Links 2/20/2024

A Female Stingray That Hasn’t Had a Mate in Eight Years Is Mysteriously Pregnant. Is a Shark the Father? Smithsonian (Anthony L)

Dogs in the middle ages: What medieval writing tells us about our ancestors’ pets The Conversation (Anthony L)

First time in 221 years: double brood of cicadas will emerge – and what to expect Reuters (Dr. Kevin). Too bad I will miss them. I enjoyed how loud they would be on summer nights.

Vesuvius Challenge 2023 Grand Prize awarded: we can read the first scroll! ScrollPrize (Paul R)

Inside the Biggest Art Fraud in History Smithsonian (Anthony L)

DNA From Beethoven’s Hair Reveals Surprise Some 200 Years Later ScienceAlert (Kevin W)

Measles infections and symptoms pose far more longterm risks than most realize NBC (Paul R)

‘It is shameful’: why the return of Victorian-era diseases to the UK alarms health experts Guardian (Kevin W)

Health warning over vitamin added to breakfast cereals, pasta and bread as scientists find it may be a ‘significant’ driver of heart attacks and strokes Daily Mail


A harsh truth: The world economy never recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic Globe and Mail (guurst)

How Protected Am I Against the Covid Variant JN.1? New York Times (Paul R). From last week but quite the illustration of how irresponsible Covid reporting is. Acts as if the only problem with getting Covid is a bad infection. No mention of long Covid, much the less health impairment. And only prior infection (!!!) and vaccines are depicted as “offering protection” against Covid.

Largest-ever COVID vaccine study links shot to small increase in heart and brain conditions Fox (furzy)

Study gives insight into post-exertional malaise in Long COVID patients WSWS (fk)

Viral success: McMaster researchers discover new way to protect against infections like COVID-19 BrighterWorld (ma)


Natural History Joe Costello

More Wall Street Firms Are Flip-Flopping on Climate. Here’s Why. New York Times (Kevin W)

The death of snow in America; winters are getting permanently warmer Business Insider (Kevin W). Go to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!


EU sanctions on Chinese firms ‘will have little impact on Russia’s war in Ukraine’ South China Morning Post

Taiwan says China triggered ‘panic’ by boarding tourist boat Channel News Asia

Old Blighty

From beating burglary to weight gain: 12 ways that working from home has changed Britain Guardian (Kevin W)


* * *

US proposes UN Security Council oppose Rafah assault, back temporary Gaza ceasefire ABC Australia (Kevin W). Wonder if this is OK now because Israel plans to be busy in Lebanon.

For Biden, ending Israel’s mass murder in Gaza is a ‘non-starter’ Aaron Mate

Israel/oPt: UN experts appalled by reported human rights violations against Palestinian women and girls OHCHR (ma)

* * *

Israel May Put New Restrictions on Visiting Aqsa Mosque as Ramadan Nears New York Times. Lead story.

* * *

Israel’s economy shrank at 20% rate after outbreak of war BBC. Lead story. Please see our post today for more discussion.

Houthi rebels’ attack severely damages a Belize-flagged ship in key strait leading to the Red Sea Associated Press

Perhaps in the arms trade business?

Financial Times confirms the drone downing:

War on Gaza: Indian union refuses to load ships with arms headed for Israel Middle East Eye (Kevin W)

* * *

New Not-So-Cold War

Raise your privileged hand if you’re willing to ‘fight to the last Ukrainian’ The Hill (Robin K)

Why Sanctions Haven’t Hobbled Russia New York Times. UserFriendy:

To be contrasted with THE CASE AGAINST SANCTIONS – 1982 New York Times. 40 years and we’ve done nothing but get stupider. Also, hilarious how much Europe has completely given up looking out for its own interests.

Biden’s anti-Moscow tactics have failed – Bolton RT. UserFriendly: “When you’ve lost John Bolton….”


Taliban will not take part in UN-sponsored conference on Afghanistan NHK (ma)

Pakistan’s Generals At Bay Wayward Drabbler (Userfriendly)

Western Values

Freedom to be “wrong”: the only real advantage of democracy Branko Milanovic (Micael T)



Imperial Collapse Watch

Imperialism, Globalisation and Its Discontents Jomo

Shockwaves in the Global Order Boston Review (Anthony L)

How the US is preparing to fight — and win — a war in space Vox (Kevin W)

How War in Europe Boosts the U.S. Economy Wall Street Journal (Robin K). “Butter would not melt in the WSJ’s mouth.”

GOP Clown Car

Utah’s new ‘Sovereignty Act’ sets up a process to overrule the federal government. But is it constitutional? CNN

Graham’s U-turns have Senate colleagues fed up: ‘Annoying,’ ‘tiresome’ The Hill


A Family Ranch, Swallowed Up in the Madness of the Border New York Times. The Gray Lady deigns to do some reporting and finds out that at least some of the people upset about “the border” are not nuts.

Eagle-eyed residents reveal sophisticated migrant smuggling operation at northern US border New York Post (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

West Virginia GOP Passes Deranged Bill That Could Put Librarians in Jail New Republic (furzy)

After TRT World failed to post my interview on the death of Navalny…. Gilbert Doctorow


The text file that runs the internet The Verge. Micael T: “‘But as unscrupulous AI companies seek out more and more data, the basic social contract of the web is falling apart.'”

Artificial intelligence is making critical health care decisions. The sheriff is MIA Politico (Kevin W)

Black box auditing is fine Cathy O’Neil

The Bezzle

The Economics of Media Bundling (Micael T)

Class Warfare

The Great Compression New York Times. UserFriendly: “Sad that this is all most people can afford but a good step towards solving the housing crisis.”

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Ruby Tuesday by the Rolling Stones)

    You’ve made every town a ghetto slum
    Thinking torture might make us succumb
    You kill our dads and sons and threaten us with guns
    We truly know you have to go

    Goodbye, Jewish homeland!
    That’s the Arab point of view
    Murder, mayhem, ethnic cleansing
    Nobody will miss you!

    You bombing all our homes is really dumb
    Up here’s not where we launch our missiles from
    They’re hidden out of sight and only come to light
    When off it goes — our guys are pros

    Goodbye, Jewish homeland!
    That’s the Arab point of view
    Murder, mayhem, ethnic cleansing
    Nobody will miss you!

    You kill Gaza’s ancient olive trees
    It’s time you find a home across the seas
    All the land you’ve gained by murder blood and pain
    Since ’48 is still our state

    Goodbye, Jewish homeland!
    That’s the Arab point of view
    Murder, mayhem, ethnic cleansing
    Nobody will miss you!

    Goodbye, Jewish homeland!
    That’s the Arab point of view
    Murder, mayhem, ethnic cleansing
    Nobody will miss you!

