Links 12/1/2023

“We Have More Allies than It Seems” Arktos Journal (Chuck L). Yes, you can see many in senior positions in business and government.

NASA to Launch Stadium-Sized Craft Over Antarctica in New Mission to Explore Cosmic Phenomena The Debrief (furzy)

Automatic bike transmission concept is wild and spiky—and could be a big shift ars technica (David L)

Scientists paid large publishers over $1 billion in four years to have their studies published with open access El Pais (Anthony L)


The reason for putting this outbreak under Covid is that it may be the result of immune disregulation, since as IM Doc points out, heretofore it has been pretty much unheard of in afflicting kids, let along hospitalizing them. I had an HIV positive friend get in NYC many years ago. From IM Doc:

I have had 2 and precisely 2 Hospital admissions with this organism. Both of these occurred in AIDS patients in the 90s before HAART.

I have had over my career only 17 patients where this diagnosis was confirmed with testing. All of these were outpatient only and mostly mild. Routine testing for this organism is hardly ever done. Much of that has to do with the fact that testing for it is very difficult and unreliable.

I have had innumerable patients over the years with clinical evidence of pneumonia, not particularly ill, and culture negative. Mostly younger people. Mycoplasma pneumonia and/or viral pneumonia are the default diagnosis. Both are notoriously difficult to treat and very resistant to abx. Zithromax is usually used in suspected mycoplasma. Mostly, the patients just struggle through weeks of mild coughing and malaise. Mycoplasma has a well earned moniker of “walking pneumonia”. Patients are low level sick but able to get around and have some semblance of normal function.

This clinical syndrome is very common and comprises a huge chunk of the ill during the winter months. This is NOT bronchitis. That diagnosis shows no X-ray findings and no evidence of consolidating lung changes on exam. I have never heard one time about this being a big thing in kids, at least hospitalizing them. That this is happening now in what appears to be a massive way in certain areas is definitely new and different.

European countries report surge in cases of mycoplasma pneumoniae after China outbreak 9News (Kevin W)

UCSF is trying a new tactic to eradicate long COVID symptoms. Here’s how it works SFChronicle (ma)

Remission of severe forms of long COVID following monoclonal antibody (MCA) infusions: A report of signal index cases and call for targeted research American Journal of Emergency Medicine (ma)


Putting Energy Back into Economics Steve Keen (Micael T)

The University of California has all but dropped carbon offsets—and thinks you should, too MIT Technology Review

Scientists develop revolutionary process to tackle plastic pollution NBC (furzy)


Requires some discounting and is probably at best a misrepresentation of any actual deal:

Per below, if XI were to rouse himself to make a serious response, he could point out the sanctions are not legal under UN rules:


U.S. charges Indian national with plotting to assassinate Sikh separatist in New York CBS

The American Ambassador Lied When He Said That His Country Recognizes All Of India’s Borders Andrew Korybko

European Disunsion

From Politico’s morning newsletter


EUCO TROUBLES: The next European Council is still two weeks away, and one of the games in town is trying to predict whether it will last until Saturday or if it could be one of the shortest ever, given there is plenty for member countries to disagree on.

Standing in the way: The major obstacle — but by all means not the only one — is Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s threat to block all EU aid for Ukraine as well as the country’s accession to the Union. “We are heading toward a major crisis,” one EU official said, ahead of the mid-December meeting. One senior EU diplomat warned this could become “one of the most difficult European Councils.”

High stakes game: EU leaders are set to make historic decisions at the summit in mid-December, on bringing Ukraine into the Union and on sealing a key budget deal to throw a €50 billion lifeline to Kyiv’s flailing war economy. The meeting is supposed to signal that, despite the political distraction that is the war in the Middle East, the EU is fully committed to Ukraine.

Key Dutch party sees ‘no basis’ for talks with Wilders BBC


* * *

“Wiping Gaza Off the Map”: Implementing Israel’s “Secret Intelligence Memorandum.” More Than 20,000 Civilians Killed (Micael T)

‘A mass assassination factory’: Inside Israel’s calculated bombing of Gaza +972 (guurst)

Blinken steps up call for Israel to spare civilians in strongest remarks yet and Israel resumes strikes in Gaza after ceasefire ends BBC. Wellie if I were Israel, I would rely less on shelling and more on natural causes to do the job. But they really need to get rid of the remaining hospitals if they want to make Gaza not viable for Palestinians. But they don’t look to be even that, erm, fake deferential.

One Tick, Two Ticks London Review of Books (guurst). From a couple of weeks ago. Still germane, particularly mention of starvation.

* * *

Pope Francis warned Israel in call against using ‘terror’ in war on Hamas Washington Post, Userfriendly: “lol Wapo tries to polish this turd.”


* * *

House Passes Bill to Permanently Freeze $6 Billion in Iranian Funds Kevin W:

Last I heard, that money is in Qatar. Maybe the next House Bill will be to send that $6 billion can be sent to the Ukraine. Zelensky can always do with another mansion or two.

New Not-So-Cold War

Slovak Truckers to Block Ukraine Crossing, Joining Polish Protests US News (Kevin W)

Putin Seizes Major Airport’s Management From Foreign Shareholders Bloomberg

Zelensky’s office gave fertile Ukrainian lands for chemical wastes disposal The Nation (Ray G)

Liz Truss-Led Caravan of Losers in Washington to Lobby House GOP on Ukraine Aid Sputnik (Kevin W)

Why Finland is closing its borders as migrants seek to enter from Russia DW, YouTube (furzy)

The End of Cabinet War Big Serge

Imperial Collapse Watch

Empire in Decline – Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Alexander Mercouris and Glenn Diesen YouTube

Shrinking US CapEx makes re-shoring a charade Asia Times (Kevin W)

Gaza war an irritant to Biden’s bigger China plan Asia Times (Kevin W)

War has spread to a sixth domain: the private sector Financial Times (BC)


Ben Rhodes: Henry Kissinger, the Hypocrite New York Times. Userfriendly: “Holy hell how did this make it in NYT?”

Henry Kissinger: The war criminal who saved the world Scott Ritter (Miceal T, furzy)

Henry Kissinger was the definition of elite impunity Salon (furzy)

Members of Israel’s Ruling Likud Party Once Planned to Assassinate Henry Kissinger Intercept (Kevin W)


Trump’s 48-Hour Manic Rant Had Immediate Consequences New Republic (furzy)


Gamblers think DeSantis won the debate: Odds on Florida Governor to win in 2024 get shorter as Newsom’s performance sees his chances swing from 10/1 to 12/1 Daily Mail

Populism has become a gimmick Unherd

Defense bill, passed 62 years in a row, faces partisan minefields in Senate, House The Hill. As if that were a bad thing….And what happened after 1961?

GOP Clown Car

Pressure grows on Tuberville to find way around getting rolled by GOP The Hill


The SEC May Have Gone Too Far. The Supreme Court Shouldn’t. Bloomberg


Texas AG’s office argues women should sue doctors — not state — over lack of abortion access The Hill (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

US Judge Blocks Montana From Banning TikTok Use In State Reuters

Woke Watch

Caster Semenya: ‘Being born without uterus or with internal testicles doesn’t make me less a woman’ Telegraph (furzy)

On With Kara Swisher: Navratilova on Trans Women in Sports New York Magazine (furzy)

Tech conference canceled over bogus women RT (Kevin W)


Cigna and Humana in deal talks to create US health insurance giant Financial Times

Meta sues FTC, hoping to block ban on monetizing kids’ Facebook data ars technica (furzy)


Brazilian city enacts an ordinance that was secretly written by ChatGPT Associated Press (Kevin W)

Google Researchers’ Attack Prompts ChatGPT To Reveal Its Training Data 404Media. How could you be sure???

