Links 2/26/2024

Snakes: An Evolutionary Winner (press release) Stony Brook University


China’s coal-based power capacity approval seen putting climate goals at risk S&P Global

Warren Buffett’s letter is a mass of contradictions on climate risk FT

From Pixels to Politics: How Video Games Can Inspire a Green New World Atmos. I wonder if any climate models have been wired up to video games?


How Repeat Covid Infections Can Harm Your Health Men’s Health. Word slowly getting out….

Michelle Monje: The Brain in Long Covid and Cancer Eric Topol, Ground Truths

Few Americans familiar with CDC plan to change COVID isolation guidelines IPSOS

Measles outbreak ‘just a plane ride away,’ Manitoba health official warns CBC. Measles is airborne….

The new pandemic treaty: Are we in safer hands? Probably not BMJ


China’s plan to reshape world trade on its own terms FT

Chinese investors struggle to hold on to property abroad as soaring rates, weak domestic economy make mortgages unaffordable South China Morning Post

Chinese companies axe IPO plans amid listing scrutiny Channel News Asia

Chinese Control Over U.S. Oil And Gas At Heart Of Biden Family Influence Peddling, New Whistleblower Reveals (excerpt) Public. Needs an American version of the post-Smiley LeCarré to do this story properly….

‘Many are living from meal to meal’: Malaysian government’s claim of hardcore poverty eradication draws scepticism Channel News Asia


U.S. Air Force Member Sets Self on Fire Outside Israel’s Embassy in D.C. to Protest War in Gaza Time. Aaron Bushnell:

“I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I’m about to engage in an extreme act of protest,” the airman repeated, in footage reviewed by TIME, as he walked toward the driveway of the Israeli embassy. “But compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it’s not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal.”

Oddly, all of the early coverage suppresses the detail:

We’ll see how the official reaction goes:

Bushnell recorded his self-immolation on Twitch (since deleted). Here’s the YouTube (until it gets taken down):

Here is a transcript from @taliaotg, who broke the story. Key detail:

One wonders who the reporters who got the email were….

* * *

Houthis demand entry of relief into Gaza in exchange for salvaging sunken British ship Anadolu Agency

Israel to intensify strikes on Hezbollah even if there is cease-fire in Gaza: Gallant Anadolu Agency

$14b US aid package for Israel crafted with eye to ‘multi-front war,’ not just Gaza Times of Israel

* * *

How Israel’s war went wrong Vox

How One Error May Haunt Biden’s Foreign Policy Legacy David Rothkopf, Alon Pinkas, The New Republic. “You can’t fine-tune a massive error into being a success.” In the vulgate, “you can’t buff a turd.” Pinkas is the former consul general of Israel in New York; Rothkopf is a Blob pseudopodium.

* * *

Settlers Attack Israeli Soldiers Helping Palestinian Shepherds Look for Stolen Goats Haaretz

Police beatings of pro-Palestinian schoolchildren spark outrage in Italy The New Arab

New Not-So-Cold War

Avdeevka Denouement: Russian Momentum Turning Point Simplicius the Thinker(s)

Talking with Lt. Col. Danny Davis about Where The Ukrainian War Is Headed (video) John Mearsheimer, John’s Substack

Two Years After Russia Invaded Ukraine: Q&A with RAND Experts RAND

Ukraine can win war if it has enough assets – Advisor to US President Ukrainska Pravda

* * *

Ukraine vows more self-reliance as war enters third year Politico. Oh.

New Footage Shows Ukraine’s U.S.-Supplied Abrams Tanks in First Combat: Images Fuel Speculation of Battlefield Loss Military Watch

* * *

The Spy War: How the C.I.A. Secretly Helps Ukraine Fight Putin Adam Entous and Michael Schwirtz, NYT. What an odd headline. I would have thought nation-states “fight” other nation-states, not individuals. Anyhow, it all started after the Maidan coup we sponsored in 2014. And John Brennan. I can’t even. One nugget: “The details of this intelligence partnership, many of which are being disclosed by The New York Times for the first time, have been a closely guarded secret for a decade.” The Times as spook asset is nothing new, but why now? Another: “The Ukrainians gave the new [CIA] station chief an affectionate nickname: Santa Claus.” I’ll bet. I sure hope none of those “backpacks full of [Russian] documents” were Russian chickenfeed (especially the “election meddling” stuff, of which Brennan was apparently enamored). Anyhow, much detail here for readers to pick over. Enjoy!

Senate Aide Investigated Over Unofficial Actions in Ukraine NYT. Last line: “‘You never go into wartime Ukraine with an empty suitcase,’ he said.” Oh.

The Ukraine War Runs on Prevarication The American Conservative

The crisis of Soviet Ukraine: The Maidan Revolution didn’t free my people Unherd. Interesting.

* * *

Zelenskiy says 31,000 soldiers killed, giving figure for first time Guardian. That’s not very many. So I guess they don’t need that conscription law, then?

Ukraine’s counter-offensive plan was in the Kremlin before it even started – Zelenskyy Ukrainska Pravda. And no wonder. It was the the most widely telegraphed counterpunch in the history of the world.

A Tale Of Two Wars Madras Courier. I’m all for diplomacy, but there are some prerequisites for making it work, none of which were fulfilled in Ukraine or Israel.

South of the Border

Thousands of Brazilians rally in support of Bolsonaro amid coup probe Al Jazeera

The Caribbean

Jovenel Moïse’s widow is accused of being party to his murder The Economist

U.S. looks to galvanize support for Kenya-led armed mission to Haiti among G20 ministers Miami Herald

Why are you spending so much time on a dead white guy? Peste. Paul Farmer.


US millennial women are now more likely to die in their late 20s and early 30s than any generation since the World War II era: report Business Insider

The Bezzle

Why Are There Suddenly So Many Car Washes? Bloomberg. A private equity infestation.

Digital Watch

Google explains Gemini’s ‘embarrassing’ AI pictures of diverse Nazis The Verge. Like this:

Very 1619 Project. Commentary: “I’m done with @Google” Mario Juric. A long Tweet. Key paragraph:

I’ve been reading Google’s Gemini damage control posts. I think they’re simply not telling the truth. For one, their text-only product has the same (if not worse) issues. And second, if you know a bit about how these models are built, you know you don’t get these “incorrect” answers through one-off innocent mistakes. Gemini’s outputs reflect the many, many, FTE-years of labeling efforts, training, fine-tuning, prompt design, QA/verification — all iteratively guided by the team who built it. You can also be certain that before releasing it, many people have tried the product internally, that many demos were given to senior PMs and VPs, that they all thought it was fine, and that they all ultimately signed off on the release. With that prior, the balance of probabilities is strongly against the outputs being an innocent bug — as @googlepubpolicy is now trying to spin it: Gemini is a product that functions exactly as designed, and an accurate reflection of the values people who built it.

Those values appear to include a desire to reshape the world in a specific way that is so strong that it allowed the people involved to rationalize to themselves that it’s not just acceptable but desirable to train their AI to prioritize ideology ahead of giving user the facts.

Microsoft trying to stop Copilot generating fake Putin comments on Navalny’s death The Register


Stunning choreography:

Norwegian cruise quarantined due to stomach illness cases on board USA Today. “Stomach illness” “suspected to be cholera.”

* * *

Sky High Sabotage: Major Airlines Are Using TSA To Secretly Shut Down A Competitor View from the Wing


Ryanair demands compensation from Boeing for aircraft delivery delays FT

Supply Chain

Asia’s love for non-OPEC+ crudes set to deepen as output expands Hellenic Shipping News

Groves of Academe

Koch Injected Nearly $500 Million into Hundreds of Colleges and Universities Between 2018 and 2022 Exposed by CMD. Biggest winner: George Mason.


Best health care system in the world!

A loophole got him a free New York hotel stay for five years. Then he claimed to own the building AP

Class Warfare

It’s Not Just Wages. Retailers Are Mistreating Workers in a More Insidious Way. NYT

A New Force Set Loose New York Review of Books. Pre-1789 France.

The Origins of Enduring Economic Inequality (forthcoming) (PDF) Journal of Economic Literature. From the Abstract:

We survey archaeological evidence suggesting that among hunter-gatherers and farmers in Neolithic western Eurasia (11,700 to 5,300 years ago) elevated levels of wealth inequality occurred but were ephemeral and rare compared to the substantial enduring inequalities of the past five millennia. In response, we seek to understand not the de novo “creation of inequality” but instead the processes by which substantial wealth differences could persist over long periods and why this occurred only at the end of the Neolithic, at least four millennia after the agricultural revolution. Archaeological and anthropological evidence suggests that a culture of aggressive egalitarianism may have thwarted the emergence of enduring wealth inequality until the Late Neolithic when new farming technologies raised the value of material wealth relative to labor and a concentration of elite power in early proto-states (and eventually the exploitation of enslaved labor) provided the political and economic conditions for heightened wealth inequalities to endure.

Constitutional Clash: Labor, Capital, and Democracy (PDF) Northwestern University Law Review. From the Abstract:

In the last few years, workers have engaged in organizing and strike activity at levels not seen in decades… Viewed collectively, these efforts—”labor’s” efforts for short—seek not only to redefine the contours of labor law. They also present an incipient challenge to our constitutional order. If realized, labor’s vision would extend democratic values, including freedom of speech and association, into the putatively private domain of the workplace. It would also support the Constitution’s promise of free labor… this Article shows that contemporary fights about labor are also inherently fights about constitutional law

“[T]he Constitution’s promise of free labor.” Oh?

Death of the Innovator? New Left Review

Leap year saved our societies from chaos—for now, at least National Geographic

Deep Time Diligence (interview) Tyson Yunkaporta, Emergence Magazine

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour“>here

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Chain Of Fools by Aretha Franklin)

    Hope and Change (Hope and Change)
    Hope and Change (Hope and Change)
    Hope and C h a n g e
    You da fools . . .

    For eight long years I was President man
    Sold Hope and Change Lord on an installment plan ohhh!
    Surrendered to the swamp yeah cuz I’m nothin’ but a tool
    Better you than me ohhhh! be treated so cruel

    Hope and Change (Hope and Change)
    You da fools . . .

    Read the fine print!
    Watch out when I wink!
    Cuz what I speak yeah
    Ain’t what I think! Oh, hey

    Whatcha think you all shoulda known
    Hope and Change was so overblown
    My speeches were oh so breezy
    Yo I was stringing you all along
    I knew you came for . . .

    Hope and Change (Hope and Change)
    Hope and Change (Hope and Change)
    Hope and C h a n g e
    You da fools . . .

    You lost your moorings
    Made it easy as cake
    The Hope fades away yeah
    The Change you want won’t ever take (oh hey)

    Hope and Change (Hope and Change)
    Hope and Change (Hope and Change)
    Hope and C h a n g e
    You da fools . . .

    Hope and C h a n g e
    Hope and Change ohhh!

    Hope and C h a n g e
    You da fools . . .

    1. Wukchumni

      Another gem!

