Links 2/8/2024

Cats And Human Supremacy

Your appendix is not, in fact, useless. This anatomy professor explains NPR

Hedge Funds Are Dealers Now Bloomberg


The COP Delusion: Decades of empty words and no action Climate & Capitalism

Cat 6 hurricanes have arrived Michael Mann, PNAS

Blue Ocean Event 2024? Arctic News

How a historic neighborhood became ‘ground zero’ for the Maui wildfire NBC


In 2050, 33% of global river sub-basins could face water scarcity: Study Business Standard

Cost to water crops could nearly quadruple as San Luis Valley fends off climate change, fights with Texas and New Mexico The Colorado Sun


Temporal Association between COVID-19 Infection and Subsequent New-Onset Dementia in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (preprint) The Lancet. Metastudy. “Cognitive impairment was nearly twice as likely in COVID-19 survivors compared to those uninfected.”

Postacute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 in Children Pediatrics. From the Abtract: “This state-of-the-art narrative review provides a summary of our current knowledge about PASC in children, including prevalence, epidemiology, risk factors, clinical characteristics, underlying mechanisms, and functional outcomes, as well as a conceptual framework for PASC based on the current National Institutes of Health definition.” Work product of NIH’s RECOVER program. PASC (“postacute sequelae of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection”) is an acronym coined — and I know you’ll find this hard to believe — by Anthony Fauci (“what it really is“), presumably so searches for “PASC” would be siloed from searches, by dull normals, for “Long Covid.” And so it goes.


China’s prices fall at fastest rate in 15 years as economy battles deflation FT

“Fake Chinese income” mortgages fuel Toronto Real Estate Bubble: HSBC Bank Leaks The Bureau

PACFLEET CO Paparo Warns a Weak U.S. Maritime Sector Risk in Conflict with China USNI News. Commentary:

Shifting Global Alliances: The Strategic Expansion of BRICS Forbes


‘The military is in chaos’: Cracks in the support base Frontier Myanmar


Red Sea turmoil has so far spared oil supplies, but buyers have reasons to worry S&P Global

US, UK ship investors slapped by soaring Red Sea insurance Al Mayadeen but Chinese Ships Get Insurance Edge Navigating Red Sea gCaptain

The Houthis’ Next Target May Be Underwater Foreign Policy

* * *

Blinken says ‘a lot of work’ remains on Israel-Hamas truce talks Al Jazeera

‘We are on our way to absolute victory’, says Israeli PM BBC

* * *

Why is the US in Jordan and Syria? London Review of Books. “Rural fort soldiering [e.g., al-Tanf] is a classic imperial mode, so it isn’t unusual that the US does it in the Middle East, except that so many of the outposts in Syria and Iraq have become liabilities.” Well worth a read.

Asymmetries New Left Review

Meet the Israelis Physically Blocking the Ethnic Cleansing Unfolding in the West Bank Reader-Supported News

* * *

Commentary: Pakistan needs to get past ‘lock him up’ politics Channel News Asia. Yeah, sheesh, that’s Third World stuff.

Pakistan general elections 2024: Mobile phone services suspended across Pakistan as voting begins WION

European Disunion

For Europeans, Trump’s already back and America has abandoned Ukraine Politico

New Not-So-Cold War

Peace in Ukraine NYT. Will there be Nazis?

Zaluzhny calling on neo-Nazis to support him against Zelensky Infobrics

Dismissal on repeat: why Zelenskyy is (or isn’t) dismissing Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi Ukrainska Pravda

South of the Border

Ecuador’s Internal Armed Conflict London Review of Books

Biden Administration

Democrats seek to salvage Ukraine aid after Senate vote fails FT

Senate Republicans officially block foreign aid bill with border changes Politico. The deck: “It marks the end of immigration negotiations that dragged on for four months.” Nobody could have predicted:

Putin’s on balls of his heels, and what are we doing? Stepping back? – Biden on failed aid bill Ukrainska Pravda. Biden: “The United States is viewed as — we are the essential nation. If the United States steps out of events, what happens. What happens then in the Middle East, the Taiwan Straits? What happens in Asia? What happens with Ukraine?” Every country but his own.

The Census Bureau halts changing how it asks about disabilities following a backlash AP

Our Famously Free Press

Exclusive: Tucker Carlson Could Face Sanctions Over Putin Interview Newsweek

There’s Nothing Wrong with Tucker Interviewing Putin. It’s Called Journalism. Zaid Jilani, Public. Not only that, the intracranial splatterfest in (sigh) “the liberal media” is going to generate clicks — and sorely needed revenue — for weeks, and various protusions of The Blob in think tanks and consultancies are going to make bank. What’s not to like?

X, formerly Twitter, becomes No. 1 app on US App Store on news of Tucker Carlson-Putin interview TechCrunch

Vladimir Putin Fast Facts CNN. A timeline. Time’s “Man of the Year” in 2007.

Digital Watch

‘Enshittification’ is coming for absolutely everything Cory Doctorow, FT

Morale plummets at Google as workers complain bosses are ‘inept’ and ‘boring’ SFGATE. Enshittification proceeds apace.

No, 3 million electric toothbrushes were not used in a DDoS attack Bleeping Computer

Personal Information is Property Jim Harper, SSRR. AEI. From the Abstract: “[I]nformation has acquired the characteristics of property in the common law sense. Consumers and businesses—each in their way and for their purposes—withhold or hoard personal information, trade it, process it, profit from it, and enjoy other rights to personal information that are in the ‘bundle of sticks’ that make up property rights.”

Supply Chain

New Report Sheds Light on Rapid Expansion of Arctic Shipping gCaptain


Boeing Faces Potential Strike from Its Largest Union


The legal arguments in Julian Assange’s High Court extradition hearing on 20-21 February (thread) Stella Assange, Threadreader

Realignment and Legitimacy

No More Fairy Tales: Why the United States Needs a Whole New Operating System In These Times. From 2018, still germane. “Because corporations have constitutional ​”rights,” if a community makes a decision to stop a bad project that has been permitted by the state or federal government, a corporation has the ability to sue the community to force its project into the town. There’s no self-government at work here.”

How to Tell If You’re Living in a Binary Crisis (excerpt) The Honest Broker

Imperial Collapse Watch

Asia’s commercial heft helps keep Russia’s war economy going The Economist. Dear Lord. How is it that an imperial hegemon lacks sufficient “economic heft”?

Class Warfare

Tennessee is fastest growing state for labor unions Chattanooga Times Free Press

Can Child Labor Rescue America From Labor Shortages? An Update Confined Space

Report: Arlington’s first guaranteed income pilot boosted quality of life for poorest residents ArlNow

Is capitalism dead? Yanis Varoufakis thinks it is – and he knows who killed it The Fifth Estate

Where Tulpas Come From JSTOR Daily

FAA Aviation Maps Beautiful Public Data. For example:

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from American Made by The Oak Ridge Boys)

    Do you wonder how can Israel
    Maintain their bombing game?
    They bomb the Gaza Strip end to end
    With such deadly aim
    Every one of those Israeli bombs
    With glide technology
    Are shipped in daily from the USA
    On C-17’s

    Those bombs are American made!
    Steady jobs in the USA
    All of the explosives for this Jewish crusade
    Those bombs are American made!