AI Fake Nudes Are Out of Control. These Victims Are Fighting Back Bloomberg (furzy)

The Bezzle

Elon Musk said something very rude and mean to advertisers. It’s because he wants Twitter to die. Slate (furzy)

The Elon Xplosion CNN

Class Warfare

GM execs boast about low costs of UAW contract, hand over billions to shareholders WSWS (Micael T)

Antidote du jour. Furzy visits Tiger Park:

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from A Long Way To Tipperary)

    Tel Aviv and Washington are bombing us each day
    There’s no food or water and no options but to pray
    I report the news here for the people in the West
    So here’s an urgent update that I must get off my chest:

    I’m in Gaza with dysentery
    I’m a real sloppy joe
    Diarrhea extraordinary
    Always running to and fro
    There’s no nurse or apothecary
    We all try to lie low
    Our sitrep is unsanitary
    By the rocket’s red glow!

    Bibi Netanyahu claims that Gaza’s history
    Every word he utters is such silly sophistry
    Not-zeeing the human beings dying by his hand
    His final solution is to chase them off their land

    The Israeli military
    Kills civilians wholesale
    Gaza’s now a mortuary
    Bouncing off the Richter scale
    I don’t have vocabulary
    To tell the things I’ve seen
    Some whole new words are necessary
    When murder’s routine

    How much human suffering will earn us your respect?
    When will all your promises to help us take effect?
    Why is dirty water all that we’re allowed to drink?
    How can I paint bloodshed with a simple pen and ink?

    When you write my obituary
    From the comforts of home
    Simply say I chose to tarry
    In some Gaza catacomb
    Make my final sanctuary
    Under rubble near the shore
    You all well know what’s necessary
    Now stop this damn war!

    You all well know what’s necessary
    Now stop this damn war!

      1. Tom Stone

        Gaza must have a remarkable ambiance by now.
        Rotting bodies and human waste, rotting food, the smell of all that has burned…
        Definitely gas mask time if you are flying over it in a helicopter at less than 5,000 Feet.
        And no one seems to mention CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy which causes long term symptoms which were for many decades ascribed to psychological trauma.
        When I first read about it, it was one of those “That’s what was going on ! ” realizations that explained a lot of my Grandfather Fuller’s behavior and the behavior of other men I have met who endured prolonged shellfire ( He went to Canada in September ’14 to join the great adventure and became a Bagpiper).
        Also keep in mind what people are breathing there, the dust contains not only everything that was in those buildings, it also contains a LOT of nasty residues from those big bombs.
        It’s an ugly situation at first glance that looks uglier the closer you look.

        I do wonder what the medium term consequences will be for America’s political “Leadership” in so enthusiastically supporting the mass murder of Men, Women and Children by Israel when it is so explicitly based on bribery and threats of retaliation by AIPAC and others.

    1. nippersdad

      That was a wild article, they are setting themselves up for another legal case in Florida, but how interesting is it that Jeff Weaver is his campaign manager? Suddenly that apology to the Bernie Bros makes sense.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Sounds like Florida Democrat leadership is as bad as Californian Democrat leadership and are rigging the deck for old Joe – or bust.

  2. Frank

    The tweet about Russian-Chinese cooperation in the far east sounds like fake news from top to bottom. There’s absolutely no way the Duma would pass a bill allowing Chinese administration of Russian regions. And the sums the Chinese plan to invest are also unbelievable.

    1. Benny Profane

      My question is, to start, how many “Russians” live in the region?

      Russia seems to have a population vs land ratio issue, with vast swaths of the country empty of humans, and the ain’t making a lot of babies. This makes sense to me. Oh, and note North Korea just south of all that.

      1. digi_owl

        Best i can tell the Russian population is concentrated along the south, pretty much following the run of the trans-Siberian railway. This because there one face relatively mild winters.

        And the map being sourced from China, leave the Russian side looking confusingly bare.

        The oblast this borders would be Amur, and it seems to have a fair bit of industry going on.

      2. Paradan

        They have a major military presence there, including shipyards I believe. No way in hell there gonna turn it over to the Chinese.

        Also, why 100 years? They gonna lease it out? They don’t need the money, they can just sell more energy to China.

      3. R.S.

        > My question is, to start, how many “Russians” live in the region?

        Since I’m on my read-the-Russian-legalese streak,

        Heilongjiang borders five Russian regions (Khabarovsk, Amur, Primorye, Zabaykalsky, Jewish Autonomous). By the 2020 census, the total population was 5.06 mil. Of those 4.35 mil declared their ethnic identity, and of those 4.05 mil (~80%) were Russians.

        As for the vast swaths up to the North that are (almost) empty, they’re the Russian counterpart of Canada’s Territories. They’ve been virtually empty of humans since like forever.

    2. R.S.

      It looks very strange I’d say. The Harbin (Heilongjiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone is a thing, but there’s zero news about anything like that. The closest thing is that Yakutia’s head was in October on a visit to China, and he said something about business prospects and such.

      Since I don’t read any Chinese I can’t check the claims wrt China, buuut…
      A proposal for China to administer areas in the Russia Far East for a century has reportedly been approved by the lower house of the Russian Duma (legislature).
      I’ve checked ASOZD (the open database of legislative proposals and acts of the Duma) for any mentions of Harbin and Heilongjiang (in two possible spellings). The only law I’ve found is a 1997 one, something about simplified border crossing for bridge builders.

      1. Tom67

        I also think this is fake news. Especially the part where it says that Chinese citizens would be allowed to settle in the Far East of Russia. If that were so Russia would be basically ceding the Far East to China. Still… I travelled through central Siberia this summer and people I talked to were greatly worried by the increased influx of Chinese after the Ukraine war began and also about the way Chinese citizens were fishing and logging with impunity. Already years ago a local journalist told me that they are under orders not to mention the fact that more and more Chinese are working the land not only in the summer go grow veggies but also staying on in the winter. Russia is clearly paying a price for Chinese support in Ukraine and there will be a moment when the price gets to great.

        1. EMC

          I haven’t been to Siberia since 2019, but at that time heard a lot of anti-Chinese sentiment with the same complaints, particularly logging with impunity. This is not a new issue, and I have been wondering all this time quite how the now cozy, and essential, relationship with China is landing with regular Russian people, particularly in Siberia and the Far East.

          The notion that Russia would cede control over any of its territory to China for any period of time betrayed the article as nonsense.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            Arsenyev’s 1923 book “Dersu Uzala”, draws a very unflattering picture of Chinese run villages in the Russian Taiga of Siberia.
            [I cannot fish up a good quote, it is what I remember from listening to an audiobook of “Dersu Uzala” I obtained from the Gutenberg project.]

      2. hemeantwell

        Thanks for the clarification. Makes me more inclined to see this as a fake news muddling of what is actually going on re the weakening of Ukrainian sovereignty vis-a-vis Poland.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, its most likely trolling from the Chinese side. There is absolutely no chance that the Duma would agree to any weakening of Russia’s sovereignty over the Amur River region.

