Links 2/10/2024

we’ve found it folks: mcmansion heaven McMansion Hell (guurst). This one is sort of wonderful in its bizarreness and flamboyant display. Maybe it’s the fact that it has so much glass, even if often of the unnecessary custom variety. But the outside is a horror.

Harvard Students Grapple With Rising Rates of Respiratory Illness on Campus Harvard Crimson. ma: “Wait, so the best and the brightest are going to be more brain damaged for life than their lessors?”

Emergency rooms are not okay Your Local Epidemiologist

Erectile dysfunction drugs may reduce risk of Alzheimer’s ZMEScience (Dr. Kevin)


Covid Diaries by HCW’s Twitter (ma)


Solar engineering: a techno-dystopian response to climate change Thomas Fazi

For a second time, US court bans dicamba weed killers, finds EPA violated law The New Lede

World’s First Year-Long Breach of Key 1.5C Warming Limit BBC


Chinese telecoms giant Huawei raided in France by financial prosecutors South China Morning Post (furzy)

US Trade Deficit in 2023 Dropped 19%, as Goods Deficit with China Plunged 29%: Imports & Exports of Goods & Services Wolf Richter

Old Blighty

>Keir Starmer defends Labour U-turn on £28bn green spending BBC (Kevin W)

European Disunion

German foreign minister’s grandfather was ‘ardent Nazi’ – Bild RT


‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 126: U.S. claims it won’t support ‘unplanned’ ground operation in Rafah, Israel escalates attacks anyway Mondoweiss

Gazans surviving off animal feed and rice as food dwindles BBC. Lead story.

Israel plans to evacuate Palestinians crammed into southern Gaza city ahead of expected invasion 9News (Kevin W)

Israel’s Self-Destruction Foreign Affairs. Important despite some sour notes in some of the details, such at the depiction of the October 7 Hamas raid, and the idea that the Saudi-Israel normalization talk was anything more than the Saudis accommodating a Biden need for a talking point after China brokered an Iran-Saudi deal (if you were paying attention, it was never going anywhere because the Saudi demands re recognizing a Palestinian state was part of the scheme from the outset). It usefully frames Netanyahu as having sold Israeli society on the idea that they could have it all: slowly eliminate the Palestinians as a presence while Israel would enjoy peace and prosperity. But notice the failure to mention the ICJ ruling. Even if editing deadlines meant it came too late, the alternatives should have at least been contemplated.

Türkiye to make statement at world court on legal results of Israeli acts in occupied Palestinian land Anadolu Agency. More ICJ hearings later this month!

* * *

Israel’s Relentless Bombing Erases Gaza’s Heritage Sites Wide Walls (BC)

The war in Gaza is wiping out Palestine’s education and knowledge systems The Conversation (Dr. Kevin)

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* * *

Biden and Starmer will pay a heavy price for supporting Israel’s war in Gaza Middle East Eye (BC) One can hope.

Bill Allowing Far-Right Gov’t to Deport Relatives of ‘Terrorists’ Passes Preliminary Reading Communist Party of Israel (BC)

* * *

Note the hunger strike is over because the Brown trustees refused to hear their demands, particularly divestment from arms suppliers to Israel. But kudos to them for trying.

New Not-So-Cold War

Zaluzhny Finally Dismissed as Chaos Reigns in AFU Simpicius the Thinker (Chuck L)

Ukraine SitRep: A Hated New Commander – Critical Lack Of Infantry Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

* * *

Interview to Tucker Carlson President of Russia. It reads better than it listens. Also the Kremlin translation is no doubt better than Tucker’s; Mercouris always warns best to wait for the Kremlin translation because there are lots of subtleties in Russia that can be mangled or missed.

Tucker Carlson interview with Putin: what went wrong? Gilbert Doctorow. A marked contrast from the fawning over Tucker on some sites. Some very astute observations.



Imran Khan’s allies accuse Pakistan officials of vote rigging Financial Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

London Underground Is Testing Real-Time AI Surveillance Tools To Spot Crime Wired

The Viral Smart Toothbrush Botnet Story Is Not Real 404Media. Aaw, it was so much fun!

Western Values

Then the visitation zones are introduced: “An effective tool” Aftonblatt (ma)

Sweden: Where it’s taboo for dads to skip parental leave BBC (Dr. Kevin)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Newer World Order Aurelien (Chuck L). Years ago, in an Atlantic Economic Conference in DC, I remarked DC had a Versailles 1788 feel. That did get a laugh.


Joe Biden’s allies defend president as Democrats reel from DoJ report Financial Times. Lead story. is your friend.

Biden’s ‘Angry’ Press Conference Made Hur’s Memory Report ‘Infinitely Worse’ Sputnik


Two mifepristone studies retracted ahead of Supreme Court case STAT (Dr. Kevin)

Anti-abortion group’s studies retracted before Supreme Court mifepristone case ars technica (Paul R)


In 2023, Gun Violence Trended Down Across the Country Center for American Progress

15-Year-Old Is Arrested in Shooting of a Tourist in Times Square New York Times

Our No Longer Free Press

Meta Considering Increased Censorship of the Word “Zionist” Intercept

This is THE reason there are many things we should debunk but don’t:


OpenAI Considers $7 Trillion Round, Thinks It Can Double Revenue by 2025: Reports Decrypt. Paul R: “Trillion with a t.”

Sam Altman seeking trillions for AI chip fabrication from UAE, others ars technica (Kevin W)

AI Cannot Be Used To Deny Health Care Coverage, Feds Clarify To Insurers ars technica

The Bezzle

Everyone’s a sellout now Vox

Waymo Driverless Car Crashes Into Human Cyclist in San Francisco Gizmodo (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

Republicans Are Planning to Totally Privatize Medicare if Trump Wins Rolling Stone (Paul R)

McKinsey’s ‘unsatisfactory’ performance warning for 3,000 workers is the latest bad news for big consulting companies DNyuz (Dr. Kevin)

NASA’s JPL Lays Off Hundreds of Workers Universe Today (furzy)

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. Wukchumni

    I read the news today, oh boy
    About a plucky man who made more mental mistakes
    And though the news was rather sad
    Well, I just had to laugh
    He saw dead in the aftermath

    He blew his mind out as is par
    He didn’t notice that the names had changed
    A crowd of leaders stood and stared
    They’d seen his miscues before
    Nobody was really sure if he had lost his gourd

    I saw a video of him today, oh boy
    He called Sisi the President of Mexico
    A crowd of leaders turned awry
    But I just had to look
    Having read about the crook
    I’d love to have the public turn on you

    Woke up, fell out of bed
    Dragged a comb across my head
    Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
    And looking up, I noticed the hour was late
    Found my laptop and petted the cat
    Opened the internet in seconds flat
    Found my way upstairs and had a smoke
    And Biden misspoke and I went into a dream

    I read the news today, oh boy
    26 thousand burial holes in Gaza, the length of shear
    And though the holes were rather small
    They had to count them all
    Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the IDF reprisal haul
    I’d love to have the public turn on you

    A Day in the Life, by the Beatles

    1. simplejohn

      Just for the heck of it.
      I’ve listened to Joe mention Sisi and Mexico. If he said what I hear he put Mexico on the southern border of Gaza.

    2. Synoia

      It is believed that the region of the Mediterranean see faced by the Palestinians between Gaza and Egypt is a massive oil fields. Thus other than the Gaza’s want the revenue from the Oil Fields for themselves.

      In many cases, if not all oil fields and large rivers are found together. Imagine the oil field as a massive repository of millions of years as a dead animal catchment aera.

      Greed has no limits.

  2. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from She’s Not There by The Zombies)

    There’s nothing here but the scarred earth where people died
    Our homes and orchards devoured this was a genocide
    Will someone come to say they’re sorry?
    How would I know, why should I care?
    I don’t need such sham reminders
    Or your prayers

    I still recall the day our village shook
    Our homes were blasted dead bodies everywhere
    They hit the mosque and school
    The children screamed in fright
    Dust in the air

    With bleeding people around her, what could I do?
    My mother died as I found her, but torn in two
    We stacked the bodies on a lorry
    And dug a grave they could all share
    My sister’s gone we couldn’t find her

    There wasn’t anything that wasn’t wrecked
    The bombs impacted the battle wasn’t fair
    They came to execute
    They came to smash and smite
    It wasn’t fair!

    You’ll understand if I am chary
    You cannot know if you weren’t there
    I’d give my world to stand beside her
    Braid her hair

    I have to live now with the way she looked
    How I reacted pink mist was in the air
    Her death was harsh and cruel
    In gentle morning light
    And no one cares

    1. MaryLand

      Sorry so late to comment, but this was really touching especially the lyric “Braid her hair.” God help us all.

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘The BS Asymmetry Principle’

    Donald Trump was a master of this. Every day he would fire off a tweet or two from the garbage depths of his mind and then went back to whatever he was doing. Probably only took him a minute or two. But for the rest of the day you would have the main stream media and social critics and in fact the whole circus having a meltdown over that tweet causing them to spend endless energy criticizing or refuting that tweet. It was crazy to watch but all those people couldn’t help getting triggered by Trump and I think that more than a few turned off from those people.

    1. albrt

      Yes, but only one order of magnitude? Seems like a major underestimate of the asymmetry.

      I would say two or three orders of magnitude more effort is needed just to establish a baseline, then you have additional orders of magnitude needed to refute the paid shills from prestigious schools and think tanks defending the status quo.

    2. digi_owl

      I seem to recall people musing that the walking back was done by a press assistant or similar, as twitter included the kind of phone used on each message. And while the off the cuff ones were from an Android device, the moderating ones were from an iPhone.

