Links 2/5/2024

Counting sheep: saving a bighorn herd in the Rockies The Narwhal

The surprising reason insects circle lights at night: They lose track of the sky

Sleepless and Sex-driven: How One Animal’s Breeding Season is Often its Last ZME Science

Hungry Sea Otters Can Change The World Defector

New Study Links Optimism To Lower Cognitive Abilities SciTech Daily


‘Prairie potholes’ could be climate solutions — if we stop destroying them The Narwhal

Across America, clean energy plants are being banned faster than they’re being built USA Today


The right to bathe Aeon

Does fluoride in drinking water lower IQ? Question looms large in court battle Science


Attentional impairment and altered brain activity in healthcare workers after mild COVID-19 Brain Imaging and Behavior

Viral afterlife: SARS-CoV-2 as a reservoir of immunomimetic peptides that reassemble into proinflammatory supramolecular complexes PNAS

Long COVID could affect at least 1 in 7 N.J. adults. The symptoms can be devastating.


Is de-risking the beginning of the end for made-in-China goods? Channel News Asia

China’s EVs could turbocharge recovery – but trade curbs threaten to stall growth at the starting line South China Morning Post


Four months into Gaza genocide: Israel’s horrific targeting of civilians, purposeful destruction continues Euro-med Monitor

State Department Declares “Ethnic Cleansing” in Sudan but Won’t Say the Same About Israel’s War in Gaza The Intercept

Hamas Shows Signs of Resurgence in Parts of Gaza Where Israeli Troops Have Largely Withdrawn AP

Israeli Army Admits Running Unauthorized Graphic Gaza Influence Op Haaretz


The U.S. Has Never Been ‘Dragged’ Into the Middle East Daniel Larison

US presents new blueprint to push Hezbollah away from Israeli border Ynet

Damascus Says US Occupation Of Syrian Territory ‘Cannot Continue’ AFP

US forces loot more Syrian oil The Cradle

U.S. Plans Further Retaliation in Mideast as Blinken Heads to the Region New York Times


The EU is worried that Israel might extend the war in Gaza to a ‘pressure cooker’ town near Egypt AP

Israel will evacuate Palestinians ahead of invasion into Gaza’s Rafah – official Jerusalem Post


Egypt’s Suez Canal revenue nearly halves in January amid Houthi attacks The National

IMF ‘Very Close’ to New Loan Agreement with Egypt: Georgieva Egyptian Streets

The Lucky Country

How to break free from slavish adherence to U.S. foreign policy Pearls and Irritations

Old Blighty

Russia, China and Iran could target UK via Irish ‘backdoor’, thinktank warns The Guardian. “The UK should also expand its air and naval presence in Northern Ireland, to counter a growing Russian threat on the UK’s western flank…”

Shattered Nation: Inequality and the Geography of A Failing State – book review Counterfire

European Disunion

Confusion after French government shoots down amendments supporting its own sovereign cloud strategy Euractiv

Farmers in Greece dump apples and chestnuts in Europe’s latest agriculture protest Euronews


New Not-So-Cold War

Nuland leaves sense of foreboding in Kiev Indian Punchline

Russian Strategic Transformation in Ukraine: From ‘Aggressive Attrition’ to ‘Attrit and Advance’? Gordon Hahn, Russian & Eurasian Politics

Scott Ritter: How the Chechen miracle kick-started the Russian ‘Path of Redemption’ RT


Ukraine and Germany set to sign security pact in February The New Voice of Ukraine

Rheinmetall takes over Romanian military vehicles plant to increase footprint on Nato’s eastern flank bne Intellinews

Imperial Collapse Watch

3 F-16 Crashes in 9 Months in Korea, But USAF Says Mishaps Are Unrelated Air & Space Forces Magazine


The Final Word on Russiagate—And Its Consequences in 2024 Glenn Greenwald (video)


Poll: 20-point deficit on handling economy highlights Biden’s struggles against Trump NBC News

Biden Isolated as 85% of Americans fear wider Mideast War, and 50% say Israel has gone Too Far Informed Comment

Forget No Labels. Biden’s Third-Party Peril is on the Left POLITICO. “The White House, in a reflection of their public confidence (hubris?) regarding the politics of Biden’s positioning on Israel, arranged a call with Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.). Fetterman, who has delighted in trolling left-wing critics by resolutely standing with Israel since Oct. 7, told me young voters should consider the implications of enabling a candidate who would likely given Netanyahu even more of a free hand.”


Donald Trump floats tariff of more than 60% on imports from China and denies it would start a trade war Fortune


Senators unveil long-awaited border deal POLITICO. $60 billion in military aid to Ukraine, $14 billion to Israel and $20 billion for border security.


Exclusive-New quality glitch to delay some Boeing 737 MAX deliveries Reuters

Emirates’ President Warns Boeing: You’re in the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ FT

Our Famously Free Press

Quality and Propaganda Craig Murray

Taking Media Out of the Market Law and Political Economy Project


How AI Is Helping Us Learn About Birds The Markup

Experts Warn That the Food You’re Eating May Have Been “Pre-Digested” Futurism


Against Disruption: On the Bulletpointization of Books Literary Hub


Why Everyone Hates The Electronic Medical Record Logic

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Hackers can still spy on you even if you cover the webcam. Here’s how ZME Science

Police State Watch

NYPD Fires Useless Robot Futurism

Groves of Academe

Student housing: real estate’s unlikely kingmaker The Real Deal

Supply Chain

Demand for shipments from China via rail through Russia has ‘skyrocketed’ since the Red Sea attacks CNBC

Asia-Europe freight: amid the Red Sea crisis, what options do shippers have?

Class Warfare

Gig Economy Project – ‘A middle finger to the apps’: UK sees historic riders’ strike Brave New Europe

Why is rent still so high, a year after experts told us it was going to fall? Fortune

Shadow Landlords Strike Back The Lever


Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Sympathy For The Devil by the Rolling Stones)

    Ships at sea ferry this world’s oil
    From its source to a distant place
    Business is sound lots of engineers
    Meet slick demands in every place

    The buzz and fuss in Washington
    Says we’ll strike Iran again
    High time for some violence!
    Lindsey Graham can hardly wait!

    Nations lined up
    They’re all taking aim
    There’s no puzzle here when the
    Oil is the game

    We call it geostrategy
    When we seek some advantage or a change
    Who gets oil and in what amounts?
    Oil is commerce and oil is grain

    Oil in a tank —
    Money in the bank!
    As we build and trade —
    It’s the oil we thank!

    Nations lined up
    They’re all taking aim
      Oh, yeah!
    There’s no puzzle here when the
    Oil is the game
      Ahh, yeah!

    The strategy of the powers that be —
    War for global trade, every option weighed
    Wars to rule all the seven seas
    Wars that we pay for, just you and me

    Wars that burn up our precious oil
    Turn it into metal waste
    Wars that can never reassure
    That the people killed would say hooray

    Nations lined up
    And they’re taking aim
    There’s no puzzle here because
    Oil is the game
    Ahh, yeah!

    get to Araby!

    (musical interlude)

    Nations lined up
    They’re all taking aim
      Ohh, yeah!
    There is no puzzle here when you know
    Oil is the game
      Mmm, yeah!

    Every tanker afloat is quite sinkable
    And any battle winners ain’t
    If you twist the scales of the oily sales
    Will the next guy show restraint?

    Tossing bombs around so artlessly
    Helps your industry but it’s waste
    The oil fields we plan to repossess
    Might as well be in outer space  Mmm, yeah!

    Nations lined up
    They’re all taking aim
    There’s no puzzle here because
    Oil is the game

    Mmmm, Araby! Get on down!

    Woo-hoo  Ahh, yeah  Get on down  Oh, yeah!

    Off to Araby! Oil’s the game!
    Where it’s sunny! Oil is the game!
    Off to Araby! Oil’s the game!
    We can’t accept that we’re to blame!