    They have a few hundred F-16’s
    And they aren’t there for show
    However many bombs their jet-jocks use
    We send ’em even more
    All their targeting is state-of-art
    We help with that stuff too
    But every blast comes from the USA
    Red, white, and blue!

    Those bombs are American made!
    Let’s just call a spade a spade
    We make the Arab kids and moothers afraid
    Those bombs are American made!

    Those bombs are American made!
    Helpin’ out with some foreign aid
    If you blow ’em all to hell you don’t need to invade
    Those bombs are American made!

    Those bombs are American made!
    Union jobs that are real well paid
    Air freighted every night they are never delayed
    Those bombs are American made!

    Those bombs are American made!
    Let’s call a spade a spade
    We make the Arab kids and mothers afraid
    Those bombs are American made!

  2. The Rev Kev

    “No, 3 million electric toothbrushes were not used in a DDoS attack”

    However, 5 million internet-connected vibrators remain under suspicion.

  3. timbers

    Biden: “The United States is viewed as — we are the essential nation. If the United States steps out of events, what happens. What happens then in the Middle East, the Taiwan Straits? What happens in Asia? What happens (in) Ukraine?”

    PEACE. Peace would happen. In the Middle East, Taiwan Straits, Asia, Ukraine.

    1. Randall Flagg

      Yes, and maybe a few of those dollars pissed away on overseas misadventures could be used to improve the lives and infrastructure of the US.

      1. Feral Finster

        No, silly!

        Don’t you know that tax dollars ever always only can be spent on empire and wars of aggression and never on things that generate a positive ROI such as healthcare, infrastructure or education?

    2. Pat

      I think you have to include an “eventually” or an “in time” and perhaps even an “in most cases” to that. Because as massively malignant as America has been, and it has been a hugely evil mother (family blog), it has not acted alone. And the minor demons we, god I hate saying that, have enabled and supported will still exist. As will the forces that have demanded this of the US.
      ISIS and the neo-nazis we have supported in Ukraine will not disappear overnight. The anti Russia and China groups will fund any crazies they can find. And AIPAC, the Armageddon fundies and the Zionists will not wake up from their fevered dream because the American government has shaken off the shackles they had wrapped it in.
      But I do Agee that the best chance we have for peace is an America that knows it is not essential to anything but itself and its people. And acts that way.

    3. Neutrino

      President Biden, I knew a competent, coherent sane person. He was a friend of mine. You are no competent, coherent sane person. *

      memories of Lloyd Bentsen

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Zaluzhny calling on neo-Nazis to support him against Zelensky”

    Zaluzhny should remember one thing however. A long time ago the Russians decided not to kill Zelensky for two reasons. Politically he was useful to have around and who might be the one that negotiates an end to this war. Second the guy is a walking disaster for the Ukrainians like how he insisted that tens of thousands of soldiers be thrown into Bakhmut, even though it was a lost case, but which let the Russians wipe out scores of thousands of enemy troops.

    But if Zaluzhny gets himself made top dog, the Russians will feel no need to keep him alive but will probably make it possible for him to go join his hero Bandera. The fact that he is making himself the head of the Nazis in the Ukraine would merely confirm this thought for the Russians. They may even let him live for the moment because of the chaos caused by the Zelensky vs Zaluzhny palace intrigues going on.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Zaluzhny will need the battalions to keep control, moving them from shooting retreating soldiers to the West of the country. Think of Hussein not deploying the Republican Guard or the Saudis keeping the Royal guard nearby.

      Intrigues aside, without Zelensky’s plausible deniabilitiy, Zaluzhny is going to stick out if he’s aligned with Azov. The whole G7 except Canada, Trudeau will probably start wearing red and black armbands, is going to have a much harder time pitching funds. This might be why Biden seems so desperate for a package. The White House knows what is coming. There will be no more funding.

      1. Carolinian

        Like having obvious Nazis in Ukraine has stopped any funding and support up to now? To paraphrase a long ago FDR joke: there are Nazis and there are our Nazis.

        Anyhow I thought Zaluzhny was off to be the ambassador to the UK. Hard to keep up.

        1. Oh

          We’re also supporting the Nazi wannabes in the middle east. They do unto moslems what was done to them.

    2. Feral Finster

      The Nazis manning the Ukrainian paramilitaries made it clear that if Kiev ever reconquered Donbass and Crimea, they would immediately turn their guns on Kiev.

      Seems that days is coming sooner than anticipated.

    3. Es s Ce tera

      Before the invasion Azov promised to hang Zelensky, the Russian invasion actually foiled or postponed that. I would argue the Russians never had a need to target Zelensky for that reason.

      Zaluzhny in power would be terribly embarrassing for the West, though, a major liability. I’d expect him to be taken out by the West cuz it can’t become too obvious that Ukraine is nazi.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        I sometimes wonder if the reason the US neocons are allowed to go into Ukraine and give their little pep rallies in the public square without being on the receiving end of a kinzhal is because Russia knows that doing so would be doing the US a huge favor.

  5. schmoe

    Can anyone give a one or two-sentence comment on Ukrainska Pravda’s political orientation or credibility? I follow the conflict but am not familiar with that publication.

    I of course could do a Google search, but I trust the commenters here much more than what Google will dish up.

    1. lambert strether

      Ukraine state/political class propaganda organ, much like we are used to in this country. Good aggregator though!

    2. Feral Finster

      All MSM in Ukraine is now state-controlled. Still, useful to read to get the official line on the day.

  6. timbers

    “Because corporations have constitutional ​”rights,” if a community makes a decision to stop a bad project that has been permitted by the state or federal government, a corporation has the ability to sue the community to force its project into the town. There’s no self-government at work here.”
    How about fighting fire with fire? Corporation is a legal construct, a law. Just like a parking ticket and the law that creates it. Or a zoning law. So file a suit that failure to acknowledge zoning laws as PEOPLE that are fully equal to corporate law as people is unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clause and great big bunch of other parts of the constitution. Then file a suit on behalf the person called Zoning Law that Corporate Person is violating their Constitutional Rights and seek big time damages and imprisonment.

    1. Mikey

      Timbers, how about Community Standards are the same as morals and religious freedom?

      A corporation cannot appear in court. Its lawyers can however to represent it.

      Also, if corporations are people?, then people may exercise common law self defense doctrines against corporations, and here’s where it might get sticky, against corporate lawyers and or directors.