      Karine Jean-Pierre & Barack Obama are both historic figures, and its too soon to tell if Karine will end up being considered the best press secretary of all time, but early indications look promising.

      The Fresh Prince of Illinois broke the color barrier just like Jackie Robinson, when he broke into the big leagues of allowing big business to not lose big on what would have been losses were they not transformed into profits.

      After 8 years in the National league, Obama had a batting average of .201, hit 17 homers (mostly in games where his team had a big lead) and attempted 34 steals of which he evaded the tag 5 times.

      He couldn’t really play defense so all those years he was the designated hitter for Wall*Street, and as it turns out he was the only thing between them and pitchforks of money.

      Unanimously voted into the President hall of Fame on the first ballot~

      1. griffen

        Dare I ascribe this discussion to the sports world, since you are going there…always it seems there is a list for the GOAT or the future for certain HOF entrant(s) ( pick a sport, any US sport, and pick a coach, any US coach ). It’s like making a list of “best to do X” in the middle of July.

        Historic figures, ok fine and whatevs… I watched a brief recap on the news yesterday morning, Martin Van Buren was historically a short man but not the all time shortest for a US President. POTUS # 8 was also in office during a historic and bad economy.

        Final thought. Let’s Go Brandon.

  2. The Rev Kev

    ‘Steven W. Thrasher, PhD, CPT
    Prediction—a reporter to Karine Jean-Pierre tmrw: A serviceman set himself on fire to avoid, in his words, being complicit in “genocide.” Will the president call his family & if so, what’ll he say?
    KJP: The president will tell them that…Israel has a right to defend itself.’

    People forget that the Biden administration is a historic one and that Karine Jean-Pierre herself is a “historic figure”. We know this because she actually told us so herself- (15 sec video)

    Such is life in the bubble.

    1. griffen

      It’s still a little early on the East Coast here in USA USA. I’d discourage anyone watching that on a full stomach or in the middle of a morning breakfast. Difficult to watch, that was.

      Maybe we get a protest song in the young man’s honor, maybe from a Springsteen or a Dave Matthews? Hey you can write songs that protest Democrats as well! Wish that were sarcasm, I remember well their protests against Bush and Cheney ( with valid reasons to do so ).

      1. Terry Flynn

        I’ve seen messed up stuff on the internet but that really hit hard. Also, “I don’t need guns, I need fire extinguishers”. That sums up what is needed to treat the effects of Western policy in general.

        1. Randall Flagg

          That is one of the things that shocked me beyond the whole video in the first place.
          The cop keeping the gun aimed on the poor guy long after he could possibly any kind of threat. Not jumping in to help. Throw your jacket on him or something. I know I’m quite ignorant of a lot but WTF kind of training explains that!

          1. t

            One wonders who the reporters who got the email were…

            It’s like just LARPing with zero stakes for first responders and the press.

          2. Tom Stone

            The video is not available to me in California as of 7:51 AM.
            Probably because it’s RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION!, like Hunter’s laptop.

            1. juno mas

              TS you’ve seen it before while watching the Vietnam War reports on CBS. Only teh video resolution is better.

          3. Buzz Meeks

            Either Mossad security thug or a police department trained by Israeli scum. Practically ever PD in US has been “trained” by Israeli security firms. Any coincidence in rise of police brutality and police shootings/ killings?
            I think not.

            1. Feral Finster

              And then we wonder why cops act like an occupation force. Because they are trained by an occupation force.

              I asked a former cop whether I had changed as I got older or had cops changed? Because they sure seem more @ssholish, more angry and on-edge than I remember from when I was small. Like Cartman “Respect Muh Authoritah!” with guns and badges.

              I was assured that it was the cops that had changed.

            2. steppenwolf fetchit

              Who made the decision(s) to have Israeli security firms train US police departments to begin with? And for what reason(s)?

              And when did Israeli training for US police begin? And were US police forces non-brutal before that? Or less brutal before that?

              1. ambrit

                The purpose of police is basically the application of “State Authorized Violence.” Fighting the “bad guys” takes many forms and permutations, as many as there are “bad guys” out ‘on the street.’
                Having been held up at gunpoint, I do not pretend that “the People” are all psalm singing saints. However, there is always a balance between “protection” and “control.” Today, we have swung way off into Right Field in that balancing act.
                As I have heard it explained; “Give them a gun and a badge and they think they are G-d.”
                Our ‘Betters’ have lost the “Mandate of Heaven.” Now ‘they’ are panicking.

        2. Martin Oline

          “I don’t need guns, I need fire extinguishers” I didn’t catch that part in the video. For those who did not watch the video (not recommended), it must have been said by the first responder with a fire extinguisher to the man (presumably Israeli security) with the pistol. After Mr. Bushnell had collapsed but was still aflame, he rushed into the picture with gun drawn aimed at the serviceman. Kind of reminds me of the SS Liberty. I wonder if Mr. Bushnell will be prosecuted posthumously for destroying government property? This will likely be the end of the Biden administration. I can’t see how it survives this courageous act unless it is censored.

            1. Terry Flynn

              Downloaded it and rewatched….it is possible I misheard but I’m 99% sure the “official” (YouTube generated?) subtitles are censored/mistaken – if they are an accurate transcription of the audio then the speaker definitely makes no sense whatsoever. The word “extinguisher” is somewhat swallowed but the overall context makes it hard to argue that any other word was uttered.

              Plus as Randall says above, the whole set of reactions is so way beyond the realms of human empathy or logic that even without that statement, it beggars belief.

            2. Terry Flynn

              I refreshed NC and according to screengrab it’s now age-restricted and you must have a YouTube adult account to view.

              Thus it begins.

              1. ambrit

                There are so many ways to ‘control’ the dissemination of information.
                Add this to the recent French rule ‘controlling’ the discussion of health related matters.
                Digital ‘samizdat’ anyone?

          1. Terry Flynn

            It’s at 2.23 mark and is not in the subtitles. I had to rewatch to be sure I heard it correctly. I’m still shocked.

          2. Feral Finster

            “This will likely be the end of the Biden administration. I can’t see how it survives this courageous act unless it is censored.”

            Don’t kid yourself. This will get memory-holed, tout suite. And you can bet that a small army of social media researchers are busily rabbiting up any pretext with which to smear Airman Bushnell.

            1. Em

              Sadly yes. The politicians and donors are all latter-day Madame Nhu. The Zionist social media channels are probably already promoting the BBQ Bushnell and Corrie pancake lunches.

              This is the bravest and heartaching thing (because he knew exactly how agonizing his final moments will be and the possibility that he will have to live with the consequences if he survived) I’ve seen anybody do for years and years. If there is indeed anything after this mortal life, may he rise up and take his place amongst the most meritorious.

              1. Terry Flynn

                UK version of Guardian website has already (as of 16:24 GMT) relegated the story to halfway down the front page as a minor “across the world” item.

                  1. jefemt

                    Didn’t see it at 8 am MST on the Globe and Mail. Al Jazeera had it most prominently of the three web sites I looked at … it, NYT, and Globe and Mail.
                    I have not looked at MSM/ TeeVee.

                    Good Guy With A Gun Mythbuster.

                1. upstater

                  NYT had a small front web page blurb this morning. At noon it has been relegated to the equivalent of page 8 in World… Middle East… well down the list.

                  The memory hole at work.

                2. Paleobotanist

                  Hi Terry,

                  How do you download videos from YouTube? I’m on a Mac. This is a good skill to acquire.


                  1. Terry Flynn

                    I have transitioned to Linux. Video Downloader is what I use. You simply enter the URL of the video (e.g. the YouTube vid) and it downloads. Unfortunately it won’t omit any “YouTube creator in person sponsorships” (unlike the browser add-ons I use) but I haven’t yet seen it keep any of YT’s own ads.

                    I have never (yet) uploaded a video that YT censored to my own website as it’ll probably get me in trouble but I have wondered about it….

                  2. Anon

                    If you have an apple idevice you can just screen-record (like a screenshot, but video) it. Edit the video in the photos app to crop and trim to your liking.

                    The feature is built in: Settings > Control Center > then move ‘screen recording’ into the ‘included controls’… now when you enter control center (where you turn on/off airplane mode etc), and hit the record button, it records a video of everything on your screen… hit the same button, or the red dot in the corner of the screen to stop.

                    1. Hibiker

                      If relatively savvy (interface is… Interesting) you can use the free open source Jdownloader to download YouTube videos. On pc/Mac/Linux.

              1. Terry Flynn

                The awful thing is that he might have made things easier for the powers that be. There is a very strong natural reluctance in the brain to do something so painful and awful to oneself. I’m guessing that the “buddhist monk” examples are rooted in a lot of psychological “exercise” to overcome this.

                Maybe the guy just had enough mental fortitude to overcome the “desire to live”. However, if he used any pharmaceuticals or other drugs to “fortify his resolve” these will be quickly discovered and exploited by the media to present him as an unhinged weirdo.

                1. Daniil Adamov

                  They’ll do that anyway, drugs or no drugs. (Hell, see mention of Korybko below in this thread – and that’s someone who doesn’t have this exact agenda.) I do think that a member of the US military doing this is not going to be so easy to ignore, regardless. I don’t see how the powers that be could really benefit from him. Call everyone who objects to Israeli actions crazy freaks (on top of being anti-Semites)? They already pretty much do that, don’t they?

            2. Martin Oline

              Michigan’s presidential primary is Tuesday and the news readers at MSDNC were already afraid the anti-genocide / Muslim vote will mess with Biden’s coronation. The beginning of the end I think and Biden is very determined to pardon his family. The problem is no charges have been brought. Perhaps someone here knows if a Presidential pardon can excuse someone who has not been convicted of crimes?

              1. Screwball

                I talk to some Michigan PMC people. They are in panic mode. They see the handwriting on the wall (but won’t admit) that Trump is going to Trump Biden. The Muslim vote is really sending them over the edge. How dare they!!!!!!

                They just can’t grasp that Joe Biden, the best president since FDR (yes, they say that) is not worshiped by the rest of the country like they do. How can this be? So they are busy twisting themselves into mental knots trying to not flip all the way out.

                It’s kind of funny to watch actually.

                As far as a pardon? I have no clue how the law works, but it won’t matter. The Biden’s are untouchable and will get away with everything IMO.

                1. Feral Finster

                  Do we have some of the same friends?

                  In my case, PMC wannabes, and thus forced to play the role extra hard in hopes of being admitted to The Club.

              2. Pat

                I had to check but Ford pardoned Nixon prior to charges being filed. As in he granted

                a full, free and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed.”

                There was controversy but It wasn’t challenged by anyone trying. I think the bigger problem with Biden’s issue is pardoning your family or your yourself would probably not withstand challenges, both in someone ignoring the pardon and filing charges to force the issue, and the inevitable appeal on whether the pardon was legal.

              3. Feral Finster

                “Perhaps someone here knows if a Presidential pardon can excuse someone who has not been convicted of crimes?”

                Yes. See Gerald Ford’s pardon of Nixon.

              4. Feral Finster

                But we gotta vote Biden we gotta make sure Biden wins by any means fair or foul Muh Democracy Is At Stake ZOMG!

