Links 1/12/2024

Try not to let moose lick your car, Parks Canada warns, as more salt-seeking animals flock to highways CBC

NASA Finally Cracks Open the Asteroid Sample Container Gizmodo

These are the biggest global risks we face in 2024 and beyond World Economic Forum. Handy chart:

The sudden prominence of wrongthink is interesting, but do you notice anything missing? Something that perhaps affects you, but not the Davos attendees?

Slower for Longer — Inflation Has Stopped Falling Bloomberg

The Origins of Economic Multipolarity (PDF) Philip Pilkington, Connectivity Project. Handy charts:


2024 looks to be worse than 2023 Artic News

The Feeling of Losing Snow The Atlantic

Footsteps in the snow:

The Science of Snowflakes:


There’s a Huge Covid Surge Right Now and Nobody Is Talking About It Wired

Average Cost of Providing Hospital Care to COVID-19 Patients Increased Over First Two Years of Pandemic RAND

Study: Confusing government COVID reporting requirements led to disparities in hospital data sharing Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy


China’s exports rise, but deflation persists as economy enters 2024 on shaky footing Reuters

China is fast losing its place as must-have in the global portfolios Business Standard

Taiwan election 2024: silence in Brussels lays bare EU divisions on Taipei South China Morning Post

Ten crises: The political economy of China’s development Wen Tiejun, Liberation School


Myanmar conflict: China unlikely to ‘pull the carpet’ on junta and accept resistance group’s olive branch South China Morning Post


Public sitting held on Thursday 11 January 2024, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Donoghue presiding, in the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel) (PDF) International Court of Justice. Media reaction:

‘Nothing will stop this suffering, except an order from this court’ — SA sets out the evidence against Israel Daily Maverick

Day one of the ICJ genocide hearing against Israel: Key takeaways Al Jazeera

Israel Google ad accuses South Africa of ‘blood libel’ when searching for ICJ ‘genocide’ case Middle East Eye

* * *

US, British militaries launch massive retaliatory strike against Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen AP. Casus belli:

US and UK carry out strikes against Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen CNN. Commentary:

What’s Behind the Surge in Attacks by Yemen’s Houthis RAND

Iran seizes Gulf oil tanker in new threat to Middle East shipping FT

* * *

Maybe Israel isn’t in any hurry to find out how many hostages are actually in Gaza tunnels:

* * *

Israel’s Man in Black The Table. Bibi’s successor?

How Israel’s war on Gaza exposed Zionism as a genocidal cult Middle East Eye (NL).

* * *

U.S. Middle East Policy Has Failed Foreign Policy. Blinken makes John Bolton look like Talleyrand:

Gaza and New York New Left Review. Grab a cup of coffee.

European Disunion

Brussels prepares concessions to Viktor Orbán over Ukraine aid FT

France’s new government announced with only one major change at the foreign ministry AP

Davies on Subsidiarity and EU Law Legal Theory Blog

Dear Old Blighty

Recycling… In Fifth-Century Britain JSTOR Daily

New Not-So-Cold War

Russia’s upper hand puts US-Ukraine at a crossroads Responsible Statecraft. Mixed metaphor.

Ukraine’s defense minister says new version of draft mobilization law already prepared Anadolu Agency

Ukraine has no major achievements in front because Russians control sky – Zelenskyy Ukrainska Pravda

US failed to accurately track about $1 billion in arms sent to Ukraine: Watchdog ABC

A Step to the Right: Two Weeks with Right Sector, Jan-February 2014 Events in Ukraine. When all the Ukrainian PMC flee the sinking ship to become hotel clerks in London, taxi drivers in Manhattan, or bush league pundits on cable, Right Sector will remain.

South of the Border

Huge ancient city found in the Amazon BBC

Biden Administration

The EPA Isn’t Playing Around With Its $2 Billion Cummins Diesel Emissions Penalty The Drive

EBay to Pay $3 Million Penalty for Employees Sending Live Cockroaches, Fetal Pig to Bloggers WSJ

Spook Country

Invisible Ink: At the CIA’s Creative Writing Group The Paris Review. There’s a history here.

Supply Chain

Fireside Friday, January 12, 2024 A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry:

[A]s A.T. Mahan famously pointed out, the value of the sea is as a conveyance. And my goodness, what value it has. Roughly 80% of all goods move by sea; sea-freight is thus larger by share of tonnes-per-kilometer than every other method of conveyance combined. 

We got too accustomed to peaceful seas Freight Waves


BOMBASTIC! Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis Via Stoller. From 2003, still germane.

Undamaged plug exit on Alaska Max 9 had fasteners tightened during assembly The Air Current

Stephanie Pope faces turbulent start as Boeing’s new co-pilot FT. Pope is a financial analyst from McDonnell Douglas….

Digital Watch

Google and Bing put nonconsensual deepfake porn at the top of some search results NBC. It’s so odd that no scientists are working to make an AI that is, say, virtuous. Or loving.

Sports Desk

The Onion Looks Back On Bill Belichick’s 24,000-Year Reign Of Darkness The Onion

Class Warfare

The True Dangers of Long Trains ProPublica

Chamber of Commerce calls for more “optimistic” message on economy Axios

Australia’s cost-of-living crisis isn’t about the price of groceries. It’s about wealth distribution Guardian

The REAL AI automation threat to workers Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic. Shorter:

How to think like a Bayesian Psyche

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Double bonus antidote:

Good kitties!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Antifa

    ON A 737
    (melody borrowed from Catch The Wind by Donovan Leitch, as performed by The Irish Descendants)

    Flying 737 . . .
    With no guarantee of what might be
    Crews think beeping red lights are just fine

    They aren’t built all that soundly
    I’ve got bolts in hand or we’ll crash land
    But none of these jets can stand up to the wind

    Pieces fall off as we fly
    And the shit gets wild as folks get riled
    Lawsuits planned by all the undersigned

    These jets have narrow limits
    Such uncertainty in technology
    Puts us all through an awful endless grind

    (musical interlude)

    Chunks are missing all around me
    But we’re tightly crammed the cheap seat damned
    Throwing up as we cling to our own limbs

    Gotta ground them all right now
    Tighten everything check the wheels and wing
    Doors ripping off makes breathing rather thin

    Every rattle brings me close to tears
    Every creak I hear brings panicked fear
    All my friends and family come to mind

    My pounding beating heart means
    I’m sitting near eternity
    Here comes the pilot looking sick . . .

    Lord, if I live I will never fly again

    1. Wukchumni

      So kiss me and smile for me
      Tell me that you’ll wait for me
      Hold me like you’ll never let me go
      ‘Cause I’m leavin’ on a Boeing jet plane
      Don’t know if I’ll be back again
      Oh babe, I hate to go

      1. Wukchumni


        Since 9/11, yours truly has flapped his wings aloft domestically only 4 times, gotta wedding in June too far flung for a road trip, so i’m taking the 5th.

