Links 2/27/2024

Isolated for six months, scientists in Antarctica began to develop their own accent BBC (Dr. Kevin)

Compulsory voting can reduce political polarization in the US, study finds University at Buffalo (Paul R)

This clip is a classic:


A Spike in Heart Disease Deaths Since Covid Is Puzzling Scientists Bloomberg

Early COVID-19 research is riddled with poor methods and low-quality results − a problem for science the pandemic worsened but didn’t create The Conversation (Paul R)


Vast swaths of US will be exposed to polluted air by 2054, says report Guardian

Dominique Routhier, Reactionary Ecology New Left Review (Anthony L)


Chinese entropy and American stumbles Asia Times

Taiwan considering new chip export ban against China Asia Times (Kevin W)

Old Blighty

UK public services will buckle under planned spending cuts, economists warn Guardian (Kevin W)

European Disunion

Sweden has voluntarily submitted to the USA Aftonbladet (Micael T)


Israeli Ops in Gaza in ‘Total Chaos’ Thanks to Privatization of Logistics, Fmr IDF General Says Sputnik (Kevin W)

Israeli air force strikes deep inside Lebanon, killing 2 people Scripps (furzy)

* * *

Israel defying ICJ ruling to prevent genocide by failing to allow adequate humanitarian aid to reach Gaza Amnesty (BC)

Rafah attack would be ‘nail in coffin’ of Gaza aid, says UN chief RTE (BC)

Gaza children searching for food to keep families alive BBC (ma)

President urges countries to ‘think again’ over withdrawal of Gaza funding Roscommon Herald (BC)

* * *

3 submarine cables cut in the Red Sea between Jeddah and Djibouti. ThreadReader (Li). Important.

* * *

A promising strategy:

* * *

Extraordinary charges of bias emerge against NYTimes reporter Anat Schwartz Mondoweiss

Aaron Bushnell, RIP

Ignoring Immolators Lulls the Society to Sleep: Aaron Bushnell at the Israeli Embassy: “FREE PALESTINE!” Sam Husseini

Harrowing footage shows airman, 25, shrieking ‘Free Palestine’ after setting himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in DC after stating: ‘I will no longer be complicit in genocide Daily Mail (BC). Note Daily Mail has been hard core pro-Israel. Twitter also has a clip from CNN showing the hosts reading Bushnell’s last words in full, including “Free Palestine,” describing him as sounding calm as he approached the embassy gate.

New Not-So-Cold War

Lots of consternation about this story, which Lambert featured yesterday: The Spy War: How the C.I.A. Secretly Helps Ukraine Fight Putin New York Times, see immediately below:

CIA: Undermining and Nazifying Ukraine Since 1953 Wayne Madsen, Voltairenet (UserFriendly)

* * *

Footage Confirms Destruction of First Abrams Tank in Ukraine Three Days After Confirmed Frontline Deployment Military Watch. A bad look since we didn’t send all that many.

Russia’s victory in Ukraine resonates in Central Asia Indian Punchline

Germany eyeing Indian artillery stocks to arm Ukraine – Der Spiegel RT (Kevin W)

* * *

Zelensky releases first official Ukrainian casualty count RT (Kevin W). Even the Financial Times called it out:

But Zelenskyy’s figures fall well short of the 70,000 Ukrainians killed that US officials gave to The New York Times in August — and many more have died since while repelling fierce Russian attacks in Ukraine’s east, where Russia is trying to capture land.

Putting Western troops on the ground in Ukraine is not ‘ruled out’ in the future, French leader says Associated Press (Kevin W)

* * *

So will Biden apologize to Putin and cancel the 500 new sanctions?


Israel launches air strikes near northern Lebanese city Financial Times

Alastair Crooke: Can US Cap Middle East Violence? YouTube. Important.

Egypt announces $35bn deal with UAE to buy premium Mediterranean area Middle East Eye (furzy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Companies Helping Governments Hack Citizens’ Phones: a ‘Thriving’ Industry Fast Company

Imperial Collapse Watch

Marine Corps F-35 Takes Nosedive in Hangar While Being Used by Navy Top Gun School


Trump pivots to race against Biden after crushing Haley in South Carolina Financial Times (Kevin W)

Trump appeals $454M New York fraud ruling The Hill


Our No Longer Free Press

Takeaways from the Supreme Court’s arguments on Texas and Florida’s social media laws and the First Amendment CNN (Kevin W)

Woke Watch

Nex Benedict’s death shines spotlight on Oklahoma schools The Hill

Health Care

U.S. launches probe into possible fraud by organ collection groups Washington Post

Monopoly Round-Up: Pharmacies Nationwide Freeze Up as Major Tech System Goes Down Matt Stoller

New Municipal Broadband Networks Skyrocket in Post-Pandemic America As Alternative To Private Monopoly Model ISLR (Carla)

One of CA’s ‘Largest Almond Growers’ Goes Bankrupt. It Owes Millions to Local Companies GV Wire (h2o)


Musk vs Hitler Gemini AI (Paul R)

The Bezzle

Waymo’s Self-Driving Cars Keep Hitting Things: A Cyclist, a Gate, and a Pickup Truck Washington Post

El Salvador Adopted Bitcoin as an Official Currency; Salvadorans Mostly Shrugged Yale School of Management. From end of January, still germane.

Class Warfare

More like this, please: $1 Billion Donation Will Provide Free Tuition at a Bronx Medical School New York Times

Kellogg’s CEO: Let them eat Corn Flakes for dinner CNN (Kevin W)

Why tech companies are laying off thousands of workers The Hill

Former Harvard president urges scrapping of legacy admissions Financial Times. I went to Harvard relatively early in Bok’s long tenure. There were very few legacy admits then.

Ending The Ivy League’s Tax Dodge The Lever

Antidote du jour. Tim H: “Same pair that you featured last year in Ouroboros mode. They ignored those cat beds until they were appropriate housed.”

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

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Longer by Dan Fogelberg)

    Though we’ve shown the Ukraine endless devotion
    Russia’s beaten Ukraine black and blue
    We’re all out of cash and shells and weapons
    This is our Waterloo

    Winning wars needs planning that’s cerebral
    Not a casual glance at Sun Tzu
    It won’t help printing mountains of fresh T-bills
    This is our Waterloo

    Ukraine’s army is in splinters
    Way short of every vital thing
    Two hours — the lifespan of new soldiers
    How is this happening?

    Politics will match some odd bedfellows
    Honor dies but the profits survive
    Congress works just the same as a bordello
    This is our Waterloo
    This is our Waterloo

    The Middle East is a blanket of explosions
    Arabs there will blame both me and you
    All that oil still remains in their possession
    This is our Waterloo

    This is our Waterloo

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Second verse had me laughing out loud. Thanks.

      There is also an Abba song named “Waterloo.”
      I may have just given a suggestion to some other folks around here.

    2. Tom Stone

      The Biden administration simply needs to emphasize that what Israel is doing to the Palestinian people is DEFENSIVE genocide.
      It is God Swill and that’s all the public needs to know.

  2. The Rev Kev

    ‘Five Times August
    This sounds familiar…’

    That ecologist – Allan Savory – really does make a great case for the present state of science ad does not speak with a forked tongue. Here is his Wikipedia entry-

    Damn! The guy is 88 years old and his mind is as clear as a bell. Unlike others in his age group…

    1. Stephen V

      Really appreciate that link Rev. Was going to guess So. African…now to share with friend in the Western Cape.

    2. JohnnyGL

      Not to take away from Savory, he’s a sharp guy and a real path-breaker, but that interview clip was filmed at least a decade ago.

        1. juno mas

          Yes, layman would have difficulty with the presentation. Not because it is so technical, but that isn’t focused on the real issue: the planets ecosystems are not destined to be in some sort of balance. The planets ecosystems are in a discordant harmony: Knock an ecosystem out of “balance” and it may never return to what it was prior. Rivers change course with extreme rain events; soils get blown away (Dust Bowl) and agricultural productivity with it; erosion is a constant in geologic time; desertification expands as the climate warms faster than plant life (grasses) can adapt.

          Savory’s big mistake with the culling of elephants was thinking that the elephants were the sole cause of ecological transition.

      1. Aleric

        The reports say that the Israelis say that Anserallah cut the cables. Which seems suspicious when the Yemenis say they didn’t and generally proudly boast about their operations. Looks like another us/uk/is false flag to escalate the situation.

        1. Dessa

          Indeed. I struggle to think of how this act would even benefit Yemen’s strategy, which relies on a credible coercive threat to bring about a ceasefire. Ansarallah has said they had no plans to cut any cables, and doing so anyway with no announcement would be counterproductive. That’s one less threat they could make down the road. It would be all downside and no upside for them.

  3. griffen

    Post about Sugar Ray Robinson knocking his opponent out for good. These anecdotes only happen in a boxing ring to my knowledge. Brings to mind a scene before their pivotal fight, from the well done film Cinderella Man.

    More or less the conversation happening during a dinner the night before. To that point Baer was building a rep as a real killer with a nasty streak, ending fights when he wanted.

    Baer. “Hey pal, I don’t want to make your pretty wife a widow.”
    Braddock. “Hey pal, don’t worry about that.”

    1. Wukchumni

      Book Tip:

      The Sweet Science, by A.J. Liebling.

      Joe Liebling could write about anything with aplomb, and his 1950’s portrait of boxing is the bomb.

      The fighter (like the writer) must stand alone. If he loses he cannot call an executive conference and throw off on a vice president or the assistant sales manager. He is consequently resented by fractional characters who cannot live outside an organization.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Ever hear of the description of American football? It is said that it combines the worse things in American life – violence and committee meetings.

