Links 1/7/2024

How John Coltrane’s ‘My Favorite Things’ Changed American Music Smithsonian Mag

Scientists Identify 1 Vital Thing That Will Help Your Dog Age Well Science Alert

Cult mentality: Professor makes monumental discovery in Italy

Stanford scientists boost hypnotizability with transcranial magnetic brain stimulation PsyPost


Plant Waste From a Botanic Garden Creates Natural Habitat for Injured Birds The Allegheny Front

Exposure to Residential Green Space and Bone Mineral Density in Young Children JAMA Network

Spatial synchrony cascades across ecosystem boundaries and up food webs via resource subsidies PNAS


Muscle abnormalities worsen after post-exertional malaise in long COVID Nature

Highly mutated COVID variant ‘Pirola’ JN.1 is fueling the pandemic’s second highest U.S. wave—and it’s still growing Fortune

Old Blighty

NHS to investigate Palantir influencer campaign as possible contract breach Good Law Project

Royal Navy forced to advertise for rear-admiral on LinkedIn The Times


China’s primary sector workforce sees first increase in decades as migrants back on the farm South China Morning Post

The China-US factor (and other issues) in Taiwan’s polls, and why it weighs on voters Channel News Asia


122 Palestinians killed, 256 injured as Israel continues onslaught on Gaza: Health Ministry Anadolu Agency

The Epidemiological War on Gaza Jewish Currents

In Gaza genocide, US defends Israel’s ‘aura of power’ Aaron Mate

Safe zones: Israel’s technologies of genocide Nicola Perugini, Al Jazeera


Inside Israel’s plan to quash South Africa’s Gaza genocide case Axios


Unprecedented rise in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank: report The New Arab


Indian Navy Commandos Retake Ship In Arabian Sea gCaptain

Indian Navy To Escort Indian Merchant Ships In Red Sea Reuters


Hezbollah hits critical Israeli surveillance base with 62 rockets The Cradle

EU’s Borrell meets Hezbollah delegation in Lebanon Al Mayadeen


Kamikaze drone attack carried out on US base in northwestern Syria Anadolu Agency


U.S. Military Presence in Iraq Could Be Unexpected Casualty of Israel’s War on Gaza Forever Wars


US top diplomat arrives in Istanbul to discuss Gaza war Hurriyet Daily News

‘Incirlik Is Yours’: How Turkey’s Erdoğan Handed Major Military Base to the Americans Declassified UK

European Disunion

In 2024, Europe to hunt for new partners to offload asylum seekers Al Jazeera

The 1st Amendment Will Not Save You CJ Hopkins

Chartbook 259 Germany’s CO2 emissions plunge. But all is not at it seems Adam Tooze

New Not-So-Cold War

The degradation of Western elites Gilbert Doctorow

India-Russia ties get a makeover Indian Punchline

Turkey must stop blocking Ukraine minehunters, ex-NATO supreme commander warns POLITICO EU

Imperial Collapse Watch

Army Opens New Warrant Officer Recruiting Roles as It Struggles to Fill the Ranks

When Veterans in Crisis Can’t Get Help ProPublica

Psychoactive drug ibogaine effectively treats traumatic brain injury in special ops military vets Stanford Medicine (press release)

‘They See a Cash Cow’: Corporations Could Consume $50 Billion of Opioid Settlements MedPage Today

Oregon Lost Track Of $426 Million In Federal Pandemic Funds For Emergency Rental Assistance Daily Wire

South of the Border

Spook Country

Censors Are Trying to Trick You Into Thinking Substack Has a “Nazi Problem” Public

Biden Administration

Top White House and Pentagon officials were not informed for days about Austin’s hospitalization POLITICO.

Joe Biden is no George Washington, and Valley Forge proved it Jonathan Hurley, The Hill


UK preparing secret dossier on Trump 2.0 amid security fears iNews


Cornel West Stands with Palestinians: A Bold Political Move with Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy BNN

The Plan to Get New Hampshire Liberals to Vote for Nikki Haley New York Magazine

Nikki Haley quietly bought a $2.4M SC island home after leaving office and joining Boeing board New York Post


Alaska Airlines grounds 65 Boeing 737-9 jets after midair fuselage blowout on flight from Portland Oregon Live

FAA grounds more than 170 Boeing 737 Max 9s after Alaska Airlines panel blows out CNBC

Boeing wants FAA to exempt MAX 7 from safety rules to get it in the air The Seattle Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

US Army to test spy business jet that hears secrets from 51,000 feet Interesting Engineering


More Authors Sue OpenAI and Microsoft Over ChatGPT Concerns PC Mag

Scoop: AI prescription assistant nabs backing from Mayo Clinic, Eli Lilly Axios


Nearly half of every dollar spent by Medicare drug plans goes to private health insurers’ pharmacy benefit managers and wholesalers HEALTHCARE un-covered

Public Pharma’s Biggest Barrier The American Prospect

Hospitals Sue LockBit, Ask Cloud Firm to Return Stolen Data BankInfoSecurity


What’s Coming in 2024 on the Monopoly Front? BIG by Matt Stoller

Police State Watch

NYPD whistleblower on why so-called “bad apple” cops are really guided by “incentives of the system” Salon

Groves of Academe

Let’s Seize This Opportunity to Destroy Harvard!  The Intercept

U.S. News Makes Money From Some of Its Biggest Critics: Colleges New York Times

The Bezzle

Tesla Model Y range estimate reduced by 6%, becoming more realistic Electrek

How to claim your slice of a $100 million Verizon settlement CNN

Our Famously Free Press

Media Obsession With Inflation Has Manufactured Discontent FAIR

Class Warfare

Brisk Wage Gains in December Could Keep the Fed Watchful New York Times

Florida politicians may unleash the next generation of payday lenders Seeking Rents

Zeitgeist Watch

Calculating the number of oranges that can be plucked from a fruit stand before it collapses

Birdsong and laughter The Floutist

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “Pentagon didn’t inform Biden, White House for days about Austin’s hospitalization”

    The article mentions that his Deputy Secretary, Kathleen Hicks, partially assumed some of his duties. What it does not mention was the fact that she was on holidays in Puerto Rico when this down but she decided to continue her holiday rather than return to Washington. I can see her point. Yeah, things are blowing up in the Ukraine, there is an active genocide in Gaza, the Red Sea is now an Ansar Allah shooting gallery and so on but otherwise all is pretty quiet. Gotta build up that tan-

    1. griffen

      What a joke, this supposed leadership that we appear to have. Heck, in a parallel story early in December it was all over the US sports news stations (ESPN, Fox Sports) that Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy had an emergency appendectomy and might miss the following game. Call that a false parallel I suppose but it hints at how little we might know about our top US leaders physical capability.

      We aren’t just ruled by non-serious people, but the worse of the lot…

    2. ilsm

      With this administer the best situation is for all of them to be on holiday…..

      For the present DC administration no action is best.

    3. Steve H.

      Most plausible explanation from our household: having Jake Sullivan admit that he didn’t know the SecDef was down for days makes clear that SecDef is out of the decision loop, no one picking up the phone to let him know the decisions, much less ask his advice. Hints of Pentagon withdrawing support for the administration, a message to other militaries about the split, and/or just a good career move.

      Now given he had Covid, is a not-young Black male who is not skinny, and a high-stress job on top of that, what would give him a heart attack? (Did I say that’s what it was? How many doctors do ‘elective procedures’ on New Years Day?) I’ve got a plausible (tho not probable): Nukes. Bad for bidness.

      This is entirely speculative, but I’m not trying to make sense of the story, I’m looking for the story that makes sense.

      1. Steve H.

        A late correction: the elective procedure was done a week before he was admitted. I’m not so comfortable speculating on his medical needs, so I withdraw the point.

        And double down on the Fiat Information aspect of who knew what when.

  2. John Beech

    TRK, in my opinion, that’s pretty harsh. These day’s we’re pretty connected so in a moment of need, she’d have been on a Challenger or G5 and been in Washington within hours. So in truth, with apps like FaceTime to aid in nuance, do we really need to fret that she decided, likely in consultation, her physical presence wasn’t required?