        I probably flew a million miles around the world in 80’s days & 90’s, and then lost the urge to fly.

        1. Pat

          Not as well flown as you are, but I can still say with certainty that between greed and security theater, flying since the turn of the century has gotten increasing difficult and uncomfortable. And since Boeing was MBA’d, more frightening.

        2. The Rev Kev

          Back in the early 80s I was able to talk my way into the cockpit on a long flight but those days will never happen again. But I do miss flying and could think of nothing better than to take a coupla days flight in a passenger rigid balloon with all the comforts, just like the Hindenburg. But without all the explosions and flames and screaming of course.

          1. Pat

            Even though I volunteered at one of the early Balloon festivals in Albuquerque I have never actually been in a hot air balloon. I would love to do that and be able to ride in a blimp someday. So different from how we generally fly but I can imagine with joys of their own.

            1. jsn

              It’s absolutely worth it!

              You fly mostly silently at that height were you can still see the details and mess of reality if you want to but with a birds perspective on where you are and how the air moves you.

              Hot air balloons can have a rough landing, but if you’re with a good flier its just a nice burst of adrenaline at the end of a magic ride.

              1. caucus99percenter

                Years ago, as a guest at an elaborate wedding celebration in southern Bavaria, I was invited to take a hot-air balloon ride — all part of the festivities.

                It was indeed a magic experience. The absolute stillness is broken only by a rushing sound whenever the burner is fired up.

                For extra excitement, as our time aloft was nearing its end, a whim of the wind silently spirited us across the border into Austria where we experienced a rough-and-tumble, but in no way injurious, landing in a farmer’s field.

      2. Skip Intro

        ‘Cause I’m flying on a Boeing

        Would scan better. It’s a great choice of song, since the tiny change has a such big impact.

      3. Henry Moon Pie

        Wuk, here’s a Gordon Lightfoot song popularized by Peter, Paul and Mary that includes a specific reference to a Boeing plane in better days.

        Out on runway number nine, big 707 set to go,
        But I’m out here on the grass where the pavement never grows.
        Well the liquor tasted good, and the women all were fast.
        There she goes, my friend, she’s rollin’ down at last.
        Hear the mighty engine roar, see the silver wing on high.
        She’s away and westward bound. Far above the clouds she’ll fly.
        Where the mornin’ rain don’t fall, and the sun always shines.
        She’ll be flyin’ over my home in about three hours time.
        This old airport’s got me down. It’s no earthly good to me.
        ‘Cause I’m stuck here on the ground, cold and drunk as I might be.
        Can’t jump a jet plane like you can a freight train.
        So I’d best be on my way in the early mornin’ rain.

        Early Morning Rain

  2. zagonostra

    Arnaud Bertrand

    “What I heard from so many of the leaders is trying to make sure this conflict doesn’t spread”
    So naturally you decided to bomb Yemen…

    That’s why he is Time magazine’s “Person of the Year.” So he is in the same league as Hitler and Mussolini, the former gracing the Time’s cover, according to my ChatGPT inquiry, a total of 11 times. I thought the connection of Time magazine and the CIA as cooperating at various times was well established, but ChatGPT tells me otherwise and I can seem to get any google results on the subject…oh well.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Israel Google ad accuses South Africa of ‘blood libel’ when searching for ICJ ‘genocide’ case”

    Things are really changing for Israel. When criticized in the past, they only had to shout ‘Holocaust!’ to shut people up. If that did not work, then they used the rarer term ‘blood libel’ though the go-to term remains ‘antisemitic.’ And to back all this up, they had an extensive network of Hasbara operatives to shout people down and to spread misinformation. And from time to time, they featured Holocaust stories in movies and TV shows with the latest one being the film “One life”. Well those days are over and people are not buying it anymore. The younger generation are seeing what is going on and are calling it for what it is while older generations do mental gymnastics to explain that the genocide that they are watching is not actually a genocide at all. And from my perch, I see Israel going for a long walk along a short pier.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for finding that post, Amf. It is quite remarkable reading about how this case is being laid out. No razzle-dazzle but the rule of law – and the realization by the judges that if they allow Israel to skate free from these charges, then the ICJ is toast and will be regarded by most nations in the world as no better than the ICC. And this is only Day One.

        1. DJG, Reality Czar

          Amfortas the Hippie and Rev Kev: Yes, Murray’s discussion of how the court has to validate itself, given the contrast he makes with the International Criminal Court, and given the jurisdiction of the ICJ, is of great value. As I have mentioned, I think that many supranational organizations have had their legitimacy called into question. This includes the ICJ, which has few enforcement mechanisms–even though I agree with South Africa’s proposed measures found at the end of the article. Other supranational organizations now tottering include the European Union.

          Murray’s insights and eye for detail are excellent–the article is worth reading just for his wry telling of getting into the courtroom and getting a perilous seat. Yet his portrait of Donohue, her qualifications, and the red iPad is damning. I wonder how much hinges on the cowardly chief justice?

      2. zagonostra

        Excellent first had account of the proceedings. Craig Murray is a true journalist, along with the late John Pilger they are/were in a class all their own.

        [From the article]

        It occurred to me that the people who really did not want to be in the Court at all were the judges, because it is in fact the judges and the Court itself on trial. The fact of genocide is incontrovertible and had been plainly set out. But several of the judges are desperate to find a way to please the USA and Israel and avoid countering the current Zionist narrative, the adoption of which is necessary to keep your feet comfortably under the table of the elite.

        1. .Tom

          That was the same paragraph I quoted to friends on WhatsApp.

          SA’s case for genocide is perfectly clear. The legal-technical question perhaps a bit less so, idk. How are the judges going to get out of the corner they are in? I hope Murray will have another report from today’s court.

      3. Carolinian

        Adding my thanks and very much worth a read. However it doesn’t seem very encouraging about the outcome.

        In fact the only people in the court whose demeanour was particularly dodgy and guilty were the judges. They absolutely looked like they really did not want to be there. They seemed deeply uncomfortable, fidgeted and fumbled papers a lot, and seldom looked directly at the lawyers speaking.

        The article points out that the ICJ has previously made rulings against Israel only to be ignored and even if they should make the correct decision here that indifference will no doubt continue unless the US acts–which it won’t under Biden or for that matter Trump.

        One hopes this is wrong.

      4. Mikel

        Allowed to have paper but not a pencil or pen that could be a weapon. Also, must have taken any phones.
        Wonder if he could get away with wearing an iWatch to whisper a few notes into?
        But he seems to be doing fine reporting by memory. Probably due to not growing up dependent on some of the current tech.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          yours and others’ humor does actually lighten it a bit for me – though like Norm Finkelstein i think that politics will unfortunately usurp the rule of law sadly, but the consequences will be as you point out RK – my 33yr old daughter and her husband are disgusted with the “Z’s” and Israel – the younger generation has no context with the Holocaust and being called antisemitic just doesn’t have much of an effect on them, nor on me – Israel has dug their grave and keep digging deeper, the peir you mention keeps getting shorter, the price they will pay for their crimes is only beginning (i hope) – ‘dark-brown trousers’, luv it –

          takes a while to find a source for the live proceedings – went to the ICJ webpage couldn’t find a link there – anybody have a shortcut or source?

