Links 12/10/2023

The World’s Oldest Living Land Animal, a Tortoise Named Jonathan, Turns 191 Smithsonian Mag

Genes That Boost Fertility Also Shorten Our Life, Study Suggests New York Times

Polyethylene waste could be a thing of the past

Soil Builds Prosperity From the Ground Up Yes Magazine


Green Colonialism NOEMA


Life expectancy finally increased. Why that’s not really a cause for celebration. Inside Medicine


Chronic fatigue syndrome is not rare, says new CDC survey. It affects 3.3 million U.S. adults AP. The study.

Blood Test May Be Able to Tell Which Organs Have Accelerated Aging MedPage Today

Old Blighty

Home Office ordered to give full cost of Rwanda deportation plan Guardian

Rwanda: The UK Can’t Legislate Away Rwanda’s Rights Record All Africa


US makes US$2 billion commitment to Angola as oil-rich nation eyes move beyond Chinese funding model South China Morning Post

Zambia As Experimental Lab Rat Grieve Chelwa, Africa Watch


Japanese elders are being left behind to face bear attacks Business Insider


China’s consumer prices mark steepest fall in 3 years as post-Covid rebound falters SCMP


Half of Gazans Are Starving, Warns UN Food Agency Chief yahoo news

Civilians make up 61% of Gaza deaths from airstrikes, Israeli study finds Guardian


Zombie Zionism Tarik Cyril Amar’s Substack


US discussing military action against Ansarallah The Cradle

Expand existing task force to protect Red Sea from Houthi attacks Defense News


Hezbollah carries out 8 military attacks against Israeli military sites Anadolu Agency

National security adviser indicates war against Hezbollah likely after defeat of Hamas The Times of Israel


Israel, UN signal progress in talks to open Gaza crossing The Business Standard

Egypt Needs Cash and Gaza War Gives World New Reasons to Help Out Bloomberg


US to Send Tank Shells to Israel After Biden Admin Bypasses Congress, Approves Sale The Messenger

Will Gaza hasten the exit of US troops from Iraq, Syria? The Cradle

New Not-So-Cold War

The Clueless American Elite’s View of the NATO-Russian Ukrainian War Gordon Hahn, Russian & Eurasian Politics

Ukraine’s Zelensky appears increasingly embattled as U.S. backing wavers Washington Post (not paywalled)


Fears of a NATO Withdrawal Rise as Trump Seeks a Return to Power New York Times

‘The U.S. May Not Be Coming To Save Us.’ Why, And How, Europe Might Have To Battle Russia By Itself. Forbes

Europe Must Urgently Prepare to Deter Russia Without Large-Scale US Support The Royal United Services Institute. The nut graf: “NATO’s European members must ramp up investment in ammunition production and focus military training and force structures against key mission sets to credibly deter Russia from exploiting a clash between the US and China in the late 2020s as an opportunity to break Article 5 in Europe.”

Sustainable surveillance Edward Slavsquat. On Russia’s “Data Economy” initiative.

Imperial Collapse Watch

America’s undoing Prospect Magazine

Experts: New Disruptive, Asymmetric Approaches Needed to Rebuild US Advantages Air and Space Forces Magazine

Pentagon Stupidity Is a Design Choice BIG by Matt Stoller

South of the Border

Biden Administration

Don’t Make Your Voters Step Over Dead Bodies Hamilton Nolan, How Things Work

Yet Another State Shuts the Door on Partisan Gerrymandering Complaints Bolts Mag

Our Famously Free Press

‘Israel-Hamas War’ Label Obscures Israel’s War on Palestinians FAIR

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The House Intelligence Committee’s Surveillance ‘Reform’ Bill is a Farce Electronic Frontier Foundation


Artificial Intelligence may lead to discriminatory pricing, facilitate subtle anti-competitiveness: CCI chief CNBC TV18

Cities Hope AI Camera Enforcement Can Improve Bus Service Governing

Google is reportedly working on a project that lets AI models tell someone’s “life story.” The Verge


Hospitals across the country are dumping Medicare Advantage plans and canceling their contracts with insurers HEALTH CARE un-covered

The FDA just approved the first gene editing therapy for sickle cell anemia, but it’ll cost $2.2 million per person Business Insider

Systemic Insanity Mad in America

Police State Watch

US police agencies took intelligence directly from IDF, leaked files show Guardian


Texas Supreme Court temporarily halts ruling allowing Dallas woman to get an abortion Texas Tribune

Groves of Academe

ACLU defends free speech in furor over university presidents’ handling of antisemitic rhetoric on campus ABC News. Commentary:

Supply Chain

Pharma shipping is trendy, ‘but service and quality level just isn’t there’ The Loadstar

Guillotine Watch

World’s Richest Families Got $1.5 Trillion Richer in 2023 The Morning News



California Gov. Newsom vetoes bill limiting autonomous trucks Statescoop. From September, still germane.

Book Nook

The attack against the freedom to read and what to do about it MR Online

Class Warfare



Antidote du jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Vandemonian

    Congratulations on today’s Links, Conor. Like those of Yves and Lambert, your version has a flavour all of its own. Thank you.

              1. Jeremy Grimm

                If this is the wrong week to be drinking early … do you know something that might suggest the world news next week, or in coming weeks might provide even better reasons to be drinking early?

    1. cousinAdam

      Indeed. The flavor has strong notes of “ you can’t make this s**t up” but there is much meat on the bones for the “Best Commentariat” to savor. The several posts on Ansar Allah throwing down its cards in support of Gaza is going to be my first course – and I can highly recommend Matt Stoller’s post (I’m a subscriber to Big) – important (imho) and goes well with a first cup of coffee. Bon apetit!

      1. Tom Stone

        I’d like to see the Suez Canal shut down until the mass murder stops and Ansar Allah is taking the first step.
        Once the USA intervenes ( In as stupid a way as possible) I suspect it will be shut down at both ends.
        I’m right on the edge financially and further inflation would be difficult, but if it’s my life or the life of 2 Million plus innocent people it’s an easy choice.
        Easier because I’m 70 years old and tore up from the floor up, YMMV.

  2. griffen

    All hail to the mighty antidote. Saw quite a few of them up close just not close enough to pet, a few months back. However, if in today’s photo that is mistletoe on its head….I’ll allow someone else to go first.

    1. Lunker Walleye

      We visited the Neil Smith Refuge a couple of weeks ago and saw many bison on the natural prairie. There are just over 60 of them.

        1. Lunker Walleye

          They are mighty hulking and impressive! Signs posted said to stay in car. We got very close (in vehicle):

    2. irenic

      The buffalo I have come across always seemed to have that look in their eyes of “come too close and I’ll stomp you!”. But the the National Park Service does offer an instructional on how to pet a bison. Good luck!

