Links 3/11/2024

Generous and patient readers, please forgive me for mentioning that the 2024 Water Cooler fundraiser is ongoing. –lambert

* * *

Love them or hate them, hyenas are getting the last laugh National Geographic

Dealmaking slowdown leaves private equity with record unsold assets FT. Somebody call a wh-a-a-a-a-bulance!

Take note, downtowns: Crystal City suffered its office apocalypse and came out better Greater Greater Washington

Perpetually growing meat! pharyngula. Just like “Chicken Little” in The Space Merchants!


The Great Barrier Reef’s latest bout of bleaching is the fifth in eight summers – the corals now have almost no reprieve The Conversation

Breaking The Ice: Frederic Tudor’s Frozen Empire Investor Amnesia


Colorado ranchers sentenced after tampering with rain gauges to increase crop subsidies CBS


We ignored AIDS. Let’s not repeat the mistake on long COVID Newark Star-Ledger. Again, mass media starting to get out in from of CDC and the public health establishment.

On the impact of mass screening for SARS-CoV-2 through self-testing in Greece Frontiers in Public Health. From the Abstract: “Screening programs that pre-emptively and routinely test population groups for disease at a massive scale were first implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic in a handful of countries. One of these countries was Greece, which implemented a mass self-testing program during 2021. In contrast to most other non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), mass self-testing programs are particularly attractive for their relatively small financial and social burden… Conservative estimates show that the program reduced the reproduction number by 4%, hospitalizations by 25%, and deaths by 20%, translating into approximately 20,000 averted hospitalizations and 2,000 averted deaths in Greece between April and December 2021.”


China’s ‘two sessions’ 2024: new mandate, party control push central bank beyond ordinary role South China Morning Post. Headline on the front page: “‘A whole new ball game’: China’s central bank looks to learn from US blunders.”

Behind the doors of a Chinese hacking company, a sordid culture fueled by influence, alcohol and sex AP. What, no “cuddle puddles“?


Fears of mass migration from Myanmar as military plans to draft thousands Al Jazeera

Sealed fate: The second sons of Ta’ang State Frontier Myanmar


LS polls: Will do away with ‘secular’ in Preamble, says Karnataka BJP MP Business Standard

The Koreas

South Korea begins suspending licences of 4,900 striking doctors; leaves door open for dialogue Channel News Asia


Thousands of Chinese workers leave Africa as lack of funding and impact of pandemic take their toll South China Morning Post


Muslim countries announce start of Ramadan in shadow of Gaza war Al Jazeera

Hamas Bets on Ramadan to Help It Survive Israel’s Assault WSJ

Israeli police block entry of Palestinians to Al-Aqsa Mosque Anadolu Agency

* * *

Israel’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi: If They Force Us to Go to the Army, We’ll All Leave the Country Haaretz (Furzy Mouse). “The soldiers succeed thanks to the Torah learners.”

Spook, Terrorist or Criminal? America’s Mysterious Files on Netanyahu Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. From 1996, still germane.

* * *

Can ships carrying aid help avert famine in Gaza? FT. No.

Desperate to Escape Gaza Carnage, Palestinians Are Forced to Pay Exorbitant Fees to Enter Egypt The Intercept (Furzy Mouse).

European Disunion

Portugal’s centre right claims victory in election marked by populist surge France24

New Not-So-Cold War

Furious critics compare Pope’s call for Ukraine to wave ‘white flag’ to Nazi appeasement NY Post

France’s Macron postpones trip to Ukraine Reuters. Commentary:

NATO Should Not Accept Ukraine—for Ukraine’s Sake Stephen Walt, Foreign Policy

This Prophetic Academic Now Foresees the West’s Defeat NYT

* * *

SITREP 3/11/24: Patriots Blown Up as Mix-Messaged NATO Fumbles On Simplicius the Thinker(s)

Vital Russian Supply Lines In Black Sea Cut By Ukrainian Drones Naval News. Or not–

Has the U.S. Ceded the Black Sea to Russia? Maritime Executive

“The drive isn’t the same as at 19, but I know why I’m here.” 10 years of fighting for Ukraine JAM News. An Azov.

* * *

‘Novorossiya’ rising from ashes like phoenix M. K. Bhadrakumar, Indian Punchline\

Ukraine war is changing the global arms trade Deutsche Welle

UPDATE TO “Did the West Intentionally Incite Putin to War?” Gordon Hahn

US uranium miners resurrected by nuclear revival and Ukraine war FT


Haiti’s capital ‘under siege’ as armed gangs attack key infrastructure France24

US mulls deploying Marine security team to Haiti amid gang crisis Marine Corps Times. Note: URL shows original headline: “elite-marine-security-team-deploys-to-haiti-amid-gang-crisis.” Except not:

Blooper? Last minute change of plans?

Biden Administration

Biden administration to bring port crane manufacturing back to the US Seatrade Maritime

Why astronomers are worried about 2 major telescopes right now


What’s Really Going On with Immigration? Neil Howe, Demography Unplugged


How 16 Companies are Dominating the World’s Google Search Results (2024 Edition) Detailed


Need help with a big medical bill? How a former surgeon general is fighting a $5,000 tab USA Today. Jerome Adams

Digital Watch

The De-Google Project Tim Bray

Palantir’s NHS-stealing Big Lie Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic. On Palantir and the NHS, see NC here, here, and here.

Welcome to the Valley of the Creepy AI Dolls WIred

49% of founders say they’re considering quitting their startup this year Sifted

Silicon Valley is pricing academics out of AI research WaPo


Will Aaron Bushnell’s Death Trigger Anarchism Witch Hunt? The Intercept

Our Famously Free Press

How Pseudo-Intellectualism Ruined Journalism William Deresiewicz, Persuasion

The Oscars

Hayao Miyazaki scoops second Oscar with The Boy And The Heron Channel News Asia

On the Red Carpet London Review of Books

* * *

Jonathan Glazer Condemns ‘Occupation’ and Violence in Israel and Gaza NYT. Shudder quotes? Really? What Glazer said: “Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people.” What Variety says Glazer said. Commentary:

Who edited this? Could they at least have signaled the omission with an ellipsis?

Class Warfare

The 0 dark thirty shift: At work with the sweepers, lifties and corduroy farmers who keep Colorado resorts humming Colorado Sun

Getting food delivered in New York is simple. For the workers who do it, getting paid is not AP

The Billionaire And The Con Artist Forbes

Forecaster Peter Turchin: ‘The US is in a much more perilous state than Russia’ FT

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Don’t Answer Me by The Alan Parsons Project)

    Children think that all wishes are magic
    Wish and you will find
    So they wish for some bread every morning
    There’s been none for some time

    We have all given up a clean world
    Toilets went away
    Nothing to cook and no washing their diapers
    This tent is where we stay

    You answer me
    Why are my children just bones and skin?
    You answer me
    Hunger is violence we’re all so thin
    Israel won’t let the food trucks come
    We’re all starving everyone’s gone numb

    Any time that the shooting’s sporadic
    We beg out on the street
    But the hunger it burns till you’re frantic
    For anything to eat

    If you smile up at the sun we aren’t strangers
    The same sun shines on me
    Every one of our lifelines is severed
    By men in Tel Aviv

    You answer me
    Why are my children just bones and skin?
    You answer me
    Hunger is violence we’re all so thin
    Israel won’t let the food trucks come
    We’re all starving everyone’s gone numb

    (musical interlude)

    Please answer me
    Why are my children just bones and skin?
    You answer me
    Hunger is violence we’re all so thin
    Israel won’t let the food trucks come

    Please answer me
    Why are my children just bones and skin?
    Please answer me
    Hunger is violence we’re all so thin
    Israel won’t let the food trucks come

    1. zagonostra

      I can not but be reminded of Dostoevsky’s Crystal Palace from “Notes from the Underground.”