      Chinese nationalist elements regularly produce maps showing parts of that region – including Vladivostok – as historic China, based on the historic maximum boundary of the Qing Dynasty in the early 19th Century. There were a number of major battles between the Soviets and China up to around 1969, and many parts of the boundary – especially some huge islands on the Amur River, are still actively disputed. Maps showing disputed areas as ‘China’ regularly pop up in ‘arms length’ Party organs like the Global Times. Russia tends to ignore this in public, but no doubt is well aware of the claims.

      Its possible that China is provoking Russia deliberately as a test of who is the senior partner in the new alliance. But its more likely just nationalist elements within the Chinese establishment doing their own thing.

      This, incidentally, is why Russia is nowhere near as enthusiastic about China’s claim on Taiwan as many assume. The Chinese claim on Taiwan is linked to the historic boundaries of Imperial China, which includes significant chunks of what is now Russia.

          1. hk

            And much colder: I was surprised that the avg temp in January is about 10 degrees centigrade colder than in MN.

    4. schmoe

      While I agree that this sounds implausible, the warming of Siberia is opening up massive amounts of potential new farmland. I would not be surprised if China was allowed to develop this and pay royalties. This article is several years old but relevant:

      “Chinese money supports 14% of new farm development in the region, more than any other foreign source. Last year, for example, Chinese investors, including a state-owned company, used a Russian subsidiary to start developing 123,000 acres for soy and other crops in an area near Vladivostok and to build a soy-processing plant that would handle 240,000 tons a year. The deal makes the Chinese venture one of the largest private landholders in the Russian east; according to local news reports, it is likely to employ a number of Chinese workers, rely on Chinese technology and sell its products in China. In exchange, Russia says it will earn income tax (after a decade-long abatement) and that a Russian development bank also has a 20% stake in the project. . . . .Since then the money has continued to flow, with nearly $14 billion reportedly invested by 2017 across Russia’s resource sectors and another $10 billion pledged by Xi for cross-border infrastructure efforts. “

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Comments like this also make me despair.

        Productivity of any plant grown is based on how much sun they get and secondarily how rich the soil is, as in how much organic material is in the soil due to centuries of plant life growing and dying to enrich the soil plus the help of worms and whatnot. Siberia is highly unlikely due alone to being so far north as to get limited sun energy and likely also having not great soil.

        Chinese are desperate for agricultural land. This effort is more a reflection of that than the effort yielding much output

        1. schmoe

          OK, but looking at a map, southern Siberia is at roughly the same latitude as southern to mid-Canada. I recall that the article did note that soil fertility was an open issue.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Zelensky’s office gave fertile Ukrainian lands for chemical wastes disposal”

    And to think that if you criticize George Soros, that you get accused of being a conspiracy theorist or something. This is pure grade evil this. Zelensy is going to take some of the richest farmland in western Ukraine and let it be the international dumping grounds of all sorts of toxic and probably lethal chemicals which no doubt will leach into the water table. Soros is setting up the deal and those corporations get to do it all for free. Considering the fact that when the war is over, that there will only be a rump Ukraine left, they should protect all the land that remains to them. Zelensky won’t care as he will be living in one of his overseas mansions, perhaps in Florida. And who is going to want grain grown in those Oblasts anyway? That would be like selling Fukushima fish. Unbelievable, but I am sure that Zelensky will get his 10% after all. He learnt from the best.

    1. Watt4Bob

      Considering how much depleted uranium ammunition has been expended in Ukraine, the country may already be one big hazardous waste dump already?

  4. zagonostra

    >NASA to Launch Stadium-Sized Craft Over Antarctica in New Mission to Explore Cosmic Phenomena

    Nice to see an article on Antarctica at the top of today’s links. Some of my favorite wild speculations out there in the noosphere ether deal with Antarctica, i.e., the mysterious Rothchild Island that supposedly Google blocks zooming into it their Earth browser.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      The US is launching a giant research balloon and I’m wondering why I haven’t seen any headlines from Chinese publications yet complaining about being spied upon and threatening to shoot it down.

      Maybe it’s because Chinese leadership isn’t insane?

    2. digi_owl

      The headline seem hyberbolic, given that the size comes from the gas envelope once it reach the low pressure of the upper atmosphere.

    3. ArvidMartensen

      Wondering, in a world where the race for oil and gas is the only place to be, whether the headline should be
      NASA to Launch Stadium-Sized Craft over Antarctica in New Mission to “Explore Cosmic Phenomenon”

  5. zagonstra

    >Gaza war an irritant to Biden’s bigger China plan

    The nerve of those dead 20K Palestinians, of which ~6K are children, getting in the way of Biden’s “bigger noble plans.” It’s so sad that such “irritants” are creating “obstacles” for our magnanimous leader, as Bernie Sanders would say, “unacceptable.”

    Washington fears that the Gaza war has placed a significant obstacle to one of President Joe Biden’s major foreign policy projects: to reduce America’s military resources in, and attention to, the Middle East and pivot them to East Asia to better contain and confront China’s threat.


    That Slate article on Musk is the lowest quality link I’ve seen on NC in my decade of frequenting this site.

    1. urdsama

      How so?

      I’m not a fan of Slate, but most of what they said about Musk is true. The man is nothing but a grifter, with an ego that makes him think he is a real word Tony Stark.

      1. Objective Ace

        There’s a lot of unfair interpretation and framing. Take the knock on Glenn Greenwald. The article is upset because Glenn conflates “not subsidizing speech with ad dollars” with wanting control.

        This is disingenuous. We arent discussing companies simply pulling back advertising dollars (which can be done for a variety of reasons). We are talking about a specific quote about pulling back advertising dollars for one specific reason. The quote: “If someone is going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, go [family blog] yourself”

        Now Musk could be wrong–in which case argue that. Instead we’re left with the arguement that black mail should somehow not be construed as controlling.

        PS. I dont have a problem with Yves including it in the links. Its useful to follow what the official narative is

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Just for some perspective on Musk as “nothing but a grifter.”

        Whatever you think about the hellhole of ukraine, Musk’s Starlink provides that country with communications for FREE, or should I say at his own expense. He was savaged when he wouldn’t extend coverage to Crimea, and suggested that maybe someone should pay for it. biden and the “slava ukraini” set couldn’t have their never ending war for “democracy” and its massive profits without it.

        biden’s EV “revolution” could, arguably, not have gotten off the ground without the kitsch Musk’s Tesla provided. The Nissan Leaf didn’t do it, and neither did Mary Bara’s (charisma of a rutabaga) Chevy Volt. To the extent that EVs are being considered by consumers at all, it’s because Musk made Tesla cool. Make of that what you will.

        Musk’s SpaceX IS mighty america’s “space program,” with NASA reduced to applauding every time Musk does something right, while the rest of the country beams with pride in its accomplishments and waxes poetic about life on Mars. When’s the last time anyone heard of bezos’ Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic?

        And then there’s Twitter/X. Musk has been on the shit list ever since he bought it, announced that he wanted to make it a “free speech” platform, and went on to blow the lid off the massive government propaganda operation that controlled it under its previous owners, and controls “social media” in general. Is there anyone who really thinks that that sniveling zuckerberg has the stones to take a stand like that?

        This latest assault on Musk is the direct result of the adl / aipac / israeli lobby, and all the corporate and government agencies they’ve purchased over the years, not wanting their horribly ugly truths to get out. If they can’t have Twitter lock, stock and barrel, nobody will. How on god’s green earth is that Musk’s fault?

