Links 2/21/2024

“No Beginners Allowed’: A Midwestern Paradise for Skiers Who Dare New York Times (Dr. Kevin). I praised the snow in the Upper Peninsula yesterday, and lookie this!

Massacre As Great White Shark Allowed To Compete In Women’s 500 Freestyle Babylon Bee (Chuck L)

Paleontological analysis shows renowned fossil thought to show soft tissue preservation is in fact just paint PhysOrg (Chuck L)

‘Beyond what’s possible’: New JWST observations unearth mysterious ancient galaxy Swinburne University of Technology (Chuck L)

The Brightest Quasar Ever Seen Eats a ‘Sun’ Every Day Scientific American (furzy)

NYC skyscrapers to meet at the top with skybridge and infinity pool New Atlas (furzy). Ugly!

Is Philosophy Self-Help? The Point (Anthony L)

Getting rid of bed bugs: Trickier than ever Knowable Magazine. Republished with sexier headline: The ‘Unthinkable’ New Reality About Bedbugs Atlantic (Dr. Kevin)

To Live Longer, Women Need Half as Much Exercise as Men Time (furzy)


More of this please:


Biden is realising just how unpopular green EVs are – with help from the unions Telegraph (BC)

Legislators propose extension of bipartisan Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to 2031 WWMT – News Channel 3, Kalamazoo, Michigan


Pettis has a grim prognosis, not that China will crash, but it needs to make changes that it seems very unlikely to implement to restore a decent level of growth:

Thai Land Bridge bid straddles a delicate US-China line Asia Times (Kevin W)


Farmers Protest LIVE updates: ‘Centre ready to discuss MSP, stubble issue,’ says Arjun Munda Hindustan Times

India: Police fire tear gas as farmers resume march to Delhi DW

Haiti president’s widow charged in assassination plot Reuters (furzy)


‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 137: Israel builds highway cutting Gaza Strip in two Mondoweiss

UNICEF says 1 in 6 children in northern Gaza are acutely malnourished as Israel maintains deadly blockade ahramonline (BC)

UN suspends food aid in northern Gaza Middle East Eye (BC)

US vetoes call for immediate Gaza ceasefire at UN BBC (Kevin W)

Another Indefensible U.S. Veto at the United Nations Daniel Larison

Smotrich says bringing hostages home ‘not the most important thing,’ sparking outcry Times of Israel (Kevin W)

February 19, Norway will transfer funds to the Palestinian Authority after a monthslong standoff with Israel Echedoros (BC)

New Not-So-Cold War

West wants Kiev to submit targets inside Russia, with reasons for striking them — source TASS (guurst). Hoo boy.

Rethinking Ukraine: Putin and the Mystery of National Identity Craig Murray (Robert Gray). Important, but get a cup of coffee first.

“Nord Stream Three” and the Russian capture of Avdeevka Gilbert Doctorow

Screw The Facts – Europe Commits Itself To Further Escalation Moon of Alabama

SCOTT RITTER AND ANDREI MARTYANOV ON NATO’S RUSSIA-UKRAINE CATASTROPHE, NAVALNY’S DEMISE, PLUS MORE! Danny Haiphong. Very informative on the current state of combat, particularly changes in weaponry over the course of the war, Russia updating doctrine on an ongoing basis, and particularly how drone doctrine now drives battlefield operations. Also consistent with our recent post, that Russia will not engage in big arrow strategies but will keep grinding on various priority targets until the Ukraine military falls apart completely.

White House: ‘Major’ sanctions package against Russia after Navalny’s death coming Friday The Hill. So what is left? Cancelling Tucker’s passport?

Bullet-riddled body may be of a defector who escaped with a Russian helicopter, Spanish police say Associated Press (furzy). Contrast uncertainty of ID with this account: Russian pilot Maxim Kuzminov who defected to Ukraine ‘shot dead’ in Spain BBC

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Seized ransomware network LockBit rewired to expose hackers to world Guardian (furzy)

Fingerprints Can Be Recreated From the Sounds Made When Swiping On a Touchscreen Toms Hardware

Vietnam To Collect Biometrics For New ID Cards The Register

Imperial Collapse Watch

Trump’s NATO threats expose limits of Congress’s power The Hill

‘Incredibly problematic’: Experts, advocates warn against Brockton calling in National Guard to quell high school violence Boston Globe (BC). When I went to school, Brockton was an upscale suburb….


DA Fani Willis testified she paid cash during trips with top prosecutor. One winery host remembers her paying in paper bills CNN (furzy)

Parkland survivor trolls Trump’s sneaker venture by buying domain and directing it to gun safety site Independent (furzy)


GOP recess becomes sharp weapon for White House The Hill

The CBO Revised the Cost of Biden’s Energy Policies Up by $466 Billion Michael Shedlock

Biden has a high-tech problem in Michigan Politico (Kevin W)

Alexander Smirnov: FBI source accused of Biden lies ‘linked to Russian intelligence’ BBC (furzy)


Haley vows to stay in race against Trump: ‘I’m not going anywhere’ The Hill. As in not to the White House.


Oklahoma Pols Want a Database of Everyone Who Has an Abortion Daily Beast (furzy)

Alabama Supreme Court Cites the Bible in Terrifying Embryo Ruling New Republic (furzy). We are a day late to this story.


Immigrants are not hurting U.S.-born workers Economic Policy Institute

Texas Soldiers Say Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star Is ‘A Show HuffPost (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

Woke Watch

Team forfeits after girls basketball player allegedly hurt in play with male who identifies as female (Video) New York Post (furzy)


If Humans Won’t Read Your Résumé, Should You Let the Robot? Wall Street Journal. BC:

AI aside, many employers have been using some form computer filtering of resumes and applications for years. It is the standard practice. In this specific use case, AI is probably a net positive because the prior computer matching technique was very poor.

‘Emergent’ AI Behavior and Human Destiny, What Happens When Killer Robots Start Communicating with Each Other? Michael Klare, TomDispatch

Falling Apart Boeing Airplanes

Passenger sees “wing coming apart” on United flight from San Francisco to Boston; flight forced to land in Denver CBS (furzy)

Data Show the Economy Is Booming. Wall Street Thinks Otherwise. Wall Street Journal

Class Warfare

Should Wealthy Skiers Get to Pay for Early Access to Powder? Outside Online (Dr. Kevin)

Liberal socialism now aeon

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from How Long Has This Been Going On? by Ace

    How long has this been going on?
    How long has this been going on?

    The Israelis have always been violent
    Eighty years of their murder regime
    While the world stands by useless or silent
    Or keeps funding their genocide scheme
    Generations of us keep defending
    From the Jews who take freedom away
    They destroy olive trees we are tending
    And steal more of our homes every day

    How long has this been going on?
    How long has this been going on?

    (musical interlude)

    Since the ’48 Jewish invasion
    We have heard all of Palestine scream
    Add a million dead to the equation —
    Asking us to forgive is a dream
    All the billions America’s spending
    To keep Israel out of harm’s way
    But they can’t stop this project from ending
    The Israelis will wander away

    And how long has this been going on?
    How long has this been going on?
    How long?
    How long has this been going on?
    How long has —
    How long has this been going on?
    How long?
    How long has this been going on?
    How long has this been going on . . . ?

    1. Bugs

      Great vocal from the very talented Paul Carrack aka “The Man with the Golden Voice” who also sang Tempted by Squeeze and Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground) by Mike + The Mechanics. He was not the lead singer in any of these groups!

    2. Synoia

      How long has this been going on . . . ?

      Well Adam and Eve did eat the forbidden frute and were expelled by God
      Then there was Moses, proclaiming it was the promised land
      Then the assyabians came like Wolves amd collected a significant number and took them away
      And they returned some time later
      The Romans escorts then out in about AD 70 in a nice Roman way
      Some returned again under the
      And more under the nineteenth and 2oth centuries

      So to answer your question, one can only ask, after which expulsion?.

    3. steppenwolf fetchit

      A lot of today’s Jewisraelis are descended from Arab Jews who were ethnically cleansed out of Arab countries by the Arab Arabs in displaced proxy-vengeance for not having been able to cleanse the early-stage current-cycle Jewisraelis from Israel itself.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Passenger sees “wing coming apart” on United flight from San Francisco to Boston; flight forced to land in Denver”

    Difficult to account for this shredding effect. I would guess that Boeing decided against traditional aluminium panels on their wings and instead opted for some sort of new composite material. I have no idea how many hours that Boeing 757-200 had on the clock but perhaps all that exposure to the elements broke down the material that that aileron was made of much sooner than calculated. But as they say now, if it’s Boeing, I’m not going. And here is one more reason why.

    1. VTDigger

      The 757 isn’t even manufactured anymore, looks like this one was delivered in 1994. Not sure why a mainline carrier would fly a 30 year old airframe. Just nuts.

      1. The Rev Kev

        At this stage of the game, I would much rather fly an old Boeing 747 than any of the newer models. You would be assured of flying on an airplane built by a highly experienced workforce that had yet to be gutted by financialization.

      2. Mikerw0

        As I recall from prior work in aircraft leasing, you can only certify an aircraft for 25 years in the US.

      3. Revenant

        The 757 was a great aeroplane. I would cheerfully fly one (with a credible maintenance regime). I don’t remember any design scandals!

        BA never flew them to my knowledge so I first encountered it as the workhorse of AA’s fleet in the 2000’s when I was travelling round-the-world tickets a lot. It was built for a specific business case, IIRC the transcontinental routes, and it was like a sports car with disproportionately powerful engines. It had a distinctive kick back into your seat at take-off and I was once in a take-off and go around….

        From Flyertalk.days, a lot of pilots really liked flying it but it was thirstier and noisier than various bloodless modern aircraft and was largely retired after the GFC to much mourning.

        I never liked the 767, which BA did fly, on long distance European routes (Moscow) and Eastern Med (Istanbul, Tel Aviv). For years they had four remaining in increasingly shabby condition with perennially non-functioning equipment.

        It would interesting to hear what other NC’ers favourite aeroplanes are.

        1. MarkT

          BA did fly them. I remember seeing them over London in the 90’s. Very elegant. Wiki says they had them in the fleet from 1983 to 2010, total number 61.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      It is a 1994 aircraft with 100,000+ hours of flight time.

      The damage looks to be on the slat, not the wing, so even a complete disintegration should be a survivable event, although it would be a very high speed landing, certainly hair raising for any passengers. There are a few cases of these slats delaminating over the years, including this one from 1990.

      Still, not a good look for Boeing or the airline.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Damn, but that damage looks just like the recent one. I wonder if they kept the old 2010 slates stored somewhere so that they can do a comparison.