                If senile genocidal Biden is what it takes to Save Muh Democracy, then drive a wooden stake into its heart, because then democracy is no longer worth saving.

              1. lyman alpha blob

                Maybe it’s just me but when I went to their channel on youtube, that video isn’t listed. I could only find it by clicking your link. Either I missed something (quite possible) or our techbro overlords are trying to memoryhole this one (also quite possible).

              2. Martin Oline

                Thanks for the link. I usually don’t watch their rehash of the Sunday talk shows as those shows bother me even when abbreviated. The lack of coverage of Bushnell’s death reminds me of a segment a couple weeks ago on DW News, I think, where in refuting something as ‘fake news’ the news reader mentioned that 26,000 people had ‘died in Gaza.’ Not killed but died. That had to be one hell of a big bus, or maybe several buses, but she didn’t elaborate on how they died.
                I would like to see protestors yelling “Say his name!” at Biden’s campaign appearances like the BLM protests for George Floyd.

      1. Carolinian

        During Vietnam someone did this in front of the Pentagon. That seems like a more direct inspiration for what just happened.

      2. DJG, Reality Czar

        Henry Moon Pie: from the entry about Thich Quang Duc that you link to:

        David Halberstam wrote:
        “I was to see that sight again, but once was enough. Flames were coming from a human being; his body was slowly withering and shriveling up, his head blackening and charring. In the air was the smell of burning human flesh; human beings burn surprisingly quickly. Behind me I could hear the sobbing of the Vietnamese who were now gathering. I was too shocked to cry, too confused to take notes or ask questions, too bewildered to even think … As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.”

        That was in 1963. Sixty years of imperialist wars later, here we are.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          And from the same article, JFK’s take:

          John F. Kennedy said of one photograph, “No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one.”[3] Malcolm Browne won the World Press Photo of the Year for his photograph of the monk’s death.

      3. albrt

        Ellen Goodman’s stepson, Gregory Levey, burned himself up on the Amherst village green in 1991 protesting the First Gulf War. I only remember because I was there.

      4. Jeff W

        “I thought maybe someone would self-immolate in protest of our rendering our planet inhospitable to civilization…”

        David Buckel did in 2018 and Wynn Bruce apparently did in 2022. I wonder how many people remember, or even know of, them.

        1. JM

          I was just thinking about Bruce in 2022 upon seeing the Bushnell one this morning, and how that was very efficiently memory-holed. I’d even got to the point I thought it was ~5 years ago, and I couldn’t have clearly said it was related to climate change. :(

          Also, looking at the Wikipedia page on self-immolation, it seems there was another one at an Israeli consulate in Atlanta last December that I never heard about; that one was not fatal.

    2. Martin Oline

      It will be interesting to see how long the hive mind takes to align on the same story. This is obviously a major story and they will not be able to cope with it. If it was a mass shooting the answer would be to outlaw guns. This situation will likely generate calls for more counseling for service members and obscure his words. “He made a rambling statement…”
      I have read that during the early years of WWII the SS had problems with the mental state of the executors’ killing of communists and Jews. They had to turn to internment with an industrial process of elimination to try to accomplish their goal.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        i think Caitlin has a correct assumption about how “…the hive mind….(will) align on the same story.”
        “…everywhere I see Aaron Bushnell being discussed online I see a massive deluge of pro-Israel trolls frantically swarming the comments in a mad rush to manipulate the narrative.”
        this is just sad and disgusting –
        even more disgusting is Karine Jean-Pierre response to a reporter’s question –
        KJP: The president will tell them that…Israel has a right to defend itself.
        if i believed in heaven and hell there’s a special place for her in hell –

        1. Robert Gray

          > even more disgusting is Karine Jean-Pierre response to a reporter’s question –

          Did you miss the part where the chap that the Rev Kev quoted

          ‘Steven W. Thrasher, PhD, CPT

          offered this as a rather dark-humour prediction ? I don’t believe it actually happened.

        1. Randall Flagg

          Good one!
          Good grief, I’m sure she gets away with all that being the WH Press Corps appears to be nothing more than lapdogs for the Administration. I should TM that and put it on a T shirt. Very useful in so many sticky situations. I can not imagine getting away with that in most situations in the real world where accountability matters.
          Is that response KJP’s equivalent of Jen Psaki’s, “We’ll circle back to that”?
          Another year or so and MSNBC here she comes…

    3. JW

      And right on cue, the Daily Mail produce the following ‘He has apparent links to at least two anarchist groups, Burning River Anarchist Collective and Mutual Aid Street Solidarity – both of which are based in Ohio. ‘

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Knowing some people in Burning River from my IWW days and our annual Socialist-Anarchist Picnic, I don’t see that as a slur. Rather, it makes me proud to call myself an anarchist.

    4. JustTheFacts

      Airman Bushnell said he didn’t want to be complicit in the murder of people in Gaza. I wonder whether he worked on the air-bridge of cargo planes carrying weapons to Israel from the US. Presumably his employer, the Air Force, flies said cargo planes. It’s terribly sad that he felt so powerless that this is all he could do, and he’s just being ignored anyway by the “main” stream.

  3. zagonostra

    >The Ukraine War Runs on Prevarication – The American Conservative

    Two years on, we citizens have been serially lied to by the Biden administration and the media about the war’s causes, its stakes, and its progress. The question that should, but of course will not, be addressed in the aftermath of this latest American misadventure abroad is: Will we ever learn?

    Wrong, that is not “The Question.” Rather, when will knowingly lying to citizens that leads to 100’s of thousand needless lives lost, children maimed, women killed, infrastructure destroyed, lead to convicting the perpetrators of said lies as having committed treason and hung or otherwise punished.

    This country has become inured to being lied to by the MSM, politicians, and the Power Elites that control them. Knowingly lying to the American people should be a high crime and treated as such. Until the knowingly misleading, obfuscating facts, or otherwise distorting reality is criminalized, then what does it matter if “we learn” or not. “Oh but intent will be hard to prove” I hear someone saying, poppycock says I…

    1. Cassandra

      Lying to the American people has been explicitly decriminalized, as a parting gift from St. Barack.

      1. NYT_Memes

        The connection to St. Barack is a gift to those who want us to think history started with the beginning of the 21st century. Quotes from the 18th century can be found in abundance in The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. One quote from back then is directly related:

        “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you read the newspaper you are misinformed.”

        This truth has existed since the first printing press. Before that word of mouth was effective. We Americans are stupid because we don’t know history and we have lost appreciation for curmudgeons, along with other intellectual deficiencies resulting from relatively easy living, at least among “those in society who matter”. Most important, we have lost our ability to suspect wealth for what it is. Adam Smith knew.

        Reference to St. Barack is an acknowledgement that a supposed liberal conned liberals, and now we are expressing anger, similar to a lover betrayed. Not that he was such a con, but internally unwilling to admit that he appealed to our stupid vanity, which we can’t accept. Not a perfect rant, but enough.

        “We have met the enemy, and it is us.”

    2. Procopius

      Lying to the American people is not the same as waging war on the United States. Please stop using the word “treason.” It’s not even “insurrection.” You seem to think “treason” is what the British Crown defined it as in the 18th Century — anything the King didn’t like. Our founding fathers hated that so much they included a clear definition of the word in our Constitution, and I respect their decision.

  4. flora

    re: “[T]he Constitution’s promise of free labor.” Oh?

    A better name would be “freed” labor. See the 13th Amendment.

    The 13th Amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. (It’s that exception at the end that’s behind so much private prison building in the US, imo. Those are warehouses filled with men and women doing unpaid labor making clothing and other items for big name outfits.)

    1. Polar Socialist

      I guess the mass incarceration and disenfranchisement are there just to protect our democracy, too.

    2. Alice X

      I think in the advance of the abolitionists, a parallel argument was the unfair advantage of chattel slavery (un-free labor) over free labor (wage labor – or wage slave labor if you like). Free labor wasn’t without its costs, it was just that they could be bargained down. The argument was economic and not moral. The 13th amendment was a double win for the slave masters, they don’t have buy their slaves, or maintain them and there is no effective argument about their wages. In 1860, IIRC, chattel slaves were the largest component of national wealth. We’ve been a nation of ghouls running things.

      1. Steve H.

        > The Origins of Enduring Economic Inequality (forthcoming) (PDF) Journal of Economic Literature.

        >> The second was the imposition of slavery, converting free labor to a form of material wealth that could be accumulated and transmitted over generations.

      2. IMOR

        Free Soil Party. “Free soil, free labor, free men!” Merged with the Republucans. One of the rotations that cut the Whigs out of national politics.

      3. Jabura Basaidai

        the civil war wasn’t about freeing anyone – you’re correct that it was economic not moral – discussing this issue with a gentleman in charge of a parking garage in Chicago, he looked at me and said it was commerce then and it’s commerce now – there is no morality only virtue signaling when racism continues to be institutionalized – a scarecrow that changes clothes when the weather changes –

        1. JBird4049

          Respectfully, I strongly disagree. If the moral element had not been involved, the Union Army would have dissolved by the second year especially the Army of the Potomac. If it had only been about money, the Underground Railroad would not have been so successful. If it had only been about money, the 1850 Compromise, which included 1850 Fugitive Slave Act would not have been the final Congressional legislation that guaranteed the civil war.

          The United States has many, many sins on its collective soul, but it is not as dark souled as some believe if only for the acts of goodness that it has achieved. Americans like that airman have always been a part of America nation even as its government does terrible things and often in the name of money.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            point taken in as far as involvement of a moral element – war requires a moral element to fire up the troops – if the grunts thought they were fighting and dying only for the rich getting richer there may have been a problem – even the 1850 Compromise was about commerce as was the Missouri Compromise and slavery was a bargaining chip in those compromises, not a moral dilemma – and yes there were abolitionists and people of strong moral character to whom slavery was an abomination – my point is that the primary cause was based on commerce – the North was industry, the South agriculture – the issue of states’ rights was predicated by commerce – the economic interests of the North felt compromised by the unpaid labor of slavery and resistance of the South to taxes – the South dressed up their white supremacy with a cultural tradition that was financially compromised if slavery was abolished – it was a supremacy facilitated and predicated by the commerce of slavery – i don’t believe you disagree that institutional racism is alive and well, burnished by code words and lame justification – slavery was present at the inception of this country – the moral element you refer to was a useful tool of propaganda and motivation by the North – i apologize that the implication was that a moral element did not exist – the moral element was a necessary component, just not the primary one – my discussion with the Chicago gentleman was about the causes of the civil war – i still think he was correct, just as you are correct also about a moral element –

        2. Feral Finster

          If it were strictly a matter of economics, the North would have just as easily adopted slavery, or the South abolished it.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            problem in the North was the flood of European immigration that was laboring in the nascent industrial areas of the North, which would have been threatened by slavery – given the logistics of the agricultural South it was more favorable to a controlling environment for slavery than an urban environment – also slavery wasn’t accepted by Europeans, except of course in their colonies –

            1. JBird4049

              Just before the war they were experimenting with using slaves in factories. I believe that it was Birmingham, Alabama. IIRC, it was a success although the war ended the experiment. Harder does not mean impossible or not profitable.