    3. Adam

      Isn’t this the old magician’s trick? A distraction while you ignore what he/she is doing with their other hand? And if you want to extend this further, the Democrats then distract their supporters with their fake outrage while helping the uniparty’s overall efforts. Everybody wins but us.

      1. Catherine

        Was? He has burrowed into their every waking hour and affects their subconscious.

        The TDS zombies remind me of the yokels that constantly talk about satan, fire and brimstone and almost every opportunity gives them chance to spew some memorized verse.

        Ask them a logical question like “What policy of President Trump’s do you most dislike and why?” They’ll immediately start talking about their morals projected onto him.

        The big problem my friends and I have is trying to figure out the best place to be the day after he wins for the maximum exposure to the wailing and gnashing of capped teeth.

    4. Bugs

      There’s a particularly astute, and particularly vicious, piece in the New Statesman this week that lays into this weird time in America. The Biden response to the special counsel report seems to have been absolutely the straw that broke the camel’s back.

      I recommend reading just for the thrill of a few choice turns of phrase in it.

      1. Catherine

        A few choice turns of phrase in it,
        Like this?

        “Americans’ perception that the country is economically floundering is largely the creation of a shameless press.”

        What a $400 emergency expense tells us about the economy
        The Federal Reserve’s annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking provides insight into Americans’ financial fragility—such as whether they can handle a sudden expense

        Survey: 79 Million Americans Have Problems with Medical Bills or Debt

        Child Poverty in America More Than Doubled in 2022

        The Shameless Press Trickster is at it again!

        Funny how the upward bend in the miserty hockey stick begins shortly after the “Most Qualified Person in America” ™ DNC, took the helm.

        At least nuclear armageddon will erase all debts, public and private.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          That piece is very typical of many recent liberal goodthinker analyses despairing of our presidential choices when it says the following –

          “The most powerful country on the planet … is now seemingly set to make a choice between two possible leaders: a sociopath under four criminal indictments and an octogenarian with rapidly declining faculties.”

          – without bothering to mention that it’s the octogenarian with rapidly declining faculties (or more accurately, those members of his administration who put their hands up his posterior to make his mouth move) who is responsible for the four criminal indictments against said sociopath in an attempt to deflect scrutiny from himself. Seems like that would be a salient point if you really wanted to paint an accurate picture (Biden is both demented AND incredibly corrupt), but of course the TDS afflicted do not want to do that. Doing so would be to explain why so many people prefer the carnival barker to all the experienced and most qualified evah Democrat politicians.

          1. marym

            Only 2 of Trump’s criminal indictments are federal – election interference in DC and stolen documents in FL. The others are state – GA and NY.

            1. veritea

              Except that the GA indictment was coordinated with the White House as well – we know because the prosecutor’s lover got sent to an 8hr meeting at the WH, which he decided to itemize and bill the county for!

            2. Pat

              Please NY is absolutely coordinating their efforts with Democratic operatives. There is no way every detail hasn’t been run past those operatives with their hands up the genocidal octogenarian’s posterior.

        2. Bugs

          I’d say there are a few faults in it, yes but I posted it for the writing, which is of a rare quality. Nearly high Hitchens.

  4. Pat

    Yesterday I noted that the Holder response to the Hur report did nothing to change the conversation but slap Garland. It was not just badly phrased it was mistaken.

    And taking their cue we see the turning of media attention to Merrick Garland.

    Mediaite on Biden’s long growing frustration with… then there is
    Alternet same story but called The villain here is… not to mention that
    Politico goes slightly rogue. One story about the frustration and this one on Garland’s decision.>
    The Wizard may not have had Holder pull the shiv out, but the troops were directed to “the real story” aka the minor distraction.

    We may know it is already too late, that the public still has only one choice for the Democratic Presidential nominee, but most Democrats don’t. I could be very wrong, but I think the real problem with Hur’s report is that it came out a month and a half or two months too early. It makes the ready replacement of Biden on the ballot at the convention less a “we had no choice and no time” emergency rather than the grubby, cynical and well planned ditching of a troubled dead in the water candidate by the leadership/top donors for a person they wanted no voter input on.
    (I don’t think either method would have help with the RFK Jr problem, but the one with more cover might have been better for keeping those uncertain Democrats they haven’t already lost.)

    1. Pat

      And speaking of badly phrased…my first sentence should use my comment instead of it, as my comment was not jus badly phrased…

    2. Hepativore

      The real question is, who is the Biden-replacement waiting-in-the-wings in case the DNC can no longer cover for melting-brain Biden? I am sure that they would not even consider somebody like Dean Phillips as he had the audacity to challenge the DNC’s ordained pick, yet Harris would sink like a lead balloon in the polls.

      It might be easier if the DNC forfeited the 2024 presidential race so they could fundraise off of Trump-Derangement Syndrome and empty promises about abortion rights for Trump’s second term.

      Will the DNC ever have primaries again after this, or will they just cancel them indefinitely from now on? After all, if they did it in 2024, it might set a precedent that they do not even have to put on the pretense of having primaries anymore and just have delegates pool their votes behind a chosen presidential candidate from the get-go. I do not think there would be any law stopping them from doing so.

      1. Matthew

        It will be the sleaze bag, cocaine voiced…he did a lot of snow in the 1990s, Grabin’ Noisome. He thinks he’ll be president, witness his trip to China, he thinks he is loved, yes, he won the recall, then announced after it was over, a 180 Billion dollar boo-boo in the state’s books, from surplus to deficit.

        In his state that is replete with “freedoms”, nurses, doctors, chiroprators, any medical personel that mentioned Ivermectin or Hydroxochlorine could loose their licenses. Soon cars will not be able to exceed the speed limit by ten miles per hour. Their will be a wealth tax (retroactive)on savings, bank accounts, 401-ks etc. Bill of Rights?
        See Wikipedia on California gun laws.

        “In addition to helping fund Newsom’s early business ventures, the family has been a mainstay as he pursued his political ambitions. Eighteen Gettys — including Gordon, Ann and actor Balthazar Getty — have collectively donated more than a half-million dollars to Newsom’s nine campaigns..”Still no oil extraction tax in California, what a coincidence!


      2. Pat

        My bet is Pritzker. Mind you they are still banking on anybody but Trump, even if Biden did make it about more than that. But with Pritzker they could think they will have a record that shows sensible ADULT leadership that might distract from the failures of the Biden administration.

        I don’t know how authoritarian the Democrats will decide to be regarding primaries. They wouldn’t have to waste their time fixing them and donor money campaigning if they didn’t have them. I might be shocked if they did away with the front, but after New Hampshire they might think they could survive it.

        1. Hepativore

          I suppose it depends on the definition of “survive”. The DNC is not going away anytime soon, due to how difficult it is for third parties to even get on the ballot in many states, and the Democratic Party has already shown that they are not bothered all that much by losing elections as they still get big donor money regardless. There is unfortunately nothing that you can do to the party from an electoral standpoint to effectively punish the DNC for their wholesale adoption of neoliberalism as they have long cared more about fundraising rather than being elected.

          I am sure that they would be perfectly happy to become something like a perpetual minority party that can sit and blame Republicans for their predicament and make the same empty, pseudo-progressive sounding promises while they cash in off of their loyal PMC soldiers and cripple any remaining leftist upstarts that might arise from time to time.

        2. Big River Bandido

          If he can, Pritzker will probably decline, knowing the ‘24 Democrat nomination is worthless in any event. He should bide his time until ‘28 and let a sacrificial candidate take the fall this time around.

          If I were advising him, that’s what I’d say, at least.

          1. Pat

            You are probably right. This could be that I want the second most likely, Newsom, to lose without being able to pretend that Biden had left him an un winnable situation. (I put Newsom in the same category as Andy Cuomo, delusional to think they were charismatic and successful enough to overcome the Governor of a hated state issue. That both are corrupt pieces of excrement aside.)

  5. The Rev Kev

    Boris Johnson calls Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin “ludicrous.”

    Can’t play the video mysef but here is an article about what Boris said-

    I got an idea. How about Tucker Carlson flies to London to interview Boris Johnson. He could ask Boris all sorts of questions. Like if he feels responsible for the hundreds of thousands of people that have died after he went to Istanbul to break up the peace conference between Russia and the Ukraine.

    1. timbers

      The Brits are pissed that Russia has again become what they once were, and never will be again – a World Power. It permeates so much of what they say and do regarding Russia. It’s there own inferiority complex. The fact that if they had instead cultivated friendly relations with Russia they would reap considerable benefits to their economy, crushes their ego even more.

      1. Revenant

        I don’t think this is our problem.

        I think our problem is that we have, in your parlance, bet the farm on Atlanticism and a resurgent Russia holds open the prospect of continental Eurasianism, i.e. McKinder’s “world island”. As a naval power (albeit laughably diminished), Anglophone Atlanticist thalassocracy has attractions to us. Being a peripheral off-island of a Russian and Chinese-speaking World Island is harder to get excited about (we can at least agree that Europe is a dead letter in either regime).

        Really, nothing has changed in British policy since Lord Ismay’s quip about British commitment to NATO: “Keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down”.

        I think US disengagement from NATO would be salutary and we would come to our senses and seek a constructive engagement with Russia.

        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          Europe won’t necessarily be a “dead letter” as a peripheral part of Great McKinderstan. The Great McKinderstani authorities could maintain Europe as a cultural petting zoo for Chinese tourists.