          1. Lena

            SABC News (South African Broadcasting Corporation) has live and recorded ICJ proceedings on their youtube channel, as well as other programming about the hearings.

          2. JTMcPhee

            Dark brown pants are half the uniform of the Sturmabteilung, the paramilitary wing of H’s National Socialist Party. So there might be several levels of pun here, along with a dose of the reality of where things stand with the Zionists.

            Were I an ICJ judge, I’d be worried about the defendants bringing something nastier than a pen or pencil into the room. And about my friends and family. Many on the side or under the sway of Likudstan have proven themselves capable of and willing to do “whatever it takes” for “as long as it takes…” or at least “as long as they can.”

            I’m waiting for the tame apes in Congress to amend the “American Servicemans’ Protection Act,” commonly the “Hague Invasion Act,” 22 USC 81, subchapter 11, to spread the dark wings of Hamiltonian rules-based order to cover the Israelites, many of whom are dual US citizens…

            1. The Rev Kev

              I think that that act not only includes Americans but also America’s allies as well – which would include Israel.

    1. Mary Wehrheim

      The 1958 novel Exodus written by Leon Uris and made into a movie with Paul Newman is widely characterized as a ‘Zionist Epic.’ The film has been identified by many commentators as having been enormously influential in stimulating Zionism and support for Israel in the United States. There was also the 1981 TV mini-series “Masada” (the Israeli Alamo) The film begins and ends with scenes of present day Masada, where Israeli soldiers are shown being sworn in. Jerry Goldsmith’s rousing score is accompanied by a strident voiceover telling us that “The Israeli soldier is the most daring and defiant defender of freedom in the world.”

  4. zagonostra

    >US, British militaries launch massive retaliatory strike against Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen AP.

    In a call with reporters, senior administration and military officials said that after the Tuesday attacks, Biden convened his national security team and was presented with military options for a response. He then directed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who remains hospitalized with complications from prostate cancer surgery, to carry out the retaliatory strikes.

    I don’t think Biden made the decision any more than I think he is directing foreign policy. And, I think that the real enemy was identified by JFK at Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on April 27, 1961.

    Today no war has been declared–and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in the traditional fashion. Our way of life is under attack. Those who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe. The survival of our friends is in danger. And yet no war has been declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired.

    If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of “clear and present danger,” then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent.,for%20far%20greater%20official%20secrecy.&text=The%20very%20word%20%22secrecy%22%20is,oaths%20and%20to%20secret%20proceedings.

  5. Pat

    Donovan and John Denver, it is quite a morning. (And since I am hearing the latter in the voices of Peter, Paul and Mary it is an even bigger return to my hippy dippy wannabe childhood.) who knew satirical content could be nostalgic.

    1. Wukchumni

      I enjoy it when you only need add a word & change a word as in today’s verve…and presto!, updated for better of verse.

      1. ambrit

        Another sterling meme from the Koan Brothers. Or should that be as in the book, stage play, and film, “Anti Meme?”
        A truly modern retelling of that plot would have to be as tragedy.
        Zen Master Shakespeare had it exactly right four hundred years ago: “ is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying Nothing.”

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Let’s throw in Jefferson Airplane doing Donovan’s “Fat Angel.” How “Jefferson Airplane” wound up in Donovan’s original lyric is explained in the song’s intro. Fly Trans Love Airways!

      We are flying at an altitude of 39,000 feet.
      Captain High at your service.

      Fat Angel” at Fillmore East, 1968

      1. Mark Gisleson

        FYI, Trans World Airways (TWA) was a major international airline (now part of American Airlines).

        I’m just assuming at least a few of the younger readers were not properly processing that Donovan intro…

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Russia’s upper hand puts US-Ukraine at a crossroads”

    I have to say that I was very much surprised by the analysis of this article. The majority of it is quite accurate, even though at the end they had to throw the neocons a bone talking about deferring the question of Russian occupied territories for future talks under United Nations auspices. Those lands are now part of the Russian Federation and they are still liberating those parts they consider under Ukrainian occupation. So is this article a sign that realism is once more to be tolerated in news articles and the unthinkable can now be talked about? That Russia won and that the west lost? I found the title of this article a bit ominous though – ‘Russia’s upper hand puts US-Ukraine at a crossroads’. Bad things happen at cross-roads

    1. chris

      The only thing that amazes me more than the astounding mediocrity of the foolish people in charge of my country is the damage that class is capable of inflicting on the world. I keep hoping that they’ll wake up and start asking better questions. Maybe this is a start to realizing how screwed we are with the current approach to the problems they’ve caused.

      1. marku52

        That Cream version always slays me. Its like a conventional jazz trio hyped out of their minds on crystal meth. They are all out there orbiting Neptune on the final solo.

  7. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    The most important point to keep in mind about the ICJ ruling is that they only need to decide whether AT LEAST SOME of Israel’s conduct is CAPABLE OF FALLING WITHIN the provisions of the 1948 genocide convention, NOT that it amounts to genocide

    ( ). *

    As a reminder the convention defines genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”.

    This is crucial because it makes the bar for a South Africa victory considerably lower. This upcoming ruling isn’t some Nuremberg-style thing where the purpose is to convict Israel beyond reasonable doubt, but rather it is about trying to determine whether there’s reasonable doubt that they may eventually be convicted.

    And most importantly this is all done for the purpose of deciding on so-called “provisional measures” which are temporary rules given by the court, a bit similar to a temporary restraining order in domestic law. Again the idea here is that if there’s reasonable ground to believe that Israel’s conduct may fall within the genocide convention, since it takes so much time for the ICJ to decide if that’s actually the case, in the meantime it issues these provisional measures to at least ensure (in theory) that no further harm happens while the case is ongoing.

    So the question before the court is really “is there a reasonable basis to ask ourselves whether Israel has committed acts with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, the people in Gaza?”. And if so, whilst we decide if Israel did indeed commit these acts with that intent, how should we tell Israel to modify its behavior so that no further harm gets committed?

    If you ask me, as an individual, it’s absolutely obvious that there’s a reasonable basis to ask ourselves whether Israel committed acts with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, the people in Gaza. If only because Israel’s leaders have repeatedly said that’s exactly what they intended to do. And also because they’ve – factually – ALREADY destroyed in part the people in Gaza alongside with Gazan civil society. As a reminder 80% of the Gazans are displaced at this stage with a huge percentage of them having had their homes destroyed, most hospitals are destroyed, kids aren’t going to school, universities have been razed to the ground, journalists are murdered at an unprecedented rate in history alongside their families, people are suffering from literal famine because Israel enacted a siege, etc. So this ruling should be an open and shut case but that’s just me

    * Israel shows ‘chilling’ intent to commit genocide in Gaza, South Africa tells UN court

    8:11 PM · Jan 11, 2024

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine has no major achievements in front because Russians control sky – Zelenskyy”

    Yet in spite of all this, ‘Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday ruled out a cease-fire as his country fights off the Russian invasion, saying the Kremlin’s forces would use the pause to rearm and regroup in order to overwhelm Kyiv’s troops.’

