Links 2/2/2024

Helping Bison Find Their Way Home The Revelator

Utah Teen Sent to Juvenile Court for Duct Taping Dead Fish to ATMs Field and Stream

The US Debt Is Now $34 Trillion. Don’t Worry. Seriously. Claudia Sahm, Bloomberg

Cracks Begin to Show at Davos Simplicius the Thinker(s)

Satellites Are Becoming the New Cellphone Towers IEEE Spectrum

Everything You’re Told About The Global Economy Is Wrong (interview) Philip Pilkington, YouTube. Grab a cup of coffee. Or two cups. Starting with the Houthis and moving on from there:


Cash, Cars, Chemicals (and Corn) Phenomenal World

Grilling the Globe JSTOR Daily

Increased temperature difference between day and night can affect all life on earth (press release) NewsWise

Viability of the lichen Xanthoria elegans and its symbionts after 18 months of space exposure and simulated Mars conditions on the ISS International Journal of Astrobiology. From the Abstract: “The biological samples were integrated in the EXPOSE-E facility and exposed for 1.5 years outside the [International Space Station (ISS)…. After their return to Earth the viability of the lichen samples was ascertained.” From 2014, still germane. Supporting this Tweet thread:


Remarks and Q&A by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on the Future of U.S.-China Relations At the Council on Foreign Relations. This is actually worth a read. This nugget stood out for me: “[T]he spectrum of opinion on whither China’s economy among incredibly informed, like, right-thinking people is quite broad.” “So we don’t really know what anyone is after.”

* * *

With China’s economic plenum still unscheduled, observers worry politics remain in command South China Morning Post

China Asks Local Governments Not to Use Tech Funds to Pay Debt Asia Financial

China needs to learn lessons from 1990s Japan Gillian Tett, FT

* * *

Estimated excess deaths due to COVID-19 among the urban population of Mainland China, December 2022 to January 2023 Epidemiology. From the Abstract: “Using our baseline assumptions, this extrapolated to 917,000 (95% CI: 425,000–1.45 million) excess deaths among urban-dwellers in Mainland China, much higher than the 81,000 in-hospital deaths officially reported from December 9, 2022 to January 30, 2023. As in many jurisdictions, we estimate that the COVID-19 pandemic had a much wider impact on mortality than what was officially documented in Mainland China.”

In the ‘Asian Century,’ Indians and Chinese Flee WSJ


Houthis announce targeting US commercial ship with ‘direct hit’ Anadolou Agency

Op-Ed: Close Call In The Red Sea: Assessing The Recent Houthi Missile Incident Naval News

Concerns over Cape re-routes and West African piracy Seatrade Maritime

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Israel-Hamas war live updates: U.S. readies weeks of retaliatory strikes against Iran-linked targets NBC

Are US, Iran already at war? The Hill

US says it will have ‘multi-tiered response’ to attacks in Jordan on American troops Anadolu Agency

* * *

Backs to the wall, Gazans fear Israeli assault on last refuge Reuters. Rafah. The rules-based international order in action:

* * *

Live blog: Jordan warns of regional ‘explosion’ over West Bank escalation TRT World

Biden sanctions Israeli settlers accused of attacking Palestinians and peace activists in West Bank AP

* * *

Leading Papers Skewed Gaza Debate Toward Israeli and Government Perspectives FAIR

NYU instructor suspended after denying Oct. 7 atrocities at SJP event Forward. Never mind:

European Disunion

IMF chief warns European governments may ‘regret’ backing protesting farmers France24

Russia-friendly party calls for government resignation through protest in Moldova’s capital FOX

How nuclear power saved Armenia Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukrainian Troops Say Military Supports Zaluzhny Totally, Kyiv Politicians Need to Back Off Kyiv Post

Ukraine – The Power Scuffle Continues Moon of Alabama

Zelensky’s shake-up of military command, meant as a refresh, risks backlash WaPo

The design of war has changed Valerii Zaluzhnyi, CNN

* * *

Ukrainian army with great difficulty reaches almost 900,000 soldiers InfoBrics. One (1) Zelensky Unit to go.

Women’s uniform is handed out in Ukraine’s Armed Forces for the first time – photo Ukrainska Pravda

* * *

US Diplomat Says Russia Should Expect ‘Surprises’ On Battlefield Agence France Presse. Nuland.

Upping the Ante on Western Weapons Could End the Stalemate in Ukraine RAND

No magic US weapon left for offensive Ukraine victory Responsible Statecraft

South of the Border

Brazil’s Lula still losing digital battle to Bolsonaro Agence France Presse

Secret US spying program targeted top Venezuelan officials, flouting international law AP

Large majority of illegal border crossings shift to Arizona and California, pivoting away from Texas FOX

Biden Administration

Why Biden’s LNG Pause Has Allies Worried Foreign Policy

Michael vs. Michelman on Legitimate Political Authority The New Digest:

Michael’s final chapter concerns political authority, political discretion, and a reflection on the proper goals of political life; which, following the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition he takes to be the common good.

Michael rejects any cynical picture of political life that portrays it as a Schmittian contest for power – that is about rewarding friends and punishing enemies. He also rejects a framing of political life that places the good of the individual and the good of the political community in which she is born, raised, and embedded in antagonistic opposition. Rather, in Aristotelian-Thomistic fashion Michael argues both stand or fall together.

Both major parties within our political class would, I think, say “We are all Schmittians now.” That’s unfortunate, because Carl Schmitt was a Nazi legal theorist.