    2. Carolinian

      Re the Doctorow–I think Putin is being a bit patronizing and has clearly done his homework on Carlson–still conservative and Fox/doctrinaire on China if not Russia–and may see Tucker as a somewhat adversarial figure. Whereas he was quite friendly to Oliver Stone post Maidan. But on the other hand you can’t blame Tucker for being who he is, and the premise of the “scoop” was obviously that Putin would get to talk and Carlson listen.

      So Putin reels off the facts and figures and shows the world he is so very much the un-Biden (or un-Boris) while the bullet points that should be made get somewhat lost in the weeds. In many ways the interview is a miss. But give Tucker credit for doing it even if one doesn’t like him for other reasons.

      1. flora

        an aside: “…Putin…may see Carlson as a somewhat adversarial figure.”

        One of my first silly thoughts on watching the opening of the interview was wondering if Carlson wearing a dark navy blue suit jacket with a yellow-stripe necktie was some sort of visual reference to the Ukr flag. (I’m silly like that.) / ;)

        Putin was wearing a dark navy blue suit jacket and a dark red necktie, the colors of the Ru flag.

        At least that’s how my computer screen displayed the colors, and I know computer screens aren’t always accurate at color reproduction. Maybe they were both wearing dark grey suits. Maybe the colors were just a coincidence. Probably just a coincidence.

        1. flora

          adding: on the other hand, this being a US election year, the colors yellow and orange may be the only colors that haven’t been politicized. Red, blue, purple, and green are all taken for US political purposes. / ha.

          1. flora

            adding one more, then I’ll stop. :
            Maybe the yellow striped necktie was a visual choice to bring out the golden glow of the room where the interview was held. ok, ok, I’ll stop. / :)

    3. flora

      Tucker interviewing Boris is a great idea. I wonder if Boris would accept an offer.

      I learned much from the Putin interview. I’m going to print out the transcript and rewatch the interview again transcript in hand, probably more than once.

  6. alfia

    Putin interview translations vary slightly: Kremlin translation smoothed over some ‘spiky’ questions of Tucker Carlson (for example ‘decency’ was translated into Russian as ‘good will’ in discussion about Evan Gershkovich) whilst Carlson’s translation of Putin’s words didn’t relay some of Putin’s disdain towards the American elite.

  7. zagonostra

    “Thank God no one would be crazy enough to try something like that in real life…The concept is known as solar engineering, or solar radiation modification (SRM), and it’s a specific type of geoengineering aimed at offsetting climate change by reflecting sunlight (“solar radiation”) back into space.

    For readers interested in this subject I have a name that might be of interest, Dane Wigington. whatever you may think of his conclusions, he has been at this subject for more years than anyone I know.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        Might the ChinaGov try it if no other progress towards global recooling is being made from anywhere by anyone?

        1. Jessica

          In Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future, it is India that tries geoengineering after a heat wave kills millions there.
          India does figure to be hit harder by global warming and does have the technological capacity.
          I am not implying anything one way or the other about willingness to do this.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      There is a new post on the Real Climate website:
      “New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
      This post describes the results reported in a paper just published in Science Advances. Like objects in your car’s passenger side mirror an AMOC tipping point may be closer than previously thought. A couple of extracts from the Real Climate post:
      “They[the paper’s authors] do not present a particular time period estimate for reaching the tipping point, as more observations of the ocean circulation at this latitude will be needed for that, but they note about last year’s Ditlevsen study that “their estimate of the tipping point (2025 to 2095, 95% confidence level) could be accurate.”
      “The new study confirms past concerns that climate models systematically overestimate the stability of the AMOC.”

      An AMOC shutdown coupled with some $Green$ efforts to exploit and monetize Climate Chaos through geoengineering projects like the solar engineering boondoggle could lead to some interesting outcomes. I remain a fan of Mirowski’s lecture describing the stages of Neoliberal management and exploitation of Climate Chaos: “Prof. Philip Mirowski keynote for ‘Life and Debt’ conference”. Unfortunately this lecture from 2012 has disappeared from youtube and elsewhere and I could not find it using DuckDuck.

      I believe we must always remember that although they are ‘persons’ corporate entities are not human. They neither live nor die beyond next quarter’s financial report.

  8. zagonostra

    >Interview to Tucker Carlson

    I was by puzzled how long this page took to load, but now I see the address and I think I now why. Hey, but maybe it’s just me.

    1. Polar Socialist

      It’s not just you. Could be just the sudden load on the server(s), though, the site is usually faster to load. Not superfast, so there is likely some DDoS prevention delay for request addresses the server locates on the western hemisphere.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      When The Blob is trying to suppress the news cycle they do things to slow down the intertubes. Next time it happens do two things: reboot your computer and at the same time unplug your router (the box that connects you to the internet, mine’s in the basement so this is good exercise).

      Do that and the slow loading sites will load much faster. If you click lots of links you might want to do this every few days or so. These problems seem to mostly stem from cookies and other crap that overload your computer connection in the background and they have a cumulative impact on performance. Disconnecting and rebooting clears this up (and then the process starts all over again ; )

    3. Amfortas the Hippie

      the kremlin version loaded easy on my laptop…but slow as hell on my (android) fone, from whence i sent it to both my boys and my cousin.
      “horses mouth”,lol.
      Eldest already read it…said only “Wow!”/
      Nothing i didnt know already, but i reckon its good that its out there.
      saw somewhere that it had more viewers than the moon landing…and therefore is record breaking.
      pain day yesterday…so i avoided news and just mindlessly watched Mandelorian.
      today, rain rain rain…so ima go awanderin in MSM and Goodthinkrland to see the reactions.
      already seen Queen Hillary of the Bridge(her troll farm is under the bridge, FYI),lol….and it was exactly what i expected it to be.

  9. Pat

    And an AI tidbit. I was watching a days old YouTube video from a crochet vlogger about things they would not be buying this year. Their final item was patterns without knowing something about the designer.
    AI created crochet patterns are a growing problem, and are much discussed in the community. She went into an explanation of what they are, and that they are on both disreputable and reputable platforms. She particularly mentioned Etsy. The final recommendation was to look for the designer and for their social platform presence, which human designers all have. I would have added check the length of their presence but that’s me. She concluded that AI cannot write an a crochet pattern.
    Who knew that cheaply monetizing a craft would have happened so quickly. And if this is going on with crochet you have to assume knitters and quilters are getting slammed with a lot of AI junk.

    Elise Rose on AI generated patterns go to the 14:49 point.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for the heads up. The wife does a lot of crocheting and this is something that you would not think to look out for. I’ll show her the video tomorrow. If this keeps up, it is only a matter of time until somebody asks AI to draw up blueprints for a house – but which would have no concept of things like load-bearing walls.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>If this keeps up, it is only a matter of time until somebody asks AI to draw up blueprints for a house – but which would have no concept of things like load-bearing walls.

        What I nice thought. I can see that extended to public buildings or skyscrapers especially with the mania to cut paying for human labor, including the architects and the increasing incompetence of government safety and building inspectors.

    2. earthling

      Well I tried that link to clarify the statement about Etsy, and was presented with one commercial, then another, then I gave up. Is Etsy considered reputable, or disreputable, as a platform?

      1. Pat

        It is generally considered reputable but the implication is that they are not checking the individual vendors. Some are going to ChatGPT and generating a pattern which they are selling. Her example used an amiguri teddy bear, and also talked about using an image they found on line to sell the pattern. She is obviously bothered deeply by this. And Etsy either isn’t policing or cannot keep up with the “entrepreneurs”, so it is buyer beware.

        Procrastinating today I watched a couple of videos where they made items they requested ChatGPT to make a pattern for. None were entirely successful. It appears the AI has terminology and some of the basic structure of the pattern but it either didn’t understand some transition or get the details involved to make a working pattern.

        Sorry about the ads, . YouTube has gotten aggressive. Unfortunately I haven’t a clue how to strip them.

    3. LaRuse

      Thanks for this. I am a knitter and a Ravelry user for sourcing most of my patterns, and even though I haven’t purchased a pattern in a while, I had noticed some weird things have started to appear in my searches. It had not occurred to me that AI could be used to draft knitting or crochet patterns. I will definitely be paying more attention. is a good source for patterns (knitted as well as crocheted works) and so far, all of human origin since each pattern comes with a bio of the creator and is vetted by the small, human staff of Knitty (of which I am a Patreon member).

      1. Pat

        Knitty is lovely. And their patterns work. I am also very fond of Ravelry. They have a lovely community. Their reviews of patterns and yarns have been very helpful.

        I was also gob smacked at this use of AI. I have been privy to a few discussions about pattern creation hanging around people far more highly skilled than I am, and my impression is there is always an adjustment period for anything intermediate or better Some detail or details that need revision to make the pattern perfect. Sure a simple blanket or scarf could be whipped out, but otherwise this isn’t something automatic.

      2. katiebird

        I am also a fan of Knitty (used to be a Patreon member but I’m taking a vacation from it) and I’m devoted to Ravelry. Someday, I have to print off my patterns!! But meanwhile my Ravelry Library is one of my favorite places.

        I’m going to have to break away from my standard designers to do broad searches. I haven’t seen that AI stuff.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Erasing the whole area north of our border line (with Lebanon), 10-11 kilometers, completely clean… Simply to flatten the area”
    Benny Ben Muvhar, head of Mevo’ot HaHermon Regional Council, says what, in his opinion, should be done on the Lebanese front.’