              1. Jabura Basaidai

                of course we can then address the scourge of child labor in mills and slaughterhouses in the North – not labeled slavery but it certainly was a form of indentured servitude – just wondering if it is difficult to accept economics as a primary cause? –

                1. JBird4049

                  Economics is almost always a cause of a conflict, but the moral also almost always weakens or strengthens a side. People usually want to have a good reason other than just money to die. for.

              2. rowlf

                Railroads in Georgia owned slaves.

                The Railroads of Georgia in the Confederate War Effort

                The operating officialdom of the average Georgia carrier of the Civil War period commonly consisted of a president, a superintendent, and — usually — a master mechanic. Their salaries seem to have been commensurate with their undeniably important positions: the usual salary of a superintendent averaged between $6,000 and $8,000 per annum, which for the period and before the coming of wartime inflation, represented a handsome income.​7 Employees were organized roughly as at present into operating, maintenance, mechanical, and clerical departments, and the wages paid for the more skilled labor seems to have been solved in part by the owner­ship of slaves. p516 In 1860 the Central Railroad possessed slaves valued at $58,863,​8 and as late as December 1, 1864, the Macon and Western listed twenty-five slaves valued at $51,478.​9 According to the annual report to the stockholders of the Georgia Railroad for 1859, that company owned slaves worth $32,352.

            2. steppenwolf fetchit

              Of course the East and South Europeans coming to America in those days were not from European countries which had colonies, they were from European countries which were themselves part of Empires . . . the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Czarist Empire, or from Balkan countries which had been part of the Ottoman Empire very shortly before.

  5. Wukchumni

    A New Force Set Loose New York Review of Books. Pre-1789 France
    I used to follow the money and often historians miss out on a crucial financial folly that foiled France back in the day…

    When I was a kid you could buy 1790’s Assignat banknotes for a few bucks, amazing that!

    Looking up ‘Assignat’ on eBay, they now run around $10 and up and there are some 400 listings to give you an idea of just how many of these banknotes were issued.

    A genuine artifact of the French Revolution for 10 bucks, wow.

    Assignats were first issued in 1789 and backed by land (the Fannie Mae of the day) and they were printed in ever increasing quantity from the initial runs, to something approximating our current $33 Trillion national deficit (adjusted for inflation, not sure a trillion of anything existed back in the day) and their buying power plummeted in the 2nd instance of hyperinflation via banknote i’m aware of, Continental Currency in the 1770’s & 1780’s being the first.

    Kind of a prophetic looking Louis XVI on this 1792 1/2 Ecu, it looks as if a cooler head has prevailed in his portrait on the obverse thanks to a meeting with the national razor/

    1. Frankie

      Ha. That’s nothing compared to recent times. I have a shoebox full of Zimbabwean
      50 Trillion Dollar notes brought back by my sister. Signs in primitive toilets in what was left of Rhodesia after whites were driven out, if they were lucky.

      “Toilet paper only, no cardboard, no newspapers, no zimnotes.”

      It took armfulls of 50 Trillion notes to buy a loaf of bread.
      Here’s pictures:

  6. upstater

    re. Why Are There Suddenly So Many Car Washes? Bloomberg

    I was wondering about this myself. They have sprouted like mushrooms. Around here I kind of get why someone would use a facility instead of DIY in winter with cold and accumulated salt and grit. But these places are huge. This quote really got me:

    According to Rickwood, current technology uses about 50 gallons a wash, 80% of which is recycled. Going DIY with a hose and a bucket typically requires 150 gallons.

    I’m exclusively DIY. I start with 3 gallons of soapy water and then initially rinse the under carriage. Then soap and rinse in quarters. My well puts of 3 gallons per minute. According to this, my hose would be running full blast for 50 minutes! Of course it doesn’t! I doubt I use more than 30 gallons since it takes half an hour with the hose running less than half the time not at full blast. Obviously the Bloomberg reporter didn’t question water use. Also note nothing is said about energy use by these places. They are massive energy consumers for heating (they are open buildings in winter), hot water and all the electricity. I use a bit of electricity for the well pump, the rest is elbow grease.

    Just another example of malinvestment.

    1. Carolinian

      We have two new ones just opening up. A few years back it was “urgent care” medical offices and now the great majority of those are gone (one was in an old Blockbuster video story–another commercial space crash and burn).

    2. Neutrino

      Jim Croce was onto something back in the 70s.

      Those low-down, mind-messin’ totally depressin’ workin’ in the car wash blues.

      That was from memory. Then found it started with steadily depressin’.
      Wonder how the labor picture changed over the decades? Go to any carwash now and ask the workers. In Spanish, typically.

        1. griffen

          Speaking of fun and also being still in teenager / high school mode (despite my age of 51) when it comes to such distractions…pardon my antics…

          Bad Teacher has a car wash scene featuring a well known song from the pop metal / hair metal era. While she isn’t former model Tawny Kitaen ( rest in peace ) dancing on a Jaguar, in the above film Cameron Diaz does a pretty good turn of entertaining.

    3. Em

      We got a wash last spring to rinse out the salts from our car undercarriage. The clerk tried to sell us on a weekly plan! Must be for the same people who do laundry everyday in order to have fresh sheets and towels.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      There is no hose where I live and the parking area is a muddy swamp. I usually use two gallons of water to wash and rinse my car, which I did seldom this last year with the almost weekly rainstorms. I usually wait until the day before a few days of predicted rain and worry most about getting the salt off, and much less about thoroughly rinsing off the soap residue. The next day’s rain takes care of that. A drive during the rain takes care of cleansing the underside and coating it with mud which I hope contains less salt than accumulates from snowy, icy roads. The car washes whether automatic or metered cost too much and all it takes is one hours driving to return my car to an unwashed state.

    5. GF

      What has worked for my car washing needs is to put the car out of the garage during a rain event then put it back while wet and towel dry. After the rain part, it takes about 20 minutes to do a thorough dry and uses no water except for washing the towels after with other appropriate items needing cleaning.

      The problem (or not) is that where we live it doesn’t rain often so the car can look unkempt between rain events.

      1. zach

        This is approximately the same technique i employ, except i don’t garage my cars or dry them off when it rains.

        The clearcoat is peeling on both, but i think it adds a certain thusness. No rust yet, but they’re both green so at least it’ll be complementary all year long and downright festive for a month or so.

        I also find that other drivers give me a wide berth, except for the occasional sports car hothead. I tend to get a lot of coal rolled at me too, but it can’t always be sunshine and roses!

    6. juno mas

      I can wash my car with as little as 7 gallons of water: Use a bucket to toss a gallon over the top, let it flow down the sides; refill bucket with another gallon and use a light touch microfiber wash cloth to remove the bugs from the front—same for the rear grime; continue with another gallon bucket of water for each side; use a microfiber sponge cloth with dirty water to clean the alloy rims of brake dust. That’s five gallons. Now toss a gallon over the top again and let it rinse off any lingering dirty water. That’s six gallons. Wipe down the car with a leather chamois cloth–windows first. Use the last gallon to cleanse then rinse the chamois, microfiber wash cloth, then the microfiber sponge cloth, in that order. Seven gallons to wash a large Classic car.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Houthis demand entry of relief into Gaza in exchange for salvaging sunken British ship”

    This sounds like the Houthies are playing it smart. Relief is supposed to flowing into Gaza but Israel has chocked off most of it so that the people will starve there. So on the face of it, it sounds like a very reasonable offer by them saying that for aid for Gaza, they they will not attack that ship being salvaged. But as that deal cannot go through, it will serve to highlight what the Israelis are doing that makes that deal impossible.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      The whole status of the ship seems murky. After the attack, several videos were on telegram and X showing that it sunk, but those appear to have been fakes. Later, one legitimate one showed it half-sunk but apparently barely afloat, with a severe list to one side and the back end nearly submerged. Then a few legitimate sources stated that it had not sunk and attempts to tow it or salvage were afoot.

      The article states that it was moving towards Yemen but does not explicitly state that it is being towed. So maybe it is drifting haplessly, based on local currents?

      On Saturday, the Yemeni government said that the ship was heading toward the Yemeni Hanish Islands in the Red Sea, which threatens a “major environmental disaster.”

      It may be too dangerous to tow. Does NC have any maritime salvage experts?

    1. Paleobotanist

      So ~1/3 refused and resisted. They are the really interesting ones. What do we know about them? How do we make more of them, that’s the question?

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I cannot find much comfort from this interpretation of the Milgram Experiment. I believe the lesson of that experiment is that Authority needs to select the right people to execute a task. Another lesson is that a terrible action should be subdivided as much as possible into tasks relatively benign in themselves but which in concert accomplish the heinous action. I believe many/most of those who defied Authority in the Milgram Experiment would prove less defiant about executing tasks less clearly leading to a terrible result. Suppose the subjects were asked to hold down a button to help accomplish an undisclosed result — like connecting the shock to the subject to be punished, and suppose the subject to be punished were not introduced and not seen or heard. Now consider a task like delivering bombs onto a target. Or consider the tasks involved in designing and building the aircraft that delivers the bombs — for example handling the logistics of ordering parts from outside vendors.

      Part of the Milgram Experiment involved and demonstrated acquiescence to Authority. But that obscures the extent that Authority also claimed full responsibility for the consequences of the subject’s actions providing a subject with fictitious [in my opinion] absolution of guilt for executing an order enabling or accomplishing a heinous act.

      1. Paleobotanist

        But in so far as I recall something like 1/3 of US soldiers who carried a rifle in WWII managed to never use them. These WWII soldiers skewed older, which was thought to be one of the reasons. That’s why they went after the very young men in the Nam draft, the 18-yr olds and 19-yr olds, who were far easier to manipulate into killing.

  8. eg

    “contemporary fights about labor are also inherently fights about constitutional law”

    They always were, all the way back to the First Reform Bill.

    1. Donald Gecewicz

      Em: Errrr, thanks.

      I am copying and posting the TwiXt here so that all may partake of its glory. As I have noted, RFK Jr is an astute politician. But his politics are those of a legacy admission. He’s all nostalgia for the greats in his family and a return to the imaginary days of Camelot.

      The TwiXt, in which RFK Jr reveals his economic plan, which is as carefully thought out as his vaccination plan:

      After just 9 weeks of Javier Milei in power, the government of Argentina has its first budget surplus in over 12 years. In US terms, Milei turned a 1.2 trillion-dollar annual deficit into a 400 billion surplus.

      It’s possible here too. Unlike my predecessors, I’ll actually drain the swamp and fire the bureaucrats who’ve racked up $34 trillion of debt.

      RFK Jr: He’s starting to read like a character from a novel by Sinclair Lewis. There is no there there.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Krystal Ball exposed him as a Libertarian back when she interviewed him After laying out in a very convincing fashion the danger of the incestuous relationship between the FDA and Pharma, Ball asked Bobby if nationalizing the pharmaceutical companies was the answer, thus avoiding the corrupting profit motive. Kennedy said the profit motive was what was essential.