    1. The Rev Kev

      What if there was major trouble with China and Russia and the coms got chopped? Israel once launched an attack decades ago so that it was timed for when all the top official had left their homes but had not arrived in their offices yet. It caused chaos. You get the big job that pays the big bikkies, then it comes first. If she can’t do her job properly, then she should make way for somebody that can and takes it seriously.

    2. Skip Intro

      Alas, that’s true. Biden spent a ton of time on vacation, I think that’s a plus for the world. Given the leadership we seem to have, and its results, having them in the hospital or on vacation seems like a win-win scenario. Assuming that the rot has risen to the top, the more the leadership vacations, the safer we’ll all be.

    3. chris

      Are you insane??? You want them to discuss confidential matters of national security over face time when she’s in PR on vacation and has no access to a safe/controlled area for the conversation and/or document review???

      This is not a case of “the boss needs you to be on call this weekend”. We have assets in the field in two active war zones and a threat of either causing widespread chaos. She needed to get her butt back to DC and stand watch.

      1. Pat

        That she didn’t could also confirm Steve H.’s speculation above that the military is being deliberately kept out of the loop. She felt no need to get her butt back to DC, because there was little to no chance there was going to be a call. And for some, perhaps including Hicks, there is no desire to keep up the front.

        Just saying.

  3. griffen

    Dear Nikki is living the American elite dream, where failing upward is a path to life long earnings streams and a simple home on a nice island makes for the weekend getaway. What else is new under the sun…to suggest we are ruled by lizard people is perhaps an insult to actual lizards.

    An aside, Kiawah Island is a destination for those wishing to avoid the weekend proles visiting Myrtle Beach. Think what one wilt about that choice.

    1. timbers

      It’s occurred to me that Nikki has been appearing before my eye balls a lot these past few weeks. She must be the current Establishment choice to derail Trump or someone and maybe go all the way to the WH, too. She’s getting way to much attention vs her actual importance and standing in the polls and intellectual abilities. If she crashes into the rocks on her own accord from a self inflicted blunder – highly possible given her obvious lack of knowledge – The Establishment will just find a replacement.

      1. petal

        timbers, she is. I just posted to Rev Kev about her recent bombing run of mailers, YT ads, and radio ads. She is definitely the current establishment choice to derail Trump. Some of the mailers have been from the Koch Bros Pac pushing her and dinging Trump. First their mailers were “It must be someone other than Trump or else Biden’s going to win again” and then have now moved to supporting her.

        1. Jen

          Saw a Nikki sign in front of a house that was last sporting an “I’m Vaccinated!” sign on their lawn during my out and abouts recently. Can’t say I’m seeing a lot of them though.

          1. petal

            Jen, I haven’t seen any down my way yet. On route to a meeting in Newport in December I did see a few Trump signs, but entirely possible they’ve been there since last election.
            It’s been strangely quiet.

        2. Carolinian

          How are the polls up there? Any chance this is working?

          Nikki’s plan was always to get the Kochs, Adelsons etc to buy her the nom. Her only real hope however seems to be getting Trump somehow out of the way. So far the Trump response seems to be to ignore her and let her defeat herself.

      2. Chris Cosmos

        After studying media and semiotics I can say, confidently, that Nikki is the favorite in the MSM not only to be the RP candidate but has been signaling to the RP that it would accept Nikki beating Biden since the Blob is losing confidence in the Biden team. Nikki is more stridently pro-imperialist, is a woman and not white (identity politics is job one for the Blob). Even liberals who are also, for the most part, strongly pro-Empire, are rushing to support her–a good friend of mine (female) is for her–my friend is also not in favor of war everywhere and all the time, like most liberals, but she just ignored what I said about Ms. Haley.

        If they succeed in nailing Trump to the wall through lawfare or worse, then Haley will be POTUS no matter how corrupt she is since, naturally, I can vouch for the fact all major politicians are “corrupt” because that is the only way to survive in the higher reaches of official power. Anyway, no worry, we will have the same policies as we’ve had since 1992 unless Trump somehow gets in then it’s a spin of the wheel of fortune and I get why people are nervous about that.

      3. dday

        It’s down to her or Desantis now, and the smart money has moved to Haley. I think that a conviction in DC for Trump on the election charges would unleash a system wide challenge to his remaining the Republican candidate.

        I think Judge Chutkan intends to keep the trial on schedule, pushing appeals to after the actual trial instead of allowing them to postpone it.

        I think a Biden Haley matchup probably is won by Haley. Part of it will hinge on her keeping the MAGA base while still picking up enough independents. That will be an interesting dance.

        1. Carolinian

          I believe the trial is not on schedule because the prosecutor asked the SC for an expedited decision on whether Trump as president at the time could be charged and the SC said no they would take their time about deciding. And even if Trump was tried and convicted this summer he could still run while he appeals and by then he’ll be the nominee and for the Repubs, if possible, to try to force him to quit would create a revolt.

          Plus Haley, however much the MSM may want her, is a terrible candidate as she is already revealing with her slavery gaff. She’s also a huge warmonger and even Biden would be better in that respect. So I’d say her prospects are sinking, not rising. Desantis is ahead of her in Iowa right now. And she won’t win here in SC.

          1. dday

            I just see huge challenges to a convicted felon running for President. Maybe TV stations would refuse to run ads, contributors would be wary, lots of ballot challenges with or without SC overlay.

            I’m not disputing Haley is a bad candidate, I just think the Koch network and lots of other oligarchs are coalescing around her. I don’t think the early primaries are that critical, especially Iowa. Ask Ted Cruz.

            If Trump hasn’t cinched the nomination by the end of the trial, makes for an interesting RNC headache.

    2. KLG

      I attended a meeting there in May, a very gated “community” with the ugliest low-country McMansions I have ever seen. Chez Haley is the perfect example. Paid the off-season conference rate for a great 1BR condo with a view 100 yards from the ocean. Beautiful island but a miserable place with very little to recommend it but the golf courses, and YMMV will surely vary on that. The food is bog standard American Overpriced Poorly Prepared except for the salads. I did play the Ocean Course (I notice their website is still advertising “Fall Golf”) in a 30mph wind with three other guys who drank a tall vodka/cranberry juice every third hole, so that was entertaining all around. By the 5th hole their two caddies were saying, “Just drop a ball here (if there are any left in your bag).” Gov/Ambassador Haley was mentioned as an island resident, along with George F. Will. I’m sure they get together for cozy family dinners.

    3. Eric Anderson

      The Koch network threw its weight behind her. You, too, could go from zero to hero over night with that kind of astroturf largesse. There’s a case study in the power of corporate backers to turn the tide on a candidates fate.

  4. The Rev Kev

    ‘John Dupuis
    What are we even doing? This could well end up the stupidest article of the entire of 2024:
    Are We Thinking of Virus Symptoms Wrongly? Suffering through mild Covid, flu, RSV, or cold symptoms can be restorative. | Psychology Today’

    This guy is right. It could well end up the stupidest article of the entire of 2024. It starts off by saying ‘I recently recovered from contracting COVID-19. It was my first COVID-19 experience, and I viewed it as an honorable rite of passage.’ and goes downhill from there. Here is the article itself-

    And the author – Joseph Mazur – who published this in Psychology Today. How much medical expertise does he have? None. He is a mathematician and seems to only have a PhD and a B.S in mathematics. Here is his bio-

    But even a mathematician can see the present numbers of people falling sick and staying sick. I look forward to see if he writes another article if he ends up with Long Covid to see if that changes his mind.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      It seems like a bad day for articles that make you want to pull your hair out. Thankfully, I don’t have as much of it as I used to.

      I’ll see your noted idiotic take on COVID, and raise you one FAIR piece in the links above claiming that inflation really isn’t that bad (“Media Obsession with Inflation …”).

      Both articles were written probably by the pool from a million-dollar vacation home. Oh, those silly rabble, grousing about inflation and COVID, why can’t they see what a bang-up job Powell, the CDC and Biden are doing?