        1. griffen

          You’ve left out the congregation of avid followers, devoted to their city / team. Drunkards of Pittsburgh, Are you not Entertained? Is not this why you are here ?

          Tail gating and breaking bread, occasionally breaking of noses as well.

    1. Aleric

      Again note that the “confirmation” is solely based on (always “honest”) “Israeli” “intelligence”.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Please use a search engine rather than attack a link.

        Plenty of confirmation as of LONG before the post time:

        The reason for featuring that version was the discussion of how insurance would hinder repairs.

        1. irenic

          The Yemeni Ministry of Telecoms and Information Technology rejected allegations of causing the breakdown of undersea communications cables. Additionally they state: “The ministry added that the decision to prevent the passage of Israeli ships does not apply to ships belonging to international companies licensed to carry out marine cable maintenance work.”

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            This is shifting grounds of the argument, which is bad faith argumentation.

            Flora and the link above did not say the Houthis cut the cables but merely that the cables were cut. So in context, you were disputing what flora said, as in the status of the cables.

  4. The Rev Kev

    ‘Aaron Maté
    According to a new account in the NYT:
    On the night of the Maidan coup in Ukraine ten years ago, Feb. 24th 2014, Ukraine’s post-coup spy chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko arrived at his new headquarters and made his first call to “the C.I.A. station chief and the local head of MI6.”
    He asked them “for help in rebuilding the agency from the ground up, and proposed a three-way partnership.”
    Why was Ukraine’s new spy chief already on such good terms with the CIA and MI6, literally on the night of a coup that brought his new government to power? 🤔’

    I don’t believe that NYT fairy tale for a New York minute. Vicky Nuland herself admitted that before the Maidan, the US had spent some $5 billion to topple that country’s governmet in a coup – at least. No idea how much the EU invested in this project but they were certainly heavily involved. As the US had already picked who was going to be running the country, I think that it is a given that the CIA & MI6 had heavily infiltrated the Ukrainian security services in the preceding years and knew who they wanted to make ‘their guys.’ We saw the same sort of thing in Iraq and Afghanistan where their spook organizations actually worked for the US rather than their own governments.

    1. GramSci

      Re: Nazifying Ukraine since 1953

      More like 1944. From 2012, pre-Maidan:

      «Towards the end of World War II the OSS/CIA was instructed to investigate anti-communist émigrés from Eastern Europeand the USSR living in Western Europe who would be willing to cooperate with the U.S. The US believed zpUHVR amongUkrainian émigrés to be the most attractive for cooperation because it had links to opposition movements inside SovietUkraine in the Soviet Union that gave it an air of legitimacy, and it was relatively democratically minded. A November 1946overview by U.S. intelligence of Ukrainian émigré groups in Western Europe narrowed them down to two influential groups:zpUHVR, the political base of the future Prolog, and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists loyal to Stepan Bandera.»

      1. GramSci

        Also apropos: Chinese Entropy and American Stumbles

        and Francesco Sisci’s touchingly naive belief that

        «America is bitterly divided at a cultural level, squandering its main capital – its soft power –that won most of the Cold War.»

      2. .Tom

        I had the same thought but I think the article is referring to info in declassified CIA docs which may cover only part of the bigger story.

    2. Feral Finster

      It is no secret that the CIA was behind the most blatant coup in history. Duh.

      Russian dithering in the face of such aggression is what is shocking.

      1. Kouros

        I have to give it to you here. Not doing anything to stop those sharp shooters killing all and located in the “Maidan” controlled areas was a big fail.

        1. Feral Finster

          Frankly, it started long before that. The fact that various CIA And other neoco0n luminaries were swanning in and out of Kiev should have been the first and most obvious clue.

  5. furnace

    Germany eyeing Indian artillery stocks to arm Ukraine – Der Spiegel RT (Kevin W)

    I might be wrong, but AFAIK the Indians are very much on the Russians’ side in this conflict, mostly owing to old Soviet ties (as well as profiting handsomely from being oil middlemen right now, of course). I find it hard to believe they would poison the relationship by arming their friend’s enemies.

    1. zach

      I wouldn’t be quick to put Indian leadership too firmly in any one camp. India gonna do India, and when there’s a buck to be made they will do their due diligence. That said I would also be surprised if the Indian gov’t sold materiel that they knew would end up in a war zone (and against a BRICS partner), I think leadership is pretty committed to not inflaming conflicts in that manner.

      India’s role as Russian oil middlemen these days gives the leadership some degree of leverage over Russia. If they stop buying abruptly, whither all that extra supply? It’ll get got, but would present a short term logistical monkey wrench. The Russian gov’t also cannot afford to lose their political support on the world stage.

    2. Bill Malcolm

      Semi old news. Here’s a link from a Russian aggregator site in English, from Feb 11 of this year, over two weeks ago.

      Yes, it’s English. Here’s the opening paragraph:

      “India, which traditionally does not advertise its foreign policy and military-technical support in conflicts, has become one of the suppliers of artillery shells for Ukraine, despite the general background of caution in its relations with Western countries and Russia. Information about this became widespread after 155-mm long-range Indian-made ERFB-BT shells used in PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were seen in combat conditions. Markings on the shells indicate their production in 2023, which indicates the relative freshness of the supplies.”

  6. griffen

    Self immolation and the young Air Force airman so determined to set himself as an example of not being for perpetual war / against the situation there in Gaza. Watching a more unedited version late yesterday, he has some initial difficulty to get the situation ignited…did it occur at any point hey maybe I do not go through with it? I know this topic was discussed at length throughout the day on Monday.

    Great job Joe and your historic administration…a historic amount of vomit inducement. The heavy hand of vaccine mandates in the fall of 2021, historic repeat of inflation levels from 40 years ago…yeah historic on many fronts.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Years ago I use to see American politicians on TV and often they had these little American flags on their lapel of their jackets. It kinda looked stupid. But now you have politicians like Fetterman waving the flags of other countries in peoples faces and some wear the flags of yet other countries cough*Ukraine*cough on their lapels. Almost makes you nostalgic for when American politicians only wore the American flag on themselves.

        1. Pat

          For most of those years the lapel pins annoyed the heck out of me because they were all made in China. Now it and the flags themselves probably come from Malaysia. But I digress. It was probably the perfect symbol of their actual allegiance to this country.
          But now it is a banner of honor to flat out state they work for other interests. If only it would get them s*&*$ canned by voters as it should.

          1. Randall Flagg

            >But now it is a banner of honor to flat out state they work for other interests. If only it would get them s*&*$ canned by voters as it should.

            As someone said long ago, members of Congress should have to wear uniforms showing their sponsors much like NASCAR drivers do.

            1. Em

              What a wonderful idea! They can all wear sweaters and jorts sewn with the patches of their 50 biggest bundlers last 12 months, with patch size determined by dollar value. We can do that with candidates too.

          2. griffen

            The senator from North Carolina ( Wells Fargo, division, banking and FIRE representative ) has the floor to speak for the next 5 minutes. On the topic of why our Congressional leaders should be allowed to do as they please in trading of equities, options and fixed income.

            “I once was a poor and humble business leader, now I have generational wealth thanks to my trading ability and knowing what laws are going through or not. What is the point of always winning an election campaign?”….\ Sarc

              1. griffen

                understood…that was a tongue in cheek comment of course. One might contend that my above hypothetical, well not far from truth necessarily, either.

    1. zagonostra

      I know this topic was discussed at length…

      I don’t think it will ever be discussed enough. I posted a link/picture on our family chat, not one sibling commented. They are tepid about commenting on anything political and suffer TDS, if it’s not Trump, then all you’ll get is a shrug, “whatever” is their universal reaction to any political event, let’s get back to discussing mom’s cookie recipes.

      A friend told me he had read about it on twitter, that a young man “dressing up like a military personnel” immolated himself, I told him that he was more than likely reading one of the many damage control post by the swarm of zionist media psyops. I corrected him saying he wasn’t “dressed up” pretending to be in the military, he was in the Air Force and he should know the man’s name, Aaron Bushnell, I was being an ass as I sometimes am and said to him, “can you say name?, go ahead let me hear you say it”

      I just looked up what Aaron Bushnell’s last post on FB was and apparently it was deleted, why!?

      Bushnell took to Facebook earlier in the day, writing, “Many of us like to ask ourselves, ‘What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide?’ The answer is, you’re doing it. Right now.” The post has since been deleted.

      1. Lena

        None of the Hillary fan girl blogs (you thought they were dead circa 2008 but they live!) have mentioned Aaron Bushnell at all. No real surprise since they never mention Gaza either. It’s TDS all day, every day. He lives rent free in their brains. When it’s not TDS, it’s abortion rights. You know, Roe, that thing Democrats never bothered to codify in 50 years but they will next time around. Promise! Now get out there and Vote Blue, ladies! Good dog!

  7. flora

    re: AI. Musk vs Hitler.

    Love Gemini’s fine print below its answer:

    “Gemini may display inaccurate info, including about people, so double-check its responses.”

    Ya think? / lol

    1. The Rev Kev

      If Gemini had done one called Trump vs Hitler, then you would have see it featured on The Daily Kos, the New York Times, the Washington Post and all goodthinking media publications.

  8. voislav

    The comments on Bushnell Daily Mail article are pretty dire to say the least. It is the Daily Mail, but even then I expected some modicum of respect. No luck :(

    1. flora

      Are the comments live or are they Memorex… er (old ad) … are they from bot farms or correct the record-type outfits’ paid responses? Inquiring minds…

  9. icancho

    Note to Dagny T: take more care in listening, and/or consult a dictionary— there’s a difference between ‘historic’ and ‘historical’**
    But point taken, KJ-P would appear to have little self-awareness.