      You believe in a palace of crystal that can never be destroyed–a palace at which one will not be able to put out one’s tongue or make a long nose on the sly. And perhaps that is just why I am afraid of this edifice, that it is of crystal and can never be destroyed and that one cannot put one’s tongue out at it even on the sly.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Israel’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi: If They Force Us to Go to the Army, We’ll All Leave the Country”

    No they won’t. It’s like all the people back in 2016 that said that they would leave the country if Trump became President – but never did. Suppose that all the ultra-Orthodox leave the country. Who will financially support them overseas? They are not only unemployable with no modern skills but refuse to work in any case. Do they even have passports? Sorry but in my books a secular Israeli battling Hamas in Gaza is doing a helluva lot more for their country than some guy trying to cast magic prayers and claiming credit for any success that those secular soldiers have. Come to think of it, as the number of ultra-Orthodox increases I can see them trying to marginalize and force out secular Israelis from Israel. Gunna be a bit on the nose when some secular Israeli guy in the years to come arrives home from work or from the Army only to find that an ultra-Orthodox family has taken possession of his house. Tell me that this will never happen.

    1. Dermot O Connor

      Gunna be a bit on the nose when some secular Israeli guy in the years to come arrives home from work or from the Army only to find that an ultra-Orthodox family has taken possession of his house. Tell me that this will never happen.

      I think it was Voltaire who said that “God is a Comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh”.

      That WOULD be funny when/if it happens. But the collapse of Israel will likely happen sooner, methinks.

    2. begob

      For an IDF soldier, maybe the dynamic goes like this: the soldier is protecting the Covenant; the Covenant is defined by the Orthodox; putting the Orthodox on the front line jeopardizes the Covenant.

      Maybe the Azovs in Ukraine agonize over a similar dynamic: the soldier is protecting the Fatherland; the Fatherland is nurtured by mothers; putting women in the trenches jeopardizes the Fatherland.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Well since the Orthodox have two to three times more kids that the secular, you would reckon that they could stand to lose a few. It’s a numbers game and the Orthodox can replace losses quicker. Secular Israelis serve in the IDF, pay taxes and take up administrative posts. The Orthodox in general do none of that so society-wise, would be missed less.

        As for mobs like Azov, I have read about them protecting the Fatherland – by stationing themselves behind regular army units and killing any who look like they are retreating. Lots of these nationalists groups got used as Punisher Battalions which just happened to keep them off the front line. Funny how that worked out and General Zhuluzhny made sure that this was how it worked. But then again, he was a Banderite as well.

        1. Carolinian

          A priestly temple class supported by a worker drone population….it’s a Biblical vision all right but a few millennia out of date. Of course the people who founded Israel were not religious at all but were willing to make a pact with the fundamentalists to accomplish their goal. PR and hasbara are supposed to take care of the contradictions.

          Of course all countries including my own run on illusions to some degree but reality does have to be accounted for. My home state was once called “too big for an insane asylum” and had to be made to take a different path.

        2. begob

          But none of that is relevant where the Covenant is believed to determine material circumstances. For Covenanters the proof of the pudding is in the eating, since God works in mysterious ways; for Azovites it’s more complicated, since a woman is not necessarily a potential mother (may even be a potential man, and not just in the sense of trench-fungible – LOL!).

        3. lambert strether

          > stationing themselves behind regular army units and killing any who look like they are retreatinG

          Yep. That’s how that Azov dude lived 10 years

      2. JTMcPhee

        No sympathy for “secular” IOF troops who show their idiot TikTok delight in outright torture and murder of Gazans and Lebanese. These are not nice people, any more than the ultra-Orthodox freeloaders. All “supported” by wealth transfer from the US, by Uncle Sucker Billions and bombs, and multi bucks from the “sale” of apparently risk-free “investments” called Israel Bonds.

        Seven millions Israelis divvy up $7 billion a year. Heck of a job.

        A plague on all the Zionists.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Bite your tongue, as my mother used to say: local politics tends to be dominated by the Hasids, who vote as a bloc, dominating distribution of local resources they do little to produce, and hold everyone else in fearful contempt (including fellow Jews).

        A good friend of mine, also Jewish, who taught in pre-gentrified Williamsburg, Brooklyn for decades, was in constant battle with them over control of the local school Board. In the Rockland County towns they control, the public school budgets have been starved and funds redirected to Yeshivas; it’s no doubt the same in NJ. They are as corrupt and primitive as they come.

        1. upstater

          I think you mean Kiryas Joel in Orange county (or are there more?). Just down the road from Highland Mills where my dad grew up. It was a thing 65 years ago. From Wikipedia, and no doubt even worse now

          “According to 2008 census figures, the village has the highest poverty rate in the nation, and the largest percentage of residents who receive food stamps. More than five-eighths of Kiryas Joel residents live below the federal poverty line, and more than 40 percent receive food stamps, according to the American Community Survey, a U.S. Census Bureau study of every place in the country with 20,000 residents or more.[6] A 2011 New York Times report noted that, despite the town’s very high statistical poverty rates, “It has no slums or homeless people. No one who lives there is shabbily dressed or has to go hungry. Crime is virtually non-existent.”

          Let them live how they wish, but pay the full freight. And get measles vaccinations.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            Yes, Kiryas Joel in particular is well known, but the community is so fecund that they’ve expanded over the decades. I know the town of Spring Valley in Rockland County has had terrible issues with the local public schools starved for resources because of the Hasids who dominate the school Board.

            As you say, of course let them live as they wish, but they should have to vaccinate their children and educate them adequately without turning local politics into an aggressive zero sum game.

            1. rowlf

              When Spring Valley airport still existed I once had to herd Hasidics off the runway.

              I also got driven out of a nearby grocery store by older women running grocery carts into me.

  3. zagonostra

    Has the U.S. Ceded the Black Sea to Russia? – Maritime Executive

    Yes, lets look at geopolitics from the lens of the “schoolyard principle that a bully…”. Has anyone at Maritime Executive looked at the map? The “U.S. Ceded”? Is that an admission that we want to control? Has anyone at ME looked at the history of Great Britain and the use of sea power?

    But principle is an even stronger argument for wresting back maritime dominance in the Black Sea from Russia: the principle of freedom of the seas, of the free flow of goods, and of the schoolyard principle that a bully shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

    1. digi_owl

      Takes one to know one as they say.

      and the use/abuse of sea power is likely why China wants to set up overland trade westwards, to get around US control (for the most part) of the major shipping lanes.

      1. OnceWere

        “There is no legal or diplomatic reason why a group of neutral frigates should not be conducting routine exercises 20 nautical miles off Novorossiysk or shadowing every Russian Federation Navy ship that leaves Russian territorial waters.”

        Extremely unlikely to ever happen, but I rather wish that China would send a flotilla of naval vessels to 20 miles off the coast of San Diego and attempt to shadow every US naval vessel that sails out. Not as an aggressive provocation of course, but to defend the principle of freedom of the seas, and the free flow of goods.

    2. Carolinian

      Have the Russians ceded the Gulf of Mexico to the Americans? Sounds crazy when you put it that way.

    3. eg

      The Houthis are demonstrating that sea interdiction is increasingly possible further and further from land — a truly transformative development in naval warfare. In the case of the Black Sea, Russia has local capacity in this regard both beneath the surface, in the air and on land. I don’t like the chances of any NATO surface vessels so foolish as to try them on.

  4. zagononstra

    >UPDATE TO “Did the West Intentionally Incite Putin to War?” Gordon Hahn

    So much for the lock step mind-numbing regurgitated “unprovoked” clap trap spouted endlessly by our fearless MSM. Anyone paying attention to the outbreak of Ukraine war knew this more than 2 years ago; sad the majority of the U.S. has at least a 2 year, if not more “lag,” a carefully curated one.