    Ooh-hoo  Ooh-hoo  Ooh-hoo  Alright!

    Woo-hoo-hoo  Woo-hoo-hoo  Woo-hoo-hoo  Ahh, yeah!

    Woo-hoo-hoo  Woo-hoo-hoo  Ahh, yeah!
    Oil’s the game!
    Off to Araby! Oil’s the game!
    Tell me Lindsey, oil’s the game!

    Ooh-hoo-hoo  Ooh-hoo-hoo  Ooh-hoo-hoo  Ooh-hoo-hoo

    Ooh-hoo-hoo  Ooh-hoo-hoo  Ooh-hoo-hoo  Ahh, yeah!

  2. The Rev Kev


    Maybe they should just do a write-in campaign for Bibi Netanyahu on ballots to make it official as to who the real President is. As one guy put it-

    ‘Not voting for Genocide Joe
    It is believed Biden, Trump, and Nikki Haley are seeking the VP role under President Netanyahu’

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Not worth it. And Haley is the darling of the msm at the moment. Their savior against Trump serving McDonald’s at an off the record meeting.

    1. Carolinian

      It’s like Turley who says he is a free speech absolutist except when it’s Palestine not so much. One of our biggest problems is that when it comes to Israel and the ruling class the frog was boiled long ago and the ambitious never want to wind up on one of those employment black lists. This goes double for politicians where challenging Israel can result in millions of Lobby dollars spent to defeat you.

      Of course you could say the same about the gun lobby or the bank lobby or the pharma lobby so it’s our system that has been corrupted by money and the Israelis are taking advantage. But arguably none is so powerful as the lobby that generates a standing ovation in our Congress for a thug like Netanyahu.

      Trump is not a good guy on any of these issues but at least he seems marginally open to the people lobby and an American public that might condemn him for genocide. Biden really doesn’t care what the public thinks except in so far as it gets him elected.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        re: the various lobbies that run things:
        came across this blast from the past yesterday, during my random wandering:

        “Give me back my pen…”
        can any of us imagine any of our “statesmen”, let alone presidents, of the last 20+ years doing this to our own oligarchy?
        over here, its the other way around, it seems…where our pols get called on the carpet.

    2. steppenwolf fetchit

      Trump’s statement is a reminder to the vote for NotBiden community that Trump is what they will get instead. It may be worth it, if they have some follow-on activities to take advantage of their victory against Biden for supporting the Israeli Gazacide in progress.

      If they have no such follow-up plans, will getting Trump instead still be worth it? Maybe it will. We do live in strange times.

  3. ChrisFromGA

    On the border deal, it’s amusing watching the usual suspects pretend that the bill is anything other than stillborn.

    This will be a tough week for Biden and McConnell. Maybe they can play some shuffle board together to mourn.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Is Biden still talking about wanting to let in 5,000 migrants a day as part of his deal? That would work out to be about *checks calculator* 1,825,000 annually – and that would probably be only through the official border entry points. This guy in Texas did a video where he drove along the border and there was open gate after open gate after open gate. As a wise man once said-

      ‘Know what’s going on.’ – G.L.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        It’s a horrific monstrosity – 370 pages. Lord knows what is buried in there – maybe a bailout of commercial real estate?

        I’m currently doing part-time law classes and as such, I understand the importance of reading slowly and deliberately, along with active reading techniques. It’s simply impossible for 97 Senators to understand all the nuances and riders in that thing in three days. What a travesty – legislation cooked up in secret, outside of regular order. I’m not even getting into the $60B more down the Ukraine rat-hole.

        Johnson and Scalise are wise to not even consider it. McConnell ought to resign in disgrace.

        1. Jason Boxman

          I understand the importance of reading slowly and deliberately, along with active reading techniques

          Especially when lobbyists write the legislation, and this would be doubtless the first time any senator has even seen the text!

          1. The Rev Kev

            Most Senators had never seen the original Patriot Act when they voted for it back in 2001. They were told that they had to vote for it and could read what was in it later. In fact-

            ‘The sheer magnitude of the Act itself was noted by Michael Moore in his controversial film Fahrenheit 9/11. In one of the scenes of the movie, he records Congressperson Jim McDermott (D-WA) alleging that no Senator had read the bill and John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) as saying, “We don’t read most of the bills. Do you really know what that would entail if we read every bill that we passed?” Congressperson Conyers answers his own question, saying that if they did read every bill, it would “slow down the legislative process”‘


            1. Jason Boxman

              I dunno, they seem to have plenty of time these days to read entire bills given that no Congress in recent history has actually achieved anything (worthwhile).

            2. Michael Fiorillo

              And Conyers & McDermott were the good guys, and far better than any of the current lame crew passing as progressives.

        2. Vicky Cookies

          All the senators need to understand is how they can spin their support for or opposition to legislation, and what the ‘sides’ are. Lobbyists and legislative aides write this stuff, and read it, and the aides describe it to the lawmakers, who consult with campaign advisors and PR men on the subject of how it impacts them.

        3. Feral Finster

          “It’s a horrific monstrosity – 370 pages. Lord knows what is buried in there – maybe a bailout of commercial real estate?”

          Axtually, that’s one way to get Trump on board….

          Then again, I am not sure how much Trump even is involved in real estate these days.

        4. Mikel

          “It’s a horrific monstrosity – 370 pages. Lord knows what is buried in there – maybe a bailout of commercial real estate?”

          A zombie bill for zombies…put nothing past them.

      2. marym

        The 5,000 refers to encounters, not admissions. Even under current law encounters can result in detention or expulsion. Also, the number of encounters isn’t of unique individuals, since expelled people try again.

        (I think detention includes what those who don’t wish to portray potential immigrants as human call “catch and release” – release with possibly ineffective controls to lead to adjudication.)

        Here’s a twitter thread with a summary of what a Fox reporter finds in the immigration proposals.

        1. linear

          It’s kind of besides the point to talk about the flow at the checkpoints. The draw is economic and the strategy is two pronged. Wreck the economies of their home countries—draw in cheap, legally vulnerable workers.

          The reason for the flow of migrants is essentially that the US economy depends on it.

          1. marym

            Encounters include people at ports of entry who are found to be inadmissible.

            Of course current law, proposed laws, and establishment lies for or against these laws don’t address the root causes of attempted immigration to the US. That, in my opinion, does not make discussion of these laws pointless, as they are real-life exercises of power that have an impact on life in the US and the lives of potential immigrants.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          From your link:

          – There is a provision in the bill that would allow the President to suspend the “shut down” authority.
          It says: “Authorizes the President to suspend the border emergency on an emergency basis for up to 45 days if it is in the national interest.”

          This would be the same “president” who promised to send everyone $2000 and sent them $1400 instead. Any “law” that relies on this “president’s” “judgement” or “discretion” should be immediately shitcanned.

          There are already immigration “laws” which are being flagrantly violated and ignored. Why would this one be any different, especially since it’s nothing more than a naked ploy to get money for the ukraine black hole and israel war crime support?

    2. timbers

      Fed cheif Powell said in a interview, immigration is a good thing (but not the Fed’s domain and Fed is strictly neutral…oh) because it fixes the US labor market which is too old and shorthanded as in wages are going up. Is it Denver the Mayor is asking that its tidal wave of immigrants be granted immediate work authorizations? Perhaps too a voter registration form checking Democrat as Party affiliation would be a nice gesture but then maybe he’s Republican, and we really should make lemonade from this lemon of a situation, no? Hope Denver has a high minimum wage otherwise those old slothful Americans might not fare well.

      1. timbers

        Adding…if US work force is too old, 71 yr old Powell could do us all a favor by resigning today so that he can be replaced by one of the immigrants in Denver. Actions speak louder than words.

        1. SocalJimObjects

          Not just Powell, Biden, and a whole lot of other people should resign as well and instead have immigrants replace them. Pretty sure it’s Chomsky who said that an ordinary 15 year old can analyze global politics, so the new immigrants just need a couple of translators and voila, world peace.