    **historic, n. & adj.
    Having or likely to have great historical importance or fame; having a significance due to connection with historical events.

    **historical, adj. & n.
    Belonging to, constituting, or of the nature of history; in accordance with history.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This bit and Fetterman’s recent behavior makes me believe the newer members of the DC caste is so dazzled by the monuments they’ve embraced the End of History nonsense. I don’t think Piere is mistaken as much as she doesn’t really grasp she is a pr hatchetman and nothing else. Fetterman has gone off the deep end, and it’s been reported Biden reached out to him. I think he fell for being personally asked by the President of the United States.

      1. Em

        Fetterman apparently has a long standing reputation within the PA Democratic machine as a tool available for sale to anyone who pays, which happened to be Zionists who funded his Senate run. But just like GenocideJoe’s dementia, his stroke probably diminished his ability to hide his id under fake charm and sloganeering.

  10. tom67

    Bloomberg and Covid: Perecarditis and Myocarditis are adverse effects of the Pfizer vaccine as acknowledged by Pfizer itself in the accompanying booklet to the vaccine. Furthermore there was no overall spike in death in 2020 (big spike in spring and lower mortality in autumn). The vaccinations started in 2021. Is it to much to ask why the Bloomberg article doesn´t mention the vaccine at all? Vioxx anybody?

    1. ilsm

      Ongoing spike in [non covid] excess deaths is not a mystery to systems science, and anyone critically analyzing the data!

      The statistical significance of the inference that: the “system’ changed after the vaccine roll out” is very strong.


    2. pjay

      My reaction as well. From the article:

      “Parson saw that Dowd’s heart bore signs of damage usually seen in severe coronary artery disease, although her vessels weren’t diseased. Under a microscope, she saw immune and wound-healing cells around dead heart muscle cells — early signs of repair from myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, that can occur after a viral infection.”

      Yes. And it has also been shown to occur as a vaccine adverse event. As always, I read this article closely to see if there was any mention whatsoever of this as even a possible factor. As usual, there was not. Even if such a reaction is rare, how many millions of vaccinations have been administered? Did I miss the definitive research that proved we can completely discount this as a possible contributing factor? Is there ever, or has there ever been, *any* attempt to control for this?

    3. Lena

      I have lost track of the number of people I know in their 40’s and 50’s who have died of sudden heart attacks since 2021. Previously healthy, often athletic, individuals who dropped dead at their kitchen tables, sitting on their back porches, etc. It’s stunning. Then there are the sudden heart attack victims who have survived but needed pacemakers, extensive open heart surgery, etc. One close friend suffered a sudden heart attack, then a massive stroke a few hours later. His wife had a heart attack the next day. Both survived but are now in very poor health. The husband is in a nursing home. This is not normal for relatively young, previously healthy individuals. They were vaccinated.

    4. GM

      Heart issues were reported already in March-April 2020, and were well documented with SARS1 too.

      Does the vaccine cause such issues? Yes. Is the rate vastly lower than it is for infection? Also yes.

      What is the solution that does not involves vaccination (which currently is not a solution anyway because it does not stop infection)? Stop transmission through NPIs.

      What is the societal support for that? Close to zero after one of the most successful mass brainwashing operations in history.

      So we are stuck.

      1. CA

        “Does the vaccine cause such issues? Yes. Is the rate vastly lower than it is for infection? Also yes.”

        Forgive me then for thinking that the answer for people is vaccine. I automatically take a flu vaccine shot each fall and think no more about it. Why not the same with the covid vaccine?

        What am I still missing in understanding how best to protect myself and family?

        I mean this comment in the most respectful and polite way.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Too many people are conflating the Covid vaccine with other vaccines. GM can give you a better take on the Covid vaccines, but for the mRNA ones, they seem to tax the immune system while having waning efficacy, and are not well tuned to current variants. There are claims that some of the ones based on killed viruses, which had lower efficacy v. wild type, are better v. current variants and are claimed not to exhibit

          I got my tetanus booster and intend to get the RSV vaccine and Varivax for shingles (Varivax is a live vaccine for chickenpox and live vaccines generally boost the immune system so it should help at the margin v. Covid).

          1. GM

            Note that there is no solid evidence that the inactivated vaccines worked better.

            It it all horribly confounded by everyone getting infected anyway and by the places that used such vaccines predominantly, i.e. China, only entering the pandemic with Omicron.

            But basically there is no working vaccine now, and there hasn’t been one since early 2022…

            N95 everywhere, N99 or P100 on planes is the only real defense.

        2. kareninca

          I go to reddit/covidpositive every day and the people who post there about their new infections are (with extremely rare exceptions) all vaccinated and many of them have had all of the boosters. They are still getting really nasty cases and passing those cases on to other vaccinated people. And the excess mortality figures, which match up with covid surges, suggest that a lot of people are dying of covid despite the vaccines. The number of obituaries in my hometown area just spiked after the last surge of cases.

          So these are really lousy vaccines that don’t prevent catching and transmission and there are still tons of deaths.

          Since you ask, I would argue that the best way to protect your family is to wear an N95 outside your home and use a prophylactic nasal spray and take a daily claritin (if that is medically okay for you) and wear an AirTamer.

          1. GM

            If you go back to mid-2021, you will see what my position was on vaccines — “Get vaccinated, but this will not solve the problem, and will fail disastrously in the not too distant future because of waning titers and fast viral evolution”.

            That then-future is our current reality.

            But keep in mind that the people on r/covidpositive are self-selected. The ones that didn’t get vaccinated refused to do so on ideological grounds and they are the last people you expect to find on r/covidpositive.

            1. kareninca

              Yes, I remember your advice from back then. I valued and continue to value your explanations.

              However, I did not take the vaccine, but instead have relied on an N95, claritin, Xlear and an AirTamer and have good reason to believe that I have not yet caught covid (no symptoms and I am required to test weekly for my volunteer position).

              Of course you are right about reddit/covid/positive; anyone who is not vaccinated who posts on it is immediately attacked unless they grovel and say that they so much regret not being vaxxed. Still I go there since I like to see if the number of posts correlates with the wastewater data, and also to see what the latest symptoms are.

        1. pjay

          This is my question as well. I do not question that the virus can cause such issues. But again, given the very widespread administration of the vaccines, has there been any real effort to determined these relative rates? If so, how was this done? If not, why not?

          1. kareninca

            I would think that at this point there would be government scientists seeking out unvaccinated people to check on them. Oddly enough I am not seeing any sign of that; maybe I am looking in the wrong places.

        2. GM

          If the vaccines were as deadly as claimed, there would be massive all-cause mortality spikes coinciding with the vaccination drives. But there aren’t. All all-cause mortality spikes coincide with COVID waves.

          Then there is the specific analysis on heart attacks and strokes, which started going up massively in 2020, nearly a year before vaccines were available to everyone, and did not spike sharply with the vaccination drives in 2021

          1. kareninca

            That would be the case if the vaccines were deadly in the short term. That isn’t my concern and it hasn’t been for quite a while (though I do know people who had extremely bad reactions to the shot, and the “it stays in your arm” thing was a moronic lie).

            However, if they are deadly in the medium to long term due to an IgG3 to IgG4 shift then there wouldn’t be such an obvious correlation. It seems to be a nearly universal and very major shift in the immune system. I haven’t seen any posts by you on that topic and would very much like to know what you think. The idea is that people who are vaccinated become habituated to the virus and no longer fight it off; it is like an allergy desensitization, and so they are much more likely to form reservoirs and not be able to fight off some other respiratory viruses. Brian Mowrey and Rintrah and Karl Denninger have written about it, but there seems to be a lack of interest among mainstream researchers; I don’t know why.

  11. flora

    re: New Municipal Broadband Networks Skyrocket in Post-Pandemic America As Alternative To Private Monopoly Model – ISLR

    Thanks for the link.. Great news.

    1. Carolinian

      Unfortunately “47” communities since 2021 may not amount to much and as the article says

      The growing success of local communities in establishing municipal broadband systems to deliver ubiquitous, affordable, high-quality Internet connectivity hasn’t gone unnoticed by Big Cable and the Telecom Titans who consider municipal broadband an existential threat to their bottom lines.

      Some state legislatures have passed laws making it very difficult for public broadband to take root and the article says nothing about that changing. Our state legislatures are as much under the thumb of the lobbyists as the federal.

  12. Pat

    For the record I am all for compulsory voting but only as long as ballot access restrictions are minimized and most importantly the voters have a specific and enforceable ballot line that can reject all listed candidates. And by enforceable I mean none of the above winning throws out all the listed candidates and bans them from running for that office for two terms of said office and triggers a new election in six weeks. When it could happen again. Oh and this might have to be required of primaries as well.

    I don’t know if compulsory voting could stop the supposed extremists from determining the candidates, that isn’t my concern. I want politicians to have to listen to voters more than donors. And without the ability to totally reject the candidates that will not happen.

    1. cgregory

      It’s then extremist contributors who promote the extremists. Take away their funding, and those pols would very likely become so moderate they’d actually legislate!

      When we have a campaign finance system that nullifies the advantage of having a whole lot more money we will see the influence of the extremists wane considerably.

  13. The Rev Kev

    ‘Antidote du jour. Tim H: “Same pair that you featured last year in Ouroboros mode. They ignored those cat beds until they were appropriate housed.”