      After PG&E killed dozens of people, as acknowledged by various courts in California, some survivors still waiting for payments from PG&E, is it morally ok for surviving family members to attack the PG&E directors whenever they appear in public?

      How about a community under threat of future poisoning or endangerment to take preventitive action to trash the corporate headquarters? Maybe the lynch mob can call themselves “Citizens United?”

      1. Vicky Cookies

        Your final example deserves a test! It would seem simple to construct a compelling case for self-defense against corporate crime causing predictable or ongoing harm. As to the PG&E example, attacking their directors would be morally acceptable only insofar as retribution is self-defense, which Israelis might believe, but is not the case. One might make a case that, like the empire in which we live, community members needed to establish a deterrent to discourage corporate criminals from harmful actions. Hey, if they didn’t want it to be applied to others, they shouldn’t have used it themselves. Perhaps we might cite our R2P duties, and engage in ‘preventive war’ against a few companies.

    2. heresy101

      An Amendment to the Constitution clearly stating that corporations are not a “person” under the Constitution and don’t have any rights, political or otherwise, unless the government grants them via laws.
      In the late 1800’s, the nine lackeys of the one percent defined corporations as a “person” and nothing but political corruption that has occurred since then. Corporations are not a person and have NO rights.

  7. Armchair Revolutionary

    I am wondering if there has been any discussion here related to changes in laws related to security entitlements and collateralization of securities. I just watched a documentary, the which focuses on this and how this could be used to usher in cdbc. I feel like his theory is quite plausible.

    I do not recall I do not find anything when I search NC via NC search. I can only find discussion of bail ins which is related to this. Any opinions on this?

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Putin’s on balls of his heels, and what are we doing? Stepping back? – Biden on failed aid bill”

    Alex Christoforou in a video was noting Biden’s continued obsession with the Ukraine. Right now you have chaos on the southern border, the Red Sea continues to be a shooting gallery causing chaos in maritime transport, you have Israel’s continued genocide in Gaza while they have lost control of their border with Lebanon. So what is Biden’s priorities? He goes on TV pointing out how he is wearing his Ukrainian tie and Ukrainian tie pin and for all we know Ukrainian underwear and socks. When he took his oath of office back in January of 2021, it was for the US, right?

    1. Nikkikat

      I makes one wonder doesn’t it. My first thought was, well why don’t you put your American flag pin back on and see if you can do something there for a change. Who wrote that for him to stumble and mumble through? Biden has said a lot of really stupid stuff for years, but that bit about his Ukraine pin and tie was over the top stupid. Especially since this shows that he rarely if ever gives two hoots about what happens here.

      1. Cassandra

        He historically has been very very interested in the 10% for the Big Guy. Invested in it, you might say.

      2. Wukchumni

        When I saw a picture of Hunter sporting an old glory lapel pin a month ago, thought it might fatally end the tacky usage of such trinkets, pioneered by Brezhnev back in the 70’s-who wore a USSR flag lapel pin.

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        Remember the fervor of the Obots? Imagine the younger people around Biden who are likely being asked for advice on how to reach those damn kids, Republicans with some libertarian views on social issues. Mulling on it, this probably came from Pete Buttigieg. He peddles in dopey symbolism. The interns jockeying to work for Neera Tanden?

    2. Pat

      The ads sort of write themselves don’t they. Start with a shot of East Palestine crash and the date, show every major mention of East Palestine by Biden and the date, and how much money and aid he has demanded for them then show a very fast reel of Biden on Ukraine showing mention after mention and the calculator adding up and running out of space for all the money, he has demanded for it. The narration adds that Maui, the Border, homelessness, the continuing opioid crisis and other American problems don’t fare much better. Then in the narration and in block letters Biden President of The Ukraine, not the USA.

    3. Enter Laughing

      This “balls of his heels’ phrase is making me crazy.

      Biden apparently meant to say that Putin was “back on his heels”, a phrase that means someone is shocked, surprised or in a defensive position. Only the most deluded observer could think that was true of Putin’s military in Ukraine, but let’s set that aside and get back to the “balls” part of Biden’s statement.

      In the sports world, being on the balls of your feet is part of an athletic stance that contributes to ones sense of anticipation and readiness to move. Some might say the the phrase “balls of his feet” is a more apt description of the state of affairs of Putin’s armed forces in Ukraine.

      So not only does Biden have his assessment of the Russian army backwards, he completely mangles his attempt to put it into words, never realizing that is a self-cancelling statement — you can’t have your weight forward on the balls of your feet while at the same time have it back on your heels.

      If this was an isolated misstatement that’d be one thing. But every time Biden opens his mouth something like this happens. Like someone here said again yesterday, this is not funny any more and it hasn’t been for a while.

      1. Randall Flagg

        Where’s the 25th amendment when you need it?
        And to remember how often that was trotted out when the MSM thought Trump was crazy a few months into his presidency. All because he hurt feeling with his scary words…

      2. Antifa

        (melody borrowed from The Chicken In Black by Johnny Cash)

        For years we’ve seen Biden stumble, trip on stairs, and mumble
        Only a liar or a lawyer could deny he’s outlived his brain
        Tony Blinken tells him how he feels Jake Sullivan helps him eat his meals
        And they send him out now and then on that big blue plane

        When he gets where he goes it’s a terrible sight like a deer in front of a twin headlight
        His synapses fail and the whole thing goes astray
        Someone oughta pull the emergency brake because nothing our President says is jake
        He’s a textbook example of advanced cerebral decay

        He could pass an audition for The Walking Dead in his fancy suit he’s a figurehead
        All his grey matter’s thickened and it’s turning into cement
        Plus those shady deals behind the old woodshed during which our President often said
        “I am the Big Guy who wants my Ten Percent!”

        Despite all his diplomatic debris and his disconnect from reality
        And being as far as he can be from left wing
        He’s obsessed with spreading democracy to the azure South China Sea
        He wants war while holding Vicki Nuland’s apron strings

        But our every war is a cul de sac and we don’t learn a thing from the harsh blowback
        Every safari we send overseas blows up and falls flat
        We go lookin’ for oil where it’s sandy and sunny spend a whole shit ton of money
        But all the profits go to some rich aristocrats

        So if you see Joe Biden on the campaign trail and he tells you peace is his Holy Grail
        And he asks for your vote don’t you say anything unkind
        His brain has failed his body’s frail his accomplishments are an old wive’s tale
        His neocon staffers are the real masterminds

        Joe’s soul is halfway to a higher place all we see is the user interface
        If we reelect him we’re guaranteed more war
        He’s out of time and out of place to push this farce will be a disgrace
        He has sunk his own boat with this Gaza blood and gore

        Hunter Biden hasn’t paid any income tax
        You don’t pay tax on money you steal
        Hey, maybe we’ll see four more years of Joe Biden —


      3. Carolinian

        Thank you. Heels don’t have balls.