    People in the Ukraine and the west are telling him to go on the defensive but he still insists on offensive operations in the forlorn hope that if they make any gains, he can use this to get more money from the west. Those mansions are not going to buy themselves you know.

    1. Feral Finster

      Zelenskii doesn’t really have much choice – he doesn’t have the officers, troops or equipment for a real offensive, and a mobile defense or even a defense in depth requires better trained and better led troops than what Ukraine has at the moment. Pulling back into the cities just means that armies get surrounded and then starved out.

      So Zelenskii is trading men for time, hoping that NATO intervenes or some new wunderwaffen are delivered. As it is, as long as Russia continues to look for some alternative other than using overwhelming force to crush Ukraine once and for all, Ukraine will surely get longer ranged missiles, which they will use, with the full approval of their suppliers, to attack Russian civilians.

      Russian dithering is getting a lot of good people killed.

      1. Janeway

        Russian dithering is getting a lot of good people killed.

        Perhaps, but the slow pace suits Russia just fine with respect to it’s stated goals: Demilitarize and Denazify the Ukraine. Let them continue to press the Russian lines, advance slowly and methodically. The SMO is not going to change into the Shock & Awe of western desires.

        Mills of the SMO, Grind exceedingly slow, But grind exceedingly fine.

        1. Feral Finster

          Had Russia used adequate force from the outset, that would not be necessary, and a lot of good people would not have been killed.

          Relying on the good will of sociopaths is a mug’s game, as Russia showed by signing the Minsk Accord, which Ukraine broke at the first opportunity, and then Russian signed Minsk-2, which everyone should have known was a sham from the outset, but Russian spent years trying to get Ukraine and its western sponsors to comply, anyway.

          1. OnceWere

            Seems to me that the Russians used the majority of the professional troops they had available in the initial operation. Where was this “adequate force” supposed to come from ?

            1. Feral Finster

              Actually, Russia used a small portion of its army, and its airstrikes were predicated on the idea that Ukraine would quickly capitulate. Instead, that bought time for Ukraine’s western sponsors to rush aid in.

              Russia didn’t use SEAD loadouts much, for instance, which got a lot of pilots killed.

              1. OnceWere

                Sure you have a much bigger total headcount in the pre-war Russian army. But if you discount conscripts (a big part of the total headcount) and support staff, how many more well-prepared well-supplied combat troops were actually available ? The tooth to tail ratio typical of modern armies suggests that the answer is not that many.

                1. jrkrideau

                  You also haev to allow for the need to have sufficient forces available if NATO attacked.

                  Runnia dd not reinforce Belarus because it feared a Ukrainian attack on Minsk.

          2. Daniil Adamov

            It probably softens the blow if you could not care less about the people on “your” side being killed. Remember, our elite came out of the 90s. Maybe some of the bosses really do care, but I doubt that’s a dominant attitude. Our foreign policy, as well as our domestic policy, of the last 30 years makes a lot more sense if you simply assume that the value of human life is a much lower priority to most decision-makers than the simple maintenance of power. Not that most of their more serious domestic and foreign enemies are any different in that respect.

            1. Feral Finster

              I suppose that one could argue that the Russian authorities grossly miscalculated in February, 2022, but what is stopping them from escalating since then? They certainly aren’t treating Ukraine like an existential threat but as confused and misled family members who don’t know what they are doing but who still are family.

              Of course, Kiev and the West see this, not as reasonableness or humanitarianism, but as contemptible weakness and they proceed accordingly. With predictable results.

              For that matter, the Russian leadership does not want to admit to itself that europeans hate and fear Russia and Russians, that europe never will let them join the club.

              1. Daniil Adamov

                Yes, that is part of why the whole “existential threat” argument falls flat for me (as opposed to the threat to people’s lives in the Donbas and nearby – that’s obviously real and ought to matter). I suppose you could say that it’s like global warming or the coronavirus or “our democracy” for Western elites – they say they think there is a serious danger there, but their actions suggest something else, at least as far as their actual attitude is concerned. I don’t think our bosses are mugs, though. Mugs wouldn’t have risen to power and held on to it for decades. I think they are more similar to yours than many on either side would like to admit, albeit somewhat more grounded.

                1. Roland


                  Possible Ukrainian membership in NATO is a legitimate, objective, threat to Russian national security. Russia had clearly warned both NATO and Ukraine that any further NATO expansion into former Soviet republics would be regarded as casus belli.

                  Early in the war, Russia and Ukraine came close to reaching terms that would meet the minimum Russian demands. But NATO urged Ukraine to fight, and promised support. The Ukrainians were evidently hopeful that with NATO help and worldwide sanctions against Russia, they might restore their 1991 frontiers, and gain NATO and EU memberships to consolidate their position.


                  Russia doesn’t have a big enough armed forces to occupy a hostile Ukraine, unless they adopted a programme of mass reprisals and expulsions, which would dangerously isolate them in world affairs. Besides the Russian public would probably not have much stomach for that kind of war, and it would contradict Russia’s own propaganda about Ukrainian-Russian relations.

                  It appears that Russia has limited its capture of Ukrainian territory to those regions in which their occupation is tolerated by the people living there.

                  Instead of overrunning Ukraine and then having to suppress foreign-backed guerrillas, it’s strategically simpler, if still very costly, to maintain a battle zone, and meet the Ukrainian arch-nationalists in open combat.

                  BTW the EU and WEF types are no doubt pleased that two countries, which both desire to preserve their distinctive national heritages, are waging an attritional war upon each other, killing many of their sincerest and most selfless patriots. Easier for the globalists to exploit and digest later.

                  In any case, a large part of Russia’s armed forces must be held en potence to discourage NATO adventurism, which could arise if Russia fully committed its forces to a single theatre.

                  The grave mistake, made by all of the belligerents in this war, has been to underestimate their opponents’ commitment level. Russia underestimated Ukraine’s willingness to endure heavy losses. NATO underestimated Russia’s commitment to keeping Ukraine out of NATO. And Russia still underestimates the Atlanticists’ earnest fear of any country successfully defying them on the world stage.

                  That’s why I think the war is going to seriously escalate in ’25, with open NATO intervention. The only thing that might avoid escalation would be if Trump returns as US president. He’s the only outspoken dove on the entire Western political scene. As an American nationalist rather than a globalist, Trump might prefer international realpolitik to the ideological enforcement of a self-styled “World Order.”