  3. ilsm

    Air and Space Forces Mag…

    “Third, no matter how good new technologies are, they need operational concepts that will make the most of them. ” “Collaborative aircraft…. (F-35)”

    Defense acquisition “guide books” rightly state that to go beyond ‘science projects’ (into engineering development) technology needs a concept of operations (CONOPS to Joint Chiefs’ capability documents) to be designed into something like the F-35 or V-22 (!).

    DoD’s acquisition process has been logical, it has rarely been followed.

    The ‘arsenal of democracy’ needs a thorough rinse and flush, not 10 year fiefdoms for the manger who cannot kill a failed design that does not support its CONOPS.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Genes That Boost Fertility Also Shorten Our Life, Study Suggests”

    This may be true, but they likely go out with a smile on their face.

    1. Terry Flynn

      But potentially make the Darwin Awards less interesting since if you’ve reproduced you’re ineligible :-(

    2. Randy

      Maybe not. They probably died with a frown on their face knowing they wouldn’t have had to work two jobs (instead of one job) to support all their offspring if they just would have purchased some birth control pills or condoms.

      The smile on their face occurred during or just after they created these offspring.

  5. Mikel

    “Sustainable surveillance” Edward Slavsquat. On Russia’s “Data Economy” initiative.

    Multipolar Surveillance World Order.
    “data economy”
    I keep saying: despite rumors and expectations of its demise, the USA still has a hold on the world’s imagination.

  6. timbers

    “The FDA just approved the first gene editing therapy for sickle cell anemia, but it’ll cost $2.2 million per person Business Insider”

    Or $19.99 in China.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I assume both therapies are guaranteed to produce mysterious unexpected side effects rather like the miraculous Warp Speed produced mRNA vaccines?

  7. The Rev Kev

    “California Gov. Newsom vetoes bill limiting autonomous trucks”

    Being Newsom, I can well believe his actions. About a month ago, ‘General Motors’ Cruise autonomous vehicle unit (recalled) all 950 of its cars to update software after one of them dragged a pedestrian to the side of a San Francisco street in early October and a subsequent ban by California regulators.’

    So can you imagine self-driving trucks barreling down California’s roads and highways with full loads on such as gravel? If you saw one, you would have to back off and give it plenty of berth in case “something” happened. What if one of these trucks plowed into a yellow school bus because ‘it did not see it’ like self-driving cars have plowed into red fire-trucks because they could not see them. So if this happened, would anybody hold Gavin Newsom to account?

    1. Milton

      Can living drivers flip off these autonomous trucks on the freeway so that it has the desired effect of letting them know they F’d up? With improved AI, the vehicles could recognize the gesture and use it as a learning experience.

      1. Vandemonian

        Maybe you could programme a bunch of GM Cruises to slip in in front of self-driving trucks, and gradually slow down to 10 mph?

      1. Wukchumni

        I am worried about the machines getting hooked on bennies, but autonomous does whatever we feel like.

        Where’s Wally Thorp (he ran commercials in the 1970’s on LA tv stations as a big rig teaching school) when you need him?

  8. timbers

    New Not-So-Cold War

    There might be a learning opportunity for China from the war in Ukraine.

    Looking back at Ukraine starting around 2014, it is rather obvious a different course could have enormously benefited both Ukraine and Russia. As a result of what has happened, hundreds of thousand maybe millions of lives have/will been lost, with countless millions of lives displaced. At the same time, Donbass has been turned into a ash heap of destruction in large part by Russia herself, in the so far vain attempt to acquire it. In other words, Russia herself is destroying Donbass.

    Is that what China wants to do happen in Taiwan? Would a course of action now that is different from what Russia choose years ago in Donbass, produce a better outcome for China in Taiwan?

    The US is now doing in Taiwan some of the same things it did in Donbass years ago – arming it to the teeth. Once fully armed, re-unification becomes more costly for China in a similar way taking Donbas has become massively more costly for Russia today that it would have been 8 years ago.

    Would it be better – as in less costly in life and treasure – for China to act now instead of waiting 8 years (or whatever)?

    If so, what could China do now to spare herself the cost later on? Block-aid Taiwan including US ships forever unless US troops leave and US military sales are terminated and existing US arms removed from Taiwan? Sink if necessary US ships harassing China off her coast?

    I don’t know the best course of action, but if there is a lesson to be learned from Donbass, it might be that taking action now might be better than allowing events to flow un-interrupted another 8 years or so as they did in Donbass, may not be the wisest thing to do.

      1. ilsm

        Time is on both Russia and China’s side!

        Trump gave Russia 4 years they needed, for the US and NATO to decline further.

        China has the same tooo;. and US is not running Azov up to the border of PRC as was quietly happening in winter 2022.

        The kind of changes US/NATO needs to compete are not in the works……

        Russia/China are not Hitler in 1939!

      2. timbers

        What Russia did in 2022, but in 2014. Or there about. Far less lives lost, enormously less destruction and an intact Donbas.

          1. Feral Finster

            I’m not sure about that. Russia was self-sufficient in food and energy in 2014.
            Ukraine in 2014 was far weaker than in 2022.

            1. Maxwell Johnston

              Russia was not self-sufficient in food in 2014. The big push towards autarky in agriculture came post-Crimea sanctions in 2014 (e.g, the banning of food imports from the collective west). Roughly simultaneously, Russia rolled out a wide raft of other laws promoting self-sufficiency and (to borrow a phrase from Taleb) anti-fragility: for example, forcing MC/Visa to maintain servers inside Russia whilst setting up its own MIR payment card system (both measures ended up helping to smooth the transition to the new world of hyper-sanctions after 24/2/22).

              Re Timbers’ original comment about what Russia might have done in 2014: I don’t think Russia’s military was prepared back then to invade Ukraine, and I think Putin and Lavrov genuinely had confidence that their EU counterparts (specifically Hollande and Merkel) would work constructively towards a negotiated non-violent solution. It turns out they were wrong. I don’t see the Putin/Lavrov duo repeating their mistake of trusting anybody in the west.

              1. Feral Finster

                IIRC, most of the food imports now substituted were luxuries, not staples.

                Regardless, I suspect that your concluding paragraph is pretty much on the money. Everything else is retcon.