      2. Mikel

        It’s been on my radar since the Jackson Hole 2022 “House of Pain” meeting, involving central bankers from around the world, that higher unemployment and lower wages are the metric they are in search of.

        1. eg

          Further proof, were any necessary, that “independent” central banks are, by design, aristocratic institutions inimical to labour.

      3. Michael Mck

        Work permits for the desperate need sunset dates and to require a rate of pay twice the prevailing wage with draconian enforcement of employers. Extra goes to home nation for pensions and here for services for migrants and the unemployed.

      4. Ranger Rick

        One thing they are not considering is the impact of this immigration on an already-overstressed housing market. As a local Colorado paper dryly noted, there’s an “affordability gap” yawning open when prices rose 10% but wages did not — and that’s just 2023.

    3. flora

      From Politico article:
      “would tighten the standard for migrants to receive asylum, automatically shut down the southern border to illegal crossings if migrant encounters hit certain daily benchmarks ” …. (my emphasis)

      Reminds me of this old SNL”Schoolhouse Rock” skit. utube, ~ 3+ minutes. / ;)

      How a Bill Does Not Become a Law – SNL

        1. marym

          That wouldn’t have been the first time Democrats talked about some version of a “path to citizenship” with varying requirements. Here’s a link to Biden’s 2021 proposal. The “path” is in the first bullet point. However, according to the link in my comment @10:19 am there’s no “amnesty/legalization” in the current Senate bill.

  4. Es s Ce tera

    re: IMF ‘Very Close’ to New Loan Agreement with Egypt: Georgieva Egyptian Streets

    The timing is not at all suspicious, nope. It won’t do to wonder if related to Israel wanting to displace Palestinians to Egypt. Is this an example of the US saying one thing, making disapproving public facing noises about displacement, while quietly doing the opposite – making arrangements for exactly that?

    1. Mikel

      “…Under the EFF agreement in 2022, Egypt committed to implementing flexible interest and exchange rates, privatising several state-dominated sectors, and reducing debt and inflation rates to pre-pandemic levels.

      Since then, the country has struggled to effectively implement any of the agreed reforms, causing an extensive delay in the first and second loan reviews…”

      And I’m trying to figure out how Egypt and BRICS fits in with all of this.

  5. Es s Ce tera

    re: Donald Trump floats tariff of more than 60% on imports from China and denies it would start a trade war

    Well, I mean, stoke public hatred for China, rouse anti-China sentiment, stir the pot with daily news drops across all the captive media of China-bad this, China-bad that, don’t be surprised if you’re giving a major political and campaign advantage to someone like Trump.

    1. CA

      A classic, excellent and important study:

      April 21, 2019

      Trump’s Washing Machine Tariffs Stung Consumers While Lifting Corporate Profits
      New research shows how a move meant to aid domestic manufacturers instead padded profits and raised prices on a wide variety of laundry items.
      By Jim Tankersley

      President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on imported washing machines has had an odd effect: It raised prices on washing machines, as expected, but also drove up the cost of clothes dryers, which rose by $92 last year.

      What appears to have happened, according to new research * from economists at the University of Chicago and the Federal Reserve, is a case study in how a measure meant to help domestic factory workers can rebound on American consumers, creating unexpected costs and leaving shoppers with a sky-high bill for every factory job created.

      Research to be released on Monday by the economists Aaron Flaaen, of the Fed, and Ali Hortacsu and Felix Tintelnot, of Chicago, estimates that consumers bore between 125 percent and 225 percent of the costs of the washing machine tariffs. The authors calculate that the tariffs brought in $82 million to the United States Treasury, while raising consumer prices by $1.5 billion.

      And while the tariffs did encourage foreign companies to shift more of their manufacturing to the United States and created about 1,800 new jobs, the researchers conclude that those came at a steep cost: about $817,000 per job….


  6. The Rev Kev

    “Donald Trump floats tariff of more than 60% on imports from China and denies it would start a trade war”

    He really did not learn anything from his time in office, did he? Of course it will not be the Chinese paying those tariffs but ordinary Americans. This article actually says that under Trump, there was an $80 billion tax increase – but the Chinese paid very little of that. The Chinese might play hardball and say ‘No more medicines for you until you grow up.’ An article from last August said that the U.S. imported $6.95 billion worth of pharmaceuticals from China in 2022, up more than eightfold from $820 million the year before. Here is an article talking about the situation and this one was from 2019 so the situation has grown worse since. Well, maybe not for the Chinese-

    1. t

      They’ll blame the Chinese. They already do. I have heard barn people going on and on about tariffs, which are apparently secret unfair taxes levied by and only by the Chinese to add extra costs to crap that you buy online like ugly ugly furniture that you thought would be cheaper than ugly ugly furniture from Rooms to Go. (Never ask me to understand the decision making on where and when these people suddenly decide to save money to prove some moral point or look saavy. I do think I understand why the spouses who finance all this don’t bother trying to explain.)

    2. mrsyk

      I agree with your assessment, but Trump got elected standing firmly on that platform plank, so maybe there is something to learn here, and it ain’t pretty.

    3. spud

      why would anyone in their right mind allow the exporting of americas ability to make drugs in the first place.

      as far as inflation, there was no real inflation tied to trumps tariffs. the problem is trump is blaming the people who were given americas manufacturing wealth on a silver platter. only a idiot would say no, and only a corrupt idiot would have done it.

      trumps problem is that there is no partial protectionism. its got to be done across the board.

      in fact, its going to happen regardless of how hard the free traders fight to keep free trade alive. its simply not sustainable.

      the free traders will be forced into jettisoning its allies as its ability to supply anything to anyone collapses.

      the shortages and inflation has just begun. when russia and china say we will be forced into living with in our means, they mean it.

      so protectionism, or free trade, the shortages and inflation will be a huge problem either way. the protectionist way at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel, the free trade way means third world status and feudalism.

      and they will be completely befuddled as to what happened, and blame the deplorable and minorities.

      its a cult, and cults can’t reform, they drink the kool-aid instead.

    4. Kevin DeNardo

      “He really did not learn anything from his time in office, did he?”

      People who know everything don’t need to learn a thing.

      1. JBird4049

        As an advocate of a resurrected American System, may I just mention that IIRC tariffs topped out at 30% and not 60%? It was also an American policy to have tariffs for over a century from before the Civil War, when the country was comparatively poor, to the mid 20th Century. So, why not 10% or even 5% on some imports and not just China?

        Hate tariffs, but the United States needs to rebuild its economy, and since our elites gave away everything that was built or over a century in part using tariffs to China…

        If we can get angry over the deliberate and illegal mass importation of workers to drive down wages and destroy unions, while not get angry over the mass importation of cheap junk?

    5. CA

      ‘ “Donald Trump floats tariff of more than 60% on imports from China and denies it would start a trade war”

      He really did not learn anything from his time in office, did he? Of course it will not be the Chinese paying those tariffs but ordinary Americans…’

      Perfect and distressing:

      January 25, 2018

      The Economics of Dirty Old Men
      By Paul Krugman

      As a candidate, Donald Trump talked incessantly about international trade and how he was going to make America great again by renegotiating trade agreements, forcing foreigners to stop taking away our jobs. But during his first year in office, he did almost nothing on that front — possibly because corporate America managed to inform him that it has invested a lot of money based on the assumption that we would continue to honor Nafta and other trade agreements, and would lose bigly if he broke them.

      This week, however, Trump finally did impose tariffs on washing machines and solar panels. The former tariff was, I think, more about looking tough than about any kind of strategic objective. The latter, however, fits in with an important part of this administration’s general vision. For this is very much an administration of dirty old men….

      1. marku52

        You’re not helping your case by quoting Krug. Even he admits he was wrong to claim that the benefits from unfettered trade. Plus he argues in bad faith all the time.