    1. John k

      A synagogue in Sfax, Tunisia, was tolerated for 400+ years following Jews being driven out of Spain by the Christian’s; a bomb went off at the entrance I think in the late 60’s. I knew a Jewish rug merchent in the Teheran souk in the mid 60’s, his family business had been there for generations. A few years later he emigrated to NYC.
      Jews lived in relative peace and tolerance in Arab lands until the mis-treatment of Palestinians became unbearable.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        Since the Jews of Arab lands had nothing to do with Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians, why did the Arabs decide to get proxy-vengeance on the Jews of Arab lands who had nothing to do with it?

        And have the Jews of Arab lands forgotten about that proxy-vengeance these few decades after it happened?

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Graham’s U-turns have Senate colleagues fed up: ‘Annoying,’ ‘tiresome’ ”

    It might be more of a case of The Hill getting annoyed and frustrated. Graham may have worked out that if a package is passed that is only for foreign countries such as the Ukraine and Israel but not any money for America aka the border, then this leaves Trump a giant lane to cruise down to discredit all those RINO Republicans and leaving them to hang out and dry this electoral year.

    1. Feral Finster

      Graham is trying to have it both ways, to please MAGA and Trump and the Team R establishment and folks like McConnell.

    2. Devon

      Why don’t “immigrants” just go to a place with plenty of land, water, opportunities and an open humanistic heart: CANADA?

      Kamala Harris, the ‘border Czar’, is a Canadian. She would be the ideal vehicle to arrange such a transnational shipment.

      While a U.S. citizen by the accidental pairing of her Jamaican father and East Indian mother and birth in Berkeley, Harris was raised and acculturated in Montreal from the second grade through college.

      1. HotFlash

        We might take her in exchange for Crystia Freeland. While we’re at it, can we swap Justin Trudeau for Justin Bieber?

      2. Rubicon

        At this stage of immigration into the US, many come here because their relatives live here and have done so for several months, years, decades.

        Move to Canada??? How many of you are from Canada? Name the cities & towns there. Aside from the bizarre politics/social structure, it’s FARRRR to cold living there. My brother,mistakenly moved there. He spends most of his life cooped up in the house because the weather is often severe. Canadian weather and the social environment have radically changed him for the worse.

        1. jrkrideau

          How many of you are from Canada? Name the cities & towns there.
          I am. Cities and towns? How many do you want?

          Port Alberni
          Dawson City
          St John
          St John’s

          That should do for a start.

          Aside from the bizarre politics/social structure

          True we don’t have a political structure copied from an agrarian UK model and unmodified in 200+ years nor do we have quite the racial and class divides you have.

          My brother,mistakenly moved there. He spends most of his life cooped up in the house because the weather is often severe.

          Most immigrants actually learn how to dress for the weather. Tell him to try Mountain Equipment Coop.

      3. jrkrideau

        IF you have already got to Canada with a legitimate refugee claim, I am bewildered as to why you would want to go to the USA.

  3. Steve H.

    > The Great Compression New York Times.

    An interesting article with an extraordinary photograph, the ‘Elm Trails subdivision’ picture which combines four elements extending to infinity. First, the tiny houses, which seem to go from the object to the subject in the article, a highly regulated freedom. The other three elements all express the contradiction in the core: to achieve this cheaper individual lifestyle, you need an automobile, which must be powered by a vast energy network, and requires extra-large trash cans for all the waste inherent in this approach.

    1. Em

      Makes for an interesting contrast to the current Chinese initiative to build 15 minute cities, where everything you need including work and healthcare is within 15 minutes walk of your home. I’m guessing the Chinese homes are actually larger in size but would require sharing walls with neighbors.

      1. Em

        YouTube has numerous channels detailing vanlife and people living in micro homes. Somehow within a generation, living out of a van in a state forest campground went from being a cautionary tale to being the new American dream.

        1. digi_owl

          Yeah i think i caught a video on a tech news page that was basically showing a young lady living out of a van refitted as a camper of sorts, working as digital nomad as she used a laptop to file some “paperwork” before stepping outside with cup in hand to catch the sunset over a nearby lake. Basically trying to present it as a life of “luxury” to be living alone out of a van.

          1. Em

            It used to be that young people in the West could easily ntake a gap year or five during or after college, support themselves on oddjobs, find themselves and maybe find a life partnern in time, then eventually get back on the career ladder and buy their white picket fence house.

            Nowadays luxury is being able to do your soul sucking corporate job, which you need to pay off your student loans, out of your bamboo paneled van with a lift bed and an expensive composting toilet. Spend hours editing happy sunset relaxation segments for Tiktok in the hopes of hitting it big enough on social media to get sponsorships from vanlife equipment manufacturers.

            And honestly, that life even sounds slightly tempting on odd-numbered days of the month.

            1. ambrit

              We, as in myself, Phyllis, and the two older girls, travelled around the North American Deep South in a 1960s Airstream trailer, pulled by the reliable old International Scout II truck back in the early 1980s. It was both an adventure, and a hardscrabble life of booms and busts.
              When I was working, we stayed in proper trailer/camper parks, etc. food was plentiful, and recreation was whatever the locality afforded.
              When work dried up, we moved on and “camped” in roadside rest stops and secluded groves way off of the beaten path.
              We were woken up one frosty morning by a pack of baying hounds. We had managed to enter a closed off hunting property during deer season. Two red vested hunters wandered up and laughed at our ragged band. “Don’t wander far kids!” one said. “Wear really bright shirts folks!” the other added. Later, a hunter dropped off some deer steaks, which Phyl marinaded overnight and cooked as a roast. We encountered quite a bit of such random kindness.
              Compared to today, we had it good. Back then, a night’s stay at a campground was about five dollars. Today I read of nightly imposts running as high as $100 USD. The range is from a low of $20 USD on up.
              As of 2020:
              So, even “living the low life” costs money in America. The alternative is to ‘sleep rough’ and gamble with your safety and health.
              Briefly, the New Deal Social Contract is dead. Now is the time of the Social Darwinians and their murderous machinations. That being said, the value of an extended social support group is more important than ever. What will survive the Jackpot will be Communities, not singletons.
              Hold those you love, and even some of those you don’t, close.
              Continue staying safe.
              PS: I’m certain that the inimitable Amfortas of Texas has some equally, if not better stories to tell. He did the van life back before the van life was cool.

                1. ambrit

                  It is a great morning here too Mr. Zelnicker.
                  Yes, the tune is close to what it was like. Being “moved on” by the local coppers is not a memory one wants to dwell on too much. (It did happen to us.) Curiously, we did not encounter much “solidarity” among the other “livers on the road.” Entropy is not our friend.
                  Selling blood in a seedy storefront “clinic” in downtown Tampa was the other side of “freedom” back then. Sitting there among the down and outers, the addicts and the untermenschen gives one a clear and precise view of the true extent of the variety inherent in a society.
                  The other end of the spectrum was the Scout Troop that came over and gave us their left over food supplies when they were leaving back for home after their campout. I was picking citrus in Florida to make some money at the time, and made all of $15 USD for a ten hour day. I came home with two bags of ruby grapefruit, since we were picking regular grapefruit and the ruby grapefruit tree was an odd man out in the grove. So, I got to take some of those home with me. (Perks!) Beans and franks and grapefruit for dinner! I still remember the taste wars that broke out in my mouth that evening.
                  Be safe and enjoy our ‘peculiar’ Winter/Spring weather.