    Reminds me of the stories of little children at Christmastime who will open up the large boxes that their presents came in and then proceed to play with the boxes rather than the toys that they were in them.

    1. Pat

      Typical cat behavior. I was just as amused that they both had to snuggle down into a bed and a box meant for one, ignoring that there was another equal set up. They are adorable and very cat like. Thanks, Tim H.!

    2. Late Introvert

      I have video of my own daughter doing this when she got her doll house. The adults are all trying to get her interested in it, and she wanted nothing to do with it. Later she did, of course.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Snakes that come into our place tend to die of heart attacks, usually after their heads are removed. Coincidence?

  14. griffen

    Let them eat Corn Flakes…Hey kids guess what it’s breakfast for breakfast, breakfast for lunch and surprise breakfast for dinner !! Kids…Hooray we love sugary cereal. Small wonder this comment landed with a thud.

    It’s all seemingly from a Dickens novel, American life in 2024. Hooray for history, new FDR. \sarc

    1. Pat

      Forget Dickens try Road To Wellville by T.C. Boyle. Which if it has even a modicum of fact versus fiction means this is a return to Kellogg’s roots.
      (There is also a movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Matthew Broaderick.)

    2. QuicksilverMessenger

      Do Frosted Flakes pair better with a nice dry Chardonnay or would you go for something bolder, maybe a Neuf Du Pape?

  15. CA

    February 26, 2024

    Chinese entropy and American stumbles
    US lost its chance to bend China to its will but Beijing will struggle to ever supplant America’s global order

    China’s true weakness is that everything hangs by a thread. Almost no one is really happy but everybody has something to lose and won’t act. The two odd possibilities are an internal armed uprising or an external war. Either case, no matter what the result, could send shockwaves through the domestic structure, triggering further shocks.

    Beijing is aware of this and preventing insurgency is a priority. But for this, it needs to increase repression and ramp up propaganda. All of this will increase entropy. It needs to prevent a war, and to do this, it needs to be more defensive and aggressive, and this again engenders entropy and external panic…

    [ The point of the writing, a point made continually for years, has been to prove that China is just about to collapse and America needs only to wish the collapse of China and, poof, the collapse will come.  So the end of a 5,000 year old civilization of 1.4 billion, that is 32.4% larger in GDP than the entire European Union and 24.7% larger than America, and growing faster than both, is just about here. ]

    1. CA

      Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

      This is the view in most of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): “Malaysia’s prime minister decries ‘China-phobia’ among US and western allies” *

      He said he didn’t want Malaysia to “be tied to one interest” (i.e. being forced to choose the US in the rivalry): “I don’t buy into this strong prejudice against China, this China-phobia”.

      * Malaysia’s prime minister decries ‘China-phobia’ among US and western allies

      9:10 PM · Feb 26, 2024

  16. Henry Moon Pie

    “I went to Harvard relatively early in Bok’s long tenure. There were very few legacy admits then.”

    While I did find information that Harvard’s legacy admits stepped up in the 1920s as a way to limit Jewish admits, I did not find published data on legacy admits in the 70s, so I’ll have to resort to anecdata.

    I moved into Harvard Yard during Bok’s first full year (1971), and there was no dearth of legacy admits. I had 5 suitemates in Holworthy that year, and 3 of them were the sons of graduates of Harvard College and/or one of the grad or professional schools. Viewed from the other end of the process, I had 2 prep school classmates who were also admitted to Harvard, and one of the them was a legacy. In the flurry of activity on April 15 when most everybody received their admit/reject letters, a teacher commented about that legacy’s admittance, “What? Does Harvard need a new swimming pool?”

    (In fact, Harvard’s pool, where we all had to swim 50 yards, was getting long in the tooth back then.)

    What may make the concern about legacy admits more acute is that the overall admittance rate for Harvard has dropped substantially since the 70s, highlighting the discrepancy between legacy and regular applicants.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Bok would not have been able to influence admissions policy as of his first year.

      I also don’t count prep school kids as legacy. Their families were seldom major Harvard donors, and those kids had good odds of getting admitted to any Ivy (a friend’s mother who had a Harvard grad degree, was a big donor and fundraiser, and her son, who had excellent SATs and very good grades from Exeter, was not admitted, and she said that year, which was in the Bok era, had many similar stories). In my class, only 1/4 of the Andover and Exeter kids who qualified for admission actually were admitted; in fact, if Harvard had been sticking strictly to SATs, academics and extracurricular activities, it could easily have filled its class several times over from the top East Coast private schools, with perhaps some from public schools on the level of private schools like Beverly Hills High and New Trier.

      To underscore the point, you had lower, not better, odds of getting in on comparable grades and SATs than from a pretty OK public school (Harvard and the other top schools had a decent idea of the competitiveness of many public schools re their course difficulty and grading standards).

      And as a public school kid, I can tell you the public school kids were daunted by competing with private school kids. They WERE way better educated and more fluid writers.

      I did theater (produced and stage managed) so I did meet a lot of other students. Caroline Kennedy was in the class behind me. A Saltonstall was on the 10 year plan. Aside from that, I didn’t encounter any big historical $ names. There were some celebrities, like Maura Moynihan (daughter of Daniel Patrick). Even the two guys I knew in the Porcellian (the most exclusive men’s club) were not descended from big past givers to Harvard.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        “And as a public school kid, I can tell you the public school kids were daunted by competing with private school kids. They WERE way better educated and more fluid writers. ”

        Not all of them on either count. I had a roommate who was a grad of Brookline High as well as a legacy. More than a dozen of his high school classmates, including David Scheffer, joined him at Harvard, and they thought they had superior preparation–and they may have been right, at least when compared to the Midwest day school that I attended on scholarship.

        Two of those freshman legacy suitemates were also Deerfield grads. One dealt pot and made Cs. The other dropped out to live in the Guru Maharaji’s ashram. I don’t think either was too close to the top of the class at Deerfield.

        It’s true that being a legacy was not a guarantee. I had another high school classmate whose dad had three degrees from Harvard, but his dyslexia was a big barrier on the SAT verbal. He ended up at a little Ivy in Philly, but Harvard said no.

        So did Bok lower the legacy admission rate later on?

        1. britzklieg

          Your comment, after Yves’, compels me to relate a personal story:

          In the late 90’s I sang concerts in Nepal, sponsored by USAID (don’t even get me started on that execrable organization). My host, a former classmate at my undergraduate college, took me to an authorized Tibetan (not Nepalese) antiques dealer. His name was Dutch Bob and he was also one of Kathmandu’s top dealers of hash, which was the real reason I went to see him. Walking in I immediately was confronted with the sight of an American woman twisted into a painful looking Buddhist body contortion and smoking hash from a hookah. She said her name was Maura and only later did I come to discover that her last name was Moynihan.

          Here’s the link to his blog and a memorial page she created for him:

          p.s.- somehow I managed to resist mentioning “benign neglect” to her… politesse oblige I suppose

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            ZOMG what a small world.

            She waltzed into the dining room of my “house” (residential dorms of 300-400 with a library, dining room and usually a few other amenities) all tricked out in Indian fabrics and gold bangles and rings and talked in somewhere between a pretentious and what would now be seen as New Age-y/stoned way, IIRC about Indian v. Tibetan consciousness. With the benefit of hindsight, would have lent itself to parody.

            BTW no way, no how am I denying that there were not some legacy admits. I am saying it is way way way less prevalent than now.

            1. britzklieg

              Ha! Indeed a small world and yes, she was still all hippy dippy/new age weird when we met… must have been in her 40’s by then. Not unpleasant, but a very strange person for sure!

              My father attended Harvard for one year, must have been ’45 or ’46. He had avoided WWII, as he was blind in one eye, and graduated from the decidedly non-elite Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC with top honors and a 4.0 GPA in Spanish Language and Literature. Definitely not a legacy admission, his father had immigrated from Greece and had moved up from pushing a food cart in NYC to owning the best restaurants in Sparkle City, where he had moved because of the name – he was born in the little town of Karyae in Sparta.

              I think a deciding factor in Dad’s Ivy league admission was that he was, I kid you not, a spectacular, award winning tap and ballroom dancer. He was also a VERY handsome man.

              He left Harvard after one year because he found that his Spanish professors, all very good on a technical level, could not speak the language with anything close to a native accent. He ultimately found the real deal at Universidad de Mexico, where he earned his Master’s degree and his doctorate at UNC Chapel Hill. It lead him to become an advocate for “language labs” where one spent hours listening to native speakers and he helped design the first such lab at his first teaching gig at Davidson College.

          2. Henry Moon Pie

            And I had the unfortunate experience of having her father for a course. Perhaps I should thank him for making me entirely cynical about my academic experience. It made things both easier and more successful from that point forward.

            Moynihan in class was a red-faced bully who brooked no tough questions. As one of the first neocons, he is the source of many bad ideas, and even his good ideas seemed to have been conceived out of bad motives.

            Oddly, I had John Rawls that same semester. While Rawls was completely over my head, the contrast between Rawls and Moynihan as teachers could not have been more striking.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          I dd not see anything remotely like you did so yes, it appears there was a serious shift between your class (I assume ’75) and mine (“79). The less smart preppies were mainly jocks, particularly crew. I later knew a Crocker (as in Crocker Bank) at the B-school who was I think class of ’76 or maybe even your class. 6 feet 7 and so a super oarsman. But even so (Crocker is a West Coast bank), so I don’t think his family had a history of giving, but he was super old money WASP-y, perfect manners and dressed borderline shabbily.