    If we look at the course of events in reverse chronological order it seems to me even more glaringly so that the West sought this war and indeed drew Russia into it intentionally with the the strategy of using the war to weaken Russia’s economic and political stability

    1. mrsyk

      Maybe the author started reading NC? And thank you for lock step mind-numbing regurgitated “unprovoked” clap trap. Made me laugh.

    2. jsn

      This is the usual NYT application of fig leaf once the member is bloody.

      Internally at The Times, all the “unprovoked” will be memory holed, prominent past post will be quietly edited and a new “narrative” of “accurate reporting” will be imposed over the past deception without any acknowledgement.

      I’ve been watching this process since Palestinian youth were throwing “Soviet made rocks” in the First Intifada (okay, I’m exaggerating, but for some reason AM Rosenthal was certain Palestinian kids required Soviet manipulation to oppose expropriation).

    3. Feral Finster

      Of course the war was entirely intentional on the part of the West.

      I had no idea that anyone continued seriously to pretend anything otherwise. Sure, they all say “unprovoked” and “brutal” but until the very end, the Nazis insisted with a straight face that Poland viciously attacked them and Hitler really wanted peace, LOL.

    1. Bugs

      That’s a pretty hilarious article. You gotta love that dumb kid from the mean streets of Revere with his hare-brained ideas. Plus he even managed to get Adelson to ask him to stop! Great stuff.

  5. zagonostra

    >How Pseudo-Intellectualism Ruined Journalism William Deresiewicz, Persuasion

    Journalists (like academics) should remember what they’re here for: to gather the facts and report them, a task that takes humility and open-mindedness. But journalists are now incentivized to opinionate, and elite training is hardly congenial to the development of those virtues.

    I’m not so worried about “humility and open mindedness” or pseudo-intellectualism as “ruining journalism.” What I fear is the lack of courage, not that I claim to have it. When a real journalist like Gary Webb does real journalism, they meet with suspect ends, a la Gary Webb and many others I could list. It’s why Israel has targeted and killed more than 100 journalist. The virtue at play here is not “intellectualism” its much much deeper than that.

    1. digi_owl

      The courage comes from a deep pocketed publisher having their legal and financial back.

      But more and more the focus have shifted away from ads and subscriptions financing journalism, to journalism being the hook for ad revenue and subscriptions.

      End result is a shift to lengthy and airy punditry masking as “investigative journalism”.

      1. Carolinian

        Right. Back in Hearst times or even Watergate times newspapers had a lot more power than in internet times. They did it to themselves to a degree by making the public want an alternative. The usual self serving journalism version, that the web just sort of happened, leaves that out.

      2. JTMcPhee

        See that “airy” sh!t at my local paper, used to be the St. Pete Times when the Poynter family ran it as an actual old-style newspaper, real investigative journalism, had a guy named Howard Troxler and other people who actually “drilled down” on reporting the dirt under the corporate and legislative and executive rugs. He withdrew to the mountains of Carolina as the Poynter clan sold out and sold off. The Poynter ProsInsttute is the thing that brought us the sellout charade called “Politifact,” which by dint of truly Jesuitical accessorization of some pro- or counter-Narrative bit of information with FUD-worthy obfuscation of the “but, but, but” kind, turns truth to fiction and vice-versa.

        Florida is full of stories (actually strings of serial indictable offenses — as if there are such things any more in the System) like insurance and bank fraud and the buying up of all affordable housing and the domination of the political economy by our friends in the Chamber of Commerce. But we get instead a four or five or still continuing on a smaller scale “deep dive” into the “kratom danger.” Tens of thousands of words on what is a problem, but one that does not touch pecuniary interests to “resolve.” Meantime, the electrical monopolies keep shoving capital costs into the ratepayer accounts so in between rising real estate taxes (thanks to the upward spiral greed-and-“equity interest-drive” real estate market) and homeowner insurance (also soaring in part due to RE price ‘growth” and just plain greed, furthered by how insurance corps can fiddle their loss accounts) and general greedflation), ordinary people are once again being kicked out of their homes. Zero interest in “reporting” on this, of course, and the alternative press has pretty much disappeared here.

        It’s been a real sorry trip watching this happen to “the news,” which of course except for rare instances that did not damage the Narrative enough to stamp them out, really has served the interests of power since about the time that Poor Richard did its Almaniacal startup way back when.

        Good thing there are safety valves like NC where people can blow off steam that might somehow otherwise lead to a boiler explosion, .

  6. griffen

    Awards shows and reasons # 1 to 99 of why I can’t last 30 minutes. Heard much of the opening dialogue, Kimmel has a gift for opening such a high faluting night of eye candy ( for both the men and the women ). I think the first major award was for handout out for best supporting actress.

    Five presenters, not the usual two. No wonder these last 4 to 5 grueling hours! Someone I did not recognize won that award for The Holdovers…I guess that one is worth watching. And,that was that for those awards.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Are the Academy Awards even culturally relevant anymore? Do the movies they celebrate really reflect society at large? Movies that are crowd pleasers are few and far between these days and most of their latest offerings float on a sea of red ink. The Due Dissidence guys were talking about this and reminding people how modern celebrities are out of contact with reality. As an example they gave, remember during the lockdown when these celebrities were all singing “Imagine”? (1:10 mins)

      1. digi_owl

        Nah, it has long since become a show by the critics for the critics.

        Hell, even a couple of decades back i used to quip that you could take the opinions of film critics, flip them on their head, and thus find out what would be the next blockbuster.

        Because what critics, often being film dropouts, looked for and what the public looked for in a movie was very different things.

        And with the identity politics seeping into everything these days, the output has tilted ever more in favor of the critics.

      2. griffen

        Trying to forget seeing that video sing-along…oh my eyes, the horror…At best on these awards, they aren’t handing out any award soon I’ll suggest to say, Vin Diesel, for a Fast franchise film. Some standard still in place.

        Of course it’s relevant! Barbie tells us the danger and peril of the patriarchy…\sarc

      3. lyman alpha blob

        Took the teenager and my better half to see Poor Things. It was rated R, but it was up for best picture, the trailer seemed fairy tame, synopsis made it sound like a fanciful romp through Europe, and I figured maybe there was an f-bomb or two and a butt shot here or there, so how bad could it be? I was picturing something along the lines of Time Bandits or Hugo or something Burton-esque.

        Turns out it was more like a soft core porno, and while purporting to be modern and edgy and hip, the prevailing message seemed to be that if a young girl really wanted to become knowledgeable, self-confident, and get ahead in the world, what she needed to do was become a prostitute and [family blog] as many ugly old men as possible.

        I may be out of touch, but I sure hope that movie doesn’t reflect society at large. And I really wish I hadn’t taken the kid…

        1. eg

          Yeah, that would have been disturbing. I did find it visually interesting (set design, costumes, cinematography) despite the vacuousness of the content.

        2. Pat

          Okay, I can rip that one off my to see list.

          I am often gobsmacked at how often degrading situations for women are considered both entertainment and art. From the sounds of it this could replace my long standing number one example “Breaking the Waves” at the top of the list in misogyny masquerading as art and enlightenment. (As friends came to my conclusion about Van Trier after later films I figure he could have topped it as well, but I refuse to give him even streaming credit.)

        3. Kouros

          Watching Korean movies and especially historical dramas, I find it refreshing and also amazing how, despite all the emotional, erotical, and sexual tension being built throught 16 episodes, or 22, there is ever even a kiss, and it is all fine. Same way we don’t need the movies showing people doing #1 or #2, we understand that it is being done, we all do it, and we prefer to be alone in those moments, same for very intimate times with a partner, lover, etc… No need to dwelve on it. I stopped watching Outlander because every episode ended having a good 5 minutes of soft porn. As if the only thing that united those two characters was the carnal passion.