                  1. Amfortas the Hippie

                    i lived in a van…76 vw poptop.
                    travelled all over the south for 5 or so years.
                    it was by necessity(on the lam), and the Road was not friendly, at all.
                    park in some out of the way place, where we could get away with a fire for cooking/light….and try real hard to not be noticed, let alone bother anybody.
                    where the cops were overzealous, we would sometimes just go camp out in the copshop parking lot…explaining to them<" we're right here under yer noses, and not hiding anything".
                    when i read these stories about "van life"…thats the sort of thing i look for.
                    very rarely do i see it mentioned.
                    being itinerant is almost a sin in this country…unless you're older and on the road in a fancy rv and spending your kids and grandkids inheritance.
                    and, i assume, these younger folks with their fancy vans exude an aura of wealth…unlike folks on the road because they have no choice.
                    that can be sensed by those of the cop subspecies…and makes all the difference in the world.

              1. Em

                I have wondered if there is a vanlife equivalent to Airbnb, where mortgage slaves rent out their driveway to vanlifers looking for a safe place to spend a night. Seems way easier than renting out a spare room and risk getting it trashed.

                1. ambrit

                  One thing you will see in the more “deplorable” sections of the county will be Cousin It and company living in an old, beat up RV parked behind someone’s house with utilities run out to it from the back porch. The more “upscale” locales now prohibit this by law. (Where we used to live on the Coast now restricts RV “storage” on residential lots to something like a month a year. {Can’t have those ‘deplorables’ moving in. It lowers property values!} This for the entire County.)
                  Gentrification is not your friend.

          2. Wukchumni

            I sure seem to see a lot of tricked out Sprinter vans for sale, in my travels.

            No doubt pandemic purchases that didn’t take…

            1. Em

              Interesting. I’ve been toying with buying a finished conversion van if it’s not too expensive. COVID has made plane travel really miserable and expensive, so vanlife might be the best way to get out of the house in the future. Plus it might be a post-jackpot home, if it comes to that.

      1. digi_owl

        The first thought that hit me was that they were prefabs made out of units that could fit on a container trailer.

        Another is that of British council housing, though without the row house compactness.

      2. ambrit

        A similar look to the Katrina Cottages that were built, and they were built very well, for housing after that Storm.
        Shotgun houses were for the “Po Folk.” It’s just a reversion to the mean that these styles of housing are making a comeback. Consider it an outwards manifestation of the inwards decline in the standard of living.

        1. wilroncanada

          The first time I read the term “shotgun house” was in one of James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux novels

    2. Kurtismayfield

      But we cannot dare to have Levittown or any of the other small house developments that popped up after WWII. Nope that would be socialism.

  4. The Rev Kev

    ‘Culture Critic
    Feb 17
    A thread of lesser-known architectural wonders that we lost over the ages (and what happened to them)…’

    This was an amazing structure. There must have been people that were born on that bridge, grew up, married, had children and died there. It would have been a tight knit community and certainly everybody knew each other. You could have even gone fishing from one of those windows for your dinner. The Wikipedia article gives a lot of detail on it-

    1. Benny Profane

      “You could have even gone fishing from one of those windows for your dinner.”

      Maybe, but, in an open sewer.

      1. The Rev Kev

        It’s a tidal river so I would imagine that you would fish when it is an outgoing tide that has cleared the sewerage away. But in modern times…

        I recall seeing video of a fishing boat that had parked itself directly off one of Sydney’s main sewerage outlets.

          1. The Rev Kev

            In that era, the Thames was a lot wider and spread through marshes and the like at the edges which would have helped filter that sewerage. Also, a much smaller population and no industrial pollution worth talking about.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Indeed. IIRC the Thames in central London was of consistently terrible quality only from the industrial revolution until the 1980s. It has been classed as “alive” again (fish etc) in recent years. The reason why people in recent years think it is still awful is because it looks awful but this is largely due to all the silt.

          Of course with current UK govt policy re dumping stuff in our rivers and seas we may well be going backwards again.

        2. Benny Profane

          Well, dog owners know that some animals love the taste. Maybe the fisherman consider it a big bait area.

        3. Offtrail

          At our tour of the Tower of London the Beefeater explained that the high tide picked up the sewage and brought it over to France.

  5. Jabura Basaidai

    watched Jon Stewart on UTube – 86’ing the thought of curiously watching again – no better than sycophant Colbert – or the Jimmy’s or Seth – not surprised – but do like the offer John Oliver made to Clarence Thomas –

    1. digi_owl

      It really do seem like western “culture”, with USA as the poster boy, has been stuck in a rut for the last 20 so years. That, or the Xs and Zs and whatsnot are scared white about the world their parents are leaving them to deal with and try to cling to happier days.

      1. Pat

        I would bet there are still wonderful and creative writers and comedians and artists out there, but major media are unlikely to market most of that to the public. Largely because most of those running the media are risk adverse and have no creativity or taste. Better to remake or update something. But it is also because the owners of the corporations don’t like anything that might make fun of them and/or illustrate how psychotic their preferred system is. That these rules have been in place for at least three decades mean that the artists/comedians/writers we see have been screened by this system and know the rules.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          those may be components of the decision to reign-in controversy – i think it is merely the $$$ – loss of that is the risk to which they are most adverse – TV has been a propaganda machine from its inception which is why i have not had one since 1967 – been longer than 20yrs digi and the X’s and Z’s seem too plastered to their phones to even look up and notice the world around them – i will admit to some streaming – most recent Fargo and True Detective entertaining –

    2. Wukchumni

      I was disappointed that in yeah I get it, Jon’s first chance to pillory his old nemesis and he had to go to the Putin’s a dictator-Russians earn peanuts justification to get there, otherwise it just looks like a personal vendetta.

      Here in Godzone you’ll see the very same signs along Hwy 99, there’s about 6 variations, and they all practically scream the same misguided message, and the trick is to inundate our feeble minds with quantity-not quality, that’s what propaganda is all about.

      Typical bullshit signs i’ve seen:

      When you’re in a drought, blame Pelosi for causing it!

      When you’ve got lots of water, blame Newsom for letting it go to the ocean!

      That’s kind of how it feels with the Putin hate and Navalny love sessions ongoing with Presstidigitation. If you dared suggest on main stream media that Vladimir is an intelligent man, there’d be hell to pay, and your employment.

      By the way, in driving up and down Hwy 99 last week from Bakersfield to Visalia, I didn’t see any Trump 2024 signage, nothing.