        The people of this country should give Musk a standing ovation for the, admittedly not perfect, stance he’s taking. He’s a lot like Trump in his willingness to buck the system, and he’s getting the same barrage of flack. C’mon, man, open your eyes.

        And just by the way, if you want to know what a real grifter looks like, take a look at el presidente, joseph robinette biden, jr.

        1. Darthbobber

          I believe SpaceX’s last 2 launches were a near-immediate failure and one that took enough longer to fail that they spun it as a “partial success”. Who that causes to swell up with pride is anybody’s guess.

          Tesla or no, Biden’s ostensible green initiative still isn’t off the ground in any meaningful sense, nor will it be. And I suspect there’d be fewer Teslas sold without the 7,500 government funded subsidy to the buyer.

          Elon’s had a knack for businesses that rely heavily on subsidies or government contracts as a key component of the revenue stream.

          And the X/antisemitism/Palestine imbroglio is his pose striking at its best. The X as free speech haven line was always bs, as under his ownership they have in fact been complying almost totally with government takedown requests, beyond what the previous ownership did.

          Within 24 hours after the liked Jewish conspiracy to replace the white race tweet he was loudly threatening to deplatform pro-Palestine accounts, on the grounds that a free Palestine necessarily implied genocide. So much for free speech haven. Then it was off to his Potemkin village tour with Bibi, after which he defended everything that Israel has done or may choose to do.

          Sure, after all that he delivers his “defiant” f-you to the “blackmailers”, but his actions show him trying to pacify them.

          I have great difficulty seeing Musk as on any side but his own.

        2. playon

          C’mon — Elon “we’ll coup who we want” Musk is just another billionaire, he just talks a lot more public BS than most of them do. At the end of the day Tesla is just more green-washing.

        3. Don

          Good points; I have far less of a problem with Musk than I do with his detractors. Mostly, I wish he didn’t let himself be pushed around so much — he tries to hard to be liked.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry, your comment is perhaps not the lowest quality but is in the bottom 1%. You need to substantiate your objections, not engage in drive-by smears.

      On top of that, links are not endorsements. We regularly link to Ukrainska Pravda, for instance, to keep tabs what that government is trying to sell.


        Yes, I agree completely on the need to substantiate and apologize for the low effort comment.

        My issue w/the article is that this isn’t a “they said the quiet part out loud” or an example of the establishment narrative (is anyone else saying the grand plan is to burn this into the ground?) – nor is it a well argued piece worth contemplation.

        Felt far too GPT-written and click-baity to be here.

    3. JustTheFacts

      I agree. However linking to modern day depravity helps us update our understanding of the world.

      In the old days, advertisers had no editorial control, because if they did, no one would trust the newspaper.

      Apparently they’ve been demanding it over twitter’s users’ tweets. Why would anyone bother to write anything if the US equivalent of the 50 cent (wu mao) army run by large corporations with their own interests get to decide what can be discussed?

      I applaud Elon for telling advertisers who wish to have editorial control to take a hike. It’s good that someone still believes in this principle.

      Personally, I’ve decided to boycott Disney since he suggested they are one such advertiser. No more LucasFilm entertainment for me, but I don’t see why a mere entertainment company feels so important that it gets to censor important conversations, for instance about COVID, also linked on this page. It’s a mere entertainment company, and to quote the youngsters, it needs to stay in its lane.

      Presumably Slate and its owners is an outlet that believes advertisers should have editorial control given this article. I shall take this into account when reading (or avoiding) Slate and Foreign Policy’s future articles.

  7. fjallstrom

    This one looks very fishy: Zelensky’s office gave fertile Ukrainian lands for chemical wastes disposal The Nation

    It is an article from the Nigerian “The Nation”, not to be confused by other publications by the same name, by esteemed reporter “Our Reporter”. It claims an anonymous source within the Ukraine government reached out to a french journalist and among other things produced a signed french translation of a Memorandum between Yermak and Soros. Awfully nice of them to sign the translation into french.

    The article throws up so many red flags that you can equip a whole new Red Army.

  8. DJG, Reality Czar

    As I mentioned, I am part of the school of thought that one never speaks ill of the dead, which goes back to Roman Ideas of necromancy and summoning up the spirits. If you talk about mean Grandma, she’ll reappear in Via Roma with that wooden spoon she used to hit you with.

    Yet Fatto Quotidiano up top has a daily kicker, always pithy:

    È morto Kissinger a 100 anni. Per decenni, a furia di guerre, golpe, trame segrete, era sembrato il peggiore di tutti. Ora siamo così ridotti che pareva il meno peggio.

    As I’d translate it:
    Kissinger, dead at 100 years of age. For decades, in the furies of wars, coups d’état, secret plots, he had seemed the worst of all. Now, we are so degraded that he appears to be the least of the bad.

    I also read the +972 article, A Mass Assassination Factory, which is one paragraph after another of degradation and the banality of evil. We are talking about people giving quotes in which they admit that they should be put on trial for their crimes. (They may not have noticed.)

    The Russians, who have been accused of everything, are likely to look at an article like this and realize that they have been right all along: The Empire of Lies.

    And we are so degraded that Antony Blinken, who is beneath contempt, toodles around the Middle East playing office politics, making idle threats, and thinking that somehow the United States of America is going to come out of the Ukraine proxy war and the Gaza management-school genocide unscathed.

    Recent events show that God doesn’t protect children and drunks. Maybe those in charge of the United States of America should take a break from looting and pillaging to note the changed circumstances.

    1. furnace

      Is it finally consensus we are seeing something that can only be compared with the nazi horrors? I am taking note of those I know who are taking these current atrocities lightly or trying to compare them somehow with whatever Hamas and others are capable of doing. It is in times like these when you see the priorities of each person.

      1. alfred venison

        yes & no, its complex. my best friend of 40 years and I are poles apart on the war in Ukraine (I’m pro-Russian security, he’s vehemently anti-Putin). So much “never the twain shall meet” that we tacitly agreed to stop talking about it. But last month he sent me a page long tirade about Gaza, in (partial) summary: don’t their (Palestinian) children count?; hostages?, what about the hundreds detained without charge? Terroists? What about the King David Hotel? On Gaza, you couldn’t get a cigarette paper between us; On Ukraine, still miles apart.

  9. The Rev Kev

    Roadblock in Tanzania.. 😅’

    Those lions have got to be siblings. Only a sibling would wonder in and casually lay across the heads of two other siblings.

    1. digi_owl

      They are performing a lay down protest against those annoying humans in their noisy cars.

      Reminds me a bit of a drive through zoo the family visited one summer, where the staff drove secured tractors with padding to nudge the big cats to move should they do something similar.

    2. Nikkikat

      I do believe you are correct Rev Kev. I have seen related kittens act like that. Never full grown unrelated cats.

      1. Late Introvert

        I had 2 older brothers growing up, and that was just during the commercials during Saturday morning cartoons.

  10. timbers

    Duma pass a bill allowing Chinese administration of Russian regions for 100 years? I might believe it if this read “Putin pass a bill allowing Chinese administration of Russian regions for 100 years” because of his proven catastrophically disastrous negotiating record in Donbass. If this is true, HUGE mistake.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I was hoping to get informed clarification. There might actually be a deal that has been grossly misrepresented, such as liberalized trade/people movement.