        3. Yves Smith Post author

          Also to add:

          I ran into kids who came from old-once-had-some-money families but their parents were clearly working PMC. One of my friends was named Shipley because his family had owned a shipping line, but I can tell you (based on later NYC experience) exactly where his father fit in the status/$ hierarchy. Made enough to send his kid to good NYC private schools, then Exeter, so affluent but definitely not much inherited money. Didn’t even have the usual staple of a summer home. But with his name and his veneer, you could easily be fooled into thinking there was family money.

        4. jhallc

          My co-worker at a state agency in Boston lived in Cambridge. Both his sons went to public schools and were admitted to Harvard around 2012. His wife was a sister to some big private equity money guy in Boston. Everything the kids did was looked at with an eye to how it would look as part of their application resume. It was my understanding that Harvard agreed to enroll a certain number of students from the Cambridge Public School system each year as part of some agreement with the city. The parents were the biggest class conscious snobs I ever ran across.

      2. Carolinian

        Wasn’t there a big meritocracy wave following the Sputnik crisis of the late fifties? And could that have made the Harvard of the next couple of decades more rigorous than the Harvard that came before or since? I do find this to be an interesting topic.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          FWIW, the guys I knew (not closely) taking pure math (Harvard had one of the best pure math programs in the US) had all gone to private schools or public schools on the level of private schools, like the Bronx High School of Science. You could not get enough math training early enough unless you had an elite math education in high school or earlier, or got it by having parents who were academics in math or physics and provided extra training.

          I took AP Math in a high school and attempted pure math. The kids who were well trained took Math 55, where even students who later became profs often got Cs. I took the more basic course, Math 11. They gave you classic proofs (this before the days of the Internet so you could not find them to cheat) and graded you v. history. I got 60s on the problem sets and was besides myself. It turned out the course median was a 40 so I got an A-, which was completely unexpected. But I could not take it, the feeling that I was just not that good at it.

          Pure math was seen as scary cool as was physics, where Harvard and Princeton had top programs. Applied math was seen as pedestrian, by comparison.

          1. vegasmike

            Schools like Bronx Science were very different from elite private schools. The average class size was and is 35 students. The athletic facilities were third rate. Very few, if any students came from upper class families. It wasn’t part of their mission to train the future rulings class. I think the ethos was kind of a soft Darwinism. If you were naturally extremely gifted your talents would be recognized. If you were moderately smart you would receive a pretty good eduction and be able to do o.k.

          2. CA

            FWIW, the guys I knew (not closely) taking pure math…

            [ Superbly correct.

            I remember being a new resident tutor at Lowell House and introducing an invited professor to students in my apartment. I somehow mentioned “applied” mathematics, and the resulting sneering response was not forgettable. ]

            1. Polar Socialist

              I’ve worked with several statisticians who started with pure math but when it was time for topology, they eventually had to choose between insanity and applied math.

              1. CA

                I’ve worked with several statisticians who started with pure math but when it was time for topology, they eventually had to choose between insanity and applied math.

                [ That is actually a minor theme used to explain a character in Liu Cixin’s “Three-Body.” ]

            2. CA

              As for high-level science research, Harvard is by far the leading American institution in publications but is now always a distant second to the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Max Planck Society comes in at number 5. French National Centre for Scientific Research comes in at 7.

              The rest of the top 10, or 3 of the top 5 and 7 of the top 10, are Chinese institutions.

          3. hk

            My UG advisor was a pure math ug major at Harvard during early 1960s. He had odd life exp: he had the audacity to drop out of grad school (math) in 1968, got drafted, did odd jobs for almost a decade, and went back to grad school in late 1970s as a historian(!). One of the most intellectually rounded people I ever met and, while I think he came from a fairly comfortable background, I doubt he had any “family connections” as such.

            Curious if math people tended to be more like him than humanities majors at Harvard.

      3. eg

        Anecdote is not data, but all the smartest people I know went to public schools. Not to say that the private schoolers are dumb, just not the smartest.

        1. Lena

          When my brother and I used to dumpster dive for canned goods and other needed things, he’d say when the apocalypse comes, we’ll know how to survive but those rich kids won’t. It was an oddly reassuring thought.

  17. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Sweden has voluntarily submitted to the USA

    What the hell were they thinking?!!!?? From the article –

    At unspecified defense facilities, certain areas will also be cordoned off where “only US forces will have access to and use” and where US jurisdiction will apply. But that’s not enough. “Upon request” the United States shall have access to and use of private land and private assets, including roads, ports, and airports.

    I don’t know if Sweden had a 4th amendment equivalent, but if they did, they won’t be needing it now. Funny how this spread of “democracy” and “freedom” seems to result in the opposite. Why, you’d almost think US officials like Nuland were being disingenuous when they say things like that…

    1. digi_owl

      Between that and the NYT article on CIA in Ukraine, and one may well wonder how the spooks in the smaller NATO nations would side with should the fan start tossing effluence around.

    2. Trees&Trunks

      It is insane! One Chair-Fool of Foreign Affairs Op-ed writes that it was all Putin’s fault.

      “Putin killed 200 years of military non-alignment
      When dusk falls, Sweden is safer in NATO

      Own foreign policy
      At the same time, Sweden in NATO will continue to be Sweden. As, for example, Norway has shown, it is perfectly possible to have its own foreign policy even as a NATO member. Our voice in the world can continue to be strong and clear even in the future.We can continue to argue for limitations on nuclear weapons and for the rights of small countries. For international law and peace. For the rights of the Kurds in Turkey and the rule of law in Hungary.”

      – Where do these fools get this from? Do they have a book call “The National Lampoon Writing Plan 101 for Media Employees”? No they can’t because US can put nuclear weapons on Swedish soil if necessary and after consultation. Consultation in this context means threat of tradewar, like the US did when they forced Sweden to implement the FRA-law which is total surveillance on all traffic in and out of Sweden.

    3. JohnA

      And this agreement is independent of NATO. It is between the US and its latest, but longstanding under the surface, vassal Sweden,

    4. Feral Finster

      “I don’t know if Sweden had a 4th amendment equivalent, but if they did, they won’t be needing it now. Funny how this spread of “democracy” and “freedom” seems to result in the opposite. Why, you’d almost think US officials like Nuland were being disingenuous when they say things like that…”

      The rulers, whether in Sweden, the United States or anywhere else, do not want democracy, freedom or anything like a Fourth Amendment. They know full well what they are doing.

      That said, a country with a “power vertical” ends up being more democratic as a practical matter, in the sense that the power structure responds to popular concerns, because everyone knows who is in charge and what the limits on his authority are.

      In a system such as the United States, there is nothing like absolute authority. Everyone gets his power from someone else and uses it in someone else’s name, ultimately going back to “the people” who have no direct formal power and cannot, for collective action problem reasons, use that power readily, even if they wanted to.

      The upshot is that the real power in a system like the United States is accountable to nobody.

      1. digi_owl

        The monied wants managed democracy, where the rabble get to pick between vetted stooge A and B. That seems to have been their take om democracy since the “enlightenment”.

  18. ciroc

    Am I the only one who is not attracted to generous donations from the rich? Free higher education should be a government initiative, not the capricious goodwill of billionaires.

    1. vao

      I would be very attracted to generous donations from the rich, but the rich do not seem at all interested in donating to me.

  19. Paul Jonker-Hoffrén

    Please don’t link to RadioGenova Twitter – it is a rabid “population replacement” channel.

  20. DJG, Reality Czar

    The Bias of Anat Schwartz, Mondoweiss. By James North (!), who has been around quite some time and writes with a leftist point of view. Highly recommended, just to clear your mind.

    Frankly, none of this mess makes sense. According to North, “Finally, one of her co-authors on two of the reports was Adam Sella, who is her nephew. … Let’s pause here. What would happen if the Times suddenly hired a Palestinian filmmaker with no journalistic background, who had recently publicly “liked” posts that called for “pushing Israeli Jews into the sea,” to co-write several of its most sensitive and contested reports?

    I have worked in publishing for many years (since the end of hot type, eh), and I won’t kid you by writing “nobody could be that stupid,” because plenty of people in publishing are incompetent. But North’s observations are correct: Who made this decision? Why? Why did anyone think that the article would survive scrutiny?

    1. Em

      The people making the decisions aren’t necessarily social media savvy. Ten years ago they probably could have killed any serious debunk with a few calls to other MSM nodes.

      The only reason they couldn’t kill the story was because there were hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims on Twitter who knew it was a lie from the start – because they heard these very same stories about the Stern Gang and out of Shatilla. EI and Grayzone have been on the beat for months before the NYT story. Thanks to autotranslation, a lot of what was previously difficult to access regarding Zaka or what the 10/7 families said is now really accessible to everyone.

      It is interesting that the Intercept “broke” the story as a limited hangout to make it about “one” overzealous reporter who got corrected by other NYT reporters.
      But due to Schwartz’s lack of professionalism managing her social media profile and one persistent squirrel, it’s blowing up to be something much bigger.

      1. Em

        We’re very very lucky that Israeli hasbara is even more incompetent than the IDF. If they were just a little more blandly evil and exercised better message control, they could have gotten away with most of their lies at least in the West.

      2. flora

        Maybe the important thing for the NYT (or WaPo et al) is to set the immediate hot take they want their readers to start with, they want that first shocked emotional response to color their readers’ future ideas about “what really happened.” And so likewise, they try to downplay any stories about Aaron Bushnell’s self-sacrifice. Don’t want people seeing that, knowing about that.

        An aside: A Newsweek ‘fact check’ says ‘no’, an Embassy security guard wasn’t point his gun at Bushnell. Even though we saw it. Here’s Newsweek’s ‘fact check’:

        “The Facts

        This claim appears to be based solely on assumption.