Spook Country

Former CIA employee sentenced to 40 years in prison for largest data breach in agency history, other charges The Hill

The Bezzle

Law’s Detrimental Reliance on Intermediaries (PDF) Carla Reyes, George Washington University Law Review

Digital Watch

Why Congress Keeps Failing to Protect Kids Online Tim Wu, The Atlantic

CEOs want to avoid a big, embarrassing AI hearing Politico

* * *

Why AI hallucinations can be a good thing FT. Cope.

Sleeper Agents: Training Deceptive LLMs That Persist Through Safety Training Evan Hubinger et al., arXiv

Google launches an AI-powered image generator and Google releases GenAI tools for music creation Tech Crunch. Commentary on LLM:

Nightshade, the free tool that ‘poisons’ AI models, is now available for artists to use VentureBeat. Let the arms race begin…


Over 100 Cruise Passengers Ill on Cunard Operated Ship Cruise Hive. Welcome aboard The Gastro of the Seas….

Why did NIH abruptly halt research on the harms of cell phone radiation? The Hill

Zeitgeist Watch

How a Mennonite farmer became a drug lord LA Times

we’ve found it folks: mcmansion heaven McMansion Hell (PI).

Shock of the old: nine monstrous mascots to suck out your soul Guardian (Furzy Mouse). I just ran across this mascot the other day. Michelin’s Bibendum gave Gibson’s Cayce Pollard panic attacks, but I bet she never saw King Cake Baby:

Commodity fetishism?

Class Warfare

Who are you calling a Luddite? – A review of Blood in the Machine Librarian Shipwreck

The Fish Are Dead, Long Live the Fish Fossils and Other Livng Things. It’s classification struggles all the way down.

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Terry Flynn

    The “US debt is now…” article was inaccessible but I didn’t need to read it. Thanks to MMT, for industrialized countries in control of their own currencies I now automatically mentally substitute “the non governmental accumulated surplus is…..” and I think “meh – go away”

    My first degree was economics (MA Cantab) and I still love the joke that economists have predicted 20 of the last zero hyperinflations in Japan. I know NC has to draw attention to the popular but dross. I wish more satire sites did the same.

    1. ilsm

      FWIW, it is a Bloomberg opinion piece

      Do not concern yourself that the US federal deficit increased year on year in 2023, along with its good GDP rise!

      “The undiscovered country” is all good.

      While the Fed and Powell are looking at data!

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        web archive has the piece
        “…concerns…are misguided and undermine a constructive conversation about the priorities for the country.”
        that is whistling past the graveyard big time –

          1. eg

            MMT arises from a description of fiat monetary operations which is empirically falsifiable, and therefore has nothing to do with faith.

            Try again.

            1. skippy

              Its surreal that obvious ideologues with their ego filled beliefs attempt to gaslight everyone else so their utopia can be forced on everyone else.

              Same people that have bought on the reality most in the US experience today ….

    2. Skip Intro

      Complete the sentence time!

      The US debt is _________

      The US debt is the size of its private sector’s wealth.

      1. sleeplessintokyo

        that might be bacause it is the public sector deficit that funded much of the private sectors wealth. KACHING

    3. Wukchumni

      Eh, $34 trillion… the way you have to look at it, we’re just a couple zeroes away from only owing in the billions.

    4. skippy

      It should be noted that most were kept in the dark about how the US monetary system actually worked, not that Austrian or Orthodox economics had a clue, so its a bit rich to lay blame and be done in the head by numbers.

      Lets not forget that many of the ills today got their start as the fight against commies, MIC, Corp largess, Tax Havens, financial wealth held by elites folding in on itself over and over again without any productivity attached, how one dollar of government spending post WWII generated 2 or 3 dollars GDP and now has inverted where it takes 3 government dollars to generate 1 dollar of GDP …. then at the end of the day its distribution …

      Lastly when looking at the government balance sheet one always needs to reconcile it with the Z1.

    1. Marilyn

      “Sources with U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Fox News that over the last week of January, Border Patrol apprehended 32,809 illegal immigrants.”

      How many got away, or will be handed a court date years out, a bus ticket, and will be soon competing with poor homeless and almost homeless, Americans for housing, health care and in food banks?

      Good job Kamala!

        1. Wukchumni

          ala Mak raps, yo!

          Looking at this thing they call a menu
          i’ll have a word salad sandwich, inanities ensue
          It’s what I do

          {please feel free to pile on…}

      1. DavidZ

        LOL. As if we care about the poor homeless and almost homeless.

        We don’t. We give trillion dollar tax breaks to the rich. Not much for veterans, VA, homeless, food banks, even the kids who were getting money – that program wasn’t renewed once the republicans came into power in Congress after the mid-terms.

        All the – what about the children – is bull patties, from my prespective.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Watched it this morning and it’s weirdly disturbing…

      Weinstein’s further conclusion–something to the effect of, “Under current circumstances, we must give ourselves permission to consider things previously thought to be crazy until they can be definitively rejected.”

      1. Michaelmas

        Katniss Everdeen: it’s weirdly disturbing…

        What Weinstein is suggesting in that video’s latter segment is in fact technically quite plausible.


    3. skippy

      Hi flora … Once again political operatives are using the outcomes of decades old agendas to turn peoples head on backwards for social control = votes.

      Its just so reminiscent of the background behind how MS13 got started, more so, how decades before the pogrom to cleanse Central/South LatAm of any socialist or commie influence so Corps and investors could loot the joint.