      1. Betty

        Maybe the college kid who likes to announce the flights of various oligarchs (Swift, Musk, etc.) could do something more public-oriented, and track all killer Boeings. It would save me some research time.

        1. Mikel

          But they are still flying it no matter the age. They didn’t retire it. So inspect that sh –.
          And lo and behold. It’s a Boeing.

          1. Feral Finster

            They maybe should retired it when it started to draw Social Security or be eligible for AARP membership. I detest Boeing, but not sure this one is entirely on them.

      1. Mikel

        OMG. I just had a vision. Someone on the “internets” should do a video fake superimposing the face of the Boeing CEO on the man/gremlin on the wing.

    1. alfia

      Lots of info on Navalny and pretty much zero reporting on Assange in the UK press today (the day when High Court decides whether to extradite him to US or not). No coverage in The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail…and a measly anodyne article written at 5am in the Guardian…hypocritical on the part of UK journos

      1. The Rev Kev

        When they hauled Julian Assange out of the Ecuador embassy several years ago, there was not a single UK media team there if I recall correctly. But there was a RT one.

      2. Feral Finster

        Why does this surprise you? Expect breathless Navalnyii coverage (“We interrupt this broadcast to bring you the breaking news that Alexei Navalnyii is still dead!“) until it gets those who set the narrative the results they want.

      3. Anthony Noel

        Your also not going to see anything about Gonzalo Lira, dead in a Ukrainian prison, while the US happily looked the other way.

    2. ChrisFromGA

      I suspect future generations, way out in the future, will look back at this affair as the end of the US as a country that was a constitutional republic, ruled by laws, not men. RIP United States, 1776-2010.

      There is simply no legal way to make a jurisdictional claim that Assange is a person subject to US laws. What the pathetic, enabling Brits and the US have done to the law is the equivalent of murder. A violation of the core principles the entire republic was founded on so dire that it nullifies the entire thing.

      May they all rot in Hell.

    3. JustTheFacts

      I’m really shocked by how little coverage there is about Assange’s battle to be recognized as a publisher. People aren’t even talking about him in the places that used to cover such stories like Slashdot or Hacker News — the places that defended cyberspace as being a place of freedom, and thought of all nexuses of power as evil. It’s amazing how society has changed in the last two decades.

  3. Richard H Caldwell

    Craig Murray’s article is important and big. Murray is an amazing character, a modern Zelig of foreign policy and human rights. He also can use your financial support, as he is under intense pressure by the authorities, both covert and overt.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes – his discussion on the nature of ‘national identity’ is very open minded and fair, with some fascinating details on a few countries he knows particularly well. Also a useful reminder that post colonial headaches aren’t unique to countries colonised by Europeans.

      1. hk

        I keep bringing this up, but, in a way, Spain decolonized Mexico (from the Aztecs) and US decolonized the Black Hills (from the Lakota). Empires are older than Western imperialism. In fact, Western, or other, imperialists found plenty of allies among the peoples who resisted the local empires. If these “colonies” are liberated (whether from the Western Empires or others), that’s often the excuse for the locally dominant groups to re-imperialize and local “oppressed” to fight back again, re-starting the cycle all over again.

        Personally, I’m actually in favor of “empires,” at least of a certain kind: successful empires always operate by providing mechanisms for the competing local groups to settle their differences and even find a common cause–in fact, these are so successful that we have trouble imagining them as “empires”: like (Metropolitan) France and United States (at least among certain sub-populations). Empires far from the metropole, obviously, invariably fail in the long run because they don’t deal with the internecine conflicts. A sign that we are bringing failing empires home is that metropolitan United States and France, among other places, are splintering within, with the mechanisms for productively settling internecine conflicts and for finding common cause among them falling apart (often denounced in the name of the often newfound tribal identities that they are designed to downplay (or even suppress))..

        1. hk

          PS. a funny thing is that, whenever I read about Roman martyrology, I always found myself sympathizing with the Romans (or, indeed, their counterparts in Japan and Korea). The (nominal) cause for persecution was that the Christians would not partake in various “civic rituals” which were, in all honesty, fairly trivial. How can authorities trust a sect whose members were willing to die on behalf of foreigners in refusing simple symbolic chores?

          1. Em

            Not only that, but the failure to observe proper ritual meant offending the Roman gods and potentially bringing their wrath on the Roman state.

            My impression is that early Christians were all in a hurry to demonstrate their piety to God, die, and end up in Heaven. Their martyrdom was basically suicide by Roman authorities since they couldn’t commit the mortal sin of suicide themselves. And of course once Christianity became the official Roman religion, they immediately started to persecute other religions and vicious infighting. If only Julian the Apostate had remembered to put on his armor before running into his final battle!

            The Chinese suffered the most from Christianity. The Taiping rebellion might be the costliest civil war in human history. You can make arguments about their unorthodox religious ideas but their leader did claim to be Jesus Christ’s younger brother.

    2. juno mas

      My take on Craig Murray’s socio-historical narrative is fairly simple. The war in Ukraine really isn’t about who claimed What/When? It’s about the Russian Stavka getting through to Putin that the US Neocons and their proxies need to be destroyed–Now!. Or this won’t end well for Russia. A survival instinct is at play, not any socio-historic narrative.

      Good Night, Mr. Murray.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Oklahoma Pols Want a Database of Everyone Who Has an Abortion”

    How many ways could things go wrong with this legislation? Let me count the ways. That list could get hacked and released as all databases are sooner or later. Or an anti-abortion Oklahoman could sneak out a copy and release it for the purpose of shaming these women. Religious nut-jobs would be besieging the homes of those women and perhaps even their workplaces to get them fired. They would be harassed on social media. Follow-on legislation from Oklahoma could happen where every women moving to that State must give access to their medical records to the State government to record if they have ever had an abortion in another State. If Oklahoma keeps up with such stupid legislation, there may be a reversal of the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 as people make a rush to get of out America’s first Christian Sharia State.

    1. TomDority

      With the embryo ruling out – charges of murder or other lesser charges could come about. I would hope that if any such possibility exists the legality of such disclosure or providing information would amount to the intention of blocking 5th amendment protections against self incrimination.

      1. ilsm

        Embryo ruling:

        A fetus on ice is a ‘human to be born’ once a womb is provided.

        While an embryo in an icy womb is an inconvenience to the womb owner who does not the burden of producing a human being…….

        1. Wukchumni

          …and not a whit of concern in regards to the other 99,999,999 spermatozoa that didn’t pass muster

      2. dday

        How many frozen embryos can one claim as dependents on the Alabama state tax return?

        Might Johnny One as a name trigger an audit?

    2. Mikel

      Phrase that as “a list of all the mothers who have had an abortion” and really see the jackassery of such a thing.

    3. Ranger Rick

      The sad part? They don’t need to make anyone report this data. If money was exchanged and it was not cash, a data broker already knows.

    4. ACPAL

      This is just a symptom of the US’s crumbling legal and moral (as in democratic, constitutional, etc) structure. The SCOTUS gave the states the right to control abortions which was a Rubicon moment. It ended the ability of the US citizens to depend on past SCOTUS decisions. It led the states to get creative in making laws skirting the Constitution and civil rights. It encouraged the states to challenge the courts, Congress, and the POTUS.

      The First Amendment to the Constitution starts out with “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” It says nothing about the States and that is what the states are now starting to do, each with it’s own interpretation of the Bible. At lower levels there are a lot of militias and other organizations that are forming around their own interpretations with the belief that it is their right and responsibility to enforce those interpretations on others, similar to the states. Some of these interpretations are in conflict with other groups as well as the states they reside in.

      Civil wars almost invariably end in chaos and bloodshed and I hope we don’t see one but our government seems hell-bent on creating the conditions for wars outside the country as well as inside the country. So not only is the rule of law breaking down throughout the country the religiously self-righteous are moving in to fill the void with nothing to stop them.

      Watch for more state and local laws based on religious beliefs as well as more laws skirting the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, past SCOTUS decisions, and Federal Laws. Watch for more civil unrest, use of National Guards to quell increasingly large protests and riots, possible border clashes between states, and more talk of states ceding from the Union.

      Not to mention politicization of the CIA, FBI, DOJ, and others that will directly impact the upcoming election. If you don’t have a stockpile of food, medicines, and supplies already you’d better get started, this storm is not going to blow over in a few days.

  5. Wukchumni

    Should Wealthy Skiers Get to Pay for Early Access to Powder? Outside Online (Dr. Kevin)

    In general the audience that is skiing or snowboarding is pretty wealthy to begin with, the only Spanish you’re likely to hear is a family from Madrid on the slopes, or an Argentine or Chilean imports in the lunch room working the cash register, forget about Mexican-Americans looking for early or late powder, you’d do better waiting for a UFO to arrive. It’s about 98.44% Caucasian out there.

    The cult of the pow-pow is mainly in the Rockies where its pretty common to receive the ultimate in skiing fun-being the first tracks, but not so much here where the piste de la resistance is commonly referred to as ‘Sierra Cement’ and there are many times where you do not want to crash on this type of frozen water (‘hard packed powder’ is the euphemism, ha ha) for while it isn’t exactly Portland cement, it doesn’t have much give and will put the hurt on you.

    Not falling and/or wearing lots of clothing helps, and by the time in April where you feel like a short sleeved Hawaiian shirt and shorts makes for a nice ensemble, the snow is more like mashed potatoes and you’re the gravy that’s slowly traversing through it, if you fell its no big deal.

    Being an old but not very bold skier these days, we rarely hit the slopes before 10 am unless there was fresh powder the night before that fell, otherwise its blue groomers for us-being a bunch of speed freaks mostly on Medicare now.

    1. Benny Profane

      I wouldn’t worry too much about these early to powder for pay programs. Not too many people ski, and, among that set, not many ski very well, and a small minority ski powder well, because it takes a lot of time to learn (although recent developments in skis designed just for powder conditions help a lot). One has to live in a ski town right next to a hill that gets a lot of snow over the winter months, and be able to jump at the opportunity to drop everything and get in line on a powder morning. We all don’t have trust funds. Even the mega rich hedge fund guys mentioned work a lot. You’re not going to get to be a good skier doing one or two weeks a year in the Rockies. Sure, there’s really good rich skiers, but, they are few. The author of the piece, who claims to be from a multi generation Aspen family, tries to speak for the little guy, but, sorry, multi generation Aspen residents are by definition rich at this point, especially if they own a home, and ski a lot.
      Now, snowboarders, that’s a different story. Those little brats can rip powder after only ten or so days. Ban them!

      1. Wukchumni

        I am almost remiss to admit paying for my nephew’s snowboarding lessons a couple weeks ago, contributing to the problem, ha ha.