      I spent part of 2022 in a military town and saw firsthand how gas and food prices hurt the middle class. And our local Walmart started checking everyone’s receipts because so much food theft was happening. And those prices haven’t come down … corporations have figured out new old ways of cheating, as in

      1. GramSci

        Yeah. This article was written by a kid who wondered why the 18-34 year old cohort was most positive about the economy without noticing that, in the evidence his own cited graph, that cohort is always the most positive. Or that the misery index is computed on rate of change while, as you note, prices are sticky.

        I expect better of FAIR.

        1. Darthbobber

          Author also confuses nominal with real wages. Only nominal wages are generally rising. For the bulk of the populace real wages are down or stagnant over the period.

          1. BLAKEFELIX

            I’m not sure, I was partially convinced by Will Stancil that real wages are up or not down much for most lower income people.

      2. playon

        I’ve seen several of these pieces about how inflation has come down, and there seems to be push on twitter and elsewhere to downplay things. These writers seem (perhaps intentionally) confused by the rate of inflation as opposed to the actual prices of stuff. When I go shopping I’m still getting sticker shock.

        1. Clark T

          playon — This. The rate of change would have to be negative for inflation to be “declining,” i.e., there would be deflation.

          And what to believe, the sticker shock seen by our lying eyes or what DC says is true: not too long ago, a container of ‘premium’ Kroger store brand ice cream was around $5.79, IIRC, and often ‘on sale’ for less than $3. Now, the list price is $7.79, with the yellow price tag offering a ‘bargain’ of . . . $5.79.

          No wonder people are angry and not buying the establishment’s ‘facts.’

          1. ChrisFromGA

            It seems that they’ve jiggered with the CPI so much that it can be weaponized to reach any goal-seeked outcome. Hedonic pricing, substitution, etc.

            Basically, it’s all good because even if ground beef is now $7/lb vs. $3.99/lb back in 2019, you can just eat bugs for $3/lb and voila, deflation!

    2. mrsyk

      Wondering how the author feels about the “rite of passage” of medical bankruptcy, or going hungry, or homelessness.

      1. MikeX

        “If you just think of homelessness as an ‘urban camp out’ it sounds kind of fun, doesn’t it? And going hungry will help you drop those extra 10-15 pounds we all struggle with!”

      2. Bsn

        I look at the article as a test ballon and/or a slight nudge in the direction of “it’s only a flu dude”.

    3. Screwball

      Since we are talking stupid. A Tweet from someone who Lambert quotes frequently – Eric Feigl-Ding (Lambert will love this (not)).

      The Tweet from Feigl-Ding

      For those who don’t use Twitter (X), there is a video below his comments of the White House press secretary talking at a presser, and above Eric says this;

      Holy crap—“Make your own decisions (on COVID), that’s not something we get involved in”—can’t believe WH Press Secretary said this! I think Biden needs a new spokesperson after this. I cannot fathom that is official policy amid 2nd largest #COVID wave.

      I have to disagree with Eric. Karine Jean-Pierre is just the paid lying face of the administration – she doesn’t set policy – just gets paid to lie about it. What we don’t know, other than the CDC, who does make policy in the current administration?

      Might be a good spot to post the video of Pink Floyd doing “Comfortably Numb.”

    4. Chris Cosmos

      Well, I haven’t read the article but can only say that getting sick (I have a cold currently and had a flu in early December that actually had me in the most pain I’ve experienced since, I think, I got the Asian Flu in the late 60s. Nevertheless, as practice, I try to find silver linings to everything so I assume (even if I don’t believe it) that it’s all for the best. This series of illnesses have really given me ample opportunity to get rid of a lot of my emotional/intellectual detritus since sickness tends to narrow one’s purpose in this chaotic world of waaaaay to much information.

  5. petal

    With President not campaigning in New Hampshire, multiple cabinet members visiting Granite State

    Snip:”The following cabinet members and high administration officials have held events in New Hampshire:

    December 8, 2023: Isabel Guzman, Administrator of the Small Business Administration
    December 11, 2023: Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce
    January 4, 2024: Arati Prabhakar, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy; Danielle Carnival, Office of Science and Technology Policy Deputy Director for Health Outcomes; Tom Perez, Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs; and Alan Davidson, National Telecommunications and Information Administration Administrator
    January 8, 2024 (scheduled): Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture and Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy
    The Hatch Act limits certain political activities of federal employees and prevents them from outright campaigning on President Biden’s behalf.

    One senior advisor told News 9 this is just the administration at work.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      I bet that if there was a train wreck in New Hampshire that spread a lethal cocktail of chemicals both near and far, that you wouldn’t see a cabinet member or high administration official at all.

      1. petal

        And Nimarata Haley is putting out a ton of ads-mailers, YT, and radio. Don Bolduc(“I’m MAGA all the way, but”) is on the latest radio ad, saying how she is “America first” etc etc. It’s vomit-inducing because it’s obvious to even my dog that she isn’t. Only 17 more days to go until the primary. I’ll photograph the mailers and send to Lambert. Gotta work today so will get after it later on.

          1. undercurrent

            What’s not to like about Haley? She’s attractive in an East-Asian way, she’s as smart as a whip, she’s won the confidence of some of the richest bastards in the world, and she absolutely wants to kill every last muslim in Iran and Palestine, and that’s just for starters. And oh, oh, she wants to do away with Social Security and Medicare. She has it all. So what’s not to like?

              1. Pat

                I think you may be being unfair to Palin. Kamala reminds me more of Palin. Craven, corrupt, lazy, incompetent, unqualified, and often incomprehensible – they were cut from the same cloth.

                Haley, otoh, may be craven and corrupt, but is not lazy nor entirely incompetent. She is also a full on psychopath. Her desire for blood and war could make Hillary look like a piker. She is terrifying.

            1. c_heale

              I think you meant South Asian not Asian, although imo the concept of Asia is completely Orientalist.

  6. Snailslime

    Quite fitting that the proto fascist cult of the Emperor and his divine ancestors continued to be promoted while the ruthless suppression of far more wholesome and meaningful forms of “pagan” religiosity was already going ahead füll steam.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I remember reading about that plane and the lethal structural problems that it contained. Did note one section in that article-

      ‘During the investigation, the Royal Navy conducted recovery operations. The first pieces of wreckage were discovered on 12 February 1954 and the search continued until September 1954, by which time 70 per cent by weight of the main structure, 80 per cent of the power section, and 50 per cent of the aircraft’s systems and equipment had been recovered. The forensic reconstruction effort had just begun when the Abell Committee reported its findings. No apparent fault in the aircraft was found, and the British government decided against opening a further public inquiry into the accident. The prestigious nature of the Comet project, particularly for the British aerospace industry, and the financial impact of the aircraft’s grounding on BOAC’s operations both served to pressure the inquiry to end without further investigation. Comet flights resumed on 23 March 1954.’

      Note that this was 70 years ago and the FAA hasn’t learned a damn thing from the British example.

    2. ilsm

      I have wondered about the more widespread application of composite material replacing aluminum as “skin”and spars….

      What are the structural fatigue processes of glue vice rivets.

      About 30 years ago I received a too technical eduction on wide area stress fatigue using Aloha airlines event as attention step.

      At the time rules were risk analysis based bc condition evaluation was too hard.

      Do “we” understand composites?

      1. GramSci

        This paragraph from Wikipedia on the de Haviland Comet caught my eye:

        «The Comet was also adapted for a variety of military roles such as VIP, medical and passenger transport, as well as surveillance; the last Comet 4, used as a research platform, made its final flight in 1997.»

        I wonder what new ‘composites’ are being ‘researched’ on the ‘spy business jet’ also featured in today’s links?

        And, speaking of Bombardier, «In 2019, the company divested itself from the de Haviland Q400 and CRJ programs … »

      2. JP

        It was an unused emergency hatch. The fuselage did not fail. The hatch blew out of the pressurized cabin because it was not well secured. I will wait for the FAA report to learn the exact cause. All of the media indulged in click bate yesterday by posing the incident as the wall of the aircraft blowing out. That said, I am happy to never fly Boeing.