        But then Joe has been making goofy remarks all his life has he not?

      4. bdy

        Balls of his heels hehe.
        Other Classic Rickyisms:

        denial and error

        It’s better to have a gun and need it than to not have a gun and not need it

        Rocket appliances

        Selling me under the bus

        Split it 50/50/50

        1. Enter Laughing

          +100 for Trailer Park Boys reference.

          And yes, having a President with dementia is pretty much a worst case Ontario

    4. Carolinian

      A few of my neighbors are still forlornly flying their Ukrainian flags. But then more than a few leave their American flags hanging day and night, rain or shine, until they fade and need replacement. I believe my long ago cub scout training says this is bad.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        “In This House We Believe…

        In Nazis (though we cloak it in Moral Vanity and Aghastitude)

      2. Vicky Cookies

        It always tickles me when I see the big American flags outside of houses. Walking past them, I mutter to myself “Thank you, helpful reactionary; I thought we were in Bangladesh!”

        1. undercurrent

          One reason that American flags are getting bigger and bigger is that our patriots need bigger flags to wrap themselves up in. Some of our patriots look as wide and expansive as twenty acres of field corn.

      1. Extroverted Introvert

        This quote popped into my mind too, you beat me to it. Found a trove of them, pure comedy gold —

        “I think we agree, the past is over.”[11][12] – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on meeting with John McCain; May 10, 2000

        “They misunderestimated me.”[13] – Bentonville, Arkansas; November 6, 2000

        “I know that human beings and fish can coexist peacefully.” – Saginaw, Michigan, September 29, 2000, while attempting to reassure the business community that he does not support tearing down dams to protect endangered fish species.

        “There’s an old saying in Tennessee—I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, ‘Fool me once, shame on…shame on you. Fool me—you can’t get fooled again.'”[15] – Nashville, Tennessee; September 17, 2002.

        “Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.”[17] – Poplar Bluff, Missouri; September 6, 2004

        “I’m going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there’s an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened.”

        “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”

        “I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.” – Washington, D.C., in an interview with The Jerusalem Post; May 12, 2008

      2. Enter Laughing

        Reminds me that somebody could probably make a buck or two by putting together a collection of Biden’s malapropisms, similar to the George Bushisms book series back in the day.

        After all, nobody ever went broke misunderestimating the intelligence of the American public.

    5. Feral Finster

      What does Kiev have on Biden and Young Hunter, who has privy to this doubtless highly interesting information, whether they will sell Biden out to Team R, and for what price?

  9. Wukchumni

    Really excited in that both Mitterand & Kohl are skiing with me in Mammoth today.

    Francois and I enjoyed the slopes yesterday in quite an undertaking, adding Helmut is like icing on the cake!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      People mock Biden’s age, but I think this is simply a case where Biden didn’t bother to learn Macron’s name. As he told a story (almost certainly embellished), he decided to add a name for flavor and thought M guy from France.

      1. Carolinian

        He’s like Dubya and Gerald Ford rolled into one. Where are the SNL jokes? TDS has killed humor among the lefties. They think Nikki is hip. Comedy used to be a nonpartisan put down.

      2. Feral Finster

        Biden doesn’t have to know Macron’s name, any more than Biden needs or wants to know the name of the guy who carries his bag or the orderly who gives him his meds.

        Actually, those individuals probably mean more to Biden than a flunky like Macron.

    2. timbers

      Just wait when hesr Putin name drop to Tucker in the interview “When I was speaking to Jesus Christ last week…”

    3. undercurrent

      That clinches it! That’s why Golda Meir finally showed up (I think). Nothing on, or under, the earth can keep our Golda from her cake and icing!

  10. ilsm

    ‘Why is the US in Jordan and Syria?’

    To assure the Shi’a forces, a large demographic in Iran-Iraq-Syria, do not dominate the Sunni factions which sustain al Qaeda, al Nusra and Daish.

    Each reference to “Iran backed” is really hiding the Sunni (wag the US dog) plot to subdue the Shi’a.

    US is siding with the Sunni in the 1400 year religious schism!

    US has not relented on ousting Assad and Idlib is the prototype for Sunni run Syria!

  11. ilsm

    Good points on military fueling a west Pacific war.

    It should be noted the KC-46 is not ready to participate. Good that the KC 135 can off load nearly the same amount of fuel as the KC 46 is specified to.

    Air refueling is absolutely not suitable to the task.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The US must have underground fuel bunkers in Japan and South Korea for all their aircraft to keep them flying. If a military action breaks out, you can be sure that the Chinese know exactly where all those bunkers are and will probably use the Chinese equivalent of a Kinzhal missile to take each of them out. Then what? Will the US have the fuel to fly those fighters, bombers, AWACS, transports, etc. out to some base in the Pacific where they will be safe from Chinese attacks. Or will they blow them up themselves first where they sit? So, no fuel, no air force.

        1. Not Qualified to Comment

          And, unhappily now that we have a right-wing government that can’t put its tongue far enough up Uncle Sam’s anus, New Zealand.

    2. tet vet

      Another example of how our military is always preparing to fight the last war. As far as a KC 135 loading nearly the same amount of fuel that is not quite true. A KC-46 has an extended range as it can also be refueled in the air whereas the KC-135 cannot.

  12. Jeff W

    ‘Enshittification’ is coming for absolutely everything Cory Doctorow, FT

    Lily Tomlin used to do a character on the TV show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, an AT&T telephone operator who’d do commercials for the Bell system. Each one would end with her saying: “We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re the phone company.”

    That’s not true. Lily Tomlin never ended her Ernestine skits on Laugh-In that way. That line is from a Saturday Night Live filmed segment that aired in September, 1976, just about three-and-a-half years after the last Laugh-In show aired.

  13. none

    Giraffe helps remove the branch stuck on Gazelle’s head..

    Giraffe: Hey bro, you gonna eat that? No? Ok can I have it? Great, thanks, munch munch.

  14. Mikel

    “Is capitalism dead? Yanis Varoufakis thinks it is – and he knows who killed it” The Fifth Estae

    The part about Quantitative easing
    (QE) can not be emphasized enough.

    The fintech sector thrives on it and so many elements of the internet are as much (or more) fintech (financial oriented technology) rather than “social media.” It’s all about the financialization of data.

    The criminally low interest rates were and are the main component of claimed innovation and productivity growth of the “tech” world. (And other industries now too, maybe less dramatically)

    Their game is to first enrich themselves with the low interest rate money – stock buybacks, increased exec compensation, big houses, art. This is the circle jerk of inflating asset bubbles. “You blow my bubble and I’ll blow yours.”

    Later, they will hire huge quantities of people. Some have called it labor hoarding. This is good for waving the “look at how many people we employ” stick at governments, which can help when lobbying for tax breaks or subsidies.