        It’s likely that the lift operator pulling down the same wages as a fast food employee-albeit with a free season pass, are vastly better skiers or snowboarders than any Illionaires on the slopes, as you say you have to be there often, in order to hone your skills.

        Never been to Aspen, but fell in with the east coast version of the Dartful Codgers last year, one of whom is a trust fund baby whose family owns a little 6 bedroom house with elevator in Vail, which I gotta say, doesn’t suck.

        The money & see me-dig me types on display @ Vail & Beaver Creek ski resorts was in a word, shocking.

        You had to walk by Patagonia Kids, Prada and other highfalutin brand stores to get to the escalators to whisk you up to the slopes.

        1. Benny Profane

          I always thought being a liftie on a powder day is the ultimate form of self flagellation. Getting paid squat to watch all that fun go by.

            1. Benny Profane

              I used to say that about Zep, but, not any more. A generation is passing, and, sadly, the quality of music has gone to hell. But reggae is a good universal choice. Thank the Lord the deadheads are dying.

              1. Wukchumni

                Lifites are typically in their 20’s, and yet you’ll never hear anything that modern hailing from the speakers-almost all classic rock, and God forbid any rap or hip-hop emanating.

              2. lyman alpha blob

                Yesterday I heard both CCR and Zep at the liftline, along with some Peruvian music which was presumably the favorite of the imported lift ops. This at an area I used to work, that was previously fully staffed by locals. No idea why they need to import temporary labor these days, but if I had to guess, it would be because housing costs have priced most locals out of the area. Last year at about this time, there was still plenty of snow but the area closed anyway because the temp labor contract was up and the workers all had to go back to Peru.

                I also noted four people manning the lower lift, when it only took two when I had the job. I guess the extra two were doing DJ duties, along with jacking the price of my lift ticket.

                1. Wukchumni

                  Ski resorts out west have had South American help for decades, ran into my first Paraguayan-working the cash register @ McCoy Station in Mammoth last trip.

                  Is it on account of tax breaks-not hiring locals, or maybe there’s a flake component with hiring locals, whereas somebody from South America isn’t going to up and leave on you mid-season, are they?

        2. Benny Profane

          Aspen has some really good skiing. Four mountains, all connected by a bus. I stayed there a few years ago and scored a late season storm and cheap room. The town is a freak show. (There’s actually a lift that Trump owns a part of, long story). I was slackjawed listening to rich white people praise rap as poetry as I sipped a twenty eight dollar martini at Jeromes. Bizarre. But, the art, madone! The art for sale is just horrible. You would think the rich would have better taste, but, dear lord. It’s a very strange place. But the skiing is great.

          1. Wukchumni

            I’m only ever there for the skiing, and comparing Beaver Creek with it’s Ritz Carlton at the base of a lift chair to my local no frills resort China Peak, with its un-updated 1959 lodge and rooms, was tantamount to zenith meets nadir.

            The upshot being that on a 5 day pass to Vail & Beaver Creek, it cost about the same per day as what I pay at China Peak.

        3. lyman alpha blob

          Spent a season working at Vail back in the day. We used to joke about the “see me” types that the cost of their equipment was inversely proportional to their ability to ski.

          As to the rich paying to get access to the fresh powder, I concur that it’s pretty much only the rich out there skiing in the first place. Yesterday I dropped over $250 so I could ski with my surly teenager for a few hours at the little molehill of a ski area I used to work at (and ski for free). That will likely be my first and last trip of the season because I can’t afford to go more often.

          But at least the little molehill was renamed recently and given a new Native American name, replacing its more “triggering” predecessor sobriquet, although nobody had ever complained about the previous name that anyone local is aware of. Perhaps I was paying a premium to pay for the rebranding.

          1. Wukchumni

            I can’t see how anybody can be a once or twice a year recreational skier, a friend who makes tv commercials related that it’s probably cheaper to go on vacay to Europe than pay the going rates for a family of 4 on awful times to be on the mountain-as there’s 50% more weekend on President’s Day, or Easter week, yikes!

            Down to $60 a day on my season pass so far this winter, like to get it under $30 a day by the time the snow goes away.

            1. lyman alpha blob

              I much prefer free. I worked in ski areas in VT, CO and CA and was spoiled by never having to pay for a lift ticket, and I also got most of my own equipment gratis or at very little cost. I think yesterday was the 5th time I’ve ever paid to go skiing in my life, and I’m not inclined to do it more often after feeling the lightness of my wallet.

              If anybody needs a bunch of 30 year old ski equipment no longer under indemnification, call me!

              1. Wukchumni

                Experts agree-its hard to beat free.

                My free runs come up in the Giant Forest on Alpina X-Terrain skis, all of the ground cover is draped in snow and the Giant Sequoias seem even redder with a backdrop of white as the driven.

          2. Kurtismayfield

            The daily prices are the way the big resorts are convincing you to get a yearly pass. For example a yearly pass in the Nprtheast cam cost around $500, but a daily ticket is $100 to $180 depending on the place.

    2. LY

      Isn’t that what they do at theme parks now? Pay extra for extra perks like early access, faster lines, etc.

      I was a member of my high school ski club in middle and high school in NJ. The ski resorts there and in the Poconos was mostly what I call ice sand.

      1. Benny Profane

        But, as pointed out in the article, the experience is different for those forced to wait. Untracked powder is rare, and many risk death by avalanche to get some. Your theme park experience will be the same.

    3. MT_Wild

      Hoping this doesn’t give Game and Fish agencies any ideas about how to generate extra revenue.

      Would be a lot of people out there willing to pay extra to get to hunt a week early while the rest of us slobs have to wait for the general season open.

    4. juno mas

      Wealthy skiers have had access to un-tracked powder In Utah since the inception of helicopter skiing in the 70’s.

  6. zagonostra

    >Rethinking Ukraine: Putin and the Mystery of National Identity – Craig Murray

    If only “human identity” trumped national identity then the “tenuous connection to either morality or justice” and when a “thing can be justified and morally right, but still illegal” could be strengthened/reconnected.

    It is beyond argument that my belief in some kind of inherent decency in the Western political Establishment was naive.

    I apologise.

    This does not mean that I was wrong to call the Russian invasion of the Ukrainian state illegal. I am afraid it was. You see, the law is the law. It has only a tenuous connection to either morality or justice. A thing can be justified and morally right, but still illegal.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The last part from Murray is not correct. Russia did obey the law, using the exact same procedure the US used in Kosovo.

      Russia recognized the 2 breakaway republics and immediately entered into a mutual defense pact with them. That was on February 21. The SMO started February 24.

      Under UN Article 51, member states can engage in individual or collective self-defense. Ukraine had been attacking the rebel oblasts since 2014.

      Oh, and the US and its allies imposed the shock and awe sanctions on February 22.

      1. zagonostra

        I have heard that Russia’s invasion was technically illegal so often that I took Craig Murry’s statement as true, not only because it’s been echoed in so many places but because I respect Craig Murry’s coverage of Assange and other political events.

        Thanks for the correction.

      2. alfia

        Yep, and Putin did warn many many times, years ago in 2007-2008 against Kosovo precedent stating that it would lead to undermining of international law and warning that it was dangerous and could lead to breaking apart of some European states. Now he is just doing exactly what the West has done before…and the West can’t deny it has not been warned.
        Below are just some of the reporting on his words (apologies the articles are in Russian):

      3. hk

        AJP Taylor commented (in one of his books) about peculiar legalism that predominates Russian/Soviet diplomacy. Hardly any of military actions taken by Russia for a few centuries have been either “unprovoked” or “Illegal,” although some of these involved a rather “violent” interpretation of what counts as casus belli or international law. But, in this instance, NATO has already resorted to a violent interpretation with regards Kosovo. That the West should find it surprising that Russia is using this as the legal justification for armed intervention, I think, lays bare what “rules based order” really means.

      4. ilsm

        Legal is who has the most fire power!

        Moral is not what US is doing with the proxy war in Ukraine.

        Christian Just War doctrine does not recognize the empires right to industrial level murder to expand!

    2. digi_owl

      There was a push for human identity in the 80s-90s i believe, but then 9/11 onwards derailed it. And now people are making ever more exclusive tribes to leverage oppression olympics.

  7. flora

    Turley’s latest.

    Pay to Play: Trump Faces a Staggering Cost for Appeal

    From the article:

    “However, as New Yorkers cheer this moment, many business are likely wondering “but for the grace of God go I.” Undervaluing or overvaluing property is a common practice, particularly in real estate. That is why representations, like the one made by the Trump Corporation, come with a warning that estimates are their own and that the banks need to make their assessments.

    Faced with high crime and high taxes, the spectacle in Manhattan is only likely to accelerate the exodus of businesses and high-earners from the city. That prospect has already alarmed Gov. Kathy Hochul who declared “business people have nothing to worry about, because they’re very different than Donald Trump and his behavior.”

    That sounds a lot like “you are fine so long as you are not Trump.” Yet, that is not reassuring to businesses who want a legal system that is based on something other than selective and arbitrary enforcement. Attorney General Letitia James campaigned on bagging Trump without even bothering to name the offense.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      There is already blowback from that legal decision against Trump as Turley says. Alex Christoforou was saying that Kathy Hochul – Governor of New York – was having to assure big business that they will never have to worry about such a case being launched against them. That Trump’s case was a one-off and there is no problem in doing business in New York. Yeah, that’s not how laws work. There is no such thing as a “one-off” in law but there is such a thing as a “legal precedent” which is now on New York’s books. This is such a great own-goal that Kathy Hochul, when she is no longer Governor, should go to work for the US State Department afterwards.

      1. Em

        The presence of such “one-off” prosecutions tells everybody that it’s a lawless jurisdiction where anybody could be prosecuted for anything if the PTB decide to do so. The Western elite are truly stupid spoilt children with no understanding of how they’re destroying the foundation of their wealth and power with each act.

            1. QuarterBack

              I’m not a lawyer, but my understanding is that ex post facto prohibition is limited to criminal law. There are many ways that civil damage laws and taxation can still bend to political whims.

        1. judy2shoes

          “The Western elite are truly stupid spoilt children with no understanding of how they’re destroying the foundation of their wealth and power with each act.”

          Shhhhh. Don’t tell them… ;)

        2. Feral Finster

          “The presence of such “one-off” prosecutions tells everybody that it’s a lawless jurisdiction where anybody could be prosecuted for anything if the PTB decide to do so.”

          The criminal laws in the United States are far-reaching enough and broad enough in scope that an aggressive prosecutor can always find a pretext to bring charges against anyone at any time, especially anyone involved in higher level business or politics.

          This is entirely intentional. Those whom TPTB want off the island are gotten off the island. Even though every one of TPTB have done the same or worse, they will never face recoking, because “it’s different!”