        Newsweek has contacted multiple authorities involved in the response and investigation of the incident.

        It is now understood that the person pointing the gun was U.S. Secret Service (USSS) Uniformed Division personnel, assisting the safety of two other officers who were extinguishing the fire and rendering aid to Bushnell. ”

        Sure, Newsweek, sure. Even though the policeman was yelling he needed fire extinguisher not a gun. We heard that. Who ya gonna believe, Newsweek or your lyin’ eyes. as they say.

        Back to my point, if I have one, the MSM’s “purpose” is to set the right hot take, the right emotional response to the official narrative about what happened, for long enough to get people to go along with DC’s next move. If people discover a few months later the first hot take was disastrously wrong, well, too late, actions are already in motion. / my 2 cents.

        1. The Rev Kev

          The Israeli Embassy here released a statement reassuring everybody, and I kid you not, that none of their people were hurt in this incident.

          Earth to Israeli Embassy – nobody cares.

    2. Carolinian

      From the Mondoweiss

      the paper clearly violated its own guidelines

      Shocked, shocked to hear that the NYT status as a rules based organization is a tissue of, well, lies. Perhaps the above discussion of legacy-ism should also apply to our august “newspaper of record.” Although in fairness the rot started long before the current Sulzberger.

      Once again Watergate may have been the pivot. Having touched the ring of power the MSM changed. When the ’80s rolled around Katharine Graham of the WaPo said, re Watergate regime change, “we’ll have no more of that” (she was friends with the Reagans).

      Until Trump of course.

      1. undercurrent

        Didn’t the NYT accede to the Bush administration’s request to withhold its reported information about the wide scale surveillance of US citizens by the Bush administration, prior to the 2004 election? The NYT held its tongue, and abetted the Bush lie that it was not conducting that massive surveillance program. Of course, its silence aided Bush’s election. Makes me think less and less of the first amendment, and all the others; they’re just cards, played at an opportune time, in a high stakes poker game. To paraphrase an Eagles song, The first amendment, that’s just sh***y people talking. Civil rights under capitalism.

        1. flora

          re: “The first amendment, that’s just sh***y people talking. Civil rights under capitalism.”

          Please don’t. That’s a mental surrender, imo.

    3. Feral Finster

      I suspect that the NYT knew what the party line would be and made damn sure to hire a reporter who would say or do anything you could think of in service to that party line.

      They knew full well what they were doing. The fact that they don’t seem to be frantically backtracking is most telling here.

  21. Paul Jonker-Hoffren

    RE: Not-so-new Cold War

    This Dutch article reports reactions to Macron’s fib about NATO ground troups (according to others, Germany, Czech Republic and Poland at least, no go).

    But the interesting bit is by a military expert of the Hague Center for Stategic Studies Patrick Bolder. The article states:

    Bolder sluit niet uit dat er NAVO-troepen naar Oekraïne gaan als er een bestand met Rusland is overeengekomen waarbij een deel van Oekraïne door de Russen bezet blijft.

    which translates as “Bolder does not exclude that NATO troops will go to Ukraine if there is a pact (or deal or treaty) woth Russia, whereby part of Ukraine will remain occupied by Russia.”

    In my opinion, if this kind of expert already talks about this, there are plans. And this is perhaps also a trial balloon. But it seems NATO may be preparing for the inevitable.

    1. Aurelien

      The French media has been playing down expectations, indeed Le Monde has a story (just updated) headlined ‘Western Allies Are Not Convinced” by Macron’s idea. Interestingly, the original headline this morning just said the allies were “divided,” and that is retained in the URL. But more and more national governments are dissociating themselves from the idea, or even saying that they don’t remember it being discussed. Macron’s well out over his skis again.

      Anonymous sources have been briefing the media, that options include things like medical personnel, de-mining teams or equipment maintenance specialists. This would all be completely symbolic, reflecting the fact that Europe (and NATO effectively) has nothing to send that would actually make any difference to the outcome. I suspect what’s really going on here is that there’s an attempt to find something to do, and something to talk about, which delays the awful moment when for the first time the West has to accept that they and the Ukraine have lost. Anything, no matter how silly, but that.

      1. hk

        I hope so, but let us remember that the same countries rushed to guarantee Poland in 1939 (and then systematically waffled until the time ran out). I realize that this is an unfortunate comparison, but the problem does bear a disturbing resemblance to the time leading up to the Phoney War. if the West does not accept the defeat (because only Ukraine will have been physically defeated, and presumably, Russia will not have taken the Western parts, at least), Russia faces some less than ideal choices: they enter into an extended “Phoney War” mode, in an indefinite state of sort-of-war with the Western powers, or deal with the temptation to solve the problem once and for all–especially when they have the advantage in arms.

    2. Feral Finster

      We go through the same thing every time. Russia draws red line. West says “no go” then flirts with red line, eventually ignores it.

      Russian dithering and western sunk costs have brought us to WWIII. It’s coming, and there’s no point in pretending otherwise.

      Had Russia used adequate force in the beginning the West would have had to accept the destruction of Ukraine as a fait accompli. By letting the US and its puppets pour money, materiel, men and propaganda into propping up the regime in Kiev, they cannot be seen to back down now.

      1. Es s Ce tera

        Had Russia captured Kiev in the beginning with overwhelming force rather than popularity, Russia would be open to the accusation that the SMO intended conquest, rather than defending Donetsk and Luhansk. Using minimal force to ‘test’ the situation, and withdrawing once the situation was proven adverse (e.g. Kiev not welcoming), in retrospect seems to be exactly what was needed. Also, even with overwhelming force there’s no way to easily capture a city like Kiev and it would have become a humanitarian disaster.

        A while back, at the start of the SMO, I saw a vid of groups of heavily armed Russian and Ukrainian soldiers, on foot, passing each other on a road, exchanging some kind of comment which caused them to laugh. I think that was the mindset at that point, both sides considered the other family, and I think this also dictated those opening moves.

        1. Feral Finster

          How was Baghdad captured? Anyway, if you want a humanitarian catastrophe, this surely is the way to get one, and if the present situation does not suffice, WWIII will.

          1. hk

            I do know when and how Baghdad was lost: when US troops shot to death a couple of dozen protesting Iraqis days after supposedly “taking” the place. This, in turn, came about because US was not prepared to handle any of the occupation chores: the crowd that the US troops shot up were protesting lack of…basically everything. For all the talk of alleged “full scale” invasion, Russia lacked both troops and preparations to handle serious occupation (and where applicable, pacification). While imperfect (Russia clearly did not plan for the conflict to become a “real” war), I think Russia did make the better choice. Even more so since, as far as I can tell, Western powers fully expected for the Ukrainians to resort to a guerilla war and prepared accordingly–lots of javelines and stingers, among others: you can’t force a crisis on the Westerners quite so easily if you are occupying most of Ukraine and fighting an insurgent war (the West will have very little responsibility, then–certainly not maintain the Ukrainian state with all its corruption as well as the much more expensive conventional army–while it would be up to the Russians to provide for the civil population under conditions of great insecurity.) In a conventional war, even if by proxy, Russia has a chance to “defeat” Western powers whereas its prospects were not good in a guerrilla war.

            Whether Russia can indirectly defeat the Western powers, though, I have no idea. Western leadership turned out to be far more fanatically dedicated to anti-Russianism than I ever expected (before 2022, at any rate). Russia may as well need to retake Paris to wrap this up.

            1. Feral Finster

              The one thing that all successful insurgencies have in common is a young population. The median age in Yemen is around 19. The median age in Ukraine os over 40, and that figure from before the war.

      2. ForFawkesSakes

        You make the same comment several times a day. It really doesn’t feel productive in any way. I prefer this type of comment to your “who’s gonna do anything about it” type comments.

        Please start a dialogue or please refrain from beating the same drum tirelessly.

        1. Feral Finster

          While I am not aware of your status as topic monitor, I say this several times a day because events and the problems we face now keep leading back to this.

          Similarly, moral arguments are wasted on sociopaths. “Who’s going to do anything about it” illustrates this basic fact, while they ignore our clever word games and close readings of texts.

          Sorry you don’t like it. That isn’t snark. I don’t like it either, but I recognize that my likes have no bearing on the way things are.

          1. juno mas

            I can agree with your opinion that Russia should have crushed Ukraine in the beginning. It was my thought initially, as well. As I’ve commented recently, it was likely the Russian Stavka that convinced Putin that military muscle was needed.

            However, I also think WWIII is a possibility (that I Do Not want to See). And I believe that is what the adults in Russia have to consider when dealing with Necons. So, as things have evolved, it appears the Russian assessment of their capability and adjustment to a proxy war with massive US funding, their plans are certainly working to their favor. I’m glad they have shown restraint; until the time comes to slay the Dragon.

            I hope to be alive to see the multi-polar world.

            1. Feral Finster

              WWIII is much more of a possibility now, as the West has sunk so much capital in various forms into Ukraine that it cannot be seen to back down now.

              I hope to see a multipolar world as well, but what I hope for and what is don’t necessarily intersect, yo.

      3. Kouros

        In this case, of sending troops, the red lines are for the western public as well. Not sure they actually desire war with Russia

        1. Feral Finster

          Nobody of influence and authority cares what the western public thinks or wants. Surely you have learned this by now.

  22. Jon Cloke

    Re “CIA: Undermining and Nazifying Ukraine Since 1953”, this is a frank misunderstanding of the true history of Nazifying Ukraine.