      1. hk

        For all the talk about how unpopular Biden is, you’d have to wonder how unpopular Trump is (and, for that matter, Haley, too). Biden’s personal disapproval and the wrong direction-right direction poll numbers suggest that he should be doing quite a bit worse. Instead, polls are showing just tiny leads for Trump or less. In 2016, there were genuine hidden votes for Trump, in form of voters less likely to turn out, but are the polls still understating Trump’s support? I’m inclined to doubt that.

        1. Pat

          My own opinion is that what is really going to decide this is not going to be new voters or voters jumping from one candidate to another. No, it is going to be who loses more of the voters they had in 2020. The ones who aren’t buying either Biden or Trump’s manure. Ones that stay home, or leave the top of the ballot blank, or vote third party or write in for the first time.

      2. Jabura Basaidai

        WOW that’s serious signage – out in the hinterland in the mitten state you sometimes see stars & bars – getting curious about what’s going to happen with Drumpf – he’s still a hit in this state –

      3. Jabura Basaidai

        Jon’s always had a hair across his a$$ for Tucker – cheap shot ad hominen attack on Putin lowbrow BS

    3. Partyless poster

      That “price of freedom” BS is the very lowest form of propaganda.
      I will never watch Jon Stewart again he is dead to me.

  6. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    Quite an incredible thing for Blinken to say:

    “When it comes to strategic competition – and there’s no doubt that we have one with China – there are a few things to be said. First, we have an obligation to manage that relationship responsibly, and I think that’s something that we hear from countries around the world, and it’s clearly in our interest to do so, and that’s exactly what President Biden is doing. And when it comes to other countries, the point is not to say to country X, Y, or Z, ‘You have to choose’; the point is to offer a good choice. And if we can do that – and I believe we can and we have and will continue – then I think the choice becomes fairly self-evident.”

    So… the point IS that countries have to choose!

    12:16 AM · Feb 20, 2024

  7. Benny Profane

    This may sound catty, but the western media is on a tear mourning Navalnaya as some sort of saint, and now the baton has been passed on to his wife to carry on with the cause, whatever that was. This is the top story at the NYT right now: Wife, Protector and Now Political Heir: Yulia Navalnaya Rallies Russians
    My question is, since I’ve seen comments that she had moved on to a new boyfriend, is there truth to this rumour?

      1. R.S.

        “Our platform’s defense mechanism against manipulation and spam mistakenly flagged @yulia_navalnaya as violating our rules.”

        I read it as “too many bots”. She’s apparently that popular.

      1. Benny Profane

        So, she’s going to do this regime change thing from a mansion in London, and interviews on the BBC? Such a brave woman.

        If Zelensky and the wife make it out alive, maybe they can move in next door with our cash in a suitcase. Hang out together. I imagine a Honeymooners like situation. The Brits like their serial comedies. The BBC could get on it.

        I’ll bet America outside the bubble was more fascinated with the gold Trump sneakers.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Don’t be surprised if after the war, that the west sets up a Russian “Government in Exile” with Yulia as its spokesperson.

          1. ДжММ

            We still have the Belarus “government in exile” (remember Sveta?) living on the dole over in Vilnius…

        2. Wukchumni

          I’ll bet America outside the bubble was more fascinated with the gold Trump sneakers.

          Gilty, as charged…

        3. Em

          Coming this fall, the long anticipated new season of “Servant of the People”. Now with Yulia Navalnaya. Guest staring Benjamin Netanyahu (from the Hague) and 99 busts of Stephan Bandera! Watch as they dodge the FSB assassins, Khamas terrorists, Code Pink grannies, and Marie Kondo (“look, 99 Bandera busts is too many, you hardly have any closet space left”).

          Special crossover episode with “Biden: Dead European Politician Medium”

    1. ilsm

      This AM, CBS affiliate radio does the Navalny sanctity bit with arrests of mourners in Russia, etc.

      Two stories down does a bit on Assange’s arraignment.


    2. Carolinian

      As the election season cranks up it’s going to be Russia Russia Russia again to stop the dread Donald. Trump will be in upstate SC today and the local Dem party spokesperson said he is here to do Putin’s bidding or words to that effect. Democracy dies in darkness so you must have gaslight.

      1. Feral Finster

        Facts, evidence, logic or basic sense do not matter to those who control the narrative.

        If facts, evidence, etc. are convenient at the moment, then they will use them. If not, they will be memory-holed and other facts inserted in their place.

      2. Screwball

        There are Tweets trending today of Nancy Pelosi on the Jen Psaki show (must be recently – sorry I missed it). She was asked what Putin has on Trump. You can imagine the drivel that follows. These people are so utterly disgusting.

        Russiagate – the gift that will never go away.

    3. Wukchumni

      Half of what you say is meaningless
      But please say it so the masses can reach you, Yulia

      Yulia, Yulia
      BBC calls you
      So you sing a song of love

      Yulia, dancers eyes
      Golden Billion calls you
      So you sing a song of love

      Her London lair is shimmering
      Glimmering in the sun

      Yulia, Yulia
      Mourning Alexei, died for democracy
      So you sing a song of love

      When you cannot X anymore
      You can only speak according to your minders, Yulia

      Yulia, sleeping around?
      Silent on the cloud, out of touch
      So much for singing a song of love

      Hmm-hmm-hmm his spirit
      Calls ye
      So he sings a song of love
      For Yulia

      Julia, by the Beatles

    4. Dr. John Carpenter

      Until his death, I really don’t remember hearing much at all about the now sainted Navalnaya at all. Maybe I’m not following Russia/Putin as closely as I though. I consider myself pretty well informed, at least more so than the average USAian (which probably means I’m still uniformed on most things, HA!)

      I don’t know what others experience is with this, but mine sure tracks with things I’ve read indicating Navalnaya was a pretty minor figure, nowhere close to this righteous freedom fighter feared by Putin. Seems like another grifter propped up by the West to me.

      1. CA

        “Until his death, I really don’t remember hearing much at all about…”

        An important comment, but arbitrary hero creation is precisely the technique used to try to undermine and ruin foreign governments of which the United States disapproves. Look to the way in which the US created heroes in Hong Kong, when it was thought the symbolism might undermine the provincial government. Bring Nathan Law to Congress, then send Nathan Law to Yale to ready him for control of Hong Kong.

        1. digi_owl

          Or that coup attempt in Venezuela, where the west was trying to elevate Guaidó. Only for the whole thing to faceplant and the guy hoofing it to Florida.

      2. R.S.

        AFAIR her husband was the only reason she appeared anywhere. There were two much more prominent female figures around Navalny, Maria Pevchikh and Lyubov Sobol.

    5. Lee

      I don’t know about all that but the images I’m seeing on the Google news feeding trough of Navalny’s face engulfed by a floral display are truly creepy as if he is being consumed alive by flesh eating plants. Maybe it’s an AI generated image.

  8. SocalJimObjects

    The Houthis continue their reign at the top of my MVP (Most Valuable Players) ranking. What’s next? A US Navy destroyer?