      Next thing you know you have economic refugees flooding your boarders …

  2. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds by The Beatles)

    A mother in Gaza sees her children wither
    No roof is between them and dangerous skies
    There is no food and the water is filthy
    She can’t keep the tears from her eyes

    No meds or hospitals how hard she tries
    Soon they can’t rise from their beds
    Fever arrives with the death it implies
    And they’re gone

    Watch your children die with nothing
    Watch your children die with nothing
    Watch your children die with nothing
    Aaaaahhhhh . . .

    What does she care that the whole world is counting?
    She sits all alone and she constantly cries
    If she survives all these dark days and hours
    The horror remains in her eyes

    No joy in things that she used to adore
    The rest of her life shall be gray
    She washed her children and kissed them once more
    They are gone

    Now the world is sending her nothing
    But mortars and more missiles and bombing
    What are governments discussing?
    Aaaaahhhhh . . .

    Lawyers and journalists play with narration
    Since genocide must be precisely defined
    Nobody’s planning to stop all this bombing
    They have World War Three on their mind

    Mushroom clouds on your horizon . . .
    Mushroom clouds on your horizon . . .
    Mushroom clouds on your horizon . . .
    Aaaaahhhhh . . .

    Mushroom clouds on your horizon . . .
    Mushroom clouds on your horizon . . .
    Mushroom clouds on your horizon . . .
    Aaaaahhhhh . . .

    Mushroom clouds on your horizon . . .
    Mushroom clouds on your horizon . . .
    Mushroom clouds on your horizon . . .

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Women’s uniform is handed out in Ukraine’s Armed Forces for the first time – photo”

    I wonder who got the contract to supply all those uniforms? This is actually a valid question. During the Iraq war one US neocon politician was making bank by being one who helped supply uniforms for the Iraq army. But I look at those girls and wonder how many of them will survive this war. How many of them might lose a limb. Are they ready for the brutality of the front lines? I still think that this is the Ukraine burning their seed corn just to keep Washington happy. Not even Adolf sent formations of girls to the front. And then there are those problems that will arise for some girls at the front itself-

    1. furnace

      When you get to the point that there simply aren’t men anymore to send to die, the obvious response is to admit defeat, not to double down and finish the extermination job. In this sense the Ukrainians were utterly destroyed by Western meddling. It could all have ended in peace back in April…

      If there is a hell then ghouls like Joe Biden and Boris Johnson shall burn eternally.

    2. ChrisFromGA

      Sending women to the front is a demographic die-off force multiplier.

      Biologically speaking, men are expendable. Women, not so much. Expect Ukraine’s population to dwindle to the unthinkable low levels by 2050.

      Mission accomplished, cookies!

      1. Lefty Godot

        There won’t be much land available for many Ukrainians to live on, given that the Russians will take their chunk, and BlackRock, JP Morgan, ADM, Cargill and the Soros foundations will own the rest. So, see, you just have to look for the *positives* in this democide! It’s all about how you think about other people’s dying for capitalism, not the actual deaths themselves that matter. /s

        1. c_heale

          Imo Russia, Poland, Hungary, etc are going to take all the good stuff. I think these investment companies are going to find out what political power really means.

    3. Feral Finster

      Nobody of influence and authority cares.

      Heinrich Himmler explained their mentality when he said that he was utterly indifferent as to whether 20,000 Byelorussian women died of exhaustion and exposure digging an anti-tank ditch for Germany, as long as the ditch was dug for Germany.

      You might as well quote Bible verses to an armed robber. Hold a loaded .357 Magnum to that robber’s head and he will be the one tearfully quoting Scripture, at least as long as he is sure that you will pull that trigger without hesitation.

    4. Paleobotanist

      Women can jigger their birth control pills to stop periods. I imagine women in the USA military do this all the time. Not sure what it does to them and their childbearing ability down the line.

      Actually, in hunter gather societies, women don’t have periods all the time – too much exercise – just when conditions are good enough to put on enough fat to child bear. Regular periods are a feature of agricultural surpluses…

      Still, killing or maiming a large chunk of your young women is demographic suicide.

    1. Polar Socialist

      The original (french) sense of the word is “a holder of a paper folded in two”, a reference to the pre-envelope habit from the 18th century of providing one’s credentials as a representative of a monarch. So, in that sense, maybe.

      But indeed, in the sense of “career diplomacy” with the aim of avoiding confrontations, she’s clearly a political appointee; more like a bull in a china shop or a mobster collecting protection money.

      1. JohnA

        She is perhaps the rightful heir of John Foster Dulles, described by Churchill as “the only bull who brings his own china shop with him”.

        1. Cassandra

          Not to detract from Nuland, but I think the crown for anti-diplomacy has to go to ex-mayor Rahm Emanuel, the current ambassador to Japan. I can’t imagine anyone who could be a more perfect antithesis of traditional Japanese values of politeness, discretion, and self-deprecation.

    2. Lena

      She is Plenipotentiary for the Total War Effort, which is a much more impressive title in its German usage.

    3. The Rev Kev

      The truth is that she has to keep the war going by any means possible because if Russia wins, her career and influence is over. And if Trump gets back in, he will probably fire her for being a loser.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        At the start of the current conflict the calls for a no fly zone were clearly a propaganda push that didn’t get cleared by the Pentagon logistics people. I wonder what she promised. This may not be a mere career move as much as a show to keep Azov types from blaming her down the road.

      2. Benny Profane

        No, it’s not over. C’mon. These people have been wrong for decades. When was the last time they won? I see all the Iraq cheerleaders a lot these days. David Frum is the editor of a major “liberal” magazine and was just interviewed by Judy Woodruff on PBS the other night for five minutes of drivel. They don’t lose. No contrition, no reverse gear. She’s working on the new war with Iran right now, I’ll bet.
        If Trump fires her, she’ll just go off and collect salaries from think tanks, waiting for the next neocon WH.