    If interest rates threaten to go up enough to interfere with various forms of rentierism and assorted scams, the mass layoffs come into play. This happens throughout the economy until whatever tweaked out metric the govt is using for unemployment starts to go up enough for them to start the entire QE cycle again.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Exclusive: Tucker Carlson Could Face Sanctions Over Putin Interview’

    They mentioned the upcoming Tucker Carlson – Putin interview on the news tonight and it can best be described as a slow drive-by smear of Carlson saying that he was pro-Putin or something along those lines. It will be interesting to note who else tries to smear Carlson in the next coupla days.

    1. mrsyk

      I went on a google algo tour, destination commie sympathizer land. It seems everyone is lining up to give Tucker the Tulsi treatment. It might be easier to note who doesn’t join the smear party.

    2. Koldmilk

      Can you say “Streisand effect”?

      Family and acquaintances who normally show no interest in international politics have mentioned the interview to me. It’s going to get a lot more views than if the establishment media had just ignored it (as they do of so much that contradicts their “narrative”). I guess the “T” in “TDS” also stands for Tucker.

      1. .Tom

        I was thinking about this aspect yesterday. Why do so many MSM freaks make such a noise drawing attention to something they declare should receive no public attention? They know they are turning it into the interview of the century. Why?

        1. Jealousy. Being stuck within the Western Orthodox Church of Liberalism they know the doctrine, liturgy and duties. Carlson was excommunicated and is therefore free to do interesting journalism. What they do, whining about it, is not interesting.

        2. The Church is slowly losing its exclusive power to interpret the world for us. The situation is getting desperate. I think some in the priesthood think that keeping those remaining in the church together with threats, thunderous sermons, pleadings and prayers is the priority.

        3. The Church still has power to excommunicate and there are still huge numbers in the priesthood and congregation who stand to lose if they are thrown out. So this is a power play. Tell them in advance what to think and how serious the consequences will be for anyone who steps out of line.

        1. .Tom

          One more…

          4. Start a different story about it the day before and keep that rolling through so you don’t have to address the content of the interview when it’s out. This actually applies to also to people like Matt Taibbi and Walter Kirn who I think prefer to stay out of touchy subjects like Ukraine and Gaza. They already did their podcast about the Carlson Putin interview.

      2. Wukchumni

        I was under the impression that the Streisand Effect meant that she was better heard than seen.

      1. Randall Flagg

        Hmmm, Hillary calling someone a useful idiot. I would take that as high praise coming from someone that really is an idiot that no one has any use for..,

    3. Mikel

      Funny that, when he announced his interview, a lot of MSM whined and chimed up about how they have been seeking interviews with Putin for the past couple of years or so.

      1. mrsyk

        Saw that. Steve Rosenberg, the BBC’s Russia Editor, posted that the BBC has “lodged several requests with the Kremlin in the last 18 months. Always a ‘no’ for us”. BBC

        1. JohnA

          Rosenberg is nothing more than a western propagandist at the BBC. Everything he produces has an anti-Putin spin. When he does video vox pops or streeters, as I think they are called in America, in Moscow or small towns, and people do not spout anti-Putin views, he claims ‘see, they are all brainwashed by Russian propaganda’.
          He did an interview with Lukashenko of Belarus a couple of years ago, and got totally owned.
          Absolutely no point giving him air time as far as the Kremlin would be concerned.

        2. Mikel

          I wonder how much comparison there will be between the Carlson interview and Oliver Stone’s Putin interview?
          Not too many people are bringing that up in the press. Like it didn’t happen.

      2. flora

        NBC interviewed Putin 2 or 3 years ago. Available on utube. I guess if MSM does an interview it’s hunky-dory. If an independent journo does an interview it’s horrible, terrible, no good.
        Jealous at play here? Worried about their own viewership ratings? / ;)

        1. JBird4049

          That clip is somewhat truncated, but I still remember feeling gut punched when Jacob Bronowski effectively showed what remained of his family after the results of the certainty of others.

          It is something we see everyday, still. Much to our collective damnation.

      1. dave -- just dave

        In this clip Bronowski points out that the Ascent of Man need not include the continued ascendency of Western civilization. Oreskes and Conway’s The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future is notionally written in 2393 in the Second People’s Republic of China – China is postulated to have collapsed less because it was less controlled by the “carbon combustion complex.”

  16. Wukchumni

    Your appendix is not, in fact, useless. This anatomy professor explains NPR
    If there is one nagging thing about being out in the back of beyond on a backpack trip, its the slim possibility of appendicitis, i’d be so screwed.

    1. The Rev Kev

      How about carrying a satellite phone for emergencies? Or an EPIRB? The added weight may just be worth it.

        1. Pat

          Maybe. To me the sad thing is that there are a growing number of Americans who do not have to be in the backwoods to be in this position. Their odds might be a little better, but with the closing of rural hospitals the need for helicopter evacuation or hours to the nearest hospital are an increasing fact of life.

          1. John9

            I always carried antibiotics with me in Nepal trekking for just this reason.
            Dr. Google has a lot to say on this.

    2. Alice X

      The professor’s thesis that the little organ does indeed have a function as a safe harbor for good gut bacteria seems quite plausible. There is also the thought that there might be other remedies besides removal. What was seen as reason to have mine out came on very quickly.

    3. Jabura Basaidai

      had a couple of friends fly into Detroit Metro and picked them up and headed north to go fishing – one of the guys had been sick the whole flight and on the drive up to Grayling to fish the Au Sable i had to pull over numerous times so the sick guy could throw up – we got a cheap motel but by this time the guy was throwing up green stuff so we took him to the hospital – diagnosis, appendicitis and we were told we saved his life – don’t know if that’s true but we left him at the hospital and spent the next 4 days fishing our way further north before we came back to pick him up on the way back to Metro

    4. B24S

      I’ve had a small umbilical hernia for decades.

      When my doctor (yeah, that’s how long ago it was…) noticed it, his question was whether I was going to be traveling in the third world? If so, we’ll fix it now, otherwise, let it be, until it’s an issue.

    5. .Tom

      I had appendicitis three times. Only on the third try did it escape. On its first try the NHS doctor game me a shot of morphine and let me sleep it off.

  17. Mikel

    ‘The military is in chaos’: Cracks in the support base” Frontier Myanmar

    I’m trying to wrap my mind around Buddhism and chaos tangled up together.
    The situation as described sounds like clashing psyops, banging against each other.

    And, as an aside, it’s also as if all over the world the only kind of protest being given legitimacy and the most coverage is of a hyper-religious variety.

  18. mrsyk

    “Cats and Human Supremecy” The theme of man over nature has been troubling me much recently. Quote,
    I’m increasingly convinced that all the science, all the poetry, all the art, it’s no better or worse than the mating dance of any other creature. It may be worse because — while we’re interested in their displays— they’re not interested in us. Our vaunted intelligence is a parlor trick, a frill, a colorful feather, a red bottom.
    Well worth a read.