          I am not a prude, sir, no I am not.

    2. marcyincny

      Really? I actually saw an Oscar performance this year? Well only because it was available on Peacock and we like small, intimate films preferably set in previous decades.

    3. Carolinian

      She deserved it. Giamatti should have won too for The Holdovers, a movie whose ambitions are not nearly as grandiose as those of Oppenheimer.

      The Oscars are a once far more popular Hollywood promotion machine more than a reliable reward for merit. Nikki Finke said the industry people out there actually hate the show and all the pressure it brings.

      1. Pat

        I have only seen one other nominated film, but I also concur that it deserved recognition. Randolph’s performance was subtle, complex and deeply moving. And the same can be said for Giamatti’s and the young actor Dominick Sessa’s work.

        1. Carolinian

          I read on Deadline that the Hollywood people all loved The Holdovers but seems the Oscars have to be about prestige and an image stance. Guess despite the black actress win it wasn’t woke enough. Or perhaps the film’s jaded view of the PMC was woke in a way that a few didn’t like.

          Some of us have a notion that movies are really about actors acting with directors having something to do with that. The Auteur Theory lingers on.

          1. Pat

            I don’t know. Small and personal doesn’t usually win. The Academy does seem to favor big and important.
            At the same time until I see Oppenheimer, Poor Things, and Zone of Interest I’m going to hold off judgement. Both Oppenheimer and Poor Things fall into the auteur category. For the record I have loved most of the Nolan films I have seen and I did enjoy The Favorite which is the one Lanthimos film I have seen. Zone of Interest appears to be a passion project, and while the setting is big it appears to be about the personal choices people make there which I am also a sucker for.

            For me, my days of loving the Oscars and the Tonys may be over. When I was young they were a way of introducing me to projects and artists I might not know about. They were always marketing events, but now there is so much marketing done to get the nominations that by the time the awards are announced, the very gems I valued discovering have been largely discarded and everything else has been seen endlessly.

            1. Carolinian

              Nolan is a good director and a visual whiz but I’m less impressed with his auteur aspirations. Maybe now that he has his Oscar he can slum it a bit. He has said he wouldn’t mind directing a Bond film.

              Of course few would probably agree with my idea about the importance of actors but after seeing a zillion films it’s the conclusion I’ve come to and the thing I watch for. These days it seems everybody is a visual whiz. Eye candy gets old.

              1. Pat

                We may somewhat agree about big visually orientated directors, although I feel that way about Villeneuve. 😊

                I love acting, and appreciate it in films big and small. More intimate films may have a disadvantage just because they are so personal. It is a rare one that breaks through at the box office so that the Academy Awards has to recognize it. And most of it is about raising the take or honoring the film that did.

    4. pjay

      It’s been a long time since I could stomach watching this show. But looking at the list of winners, I guess the Best Documentary category has now become a permanent propaganda-promotion vehicle. At least Barbie didn’t win – except for the song, which I think was preordained.

    5. Wukchumni

      Caught a heel on the red carpet and was only just released from the hospital with a rug burn like you wouldn’t believe, so I missed the whole thing.

  7. zagonostra

    >Bombing of Tokyo (10 March 1945) – Wiki

    I didn’t see any commemoration of the firebombing of Tokyo this weekend. I hope to God, that the ghouls running the U.S. gov’t’s policy of enabling genocide in Gaza find a different outcome 20 years from now then Curtis LeMay for their war crimes.

    On Dec. 7, 1964, the Japanese government conferred the First Order of Merit with the Grand Cordon of the Rising Sun upon Gen. Curtis LeMay — yes, the same general who, less than 20 years earlier, had incinerated “well over half a million Japanese civilians, perhaps nearly a million.”

    1. jsn

      Yeah, and my blood pressure went up when Oppenheimer got Best Picture last night on the heals of a disingenuous Azov appeal for solidarity with Mariupol.

      The heroics of bomb engineering culture without the carefully suppressed “The Day After Trinity” to color the glory with a million dead civilians.

      Sleepwalking to armageddon.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Yeah, I saw that “20 days in Mariupol” got an Oscar but I doubt that they would ever consider a film called “8 Years in the Donbass”.

  8. ambrit

    Haiti. “Blooper? Last minute change of plans?”
    Did the DoD discover that the “gangs” are really CIA “assets?”

  9. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    This is hands-down the best explanation I’ve heard on why sanctions on Russia backfired, and why they were never going to succeed in the first place.

    By economist James K. Galbraith, professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

    Best quote of his explanation: “This is a situation in which the sanctions were imposed by one important sector of the world economy which then cut itself off from resources that it needs – and that’s particularly true of Western Europe – in return for cutting Russia off from various things that Russia doesn’t really need.”

    Second best quote: “If you go back to the period before the introduction of the sanctions … the Russian economy was very heavily colonized by Western firms. That was true in automobiles, it was true in aircrafts, it was true in everything from fast food restaurants to big box stores. Western firms were present all throughout the Russian economy. A great many of them … either chose to exit Russia or were pressured to exit Russia after early 2022. So on what terms did they leave? Well, they were required, if they were leaving permanently, to sell their capital equipment, their factories and so forth, to let’s say a Russian business which would get a loan from Russian banks or maybe have other sources of financing, at a very favorable price for the Russians.

    “So effectively a lot of capital wealth, which was partly owned by the West, has been transferred to Russian ownership. And you now have an economy which is moving forward and has the advantage compared to Europe of relatively low resource costs because Russia is a great producer of resources, oil and gas and fertilizer and food stuff and so forth.

    “And so while the Europeans are paying maybe twice in Germany what they were paying for energy, the Russians are not, they’re paying perhaps less than they were paying before the war. So again I characterize the effect of the sanctions, in fact as being in certain respects a gift to the Russian economy. And this is, I think, quite different from what the authors of the sanctions expected…. And the essence of the situation is this would not have happened without the sanctions.

    “You could have had the war, and it would have gone pretty much as it has gone. But the Russian government in 2022 was in no position to force the exit of Western firms. It didn’t want to, wouldn’t have done that. It was in no position to force its oligarchs to choose between Russia and the West. It didn’t wish to do that. These choices were imposed by the West, and the results were actually, in many respects, favorable to the long-term independent development of the Russian Federation’s economy.”

    10:15 PM · Mar 10, 2024

    1. Paradan

      I honestly think that the people behind the sanctions didn’t conceive of the ability of the Russian Government to nationalize the factories, and keep them running so people didn’t lose their jobs. Like, Neo-liberal economic rules are mistaken as actual laws of nature.

      1. Synoia

        Proving yet again that skilled, labor not Management, is the most important part of industry. In this case Russian skilled labor.

      2. eg

        The fools who designed the sanctions mistook spreadsheet land as representative of real resource land. Oops …

    2. spud

      gee they were forced into protectionism. such a bad bad deal for the rich, not so for civil society.

  10. Amfortas the Hippie

    among others, FT has a paywall that i cannot seem to surmount…especially when its something i’d really, really like to read.
    never been clear on the archive method.
    the headline regarding Turchin implies a dmitry orlov-esque assessment of the current state of Our Empire.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Hey Amfortas. Bring up the Google search page. Put in the title of that FT article into the search bar. When the results come back, look for the one that has FT as where it is located. When you click on that link, you should be able to read that article.

      1. Carolinian

        It’s just me but I have trouble with Archive and wish links of that sort would also include the real link as well.