    1. The Rev Kev

      You can bet that both the Pentagon and Whitehall are freaking out about the possibility of a sunk naval warship or one badly damaged. The optics would be humiliating and would show other nations that western warships are actually quite vulnerable to attack. And you can bet that the Russian, Chinese and Iranian Navies are taking extensive notes.

        1. digi_owl

          It was known since WW2 at least, and improvements in missile tech has only made the situation clearer.

          Midway for example was a pure air battle, with the ships acting as targets and AA platforms.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        I think there has already been plenty of humiliation. How much did all those cruise missiles they launched into the desert sand cost? And what about the B-52 runs, those can’t be cheap.

        And it did nothing, a British cargo ship possibly full of weapons meant for Ukraine (speculation) or maybe ammonia ended up down in Davey Jones locker. Some insurer is freaking out this morning as they’re on the hook for a big payout.

        1. Wukchumni

          The hope is that by using flat bottomed vessels with practically no side profile made entirely out of bundles of Benjamins as transport in the Red Sea, that we can more effectively waste money on war.

          1. Dessa

            Are you gonna take me down tonight?
            Oh, down below the red sea tides?
            Are you gonna make it all spill out?
            Flat bottom boats, don’t make me go the long way round

  9. Robert Gray

    Craig Murray has a Road to Rafah epiphany.

    > The genocide in Gaza – or more precisely the major NATO powers’ active and practical support
    > for the genocide in Gaza – has forced me to re-evaluate my views on Ukraine in a manner more
    > sympathetic to the Russian narrative. … I now think Putin was justified in the invasion.

    Better late than never, I suppose.

    1. ilsm

      US nukes 400 miles from Moscow!

      A lot cheaper than flying B-2’s from Missouri!

      To say nothing about doing a West Bank level culture destruction in Donbas…..

      1. The Rev Kev

        If the US was able to establish nukes in the Ukraine, then there would have been only 7 minutes of reaction time till those nukes hit Moscow meaning zero reaction time. And right there is the main reason why Russia went into the Ukraine two years ago.

        1. ambrit

          Add to which, truly delusional Neocons imagining that America could win an atomic exchange with Russia. Roughly, Russia would have to imagine that any ballistic missile launch from the Ukraine was an atomic strike against the Rodina. With such a short flight time involved, they would have to assume the worst and immediately launch a full strategic counterstrike.
          Result, end of world as we know it.
          The American Neocons are stepping up their game. Now they play with nuclear fire.

        2. digi_owl

          And yet USA fails to see that this would be no different than say China or Russia parking nukes in Canada or Mexico. To the point that Lavrov so much as musing about Russian troops in Mexico makes DC spout rage fueled nonsense.

        1. ilsm

          Lots of money to be made with “evolving” systems like Patriot, THAAD, Aegis ashore (vertical launchers which fit nuclear cruise missiles as easily as SM-X interceptors…..)

          Then a whole new line of “point defense” interceptor systems…..

          Russians playing a similar game.

          The idea of “fighting” a nuclear armed adversary is typical neocon craziness, they believe their own fiction.


          1. CA

            Remember that military spending is now running at $1,021.8 trillion yearly:


            July, 2023

            Projected Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2023 to 2032

            The Congressional Budget Office updates its projections of the 10-year costs of U.S. nuclear forces every two years. This report contains CBO’s projections for the 2023–2032 period.

            If carried out, the plans for nuclear forces delineated in the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) and the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) fiscal year 2023 budget requests, submitted in April 2022, would cost a total of $756 billion over the 2023–2032 period, or an average of just over $75 billion a year, CBO estimates.

      2. digi_owl

        B-2s are already stationed in UK i believe.

        At at the very least there were news about them coming from there while practicing alongside Norwegian and Swedish jets last year.

    2. Daniil Adamov

      “The suppression of the Russian language, of Russian Orthodox religion and of the main pro-Russian opposition political party in Ukraine are simple facts. These I have always acknowledged: until I saw the positive enthusiasm of leaders of the Western states for massacre in Gaza, I was not convinced they could not have been addressed by diplomacy and negotiation.”

      Everything else aside, this was certainly naive. Whether the invasion was justified or not, negotiation with either Ukraine or Western countries about such matters was clearly not an option for the near future.

      1. jrkrideau

        The suppression of the Russian language, …

        I am from Canada. I found this an incredibly naive statement. It was clear to me the instant Kiev dropped the Russian language as an official language in Ukraine that we were looking at a civil war. I just wondered how the USA/NATO managed to get the Kiev Gov’t to do such a stupid thing.

  10. Wukchumni

    With a little cheap high tech and some legal tenderness
    We’ll walk upon the water
    We’ll rise above the mess
    With a little money and some harmony of purpose on display
    We’ll make the world go round the cape
    We’ll take ’em by drone there-done that

    ‘Cause I’ve got a ban for you
    Oh, ’cause I wanna run you out

    Yesterday in the Red Sea, I saw you standing there
    Your guard was down, your watch wasn’t wary
    No harm had touched your lair
    I said “Get up, and let me see you smolder
    We’ll take it out together
    Wok the load a while, ’cause”

    I’ve got a ban for you (I’ve got a ban for you)
    I wanna run you out
    (Won’t you let me run you out, Bibi?)

    Bomb my land
    You want to bomb my land
    Bomb my land
    I’ll take you to a place where you can’t be
    Bomb my land
    Anything you wanna do because
    I wanna retaliate against you the best that
    The best that I can

    See, The war with the Saudis was the wasting time
    ‘Til I thought about your genocide problems, I thought about your crimes
    Then I stood up, and then I screamed aloud
    I don’t wanna be part of your problems
    Don’t wanna be part of your crowd, no

    I’ve got a ban for you (I’ve got a ban for you)
    I wanna run you out
    (Won’t you let me run you out, Bibi?)

    Hold My Hand, by Hootie and the Blowfish

  11. The Rev Kev

    ‘Al-Estiklal English
    In the wake of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva’s controversial remarks equating Israel’s conflict with Hamas to the Holocaust’

    It’s amazing when you think about it. Lula comes out and uses the H word and the heavens do not fall down on him at all. For eighty years Israel has been using the Holocaust as an excuse for whatever they were doing but it looks like that because of this war, most nations are not buying it anymore. They see Israel committing a genocide and actually boast about it and that is something that you cannot unsee. They may well become the apartheid South Africa of the 21st century.

    1. CA

      “In the wake of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva’s controversial remarks equating Israel’s conflict with Hamas to the Holocaust…”

      President Reagan referred directly to the Holocaust in instructing Israel to cease bombing Lebanon. *


      August 13, 1982

      By Bernard Weinraub

    2. cousinAdam

      Over on Substack, Andrew Korybko’s Newsletter takes exception to the Nazi’s genocide of just “the Jews”.
      “In fact, the first prisoners in Auschwitz were Polish political ones who arrived in June 1940, and the “Final Solution” to genocide the Jews wasn’t made until a year later. By the end of World War II, approximately 1/5 of the prewar Polish population was genocided (around 6 million out of 30 million), half of whom were Jews. “ Korybko makes the case that Lula unwittingly played into a favorite Zionist talking point – that the Holocaust was primarily a genocide of Jews- other ethnicities barely rate a mention (YMMV)

      1. cousinAdam

        I thought the comment went poof ‘cause I didn’t see the editing countdown. The section in quotes was supposed to be the one italicized. C’est la guerre.