        His approach to the environment is now to rely on tort and nuisance common law.

        The funny thing is that the fellows at Reason went after him with guns blazing, so I don’t know how receptive the Libertarian Party would be to having him as a candidate. It might work out as it seems to have for Cornell West and the Greens.

        1. marku52

          OTOH, I would happily defund the DOEducation and Housing, as they do nothing useful, and the NIH, FDA, and CDC need to burnt to the ground and rebuilt, And if they can’t be clean built, they have no reason to exist either. If PharmaCo wants me to use their pharma drug, they can pay an *independent* testing house to validate it.

          Oh and cut the DOD by at least half and bring ALL the troops home.
          “I’m such a dreamer…..”

  9. The Rev Kev

    ‘Talia Jane ❤️‍🔥
    MORE INFO: The person who self-immolated apparently emailed reporters this morning stating “Today, I am planning to engage in an extreme act of protest against the genocide of the Palestinian people,” and stated that it would be live-streamed on Twitch.’

    ‘One wonders who the reporters who got the email were….’

    I would expect by now that the FBI would have all his computers, etc. So rest assured that they will release that list of reporters any day now. In fact, his laptop is probably sitting right next to Seth Rich’s laptop. The one which has the FBI saying that it will take about 67 years to come up with ‘an index of its contents and set a timeline for producing the ones that aren’t exempt from disclosure’

    1. Neutrino

      That index of contents to that SethRich laptop should take closer to 6.7 hours than 67 years, including breaks and lunch.
      The timeline depends on who knows how much and what they will do to avoid close inspection. In other words, FBI to public, drop dead, GFY.
      Even with the existence of copies of the Hunter Biden laptop, for example, there will be blood foot-dragging.

    2. Cassandra

      Yes. Say his name.

      One reason I doggedly refuse when my nearest and dearest shame me for not supporting the “lesser” evil.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        have lost friends for not accepting the ‘lesser evil’ BS or they pedantically proclaim it’s nice to vote with your ‘heart’ but ya gotta vote ‘smart’ – had to shake my head and smile while swallowing the bile and refrain with how i used to deal physically with such condescension – evil is evil.

  10. Carolinian

    Re that NYT story

    The listening post in the Ukrainian forest is part of a C.I.A.-supported network of spy bases constructed in the past eight years that includes 12 secret locations along the Russian border. Before the war, the Ukrainians proved themselves to the Americans by collecting intercepts that helped prove Russia’s involvement in the 2014 downing of a commercial jetliner, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The Ukrainians also helped the Americans go after the Russian operatives who meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


    But whatever Mr. Trump said and did, his administration often went in the other direction. This is because Mr. Trump had put Russia hawks in key positions, including Mike Pompeo as C.I.A. director and John Bolton as national security adviser. They visited Kyiv to underline their full support for the secret partnership, which expanded to include more specialized training programs and the building of additional secret bases.


    On March 3, 2022 — the eighth day of the war — the C.I.A. team gave a precise overview of Russian plans for the coming two weeks. The Russians would open a humanitarian corridor out of the besieged city of Mariupol that same day, and then open fire on the Ukrainians who used it.


    The Russians also were trying to assassinate top Ukrainian officials, including Mr. Zelensky. In at least one case, the C.I.A. shared intelligence with Ukraine’s domestic agency that helped disrupt a plot against the president, according to a senior Ukrainian official.

    It’s like an anthology of NYT fake news stories from the past few years. Most of those probably came from the CIA as well. In fact what isn’t fake is that Pompeo and Bolton were running their own foreign policy while Trump was distracted by, yes, the NYT and Russiagate. Chomsky said he picked up the NYT every day so he could read between the lines and see what is really going on.We don’t have to do that any more because real information by honest reporters gets discussed on blogs like this one. This–really just a plea for that Ukraine money–is not such a story.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I noticed that myself when I read it yesterday; it just catalogs all the lies of the past 8 whatever years.

      I did find it curious that they claim Russia tried to assassinate Zelensky. It’s been covered here and elsewhere that such an act isn’t really in Russia’s interests.

      There’s also the big reveal of the location of the secret base; How many places in Ukraine is there a German make air defense battery in proximity to a bombed out above ground base. You know after this was published Russia is looking at all their satellite photos and previous OPs to find this place and bunker bust it. Makes you wonder if the described location is actually fact or just a ruse.

      It was also amusing that it points out that the Obama Whitehouse was squeamish about antagonizing Russia. It seems they had the right of it. If Clinton had gotten in, this would have all happened years earlier. I wonder who suggested the Obama Whitehouse didn’t have the stones to help Ukraine bloody Russians?

    2. Cassandra

      Yah. Chomsky also told us it was absolutely essential that we vote for Biden. We can always push him left once he is in office /s.

      Faugh. Another brilliant mind past its best-by date.

      1. Em

        Chomsky’s ultra-leftism has always been highly compatible with the existing power structure. He criticizes the brutality of the right but offers no viable solutions. He criticizes the Communist left to ensure that they’re never seen as imperfect but viable alternatives for the masses. His call to vote for Biden isn’t an aberration but what’s he’s been doing for his entire public intellectual career.

        There’s a reason why he has a worldwide reputation, tenure at MIT, and Epstein facilitated meals with Woody Allen, while Michael Parenti who offered much more incisive and entertaining critiques of the same topics, remain obscure and poor.

        1. Tommy S

          Chomsky has made it clear since the early 70’s and over and over again since, he says he believes that an anarchist syndicalist, or a council communist approach is the best way forward. He criticized only the authoritarian ‘communist left’ ….and for good reason. And he has offered solutions his whole life holding up examples from France’s three revolutions, the CNT in Spain, the Zapatistas, and generally social revolutionist views consistent with all left anti authoritarian socialists anarchist. left marxists, …. He rightly claims that the bolsheviks did a ‘coup’ and destroyed the bottom up revolution. Kronstadt, and then the mass murder of communist peasants by Trotsky in Ukraine, are just a few examples to support this. I wonder if you’ve ever read him.

          1. Em

            Spam filter hated my long response so here’s the shorter version

            You’re making my point for me. He holds up failed anarchist revolutions that all failed miserably due to lack of organization and workable ideology, and were quickly betrayed by liberal former allies.

            “Neither Washington nor Moscow”means committing to being right in your mind rather than figure out how to navigate the messiness of being a leftist government in a US dominated world. That’s extremely compatible with the existing power structure that funded and supported his entire career.

            1. Em

              Whatever their purported authoritarian characteristics (which just means governance by authority and not law, nevermind that all socialist countries have plenty of laws on their books and they tend to be more evenly enforced than modern day USA), every single one of these terrible regimes saw life expectancy, literacy, and other indications of actual life improvements that are well above their peers in the Third World. Compare Cuba to the Dominican Republic or China to India.

              You can’t compare actual existing socialist country to some non-existent ideal where the government does everything perfectly and don’t have to worry about Western funded saboteurs and NED regime changes. You have to compare them to their peers and here we often found they often do better in metrics that matter to their people, even as they suffer under decades of sanctions and typically having to build everything from the ground up after winning their independence from Western domination.

        1. Tommy S

          This quote has been mangled. and Max is not a person to listen to on covid IMO. He said right through Omicron…and even that April the following year after deaths had doubled, “once you get it, you are immune.” Here is the original quote, said in early 2021 before most of us knew that the vaccines worked only about 40%, and were probably useless against coming variants. ““People who refuse to accept vaccines, I think the right response for them is not to force them to, but rather to insist that they be isolated. If people decide, ‘I am willing to be a danger to the community by refusing to vaccinate,’ they should say then, ‘Well, I also have the decency to isolate myself. I don’t want a vaccine, but I don’t have the right to run around harming people.’ That should be a convention,” said Chomsky. Max later claimed, with many Jimmy Dore episodes, Chomsky said that ‘they should all be sent to concentration camps. Another lie on his part.

          1. Pat

            That is only slightly better as it still accepts the big lie that not being vaccinated meant you were more of a danger to the public than if you were vaccinated. It shamed people for making a decision that was sometimes more informed than knee jerk reactions like Chomsky’s. We knew here at the time that these shots not vaccines were not sterilizing and the idea they were was “misinformation” deliberately spread by the government. And I do not excuse an educated man of Chomsky’s status not doing due diligence and thus spreading that lie.

    3. Jeff V

      I thought that story was satire at first. Secret Ukrainian intelligence that accuses Russia of doing something bad; what more proof do you need?

      Jetliners aside, these “reports” would seem more applicable to Israel in Gaza than to Russia in Ukraine.

    4. Cristobal

      You are right. I couldn´t get all the way through it. It goes with the news that Zelinsky has released today saying that Ukraine had lost 31,000 troops killed. Last week? As the situation becomes more dire, the hopium gets stronger.

    5. pjay

      Yes. As usual, the CIA was very cautious about getting too involved and provoking Russia. You see, they’ve just been burned to many times when, in their well-intentioned naivety, they were drawn into trying to help folks. But gradually the Ukrainians “proved” themselves with their valuable intel on Malaysia Flight 17 (seems the Rooskies did it) and US election interference (the Rooskies did that, too). Oh, and the CIA’s involvement apparently didn’t start until *the night of the coup*, when the new Ukrainian security people pleaded with them for help! We didn’t really want to, but gosh, what are you gonna do? Seems we finally started getting serious in 2016 after they had “proven” themselves to us and Putin had shown his vicious imperialist colors.

      There is a very rigorous competition for top CIA stenographer among the MSM elite these days, but you’ve got to put Adam Entous up there close to head of the pack.

    6. pjay

      – “It’s like an anthology of NYT fake news stories from the past few years. Most of those probably came from the CIA as well.”

      Adam Entous: “…was part of a team that won a 2023 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for a Times investigation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In 2018, he was part of a team at The Post that won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for stories on Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election…”

      Michael Schwirtz: “is an investigative reporter with the International desk at The New York Times. He has covered the countries of the former Soviet Union from Moscow and was a lead reporter on a team that won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for a series of articles about Russian intelligence operations…”

      We thank them for their service.

  11. Alice X

    Jake Johnson at Common Dreams

    One Month Later, Israel Has ‘Simply Ignored’ ICJ Ruling and Continued to Starve Gazans

    A new report by Human Rights Watch accuses the Israeli government of defying the International Court of Justice’s order to ensure the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

    Not only have they not followed the order, they have doubled down.

    I often think of the late Michael Ratner’s query of some years ago:

    How long will the world let this go on?

    1. Alice X

      DN reported today what was said to be the first case of starvation, a two month old boy. The inconceivable is upon them, and us.

  12. Corky

    My dad died this morning.He was an active healthy man he got cancer all of the sudden. His medical treatment was very expensive and completely inadequate. I love this site and I love to read the comments here. You guys have been my anchor for so many years please don’t stop doing what you’re doing. Thank you

    1. ambrit

      Sorry to hear that. It will take a while to work out. Be patient with yourself. When my Dad died suddenly, it took a week before it all hit me, and it hit hard.
      You might want to enlist friends and family to help you deal with the Medical Industrial Extractive Complex. Dealing with that alone can be a major cause of depression. (Get everything on paper and keep copies of everything)
      Be strong, stay safe.

