        Newsom’s promise is a sign of what a rank amateur he is. He could see the problem created by Biden’s promise that led to Harris, and he thought it was a good idea.

    2. JP

      I kinda agree with Newsom. Lee’s appointment would tend to push Katie Porter out. I think the voters should decide who the next senator will be. (I favor Porter)

  14. Wæsfjord

    Re: US teachers’ pay

    Other countries place great importance on the teaching profession. In the Netherlands, for example, a high school teacher has to have a masters in their teaching subject and a masters in pedagogy. That’s how long it takes to do a doctorate.

  15. Steve H.

    The composition of the Antidote is splendid, the blazing white in the lower corners, the reflected orange blush in the snow under the tigers, the curves of the trees and the curves of the mother, the melding of the line of the kitten and the mother…

    Hiroshi Yoshida.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Defense Secretary Austin’s salary cut to $1 under GOP budget plan”

    Obviously those House Republicans are all graduates of the AOC School of Performative Theater. That measure has no chance of passing but they went with it anyway. The country is about to shut down and this is the best thing that they can spend their time on? It is like something out of High School.

  17. griffen

    Adding to the list of questions without answers, but my oh my how the mind could wander. Did Hunter Biden engage in an illegal act of transporting a woman of the night across state borders? I know I know…we may never know the true story of Dear Hunter. Much like the private client list of a known pedophile and suspected arms dealer. Or instead for a historical angle, OJ Simpson locating the real killer.

    Juxtaposing for a split minute, say for example this is perhaps Eric or Donald Jr I am sure we would know some tangible answers on what the Presidential offspring has been up to after several years of investigating. Just saying…the keystone kops must keep looking ( sarc ).

  18. .human

    Leaders in both parishes acknowledged the uncertainty of the situation, noting it’s unclear how much salt will enter the water systems, how long it will stay and what it will do to pipes, appliances and industrial equipment.

    Of course no mention to the effects on the population other than requestng that more bottled water be available at retailers.

    1. TimH

      And on that other salt water topic, there are going to be issues if the salts pulled out of seawater by desalination get dumped back into the sea, progressively increasing the salinity.

  19. The Rev Kev

    *India 2018, Justin Trudeau invited a terrorist for dinner*’

    Guess who’s coming to dinner? Why would Trudeau do something like this? Apparently there are about 770,000 Sikhs living in Canada so is it that he wants their votes? To do stuff to make himself popular with them? Even looking at Jaspal Atwal’s Wikipedia entry shows that Trudeau should have steered clear of him in India-

    The Indians are seriously unhappy with Trudeau with all his antics. One government official said that when Trudeau was in India last, that drugs were found aboard his aircraft and that he did not leave his room for two days. Is it true? No idea. But it shows the contempt that they have for Trudeau.

  20. Lex

    The earthworm study is much appreciated! The soil in my town is poor, because it’s mostly beach sand. Yet my yard is ridiculously productive and full of rich, black soil. The family that built the house in 1938 lived here until 2008. For a long time they farmed worms to sell as fishing bait. There is almost nowhere in the yard where sticking a trowel in the soil doesn’t expose 6-10 worms. I’ve seeded my vegetable beds and compost bins with red wrigglers too.

    I get away with cold composting and even very fast turnover of compost mostly because my bins are probably 75% worm bins rather than normal composting. It does lead to it being somewhat nitrogen heavy, but I amend the finishing bin with stuff to balance it that the worms eat and process for me.

    If you want to see a fantastic improvement in your vegetable garden, stop tilling it and add worms.

    1. John Beech

      Lex, and how pray tell do you get worms in sufficient quantity to matter? I’m in Florida and where I live, if I dig a hole and leave the soil to sit in a mount it soon appears white like sugar sand. Very little to no black soil around here. Meanwhile, I have five acres and zero interest in raising food, but I do have bald patches appearing in the yard (grass disappears to near zero), which I’d like to attend to.