        1. Neutrino

          Vultures don’t die. They just change trees.

          from the original Midsomer Murders Barnaby character played by John Nettles.

    4. Feral Finster

      Nuland is famously is not diplomatic, because she does not have to be. She can rely on brute force to get her way.

      1. Retired Carpenter

        re:” She can rely on brute force to get her way.”
        I would say “Ms. Nudelman relied on the brute force of others to get her way”. That particular dog will stop hunting sooner or later. Folks with four generations in the Army are advising their children not to enlist.

        Retired Carpenter

        1. Feral Finster

          That’s why europeans are talking of reviving conscription.

          Russian life < Ukrainian < Polish < German < British < American.

  4. Wukchumni

    Everything You’re Told About The Global Economy Is Wrong (interview) Philip Pilkington, YouTube

    Pilkington brings up the specter of hyperinflation, and i’d suggest its already here, with missiles costing $1 to $4 million in order to knock out drones costing a few thousand-which utilize cheap high technology in a Goliath versus gnat financial battle. It almost doesn’t matter which method ‘wins’, as its a dead loss on the U.S. end of 500 to 2,000 versus 1, on a cost basis. It’d be tantamount to us using 24k gold for 155mm shell casings against a rival using copper instead.

    As long as we can keep on resupplying missiles costing millions its all good, but we can’t.

    The 1956 Suez Crisis debacle put paid to English sea power, will this impasse in the same locale do the same to the USA?

    A fine interview, Philip is my kind of thinker…

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      > It’d be tantamount to us using 24k gold for 155mm shell casings against a rival using copper instead.

      Ha! Good thing we use vastly cheaper depleted uranium instead of gold then.

      1. Wukchumni

        At some point, we’ll have to use merely gold-plated 155 mm shells, if things come a cropper @ Gilt’s Gulch.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Considering that even a single, lousy HIMARS missile costs about $100,000, they may as well be made out of gold.

    2. Christopher Fay

      Rumsfeld when we started to run into IEDs in Iraq said something along the lines of they spend 10 million, we spend a billion. Searching for the quote on Presearch doesn’t deliver any results for me.

    3. ChrisFromGA

      Biden is about to blow a bunch of those $1-4M missiles to re-arrange some rubble in Syria and Iraq. All to posture and show that he “did something” to avenge 3 dead servicemen.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Back in 2003, Baath party members basically surrendered expecting the US to be so embarrassed at not finding wmds and simply leaving. After Obama knocked over Libya, it became apparent Shrub wasn’t an aberration and Baath rebels rejoined that he regime in Syria with that he heats to fight back.

        US behavior has been due to expectations we can’t be retaliated against. All these groups have been prepping for this. Assad is there because he can hit important US interests. A bunch of drowned sailors corpses washing up on a beach is the kind of thing that won’t look good as Americans have still been propagandized t believe it’s still 1991.

        Biden reportedly asked Tehran to do him a solid by letting him bomb Iran. His behavior towards Iran has been aggressive, rude, and bizarre. This is where he is.

  5. The Rev Kev

    ‘Mark Ames
    ZAKA was one of the main @nytimes
    sources for their “Hamas mass rape” story, and one of the most glaring warning signs that the Times had pulled another “Saddam acquired yellowcake uranium” hoax, for the same old reason: whip up support to murder Arabs’

    Couldn’t read the Haaretz story but read about it elsewhere. In the clean-up operations, the IDF was refused entry and participation for this operation. Instead Zaka – operated by ultra-Orthodox extremist Jewish volunteers – was given the job and so they went to town. They made up all sorts of BS propaganda stories and used the dead as props. In one photo, 10 of them were gathered near a dead body whom they could not be bothered taking to an ambulance across the street. What were they doing then? Most of them were online fundraising money for Zaka itslef. According to the following story, they can’t even do their job properly but send bodies on with no documentation and body bags containing parts from different bodies. So the whole thing is mostly a money-making scam with a propaganda element attached to it. But I suppose the dead are not complaining-

    1. Verifyfirst

      Eventually we will find out that Israel not only knew this attack was coming, but actively enabled it by standing down their defenses. There is tape from decades ago (which I did not bookmark, sorry) of Netanyahu describing exactly what is happening in Gaza–“you flatten everything” he said.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Jewish groups here are still maintaining that the police expert was wrong and that they know better. And the media here are still helping them. On the news tonight they had video clips of this protest event provided by these groups and every single one had the words ‘Gas the Jews’ printed in large letters in each scene which the news kept on showing.

  6. timbers

    US Diplomat Says Russia Should Expect ‘Surprises’ On Battlefield Agence France Presse. Nuland. ##### Paging Vicky Nuland…So far in the category of surprises on the battlefield, they’ve been mostly post dated-updates from Dima at Military Summary involving moving the line of captured territory westward in Russian favor due mostly to his fairly recent rule of not changing the line of control unlit GPS or something something confirmation. Surely Nuland should know this give her relationship with her The Institute.

    1. Nikkikat

      I tried to find the so called press conference and couldn’t turn up anything. Alex christoforou had it on his Duran YouTube channel yesterday. Well worth a look. Very weird press conference, outside at night.
      Nuland in huge black coat. Taunting Putin, like some 5 year old.
      That this person is a diplomat from our US state department is unbelievable.

      1. Benny Profane

        The smile on the Wicked Witch of the West as she predicts more death and destruction is quite evil and unsettling.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        Really it was just a childish taunt. And these are supposed to be the grownups that replaced Trump?