    2. BillS

      Condolences Corky.

      Could you tell us more about why and in what way his medical treatment was inadequate?

      NC keeps me sane as well!

    3. DJG, Reality Czar

      Solidarity, Corky. Please accept my sympathies. My mother also died suddenly. She just didn’t wake up one morning.

      Note ambrit’s comment just above: As always, he makes excellent observations. A sudden death in the family knocks the breath out of a person.

    4. Pat

      My deepest condolences to you and your family. Be kind to yourselves during this trying time.

      And I second the highlighting of Ambrit’s comment. There is wisdom on multiple fronts there.

    5. Jabura Basaidai

      lost Mom quickly then Dad slowly – the fortunate memories are a joy – cherish the ones you have of your Dad –

    6. wol

      I am so sorry. My father died suddenly as well. For a few months when I came home from work I went right to bed/sleep. Whatever it takes.

    7. Glen

      Hoping you and your family have the help, time, and space to find peace.

      I lost my Dad suddenly just before covid. And four uncles after covid. Like many things in life – I will get through it, but I will never get over it.

    8. Revenant

      My condolences, Corky, and remember, suddenly is the best way to die of anything.

      But it is a hard way to say goodbye. My father died of a dissected aortic aneurysm in my first week at College. He was divorced from my mother, he was an older father and he had the diseases of high living (but as the Italians say, why live like an invalid to die healthy?) but this was a bolt from the blue and it unmoored me. I hadn’t realised how much my sense of self was my sense of him. I made some shortsighted emotional decisions. I should probably have taken a year out on the riverbank but I chose to shoot the rapids of College anyway….

      I second Ambrit, don’t do anything hasty. Don’t push yourself either to grieve or to stop crying. Your judgment will be impaired for weeks; in respect of yourself, for months or years. I hope you’ve got people in your life and a younger generation to help draw the sting. I think it would still be a searing experience even now but if you are older, it is easier to keep your footing.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “New Footage Shows Ukraine’s U.S.-Supplied Abrams Tanks in First Combat: Images Fuel Speculation of Battlefield Loss”

    An article on RT is claiming the first Abrams tank kill and has a 14 second video of it burning-

    ‘Footage circulating online purports to show the vehicle with a large column of fire rising from its turret. It was reportedly targeted by a FPV suicide drone and sustained at least one hit from a shoulder-mounted anti-tank grenade launcher.

    A close-up of the destroyed Abrams taken by a surveillance drone shows the vehicle’s ammunition compartment burned-out, with the engine compartment on fire.’

  14. Steve H.

    > The Origins of Enduring Economic Inequality

    Thanks for the lovely banquet. So many cases, with eleven pages of references wheeled out on the dessert table.

    >> … the total increase in the mean Gini coefficient—from 0.355 to 0.706—could be decomposed
    into a shift from labor- to land-limited farming among non-state societies—from 0.355 to 0.577—
    followed by a shift from non-state to proto-state governance among land-limited farmers—from 0.577 to

    ? 0.706? That’s almost East London territory.

    1. Cristobal

      Last weekend I visited the one of the many local 5,000 year old burial sites here in Andalucia. Out guide told us that, judging from the archeological record, the society appeared to be pretty egalitafian – no palaces and what they took to be houses were fairly similar. There were special burials of what seemed to be important people. Recent research has determined that, contrary to what had been assumed, the burials were of women rather than men. A female dominated society? Additionally, in this region there is a long history of female deities. At some point in our pre-history there was a change from the female, ¨mother earth¨sort of religions to the male dominated sky-god type who destroys things and kills people. Did it originate in the Middle East? Is this the problem? I could almost see a group of Catholic priests (I´m stealing from the humerous video of the Nazi officers in WWII) in which one turns to the rest and says ¨Have you ever thought that WE might be the baddies?¨

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Israel to intensify strikes on Hezbollah even if there is cease-fire in Gaza: Gallant”

    Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant has said that he wants to push Hezbollah beyond the Litani River in southern Lebanon through either a political settlement or military action. Obviously he wants war with Hezbollah but as that old saw goes, be careful what you wish for as you just might get it.

    In the meantime there is chaos in the Israeli army. A senior retired officer has complained that ‘Behind our excellent soldiers, there is total chaos. Equipment, logistics, food, everything that needs to be moved forward is not working properly, because the army has entrusted everything to private companies.’

    Offering an example, Brik mentioned that under the current system, there are no capabilities in place in the army which could immediately repair damaged or broken down tanks and send them back to the front, with “dozens” remaining “stuck until they are towed out.

  16. Carolinian

    Re View from the wing–the big airlines are certainly hard to defend but then “private terminal” aviation–charters and executive jets–has been taking some incoming as well.

    I’ve mentioned that our downtown airport spent 30 million of that federal trust fund to lengthen a runway in order to meet “standards” but that undoubtedly also served to make this convenient airport more useful to private jets. It’s fun to hang out there and watch some jet or fancy turboprop land and then have two people get off. Back in the Gilded Age the plutocrats had their Newport “cottages” to signal conspicuous consumption and now it’s Lear Jets.

    In any case there may be a little more to the Dallas story than the big airlines trying to quash competition. Non airline aviation is also getting a sweetheart deal.

  17. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    This is quite the article about Ukraine by Michael von der Schulenburg, the former UN Assistant Secretary-General.

    The most interesting and original part of the article – especially interesting given his background at the UN and his considerable expertise on the subject – is that he argues that the West is currently in breach of the UN Charter over its military support of Ukraine at all costs, at the expense of all peace efforts.

    Here’s his argument around this.

    He asks: “Does the UN Charter give the West the right to continue this war at will, to seek a military victory over Russia and to refuse all peace efforts on these grounds? Certainly not!”

    He explains that “the UN Charter is an agreement among all member states to resolve their conflicts peacefully” and that “the Charter’s obligation to resolve conflicts peacefully exists not only to prevent wars, but also to find ways out of wars”.

    However that is not at all what the West is doing, quite the contrary in fact.

    First off, he writes that “the West’s refusal to accept Russia’s security concerns as legitimate before the war” – i.e. Russia’s concerns over “the expansion of NATO to it’s borders” – is itself a breach of the UN Charter because the West didn’t fulfill its obligation to try to resolve the conflict peacefully. Von der Schulenburg is particularly critical of Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande having both admitted publicly that they negotiated Minsk II in bad faith, for the only purpose of gaining the time necessary for the military build-up of Ukraine. He writes this was “a shocking travesty of any international law”.

    And now the West’s “refusal to negotiate a peaceful solution to the conflict” is also a breach of the UN Charter because, again, they have an obligation to find ways out of wars when peace can be achieved.

    And for those who haven’t been paying attention, yes, the West is refusing to negotiate a peaceful solution to the conflict. They even went as far as convincing Ukraine NOT to sign a peace agreement with Russia just one month into the war, in March 2022, despite both sides having “managed to settle on an outline for a comprehensive peace agreement”.

    As Von der Schulenburg reminds, “Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu would later say about the failed Istanbul peace conference: ‘some NATO countries wanted the war in Ukraine to continue in order to weaken Russia’.” As a consequence of “NATO torpedo[ing] these peace efforts”, it “bears a heavy share of the blame for the many victims and destruction caused by the war ever since”.

    All the more foolish given that, according to Von der Schulenburg, “today, Ukraine’s negotiating position would be much worse than it was in March 2022″…

    11:17 AM · Feb 25, 2024

        1. zach

          I want to click on the hyperlink, but paranoia!

          I don’t believe Mr./Ms. Finster ever advocated violence on this platform. I imagine if he/she/it did, mom and dad would put him/her/it in the pokey for a good spell.

          You can google the handle and find the name on other forums. I didn’t bother to do a deep dive on his/her/its other comments, but seems he/she/it hasn’t advocated much of anything really, on this forum anyway.

          Other than he/she/it seems to harbor a deep resentment of sociopaths, Christ alone knows why…

        2. Acacia

          Google doesn’t want to show me the linked page behind “a case”, but with a little persistence, the quotation in question is:

          Activist Blase Bonpane says, “If anyone in your movement advocates violence, always assume they are an undercover government agent.” Governments have been known to plant undercover agents who advocate violence in social movements, because when a movement becomes violent it loses its moral authority and its members can be labeled as “terrorists.”

          — Chappell, Paul K. The Art of Waging Peace (2013)

  18. Jason Boxman

    What I found most odd about Adams’ plight is that as a self-proclaimed member of the 1%, per his tweet stream, how does he not have that kind of cash available? That’s just bizarre. That’s more than half a million a year in income for a single filer, for example. Where does all that money go?!

    1. griffen

      My strong suspicion here is that for a first world problem such as an unexpected medical and healthcare bills, this individual has the first world solution. Him acknowledging that “holy cow this is how it works” is hardly a surprise to the rest of us in the real world.

      I had some corrective eye surgery for cataracts ( plus to correct astigmatism ) and the billing process was less than straightforward. Fortunately it was pretty easy to correct on the one billing for the local anesthetic, making a phone call to be sure the correct, supplemental insurance plan was billed. And to add, decidedly not a “Cadillac plan” but maybe more akin to a Chevy Chevette. Hey it generally functions if I must use it!

    2. curlydan

      My assumption is that maybe he has the funds, but they’re possibly tied up in CDs or something like that. I follow Adams on Twitter/X, and he’s a well-known “Covid conscious” person who admits his mistakes as Surgeon General while serving Trump as the pandemic exploded.

      The main thing probably is to point out the insanity of prices at urgent care. My son recently broke a bone in his pelvis while out of town a few weeks ago. We could have gone to urgent care, but no, I wheeled him through the airport etc to get him to a normal doc at home because I know the urgent care would have been hella expensive. That’s what the system does–prevents treatment due to fear of cost–especially early in the calendar year when no one has met their deductibles.

      1. juno mas

        Urgent care is not as expensive as actual ER treatment at a hospital. The issue here may be that Adam’s insurance only pays out when there is an actual “emergency” medical event. (Something the insurance company determines.) Better read his policy again.

        $5K for an ER visit is peanuts.

    3. Pat

      I’m going to echo others here in that I am sure the gentleman can and probably will pay it. But that this is the first time he has encountered one of the intended glitches in the system so that both insurance and the medical operation get their financial pound of flesh. And being privileged meant he probably spent decades before this wondering why people were complaining

      His understanding of his insurance meant this was a surprise bill. And his knowledge of the system means that he knows the cost was too much. And this is his acknowledgment that there are legitimate complaints and the medical bankruptcies are not just because people are stupid and/or deadbeats.

    4. earthling

      Only odd thing is that he had the class to speak up and say ‘hey this ain’t right’, instead of just writing a check and saying ‘it is what it is, good thing I’ve got resources’ like the rest of our elites.

      Imagine what our society would be like if we had even 100,000 elites thinking and acting like we should do the right thing.