      And FWIW, the no-mow thing from earlier this spring (March?) led me to no-mow the entire south forty (the 3 acres I don’t have structure upon and which I use as a flying field for my model airplanes). That grass is so high now it will need a bush hog and a tractor with substantial horsepower. The guy I pay to mow says his 45hp John Deere won’t do the job and says call someone else before he’ll come back.

      With regard to the tall grass (more than knee high) and the bees, wasps, butterflies, and other pollinating critters? They seem happy enough so I have no regrets.

      Finally, I am also contemplating sowing wildflower seeds on the septic tank mound and letting that grow unchecked and un-mowed. Maybe forever. Unsure if first I need to spray Roundup and sterilize the soil and allow it to remain fallow a few months before doing so. Advice welcome because thoughts of not mowing that mound and having the scene of lots of flowers I’ve seen in photos appeals.

      1. outside observer

        Might be an interesting experiment to call in some mobile grazers, like goats, to cut down your fields.

      2. mrsyk

        You might try covering the mound over the winter to get rid of whatever is growing there now. I’d put a couple inches of compost down first. For the top layer there are a number of commercially available biodegradable options. Optionally, I pretty sure cardboard can be used for the top layer.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          i’ve known folks that go the cardboard route and my daughter is going with that as well – it works – by daughter is covering areas now and will cover the cardboard with our compost – agree that you should avoid using Roundup at all

  21. Wukchumni

    Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers Jumps 30% to $20 Per Hour in California Michael Shedlock
    It was already a fiat accompli a year ago in Cali, you’d see signs pleading for fast food employees on the front door for $16 to $18 an hour with some not so bad perks, and said signs never seemed to disappear.

    French fry makers make more money than most firefighters on the line now…

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I doubt very much any fast food workers ever get overtime pay and and that they are still being subject to flexible scheduling and every other management science hell MBAs can dream up.

      Plus you have to smile at every [family blog]head who staggers into the restaurant. Minimum wage workers eat 90% of the [family blog] dished out in this country and get fired if they get even a tiny bit prickly.

      The way we treat minimum wage workers is INHUMAN. Raising their pay was just part of the fight, the truth is most of us (given a choice) wouldn’t do what they do for $100/hr.

      1. TimH

        The bill Newsom signed only applies to restaurants that have at least 60 locations nationwide — with an exception for restaurants that make and sell their own bread

        So the Big Junk restaurants will do the absolute minimum required to come under the “make and sell their own bread” exemption…

        (2) “Fast food restaurant” shall not include an establishment that on September 15, 2023, operates a bakery that produces for sale on the establishment’s premises bread, as defined under Part 136 of Subchapter B of Chapter I of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, so long as it continues to operate such a bakery. This exemption applies only where the establishment produces for sale bread as a stand-alone menu item, and does not apply if the the bread is available for sale solely as part of another menu item.

    2. Lexx

      We’re outside a small town on the southern Oregon coast. There are plenty of people here interested in eating out and very few places to go. They are either closed or have limited days and hours and I gather it’s due to a labor shortage. Perhaps they left for better pay in California? The one bistro we managed to get seating in was being run by just two people, a waitress and a cook. There was a sign outside the entrance looking for additional cooks, adding 35% percent of the waitresses’ tips to the hourly wage, and I thought, ‘She must be one hell of a waitress to be able to support herself and the cook with her tips. We’re going to be out some serious dough, the food will be that good.’ There was a line waiting to get in out the door.and around the corner, the food we were all waiting for was just above average, bonus points for the fish and chips.. but the Pacific Ocean was just across the street, it was the least they could do…

      (The waitress was so young, new, and inefficient, I handed her a cash tip and bussed our own table out of empathy. From behind me she said ‘you don’t have to do that’ but I could hear her relief too and really, I kinda did.)

      Maybe Gov. Kotek could take a hint.

      1. Louis Fyne

        i imagine the problem is rental housing at any price within a 30 min drive (let alone afforable) as much as the wage

        1. Lexx

          Don’t disagree, Louis.. yet there are a lot of young people in town. Where are they living and what are they doing that they can afford to live here? Likewise hopping over the border into CA, more money an hour but maybe higher rents – lose/lose. Yesterday gas prices were posted at $5.07 a gallon. Commuting is out.