      1. OnceWere

        Reads to me as perhaps referring to new “special economic zones” in Russia. I’ve seen anti-Chinese sources refer to the Golden Triangle SEZ in Laos as being under “Chinese administration” – per Wikipedia “The Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone has been labelled as a de facto Chinese colony, as the only currencies accepted are Chinese yuan and Thai baht. Shops in the zone are stocked mostly with Chinese products and Chinese food is offered in most of the restaurants and food outlets.” – yet at the end of the day it’s only 3000 hectares on the Chinese border – hardly a covert takeover of northern Laos.

  11. Lexx

    ‘A mass assassination factory’: Inside Israel’s calculated bombing of Gaza’

    ‘All of this is happening contrary to the protocol used by the IDF in the past,” a source explained. “There is a feeling that senior officials in the army are aware of their failure on October 7, and are busy with the question of how to provide the Israeli public with an image [of victory] that will salvage their reputation.”’

    Optics. Pretty much what the pause was about in sending home hostages that are very old and very young. It looked like a humane act, that they were responsive to public pressure because they’re “reasonable”, but they were just taking a breather and applying fresh lipstick because it looks good.

    They don’t care if there’s any Hamas members living in those civilian areas, killing a few would just be a bonus. What they want to be sure of is that there’s no home, no bolthole for Hamas to return to, along the lines of ‘razing the ground and poisoning the well’.

    I was watching Fern Brady (a Scottish comic) on Youtube say all the dark parts aloud and thinking she has to be one of the healthiest people I’ve heard speak lately, but somehow she’s been repeatedly labelled ‘mentally ill’ and from an early age too. Later the diagnosis was ‘Aspergers’.

    I also read today that Henry Kissinger was charming and hilarious… but I’d like to think that Fern would be incapable of condemning millions to death via an order to carpet bomb the countryside because she owns her dark.

    1. Carolinian


      Several of the sources, who spoke to +972 and Local Call on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the Israeli army has files on the vast majority of potential targets in Gaza — including homes — which stipulate the number of civilians who are likely to be killed in an attack on a particular target. This number is calculated and known in advance to the army’s intelligence units, who also know shortly before carrying out an attack roughly how many civilians are certain to be killed.

      Of course one of the hallmarks of the WW2 Holocaust was its ruthless efficiency. Arendt dubbed this “the banality of evil.” Biden and Bibi seem to dub ruthless efficiency as “it’s ok when we do it.” Situational morality may comfort the perpetrators but when the “collateral damage” isn’t even collateral I believe there’s another name for it.

        1. Lexx

          ‘The bombing of power targets, according to intelligence sources who had first-hand experience with its application in Gaza in the past, is mainly intended to harm Palestinian civil society: to “create a shock” that, among other things, will reverberate powerfully and “lead civilians to put pressure on Hamas,” as one source put it.’

          It was that quote that added to my sense that so much of this is about ‘optics’. ‘We, the IDF, are always acting in the best interests of our people and when they speak, we listen.’ So naturally they would assert that Hamas was also equally answerable to the Palestinian people, but both assertions are false. Neither is particularly answerable to their civilian population, any more than I can ring up the Pentagon and yell, ‘You guys cut that out and stand down!’, and expect my thoughts and feelings to matter, or even me and hundreds of thousands of my fellows Americans. They don’t care; they don’t have to… and their new enabler is AI, doing what enablers have always done.

      1. JBird4049

        “To my understanding, today they can mark all the houses of [any Hamas military operative regardless of rank],” the source continued. “That is a lot of houses. Hamas members who don’t really matter for anything live in homes across Gaza. So they mark the home and bomb the house and kill everyone there.”

        Efficient, they say?

        This targeting and assassination program reminds me of American policing especially in large cities such as NYC when determining who are gang members and therefore open to special treatment. Computer programs using using dubious “intelligence” often of just where a person lives, who are their family members and friends, even neighbors. The evidence often is not what an individual does, but who they can be connected to using a metric much like the game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. If an individual can be shown to be a member of a gang, regardless if they have broken any laws, then it time for the Six Degrees. Keep in mind that SWAT teams for gang, drug, and gun task forces will do violent and destructive predawn raids on homes and apartments of families including children. This is frequently when shootings of police or innocent people will happen. Barely awake, terrified people with screaming family and house mates often make rash decisions especially if they have not done anything or even if they have.

        I think it is no accident that those police units which are more likely to become corrupt, violent, and just lawless are those for fighting gangs, drugs, and guns. That SWAT teams and sometimes whole departments receive training from the Israelis is also no accident. Not all, but far too many police begin to think of people as animals that need to be controlled. Usually Blacks, but if there are none, the nearest handy group of poor Whites will do. I am sure that this is a lovely way to terrify entire neighborhoods.

        Yes, empires and their client states often have worked together, just as they are doing now. Is it any wonder that the tactics used by one is copied by the other?

      2. Don

        Killing Palestinians, indiscriminately, in as large numbers as possible, is the primary Israeli goal.

      1. Wukchumni

        I was gonna watch and then realized that anything else I did in lieu of was more important, and could I really do that long of a time span with Hannity?

        My P.R. previously listening on the car radio was 12 minutes and frankly, it seemed like forever.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “From Israeli Defense Force to Israeli Occupation force — Conduct Unbecoming”

    To a large extent, this has led to Israel’s undoing in the present fight. I understand that a lot of Israels forces are just conscript soldiers and who often are assigned to borders, checkpoints and the like. But now they are in the fight of their lives against professional soldiers like Hezbollah and even Hamas and the results are in and it is not looking good for Israel. In Gaza Hamas have damaged hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles while causing Israeli casualties in the hundreds. The Israelis are just not trained for this intense sort of warfare for which you need professionally trained soldiers. Up north Hezbollah has destroyed billions of dollars of surveillance equipment and the like while inflicting steady losses on Israeli soldiers, even though they lose soldiers too. The US experienced the same sort of problem after a decade of occupying Iraq and fighting with insurgents. The US Army, after getting out, then had to re-orientate training to once again do combined arms which had been pushed aside during the occupation of Iraq.

    1. nippersdad

      Re fight of their lives against professional soldiers like Hezbollah.

      Ritter was saying that Hezbollah is well in sight of being able to take Galilee. Instead of taking land in the West Bank and Gaza, Israel may be on the point of losing some of its’ most important territory in the North. They lose those highlands and they are under the gun forever.

      1. Polar Socialist

        It’s my understanding that majority of the Israeli agriculture depends on the national irrigation system flowing from the Sea of Galilee.

        Not that I see it happening, but blowing up the the canal and a few pumping stations could turn a lot of the Israel back to the arid wasteland a la Kherson and Crimea.

  13. Enter Laughing

    RE: A mystery outbreak of pneumonia has hit..China, now Ohio is first American location to report an outbreak..with an ‘extremely high’ number of children hospitalized.

    There’s no mystery about Mycoplasma pneumoniae — it was discovered and named in 1944 and there are regular outbreaks every several years in the U.S., Europe and Asia and many other places.

    According to the Lancet article Mycoplasma pneumoniae: delayed re-emergence after COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the big mystery is why it’s taken so long for Mycoplasma pneumoniae outbreaks to return, unlike other respiratory diseases that returned quickly after Covid-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted.