  12. flora

    re: Why Sanctions Haven’t Hobbled Russia – New York Times.

    (adjusting my foil bonnet). What if the sanctions were really meant to hurt NA and EU instead of RU? How was your last trip to the grocery store? How’s that inflation going? In the same way it looks like the Patriot Act, sold as terrierist deterrent against foreigners turns out to be an expansion of domestic illegal spying and other domestic Bill of Rights violations. (removing foil bonnet.) / ;)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The academic research on sanctions is so well done it’s clear it’s entirely performative when discussing regime change or policy goals. No one sane at State thinks they will work. This is 101 stuff with the exception of South Africa which was a very different animal. They just gambled Russia would fold when their red line was crossed. Now, they simply need to keep the lie up. The first person to break will be pilloried, but at some point, someone will be blamed and it will most likely be someone with a record of not clapping loud enough. The rationale are all trying to not be in either group. Western politicians are so sick it’s “bold” to call for an end to genocide. Guys like Larry Summers weren’t threatening college students but people with government jobs, and the gig economy isn’t too attractive.

      The irrational like Hillary simply can’t conceive the world has moved on.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I actually think the thinking was different albeit still stoopid.

        Russia had a banking crisis in the later 1990s, right after the Asian crisis, and so it got less attention. Still bad enough to require an IMF rescue and all that entailed. Russia pulled out of it better than expected and also got out of the IMF program early.

        Point was that happened because Russian banks had a lot of foreign funding, so when the rouble fell back then, they could not roll their foreign borrowings, or at least not on terms that worked.

        I recall when the 2022 sanctions were applied, there were widespread expectations that Russian banks would collapse. Not only did that not happen but I do not recall the Russian central bank making any bank rescues ( you can be sure the Western press would have been all over any).

        So…I think no one looked at the Russian banks to see they were not dependent or even meaningful users of foreign funds!

        1. CA

          China’s GDP in 2023, is 32.4% larger than the GDP of European Union countries and 24.7% larger than the GDP of the US. There were other cushions for Russia, but China was just what was needed:

          August 4, 2014

          Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China and Russia, 1990-2022

          (Percent change)

          August 4, 2014

          Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China and Russia, 1990-2022

          (Indexed to 1990)

    2. digi_owl

      That is Michael Hudson’s take i believe.

      One may also see them as a fealty test for the European leadership, in how much they are willing to let their nations bleed for Wall Street.

  13. Alice X

    ~Vesuvius Challenge 2023 Grand Prize awarded: we can read the first scroll!

    From maybe an Epicurean:

    Scholars might call it a philosophical treatise. But it seems familiar to us, and we can’t escape the feeling that the first text we’ve uncovered is a 2000-year-old blog post about how to enjoy life.

    Amazing to uncover texts that never were to be or could be recopied and thus transmitted to us over the centuries. Especially Epicureans who so fell out of favor with Christianity, one of a number of reasons I like them.

  14. The Rev Kev

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Last week Lindsey Graham said that Russia should be designated as a sponsor of terrorism. But now Graham has ‘now been added to the Moscow’s list of extremists and terrorists, local media reported on Tuesday. Graham is entry number 3967, according to the Federal Financial Monitoring Service, the Russian agency responsible for the list.’

    Russia is getting real good at trolling lately.

  15. Carolinian

    Re the Lee Fang spooks for Haley article

    Jon Lerner, one of Haley’s closest campaign strategists, is a member of the Vandenberg Coalition, a neoconservative group founded at the beginning of Biden’s presidency attempting to revive support for greater U.S. military engagement overseas.

    Main takeaway: Haley has strategists? Perhaps this explains the mystery of her persistence and with ex spook strategists on hand the failure of the lawfare “regime change scenario” will lead to plan B. That would be, in the immortal words of Hillary Clinton, “can’t we just drone him.”

    This is all wild speculation on my part of course but if Trump looks up and sees red lights in the sky he better duck.

    1. Lee

      Your wild speculation makes sense. Haley’s backers are placing their bets on the possibility of Trump being prevented from running by death, disability, or dungeoning. I think the main thing standing between Trump and some form of untimely demise are his tens of millions of his supporters.

      I’m so far behind in my reading that I just now read Listen Liberal. They didn’t and now they have to listen to Trump and his minions instead.

  16. The Rev Kev

    🇺🇦☣️ UKRAINE USING U.S-MADE CHEMICALS THAT CAN CAUSE CARDIAC ARREST AGAINST RUSSIAN SOLDIERS – Russia again warns of US-Ukraine diabolical chemical warfare war crimes.’

    Anybody think that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will get involved and will send in teams of investigators? Later on this officer added-

    ‘He added that plans for such a large-scale use of toxic chemicals were evidenced by the fact that Kiev had asked the EU to supply it with hundreds of thousands of antidotes, gas masks and other personal protective equipment in 2024. That’s in addition to 600,000 ampules of organophosphorus antidotes, and 750,000 bottles of drugs for the detoxification of mustard gas, lewisite and hydrocyanic acid derivatives that were supplied by NATO countries in 2023.

    “It is obvious that the volumes requested by Ukraine are excessive for a country that does not have chemical weapons,” Kirillov stated.

    There has been no response from the OPCW despite all of this evidence being presented to the organization four months ago, the general said, accusing it of being run by Washington as a tool to target its political opponents.’

    1. Feral Finster

      Ukraine could nerve gas toddlers, just because, and nobody in the West would raise so much as a peep in protest, except maybe to blame Russia.

    2. Aurelien

      It’s probably a reference to this programme, but I can’t clink through the rt link. That was at a point when the two sides were each accusing each other of getting ready to blow up nuclear power stations. I can’t find any independent evidence of this request, and it’s not clear why it would be addressed to the EU and not NATO, which has a CBRN protection capability.

      If Ukraine did make such a request, it would almost certainly be to help create the impression that the Russians were contemplating using CW, and so garner more political support. The numbers themselves are not that excessive: the “ampules” are probably single-use atropine injectors, and soldiers would carry several of them each in an environment where there was a CW threat. By definition of course, the OPCW doesn’t concern itself with transfers of defensive equipment.

  17. The Rev Kev

    ‘Why you should have a cat
    He even hides so they won’t get scared 🥺’

    Now that is a great video clip and it is amazing to see the look of concentration on that cat’s face as he checks out the birds coming in for a feed.

    1. Wukchumni

      Einstein (the brains of the outfit) and I just reached parity in ages the other day, he’s gonna be 11 in a few months and in cat years he’s 62. Acts more like he’s 40.