        If Krug is for something, it’s probably bad for me and my family. Kind of like Larry Summers.

      2. CA

        As a hopeful “justification”:

        Paul Krugman is a superb economics theorist, and whether I agree with his politics or not is another matter than working carefully through his theoretical economics arguments. As for “unfettered trade,” there is no evidence that Krugman ever used such a term, especially since there are always all sorts of constraints in the exchange or trade. However, I pay attention to Krugman on trade theory while having no obligation to agree with the particular stances.

        1. spud

          It was quite a “whoops” moment, considering all the ruined American communities and displaced millions of workers we’ve seen in the interim from bill clintons disastrous polices

          DUH, YA THUNK: krugman the past 30 years of macroeconomics was “spectacularly useless at best, and positively harmful at worst.”

          under bill clintons free trade, america traded away high wage jobs for low cost electronics

          the cranks and charlatans are just admitting to the mess they made, and it will take decades to clean up bill clintons disastrous policies

          Krugman now acknowledges manufacturing employment fell off a cliff after 2000, and dean baker has proven it, and baker said that was the reason for the economic blowout in 2008

          krugman admits what the free trader keeps lying about, bill clintons disastrous trade policies have provoked a public backlash that has rendered free trade toxic in the U.S. policy debate

          Economists on the Run
          Paul Krugman and other mainstream trade experts are now admitting that they were wrong about globalization: It hurt American workers far more than they thought it would.
          Foreign Policy

          Michael Hirsh

          “Paul Krugman has never suffered fools gladly. The Nobel Prize-winning economist rose to international fame—and a coveted space on the New York Times op-ed page—by lacerating his intellectual opponents in the most withering way. In a series of books and articles beginning in the 1990s, Krugman branded just about everybody who questioned the rapid pace of globalization a fool who didn’t understand economics very well. “Silly” was a word Krugman used a lot to describe pundits who raised fears of economic competition from other nations, especially China. Don’t worry about it, he said: Free trade will have only minor impact on your prosperity.

          Now Krugman has come out and admitted, offhandedly, that his own understanding of economics has been seriously deficient as well. In a recent essay titled “What Economists (Including Me) Got Wrong About Globalization,” adapted from a forthcoming book on inequality, Krugman writes that he and other mainstream economists “missed a crucial part of the story” in failing to realize that globalization would lead to “hyperglobalization” and huge economic and social upheaval, particularly of the industrial middle class in America. And many of these working-class communities have been hit hard by Chinese competition, which economists made a “major mistake” in underestimating, Krugman says.”

          “Yet it has taken an awful long time for economists to admit that their profession has been far too sure of itself—or, as a penitent Krugman put it himself in a 2009 article in the New York Times Magazine, that “economists, as a group, mistook beauty, clad in impressive-looking mathematics, for truth.” As the journalist Binyamin Appelbaum writes in his book, The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society, economists came to dominate policymaking in Washington in a way they never had before and, starting in the late 1960s, seriously misled the nation, helping to disrupt and divide it socially with a false sense of scientific certainty about the wonders of free markets. The economists pushed efficiency at all costs at the expense of social welfare and “subsumed the interests of Americans as producers to the interests of Americans as consumers, trading well-paid jobs for low-cost electronics.” ”

          “The main loser, again, is the American worker. Whereas economists used to believe that workers, during boom times, could drive up their compensation (thus leading to inflation), the emerging economic wisdom now suggests something different: After a quarter century in which multinationals have turned the whole globe into their economic turf (while workers usually have to stay in their home countries), globalized capital—manifesting itself as multinational supply chains—has the upper hand over domestic labor. ”

          this story is as old as the crank theory of free trade. everytime it rears its ugly head, massive debts, impoverishment, depressions, and wars follow.

          today it looks like most of the world has had enough. this mess will take decades to reverse, and in the west, might not be reversible.

        2. eg

          The problem — check that, a problem with Krugman is that he’s an apologist for liberal centrist policies which exalt “free trade” (which is a slogan, not an actual thing which existed anywhere ever; there are only ever variants of managed trade bounded by laws) while never taking responsibility for the failure of those policies to adequately compensate those harmed by them.

          It’s crocodile tears.

    1. Carolinian

      That article does have an interesting scientific point despite the clickbait-y headline. It says ultraprocessing of raw food bypasses the digestive process and its that digestive process and not the quantity of food that tells you when you are full.

      In other words with no sense of being full you eat too much and become fat.

        1. mrsyk

          I imagine that this is relevant for anyone with diabetes. I’ve read that beans are good for diabetics as they take time to digest, relgulating the sugar uptake.

        2. albrt

          Fung also thinks that cancer is a disease of overfeeding, particularly carbs. His ideas seem consistent with the study posted yesterday about the effects of diet on the immune system.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        and furthermore, this is exactly why they tell diabetics(wife was type 2 and we all but reversed it) to lean towards the raw side of foods…body has to work at digesting complex carbs…its easy to digest processed carbs.
        ergo…white flour, white sugar, and otherwise processed things are simply too easy to digest, so all the carbs are straight to the blood, as it were…and none get burned up in processing.

        1. JBird4049

          White bread is not that good, but even just switching to homemade white bread makes a difference for me. I don’t know why, but I swear that the various additives in all our modern foods including the ginormous amounts of high fructose corn syrup is there as an enticing poison.

          Homemade bread can consists of flour, milk, sugar, yeast, salt, and nothing else. However, look at store bought bread with its many ingredients, often of unpronounceable names, with enough sugar to make a cake. I certainly don’t feel queasy after eating my bread as I do from store bought.

      2. Mark Gisleson

        I sent this to my brothers so they could educate their grandkids. Birds chewing your food and spitting it into your mouth is a great way to explain why junk food is junk.

    2. Wukchumni

      Tampopo is one heck of a film!

      I always considered Underwood deviled ham to be pre-digested, not that there’s anything right with that. It seems geared to those with dentures, but its more than that. The only canned food that comes wrapped in paper for some inexplicable reason.

      Just add a festive bow and you’re good to go on next xmas’s under $5 gift exchange.

          1. Michael Mck

            In boy scouts we played Vienese roulette with puds which we refused to eat. Put the can in the camp fire and circle around. When it explodes at least one of you will get spattered.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          You can make your own very easily. All you need is a ham, mayo, and one cast iron meat grinder:

          Every time we cook a ham, I throw the leftovers into the grinder, add mayo, and have deviled ham sandwiches all week.

          And I’ve also found that you can grind up some of the fattier and gristlier less appetizing bits and your cats will love them. It’s also likely quite a bit cheaper than canned catfood too, depending on the brand.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “US presents new blueprint to push Hezbollah away from Israeli border”

    Yeah, Hezbollah is going to love this plan. Only in Washington is this seen as a good plan. Did they get it from AIPAC? Let’s see the pros-

    Israel pros-

    -Hezbollah has to give up all the positions and fortifications that they have in the first 8-10 kilometers of the border.
    -The Lebanese Army and the UNIFIl go in to dismantle eveything that they can find and log every person living there.
    -Lebanon has to negotiate their border with Israel and the US will adjudicate every dispute – in Israel’s favour.
    -Israel gets to send those 100,000 settlers back to their homes on the now secured border which saves them a mint as the costs are getting out of control.

    Hezbollah pros-

    There aren’t any. Look, I’ve got an idea. Make a deal where all those Gazans are sent to Israel’s northern borders and take over all those town and villages there while they give up Gaza. As they still have access to the sea they still get to claim a share of the off-shore gas fields, Israel is safer as they now have the Gazans between them and Hezbollah and Israel gets Gaza – or what’s left of it. Think that they will bite?

    1. Es s Ce tera

      Rev, I like your thinking. I would go further, give Gazans the northern half of Israel – divide Jerusalem in half, give everything north of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, everything south to Israel. Seems quite reasonable.