        1. Eclair

          And the 727 fuselages, along with the ‘plug’ to fill in the space designed to be an additional emergency exit, are manufactured by Spirit Aerosystems of Wichita, Kansas, a spin-off from Boeing. According to the industry newsletter,, Spirit has experienced multiple troubles, labor and financial, during 2023, including a strike by their machinists, the resignation of their CEO, and an infusion of cash by Boeing to stave off collapse. H/T to commenter on Moon of Alabama, for the linkage.

          Last people you want to have making your planes are a bunch of disgruntled machinists and assemblers.

  7. DJG, Reality Czar

    Cult mentality. Temple near Spello. Professor Boin discovers a mixture of cults. Of course, it is in Umbria, a notoriously mystical region. Assisi is awash in sanctity.

    Good observation: “This building, in a very radical way on its own, shows us the staying power of the pagan traditions that had been on the ground for centuries prior to the rise of Christianity, and it shows us how the Roman emperors continued to negotiate their own values, their own hopes and dreams for the future of the emperor and the Empire without knocking down or burying the past.”

    There is a strange idea among Christians that the pagans had tired of their gods and were looking for something new. Not much in history supports that idea, considering that the imperial authorities had to shut down the Eleusinian mysteries, the oracle at Delphi, the schools of philosophy of Athens, and other pagan institutions.

    In fact, one might argue paganism still flourishes just below the surface in much of the Mediterranean world. I’m not far from the church of the Gran Madre di Dio, the Great Mother of God. Mary the Theotokos or Juno? (The decor of the basilica is highly confusing theologically and the source of much speculation in the Chocolate City.)

    Another spectacular find, not all that far from Spello, on the other side of the border with Tuscany:

    The statues of the shrine / springs of San Casciano de Bagni. The video is in Italian, but you can run a search for the many articles on this amazing group of statues. Likewise, these gods were very carefully hidden and preserved.

    One only needs to read Plutarch or other Dead White Men and Ladies to know that the gods and goddesses had wonderful allure. Heck, Hermes / Mercury didn’t go around threatening people with divine punishment–no wonder he ended up as Saint Christopher.

    1. Chris Cosmos

      Paganism was allowed to survive in the Mediterranean basin much more than in Northern Europe where the witch holocaust was prevalent. In Italy, the country outside the USA, I know best witches are everywhere and practice openly. Here in the South of the USA there are many traditions from the Native Americans, the Hoodoo, (from Africa), and various practices of the mountain folks in what we can call “kitchen magic.”

    2. B Flat

      A sentimental haze has settled around all things “pagan,” unwarranted IMO. The ancients were every bit as ego driven and bloody as moderns.

      1. BillS

        Plus our friends the notsies appealed to a certain germanic pagan element as part of their master race utopian vision.

      2. Lefty Godot

        The sadism was undisguised in ancient Rome, that’s for sure. Christianity put a sober, respectable face on it, torture and killing because it’s our sacred duty. The last 55 or so years we’ve been sliding back toward the old Roman way though, torture and killing because we like to and you can’t stop us! All glorified in movies and television in a nation that lionizes bullies: “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.” No wonder we ended up with Trump eventually.

    3. Eclair

      Raised strict Irish-American Catholic, including the glorification of ‘suffering,’ which we were commanded to ‘offer up,’ as it would get us in Heaven earlier, I picked up a copy of Frazier’s The Golden Bough, for a little light reading during my sophomore year in college.

      And quickly realized that all this weird fixation on virgins, god-killing and subsequent resurrection, three-part deities, a saint for every day of the year and for every purpose, holy days at winter solstice and spring equinox and Samhain, were lifted whole from the ‘pagans.’ It was the first of my many realizations that I had been systematically lied to by organizations I was supposed to trust. No, on second thought, my first realization was when my father told me to ‘grow up, there is no Easter Bunny!’

    4. Kouros

      I have a better one:

      During the times of the Socialist Republic in Romania, Orthodox Church services, and even events related with personal life (marriages, baptisms, deaths), the start of the prayers and service started with mentioning all the saints, church fathers, etc, and an inclusion of the President, high officials, etc…

  8. rob

    re: the media obsession with inflation has manufactured discontent…..

    are they kidding?
    “the media” may be talking all day long… but it never says anything.
    what is “manufacturing discontent” is the experiences of all the people who don’t get “grossly overpaid”, who notice prices didn’t just “inflate”… they went into the stratosphere.

    need a new car? a car part? a service provided… other parts? insurance? rent? a mortgage payment? car payment? etc.

    the cost of poorly functioning technology, with the idiot overlords seeing “profit” around every turn.
    and “the media” won’t touch reality with a ten foot pole.

    1. Chris Cosmos

      Absolutely, thank you for that. The MSM has downplayed any economic statistic that might indicate that something is wrong with our economic system and inflation is probably the worst economic indicator that is reported by the government.

    2. Wukchumni

      My family was almost distraught that I was so eager to hit up my annuity, er SS, right when I hit 62. They regaled me with tales of how much more I could get if I only waited 5 or 6 years, and then I shut them all down by asking how much everything had gone up on things they buy in the past couple years?

      In my case it was easily 30% to 40% more in price, and why wait for the almighty buck to depress further?

      1. upstater

        Having a disabled son, waiting until 70 is a no-brainer because we can afford deferral. He will receive 50% of my SS whenever i collect and 75% after i die. The difference between 62 and 70 is considerable and makes his future life more manageable. This is a 50 year horizon, not 20.

        1. NYMutza

          For those with longevity in their family history waiting until age 70 to begin collecting SS makes good sense. For others, not so much. Most people would do best by waiting for their full retirement age – around 66 or 67 years of age these days and then begin collecting. From what I recall, benefits increase by 8% for each year deferred past age 62. However, an argument can be made for claiming benefits earlier if one sorely needs the money or one has investment opportunities that can bring returns greater than 8% or one doesn’t really need the money for day to day expenses and so can use the early claim money to pay for vacations and/or expensive wine. Life is unpredictable, especially these days with pandemics and endless wars. Partying like it’s 1999 is not such a bad idea.

  9. griffen

    Imperial collapse and the article on veterans access to proper, supervised psychiatric care. I’d suggest it is a must read with a cup of coffee, for any concerned with how our “fearless warriors” are coping and behaving once they return from their post, at times returning to a home they no longer recognize family from foe. It’s a harsh thing to realize how little effort, seemingly and ongoing, that the VA puts into managing such locations. Not a Dem problem or a Repub problem, for goodness sake can’t they see an actual psychiatrist and not just be offered the solution with a few pills to take.

    Best healthcare ever. Unless you serve in the military and truly need to be diagnosed under proper care and monitoring.

    1. jefemt

      Quite a read. As you noted, it is society -wide in the US. We cannot agree on anything, and the right to basic full-body care is not even on the white-board.
      Is there even a white-board?

      1. LifelongLib

        As an economist said long ago, one man’s security is another man’s lack of opportunity. If you and I had a “right to basic…care” it would get in the way of somebody else’s “right” to make money off of us. And in many cases the somebody else isn’t even an actual person.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Hezbollah hits critical Israeli surveillance base with 62 rockets”

    The only surprise is that Hezbollah did not destroy that base much earlier. I guess that the 62 rockets was a saturation attack but that place was so damn big that they could hardly miss. Maybe there was also a message to Israel in that attack saying don’t bother trying to build it back again – ever. If that base was ‘responsible for organizing, coordinating, and managing all air operations towards Syria, Lebanon, Turkiye, Cyprus, and the northern part of the Eastern Mediterranean basin’ then that may put a spanner in future aerial attacks on Beirut or Syria. I bet you though that the cost of those 62 rockets was only a small fraction of all the equipment that the Israelis had up there which would have been in the many millions.

  11. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    This is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary interviews of a former senior US government official on Gaza.