          1. Joe Well

            1) cramming in with roommates + staying in bad relationships
            2) living with parents/older family

            The generational “quality of life” gap is enormous.

    3. Objective Ace

      Not surprising that firefighters make so little since they are competing with unpaid prison labor. Not much of an incentive to raise the wages there.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Top US general taking steps to protect family after Trump death comments”

    Even on his way out the door he continues to disappoint. Milley could have come out and dared Trump to say such things to his face which Trump would never have done but would have chickened out. Instead Milley took cover behind the entire armed forces saying that an attack on him was an attack on the US military – and that ‘there are 2.1 million of us.’ From this and something that I saw on the news tonight, Milley wants to leave office while he is wrapped in an American flag. His replacement should be fun. A real China-hawk who is itching to take it to the Chinese.

    1. John

      A real China-hawk who is itching to take it to the Chinese.

      I suppose he is the next one up, but can he possibly be such a moron. Then again, becoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is a political achievement having little or nothing to do with actual military acumen. Consider this, the US has an air force general as the senior commander at a time when drones and missiles are rapidly making manned aircraft obsolete.

  23. Ignacio

    RE: Monotti’s tweet on cancer relapse after boosting. He argues in his tweet about possible mechanisms involved in the relapse. I will add another one because it has been long known that the innate immune system is involved in the maintenance of cancer cells dormant and on relapse and metastasis. See a review on this here.

    Ok, what has to do the innate immune system with Covid vaccines? This other paper deals with it: The impact of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine on adaptive and innate immune responses. Now, connect the dots.

    1. John Beech

      Ignacio, it’s impossible to connect the dots without the raw data as IM Doc cogently explains in his separate post regarding COVID a few days ago. Until then, all we have is anecdotal data and conjecture.

      Me? I very much wish white hats preyed on FDA and found this data and released it much like Julian Asange did with DoD documents. Why? It’s due to my suspicion, absent nefarious means, the raw data will never see the light of day. Why not? Due to how Monday Morning Quarterbacks will maul those acting under the gun during a national emergency. Just look at how they’re being accused of terrible things with incomplete information!

      1. Ignacio

        In that case let me put it more bluntly.

        From the review:

        While chronic inflammation is well known to promote the onset and development of cancer, it is now also being implicated as one of the main drivers capable of re-awakening dormant cancer cells. Patients suffering from chronic inflammation are more likely to develop advanced metastatic disease as a consequence of the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-10, IL-1β, IL-8, TGF-β1, IL-18, and members of the IL-6 family, including OSM [35,61,62].

        Then we have, for instance:
        Increased Interleukin 18-Dependent Immune Responses Are Associated With Myopericarditis After COVID-19 mRNA Vaccination. Link.

        Other instances of after vaccination IL-18 mediated autoimmune diseases have been described.

  24. Jeff W

    From “Octopus Intelligence Is Unlike Anything We Know” Mind Matters:

    …there is probably something underlying our universe that drives some life forms toward intelligence. It cannot just be Darwinian natural selection for survival because vast numbers of other life forms can survive quite well with very limited intelligence.

    What a weird, illogical—and indefensible—assertion in an ostensible science article, until, perhaps, one realizes that Mind Matters is, according to the site’s About page, “operated by the non-profit Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence at Discovery Institute in Seattle.” (“Operated,” not “published,” whatever that means, and “Discovery Institute” is oddly anarthrous.) The Discovery Institute is, of course, the well-known think tank promoting the anti-evolution argument of intelligent design.

    1. Revenant

      Those intelligent designers should be careful in the case the octopuses turn out to be the real children of God. Especially an Elder God….

  25. Freddy

    Trump’s speech at Republican Convention in Orange County is worth a watch on Youtube. The man’s energy is phenominal, over an hour, without a telepromter.

    Listen, don’t read the transcript. The most important policy promise:
    “I will avoid World War Three by stopping the Ukranian War”…

    Yes, but he sends mean tweets and grabs women, isn’t that reason enough to prevent him being on the ballot? /sarc.