      I’ve always wondered why the UN 1947 partition plan wasn’t drawn along the same lines. We probably wouldn’t be in the present difficulties if it had been.

    2. CA

      Aaron Maté @aaronjmate

      Uniparty neocon @SenSchumer warns that unless Congress approves his new $118 billion bill to fund the genocide in Gaza and proxy war in Ukraine, US troops may soon fight in the Middle East and against Russia directly.

      He also admits that “hundreds of thousands” of Palestinians “could starve.” But rather than end the genocide in which they risk that starvation, he wants to give Israel another $14 billion to continue it (while throwing in a token amount for Palestinian “humanitarian aid”).

      9:42 AM · Feb 5, 2024

  8. Es s Ce tera

    re: New Study Links Optimism To Lower Cognitive Abilities SciTech Daily

    re: Does fluoride in drinking water lower IQ? Question looms large in court battle Science

    Just thought I’d put those two headlines together for your entertainment. Please, carry on. :)

    1. jefemt

      My mind’s eye is putting together a Pepsodent Pizazz ™ dazzling fluoridated smile together with a team of Green Blazer-clad pom-pom cheerleading Chamber of Commerce ™ ribbon-cutting glad-handers.

      Delusional Cognitive Dissonance (DCD) – it’s in the toothpaste?

    2. Alice X

      >New Study Links Optimism To Lower Cognitive Abilities SciTech Daily

      Being a doomer, I thought I was seeing reality.

      1. The Rev Kev

        You actually get three choices in life. You can be an optimist. You can be a pessimist. Or you can be a realist. Note that the last one does not make you many friends as the first two they know how to deal with.

  9. griffen

    Antidote. My mind immediately went to think that backdrop looks familiar, and it is the Badlands in South Dakota. Incredible views and sweeping landscapes, prairies and yes large bison. Spent nearly a week in SD this past Sept, lots of enjoyable hiking at a few well known parks.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “NYPD Fires Useless Robot”

    I don’t suppose that anybody ever saw footage of how it dealt with ice-covered pavements or when everything was covered in several inches of snow by any chance. If it ever went down, it would be up to the two cops assigned to it to lift it back up – all 400 pounds of it. Do NYPD cops know how to swear?

  11. antidlc

    Interview discusses long COVID on BBC’s Sunday Show:

    AJ Leonardi, MBBS, PhD reposted
    Cat in the Hat 🐈‍⬛ 🎩 🇬🇧
    Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Rae Duncan (@Sunny_Rae1
    ), was interviewed today on BBC’s Sunday Show.

    In this thread 🧵, I’ve pulled out some of the key highlights.

    Kudos to Martin Geissler (@mmgeissler
    ) who had clearly done his homework in advance & asked excellent questions.

    I can’t get to the whole episode on the BBC website, but the multi-part x-thread has some snippets from the interview.

  12. Jason Boxman

    From Senators unveil long-awaited border deal

    Hitting a little too close to correct?

    The legislation also includes the Fend Off Fentanyl Act and Afghan Adjustment Act as part of the larger deal. It would send about $62 billion to support Ukraine in its invasion against Russia, $14 billion in security aid for Israel, $10 billion in humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip and Ukraine, $20 billion for the border and nearly $5 billion to partners in the Indo-Pacific to fight Chinese aggression.

    (bold mine)


    In addition to mandating a border shutdown at 5,000 daily encounters, the bill would allow the president to invoke that authority at 4,000 per day. Once the border is shut it would stay sealed to illegal crossings until encounters of unlawful crossings drop to about 2,000 per day. In addition, the use of presidential parole authority, which gives the president wider latitude to allow more undocumented immigrants into the country, would be curtailed. And the bill speeds up the asylum screening process significantly.

    Also, this bill sounds like garbage. So someone’s gonna call Biden every day and then he gets to order a shutdown? What does that even mean? This whole bill sounds like a continuation of our wide-open-boarders policy.

    1. Screwball

      If my math is correct, 81 billion (counting the 5 billion for Taiwan) for war stuff, and 30 billion for humanitarian aid and border. Tells us where the priorities are don’t ya think?

      Also, this bill sounds like garbage.

      Should we expect anything less from these despicable people?

    2. Bsn

      Maybe I’m an optimist and can’t think straight, but this makes me laugh: “Once the border is shut it would stay sealed to illegal crossings until encounters of unlawful crossings drop to about 2,000 per day.”
      OK, so the border is closed but crossings are to drop to 2.000. How can they drop (or even increase) if the border is closed? Fun Fun Fun

      1. Daniil Adamov

        I think they’re having trouble avoiding the obvious reality that it is impossible to close a border completely. Certainly such a long one. So an official “closing” will really just mean making it harder for immigrants to get across, and then a sufficiently small number of them will. That is actually realistic – or at least more realistic than expecting it to actually be closed because they said it is.

        1. ChrisFromGA

          It would be cheaper and much simpler to just send the $61B meant for Ukraine to Mexico, and essentially bribe AMLO to mass deport anyone crossing the southern Mexico border.

          Probably fits on one page, too.

    1. The Rev Kev

      So if I read this article right, defence-wise the UK regards the Irish as a bunch of freeloaders. Forget about all the Irish that served in WW1 & WW2 with the British armed forces and forget the fact that perhaps a quarter of Queen Victoria’s soldiers were from the Emerald Isle. It sounds like the UK wants the Irish to beef up their military, set up joint UK-Irish bases and I suspect to use Irish military assets to be sent overseas in service of the empire. But when it says ‘The UK should also expand its air and naval presence in Northern Ireland’, do they have the air and naval assets to send to Ireland? This all sounds like an excuse to put the British military in Ireland so that they can be used for spying and the like. No, not on the Russians but on the Irish. Can’t have them uniting and declaring themselves neutral on the world stage.

      1. Vicky Cookies

        Two things at play here, in my reading:

        The first is that much of the internet infrastructure of Europe is laid in the Irish sea. Murdoch’s papers in Ireland were fear-mongering about Russia for that reason. The second is that there is a tendency, since the Irish became ‘white’, to just assume they are a part of NATO. This, as well as the autocratic VDL set in Brussels, has been the subject of some inspired invective from the wonderful Clare Daly, one of Ireland’s EU MPs. Irish neutrality is one of the few remaining arguments for the nation-state as an ideal, and as a part of a multilateral effort to build a just world peace, so, of course, the EU/NATO/West would rather it never be mentioned, and will do everything they can to stomp on it.

        Brits out!

    2. eg

      Who are these insane warmongers who come up with this crap? I certainly hope that the Irish have enough sense not to take this seriously.

  13. t

    What’s the difference between “optimism” and being “unrealistic,” especially with lower cognitive ability. Serious question. From the abstract, I couldn’t make sense of it.

    Also curious if they looked at what people do or what people say. Buying expensive vacations while spending every dime of every paycheck seems foolishly optimistic. Insisting “oh, we’ll be fine” can be pride and desperation from people who are not particularly optimistic.

    1. mrsyk

      So, I being completely out of optimism is a good thing. Sure doesn’t feel like it. Wait a minute.
      So, being hopeless is a good thing. Good times for sure. Wait a minute.
      Long covid causes lower cognitive ability, so long covid is a cause of optimism. Wait a minute.
      I’m confused. Does confusion = optimism?
      What the????

      1. Samuel Conner

        From the brief description of the study, it looks like it established correlation but not causation.

        I’d like to believe that good cognitive function correlates with ability to accurately perceive ‘what is what.’

        This being the stupidest timeline, “accurate perception of ‘what is what’ “, or “realism”, would tend to look like “pessimism.”


        I suspect that COVID-induced cognitive decline would not cause optimism (assuming that memory persisted of prior perceptions of ‘what is what’ in this stupidest of timelines), but it might impair perception of risks (and of opportunities) so that bad decisions would become more likely than formerly.

        1. t

          This being the stupidest timeline, “accurate perception of ‘what is what’ “, or “realism”, would tend to look like “pessimism.”