        If I remember right, after Pelosi and others departed Kiev a while back, Russia lobbed a few missiles near where they had been, just to put them on notice that they were in Ukraine due to Russian forbearance. Russia’s restraint is really pretty admirable here when presented with such targets.

  7. Wukchumni

    Increased temperature difference between day and night can affect all life on earth (press release)

    Not mentioned in the press release was the spectre of wildfires not going to bed at night on account of increased temps.

    It’s a fairly recent phenomenon, a 35 year veteran firefighter who was the incident commander in the 2017 Pier Fire locally, told me it was the first time he’d ever seen a wildfire not go to bed at night.

  8. Amfortas the Hippie

    “we must get rid of farmers, or people will starve”
    …as well as the various concern trolling articles in MSM about how Amfortas’ farming practices contribute more bad things than Cargill,lol.
    i hardly know where to begin.
    i mean, the UN’s own research over the last 20 or so years proves just the opposite…and the long ago John Stossel hatred of organic/sustainable farming has been eviscerated repeatedly.
    the experience of Cuba in their “Special Period” is one of my favorite stories to tell regarding killing off Big Ag.
    do the davosites actually believe the nonsense they’re saying?
    and do they really expect non davosites to believe such obvious nonsense?

    1. Pat

      My answers to your questions are No and Yes.
      The average Davos piece of ________ knows this is garbage and unsustainable. They also figure that with a few indentured farmers, they are exempt from any problems. That theycan sustain themselves as they all have property that won’t be effected and can be used for their needs.
      They also think anyone who hasn’t made it to the top 0.01% is stupid and will believe anything they are told and if not will pretend to because they hold the power.
      IOW being filthy rich doesn’t make you logical or immune to fantastical thinking.

      1. Wukchumni

        The thing I’ve never understood about Davos, is that its a ski resort town, and yet you never ever see any WEF types skiing.

        Are they all reasonable facsimiles of humans only capable of uttering sweet nothings indoors?

        1. Neutrino

          The attendees have contract provisions akin to athletes, where skiing voids the payouts? Risk management to keep them on the roster.

          Outsiders may say there has been good news and bad news.
          The good news is that a busload of Davos attendees* went off a cliff.
          The bad news is that there were ten empty seats.

          * attorneys, in a prior story

    2. tawal

      And they think that the biggest current danger is misinformation/disinformation.
      If they really believed that they would keep their mouths shut.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Cracks Begin to Show at Davos”

    Seems like any whack case can get a platform there. They will ban coffee when they can pry my coffee mug from my cold, dead fingers. And I know that more than a few readers are into gardening. So they want backyard gardens where people grow their own food made illegal and everybody forced to accept industrialized food because it is more “efficient”. God knows what chemicals they put in industrial farming but at least it will be more efficient. Of course they may start demanding that we eat their bugs but almost certainly those bugs will contain too much pesticide to be considered healthy. I got an idea. Maybe at next years Davis meeting we can put together a GoFundMe to pay the Russians to send Mr. Kinzhal to go speak to them. At this point it is either us or them.

    1. Vandemonian

      My wife showed me a Facebook post from a guy who’s traveling in those parts of North Queensland recently affected by severe weather events. He went looking for food, and none of the supermarkets had anything to sell that was worth eating. The only sections that were still well stocked were the ‘plant based alternatives’.

    2. Randall Flagg

      > I got an idea. Maybe at next years Davis meeting we can put together a GoFundMe to pay the Russians to send Mr. Kinzhal to go speak to them. At this point it is either us or them.
      That’s is by far the best idea I’ve seen in a while. No one wants to advocate violence but your last sentence says all you need to know.
      And who knows, the Russians may do the world a solid and send it for free.

    3. Stephanie

      And I know that more than a few readers are into gardening. So they want backyard gardens where people grow their own food made illegal and everybody forced to accept industrialized food because it is more “efficient”.

      Good luck with that. As I have discovered, you let that one turnip plant go to seed that one time and then it’s turnips forever. Also, tomatoes. And arugula. And cosmos. And leaf lettuce.

      And then there’s the mint (my god, the mint) the previous owner of this property decided to plant right in the ground like a crazy person.

      I mean, these guys do realize that the real effort in the backyard some days is not to grow stuff, right?

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        ” When gardens are outlawed, only outlaws will have gardens.”

        — National Garden Association

    4. flora

      re: ‘So they want backyard gardens where people grow their own food made illegal and everybody forced to accept industrialized food because it is more “efficient”. ‘

      I’ve always thought the “pitchforks” thing was a dusty metaphor… until now. I know lots of gardeners with pitchforks. Useful tool.

  10. Wukchumni

    Well, yeah

    Flew in on a C-17 Globemaster III to Tel Aviv
    Didn’t get to bed last night
    On the way the idea it was a Boeing gave me fright
    Man, I had a dreadful flight

    I’m back in the Netanyahu.S.S.R
    You don’t know how lucky you are, boy
    Back in the Netanyahu.S.S.R

    Been away so long, I hardly knew the place
    Gee, it’d be good to be back home
    Flying in just after the ruling in the genocide case
    Hasbara, disconnect the phone

    I’m back in the Netanyahu.S.S.R
    You don’t know how lucky you are, boy
    Back in the U.S.
    Back in the U.S.
    Back in the Netanyahu.S.S.R

    The Ukraine war really knocked us out
    They leave the West behind
    And coup d’Houthi make me sing out loud
    That spectre of nuclear war is always on
    My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my, my mind