    Furthermore, the Lancet article Mycoplasma pneumoniae: gone forever? predicted that when Mycoplasma pneumoniae did finally reappear:

    “an exceptionally large wave of infections could occur as a result of reduced exposure, with a resulting increase in rare severe disease, extrapulmonary manifestations, or both”

    Of course the outbreaks of mycoplasma pneumoniae are serious and need to be addressed. But let’s not pretend this is some mysterious new illness that warrants hysterical reactions like the one in the linked Yaneer Bar-Yam tweet.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Straw manning is a violation of our written site Policies. No one said this was a new illness. What is different, as IM Doc pointed out, is that people, particularly children, are being afflicted in bigger numbers and more seriously than ever before. And given that (per your depiction) that it comes in periodic outbreaks, there would always be a population of newly exposed children…yet they’ve never been felled this way before.

      1. Enter Laughing

        I was referring to the Yaneer Bar-Yam tweet which says “A mystery outbreak of pneumonia has hit..China, now Ohio is first American location to report an outbreak.” I contend that it is not a mystery outbreak.

        As far as Mycoplasma pneumoniae afflicting children, according to the CDC:

        “Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections are most common in young adults and school-aged children, but can affect anyone.”

        The Yaneer Bar-Yam tweet goes on to claim that:

        “The ..pneumonia, now dubbed ‘white lung syndrome,’ has spawned 142 pediatric cases in Warren County since August.”

        Dr. Clint Koenig, the medical director of the Warren County Health District makes no such claim:

        “Only a few of the 142 pneumonia cases have been confirmed as mycoplasma pneumonia. So far, there have been some hospitalizations including patients with underlying conditions but no reported deaths. The vast, vast majority are getting better and returning to school.”

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          1. Bar-Yam called it pneumonia.

          2. Your CDC factoid is disingenuous. As IM Doc points out, we’ve never seen high levels of hospitalization with this pathogen in children.

          3. You try to depict Bar-Yam as inaccurate. The quote from the public health director does not disprove him. IM Doc says it’s very hard to confirm a mycoplasma pneumonia infection with a test. I have further been told by someone HIV positive who did get mycoplasma pneumonia some time ago that clinical labs are set up to test for only a small subset of the existing strains.

          Moreover, as IM Doc pointed out, mycoplasma pneumonia does NOT show up on an X-ray (“That diagnosis shows no X-ray findings and no evidence of consolidating lung changes on exam”), while this ailment does. From Economic Times:

          Besides China, several other countries, including Denmark, United States, and the Netherlands are seeing an outbreak of a new strain of bacterial pneumonia, also known as ‘White lung syndrome pneumonia’ due to how the lung damage appears on scans, that affects children between the ages of three and eight.

          According to reports, the disease is caused by mycoplasma pneumoniae that many antibiotics cannot fight.

          So the mystery label does not appear to be a stretch, since the fact you can see effects on lung images is a marked departure from typical cases of mycoplasma pneumonia.

    2. Roger Blakely

      Is my skin rash the result of immune disregulation? I have been suffering with rash on my face, chest, forearms, armpits, and plenty of other places. It started six months ago, about the time when SARS-CoV-2 started presenting itself as a cloud of twenty subvariants of XBB.

      Why wouldn’t we expect immune systems to buckle under the constant assault of twenty subvariants of XBB? I am sure that we will recognize that plenty of other health issues are the result of immune disregulation.

      1. John Zelnicker

        Roger – Have you considered that your rash may be psoriasis? I ask because it’s an auto-immune disease, it would fit the situation and I have it myself. Fortunately, mine doesn’t bother me and needs no treatment except commercial salves.

      2. Ben Gunn

        Roger, I’m sure you’ve already looked into this, but in case you haven’t, you may want to check on new products you started using around that time: soaps and lotions you use in the shower/bath, laundry soap/softeners/dryer sheets, or food products. A few years ago, I started having rashes on different body areas. I found, after much consternation, they were caused by hazelnut coffee creamer, of all things.

  14. The Rev Kev

    ‘The Sirius Report
    Clown show on steroids:
    What do they seriously imagine Xi’s going to say?
    EU leaders are planning to directly ask Xi to end China’s circumvention of Western sanctions against Russia, when visiting Beijing next week.’

    They may be asking for more than that. The only way that the west can get any sort of win in the Ukraine is to freeze this conflict as it stands now before Russia goes on the offensive. So probably those EU leaders will demand that China lean on Russia and make them accept this idea. Two or three times I have read of this being suggested in noted publications. I can only imagine how the Chinese will reply but it will probably be along the lines of ‘We aren’t the boss of Russia.’

  15. Lex

    Henry Kissinger, we won’t be missin ya …

    Kissinger was a simple man, cynical to the extreme and as such relatively predictable: he’d do what was best for Henry Kissinger. Clearly power was his aphrodisiac. But in that he was also, at least, something of realist and generally rational. Again, there was predictability. His personal will to power was at least minimally tempered by recognition of some constraints.

    What the current generation US foreign policy elites take and miss in their reverence for the man is telling. They have absorbed his cynical office politics played out on the international stage, but only that. He was an effective – if banally evil – diplomat. There’s none of that effectiveness in his worshippers. That might be a net positive for the world; it is a disaster for the US empire Kissinger loved so dearly.

    I take some cold comfort in the fact that he lived long enough to see his students fail so spectacularly. And it was obvious from his remarks over the last two years or so that he saw it clearly. I was actually wishing him more longevity, to be tormented by their incompetent destruction of his lifelong work. He deserved at least that.

  16. Burritonomics

    I’m not usually one for military history, but Big Serge’s “The End of Cabinet War” is well worth the read.

    1. albrt

      It is a very good way of summarizing Russia’s initial approach and the necessary changes Russia made to its approach after the U.S. torpedoed diplomacy and blew up Nordstream.

      The Biden administration is 100% responsible for Russia going Incredible Hulk and turning itself into the only military superpower with near 1945 levels of conventional capability.

      1. Roland

        “Near-1945 levels of conventional capability” ?

        Hyperbole is bad. Instead, why not just look at a map?

        In 1945, the Red Army stood on the Elbe, the Axis utterly crushed. In 2023, NATO stands firmly on ex-Soviet territory, with the great part of their strength yet uncommitted.

        In terms of conventional warfare, today’s Russia is in a pretty lousy strategic position. True, since 2014, they’ve started to push back, after twenty-five years of getting pushed around. With the odds against them, they’ve done not too badly. Still, I’m glad I’m not serving on Russia’s general staff. Tough job.

        The Ukraine War so far has been pretty big, but it will get a lot bigger, and a lot worse, unless the established regime in the West suffers a major domestic political setback. And that can only mean Trump, because there is no other significant internal political opposition to be found in the Western world.

        If Trump doesn’t win the US election next year, then you should expect the Western alliance to escalate and intensify the war.

        The Western political elites are nerving themselves up to do very evil things. You can see this work-up happening with the Gaza War. Outright, direct, unapologetic massacre is part of the New Normal.

        Remember, with today’s Western elites, we’re talking about people who want to rule the world, who think they deserve to rule the world by their own merit, and who are closer to ruling the world than anyone else has ever been.

        For the Western elites, it’s not a rational thing, it’s an identity thing. It’s about how about they see themselves and their place in the world. If they feel thwarted, don’t expect them to behave rationally. Expect extreme violence, as they struggle to maintain their entire sense of right.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Identity can be weaponized, but it sure doesn’t provide weapons. Or warm bodies. Was it The Times today saying that NATO can’t fight Russia. It just doesn’t have the manpower or weapons, Nor will it have within 15 years.