    1. John

      The man can read a room. Exactly how would he stop “the Ukrainian War?” Stop sending weapons? Convince NATO nations to stop sending weapons? Stop funding the day to day operations of Ukraine’s government? Seems to me that those ships have sailed. Russia has won the war. Russia is placed to decide the outcome when it chooses.

      1. Pat

        Well he could start by doing all those things plus ending all intelligence they have access to that they have used for their various attacks on Crimea and in Russia proper. He could also make it clear that they need to surrender.

        Oh and immediately arrest and prosecute any intelligence operative or member of the military that is insubordinate and ignores those orders.

        I mean it isn’t as if he doesn’t have lots of proof that anyone trying to undermine his administration isn’t going to stop when he is out of office, so just go for it.

      2. JP

        Yeah he can read a room but can’t really read so forget the telepromter. If I wanted stream of consciousness I would read James Joyce not listen to the random walk of a chicken (anti-lib) fancier.

    2. Michael Fiorillo

      He unilaterally broke the INF Treaty with Russia, and gave the Ukrainians all the missiles asked for. Whether that was because he’s a hypocrite, or was played into appointing Neo-con Blobsters, doesn’t really matter that much.

      What matters about Trump the Peacenik is not his sincerity, but the mass receptivity to that message, and how that terrifies the people who really matter. That they would go to the lengths they have to destroy and discredit an anti-war and anti-globalist messenger, even when in the tainted vessel of a Donald Trump, is a real measure of their weakness and vulnerability.

      1. ChrisPacific

        It depends. His plan for how to end the war is hopeless fantasy and only makes sense in Trump universe, so the question is what happens when it fails? I see a few possibilities:

        1. He and his administration begin the hard slog of rebuilding trust and reaching points of agreement, while convincing NATO countries to do the same (haha, just kidding!)
        2. He pretends it’s worked and ignores all real world evidence to the contrary, up to and including Russia overrunning more of Ukraine
        3. He gets angry and looks for somebody to blame.

        Number 2 probably favors Russia if Putin is skillful enough to avoid doing anything that punctures the fantasy too obviously and count on the self-delusion capability of Trump and his supporters. If it means an end to NATO escalation then it would probably be better than any of the alternatives.

        Point 3 would seem to offer plenty of scope for the neocons to play Trump once again. Convince him it was all Putin’s fault and let him adopt the cause as his own. The one mitigating factor is that Trump has a much better nose for failure than Biden and will probably be wary of being shackled to a losing cause.

        My money would be on 2, but 3 can never be ruled out where Trump is concerned.

        1. Pat

          Well I see a fair amount of fantasy in your take (not that that isn’t the case for most of our current State Department as well.) The realists among us have already realized that Ukraine is lost. Knowing that peace means that essentially Ukraine will be a satellite of Russia. Why? Nothing else will be acceptable to the victor in this, Russia.
          All that Trump, or anyone else will be able to do, is paper over how bad a failure this was for the Neoliberal brain trust and maybe head off some of the worst fall out for both Ukraine and Europe. And we should do that as soon as possible. If it continues, we will have created a far worse terrorist state than anything in the Middle East and the economic disaster will make the results of Libya look like a walk in the park. And that’s before the current war mongering real fantasists start a nuclear war because they stupidly believe they can “win” it.

          1. ChrisPacific

            The realists among us have already realized that Ukraine is lost. Knowing that peace means that essentially Ukraine will be a satellite of Russia. Why? Nothing else will be acceptable to the victor in this, Russia.

            I’m not sure what made you think I disagreed with this. My comment was about how a hypothetical Trump administration might react to that situation.