  19. DJG, Reality Czar

    Many thanks for the excellent photo of the handsome scarlet ibis. Cranes, ibises, and egrets are all charismatic birds, even if they have oddball toothpick legs.

    Here in the Chocolate City, near the basilica under which the Holy Grail is said to be buried (at least according to local rumors), there is a dam across the Mighty Po to create a kind of holding basin upriver. Below the low dam, the river attracts garzette (small white egrets) and aironi cenerini (gray herons). They are a delight to watch as they ply the churning waters that spill over the dam, hunting for small fish.

    1. Quentin

      Isn’t Chocolate City Washington, DC, I always thought? Or is there also another Chocolate City with better chocolate in the Po Valley?

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Norwegian cruise quarantined due to stomach illness cases on board”

    Cholera? It’s like we are going back to the 19th century. I did notice something in Links and that was that video of those Cruise ships leaving port Miami on a regular Sunday. Of course you have to consider that an equal number of cruise ships are returning and docking in Miami alone so what happens if there is cholera aboard one of those ships that has not been identified? Or more likely, that cruise company wanting to dump the whole problem on the port instead.

    1. petal

      Recently I’ve been working on transcribing a death log that runs from 1771-1852. It’s a list of all of the deaths in town plus their cause of death. Lots of TB(leading cause so far), typhoid, dysentery, measles, scarlet fever etc. It’s been interesting for sure, and scary seeing these same diseases starting to pop up again. Food for thought.

      1. JBird4049

        Reading about the scale of death by disease made appreciate being alive today and why my Mom insisted on my shots. Of course, considering my own experience with chickenpox and rubella…

        I live in a world where the saga of cholera and the Broad street Pump is taught in anthropology courses explaining the scientific method, that still have living Americans who suffered from many of those diseases, certainly their grandparents likely did; death by infectious diseases has been downplayed even as they rise again.

        On TB, as I recall, for a while in the 19th century, it was the greatest infectious killer, which is why all those histories, autobiographies, plays, and novels have people dying from it. As a comparison, smallpox, which hit almost everyone and came around every 10-20 years to an area, had a death rate of roughly 20%. These were only two of the killing diseases of the time. All of these diseases were only suppressed by the late 20th century with last smallpox cases being in the 1970s. None of this is not taught, or missing from libraries and the internet. Also, diseases mutate, and the more there is of it, the more likely it will become even deadlier, with effective treatments for the new version not guaranteed, but we know all this.

        Maybe, we are not governed by monsters or fools, but by people who have a death wish?

        1. petal

          I finished it yesterday. Did not come across “Visitation from God” as a cause of death, sorry. No aliens, either. Out of 776 entries, only a couple were suicides, a couple poisonings, a handful of drownings(prob in CT River), one “accident”, a handful of “Intemperance”, a couple of suffocations. Nothing very wild. It was TB by a country mile, then typhoid, then dysentery, and scarlet fever. A few cholera as well. Like I said, interesting reading, especially as the decades passed.

          1. The Rev Kev

            “Visitation from God” usually refers to somebody that drops dead instantly with no signs of illness beforehand and it appears on many 19th century death certificates. I have an 1850 UK death certificate with that given as a cause of death.

          2. Lena

            While doing research on my family history, I came across “brain fever” given as the cause of death for quite a few ancestors in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. I assume “brain fever” could refer to a myriad of illnesses including meningitis. Interestingly, only women and children were listed as dying from “brain fever”. For men, the cause of death was usually heart or lung related.

    2. Sub-Boreal

      Miami cruise ship video:

      2024 summed up, as the bloated, top-heavy petri dishes depart from the Florida port which will sink below this century’s rising seas, if multiple super-hurricanes don’t demolish it first.

  21. Jason Boxman

    From How Israel’s war went wrong

    Wow. Just war is the most insane thing I’ve read recently.

    “It was when they grasped the extent of the embeddedness and the tunnel city that they realized that was not a possible goal and therefore not a just goal,” Walzer says, speaking of his contacts in Israel. “The goal as stated on October 8 wasn’t wrong because we [outside Gaza] were so ignorant of what Hamas had become.”

    So it’s just until it becomes unjust by facts on the ground. So everything can be justified with the right facts. Who controls the facts? The victory. So any war can be a just war.

    This dude is loony.

    It’s a convenient escape hatch though; we can go round and round about whether nuking Japan was just, depending on what facts you subscribe to. You can even argue that the Red Menace was so great a future potential threat that putting Stalin on notice that we had The Bomb was just, to prevent a future war.

    1. Polar Socialist

      I guess he was thinking that Hamas was half a dozen hoodlums waving AK-47 and keeping the hostages in a warehouse with a sign “terrorists be here!”. You roll in, you kill Hamas, liberate hostages and return a hero.

    2. digi_owl

      Yep, just look at Powell selling Iraq having WMDs as a pretext for invasion. Presto change-o, just war.

      Sadly international politics is no better than a schoolyard clique…

    3. JBird4049

      Personally, I think that the firebombings of Tokyo and the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are warcrimes. However, Japan started a war by killing over two thousand Americans, partly because it wanted to continue its devastating invasion, with its endless litany of warcrimes, of China, and it still had a navy, air force, and army that was still killing plenty of Americans. There is a case to be made for the American actions.

      The Gazans, and Hamas, have done nothing as grotesque, nor have they ever been as dangerous as the Japanese. There is no case for the scale of the Israeli actions, which are plainly genocidal, much like the Nazis were.

      1. Em

        The bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima has nothing to do with retribution for Pearl Harbor or the numerous Japanese atrocities committed against the peoples of Asia and Oceania. If the Americans cared about justice, they wouldn’t have bankrolled Japanese war criminals by funding of the LDP or supported the openly Fascist collaborators in South Korea, while allowing the killing of hundreds of thousands of Communists who fought on “our side” in WWII.

        The bombs were dropped as a warning to the USSR. “If you use your overwhelming conventional military strength to support your Communist allies in Europe or Asia, the next one is for you”. The Americans contemplated nuking Vietnam, Korea, and China in the 1950s when their conventional forces were beaten by the indigenous communist forces. The only reason that nukes haven’t been used since 1945 was because the USSR and PRC both quickly built their own to counter the American threat.

        1. JBird4049

          The lack of need to use the bomb is why I think that it was a warcrime although the firebombings of Tokyo were arguably worse. The goal with Tokyo was not really the destruction of all the small manufacturing businesses. It was to create a very real firestorm, a gigantic tornado of fire, that vacuumed people into it; the extermination the city’s population.

          Also, the use of Japanese Unit 731’s personnel is evidence enough of the American government’s hypocrisy. The Japanese were likely worse than the Germans on human experimentation.

          1. Em

            It’s easier to see firebombing Tokyo and Dresden as acts of pure vengeance inflicted on a civilian population, though they may also be to make the point to the respective populations that they really really lost and no way to resurrect the WWI “stabbed in the back” narrative.

            I would say there’s a certain kind of equivalency in what’s done against the Gazans – in their mind Israelis are desperate to establish deterrence through overwhelming and disproportionate massacre of civilians, to achieve what they are no longer able to achieve in battle. To some extent it does work, the devastation visited upon Southern Lebanon is such that Hezbollah is still reluctant to unleash their full force against Tel Aviv and Haifa. But this time, they announcing requiring a victory that they can’t achieve against Hamas, nevermind against Hezbollah.

            The work of Unit 731 (and US use of that knowledge in the Korean War) is truly horrific. Jeffrey Kaye is probably the guy to follow on this topic.


  22. Samuel Conner

    > Measles is airborne….

    It’s another answer to skeptics who challenge one with “What are you masking for? the pandemic is over.”

    A: “I think the pandemic isn’t so much ‘over’ as it is ‘permanent.’ And lately I’ve been hearing in the news that Measles is on the rise. Tuberculosis too.”


    A tactic for promoting N95 use, suggested to me by someone wiser in human psychology than I am, is to focus less on non-maskers and more on people who are masking, but with less effective devices. My experience of trying this is that it works, and is very affirming as the people are generally quite happy to receive free N95s.

  23. Feral Finster

    Concerning Aaron Bushnell: cue up an army of researchers looking either for dirt with which to discredit this man, and/or blame his protest on Russia somehow.

    Soon we will be seeing self-proclaimed experts piously that Aaron is an antisemite who also liked the “wrong” social media post once and also misgendered someone back in 2019, so he is a bad person and we can all get back to cheering on war and empire.

    1. Robert Gray

      re: the ‘self-proclaimed experts’

      The sometimes-interesting Andrew Korybko has a piece today (Substack) about A. Bushnell:

      “Aaron Bushnell’s Self-Immolation Was Counterproductive To The Palestinian Cause”

      Unfortunately, he scoffs and scorns Bushnell’s action-statement:

      > He was clearly suffering from mental illness since stable folks don’t commit suicide …

      1. Cassandra

        I have been having a difficult time formulating a response to Aaron Bushnell’s death. This quote from Korybko brings things into focus.

        Suicide is an expression of despair.

        Yes, Mr. Bushnell was suffering. And yes, he was not “mentally stable”. He was suffering from a severe moral injury, a mortal injury, inflicted by those who are officially his superior officers. His humanity was bleeding out. And yet, he made the effort to channel his despair, his mortal wound, to achieve something positive.

        Now, let’s discuss the mental stability of those who cheerfully consign hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, Palestinians, Libyans, Afghans, the children of Iraq and Venezuela into the gaping maw of Moloch, all for points in their hideous geopolitical games.

        1. Em

          Just read it. What a disgusting article! Korybko sure makes his feelings about all Palestinians very clear. From articles cross posted here, I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with any of his takes, but this one certainly takes the cake. Not going to bother dissecting any future articles from him.

          1. Em

            That is, while he claims that Palestinians do have the right to self determination, apparently that’s limited to trying to show to the world that they’re good little victims that won’t make the Western public feel bad about themselves. Just because our government has been vetoing resolution after resolution at the UN, freezing Unwrap funding, and gave Israel supplies and intel to “bounce rubble” for 143 days.

            The real problem, you see, is a peaceful and powerful act of solidarity might make people feel uncomfortable. Might make certain people who are already predisposed to think poorly of all Palestinian solidarity in the face of genocide is weird. They’re the problem, not Korybko and others like him have been rationalizing and covering for Israel’s genocide.

    2. Lena

      After hearing about Aaron Bushnell, I immediately thought of the East European self-immolations that occurred from 1968 to around 1972. The first was a middle aged Polish accountant and former Home Army member. The second was Jan Palach. About a dozen others followed, primarily Czechs but also Hungarians and Poles. Most were young men. They are now considered national heroes for sacrificing their lives to protest Soviet oppression.

      But as for Aaron Bushnell – he made the ultimate sacrifice to protest against a US backed genocide. A protest against the US, the ‘defenders of democracy’, not the old USSR. What will his legacy be? Lunatic? Russian asset? Forgotten man? After TPTB are done vilifying him, I doubt it will be ‘hero’.

  24. Lee

    “Why Are There Suddenly So Many Car Washes? Bloomberg. A private equity infestation.”