                1. Maxwell Johnston

                  Re luxuries vs staples: that’s not entirely true, amazingly enough. At our local Moscow supermarket circa 2013, the produce shelves were still loaded up with Dutch tomatoes and Polish apples (just to give two ridiculous examples). Ridiculous because some of the finest red tomatoes I’ve ever eaten came from the south of Russia (not to mention the wonderful tangy apples from our dacha). The problem in Russia (and previously in the USSR) wasn’t lack of production (the USSR grew plenty of food, but lots of it rotted in warehouses and in railway cars), it was lack of distribution and storage facilities, perhaps a by-product of the Marxist idea that only production mattered and the entire service sector was some kind of evil parasitic exploitation of the working class. This mentality disappeared fairly quickly post-1991, but it lingered for a surprisingly long time in the agri sector. Anyway the post-Crimea counter-sanctions acted as a huge spur for investment in the agri sector (not just in production, but also in logistics), and now Russia is largely self-sufficient in food bar the items which simply aren’t produced there (coffee, tea, tropical fruits, etc) and the usual luxury items.

                  1. digi_owl

                    Suggesting USSR was a bad take on what Marx wrote.

                    Guy applauded Capitalism for its ability to build not just factories but also transport networks.

                    Why he mused about places like UK or Germany going communist, as the takeover would piggyback on the existing capitalist infrastructure to re-balance the wealth distribution.

                    1. LifelongLib

                      Well, the belief that if you’re not a physical laborer you’re some sort of parasite exploiting the working class (even if you’re living off paychecks too) isn’t confined to the USSR, unfortunately.

      3. timbers

        The question is not NOT what Russia should have done. That’s plain as day. The QUESTION is does this apply to Taiwan and if so, what should China do?

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          China could offer to buy Taiwan. If they wait until 2025, they’ll have to throw in Greenland. Time is of the essence!

            1. Glen

              Yup! Here it is, right on the Department of State web page:

              U.S.-Taiwan Relations
              The U.S. and Taiwan enjoy a robust unofficial relationship. The 1979 U.S.-P.R.C. Joint Communique switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. In the Joint Communique, the U.S. recognized the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, acknowledging the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China. The Joint Communique also stated that the people of the U.S. will maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan. The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) is responsible for implementing U.S. policy toward Taiwan.

              I would say there is a lesson to be learned by the people of Taiwan from Ukraine, and it was best expressed by Henry Kissinger:

              “To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.”

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            In my earlier comment … no opportunity to edit came up!
            ==> China wants Taiwan to region with it intact. ==>
            China wants to rejoin Taiwan with the Taiwan region intact.
            Sorry for my hasty fingers.

    1. Kouros

      “Donbass has been turned into a ash heap of destruction in large part by Russia herself, in the so far vain attempt to acquire it. In other words, Russia herself is destroying Donbass.”

      To me it looks that Ukrainians would destroy and kill everything before they let Russians take it. The blowing of the Dam on the Dnieper River is the classic example.

      Bombing the Nuclear power plant, etc, etc, etc…

  9. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: ACLU defends free speech in furor over university presidents’ handling of antisemitic rhetoric on campus ABC News.

    Throughout the history of the united states, there have been two ways to “amend” the constitution–

    The amendment process is very difficult and time consuming: A proposed amendment must be passed by two-thirds of both houses of Congress, then ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states. The ERA Amendment did not pass the necessary majority of state legislatures in the 1980s. Another option to start the amendment process is that two-thirds of the state legislatures could ask Congress to call a Constitutional Convention.

    There is now a third, available only to obscenely wealthy “asset managers” who don’t like what other people have to say:

    Penn mega-donor Ross Stevens, the CEO of Stone Ridge Asset Management, said he will pull his roughly $100 million gift to the university because the of the school’s “permissive approach to hate speech calling for violence against Jews and laissez faire attitude toward harassment and discrimination against Jewish students,” according to a letter Stevens’ lawyer sent the university. Stevens’ donation could be available should Magill step down, the letter said…

    A republic if you can keep it.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        She should have forced them to fire her and then challenged the firing all the way to the “supreme” court, she being such a stalwart defender of “free speech” rights on campus and all.

        “Rights” that depend on defense by such a weasel as she, are not “rights” at all.

        Talk about “bullying”….

        1. mrsyk

          Yes she should have. From the parts of her testimony I’ve seen she was quite frankly terrible. She seemed unprepared, unable to differentiate between hate speech, anti-zionism and anti-semitism. She had prepared notes from which she neither strayed or elaborated upon in any of the video snippets I could find. Hardly the champion of free speech we could have used in this situation. Has anyone seen her entire testimony?

      2. lyman alpha blob

        All based on a hypothetical put forth by a shrieking right wing fanatic in our own Congress practically frothing at the mouth as she spoke.

        Somehow we’re supposed to be afraid, very afraid of all the fanatical right wing supremacists in our midst, and yet when an actual right wing religious fanatic appears, suddenly everyone finds it more convenient to Not-See them.

      3. Boomheist

        Scary, this – how FAST we went from that hearing to resignations of one president and the chair of that same school’s Board of Trustees. I bet by Monday we will see resignations from the others, in lock step to the Approved Narrative, and suddenly, in a moment, free speech will have changed utterly and forever. Instead of the standard being shouting “fire” in a theater it will now be upsetting people, with those in power deciding which upset people get heard. This sudden and sheep-like reaction by the heads of three of our Ivy League schools will rightfully, in my mind, damage all elite schools going forward. Maybe that has been the point all along?

        1. thoughtful person

          Yes, the speech of those with 100 million to spend is quite loud these days. Pretty much as it has been for many decades.

    1. Carolinian

      On the other hand having to unmask themselves with this kind of overt bullying could be a sign of weakness rather than strength. Hasbara works by staying below the radar screen.

      In North Carolina when rich rightwing donors tried to shape university policies there was a big hue and cry. So as always the “it’s ok when we do it” crowd have to defend their hypocrisy through bald assertion rather than persuasion. It self licks.

      Letting universities become propaganda shops for one side will merely lead to their decline IMO. Why do they need those huge endowments anyway? It’s supposed to be about learning, not money.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>Letting universities become propaganda shops for one side will merely lead to their decline IMO. Why do they need those huge endowments anyway? It’s supposed to be about learning, not money.

        Letting?? Too late, I say. Anyways, with the steady funding cuts, even in states like California as well as the bureaucratization of the whole system combined with full time professors being replaced with adjuncts or temps as well as back office staff, the respect and effectiveness that universities and colleges use to have has been going away for awhile.

  10. Mikel

    “Artificial Intelligence may lead to discriminatory pricing, facilitate subtle anti-competitiveness” CCI chief CNBC TV18

    “ON ALGORITHMIC WAGE DISCRIMINATION” Veena Dubal, Columbia Law Review

    I’d consider the discriminatory algorithmic pricing article for filing under “class warfare” with the algorithmic wage discrimination article.