    1. dave -- just dave

      all the science, all the poetry, all the art, it’s no better or worse than the mating dance of any other creature

      My opinion is different – poetry and art have power over people, and people have power over matter and energy – here and on the other side of the world or at the edges of the solar system – for both good and evil – because of technology – although as Lewis Mumford pointed out, the first powerful “machine” in history is coordinated human labor – a squad of soldiers, a plantation of slaves.

  19. Craig H.

    This is like waiting for Elvis to take the stage. Maybe it’s set up so it goes on the twitter network three minutes after the final Super Bowl clock tick for maximum attention potential?

    1. AbyNormal

      dollar reversed last night off 104.300
      s&p is traded in dollars
      our military is mirroring (Their one aim is to perpetuate the insane concept of limitless expansion on a limited planet, with permanent conflict as its desired outcome. And their product is the zero-educated robot known otherwise as the corporate executive.
      John le Carré, Absolute Friends)

      elvis buckling his belt

  20. Pat

    So in this great Biden economy we now have this AP story:
    Record number of Americans cannot afford rent
    Now that Harvard has released a study that confirms what anyone looking around could have told people, there are new headlines including that lawmakers are scrambling to help. The thing that gets me is last summer there were reports that 1 in 2 Americans couldn’t do it.

    True this is more about the outrageous rent hikes, but even before that the rent has been too high considering wages in America. The unending greed among our corporate landlords has just ripped the curtain back. Sadly even if lawmakers find their backbone and enact rent controls, they will probably be backing an unaffordable idea of affordable rent (in NYC these rents in city controlled lottery situations is just under half to well over half a month’s pay at our higher than national minimum wage.)

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      lawmakers-backbone – a true mismatch of words – malapropic oxymoron – something they know nothing about so impossible to find –

    2. Vicky Cookies

      When lawmakers address this issue, it is from one of two angles:
      1. market solutions: rents are too damn high, so we need more housing to put downward pressure on rents. Therefore, let’s hand money to real estate developers
      2. Handing money to landlords, as if that would help, sometimes in the form of subsidy, sometimes by removing ‘onerous’ zoning regulations, or providing tax breaks. The ruling class only knows how to give money to rich people; this is the solution to everything, in their minds.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        makes me think of Timothy Geithner’s answer as to why not just make the loans whole in ’08 – have a jubilee – and his answer is that to benefit the homeowners on the hook by paying off their loans would be a “Moral Hazard” – of course bailing the banks wasn’t – and the whole thing was a lot more than just the loans, it was about the mess of derivatives – casino Wall Street – they’re in the club George Carlin talks about that we ain’t in –

    3. skippy

      Higher Interest rates just get passed on to renters, e.g. every time IR or some other re-occurring cost to a landlord will be passed onto the renter.

      Too think this all started with the notion that everyone should be self funded[tm] for retirement or the quick way to wealth and prosperity was investing in RE as rental income. All of it leverage on leverage with insurance on top. Remember the 80s mania with seminars costing over 1K at the time and many around me stampeding going to one. Then hit Australia in the mid 90s only to watch it happen all over again … lol … have to work out and go to job but will regale a funny story about that latter this avo …

      Makes me weep for the good old days of some retirees owning vending machines and going to the discount warehouse to restock them, good times hearing their conversations about that market …

  21. Zephyrum

    Wired magazine gets unhinged over Russia:

    “They are in every single group on any social media,” one member who calls themselves ‘Eat Putin’s Heart’ wrote on Telegram in response to a question about why Russians were members of the group. “They want a civil war/chaos more than anything. What’s bad for America is great for Russia.”

    They could even be under your bed! Or how about:

    Researchers at Antibot4Navalny, a Russian anti-disinformation research group that has been closely tracking a Russian disinformation network known as Doppelganger on X, shared data exclusively with WIRED that shows a network of bot accounts previously linked to the Doppelganger campaign has been deployed online in the past week to discuss the Texas issue.

    Wow, Antibot4Navalny certainly sounds like a “research group”, now doesn’t it. At what point does the crazy become clinical psychosis?

    1. Lefty Godot

      The tech bros on Hacker News and SlashDot seem to be huge proponents of Russia and China hatred. Anyone that tries to correct their narratives with real history gets labeled a troll and “refuted” with references to unimpeachable sources like the New York Times, CNN, or Wikipedia. The startling conformity down to the exact phrasing of co-opted US media stories on major foreign policy issues is never considered suspicious by the flag waving digerati.

    2. Jabura Basaidai

      “At what point does the crazy become clinical psychosis?” – cleared that hurdle a long time ago

    1. skippy

      As tornadoes are measured by wind speeds I think not as its nuts already for a 5, yet it should me noted that the area of the two regions has expanded quite a lot to date and still expanding. So areas not accustom too them, or prepared for them, will no have to deal with them.

  22. Steve H.

    > Personal Information is Property Jim Harper, SSRR. AEI.

    Very interesting, and its arguments must be answered.

    Information storms and the limits to information

    >> Sustaining information requires continual processing of information to select and refine information, and make and replace copies that are lost, broken, or otherwise depreciated. Information is tested, refined, and shared and adapted to local variation. Shared information has the highest emergy embodied in it.

    Cases to account for:

    : Abused women fleeing violence need privacy to avoid their hunter.
    : President of the top university on the planet is a serial plagiarist.
    : Over 2 percent of the US’s electricity generation now goes to bitcoin ars Technica

  23. KD

    Blinken says ‘a lot of work’ remains on Israel-Hamas truce talks

    Who says a perpetual motion machine is impossible?

    1. Feral Finster

      Got memory-holed, as it named too many people of influence and authority.

      Sorta like how nobody from the FBI even bothered to interview any of the folks in Epstein’s little black book.

  24. Jason Boxman

    From Morale plummets at Google as workers complain bosses are ‘inept’ and ‘boring’

    Hirsh Theriault complained that executives are “trying to point in a vague direction” toward AI while waiting for lower-level staff to propose concrete, actionable ideas. Buildings are emptying earlier in the evenings, midlevel managers are “scrambling to protect their teams (and themselves)” and people are living in fear of layoffs, she wrote. She called the result a “pervasive sense of nihilism.”

    “I guess I will just hang around and do my job until Google no longer wants me,” she finished her post.

    Cry me a river; SWEs at Google make anywhere from 200k to 500k or more. Not to mention plush benefits including, if you’re in the Bay Area, 3 square meals daily in multiple cafeterias. And prior to the Pandemic, people would bring in their families — people making good six fig incomes — for free meals! There so was much food waste in Cambridge MA, they put a big display up showing pounds of food waste, this month vs. last month. And that was a smaller office relative to Mnt View.

    And more river crying.