    In 1945 the British captured the remnants of SS Galicia (some 10,000 strong) and, it seems, with assistance from the CIA began to work out how they could use Ukrainian nationalism to upset the USSR in the Cold War.

    Thousands and thousands of Ukrainian SS were transported to the UK and US but overwhelmingly to Canada, under ‘blank check’ citizenships which avoided any reference to their activities in the SS and atrocities against Jews, Poles etc. It’s exactly this wholesale SS migration that’s led to Canada/Trudeau’s current embarrassment.

    As the nationalist guerrilla war in Ukraine took off, the UK began parachuting people into Ukraine to undertake anti-Soviet activities – at least some of these must have been Galician SS men. By a weird irony, the Philby-Burgess-Maclean axis was betraying them to the KGB and so the probability is that ex-Galician SS parachuted into Ukraine were immediately executed!

    By the early 1950s the guerrilla war in Ukraine was winding down and the CIA had become bored with it. After Khrushchev took over in 1953 he gave the Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 as a reward for support – which left Canada and the UK with thousands of ex-SS who were in the countries surreptitiously with no attention paid to their war-crimes…

    The award of Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 was just a punctuation mark in the use of that region as punishment-and-reward; if you want to know more about wholesale antisemitic extremism in the region prior to WW2, though, Anthony Beevor’s book is a good place to start…

    1. Carolinian

      So they didn’t “Nazify” they just Nazi encouraged, then and most especially recently? To be sure the quote you lead off with does seem sloppy.

      I have read Beevor’s book or most of it but some commenters here suggested his take is skewed?

      1. Carolinian

        Just to add, having now read Madsen’s article, it doesn’t at all suggest that

        the CIA had become bored with it

        Throughout the Cold War and apparently now as well the CIA’s job was to undermine Russia and Ukraine as a whole used to be part of Russia.

    2. Feral Finster

      When I lived in Ukraine, the “Canadian nationalist”, who spoke a few heavily accented rote Ukrainian phrases learned in Ukrainian School and whose understanding of Ukraine came from stories told by his SS grandfather was a figure of stock jokes.

      I remember one young woman who tried to order a taxi, “Go back to Canada!” the driver yelled and drove off.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Vast swaths of US will be exposed to polluted air by 2054, says report”

    So it is not only 19th century diseases that are making a comeback but other evils as well. Back in the 70s I often saw docos that talked about the pollution in places like LA and I am sure that Wukchumni could give us chapter and verse on what it was like. But over the decades the US seemed to get on top of a lot of these air pollution problems. Not totally but to a large degree a lot of progress was made. Now this article is saying that America in thirty years may end up with air quality resembling that from Blade Runner.

    1. Wukchumni

      From my front doorstep we had a view of the San Gabriel mountain range 15 miles distant, which you could actually see maybe 10 days a year-always after it rained, temporarily doing away with the horrible smog of the 60’s & 70’s in LA.

      Oftentimes PE in school would be held indoors as the smog was so bad, and your throat was kind of scratchy from the effects of it no matter what you did, your eyes a bit watery.

      1. Lena

        I remember those days in LA. My brother had very bad asthma. When we left to go to another state, my brother’s asthma went away.

      2. caucus99percenter

        > the San Gabriel mountain range

        Oh, so that’s what that was?

        I lived in greater L.A. for two years in the early 1970s. One day I was driving north to work on the freeway and was surprised by the visual backdrop — a range of mountains I could not, for the life of me, recall ever having seen there before! It being usually hidden by a stratum of brownish haze.

        Two days later said mountains were gone again, just as if they had been a piece of film scenery the stage crew had hauled away.

        1. Wukchumni

          Three Rivers, California is situated at the main entrance to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. It is a small village with residences and businesses along the five forks of the Kaweah River. This community lies east of Visalia on Highway 198, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Three Rivers is surrounded by nature. It sits on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains at the edge of the San Joaquin Valley. However, its beauty does a good job of masking a major issue. Three Rivers has the worst air quality in California, with an air quality index score of 74.5, the highest in the state. Sadly, many other towns in California also have terrible air quality.


          Sequoia NP typically has the worst air quality of all National Parks because Bay Area car pollution along with Central Valley car & Ag pollution have nowhere to go but up (you can actually see the barrier where it is trapped in around 9,000 feet-looking down from above it looks similar to a snow globe-but with filthy snow) and we are right in the way.

          That said, its nothing like that 60’s-70’s LA smog, generally visibility is pretty amazing and I never feel put out by the pollution.

      1. Milton

        Well, if that method were a major contributor-especially during summer, then California would mostly be spared as any smoke would ride the Pacific ridge and bombard areas to the north and east. Think China’s “spy balloon” and it’s path.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Isolated for six months, scientists in Antarctica began to develop their own accent”

    I can quite easily believe this study. I once spent several months in Germany and was speaking the language every day. The only English I heard was the radio station for the British Army On the Rhine (BAOR). But when I left there and ended up in Paris where I met a bunch of English speakers, for the first day or two I found it awkward to get my mouth around some normal English words as if I had a speech impediment.

    1. petal

      Can definitely believe it. I came back with an Australian accent. I had surrounded myself with only Australians during my study abroad and had soaked it all up.

    2. digi_owl

      Now ponder what all that easily accessible English language entertainment via the net is doing to native languages globally…

      1. SocalJimObjects

        Not much in East Asia at least. I’ve met plenty of English speaking Japanese and Chinese people, in every case, they all spoke with heavy Japanese, Chinese accents. On Youtube however, I’ve seen some people demonstrate true bilingualism, one person born to an Australian father and a Japanese mother speaks English with an Australian accent, and Japanese with you guess it, the Tokyo accent.

        English as the global language is more hype than reality in this area of the world. Unlike in Germany where kids learn English by watching shows where the characters speak English, people in East Asia would either change the spoken language to their native language or they would watch with subtitles enabled. Where I live, which is Taiwan, the government has been pushing bilingualism (Chinese and English) for the longest time, in practice however, people resort to using Google Translate whenever they need to communicate with a foreigner. Not saying there is zero Taiwanese people who can speak English fluently, because they do exist.

        Last but not least, most people in Singapore speak English but with a heavy Singaporean accent.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      Me too. I believe Patrick Lancaster who reports from Ukraine is a native English speaker, but he now speaks English in a very slow and deliberate manner with a bit of an accent. My guess is he doesn’t have too many English speakers he converses with on a daily basis.

      It reminds me of how I sounded after trying to speak English in Greece years ago. Even though most of my interlocutors spoke English as well as their native language, I quickly realized they spoke book English, and they could barely understand me when I spoke in the vernacular, full of all kinds of USian slang and figures of speech you don’t learn in a book. I started having to think while I was speaking to make sure I didn’t use slang, etc, and my speech definitely changed as a result. Took a day or two after returning home to get back to “normal”.

  25. Cassandra

    Please don’t consider this an assignment, but I would very much appreciate it if someone could point me to a way to read about the variants in Marc Johnson’s tweets. I don’t twit and nitter seems to be really most sincerely dead.

  26. JW

    ‘Sweden has voluntarily submitted to the USA’
    I have previously commented that the UK’s relationship to the US is one rung below that of Puerto Rica, perhaps its comforting to know that Sweden now holds a position at least one rung below that.

  27. Lefty Godot

    Compulsory voting probably wouldn’t work in the current USA political environment. Would immediately be attacked as a violation of “muh freedumb” by a sizable percentage of the population.

    One alternative in voting that would help non-duopoly candidates: Approval Voting. Vote for any candidate that you like, and whoever gets the most votes wins. No complicated ranking or anything fancy that requires a lot of explanation. Maybe have a “none of these” line which could compete with the others for votes (for instance, in the science fiction Hugo awards balloting one year, a none of the above/no award entry won in several categories).

    1. flora

      Approval Voting sounds good, at least in theory.

      (A personal tic: The “muy freedom” phrase grates like a chalk squeak on a blackboard to me. Standing up for one’s rights, or what one perceives as one’s rights in the Constitution did away with slavery, gave poor propertyless men the right to vote, gave women the right to vote, gave poor prisoners the right to legal council in trials, did away with poll taxes and literacy laws to vote, extending the Constitution’s civil rights to all US citizens, etc etc etc. Not perfect, often affirmed in the breach in the public’s opinion. Ya never know when one or many of the rights in the US Constitution you’ll need to call on. It’s fun to mock people who make claims you think don’t exist or shouldn’t exist. It’s fun to mock them as mentally deficient, as stupid wrong-thinkers. I know. But they do have a point by making their claims. The outer edges of what’s considered now to be sound legal theory often ends up being affirmed in law. And all that….)

      1. flora

        adding: when I see the huge efforts by govt and large corporations to shut down free debate online, to get around the 1st Amendment, I’m pretty sure I stand in principle with the “muh freedumb” crowd, as you call them.

      2. hk

        Approval voting just formalizes voting against X before voting for X, almost literally. It’s good only in a symbolic sense, but makes no real difference in practice.

    1. flora

      Thanks for the link. The NYPost at least gave a better or fuller bio of Aaron Bushnell’s life and character than any other MSM outlet I’ve read.

    2. Daniil Adamov

      I don’t see how this impeaches his character? I’d say it is much more fair-minded than I expected.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        If you scroll towards the bottom, there are a bunch of insinuations that he was linked to some anarchist group, and then some more very thin gruel that somehow uses guilt by association to say he had some links to Palestinian groups. Look for the heading “Anarchist leanings.” I almost hate myself for republishing such blatant garbage from the Post.

        Aaron liked two Ohio-based anarchist groups — Burning River Anarchist Collective and Mutual Aid Street Solidarity — on his Facebook page.