    In too many instances, the algorithms may be synonymous with class warfare.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Japanese elders are being left behind to face bear attacks’

    Obviously the only bears we have in Oz are Koala bears – and Drop bears – so cannot talk about the effectiveness of bear sprays that readers mention in comments from time to time. So, does they work and if so, could they be issued to those elderly folks to carry with them? Maybe on a belt or something so they they are not caught short?

    1. Lee

      One of the weaknesses of bear spray is that if the breeze is blowing in the wrong direction you may end up spritzing yourself. In which case being killed by a bear might be a mercy.

      1. Sub-Boreal

        Agree. I’ve carried bear spray for > 30 years of field work in BC and Yukon, and never had to use it for real. But unless you’ve done a test-firing, you won’t appreciate how close you have to be to the oncoming critter to have much chance of making a difference. In my forestry days, I learned that in areas where there really was a serious safety problem, many bush workers would be armed. For example, in extreme northeastern BC, there is a history of black bears exhibiting predatory behaviour, so carrying a gun in the bush was much more common than in other parts of the province. Or if you’ve had a bad run-in, that tends to make you more willing to carry heavier protection than just spray, like a Yukon geologist that I once worked with.

    2. JEHR

      I’m sorry, but after watching the Airplane land again, every comment after that somehow seems to be in the same vein and I keep laughing and smiling. I hope this hasn’t happened to anyone else.

  12. griffen

    Zeitgeist watch, US professional sports edition. Breaking news from Major League Baseball, where a single player is commanding the largest payday ever reported to play sport, either as every day player or eventually an every 5th day as pitcher.

    Hitherto, maybe the Dodgers can convince the young professional and DH to play one side of the field all on his own ( sarc ). Ha ha…owners are the true version of idiots repeating history. And when it comes to sport royalty, all I can think to add is “in your face” to their downwind competitors in the National League.

    1. Wukchumni

      What’s amazing to me, is that baseball is a moribund sport where unlike the NFL, MLB teams have had a hard time being sold (there were no buyers for a big market team last year when the Angels were for sale, with Ohtani!) as every other pro sport in America is pretty much chopped liver compared to football in popularity.

    2. Benny Profane

      They lost America’s youth when they started to broadcast playoff and WS games late into the night, and now they’re losing fans bit by bit with the prices they want not only at the parks, but at home in special cable and streaming packages. I’ve been a Yankee fan all my long life, but not so much anymore. I got home one August Sunday and got an alert that the Yankees were playing the Red Sox, did I want to tune in? Of course, even if both were battling for last place. It’s Yankees/Sox! Nope. I had to subscribe to MLB season pass or whatever it’s called for some stupid fee, and this wasn’t the first time the Yankees wanted me to do this. No way. I already pay an obscene amount for cable, and the Yankees and ESPN are already getting a few bucks a month in that payment. Yes, your grandmother is paying that, too. Everyone is. But, more, more, more. About six years ago, I was denied Yankees baseball for a whole summer because the Steinbrenner kids and Comcast couldn’t come to terms. A whole season! That’s building a fan base.
      So, now this. You think the Dodgers are going to create that 700 million out of thin air, like Powell does? Nope. They’re going to make more luxury boxes, raise ticket prices, increase parking fees, sell 20 dollar beers, 150 dollar jerseys, and make the viewer at home pay more and more for the privilege of watching this greed. The Yanks just signed Soto, and he’s gonna want a contract similar to this, so, bye bye Benny, I guess. It’s sad what they’ve done. If there was any better target for an anti trust prosecution, you tell me.

      1. Lost in OR

        Ditto with the farm teams. You forgot parking fees. My son and I had a really good (personal, up-close with the players) experience with the local farm team. But they sure make you pay for it. You can’t even bring in your own water.

        That works once.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        Couple seasons ago the Sox and Yankees were playing and Aaron Judge had a chance to hit his 62nd HR of the season. I have switched cable/streaming services multiple times in recent years just so I can get NESN, the regional network that carries Sox games and is always in a pissing contest with one service or another. I turn on the TV hoping to watch a piece of history, only to find out that one game is being televised only on amazon prime. While I’m happy to steal the occasional watchable program from amazon, I will never pay the Emerald City Cueball one red cent.

        Due to all the contractural idiocy, you have to pay for three of four different services now if you really want to have access to all your team’s games. Capitalism really does know how to kill off a fan base.

        1. Bugs

          This crap has hit anyone who wants to watch the NFL from outside the USA – there was previously a service called NFL GamePass that was around 175€ a year and allowed you to watch games at any time from any country or device outside the USA. You could even set it up to download games and hide scores to avoid spoilers. Well, guess what happened?

          This July, the NFL sent out emails telling subscribers that it sold the GamePass license to a crap sports streaming startup called DAZN and all those useful features have disappeared. Moreover, the streams are lower quality and you can’t watch games except in the country where you paid for it. Same price of course. Oh and DAZN lost 2.4$ billion last year. I’m sure prices will double next year. I’ll be sailing the high seas for my content, as the kids say.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      The Dodgers really are the stupid money in MLB right now, although San Diego is giving them a run for their money (as much as I miss Bogaerts as a Sox fan, SD grossly overpaid him and will regret that contract soon if they don’t already given the mediocre numbers he put up last season). If $30-35 million per year is the going rate for a superstar pitcher or batter, then maybe his salary is justified given that he does both at an MVP/Cy Young level. He essentially opens up an extra roster slot for LA, and given the billions pro sports generates, I wholeheartedly support large amounts of that money going to unionized players rather than billionaire owners. However he is just coming off a 2nd major surgery which will prevent him from pitching at all next year, and generally after a couple major arm surgeries, a player’s better years are behind them. I know I’d want to see how the restructured arm works before handing out that much money.

      That being said, I will be forever grateful for LA’s stupidity in taking the bloated contracts of Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford off the Red Sox’ hands in 2012. Getting rid of those underperforming clowns led to a World series win the very next year, and likely contributed heavily to their 2018 win too. I love LA!

  13. Mikel

    “What does “worsening” deflation even mean? If the economy is growing it doesn’t matter if prices are falling slightly. Chinese PMIs and exports surprised to the upside recently. IMF said they’ll hit growth targets. Why is the media so stuck on this narrative? Its weird.”

    Their concern is about asset bubble prices staying high. The cost of living inflation and rentierism has been good for asset bubbles.

    1. Screwball

      The cost of living inflation and rentierism has been good for asset bubbles.