          There is no such thing as law. There is only context.

        3. John k

          Imo this is just how neoliberal think. Short term profit or benefit is critically important, long term costs not important. She will be gone before long term arrives.

      2. Benny Profane

        How many New Yorkers (finance central) are sitting on relatively massive wealth derived from the pump and dump schemes related to the great housing bubble of pre ’08? Talk about profiting from over valuation. Mortgage derivatives, Ratings agencies commiting obvious fraud, all sorts of transactions in the trillions, and we went and gave them bonuses and bailed them out. At this point, many have probably retired to Florida and Wyoming (or both) so that they don’t have to pay taxes. Obscene.

    2. griffen

      Watching what they say, having to parse their words….New York real estate and commercial developers not named Drumpf are all fine and smooth seas ahead.

      I’ve a bridge to somewhere spectacular I’d like to sell to AG James and the judge and the Gov. This case is just too absurd but then we’re going onward in the stupidest timeline.

    3. TomDority

      Many Financial services businesses …..FIRE sector businesses doing gods work or the productive – real world businesses. – Which ones are you speaking for when you suggest “but for the grace of God go I.”
      Just asking – no offense

    4. Cetzer

      Poor humans have scruples – The Rich have lawyers.
      Especially in this case of lawfare through financial attrition¹, Trump is sought to be degraded from rich to poor², although I doubt that’ll make him a decent human with lots of scruples.

      ¹On first sight jail (with a view to a hangman’s knot) might be preferred, but a panhandling Trump wouldn’t be such a precious martyr
      ²You wouldn’t vote for a poor looser, would you?

      1. Pookah Harvey

        Everyone seems to forget Trump’s business model was to use lawsuits and the threat of lawsuits to screw over small business suppliers to his “empire”. A study of Trump’s history of legal actions shows:

        He doesn’t hesitate to deploy his wealth and legal firepower against adversaries with limited resources, such as homeowners. He sometimes refuses to pay real estate brokers, lawyers and other vendors.

        He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. Sorry but personally I can’t feel sorry for the guy. I am sorry the dems can’t find bettr tactics. Like maybe talking about issues?

        1. c_heale

          What big businesses don’t try to screw over their suppliers? Or use lawsuits? I’d like to see some examples.

          There’s a lot of AI companies out there that have stolen other people’s work in the last couple of years. Not even not paying. Stealing. When are they gonna get taken down?

    5. Eric Anderson

      Ok. Let’s add a little reality to this thread. The issue here is not that a prosecutor used a law that is on the books that hasn’t been used in forever. The issue is why the law wasn’t used. This speaks to a problem in U.S. law called prosecutorial discretion. If I had dime for every time I reported a crime to a prosecutor on behalf of a client, only to have the prosecutor tell me “It looks like a civil matter to me.” Mind you, these are two lawyers looking at the same statute, knowing that the facts add up to a chargeable offense. The issue then is why AREN’T we prosecuting the laws that are on the books.

      You scratch this sticker long enough, the smell it exudes is political — every time. It’s a calculation of expedience vs. public opinion. Easy prosecutable facts, coupled with public (the public that votes you into office, remember) support and it’s a no brainer for the prosecutor. Remove either of the two factors and prosecutors get squeamish.

      Nothing new to see here. Turkey is a moron spin doctor. All the businesses property developers in NY should already have been on notice.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        As a mere student of the law, I am wondering about this. My understanding is that “whaddabout …” is not a valid defense, as in, why didn’t you prosecute that girl/dude breaking the law, along with me?

        (Prosecutor’s answer: because you’re the guy we caught.)

        In the case of the speeding driver who points to another vehicle that was also speeding, that’s sometimes called “selective prosecution” but not overtly political. The old joke used to be that driving a red sports car was asking for a ticket.

        The law that got Trump should also be used on other property developers, IMO. But if NYC is anything like ATL, the good old boy network protects commercial property developers. Many of those developers steer tons of business to the big law firms around here, and I’m sure that resonates throughout the legal community including prosecutors, DAs, and defense attorneys.

      2. Carolinian

        Who is being the spin doctor here?

        The issue then is why AREN’T we prosecuting the laws that are on the books.

        By that logic the government should be prosecuting many more people under the Espionage Act. Biden will be cheered.

        The issue is that bad laws should be repealed and given the prosecutorial abuse in the Trump case then clearly the law in this case is a loaded revolver lying on the bedside table in the children’s bedroom.

        Not being a lawyer like yourself I can’t speak to whether Turley is a moron but he was last so described in these pages by a lawyer/commenter claiming the 14th amendment challenge was perfectly valid and Turley’s claim that the SC might unanimously vote against it was more “spin.”

      3. griffen

        As for those prosecutable facts, which are limited in this case. Lenders performed their internal due diligence and rational analysis of any financial statements, and were on record as to the quantifiable fact of no harm resulted. No harm to a lender means, this is a good risk to accept and the return is also acceptable. Added thought, are the lenders in the business of charity to all who ask for a loan? Ever since 2008, I’d argue it to be unlikely but still within the realm of possibilities.

        Come on. And a judge that was highly predisposed, from the very outset, to make his mind that this is the right time to turn the screws on the Trump Organization. Said judge excoriated quite publicly a known and highly esteemed expert witness on the science and the art of valuations, following the expert witness testimony. An expert witness is paid, the horror.

        New York’s AG should haul those bankers in from 2008 – 2009 but dang those statute of limitations have run their course.

      4. flora

        One big issue in Turley’s column, imo, is the outrageously high fine plus demanding nearly half a billion dollars in costs from T before he can even appeal the judge’s decision to the NY appellate court, thanks to a NY law. Read Turley’s entire column. / jfc (But don’t worry you other NYC and NY business people, this could never ever happen to you. The guv promises. Cross her heart.)

      5. Em

        You’re just saying that the cases against Trump and Assange are just the tip of the iceberg and the whole system is already irredeemably rotten. Can’t disagree with that!

        A well functioning society should have clear, predictable laws that are easy to follow and easy to enforce against all violators (who may be given some clemency under well defined principles if there are truly extenuating circumstances). If applying the law uniformly is too onerous, then the law should be changed until it is fit for use. Once you get into a system where everything rests with the opaque discretion of prosecutors and judges, the system is already rotten. Then when prosecution only happens against a particular prosecutor’s political enemy or a disfavored group, then it’s very overtly rotten.

    6. Skip Intro

      I wonder how statements about the fantastically selective nature of this prosecution from a high state official will play in the appeals court, and more importantly, the campaign trail.

    7. ric

      There was a segment on 60 minutes Sunday night about bank exposure to commercial office building loans. They spoke at some length about extend and pretend.
      Isn’t that basically the same thing?

      The tax assessment on my house is much, much less than the market value.
      Isn’t that basically the same thing?

      Per this precedent, aren’t these now explicit financial frauds?

      1. c_heale

        Yep. I think this could be the trigger for the CRE collapse.

        It may not matter who wins the next US Election, since none of the current candidates have any idea of how to tackle an economic depression, and a world war.

    8. Feral Finster

      Finster;s Second Law readeth thusly: “There is no such thing as law. There is only context.” The longer form explanation is that laws are for the little people. Policy is for the People Who Matter, because policy is what determines when the law is applied and to whom.

      In this case, the policy is to get Trump on any pretext. In this case, the only pretext available was to nail Trump on something that every last real estate developer in the land does, and every lender is well aware of this.

      And yes, other developers have nothing to fear, as long as they are not Trump, because the policy is what matters, not the law. The law is framed to get the desired policy results.

      Even if Trump were to get the verdict reversed on appeal, another pretext will be found or manufactured. The PMC is tired of messing around.

    9. dk

      The courts and other regulatory agencies have been underfunded for decades, in New York State and elsewhere. In that situation, prosecution is necessarily selective and effectively arbitrary. If businesses in NY want a better legal system, they should pay their state taxes instead of avoiding them. But they don’t want that, New York is one of the most corruptly business-friendly states in the nation.

      James in her campaign didn’t have to specify what she’d go after Trump for, everybody in the City and the State saw her predecessor Vance quash investigation after investigation into the Trump Corporation’s dealings, helping to run out the statues of limitations on dozens of frauds and abuses of the system. “We’ll find a way to get him” was the pitch, and the mandate she got. Finster’s ironic axiom applies:

      “There is no such thing as law. There is only context.”

      Exaggerations are inaccurate by construction, but law, such as it is, does and must operate from and within its context, and ought to satisfy its own context before others.

      Corruption is dependent on a preexisting and currently operating social economy that is sufficiently equitable to support limited trust; one of the axes of the trust’s limitation is the locally operating context. Actors violating that trust for undue gain corrupt the system, hence the term. Interestingly, corrupt actors can cooperate and develop inner and exclusive trust networks of their own, another of life’s remarkable repurposings. While the majority of New Yorkers continue to endeavor to sustain their mutual trust in an equity they subsist from, the dominant authorities of the state are almost entirely compromised to serve corrupt wealth and power. Trump’s prosecutions and sentences are certainly exceptional in defying the corrupt expectations that Hochul and her ilk defend. They briefly bolster the forlorn trust of the dutiful and law-observing in the City and the State of New York; no one else has to like it, but to begrudge them that is to tell mightily on oneself.

  8. FreeMarketApologist

    Re: NYC skyscrapers to meet at the top with skybridge…:

    “…with a lobby featuring a multistory viewing platform boasting a glass floor and ceiling, plus an art gallery…”

    Yes, that is one ugly building. I wonder if the art gallery will house the Solow’s art collection? I seem to remember there was some trouble with the IRS about lack of public access to it, although it was kept in a charitable organization that was supposed to provide public access. (some of the collection is currently visible in the ground floor space at one of their other buildings, the iconic 9 W 57th – it’s not a bad collection).

    1. Benny Profane

      I have watched the NYC skyline deteriorate into something godawful over the last twenty five years. It’s sad, because it always gave me a rush to see it as a child and teenager driving and bussing in from Jersey, and I lucked out with a cheap apartment in Hoboken with a picture window to all that in the 70s. Now, I just want one of those pencil towers to collapse.

  9. CA

    “Pettis has a grim prognosis, not that China will crash, but it needs to make changes that it seems very unlikely to implement to restore a decent level of growth.”

    Michael Pettis is actually Milton Friedman, a wild-eyed monetarist for whom substantive growth is meaningless and financial growth is all that matters. Pettis is always wrong, because building infrastructure in China is a matter of disdain, as is science and technology advance, and all the real production that this leads to. Of course, Friedman never forgave Franklin Roosevelt for the Depression ending New Deal. Pettis is incapable of understanding or forgiving China for 45 years of ceaseless, remarkable real growth that has brought hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

    China, by the way, experienced real growth of 5.2% in 2023. China is now 32.4% larger in real GDP than the combined countries of the European Union, and China is now 24.7% larger in GDP than the US…

    I am actually trying to be kind.