  9. griffen

    Ah, the Bill Belichick era of supremacy in coaching tactics and mumbled retorts has alas come to an end. Will NE Patriots fans across the land tear their clothes asunder and wear black entirely until the 1st day of the NFL Draft? Seems like an appropriate time to mourn, to grieve, to share warm anecdotes during a Dunkin Donuts coffee run.

    Just proves that every evil empire meets the end eventually. Say what one will, current coaches can take a lesson in his end game management skills. Too soon, Falcons fan base ?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      There use to be a guy at ESPN who kept a running list of obvious coaching mistakes during games. What he noticed was Bill was never on the list. The real problem at the end was they had too good of a defense to try a qb merry go round when it was obvious Mac Jones can’t do anything than stare at the guy he wants to throw to.

      Not just end game skills. Bill was asked about time out strategy once, and he said if you are going “yes, I have timeouts, you probably missed a chance to use them early and avoid the end game problems.” Scoring has dropped with the shorter preseason despite modern gloves which let the guys who became shutdown corners 20 ears ago play wide out. Bill was right to gobble up defensive depth while everyone is praising wide outs. The Pats weren’t getting blown out. Their offense was just lifeless except when guys with career backup arms were playing at qb. I think they could have won 11 games with the shell of Russell Wilson.

    2. eg

      For the first 40 years of my life, my Patriots fandom was a stumble through the NFL wilderness punctuated by two Super Bowl appearances, both losses, including the most humiliating Super Bowl performance of all time in’86 against the Bears.

      The Belichick era still seems unreal to me, though my son has never known another.

      Oh well, back to the familiar wilderness we go …

  10. Richard H Caldwell

    RE: Cummins Diesel Engine Penalty — while I’m glad the actions of these guys were discovered and fined, I’m disappointed that:

    1.) a fine more in line with complete disgorgement of all revenue obtained ffrom the sale of the offending products was not levied, more likely >= $3.5fbn with some multiplier for intentionality and forethought if available undert the law;

    2.) those natual persons who conceived, conspired, perpetrated, and concealed these alledged violations have not been charged criminally; and

    3.) the company goes free to issue press releases claiming innocence and absolving its employees of malign intent.

    Unless and until we criminallly charge the natural persons behind corporate criminal activity, we will continue to get corporate criminality wherever and whenever it pays. Corporate protection from financial liability does not extend to corporate employees committing crimes.

    My example? VW was caught doing essentially the same thing a few years ago, got its wrist financially slapped, and here we are again… Who else is now doing this same thing who has not yet been discovered? We need consequences that meaningfully impact the individual actors behind corporate criminality to give them pause. We need deterrence before the fact, not wrist slaps after the fact.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Brussels prepares concessions to Viktor Orbán over Ukraine aid”

    Brussels has been holding back about €20-30 billion of money owed to Hungary in an effort to blackmail them into buckling down to their demands. But Orban has said no money, no voting for that €50 billion to the Ukraine. This deal could have been done a very long time ago but Brussels stubbornly insisted that Hungary had to OK that €50 billion before they started to talk about the money owed them. It was that simple. So now the EU partly buckled and agreed to give Hungary €10 billion of what they owe them for this agreement. But this agreement is genius on the part of Orban. Instead of €50 in one hit, it will be doled out over fours years which gives Orban the chance to veto it. But he knows that after only one year, there may not be a Ukrainian State to give money too. By then it may be more a matter of humanitarian aid.

  12. t

    “Now, he says, Covid severity has settled down to a level that is, for many people, broadly comparable to RSV and the flu.”

    That’s the cheery conclusion from the wired article using “many people” to completely ignore that when it comes to deaths, we know for sure Covid is worse that flu or RSV, and long-term consequences certainly look more likely and more dangerous. And as a bonus, Covid is easier to catch.

    Over the holidays I heard someone I’d expect to know better arguing that “shaming” them for not taking Covid precautions was hypocrisy because people have always died of the flu so get off your high horse.

    1. FlyoverBoy

      The long-term complications part was, to me, the most appalling omission from the Wired story.

      There was discussion of ER visits and initial symptoms, but no acknowledgment whatsoever of gutted immune systems or that previous Covid cases could be the cause of this sudden rash of other “seasonal” diseases. It’s been noted recently that AIDS cases start out looking like “just the flu.” No mention of any of that here.

      Really disappointing, even destructive, story under a promising headline. And all the more disappointing to see that one of the cheerleading quotes came from Eric Topol (out of context, I’m sure).

  13. Wukchumni

    The Onion Looks Back On Bill Belichick’s 24,000-Year Reign Of Darkness The Onion
    He was clearly a menace to Long Suffering Bills Fans, which would be all of us. I wouldn’t deny calling it our dark ages-but thankfully i’ve managed to forget most all of the careers cut short tragically, by especially inept quarterbacks the Bills acquired during the Thirty Year Yawn, or how they called the war.

  14. The Rev Kev

    Happiness 😊
    Baby mountain lion.’

    I’m sure that it thinks that it is ferocious and wild but the truth is that it is just too cute and needs a good ear scratch.

    1. Pat

      Every kitten I have ever spent time with gets that look when playing. They are all so fierce. Time for tug of war with the stuffed mouse or duck…and cuddles when they wear themselves out.

  15. i just don't like the gravy

    Regarding the “2024 looks to be worse than 2023” by Arctic News…

    I enjoyed the read because I enjoy reading about climate catastrophe.

    But nobody seriously believes it will accelerate multiple degrees in under a decade, right?

    We couldn’t possibly be so lucky…

  16. Mikel

    “There’s a Huge Covid Surge Right Now and Nobody Is Talking About It” Wired

    So, no one at Wired has heard of NC?

    1. chris

      Most haven’t and when I share it with friends who aren’t econ skeptical they recoil in horror. “Surely this is a pro-Ru$$kie click bait operation?” “Surely this is headed by some finance bro?” There are none so blind as those who refuse to open their eyes…

    2. Robert Hahl

      I had a malicious idea. If people are standing around you jabbering without a care, and you would like it to stop, just light up a cigarette and watch them scatter. They are not afraid of Covid, but they are afraid of secondhand smoke.

      1. Mikel

        In many parts of the USA, if you are outside at an event, it’s probably a bunch of smokers already out there.
        A turn of luck could have you surrounded by people trying to bum a cigarette. :)

    3. Screwball

      My PMC friends were all bragging the other day about how many shots they have had, and how they just got their latest booster. They were rattling off the dates and one said they have nothing to worry about because the shots are “standing tall.”

      If you have your shots you have nothing to worry about.