          That’s all I can figure.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            My outlook for the future is always as optimistic as possible because reality-based political action tends to look a lot like binge drinking.

            1. Jeff H

              I’m too old for binge drinking but a limited level of sobriety keeps me comfortably between homicide and suicide.

        2. ArvidMartensen

          Yep, I think the ‘hold my beer’ brigade is being expanded every day due to Covid.

          Hold my beer while I floor the ute and pass the semi up ahead.
          Hold my beer while I take off my ring and use my charm on this babe, the wife will never find out.
          Hold my beer while I order us a 2 week holiday to the Maldives on my credit card, and then I can get a job when we get back
          Hold my beer while I grab the rod and catch dinner, these crocs don’t attack

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I took it to mean something like this –

      Office drone (who does the work): if you install this new system the way you are planning, it will not work properly.

      Project manager (who does not do the actual work): We’ve spent 100 hours on this project already, so let’s just try it the way it is and maybe it will be OK.

      And of course it isn’t OK. Office drone can no longer do their work properly and gets canned for pointing out why.

  14. .Tom

    The Craig Murry article explains how pro-Israel fakes news can be of the lowest quality and still work. There is, he explains, perfect uniformity in the media (new and old) promoting the fakes and attacking those who criticize them. But there’s a demand side to media too, isn’t there? There is no shortage of available alternative media. So what’s going on? Do people prefer the mainstream stories or are we not really able to see what people are consuming?

    1. mrsyk

      Consider ease of access in your formula. Consider the possibility that we haven’t had enough generations pass since Tom Brokaw for society to have abandoned the MSM.

      1. .Tom

        Yes, I see that. It’s what I see on the one hand. On the other hand is what I Bsn mentions below and that the fragrant Taylor Lorenz was saying in a funny video recently about the death of what she calls journalism, i.e. legacy media.

        What I don’t see is a clear, plausible picture of what people are consuming and the trends.

    2. jm

      My work used to take me into people’s homes quite frequently and, though I probably shouldn’t have been, I was continually shocked at how many people have the 24 hr. news channel of their choice going all the time. I took it as being a combination of their assuaging loneliness and taking comfort in a consistently told storyline. Or, perhaps less charitably, people want to be told what to think.

    3. Bsn

      What’s going on? “Legacy” media is in a downfall, viewership wise while the Joe Rogans, Durans, Greenwald, Iverson, Dore, etc. viewership is up.

        1. Jeff H

          How many people actually watched Stone’s Putin interviews? If people could turn off their preprogrammed negative perspective of anything Russian it would be interesting to see how the popular sentiment would change.
          If Tucker can help bring that about, all power to him.

    4. Daniil Adamov

      I think that people see and hear what they want to believe and/or have trained themselves to expect. This is universal. It is possible to resist this, but it requires continuous, conscious effort, and even then it is easy to slip up. With that in mind, yeah, I think a lot of people do prefer the mainstream stories, because it is what they expect and because it is what they would prefer to believe. I think the version of reality in which Russia, Hamas and pro-Palestinian activists are all pure unreasoning evil is probably a lot more comforting than the one in which a huge section of your society (including politicians you vote for, your favourite celebrities, relatives, neighbours and friends) merely acts as though they are for no particularly good reasons.

      (Also it is true that there is genuine demand for alternative media. Still, there are a lot of people out there for whom the above plays out in different ways. There really does seem to be plenty of demand for mainstream media too, no matter how discredited it may seem.)

      1. Feral Finster

        MSM also is a known quantity, branded, and seen as respectable and therefore “safe”, as opposed to some commentator on the internet.

      2. .Tom

        Another view of the power of legacy media is its ability to cancel. BBC, ITN, The Guardian did an impressive job on the Corbyn movement. I’ve little doubt they could do it again today and again get away with it.

  15. OhioCiderGrower

    RE: Mr. Abusalah

    I understand the sentiment, and I think it’s perfectly reasonable to make electoral decisions based on foreign policy concerns.

    But who does he mean by “Our people”? reviewing the twitter bio, he calls himself a Palestinian. Why is a self-claimed Palestinian voting in American elections at all? I don’t want American policymakers to act in the best interest of Palestinians, or of Israelis. American policymakers should act to advance the interests of Americans.

    This is the trouble with hyphenated-Americanism. Teddy Roosevelt had it right, and always had it right:

    “I speak and condemn its use whenever it represents an effort to form political parties along racial lines or to bring pressure to bear on parties and politicians, not for American purposes, but in the interest of some group of voters of a certain national origin, or of the country from which they or their fathers came”.

    The rest of that speech is worth reviewing, though is too long to post in its entirety.

    This attitude has gone completely out of favor, to the point of offending modern sensibilities. One risks accusations of racism.

    But this is a deep, fundamental problem with modern American foreign policy. We now see elected representatives flying flags of foreign nations inside the halls of congress. I find this utterly appalling. They are not working to advance American national interest. Rather, they leverage American power to advance their side of petty imported old-world ethnic blood feuds. They are more loyal to their hyphenated ethnicities than they are to their nation. This is a real problem.

    There is absolutely no place for this sort of foolish in the American public discourse, yet here we are. It’s causing problems and needs to be addressed.

    1. Dessa

      However appalling you find the pluralistic nature of our citizenry, there are others who find the narcisissitic self-interest of America-Only just as appalling. Thankfully, voting gives us the right to disagree — A right that Palestinians don’t enjoy in the nation we stole from them

    2. undercurrent

      ‘Teddy Roosevelt…always had it right.’ Well, not exactly. In 1891, in New Orleans, a police chief was murdered and nine Italian immigrants were rounded up and put in jail. A mob, incensed by the murder, stormed the jail, seized the nine Italian immigrants, plus two additional Italians, and lynched them. When he learned of this, the always correct TR (he of the soft voice and the big stick) purred, ” It was the right thing to do.” That was in 1891. What he said in 1915 sounds self-serving to me. He was an early, and vehement, supporter of a newly minted American imperialism based on greed, power, and race. My two cents on that.

      As for hyphenated Americanism, the original US Constitution, a document written by the richer elites of that time, stipulated that certain people, of a certain class and race, would, for purposes of representation, count as 3/5 of a person. And, as you know, these were, for the most part, African-Americans, people not identified as politically fully human in that founding document. Hyphens and fractions are more similar than not. Splitting a person’s identity has a long history in the US.

      1. Dessa

        Ironically, African Americans are the only American people, to my knowledge, whose ethnic history is specifically and exclusively American, considering that our connections to Africa were forcibly severed by people with English lineage. If we’re looking to ensure the racial loyalty of only TRUE Americans who cannot even name their ancestral nation, look no further than black Americans. Lets start by disenfranchising white people.

        1. .Tom

          Only? Many people lived in Turtle Island before people showed up from across the Atlantic in large numbers, ancestors to many people alive in the USA today. I think we can count them as American people today, even if it was the newcomers that named the place America.

          1. Dessa

            I was being tongue-in-cheek to point out the absurdity of basing voting rights on the purity of national allegiance, so I ask for your forgiveness in simplifying some detail for the sake of the bit.

            You are correct: there are people of Turtle Island who have been stripped of their origins, and can name no specific ancestry and so must default to an American identity as African Americans do. Many others could say something like “My ancestors were Dakota, and I am a Dakota and an American,” which for the sake of my silly exercise, wouldn’t qualify as having no ancestral nationality to name.

            My point here wasn’t to qualify only a select few people as worthy to embody an American identity. Quite the opposite: America is a nation that houses people of many origins, and justice is served better by recognizing that rather than denying it with petty tests of national loyalty or racial purity.

            1. hk

              One might quibble that the Dakota were not always in Dakota: they were originally in northern MN and WI (and probably further east) and, upon arriving in Dakotas, made enemies of the people already there. The relationship among Native American tribes were complicated and bloody.