    1. Em

      China is hardly perfect but I have come to see Pettis and his kind as higher brow Gordon Changs. They’ve been basically peddling the same “China failing any moment now” story since 1989.

      1. CA

        Prominent economics professor explaining in 2016, that China will be losing 10 to 50 years in development:

        April 5, 2016

        I do not understand China. But it now looks more likely than not to me that Xi Jinping’s rule will lose China a decade, if not half a century… *


    2. PlutoniumKun

      I’d be interested if you clarified exactly what you mean.

      Pettis is a self avowed admirer of Hyman Minsky, who’s heterodox theories on development and business cycles were explicitly rejected by Friedman and the monetarist school. Pettis has also written sympathetically on MMT, which again could not be more different from a monetarist perspective. Pettis has also written, most recently in his book Trade Wars are Class Wars, on the dangers of the trade policies and open capital markets espoused by monetarists and their ilk. Pettis is also well known for highlighting the importance of demand side policies in contrast to Friedmans almost exclusively supply side focus (although Friedman would undoubtedly have preferred no interference at all rather than the supply side focus of Beijing) .

      There is plenty to question in Pettis’s work, but in almost every key policy element he is the polar opposite of a monetarist in his approach. Our hosts here have frequently posted his writings, there are plenty of them to read through.

    3. LY

      I don’t disagree with Pettis’ sixth point:

      At the end of the day the only “solution” requires a redistribution of wealth and income that boosts domestic consumption by at least 5-10 percentage points of GDP.

      My only quibble is what will that domestic consumption look like? Hopefully not more cars, fast fashion, cram schools, or sharkfin soup.

      1. CA

        ‘At the end of the day the only “solution” requires a redistribution of wealth and income that boosts domestic consumption by at least 5-10 percentage points of GDP.’

        “My only quibble is what will that domestic consumption look like? Hopefully not more cars, fast fashion, cram schools, or sharkfin soup.”

        [ As for the meanness: the penalty for preparing or serving sharkfin soup in China is up to 10 years in prison…

        Of course, there has been a monumental, wildly successful anti-poverty program through China. And increases in household income and wealth have for years and years been pronounced. And the Chinese can sure as heck buy cars when they choose to and need not be instructed otherwise.

        I am unimpressed by the meanness. ]

    4. deplorado

      I fully agree with you, and do not understand why NC continues to give prominence to his commentaries.

      He may have been aligned with NC on MMT at one time, but apart from that, he has predicted 20 of the last 10 China macro collapses…

      1. CA

        Robert Solow had a critically important development insight early on.  This insight, remarkably, was neglected or forgotten in  recent memorials.  Solow reasoned and would present evidence that growth in development was directly related to national investment.  Paul Krugman seems to have completely dismissed this for China, complaining bitterly that the problem for China is too much investment.

        Krugman thinks Chinese growth will falter and the economy crash if China, say, decides to construct a shipbuilding industry, especially because China is not about to allow the US and assorted allies to “contain” China.  So China has constructed an advanced shipbuilding industry that now completes more than 50% of the world’s shipping tonnage and especially advanced technology ships.
        There we have investment, and that is what Krugman and the like want China to stop.

        1. Wukchumni

          Some of the pushback against the Middle Kingdom might stem from the idea that back in the day if I didn’t finish the food on my plate, my parents would exclaim that people were starving in China!

          …and bless their hearts at the time-they were correct, but not so much now, for once something is forcefully fitted into your head, its hard not to think of China as a cautionary tale, for many of my generation.

          1. CA

            “Some of the pushback against the Middle Kingdom might stem from the idea that back in the day if I didn’t finish the food on my plate, my parents would exclaim that people were starving in China!”

            Importantly enough, agriculture investment is a special emphasis with China having become food self-sufficient  with stores of critical crops of 2 to 3 years.  China has been spending about $150 billion yearly on water conservancy.  Productivity in hybrid-rice has turned Madagascar green enough that the new Madagascan currency features, in honor, a background of a Chinese hybrid rice field.

            Saline and alkali land is being made suitable for high yield of basic grains.  China, by the way, has developed the first potatoes that can be grown from seed rather than tubers.

          2. CA


            May 5, 2023

            Chinese scientists achieve new breakthrough in hybrid potato breeding

            BEIJING — Chinese scientists have made a new breakthrough in hybrid potato breeding by using evolutionary genomics to identify deleterious mutations, which may help shorten the breeding process and generate more and better potato varieties.

            The breakthrough, made by a research team from the Agricultural Genomics Institute at Shenzhen under the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, was published online * in the latest issue of the scientific journal Cell.

            Potato is the most important tuber food crop and one of the staple crops in most countries around the world, including China. Compared with other staple crops, potato needs less water and can be planted in a wide range of areas, said Wu Yaoyao, a key member of the research team.

            “But breeding a new potato variety takes too long. The potato variety used for McDonald’s fries was bred over 120 years ago,” Wu said.

            The main reason is that potato is tetraploid, which means it has four sets of genomes, and depends on asexual propagation through tubers, which has a long breeding cycle and low reproduction efficiency, while the tubers are also easily infected with diseases and prone to pests, Wu said.

            The research team launched a “Ubiquitous Potato Project,” aiming to transform potato reproduction from asexual to sexual, and from reliance on tubers to reliance on seeds, and guide potato breeding by using genomics and synthetic biology.

            In order to breed consistent high-quality potato varieties, scientists need to obtain high homozygous inbred lines by continuous self-fertilization, so that hybrid commercial lines can be produced with consistent properties, Wu explained.

            However, during the long-term asexual reproduction history of the potato, a large number of hidden deleterious mutations accumulated. Once self-fertilized, these previously “invisible” mutations will unveil their adverse impact on the plants such as reduced viability, sterility, lowered disease resistance and yield. This phenomenon, known as inbreeding depression, represents a major hurdle in hybrid potato breeding.

            “Overcoming the deleterious mutations is the most difficult task in this research,” said Huang Sanwen, leader of the research team.

            The researchers collected and compared genomic information from 100 Solanaceae and Convolvulaceae materials with an accumulated evolution history of 1.2 billion years. Potato belongs to the Solanaceae family, while sweet potato belongs to the Convolvulaceae family…


      2. CA,134,534,158,111,&s=NID_NGDP,NGSD_NGDP,&sy=2000&ey=2022&ssm=0&scsm=1&scc=0&ssd=1&ssc=0&sic=0&sort=country&ds=.&br=1

        October 15, 2023

        Total Investment & Gross National Savings as a Percent of GDP for China, Germany, India, Japan and United States, 2000-2023



        Total Investment ( 42.5)
        Gross National Savings ( 44.0)


        Total Investment ( 23.8)
        Gross National Savings ( 29.8)


        Total Investment ( 31.7)
        Gross National Savings ( 29.9)


        Total Investment ( 26.4)
        Gross National Savings ( 29.7)

        United States

        Total Investment ( 20.6)
        Gross National Savings ( 16.3)

  10. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Alexander Smirnov

    First two pieces of news I saw this morning were this one, noting that CNN had promoted Natasha Bertrand, the “journalist” who promoted the faked news that Dear Hunter’s laptop was a Russian fake.

    And then I see the top story on my yahoo home page is the report on Smirnov via CNN.

    What a coinkydink! And in the story, there is no mention that all of the previous stories about Russian disinfo have been shown to be false, that US intelligence was involved with planting and promoting those stories for years, and that there are plenty of other people currently involved on the Biden investigation who have been making claims against Dear Hunter and the Big Guy that have not proven to be false. Plus of course all the illegal activities Dear Hunter had the foresight to record on his laptop for the whole world to see.

    If I were the suspicious type, I might suspect that this Smirnov were put up to making these claims to the Republican investigators just so the opposition could come in and immediately “debunk” them, casting doubt on everyone else who has testified to similar crimes by the Bidens. I mean “Smirnov”!?!? C’mon man, if there is one stereotypical name that smacks of Russian-ness for USians, it would be Smirnov.

    This one very much rhymes with the setup they did on Dan Rather years ago during Shrub’s election campaign, where they handed Rather some phony documents related to an otherwise very true story that made Bush look bad. And it worked. Rather got fired and the story died.

    Whatever happened here, it sounds like this Smirnov character has a bright future ahead of him as a CNN correspondent.

    1. Neutrino

      Television news programs shows need to come with disclaimers like those used by their pharmaceutical advertisers paymasters.

      Think of the additions to the general knowledge base stemming from terms like limited hangout.

    2. Screwball

      Speaking of Dear Hunter, I am told the lines of coke found in pictures on his laptop are really sawdust.

      To recap the news today; coke is sawdust, Joe isn’t senile, congressional GOP are picking on the Biden crime family with zero evidence, Russia is controlling Trump and the GOP, the border is secure, there is no inflation, Ukraine is winning the war against Russia, Putin killed Nalvany, and there is no genocide in Gaza. Am I forgetting anything?

      Probably. Yes, Michigan is asking for volunteers to house refugees. I can’t prove all the claims in the first paragraph, but this one seems to be true, according to the

      Volunteers needed to support refugee resettlement efforts in Michigan

      I’m guessing the people who believe paragraph A will not be volunteering for paragraph B. I say why not? Put your money where your mouth is.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        I suspect you are correct. The one person I know who has ever let a homeless person stay in their home is an extremely conservative Catholic Republican. There’s a lot I don’t agree with her on, but credit where credit is due – she walks the walk on that issue at least.

  11. DJG, Reality Czar

    McManus and liberal socialism.

    McManus is whistling past the graveyard (of liberalism), as he himself admits. “As [Samuel]vMoyn points out in Liberalism Against Itself, throughout the mid-20th century, many prominent ‘Cold War’ liberals turned against the more progressive and egalitarian elements in the tradition. By the time liberal egalitarians began to marshal formidable theoretical arguments for welfarism and social democracy in the 1970s, the time to realise such an agenda had passed. Neoliberalism had taken hold across much of the world, further squeezing out progressive forms of liberalism and liberal socialism.”

    I am reminded again of the Richard Kline essay stored here at Naked Capitalism, in which Kline casts liberals out from among progressives because of their endless legalistic maundering. “Formidable theoretical arguments” in the 1970s (?) indeed: The late 1970s are when the Republicans and Democrats both took the wrecking ball to the New Deal. Having lived through the 1970s, I can assure you that we weren’t thriving on “formidable theoretical arguments”–and then came Reagan.