          NATO doesn’t stand firmly in the Baltics (or ex-Soviet space), what’s there isn’t enough to even slow down any attacker. If and when thing go kinetic between Russia and NATO, the Baltics will be lost faster than the news can travel to Brussels.

          Probably the biggest mistake NATO ever made (and it’s a tough competition) was to expand to a space it has no way of defending – as the smarter generals are waking up finally to understand.

        2. Don

          Looking at maps is only one way of looking. In purely military terms, Russia is currently incredibly powerful, more powerful than the USA, more powerful than NATO. And she is not doing bad technically, industrially, culturally… the popular Western distain for all things Russian is looking increasingly absurd.

        3. Kouros

          “Near-1945 levels of conventional capability” means masses of well trained and fire tested soldiers. Mountains of weapons and ammunition, fighting spirit, etc. Furthermore, Russia now is like the US in 1945, practically untouched by the war, with an economy booming, while the worries Russians have are:
          – getting sick
          – cost of living
          – risks facing their children

          They worry about geting sick not like the Americans, where sickness might come with bankruptcy, but just the dread of geting sick and maybe dying.

          As for where various countries forces are stationed, doesn’t matter that much nowadys…

          1. hk

            It sort of is, as far as domestic populations are concerned. What stunned the Germans in 1918 was that their forces were still in occupation of huge tracts of territory, yet they wound up making a peace of surrender. I imagine not so happy things in the West coming out of the current mess.

    2. Benny Profane

      Big frustration is listening to pundits and friends justify our approach to Ukraine with no knowledge of military history. I suppose most think that we are in a new world and all that well documented history doesn’t matter. Serge argues otherwise, very well.

    3. digi_owl

      Funny how German manages to make the banal sound fancy with words like kesselschlacht, that i would translate into kettle butchering.

      And i am tempted to say that Ukraine didn’t decide on a volkskrieg, USA and UK did.

      After all it was the personal appearance of Boris Johnson in Kiev, likely being the messenger of head honcho Biden, that ended the peace negotiations and turned Ukraine into a meat grinder.

  17. lyman alpha blob

    So the news of a “mass assassination factory” comes out saying the current slaughter was already planned out ahead of time.

    Coincidentally, or not, we also have this piece originally published in today’s NYT –

    It says Israel knew of Hamas plans a year ago, but did nothing because they thought they’d never be able to pull it off. Given the news that the “assassination factory” had been planned ahead of time and that the NYT is a blatant propaganda outlet, I’m guessing the NYT is correct that Israel knew about Hamas plans well ahead of time, but their claim that Israel ignored the warnings is total BS. Far more likely is that Israel allowed Hamas to attack in an attempt to later justify the genocide that they had already planned and were looking for an excuse to carry out.

    1. Alice X

      >Far more likely is that Israel allowed Hamas to attack in an attempt to later justify the genocide that they had already planned and were looking for an excuse to carry out.

      No doubt some will come to the same conclusion but will be accused of having their tin foil hats on.

      I’m going to get mine out and polish it up.

      Oh, and the Israelis just happened to pull forces away from Gaza at the time.

      Every day I want to scream.

      1. Paradan

        They also had gone around to all the kibbutzes around Gaza and took their firearms away from them. I read about this a few days after the attack, not sure if it’s been verified.

      2. Jabura Basaidai

        drew the same conclusion a week ago or more in comments before this recent admission of Israel knowing about it, but drew no response – glad to see it gaining traction – i think it was after reading that the festival was supposed to clear out on Friday but the army gave an extension to party on Saturday – lambs to the slaughter and great propaganda material for justification –

      1. caucus99percenter

        After Gaza, it does seem as if the actual moral instructional value of a holocaust museum has proven to be nil. In which case, like the West’s policies toward Israel in general, the whole thing has simply been a part of one huge post-WW2 grift.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Vladimir Putin Seizes Pulkovo Airport Management From Qatari Wealth Fund”

    Russia playing it smart again. Instead of just seizing everything. they simply converted those non-Russian shareholders into non-voting stock. Seems to be part of a long-term campaign to eliminate foreign control over Russian entities. I guess that if any of them complain. then Putin cam tell them what Musk told those advertisers that were trying to blackmail him.

    1. Es s Ce tera

      I had passed over the article but your description reminded me of something similar. Of interest, Chrystia Freeland recently ordered shareholders to divest their shares from a Canadian bank:

      Among other things…

      So Canada is effectively doing the same. Likely there’s more of this going on everywhere in the west, I would be curious about the extent of it.

    1. flora

      From the essay this bit talking about the failure of the modern left:

      The left, bathing in an ocean of intellectual bad conscience, contributes heavily to this new normal. If in the recent past the left was never afraid to denounce the corrupt nature of existing power relations, it has now wholeheartedly embraced the “revolution of the ruling class”: the aggressive reconfiguration of its conditions of possibility. Until a couple of decades ago, the left at least retained the intellectual dignity to reject compliance.

      1. dave -- just dave

        What strikes me about this essay is that it is, as Nate Hagens would say, “energy blind” – it speaks of power in the social and political sense, but ignores power in the physical and chemical sense – that it is the power produced from the combustion of fossil fuels which makes things; plants, fertilizes, harvests, and processes foodstuffs; ships things around — and produces greenhouse gases.

  19. Socal Rhino

    The Slate article misrepresented Greenwald’s comments, which were criticisms of “journalist” deference to corporations, and deployed the “used to be a star journalist” trope against him. Twitter trollery, basically.

  20. griffen

    Is the New Republic where PMC toting Democrats receive their daily dosage of the Two Minute speech? Asking for a friend, of course…\sarc. Well we all know only Fox is capable of bias and directional, political slanted coverage!

    Donald Trump orange man bad, plus below that one was a wowser about the Hunter Biden “supposed criminal activity” was getting a slow walk in the committee, large thanks for Dan Goldman. IDK, where is this magical earth since I want to go live there. Possession of controlled substances is somehow I guess legal and reasonable, Others Mileage May vary. Only a few months and we get to choose who our Fearless Leader will be starting in January 2025!

    1. Carolinian

      Alex Cockburn used to make sport of the New Republic back in the early 80s when it took a turn to the right. He was working for the then more lefty respectable The Nation and being paid, he jested, in the “high two figures.”

      Perhaps we can think of these financially struggling political magazines as the blogs of their day (and I believe The Nation goes back to the 19th c). Is that day over?

  21. will

    re: House Passes Bill to Permanently Freeze $6 Billion in Iranian Funds
    I wonder if this will lead to more email scams.

  22. digi_owl

    “Putting Energy Back into Economics Steve Keen (Micael T)”

    Another powerful read from Steve Keen. And another reminder that physics is the true dismal science, as in the end it will all be cold and dark as the universe approach maximum entropy. Likely humanity will not experience that, but instead either boil ourselves by overheating the planet or gets burned up when the sun goes red giant and eat everything inside of Jupiter.

    We can’t win, we can’t break even, we can’t leave the game.

    1. diptherio

      My old econ advisor was always saying that we needed to pay more attention to the physiocrats. Kind of wish I would have listened to him now. Not too late to catch up on them now, though, I suppose. And yes, this gets my vote for econ article of the year, not just for the environmental part, but also for the recognition that the neoclassical justification for income inequality is bogus.