    This is Chas Freeman, former Assistant Secretary of Defense and former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Key points in the video: *

    – He agrees that many of the victims of Oct 7th were killed by the Israeli army in the form of “undisciplined fire by helicopters with hellfire missiles or by tanks with incendiary rounds directed at buildings”. In the case of the victims of the music festival he even says they “were largely killed, it appears, by hellfire missiles and by other undisciplined fire by Israeli forces”. To him this “disgrace in military terms” stems from a “lack of discipline and training necessary to respond” but also from the IDF’s “Hannibal directive”, which “says that rather than get into bargaining over hostage exchange you should just kill the Israeli hostages along with their captors.”

    – He says that with Oct 7th “Hamas had 2 objectives”:

    1) “Put the Palestinian self-determination issue back on the global agenda”, something he says they’ve “succeeded” in doing since there is “widespread recognition outside Israel that only self-determination for Palestine in the form of a 2-state solution can provide security to Israel”. He says that even in “the US, which has a larger Jewish population than Israel, many Jews have come to realize that this is the case. Younger Jews in particular in the U.S. are very disillusioned with Zionism and don’t want to suffer contagion from it in the form of antisemitism, which is actually growing now as a result of Israeli actions”.

    2) “Give Hamas enormous popularity among Palestinians because they are seen as having stood up, as having been willing to accept death rather than captivity”. He refers to Norman Finkelstein’s “analogy of slave revolts in the U.S.” and particularly the “1831 revolt by Nat Turner, a well-educated very intelligent enslaved African who led a slave revolt in Southern Virginia which had as its objective the murder of every white person they encountered.” He says it “raises a moral question: ‘Is the violence of the slave-owner morally the same as the violence of the slave trying to end that violence?’. The same moral question arises with Israeli oppression of Palestinians versus Palestinian resistance to oppression.”

    – All in all he concludes that much like the violence against African-Americans that followed slave revolts in the 19th century, the Israeli vengeance against Palestinians “won’t be remembered fondly by anyone in the future”. In fact he goes as far as saying that “when people think of Israel in the past they thought of it as a refuge for the victims of the Holocaust… now they will think of it as the home of perpetrators of genocide. When they think of Israel, they will think of burned buildings and dead babies. This is an image problem of a fundamental nature and from the point of view of Israel it strips Israel of its protection by charges of antisemitism against anyone who is critical of Israel because to be critical of people who are carrying out genocide cannot be antisemitism, it cannot be considered immoral. Antisemitism is a despicable attitude but to oppose genocide by Israel is not.”


    12:22 AM · Jan 7, 2024

    1. milda2

      2) “Give Hamas enormous popularity among Palestinians because they are seen as having stood up, as having been willing to accept death rather than captivity”
      The same moral question arises with Israeli oppression of Palestinians versus Palestinian resistance to oppression.”

      Palestinians are living according to own moral standards, and are willing to die rather than live in peace. What choice does Israel have?

          1. Alice X

            What choice does Israel have?

            End the occupation, remove the settlers, restitution for stolen land and self determination for the Palestinians.

          2. Morincotto

            Well, it can try murder all Palestinians but if the complete annihilation of Israel eventually follows, they have no reason to complain.

            In practical terms at that point the stronger will win and morality won’t play into it.

            Personally I see little chance of Israel winning, not in the long term certainly, especially if it actually succeeds in provoking a larger war.

            So, eventually Israelis probably will face a number of different choices, like the choice of surrendering and begging for mercy, the choice of fighting to the death, going nuclear and all die, fleeing to whatever country will Take them, converting to Islam might turn out advantageous.

            Granted I understand none of those options might seem particularly attractive, but one of them will probably turn out to be the way the cookie crumbles.

            Alternatively they might seriously consider to let the Palestinians have their own well and truly sovereign state OR make them fully equal fellow citizens in one state.

            Suspect that about covers it.

            Word of advice: Don’t make it an “It’s either US or THEM situation when you don’t have the means to ensure it’s actually US.

            That’s a stupid game that will only win you stupid prices.

          3. Polar Socialist

            Loaded questions don’t neither require nor deserve an answer, but rather the shaming of the fool who used such a childishly simple rhetorical tool to push an agenda.

            The purpose of the shaming, of course, is to encourage more honest and intelligent discussion, devoid of this “have stopped beating your wife” dead-ends.

          4. Roger Boyd

            Propagandist BS does not require an answer, as it should be labelled as such. You are doing the equivalent of blaming the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto of not being willing to accept the German occupation, and thus “what choice did the Germans have?”

        1. tegnost

          With 7 million palestinians and 7 million of the other guys maybe try democracy?
          The one state solution.

          1. LifelongLib

            I. F. Stone noted back in the 1940s that Jews and Arabs in Palestine were too afraid of each other to live under the same government. The “one state solution” is rational, but probably not politically possible.

      1. KLG

        Thank you, Alice! Well worth the time. Chas Freeman might be the Last Intelligent American of the Leadership Class.

    2. Vicky Cookies

      With regard to Mr. Freeman’s ‘moral question’, since I have been surprised not to see it addressed specifically: I have never personally heard anyone convincinngly argue in favor of a view that violence is violence is violence, regardless of the context out of which it arose, and the relations of power and property which explain it. In my own view, it is not a question at all; the violence of the party perpetruating injustice is of course worse, with a broad view, and in moral terms. It’s a bit strange, though not entirely, to see an adult bring that up as if it’s challenging or interesting. I suppose I am glad that someone as power-adjacent as a former diplomat is reading Professer Finklestien; with any luck such views will make their way into the mainstream.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Turkey must stop blocking Ukraine minehunters, ex-NATO supreme commander warns”

    Note to Politico. It’s Türkiye, not Turkey. Check with your proof-readers – if you haven’t fired them all and installed an AI to do it instead. Whenever there is a need for a ex-military neocon, you can always find a few like retired General Ben Hodges or retired General Philip Breedlove and now here comes retired Admiral James Stavridis to weigh in on his opinion. He says that they ‘certainly could have decided to allow defensive ships like minesweepers into the Black Sea’ but the Montreux Convention does not differentiate between offensive and defensive ships but calls them just warships. Of course if those mine-hunters ever made it into the Black Sea, then being part of the Ukrainian Navy they would be automatically targeted by Russia. In any case, Türkiye’s first loyalty is to Türkiye, not to NATO. Somebody needs to take NATO’s car keys off them before they really do something stupid.

    1. Bsn

      In addition, it’s Ukraine who laid the mines in the first place. Plus, I just can’t get over how the media hires and interviews retired generals “Who Lost the Fricken War”!

      1. Alice X

        The retired generals may be current defense contractor lobbyists, of even board members. It was something that was brought up in the middle aughts during the 2nd Iraq war when it was common practice. I was on a trunk call with my congress rep and a few dozen other constituents. I told the interviewer that I would ask that question, I never got to.

      2. Feral Finster

        So? Since when did the sociopaths running NATO care about such things? The mines were very very good when they were laid but very very bad and all Russia’s fault now.

        Ukraine could nerve gas toddlers and Russia would be blamed.

    2. Feral Finster

      The use of the old spelling is entirely intentional.

      As I said before, Turkiye will not be given a choice.

  13. RookieEMT

    Did Scott Ritter really address 20,000 Chechnens and gave them an impending victory speech?

    I know Scott is anti-US but damn.

    That was not on my scorecard.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Here is the speech if you want to actually listen to it- (2:22 mins)

      And you got it wrong. Scott Ritter is pro-American. It is people like Biden, Nuland, Blinken and Sullivan that are anti-American with some owing more loyalty to an ancestral land or religion than actually to America.

    2. CA

      “I know —– is anti-US but damn….”

      Such a remark is meant to be an intimidation, in the style of a Joseph McCarthy. Fearing to be truthful, however, is what can lead to the making and continuing of fearful policy mistakes.

    3. RookieEMT

      Guh… I should of put it as anti-US Imperialism.

      Still quite shocking. Didn’t think he’d go that far.