    And McManus then reinforces Kline’s criticism with a whole paragraph on John Rawls, the philosopher only grad students have been forced to read.

    So: Thin gruel.

    That is, I can’t think of a single “liberal” who advocates any form of socialism. Bernie Sanders once existed, but his recent foreign-policy self-disasters and recent craven endorsement of Biden for a second term don’t bode well for his “liberalism” or “socialism.”

    1. Carolinian

      Some others of us remember the 70s when the worm turned in culture as well as politics. In the end the Meathead won the bigotry argument while Archie “didn’t need no welfare state” Bunker the economic. It goes without saying which debate TPTB cared most about.

      But I believe things do go in cycles and Reaganomics may finally be about to crash against the rocks. We can only hope the plutocrats don’t take the rest of us down with them

    2. Feral Finster

      n.b. Sanders is a eunuch. Even if he were to become president tomorrow, he would make Carter look bold, principled and determined to ram his agenda through at all costs.

      The time for mild-mannered weaktea liberals is long past. What is needed is something like a Huey P. Long.

      1. jhallc

        My one hope re: Sanders was that he would surround himself with some decent leadership folks in his Cabinet. Instead we got Trump’s ( Betsy DeVos, Pompeo, Haspel) and Biden’s neocon’s and Pete.

  12. digi_owl

    “Thai Land Bridge bid straddles a delicate US-China line Asia Times (Kevin W)”

    Interesting to see an article that acknowledge the control USA has over the transport chokepoints of the world.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Team forfeits after girls basketball player allegedly hurt in play with male who identifies as female”

    In the small print on that page is an admission that that guy had injured three girls, not just the one. The coach forfeited that game as that team had a more important game to play coming up and did not want to risk any more girls getting injured. But for the other team, it may have been a case of winning at all costs is the most important thing, amiright?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Rumour has it that they once had a football game with both teams composed of serving police officers. It ended up in a gun battle as all team members had taken their pistols onto the field and when the teams closed in on each other, the players felt in fear of their lives.

        1. Wukchumni

          You’d think with 400 million guns in the USA, we’d be winning all the Olympic gold medals for shooting or in the biathlon during the winter games, but we pretty much suck.

    1. Neutrino

      Basketball gets its turn after swimming, adding the contact sport component.

      Political news yields tales of WW III.
      Sports and other news brings what some have called WW T.

      What is the real endgame when players, say, your daughter, get carted off?

      1. digi_owl

        I Can’t help wonder if it all trace back to WoT putting the warrior role on a pedestal once more, leading many a young boy to get bullied for being less than “oorah” in the playground.

      2. griffen

        I am patiently waiting for this develop in the realm of professional golf. As in, a 6ft tall man that is otherwise quite talented at the game of golf but not significantly better than peers at the amateur level or collegiate ranks decides to “make a change” and magic of all things, now better than peers in the women’s collegiate golf rankings.

        Sounds out there and far fetched…however the NCAA has shown prior form in allowing this, and even so far to bless this at the elite level of collegiate female swimming.

      3. Em

        There are some unfortunate parallels between how (predominantly economically privileged individuals who used to identify as white men) trans women took over the previously well established female identity and how Zionists took over the Palestinian identity, down to how they shout down and cancels anyone who dare disagree in public.

        Somehow in both cases the very reasonable need to protect a historically persecuted minority is primarily enacted through victimization and gaslighting of another historically mistreated group.

        1. hk

          Yes. “Equality” has become another tool to impose inequality–not that it’s really new (after all, two legs are gooder than four, I suppose), but what has changed is that rather than pigs acting like humans, Humans are posing as two legged pigs (I guess that’s the next chapter that Orwell forgot to write).

      4. John k

        Years ago my daughter was a fairly confident high school basketball player. Then the team went co-Ed, after which she never took a shot, immediately passing the ball.
        It’s a disaster to mix males and females in sports. Dem wokeness is imo not a vote getter.

    2. juno mas

      Yes, you are right. More specifically, it is important to recognize that girls are not just small boys. They have totally different musculature, bone density, lung capacity, and hormonal mix that makes them physically vulnerable in a contact sport with a body having the XY chromosome pair.

      Even in non-contact sports (swimming, golf, tennis, etc.) Equally sized male/female bodies have disparities: muscle type (fast/slow) and quantity/location give the male more explosive power to swing a club/racket. In swimming, equally sized male/female bodies are distinguished by the larger lung capacity of the male body. (As a swimmer, I know the advantage that brings.)

      High schools need to stop the charade of “inclusion” and make female sports for XX chromosome bodies only. Anything other than that should be a ‘Club sport’.

  14. William Beyer

    Regarding Craig Murray’s “Rethinking Ukraine, I ran across this 1948 State Department document a couple of years ago:

    There is no clear dividing line between Russia and the Ukraine. and it would be impossible to establish one. The cities in Ukrainian territory have been predominantly Russian and Jewish. The real basis of “Ukrainianism” is the feeling of “difference” produced by a specific peasant dialect and by minor differences of custom and folklore throughout the country districts. The political agitation on the surface is largely the work of a few romantic intellectuals, who have little concept of the responsibilities of government.

    …The economy of Ukraine is inextricably intertwined with that of Russia as a whole. There has never been any economic separation since the territory was conquered, from the nomadic Tatars and developed for purposes of a sedentary population. To attempt to carve it out of the Russian economy and set it up as something separate would be as artificial and destructive as an attempt to separate the Corn Belt, including the Great Lakes industrial area, from the economy of the United States…

    …the people who speak the Ukrainian dialect have been split, like those who speak the White Russian dialect, by a division which in eastern Europe has always been the real mark of nationality: namely, religion. If any real border can be drawn in the Ukraine, it should logically be the border between the areas which traditionally give religious allegiance to the Eastern Church and those who give it to the Church of Rome…

    1. Feral Finster

      When I lived in Ukraine (2004-2012) the nationalists were almost universally treated as freaks and losers.

      What happened in the meantime was that it was made clear to Ukrainians that adopting nationalism, with all its present and past ugliness, was the ticket to admission to the West, to The Club, The Golden Billion, The Magical Land Where Institutions Basically Work.

  15. timbers

    ‘Incredibly problematic’: Experts, advocates warn against Brockton calling in National Guard to quell high school violence Boston Globe

    “The school, 25 miles south of Boston, has been engulfed in turmoil for months, with its halls and classrooms drastically understaffed due in large part to cuts last year caused by back-to-back multimillion-dollar budget deficits…”

    Oh. Well then, I wonder where all my property tax increases gave gone these past several years?

    Not to mention my neighbor’s robust property tax increases this year which I happen to know very well (by virtue of monitoring assessments due to my successful challenge to the City on my assessment previous year).

    Brockton is a “gateway” city for immigrants. Housing prices are not falling at all – they are increasing. Not all immigrants are dirt poor. Some buy homes and bring along their extended families.

    Not to get sloppy on the subject, but have the number crunchers at the Govmit inflation counters office gotten out lately? I’m suddenly seeing big price increases at the grocery store for a variety of things like onions, tomatoes, eggs and we know what’s going to happen when car insurance bills hit the mailbox any day now.

    I wonder how it is even LEGAL to roll the cost of stock buy backs and CEO bonuses into our “healthcare” and car insurance premiums? How do I get a refund for those?

    1. Neutrino

      The present strategy is to monetize everything that can be, followed by what previously couldn’t be.
      Some states have property tax limitation legislation, which has held out, for now.

    2. JohnnyGL

      This story hit home for me, somewhat. I grew up right next to Brockton. I used to get my hair cut as a kid right in Legion Parkway and my wife worked there for years.

      I looked into the stories on Brockton schools a bit more and it seems like things really got into a crisis when they faced an unexpected, big budget shortfall at the end of summer and laid off 130 staff. Once leadership starts making moves like that, you know things are going down hill. It seems that there was additional staff turnover and by November there’s reports of kids basically being warehoused in the cafeteria because there were no staff to teach them.

      Kids smell when something’s not right with leadership, when there’s no real plan and they’re just stalling for time, and I’m sure the behavioral issues that were already present really escalated after that. There’s been chronic white-flight for years in Brockton and the immigrants that come in are already pretty impoverished (places like Cape Verde, Haiti, Dominican Republic). So, that puts additional strain on city institutions.

      It’s clear the whole situation has been caught in a downward spiral and only state intervention can put a stop to this. They never should have gutted the staff at the start of the year.

      I think this story, along with the Steward story, really shows such inept leadership at the state level. They milked Steward as a cash cow for years during the Deval Patrick era, especially.

      The Democratic Party constantly claims to champion immigrants and minorities, but here it is, in a state that has been a party stronghold for decades where they control all levels of government, and they’re presiding over disasters that will scar the people caught up in this for years.

      Wrecked schools, wrecked health care institutions that were gutted for profit. This is American leadership run by PMC’s and billionaires.

      1. Dolly

        What’s never mentioned in fables like
        “Immigrants are not hurting U.S.-born workers” is in many areas, U.S. born citizens cannot get hired because they don’t speak Spanish. My husband worked on scaffolding erection on the all Hispanic crew. The amount of bolts and stray objects ‘accidentally’ dropped on him drove him off the job. It’s hard to learn Spanish when you are 40. Besides, WTF should you have to? We have ancestors going back to the Revolutionary war.

        Another thing. The Multiplier Effect of payroll being spent in a local community, taxed, spent again, taxed, creating jobs etc.

        Eight times is the standard number used to multiply money spent locally. The immigrants send much of their paycheck home to support families. That’s nice, but that money isn’t here anymore to circulate 8 times. How much? $148 billion sent out of the U.S. in 2017 (Wikipedia)That’s a trillion dollars not taxed, not being spent here, not recirculating. “Poor communities and ‘food deserts’ are not policy, they caused by money leaving our country.
        Chart here,

    3. Kurtismayfield

      The tax increases are going to administrative bloat, not to teaching staff. My district multiplied it’s administration by 400% thanks to federal money while decreasing the educational staff. And they are now arguing that those positions are necessary.

      Meanwhile we cannot pay enough to attract math and science educators, because the 2% per year raise has been eaten by inflation.

      There are reasons why the teachers are striking.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Paleontological analysis shows renowned fossil thought to show soft tissue preservation is in fact just paint”

    Even to my untrained eye, that whole fossil looks off. It looks like a painting rather than a fossil. The pity is that they waited so long to reveal this fraud and I would expect that some textbooks will have to be updated.

    1. t

      It is a fossil, though. Just dolled up with paint and either carved into a likely shape – for some reason which may be benign – or just mangled during excavation.

      It was always known to have paint on it, but the assumption was standard preservation.