        He also gave the thumbs-up to an account belonging to the Kent State University chapter of the radical pro-Hamas group Students for Justice in Palestine.

        In late December, Burning River touted two books for readers, including one titled, “Nourishing Resistance,’’ on its Facebook page.

        I shudder to think at what my obituary might look like if they tracked everything I “like” on social media.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          Oh, that. To be honest, I barely registered those as smears when I read it, though they did seem to be going out of their way to make a big deal of very small data.

          But a fair point, they probably did intend that as a dig, it just seems like a really stupid and weak one. That he… uh… “expressed support” for a pro-Palestine group doesn’t seem at odds with his known character. Calling that group “pro-Hamas” makes it worse, although I can’t help but be suspicious of that label. “Expressing support” for a couple of local anarchist groups… well, I suppose their target demographic probably would consider that a character defect.

  28. Bill Carson

    WRT the article about “one of CA’s largest almond growers” going bankrupt, the writer didn’t bury the leed. Very first sentence starts out, “A private equity farming giant . . .” When will people realize that PE firms cannot, by definition, be “almond growers” or “farmers.” They exist to make profits, not food or agriculture.

    1. Wukchumni

      The company in question had a measly almond acreage of less than 10,000 acres-which sounds like a lot, but not really when you consider there is about 1.35 million acres of almonds in bearing age and another 500,000 acres of younger trees not producing yet.

      Every almond orchard tends to be owned by large corporations and the dynamics of the business are the same for everybody, overproduction in a market they had a near monopoly in the entire world on, and they blew it.

      Look for deals on cheap almond firewood…

  29. Feral Finster

    Sweden has voluntarily submitted to the USA Aftonbladet (Micael T)

    The arrangement smacks of the “unequal treaties” that so enraged Chinese during their Century of Humiliations, or, for that matter, the status of forces agreement that made Iraq demand that US forces leave.

    Note how happy the swedes are at the opportunity to submit before their American Master! They get genuine delight in doing so.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Pro-domme tip: The best bootlickers are always the ones that crave submission and humiliation.

      It is also setting Sweden up for a wonderful moment of realization, in an imaginary future, where Russia rolls the tanks through Stockholm, and their former master is nowhere to be found.

    2. digi_owl

      USA has been doing these for ages. Just look at the reputation US soldiers has in Japan or South Korea.

      Crazy part is that we are getting it in Norway as well, even though we have a standing policy against it dating back to the early days of NATO. But the mental tap dancing our politicians use is that they are not permanent, just meant for temporary training. Except that when one batch leave, another arrive.

    3. Carolinian

      It could be that Sweden was always a lot more right wing than Sanders used to suggest. Neutrality meant they sold iron ore to the Nazis during WW2. And filmmaker Ingmar Bergman has said that when he spent some school time in Germany during the Nazi era he, for awhile, thought Hitler was great. In his later films one theme is that of autocrats (sometimes of the church) versus free spirits. Swedish socialism may have been more about ethnic solidarity than ideology. All that neutrality also made them rich enough after WW2 to share the wealth.

      1. digi_owl

        If Sweden had not kept up the sales, they would have been invaded as well.

        But while doing so they acted as refuge for Norwegians, staging ground for the Norwegian resistance, and an observation post for the allies. How London got the first news that Bismarck had set sail.

      2. Revenant

        Swedish labour rights were established in the 1920’s or 30’s in a New Deal-type movement that was forced upon the reactionary establishment by mass popular uprising and protest.

        I couldn’t find a comprehensive account (apparent Swedish unions were blowing with imported British scab labour in 1908!) but here is an overview from the seminal strike in Ådalen.

      3. Polar Socialist

        In the thirties Sweden had three Nazi parties. I think one was for Swedish nationalist, one was for those mimicking the German party and one was for the nobility so they didn’t have to mix with the rubble.

        Interbellum Sweden was still a very much of a class society. I’ve heard stories of peasants being whipped if they didn’t step from the road and turn their back when the local nobility passed by in their carriage. From what I’ve heard, you don’t have to scratch the modern Sweden very deep to find the remains of that world.

      4. LifelongLib

        Decades ago I was a fan (in translation) of the Martin Beck series of novels, about a Swedish police detective. The authors often said that Sweden’s socialism was faux, really more social welfare. According to them the government was rather authoritarian. FWIW I think I saw a stat here on NC that 90% of Swedish capital is privately owned. I’m not asserting the truth of any of this (never been to Sweden or done any real research) but it does suggest that the extent of Swedish “socialism” is open to debate.

        1. ebolapoxclassic

          Sweden has (by the 2021 wealth Gini coefficient) a higher wealth concentration than Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States. This is actually a slight decrease from historical numbers I remember seeing. (Sweden used to be in the top three worldwide.) This is not a new phenomenon but has persisted for centuries. The myth of Sweden, clung to among both Swedes and outsiders, as “if anything *too* egalitarian* is something truly bizarre. You don’t see Russians going around saying that while their country has its problems, at least everyone is on about an equal footing and there’s not any kind of oligarchy holding all the assets.

          It is true that due to very high income taxes and compressed wage structure (for actual laborers), Swedish income inequality is quite low (but rapidly rising), but that only serves to cement the unequal wealth structure. Sweden has no wealth tax, no inheritance tax, and it replaced its property tax with what is essentially a flat (!) replacement of that tax. The rich, like everywhere else, make (and augment) their financial assets by capital gains, not by income from labor.

      5. hk

        I’ve read the argument about successful “socialism” and ethnic/cultural homogeneity before, both in Swedish context and elsewhere (I can’t remember where I read it–it was an academic book, or several, about political sociology). The argument was generally similar to what LifelongLib noted in his comment: more a Bismarckian idea, of keeping the peasants contented and maintained due to there being easily identifiable sociocultural cleavages where the group that perceives itself to be disadvantaged can be mobilized to make trouble. In context of modern Sweden, where the old sociocultural homogeneity is disappearing, this will not be easily maintained.

        1. digi_owl

          Labeling the Nordics as socialist seem like a very US thing. Locals would consider them social-democratic at best, and backsliding ever faster into neoliberalism.

  30. Mikel

    “Why tech companies are laying off thousands of workers” The Hill

    “…For most tech companies, they actually generate a majority of their revenue abroad, and international growth is their biggest opportunity,” she (ZipRecruiter chief economist Julia Pollak) added. “Many tech companies have basically saturated the US market…”

    So that insight was expressed, but not once in the article was the war-mongering geopolitical outlook examined as a factor impacting tech companies. Like whistling in the dark. The effects of interest rates and the pandemic were looked at, but the fact that the USA is essentially at war with Russia with wars building elsewhere is treated like the elephant in the room or not worthy of examination.

  31. caucus99percenter

    Just noticed something odd. No matter the search engine, so far I haven’t been able to find any German-language news stories about the Israeli embassy self-immolation that actually contain the name “Aaron Bushnell.”

    Oh, the story itself isn’t being suppressed — it’s just that the stories refer to a “US-Soldat” (American soldier) but don’t name him.

    So now I’m wondering if this is a by-product of the EU privacy protection law and German press ethics codes about naming “suspects in criminal investigations” — or some other kind of censorship? Whatever the cause, I’m amazed it’s so airtight and pervasive.

    So far the Green-adjacent, woke-progressive, nominally “left” yet staunchly pro-Ukraine and pro-Israel editorial staff of the Berlin-based daily don’t seem to have deemed the story worth reporting at all.

    1. flora

      Try less widely popular search engines like for information about items of controversy in the news, at least controversial news items in the West.

    2. vao

      Many important European newspapers have been entirely silent about that event, it is not just specific to Germany.

      If you make a search on the Internet, you will see from the results that in France, neither Le Monde nor Le Figaro mention it, in Austria neither Die Krone, nor Die Presse, in Switzerland neither the Neue Zürcher Zeitung nor Le Temps, neither in Belgium La Libre Belgique, nor in Finland the Helsingin Sanomat, nor in Portugal the Público, in Sweden neither the Svenska Dagbladet nor the Dagens Nyheter.

      On the other hand, the Spanish El País, as well as the Italian Corriere della Sera and La Stampa do mention the self-immolation of Aaron Bushnell.

      These are the results from a DuckDuckGo search on Aaron Bushnell, so YMMV, but this is, I believe, significant. Why Spain and Italy show some interest in the story — I have no idea.

      1. hk

        I’ve heard claims that the Italian press is more free-wheeling than elsewhere in Europe (I have no idea if there is any truth to it), although El País does surprise me.

  32. zach

    One of the very best classes I had to take in college (in retrospect) was Art History. I don’t remember much from it because it was a pretty dry topic and the professor, who kicked ass outside of class, did every lecture with the lights turned off because of the slideshow nature of the course material (made it very easy to nod off).

    However, the segment on propaganda, and selective editing, and the power of photographic and video images to manipulate the viewer/consumer definitely resonated. Looking at the thumbnail of KJP in “Dagney Taggart’s” twitpo this morning, and then again this evening, evoked/provoked a response.

    I’ll cut to the chase – does anyone else see a slightly washed out image, and an awkward facial expression, that tends to put one in mind of a blackface actor from a minstrel show? Given that a certain “Dagney Taggart” did the posting, seems like there could be a subtext here. A good dog whistle can’t be heard by human ears, right?

    This can be a delicate subject, and I acknowledge observations like that can be more telling about the person making the observation than anything else, but… like seeing a cactus, or a squirrel, or the empire state building in a passing cloud… you don’t know if you’re the only one until someone speaks up. I’ll be that fool!

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