    Just another damned old fool. He actually thinks that Israel is in control of the border region, even though it is Hezbollah that controls a huge swathe of the border zone on the Israeli side of the border. The guy is not only talking about killing any civilians in that 10-11 kilometer zone but the UNIFIL forces there as well. That’s about 10,500 peacekeepers coming from 48 different countries. Bombing it flat and by cleaning it as well, I would imagine he thinks a IDF force should go in and mop up and occupy it for future settlers to move in. All this ceased to be an option over twenty years ago and in fact, Hezbollah armaments have only gotten better which includes precision missiles. Maybe Hezbollah should drop a missiles on top of the Mevo’ot HaHermon Regional Council building in Merkaz Kach to give this guy a wakie.

    1. gk

      I can’t find anything online, but Turnvater Jahn (early 19th century) wanted to do exactly that with the French border. I think he was more concerned about cultural influences (and decent cheeses) rather that rockets. He is usually seen as an inspiration for the Nazis, rather than the Israelis.

      1. Schopsi

        I think the old Turnvater would have been quite fond of rockets if there already had been any available.

  11. zagonostra

    >Israel’s Relentless Bombing Erases Gaza’s Heritage Sites

    Anyone in the future who looks back on this time period who wasn’t vocally telling family, friends, anyone who around them, will, I hope have grave regrets. Otherwise, the future will indeed be bleak.

    1. CA

      February 9, 2024

      In Private Remarks to Arab Americans, Biden Aide Expresses Regrets on Gaza
      In a closed-door meeting, the aide offered some of the administration’s clearest notes of contrition for its response to the Gaza war, a sign of rising Democratic pressure on President Biden.
      By Reid J. Epstein and Erica L. Green

      In a closed-door meeting with Arab American leaders in Michigan this week, one of President Biden’s top foreign policy aides acknowledged mistakes in the administration’s response to the war in Gaza, saying he did not have “any confidence” that Israel’s government was willing to take “meaningful steps” toward Palestinian statehood.

      The remarks came after months of public and private admonitions from the Biden administration for Israel to take a more surgical approach in a conflict that has killed more than 27,000 Palestinians, according to health authorities in Gaza….

      1. The Rev Kev

        Unless Biden demands and gets a ceasefire, they are not going to believe him. And that means that the Democrats can kiss Michigan goodbye in November. Good thing that keeping Michigan is not important for the Democrats or else it might have an effect on the elections.

        1. undercurrent

          Democrats are willing to kill their chances in Michigan, because it’s so important for them to continue killing men and women, and children and infants, in Gaza. After all they don’t represent citizens like me, in Pennsylvania, but Jews in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, and throughout occupied Palestine. They do what the ruling coalition of Jews tells them to do, and nothing less. The fact that I, and a majority of voters, want the murders to end, is irrelevant. The criminal Jewish government wants it to continue until all the Palestinians have been removed from Palestine. American democrats hear their masters voice and go fetch another missle, another bunker- buster. The republicans are the same, or worse. Two questions beg to be answered. How did these circumstances arise, and how can this situation be corrected. It is intolerable and enraging.

      2. hk

        Despicably cowardly and deceitful act by Biden if it is at all true. Unless he’s willing to say something publicly and stand by then–and we know the former doesn’t imply the latter, Biden has no credibility

    2. ChrisPacific

      I don’t think you can look at pictures like the destroyed mosque at the head of this article and not conclude it was deliberate. The detail of the story only confirms this. This is a systematic attempt at cultural erasure.

  12. zagonostra

    The dramaturgical analysis, in the sense of Kenneth Burke’s pentad ( act, scene, agent, agency and purpose), is going to be fascinating. Just the setting of the chairs and there proximity, the hall chosen, the way the carpet was laid across the tile, the body angles, the gestures, jokes, and the endlessly annoying Tucker expressions, etc…will be on some interest.

    Funny thing though, I went out to dinner with some friends, I guess you could call them “liberal” (doctor, teacher, artist, school administrator, and not one at the table had seen or shown much interest in seeing the TC-P interview.

    1. Screwball

      Funny thing though, I went out to dinner with some friends, I guess you could call them “liberal” (doctor, teacher, artist, school administrator, and not one at the table had seen or shown much interest in seeing the TC-P interview.

      I’m guessing 7 years of Russiagate has something to do with that. Trump=Putin=Hitler and all that. That’s all that matters, truth be damned.

      I would be curious what they thought about Joes brain – or lack thereof? The aghastittude from the ones I know is off the charts. They sound like the famous line from Greta “how dare you” to the special council. They have twisted themselves into enough shapes they should be put in a bag labeled pretzels defending old Joe and his “stutter.”

      Maybe, just maybe, a little reality did get in; they are now busy ordering large quantities of lipstick for Kamala. I hope there are no more train derailments as it will take quite a few carloads. They also seem quite fond of the wind-up-toy known as Pete. Gonna need a lot of lipstick for these porkers.

      One must wonder, now that Joe’s cranium has been exposed by the court, will we see more of “it’s her turn” in the coming weeks? I’m sure the Clinton News Network would be happy to oblige.

      1. griffen

        Joe is fine, it’s the gall and nerve from that mean special counsel to simply expose something anyone using a few brain cells can ascertain. No I’m not focusing on those Gerald Ford like moments where he can stumble,I mean it is the mumbling in front of a microphone where he can be and is recorded. The man looks to be deteriorating somewhat from the earliest days of his administration. It is not partisan to simply suggest this leader is going south.

        Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein( since deceased ), Mitch McConnell’s brain locks…just listing a few examples. These are the best and brightest American politicians? Good grief Charlie Brown.

        Four More Years? Come on, man.

      2. Jeff H

        I think the problem goes waaaay deeper than Russiagate. We have been subject to a century of relentless negative propaganda about Russia (except for that short period as cannon fodder)
        Beyond that we, as a nation are the progeny of Western European empires that had long held demeaning attitudes toward Russia.
        The perspective is reinforced through all popular entertainment media, news, opinion ,and government pronouncements.
        It all seeps in to the public consciousness to drive a perspective that most people don’t or can’t invest the resources to challenge.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Tucker Carlson interview with Putin: what went wrong?”

    Having time to think about this interview, I have to agree that Carlson went in under prepared as some readers noted. I wonder if he watched the Oliver Stone interview to see how to carry it out best? Readers have also said that it is a Russian thing to go into history deeply and if Carlson was not prepared for that, then again he did not do his homework. I have no idea why Carlson pushed so hard for the release of the spy, I beg your pardon, Wall Street journalist Evan Gershkovich and he really went on about this guy when he could have asked about Paul Whelan instead. I think that this was a major reason why Putin called an early end to this interview as Carlson did not really have better questions prepared.

    1. zagonostra

      In a sense Hillary Clinton calling TC a “puppy dog” wasn’t too far off the mark. I mean there isn’t anything wrong with puppy dogs, I happen to like them. But you could tell in the immediate post interview podcast that TC gave, where he reflected back on the interview that had just concluded moments previously, he kept framing the reaction of Putin/Russia in terms of those that would characterize personal relationships instead of statecraft. Of course this is excusable since all we have had in the past couple of years is the likes of Blinken, Kirby, Sullivan, and the whole rotten pumpkin patch of the Biden administration, it makes us forget that there is such a thing as statecraft.

      During the interview TC said that he sensed Putin was “bitter” about being rejected by the West after overtures were made. Putin immediately corrected him, and yet during to post interview podcast, he said he Putin/Russia seemed “wounded” by the West’s rejection, like some spurned lover. This framing is like a puppy dog, yes. But it’s better than the nefarious framing the war-mongering Western elites make.

      HRC says TC is a “useful idiot.” Maybe, but not Russia’s useful idiot, rather ours. And thank God for that, especially when the corporate media and the Power Elites that control them (as Putin so seemingly innocuously stated) gives us nothing but a pile full of stinking fearing mongering, a la Senator Schumer.

      1. ilsm

        “puppy dogs” and “useful idiots” are a matter of perspective.

        A free press would use those terms for the denizens of the DC beltway morbidly attached to the sanctity of Stalin’s Ukraine “homeland”; built for the administrative convenience of the USSR!

        And MICC profits.

        1. Feral Finster

          The MIC cares nothing for Ukraine except as a foil to Russia.

          Take away Russia, and Ukraine would be a pariah state.

    2. North Star

      I agree that Carlson conducted an very underwhelming interview. One of the topics I believe was covered well was the nazi issue, which showed clips from the Canadian parliament where the entire assemblage stood and cheered the WWII Ukrainian vet who fought for Germany as a SS member. This has to go down as one of the best world-wide embarrassments of all time and as Putin pointed out underscored support for the Russian SMO objective for de-nazification.

      1. nippersdad

        There were several instances in which I thought Putin was very tactful. Reference to that scene in Canada’s parliament could just as easily have been Nancy Pelosi shouting “Slava Ukraini” in Congress to equally unanimous applause. It is not like Canada was the only group giving plaudits to actual Nazis in their legislatures.

    3. Es s Ce tera

      Doctorow is right, it was odd to see Putin using so much body language, gestures and range of facial expression, we don’t normally see him doing this in almost any context. This was not Putin being his natural self. Russians watching must have been surprised, if not perplexed.

      But Doctorow should do a google image or news search on the interview, the range of screen grabs and images splashed across the media and internet. There is not a single awkward or unfortunate expression or gesture that the anti-Putin west has been able to twist, exploit or use to his disadvantage. Every gesture, while awkward on video, translates well in photo form. This is Putin the media professional at work.

      Meanwhile, we can’t really say the same for Western politicians. Yes, they’ve received the same media training, but they can’t seem to retain it.