      I’ll give you an example of cost of living inflation. Let’s talk about the costs of electric for our home. I live in Ohio, supplied by AEP. We can buy from AEP, or other energy suppliers at market rates. AEP will put us on one of those when they deem fit, and they will also take you off. I have created a spreadsheet with 2 years worth of data.

      I have had 3 different energy suppliers over the last 2 years, one of which was AEP. The bills list the AEP charges and then the alternative energy charges in a different section containing kilowatt usage and cost. AEP has charges for transmission service, distribution service, and customer charge (always 10 bucks). If you are using AEP for electric, they just list how many kWh and an amount. No rate.

      I plugged all this into a spreadsheet, then played. Based on kWh usage, my cost of energy (per kWh) has went up almost 29 percent in 24 months. Distribution charges went up 40 percent alone. Granted, I have changed some habits and been more cognizant about how much I use, and saved myself some money.

      But you can’t get around the cost per kWh.

  14. The Rev Kev

    ‘The Spectator Index
    BREAKING: Israel’s Channel 12 reports that Netanyahu told Biden and Scholz, ‘if you do not act against the Houthis, we will act militarily’.’

    Somebody in Comments said a long time ago that this was like that playground thing where this little kid is threatening to go fight a much bigger kid – but making sure that his friends were holding him back first. Is Netanyahu really saying that he wants to open up a third front? Or does he want the US and Germany to fight for him.

    1. Screwball

      Only 13 yes votes. Amazing. Makes you wonder if these pricks are getting paid off by war toy makers? My two Ohio Senators; Brown = NO, JD Vance = Yes. So much for the democratic party being anti war.

      1. Pat

        Both of my Democratic senators also voted no. No surprise, too many rice bowls on Wall Street get broken if we stop being a bully for oil or idiots afraid of communism. But it does make one sick.

  15. Wukchumni

    US to Send Tank Shells to Israel After Biden Admin Bypasses Congress, Approves Sale The Messenger

    On one hand presstidigitation tells us the administration wants civilian casualties in Gaza to diminish, and on the other hand it doesn’t tell us in the headline that 14,000 tank shells will be laying more waste to Gaza, it only says ‘tank shells’ which could be as little as 2.

      1. Benny Profane

        I’m thinking that Hezbollah and the rest of the Arab world, especially Iran, are waiting for the inevitable drought of shells and armor, because most of it has been used in Ukraine, and it’s not as though our mighty industrial base is scaling up to make more. Then they pounce.

      2. R.S.

        Sorry to say that, but that’s an arty, not a tank. Some M109 Paladin, 155mm shells there’s been so much fuss about lately.

        I’d say it looks more like a live fire exercise. They’re standing loaded and ready at the start, then there’s a guy counting 4-3-2…. Like they’re trying to get “n shots in a minute”.

    1. Mikel

      I hear about countries all around talking about the horrors of the civilian casualties, but the US and Israel are still doing whatever they want, to whom they want, and when they want.
      Elites everywhere are worried mostly about their pocketbooks, status, and connections.

  16. The Rev Kev

    ‘Kawsachun News
    Press briefing: PM Ralph Gonsalves announces face-to-face dialogue between the presidents of Guyana and Venezuela on Thursday in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.’

    Wouldn’t it be funny if an agreement was made that required a neutral military force to patrol that border, one that was not from South America or even North America. So both sides agreed to a Russian military force to come in on the ground and with Chinese assistance. That would be hilarious that.

    1. ambrit

      The real deal breaker will be the status of the oil and gas fields.
      If Exxon goes, peace. If Exxon stays, war.

    2. dave -- just dave

      I imagine that Prime Minister Gonsalves intends to minimize human suffering by finding a way for some large fraction of the disputed territory to be handed to Venezuela without bloodshed – but I’m just guessing, after looking at relative population sizes of the two countries – something under 30 million in one, something under a million in the other.

  17. Wukchumni

    Half of the endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep tracked by scientists died during last season’s record-breaking winter, according to researchers interviewed by LAist.

    Some sheep got trapped in avalanches, some died of starvation, and some were killed by mountain lions when the sheep were forced to move to lower elevations to look for food.

    The population is now estimated at 360 sheep, a 40% decline from a year ago, according to Tom Stephenson, who heads the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery Program. That estimate includes new lambs that were born in the spring.

    Some herds, including two of the three living in Yosemite National Park, have been mostly or perhaps entirely wiped out.

    During their summer field surveys, researchers found just one live ewe, the term for adult female bighorns, from Yosemite’s Mount Gibbs herd. Last year there were 20.

  18. Lex

    Yesterday I commented that it looks like Putin is the axis of shuttle diplomacy following the gulf trip and the Iranian visit to Moscow. (Not just that in these meetings but the timing and visit lengths suggest it’s a major part of the schedule.) yesterday there was a Putin-Sisi call and today a Putin-Netanyahu call. The Russian readout and Russian commentary suggests that Putin was giving Bibi some bad news that Bibi did not take very well. Reports are also stating that Bibi interrupted a ministerial meeting to take Putin’s call.

    Something’s happening here but we don’t know what it is … yet.

  19. Lexx

    ‘Blood Test May Be Able to Tell Which Organs Have Accelerated Aging’

    I’m going to assume that when they say we’ll be able to treat individual organs that are aging faster, they mean with gene therapy. There was this article in The Guardian this morning:

    I’m going to guess those two are part of that concentration of researchers investigating aging at U.C. San Diego, in labs backed by billionaires. The .001% who want to live on and enjoy their wealth as long as possible.

    1. Terry Flynn

      Yeah I don’t disagree. Plus I agree that this is oversimplified. Some vital organs deteriorate linearly and you get warning signs as to when you might be wise to start planning for a new one. Others – most notably the liver – can operate brilliantly when only a small fraction of it is in good condition (non fatty and no inflammation/scarring/cirrhosis) and doing all its filtration and immune system stuff well. However the liver is also notorious for being something of an “all or nothing” organ. Even if you “know” your liver is vulnerable, that’s of no use if you have no “amber alert”.

      A lot of people consuming a lot of alcohol and/or medications learn the hard way that the liver can and will just go “OK I’m outta here” and fail with very little actionable warning. Without transplant it’s a nasty death. I find it disconcerting that in a country like the UK my “median level Fibroscan score” looks fine statistically but by standards of history and Earth really is not something to boast about. Plus I dare you to find a Brit with a truly low level of fat in their liver these days.

      If COVID is mutating to take on the liver next, then we’re gonna see some really really nasty stuff going down, whether or not you have the £ to know which of your organs have accelerated aging.