      1. Jabura Basaidai

        yep, have heard that litany as well – and don’t try telling them the adverse effects of the mRNA shots to our immune system – pshaw ain’t nothing, they’re protected now – just shake my head – here in my county they have just started giving out boxes of 500 N95 masks for free –

    4. wol

      I sent a recent NC link to a local business I frequent. I mask when I visit, and she (Swarthmore grad) asks if I’d like her to mask (Yes, please). She emailed that the staff all got boosted for the holiday push and they all got Covid. I visited a friend (Duke) recently out of the hospital for RSV/pneumonia. Me: N95, quoted the 2M new cases per day. He asked if I’d like him to mask: baggy blue chin diaper. : /.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “NASA Finally Cracks Open the Asteroid Sample Container”

    This story is somehow very comforting. You have 35 fasteners on this spacecraft and somehow 2 of them are jammed tight. Yeah, this is NASA so they will probably redesign those fasteners so this never happens again. But how many here have had to remove a whole bunch of screws only to find that one or two are stuck and you end up burring the heads trying to remove them?

    1. JP

      Zero gravity plus vacuum conditions. Lubricants can not be used including graphite. If there is no surface corrosion or carbon contamination metals can fuse by diffusion.

  18. Wukchumni

    A victim of coalition on the open sea
    Nobody ever said that life was free
    Sank, swam, go down with the ship
    But use your freedom of choice

    I’ll say it again in the land of the free
    Use your freedom of choice
    Your freedom of choice

    In ancient Rome
    There was a poem
    About a present time contemporary
    Who found two wars
    He was piqued at one
    He liquidated the other
    He went in circles around the cape
    He dropped dead

    Freedom of choice
    Is what you got
    Freedom of choice!

    Then if you got it you don’t want it
    Seems to be the rule of thumb
    Don’t be tricked by what you see
    You got two ways to go

    I’ll say it again in the land of the free
    Use your freedom of choice
    Freedom of choice

    Freedom of choice
    Is what you got
    Freedom of choice

    Freedom of Choice, by Devo

  19. flora

    This is the biggest global risk we face in 2024 and beyond: the World Economic Forum. (fixed it for ya). / ;)

    It’s 2030 and they will own nothing. I hope. / ;)

    1. flora

      adding: Redacted’s Clayton Morris talking with Gerald Celente. language. Celente’s description of our political class and the upcoming election is priceless, imo. utube. ~24 minutes. / ;)

      “No one is ready for what’s COMING in 2024” Gerald Celente warns | Redacted with Clayton Morris

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        thanks flora – my first year of college ’67 i met an Iranian man who became my friend and had a lot explained to me about the overthrow of Mosaddegh – my friend’s favorite expletive was f#@k the Shah and f#@k Savak, he had friends that disappeared – would have to say that he was the beginning of seeing the duplicity of our government in a fresh light – what little that was explained at the link provided was not new but listening to a larger perspective was enlightening – thanks again – finding new sources of fresh perspectives is a wonderful benefit of NC –

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Iran seizes Gulf oil tanker in new threat to Middle East shipping”

    This is unintentionally hilarious this story. The US stole this very same ship, sailed it to the US and sold the oil. So now Iran has done the same with this ship. John Kirby was squawking ‘No justification whatsoever to seize it, none whatsoever. They need to let it go’ but I am sure what he meant was ‘It’s OK when we do it’

    1. digi_owl

      The world feels more and more like a massive version of the schoolyard i grew up in.

      All cliques and shifting rules.

  21. Mikel

    they did it…they seriously cited “weeks of delays in product shipping times”….

    All which leads me to a related rant:

    They are scared of inflation and higher interest rates. This over financialized global mess can barely operate with the current rates which are not that high by historical standards.

    Now they turn to more war.
    In the USA, that measly 5+ % interest rate is practically considered end times.
    Basically, a world full of companies that now can barely exist without the distorting effects QE.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Next up, “Operation Virtual Consumer” where they use AI to create bogus consumers to replace all the dead ones killed by wars to buy stuff using confetti money!

      1. Susan the other

        Interesting thought. Something like the virtual commodity and the virtual Natural Asset Company. and it follows logically that virtuality laws and regulations will be required. I don’t think it is possible to construe virtual road meeting virtual rubber because that requires an actual real point in time and space in order to speculate But we could always reach the virtual point of no return where we can’t tell the difference.

  22. Carolinian

    Re Boeing–So what is Spirit AeroSystems? It’s location in Wichita gives one a clue.

    Spirit was formed when Boeing Commercial Airplanes sold its Wichita division to investment firm Onex Corporation in 2005. Originally founded as Stearman Aircraft in 1927 before being acquired by the United Aircraft and Transport Corporation in 1929, it was retained as a subsidiary of Boeing following the breakup of UATC in 1934 before being transformed into the Wichita division of the Boeing Airplane Company in 1941. The Wichita division was later responsible for the construction of several models of strategic bomber aircraft including the B-29 Superfortress, B-47 Stratojet, and B-52 Stratofortress

    And for those who say the problem is all about outsourcing.

    Spirit also produces fuselage sections and front wing spars for the Airbus A350.

    It does sound like they have more than a paw in this but one might also ask why Alaska Airlines ignored decompression warnings on previous flights.

    1. digi_owl

      They didn’t ignore them, as the plane was forbidden from flying oceanic routes.

      But their ground techs likely could not track down the fault without grounding the plane for an extended period. And that would disrupt flight schedules across the board.

      1. Carolinian

        Having once spent hours waiting in a terminal because my plane lacked a fire extinguisher or some such safety equipment I believe FAA rules give safety precedence over schedules and rightly so. If memory serves Alaska Airlines has had some maintenance issues in the past.

      2. JP

        There has been no indication that the depressurization alarm light had anything to do with the exit plug blow out. Also they had the alarm indication but not the depressurization it was supposed to be indicating. Sounds like a defective alarm relay to me.

        Then there is the simple logic that the plug would have been less likely to blow out under reduced cabin pressure, not the cause of.

  23. no one

    RE:Invisible Ink: At the CIA’s Creative Writing Group The Paris Review. There’s a history here.

    Joel Whitney’s excellent book “Finks,” surveys the range of CIA interference in the arts, especially literary magazines. Great background for this update. Obviously, the agency has not been stopped in this aspect of its activities.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I wish I had the chops to take a deeper dive into the CIA’s promotion of postmodernist art and philosophy. My crash course in ‘deep’ thinking really fed into my years of PMC rationalization: I didn’t need community or roots — I was postmodern!

  24. digi_owl

    The biggest cyber insecurity for most is that big companies can decide to terminate their account without any warning or due process. Companies that may include banks and telcos.

  25. mrsyk

    Here’s a good one from the Guardian, apologies if it’s already been run. “Greenland startup begins shipping glacier ice to cocktail bars in the UAE”, the lede, Arctic Ice argues its rare, pure product can be part of Greenland’s green transition and greater independence. More, The startup was launched in 2022, but only dispatched its first 20 metric tonnes of ice recently. It has been hit with a wave of criticism which has taken the founders by surprise. Social media commentators have been unflattering, making comments such as: “Shouldn’t you be worrying about the effects of global warming rather than selling glacier water?” or “What is this dystopia?”.

  26. flora

    Get ready for a summer of very loud cicada buzzing in the US.