      1. zagonostra

        In the various podcast analysis I’ve been listening to this morning it seems that many podcasters have latched on to one or two points to really focus on. This is understandable since there is so much there that one could pick-out. For instance on a Candice Owens podcast that I was just listening to, she explores the CIA’s role in fomenting political turmoil, influence, or control, in the Maidan coup.

        Personally, I would like someone to focus on Putin’s account of “Bill” pondering Putin’s request to join NATO. As Putin told the story, originally “Bill” was somewhat open to it, if not puzzled. But then the next morning, “Bill’s team” (that’s the translator’s term that I’ll be looking at more closely when I read the transcript) said, “not possible.” And so that begs the question, who is making decision, the “team” or the supposed “quarterback?” Are there couches (oligarchs) that give orders on what “play” to run?

    4. nippersdad

      “I have no idea why Carlson pushed so hard for the release of the spy, I beg your pardon, Wall Street journalist Evan Gershkovich…”

      Prior to the interview I saw several right leaning commentators say that bringing up Gershkovich would be one of their red lines, that if they saw nothing about him it would have been indicative of an unserious interview. That was clearly something expected of him in his circles.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        It’s one thing to press Putin on it. It is quite another to make the moronic suggestion that he could escort him to the US. Plus 32 years old is not a kid.

        1. nippersdad

          No argument here. Carlson was clearly granted the interview because of his ratings, not his intellectual abilities. Had I my druthers it would have been Greenwald, Blumenthal, Mate or any number of other journalists. But, as I am sure Putin knew, they would have been much more easily sidelined.

    5. .Tom

      Russia wasn’t at war with Nato when Stone visited him. The chance of VVP being friendly with TC was not strong and v.v..

      1. Yves Smith Post author


        This was after the Maidan coup. Stone used some of the footage from this interview in his short documentary on the coup, Ukraine on Fire. Hillary Clinton, who holds the same views as Victoria Nuland, was seen as pretty close to a shoe-in for President. She had said she was going to declare a no-fly zone in Syria, oh BTW where NATO was supporting US operations. That would have meant a hot war with Russia. We said at the time the one rational reason for voting for Trump was Hillary’s insistence on war with Russia. So the direction of travel was clear even though where we poked the bear changed.

        And recall Stone interviewed Castro.

        Now having said that, a reason for Putin to wonder how to manage Tucker was the explosion of Russia and Putin hysteria after the Clinton loss. That gave an easy framework in which further storylines were attached after the war started.

        If I were Putin, I would be pissed at the obvious lack of Tucker preparedness, not that Putin would allow himself the luxury of showing that.

        As for friendly/unfriendly, you don’t have to be friendly to have an effective interview. I say that based on having done many competitor interviews (and not hiding that I was working for McKinsey and retained by a competitor).

    6. SocalJimObjects

      Someone had suggested that Tucker would make a good Secretary of State, well after that interview I think he should dust off his old application to the CIA.

      1. JBird4049

        In fairness to many, the American establishment has worked really, really hard to dumb down the American population, hasn’t it? Most of the people Tucker Carlson has interviewed were not that knowledgeable themselves. Most of the ruling class today is also not that smart, meaning Carlson has had no reason to be so as well. Hopefully this will get him to up his game.

    7. eg

      While I understand and appreciate the criticisms of Carlson’s interview, I remain of the opinion that the fact that it happened at all was what was most important.

  14. digi_owl

    I maintain the thinking that mcmansions try to capture the air of a home inherited across generations even though it is a recent construction. Because i am becoming increasingly convinced that USA, being a nations of immigrants, are obsessed with ancestry in a very “kitsch” way.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I feel sorry for the engineers that had to come up with the working blueprints for that place after receiving the design from the architects aka the coloured pencil department. The place is built on a cliff face and I imagine just getting the foundations right must have been a helluva job. It’s like that the owners were deep fans of H.R. Giger – but wanted it all in white. Or maybe it should be described as a collage of different bits and pieces of architectural design. It’s a hot mess.

    2. griffen

      I am at a loss for words appropriate to the task, but what a hellish looking design. It’s a bit Liberace + a few splashes of Tony Montana for a star professional football player ( just maybe…the sky is the limit until a knee gets torn up or an ACL for a basketball player ).

      Also, a bit of Bilbo Baggins from Middle Earth thrown in for good measure with the incredibly odd surfaces and exterior angles.

    3. Enter Laughing

      I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to hear what the tradesman had to say while building this thing.

    4. FreeMarketApologist

      …the outside is a horror.”

      No disagreement there, but the plus of owning it and being inside looking out means that you don’t have to see it. If you’re the next door neighbor however….

    5. .Tom

      It doesn’t look like a McMansion to me. It looks stunningly bad but not at all like what I understand as a McMansion.

      1. ChrisPacific

        Agreed. I consider McMansions to be characterized by opulence and lack of imagination – they’re cookie cutter versions of stereotypical American suburbia, taken to excess. This one definitely can’t be accused of lacking imagination, even if most of it should probably have stayed imaginary. It’s like they were the H. P. Lovecraft of architecture.

        It must be a very, very expensive house to own. The heating and cooling bills alone must be insane, with all that glass and so many huge spaces (note the ceiling fan even though there’s no ceiling). The fireplace is clearly not functional – no soot, or implements like pokers, though I guess it could be gas. There is a giant chimney-looking thing in the exterior view, but the top is sealed. With so many different building materials and all those odd-angled joins, I’m betting it had watertightness issues almost right away – look at the moisture/mold/whatever on those exterior sun room windows. Spray-on stucco style finishes are also notorious for trapping moisture and concealing water damage, and they are a major feature here. And if you need anything at all replaced, it’s going to be next to impossible to source, and hideously expensive into the bargain.

        And who cleans those windows, and how do they do it?

        1. Eclair

          Chris, if one can afford the $5 million price tag for this monstrosity, one is gonna have ‘people’ to take care of all the .. ahem …. issues.

  15. JW

    As a Brit I find myself increasingly concerned by the issues raised by Mr Pilkington. The UK has been out at the forefront of the most extreme Russophobia. Its as if the establishment still thinks it is in the 19th century.
    I increasingly dislike a lot about my ‘old country’ , this behaviour only reinforces. Although France, where I currently reside, is no better in this regard, and Germany seems to have completely lost the plot in so many ways.
    I think Simplicius is on the money , but Doctorow is trying to be too clever with their remarks about ‘ the interview’.

    1. Neutrino

      Memories die hard, especially those in the nostalgia and faded grandeur categories. What was once The Great Game became the Good Game, then the Good Enough Game then the Fair Game. That last one showed the transition to the darker side of post-Empire behavior, with weather in the Channel and the Continent still fogged in, or from a different perspective, outre-Manche.

    2. Aurelien

      In part, yes, but don’t forget that a lot of British animosity towards Russia was based on Liberal dislike of the absolutist Tsarist system: Russia then was in some senses the Saudi Arabia of today. The 1907 Anglo-Russian Entente was extremely controversial at the time for that very reason. Many argued that we should be making common cause with Germany, which was a parliamentary regime of a type, rather than with an absolutist monarchy.

      1. Carolinian

        But surely the British animosity goes back much further than that. Doesn’t it have a lot to do with fears Russia would steal their “jewel in the crown”?

        And it doesn’t excuse current hostility which is unhinged. Blame it on Churchill? He seemed to hate them for being commies more than for being absolutists.

        1. Es s Ce tera

          If Churchill hated the Russians for being commies then he didn’t understand what communism was. Whatever the Russians were, they were never at any point in their history communist. I don’t think there’s a Russian anywhere who thinks they were.

          They aimed for communism via socialism but fell far short. Stalin and Lenin were just dictators, same as Hitler and Mussolini and Mao. Any form of dictatorship is necessarily the direct opposite of communism, bears no resemblance to it.

          I think, however, for whatever reason a large percentage of the west thinks the Russians are “still” communist, and think communism is a form of government by dictatorship, and therefore hate Russians with a searing passion. Like most hatreds, it’s bias, unjustified and unwarranted belief, resting on erroneous foundations and incorrect assumptions. The Russians, as the target of this, understand, and it forms the fundamental framework of their world view. “They hate us because they still think we’re Stalinist, they don’t want to believe otherwise.”

          1. Carolinian

            he didn’t understand what communism was

            I’d say even nominal communism is too much for opponents. Doesn’t such thinking have a lot to do with notions of a China threat?

    3. Feral Finster

      The UK continually seeks to stir up strife so that it can stand loyally with its American Master and show what a loyal and steadfast little lackey it is. Such a good dog!

      1. ilsm

        This AM I was playing a CD of songs of the Irish rebellions…. in the car. One Irish branch of my family was in NY for the Civil War.

        Seems UK views Donbas and Crimea as part of a stitched together kingdom [as done by Cromwell}

        I wonder how “Minstrel Boy” would translate to Russian in Donetzk.

        I also see Putin doing to Kiev what Lincoln and Grant did to Richmond.

  16. digi_owl

    More and more it seems that UK, at least among the political and financial castes, still cling to the empire as an idea. And by extension they try to maintain the great game even as they are running out of pieces on the board. And that in turn makes Russia the competition. As someone pointed out here recently, the thinking after WW2 was that USA was useful idiots on the global scene that UK could manipulate.

    And thinking about that, i guess USA for a long time was more focused on the Pacific than the Atlantic. And thus China is more personal, as some may see it as having slipped its leash by going beyond simply producing US designs cheaply.