        2. juno mas

          Well, there were the 10-20 million natives on the continent who were supposed to be given all the land and personal rights bestowed by the Constitution via Article III of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty. Unfortunately small pox and small bullets from the US Cavalry decimated their numbers and culture.

        1. johnnyme

          For the curious (like me), I found a good selection of harsh quotes:

          “Booker T. Washington, a man worth a hundred Roosevelts, a man whose shoe-latchets Mr. Roosevelt is not worthy to untie.” (July 14, 1908)

          “We have never had a President before who was destitute of self-respect and of respect for his high office; we have had no President before who was not a gentleman; we have had no President before who was intended for a butcher, a dive-keeper or a bully, and missed his mission.” (January 5, 1909)

          “Roosevelt is the whole argument for and against, in his own person. He represents what the American gentleman ought not to be, and does it as clearly, intelligibly, and exhaustively as he represents what the American gentleman is. We are by long odds the most ill-mannered nation, civilized or savage, that exists on the planet to-day, and our President stands for us like a colossal monument visible from all the ends of the earth.” (April 3, 1906)

      2. gk

        Sicilians, actually. The US thought that nobody would care, but the King of Italy did (I think some of them hadn’t been naturalized, so were still his subjects.) There were rumors that Italy would declare war on the US, and the US President responded (besides paying compensation) by introducing a holiday in honor of a famous Italian, Columbus.

      3. scott s.

        “the original US Constitution, a document written by the richer elites of that time, stipulated that certain people, of a certain class and race, would, for purposes of representation, count as 3/5 of a person.”

        At the time, the 3/5 compromise was also about “direct taxes”. Its genesis was the debates over the Articles of Confederation taxation power. It was generally agreed that the states would be taxed on the basis of “wealth”. The problem was in assessing wealth. It was proposed to use population as a proxy. This resulted in arguments that slave labor didn’t represent the same wealth-generating capacity as free. 3/5s emerged as a compromise, but in the end the population proxy idea didn’t survive. I assume that during the constitutional convention this idea was revived.

        So I don’t really see it as about “hyphenated Americans”, though certainly slaves as a class were viewed as “not American”.

        As an aside Sen Warren wishes to define “wealth” as “income” to force-fit it into Amendment XVI and thus avoid apportionment required for direct taxes.

    3. Hastalavictoria

      The Irish Americans voters have been a large lobby for many years Every President wants to find his ancestry.

  16. mrsyk

    I was doing a bit of digging on the East Palestine derailment and subsequent environmental disaster one year on. I found this article to be a bit of good news, BRIDGING THE NEWS GAP IN EAST PALESTINE, OHIO; KENT STATE TODAY; JANUARY 23, 2024 (Kent State University). The deck: A year ago, national media outlets descended on East Palestine, Ohio, after a freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed in the rural Columbiana County village on Feb. 3, 2023. The consequences are still unfolding, but as national media have moved onto covering other stories, a news gap has emerged. Four Kent State journalism seniors have been filling that gap, with support from Grist and the Center for Rural Strategies. I must admit that it never occurred to me to aim a maturing journalism cohort at a national issue cloaked in regulatory capture. What an excellent idea. Anyway, in this article you will find links to some of they efforts, such as After East Palestine derailment, efforts to improve railroad safety regulations creep along (ideastream public media, 12/29/2023). Compare that to this NPR piece from today, One year after the toxic train derailment, East Palestine is a town divided. NPR working the strawman like a pro.

    1. Skip Intro

      Some say Bibi yelled at his staff for 40 minutes when he found out the headline was about Ohio, because none of them had ever come up with the idea of a toxic train fire.

  17. Wukchumni

    Gooooooooooood Moooooooorning Fiatnam!

    {…adjusts Vision Prose headgear…}

    The key everybody agreed, was winning hearts & minds… and if you were completely distracted by wearing leer goggles-well that was a good start, reality being completely overrated.

  18. Wukchumni

    Counting sheep: saving a bighorn herd in the Rockies The Narwhal
    Interesting article and Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep were also almost wiped out by domesticated sheep in the 19th century, as the native bighorns had no immunity to their diseases.

    If you are ever in the proximity of Las Vegas and want to see around 30 to 40 Desert Bighorn Sheep, Hemenway Park in Boulder City is the spot for you.

    I’ve been within 15 feet of 5 big rams before, there.

    A Day With Bighorn Sheep at Hemenway Park

  19. The Rev Kev

    Seen in Berlin. ‘With Liberal like these, who needs fascists.’

    Germans actually have a very droll sense of humour.

    1. .human

      One of my more favorite political cartoons is of bin Laden and W going at it doggy-style in a German building grafitti. Can’t find it anymore or I’d post a link ;-)

    2. Cetzer

      Actually, all Germans, from kindergärden to university, have mandatory lessons in Hardcore-Wittiness, no rebukes taken.

  20. Snailslime

    I’m curious how Bhadrakumar imagines “signs of attrition” in functionaries like Nuland could possibly look like.

  21. John Beech

    As a patient, instead of health care practitioner, I suspect I speak for all of us when I say . . . I hate having to share my details with every doctor on every visit. Like why in heck can’t Uncle suggest a format, then everybody use it? Like once my name, address, SS#, insurance provider, and prescriptions are input, then all doctors have to do when I visit is add to it. Do it by date, symptom, recommended solution and medication.

    But the basics? These stay the same unless edited. Like maybe ask if I’ve changed health care provider, and verify my medications but darn it, every freaking doctor wants me to hand write the same information, and they ask for it every darned time I visit. Gets old.

    Oh, and this database should work on any iPad, any vintage, and any tablet, any computer, any phone, any operating system. How? Simple, by sticking to a tried and true format like comma delimited. Back up? Every doctor you visit has it. You have it on a memory stick.

    And the penalty for hackers? We find you, we kill you with a potato peeler in public.

    1. Alice X

      ~And the penalty for hackers? We find you, we kill you with a potato peeler in public.

      What about the hackers acting under the color of law, or maybe a color blindness of law, like corporations? Who you going to call?

    2. cfraenkel

      But… if it’s all in the same format and the patient has a copy, how can you attract VC funding to justify the bonus and options?
      Get your priorities straight!

  22. bdy

    > Viral afterlife: SARS-CoV-2 as a reservoir of immunomimetic peptides that reassemble into proinflammatory supramolecular complexes

    Above my pay grade fer sure. Would love for someone knowledgeable to lay-translate. I assume what is being described is the mechanism by which COVID-19 becomes serious or fatal, in serious cases. Might it also describe the “100 day cough” (‘tis a mystery) that seems to coincide with the JN.1 spike? Might “proinflammatory supramolecular complexes” be behind lingering symptoms?

  23. Es s Ce tera

    re: Senators unveil long-awaited border deal POLITICO.

    I couldn’t find a copy of the bill anywhere, wanted to look up whether the language really does say money earmarked for invasion of Russia. Is this a USian thing where you can’t see the bills before congress, or have I missed it? Also a bit annoying that the media doesn’t say which bill it is. I must not be understanding how it works in a transparent democracy.

    Canada shows bills in front of Parliament, for example here, including their status:

  24. none

    “Just over a year and a half later, after the pandemic reduced demand for the long-range Dreamliner due to the drop in international travel, Calhoun and Boeing decided it needed to preserve cash and could no longer justify two 787 plants. It had a choice between consolidating production to a veteran plant in Washington state staffed by unionized employees and a non-union South Carolina plant. It decided to close the unionized line in Washington and keep the South Carolina plant.

    But it soon had quality problems with the 787 Dreamliners being produced there, leading to two costly halts in deliveries, one lasting over a year.”

    Tis a mystery?

  25. Hastalavictoria

    Very good news. Dr David Miller,Prof, sacked by Bristol University for anti-zionist views in the workplace, just won his unfair dismissal case.