    “You may know that cicadas spend most of their lives as underground nymphs, emerging in cycles of 13 or 17 years (coincidentally two prime numbers). The years when the two cycles emergence coincide are therefore rare, and one is 2024. The 17-year cicada and the 13-year cicada, which are periodical cicadas, are scheduled to emerge in Middle Tennessee in 2024. The broods co-emerge every 221 years. The last time the two broods co-emerged was in 1803, the same year as the Louisiana Purchase and Thomas Jefferson was president.”

    1. caucus99percenter

      Now there’s an interesting premise for a horror movie: “Thomas Jefferson year” cicadas emerge that thirst for the blood of tyrants.

  27. CA

    China in 2022 was 26.3% larger in GDP than the European Union, and 20.8% larger than the United States. Shares of World GDP of the 10 largest economies:,924,132,134,532,534,536,158,546,922,112,111,&s=NGDP_RPCH,PPPSH,&sy=2000&ey=2022&ssm=0&scsm=1&scc=0&ssd=1&ssc=0&sic=0&sort=country&ds=.&br=1

    October 15, 2023

    Gross Domestic Product based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) as Share of World GDP, 2000-2022


    Brazil ( 2.3)
    China ( 18.8)
    France ( 2.3)
    Germany ( 3.3)
    India ( 7.3)

    Indonesia ( 2.5)
    Japan ( 3.8)
    Russia ( 2.9)
    United Kingdom ( 2.3)
    United States ( 15.5)

    1. Susan the other

      I think our military (US) practiced the art of the possible back in the 50s when it came to laying foundations for foreign policy. I think about Tuchman on Stilwell. and in the above links there is one very astonishing link fromChina’s Liberation School – a resolution on the necessity for an ecological civilization to underlie human economies. Very sustainable in spirit. In a way of itemizing human economies flexibly. Defining finer boundaries away from single forms of production toward a social and environmental sustainability.” Wen Tiejun.

  28. Carolinian

    That New Left Review is worth quoting at length.

    After packing in his campaign and endorsing Biden in 2020, Sanders has been showered with praise and committee chairs, in a process already under way four years earlier, when he joined the Democratic leadership. Many have noted the disillusionment of his millennial admirers over his stance on Israel, mostly in order to praise his grizzled statesmanship over their Quixotic passions. […]

    Alexander Cockburn identified this problem decades ago. Never fond of Sanders, his criticisms of him were political: accusing ‘the “independent” hot-air factory from Vermont’ of steering the left into the Democratic fold even after Clinton gutted welfare, and voting for the crime bill, nato’s bombing of Serbia, and to fund—if not authorize—the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In analysing the fragilities of the anti-war movement that sprang up at that time, as compared to the 1960s, Cockburn argued that neither should be judged solely on their success in stopping war: ‘anti-war movements are often most significant in their afterlives—schooling a new generation in attitudes and tactics of resistance.’ Today, the left faces a new situation, in which most younger people and people of colour are disgusted by what they see unfolding in Palestine, and with Democrats for facilitating it: anti-imperialism is a popular position, and it cannot be marginal to the project of economic redistribution, whatever emerges next to carry forward those dual aspirations.

    Cockburn is gone–much too soon–but Sanders endures and I believe Cockburn was right that antiwar advocates have to play a long game and indeed he was always a writer hero to yours truly. It’s why some of us were always skeptical of Sanders and some of us may have been right.

    The left didn’t stop Vietnam, which went on for years after the greatest surge of protest. But perhaps they did help create a “Vietnam syndrome” which kept the warmongers at bay for a couple of decades. It could be time for a “Gaza syndrome” and a world that, at least for awhile, has had it with the ruthless killers.

    1. JP

      I think we (the anti war effort not the left) did stymie Johnson’s run for reelection but then we got Nixon.

  29. IMOR

    I enjoy Bret and Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry when they appear here at NC, but at one point in today’s linked piece he says, “ In particular, Houthi attacks have not been even remotely limited to ships with connections (of any sort!) to Israel; they’re attacking ships indiscriminately.”
    What I’ve been reading, in links here and in some provided by Simplicisimus and in research into Houthi statements reported at shipping sites, is the opposite: the Houthis are not taking flag, Chinese or Maersk ‘ownership’ or partial actual ownership, at face value, and have been attacking vessels owned or controlled by Israeli nationals. And after a decade of US-supported if not -controlled blockade and bombing, they need no further justification for attacking US-ownwd, -flagged, or -military vessels.
    Kinda the opposite of “indiscriminate,” at least in some eyes?
    In the broader historical sense, even allowing for his own comment he’s sketching it, his summary of blockade in this piece was disingenuous.
    As so often, Lambert excerpted the key good part.

  30. GW

    Today, the UK committed to giving Ukraine $2.5 billion of war assistance in 2024 alone. This is to compensate Ukraine for the fact that its awaited $60 billion in US war aid is, for now, blocked by Congress Republicans.

    I’m a non-finance, non-economics person trying to track the ebbs and flows of Western war aid to Ukraine. Can someone tell me if $2.5 billion in UK war aid is enough to make a difference on the battlefield? Or is it just a paltry sum – merely of token value – given the war expenses Kiev’s struggling with?

    Much appreciated.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Just guessing, but I doubt it will do much. UK seems to have similar problems as the US does – military budgets are there to line contractor pockets, not to produce anything that actually works.

      “If it flies, floats or fights, chances are it will be delivered late and over-budget. This not only strains the finances but undermines operational effectiveness. Failure to deliver new kit means that troops are reliant on things that have outlived their usefulness and are outpaced by the enemy. Older kit also requires more maintenance time, taking it off operations more often and for longer – a problem exacerbated by new kit not arriving in sufficient numbers.”

      But maybe they’ll just give the Ukronazis some cash, and they can use it to purchase some US built littoral combat ships that also don’t work (or maybe just part of one – those Edsel-esque ships are expensive!), that the Russians can then use for kinzhal target practice.

      1. GW

        Someone on another blog said that Kiev spends $4 billion monthly, funding war and government needs. Allegedly anything less than that is just a drop in the bucket, insofar as Ukraine’s war needs are concerned.

        I don’t know if that’s credible info. But if it is, the UK’s $2.5 billion annual war aid is too little, too late to replenish Ukraine’s current air-defense missile problems. That’s my guess.

        Leonid Ragozin of Aljazeera claims that Ukraine won’t get US war aid before it’s too late, He believes Russia’s saturation attacks, intended to suppress air defenses, will likely succeed for this reason. When that happens -and he says it will occur sooner than anyone believes – Russia will wipe out Kiev’s air-defense, leading to a collapse of Ukraine’s army.

        That’s the drama I’m waiting for. That’s why I was wondering if $2.5 billion of quick UK aid would be enough to restock Kiev’s Patriot and S-300 systems for another month. If Ragozin’s right, maybe the war will be over by the end of March.