    From After Its $20 Billion Windfall Evaporated, a Start-Up Picks Up the Pieces

    When Adobe and Figma unveiled their deal on Sept. 15, 2022, Mr. Field declared that the combination would be “a chance to reimagine what creative tools look like” and a way to achieve Figma’s goals even faster.

    Many Figmates could hardly believe their good fortune. Joining a start-up is often a leap of faith. Employees can walk away with worthless stock, having squandered years of their lives — but sometimes they luck into life-changing wealth.

    An employee survey after the conference last June showed a spike in feelings of burnout and of being overwhelmed by deadlines, two people familiar with the situation said. Mr. Field later said running the company while trying to close the deal with regulators felt like having two or three jobs at a time.

    1. Mikel

      “…Hirsh Theriault complained that executives are “trying to point in a vague direction” toward AI while waiting for lower-level staff to propose concrete, actionable ideas…”

      It always points to lower interest rates. “Productivity gains”…LOL

    2. SKM

      Re Google on another tack: Have Google Podcasts started censuring what podcasts we are allowed to subscribe to? has anyone here noticed anything happening recently?
      I travelled from Italy to the UK. Once here I opened up my google podcast list anc clicked on THe Duran. I was told I could no longer access it!!!!!!! They said it was to protect me as I might be under 18!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Advsed to log into Google as a possible idea to overcome this problem. I did this (I keep a Google email address just for this purpose). I still couldn`t access The Duran. I then noticed that the icon for “Economic Update” (R Woolf) and Geopolitical Economy had both disappeared!!!!!
      Does anuyone here know what this is all about and if there is a solution. Meantime I`m accessing these via Spotify but find it messy and confusing. I hate Google but like theri simple interface with icons and easy management. Thanks in advance!

  25. digi_owl

    War is logistics, and has been since at least Napoleon.

    Lets not forget the very public display of Chinese airlift capability that was demonstrated as the Ukraine fighting kicked off, when they delivered the full shipment of air defense systems to Serbia in a day using a flotilla of their latest cargo planes.

    DC really need to stop and ask if USA can pull of something like the Arctic convoys of WW2, or the Berlin airlift, today. Likely it can’t.

    1. Ed S.

      I’ve long speculated that our leadership (who, although typically referred to as “Boomers” are virtually all born before or in the very first year of the Baby Boom) really and truly picture the US as the “arsenal of democracy” that it was when they were children. Or the globe-striding industrial powerhouse that it was during their teens and early adulthood. Or the leader in innovation and material standards that it was throughout decades of their lives.

      Coupled with a steady diet of American exceptionalism, living inside the DC bubble, immense wealth (both relatively and in some cases absolute), and non-stop propaganda over 60 years (consider the steady diet of WW2 movies – when was the last time there was a movie about Korea, Vietnam, or any of the Gulf Wars), I think they believe that the US is the same country that it was in, say, 1962. As President Biden said not so long ago, ” We’re the United States of America! There is nothing beyond our capacity”. Unfortunately, I think he (and many in leadership) believe this is an absolute truth.

      There’s plenty that’s beyond our capacity today that wasn’t when they were young or even middle-aged. There is a belief that since our nominal GDP is so much larger than in the past and larger than most other countries, we’re still in great shape. We can still do anything. But a great deal of that GDP is rentier income (FIRE and I’d lump a substantial portion of Health Care into rentier income as well) and as we’re finding out with Ukraine and in a thousand other ways, all the dollars in the world can’t buy what doesn’t exist.

      Fundamentally, the US isn’t capable of doing what it could do 25 years ago, let alone 50 years ago. Four decades of strip mining our economy has taken its toll. To answer your question – not only can we not accomplish the Arctic convoys or the Berlin airlift, we wouldn’t even know how to begin to accomplish tasks of that magnitude.

  26. reify99

    I left my tulpa in Sapulpa.
    I don’t think the Dalai Lama talks about this kind of stuff in public. I read somewhere that creating (and dissolving) a tulpa is sometimes used in training for Buddhist development.

    But here it is, ready for the metaverse, or your very own preferred alternate reality.
    Take the shell, leave the nut.

    Creating a tulpa may have unexpected mental effects if you have a history of obsessive tendencies or existing mental disorders.[13] Talk to a therapist before you try to create a tulpa to explore how it might affect you.

      1. Reify99

        Nah. About that time I was in a small room with a big piano trying to bring the Liszt Sonata to life. And nursing school.

        But now I could watch it. Thanks for the tip.

  27. KD

    Nicolai Petro of URI gave an interview recently where he claimed that Ukrainian nationalists are going to flip sides to the Russians (he notes that this has happened before to fight the Poles) out of necessity/survival instinct. He further claims the Ukrainian nationalists will work out a deal with Russia, without the West, and it will conclude the war because the West has no role without a proxy.

    Rumors relating to Zaluzhnyi is that he was discussing ceasefire terms with the West. If there was a change in heart on the part of the nationalists driven by a concern for survival, and Zaluzhnyi represents the nationalists, and Zelensky is taking his cues from Washington who wants to bleed Ukraine white, this might explain why Shelob/Nuland came to Ukraine, and why the whole Western bleed Ukraine project may be on thin ice politically in Kiev Obviously, this is all palace rumors, but its hard to see Ukrainian nationalism survive if this war continues much longer (Arestovich is already on record saying Ukraine picked the wrong side in the conflict). If they don’t deal with the Russians quickly, they are sure to all get executed after tribunals when there is an unconditional surrender, and Ukraine is likely to be a large land-locked farm bordering Poland.

    My skepticism is whether the Russians would deal with such people, although the Russians have always been pretty transactional if it serves their interests. On the other hand, the nationalists have more skin in the game than Kiev oligarchs just looking to skim off Western aid into offshore bank accounts and then exit before the baloon pops.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Thanks, that brings up an interesting possibility, and one that ought to give the DC cretins pause when thinking about sending more aid/weapons.

      (I think the Russians would see someone like Zaluzhnyi as much more “agreement capable” than anyone in the US or Europe.)

      If, say Zaluzhnyi decided to cut a deal with the Russians, and have a coup to get rid of Zelensky, loads of western aid might be put a different use case than envisioned by the DC clowns.

      I can see a train car full of weapons being suddenly diverted away from the eastern front, and sent directly to Moscow for some re-purposing. Or just sold off in the open arms market and end up someplace like Zanzibar, or Pakistan.

      Of course, the “printer go brrrr!” fiat will just stay in the US anyways, as a gift to the MIC. Budgetary support for Ukraine probably would get cut off the minute Zee’s body assumes room temperature.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        I realized I could have made that comment a lot more succinct by just stating “Military supply chain integrity compromise.”

    2. Feral Finster

      The Ukrainian nationalists did not exactly “flip sides” to Russia. Rather, before 1939, the principal Ukrainian nationalist folk devils were Poles and Jews. When WWII broke out, most of the UPA and other Ukrainian nationalists were cooling out in Polish prisons, guests of the aggressively centralizing and aggressively polonizing Polish Second Republic.