    Oh, come on!
    Woo! (Hey)
    Woo! (Yeah)
    Woo! (Yeah)
    Hell, yeah

    Hey, I’m back In the Netanyahu.S.S.R
    You don’t know how lucky you are, boys
    Back in the Netanyahu.S.S.R

    The Ukraine war really knocked us out
    They leave the West behind
    And coup d’Houthi make me sing out loud
    That spectre of nuclear war is always on
    My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my, my mind

    Oh, show me ’round your mountains of dead Gazans
    Way down south
    Take me to your kibbutz farm
    Let me see your new settlements ringing out
    Come and keep your comrade armed

    I’m back In the Netanyahu.S.S.R
    You don’t know how lucky you are, boy
    Back in the Netanyahu.S.S.R

    Oh, let me tell you, Bibi
    Hey, I’m back
    I’m back In the Netanyahu.S.S.R
    Hey, it’d be so good to be home instead
    Yeah, back In the Netanyahu.S.S.R

    Back in the USSR, by the Beatles

  11. Wukchumni

    A top McCarthy ally, Brian O. Walsh, is overseeing an attempt to recruit primary challengers to take on members of the infamous “Gaetz Eight” — the Capitol’s nickname for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and seven Republicans who supported his fire-McCarthy push — according to six people familiar with the plans who were granted anonymity to discuss them. The McCarthy revenge campaign is ready to marshal the former speaker’s considerable donor network on behalf of Republican primary candidates who are deemed strong enough to pose a credible threat to one of the eight. “These traitors chose to side with Nancy Pelosi, AOC and over 200 Democrats to undermine the institution, their fellow Republicans and a duly elected Speaker,” Walsh said in a statement. “There must be consequences for that decision.”

    That quiet work shows McCarthy’s appetite for payback remains intense, even months after his October ouster as speaker and December departure from Congress. It also illustrates that even out of office, the former speaker and his supporters can make life miserable for his detractors — a further sign that the House GOP power struggle between burn-it-down hardliners and more establishment conservatives is alive and well. Walsh is acting with McCarthy’s blessing. While the former speaker is not involved in the day-to-day work of the project, he is briefed on its progress, as are key donors, according to a person familiar with the effort who was granted anonymity to discuss it.

    So over 17 years this idiot Congressman of mine does practically nothing in terms of legislation he introduced that became law, aside from the renaming of 3 post offices in Bakersfield and a dam on the Tule River.

    But look at him now, political coffers are chock a block full and for once he’s doing something, petty as it is, but there’s honest to good initiative!

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘Gnome “just a lil guy” Anne
    Equal parts cosmic horror and nature being metal, let’s talk about the lichen that grew on the OUTSIDE of the International Space Station!’

    Just had a thought. The International Space Station is isolated and will eventually mostly burn up in the atmosphere, killing any fungus and lichen in the process. So what happens if some lichen hitchhike their way to Mars because Musk was cutting some corners to save himself money, especially from the decontamination budget. Can you imagine? The whole planet of Mars with lichen slowly spreading itself and nothing to stop it at all.

    1. Michaelmas

      Rev Kev: The whole planet of Mars with lichen slowly spreading itself and nothing to stop it at all.

      One way to terraform the place.

      For certain qualified definitions of terraforming, anyway.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Ukrainian Troops Say Military Supports Zaluzhny Totally, Kyiv Politicians Need to Back Off”

    Zaluzhny is no fool. As head of the army, he knows that he has the whole military protecting him. But if he stands down, his protection disappears and it would be only a matter of time before Zelensky has him arrested for treason. Zelepnksy would gladly pin all of the Ukraine’s defeats on Zaluzhny even though Zelensky was giving the orders and was overriding Zaluzhny. So when Zelensky demanded that he stand down, he said ‘Nope!’ I would have too.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Houthis announce targeting US commercial ship with ‘direct hit’ ”

    At times it is starting to sound like a real-world version of the board game ‘Battleship.’

  15. Craig H.

    Kudos for the kudu!

    > Nightshade, the free tool that ‘poisons’ AI models, is now available for artists to use

    Is there a HOWTO for contaminating our internet text typing to ‘poison’ LLM’s?

      1. Ranger Rick

        You really wouldn’t want that, as it’s a favorite tactic of professional content filter evaders. Most places remove nonstandard/control-flow Unicode from inputs as a matter of course (bye bye, emoji) where they aren’t converting it to plain ol’ ASCII (bye bye non-Latin scripts).

  16. Alice X

    From the NYT. I haven’t gone through it completely, but it looks well worthwhile. There is good information, though there may be some soft spots. I don’t have time right now to do more.

    The Road to 1948 – How the decisions that led to the founding of Israel left the region in a state of eternal conflict.

    A discussion moderated by Emily Bazelon, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine

    The Panelists:

    Nadim Bawalsa is a historian of modern Palestine and the author of the 2022 book “Transnational Palestine: Migration and the Right of Return Before 1948.” He is the associate editor for The Journal of Palestine Studies.

    Leena Dallasheh is a historian of Palestine and Israel who has held academic positions at Columbia University, New York University and Rice University. She is working on a book about the city of Nazareth in the 1940s and 1950s.

    Abigail Jacobson is a historian in the department of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her latest book, written with Moshe Naor, is “Oriental Neighbors: Middle Eastern Jews and Arabs in Mandatory Palestine.”

    Derek Penslar is a professor of Jewish history and the director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University. His latest book is “Zionism: An Emotional State.”