          1. Carolinian

            I’d rather not use a third party intervenor at all. I’ve my own ways of reading the pay walled.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        aye…nothing new, really, to me/us.
        still, when a prominent doomer is in a place like FT….

        and thanks to you all for the workaround.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          It’s pretty interesting (or maybe just comical) how Henry Mance, the author of the article, keeps squirming and looking for a way out. Surely there must be some way in which this might be wrong? He has a point in that human history has a lot of unpredictability to it, but it’s not like Turchin denies that either. It’s just that there are some major trends and givens that are obvious to Turchin (and to me, and to you…), but somehow not obvious to Mance. Or at least, he acts like it is not.

          That aside, the part I found somewhat interesting was Turchin identifying Trump as “the counter-elite”. I’m not sure Trump is that. However, there might be an actual counter-elite (i.e. an organised, focused group capable of displacing the current elite) coalescing around him now – at least if a lot of the articles shared here are to be believed (the ones that talk about how Trump’s campaign differs and administration will differ from the first one, because now he has a team that is more prepared to push through its agenda). That really would be a meaningful threat to the US establishment. Of course this may be premature, but the emergence of a viable counter-elite seems like the big thing to watch out for, as far as danger of “macro violence” goes.

          Meanwhile, I’d say the main reason why Putin’s position is secure is that there is no counter-elite to speak of (despite all attempts to conjure it out of the ether) and the elite has no one better at the moment. Furthermore, Turchin is right that the Russian elite has turned out to be pretty unified in a crisis, even more than I had expected. Sanctions help there.

          This: “Doesn’t Russia suffer even worse economic inequalities than the US?” is a bit difficult for me to assess. In all honesty, we do have pretty severe economic inequalities. A lot of people are expected to get by on a pittance, while the oligarchs have gone nowhere – they just got squeezed a bit. But on the other hand, we haven’t let the social state collapse quite as badly as the US did, which helps offset it somewhat. Especially when it comes to healthcare.

          1. jsn

            The Emmanuel Todd link at the New York Times focuses on infant mortality as a measure of rot in a political system. Putin doesn’t have a “counter elite” problem because he is that: he repaired the most obvious political rot Sachs and Yeltsin had left him with when he came to power.

            Pace Turchin, free will matters for little at scale until the inflection point, after which it is decisive: FDR took us a very different place from where Huey Long or Father Coughlin would have taken us. And some pliable apparatchik could certainly have helped The Internationalists dismantle Russia, Putin proved not to be that man.

            What is the state of the Russian educational system? Since the Powell Memo in 1971, in the US neoliberal forces left and right have conspired to make public education a way station to McJobs, AppJobs or the Prison Industrial Complex. We don’t just hate babies once they’re born, our system structurally penalizes any investment whatsoever in “cultural reproduction”, preferring to make each new generation anew in the image of a left or right ideal depending on the local D vs R School Board balance.

            1. Daniil Adamov

              “The Emmanuel Todd link at the New York Times focuses on infant mortality as a measure of rot in a political system. Putin doesn’t have a “counter elite” problem because he is that: he repaired the most obvious political rot Sachs and Yeltsin had left him with when he came to power.”

              That’s not what a counter-elite is (at least classically). Putin was very much a part of the existing elite, he just took its policies in a somewhat different direction (as you say, he corrected the most obvious rot). In that regard at least, the comparison with FDR seems valid, since FDR was not part of a counter-elite either. The Bolsheviks, as a vanguard party, were a counter-elite – organised outsiders to the current elite who are capable of replacing it completely, rather than a faction within the existing elite.

              “What is the state of the Russian educational system?”

              Tricky question. Off the top of my head… Higher education has been heavily battered over the years with various attempts to make it profitable and make it standardised (both locally and, until recently, within the European system). Not as bad as the US one though, I gather; at the very least, we still have people studying for free or even getting a very small amount of money for it, though more and more students are paid. The humanitarian sphere has suffered the worst from both of those tendencies, since it is hard to quantify. Hard sciences are doing better, at least by comparison.

              Schools, I gather, might actually be doing something right – at least, even my Putin-hating relatives have nice things to say about state schools past the first two grades. The main focus of ire in that regard is the increased influence of ideology and propaganda. But in other areas they have improved. Mind you, your complaint about “public education a way station to McJobs, AppJobs or the Prison Industrial Complex” is something that surfaces here as well, despite the ever greater emphasis on “cultural reproduction” that is meant to balance it.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “LS polls: Will do away with ‘secular’ in Preamble, says Karnataka BJP MP”

    This is bad this. Really bad. This is the Modi movement wanting the Indian government to be a Hindu nationalist government and not for everybody. This is just like Israel declaring itself a Jewish State and everybody being made unwelcome. Hindus make up about 80% of the population while the rest are Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, etc. so I am not sure where the later will fit in. I think that this is why Modi is wanting to be buddies with the Israelis. Not only do they share the same supremacist philosophy but he wants to buy some of that Israeli technology to keep the minorities in their place. But I do not look forward to the rise of a nuclear-armed Hindu supremacist State on the subcontinent, especially if they want to have an expansionist bent.

    1. Roger Boyd

      Welcome to the next Israel, with 1.4 billion people, with a 15% Muslim minority (highly concentrated in specific provinces). A recipe for future religious wars and wars of separation (the Muslim majority provinces attempting to escape the Hindutva majority).

      The Indian elite have been responsible since WW2 for disabling the possible growth miracle and will now be responsible for perhaps destroying India itself.

  12. DJG, Reality Czar

    The Popester, telling the Ukrainians to negotiate and the resultant temper tantrums of “Western” fantasists.

    The NY Post is getting all patriotic gory, if you ask me. Here is the kernel of what the Pope said, from the NY Post article: “Negotiations are never a surrender,” Francis insisted in the interview. “When you see that you are defeated, that things are not going well, you have to have the courage to negotiate.”

    This is not hard to figure out if one has a moral compass. The amusing / bemusing thing in Italy is to watch who comes to the defense of the Pope: One sees a wild combination of Five Stars supporters, Sinistra Italiana, left Catholics, secularists, the peace coalition (Catholic and lay branches), and quite a few nonbelievers (or belief-minimalists, which is about where I am).

    Here is an article in Italian with many more quotes from the Pope’s interview. He was speaking in Italian.

    It’s amazing to read the quotes from the Tough Guys afflicted with Papa Derangement Syndrome, as they propose more war and death as fig leaves for their lack of decency.

    1. ilsm

      But Pope Francis is remiss. Which is normal since Emperor Constantine!

      Wars of empire and plunder violate all points of Just War doctrine!

      NATO is contemptible in its encouragement of mass murder.

      Pope should be more complete in his observations.

      1. cfraenkel

        Being charitable – perhaps he’s well aware of the derangement he’s talking into, and is limiting his suggestions to something that might slip between the cracks and take root?

        There’s plenty of people shouting how evil this all is, and they’re (we’re) all being ignored. His position can’t be completely ignored, but if he had been ‘more complete in his observations’, would we even have heard about it? Or would it just have been completely black-holed?

    2. The Rev Kev

      You think that the Ukrainians would be game by putting the Pope on the Myrotvorets kill list?

      1. Feral Finster

        Considering that this list is maintained out of Langley, it will be the Americans who decide who is and is not on the list.

        Ukraine has less independence than a calf in a veal pen.

        1. Martin Oline

          Nice metaphor Feral. Like that calf it will be fed well for a short time before being slaughtered.

    3. eg

      The reaction by readers in the Globe and Mail (“Canada’s National Newspaper”) to this story was mostly a mixture of anti-Papist intolerance and furious denunciation.

      I was suitably amused by their high dudgeon.

      1. Kouros

        When I contradicted my sister in law and told her to educate herself on the actual facts that led to the war in Ukraine, she burst into tears of frustration.