      The UPA knew of the 1930s famine in Soviet Ukraine and didn’t much care, because the USSR did offer Soviet Ukraine considerable cultural autonomy. Like the fascists they were, the Ukrainian nationalists were all about The Nation, even if they were indifferent to the people who made up the nation.

      Of course, once Poland was partitioned, the UPA discovered for themselves just how little interest I.V. Stalin had in their ideas about Ukraine and how it should be run. Of course, they embraced Nazi Germany wholeheartedly, especially after Barbarossa. These were their people!

      For their part, the Nazis encouraged the nationalists to carry out a particularly grisly pogrom against Jews and Poles. (There is a reason that Galicians are the stupidest and most ogrish antisemites of them all in Jewish folk memory). I don’t know a Polish family that did not have family members who suffered at the hands of the UPA.

    3. AndrewJ

      If the Ukrainian nationalists do flip and settle a ceasefire with the Russians, it seems to me that Russia would then have all the time and space in the world to stage a series of accidents to finish of their leadership. I wonder how invulnerable the Ukrops would feel in the Western Ukrainian rump-state, or how effectively they can hide.

  28. Carolinian

    From the Tennessee union membership story

    States with the lowest share of union members

    Southern and rural states last year had the lowest share of workers who belonged to a labor union. Compared to the U.S. average of 10% of all workers who are union members, the states with the lowest share of union workers in 2023 were:

    1. South Carolina: 2.3%.

    2. North Carolina: 2.7%.

    3. South Dakota: 3.6%.

    4. Utah: 4.%.

    5. Arizona: 4.2%.

    6. Virginia: 4.3%.

    6. Louisiana: 4.3%.

    8. Texas: 4.5%.

    8. Idaho: 4.5%.

    10. Georgia: 4.6%.

    Were number one! However perhaps this merely reflects states that are large scale industrialization late starters. After all most of the union members in the North are legacies from decades ago. Or at least that’s a possibility.

    1. KD

      Before Mexico and SE Asia, textiles and other manufacturing headed to the American South for cheaper wages and politicians hostile to trade unions.

      1. Carolinian

        Of course I know that but perhaps their goal was more a population so poor and desperate they would be easily exploited. It’s not like most Northern politicians were union enthusiasts. The reason I said heavy industry is that these somewhat skilled jobs are more amenable to union organizing. Textile workers were often women and even children.

        Almost all of our now closed textile mills were founded by businessmen from the North.

  29. antidlc

    Health care “enshittification”:
    Massachusetts Wakes Up to a Hospital Nightmare
    Erstwhile Boston media darling Steward Health Care has been strip-mining hospitals for a decade now. The power elite may finally be paying attention

    “It was all smoke and mirrors…they had no intention of giving us any of the resources we needed to learn what we needed to learn or do a good job,” remembers a preventative medicine physician and former Carney medical resident, recalling an afternoon when a patient had a heart attack and she had to Google “how to operate an EKG machine” because she could not find a single nurse or technician in the building to help her. “It’s hard to convey how much of a crisis it felt like as a first-year resident,” another former Carney resident, family physician Stephanie Arnold, wrote in an essay for the Prospect last year about her experiences working for private equity owned health care providers.

  30. Mikel

    “The Houthis’ Next Target May Be Underwater” Foreign Policy

    “I can’t see any part of the Houthi arsenal actually being dangerous for the subsea cables,” said Bruce Jones of the Brookings Institution, who has written extensively about the importance of submarine cables. “If you actually want to damage these things, you’re going to have to get subsea.”

    The Houthis, though, are backed and armed by Iran and used by Tehran as one of its regional proxies to attack Western and Gulf interests. Even if the Houthis themselves may lack the capability, Jones said, Iran might be a different story, especially as tensions between the United States and Iran escalate.

    “The question becomes, do the Iranians have the capability, and would the Iranians take that step? I think that is the thing to watch for—if this escalates farther and we really get into a U.S.-Iran slogging match … then you could question whether the Iranians have that capability,” he said…”

    Something happens to the cables and, conveniently, Iran will be to blame.

    1. Dessa

      For what it’s worth, Ansarallah has a released a statement denying any threat or intention to cut those cables and given their history of openly and honestly making threats known through official channels, I don’t see any reason to doubt them here.

  31. SD

    Re: enshittification: I have a 2013 Macbook Pro that I’m almost afraid to let on about because I fear jinxing its longevity. Magsafe power, no “butterfly” keys. Never had a problem with it. But of course it’s the software now too…

  32. Dessa

    From “Morale plummets at Google as workers complain bosses are ‘inept’ and ‘boring’

    Buildings are emptying earlier in the evenings, midlevel managers are “scrambling to protect their teams (and themselves)” and people are living in fear of layoffs, she wrote. She called the result a “pervasive sense of nihilism.”

    Maybe I just entered office life too late to know anything else, but I assumed this was the case for every office. And you’re *lucky* to have a midlevel manager watching your back — Some are more interested in kissing ass and will gladly use every trick in the book to exploit you for the sake of their career

    1. OliverN

      This comment I agree with. My first thought was wow, what a weak nothingburger headline. Management is “boring”? What are they supposed to be?

      More likely with the comments about vaguely trying to get staff to come up with ideas to monetize AI, you could better argue they “lack vision”, but given that all Googles done on innovation for the last X years has been to buy companies with good ideas, it’s not exactly breaking news.

      I’m sure these poor employees working under “boring” bosses will get a lot more sympathy and coverage then employees that need it (eg anyone employed by the logistics industry)

  33. johnnyme

    As if the “Lost Winter of 2023-2024” here in the upper midwest couldn’t get any stranger, Tornado season just got a two month headstart as a Tornado Warning was just issued for portions of southeast Wisconsin:

    MILWAUKEE – The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for part of Jefferson County on Thursday, Feb. 8. If you are in the area of the warning, seek shelter immediately.

    The warning covers southwestern Jefferson County until 7 p.m.

    The NWS said a “large and extremely dangerous” tornado was seen near Evansville at 5:49 p.m. FOX6 News also acquired a photo of a possible funnel cloud in Albany, Green County.

    Possible funnel cloud in Albany, Green County (Courtesy: Tom Purdy)

    The National Weather Service also issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of Milwaukee, Racine, Walworth and Waukesha counties until 7:15 p.m. The NWS said the storm is expected to bring quarter-sized hail and cause damage to vehicles.

  34. Susan the other

    the Giraffe and the Gazelle. Now I’m wondering why it is that zoos have not been labs for studying inter species cooperation. Those two tiny/giant subjects might be used for examination about the beneficial effects of how good care produces a sense of care for each other in ever widening circles. Kinda makes sense to me.

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