    1. LilD

      Life is about exploitation and predation. Some organism expends resources to create some order, which can be consumed by its predators…
      It’s rentierism all the way down…

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        had to laugh at that LD – life could be described in the manner you illustrate or could life be about cooperation and self- sacrifice too? – perhaps any description of life is anthropomorphic – but gotta agree about rentierism at least from top to bottom of the human food chain –

      2. Keith Howard

        Wouldn’t you agree that exploitation and predation are loaded terms? What seems to me salient and fundamental about the behavior of living organisms is that they are opportunistic: If there is a resource available to be made use of, some life form will notice it and employ that resource to grow and generate offspring. In this, the human species (as a species) is exactly as intelligent as any other.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          KH – “…the behavior of living organisms is that they are opportunistic..”
          that sounds like evolution to me – and the ‘loaded terms’ was to what i was reacting – realized it when you mentioned it – and the equality of intelligence in the sense you refer seems good enough – human’s unique ability to objectify creates conundrums –

  26. Malachi

    “One of my concerns is that Covid bad effects are often attributed to the vaccines, but this cohort is cancer survivors in many cases taking immunosuppressive drugs and thus regularly monitored:”

    This doesn’t tell you anything about whether these cancers are a result of the shots.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes it does.

      It means with them that a cancer resurgence will be caught faster than a cancer would be diagnosed in a cancer-free person. Plenty of cases of finding a stage 4 cancer and person being dead in a month or two, and you can’t well estimate when the cancer started. With these closely monitored patients, you can, and so the claim that a cancer resurgence came in close proximity to a vaccination is likely to be a valid sighting. And that MD claims the resurgence are often unexpectedly aggressive.

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      put a stake through her heart to make sure – hope her death slow and painful – now how about Hellary –

      1. Alice X


        Double Oops!!!!!

        I was looking at my X/Twitter feed and that came up. I duckducked her name and the death notice links came up but I didn’t notice the date of 3/23/22.

        Maybe we could just celebrate her passing again.


      2. griffen

        One can never be sure of how much or for how long, evil persons can live on in perpetuity, however…Maybe she much like Emperor Palpatine found a unseen path to the dark side and was living still in an uncharted location ( sarc ).

  27. Jabura Basaidai

    “Desalination system could produce freshwater that is cheaper than tap water”
    is that with a fully loaded cost including the brine left over and consequences of its disposal – just wondering –

  28. Jabura Basaidai

    “Iran plans to build oil refinery in central Syria in partnership with Venezuela”
    this should be very interesting and appreciated that shot of the US stealing Syrian oil – i don’t lack words to express outrage at the theft which has been going on for quite a while, just want this post to not get lost in the aether – but this sounds like a bullseye in the making with two “terrorist states” coming together to aid Syria and don’t forget to throw in Xi’s handshake with Assad and supposedly providing assistance to secure peace – considering the US addiction to war this can get weird quick –

    1. digi_owl

      The crux of the post-war “dismantling” of the colonial system has been to lock former colonies into a dependency on refined goods from the west while only producing raw materials themselves.

      Any time a leader has tried to push for doing the refinement locally, they get removed from power in some way.

  29. some guy

    So RFK Jr is going to run on some sort of Independent ticket? What if Tulsi Gabbard joined him on that same ticket? Would both of them together attract more votes than either one alone?

    1. flora

      Which D/R candidate will he most likely draw votes away from? Perot drew votes away from GHW Bush, Anderson drew votes away from Carter. Can he even get on ballot in all 50 states? What about Cornel West? Too bad about Tulsi being WEF, that’s a deal breaker for me.

    2. Tom Stone

      RFK/Gabbard would appeal to quite a few people and totally enrage even more.
      If Trump wants a VP who is life insurance ( Even better than Kamala!) , RFK Jr would be a great idea.
      Quite a few Republicans would be OK with Jr, and so would a lot of people who are looking at Trump and remembering that he was merely a disaster, survivable by Humankind.

  30. flora

    Ed Dowd on Gettr. Shout out to NC in the comments.

    Interesting facts:

    Disability Population 16 & over is up 3.1 million from pre 2020 high. Or 10%.

    Disability Employed Population 16 & over is up 1.8 million from pre 2020 high. Or 30%.

    Observations: Rate of change is higher for disability employed.

    1. The Rev Kev

      He may have dreamed big but so did the Austrian corporal. Seems that a lot of his thoughts have become part of official US policy. For example-

      ‘It is conceivable that at some point a truly united and powerful European Union could become a global political rival to the United States.’