        So “Russia” is a forbbiden topic at family reunions and also Israel now…

        In my youth in Socialist Romania I have never seen people as propagandized as I have encountered here, in real life, absolutely brainwashed on the values of liberalism and democracy and west’s (Canada’s) righteusness).

        1. The Rev Kev

          That is both sad and disturbing that. That the propaganda has sunk in so deep. I have a brother in law who is hard headed and cynical but he swallowed the whole Russia-is-evil story hook, line and sinker.

  13. Enter Laughing

    RE: Can ships carrying aid help avert famine in Gaza?

    When Biden announced this plan and insisted it wouldn’t involve U.S. boots on the ground, I wondered exactly who would be in charge of driving the aid trucks across the beach to the warehouse facilities, securing the food and distributing it to the starving masses.

    Turns out that role will be filled by an organization named Fogbow – an outfit run by a bunch of former military, UN, and USAID and CIA personnel.

    So let’s assume these ex-military guys, NGOs and spooks know logistics. Can they really deliver the 200 food trucks a day Biden’s plan promises? Forget for second that 200 trucks a day is woefully short of the 500 trucks a day that are needed. Can Fogbow even hit the 200 a day mark? The short answer is probably not.

    To hit 200 trucks a day a fully loaded truck would have to roll off the temporary causeway to the beach every 7.5 minutes, 24 hours a day. Each truck has to be loaded, driven to a security checkpoint and inspected, driven to a warehouse or distribution point, and unloaded. 200 loads a day sounds ambitious to me.

    Making the journey even more challenging, it sounds like the Fogbow plan could involve setting up the temporary pier and causeway in northern Gaza – the hotly contested area where IDF is very actively engaging Hamas. Fogbow calls their aid plan Blue Beach Plan and it turns out that there is luxury resort called Blue Beach in northern Gaza.

    If indeed this is the planned landing point for the food trucks, the truck drivers will be navigating through an active war zone across infrastructure that has been largely destroyed.

    How hard can it be, right? Reminds me of the “I’m in” scene in Dawn of the Dead.

    1. mrsyk

      Six Weeks Away

      He sleeps all alone on a bombed out street
      With no roof over his head and no food to eat
      And he can hardly make it day to day
      ‘Cause everything he needs is six weeks away
      Six weeks away
      He’s had a regular job and it pays the rent
      Keeping bar for ravers under a tent
      But now his life has gone astray
      Survival is still six weeks away
      Six weeks away
      Six weeks away
      Meals ready to eat
      Six weeks away
      Will his heart still beat
      Six weeks away
      Meals ready to eat
      Six weeks away
      For dessert something sweet
      Six weeks away
      He walks real fast down the bombed out street
      He turns his eyes from the people he meets
      It hurts so bad, what can he say?
      Survival is always six weeks away
      Six weeks away
      Six weeks away
      Meals ready to eat
      Six weeks away
      Will his heart still beat
      Six weeks away
      Meals ready to eat
      Six weeks away
      For dessert something sweet
      Six weeks away

      Tune borrowed from Lucinda Williams Six Blocks Away

      1. Enter Laughing

        Yes — the fact that the Pentagon says it might takes 8 weeks to get the pier up and running is another red flag that says maybe this effort will be too little, too late, if it works at all.

    2. MaryLand

      It looks like just an excuse to put US military in the area without it being announced as boots on the ground.

  14. chris wardell

    In the north of Alabama is the city of Huntsville. It’s here where German scientists built NASA in secrecy after World War II. Operation Paperclip is still somewhat not talked about today in Huntsville. And for those who know, there are mixed feelings about it. Today we meet up with the grandson of one of the original German scientists to get an inside look at Operation Paperclip and how it left its permanent mark on the city of Huntsville.

    1. ilsm

      Adjacent to US Army Redstone arsenal. Marshall Space Center (NASA).

      There may remain a couple of good German restaurants.

    2. Hence Heinz

      Maybe this book is already well known at NC

      The Paperclip Conspiracy: The Hunt for the Nazi Scientists – London, 1. Januar 1987
      by Tom Bower (Author)

      Offers an account of the postwar competition between the World War II allies, particularly the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., to exploit the scientific achievements of the Third Reich by seizing Nazi scientists.
      My keyword: Wernher von Braun; German V1/V2’s are the predecessors of the first rockets flying from American soil.
      Not so well known is the story of the german rocket-scientists that were identified by the Red Army and some urged, some deported, were brought to the secret laboratories of the Sowjet rocket-development-program. Among them were not the prominent and manager types like von Braun but some very serious scientists and moreover mainly the first line of engineers that proved to invent the technical solutions: So the “Ruskies” developed not the proverbial rocket science but the real serious rocket technique. – One of the involved scientists wrote about his time “behind red barbed-wire” under the title “Rocketslaves” (in German: Raketensklaven, Stuttgart 1993) which gives more than a hint to the personal hardships and feelings of a kind of PoW being coerced to proceeding the foe Sowjet rocket program. If one can read without ideological bias this book proves a rare piece of post ww 2 history “behind the iron curtain”.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Behind the doors of a Chinese hacking company, a sordid culture fueled by influence, alcohol and sex”

    A sordid culture fueled by influence, alcohol and sex? Are they hiring? I found the following sentence interesting-

    ‘Over the past two decades, Chinese state security’s demand for overseas intelligence has soared, giving rise to a vast network of these private hackers-for-hire companies that have infiltrated hundreds of systems outside China.’

    So the Chinese to a large extent depend on the private sector for hacking. Isn’t this what the US does? Only they call these people ‘contractors’ and Edward Snowden was one once. It’s all six of one and half a dozen of the other and to be expected as both countries are capitalist countries.

  16. Carolinian

    That’s an interesting article on search engine optimization aka the art of clickbait. While some of us have a hostile attitude toward the advertising industry it’s important to know your enemy!

    1. MaryLand

      Indeed. I was surprised to see the Mayo Clinic site was part of this similar to WebMD. Just another SEO site.

    2. Craig H.

      Yes to the information in that article being excellent!

      There is a saying in the corporate trenches “painting the Golden Gate bridge” which describes a huge task that will never be finished. When the guys putting paint on the Golden Gate bridge get to the end, it is time to start painting the beginning again. Google has to update their search algorithm continuously, and every update sets the SEO people up for a new round of figuring out how to optimize for the latest updates. The highest paid folks doing the optimizing and the highest paid folks doing the search algorithm updates have identical job histories and they go back and forth like government regulators and corporation loophole navigators.

  17. Tom Stone

    Springtime, with everything in bloom and the air full of wonderful scents!
    30 odd years ago I worked in Pleasanton and had a lovely young Christian co worker of unparallelled purity and rectitude, something she reminded everyone of frequently.
    I was standing outside enjoying the beauty when she joined me and when I remarked on how wonderful the day was, she agreed.
    I then remarked that pollen was really plant sperm, and that I was having sex with at least dozen species with every breath.
    She turned faintly green and left me to enjoy the beauty alone.

    1. griffen

      “My virgin ears can’t unhear that!”. That’s a funny anecdote I think. Yes Spring 2024 is nearing and it’s a wonderful time and season. We get April next & that brings, tax filing hooray!

      Even a lovely spring day might have some clouds burst onto the scene ( hopefully with no tornadoes).