  20. lyman alpha blob

    RE: US makes US$2 billion commitment to Angola as oil-rich nation eyes move beyond Chinese funding model

    From the article –

    “Lourenco, who replaced the late Jose Eduardo dos Santos as president in 2017, has promised to diversify the country’s oil-dependent economy and reduce its excessive reliance on China.”

    Wondering if anyone in the commentariat knows more about this situation as the article is a little vague on the details, and I certainly don’t trust any good US intentions. My sister-in-law’s father is a retired exec from the Angolan state oil company, and I’ve talked politics in general with him but never really got into how the oil industry worked, so I have a very limited understanding of the situation.

    From my limited research, there was a lot of corruption in the past and oil exports benefited a relative few Angolans, with part of the problem being that Angola exported crude, but had no capacity to develop its own resources. Then in the last decade or so, reformers were able to take power and had pledged to develop refineries, and make Angola more self sufficient overall. I don’t know how much of that actually happened, and I don’t know whether its the US or China currently exerting the most influence. I do know that my sister-in-laws family was denied entry to the US to visit her in recent years, fearing they would somehow stay illegally to better their lot in life, despite the fact that they are quite wealthy by Angolan standards, while they seem to have no problems at all taking shopping trips to China.

    Not sure who the current Angolan government’s allies are, and maybe they are doing the multipolar thing and taking god deals where they can find them, but if I were them I’d be very wary of Westerners promising to “help”, given that in the past that seems to have led to rampant corruption, civil war and destruction. I’m assuming Angolans wouldn’t need to shop in China if all that oil revenue had been put to use developing infrastructure in the past. How much development is going to be done with $2 billion, which these days is chump change?

  21. Mikel

    Every day there is an article about the imperial stupidity of the USA or its decline.
    The only thing beginning to stand out more is the rest of the world’s lack of ability and/or will to seize the moment.

    1. i just dont like the gravy

      When seizing the moment means your country’s elites potentially lose access to the Wall Street spigot, I’m not surprised they do everything in their power to feign concern to their populations but act according to Uncle Sam’s wishes.

      1. John k

        So, no sudden moves, right? But at some point you have to do something, the status quo is not the desired result.
        Russia has so far managed that delicate balance in Ukraine, but they’re doing a lot of somethings now vs nothing for many years previously, a period when the Donbas was continuously bombed, granted not as severely as Gaza is now. So far Russia, China, and the Muslim world have done far too little to have any real affect. Wait for them to run out of bombs?
        Seems to me the us does not want a wider war (or perhaps they want to focus on one theater at a time) witness the various Hizbullah/houthi/iran pinpricks have so far drawn little response. These seem to be ratcheting up, but Hamas does not have months to wait for the Calvary to show up.

        1. Procopius

          Clearly, what they were doing from 2014 – 2022 was expanding their arms industries. Quietly. So now they are defeating the Ukrainian “NATO-standards” army and producing more arms and ammunition than they are using up on the battlefield. More than the U.S. and all NATO nations combined are able to produce. That is not done overnight or in one year. Of course, their population is something like 65 millions while the U.S. and all the NATO countries combined is much larger, of whom maybe 20% are fit to train. If they have the political will.

          1. Yves Smith

            Please do not provide misinformation. It is particularly distressing since you normally provide sound commentary and readers would thus tend to accept what you say. Remarks like this force me to either trash your comment or waste time on a search to get exact information and write a correction when you should have checked yourself.

            Russia’s population is over 143 million.

  22. Jason Boxman

    The Guns Were Said to Be Destroyed. Instead, They Were Reborn.

    Communities across the U.S. are fueling a secondary arms market by giving seized and surrendered guns to disposal services that destroy one part and resell the rest.

    Hundreds of towns and cities have turned to a growing industry that offers to destroy guns used in crimes, surrendered in buybacks or replaced by police force upgrades. But these communities are in fact fueling a secondary arms market, where weapons slated for destruction are recycled into civilian hands, often with no background check required, according to interviews and a review of gun disposal contracts, patent records and online listings for firearms parts.

    LOL. Oops.

    1. Tom Stone

      If they are destroying the reciever, which is serialized, they are destroying the gun.
      The parts can be sold legally without a background check because they are not the firearm.
      Some recievers are relatively easy to make (AR15 recievers have been made out of both laminated wood and plastics) and some are not.
      If you want a machine pistol all you need is a Glock 17, a length of wire coathanger and hand tools, since getting rid of Gunz in the USA is impossible, perhaps enforcing some of the gun laws might help.
      Start with Ross Mirkarimi…

    1. Bsn

      Just read that. Wow! I (also) can’t believe that American voters are willing to step over dead babies and vote for Biden. Shameful regardless of the other choices. One comment responding to someone mentioning Robert Kennedy as an option stated “But he’s a conspiracy theorist and anti vax.”. Seems that voter is willing to step over those children. Sad but true.

  23. CaliDan

    Experts: New Disruptive, Asymmetric Approaches Needed to Rebuild US Advantages Air and Space Forces Magazine

    So to summarize: 1) never stop searching for new tech; 2) technological advances must aid the overcoming of disadvantages; 3) use tech good [sic intended]; 4) new tech must have the ability to be built and used at scale, i.e., budgeting [the point of this whole exercise?]; and 5) have personnel trained better than the enemy.

    Now I’m no military expert by any means, but if given an hour or so and a cup of coffee I think I’d be able to reproduce this article off the top of my little civilian head––minus the pretense that I’ve learned some sort of historical lesson––and still have time to photoshop something keen for the cover. Perhaps an incredulous Huey Lewis and the News playfully dangling from an F-35, assuming the “Back to the Future” theme is truly important to the messaging.

    1. Glen

      Having heard similar upper management song and dance for decades what’s generally not mentioned is that the singular focus of all major corporations is maximizing CEO and C suite profit. This is generally done by sucking all the R&D funding out of the budget, and off shoring manufacturing. Less off shoring occurs in the MIC, but upper management compensates by dropping capital investment in new factories and equipment to near zero and just running the manufacturing line into the ground. All this along with the near impossibility of actually holding upper management accountable for poor performance. It’s how corporations are being run that has stifled performance.

      What’s really needed in American manufacturing is to revamp the rules to reward actually making things, and hold upper management accountable. End stock buy backs. Raise corporate minimum taxes to force more re-investment in the company. This is not something that’s impossible to do, it was the norm at one point in America.

      1. digi_owl

        You are forgetting maximizing shareholder value. Shareholders that likely include congress critters and their extended families.