      Probably drawers full of stuff like this – early ID not thorough or limited by available technology and never questioned. And drawers of specimens that didn’t seem unique when cataloged that are actually special.

      I have a plant fossil that looks kind of like this – black and almost raised.

      If we find out the skin details are also a forgery, that would be interesting.

  17. GramSci

    Re: Immigrants are not hurting US born workers

    «If those who mischaracterize immigration as bad for the economy and for U.S.-born workers really care about improving wages and working conditions for U.S.-born workers, they should focus on pushing for labor law reform and strong labor standards and helping ensure that all workers—regardless of immigration status—have equal and enforceable rights in the workplace.»

    Good luck with that. The EPI authors themselves give no consideration to wages, inflation, health care, safety nets, or working conditions; they just expect us to rejoice that everybody has a bullshit job.

    Of course it is naive to expect that Trump or the next Congress will sincerely attempt to ‘close the borders’, but there is a desperate logic to the demand.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Rather than telling the working class to advocate for better conditions, how about throwing the owners of businesses who knowingly hire illegal immigrants right into the slammer?

      Seeing Mr. Tyson or Mr. Perdue in the big house would do a lot to help other “entrepreneurs” get their minds right.

    2. Kurtismayfield

      Yes the article us all employment numbers, and nothing about real median wages. Nor does it highlight the insane Healthcare, education, and housing inflation.

  18. Dessa

    “Massacre As Great White Shark Allowed To Compete In Women’s 500 Freestyle ”

    Visit for the latest news from today and the latest jokes from 2008.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Russian pilot Maxim Kuzminov who defected to Ukraine ‘shot dead’ in Spain”

    Hard to feel sorry for this guy. Yeah, he took his transport helicopter to Ukrainian territory in exchange for a pile of cash. So yeah, that makes him a traitor. Doesn’t explain what happened to the two other crew aboard that chopper. The story is that Ukrainian intelligence killed them when they refused to join in or maybe they were shot trying to escape. My own theory is that this Kuzminov shot them himself so that he could concentrate on flying the helicopter so that makes him a murderer of his fellow countrymen. And that would be a despicable act in any country. no wonder they Swiss-cheesed him.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Dont worry our “ambassador” assured everyone the US is interested in a final solution. I wonder if Thomas-Greenfield was trying to rebel just a bit with that line against Biden.

      1. CA

        Referring to working on a “final solution” to the catastrophe, to the genocide, in Gaza, reminds listeners or readers of the final solution that was the Holocaust, and strikes me as horribly, horribly appalling:

        February 20, 2024

        Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
        U.S. Representative to the United Nations
        New York, New York

          1. Alice X

            Hit the road Jack, and don’t you come back no mo’, no mo’, no mo’, no mo’

            Hit the road Jack, and don’t you come back no mo’…

    2. Feral Finster

      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.

      These are not decent, honorable people who should be chided until they see the error of their ways. They already know full well what they are doing.

  20. The Rev Kev

    🇷🇺🇵🇸 Putin has invited Hamas for a meeting on February 26th.
    Russia has invited all Palestinian organisations, including Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority for an “Inter-Palestinian Meeting” in Moscow.’

    This could be big. Putin will be telling them that they can all hang separately or hang together. That the fate of Gaza is the fate of all of them so that they had better present a united front to the Arab nations if they want to be taken seriously.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Maybe he recognizes the Palestinian state within the 1968 borders and then signs a military aid pact with the representatives…

        1. Em

          Fight the enemy there so we don’t have to fight them in Rostov and the Taiwan Strait? Just imagine a Russian no fly zone in Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza! Probably a sure way to start a world ending nuclear exchange but would be tremendously satisfying for a couple days.

    1. JohnnySacks

      It’s about long overdue for someone, anyone, with some modern warfare capabilities to step up to the plate as an ally to the underdog in that fight. Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the lot of them collectively yawning from the back seat for the last 3 1/2 months as things continually deteriorate.

      Is that a good thing? Absolutely not, but seems like it’s the only option to prevent a ‘final solution’ which appears to be the inevitable outcome.

  21. Jason Boxman

    From Your Résumé Might Be Getting Tossed by AI. How to Push Back.

    Most major employers use some sort of automation to vet job applications, since companies often receive too many résumés coming in to manually review every one. Though efficient, algorithms can exclude qualified candidates or embed unintentional bias in hiring decisions.

    So this is an arms race; At least in tech, there are several paid services that will automatically submit your resume to hundreds of jobs as soon as they’re found. And another popular method is hiring a virtual assistant for $100 a week to just apply, apply, apply. There’s a sophistication to this as well with different online tools used to create application funnels, where the candidate can keep track of the VA’s progress, and even have the VA do initial screening calls.

    On LinkedIn, you can see every job in tech, whatever it is, getting hundreds, sometimes thousands of easy apply applications. By and large, this is mostly spray and pray. What’s a company to do?

    But this is in response in part to companies never responding to applications.

    What a mess.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “West wants Kiev to submit targets inside Russia, with reasons for striking them — source”

    Since the Russians know that NATO officers & troops man those systems and have given approval to every missile strike on a civilian target while helping to carry it out, then it is probably the west coming up with that list before being given to the Ukrainians to claim it as their own.

    1. Aurelien

      I’ve been thinking for some time that this would turn round and bite the West at some point. It’s hard to know how reliable this report is, but it does touch on a very sensitive issue. Deliberate attacks against non-military targets are forbidden by the laws of war, although it’s acknowledged that there are cases in which such casualties can’t be avoided, and also that there are targets which are civilian but have military utility. Nonetheless, the only legal way in which western governments could agree to the use of weapons they supplied would be if they had been reliably assured by the Ukrainians they would be used to attack military targets only. Back in 1999, the US attacked both electrical power installations and a TV studio, which it argued were military targets, but no European country agreed, and all refused to take part.

      At the simplest level, for western military personnel to be involved, even peripherally, in planning an attack on a non-military target would be a crime, and under military law the personnel concerned would be required to disobey any order to do so. Under the Geneva Convention, if there is doubt, the target is presumed to be a non-military one.

      At the beginning, when all this was going to be over in a few months and Putin was going to be dragged before a court, all this was academic. It’s easy to imagine an idiot like Johnson waving away legal protests by saying “Oh, my mate Vladimir told me they would never attack civilian targets, it’s OK.” But things have moved on now, and the legal positions of some western decision-makers could become very difficult. Trials of national leaders in the last couple of decades have shown that courts increasingly think that it’s not just the military who are responsible for violations of the laws of war, but the political leadership that gives the orders. And “I didn’t know” is not a defence: for some time now, the test has been whether a leader “knew, or should have known” that there was a violation. So Johnson, for example, would have been expected to satisfy himself as far as humanly possible that only military targets would be attacked by the equipment (including artillery) he approved for Ukraine.

      Quite how this will play out is anybody’s guess, but more than a few national leaders must now be feeling uncomfortable. Even if the actual threat of prosecution is limited (but who knows?) the scope for using the law in political attacks is enormous, and in the mutual blood-letting that will characterise the end of this ghastly process, quite a few individuals whose advice was ignored at the time might be thinking of leaking compromising documents.
      To be continued, I think.

    2. Feral Finster

      Russian cities are now to be targeted.

      So what does Russia propose to do about this?

      This is where Russian dithering has led to. Russia is not dealing with reasonable people, even people who can make a risk-reward calculation and proceed accordingly, but with power-crazed sociopaths.

      1. Stephen T Johnson

        Serious question – if you were President of the RF, what would you do?
        Blow up NATO logistics centers like Przemsyl in Poland?
        Attack Rheinmetal or other manufacturers?
        Hit NATO government sites from Riga to Washington?

        None of those look so great to me

        1. timbers

          The response is, Russia should destroy factories that produce the weapons that are used to target Russian civilians. And please do put USA on that list (I doubt Russia will however).

          This policy might should be delayed until near the end of the SMO. I am not sure of the exact timing, but per suggestions from Doctorow, the Kremlin might be moving towards this policy.

        2. Feral Finster

          While you appear to be trying to put words into my mouth, I still will give you an honest answer – I would have used enough force at the outset to have made the argument moot.

          If I were made president of the Russian Federation today, I would not be leaving any bridges standing in Ukraine, nor any locomotives still working, and that is only a start.

          1. Kouros

            There was not enough force to begin with. WHy is it that hard to understand. Plus, echelon defense and reserves are absolutely necessary since there is always the chance of NATO joining the fray, especially if it smells weakness.

        3. vao

          A number of ordnance and weapons depots in NATO countries have been mysteriously blowing up ever since the 2014-2015 war in the Donbass — very inconveniently for the Ukrainian government, as it used to buy a lot from the arms dealers owning those depots:

          in Bulgaria;
          in Romania;
          in Czechia;

          The reasons for most, if not all, of those fires and explosions have not been elucidated, although foul play is generally suspected.

      2. Daniil Adamov

        They’ve been targeting Russian cities from nearly the start of the SMO. Belgorod in particular. Of course this makes no difference.

    3. timbers

      Gilbert Doctorow wrote that the Kremlin is considering the policy I said yesterday Russia needs to embrace and move towards at the appropriate time – respond to NATO aggression by targeting and destroying factories in the West including NATO that produce long range missiles that are used on Russian civilian centers. But then he doesn’t provided a clear reason why he thinks this so it seems unclear…”the Kremlin has indirectly, via state broadcasts like the Solovyov show, made clear its intent to destroy factories producing weapons like the Taurus at their source and to destroy air bases that are being used by Ukrainian aircraft to launch deadly attacks on the Russian homeland.”

      1. Feral Finster

        Had /Russia used adequate force from the outset and responded to red line after red line being ignored, nobody would be talking about this.

        For that matter, the idea that Russia will only now, after unanswered provocation after provocation, bring the war to the West is questionable.

  23. Wukchumni

    Getting rid of bed bugs: Trickier than ever Knowable Magazine. Republished with sexier headline: The ‘Unthinkable’ New Reality About Bedbugs Atlantic

    Do yourself a big favor if you’re planning on staying in Tiny Town when going to the land of the Giants in Sequoia NP.

    DO NOT stay @ Western Holiday Lodge, as it has been infested with bed bugs and most every other type of bug too for many years.

    You’d think that a slew of 1 star ratings would prompt the management to clean up their act, but no.