    Itamar Rabinovich is a history professor and emeritus president at Tel Aviv University. His books include “The Road Not Taken: Early Arab-Israeli Negotiations.” He was the Israeli ambassador to the United States from 1993 to 1996.

    Salim Tamari is a sociologist at Birzeit University in the West Bank and a research associate at the Institute for Palestine Studies. His latest book is “The Great War and the Remaking of Palestine.”

    1. CA

      Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

      Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention: the de-funding of UNRWA “represents a shift by several countries from potential complicity in genocide to direct involvement.” *

      As a reminder the countries that defunded UNRWA so far are the United States and Germany, in concert with Australia, Austria, Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

      * Statement on Recent Threats to UNRWA and the Shift between Potential Complicity and Direct Involvement in the Crime of Genocide against Palestinians by Several Nations

      12:17 AM · Feb 2, 2024

      1. CA

        Raphael Lemkin (24 June 1900 – 28 August 1959) was a Polish lawyer of Jewish descent who is known for coining the term genocide and campaigning to establish the Genocide Convention. During the Second World War, he campaigned vigorously to raise international outrage against atrocities in Axis-occupied Europe. It was during this time that Lemkin coined the term “genocide” to describe Nazi Germany’s extermination policies against Jews and Poles…

        1. undercurrent

          Isn’t it anti-Semitic to suggest that Hitler wanted to exterminate other races besides the Jews? If only there was someone we could ask. Anyone know if Alan Dershowitz is busy?

  17. Tom Stone

    One consequence of a sudden loss of executive function is the inability to recognize that you have had a loss of executive function.

    I also don’t see much recognition of the effect of the virus in the room, we have 16,000,000 cases of Long Covid in the USA to date, how soon will it reach 10% of the population?
    And how soon will we see a big hit among the newly immunosuppressed?
    It’s coming, we know that and it could easily result in 1,000,000 or more dead in a Month to six Weeks.
    I’m not aware of anyone in a position of influence who is planning for what seems to be an inevitable outcome, which is concerning.

  18. Wukchumni

    Over 100 Cruise Passengers Ill on Cunard Operated Ship Cruise Hive.

    On the good ship SS Norovirus
    Outbreak large nothing serious
    Where viral bon-bons plague
    Sending many to the sick bay

  19. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    This is quite something! This is John Lander – Australia’s former ambassador to Iran and Deputy Ambassador to China – explaining what the “rules-based order” actually is.

    In his words it’s “a set of ever varying, constantly vacillating rules devised by the United States for the benefit of the United States and its Western allies.” He points out that “one of the most difficult things about the rules-based order is finding out what the rules are!”

    Link to the whole interview at the end of the thread. *


    9:24 PM · Feb 1, 2024

    1. Feral Finster

      “a set of ever varying, constantly vacillating rules devised by the United States for the benefit of the United States and its Western allies.” He points out that “one of the most difficult things about the rules-based order is finding out what the rules are!”

      Duh. To paraphrase and amplify La Yves, “Muh Rules Based International Order(R)” is just Calvinball overseen by a thug.

  20. Feral Finster

    “Why Biden’s LNG Pause Has Allies Worried Foreign Policy”

    They should worry. because guess what!

    Nobody cares what the vassals, puppets, lackeys and satraps think. And God help them if they look for alternatives, or fail to crack down on dissent the way Master likes.

    1. MicaT

      The EIA say there are 8 terminals in operation 5 more under construction.
      According to FERC, 17 are under construction and 5 are waiting federal approval.
      I think it’s all optics to appease the base. I’ve read such glowing news that the “pause” is so important. But looking at actual data, there is so many being built it isn’t going to make much difference if the 5 waiting approval get built or not as they would be many years out before completion. Plenty of time to be approved.

      1. chuck roast

        Ha! We got the right water on my little island…two hours of sun in the last two weeks. Deliver this fungi here and it is toast.

    1. undercurrent

      Don’t know about that, but I heard that someone is working on a script, loosely based on Vicky Nuland’s professional life. It’s working title is, They Shoot Horses Asses, Don’t They?

  21. Wukchumni

    Utah Teen Sent to Juvenile Court for Duct Taping Dead Fish to ATMs Field and Stream
    Like everybody, I reckoned it was S B-F doing mackerel trading-utilizing a confederate in the Beehive state.

  22. tegnost

    The winner for the most glaring assault on rationality was Swiss banker Hubert Keller for his lecture on how bad coffee is for the environment, with the implication that those with a conscience should be drinking far less of it (not to mention the even graver implication that the elites will one day come for our coffee entirely):

    Thanks, always looking for an excuse to make another cuppa

  23. KD

    Carl Schmitt was a Nazi legal theorist. . .

    . . . true to a point.

    A fair amount of his most-cited works precede his affiliation with the Nazi’s, and he only affiliated after they seized power, which suggests opportunism over ideology, and he was sidelined by the SS by ’38, suggesting the Nazi’s viewed him as an opportunist.

    On other hand, he refused to submit to “De-Nazification” after the Liberation of Germany, which could be chalked up to pride or ideology. Prior to the Nazi seizure of power, the evidence suggests that he wanted the Weimar conservatives to round up both the Communists and the Nazis as revolutionary threats, so in his “Catholic Conservative” period he appears to be an enemy of the Nazis. Whatever else, he does seem to side with whoever is exercising power prior to WWII, and he likes to see it exercised good and hard. He rhymes with Henry Kissinger, but obviously based on very different circumstances and different intellectual focus. After the war, with the destruction of his reputation and official suppression of his works, he was no longer in a position to court the powerful.