    Which now, I guess, allows anti-zionist conversation in the workplace in the UK

    I was one anyway as Starmer~ a self confessed Zionist,along with many other MP’s ~ is English, as am I

  26. heresy101

    “China’s EVs could turbocharge recovery”
    The US attempt to keep out Chinese EVs may work in the short term but as legacy automakers avoid making EVs, they will lose the battle as they have in China. Legacy auto makes a few EVs in combination with Chinese manufacturers but will pull out of China like Mazda and Mitsubishi.
    The rest of the world will absorb those Chinese EVs. In Ethiopia, ICE cars can no longer be sold!! As we approach 2035, many other countries will join them.

  27. AndrewJ

    The “Chechen miracle” is one of the big reasons the viewpoint presented here at NC passes my personal smell test. Option A, as presented by our mainstream media: Putin is a “thug”, Russia is a dictatorship with no freedoms. Option B: Putin is a politician who cares about the well- being of Russia and Russians, Russia is a federation of states and peoples who are happily a part of it.
    The presence of an effective Russian Chechen volunteer fighting force in Ukraine makes a heck of a lot more sense under option B than A.
    Curious how y’all think about this, particularly the few Russians we have here. My read on life as a Russian is that it sucks if you’re gay, and it’s not much consolation that the anti-homosexual sentiment is a relatively recent phenomenon, part of an anti-Western ideology that’s been developed in response to the endless Russia-hating that our Western governments have engaged in since the neoliberal project of strip-mining the former USSR was stopped a couple decades ago. But, otherwise it does seem like Russia cares about the well-being of it’s citizens. Contrast that with here in ‘Murica, where God help you if you’re poor, homeless, or sick, because our government certainly won’t; and I personally feel not like a citizen of a nation but as a resource to be exploited and discarded when used up.

    1. .Tom

      I wondered as I read that article how much of it to discount as propaganda. Ritter’s itinerary, those he got to meet, and his activities suggest he was being shown the stuff RF wanted him to see presented in favorable ways. That doesn’t mean what he’s saying is wrong, I really don’t know, but it might not be the whole story. I like Ritter and often give him my attention, as I did reading this one.

    2. hk

      I suspect things are more convoluted than that: that reminds me of Korean volunteers in the Imperial Japanese military (and there were quite a lot of them–Japan did not trust Koreans enough to conscript them into the army, yet there were hundreds of thousands of Koreans who served in IJA and IJN). Modern sentiments in both Korea and Japan distort their role badly–Japanese apologists use them to claim that Koreans were happy under Japanese rule. The story is more complicated: there were many Koreans who thought the best path forward was to push for civil rights within Japanese Empire, paralleling in an odd way, the effort by African Americans across the Pacific. There are apocryphal stories about Korean kamikaze pilots (by definition, volunteers only) going on their final mission singing banned Korean nationalist songs.

    3. Daniil Adamov

      All this stuff is relative and open to interpretation. Frankly, both of the options you mention are simplistic. That said, Option B seems nearer to the truth. I dislike Putin for a variety of reasons, but it is undeniable that life for the majority of the population improved under his rule in a number of important ways (those “tangible material benefits” that come up here sometimes). Part of it was just recovery from the shock, but his changes of policy have mattered too. Whether this was because he genuinely cares about people’s wellbeing, or thinks promoting it suits personal or state interests, is hard to say.

      We are a federation in theory and to a large extent in practice. The separatist sentiment among the population is, I think, vastly overhyped by those who’d like to see a breakup. As far as I know, minority nationalism is mostly satisfied by substantial cultural and political autonomy. It’s far from a perfect system, though, in that ethnic autonomous regions grant a lot of power to one ethnicity and its local elite representatives, resulting in greater corruption and discrimination against everyone not belonging to that ethnicity (so a small minority in the “wrong” region is at a particular disadvantage). Separatism is probably stronger among ethnic Russians here in the Urals and in the Far East than among the minorities, but even then it is mostly on the level of talk.

      As for our social state, it is weaker than in the Soviet years, much stronger than in the 90s, inadequate in many ways and probably (although I’m mostly basing this on stuff I read online) better than in many parts of the West. I can certainly vouch for our free health care, at least in the Urals, having benefitted from it personally after breaking my hip in 2022.

      And yes, there is an ongoing and intensifying push against sexual minorities, to a lesser degree against feminists, and against public expression of anti-war sentiment. The public is far from unanimous about those issues, for the record. The political elite hasn’t been before, but now they have closed ranks around this course, though I’m not sure for how long. The initiative here belongs to certain outspoken politicians belonging to different parties, such as Matvienko and the Mizulinas (mother and daughter), but Putin seems willing to play along.

      As for freedom, it is a funny thing. We probably had the most political and personal freedom in 1990. Afterwards it was chipped away at by both the state and by economic circumstances. At the same time, the population unquestionably still enjoys a lot more personal freedom than in the USSR. Politically, our democratic institutions are nominally functional. I don’t know anyone here who takes them very seriously, though. They’ve been rigged with every trick in the book (and the much-hyped fake votes are really far from the most important one, though they are a real issue – if likely driven more by local political games than by anything else). No need to tell me that is the case in the West too, although I think it has been more thorough here. That said, I also don’t know anyone who would seriously insist that Putin wouldn’t win a fair election too.

      1. hk

        There is something to be said about “procedural” democracy, where the formal procedures of casting and counting votes are honestly done–the actual political manipulation has been done long before. Taiwan under KMT regime was like that: KMT was not going to be “voted” out of power back in CCK days (of note: his wife was a Soviet woman, although she’s now either a Russian or Belorussian, depending on who you ask…), but they always won their elections “fairly” (Because all the corrupt deals were cut long before and the votes were being delivered as promised on the election day. To be fair, this is also how elections in Japan were run (and to a degree, still are) run, back in the Taisho days (1920s) and in the postwar era–but KMT, as an authoritarian organ, could cut better deals for their votes, at least in theory–LDP in Japan was not exactly a “democratic” organization either…) One strong view that I hold is that this practice, of the honest vote casting and counting on the election day made transition to more genuine democracy smoother. To the degree that votes in Russia are not invented out of thin air, one can reasonably figure that it bodes well for the future transition.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          Maybe so. I do think the votes in Russia are being counted considerably more honestly than 10 years ago – the obvious fraud back then was both embarrassing and unnecessary, so measures were taken. Still a lot of foam on top of the beer though.

  28. bdy

    Denial does a lot of heavy lifting for the pro-Ukraine side of the debate. A guy on Twitter asked Arnaud Bertrand for documentation of Ukrainian persecution of Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine. Search is so compromised I couldn’t find a western source.

    I realized that had I not been regularly hitting NC prior to 2014, I never would have known about how the eastern Oblasts had been disenfranchised from voting in the elections following Maidan by keeping polls closed over “civil unrest.” Or been informed that the Azov battalion was forcibly removing and occupying homes of Russian speaking citizens in Mariupol. Or gotten first hand news of the Orthodox Church fire in Odessa.

    In 2022 It would be easy enough to dismiss those claims as “Russian Talking Points,” paint my face blue and gold, and carry on as a resource to be exploited and discarded when used up.

    I’m sure there are still Chechens who resent the Russian state for loved ones lost. But people are herd animals. My experience in Singapore and Thailand tells me that when needs are met, and strong leadership says “live together happily in peace,” purt near everyone is on board. I’ll buy Ritter’s Chechen narrative as a pro-Russia take on a complex situation I know little about. He’s certainly alienated everyone outside the choir with his anti-western hot takes over the years. But bless his heart.

    Contrast that with endless “weapons of mass destruction”, “Brutal Dictator,” preemptive wars, regime change, “American interests” and now open genocide. It’s hard to be neutral.

  29. steppenwolf fetchit

    About ” Ukraine’s former ambassador to Germany, now ambassador to Brazil, now saying diplomacy should be pursued” . . . perhaps he feels safer from being assassinated way out in Brazil than he would have felt in Germany?


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