    Inspired by Breaking Bad perhaps? I’ve often wondered if the plethora of nail salons and the like in my neighborhood, typically with very few customers, are actually money laundering operations.

  25. CA

    What we have just learned or had confirmed about the work for peace of Tulsi Gabbard as a member of Congress and commissioned army officer. Gabbard went on a fact-finding mission to Syria, when there were reports that the Syrian government had been using chemical weapons and President Obama was being pressured to attack Syria.

    Gabbard met with the Syrian leadership and concluded that Syria had not used chemical weapons. Specialists at MIT quickly reached the conclusion of Gabbard. Now, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has finally confirmed just what Gabbard found.

    Syria did not use chemical weapons, but ISIL did to try to destroy Syria.

    Gabbard was brave, and heroically saved Syrian lives and actually rescued President Obama from resorting to destructive military action.

    However, Gabbard was immediately and repeatedly attacked by prominent Democrats on returning from Syria. This should not be forgotten.

  26. CA

    “China’s plan to reshape world trade on its own terms.”

    This is simply a British echo of yet another American attack on the Chinese economy. Here, an attack on the increasing of Chinese trade, especially Chinese trade with developing countries. Nonetheless, countries from Laos and Malaysia to Namibia and Ethiopia… are steadily increasing trade with China:,924,132,134,534,536,158,186,112,111,&s=BCA_NGDPD,&sy=2007&ey=2023&ssm=0&scsm=1&scc=0&ssd=1&ssc=0&sic=0&sort=country&ds=.&br=1

    October 15, 2023

    Current Account Balance as percent of Gross Domestic Product for Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States, 2007-2023

  27. Bsn

    One has to laugh at the NYT headline: “The Spy War: How the C.I.A. Secretly Helps Ukraine Fight Putin “. Maybe the USA can actually win a war? I can imagine a future victorious headline. “American Army Invades and Defeats Mike After Two Weeks of Relentless Battle.”

  28. digi_owl

    “From Pixels to Politics: How Video Games Can Inspire a Green New World Atmos. I wonder if any climate models have been wired up to video games?”

    The Civilization series has included some global warming elements in it, but it invariably also include some late game wonder tech to deal with it. But in the mean time you may see tundra turn to marsh etc.

    The various Sim City versions and offshoots may have incorporated something similar as well.

    But it has been ages since i touched any of the series (their kind seem to have faded as game publishers focused more on consoles and thus gamepads rather than mice).

  29. digi_owl

    One thing to ponder when looking at those cruise ships is that they are effectively towns powered by an oil burning power plant.

    1. CA

      One thing to ponder when looking at those cruise ships is that they are effectively towns powered by an oil burning power plant.

      [ Interesting question I will try to answer. Since the Chinese have just built a moderate size cruise ship that is electric, zero-emission, can they build a large zero emission cruise ship? I know the Chinese just built a large cruise ship, but with a conventional engine, but I do not know why a conventional engine was decided on. Possibly necessary for learning? I will try to answer. ]

      1. digi_owl

        There are attempts at getting cruise ships to hook up to port side electrical supplies when docked. But that depends on the local power grid being able to cope with a new town being attached over night.

        And while at sea? Good luck with that.

        1. CA

          China has become the largest shipbuilder, producing over 50% of world tonnage. There is obviously focus on clean energy for and operation of ships being produced, but I simply do not know what could be expected of a Chinese large cruise ship engine set. Engine development and production is a big deal from power plants to space craft and on. Recently, the Chinese have developed and are producing a complete range of stirling engines and F-class heavy-duty gas turbines. These are remarkable accomplishments. More breakthroughs are obviously coming.

          1. digi_owl

            I think stirling engines are mostly interesting for submarines, as an alternative to reactors or batteries. I think it was Sweden that pioneered its usage. Showing that it could be operated for weeks submerged, and silent enough to sneak up on a US carrier group.

            1. CA

              Actually stirling engines are being used by the Chinese on the space station as well as on craft meant for deep-space exploration. What is critical however is that the Chinese mastered the technology to produce stirling engines, since the technology is important for development. Similarly for F-class heavy-duty gas turbines, learning to make these tools is an important development step and allows China to be independent in development.

              Remember that China is supposed to be contained, but that will not be allowed to happen. This issue speaks to the integrity of the entire country.

              China has several times introduced a right to development for countries in the United Nations. The US has blocked adoption of such a right.

              Imagine being part of a country, a 5,000 year old civilization of 1.4 billion, and the country which is benignly developing is threatened with containment.

              Again, your comments are excellent and helpful.

              1. digi_owl

                Curious what benefits a stirling engine in space has over a fuel cell.

                And yeah, containing China was a lost cause once they started exporting home brand wares. Doing so proved they had the manufacturing and logistics to go it alone.

                And frankly nobody familiar with history should be surprised to see that coming, after all both Japan and South Korea had pulled the same in decades past. Heck, in the 80s there was a genuine fear that Japan would buy up USA.

                1. digi_owl

                  Well i’m an idiot. They can run off solar heat.

                  No fuel needed, less sensitive and bulky solar panels to handle. Just point one end at the sun and have enough radiators to produce a heat gradient.

  30. digi_owl

    “Death of the Innovator? New Left Review”

    Because CEOs rarely are innovators. And i dear say the tech world has come to be thanks to the low hanging fruits of the IC. That itself was a continuation of the transistor and vacuum tube of yesteryear. Jevons paradox writ large in a way.

    But this is now coming to an end, unless there is a radical new discovery in material science that can be slotted into place to allow ICs to run more efficiently.

    1. CA

      January 15, 2024

      Chinese, US researchers jointly develop new type of stable semiconductor graphene with 10 times higher performance than silicon
      By Leng Shumei

      Researchers from China and the US have jointly created a new type of stable semiconductor graphene, which displays performance 10 times higher than silicon and 20 times larger than that of the other two-dimensional semiconductors. The achievement marks “a leap from silicon chips to carbon chips,” Ma Lei, leader of the research from the Tianjin International Center for Nanoparticles and Nanosystems (TICNN) at Tianjin University, who led the research, told the Global Times.

      The achievement, jointly made by Ma’s team and researchers from School of Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology in the US, was published online * on the website of the journal “Nature” on January 3, 2024.

      With silicon-based chips gradually approaching the physical limit of two nanometers, there is a surge in global demand for chips based on high-quality semiconductor materials. Two-dimensional materials, due to their excellent electronic transport properties and potential for high integration, have become a new frontier that scientists and semiconductor companies around the world are eager to invest in.

      Graphene, as the first discovered two-dimensional material that can exist stably at room temperature, has been the focus of scientists’ efforts since its discovery in 2004 to design a new type of chip that consumes less energy and operates faster than existing semiconductors. However, the unique Dirac Cones of graphene leads to its “zero bandgap” characteristic, which has been the biggest obstacle to its application in the semiconductor field.

      By precisely controlling the epitaxial growth process of graphene, Ma’s team introduced a bandgap into graphene, creating a new type of stable semiconductor graphene, which exhibits electron mobility far exceeding that of silicon materials. It displays performance 10 times higher than silicon and 20 times larger than that of the other two-dimensional semiconductors….

      1. digi_owl

        The joke about graphene is that it can do all these wonderful things, except being produced in industrial quantities. Thus all these discoveries seem to never leave the lab.

        1. CA

          The joke about graphene…

          [ Yes, I am being dreamy when I should be completely realistic. To be realistic then, what is critically important is that technological advances not be shut off to a developing China and given the emphasis on fundamental research and development that is just not about to happen.

          The focus could as well be on advances in grain production, and here research and development is a repeated emphasis and the results entirely satisfactory. The focus could be on water reuse, and here China is spending about $150 billion yearly now on water conservancy.

          I appreciate your fine comments. ]

    2. Polar Socialist

      I personally believe there’s plenty of room in software development to run the ICs more efficiently…

      1. digi_owl

        True, if we peel back the javascript engine running inside a browser, running on top of a memory managed OS (and often sitting inside a virtual machine in some server farm somewhere).

        Those 90s systems did incredible things at 1:100th, if not 1:1000th of the computing power we have today. But it involved working very very close to the bare metal. I’m not sure the west is still producing programmers capable of doing that, though i think perhaps Russia still do.

        1. caucus99percenter

          Old retired former assembly-language programmer grumbling in the corner, still awaiting a call back to duty that does not come:

          ”Hmph — so little ole us’ns and our IBM punch cards could put a man on the moon, but now with squillions more ‘core’ and compute power plus all the advances in science and engineering, these young whippersnappers say they don’t know how anymore — so we no longer can…”

    3. CA

      January 6, 2024

      Silicon rival: Researchers create world’s first functional graphene semiconductor

      Researchers from China and the U.S. have jointly developed the world’s first functional semiconductor made from graphene, paving the way for smaller, faster and more efficient electronic products.

      Semiconductors are materials that conduct electricity under certain conditions, which are the basic components of electronic devices.

      They “are essential to allow all computers to function,” Sarah Haigh, professor of materials at the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester, UK, told Deutsche Welle (DW).

      Semiconductors “allow us to create tiny switches which can be turned on and off to allow the flow of electricity. It is this electricity flowing through electrical circuits that allows computers to perform calculations,” said Haigh.

      Currently, almost all modern electronics rely on silicon-based semiconductors. While electronic devices are becoming smaller with faster processing speeds, silicon-based semiconductors are approaching the limits of their physical capabilities. New research directions include quantum chips and carbon-based ones.

      Graphene, which is a single sheet of carbon atoms held together by the strongest bonds known, features toughness, flexibility, lightness and high resistance.

      However, a long-standing problem preventing its use in electronics is that graphene does not have a “band gap,” which is a crucial electronic property that allows semiconductors to switch on and off.

      A team of researchers from Tianjin University in China and Georgia Institute of Technology in the U.S. has now made a breakthrough in turning graphene into a semiconductor.

      Their study * was published in Nature on Wednesday…


  31. Ranger Rick

    Re: video games and climate models:
    Two games immediately come to mind. Civilization 6 attempts to model what happens when CO2 emissions get too high. Another game, the aptly-named Eco, attempts to replicate the effects of people on a simulated environment and the tradeoffs made in the name of progress. The players are challenged to protect their world from a meteor, but have to try not to destroy their ecosystems and the climate in the process of developing their technology from the stone age to the information age in order to do so. CO2 is also the main pollutant tracked as well as carbon sinks like trees and plants.

  32. The Rev Kev

    “Sweden has voluntarily submitted to the USA’

    Sweden throws away 200 years of neutrality in exchange for a bunch of countries moving into their country with claims of extraterritoriality or some such. It’s because of the Battle of Poltava, isn’t it. They have never gotten over that one.

    1. CA

      Sweden throws away 200 years of neutrality…

      [ Such appears to be the madness of prejudice, which appears to have gradually but steadily grown in Sweden since the days of an overwhelmingly liberal-minded Gunnar Myrdal. Remember that the US did all that was possible to build a lasting animosity to Russians in Europe. ]

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