  24. Kilgore Trout

    Regarding Brockton and its school troubles: Having grown up in a nearby town, and having lived briefly in Brockton in the early ’70’s, I can attest that it has always been a working class city. Its hometown newspaper–which I grew up reading–has always been only slightly less right-wing than NH’s Manchester Union [Mis]Leader. While it has, or had, its wealthy, leafy suburb-like enclave on the west side, it has been in slow but steady decline for decades. It’s nickname used to be “Shoe City” for the shoe industry that once thrived there; its sports teams are called “The Boxers”–after hometown hero Rocky Marciano. The high school was built to be the largest in the state, when two smaller schools could have been built, mostly because the city wanted to field the best athletic teams in the state. Now it’s a microcosm of what’s happening all over: failing school, failing city, failing….

  25. Dessa

    Team forfeits after girls basketball player allegedly hurt in play with male who identifies as female (Video)

    Digging into this for primary sources, because Daily Mail is a tabloid and warrants additional scrutiny this story has all the markings of a manufactured story, quite possible fake news.

    Primary sources:
    Story first broke on ItemLive, who claims anonymous sources claim there was a male basketball player on the basketball team. The only non anonymous source wasnt quoted directly:

    KIPP officials refused to confirm the player’s gender identification. If the player identifies as female, participation on the girls team would seem to be supported by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association

    So we have official sources on the record not confirming the story, followed by speculation (“If” is the key word here).

    The only direct quote referencing the events of the game doesnt refer to gender at all. :

    When asked if KIPP’s player had anything to do with the premature departure, Collegiate Charter School of Lowell Athletic Director Kyle Pelczar said his team was aware of the situation going into the game.

    “No, and Coach (Kevin Ortins) knew going into the game, already, because we had them at home the first game of the year and nothing happened then, so he knew going into the game,” Pelczar said.

    Aware of “the situation.” What situation? What was the question being asked here? This is left vague and the article doesn’t mention that gender was in the question at all.

    Later, Inside Lowell, a local online publication, posts a video of someone recording a screen allegedly from the game, but all the faces are blurred out, making it impossible to tell if the accused player has facial hair, which was mentioned on ItemLive.

    This has all the markings of a manufactured story. Shoddy journalism, anonymous sourcing, rapid spread among right wing media. I wish Naked Capitalism wpuld apply the same skepticism to gender news that they do for international news amd finance.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry, your aspersions of Daily Mail are not warranted. I see worse sourcing on a front page WSJ story I will shred tomorrow, and ditto many national security stories from the NYT and Washington Post with entirely anonymous sources that if you read carefully, in some pieces might be all of one source.

      The story originated with a reporter at Fox who cites a source:

      A source told Fox News Digital that the biological male who identifies as a female is more than 6 feet tall and has facial hair.

      It also includes:

      Collegiate Charter had played KIPP Academy earlier this season and was aware of the transgender athlete on the roster during that game.

      1. Dessa

        That article is not primary. The video it quotes as a source originated on InsideLowell, which I linked above as a primary. The source at Fox which claims to identify the athlete cites the same video, which again, doesn’t really link back to this incident in any verifiable way.

        What we know for sure: We know the coach forfeited due to fearing injuries. We know one injury is alleged to have happened at the trans girl’s hand, and the other two injuries haven’t been associated with that individual, but are mentioned alongside it suggestively.

        A source told Fox News Digital that the biological male who identifies as a female is more than 6 feet tall and has facial hair.

        Who? This is an anonymous source. The other quote you provided tells us a transgender player exists on the team and tells us who verifies this. But this isn’t a high-security whistleblower story. Who says what is standard practice, amd sources should be identified. We know a trans player exists. We have an accusation they may have injured 1 player, and we have a mention of other players injured not linked to them.

        The collegiate charter school statement posted is a GREAT source. And it mentions that rhe game was forfeited, that rhe girls were nervous about continuing the game with so many injuries on the line, and mentions that the board considers inclusivity important. What it doesn’t do is provide details of the incident. That’s filled in instead with the a shakycam video, recorded from a computer screen, that blurs out faces. The actual original video wasn’t even posted.

        I’ve seen you rip apart WSJ, NYT, and WaPo. That’s why I come here. Fox has its blind spots as well, and this topic is one them. Fox has a history of legitimizing stories for further spread among MSM, and tend to to so with stories that fall into their preferred narratives. Fox does good journalism sometimes, but again, skepticism is warranted on topics like these.

        But the primary articles, to my knolwedge, were linked in my previous post. If you can find additional information, please post it.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          It is not a good look for you to persist in arguing with me as if you know journalistic practice when in fact your comment confirms that you don’t.

          First, if you bothered reading articles with any care, re-reporting is common. That is often explicit when a major pub in its headline cites another outlet as a source.

          Second, your “primary source” is incorrect. First, as indicated, newsrooms commonly take quotes from other stories. Second, the anonymous citation you are agitated about IS original to the story and directly from a source.

          Third, Fox, contrary to your depiction, did report by independently confirming that the trans athlete had been involved in other in-game injury-producing collisions and in particular the height of the athlete. You may not like the sourcing but this is legit.

          Fourth and most important, the height in particular indicates that the school is in violation of state policy by having a member of its women’s team have attributes, as in height and perhaps others, that a female player would not have. It may not be clear cut since there are women over six feet tall, witness for instance Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno, who is six feet, two inches tall. You would need more information to be sure. But the alleged male facial hair is arguably more damning, since it suggests the trans player still has a testosterone level way higher than women.

          At least three outlets have reported the story: Fox, the New York Post, and Daily Mail The school could insist on a retraction or even sue for defamation if any of the following were true: the school did not have a trans athlete, the trans athlete did not have the physical attributes described, the trans athlete had not been repeatedly involved in on-court accidents. I have yet to see a peep of ANYTHING along these lines. You’d expect trans activists to be all over these papers over this story if they had any attack surface.

      2. Dessa

        I’m never sure whether my posts are turned down for moderation, lost in the shuffle, or still under review, so forgive me if this is redundant,

        The source quoted by fox is anonymous and the details can’t be corroborated anywhere else, including the provided video. It’s pure hearsay.

        Im hoping my previous post is just awaiting moderation, because I was careful to trace this to the facts and it goes into better detail than I did here. If I’ve run afoul of any rules, please let me know at my email address so I can make sure to follow them better next time

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          You attacked the site earlier by smearing us over our link to Babylon Bee

          You doubled down on your poorly-informed attack on the Fox story, which I addressed twice and another reader sees in a similar light.

          I do not take well to your efforts to thought police our work.

    2. bobert

      This is weak. Any such manufactured news story would be called out immediately. This isn’t some State Department op, with shadowy spooks and unnamed official sources making the claims about secret documents or far-off lands. Where is the outcry from the school, the parents of the pathetic boy, the trans activists that the Daily Mail is making up the fact that there is a trans-identified male playing on the team? Where is the rapid spread amongst the liberal media decrying this supposed falsehood? I see nothing in my news feed from them.

      You are ignoring this context to make your specific claim. Trans ideologues always do, no matter the question. I’m skeptical of your skepticism.

  26. Feral Finster

    The idea that Russia owes anyone outside of Russia Navalnyii’s body, much less that Russia is obligated to deliver it within a specified timeframe is preposterous.

    Doesn’t matter, those who set the narrative decided that Russia is to be blamed before Navalnyii had even finished dying. All that is needed is to frame the standards to get the required outcome.

  27. Wukchumni

    The UK has frozen the assets of six Russian prison bosses in charge of the Arctic penal colony where opposition leader Alexei Navalny died.

    The sanctioned individuals will also be banned from travelling to the UK.

    Western leaders say the blame for Navalny’s death lies with the Russian authorities, including President Putin.

    “Those responsible for Navalny’s brutal treatment should be under no illusion – we will hold them accountable,” UK Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said.

    The UK is the first country to impose sanctions in response to his death, the Foreign Office says. (BBC)

    That’ll show those prison bosses in the Arctic who is boss, in particular with clawbank redemption freezing their assets in merry olde!

    1. DD

      Seems the western response to Nalvalny’s death is a little different than “Kashoggi”; maybe because Saudi Arabia is a good country and Russia isn’t.

  28. heresy101

    While Biden and soon Trump try to end the EV growth, Goldman Sachs doesn’t see them having much effect. Check the graph. Goldman Sachs forecast shows great EV growth but it is very conservative. It has China as being 66% of sales in 2040, but it looks like China will reach 50% of new sales by 2025 or 2026. Plug-ins (BEVs and plug-in hybrids) are at 37% of sales in 2023. Plug-in hybrids are now coming with 40kWh batteries which is what the BEV Nissan Leaf had for a battery 10 years ago.

    “Electric vehicles could make up as much as nearly half of global car sales by 2035, and our analysts forecast that more advanced autonomous or partially autonomous vehicles will make up the same share of sales just five years later. It’s a fundamental shift, upending labor markets, supply chains, and commodity markets. Along the way, the car is being completely rethought and re-engineered, to incorporate cutting-edge battery chemistry, microchips, and software.”

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Correct me if I am wrong — I believe many/most of the electric ‘cars/vehicles’ sold in China are relatively small, lightweight, and short-ranged, and in many cases benefit from battery packs designed for quick removal and replacement. Perhaps the EV future is not a future of heavy ponderous vehicles like Teslas. Perhaps the electric future is not quite so fulsome as Green acolytes envision.

      After watching GM trash its 50-share of the market with its response to the Japanese incursions of the 1970s and thereafter, I think you might take a broader view of the upending of labor markets, supply chains, and commodity markets and the u.s. car market. The upending will impact much more than the aging UAW labor force, or the largely unprotected workers replacing them. Ring no bells and beat no drums for what is to come.

  29. steppenwolf fetchit

    Super kill-freeze in Sinjiang, China . . . this looks like a herniated polar vortex, which is what I hope everyone will start calling these events.

    The polar vortex can herniate anywhere anytime. It could happen anywhere in Canadamerica with just as little warning.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      That is an unhappy thought with Spring planting around the corner. That is an unhappy thought for blossoms, fruit blossoms, and green buds. The growing chaos of the weather presents as much to fear as the more stable but shifting larger patterns of temperatures and precipitation.

      The forsythia at my sister’s house began to bud yellow flowers just before the onset of a cold snap and wind driven “clipper” storm.

  30. John Merryman

    About the big galaxy on the edge of observation, sooner or later, the Big Bang Theory goes the way of epicycles.
    On the most basic terms, if space were to expand, the speed of light would have to increase, in order to remain Constant!
    Instead they have been arguing two metrics of space, based on the speed and spectrum of the same lIght.
    Long story short, it doesn’t add up at the most elemental level.

  31. Heidi's walker

    The fact that Nikki Haley is staying in the primary race concerns me. Her big money neocon backers continue to fund her. If the courts don’t disqualify Trump, will those big money interests take matters into their own hands?

  32. Wukchumni

    I long for the days when a politician’s career was cut short by having smoked marijuana or having an undocumented Guatemalan maid in their employ…

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