        1. Procopius

          OK, so make it illegal for any employee (including especially management) to own stock in the company they work for. End stock buybacks, too. Stockholders realize their value from the sale of the stock they own plus dividends. Then reform the income tax to Eisenhower rates. Well, if you insist you could use JFK rates, but I like the Eisenhower 92% on the top bracket. This is going to bring in a sh*tload of money, so expand SNAP, TANF, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Return Social Security retirement age to 65, maybe lower it to 55. I’d also like to restrict “defense” spending to no more than 2% of GDP, except during wars declared by both houses of Congress. That’s going to be a lot, anyway, but let’s try to be sensible. Of course none of this is possible, but it’s one solution to our problems.

  24. Jason Boxman

    From Life expectancy finally increased. Why that’s not really a cause for celebration.

    Many viruses have a habit of doing just what I’ve described Covid as having done (just less dramatically). So, imagine what life expectancy curves for older people could look like if we were able to knock out Covid, influenza, RSV, and a few other bad pathogens that deliver fatal hits to aging people. Now that would be something to celebrate.

    And we’ve learned that we can eliminate most airborne viruses, with improved ventilation, respirators, contact tracing, 14 day quarantines, and mass testing. So, we’re going to do. Nothing. LOL.

    This isn’t just aspirational. It was done. There was no flu in 2020. There was no RSV.

  25. Tom Stone

    With Christmas coming up I’d like to express my thanks to the Christians I have known, for “The Bishop’s” Coffee house and Chuck ans Sue Greenwood in my youth, to “M” who converted to Catholicism in her early 40’s and devoted the next decades of her life to helping Schizophrenic teenagers ( If you want a hopeless and thankless task…) or Robert, who found Jesus 7 years into a sentence of 15 to life and who was paroled 4 years later at age 30.
    He was in his early 50’s when we met through red diaper Peter ( Ballet Dancer and Journeyman Machinist) rather than Peter the Trot who was an Archaeologist and Kendo Master whose day job was fixing cars.
    I’m somewhere between Tree hugging dirt worshipper and Buddhist, that doesn’t stop me from admiring those who devote their lives to Christian Service.

  26. Jason Boxman

    From Don’t Make Your Voters Step Over Dead Bodies

    What a comical post. This author wants liberal Democrats to acknowledge that Biden is supporting genocide, and not just believe hard in team Blue, but at the same time, is unhinged over Trump. Like, what the actual f**k? What kind of mental gymnastics does it require, to both know that Trump is a fascist dictator, but also that Biden is actually doing a sad?

    So here is my question for Joe Biden, the one man who has been anointed to save America from the terrifying notion of another Trump administration: Why have you decided to force American voters who do not want a fascist president to step over the bodies of thousands of dead civilians in order to vote for you?

    How can your head not explode? I guess it takes a genocide for at least one liberal Democrat to see clearly on at least one issue; maybe that’s progress?

  27. New_Okie

    RE: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    ME/CFS never received funding proportionate to its severity and/or prevalence (thanks Fauci!) and with long covid numbers continuing to baloon seems like we are paying for that as a society. Good charts can be found here for anyone interested:

    I can confirm, doctors hate the diagnosis. There are treatments, actually. Some of them pharmaceutical, some non pharmaceutical. All far from perfect. Almost none of them covered by insurance, because insurance won’t cover lifestyle changes (getting out of a moldy home, for instance) supplements, or many drugs (there is little research and thus only tiny drug trials where there are any trials at all).

    Most good doctors simply admit that it is out of their area of expertise. There are not many doctors who take it as a specialty–it probably is not very lucrative or satisfying to specialize in a disease for which there is no cure. Being an ME doc must be like being a general practitioner but with an even greater proportion of patients who consult Dr google, and with a greater chance that any drug you prescribe–for anything–will cause an adverse reaction. It is Sisyphean in the extreme, which probably helps explain why there are so few of them.

    Many doctors are not good doctors. They dismiss patients symptoms as psychosomatic.

    Of course countries like The Netherlands and Canada have come up with their own cure: Euthenasia. Don’t get me wrong: MAID should be an option. But there is something terribly neoliberal about a woman with multiple chemical sensitivity being told that she must commit suicide because the state can’t be bothered to build healthy housing or provide a decent disability pension so she can hire people herself.

    1. Terry Flynn

      I can confirm, doctors hate the diagnosis.

      Parts of the world have been forced to accept it: in my case they couldn’t deny it any longer when most of the symptoms are blatantly visible/measurable (dermatological/cardiopulmonary). See this.

      Unfortunately you are right that whilst some of them can now DIAGNOSE it, they still won’t do anything to TREAT it.

      1. New_Okie

        Sorry to hear about your Long Covid Terry Flynn.

        It’s good to hear that doctors are diagnosing Long Covid, even while they have no idea on how to treat it. Perhaps Long Covid’s moment in partial sunlight will filter down to CFS as well, at least in terms of doctors recognizing post-viral fatigue as a thing. And if we’re lucky they might also acknowledge that sometimes the viral instigator causes no obvious infection, or if it does the disease sometimes appears a bit after the initial infection.

        If we’re really lucky they will start looking into some kind of test. Ron Davis’ nano-needle seems promising, but last I heard the NIH still won’t fund it, for various fun reasons like “you work for an organization trying to research ME/CFS” (a mystifying objection, given that applicants were required to work with an NGO), “your son has ME/CFS”, “you have no prior publications on ME/CFS” (confusing since they claim that the request for funds was intended to encourage new people to join the field and study ME/CFS), “your research environment was rated as ‘mediocre'” (The Stanford office reviewing grants told Davis that they had never received a rating anywhere near that low in their entire history), or “the nano-needle isn’t government-certified to be used with patients” (but that’s what the research was for, to study it so it could hopefully be certified).

        Separately, he had another grant denied because “ME/CFS is psychological” and that was that.

        I’m probably just too jaded but it feels like even when the government is fed a solution for some piece of the ME/CFS puzzle on a silver platter they turn their noses up at it. I find it truly mind-boggling.

        Sorry, I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent. The whole thing just makes me so frustrated. And given the scale of the problem one would hope we’d be doing rather more than we are. But if ME/CFS is still “yuppie flu” in the collective imagination, perhaps it is understandable that politicians largely view it as the kind of thing that only befalls lazy people or people not beloved of God.

    2. AndrewJ

      Not to mention the effects of diet and food intolerances. I only figured out at age 36 that I probably have a salicylate intolerance, one of the symptoms is chronic fatigue. There’s no cure, and no medication, so naturally the American medical establishment has zero interest in it. The only research has been done by the Australians, and they think 1 out of 100 people have it! That’s millions of us poisoned by our food, and the perverse thing with this intolerance is, the more “healthy” you eat the worse you feel.