  14. Ignacio

    RE: The degradation of Western elites. Gilbert Doctorow

    Not surprising to see Russians noticing the degradation of Western elites. The only ones not noticing the kind of morons they have turned to be are probably the very same incumbents.

  15. Wukchumni

    Gooooooooooooood Mooooooooorning Fiatnam!

    Nobody noticed that General Eatmoreland was missing except in the commissary which was finally able to show a profit this week after years of running in the red, thanks to his absence.

  16. Alice X

    Aaron Maté

    >In Gaza genocide, US defends Israel’s ‘aura of power’

    As South Africa accuses Israel of genocide, the Biden administration endorses Israel’s bid to sow “fear” in Gaza’s defenseless civilians.

    Any serious “prerequisite for peace” therefore requires the inverse of Netanyahu’s strategy: the Israeli government must be demilitarized and Israeli society must be deradicalized. The same applies for the Biden administration, which is so radicalized that it openly flaunts its support for what South Africa calls “the physical destruction of Palestinians in Gaza,” all to help defend Israel’s “aura of power.”

    Two generations of the Maté family who speak eloquently and forcefully on Palestine.

            1. Offtrail

              Didn’t Israel just assassinate the Hamas official who negotiated the December hostage release?

            2. The Rev Kev

              Netanyahu admitted that he has spent the past coupla decades destroying any chance of a two-State solution. Here is what the whole thing looks like. Two guys at a table with a pizza while one holds a gun. The guy with a gun is eating the pizza while the other tries to negotiate sharing it.

            3. chris

              What is your definition of peace here? Is it a peace with no blockade? A peace where journalists and children and civilians aren’t randomly assassinated? A peace where women and children aren’t held without cause in prison as potential negotiating leverage? A peace where settlers don’t try to steal the little land that is available in the West Bank and Gaza? Israel as a state has done all this and more for decades. So what is your reference point for peace here? If it’s a reset back to 2022 conditions then you don’t mean peace. You mean to say you want to return to the illusion that the open air prison Israel created in Gaza was secure.

              And let’s please dismiss with the suggestion that criticism of Israel is equivalent to anti-Semitism. Israel does not speak for all Jews everywhere. That’s clear from polling data. Israel speaks for Israeli citizens. Those who agree with the current prime minister and his cabinet support ethnic cleansing of Gaza and the West Bank. There is real anti-Semitism in the US and throughout the world. Painting opposition to genocide as anti-Semitic makes it seem as if all Jews are pro-Netanyahu, pro-occupation, pro-Zionism, pro-war. That is clearly not true!

      1. Daniil Adamov

        Depending on how you define genocide, sure. But I do know that a lot of Jews still think they were somewhat badly done by in Spain after the Reconquista, even though they were given a choice.

      2. Kouros

        Please tell us more about Israeli action in the West Bank, where Arabs are killed, imprisoned, evicted, with properties (houses, cars, orchards) burned, wells clogged, just because they are there. You think the choice to just die is a “viable” choice for them?

      3. Feral Finster

        In the sense that “your money or your life” isn’t really armed robbery because the victim has a “choice”.

    1. NYMutza

      Have you read the 2015 book titled Kissinger’s Shadow? In that book you will read about Kissinger’s idea that a great nation must take action if only to prove that they can take action. The consequences of the actions taken matter not at all. Furthermore, according to Kissinger, previous actions that were total failures should in no way influence future actions. This shadow of Kissinger is very long and extends to 2024. This is why the United States suffers frequent foreign policy failures and continues making the same mistakes, regardless of who is POTUS and who is in Congress.

      1. CA

        October 3, 2015

        ‘Kissinger’s Shadow,’ by Greg Grandin

        “Arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes!” Thus chanted protesters as they disrupted a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee in January. One demonstrator brandished handcuffs within inches of Kissinger’s head just after the former secretary of state, who had been invited to appear before the committee, took his seat. Once the Capitol police restored order, though, the event gave way to a frenzy of praise for the grand old man of American foreign policy. George Shultz, another former secretary of state scheduled to testify, inspired a standing ovation in the hearing room by praising Kissinger’s “many contributions to peace and security.”

        Such is life for one of America’s most polarizing figures, and so it has been for as long as Kissinger has walked the national stage. The competing narratives are familiar, even stale: Kissinger’s champions hail him as a great statesman whose bold initiatives ended the Vietnam War, bolstered world peace and helped restore American power in an era of national decline. His detractors — members of a “hate Henry industry,” as the New York Times columnist William Safire once put it — view him as an immoral cynic who coddled dictators and enabled appalling bloodlettings on three continents.

        Greg Grandin’s “Kissinger’s Shadow” decidedly belongs to the second category. A professor of history at New York University and an eloquent voice of the political left, Grandin hits all the topics that one might expect to see in a sharp indictment of Kissinger’s work as national security adviser and secretary of state in the Nixon and Ford administrations. Drawing on bits of new evidence but mostly synthesizing long-available sources, Grandin revisits, for example, Kissinger’s tolerance of Pakistan’s brutalization of civilians during the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war, his support for Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s murderous regime in Chile and his endorsement of Indonesia’s 1975 invasion of East Timor and the bloody occupation that ensued.

        Grandin delves most deeply into Cambodia’s tortured history, accusing Kissinger of waging an illegal war on the country between 1969 and 1973 and, by wreaking havoc on it through a huge bombing campaign, creating conditions that helped bring the genocidal Khmer Rouge to power. Especially disturbing are passages detailing Kissinger’s efforts to keep the bombing secret by, among other things, conniving with military officers to falsify records.

        But to Grandin’s credit, he aims to do much more than merely rehash these and other depressing episodes that journalists and scholars have been working over for years. The book’s main agenda is to develop a fresh argument that, although more provocative than convincing, amounts to one of the most innovative attacks on Kissinger’s record and legacy.

        Grandin challenges the conventional wisdom that Kissinger should be categorized as a “realist” — as a statesman driven by hardheaded calculation of national interest and calibration of the balance of power. Instead, Grandin contends that Kissinger is best understood as an existentialist who believed that in a world without objective truth or inescapable historical patterns, great statesmen distinguish themselves through spontaneity and resolute action rooted in intuition rather than rational thinking. Kissinger’s “philosophy of the deed,” as Grandin puts it, treated reality not as a constraint but as something to be created by individuals courageous enough to overcome inertia and break the shackles of mindless bureaucracy, political opposition and legalistic concepts like the inviolability of national sovereignty….

        Mark Atwood Lawrence teaches history at the University of Texas at Austin.

  17. antidlc

    White House daily briefing transcript January 4, 2024:

    Go ahead, Karen.

    Q Thanks. Some hospitals in at least eight states have brought back some form of masking now due to rising cases of respiratory viruses, including the flu and COVID. Does the White House think more hospitals across the country should be considering that right now?

    MS. JEAN-PIERRE: The masking piece?

    Q Mm-hmm.

    MS. JEAN-PIERRE: That is — and we’ve been — always been very consistent on this. That is something that is localized or — that — or hospitals, communities, cities, states, they have to make their own decisions. That’s not something that we get involved in.

    Q And what about Americans broadly now? There’s 31 states in the latest data that have high or very high levels of respiratory illness: RSV, flu, and COVID. What should Americans be doing? What’s the recommendation?

    MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, it is up to each and — each and every American to make their decision on what they want to do.

    We have a range of tools. Right? That is something that we’ve been able to do these last three years for people to feel — to protect themselves from the impact of COVID — whether it’s a vaccine, whether it’s at-home testing, whether it’s treat- — and treatments. Right? All of these things are incredibly important.

    So, there are tools available for folks. And we’re going to certainly — certainly encourage Americans to — to take those steps.

    We’re not going to — it is up to them. It is up to them, as it relates to masking, what individual Americans want to do. That is not something that we’re going to regulate.

    1. Jason Boxman

      MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, it is up to each and — each and every American to make their decision on what they want to do.

      Biden on public health, in a nutshell, or shorter: Go die.