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        aye. here in the nw texas hill country, the bloomin is fully underway…even the oaks and mesquites are putting out leaf buds.
        my fruit trees have already flowered and are fully leafed, with far too many pre-fruits already abornin(means a lot of fruit to pick, can, and try to sell…back of truck, this year)
        no dragonflies, yet…but lotsa ladybugs and various hymenoptera and moths and butterflies…the mud-lovers, so far.
        just about everything is at least 2 weeks early from the old timey, long established “normal”.
        and flowers…specifically wildflowers…for which this area is known…but not in the usual succession…all the february and march bloomers are doing it at the same time…more evidence of “normal” being denormalised.
        cold spell this past weekend…and theres still a bit of chill in the southeast breeze…but not enough to prevent my naked margarita enjoyin, on my barstump at the wilderness bar.
        gypsy jazz and cuban music…because i earned it…hoein in the field(wife always laughed when i’d say “honey, i need you to go a hoein in the field”)
        already direct seeded the curcurbits and chokes and cardoon and pole beans…seeded everything else in flats in the greenhouse…
        all i got left to plant is the fancy taters and cippoline onions and shallots and elephant garlic i got at HEB the other day…hog-wire tater towers with hay and manure….aliums all over the place at random.
        checkout woman…about my age…asked what i would do with such strange specimens…and i say, welp, imagonna plant most of them, and turn one into 20….she eyes the rest of whats in my cart, and sez-” can i come home with you?”(i’m obviously a gourmet)
        what to say?
        im almost 60 miles north of that store.
        i scribbled my number, just in case….appended “radical horticulturalist”, for good measure.
        as saint waits said, “fishin for a good time, starts with throwin in yer line”

  18. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    This is absolutely crazy (and desperate): US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo says US will “do whatever it takes” to curb China tech. 

    Any pretense of morality is gone: straight up, “we’ll do all it takes to prevent the development of 1.4 billion people” 


    11:16 AM · Mar 11, 2024

    1. CA

      The open prejudice of a Democratic administration that is determined to prevent the development of a benign 5,000 year old civilization of 1.4 billion is distressing. Just as though this was a continuation of the suppression of Black America after the Civil War. But of course, right after the Civil War and the building of the transcontinental railroad with large numbers of Chinese laborers, America passed the Chinese Exclusion Act which lasted until the end of 1943.

      Now, a Democratic American administration is determined to contain, and undermine and prevent the development of China. Such is the persistence of prejudice.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        It certainly is shocking how they revert to racism, isn’t it?

        And it also shows they’ve learned nothing from the failure and blow-back of the Russian sanctions.

        1. CA

          “It certainly is shocking how they revert to racism, isn’t it?

          “And it also shows they’ve learned nothing from the failure and blow-back of the Russian sanctions.”

          Surely so.

    2. Feral Finster

      Any pretense of morality on the part of the United States has long gone. Moral arguments are wasted on sociopaths. The only question to be asked is – What does China propose to do about it?

      1. mrsyk

        This subject is well outside my wheelhouse, but I’m having my doubts that this sort of action will have anything but the shortest of effects, if any, on Chinese technology development.

        1. CA

          “I’m having my doubts that this sort of action will have anything but the shortest of effects, if any, on Chinese technology development.”

          March 11, 2024

          Huawei, OpenAI show tech evolution is relentless
          By Cheng Yu

          When the United States removed China’s tech giant Huawei Technologies Co from its global semiconductor supply chain in 2019, anxiety gripped the Chinese electronics industry.

          But there was a silver lining too. Anxiety pushed Chinese firms to work on chips for more advanced smartphones. For their part, the authorities concern emphasized that self-reliance in key technologies is critical to the future.

          What ensued in consequence over the past few years is that the whole Chinese tech ecosystem developed unprecedented capabilities that even the US probably had not anticipated or expected…

      2. CA

        Notice that 3 of the top 5 high-quality world science research publishing institutions are Chinese. Seven of the top 10 high-quality science research publishing institutions are Chinese:

        The Nature Index

        1 November 2022 – 31 October 2023 *

        Rank Institution ( Count) ( Share)

        1 Chinese Academy of Sciences ( 7588) ( 2261)
        2 Harvard University ( 3634) ( 1106)
        3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences ( 3244) ( 651)
        4 University of Science and Technology of China ( 1908) ( 649)
        5 Max Planck Society ( 2603) ( 635)

        6 French National Centre for Scientific Research ( 4340) ( 616)
        7 Nanjing University ( 1453) ( 613)
        8 Peking University ( 2279) ( 606)
        9 Tsinghua University ( 1886) ( 593)
        10 Zhejiang University ( 1473) ( 569)

        * Annual Tables highlight the most prolific institutions and countries in high-quality research publishing for the year

        1. Feral Finster

          I have seen such lists, along with discussion as to what exactly they really mean.

          The point remains. China decided to do something about it.

          1. CA

            “The point remains. China decided to do something about [ the American attempt to limit its development ].”

            What is being done however is very broad and deep, and needs to be described a little at a time as the just concluded Chinese national congress showed. The range would be from now producing the bulk of phones for Africa to Third and Fourth Generation nuclear installations to describing Huawei.

            China for instance has just begun to produce transmission electron microscopes, and on and on…

      3. .Tom

        I think pretense of morality is exactly what remains. The Orthodox Church of Western Liberalism demands continuous displays of pious virtue. The pretense of morality is central to the authoritarian power of this regime. If we pretend to be moral in the rituals demanded by the Church then we will be safe; if not then we face excommunication or worse. China’s tech development must be stopped because we uphold and advance Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights. Theology doesn’t need to be coherent.

        1. mrsyk

          Me thinks yours and ff’s comments are not mutually exclusive. It’s the church-goers who demand the appearance of virtue. Those, who pull the levers and have become quite skilled at dishing it out, are performative actors to the public eye. So yes, pretense for the woke as we nod along to NPR, but I assure you there are many who see through it.

        2. Amfortas the Hippie

          when asked my religion…even on forms…i say “heretic”.
          the in person enquiries, i would often follow with etymology:gr:” heretikos”=”choice maker”.
          theres very few in person inquiries of that nature any more,lol…both because i have sunk into my hermithood, as well as the word being out, “be careful what you ask that guy…”

      4. Cristobal

        Ha ha ha! After Russia’s experience I suspect they will say: “May I have some more please?”

    3. spud

      another wall streeter heading into bidens cabinet, she is a out right fascist: rhode islands governor, its all you need to know

      Possible HHS Pick Shielded Nursing Homes From Liability During COVID Outbreak
      Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has presided over one of the deadliest COVID outbreaks and helped shield nursing home companies from accountability — and she could get the nation’s top health care job
      Julia Rock and Andrew Perez
      Dec 2

      complete blow by blow of how the clintonites sold off rhode islands productive capabilities to their partners the chinese communist party, then turned the state over to hedge funds, run by clinton associates

      “Unfortunately the Democrats came down with C.A.I.D.S. (Clinton Acquired Intelligence Deficiency Syndrome) and there is no known cure, but at least they’re on equal mental footing with the white elephants now.

      Might it be simpler to call it C.A.S.S. ( Clinton Acquired Stupidity Syndrome)?
      Or C.A.D.S. ( Clinton Acquired Dumbness Syndrome)?

      October 25, 2018

      Pension Fraud: How PBS’s Frontline Let the Clinton Democrats Off the Hook

      by Andrew Stewart

      “In 2011, then-Treasurer Gina Raimondo pushed through the legislature the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011. It invested the fund into hedge funds. It put new public sector employees who would have been normally paying into the fund into a hybrid plan that included a 401 (k)-style component, which is nowhere near as reliable or secure as a defined-benefit pension. And it revoked the annual cost of living (COLA) for current pensioners until the fund reached a benchmark that would bring it into a safe zone in terms of funding.

      But, owing to a variety of hidden fees and expenses charged to the pension by the hedge fund managers, the return to that solvency level became a mirage in a horizon that one could never reach.”

      “The Ocean State is a service economy, something that developed after the local textile, jewelry, and manufacturing jobs were off-shored by globalization. Consumer spending on seasonal tourism defines the livelihoods of a significant percentage of the workforce.

      When Raimondo was elected to Tresaury and took a look at the shenanigans that had happened over the past several decades, she decided that she had some friends on Wall Street that she had met during her lackluster days as a venture capitalist who could use a few bucks.