    2. Karl

      Herman Daly (a founder of “Environmental Economics”) made a fundamental point in his Macro Econ text that the big error of conventional Macro Economics was the assumption of the human economy as a closed system, i.e. nature was treated as just a handy bin of free stuff in the human workshop, no different from any other stuff. This view held that labor and capital were the sole ingredients for transforming the raw “stuff” into usable BTUs and KWHs. Daly said, no, the human economy is actually a subset of nature. The earth is the closed system, and the human realm depended on this more all-encompassing system. This insight originated with the Physiocrats, who are just a tiny footnote in most anglophilic Macro Econ texts. I also didn’t realize, until I read Keen’s essay, that the key assumption of Labor + Capital being the “source of all” in an economy could be traced to none other than Adam Smith. When Smith published his famous treatise in 1776, heat engines and thermodynamics were too new to influence the nascent thinking on economics. But later ignornce of these concepts by the early 20th century (e.g. by Cobb-Douglas in 1928) points to the insular nature of the field that persists to this day. Even by 1928, the global economy could and should have been understood as giant “heat engine” very strong implications for the future.

      What are some implications of this new way of thinking? Heat engines (e.g. steam engines, ICE engines) work because, as Sadi Carnot pointed out in the 1700’s, kinetic energy (“work”) can be obtained from thermal energy (combustion or neutrons producing “heat”) only if there is a temperature differential between the high temerature “source” and low temerature “sink” that can tap the energy flow between them, rather like a water height differential enables water wheels and turbines to turn and produce “work”. But if the “system” gets too big, like a global economy, it can no longer be treated as an isolated or closed system. It impacts its surroundings. Eventually, the heat output overwhelms the system. This is why power plants are sited next to flowing rivers rather than lakes. Eventually, the lake absorbs so much waste heat from the power plant that the temperature of the lake gets too high for the plant to run. On a global scale, the atmosphere is like a big lake, with only finite capacity to absorb humanity’s waste heat. Waste heat increases entropy of the whole system. A manifestation of entropy is that the global “system” itself increases in temperature due to the human economy as “heat engine”. In other words, higher CO2 and global warming are manifestations of entropy.

      I suspect the latest crop of economists still don’t “get” the role of complexity, thermodynamics, entropy and environmental constraints in macro economics. Guys like Keen are still outside the mainstream. As Keen points out, conventional economists rely on statistics where “labor” and “capital” auto-correlate with “energy”, and they therefore misinterpret their results. Which, of course, is very convenient because the implications are counter to the neoliberal premise that “man is the root and measure of all things” in the global economy. This allows economists to ignore nature — most importantly, energy but also ecosystems — because these “inputs” are there for the taking, and they are free. Steve Keen has been advocating that we look at the Physiocrats more closely for many years.

      There was a warning about the exhausatability of natural resources with the stripping of forests in Britain. Britain almost ran out of energy. Then the Brits discovered coal. Macro-economists always assumed, from that point on, than “new technologies” would keep the macro heat engine running forever. So that early warning was forgotten. New technology (e.g.nuclear) is still the magical elixir that economists rely on to keep their theories intact.

    3. allis

      Farmers, like common laborers, sell wholesale, buy retail, and pay the shipping both ways. To make profits, one must, instead, “buy wholesale (cheap) and sell retail (dear).” Can capitalism exist any other way? If someone’s gonna win, someone else is gonna lose. Even with all its productive power, is it even theoretically possible for a capitalist society, as such, to be just?

  23. digi_owl

    So apparently if one can find the right query, LLMs will respond with what amounts to a copy paste of the relevant learning corpus.

  24. elissa3

    Re Navratilova interview: Bravo Martina! Always a fan during her career. She uses a lot of factual information to make her point, but the whole damn argument can be summed up with just two words: common sense.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Thanks – I missed that link at first. Your summation is great, and I find it hard to see how anyone could be offended by her position.

      I’ll just leave this here, one of my favorites from back in the college radio days – M-A-R-T-I-N-A.

  25. Glen

    Recently there was a link to an article about Google Drive loosing files. Here is another link confirming that news along with some discussion on backups:

    Google confirms Drive issue that may have lost files – here’s how to back up

    It hasn’t been reported much, but one of the file systems which is mostly used in large server farms has a data corruption issue:

    Data-destroying defect found after OpenZFS 2.2.0 release

    The Z file system is a very advanced file system developed to be very flexible, but also protect long term data integrity. It was developed at Sun and became OpenZFS after Sun was acquired by Oracle:


    I wouldn’t be surprised if these two incidents were related.

    I have been using small portable USB drives for part of my data backup. Right now, a small 2TB USB drive is only about $70. These work great for weekly (or daily) backup, plug into your PC, back up your personal documents, and then unplug. If you need larger than that, you should probably look at more robust backup solutions. Spinning hard drives are considered old technology, but are currently inexpensive, and if handled with proper care, last a long, long time. I tend to use the USB drives sparingly, but I have PC internal hard drives that I have used powered-on for a long time. The oldest is reporting that it has been powered on for over 12 years, and it has not yet used any of the spare sectors, nor is it failing any of the SMART selftests yet:

    Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology,_Analysis_and_Reporting_Technology

    In my experience at work and at home SMART selftests are very good about reporting the hard drive is failing, AND gives you the time to move your data someplace else prior to complete failure.

  26. Karl

    Sy Hersh is out with a new report that Ukraine’s supreme commander Zaluzhny is talking directly with his counterpart in Russia Gerasimov. That seems plausible, but this part seems bogus to me:

    …Putin would not object to a settlement that fixed borders according to where the troops were in place when the peace talks ended. Russia would be left with unchallenged control of Crimea and, pending an election to be held under martial law in March, with essential control of the four provinces, or oblasts, that Russia annexed last year: Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and the still embattled Kherson. In return—in a concession not foreseen—Russia, that is, Putin himself, would not object to Ukraine joining NATO.

    I suspect Hersh is being used (or letting himself be used) to signal to Putin what U.S. intelligence wants him to hear: that Russia can keep its winnings if he’ll allow what’s left of Ukraine to join NATO. Also, the idea that Putin will hold another election in the four oblasts that are now part of Mother Russia is a non-starter, it seems to me.

    I may be wrong (I greatly respect Hersh) but, after following this war for a long time, it seems to me that Putin will never concede these things. If I’m right, Hersh’s U.S. intelligence contacts still don’t understand the Russian perspective. Another implication is that this war will drag on because “diplomacy” on such terms will be fruitless. Ukraine will need to suffer even more losses for their negotiating position to be in the “feasible set”. Russian troops are now reportedly now West of the Dneiper in Kherson. Surely this is a signal to Ukraine to stop dithering or Ukraine will eventually lose all access to the Black Sea?

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that you are correct. That Hersh is being used by US intel to send a message to the Russians that the US will “allow” them to keep what they have if they freeze this war. As freezing the war in its present form would be a strategic defeat of Russia and would set up the next war in several years time, no way will Russia agree.

  27. Boomheist

    Re Alexander Dujin and the Fourth Turning away from the West and liberalism….I had a Russian teacher of the same name at Yale in 1966-1967 and wonder is this his child? As regards the interview and points made – total gibberish to me, entirely without substance whatsoever. Cannot understand anything he is saying. I totally get it that this may reflect o me not Alexander. Someone please explain his.main thesis like I am a 5 year old..

  28. hk

    I love Ritter’s characterization of Kissinger. We’d love our heroes or villains to be pure good or pure evil. Rarely, though, do we have such luxury and Kissinger, in his long career, did both great good and great evil. We shouldn’t forget either.

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