      With the present war and the destruction of the NS2 pipelines, that possibility has been eliminated as now the EU is totally reliant on the US so mission accomplished. Next target will be the BRICS and it seems that India is the first nation to come under assault. Washington is trying for that 90s ideal that there be no competitor to the US but that the US stands alone as the apex nation.

      1. flora

        Look at some of his quotes and compare them to what is promoted today by actions in the US, Western Europe, and the WEF.

        Our on-going Ukr policy since the end of the USSR:
        ” However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”

        Our neoliberal economic policy:
        ” People, governments and economies of all nations must serve the needs of multinational banks and corporations.”

        1. The Rev Kev

          That last one would have meant that he would have gotten all the financial and political backing that he ever would have needed.

  31. skippy

    ‘The quotes were £5,000 or more’: electric vehicle owners face soaring insurance costs

    Drivers who ditched petrol and diesel to help save the planet face huge price rises in premiums

    Welp no one saw that coming … eh … as insurance drives just about everything these days as no one will do business without it e.g. how can you sell something when the cost of it is punitive.

    1. GC54

      Get a used EV. Some depreciate very rapidly and come with new batteries. US gives $4k tax credit if used EV is under $25k. (Many non Teslas are.) Some states/counties are charging road tax for EV annual registration because driver doesn’t pay gas tax. Mine is $140/yr.

  32. Tom Stone

    Fauci also personally visited both the Feebs and the CIA to discourage speculation about a Lab leak being the origin of Covid-19.
    Which worked.
    Fauci and Daszak were both certain that the Virus could not possibly be due to a leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology because they both knew the place so intimately, having funded some fascinating research into bat corona viruses there.
    In cooperation with the Chinese MoD.
    No, Fauci knew how important it was to look forward, not back!
    And he did the right thing to avoid embarassing the right people, which is something you don’t want to do.
    Ask Chelsea or Julian if you doubt that.

    1. skippy

      The hydrology used was based on a completely different historical perspective …. good luck with that thingy …

  33. Joe Well

    Re: Scott Ritter

    Thanks to the embedded tweet, I checked out Scott Ritter’s Twitter and…


    A whole bunch of antiwar tweets that are exactly what you’d expect and then…

    Bam! A retweet of a homophobic tweet with accompanying pornographic video from the account of an actual self-proclaimed Flat Earther.

    Why do so many of the people willing to criticize our elites and call out the elephants in the room have to be a least a little bit totally out of their minds?

    1. caucus99percenter

      Could we see a link so we can judge for ourselves? Otherwise this comment has a vague air of drive-by character assassination about it, a practice not unheard of in political discussions on the Intertoobz. Particularly in regard to Mr Ritter, who as everyone knows played a key role as weapons inspector exposing the lies Bush, Blair & Co. used to sell the Iraq war.

  34. Laura in So Cal

    My best friend fought leukemia for years in her late 20’s to mid 30’s including a bone marrow transplant. She had been cancer free for over 20 years. Within weeks after her 1st booster in late 2021? (3rd shot), she developed weird symptoms and went to the doctor where they discovered her leukemia was back. She just went back into remission in April 2023. I pray she stays there.

    She did have Covid in Dec 2020 before vaccines were available.

  35. Frank

    I find Mark Sleboda to be much more credible than either Ritter or MacGregor. Similarly, he served in the US Navy as a nuclear engineer, so can claim some credibility on that front. But he’s also lived in Russia for many years, is well connected and knows the domestic political scene about as well as anyone. His take that this war will continue for years as a slow grind is clearly the correct one.

  36. Geoffrey Dewan

    For a little bit of background/context , Angus Dalgleish seems to be a very hard Right British “populist” and Brexiteer. Wrote a whole book on China conspiracies and lab leak theory.

    Not saying he’s making this up or even that he’s wrong but he does seem to have a rather large axe to grind so it would be good to see some real clinical reporting on this before jumping on this bandwagon

    Kind of reminds me a little of anti-vaxxers who claim that vaccinations have caused many more deaths than Covid itself. (ie,if that were true most of my family and friends would’ve died already Proceed with caution on this one.

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