    1. Aurelien

      This is a common misunderstanding. I never once, in all the time I worked in government and since, heard anyone talk about the Empire except in ironic terms. This battle was essentially won in the 1960s, with the definitive decision to switch from being an Imperial power to an Atlantic/European one, because the cost of Empire after 1945 proved to be unsustainable..The whole point of Empire was that it was argued by some to provide Great Power status: it was only ever a means to an end, and diehard imperialists were always a small minority. For a brief period, from about 1880 to 1945, it looked as if this argument was persuasive: after all, it was the Empire that enabled Britain to survive in both World Wars. It was hoped that the Empire could be kept, and used as a counterweight to rising US power in other areas. But this strategy proved unaffordable, and had to be abandoned quite quickly.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I’ve always had the impression that while outside of a few small fringe corners there is no nostalgia for empire and hasn’t been for half a century or more, there is a hankering among many for the elan and swagger that created it, even if by accident.

        Fintan O’Toole has written a few interesting essays on Brexit and to paraphrase his arguments, he wrote that the creation of a ‘British’ as opposed to ‘English’ nationalism created a void – a feeling that England always had somehow to compromise its identity for the sake of the wider empire. You might say that the physical empire itself sapped English identity, and this is what a certain type of libertarian right wing English establishment yearns for – an Empire without the compromises needed to run an Empire. Its not surprising that they admire Singapore and Hong Kong so much.

  17. griffen

    Today’s antidote. Now that is some pig. where is a friendly spider in the corner when that cute little face needs a friend..

  18. digi_owl

    Wasn’t Viagra originally a blood pressure medication, with the best known use being a happy side effect?

    Could it be that blood pressure/flow is the common denominator? Too high and the organs give out from strain. Too low and the brain starts shutting down?

      1. KD

        The research simply confirms that men think with their d!@%$, something most of us have know for a long time.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      It affects the central nervous system, although the details are way over my pay grade. A girlfriend took it just for the hell of it right after it was first on the market. She said it felt like bad speed and gave her a headache.

      The point is I have read that moderately high levels of coffee consumption are correlated with lower propensity to get Alzheimers. But people who do a lot of mental work are often coffee junkies, so a lot of confounders.

      1. Joe Renter

        Who remembers the add that David Bowie did for the coffee industry that was from the late 70’s? It showed him drinking a cup and saying something like, ‘be a coffee achiever” or he is a coffee achiever. Anyway, it has stuck with me. Having spent 30 years in Seattle I have had a close relationship with the beans. And to think every bean is hand picked it is a bargain for the consumer. Done with my fist cup another is to follow and then one more.

    2. sleeplessintokyo

      This study is observational. A general rule of thumb is that 18% differences after adjustment do not come close to suggesting causation in observational trials.

      The opportunity for confounding is enormous in this study. Now, show me a well done RCT and You can get my attention

  19. griffen

    OpenAI and their peerless leader, Sam “Smooth” Altman, seek to raise somewhere in the amount of $5 trillion to $7 trillion. Give or take a trillion…this sounds like a super high mark perhaps? I mean maybe you start at “we need a round number, say $1 trillion to get off the ground.” FFS.

    I wish to likewise announce, a fund raising goal of $1 trillion for a new equity IPO, a real fresh idea that may work wonders like the UBIK in a PK Dick novel, or okay perhaps it amounts to nothing. Like those lofty flights into “space” that were all the rage in 2023…I will aim high and promise big I pinky swear !! \ SARC

    1. hamstak

      This sounds to me a bit like Altman trying to cut to the front of the line for the title of World’s First Trillionaire. He really wants to get into the Guinness Book.

    2. FreeMarketApologist

      Perhaps the former OpenAI board wanted Altman out simply because they felt he was too busy faffing about with other companies, other ideas, other activity, some of it related to AI, but not directly in OpenAI’s core job/mission. Reading about what he’s been up to recently only confirms that idea, and tells me that he has a head that is too easily turned by the next sexy thing that ambles by. Not an admirable quality in a CEO.

      1. griffen

        The article listed a few suspected or possible deep pockets, which adds potentially conflicting interests should he have a success in raising funds. One potential deep pocket is from Softbank, who apparently have recovered from those self inflicted We work wounds and losses.

        Never can I underestimate the greed and mendacity, ambition as well, of a self serving individual intent to be the Next Big Thing. Holmes, SBF…just a few rotten apples worth considering.

  20. KD

    Sounds like some exciting stuff going on in Pakistan, what do you do when the US and the army try to rig an election, and the opposition wins anyway?

      1. KD

        It looks more like Suharto/Pinochet/Brazil option. “Democracy” is only for regimes hostile to American Empire, like Iran, Russia, China.

        1. JBird4049

          It would only a return to the past. I would be shocked if the United States does not have plans ready for such.

          In the Americas, especially Central America, the various oligarchic families and their sycophants had a lot of people mentioning the Jakarta Method during the 70s and 80s, which rather explains the Mayan Genocide in Guatemala and army units like the Atlácatl Battalion in El Salvador. I can also point to Operation Condor in South America.

          In Central America, it had active, if usually tacit support including special forces and AC-130 gunships. In South America, as in Indonesia, I believe it was more about giving intelligence or advice.

  21. Wukchumni

    Requiem for a heavy wait dept:

    Super saturated soils in SoCal, combined with troubling temblors and round deux of atmospheric river action next week, not to mention solar storms a brewing up over…

    Last fall, NASA’s Mars rover spotted a massive spot on the surface of the Sun — and now, that ginormous maw is looking directly at the Earth.

    First reported by, the sunspot is expected to blast a coronal mass ejection (CME) out towards Earth and will be “not just a near miss, but an actual glancing blow.”

    1. griffen

      Anecdotal to weather travails on the West coast, I saw a report this morning from the ABC channel, southern CA experienced a trembling of the earth, that rated a 4.6 Friday afternoon. The headlines all were listing Malibu as the center of the activity. Yeah I know that’s normally south of your dominion in Wuk town…

      Can’t imagine if the LA and SoCal scene was hosting the Super bowl LV…Okay whatever the darn thing is ( Sarc ). It’s Number 58…at some point the Roman numerical system needs a serious rethink.

      1. Wukchumni

        A 4.6 back in the day was the kind of earthquake where right after it happens, you call your friends to see if they felt it too.

        I must have felt many dozens about that magnitude, kind of a couch surfer gig, no biggie.

        The biggest one I ever experienced was the Whittier Narrows quake in 1987, a 5.9 centered not too far away from where I was sleeping-which shook me like a rag doll and/or Linda Blair, and most importantly quite shallow in depth, increasing the magnitude.

        Quaker Savings in Whittier had the ‘r’ fall off the sign in front of the bank, now whether some clever wag was behind that or Mother Nature’s handiwork, who knows?

      2. Laura in So Cal

        It was a few miles NW of Malibu towards the Ventura County line. We barely felt it at my house about 50 miles away.

  22. Mikel

    “Everyone’s A Sell-Out Now”

    I suspect another way of making money in the arts is being the one who actually does the creative work for those working (and trapped in the posting loop matrix) on the platform plantation.

    There will always be “behind the scenes” opportunities.

  23. mrsyk

    “Aid groups sound alarm over escalating DR Congo violence”,(Al Jazeera). Save the Children said the renewed fighting between the rebels and government troops had displaced at least 150,000 people, more than half of them children, since February 2. more, Around seven million people have been displaced in DRC, mostly in the east, which has been plagued by violence by armed groups for nearly 30 years, according to the United Nations.
    Didn’t Isreal float the idea of sending those troublesome Gazans to the Congo? Good times.

  24. CA

    Chinese dance for and with crested Ibises:

    January 22, 2024

    Young people savor beauty of Chinese dance dramas

    XI’AN — For Lyu Hang, an avid fan of theater performances, attending as many as 10 dance dramas with diverse themes during the past year provided her with both emotional and spiritual satisfaction.

    “These dramas not only captivate the eyes of numerous audiences but also introduce innovative ways to blend cultures and arts across time and space for laymen like me,” said the 32-year-old theater enthusiast who is a frequent visitor to the Shaanxi Opera House in the historic city of Xi’an in northwest China.

    Chinese dance dramas have garnered high acclaim from youngsters due to their diverse themes, spanning human relations with nature, iconic literati and historical novels, and artistic practices from both the East and the West.

    According to a report from the China Association of Performing Arts, people aged 18 to 34 had been a predominant segment of the consumer base in the performing arts market in 2022, accounting for over 76 percent of the total audience.

    For instance, the dance drama “Crested Ibises,” named after the bird species featuring a red crest and long black beak, tells the story of how people strive to maintain a harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature during the process of urbanization and industrialization.

    The crested ibis was thought to be extinct in China until seven wild birds were spotted in Yangxian County in Shaanxi in 1981. After more than 40 years of protection efforts, its global population has exceeded 10,000.

    The drama visualizes the natural movements of the species and demonstrates the common environmental crisis faced by the whole world through vivid stagecraft. “The exquisite combination of Chinese folk dance and Western ballet makes it a true masterpiece,” said Dai Ping, a professor at Shanghai Theatre Academy….

    1. The Rev Kev

      Damn, I almost forgot, Happy Chinese New Year to everyone. This year it is *checks internet* the Year of the Dragon. Just found out tonight that there is a bit of territory here called Christmas Island in Oz that celebrates Chinese New Year and not only is it an official public holiday but it goes for two days instead of one. Lucky buggers-

      1. CA

        For all a Dragon-Loong year:

        February 10, 2024

        Welcoming the Year of the Dragon or the Loong? Insights from the Chinese perspective
        Happy Chinese New Year. May you live loong and prosper!