  28. ChrisFromGA

    Another Bezzle bites the dust:

    Many customers were drawn to Smile Direct Club because of the lower price point and the fact they could take the moulds for their aligners themselves at home.
    Treatment with the company typically takes between four to six months and customers have online check-ins with registered dentists.
    In a statement on its website, the company says that it has “improved more than two million smiles and lives”.
    However, customers in the US, UK and elsewhere have been left confused as the firm says that its customer support line will no longer be available, despite the fact that customers may need check-ins or adjustments for their aligners.

    this is late-stage predatory capitalism at work. Don’t most states require dentistry to be practiced by licensed dentists who owe their patients a certain duty of care?

    I guess the do-it-yourself angle means there is nobody to care. And nobody to go after in court.

  29. John k

    Eu-China trade summit.
    The eu realizes their trade with China is not sustainable (countries don’t want to hold euros as a reserve that much these days.). Instead of China buying more, eu could buy less.
    I’ve long thought China should slowly begin taxing some of their exports to the west, and using the tax income to boost the safety net, eg retirement income and childcare support. This would discourage saving for old age, boost spending, and increase the abysmal birth rate.
    For the west inflation would rise as trade would moves towards balance. Imo countries must move towards at least overall trade balance to avoid the need for a reserve currency and long term stable trade.

  30. Laura in So Cal

    MR online Article on Book censoring/Book “Banning”:

    I am a life-long passionate book lover so I always read articles about this subject. I have lots of thoughts.

    First, I really do object to the author’s focus on “right-wing” activities to remove books from publicly funded libraries when efforts like this are on-going by “woke” activists. 2 years ago in my local high-school district, a small highly vocal and persistent group succeeded in getting Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Of Mice and Men removed from 10th grade English curriculum. TKAM is one my favorite books so I looked closely at their argument. Basically it was that since Harper Lee was white, her book wasn’t appropriate to use to address racism and the character Atticas Finch was an example of a “White Savior” which was bad. An even worse example it the recent news that they are changing the original text of Roald Dahl books to take out language that people might find offensive. So this activity isn’t limited to one end of the political spectrum.

    Second, libraries and bookstores always discriminate and “censor” in their content. They have limited budgets and space and have to weigh quality, what their particular public wants, what they already have, etc. My public library has zero “0” books by one of my favorite authors. His books are very niche and by a small publisher. I don’t consider that he has been censored or banned by them.

    Third, I always support a citizen’s right to question how public money is being spent from local libraries and school districts all the way up to the Pentagon and money sent to Foreign countries (see Ukraine and Israel).

    Fourth, while the article is putting school libraries and public libraries together, I think they are absolutely different entities and should be treated differently.

    Public libraries are for everyone and should have as wide ranging a collection as possible including lots of stuff that someone would find objectionable. Parents who care have opportunity to censor their own child’s reading by monitoring what they check out. I was a precocious reader who was reading adult books by age 12. My own Mom would review what I was getting and have me return books to the shelf that she deemed inappropriate for whatever reason.

    School libraries need to have age appropriate material that supports actual educational objectives. There are truly excellent and awarding winning books that don’t belong in a library exclusively for children or even young teenagers. I do think the test of reading it aloud in a school board or council meeting is probably correct. If Adults are uncomfortable listening to it, then it shouldn’t be available to 4th graders in the school library. In addition, parents aren’t present to know what their kids are checking out to be prepared for questions. The teachers I know are VERY uncomfortable discussing sexuality with their students. (This goes double for male teachers). Our local elementary district had an event associated with “pride” week and my kindergarten teacher friend kept having say “ask your parents” when her students asked her what some of the terms used meant.

    Fifth, school districts and library boards need to not be cowards. When someone questions you, have a real argument and be persuasive. Just don’t start screaming about book Banning OR cave because someone is loud and persistent.

    Told you I had lots of thoughts.

    1. LifelongLib

      One of my (early 70s) high-school memories is checking out either “Mein Kampf” or “Das Kapital” from the library. Whichever it was, it had a preface by J. Edgar Hoover assuring parents that the book was only there to help students know their enemy, not turn them into Nazis or communists. I didn’t get much farther than the preface (text too dull and/or over my head) but the experience stuck in my head.

  31. Jeremy Grimm

    I read Larry Johnson’s speech in Russia addressing the topic “multipolarity and the implications for the futures of Russia and the United States” — available at “Between Two Worlds”
    I fear that Larry Johnson may be unwise to return to the u.s. — assuming that his where he lives. What he says in his speech is difficult to disagree with … but the u.s. is not my idea of a bastion of free speech.

    Should be a reply to Carolinian directly above.

  32. flora

    Great links today. Thanks.

    Tucker in conversation with Gonzalo Lira’s father.

    Ep. 47 Gonzalo Lira is an American citizen who’s been tortured in a Ukrainian prison since July, for the crime of criticizing Zelensky. Biden officials approve of this, because they’d like to apply the same standard here. The media agree. Here’s a statement from Gonzalo Lira’s father.

  33. Christopher Andrew Peters

    More nonsense from the Biden administration and the GOP non-opposition.

    Yet another Zelensky visit. They really show their true colors in how they move heaven and earth to try and get more money through Congress for this clown, yet won’t lift a finger to help any of the public who live here and pay taxes.

    Shame on Johnson for even agreeing to meet with him. Is he getting rolled? Or paid off?

  34. JBird4049

    >>>The attack against the freedom to read and what to do about it MR Online

    I really haven’t noticed any difference between the Republicans and the Democrats, the conservatives, the neoliberals, and the neo-leftists. All seek to ban whatever book, movie, blog, or whatever, says things that they don’t like often using the excuse of protecting the children, even the general public if they are in the public libraries. One could almost think that they do not believe in the First Amendment. /s

    It is telling to me that the calls to censor certain newspaper and magazine articles are not as strident as they once were. While one could say that the reduced influence of the old media is the cause, I think its capture by the ruling elites is more to blame.

  35. Frankie

    Soil Builds Prosperity From the Ground Up

    Nice to see all these gals of color discovering and publicizing soil after the white men like Bill Mollison and John Jeavons did all the writing and created the science of permaculture and bio intensive.

  36. Jason Boxman

    Renters insurance is doubled!! for next year. Bidenomics in action! I can’t wait to see what next year brings, eh.

  37. ChrisRUEcon


    You can see why the powers that be want to shut down TikTok … this tweet shares audio from George Galloway explaining to someone calling in to his show the horror of what Palestine has had to endure from a historical perspective. It ends with a point I have been thinking about a lot recently – a Muslim people were made to pay the ultimate price for European Christian Antisemitism.

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