  18. Alice X

    Interview at the Guardian
    ‘We are working-class women of color’: the long-shot socialist run for the White House

    Adam Gabbatt in New York

    Claudia de la Cruz of the Party for Socialism and Liberation plans to seize control of the top 100 US corporations and disband the CIA – but recognises it will take a movement to overthrow capitalism

    Actually it will take a catastrophic collapse of the current system and then a revolution, the movement would have been ramping up along the way.

    I voted for Gloria La Riva in 2020, I might write in these two. Isn’t it a known that if voting changed anything, it wouldn’t be legal?

  19. Alan Kirk

    Natural Asset Companies (NACs) are in the news:

    To learn more about them (and a more positive take), start here:

    To gain a more holistic perspective (a more negative view), go here:

    For discussion, find me here:

  20. Chris Cosmos

    No he’s the opposite. He’s pro-US but anti-Empire look at his record as an arms control expert most particularly in Iraq. He opposed the US illegal operation in Iraq and was removed from MSM’s list of experts despite he knew more about Iraq’s illegal weapons than all the so-called experts who flooded the MSM with BS during that period. So he suffered the same fate as Chris Hedges (Middle East Bureau chief for NYT) and the uber popular talk show host Phil Donaheu who became non-persons after their anti-war stance. Thankfully, they were not put in the Gulags so I count my blessings. Ritter has been mainly correct in his analyses of world events since the 90s when I first noticed him.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Since we’re doing Tucker, this is a must see “interview” with Bret Weinstein on, among other things, the upcoming “vote” on turning over the declaration of world health “emergencies” and mandating “remedies” to the WHO.

      I use quotes around the word interview since Tucker doesn’t say much. He just lets Weinstein talk, and he has plenty to say that needs to be heard.

      1. bobert

        That interview is chilling, especially when Brett says he is scared that instead of a cabal of evil geniuses running things in fact no one has an idea where we are headed in the long run.

          1. bobert

            Another angle:


            Tucker interviews Seth Dillon on how Snopes has been fact-checking the Babylon Bee’s satire, such as when they said CNN had purchased an industrial washing machine to spin the news. And when the 9th circuit court overturned Ginsburg’s death.

            We are governed by patent fools.

      2. GC54

        To minimize data bandwidth, listen to Tucker on because Rumble even at lowest video quality takes 200 kbps.
        The link for Weinstein is here.

  21. Carolinian

    That’s a fun Jon Schwarz/Intercept on the Ivies. While for some of us in flyover these upper class gateways are more of a black box, there have been plenty of articles from insiders debunking Ivy virtue and even its intellectual rigor. And it isn’t new. Back in FDR’s day his Harvard education was more of a social club where the main thing was to be a hit among privileged peers–a success at sports and clubs etc. Going even further back many Ivy colleges had roots in New England religious culture with figures who were also deep into the slave trade. Back then your Harvard roommate was as likely to be the son of a plantation owner.

    Returning to our own day the Ivy League was the incubator of the CIA and “best and the brightest” Cold War adventurism. To some extent Kennedy had their number (as did FDR) but they talked LBJ into the great 1960s disaster..

    Not that we rubes are complaining or anything but it could be time for a more appropriate resume builder.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Maybe that is why they hated him so much. It wasn’t the New Deal reforms but because he wasn’t a Yale or Harvard man. :)

    1. Feral Finster

      Thus class element is entirely intentional, the way it was at one time possible to purchase an officer’s commission in the British Army, but the pay was too low for the purchase to be a good investment, especially taking into account the lifestyle expected of an officer.

  22. Carolinian

    That Smithsonian on Coltrane is more than a bit gushy and also fact challenged.

    The album on which they appeared was a remarkable artistic and commercial success—50,000 copies were sold in 1961, landmark numbers for a jazz LP.

    While some might consider Brubeck’s white guy jazz as not jazz at all Dave Brubeck’s Time Out had already broken the popularity barrier in 1959.

    The album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard pop albums chart, and was the first jazz album to sell a million copies.[9] The single “Take Five” off the album was also the first jazz single to sell one million copies.[9] By 1963, the record had sold 500,000 units, and in 2011 it was certified double platinum by the RIAA, signifying over two million records sold.[10][11] The album was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2009.

    Brubeck himself was a bit sheepish about his popularity and when he received a “landmark” Time cover he knocked on Duke Ellington’s hotel room door to apologize. But jazz is jazz whoever makes it.

    1. Alice X

      Well, as a musician I always found Brubeck quite flat footed, clunky even.

      But the commercial success is different than the effect a work or series of works has on other musicians, and thus towards a trend. To me, it would be a stretch to put Coltrane and Brubeck together in the latter way.

      Coltrane’s legacy is with us to this day. I just wouldn’t put it solely on one LP.

      One could bring up a number of people of the late fifties, Ornette Coleman is one. His The Shape of Jazz to Come came out in 1959. It was consequential. I recently went on a jag and listened to all of his LPs again up to Science Fiction, after which was his electric instrument conversion, when he completely lost the thread. I would say he was out of ideas pretty quickly early on. But he did have an effect, as did Dolphy.

      1. Carolinian

        I believe the critic take at the time was what you said and that Desmond was the musical star. Brubeck was an interesting character who grew up on a California ranch and claimed he had trouble reading sheet music despite some conservatory training.

        But he had an extraordinarily long career whatever the critics may have thought. Yes he’s a pounder but I like him and some of his later recordings are better than the big successes. I’m merely suggesting that any form of music has many threads and we don’t need too concerned with “legacy.”

        1. Wukchumni

          Take Five was my introduction to jazz way back when and I too have an affinity for Brubeck and saw him perform maybe 5x, 3 of those at the Playboy jazz festival.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        After he was out of the Army and as his career was starting, Brubeck dove into the water while on a gig in Hawaii, hit a sandbar and nearly broke his neck. It left him with nerve damage, pain in his hands and limited finger agility. He would never be much of a piano soloist afterward, but he had huge hands that could play some giant block chords, so he was still skilled at ‘compin’ in a trio or quartet setting.

        His “Bluette” was probably the thing I enjoyed most playing on the piano. The quartet’s version features nice interplay between Brubeck and Desmond.

      3. jabura Basaidai

        AX – you mention Eric Dolphy and i immediately heard in my head the opening lines to ‘Gazzelloni’ on the “Out To Lunch” album and that made me remember Jazz at Massey Hall, an album i can never hear often enough, “Night in Tunisia” is wonderful, Salt Peanuts burns – the best quintet ever and they were having fun – Dizzy is magnificent, Bud Powell fluid grace, Mingus the bass giant and Max Roach so tight and Bird melodious excellence – had a chance to meet Dizzy one time when he came to Oakland University when i was a student in the early 70’s – it was at the request of the director of the Jazz program there, the first in Michigan btw, Marv “Doc” Holladay – Dizzy gave an impromptu concert in the cafeteria with the OU Afram Jazz band – Ron English was my guitar teacher for a very short time there – anyway i doubt i have the historical context you have of jazz – i took a few ethnomusicology classes Doc taught – Doc moved to Quito Ecuador and horn player Walt Szymanski followed him down there – an old neighborhood pal who drums and was in the jazz program too went down to visit – oh yeah, i’ve got a great disc of Dizzy, Monk & Charlie Christian jamming at Mintons – i used to work split shifts at Joe Muer’s on Gratiot and would go to Baker’s in between shifts and chat up Sol Hartstein, who owned & operated Baker’s at that time, and he would bring performers down to the restaurant and have me wait on them – some great memories your comment created in my head – thank you

        1. Alice X

          I have longtime close musician friends who ran in those circles and played in the Detroit scene. I wouldn’t want to pin anyone down though.

        2. C Rogersen Ham

          The Massey Hall show was just remastered by Craft Recordings. They worked some serious magic on it too, even the crowd noise sounds good. State of the art in audio restoration to my ears.

      4. Antagonist Muscles

        Coltrane’s legacy is with us to this day. I just wouldn’t put it solely on one LP.