        BEIJING — As communities worldwide, both within and outside China, partake in diverse festivities to welcome the Year of the Dragon, the mythical creature has become the subject of debate. Some call it a dragon, while others prefer the term “loong,” underscoring a discussion about the most accurate translation of this symbol of traditional Chinese culture….

      2. digi_owl

        There was this odd martial arts action flick that left an impression on me, because at one point the sensei gifted a ring to the protagonist with a tiger and a dragon on it. With the final lesson being that the difference between the two was that while the tiger reacts, the dragon acts. And the sensei hoped that the protagonist would learn how to be a dragon.

    2. Waking Up

      For anyone who appreciates the arts, I highly recommend watching the video at the first link by Arnaud Bertrand.

      Amazing “Koi” dance at the #SpringFestivalGala IS “absolutely breathtaking”.

  25. mrsyk

    Meanwhile, from the north: “Canada declares Flipper Zero public enemy No. 1 in crackdown on car theft”, (Arstechnica). The lede: How do you ban a device built with open source hardware and software anyway? More, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has identified an unlikely public enemy No. 1 in his new crackdown on car theft: the Flipper Zero, a $200 piece of open source hardware used to capture, analyze and interact with simple radio communications.
    Honestly, the first thing I thought when I read this one was “How is JT still the Prime Minister of Canada?”.

    1. zagonostra

      I have PMC relatives in Vancouver, BC. They watch CBC and CTV, that’s has a lot to do with it, how “JT is still the PM”. It’s a case, at least in part, of an effective direct financial state-funded media, not even the pretension that we use here, in the U.S., e.g., that the MSM is corporate owned and has a least to depend on advertising and making a profit (which I don’t think tells the whole story, by far) to survive.

  26. The Rev Kev

    “German foreign minister’s grandfather was ‘ardent Nazi’ – Bild”

    Rumour has it that Olaf Schulz’s grandfather was also in the Nasty Party. Only difference was that while Annalena’s grandfather wore Wehrmacht grey, Olaf’s grandfather wore black. I’m sure that the German government will release those records to clear this one up though.

    1. CA

      From a worldwide exhibition of Song painting:–1pTGiH1ZjuE/p.html

      December 28, 2023

      How alive does the parakeet look in this Song Dynasty painting?

      “Five-Colored Parakeet on a Blossoming Apricot Tree” is a precious painting created by Emperor Huizong (1082-1135) of the Song Dynasty Zhao Ji. He painted the bird freehand without first doing a sketch underneath. Why did he draw a parakeet? And as an art-loving emperor who cultivated himself through art, how vividly did he draw the parakeet? Nancy Berliner at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, provides her insights.

  27. Tom Stone

    I don’t think the criticism of genocide Joe’s mental state is fair, he’s still as sharp as my Grandfather Stone.
    Who died in 1971.

  28. rudi from butte

    From Orlov:
    Putin seems to have done some homework on Tucker. Tucker studied history while attending Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut (but failed to graduate). Seeing as Tucker was fired as a journalist and is currently unemployed (i.e., a blogger), Putin naturally assumed that Tucker is an amateur historian with an incomplete professional education who came as a political emissary to hear some words of wisdom from the leader of a great nation on a certain specific subject — the Ukraine. Therefore, Putin saw it as perfectly reasonable to fill the lacunae in Tucker’s education by presenting a brief outline of the last 1000 years of Russian history with a specific focus on the territory that for just the last 3% of that history has been referred to as “the Ukraine” or “ukraine” or “okraina.” This word translates as “outskirts; fringe; periphery; border districts; outlying districts; marginal land.” This definition begs an obvious question: “The ukraine/okrainа of what?” Of Russia, obviously!

  29. Tom Stone

    Ya know, Mexico and Egypt have a lot in common.
    Magnificent Pyramids.
    A brown skinned Native Populace.
    And both countries share a border with an insane neighbor armed with Nuclear Weapons.

  30. Brian Beijer

    Regarding “Interview to Tucker Carlson”, I would recommend scrolling through the photos of the interview. There are 30 of them attached to the article. In one photo, there is a clear image of Tucker’s notes. I’m assuming these are his “preparation”. The notes are three pages on what appear to be hotel stationary. Can you imagine that? You’re about to interview the person who has most significantly been involved in changing the entire world order for the past two years, and you wait until you’re at the hotel the night before to jot down some notes. Wtf?

    On a side note, for those that are interested in watches, Tucker is wearing an old two tone Rolex. This didn’t surprise me at all. They’re a Tucker kind-of-guy watch brand to me. I believe it’s a Datejust, but I’ve never been that into Rolex. What is surprising is that Putin isn’t wearing a watch. He is known in the watch community for having a killer $1,000,000+ watch collection. Putin is a total baller in the watch world. Maybe he didn’t want to embarrass Tucker?

    1. Wukchumni

      Rolexes are considered quite gauche compared to other Swiss makes, not that they don’t all tell the same time as a Timex.

    2. tennesseewaltzer

      Note at the very start of the interview Putin removes his watch and places it on the intervening table.

      1. Brian Beijer

        Yes, I went back and watched the beginning, and you can see Putin rubbing his wrist like someone who wears his watch too tight and has just taken it off. In the photos, you can see a watch on the right hand side of the table close to Putin. Thanks for picking that up!

        Believe it or not, there’s already a YT video about why Putin took off his watch at the beginning of the interview. Despite the video being stupid, one of the commenters made the insightful suggestion that this was Putin making a polite gesture to Tucker showing that time was of no importance. If that’s the case; this was huge gesture that Tucker (and the rest of us) totally missed. Someone else suggested that Putin did this so as not to be rude when looking at the time. That could also be the case. Either way, it was a gesture of respect.Being a watch nerd, I’m disappointed I didn’t grasp this myself.

    3. Mr Benson

      If you watch the beginning of the video, it appears that Putin takes off his watch and puts it on the podium next to him.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      Rolex??? Gah. A Cartier Santos is also mass market among the watch crowd but classier as well as IMHO better looking.

      Probable Putin bought most but no doubt some of those watches are gifts. I infer that’s common in the oil world. A friend’s father owned the biggest oil refiner in Lebanon as well as a ton of gas stations in Lebanon’s much better days. He also had a spectacular watch collection. Assad gave him an insane diamond encrusted custom watch from a top maker, Piaget or equivalent. Some others from top national officials.

      1. Brian Beijer

        Yeah, to me Rolex Datejust says, “I live in a McMansion in Florida on a golf resort, and I drive a golf cart around the neighborhood”. In other words, it’s a Tucker watch. I’m almost positive that Putin doesn’t even own a Rolex. His taste is in the category of A. Lange & Söhne, Breguet, Patek and FP Journe. In the watch world, it’s the difference between flying business class and having your own plane.

  31. CanCyn

    Emergency Rooms are not OK. Isn’t that an understatement?! I have a friend who just spent 4 nights in an Ontario ER being treated for Bacterial Pneumonia and subsequent septicaemia (blood poisoning). It was a nightmare. They saved her life but she has come home severely traumatized and sleep deprived. I picked up some prescriptions for her and was told a story by the pharmacist of someone who spent 10 days in ER! And this morning a friend told me that she knew someone who spent a couple of days in ER before being moved to a ward – which turned out to have plenty of empty beds! A Staffing shortage rather than bed shortage caused the blockage in ER.
    But whether full beds or staff shortages, I gotta agree that ER is in a lot of trouble. Having been through some really bad ER experiences with my Dad well before COVID, I have long been afraid of needing Emergency care and recent happenings have only heightened that fear. I came across this bit of wishful thinking this morning and I have to say I agree – what an amazing thing to have delightful government services:
    I know that hospitals in the US are not government services but still wouldn’t it be lovely to be delighted by care in hospital???

  32. Robert Hahl

    McKinsey plays a cameo role in the German movie Toni Erdmann, about a woman working her way to becoming a partner there. Very funny, and great performances by everyone.

  33. Carolinian

    Re Foreign Affairs

    When Israel completed its unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon in the spring of 2000, it was subject to cross-border attacks and threatened by a massive Hezbollah buildup. Then the peace process imploded as Palestinians launched the second intifada that fall.

    If memory serves the second intifada began when Sharon made a provocative visit to the temple mount and signaled that Israel would return to pre Oslo practices. A recent article has suggested that it was Sharon’s’ idea to manage the Palestinians like human cattle and sweep the problem under the rug while creating “facts on the ground.” At least Dayan was honest about what was the true national goal was but that was before Israel became our “ally” and aircraft carrier without US aircraft and the boatloads of PR that accompanied this Kissinger idea.

    Other articles suggest that to really get to the bottom of the situation you have to go back to Balfour and the British. This I believe.

    1. CA

      September 29, 2000

      Sharon Touches a Nerve, and Jerusalem Explodes
      By Joel Greenberg

      Tightly guarded by an Israeli security cordon, Ariel Sharon, the right-wing Israeli opposition leader, led a group of Israeli legislators onto the bitterly contested Temple Mount today to assert Jewish claims there, setting off a stone-throwing clash that left several Palestinians and more than two dozen policemen injured.

      The violence spread later to the streets of East Jerusalem and to the West Bank town of Ramallah, where six Palestinians were reportedly hurt as Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated bullets and protesters hurled rocks and firebombs.

      ”I brought a message of peace,” Mr. Sharon said after a one-hour tour that Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, condemned as a ”dangerous action” against Muslim holy sites.