      In a 2013 column for Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi wrote (1):

      Soon she was being talked about as a probable candidate for Rhode Island’s 2014 gubernatorial race. By 2013, Raimondo had raised more than $2 million, a staggering sum for a still-undeclared candidate in a thimble-size state.

      Donors from Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital and JPMorgan Chase showered her with money, with more than $247,000 coming from New York contributors alone. A shadowy organization called EngageRI, a public-advocacy group of the 501(c)4 type whose donors were shielded from public scrutiny by the infamous Citizens United decision, spent $740,000 promoting Raimondo’s ideas.

      Within Rhode Island, there began to be whispers that Raimondo had her sights on the presidency. Even former Obama right hand and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel pointed to Rhode Island as an example to be followed in curing pension woes.”

  19. MaryLand

    Re the US uranium mines being reopened: these mines have a history of contaminating aquifers and also the miners.

    The Cold War Legacy Lurking in U.S. Groundwater

    “For the first time, ProPublica has cataloged cleanup efforts at the 50-plus sites where uranium was processed to fuel the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Even after regulators say cleanup is complete, polluted water and sickness are often left behind.

    Uranium mills that helped fuel the weapons also dumped radioactive and toxic waste into rivers like the Cheyenne in South Dakota and the Animas in Colorado. Thousands of sheep turned blue and died after foraging on land tainted by processing sites in North Dakota. And cancer wards across the West swelled with sick uranium workers.
    – – –
    At least 84% of the sites have polluted groundwater. And nearly 75% still have either no liner or only a partial liner between mill waste and the ground, leaving them susceptible to leaking pollution into groundwater.”

    With a handy map of sites

    1. ilsm

      Nuclear waste, whether weapons or reactor fuel has nowhere in the USA to go.

      Limiting factor on energy and rebuilding the MAD arsenal.

  20. ChrisFromGA

    Forensic psychiatrist says signs that Scranton Joe was hopped up on something during the SOTU:

    A psychiatrist who has worked with elderly dementia patients said President Biden exhibited signs of stimulant use to mask cognitive decline in his amped-up, aggressive State of the Union speech on Thursday.

    Mr. Biden, 81, often raced through his remarks with the speed of an auctioneer, loudly shouting his words despite having a microphone in front of him.

    Joey is on bad medicine
    Bad medicine is what he needs
    Whoa-oh-oh, shake it up, just like bad medicine!
    There ain’t no doctor who can cure his disease
    (Bad medicine)

    Joey got war fever, got the neo-con disease
    And it’ll take more than a doctor to prescribe a remedy
    His PAC has lots of moolah, but it isn’t what he needs
    Gonna take more than a shot to get him to lucidity

    And he’s got all the wars, count ’em, one, two, three!

    First you need! (that’s what you get for voting while drunk)
    Then your ears bleed (Margie heckles, but it’s never enough)
    And then you’re on your knees (that’s when he forgets which war’s going rough)
    Now this boy from Scranton gonna go angry mode!


    Joey is on bad medicine
    Bad medicine is what he needs
    Whoa-oh-oh, shake it up, just like bad medicine!
    There ain’t no doctor that can cure his disease

    Bad, bad, medicine …

    Joe don’t need no needle to be giving him a thrill
    And he don’t need anesthesia to demand his Ukraine bill
    He’s got a dirty-down addiction that doesn’t show no tracks
    He’s got a jones for genocide like a monkey on his back
    There ain’t no paramedic gonna stop this heart attack

    First you need! (that’s what you get for voting while drunk)
    Then your ears bleed (Margie heckles, but it’s never enough)
    And then you’re on your knees (that’s when he forgets what decade it is)
    Now this boy from Scranton gonna go angry mode!

    Whoa-oh-oh, Joey is on bad medicine
    Bad medicine is what he needs
    Whoa-oh-oh, shake it up, just like bad medicine!
    There ain’t no doctor that can cure his disease

    He needs a respirator cause he’s runnin’ out of breath
    Cause he’s an all-time gaffe generator
    Yells at Margie in her red dress
    When he finds his medicine, the press will some rest
    Cause if there’s something better, baby
    Well they haven’t found it, yet

    (Repeat chorus)

    1. griffen

      Nice,well done. Fun fact & this reflects a bit of memorable recall. First cassette tape I ever bought was their album “New Jersey”. Rock music was forbidden in my home but I was a silent rebel, a mild rebel in hindsight. It’s my music !!

      1. ChrisFromGA

        A lot of the “hair” bands are still kicking around, I have always wanted to go on one of those “Monsters of Rock” cruises.

  21. .Tom

    > 49% of founders say they’re considering quitting their startup this year — Sifted

    Well, well, well. Is that so?

    The follow up question I would have asked had I been conducting the survey would be: “What explains the difference between your expectation when you founded the venture and your experience now?”

  22. Wukchumni

    In honor of the KC High-3 celebration next season…

    Before you Yakuza me, take a look at yourself
    Before you Yakuza me, take a look at yourself
    You say ‘m been spending my money on NFL seats
    You taking TV money from someone else

    I called your lawyer about three or four nights ago
    I called your lawyer about three or four nights ago
    Well the jackal said, you can still count using your toes

    Before you Yakuza me, take a look at yourself
    Before you Yakuza me, take a look at yourself
    You say i’m spending my money on NFL seats
    You taking TV money from someone else

    Come on back home to Arrowhead, try not to lose fingers this time
    Come on back home to Arrowhead, try not to lose fingers this time
    You know when things don’t go to lawsuit
    There is piece of mind

    Before you Yakuza me, take a look at yourself
    Before you Yakuza me, take a look at yourself
    You say i’m spending my money on NFL seats
    You taking TV money from someone else

    Before You Accuse Me, performed by CCR

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Have to confess to not being hip to the meaning of “Yakuza” but my imagination is probably correct.

      Not going to google it …

  23. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Will Aaron Bushnell’s Death Trigger Anarchism Witch Hunt?

    From the article –

    “Last Wednesday, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., former Army officer and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asking why and how the Pentagon could tolerate an airman like Bushnell in its ranks. Calling his death “an act of horrific violence” that was “in support of a terrorist group [Hamas],” Cotton goes on to ask about the Defense Department’s internal efforts to address extremism and whether Bushnell was ever identified as exhibiting extremist views or behaviors.”

    So it’s the person with a conscience who is the “extremist”, not all the people like Tom Cotton advocating for the genocide of Palestinians. Have we reached peak ‘doublespeak’ yet? People like Cotton are truly the worst humanity has to offer and are really trying my mostly pacifist tendencies.

  24. ArvidMartensen

    There is a disconnect somewhere, which is puzzling. First of all, Biden is trailing in the polls
    He is being deserted by a non-white voters, a core strength in 2020:
    But in spite of all of this, the Democrats are determined to have an old man with a failing memory as their candidate for President. In most other democratic countries he would have been asked to retire and a better candidate chosen. Instead, all the money has been used by the Democrats to clobber any competing candidates.

    I know this is getting into tinfoil hat territory, but Carlson is saying that the Dems feel secure because they know Biden is going to win irrespective of who voters vote for. That it’s a done deal.
    On all the evidence, I can see why he says that.

  25. Jonathan King

    Variety has since updated their post partially quoting Jonathan Glazer to include the deleted material. This is what happens when pubs let interns from AIPAC edit stuff on screen.

  26. KFritz

    With small-scale, martial overlords running a seemingly large part of Haiti, and proportionately smaller but significant parts of Mexico, these nations may be moving convulsively into The New Feudalism. As I envision and understand it, they resemble what life must have like in outlier areas of a disintegrating Roman Empire. The transition may not be universally as convulsive as in the above nations.

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