    The problem of Schmitt is that he was an evil genius. If you just dismiss him on the basis of the first, you miss the boat. If you embrace him on the basis of the second, you also miss the boat. His works were suppressed from ’45 until the 80’s for a reason, elites were afraid of the power of his thought. If the content of his thought was reducible to Nazi ideology, it wouldn’t have been suppressed, as you can observe plenty of copies of Mein Kampf or similar fair flying around the West for decades.

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      ive never got around to schmitt…
      but when i was a precocious, scary=smart boy….the librarian was fond of me.
      always asking for books that most adults had never even heard of(Neitszche)
      so in my reading of the enormous ’76 deluxe encyclopaedia britannica i pestered my folks into obtaining for me…i kept coming across references to a guy named Karl Marx.
      seemed rather important to understanding the history of thw world…so i asked the librarian.
      the look on her face was priceless…shock and horror…as if i had just whipped it out and peed on her desk.
      answer was…”ummmm….i dont think we have that author….”
      so i asked her to check the interlibrary loan system.
      nope…i dont see it….

      meanwhile, in the history section, there were 2 copies of Mein Kampf(which i also checked out and read as a tween,lol)

      so i didnt get to actually read Marx until i was like 19….snapped it up in a headshop in Austin.
      the Moral of this tale?
      in spite of all the high minded rhetoric, our rulers are not really all that interested in freedom of thought, or the right to read….and, in fact, are quite terrified of it.

      1. LifelongLib

        I forget if it was my high school’s copy of “Das Kapital” or “Mein Kampf” that had the preface by J. Edgar Hoover assuring parents that the book was there so students would know the enemy and not because they might take it seriously. Whichever it was I didn’t get much farther than the preface…

  24. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Biden sanctions Israeli settlers accused of attacking Palestinians and peace activists in West Bank

    From the article –

    The Israeli leader quickly denounced the sanctions. “The vast majority of settlers,” he said in a statement, ”are law-abiding citizens, many of them these days are fighting as conscripts and reservists for the defense of Israel.”

    With the caveat that I am not an international lawyer, I would have to say that since these settlers are stealing land that does not belong to Israel based on the borders set several decades ago, exactly zero percent of them are law abiding citizens. They are 100% criminals.

    That being said, what the [family blog] does GenocideJoe think banning all of four people from the US financial system is going to do? I’m quite sure Israel will make sure they continue to receive all the shekels they need, along with any automatic weapons and ammo too, the latter likely procured from Uncle Sugar. “Held accountable”, my sweet aunt fanny.

  25. Jabura Basaidai

    just curious if the ‘’ trick is working for anyone – my Firefox won’t let me use it anymore and calls it a security threat

    1. JBird4049

      I would try the various other “instances” of nitter at githhub. I really don’t understand it all except some people at Twitter/X don’t like it. I’m sure that there are other reasons, but if you go down the list you will find one that works for the moment at least.

      1. Ranger Rick

        It’s been a long, and evolving fight. My favorite nitter instance remains as it was the first to crack the code on X’s new “guest account” system and seems like the vanguard for the rest of the instances in terms of capabilities. X is quick to punish those it feels are “scraping” the site, so if your nitter instance tells you it’s rate-limited, then it’s time to switch to a new one.

        1. Revenant

 is working and quicker to type!

          If you get the rate limited message, refreshing is usually enough to find a gap in the traffic to get through.

          The biggest issue is that some but not all videos will not play in a timely fashion or occasionally at all. Weirdly UK videos play best for me in the UK so perhaps this is not rate limiting but caching/bandwidth related. is certainly asking for donations so perhaps I should make one…..

    2. Alice X

      Nitter relied on creating a large amount of “guest accounts” using proxy servers in order to fetch content.[8] The guest account feature was removed by X in January 2024, prompting the original developer of Nitter to pronounce the project “dead”.[9]

      1. Ranger Rick

        See? The next round just started. One of the things I find fascinating about this is how closing X off from the rest of the Internet risks turning X into the same thing as Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook: invisible to everyone not using it and only surfacing in terms of mindshare when a meme escapes its confines (or reporters dutifully echo something a public figure irresponsibly posted).

    3. Paradan

      Nitter is no more I believe. I didnt catch the full story, but, X or the lords of the internet or someone, did something that blocks Nitter from anonymously reading twitter and printing it out for us to read.

    4. Late Introvert has an expired certificate, but if you “Accept The Risk” and click through on Firefox it’s working fine again

      not sure what the “this instance is full” notice was about

  26. Dissident Dreamer

    85 targets hit in Iraq and Syria in response to 3 dead in Jordan.

    Escalatory? Nah.

    Proportional? Sure if you think each American is worth 2 or 300 Arabs.

    They hate you for your freedoms guys.

    1. ilsm

      The targeted militias are the same Shi’a groups instrumental in clearing Sunni groups, Daish, etc, from Mosul, etc in east Syria and west Iraq.

      The propaganda should not betray the underlying split. Who keeps Daish going.

      1. The Rev Kev

        And when ISIS makes a comeback because the US is trying to wreck these Shi’a groups, the US will announced that it is proof that the US is needed in Syria and Iraq to fight them. And the US will fight ISIS in the same way that Democrats fight for medicare for all & Roe vs Wade.

        1. ilsm

          Got to slow the Shi’a!

          ISIS/Daish was all good to Obama, until they decided to take over Mosul and environs.

          al Nusra (al Qaeda once removed) running Idlib is still okay by USA.

  27. Regis Tufarian

    Law’s Detrimental Reliance on Intermediaries

    Shorter abstract: “Don’t regulate me, Bro!”

Comments are closed.