      The complex, known to Muslims as Haram al Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, contains Al Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, sacred shrines of Islam. It is revered by Jews as the site of the First and Second Temples as well as the place where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son, Isaac. A dispute about sovereignty over the area, in Jerusalem’s walled Old City, has created an impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

      ”I believe that Jews and Arabs can live together,” Mr. Sharon declared as stones and rubber-coated bullets flew at the holy site. ”It was no provocation whatsoever,” he said of his visit. ”It’s our right. Arabs have the right to visit everywhere in the Land of Israel, and Jews have the right to visit every place in the Land of Israel.” Injured Palestinians and police officers were carried off on stretchers minutes after the visit ended.

      Ordinary Israelis can visit the Temple Mount like any other tourists, although most Orthodox rabbis have forbidden entry because of the area’s special sanctity under Jewish law.

      But Mr. Sharon, who has a provocative reputation among Palestinians, is no ordinary Israeli…

    2. ArvidMartensen

      I would love someone to do research on what causes otherwise rational, ordinary human beings to suddenly become monstrous, hating, killers.
      Is it generational trauma? Do the psychopaths among us just run riot in times of conflict?

      I recall decades ago in the Serbia conflict some people saying that their next-door neighbours of different ethnicity, with whom they thought they had friendships lasting over years, suddenly wanted to run them out of town or kill them.

    1. flora

      Looking at that chart I wonder if the lockdowns and mandates and school closures had anything to do with the “surge” of retirements. A lot of people who were eligible to retire with pension and planned to work a few more years did retire instead of accepting the mandate or the crazy work situation. Or they lost their business. imo. That was an unexpected problem for a lot of companies that for years have gotten more and more work out of well trained older workers instead of hiring young works and training them up. Now there was a large mass retirement leaving a large gap in the skill & knowledge pipeline at many corporations and agencies. The lockdowns and mandates had an unforeseen consequence on ‘just-in-time’, ultra-efficient, brittle, neoliberal hiring and training models, imo.

      Now there’s “excess” retirees? I’d laugh at this except I worry the headline means neoliberal economists are thinking about soylent green as the next money maker. / ;)

  34. heresy101

    Inside the Rolling Stones article on the Orange Psychopath doing away with Medicare when he wins in November is a link to a 600 page plan of the Heritage Foundation and about forty other organizations for him to overthrow the Federal Government. It basically does away with any kind of abortion, privatizes healthcare, and gives corporation’s their “Constitutional” right to do anything they damn well please. Skimming it shows a very detailed plan that the average person should be aware of although there is so much detail that even reading it is very consuming and painful.

    1. Pat

      Please recognize that barring a defeat of catastrophic proportions for Democratic legislators in November this cannot happen. Just as Biden cannot get funding for Ukraine and Israel, Trump would not be able to do most of that EXCEPT with Democratic help. If it goes down Nancy/Hakeem and Chuck have to help.
      Much of this is not just the fondest wish of many of our Beltway sociopaths, it has been on the agenda of the last four Presidents. It hasn’t happened because usually the opposition party from the White House do not want to give the President’s party the “win”.

      This never dies because most of the oligarchy doesn’t realize that getting everything out of government so they profit is a very good method to bring out pitchforks and torches. (And if the incompetence of the past decade has taught me anything it is that they will certainly cheap out on the military and police because they are that stupid.)

      1. dday

        Actually it wouldn’t take much of a defeat. Assume the R’s hold the House. They would then need to pick up one R senator to have a 50/50 Senate split, meaning that VP Elise Stefanik would be the deciding vote. The filibuster could be terminated on the first day of Congress, it’s an internal senate rule that can be terminated with a majority vote. Trump wanted them to get rid of it his first term. McConnell wouldn’t go along, but he won’t be majority leader come next January.

        West Virginia already looks like the first senate R pickup, with Montana, Ohio and now Maryland with Hogan’s announcement also in the mix.

        1. Pat

          Yup, for most of it it would be a slam dunk. But that also assumes the Republicans will be a united front on eliminating or more likely pushing everyone into Medicare Advantage. I don’t think you can do that. Republicans do break apart, see the last year. Much of the support that a great number of Republicans have is from voter groups who do not gain anything from this. Or from privatizing the VA. Even with a majority I would lay odds that that will not happen without Democratic votes.

          Just remember the protestors against Obamacare that were adamant that the government not touch their Medicare.

    2. flora

      Tell me again how Medicare Advantage plans are different from said public/private plans begun during the great O administration. Sans govt subsidies which subsidy can be revoked at any time. Think HMO’s with no subsidies.

      How sad I am to now think one of my earlier state Dem pols elevated to the O admin fell for this neoliberal bushwah. I see them often in various local stores. I can only wonder what they think to themselves.

  35. Jason Boxman

    The fun continues.

    Brazil is experiencing an enormous outbreak of dengue fever, the sometimes fatal mosquito-borne disease, and public health experts say it is a harbinger of a coming surge in cases in the Americas, including Puerto Rico.

    Brazil’s Health Ministry warns that it expects more than 4.2 million cases this year, outstripping the 4.1 million cases the Pan-American Health Organization recorded for all 42 countries in the region last year.

    Brazil Has a Dengue Emergency, Portending a Health Crisis for the Americas

  36. Tom Stone

    I just checked the SF Chronicle headlines, nothing about genocide Joe’s cognitive decline.
    Perhaps not news because their readers already know his brain has turned into moldy cottage cheese.

  37. spud

    a nasty surprise indeed.

    what Aurelien has over looked here is how the west views china. the west views china as woodrew wilson viewed americas black minority, simply to far down the evolutionary ladder to be able to comprehend todays white supreme technology, and they should be put into cages to protect white supremacy.

    i listened to one after another clintonite on PBS discuss the factory of the future, that factory was whitey sitting comfortably at home, designing what the world needs, and then sending that design off to the third world where the grunts of color would sweat making stuff that they simply could not comprehend.

    it got so bad i gave up on PBS in the 90’s.

    and as far as history is concerned to the free traders, that history only goes back as far as the theory of free trade was first advanced, no other history is applicable, or even remembered.
    you could hear the disgust in bill clintons voice when he declared after nafta, now onto Gatt which is about time.

    GATT was weak in the eyes of a free traders, because it had no mechanism for discipline, and allowed protectionism if needed.

    Hitler understood what free trade was about, just as woodrew wilson did, today the rest of the world understands it all to well.

    that has set off alarm bells in the halls of the free trading fascists with obama’s pivot to asia.

    to late suckers.

  38. .Tom

    Biden taking unprepared questions from the press doesn’t happen. Why did his team think it would work to quiet the concern about his dementia? The alternative was to keep quiet about the DoJ comments on his memory and that would have worked and was a safe bet. His team is not stupid. They usually manage to navigate this stuff. They even got his unappealing Brezhnev-like semi-corpse elected in 2020. They knew how this was going to go and either made him do it anyway or didn’t stop him. Has the party decided it’s time to start the process of getting rid of him?

  39. Willow

    > Anyone notice how aggressive the British response has been to the Tucker interview?
    UK Establishment’s obsessive delusions about Russia are where the scary risks in Ukraine conflict have the potential to turn into WWIII. At some point UK has become seriously unhinged and is fast becoming a failed state.

  40. Willow

    > Tucker Carlson’s Putin interview

    Carlson’s interview style is a bit like Agatha Christie’s Poirot. What I like is that Carlson allows people to talk without much interruption. Which makes the interviews much more watchable than the usual combative ‘gotcha’ style that we tend to see nowadays. That said, Putin interview didn’t meet expectations but still interesting somewhat.

  41. Jason Boxman

    Liberal Democrats as supporters of Nazis and genocide was not in my playbook for this century. Or leaving people to die in a Pandemic.

      1. Jason Boxman

        It is a great victory! They’ve convinced the great masses of the people that a level three biohazard with an affinity for binding to any cell in the body and a protein envelope that facilities an especially good bond, and thus can never ever become a common cold, is a common cold.

        That’s a win for the ages!

  42. antidlc
    Too many patients are catching COVID in Australian hospitals, doctors say. So why are hospitals rolling back precautions?

    Twelve months later Australian hospitals have become a strange new battleground in the fight against COVID, with doctors and public health experts concerned that too many patients are catching the virus — and an alarming number are dying — as a result of inadequate infection control. Until recently, tools like contact tracing, testing, N95 respirators and good ventilation were mainstays of COVID management in healthcare settings. But in many hospitals they’ve been wound back or ditched in tandem with other community protections, putting patients and healthcare workers at risk and deterring others from seeking treatment.

    “We still do it with other infectious diseases — the N95s come out the second TB is mentioned. But there’s a strange incongruence with COVID.”

    What a stupid, stupid timeline.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      My partner, with a very serious, life-threatening illness, was supposed to go to government run physiotherapy sessions twice a week at the hospital.

      I asked why the staff were not wearing masks and was told that there is no government directive to do so, and they will only wear masks when the government mandates it. And this in the middle of a Covid surge two months ago.

      So, no physio.

  43. Jason Boxman

    Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the White House, called Donald Trump’s comments tonight on NATO “appalling” and “unhinged.” In a statement, Mr. Bates said: “Rather than calling for wars and promoting deranged chaos, President Biden will continue to bolster American leadership and stand up for our national security interests – not against them.”

    Remember when every western country went on a war footing to provide all the ammo Ukraine needs? LoL. No. So why should we care?

    These people are nuts.

    Not sure what war Trump is calling for? Biden is more belligerent on China. Got us into Ukraine and now middle east. Clowns.

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