  18. Pat

    Does anyone else think Bolton has read the signs and is now maybe trying to get back in Trump’s good graces? Perhaps it is because I don’t think it is possible for John to give up on destructive and psychopathic policies for ethical reasons so there has to be something else happening. I just can’t see him doing it except for personal benefit

    1. Feral Finster

      No, he simply thinks Biden is not being vicious and aggressive enough, quickly enough.

      Anyway, Trump is weak, stupid and easily manipulated. Haley was a vociferous never-Trumper in 2016. Trump rewarded her by making her UN Ambassador. Doubtless Bolton could do yet another U-turn.

      For someone who supposedly so values loyalty, Trump sure is quick to forgive.

    2. Daniil Adamov

      Bolton (refreshingly compared to many American politicians, I’d say) does not claim to have ethical quibbles, just practical ones. The article also cites him as saying neither Biden nor Trump have got what it takes. I think he’s just being true to his hawkier-than-thou image. Must be fun for him.

  19. Wukchumni

    Vesuvius Challenge 2023 Grand Prize awarded: we can read the first scroll! ScrollPrize

    What a great story, with prize money for the winners, and a good use for AI! (////skirts off to the side to avoid incoming brickbats}

    I’ve been to Pompeii & Herculaneum many times, and the scrolls come from the latter location, and they’re so different in that Pompeii was inland and quite spread out, where Herculaneum is more akin to Malibu, and to get there you get off the train in Ercolano and walk about 1/2 a mile through the modern city to get to a ramp down to the goods. The modern city street you walk on is maybe 300-400 feet above what must be more of Herculaneum.

    Last time we were there, we were inside a 2 story house with the stairway still intact, and my wife said something like ‘if I could only walk up there…’ and the docent made an approving glance and uttered ‘presto-presto’ as she walked up the flight.

    One thing many miss after visiting either location is really the coup d’grasp of being stuck in time one fine day in 79 AD, in that an awful lot of cool stuff unearthed in both sites are on display @ the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.

    1. Alice X

      Well, visiting the sites would be far preferable to just reading and viewing pictures, as with yours truly. :-)

  20. Feral Finster

    Simplicus: “UKRAINE USING U.S-MADE CHEMICALS THAT CAN CAUSE CARDIAC ARREST AGAINST RUSSIAN SOLDIERS – Russia again warns of US-Ukraine diabolical chemical warfare war crimes.”

    So, what does Russia propose to do about it? Screaming “no fair!” isn’t going to stop Ukraine or its western sponsors.

    Overwhelming force will.

  21. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: Ask Gates, “Why we don’t just plant more trees”?
    I guess Mr. Bill expects a lot of sh!t to hit the fan when it does.

  22. .Tom

    Military Summary says that Z is preparing to negotiate, that he’s touring the front line commanders asking how long they can hold their positions, that this tells him how long he has to negotiate before the country gets significantly smaller. That part is between minutes 18 and 20

    1. Feral Finster

      Would to God that this proves correct, but we have heard confident reports of imminent victory for two years now.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Dima is very good on the battlefield, not on politics. He has frankly made a lot of bad calls.

      Zelensky absolutely cannot negotiate. First, he had the Ukraine constitution amended so that Ukraine cannot negotiate with Russia as long as Putin is President. I am not making that up.

      Second, if Zelensky were to try to negotiate with Russia, the Nazis would kill him. If they failed, the MI6 would get him and try to blame it on Putin. Note that is what can be expected even if “negotiating” means accepting Russian terms, as in surrender.

      Third, Russia is not going to waste its time negotiating with Ukraine. The Istanbul talks confirmed Ukraine is a vassal. You do not negotiate with the monkey. You negotiate with the organ grinder. Biden and the Blob will never negotiate with Russia.

      1. .Tom

        Yes, I was wondering about the same three things.

        In the talk with Carlson, Putin described Ukraine’s limit on negotiation as a presidential decree that Z could undo if he wanted. I had previously understood as you describe, it that it would require a constitution change. But surely if the will were really there then I don’t think Ukraine’s democratic institutional integrity would stand in the way. They’ve done pretty wacky unconstitutional stuff in the past.

        Second, yes. And then I wondered if this is what Syrskyi and the big military reshuffle and sending 3rd Brig. (Azov) into Avdiivka is all about. Does it mean Z is now looking to discipline the Nazis? It is a necessary step to make pace with Russia anyway. Which leads to…

        Third, again, yes. But what if Z and Putin were to do some sort of a deal because they know that Biden won’t. And therefore years of humiliation of NATO and destruction of Ukraine will be required before the Blob starts to yield and Z sees that he and Ukraine is better off on the Russian side as that humiliation progresses. Maybe his recent tour abroad convinced him the party’s going to be over soon. Could he see switching sides as his best option in what will follow?

        I expect you’re right, Yves. I just have these flights of fancy sometimes. It amounts to Z coming to terms with the fact that the West is insane, the East has the upper hand, and he’s in the middle. Not likely.

        1. Polar Socialist

          I had previously understood as you describe, it that it would require a constitution change.

          Two different things, really.

          There are several presidential degrees by Zelensky (ruling like a true defender of democracy, eh?) banning peace negotiations with Russia by any Ukrainian while Putin is president of Russia, banning any diplomatic contacts with Russia and so on. Juvenile stuff.

          Then there’s the NATO membership clause in the constitution that technically prevents accepting peace terms demanding neutrality and staying out of NATO.

      2. Michaelmas

        Yves S. : Biden and the Blob will never negotiate with Russia.

        That won’t help them. The NYT has been leading the last couple of hours with what’s below, which seems to be edging into ‘the war has not developed entirely to Ukraine’s advantage’ mode —

        Hundreds of Ukrainian Troops Feared Captured or Missing in Chaotic Retreat: The fall of Avdiivka to Russia may be more significant than it initially seemed as Ukraine struggles with morale and recruitment
        archived —

        …some soldiers and Western officials said a failure to execute an orderly withdrawal, and the chaos that unfolded Friday and Saturday as the defenses collapsed, was directly responsible for what appears to be a significant number of soldiers captured.

        They said the Ukrainian withdrawal was ill-planned and began too late. The soldiers and Western officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence assessments that are at odds with Ukrainian government statements

        … Based on interviews with soldiers, Ukraine’s forces were unprepared for how quickly the Russian advance in Avdiivka gathered speed last week….

        And so on. In the US, May 4th will be Super Tuesday if Ukraine has entered the final phase of ‘very slowly, then all at once.’

      3. Kouros

        I thought the constitutional amendment was with respect to Ukraine oining NATO, not Ukraine negociating peace with Putin, which is just a presidential executive order.

  23. MaryLand

    Re niacin contributing to heart disease

    Niacin is in most multivitamins and various foods including “enriched” breads and cereals, peanut butter, nutritional yeast, some fish and meats. It seems easy to get too much.

    I have read over the summary in Nature, but I don’t see a recommended amount of niacin. Has anyone parsed that out?