        Really? Coltrane’s A Love Supreme is that good. I listened to A Love Supreme just a couple days ago. Unfortunately, I seldom listen to My Favorite Things and Time Out as I relegated them to storage.

      5. Dr. Daniel Soderburg

        I dunno regarding Coleman I think Dancing In Your Head is an amazing album. and his later 70s/early 80s stuff is at least worth a reassessment. I started there though so might be a little biased

  23. Louiedog14

    Re: Coltrane

    It’s hard writing about music. It’s harder writing about Coltrane. But I do suggest listening to My Favorite Things. The Quartet version is great, and live with Eric Dolphy is even better. It lilts, it soars, it’s airy and joyful. A good way to brighten one’s day.

  24. Wukchumni

    I threw up in my mouth a few times this morning watching Face the Nation & Meet the Press, but being a gentleman, swallowed it back down…

    A full court press on anti-semitism, including tv commercials emphasizing how wrong it is, during breaks in the anti-action.

    Its all they have to work with, you get the feeling.

    1. Alice X

      Anti-semitism is bad, anti-genocide is good. The two should not be conflated, it is so bizarre that somehow they are.

    2. jabura Basaidai

      it is exactly why i gave up TV over five decades ago and never looked back – originally because i hated commercials but an originally ancillary benefit was no political shows which became the main reason to stay away from the tube – you must have a strong stomach and no firearm close by to 86 the tube

  25. Wukchumni

    Joe & Jill went up to Valley Forge
    To demonize the competition
    Joe was on the verge of falling down
    Thank goodness Jill was around
    Maybe we should write her in
    For the nomination?

    1. ambrit

      Wait a moment there. That would make it the Biden Regency. Thus we would all be privileged to experience the Glory and Terror of Obama’s Crowning Achievement.
      Riffing on the Macbeth badinage below, allow me to declaim:
      Lady MacBiden:
      Out damned spook! out, I say!–One: two: why
      then, ’tis time to do’t–Langley is murky–Fie, my
      President, fie! A Politico and afeard? What need we
      fear who knows what, when none dares call our Power to
      account?– Yet who would have thought the old laptop
      to have had so much dirt in it?

      1. Wukchumni

        My Chinese-made crystal ball is the reason for yours truly being able to portend events far in future tense, and this is what I glimpse…

        ‘Re-Elect Hunter in 2032!’

  26. Steve H.

    > Spatial synchrony cascades across ecosystem boundaries and up food webs via resource subsidies

    Delightful. My favorite line:

    >> Change in wave action, as opposed to wave action itself, is key to wrack dynamics because as waves fragment and dislodge kelp to produce wrack, less kelp remains to be removed and progressively more wave energy is required to produce more wrack.

    blowe Winde, come wracke…

    1. Wukchumni

      Did you seek kelp?

      (My smart alec response after a friend’s harrowing tale of nearly drowning in a kelp forest near a beach in Mexico)

  27. Tom Stone

    It’s time to dig out that St Anthony of Fauci candle because he’ll be testilying before Congress in the next few days.
    The Over/Under on “I Don’t Recall” as a response is 75.
    The odds that he will blame post Covid “Brain Fog” for his bad memory are 60/40.
    The odds that he will blame Trump for something are 100%.
    Can you OD on popcorn?
    Asking for a friend….

  28. Victor Sciamarelli

    Four more years of either Biden or Trump and most Americans will experience first-hand what it was like to live in the Soviet Union in the mid-1970s.

    Bibi: ”I am in blood
    Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
    Returning were as tedious as go o’er.”
    Joe: “Your face, my thane, is as a book where men

    May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
    Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,

    Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,

    But be the serpent under ‘t.”
    Bibi: “Blood will have blood.”
    Joe: ”Screw your courage to the sticking-place,
 And we’ll not fail.”

    I can see it now, a new production of Macbeth staring Biden as Lady Macbeth

  29. Will

    I am probably too sensitive to the possible effects of Covid, but this story on the teacher shortage up here in Ontario, Canada, reads like the consequences of a continuing mass disabling event.

    And by ‘shortage’, I mean a ‘crises’ since that’s what the organization representing principals and vice-principals in the province called it a few months ago.

    Since then, Ontario Principals’ Council President Ralph Nigro says the situation has become more dire. By December school administrators were grappling with increased staff absences due to illness and thinning resources because retired teachers allowed to work 50 days without it affecting their pension were starting to hit their cap.

    The shortage could be because of the many non-Covid factors described in the story, but this passage buried in the middle seems the most relevant:

    Nigro says most elementary school principals and vice-principals take on extra duties during the day, such as being a supply teacher, an educational assistant or lunchroom supervisor. That takes a toll, he says, noting long term disability claims by administrators in public boards have risen more than 500 per cent since the end of 2019.

    But perhaps it’s not Covid but lazy workers taking advantage of the system:

    Rachel Chernos Lin, chair of the Toronto District School Board, the county’s largest with 235,000 students, says staffing issues are a “significant concern.” And a “very generous sick leave policy” means “the other challenge is that we spend an awful lot of money replacing people.”

    1. CanCyn

      I think things really are that bad. Word on the street where I live (eastern Ontario, Kingston area) is that anyone with a high school diploma who can pass a police check can work as a substitute teacher. I know someone who is getting 3 days a week pretty regularly who has only part of an undergrad degree – she’s retired and just supplementing her income. Her working life was varied, no teaching or specific experience with children.

      1. eg

        And to think that the muppets in charge of Ontario’s Education Ministry increased the Teacher’s College program from one year to two years back in 2014. Now they will bewail a teacher shortage.


        1. CanCyn

          In my life there have only ever been teacher shortages or teacher surpluses – I don’t know why they can’t get it right but they never do.

  30. sfglossolalia

    Boeing wants FAA to exempt MAX 7 from safety rules to get it in the air

    Based on the current obsession with reducing carbon emissions at the expense of everything else, including whether something actually works or not, it sounds like they’ll probably get an exemption. Anyone killed on those flights that fall out of the sky will be considered martyrs for the green new deal.

  31. kareninca

    My home town in New England does not have a newspaper, so every week or two I look at the obituaries in a nearby town. All of a sudden there are a LOT of deaths. Way more than usual. It is true that most (though not all) of the people who died were elderly, and so it can be ignored by people who want to ignore it, but the numbers are striking.

  32. juno mas

    RE; Coltrane Link and article

    Thanks for that. 14 minutes ofo delicious Jazz improve. The Sound of Music never had it soo goood!

  33. Jason Boxman

    Lambert might appreciate this: Kagi Small Web

    What is Kagi Small Web?
    To begin with, while there is no single definition, “small web” typically refers to the non-commercial part of the web, crafted by individuals to express themselves or share knowledge without seeking any financial gain. This concept often evokes nostalgia for the early, less commercialized days of the web, before the ad-supported business model took over the internet (and we started fighting back!)

    1. caucus99percenter

      Thanks for that link.

      Here in Germany, the only aspect the liberal-class media bothered to cover re the most recent Documenta — an international art exhibition held every five years — was whether some imagery in works by artists from Global South countries was, or was not, anti-Semitic. Foregone conclusion, this being Germany: pfui! (= “yes, it was and all concerned should feel guilty”).

      1. The Rev Kev

        These people ruin everything they touch – the arts, science, culture, architecture, movies, etc. How long until these very same people label photos of Israelis massacring Palestinians in Gaza as anti-semitic as well and call for their suppression?

  34. Glen

    Tomorrow is a big day for the United Launch Alliance. First launch of the Vulcan rocket using Blue Origin rocket engines:

    Here’s a first look at United Launch Alliance’s new Vulcan rocket

    ULA has been up for sale with three likely buyers, and there’s speculation that the sale will be announced after the first Vulcan flight:

    As Vulcan nears debut, it’s not clear whether ULA will live long and prosper

    Scott Manley weights in with a good in-depth report:

    Why Vulcan is the Most Important Rocket ULA Has Ever Built

    The Vulcan is a replacement for the ULA Atlas V which used a Russian RD-180 engine. Russia announced in 2014 that it would no longer provide rocket engines for military launches.

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