  31. Mikel

    “Google and Bing put nonconsensual deepfake porn at the top of some search results NBC.” It’s so odd that no scientists are working to make an AI that is, say, virtuous. Or loving.

    The appeal of algorithms and robots to the masters of disasters is that they can use the tech to deny accountability and responsibility for an assortment of vileness.
    They want to put their vile policies on autopilot that will operate even after they are gone. Make a populace brain-dead enough and they get to continue to enjoy the suffering beyond their graves.

    1. flora

      A little known and under appreciated fact is that p0rn sites in the early interwebs were very profitable, (one had to be a paying customer of said site(s) for access I think), and spurred, as it were, development of online site interwebs video and sound improvements in speed and quality of transmission…so to say. P0rn sites spent a lot of money for the latest and greatest video graphics cards with the best refresh rates /sound quality chips, fastest CPUs, high speed internet connection hardware improvements, etc. P0rn is still a very lucrative business… that no one talks about. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s part of the push for better AI. Google and Bing are in the interwebs business to make money. / my 2 cents.

  32. Mikel

    “EBay to Pay $3 Million Penalty for Employees Sending Live Cockroaches, Fetal Pig to Bloggers” WSJ

    Ebay with the old school gangsterism as opposed to Amazon’s more refined grifts.

  33. Feral Finster

    So where were the US and UK when the Saudi barbarians were blockading Yemen?

    Oh yeah, they were assisting in the blockade. So much for Muh Freedom Of Navigation.

    1. Cassandra

      See, there’s your mistake, Finster. It’s not your freedom of navigation that must be preserved, it’s their freedom of navigation. Otherwise, their cargos have to take the long way around, and that eats into profits. Not acceptable.

      Likewise, when they worry about threats to our democracy, they mean the version of democracy administered by the PMC, not someone else’s version. See how that works?

      1. Feral Finster

        Well put. “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.”
        ― Anatole France

    2. Kouros

      War on the Rocks, in one of their articles a couple of years ago I unfortunately dont have the link) cite a US Admiral statingthat FON and US Navy especially is there not to keep shiping lanes free, but to obstruct enemies and their supply lanes…

  34. antidlc

    I wondered what had happened to her.
    Petrie-Flom Welcomes Rochelle Walensky as Senior Academic Fellow!

    The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School is delighted to welcome Dr. Rochelle Walensky as a Senior Academic Fellow this year. Dr. Walensky will join Petrie-Flom Center events, activities, and programming, and lead a reading group at Harvard Law School titled “At the Intersection: Health, Public Health Policy and the Law.”

    Dr. Walensky also will join Harvard Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) as a Research Fellow, conducting research on women’s leadership in the health care field and engaging with faculty and students at Harvard Kennedy School. Dr. Walensky will also have an Executive Fellow affiliation at Harvard Business School, where she will work with Professor Robert Huckman and the HBS Health Care Initiative.

    1. zagonostra

      She can have lunch with Brian Stelter and Jacinda Ardern.

      Interesting how the nexus between useful servitors of empire end up at Harvard and other places of “higher education.”

  35. Tom Stone

    I’ve been thinking about which professions will be most affected by Covid caused loss of executive function:
    Healthcare workers
    Bus drivers
    Airline pilots
    Thank goodness none of these are important to the functioning of Society…

  36. flora

    Tucker Carlson. Gonzalo Lira has died.

    Gonzalo Lira, Sr. says his son has died at 55 in a Ukrainian prison, where he was being held for the crime of criticizing the Zelensky and Biden governments. Gonzalo Lira was an American citizen, but the Biden administration clearly supported his imprisonment and torture. Several weeks ago we spoke to his father, who predicted his son would be killed.

  37. Sibiriak

    Chilean-American blogger Gonzalo Lira has died in a Ukrainian prison, his family said on Friday.

    “I cannot accept the way my son has died. He was tortured, extorted, incommunicado for 8 months and 11 days and the US Embassy did nothing to help my son. The responsibility of this tragedy is the dictator Zelensky with the concurrence of a senile American President, Joe Biden,” his father Gonzalo Lira Sr. wrote in a note published by Grayzone . –RT News

  38. Tom Stone

    The death of Gonzalo Lira is not unexpected, but it is a reminder of what the United States Government has become.
    Propaganda, censorship, torture and murder are now all normal functions of the State.

    1. Sibiriak

      Cf. “Missing ” a 1982 American biographical thriller drama film directed by Costa-Gavras from a screenplay written by Gavras and Donald E. Stewart, adapted from the book The Execution of Charles Horman: An American Sacrifice (1978) by Thomas Hauser… based on the disappearance of American journalist Charles Horman, in the aftermath of the United States-backed Chilean coup of 1973, which deposed the democratically elected socialist President Salvador Allende. (Wiki)

  39. Tom Stone

    I may have been critical of Joe Biden from time to time, however he is inarguably the greatest American President since Hillary Clinton.

  40. JBird4049

    Another proof that cat’s reaction time is outstanding: approximately 20-70 milliseconds.

    The average human reaction time si about 250 ms.

    This explains why I have had so much… fun trying to get the cats to the vets. Well, that and the four sets of knives of theirs.

  41. Wukchumni

    Forget what you were taught in elementary school about the supposed ravenous meat-eating grizzly bear: New research has found that California’s extinct bear was actually more of a vegetarian.

    “California’s historical record misrepresented” the animal and humans are largely to blame, researchers say.

    The grizzly bear was previously portrayed as a massive hypercarnivore, an animal whose diet is more than 70% meat, and a danger to public safety, according to recently published research in The Royal Society.

    California was home to as many as 10,000 bears before the Gold Rush in 1848, so numerous that a grizzly is emblazoned on the flag of California. But the grizzly was last seen in California in 1924 and became extinct so quickly there are very few natural history notes available and fewer than 100 historical skins and skeletons in existence, according to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
    On the way home from Mammoth, I hung out with a friend in Independence, Ca., who was a Backcountry ranger in Sequoia NP for about 15 years, before moving on to Denali NP and doing something similar there the past decade.

    I asked about Grizzlies and she related that you just deferred to them and tried to not make eye contact and slowly veered away from their plotted course, and so far-so good.

    What I found interesting was in regards to black bears in Alaska, is they don’t run away from humans, as per their Sierra Nevada counterparts, and she’d know-being what is termed a ‘bear tech’ in Sequoia NP in the front country early in her career. Her job was essentially to run off black bears from campgrounds, and it was easy-peasy, our bruins being big pussies in comparison to the last frontier.

    Now, in regards to Grizzly bears in Cali, the last known one was right here in Tiny Town or just inside Sequoia NP in 1926.

    A Griz had been raiding a local orchard and the rancher shot it, and about a dozen years ago, his grandson told the tale and brought the Model 1892 rifle which did the deed. The evidence came via a 1930 Visalia Times-Delta article he had, that mentioned this was the last one killed in the state. I held the very same rifle in my hands, and could almost feel the angst of it being the agent of destruction.

Comments are closed.