    Here is the Nature article:

    1. CanCyn

      From the graphic in the Daily Mail article:
      According to the NHS, the recommended daily allowance of niacin is 16.5mg for men and 13.2mg for women.

    2. Lefty Godot

      Health warning over vitamin added to breakfast cereals, pasta and bread as scientists find it may be a ‘significant’ driver of heart attacks and strokes

      Godot’s Law: Any scientific or medical news article with the verbs “Could”, “May” or “Might” in the headline can have “Not” inserted immediately after those verbs without changing the meaning of the headline or contradicting the content of the article, at all.

      Godot’s Corollary: Any scientific or medical news article that mentions a “link” between two phenomena will use language that strongly implies there is a causal relation even if a discreet disclaimer against that conclusion is included somewhere in the article.

  24. CA

    There was just a vote in the UN Security Council for a ceasefire in Gaza. The vote was 13 in favor, UK abstained and US voted against. So the majority vote for a Gaza ceasefire failed because of the opposition of President Biden.

    1. Wukchumni

      To be fair, the coalition of the unwilling on our side included some really important countries, i’m so sure.

      The U.S. said the cease-fire resolution would jeopardize efforts to broker a hostage-release deal. (NYT)

      Our captors in the Knesset will never free us…

      1. CA

        Our captors in the Knesset will never free us…

        [ Notice the fate of a lonely Congressional voice for peace, as a competitor is selected by AIPAC:

        February 12, 2024

        A Left-vs.-Left House Battle, Funded by a Split Over Israel
        Wesley Bell, a leader in the progressive prosecutors movement, will take on Representative Cori Bush of Missouri, in St. Louis.
        By Jonathan Weisman ]

    2. Feral Finster

      My comment as follows:

      The Biden Administration exhibit behaviors indistinguishable from those of sociopaths. Once you understand this basic fact, everything they say and do comes into clear focus.

      Keep this in mind, every single time you hear them express pity for the suffering people of Palestine. Ignore their crocodile tears. What they in fact do is far more telling.

      Finster’s First Law readeth thusly: no matter how cynical you are, the people who run things are way more cynical than that.

    3. Alice X

      Here is Aljazeera

      US vetoes another UN Security Council resolution urging Gaza war ceasefire


      Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, said her country was vetoing the resolution over concerns it would jeopardise talks between the US, Egypt, Israel and Qatar that seek to broker a pause in the war and the release of hostages held by Hamas.

      She rejected claims that the veto was a US effort to cover for an imminent Israeli ground invasion into the southernmost Gazan city of Rafah, where some 1.4 million displaced people are sheltering.

      Yeah, right!

  25. CA

    I may lack enough historical perspective to properly understand, but my understanding so far is that the Biden administration is the most militaristically belligerent administration in American history. I am repeatedly shocked and appalled.

      1. elviejito

        I dunno. There’s lots of other choices: The genocide of the indigenous “American” population… the annexation of half of Mexico… etc., etc., etc.

  26. Cat Burglar

    I had plans to go to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan this winter for a cross-country ski race — there wasn’t enough snow, or freezing temperatures! If there isn’t snow and cold in a Marquette winter, things are truly dislocated.

    Yes, they did run the race on a reduced course (25 instead of 50km), so people had a good time. But one week out, it was looking like the lake crossings on the normal long course might not freeze thick enough, and there was plenty of snow out west, so I stayed home.

    A friend of mine is heading to Wisconsin today to ski the American Birkebeiner — there is just a skiff of snow on the ground there, and the organizers have somehow stockpiled enough snow to create a 10km loop that contestants can ski three times, instead of the normal 55km course. Since the race began in the 70s, only two have been canceled because of an absence of snow.

    1. Offtrail

      I have a client near Buffalo(!) who recently said he had to drive to the Adirondacks to find enough snow for his snowmobile. And even there, there wasn’t much.

  27. Feral Finster

    Just as I said, right on cue. I wish I were wrong.

    Germany probably intends to transfer Taurus missiles to Ukraine, DPA writes.

    According to the agency, the ruling coalition has prepared a secret proposal to supply Ukraine with ammunition, vehicles and weapons systems.

    There is no direct mention of the Taurus, but it is written about the supply of “additional long-range weapon systems and ammunition necessary to enable Ukraine to carry out targeted attacks on strategically important targets far behind the Russian aggressor’s lines.”

    This description fits the Taurus, which is capable of hitting targets at a distance of more than 500 km.

    The Bundestag is planning to vote on this aid package this week.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Russian air defenses have already had their practice with Storm Shadow, which is about the same size and range. And as of now, Ukraine doesn’t possess any fighters capable of launching Taurus.

      Germany could be ordering JFS-M missiles from MBDA, which can be launched from M270 Ukraine has. It would probably take many months for MBDA to actually deliver them, though.

  28. Tom Stone

    Objectively speaking the Biden Administration is Bonkers.
    Or Bananas, if you prefer.
    Which is appropriate for a Banana Republic.

  29. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “Viral success: McMaster researchers discover new way to protect against infections like COVID-19”

    This is an intriguing public relations release, although the lack of reference to any research paper[s] further describing the work was disappointing — but not sufficiently disappointing to motivate a search.

    I believe that once some basic research is done to better elucidate the detailed operation of the human immune system and other animal and plant immune systems, new approaches to the treatment and prevention of viral infections will be needed to deal with future pandemics. Viruses, possibly aided by witting and unwitting human help, appear poised to overpower existing anti-viral drugs and existing approaches to vaccines. I believe viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites can evolve much more rapidly than the human immune system. Besides, evolution of the human immune system incurs high costs in human health and life.

    I believe researchers are on the verge of far better understanding of peptide and protein structures, their structures, design, construction, and details of their functional operation. I believe Humankind may be able to augment the human immune system and other animal and plant immune systems with novel means for defeating pathogens, including the more virulent diseases I fear might darken the future world. I have qualms about the DNA based aptamers the McMasters researchers are working with used as antibodies. I suspect both DNA and RNA are especially dangerous tools for such applications. They are too close to the more complex operations of the cell. And I am very concerned at the deterioration of Science and Research as both science and research fall prey to Neoliberalism. Of course drug testing and safety are another very great and growing concern.

    [I did see that the McMasters aptamers had been designed as a means for implementing a rapid test for the Corona flu. That approach was similar to other means for implementing a rapid test for Corona flu I recall from around the same time (2022) when I recall Berkley and/or? Purdue had issued press releases about very similar techniques for implementing rapid field deployable tests for Corona flu. For reasons unknown, none of these approaches received much in the way of funding and as far as I know none found their way into practice outside of a research lab.]

  30. spud

    the harsh truth article should say that free trade collapsed in 2008, just as predicted it would collapse, because this is not the first time its collapsed, and has free trade recovered since 2008? maybe not.

    that collapse is the inevitable results of massive debts, massive poverty, and massive inequality that are the only results you ever get from free trade.

    when you have your sovereignty as russia has now, you can use that as a case study into how to buy banana’s.

Comments are closed.